John was a frequent visitor to Lestrade's flat since their brief talk a few days ago. John had taken full charge of Lestrade's treatment and he was well over his illness by now. Mrs. Hudson had also visited a few times bearing wonderful tea and scones. Anthea had slipped into the shadows again as was her character, but she still texted once every three hours in the least.
But still no word from Mycroft despite Anthea's assurances that he was already up and about.
The funeral took place a few days after that, it was a very small, private ceremony. No cameras, no reporters, no police... no doubt, Mycroft had a big hand in that. Lestrade and John only caught a few brief glimpses of the man and extended their due condolences.
Mycroft seemed paler and thinner than Lestrade had ever seen him, Anthea frowned regularly and the two of them excused themselves politely, they were very busy people, whether they had taken staggering losses or not. The world would not wait for them to finish grieving.
Lestrade and John were having a movie night with a few beers one fateful day. They were watching The Prestige, John's choice. The chooser of the movie, however, was fast asleep halfway through, body slumped away from Lestrade, curled around one of the new-old sofa's arms.
John was still having trouble sleeping and Lestrade was perfectly content to let him rest while he could and wake him when he began frowning or tossing in his sleep. Seeing John sleep made Lestrade yawn and feel a little drowsy himself so he turned off the TV and settled himself comfortably.
He took another swig of his beer and let his eyes fall closed. "Every magic trick consists of three parts, or acts. The first part is called the pledge, the magician shows you something ordinary: a deck of cards, a bird or a man..." He quoted, murmuring under his breath, he had watched the movie enough times to remember the words by heart.
He chuckled humorlessly. He remembered the first time he had seen the movie, Meadows had showed it to him. Lestrade hadn't been so enthusiastic about magic tricks but when he saw how pleased Meadows had been with the movie, he had bought tickets to a magic show for them both plus Dimmock, who would've probably feigned hurt for days if he was ever left out of something so fun.
"It's called misdirection." Meadows whispered aside to him as they sat in the dark audience as the magician on stage made a show of rolling up his sleeves a few inches to demonstrate that he had nothing hidden there. "When the attention of an audience is focused on one thing in order to distract its attention from another."
Lestrade had been watching the magician's hands and arms, intent on catching a glimpse of some form of foul play, that he had missed the trick. In the blink of an eye, a white, silk handkerchief had transformed into a dove.
Meadows and Dimmock turned and laughed at Lestrade's gobsmacked expression.
Lestrade chuckled reminiscently and took another sip of alcohol. He froze mid-sip as a peculiar thought occured to him. He lowered his drink and shook his head violently. Drinking really messed up his mental functions.
It was just a crazy thought. It couldn't be true, could it?
'Every magic trick consists of three parts, or acts. The first part is called the pledge, the magician shows you something ordinary: a deck of cards, a bird or a man...' "Look up, I'm on the rooftop."
"It's called misdirection. When the attention of an audience is focused on one thing in order to distract its attention from another." "Keep your eyes fixed on me! Please, will you do this for me?"
'Don't look down, John, to where I'm about to fall.' Went unsaid.
Lestrade rubbed a hand over his face and up to thread through his short hair. His thoughts were leading him down a path that he did not want to take, yet desperately hoped for. He screwed his eyes shut and willed himself not to think about the implications anymore.
Figures that it would be harder to stop his brain from thinking about something when he was halfway drunk.
"You can't kill an idea, can you? Not when it's made a home." Sherlock tapped Lestrade's forehead. "There."
Lestrade let out an annoyed snarl and pushed himself up from his seat. He glanced down to make sure John was still sleeping before he snuck quietly into his office and locked himself inside. John would probably be upset if he walked in on what Lestrade was investigating.
He approached his desk and powered up his laptop computer as he rummaged around inside his still unpacked boxes of belongings from the Yard. He plugged in the flash drive that Dimmock had managed to pass him on his way out.
Lestrade sat down and clicked on the first CCTV footage of the street at St. Bart's. He fast forwarded the footage to the time frame he wanted. He watched for a few minutes and then let out a growl. Nothing. Wrong angle.
He clicked on the second footage, different camera. In this footage, he could see the spot where Sherlock's body was found on the pavement. He swallowed thickly and braced himself as he selected the correct time frame.
Nothing. Then he saw John dismount a cab on the other side of the street. He pulled out his phone, walked halfway across the street, turned around and walked back, then he looked up at the roof of St. Bart's. After a few minutes of motionless standing, he took a few determined steps in the hospital's direction, then backed off again, hands raised placatingly.
Then something happened. Something so very mundane that Lestrade almost missed it. A flatbed truck rolled onto the curb directly in front of the spot Sherlock fell. It blocked off Lestrade's eyes on the scene.
John's expression fell into shock and he let his phone drop to his side as she shouted. Lestrade could easily read his lips. 'No-... Sherlock!'
There was a glitchy flash of black that dropped from the sky and disappeared behind the truck. Lestrade couldn't see Sherlock. John was also at a bad angle and could not see anything. Then he started off across the street just as the truck rumbled off down the street. John probably didn't even notice it.
Lestrade leaned back in his chair and frowned. The driver couldn't have missed seeing Sherlock fall. But nobody dismounted the vehicle to help.
A second point of interest. The street was empty when Sherlock fell. Halfway across the street, John was knocked over by a man on a bicycle. The man made no move to dodge John in the empty street, in fact, he seemed to be aiming to collide with the shocked man.
A third point. In the few seconds when John was being knocked to the ground and getting back up, the street mysteriously filled up with people, blocking John's contact with Sherlock.
Lestrade watched John wrestle his way through the crowd and grasp Sherlock's hand before being gently tugged away. Sherlock's body was loaded quickly onto a gurney and carted away into the hospital.
Seven minutes later, Lestrade saw his car pull up onto the street and he watched himself run into the hospital. Molly and the other doctors did not allow John or him to see Sherlock's body.
Sherlock's funeral ceremony was a closed casket one, at no point in time was the damned box opened.
"It's a trick... just a magic trick."
Lestrade stood up from his desk so quickly that his chair was knocked over and he rushed to the bathroom and promptly vomited. He sat there, on the bathroom floor, retching for the next three hours.
The next day was a warm, sunny one and Lestrade left John with Mrs. Hudson to give himself some privacy to find a little closure. He drove to the cemetery where Sherlock was buried.
The earth still hadn't fully settled and flowers still decorated the spot. Lestrade reached out and softly brushed the tips of his fingers over the surface of the smooth headstone as he brushed away dirt and a few dry leaves.
That was not the only thing he felt himself touch. He felt something thready catch between his index and middle finger, he lifted his hand. And he almost threw up again.
It was a strand of hair, black, thick, and curled. Lestrade had run enough hair analyses on Sherlock during his drug addiction that he knew exactly who the strand of hair belonged to.
Figures the man would come visit his own grave.
Lestrade bent over double, head between his kness, and wondered what the Hell he was going to tell John. Or Myc-... Oh Hell, Lestrade inwardly seethed. He wasn't naive enough to think that Sherlock could've pulled a stunt like this all on his own without Mycroft finding out. And if Mycroft did not 'find out'... that meant he must've had a hand in it from the beginning.
A/N: Seriously, watch the Fall again. Sherlock's jumps, John get's hit, get's up, and rounds the corner just in time to see a truck roll off down the street to reveal Sherlock's body. Heartless driver? Or one of Mycroft's minions? Just speculation.