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.
"Sir, it's okay if you take the day off."
I blinked my eyes as if I hadn't noticed Anthea was there.
"Home, sir. You dozed off."
Anthea looked anxious. She'd never seen me doze off.
"I'm fine. I need the Smith files by tomorrow. Good day."
I got out of the car, punched the keypad and placed my thumb on the door lock. It had been a long day. In the morning, I had visited Scotland Yard and figured out why Sherlock fell: the DI and ex-army doctor had been surprised; even I myself had been visibly startled by the reason. Who would've imagined that Sherlock did care about people? I had almost forgotten that my brother was also a human being. In addition, a fake suicide was a possibility. I really hadn't expected Sherlock would take a fall when I was asked to prepare a mobile phone under Molly Hooper's name, some money, and a garbage lorry. I knew about the body switch and Dr. Hooper's assistance, but didn't know if Sherlock escaped with no harm done. What I could do was just to wait for my younger brother. I had talked with Dr. Hooper before the funeral, and I knew Sherlock was alive. However, the realization barely comforted me. I was plagued by nightmares during my sleep.
Sighing, I hung my coat in a coat- rack, deposited the briefcase on a side table, dropped the umbrella onto the couch, and walked into the kitchen for a cup of tea and dinner. While waiting for the kettle to boil, I thought about three months ago, when Sherlock visited me.
"Sherlock. I had to let Moriarty go today. I could've locked him longer but… protocol. Moriarty pulled some strings behind my back; quite a lot of people pressured me to let him go. Even you'd be surprised if I name them." Sherlock shrugged and drank his tea.
"Well, we both knew it would happen. So, what is Moriarty's next move?"
"Look at these pictures."
I showed Sherlock what Moriarty had done during his imprisonment. All those scribbles, drawings and scratches on the wall. Moriarty had quite outdone himself.
"Obsession beyond imagination… I'm concerned, Sherlock."
Sherlock stared at the pictures for a long time, locked up in his "mind palace", as the detective would say.
"Sherlock. This man wants to destroy you."
"He told me that he wanted to burn you. He said that he would burn the heart out of you. James Moriarty was smiling as he said this, too."
Sherlock did not answer.
"Sherlock…Sherlock, are you listening?"
He woke from his trance, looked at me, and asked.
"What will he do to destroy me? A typical murder is too boring, too simple for him. The next game that he plans will be far more elaborate, more sinister. And the outcome that he imagines will result in more than my death, Mycroft."
Sherlock paused for a moment, and then continued.
"What did you tell him about me?"
I felt nervous and avoided his eyes.
"In the beginning, I fed him information about your official records; your schools, birthday- information that he could acquire after five minutes of hacking into the records. He gave me bits of information but he shut his mouth up soon. He wasn't satisfied with just your official records.
"Moriarty already knew them, didn't he?"
"That is when you called me and asked for my permission to disseminate my life story, before…Baskerville."
"Yes. You cashed your favor in by making me order Major Barrymore at Baskerville."
Sherlock' grinned but it faded away quickly at my next words.
"I had to give him more private information that only someone close to you could know like your fondness of the blue scarf, the episode with Sebastian in your college days…, strained relationship with Father… Mommy's last days…"
"You did what?"
Sherlock glared at me in disbelief, turned paler, and said nothing for a few minutes. At last, he spoke through gritted teeth, slowly and menacingly.
"Mommy? You crossed the line. Mycroft. How dare did you…!"
I bit my tongue but did not feel pain. I managed to whisper.
"I had trusted your sense of caution and your love of secrecy."
Sherlock Holmes put his cup down on the saucer and stood up. He walked around the room, clearly in distress.
"Sherlock. Sit down, please."
"Shut up, Mycroft. I have to think."
I pursed my lips, drinking up the cold tea. Sherlock ignored me for minutes in total silence. I left the room to the kitchen - I was not sure what Sherlock was getting at but I knew silence was the best thing I could do. When I came back with another kettle of tea, Sherlock turned on me and asked.
"Did you find anything about Richard Brook?"
"Richard Brook. Carl Power's suspect that I told you about."
"Yes. We've checked all the details about Brook. At the time of Carl's death, he was just a kid. Now he is a law-abiding citizen who works as an actor – theaters, TV dramas… No crime record, not even a speeding ticket. We analyzed facial features using pictures from Richard Brook CV and Jim Moriarty in prison. A perfect match. Moriarty is Brook."
Sherlock frowned. The grandfather's clock stroke 9:00 and he suddenly put on his coat and a scarf.
"I have to go back to Baker Street. John will be home soon."
My face was a mixture of relief and guilt. Sherlock hissed.
"Don't think the worst is over. You're not forgiven. However, given the uncertainty facing me…"
"I know. I'll assist you as much as possible if you require my service."
I stood up to see him off. Walking out to the door, Sherlock said.
