Hello. Thanks for viewing and reading this story. I've finished my post-Reichenbach story: some early versions might be redone later.
I suggest , if you're interested, you read in this order;)
At the morgue - The Fall - Surprise - Christmas Surprise - Sebastian Moran's Journal (4 chapters) -26 wonders -Life goes on
Sherlock's fall and funeral June: Sherlock's return and reunion in November of the following year: Second reunion June of the follwing year.
JUNE 15TH : FUNERAL
John staggered up from his seat. Mycroft Holmes patted John on his shoulder and sat heavily on the chair next to his. John could not remember what the older Holmes was saying – everything was mere meaningless noise. John just wanted to be somewhere else, not at the funeral. Yet, he had to do this for his friend. There was nothing left for him to do except the eulogy.
Up front, John looked at the crowd and was shocked to see Donovan and Anderson. They were almost hiding in the back, looking defeated and guilty somehow. Lestrade was sitting on the second row next to Molly Hooper, strangely avoiding John's eyes. John cleared his throat; he was choking up, he couldn't speak. Focusing his eyes on the wreath of red roses on the coffin, John opened his mouth.
John Watson. Sherlock's friend. Uh… Here lies my best friend, Sherlock Holmes. Best friend… Funny, isn't it? 18 months ago, we were strangers. We met right after I was released from the army. Come to think of it, when we met at Barts, Sherlock asked me if I came from Afghanistan or Iraq after just glancing at me. It was stunning and extraordinary gift. The next day, I followed him to a crime scene, the first case that I was on his side. Since then I have witnessed how brilliant and mind-blowing his deduction was when he tackled crime after crime. Some of you remember him like me - a genius who loved his work. Some are here because you read the newspaper and wondered if he was really a fraud that fooled the Scotland Yard.
Do you want to hear the truth? The expose is rubbish and untrue. Sherlock Holmes is not a fraud. I saw his genius. I cannot say he was impeccable. But, he was not a heartless, crime-loving manipulator. Sherlock Holmes was a good man.
I've never imagined that I would stand facing his coffin and say good-bye this early. Sherlock, I know you are still out there. Forgive us. We owe you so much. Thank you.
He touched the coffin lid once before dragging himself back to his chair. Mrs. Hudson hugged John. The rest of the service flashed by until Molly thanked him for his eulogy. A few minutes later, Lestrade approached Mycroft and John.
"How dare you show up with Donavan and Anderson?"
John growled at Lestrade.
"John, it you're not the only one who feels bad about what happened. We're sorry, too."
John could not believe his ears. He laughed hollowly.
"Shut up and leave."
Lestrade did not budge and kept speaking.
"Mr. Holmes, John, there are something we need to talk about. As you know, a body was found on the rooftop. He had a mobile. He seems to have died from a self-inflicted bullet wound – his fingerprints on the gun and the trajectory angle into the mouth all imply a suicide. The time of death overlaps the time of Sherlock's fall. We are trying to identify the body. It seems messages were exchanged between John Doe and Sherlock that day. I'd like both of you to come to my office tomorrow, let's say, 9:00."
John glared at Lestrade one more time before leaving with Mrs. Hudson. Mycroft nodded and followed suit.
JUNE 16TH: THE YARD
The next morning, everybody stared at John and Mycroft when they entered the office. Lestrade opened his office door to let them in. John glared at Lestrade, refusing the cup of tea that Lestrade just poured. Donovan disappeared from the office as soon as she noticed John and Mycroft. Mycroft kept his cool and watched Lestrade write a timeline on the board.
2:17 from SH to JM.
COME AND PLAY. BART'S ROOFTOP. P.S. GOT SOMETHING OF YOURS YOU MIGHT WANT BACK.
9:05. From JM to SH
I AM WAITING. JM.
"Sherlock said he had something. Any idea what it is?"
John blurted out.
"The key code. Moriary's key cord that can break into any system. Sherlock believed that Moriarty hid it in his flat and that was why those assassins were protecting his life."
"So JM is…"
"You idiot. It is Jim Moriarty."
"There is no Jim Moriarty. The body was identified as Richard Brook. His CVs were true as reported in the newspapers."
"He tried to blow me up a year ago. Don't you remember the five pips and the hostages? I was the fifth hostage. Moriarty was there. Oh, Molly dated him. Ask her!"
"We talked with Molly already. She also told me the same story, identifying him as Jim. She told that she broke up with Jim because he was gay. I think Richard Brook used an alias…"
Mycroft cut in. It was almost a whisper, yet his low and chilly voice made everyone listen.
"Jim Moriarty, or Richard Brook. Does it matter? The secret service interrogated him for months but barely got anything from him. He called himself Jim Moriarty but we couldn't pull out any data that directly connected him to crimes. His name was a whisper. I can tell you this. He was obsessed with Sherlock and he was one of the most dangerous criminal masterminds of this age. His suicide is a relief to this great country and the world."
