Author's Note: I'm warning you all in advance. This is not going to turn into a full-fledged story. Neither is it a oneshot; I plan to post a second part to this. But that's all. Personally, I believe that it will be worth the read anyways and the ending will be something that leaves the rest partially up to your own imaginations, which in this case, I think will not be a bad thing. I hope you, my readers, trust me on this. And I hope I'm correct. Anyways! Warning over. Please enjoy! And please do review.
A year to the day. It had been a full year since the world's only consulting detective Sherlock Holmes had jumped off the roof of St. Bart's Hospital, committing suicide despite the pleas of his best friend.
John could still remember everything just as clearly as if it had been only yesterday. Sherlock standing on the roof, looking as splendid as ever with his pale skin, high cheekbones, ruffled black curls, long dark coat, and traditional blue scarf. His smooth baritone voice coming through the phone's receiver with a slight tremor, betraying his tears. That, more than anything else, frightened John. It simply wasn't like Sherlock to cry.
But John had also thought that it wasn't like Sherlock to jump. John was wrong on both accounts, as it would seem.
Earlier in the day John had considered going out and getting hopelessly drunk in an attempt to erase the memories which haunted him on this day even more than usual. He dismissed the thought quickly. He was too numb to make the effort to drink himself into oblivion. Besides, it seemed an insult to Sherlock's memory to allow himself to get sloshed on a day that now, in John's mind, was equivalent to Sherlock himself. Sherlock would never have allowed himself to get drunk, to allow his senses to be dulled in such a pathetic way.
So it was that John ended up as no more than a dead weight in his cushioned chair, with nothing but memories of Sherlock to fill his thoughts. Picture upon picture flooded his mind's eye, visions of the deceased detective teasing him cruelly. Sherlock leaning against the wall beside him, panting happily from a chase across London. Sherlock ripping off John's bomb-rigged jacket by the pool. Sherlock giving one of his rare chuckles whilst sitting in Buckingham Palace wearing nothing but a bedsheet.
John squeezed his eyes shut, hardly surprised that when he opened them again there was water welling at the bottom of his lids. His pale hands trembled uncontrollably, and John was too numb to care, much less do anything about it.
Suddenly, John was struck with a realization. Living without Sherlock had been a torment like no other, worse than Harry's drinking, worse than getting shot in the war, worse than everything. With Sherlock gone, John felt dead. His life-source had disappeared, leaving him nothing more than an empty encasement of flesh and bone. Why should he go on living like a corpse without even having the benefit of escaping his pain? The answer was so plain.
It would be better to be an actual corpse.
As he left the flat, John realized that his feet already knew where they were taking him. Perhaps he had subconsciously been considering suicide for a long time without even realizing it. Well, all the better.
The walk was hardly short, but it did nothing to faze John. He merely continued planting foot after foot, steadily becoming closer to the site that had been forever tainted for him precisely one year ago.
When he finally reached his destination, John stopped. He hadn't been to this place since the incident. In fact, he had been avoiding it all year long. It was strange to be back.
Gazing at the cold gray building, his eyes skimmed the words "St. Bart's Hospital"; he already knew each plastered letter by heart. John felt no fear as he stared at the building that he had chosen for his suicide, he felt only a heavy sense of acceptance and something akin to peace.
After spending a good few minutes standing outside the hospital in silent recollection, John made his way inside, quickly ascending the first staircase he reached.
Molly stumbled out of the coffee shop, attempting to push through the door while simultaneously tucking her wallet back into her purse and holding a cup of coffee in the other hand. Having successfully achieved all three endeavors, Molly stopped for a brief moment just outside the shop, looking across the street towards her workplace.
The unlucky coffee crashed onto the pavement below. Molly paid no heed to the brown liquid spilling over her shoes; her attention was preoccupied with something else entirely.
Molly's eyes were wide open in shock at the sight in front of her. There stood John Watson, looking up at the tragic building. She was frozen in place as a flashback slammed into her consciousness.
