A little bit of revision in the text. I just wrote Christmas Surprise , a confrontation between Molly and Sebastian Moran. I had to revise a little bit. My apologies;)
I owe nothing. I still believe Richard Brook was the official name for James Moriarty. Thanks for reading.
If you are interested, my Reichenbach Story follows the below sequence.
At the Morgue - The Fall - Surprise - Christmas Surprise- Sebastian Moran Journal* - 26 wonders - Life still goes on.
A tall lanky man walked out of the Barbican station. He held a small backpack. Without hesitation, he walked into a building across the hospital and took out a medical gown and a book, "Human Physiology". He put on the gown, carried the book with one hand, and maneuvered his way into Bart's building without attracting much attention. Media people swarmed around the building and reported frantically about the suicide of a fake genius detective. Sherlock Holmes was said to have committed suicide earlier. The man hid in men's toilet and overheard hospital staffs gossiping about two bodies found in the building. One was Sherlock Holmes, and the other wasn't identified. Hanging around for an hour, the man walked out of the building and grabbed a cab.
Jim Moriarty is dead. The newspapers say Richard Brook is missing. There are all sorts of rumors yet I know that Jim finished his game in his own style. It was so typical of him. He must be dead.
Jim was so convinced that he could destroy Sherlock. That morning, I called John Watson around 9 o'clock, pretending to be a paramedic and luring him away for about an hour from Bart's: I was supposed to shoot Watson and text the other two killers in case Jim's plan failed. As I had expected, Watson hurried back to the hospital about half an hour later. Sherlock was standing on the top of the building with no Jim Moriarty in sight. Then the detective killed himself. I saw his body on a gurney wheeled back to the hospital. Yet my focus was on my target. Dr. Watson crumbled on the ground, his face full of shock, disbelief, sadness, and despair. It was his face that made me disassemble my rifle. I left, assured that Sherlock Holmes was dead. I was so convinced that Jim successfully got rid of his enemy.
That night, I waited but Jim did not contact me; I was not allowed to call him. Something was wrong so I threw my phone into the Thames the next morning.
It was a bright summer day with the smell of roses drifting in the air. There was quite a crowd in the cemetery for a funeral was in progress: a funeral of a young detective who committed suicide in the midst of scandals. Sherlock Holmes killed himself a few days ago by jumping off the rooftop of Bart's. Given the outrageous scandals surrounding the demise of Sherlock Holmes, all the broadcasting reporters swarmed around. Yet for some reason, they kept their distance.
The funeral was a closed-coffin service. A wreath of red roses was visible on the coffin. A tall man with an umbrella introduced himself as Sherlock's brother, Mycroft. He thanked the mourners and said a few words for his brother. The older brother's face was impassive. Then a short-haired blond man with a military bearing took the stand and delivered a eulogy for his friend. Unlike the older Holmes, his eulogy was emotional. John Watson was choking up when he delivered his words. Full of pain and disbelief, he staggered back to his seat and immediately got hugged by an old lady next to him.
The service was a short and simple one.
Hours later, at sunset, a tall man in a black suit lingered. He stood at the grave for a long time in deep thought.
I attended Sherlock Holmes' funeral today. Mostly I hid in the back, and observed in the shadows. The closed-coffin service bothered me.
A nice old lady, Mrs., Hudson I believe, tripped so I helped her politely. I pretended that I owed big to the detective for my friend's life – I was not lying: I'm so convinced that Jim also killed himself on that day. A little chat won me her number.
Mr. Holmes, the older, was emotionless. It wasn't surprising. Jim had called the older Holmes "Iceman". He kept his cool during the entire service. Well, he wasn't my concern.
My eyes were on Dr. Watson, my prey that was set free. He had a vacant look on his face with eyes so deep in sorrow. A soldier bloke like him cannot lie; and if he saw his friend fall and witnessed his death, Sherlock Holmes must have died.
I don't know what made me go to Sherlock Holmes' funeral today. I think I was saying good-bye to Jim Moriarty. After everybody left, I stayed at the burial site because there was nothing else to do.
I met Tracy Smith, Jim's ex-wife. She was vain and stupid, suffering from alcoholism. I don't understand why Jim married her. She knew nothing but I told her Richard must be dead. I asked her to file a request to investigate Richard's missing to the police.
