Author's Note: Hey everybody. Here's a piece of post-Reichenbach. This follows what I've previously established for Sherlock and Irene in this "story". I hope you like it! Please review!
"No, please, there's just one more thing, one more thing. One more miracle, Sherlock, for me. Don't be… dead. Would you do that… just for me? Just stop it, stop this."
The voice trailed off and the breathy sounds of crying could be heard through the electronic crackle. Sherlock sat motionlessly in a chair, his eyes staring off into nothingness, the recording device held up in front of him by his stiffened fingers. He pressed the stop button and the sounds of static ceased.
Sherlock did not turn to acknowledge the voice. Irene, used to this behavior, walked around from behind his chair and seated herself in the one across him.
"Digital recorder," was the clipped reply.
"How did you get a recording of John on there? That was clearly a port-mortem speech."
"I had this planted at my grave." There was a pause.
"That's a bit dishonest, don't you think?" Finally Sherlock turned his gaze towards The Woman, his brow knit in confusion.
"Why? They're speaking to me, why shouldn't I be allowed to hear it?"
"Those are personal thoughts, Sherlock. They probably wouldn't be saying those things if they knew you were actually listening," she reprimanded gently. Sherlock merely scoffed.
"People ought to tell others what they think of them. It's only because they are cowards that they are unable to do so when the other person is still alive. I'm doing them a favor. By listening to these, I'm able to hear what they should have told me before I died."
"Well aren't you just an astounding hypocrite." Sherlock's eyes once again flashed to Irene's curiously. She smirked and raised an eyebrow in amusement.
"When did you ever take the time to tell anyone what they meant to you? You more than anyone keep those thoughts to yourself. Have you ever, for instance, truly expressed to John how important he is to you, the way he did to you in that recording?"
Sherlock became hushed, his eyes returning to their glazed state while Irene watched him silently. It was clear to her that his mind was whirling, and probably his emotions as well, but, as always, he managed to keep a solid cap on both so that neither showed clearly enough in his features for her to read them.
"How long ago was that?" she asked after a brief moment.
"This was John's first visit to the grave, only days after my suicide."
"You keep everything then? Every single moment recorded of people talking at your grave?"
"No of course not," Sherlock said, rolling his eyes at her assumption. "Why would I want to keep all of it? I'd have to sift through painful amounts of boring chatter to ever hear anything of importance. No, I've erased the rest of it to date."
The brilliant duo fell quiet again, Sherlock lost in thought—as he always seemed to be when left to his own devices—and Irene contemplating his last words. After a minute she gave an almost imperceptible chuckle, accompanied by a sad smile.
"Perhaps you were right Sherlock. People ought to tell others what they think of them. But that only makes you the biggest coward I know. You should have told John how much you care for him. You shouldn't have abandoned him."
"What, and I'm the hypocrite?" Sherlock snapped suddenly, rising quickly to his feet. Irene's eyes widened in surprise and she rose slowly so that they were on the same level. "You faked your death and were content to leave me without a clue, thinking you gone forever, and yet you tell me that I shouldn't have abandoned John?"
"It's not the same," she replied, her jaw clenched as she fought to keep her emotions from forming tears in her eyes.
"No, no it isn't the same," agreed Sherlock angrily, "Because your motive was entirely selfish and mine the exact opposite. You left me with no word in order to save your own life; I left him with no word in order to save the lives of others. Including his. Don't you dare tell me that what I did was wrong. I've done what's best for John."
"He deserves the truth!" insisted Irene.
"No, he deserves to live," he snarled.
Sherlock and Irene locked eyes, the passionate fires of their souls blazing out of them, making the air sizzle with heated tension. Sherlock's lips were curled in utter disdain and fury; Irene's jaw was firmly set in anger and stubborn determination.
