Jesus, no... God, no...

He might have spoken the words, the thought mingling seamlessly, silently with the ringing in his ears. The world is spinning. Colours blur together into an impossible merry-go-round that just keeps moving faster, faster, faster faster blue black white blue white grey red red red—

Pale bluegreen. The focal point, the eye of the hurricane, stillness amidst sliding reality. His eyes, staring up into the sky, focused on something only he can see, a picture in the whirling blurs that might spell out the answer to everything, the answer for being not dead—not dead not dead can't be dead—that only the dead can see.

Pressure on his shoulder. The ringing morphs, rising, solidifying into sounds that should make sense but don't, and then there is no more bluegreen. The world shifts around and there is green—but it's not right because it's too forest and his eyes are paler and colder—and he realizes it's become his new focal point because it's different and he knows it—green fabric, soft, coat—and then he catches a glimpse of brown strands whirling past and a cadence in the ringing he knows he should recognize. Molly—but she shouldn't be here, she shouldn't see something like this because it's not right and there's nothing to see; everything is spinning too fast, a tornado that eats at everything because he's not dead—

He blinks.

Cold drips down his back and over his arms. His hair is plastered to his forehead. The water pounds down, relentless, frigid darts drilling holes into the skin he can't feel anymore. Cold porcelain presses against his back and cold air presses against his front and cold water rains down on cold fabric plastered against cold skin covering cold muscles that refuse to move the cold bones housing a cold soul.

He is frozen in time, like a clock without a battery, thoughts unmoving, hands pointing forever towards stillness and silence as how did i get here and he's not dead meander across its face in barely legible curling letters of red ink.

His gaze drifts down water-beaded tile to dark limbs sprawled across white porcelain. It skitters over a sodden white shirt clinging to skin and sodden blue jeans speckled with dark patches of dirt and red spatters. It meanders along a dark stain on his knee—so innocuous, dark, could be mud but it's not it's not—then over to the cold wet water swirling between his feet, along the white white porcelain, tinted red and gleaming, circling the shiny metal drain, dragging the last of the evidence down into a dark hollow void beneath the earth where thoughts don't exist and stillness reigns, swirling round and round like a hypnotic cyclone brushing against his silent mind.

Calm. Silent.

He blinks.

Power button. LG jingle. Home screen.


You have
24 new
text messages


just heard about sherlock, im so sorry. –Harry

Options – Delete message – yes/no– message deleted.

I haven't heard from you in days, pls call me –Sarah

Options – Delete message – yes/no– message deleted.

John, you need to eat something. MH

do u need me to come over? call me, john –Harry

There is food in your refrigerator and I expect you to eat it. MH

John, we need to talk. –GL

Don't do this to yourself, John. MH

I'm coming over on Tuesday. –GL

Options – Delete all – yes/no – inbox emptied.

Contacts – Sherlock Holmes.


The cellular customer you have just dialled is not available or is temporarily out of the service area.

End call.


The cellular customer you have just dialled is not available or is temporarily out of the service area.

End call.


He has to pick up sometime.

He blinks.

Motes of dust linger in front of his face, dancing through a soft haze of afternoon light. A cluster dances to the side, borne on the gentle sweep of his breath, twisting a path through the light with a silent look here look at us we're beautiful and soft and calm. Others join the dance, pirouetting through the air in an intricate waltz, darting and sparkling and begging for an audience. They shift into darkness and back again—join us, it's more fun here, just dance away.

He can feel the coarse rug clenched between his feet like an anchor, stopping him from floating gently into the air, over the empty chair in front of him—don't touch it, he hates it when it gets moved—and out the window with the dancers in the soft golden sun. Up into the sky and away like a helium balloon, into the wide lonely empty space.

You're too afraid, says the white grinning face on the mantle.

I can't dance anymore, he replies.

The dust spins around his gaze, laughing at him.

He blinks.

No, put it back, you can't take that, what are you doing

It's evidence, Mr. Watson. Part of the the investigation. I'm sure you understand.

Investigation, there is no investigation—

Sherlock Holmes is suspected of multiple counts of fraud and other felonies, and the contents of his so-called 'research' and belongings are now part of a criminal investigation—

That doesn't belong to you, put it down you can't just take it it's not yours—

John, stop, here, take a seat, you need to calm down.