Tracy Smith failed me to my dismay. The police sent her back with a vague promise. If the police is hushing about Jim's death, this woman will be closely watched. I'll avoid her for the time being – the police must be checking her information.
I woke up, sweating and cursing. The nightmare always revisits me. The same dream over and over. I stood up and got a cold beer from the freezer. The cold drink helped me breathe normally.
In my nightmare, I still see Sherlock's body being swept into the morgue. When I run to it, it is Jim lying on the gurney with his empty eyes open. I try to close his eyes and his blood spews all over me, turning my shirt into crimson red. If only I could have had a funeral for Jim.
Jim's body was finally released. Newspapers simply reported that the missing Richard Brook was found dead. Tracy buried him without a proper funeral. She revealed the location of Jim's grave on her blog. Without a funeral….Jim would not have cared about it. He used to say that life is full of boredom.
I'm not myself. I've been drinking too much.
With Jim gone, I do not know what is going on in the organization. Jim was the only one that knew every detail.
I decided to try something mundane and boring. I called Bereavement UK and signed up for a support meeting next week. I must be losing my mind.
I saw John Watson in the Bereavement UK meeting. What a coincidence. To my surprise, he was also in Afghanistan though we did not know each other. I left the army earlier than John was discharged. He barely talked about his feelings. Neither did I. The leading counselor told us that we should let it out but we kept our silence. Silence is good.
I decided not to attend the bereavement meeting any more. It didn't work.
Something is not right. Jim's goal was Sherlock Holmes' disgrace and fall, but the scandal that Jim spawned so elaborately died down too fast with the yellow-painted graffiti [I believe in Sherlock Holmes] all over the streets of London. Though, the kidnapping of the Ambassador's children hasn't been solved, the detective is not a suspect.
I have a nagging feeling that Sherlock Holmes may be alive.
Double-checking is essential. I started with the old lady. I "accidently" ran into Ms. Hudson at Tesco. She invited me over and I gladly accepted. I will visit her tomorrow.
I am going to be a new tenant of Baker Street 221 C, which is a good place to check on Sherlock's friends. It is a pity that John is going to move out around Christmas though he does not need to pay the rent. "Too much memory" as Ms. Hudson told me. I was surprised to hear that Sherlock's brother had asked her to keep 221B as it is for John Watson. Something did not feel right there: all the possessions of Sherlock Holmes are in the flat. A place for a ghost - how spooky it is. No wonder Watson wants to move out. I lied to Mrs. Hudson that I was about to get an eviction notice and she fell for it. She told me that she would have the flat painted nicely for me.
There is something about Molly Hopper, Jim's ex-girlfriend. I had been waiting around for five days for a "right" moment and I got to talk to her two days ago. She knew something about the detective's suicide.
Jim had told me that Molly doesn't read any newspapers because she sees enough deaths at her job and that she doesn't have TV. I took a betting that she wouldn't know about Richard Brook's death.; she knows Jim as Jim, not Richard - I had doubted my ears when I heard her call out Jim's name. As far as I know, Jim only revealed his alias, Jim Moriarty to someone of trust.
Anyway, I lied to Molly that no one was supposed to know about the second body at Bart's and she fell for it - her eyes, sweats on her face, trembling voice, hand gestures...all of them showed she was hiding something.
I moved in today. The whole building is very quiet. The Jubilee line is very close and the rent is mercifully affordable.
BAKER STREET 221A
A loud bang. Definitely a pistol. John Watson hardened his face and dropped his cup of tea, which shattered on the floor. Mrs. Hudson called after him but John already ran out the door of 221A. He hurried upstairs, flung open the door to 221B, and rushed into the room.
"What the hell are you doing? Sherlock. Stop terrorizing the wall. It didn't do anything. We talked about this! Your boredom should not the reason that the wall takes a pounding."
John abruptly stopped. His eyes darted around the room, his shoulders sagged, and he stumbled on one of the chair near fireplace. The flat was cold and dark. A skull on the mantelpiece, a violin case on a chair, files and papers neatly arranged on a desk, a clean dining table in the kitchen with experiment tools boxed and stacked in a corner… His eyes scanned everything so familiar to him. He could see Sherlock sprawled on the couch, complaining and shooting at the smiley on the wall. "Bored! Bored!" John could almost feel Sherlock's foul mood when there was nothing to occupy him. In the empty room, he felt like a stranger. He wrapped his head with his hands, hating the unfamiliar silence of the familiar room. He started to sob.