Without a word, Irene spun around and waltzed out of the room. She was too dignified to stomp or slam the door on her way out, but the attitude was evident in her powerful stride. Sherlock continued to glare at her backside even as she vanished through the door, closing it behind her. After another minute, he allowed himself to look away from the door and his eyes quickly drifted back to the recorder still in his hand.
With a fatigued plop, he collapsed into the chair and leaned back against it. His long pale fingers gently brushed against the device's buttons as he stared at them vaguely. Then he pressed down and held the rewind button, allowing the recording to revert to the beginning. He pressed play, his eyes regaining the absent sheen and returning their gaze to the same faraway spot on the wall.
"Um… Mmm… You… You told me once… that you weren't a hero. Um, there were times I didn't even think you were human, but let me tell you this- you were the best man and the most human… human being that I've ever known and no one will ever convince me that you told me a lie. And so… there. …I was… so alone, and I owe you so much…. No, please, there's just one more thing, one more thing…"
As the recording that Sherlock had memorized by heart played once more, Sherlock found his lip quivering as silent tears tumbled down his cheeks. The recorder trembled in his shaking hands as the words washed over the guilt-ridden ex-detective.
"One more miracle, Sherlock, just for me…"
Sherlock squeezed his eyes shut, feeling the drops of water cling to his eyelashes.
"I'm so sorry John," he whispered, the words muffled by his tears.
"Don't be… dead."
"If I could… If only I could…"
"Would you do that… just for me?"
"I'd do anything for you…"
"Just stop it, stop this."
"So sorry… John… I should have… should have told you…
"John Hamish Watson, I…" Sherlock knew the words he wanted to say, but they wouldn't come, despite the fact that John was not even present to hear them. Suddenly Sherlock knew that even if he couldn't speak those words, there were other things that needed to be said. He could never see John again, so this would have to do.
"You've got it all… wrong, John. I was the one that was alone. I never even realized it, or… I knew how alone I was but I didn't… I didn't understand what it was that I was missing, what it was that… that I needed. I needed you, John. I'm the one that owes you. I owe you for… everything." Sherlock wiped his nose with the sleeve of his coat, the tears still flowing, making it difficult to speak.
"You accepted me for… what I am, who I am. I never… I was so used to being shunned, scorned, mocked. But you… why did you do it? How did you… do it? I'm so sorry John, for… hurting you. I know I have. I'm not an… easy man to live with." Sherlock gave a laugh; he knew John would have enjoyed that understatement.
"But even though I may have troubled you, or angered you at times, you always meant so much to me, John. You are my best friend. And I'm not just saying that because I have no other friends, because that's not the point. Before you, no one truly mattered. Not really. But you entered my life and I… I began to care. I've never cared what anyone else thought of me—it was always you that worried about the press and public opinion—but for some reason I always… I care what you think John. Only you.
"I wish I'd told you before I… well, told you how special you are. You are the best part of me, and I wanted… I would have stayed with you forever. The world doesn't seem right without you in it. You are… perfect. Brilliant, and kind- funny, loyal, wonderful and… everything that is good in the world. You are the best person I know and I would do… anything for you, I hope you know that. I didn't want to leave you but it was… it was the only way. I tried, I did, but he was too clever, too… vindictive."
Suddenly Sherlock straightened up, a new passion stirring up within him. This release of his stored up thoughts and emotions had been healing, and by getting rid of this extra baggage, he could now see clearly where he hadn't before. He had simply assumed that he could never see John again, but why did it have to be that way? It didn't! All that needed to be done was to take down Moriarty's web, destroy the remnants of his criminal network. If Sherlock did that, he could return to John.
The tears in Sherlock's eyes started to dry and a determination filled his soul, steeling his nerve. There were only a few things left to say now.
"John. I'm glad you didn't believe me, about what I said on the roof. I'm glad you still have faith in me, because as long as I have that, I can survive. I will find a way back to you if I have to spend the rest of my life doing it, because I know that you're there, waiting for me. I swear to you John, with all my heart and soul, I will get you that one last miracle."