"By the way, John got a phone call yesterday. You know the stolen Turner's drawing, Reichenbach Fall. They want me to take the case. I'm going to the scene of crime tomorrow with John."
I raised my eyes.
"You'll not want the case – Turner drawing. It's a big case. A lot of attention."
"Yes. I'd refuse to take the case otherwise…, but John already agreed for a visit before seeking my consent."
That amused me greatly – was Sherlock capable of being tolerant to a human being? As I had expected, John Watson made the best out of my younger brother. Without noticing my look of amusement, Sherlock mumbled to himself.
"I have a hunch that all of my next cases will be something big that puts me under spotlight."
I felt that something ominous was to happen soon – the nasty feeling that started after I told Moriarty Sherlock's past- but tried not to lose cool. Briskly the young Holmes strode out the door.
"Mycroft, I think it's crucial to make John believe that you and I have a row - a thorough estrangement for the time being."
Fom Reichenbach hero to fraud sleuth…It happened too fast. When Dr. Hooper texted me for a request of the lorry, a mobile and etc., I did not expect Sherlock would jump from the rooftop. I OWE YOU A FALL. That was the threat from the maniac, whose body was found on the rooftop, too.
The kettle was boiled. I started fixing simple dinner – I poured tea; scooped goat cheese spread on a plate with slices of whole-wheat bread; and heated up a bowl of chicken soup in a microwave. I lost 3 pounds since the fall. I had no appetite although I knew Sherlock was alive. Bart's roof? 40 feet? 50 feet? Dr. Hooper only told me that she delivered the wallet and a mobile to Sherlock after the fall yet we could not talk about more details. I made a mental note of contacting Dr. Hooper the next day. Days of starvation and dehydration caused me to black out in the office this afternoon, which panicked Anthea, and she made me go home earlier. It was almost wonder that I did not drop the tray when someone spoke behind.
"I'd love to have some, too."
The low voice! I stopped, wondering if I was hearing things. Putting down the tray on the dining table, I turned around slowly to see the speaker. There he was leaning on the dining room wall. My brother, Sherlock Holmes was there dressed in blue jeans, grey hoodie, a cap, and glasses. Realizing what my eyes were on, the young man took off the glasses. He looked haggard with bruises on his face.
"How did you get in?"
I tried not to show my voice shaking.
"You forced my registration to the security system of this house years ago. I bet you haven't changed it."
"Are you okay?"
"A few cracks, a twisted ankle and bruises…"
"Sit down. Why didn't you contact me earlier? Did anyone follow you?"
Sherlock staggered down on a chair and rubbed his eyes tiredly.
"A cuppa will be nice before I answer your questions."
I forgot my hunger and stared at Sherlock who ate and drank. I had never seen Sherlock "devour" like this. When Sherlock was about to finish his second bowl of soup, I asked.
"Have you been starving? What happened to the card?"
Sherlock spoke while chewing cheese and bread.
"Robbery. I'd have fought the man but in my condition – cracked left arm and twisted right ankle… You need to report the card was stolen."
Before I asked the second question, he answered quickly.
"The mobile battery is out…."
"Do you want me to call Dr. Stormhead? He's been with Holmes family for 25 years. We know he is a man of trust."
Sherlock shook his head.
"He'd better not know I'm alive. I am perfectly fine. I might need a few days of bed rest here, though."
I stood up.
"Let me get you the first-aid kit."
We finished our dinner, moved to sofa and watched the news. The headline was about the scandal of the Yard. Sherlock's scandal was almost forgotten…
"Your name will be cleared quicker than I expected. The Yard already assumes that you were real, not a fake. The investigation behind the kidnapping of the ambassador's children is still underway."
Sherlock nodded. I hesitated, and opened my mouth.
"Was it necessary to jump? I mean…"
Sherlock tersely answered.
"There was no other way. Moriarty killed himself because he had to make me fall."
"We've got his body."
Sherlock nodded with his eyes fixed on the TV screen.
"Were there snipers on John, Lestrade, and Mrs. Hudson?"
Sherlock turned his head at me in surprise.
"Today, we figured out why you jumped."
"John, Lestrade, and me."
An angry voice rang in the room.
"You babbled your bloody fucking deduction to John and Lestrade? Unbelievable. You're a show-off!"
I also raised my voice.
"I had to know why. They also had to know why."
Sherlock glared at me but did not say anything.
"John's grieving. Lestrade's grieving. Don't you think they deserve the answer at least?"
A pain fleeted across Sherlock's face. I regretted my words immediately and lowered my voice.
"Take a shower and sleep, brother. We can talk details tomorrow."