Mrs. Hudson stood downstairs with a look of pity. Her new tenant of 221A, Sebastian Moran apologized for the gun's going-off but the landlady didn't pay attention. Instead, she stared at 221B, shook her head, and smiled at Moran. They entered 221A together. Later John stumbled down the stairs, walked into Mrs. Hudson's flat and apologized for breaking the cup. Mrs. Hudson introduced her new tenant to John. A look of recognition on John's face turned into faint amusement.
I was unpacking my things when my gun went off by accident. I groaned. I just moved in and what I should say to Mrs. Hudson about the hole in the wall? Then, I heard hasty footsteps upstairs followed by shouting and then silence. Guessing that my new landlady was angry, I opened my door in order to apologize. She barely listened to my apology and her eyes were fixed on the stairs. A few minutes later, Mrs. Hudson and I could hear muffled sobbing. Ms. Hudson hushed and invited me to her flat to join her and John Watson. John limped back to the room with tears obvious around his red eyes. John sat down, mumbled a few words, and pretended to focus on the biscuits. Mrs. Hudson made herself busy, pouring more tea and patting John's hand.
John was surprised to see me here yet forced to smile when he heard that I was a new tenant of 221C. He kept saying that it was a good thing that Ms. Hudson did not have to be alone in the building. Ms. Hudson wondered why John and I were not strangers.
It turned out that today is Sherlock Holmes' birthday. The first birthday after death… Lestrade or Leonard, whatever, of the police joined John and Mrs. Hudson. I left 221A, thanking Mrs. Hudson for the tea.
Molly Hooper may be a simple stupid girl who hasn't got over her crush on the dead detective. Sherlock Holmes must be dead.
Watson visited Mrs. Hudson again with a box of tea cups. I came across him when he entered the building. He politely suggested that we have tea. I did not decline. Inside the sandwich shop, we talked about the army, Afghanistan and a few people that we both knew.
Teatime between a hunter and his prey. It was strange but he made me forget my confusion. Surprisingly, we had many things in common. John Watson still did not talk about his feelings yet he asked about me. I told him that a man I can almost regard as a friend killed himself a few months ago. He nodded and patted my shoulder. I saved words about details yet John Watson understood what it was like to lose a close friend.
He was using a cane because his limping got worse. His hands shook badly and spilled half of the liquid in the cup. Though he was in the café, he was lost somewhere in his thought. I knew what it was like, a complete detachment from your surroundings. His eyes were like mine: eyes that lost a purpose. We exchanged our phone numbers though I already knew his.
He called me. I did not answer. It is highly unprofessional for me to befriend him.
I feel lost. I do not have a purpose. What would Jim want me to do now?
John and I came across at the Trafalgar Plaza. We had tea. His presence made me feel o.k. We talked about the army again and he told me that he had won a championship for good marksmanship in the army. I did, too. He still uses his cane.
John called me. He suggested that we go to a nearby shooting practice range. Though his hands were having tremors, he said, they got much better.
We practiced shooting together. John Watson is an excellent marksman. He could've have worked as a sniper. My compliments seemed to embarrass him.
Mycroft Holmes frowned at the picture of John and a man that looked familiar – they were about to enter a shooting-practice range. John's face's smiling a bit and Mycroft got curious about this guy, who drove away glooms and depression from John, if briefly. He assumed that both might have military experience and sent the man's picture for ID identification.
Moriarty's network seems to be unraveling. I did not notice it for months because everybody had to be staying low, unnoticed. In addition, everybody knows only a couple of contacts, not more. Jim was the only one that knew everything. Yet, I am sensing a crisis. I need to visit Russia and France next month. I had more handgun practice with John.
A black tombstone with an inscription of Sherlock Holmes, was set up the previous day.
Mycroft Holmes saw John walking toward the grave without a cane. He raised his eyes and tried to catch John's eyes. John ignored Mycroft and laid stems of pink rose. Mycroft waited for John a few yards away. When John turned around, the Holmes asked.
"How's your job prospect, John?"