"This number is strictly private and must never be shared with anyone. I am only giving it to you, Miss Hooper, because Sherlock wishes you to assist me in protecting the good doctor while Sherlock is… away. For this reason alone are you granted direct access to me through this phone. You must only contact me if there is an emergency, something that you feel threatens Dr. Watson's life. Do you understand that Miss Hooper?"
"Y-yes Mr. Holmes, I understand completely," answered Molly, frightened by the cold, authoritative voice that the elder Holmes used with her. Truthfully Molly was amazed that Mycroft felt he even had to go over these rules. Of course she would never call Mycroft except in the direst of circumstances; he was hardly the sort of man with whom she would like to stop and have a nice chat. The very thought sent nervous shivers down her spine.
"The only emergency I can foresee at this time is if he should ever come to St. Bart's Hospital. If he does so, you must inform me immediately. It is of the utmost importance."
"I- I don't quite understand, sir, sorry… but um… why is that, exactly?" Mycroft Holmes fixed her with a stare as deadly serious as the one Sherlock had given her as they discussed his imminent death.
"Because if John Watson ever returns to St. Bart's Hospital, it will mean only one thing. He intends to kill himself."
Two shaking hands dove into Molly's purse, scrambling desperately for her mobile. A few seconds later she was frantically scrolling through her contacts, pressing SEND when she reached Mycroft's name.
The phone rang for a mere second before he picked up.
"Miss Hooper, what is the emergency?" the smooth voice at the other end of the line asked immediately.
"It's John," she replied nervously, attempting to keep her voice from trembling. Her eyes remained fixed on the man in question, but as of yet he had not moved. She could only hope that this was a good sign. "He's here- I mean, he's at St. Bart's- I mean, he's not actually in the hospital yet, but he's sort of just… standing outside. He's been there for a couple of minutes now at the least. I just came out of the coffee shop and saw him there. But he- Oh no, Mr. Holmes, please, he's just gone inside. What do I do? Sh-should I follow him? I could- I could talk to him, or, oh God…"
"Miss Hooper!" snapped Mycroft, scolding her impatiently. "I must ask you to control yourself. I have already sent a team over. There is no need for you to provide your assistance any longer; I have this situation under control. Goodbye Miss Hooper."
Molly was left stunned as the line cut out. But only momentarily. Attempting to steady her shaken nerves, Molly tossed her head defiantly and muttered,
Wasting no more time, Molly raced across the street, following John's path up the stairs and towards the roof.
"John!" John didn't flinch as he heard his name called desperately from behind him.
"There's no use, Molly," he said. John was surprised by the way his voice sounded strangled. Oh well. "I'm sure you've come up here to convince me not to do it, but it's what I want. Leave it alone."
"I can't," was the forceful reply. Molly's voice was getting louder; she was getting closer to where he stood near the edge. "You're my friend. I won't just let you die." Now he turned to face her. John supposed he ought to feel grateful, but instead he merely felt frustrated.
"Oh, is that so? Well Sherlock was your friend, wasn't he? And where's Sherlock now, Molly? You damn well didn't stop him from dying! So there's no need for you to try with me." John pretended not to notice the extreme look of hurt on Molly's face. "Besides, I'm not asking your permission. I'm not asking anyone's permission. My best friend is dead. Just like one of your damn corpses in the morgue. And you know what? I'm just like one of them too, only I don't look it. My beating heart says otherwise, so I'm going to fix that. You can't stop me."
John started to turn back around, ready to make the last few steps towards the edge when he heard her sad whisper.
"Yes I can."
Confused, he turned back around slowly. Molly looked guilty, shuffling her feet a bit, but her eyes were still locked on him determinedly.
"What?" he asked.
"I can stop you. I already have."
"What are you talking about?" he demanded. "I could jump right this second and you'd have no way of stopping me. If you think I won't knock down a woman, you're very wrong, I promise."
