Disclaimer: I own nothing. Just dabbling!
So… first off, the second season finale was AMAZING. I loved it. It was emotional and awesomeness and just plain awe inspiring. But. It did have a couple of giant issues… such as, what the hell was up with Mycroft? He was kind of… umm… not epic in this episode, which doesn't make any sense with what we've been shown of him in the past. Why would he just sell his brother out like that? I don't care if it was the only way you get a terrorist to talk—you don't sell out your family. So, I fixed that along with a couple of other pesky things that annoyed me throughout the episode. Which, were all really minor in the grand scheme of things, but still.
Hopefully I got Mycroft in character—I'm kind of shaky when it comes to writing pompous older brothers who are all powerful in the British government and walk around carrying umbrellas. As for Sherlock possibly being OOC in this… let's just say he fell off a building and got his head knocked around a few times.
This story is a sort of tie in to my other Sherlock fic, A Good Man, but it is not necessary to have read that one before reading this one.
This picks up right before Moriarty's trial and continues past the events in the episode. If the timing of events don't match up, then it's because I'm human and have only seen the episode once…
State of Play
"Moriarty's going to walk."
Mycroft glanced up from the files he had on his desk, unsurprised to find Sherlock leaning against the door jam with his hands shoved in his pockets. The older Holmes knew better than to question how exactly his younger brother had gotten into his secure office. Some things were better left unknown.
"With all of the evidence you have given, I highly doubt that," Mycroft responded, setting down his pen.
Sherlock shook his head. "It must be so peaceful not to be me."
Mycroft resisted the urge to roll his eyes, not wanting to give his brother the pleasure of knowing how annoying he was.
"Then explain," Mycroft said. "How exactly is this James Moriarty going to walk away from the attempted theft of the crown jewels when we have evidence against him?"
"He will threaten the jury," Sherlock said, as though it was the most obvious solution in the world. Which, to him, it was. "He knows that it has to be a unanimous vote for conviction. He'll threaten the families of the jury. They'll have no choice but to acquit him of all charges."
"And what is he going to do once he walks?" Mycroft inquired, folding his hands on top of the table.
"Did you give him the information he wanted?" Sherlock countered.
Mycroft inclined his head once. "Of course."
"And he never suspected that it was false?"
"Good. And there will be trained killers moving on to Baker Street soon enough. Be a good brother and don't tell John about it, would you? He worries so."
Sherlock turned to leave, but Mycroft called him back.
The younger Holmes hesitated before turning around.
"What is this Moriarty going to do?"
Sherlock looked almost peaceful as he replied, "He's going to ruin me."
Three days later, Moriarty walked free.
It was close to eleven thirty at night when Sherlock entered Mycroft's office, looking as though he had been surviving on nothing but nicotine patches and tea since the trial.
"I expected you ages ago, Sherlock," Mycroft stated with a mental sigh.
Sherlock looked lost in thought, barely giving sign that he had heard Mycroft.
"Moriarty dropped by," he said, crossing the threshold to the bookshelf by the window.
"Hardly surprising," Mycroft said in a detached voice. "From everything you've told me, the man loves to gloat."
A thin smile graced Sherlock's face, before disappearing quickly. He picked up a book and opened it.
"What do you know of fairy tales, Mycroft?" he asked softly.
Mycroft raised an eyebrow, uncertain as to how to respond.
"There is always a hero and a villain," he said at last. "And someone caught in between. What is this about, Sherlock?"
Sherlock shook his head. "Nothing," he said. "Nothing at all."
It would be another month before Mycroft heard from Sherlock.
"I expected you to call an hour ago," Mycroft said sagely as he muted his television. The newscasters were having a field day with your escape."
"I told you, Mycroft. Moriarty is out to ruin me," Sherlock replied.
"You're doing well enough on your own," Mycroft stated. "Firing shots in Baker Street. Do you know the scandal that caused? And then taking your poor pet soldier as hostage…"
"He punched Lestrade," Sherlock said, amused. "I merely helped him escape prison."
"Where are you now?" Mycroft wanted to know.
Sherlock let out a heavy sigh. "The morgue," he said. "Mycroft…" He hesitated before continuing. "I'm going to have to die."
"Don't be melodramatic, Sherlock," Mycroft said. "It doesn't suit you."
"Moriarty is going to demand it happens. My suicide would be the perfect ending to his fairytale," Sherlock said, detached as ever. "I die the disgraced detective and he lives on as a figment of my imagination."
His plan was relatively straightforward and simple. It was perhaps the least complicated idea Sherlock had ever come up with. It was also one of the cruelest.
"John Watson won't take this well," Mycroft said softly. "This will destroy him."
"There is no other way," Sherlock said, his voice just as soft as Mycroft's. "Moriarty has to believe he won. He has to believe I'm dead."
With that, the youngest Holmes hung up the phone.
It was all over the news by breakfast. The great, consulting detective couldn't live with the fact everyone knew he was a fraud, so he had plunged to his death off of Saint Bart's Hospital at dawn.
"Moriarty is dead, I assume?" Mycroft asked as he poured himself a cup of tea.
