Six months later.
"What are you thinking?" The baritone voice suddenly asked from the window side. John blinked at his flat mate, who had his back turned toward him. Were it a few months ago, Sherlock would have never been able to stand so proudly by the window and gaze down at the streets like this.
"About you" The doctor answered honestly.
After the whole incident, Sherlock/ William's brain went under a complete shutdown. The frail man cowered away from John and suddenly collapsed. And just like that, he was unresponsive for the next few weeks. John never left his flat mate's side. Those were the longest days of John's life. Even after half a year, John's mind drifted to that incident. It took Sherlock nearly a month before he could walk in open space. Memories of William merged together and caused him emotional confusions. Agitation took over. So did the spontaneous headaches. Sherlock turned toward John and gazed at him. His eyebrows were slightly strained.
"What about me?"
"Whether you're all fine now." He answered quietly.
"Of course I'm not." Sherlock answered honestly in a dead pan voice. The bright sunlight pouring from the hind made the shadow on his faces darken. He strode toward the violin case perched by the couch and flipped it open. John grimaced. Sherlock was nearly back to normal but his violin skills were still far from his original state. The long slender fingers trembled when he caressed the instrument. The doctor watched silently as Sherlock took a deep breath and pulled up his bow. Music flowed from the violin with ease but it was not as mesmerizing as it used to be. It shook at places it shouldn't and all the tunes poured out rather hastily. In less than five minutes, Sherlock let out a sigh and placed the violin back into the case and closed it with an agitated smack.
"See, I'm not fine." Sherlock said briskly as he straightened out the creases in his suit. Without another word, the consulting detective strode into the kitchen and started to set up his experimenting equipment on the table with a clatter.
As he watched Sherlock bustle around, John wondered what was going on in his flat mate's head. He never could understand how Sherlock got rid of William. It was as if, at some point, the two's memories synchronized. William started acting like Sherlock and Sherlock started acting… human. William became more composed and almost cold. Sherlock started to openly express distress and fatigue. After a few months of physical rehabilitation and psychological therapy, Sherlock was back in shape and he experienced less panic attacks and migraines. William seized to grieve and instead, a steely look in his eyes returned. Over time, it was as if William dissolved. Sherlock was just Sherlock, one and only, once again. But there were some occasions when a peculiar light flashed in Sherlock's green-blue eyes that made John feel as if William was still inside of Sherlock, lurking in the deep abyss at the corner of the detective's head. It was as if the remains of William was struggling against Sherlock, refusing to leave. Sherlock seemed to be unaware of it, or either he was ignoring it. Perhaps that was why his fingers still trembled when he played the violin. Suddenly, Sherlock's mobile buzzed on the kitchen table. Without looking at it, the tall man swiped the phone from the surface and pressed it to his ear.
"Sherlock Holmes," He said evenly and paused. John turned his head around to see who he was talking to. Perhaps it was Lestrade with another case. Sherlock's eyes wavered for a fraction of a second as he listened silently. "Right, I'll meet you there." With a brisk gesture, Sherlock severed the connection. Before John could ask who the caller was, Sherlock turned to him and said in a slightly lowered voice,
"It was Mycroft." And that moment, John thought he saw that peculiar glow in Sherlock's eyes that made his spine tingle.
No one knew what to do with Gail. After several weeks of questioning, he was sent to Wandsworth Prison. Mycroft wanted to have Gail tried in court but at the same time, the Iceman side of him felt reluctant of exposing the ordeal and deteriorating the British government's reputation. Mycroft himself accompanied the questioning. The elder Holmes felt something acidic bubble up inside him when he locked eyes with the convict. The way Gail stared back at him was filled with anger and loathing, which troubled Mycroft because quite frankly, he should be the one looking that way after all the things this monster had done to his brother. Instead, Mycroft kept his composure and betrayed no emotions no matter how much disgust he felt toward his ex-acquaintance.
After a couple of session, Mycroft understood the general story behind Gail's motive. Everything began from a childish grudge against him and instead of facing his old rival; Gail lashed at his younger brother. The fact that Gail received anonymous mails containing Mycroft's profile was alarming. If it weren't for those mails nudging at Gail, he would have never executed such an act of revenge. Although Mycroft was aware of the fact that he had created many enemies in his career, he was sure there was only one person that would do such a devious thing.