Taking a deep breath, Molly planted herself firmly on the ground, trying not to appear as nervous as she was.
"I… I called Mycroft." The words took a moment to sink in, but once they processed, John felt an angry fire course through his veins.
"…You… called Mycroft. Well this is none of his damn business," he hissed. Whirling around, John rushed to the edge of the building, peering down. Sure enough, there was a whole team down there with a mattress. Clearly they would move it to wherever he jumped from, and if he landed on that thing, death would not be the result. Injuries could be possible, but that wasn't what he wanted. He wanted to die. Refusing to give up, John stood still for a moment, trying to think of a way to outsmart them and still achieve his goal.
Suddenly, a loud sound from above ripped through his thoughts and caused both John and Molly to look upwards in surprise. Not far away—and getting closer—was a helicopter, clearly intent on landing on the roof of St. Bart's, seeing as none other than Mycroft Holmes sat in the passenger seat. Molly and John backed up to opposite sides of the roof to escape the powerful whirling air and to allow the aircraft to land. When it did, Mycroft immediately stepped out, looking as refined as ever in his tailored suit. He was followed by two men that John could only presume were bodyguards.
John wanted more than anything to just run away, perhaps to jump off the roof simply to get away this man. But he couldn't. John was frozen in place by an intense hate, one that pinned his fists to his sides and made his jaw clench as his veins struggled not to pop.
"Come now, John," said Mycroft, appearing as calm and superior as always. John had no doubt that a self-important smirk was just waiting there beneath of the surface of his lips. "Time to go home."
John shook his head sharply.
"I came here for a purpose and I'm not leaving till I've done it. Call your men off."
"I'm afraid that isn't an option," replied Mycroft. "Now come, John. Do not make me force you. That is not something I would like to do."
"Is that so, Mycroft?" snarled John, taking a step towards the taller man. "Well too bad I don't give a damn about what you do or don't like. I don't give a damn what you think. You have no right to stop me."
"That hardly matters, seeing as I have the capability to do so. You are powerless to resist me, and it would be impractical to pretend otherwise," he stated dryly. Looking at John's hate-filled face for another moment, Mycroft released a sigh, and his features softened into something that looked like concern. "Sherlock would not have wanted you to do this, John. He would have wanted you to continue living."
Seething, John lunged forward, grabbing for Mycroft's suit, ready to beat the crap out of him. Unfortunately he was grabbed by two other men before he got the chance. John thrashed in their grip, but they held him tight.
"It doesn't bloody matter what Sherlock wants anymore!" he shouted angrily, still thrashing with all his might. "Because he's dead! And it's because of you, Mycroft. My best friend, your brother, is dead and it's all your fucking fault! Damn you, damn you to hell!"
Mycroft's two bodyguards began dragging John back towards the helicopter, their boss watching with a composed, if sad, expression.
"No!" screamed John, losing it completely. He was still fighting, only this time he was trying to break free in order to make his way back to the roof's edge. "Let me go! Let go, dammit! I want to die, please God, I want to die! Noooo!"
Tears were now flowing uncontrollably down John's face, but somehow, he did manage to get the upper hand. Breaking free, he rushed forward several feet, before being caught again and hauled unceremoniously towards the helicopter. By now the tears were coming down so thick, and the pain was so deep, that John could not get out any words. He could only scream. And scream he did.
John's tears broke Molly's heart. She hated seeing him like that, more than anything in the world. It just wasn't fair that he couldn't know the truth.
Tears of her own began to fall as she watched the heart-breaking scene before her. John lashing out wildly, escaping the clutches of the two men as he yelled and sobbed, only to be recaptured moments later.
Now he was screaming through his tears. His screams tore through her already shredded heart, and Molly realized that she was running to him. She wanted to comfort him, to tell him it would be alright.
But it wouldn't. At least, for him it wouldn't. Because John believed that his best friend in the world, the one that John felt like dying without, was dead, and nothing could ever change that in his mind.