"Yes, we believe that Richard Brook was not an innocent child-loving puppet that Sherlock had hired. He had his own purpose when he sent the message to Sherlock. What do you think happened on the rooftop from 9:05 to 9:38 when John, you got the last phone call from Sherlock? "
Mycroft muttered rather loudly.
The two men raised their eyes.
"Yes. Janus. The God with two faces; Jim Moriarty and Richard Brook, Sherlock knew the truth and went to the rooftop to confront Jim Moriarty."
John suddenly gasped.
"That was it. I received a phone call from a paramedic around 9 o'clock that Mrs. Hudson was fatally shot. It all made sense because we knew about the assassins near Baker Street. Sherlock and I had a row because he refused to go and see Mrs. Hudson. I yelled at him, I called him a machine before going off. Mrs. Hudson was fine, and something seemed off. I hurried back to St. Bart's only to find Sherlock standing on the rooftop. Then he fell right in front of my eyes. I was only gone for thirty minutes."
John crumbled on the floor, hating himself.
"What did Sherlock say when he called you? I know it is hard yet we need to know." Mycroft reached out for John's hand and helped him to stand up.
"He said he was a fake and the newspapers were right all along. He said he invented Moriarty for his own purposes. Oh, God. He was crying. Sherlock was crying."
John still could hear how defeated and strangely urgent Sherlock's voice was.
"Why did he call himself a fraud? If Sherlock had known about the double identity of Moriarty, he wouldn't have had to take a fall. With more time, it would have been possible to dig out the truth about Moriarty. Sherlock could have waited the scandal out, biding his time. Why hurry to the rooftop? Also, what made Moriarty or Brook kill himself? Gun power traces on Brook's hand, the bullet trajectory angle, the wound, they all point out a suicide."
"At gun point – do you think Moriarty forced Sherlock to jump at gun point? But Sherlock is…was not the sort that got intimidated easily. No CCTV on the top?"
"Unfortunately, there aren't any CCTVs on the roof. We have to find out who died first. "
Lestrade nodded and stood up.
"Thank you for your time, gentlemen. I know this is difficult for you. Evidence lab is working on the phones. Anything new, and I will call you."
Staring at the empty chair, Sherlock's chair, John kept thinking what could've made his friend jump. He wanted to take a cab but Mycroft was adamant in giving him a ride to Baker Street. He said he had some business to settle with Mrs. Hudson. Without Sherlock, 221B seemed too clean, quiet, and odorless for John and he couldn't stand it anymore. He turned his notebook on, entered his blog and punched words without realizing what he was doing.
[16TH JUNE. He was my best friend and I'll always believe in him.]
He disabled comment before logging off. Then Mycroft walked into the flat.
"John. You can stay here as long as you want. For the time being, it is my wish to keep this flat as it is. I've arranged the rent with Mrs. Hudson."
"Is this your way of apologizing? Sherlock won't come back. He's dead. We buried him yesterday."
"Just leave, Mycroft. I can't stand you right now."
"John. Moriarty wanted Sherlock destroyed just like you said. A disgraceful death. The fall of a genius detective. Why kill himself when he was about to achieve his goal? My brother and Moriarty were obviously in a hurry for a closure. Why?"
John shook his head.
"I don't know. Just go away. Mycroft. I need a rest. "
Walking up the stairs to his bedroom, John heard Mycroft's urgent voice.
"Sherlock cried and admitted he was a fake. He knew you wouldn't believe those articles, and that you'd be the last person to accept them as the truth. Don't you think it was strange? Why did he lie at the very moment when he was about to jump?"
John stopped and turned his back to look at the older Holmes. It had been only a few days after he confronted Mycroft at the Diogenes Club, yet Mycroft seemed to have aged for a few more years. He was paler and thinner. At his suffering, John thawed up a little.
"There must have been a reason behind it. What Sherlock does… did… always had a reason."
A text alert beeped and Mycroft checked his mobile.
"John. You remember I told you about the assassins nesting near this flat."
" Yes, two of them died because, as Sherlock said, they shook hands with Sherlock."
"They still linger. Isn't it strange? The only one who could have led them to the code was Sherlock –that is what they believed, and my brother is now six feet under. Why do they stay here?"
John smirked and shrugged.
"They might have fallen in love with Baker Street, but I don't care."
JUNE 21ST: 221B FLAT
A few days later, John was drinking morning tea in a tidy kitchen without chemicals, cadavers, and tools – it was heaven, and also hell. His head hurt so much during the past few days. He tried to think like Sherlock, focusing on why he had to jump. There was something behind this: Sherlock's mysterious word choice like magic tricks and fake. He jotted down the last phone call with Sherlock as much as he could remember and thought over and over. He wondered how his friend managed when there was a case – Sherlock barely drank, ate or slept. When he put away his cup in the sink, Mrs. Hudson walked in the kitchen.