As the legal prosecutor and Lestrade's team mulled over what to do with Gail, Mycroft slowly pulled out his mobile with a grimace. If it was possible, Mycroft didn't want to get Sherlock involved with this any further. The way William attempted to kill Gail was alarming, and although Sherlock recovered from his psychological confusions, the younger Holmes seemed to have lost complete interest in Gail. Or at least that's how he acted and Mycroft got the message clearly; leave me out of this mess. Still, Mycroft was sure that somewhere deep inside the younger brother, there was a vengeful part that wanted to finish everything himself. Especially if that person was involved.
Despite the fact that his lawyer had told him that the questioning session had ended, he was once again summoned to the interviewing room. As the guards secured him on the chair as usual, Gail rolled his eyes and stared at the empty seat across the table. Usually, the interviewer was already seated when he entered the room.
"Is Lestrade running late again?" Gail asked, curving his lips upward mockingly. The guards didn't say anything and simply left the room and locked the doors securely behind them. Gail let out a sigh and tapped his toes on the floor idly. He knew that Mycroft was itching to make Gail pay for what he had done, but at the same time, he knows that Mycroft was too loyal to his government to make Gail face the justice of the law. Even in a worst case scenario, Gail would be executed to the States or be hushed up with early retirement and a pretty good severance allowance. He chuckled to himself at the thought of it and silently thanked the anonymous mailer that prompted him with this idea in the first place. Just then, Gail heard the door being unlocked again.
"Did you just remember a question you forgot to ask, Inspector?" Gail said snidely at the figure that slipped into the room.
"As a matter of fact, yes" A low voice rumbled as the figure fully appeared in front of Gail. The convict's face froze as he recognized the tall figure. The last time his saw him, the man was a cripple; a babbling mess. The composure and the strength that pervaded from him were so different from how he last remembered that it frightened him. This was the original form of Sherlock Holmes. The familiar face was as pale as ever and there was slight trace of sickness and fatigue left in it but his cheeks weren't as gaunt as before. He held himself upright and proudly with his hands behind his back. The coat made the figure look bigger, taller, and darker. Holmes's lips were drawn tight and his chin was slightly drawn as he gazed down upon Gail with a cold look. Above all, the way his sharp eyes glinted was almost like a deadly predator.
"Sherlock Holmes…" Gail breathed out shakily.
"No," The detective corrected in a cold tone. "It's William." Without breaking eye contact, the figure drew his chair and seated in front of Gail, slowly laced his fingers together, and placed it in front of him. Gail breathed in deeply through his nose and tried to calm his racing heart. The way those intense eyes stared at him almost hurt.
"What do you want?" The bearded man asked as he tried to keep his voice even.
"You know what I want." A cold growl replied. Gail swallowed. "I want a name." A moment of silence hung in the air as the bearded man wished in his head that this was all just a silly nightmare.
"I don't know what you-"
"You know exactly what I mean." William hissed and leaned forward threateningly. "How did you find out about Irene Adler? The mailer told you about her, didn't he? I know you he contacted you other than mails, but he threatened you not to say mention him. You probably consider yourself lucky that you're in here, away from danger. Well, let me tell you this," Gail suddenly realized that his shoulders were quivering. "I can kill you right here, right this moment if I wanted to and no one would give a damned. Not even Mycroft, not even Lestrade." William pulled out a hypodermic needle from his inner pocket. There was a color less fluid in it, which he squeezed it out threateningly. A deadly smile flashed across the slender man's face. "Do you see what I mean?" The convict bit his lips and tugged against the hand cuffs which were firmly attached to the chair. William stood up. His shadow loomed over Gail.
"Imagine ending your life by your own creation, Gail. This is what you gave me. Remember? D-13." William weighed the syringe in his hand and chuckled. "You have no idea what I've been through. Let me assure you one thing. You'll die in pain; excruciating pain. First, your respiration would stop working properly. Then, the muscles would feel like it's on fire. It'll be a long struggle before your consciousness slips away." The figure stepped around the table and edged closer to Gail. The convict let out a panicked whimper and looked up at the enraged detective.
"Wait, you can't do that-" He tried to reason but his voice was drowned as he saw the look on William's face.