John was nearly at the helicopter now. They only needed to lift him up into it. His screams had subdued, his voice giving out. Instead he was groaning. Somehow these sounds were just as heart-breaking as the screams. There was such deep agony in them; Molly finally couldn't stand it anymore.
"John, he's- he's alive! Sherlock's not dead, he's alive!"
Molly wished to see John's reaction to her declaration, but suddenly a very tall and angry Mycroft stood directly in front of her, blocking her view.
"Restrain yourself, Miss Hooper," he hissed, the fury clear in his voice. Molly swallowed nervously. Somehow Mycroft Holmes, when angry, reminded her of the psychopath she had once dated. Molly shook her head to clear her mind of thoughts of Moriarty. They had no place here and now.
"Wha-… What the hell are you talking about?" croaked a voice from behind Mycroft. Mycroft stiffened and Molly bit her lip fearfully. But still, she felt as if a load had been taken off her shoulders. She had told the truth. She had possibly spared John endless suffering. Sherlock would surely understand. Wouldn't he?
John's tone of voice made Molly want to give him a hug. She didn't, of course. Couldn't, with Mycroft standing there. But John's emotions were so clear. He was trying to be harsh, cruel, disbelieving, but truly he was broken, and so clearly wanted to believe. If John believed in anything, it was Sherlock performing miracles, and Molly could see that he couldn't help but to hope that this miracle was true.
Mycroft spun around to face John.
"Do not allow yourself to hope, John. Sherlock is dead. You took his pulse yourself when he hit the ground. Miss Hooper merely wished to stop your pain, not realizing that sometimes it is best to hold one's tongue." Molly flinched. "To you, John, the scenario where Sherlock miraculously survived is a lie that is preferable to the truth; that is why you are so eager to believe Miss Hooper."
"Let me talk to her," demanded John. Molly could see Mycroft's body tense as he weighed his options, after a moment, he stepped aside so that Molly could see John once more. He had collapsed in front of the helicopter, where the two men had dropped him after Molly's declaration, but now he was pulling himself up into a standing position.
"Molly…" he said carefully, his eyes blazing intensely. "Why did you say that?"
Molly glanced nervously at Mycroft, who shot her a dangerous glare. The message was clear. She wasn't allowed to tell the truth. She had to go along with Mycroft's story.
But what could Mycroft do to her if she didn't? Somehow she knew that Sherlock wouldn't let him hurt her, even if he wanted to. And she didn't want to keep lying to John. It was wrong, it was so wrong. And she couldn't bear to send him back into his pit of despair and misery.
"Because it's true and I couldn't bear to lie anymore."
"Miss Hooper, I will have you brought up on charges and thrown in jail," snarled Mycroft.
"He deserves to know!" she shouted back, suddenly angry as well. "Can't you see what Sherlock's death has done to him? He was prepared to kill himself today! I'm not going to let him go on living like this! Shame on you and Sherlock both for allowing it to begin with. John deserves to know the truth and he deserves better treatment from you both."
Mycroft's eyes flared.
"You do not understand the precarious situation we have found ourselves in, Miss Hooper. My brother and I, despite whatever you may think, do not enjoy this any more than you do. There is a matter of safety involved."
"Damn right there is: John's safety. Namely the fact that he nearly committed suicide!"
"He could face much worse because of your actions today!" snapped Mycroft. Molly immediately froze. "As could several other people. All because you are a foolish girl who couldn't keep her mouth shut!"
Molly was practically on the verge of crying, and she couldn't decide whether to yell back or to apologize.
"Alright, cut it, both of you," interrupted John in annoyance. Finally they both turned to him. He looked much steadier than earlier, and very determined.
"Mycroft, tell me what the hell has been going on." Glaring one last time at Molly, Mycroft turned a bitter smirk towards John.
"Perhaps somewhere… more discreet? If you would, John." John glanced at the helicopter.
"I want Molly to come too." Mycroft sneered but assented, and they all boarded the aircraft and took off into the sky.
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