"Thinking about going back to the army, checking your marksmanship at a shooting range?"
"You are impossible!"
John breathed deep, trying not to lose his cool. Mycroft carried on.
"Missing the battlefield that you saw while you were with my brother? Do you see the same battlefield when you're with your new friend? What's his name?"
John's face hardened. His voice turned into a low growl.
"Mr. Mycroft Holmes. Sherlock Holmes is dead. You don't need to watch me anymore. Just get away from my life."
After handgun shooting practice, John showed me a photo of Sherlock Holmes' tombstone: a black stone with only his name inscribed and no date of birth or death. I told him that it looked beautiful. He invited me to his flat. I promised to visit soon.
John got a job. He works three times a week at a local clinic.
May 2nd .
John and I ate at Angelo's. Food was good. John talked a little about his first dinner with Sherlock Holmes in the middle of a case. Although he omitted many details, I remembered the case too well. I had supplied the pills to the taxi driver.
When Mycroft Holmes came back to his office after an hour-long meeting with the Prime Minister and cabinet members, he noticed a file on his desk: Watson's surveillance report. He flipped a few pages casually but stopped at the last page that had a picture of John and the man from the shooting practice. Mycroft called Anthea to get follow-up on the man's identification inquiry. Waiting for Anthea to get the file, the older Holmes pondered on the picture of the last page in John's file: a picture of John and the man having dinner at the Angelo's. Anthea brought him a new file about the man. His name was Sebastian Moran, a veteran from the army.
Suddenly Mycroft realized that he had seen the man before…CCTV image…Mrs. Smith, Brook's ex-wife. His face got pale. He took out his phone and sent a text message. Soon, his second phone rang. Mycroft Holmes tried to calm down the person on the other side of the line.
"Calm down. Don't jump the gun. We need more information."
The voice was shaky in anger.
"So this guy…Moran is a sniper with a code name Tiger? I've heard the name. A cold-minded hunter who never lets his target escape."
Mycroft pressed his eyelid with one hand, getting a headache due to the seriousness of the situation and the loud yelling from his brother over the phone.
"So, how many times did this guy meet John?"
"Not sure. Not for long, I assume. I can't ask any details to Mrs. Hudson. She might tip Moran off unintentionally. What I know is that Moran is the person on the CCTV images near Mrs. Smith's house; John knew this guy for some time; and he is living in your building for months. Thankfully John moved out already."
"It doesn't matter. He was the sniper for John that day. Then the only person in danger is John! Couldn't you do anything?"
The detective seethed.
"Mycroft, I asked for only one thing: to keep John safe."
Mycroft raised his voice, too.
"What could have I done to stop it? John was not listening and moved out. He hasn't forgiven me. Mrs. Hudson is not on my surveillance. We didn't know Moran was living in 221C."
"Surveillance upgrade is a must. Mycroft, I'm going back to London now."
The voice sounded like a whiny child who was about to throw a tantrum. Mycroft firmly said.
"You know you can't. One wrong move can trigger Moran wrong. I will upgrade the surveillance. "
Sherlock hung up and Mycroft ordered more CCTV cameras around Baker Street 221 and upgraded the surveillance status of the doctor to grade 2. He included Mrs. Hudson in his watch.
John seemed to be busy. No phone calls or texts.
Before my trip to Russia and France, I decided to pay a visit to John.
John looked very surprised and embarrassed when he found me outside his door. No wonder, in his living room, I found some files about me. John tried to hide them but failed. Mycroft Holmes had sent them to him because of his "concerns" about John Watson's befriending me. John laughed it off and he seemed to have been awed by my colorful CV. I wondered if John saw that I was the sniper for him. He seemed not to notice it: my connection to Moriarty is well kept secret as far as I know. However, there was awkward silence from time to time that both of us could not fill in. Thankfully, he was more infuriated at Mycroft Holmes for meddling with his life again.
When I was about to leave, John told me that he did not need the cane any more. I smiled at the news. There was some naivety in John's voice when he delivered the news like a child.
I was sure that John Watson would be defiant and continue this relationship with me.
