Chapter 25

Minutes after Mycroft left, there was a knock on the door. Confused, Amy hesitantly opened the door. This time it was Lestrade. He clearly looked distressed.

"Oh God, Amy," Lestrade sounded relieved. "Is John okay?"

"What? What do you mean?"

"Is he back?"

"Yes," Amy looked upstairs. "He's in the shower."

"He showed up at Scotland Yard yesterday, drunk out of his mind, and began yelling at the Chief Superintendent's window," Lestrade held his hand at his forehead. "After that, I couldn't keep track of him."

Amy nodded, and tried to stifle a laugh at the imagery, "How's things at the station?"

"To be honest, it was a surprise at first, but now I don't think many people care," Lestrade honestly told her. "He made people feel inadequate all the time. How are you?"

"Coping. I guess I'm about to arrange a funeral," Amy said frankly.

"His brother's not doing it?" Lestrade looked confused.

"No, he isn't. Can't bear to do it, I suspect. How are you, Greg?"

"I'm fine. A bit of a shock, y'know? I – yeah," Lestrade looked down and Amy could see the heavy under eye circles that Lestrade had – a sign that Lestrade was also staying up late and drinking alcohol to suppress emotions. "Okay, well I'll see you around, Amy. Tell me if you, or John, or Mrs. Hudson need anything. Anything at all."

"Thanks, Greg," Amy said as he left.

Amy closed the door behind him and sighed. She walked to Sherlock's flat, adamant that moving on would be the best thing for her now. She would repeat that moving on is what Sherlock would do.

'The only way forward is forward' Amy heard Sherlock's voice in her head.

"The only way forward is forward," Amy agreed and looked at the picture of Sherlock, John and Amy sitting perched on the table. "No sense in looking back, right?"

With John's laptop sitting on the table, she turned it on and began to surf the internet. About an hour later, she managed to find information about the funeral process and how to cope with the death of a friend. This might have been useful when the Doctor died. With her pad of paper filled with phone numbers, addresses, and names, she began to call some people, only to realize that it was night time and that no one was at work.

"Amy?" John called out.

"Yeah?" Amy began to walk up towards John.

"Have you seen my gun?" John asked.

"No," Amy lied.

"Alright," John looked at her. "Well I've called Dr. Thompson. I'm seeing her tomorrow."

Amy took a good look at John. He was only in a t shirt and pajama bottoms, but she could see bruises all over his body. Whatever happened to him must been incredibly painful. Looking closely from where she was standing, but not so that he would notice, she realized that some bruises were newer than some, and some were hiding red cuts on his wrists. She didn't realize how badly John was taking it. She started to feel a bit better about taking his gun away.

"Good, I'm glad," Amy looked at him, and then at the ground. "Mycroft tasked me with planning the funeral. Do you want to help?"

The question caught John by surprise, but he shook his head. He turned around and walked back into his room, but not before scratching the marks on his wrist and his aching leg.

The next day...

Amy looked at her checklist of people to call. She called the hospital and was directed to Molly.

"Hello Molly!" Amy tried her best to not sound sad, though not happy. "Are you Sherlock's coroner? Mortician?"

Amy never thought she had to say that sentence ever, but Molly took the call in a very professional manner, "Yes, I am."

"How can we go about transferring the body ... Sherlock ... to a funeral home?" Amy asked.

"Usually, you'd go to a funeral director, who would then contact me, but I have a name of a man who I've worked with before that can help you," Molly sounded confident over the phone. "This is a very hard time for you and John, and I know how it feels, so I want to help you as much as I can."

"Are you sure? I don't want to burden you, Molly," Amy double checked.

"Yes, it's fine. It's completely fine."

"Thanks Molly, I really appreciate it."

Amy got the number and name from Molly and called the funeral director. He told her of the various things she would need to do and provided considerable help with the process. Although this provided a fair amount of distraction, there were times when she wanted to breakdown. She did not enjoy planning her friend's funeral. After two week of planning and preparation, everything was ready. Early in that first week, John avoided Baker Street completely and moved back to his previous flat. Amy could see that pushing to see his psychiatrist wasn't particularly helpful as he wasn't ready to open up just yet. Amy checked on him as frequently as she could – on the days where she wouldn't find herself crying herself to sleep, or where the days were grey.

The dreaded day had arrived. Keeping to Mycroft's wishes, only the science stuff was packed away, leaving everything still in its place. The cab ride to the cemetery was quiet. Mrs. Hudson looked solemn, and John looked exhausted. In her hands, Amy held onto the deerstalker that she bought for Sherlock many months ago. She fiddled with the ear flaps and wondered why anyone would wear it. Then she imagined Sherlock in it and oddly thought that he would suit it. Maybe it was high cheekbones and successful attempts to look mysterious with his collar turned up, but it made her smile – the first genuine time in a few weeks. They arrived at the cemetery on time and took slow and careful steps to the grave.