They can't take someone else's belongings they can't it's not right put that back!

Mr. Watson—! Control yourself!

Come on, John, let's get you upstairs, come on...

Stop it they're ruining his things they can't do that what if he wants them back make them stop—

You know I would if I could, John, but it's out of my control, I'm not even supposed to be here right now because I was too closely linked to him—

He's going to shoot holes in the walls again when he gets home and they're taking his violin lestrade he can't play that stupid song of his if they break it the ignorant sods will ruin everything—

John! John, you need to calm down, take deep breaths. Deep breaths. There's a good man.

I need to go back downstairs—

No, stop it John! Just... just sit down for one second, alright? Just... take a minute. They have a warrant. What they're doing is legal, even if I don't agree with the way they're going about it.

They bloody well can't just come in and take a man's things it's against the law and we're going to fight this when he gets back—

John! Sherlock... Sherlock is dead, alright? He's dead. We both saw him, we both know what happened, and you need to accept it because for the love of God, man! I—you're allowed to miss him, but you can't just keep insisting he's coming back because he's... he's not.

You're wrong. He's alive.

He's not coming back, John.

He blinks.

The refrigerator contains nothing more than food.

He slams the door loudly. Something breaks. It may not be the door.

He blinks.

The funeral is on Friday. I expect you to be dressed and ready by 10:00. MH

Options – Delete message – yes/no– message deleted.

He blinks.

Someone among the gathered people gives a hiccoughing sob. The microphone glares up at him like a beetle as soft applause starts to echo through the little building. There are voices, thanking him for his touching words and telling him to be strong and saying things about him and it's not right they didn't know him what are they saying. It's like rain, spattering down against him, ready to fill him to the brim with clean clear water. But he's already full, a briny slurry of brackish waste and heavy emptiness that threatens to spill out of his mouth and cut through the peace that flowery words he doesn't remember have somehow granted.

He blinks.

I'll make you some tea, dear. You just go and have a seat, I'll bring it right out.

Not my housekeeper...

...Just for awhile, I can be. Just for now.

He blinks.

He's staring down the dairy aisle, one hand on a cart full of things he doesn't remember putting into it. Pasta sauce. Bacon. Cottage cheese. A packet of gum. His hand is already moving to pick out a jug of milk—can't end up living off of takeout again this week.

He blinks.

A jug of expired milk is sitting in the middle of the empty table in a Tesco's bag as though it had never been moved.

He blinks.

The sheets curl around his fists like a snake, slithering across his skin and up to his face and biting at his nose with its unique poison dripping from its fangs. The coils wrap around his body lovingly, so tightly that breathing—breathing? breathing's boring—feels like he's fighting against the pressure of a thousand tons of seawater. But the poison is what's drowning him, invading his nose like a drug, sending his mind high and back and away and onwards through afghanistan or iraq—the police don't consult amateurs—what is it like in your funny little brains it must be so boring—did you know you do that out loud—i pickpocket him when he's annoying—bored bored bored—i've disappointed you—i've been reliably informed I don't have one—mrs hudson leave baker street? england would fall —punch me in the face—i'd be lost without my blogger—none of the cabs would take me—i don't have friends i've just got one—it's an ear hat john—i can't just turn it on and off like a tap—my hostage—take my hand—there's something i need to do—nobody could be that clever—it's my note, it's what people do don't they, leave a note—

Goodbye, John.

He blinks.

You told me once that you weren't a hero. There were times that I didn't even think you were human. But let me tell you this, you were the best man, the most human... human being that I have 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. 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... just stop this...

He blinks.

"The stuff that you wanted to say. But didn't say it..."


"Say it now."

"Well... I'm sorry, I can't."

"You need to move on with your life, John. You can't keep wishing you can go back. Mourn him, and then move forward."

(i can't, i can't, you don't understand there's nothing to say you can't move on from something like this he's my best friend and my life and there's nothing beyond him can't you see that)

On. There is no on. There is no forward. There is only existing, one moment at time. One blink, and everything will change again.

He blinks, and hopes that maybe he won't open his eyes this time.


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