"Then tell me," the figure took another step forward. "How did you know about Irene? Unless you know the proper contacts, you would have never have known about her emotional ties with Sherlock Holmes and brought that alias up. Tell me who your informer is and I won't inject anything." Gail swallowed and shook his head. William tensed his jaw as he saw this. A grin spread across his face again. He raised the syringe and grabbed Gail's head. "You asked for it." He breathed.
"Wait!" Gail blurted and heaved. The hand paused and let go of his hair. "Just-just put that thing away and I'll tell you everything I know." William narrowed his eyes and drew his hands away. He sat back down in his seat and aligned his fingers together in a prayer position.
"He left a calling card one day in my office. I don't know where it came from or how it was there. Don't ask me that. It was just there one day. I immediately knew that my anonymous informer wanted to talk to me directly. Strangely, I didn't hesitate to call. I wanted to know more about Mycroft Holmes and…you." Gail swallowed. "He told me a lot of things. How you often helped your brother concerning national securities. And of course he knew the whole story behind you and Irene Adler. We met a couple of times. He explained to me how I could get hold of you. In exchange, I was to send him all the reports and footage of you and the experiment."
"Just say the name that was on the calling card." William growled.
"You're sure about that?"
"Positive." William straightened his back and took a deep breath.
"Well," Suddenly, William's voice lightened up and the shadows on his face lifted. He stuck a hand in his pocket and pulled out a small object. It was an mp3 voice recorder. Suddenly, Gail's complexion paled. "Thank you for your cooperation, Dr. Gale. I'm sure Moriarty will know where to find this." William tossed the instrument up in the air and snatched it.
"What are you doing, William?" Gail asked in an alarmed voice. "What are you going to do with that?!" The figure stood up from his chair with a flourish and smiled down at Gail.
"Oh please, don't tell me you believed that little play act. Of course I'm not William. William's gone. I just needed to shake you up a little. As with this," Sherlock pocketed the recorder again and patted it securely. "I'm pretty sure Moriarty will be very, very upset when he finds this." Gail bit the inside of his cheeks as sweat burst from his forehead.
"As a gratitude for your cooperation, I have some good news." Sherlock said in an unnaturally cheery voice. "You will be released from this prison tomorrow morning. No charges will be pressed. You will have plenty of money to spend the rest of your life in peace... out in the open. Vulnerable to Moriaty's grasp." Gail shook his head.
"No, please, you can't-"
"And as a bonus," Sherlock pulled out the needle and placed it on the table in front of Gail. "Take this as a little souvenir. I don't care what you do with it." Sherlock's eyes glinted as he stared at the bearded man. Then, with a brisk, have a great evening, the detective slipped away from the room, leaving Gail trembling and staring wide eyed at the deadly poison.
The next morning, John received a call from Lestrade stating that they found Gail dead in his cell after suffering a sudden seizure. The army doctor froze at the spot and tried to assess the situation.
"We found a trace of that substance called D-13 in his blood stream. One of Moriarty's men must have slipped it in him somehow." Lestrade spoke over the phone and sighed. "I don't know what to say. Half of me feel glad for some sick reason…"
John rallied the news to Sherlock, who was perched on his chair, sipping a cup of tea and reading the morning paper. He looked at John from the top of the paper as he silently listened to his flat mate. John expected Sherlock to drop a sarcastic remark or two or at least a flash of fascinated smile and marvel how Moriarty managed to terminate Gail, but all he did was grunt and place the papers down as he stood up. Without a word, the tall man idly strode toward the stereo at the corner of the room and pulled out a CD from one of his desk drawers. John blinked at Sherlock. The stereo in 221B was rarely used because whenever John or Sherlock wanted to listen to music, all they had to do was have Sherlock play it himself.
"What are you doing?" John asked curiously.
"A little something to refresh ourselves. Let's call it a celebration for the final conclusion of this incident." As Sherlock pressed the play button, a melancholic tune flowed into their ears. John's eyes widened. This wasn't the type of music John usually associated with Sherlock.
"What is this?" John asked as he sat down in his chair. He didn't know why but he liked the slow, soothing tune.
And that's the end of this story! Sorry for the terribly long delay. I hope you enjoyed it.
It's a bit of a dark and controversial ending, I know. Whether William is still present of not, that I will leave it up to you :)
Thanks for reading and hope to see you guys again when you come across one of my other fics! Till then