There was an ample sized crowd there. There was the usual: Lestrade, Molly, Mycroft. Some unusual: Anderson, Sally, and other members of the police force that Sherlock made feel inadequate. And some forgotten: Angelo, Sarah, and Sebastian Wilkes. Rory and River made a surprise appearance, but stayed inconspicuous amongst the crowd. Everyone moved to make way for the three.

Amy's throat felt tight when she saw the casket and she found her breathing shallow. Knowing that Sherlock's still and lifeless body was in there made her want to run away. She could already feel the tears start to well up in her eyes. The moment John saw the casket, he thought of all his friends that died in the war that did and didn't get a proper burial – but this wasn't just any friend. Amy, John, Mrs. Hudson, and Mycroft sat down. The ceremony began.

John kept his attention focused and deliberate. He found it hard not to stare at the casket. He managed to pry his eyes off for a moment to look at the faces standing before him. The pastor was speaking in a somber tone. Sally and Anderson looked uncomfortable, but emotionless. John caught the eyes of Rory, and gave him a subtle nod as an appreciative notion for coming, but wondered who the woman with the curly hair standing beside him was. Looking back to Amy, he could see she was trying her best not to breakdown. Mrs. Hudson was already sniveling.

John was right, Amy was trying not to burst into sobs or tears, but she needed to prevent her emotions from getting the best to her. It's what Sherlock would have wanted. It came to the point where it was time to make eulogies. John went first.

"I met Sherlock, ironically, in St. Bart's," Amy realized that the place John and Sherlock met was also the place where Sherlock and John last saw and spoke to each other before Sherlock met his untimely end. "Long story short, we became flat mates within that day of meeting each other. It's extraordinary what he could do. He could take one look at you and tell you your life story. That's what he did with me, and surely, he did it with each one of you too. Of course, I'd suspect that he'd piss you off with how correct he was. But I was astounded. No one could do that. And using that gift to help people – he could have been a con artist, for God's sake."

John coughed before continuing, "He helped people, and never asked for anything in return. This man, for he was anything but a man, was my best friend."

John stopped suddenly and looked down. His voice cracked when he began again, but returned to his seat, unable to continue with his eulogy. Amy could see that there was much more to be said, but it looked to be too painful for John. Amy rose and walked to where John spoke after a confused moment. She looked at all the faces in the crowd, then at the casket. She closed her eyes and pictured Sherlock standing next to her. Opening her eyes, she took a deep breath and began.

"Hello everyone, it is with great sadness that I stand before you today to celebrate the life of my friend, Sherlock Holmes," Amy took a breath. "I met Sherlock, well, we met when there was an explosion on Baker Street and I had to carry him out of his flat to the ambulance. After that, our interactions were limited until he asked me to assist him on a case. I was getting over another death of a friend at that time, so any distraction was welcome. And Sherlock, he was one hell of a distraction. If you've worked with him, or was just in his vicinity, you would know that he never stops. His mind, like John said, is extraordinary. He took something that looks impossible to solve look like an easy riddle. He enjoyed the game, the puzzle, but never creating them. I think he found that boring. He liked taking it apart, piece by piece, and getting to the bare bones of it all. That was him, y'know? Leading, creating an ordinary life – getting married, settling down, and having kids – wasn't for him. We've worked on many cases together and out of it came an understanding. An understanding that sometimes things go wrong, but we must move on. You've seen him work. Everything happens so fast that it's difficult to keep up."

Amy looked at John and noticed that he was rubbing his eyes, "He told me, once, that it is a mistake to theorize without all the facts. But you know what?"

John perked up, realizing this wasn't part of her speech. Amy looked at the casket once more and then spoke.

"I don't think Sherlock committed suicide because the papers said he was a fraud or because people doubted his skills. He jumped off that building to protect his friends," Amy spoke boldly and fiercely.

Amy looked to the crowd and thought she saw Sherlock proudly smiling at her words, but it was just a trick her eyes were playing on her. Everyone else's faces had changed into a mix of shock and surprise. There was a bit of muttering going around. They certainly didn't expect to hear that come out of Amy's mouth.

Amy looked down at the casket, "Sherlock Holmes, we will certainly miss you."

She folded her piece of paper and held onto it tightly before returning to her seat. Next, Lestrade went to say some things. He remarked on Sherlock's skills and valuable help to Scotland Yard. He avoided talking about the last case. In the last few moments before Sherlock's body went into the ground, Amy got the chance to place the deer stalker on the casket. In her peripheral, John was standing erect – the way a soldier would – and she held onto his hand. His shoulders slumped a bit, but he held on tightly. After Sherlock's body was buried, Amy went over to River and Rory. River looked at Amy. She wiped away some tears that had apparently fallen down Amy's cheek.

"Everybody knows that everybody dies and they say nobody knows it like the Doctor," River put her hand on Amy's shoulder. "But you know it just as well."