Back in my flat, the realization dawned on me. Sherlock Holmes might be alive. Why Mycroft Holmes, the Iceman, would so care for an army doctor? Come to think of it, he barely showed any emotion at his bro's funeral. Is his younger brother behind such unusual moves? As far as I know, the rent for 221B is still being paid though the flat is empty. That must be expensive given the location of the flat. A question after a question continues. Is Sherlock Holmes the reason behind unraveling of Jim's network?
I need to revisit my memory, digging up clues. There must be government intelligence around my flat. I need to be careful.
No hasty conclusion. But one thing is clear. If Sherlock Holmes had not respected his end of the bargain, then John Watson will have to pay. It is that simple.
Back from abroad. I have been avoiding John for days. What a coward! My excuse was travelling. Something's happening. Some key members of Moriarty's net were arrested one after another without any reason. Either police of France and Russia got a genetic boost to get smarter or someone is helping them. Who can it be? Does it have something to do with evasive Sherlock Holmes?
I need to get the details on the day of Sherlock's suicide. I am having tea with John today. John sounded thrilled at my voice.
When I got a call from John, he was already drunk. He was on his way to my flat. We sat together and watched telly together. I opened one wine bottle from my recent trip to France and poured the wine in two glasses. Sipping wine, I started my "story" to lower his defense. I told him that my "girlfriend" died five years ago and that was the reason that I left the army. I told him that her death drained any emotions left from me. John tried to console me and started talking about the day that he lost his closest friend: John confided about his last phone call with Sherlock Holmes. Tricks, a fake, eyes fixed on me…a mysterious word choice as John called it.
Hours later, I could not sleep. I sat on a chair and finished my wine bottle, recalling every word John had said. Then, it hit me. Did any of us, I mean, John and I actually see his impact on the ground? I scanned Bart's perimeter in my mind. John was standing behind the one-story ambulance building. From my position, I could not see the ground. We both saw Holmes jumping off the roof, and a young man's body wheeled into the morgue. John's crumbling down to the ground and his teary face were, I thought, enough for me to convince the detective's death.
My bad. I should've been thorough.
John took a day off. He did not say anything about it but I knew from Mrs. Hudson that John would visit Sherlock Holmes grave. Mrs. Hudson was there, too.
A year passed since Jim died. I have been at Jim's grave for the first time. I failed him: John was still alive. I had to close the deal that James Moriarty had made.
I got some photos of someone that almost looks like Sherlock Holmes in France from my reliable sources. His hair was shorter straight blond and he was wearing casuals yet nothing could change his emerald green eyes. He cheated on Jim Moriarty and the death itself, but he won't fool me.
The old me would've pulled a trigger of my rifle already, stopping John's heart but I hesitated. Why?
If Sherlock Holmes were alive, then he would contact me someday. That should be the day that I finish John Watson and that would be the most effective and painful punishment on Sherlock.
I have to avoid John for the time being for any further association with John is going to make everything complicated. I already told Ms. Hudson that I had to move out at the end of the month.
John, Ms. Hudson and I had dinner together at 221A. It was a sort of farewell party for me. I ordered Chinese for them.
I tried to see if there was any sign that John or Mrs. Hudson knew Sherlock Holmes is alive. No. They were acting too good or they truly believe his death. Why does the detective want them to believe so? Did the scandal about him force him into hiding? As far as I know the younger Holmes is the last person that would mind such rumors.
Sherlock Holmes must be a bastard to leave John depressed and saddened for more than a year.
I changed my mobile number. I moved out yesterday. I vanished from John Watson's world. Hopefully this will lift the government surveillance off me.
I almost visited John's flat. I kept reminding myself that today was the day that Jim was buried. I saw John from shadows. He was paler, thinner and exhausted.
I decided to start my work again. Emotions are a luxury that I cannot have.
I've been busy, fulfilling my job. It is a nice feeling to be back in the field. I should not forget the wild excitement of pulling a trigger. Ronald Adair is dead. A clean perfect murder. As always, the police are in the dark.
On a gloomy November day, a tall dark-haired young man got his bag from baggage reclaim, and walked out of the terminal 1 of the Heathrow Airport. He looked very thin and pale but his face showed a pleasure of homecoming. Putting on sunglasses and flicking his collar of the black coat up, he turned on his mobile and sent a text message while walking to get a taxi.
"I am at LHR. SH."
At the text alert, Mycroft sighed and sent a text back.