"John. The loo doesn't work. The new plumber! I paid him cash! Sorry. We can't use the bathroom for a few days. I have to call old Thomas this time."
At the distress of the old lady, John answered kindly.
"It is fine, Mrs. Hudson. I can manage. Anyway I was about to pop out. Lestrade called again." Mrs. Hudson smiled and patted John's shoulder.
"I don't know how to make Thomas come again. Last time he swore he'd done with bits of fingers and toes from the pipes. Then, I found that new plumber, a godsend, I thought. Last night, I was so furious and I called his number again. The number was disconnected. Only God knows what I have to do to make Thomas work for me."
The office was so quiet and almost depressed – it was almost surreal seeing everyone stay at his or her desk. Even Donovan stayed put when John and Mycroft swept past her into the DI's office. Lestrade closed the door and began.
"Mr. Holmes already knows this but I think I need to brief you two anyway. There was a rookie detective, who worked here for a few months: a very skilled marksman although I cannot disclose his name. He was arrested a day ago for a charge of plotting against the government. While interrogating the officer, the Yard found out that a suspicious amount of money had been transferred from abroad to his account a week before Sherlock's death. I had a hunch, so I interrogated the officer until he caved in. He was hired to shoot me if he got a text alert on the day of Sherlock's death."
Lestrade was managing to keep his posture, but failing magnificently. He was obviously in shock because he was the target and the assassin was one of his men. Lestrade shook his head.
"The entire department is to be checked for security. Everyone's background is being double-checked. Blimey, all the criminals out there will have a party with joy if they hear about this!"
"An enemy inside…at the very heart of the Scotland Yard…"
Mycroft murmured and stared at the board for a few minutes without commenting. Then he stood up and hesitated a little bit.
"Now, all the pieces seem to fit together. John, Look at this."
Mycroft held out his phone.
"This man. Do you recognize him?"
John's eyes squinted at the picture.
"Yes, I think I saw him before. He is the plumber. Sherlock must have been flushing down his body parts again. Mrs. Hudson had to call a plumber. Her old plumber refused to come. Too many body parts from pipes. Mrs. Hudson found a new one."
John tried to shake off the nagging feeling so he took a sip of water and continued.
"This man was in the flat when I hurried in to check on Mrs. Hudson after the fake paramedic call. The loo got clogged again last night. Mrs. Hudson was furious at her new plumber this morning."
"Now, everything makes sense. John. Inspector. Listen. He was arrested two nights ago for illegal possession of assault weaponry and false identity. He is on the Interpol's wanted list, a professional killer. Now, according to you, he was with Mrs. Hudson, disguised as a plumber on the very day that Sherlock died. It's weird, isn't it?"
John shook his head.
"You've gone too far. Mycroft. A professional killer with Mrs. Hudson? That's not possible..."
John stopped in mid-sentence, his face hardening with horror.
"Moriarty? Do you think it was Moriarty's plan?"
Keeping his posture, Mycroft continued.
"My brother never admitted it but my deduction is better than his. We only know about two killers, but I am convinced that there must be another one targeting you, John, that day. Inspector Lestrade, Ms. Hudson, and you, John – what is the common denominator? Sherlock. You were friends of my brother, though it depends on how we define the term. So why did Moriarty hire killers to target the three people that my brother associated with frequently? It was Moriarty's checkmate in his final game. He set the snipers for the few people that my brother actually cared about. Unless Sherlock jumped and finished the game, you three were likely to have died that day. Sherlock did not have another choice."
John was speechless.
"Mycroft. You are saying that Sherlock jumped because he had to protect us? "
Lestrade fell back onto the chair and groaned.
"No… that idiot."
Mycroft knew his words would hurt the two men, leaving indelible scars and that Sherlock would not have approved this, yet he had to go on because he had to know why his little brother did it. "Moriarty killed himself before Sherlock fell because that was the only way to make Sherlock play his game. Time was on Sherlock's side – the public would find out the truth sooner or later. So Moriarty decided not to allow any way-out for Sherlock by killing himself. "
Almost apologetically, the older Holmes added, "It is my entire guess, though."
Lestrade buried his head in his hands when John and Mycroft left. John stared outside blankly while his cab drove him to 221B and swore that he would keep it secret for Mrs. Hudson for the time being. She did not have to suffer from this guilt that tied knots in his stomach. He stood up all night, missing his friend, hating himself, and revisiting the dreadful day again and again in his memory. Lestrade could not sleep either because he was too shocked, saddened, and touched that Sherlock counted him as a friend. Mycroft Holmes did not sleep either because he found a welcome surprise waiting for him in his mansion that very night.