Sherlock sat across from him, his face a patchwork of blood and bruises. His left eye was swollen shut. He was wrapped in a blanket, which covered his bandaged ribs. A cast was on his left arm and his right leg was splinted. He had miraculously survived the fall, thanks to a well-placed garbage truck, though the bags of garbage hadn't been enough to save him from injury.
"No," Sherlock murmured, looking at the cup of tea in front of him with a downcast expression on his face. "His suicide was faked as well. Blanks, a couple of bags of fake blood, and a paralytic."
Mycroft closed his eyes, taking a deep breath.
"Your funeral is in a few days," he said. "Though I doubt anyone aside from Mrs. Hudson and John will go."
"John won't," Sherlock said softly. "He believes I'm a fraud."
Mycroft opened his eyes again and looked back at his brother.
"I highly doubt that."
"I told him I was," Sherlock said. "Right before…"
He trailed off, though Mycroft didn't have to be a consulting detective to fill in the blanks.
"I would not make the mistake of underestimating the loyalty of your friend," Mycroft said.
"I won't," Sherlock said.
Mycroft attended Sherlock's funeral. He was surprised to find that John Watson was indeed not there and that Detective Inspector Greg Lestrade was.
Three days after Sherlock's funeral, the public opinion on Sherlock's faked suicide changed drastically.
It started with a blog post. Eleven simple words that would go on to change the course of Britain's media forever.
He was my best friend and I'll always believe in him.
Less than twenty-four hours after John's final post on his blog, websites, YouTube videos, and Facebook pages began cropping up, all sporting the same four words: I Believe In Sherlock.
"John doesn't think you're a fake," Mycroft said as he turned his computer screen around so Sherlock could see it.
By dinner, there were reports of marches in the streets. People from all over England were coming into London to advocate the idea that Sherlock wasn't a fraud, that Moriarty existed, that Sherlock had been wronged.
By lunch the next day, the news reporter Kitty Riley had been arrested with charges of liable, fraud, forgery, and consorting with terrorists.
By the next morning, dozens of protestors were being interviewed on the major news networks, all speaking out against the media's accusations of Sherlock.
Now, instead of being depicted as a fraud, Sherlock was being painted as a victim of the press.
"Too bad he died 'fore they could clear 'is name," one interviewee said. "Course, if it was me, I would a done the same thing. S'not right for a man to have to live with that much shame and know it's not true."
"He saved this country from a horrendous scandal," another interview subject said. It was the very man who had first approached Sherlock about the case with Irene Adler. "He was no fraud. A bit arrogant, yes, but not a fraud."
Throughout the entire movement, John stayed mysteriously silent. He didn't make any more posts to the blog and refused to be interviewed. But no one forgot that it was his blog that began the change.
A week passed, and then another. Mycroft received word that John was finally going to the cemetery, to see Sherlock's grave for the first time since the consulting detective's suicide.
"Make sure no reporters get to that cemetery," Mycroft ordered all of his secret service agents. "I do not want John Watson disturbed."
Sherlock had mysteriously vanished from the house during John's visit to his grave. Mycroft couldn't say that he was surprised.
Nor was he surprised three weeks after when Sherlock announced that he was bored with being dead and was returning to Baker Street.
"Are you sure that's wise?" Mycroft asked as he stirred some sugar into his tea.
He didn't receive an answer, nor did he truly expect one.
An hour after Sherlock left, the phone rang. Anthea answered—it was John Watson, ranting about counter tops.
"Sir?" Anthea asked, holding out the phone so Mycroft could hear John mid-rant.
Mycroft shook his head. "He will get his answers soon enough."
Anthea hung up the phone.
The great consulting detective's return from the dead was all over the news by the next day. A public apology was issued for the wrongs the press had committed against Sherlock.
Mycroft watched it on the telly in his office while sipping a cup of tea. His desk, for once, was empty of all files, save for one.
Moriarty, James was written across the tab. A note was paper clipped to the outside of the folder, handwritten in a feminine handwriting.
This is all I have on dear Jim, the note read. Put it to good use.
It was signed I.A. It didn't take a consulting detective to figure out who wrote the note. Clearly, the news of Sherlock's vendetta against Moriarty had gone global.
It was also evident that Mycroft needed to work on improving his sources. Irene Adler was supposed to be dead.
A week later, he received a text. It read simply Thank you. For everything –SH.
Two days later, Mycroft was cleaning off his bookshelf when he encountered the very book Sherlock had been thumbing through the night after Moriarty's trial.
It was the dictionary, of all things. A page near the middle was earmarked.
Curiously, Mycroft flipped to the page, only to find a handwritten note taped underneath the entry hero.
It was written by Sherlock, that much was obvious. What wasn't so obvious was what the note meant.
Moriarty's file was still on Mycroft's desk. He walked over to it and opened it, thumbing to the list of aliases. The first one on the rather short list was Richard Brook.
An old newspaper caught Mycroft's eye. It was from before Sherlock's suicide—right before. It was from the Reichenbach case.
Holmes Dubbed Reichenbach Hero.
Three months later, Moriarty returned to London.