"Back now? Do not contact Moran yet. MH"
"See you at home. SH"
I was surprised to read Daily Mail today. Mr. Northwood was arrested for a charge of possessing illegal substance and bribing the police. He was important, who dealt with drugs in the U.K. and sponsored Jim's organization. If I was Jim's lieutenant, Northwood was a CFO. I was at the Christmas party at Northwood's mansion before Moriarty died. We've met for a couple of times. If they got him, then the next would be me: he is not a person of trust. He would sell me over as quickly as possible if plea-bargain is possible. Do I have to hide? No, I've got time because Sherlock has not contacted me yet.
I got a message from the dead after lunch.
"Come and play. Pool. Time for a closure. SH"
We both knew the pool too well. We met there once though I was hiding in the shadow.
"Midnight. Got a surprise. With pleasure. SM"
I called John after months. He was so happy. We agreed to meet around 8 o'clock. I am going out for shopping.
"I've got this report right now. Sherlock, Sit down."
Mycroft found himself nervous, which was very rare. His brother sat and drank the hot tea that Mycroft just poured.
"I am busy, Mycroft. Make it quick."
Sherlock said nonchalantly.
"Sherlock, John is missing for 3 hours. He left his work around 7: 30 and still has not gotten back to his flat."
"Moran disappeared from our radar a few months ago and there has been no contact between the two apparently."
Sherlock put his cup down on the table, and looked up at Mycroft. Mycroft Holmes expected a burst of angry words and glare from his brother yet there was silence.
Sherlock said simply.
"I know exactly where John is now."
At this unexpected reaction, Mycroft accusingly said.
"You contacted Moran? I told you not to."
Sherlock stood up and frowned.
"Why delay the inevitable? "
Sherlock turned his back and walked out of the sitting room.
"You used your friend as bait to get Moran? This is so typical you! Stop. I'm not done with you. Where are you going?"
The older Holmes called after him.
"You need a back-up. I will call Lestrade."
Sherlock stopped and turned his face to his brother. A look of anger flickered across his face.
"I got it all from you, Mycroft: betrayal, deceit, lies, secrets… I might've forgiven you if you had kept John safe… You can't do even the one thing I had asked."
Mycroft flinched at this.
"No police. If you dare, Mycroft. This is my business. Back off."
Sherlock walked up to his bedroom, muttering something.
"Efficiency matters. I can go back to Baker 221B faster."
Mycroft Holmes could hear what Sherlock muttered. He defiantly opened his mobile and made phone calls.
"I lost you once. Dear brother. I cannot lose you again."
I drove my van to the parking lot. John was lying in the back of the van, tied and unconscious. He looked worse than he was in September.
"Has he worried about my disappearance? How touching!"
Trying to ignore John's change, I carried the doctor into the pool building: the doctor must have lost quite a lot of pounds.
The pool was closed because it is being renovated. Beams are exposed, some walls were taken down and brick stacks are everywhere. A perfect place for the dead and the living.
I got John on a plastic chair and tied him again because I did not want him to fall from the chair and to wake up early. The weather was chilly so I got my parka on John. I did not want him to catch cold. I bought an expensive goose-down for John early afternoon. My last present to him: I had to thank him for his presence and support after Jim died. The parka is loaded with C4 explosives that could blow away the whole building. I got another chair and sat down.
A sense of Déjà vu was all over me. I could almost see Jim standing there. I knew Jim would be very pleased for my wrapping up here.
Games have to be fair so I slipped a fully-loaded handgun of John's that I had taken from his flat in the parka pocket. John would not do any silly thing. He is not reckless. He is a soldier. I checked the remote of the bomb in my pocket, loaded my rifle, and drank a cup of coffee from thermos. I untied the ropes and supported John. Now I was ready.
It was almost midnight. In complete darkness, I could hear cautious footsteps approaching. The return of the dead was imminent. A tall shadow stopped when he heard low groans: John must be coming to now. As I expect, Mr. Holmes was alone.
Excitement shook my body.
I grabbed John and made him stand up from the chair. John staggered, losing his balance with his eyes still closed. I ccould feel a penetrating stare from the shadow. Cheerfully, I called out at the detective.
"Now it's time for the final act, Mr. Sherlock Holmes. Welcome back!"