Three days after Sherlock was pronounced dead, the funeral was held. It was incidentally also when it finally dawned on doctor John Watson that he had been in love with his best friend the whole time, without allowing himself to admit it. It seemed a silly and slightly useless thing to realize, now that it no longer mattered. On the other hand, it felt more appropriate for a grieving lover that for an army doctor whose flatmate had committed suicide to be begging a gravestone for one more miracle.

The service was quiet, with only a handful of people having turned up. John was not surprised, considering the circumstances of Sherlock´s death and the headlines still calling him a criminal mastermind. He was not upset by the low turn-up. This was how Sherlock would have liked it, he reckoned.

With Mrs. Hudson crying on his shoulder and the pastor's quiet words droning on in the background, his own emotions strangely dimmed, like the deafness one experiences after a grenade has gone off too close, he felt detached from his environment. His eyes started wandering over the small group gathered and came to rest on Mycroft at the back.

Sherlock's brother was as usual impeccably dressed, a pleasantly neutral look on his face and an impenetrable air around him. He found himself curious as to what lay behind that carefully cultivated mask. Did he feel guilt? Sadness? Did he miss Sherlock as much as John did? Or was he glad to be rid of his troublesome brother. For some reason John had to know.

After the service, Mycroft made an attempt to disappear into the shadows, Anthea and his trusted black Audi already waiting, but John intercepted him. He needed to know.

"You don't believe them, do you? That he was a criminal. Because, I know how this looks and what everyone seems to be whispering and…"

"No," came the soft reply. Just a negative, his words not betraying any feeling behind it, the word only intended to soothe John, not soothing in itself. John wondered, not for the first time, if the eldest Holmes was even capable of human emotion, was he even affected by his brother's death or was he glad for not having to clean up his messes anymore? He caught himself before he could lash out. He did not want to fight with Mycroft, definitely not at a funeral, and now that he had his answer, there was no point to continue this conversation. He mumbled his condolences and made his way back to Mrs. Hudson.