It was so great not to be alone in this big house. I was too exhausted and too happy to fall asleep right away. Around midnight, I opened Sherlock's bedroom door and sneaked a peek. I needed an assurance that Sherlock was still in the house. Sherlock's soft breathing and his peaceful face in sleep…I closed the door softly and walked back to my room. "You ARE a show-off!" Sherlock's voice rang in my ears. "The pot calls the kettle black, brother." I smiled faintly and soon fell asleep for the first time in days.
The next morning, I was boiling eggs and frying bacon strips when Sherlock limped into the kitchen. Sherlock's eyes got wider.
"Are you cooking? I've never seen you near a skillet after you almost burnt Mummy's kitchen years ago."
"No Ms. Parson…no cleaning staffs? I bet you'd scream in a week."
I rolled my eyes but said nothing. Coffee was done. We sat over cereal, tea, coffee, eggs and bacons. I flipped the pages of the Tracy Smith report while Sherlock was reading the papers.
"How're you feeling today?"
"Good. Better than yesterday. Sometimes sleep does wonders."
Sherlock poured more coffee to his mug. He glanced at the file, and asked.
"A report on a person called Tracy Smith."
"The person who requested the Police to investigate the missing of her ex-husband."
"Never heard of her."
"You'd better know more about her. Her middle name is Brook. According to registry, she is a divorced wife of Richard Brook. They married young and divorced a year later. She got her last name back but kept Brook in her middle name"
Sherlock asked curiously.
"She still loves Brook?"
"Maybe. The police promised to do its best and sent her back. So far newspapers are told not to report about the second body for the ongoing investigation. "
Sherlock took the file from Mycroft and read every page intently.
"For years she didn't care about her ex and then all of a sudden came in person to hand in the request?"
"Yes. I watched CCTV film. She seemed nervous – kept on touching her nose and scratching her hair and neck. Apparently she did not want to be there."
Anticipating the next words from Sherlock, I said.
"We're digging into her past: family, friends, schools, jobs…"
The next day I placed a manila envelope on the dining table.
"Here are your new ID, driver's license and passport, a couple of credit cards under the alias, a cell phone. $10,000 in cash"
"Thank you, brother."
Sherlock tapped the table at a regular beat without opening up the envelope.
"Is there any follow-up on Ms. Smith?"
"Nothing so suspicious about her background so far except…a man. Look at this."
I took out a few pictures of the man.
"A bit blurry and too small. Out of focus?"
"They are CCTV images from a CCTV near the Boots in her bloc. Before the day that Ms. Smith showed up to file in the missing Brook case, this man visited her for hours."
"We don't know anything yet. He could be a friend or a family…"
"Yes, but we have to look at every possibility. Ms. Smith's under surveillance. Her mobile's bugged. She is being followed very closely 24 hours a day."
"Keep me in the loop. By the way, book me a ticket to Moscow. No, a ticket to Prague, first."
I raised my eyes and asked.
"Why Czech Republic first?"
"I need to start from somewhere… Do you remember the Bruce-Partington case? Everything started when I received a pink phone in an envelope. The paper… Bohemian… I'll hide there for the time being. Send me whatever you find about Moriarty's net."
Three days later.
Sherlock's carry-in luggage held a few changes of clothes, English-Russian and English-Czech dictionaries, a small notebook computer and first-aid kit. I hurried into Sherlock's bedroom.
"Got home early to say good-bye? I'm ready. I'll leave in one hour."
"Let's have tea."
I boiled water and got some biscuits and jam.
"You haven't found out anything about the man…"
"Except blurry CCTV pictures. If anything comes up, then I'll let you know."
My voice was calm and cold as usual, hiding my fear and anxiety inside.
"Break down Moriarty's web. Then you can go back to your old life faster. Here are emergency contact numbers in Prague, Paris, and Moscow. If you need back-up or any special assistance, call these numbers. They'll provide anything, even unregistered guns, undetectable poison, false IDs…"
We sipped the last tea in silence. It was almost time to leave when Sherlock caved in: he opened his mouth, and then closed again. Sherlock's eyes had a question that he dared not to ask. I knew what it was.
"You'd know. John's physically okay but… he's still suffering. You know five stages - denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance…I assume he's going through a variation of these stages: a mixture of denial, anger, guilt, and self-hatred."
Sherlock's voice was barely audible.
"Mycroft, John was depressed before. This relapse…"
"I know. This time it'll be harder for John. I'll keep a close eye on him. He's seeing the counselor once a week. I'd rather contact him in person, but he's not a forgiving type. I'm his Judas."
"Lestrade? Mrs. Hudson?"
"We've arrested snipers who targetted them."
"Still one sniper on the run... Nothing on him?"
"I'll upgrade surveillance on John. But as you said, your death must have aborted his mission to kill John. "
"I'd better go now."
We walked to the door together. Before opening the door, our eyes met. I couldn't help it. I hugged Sherlock and whispered.
"Sherlock, be safe."
Sherlock gave a terse nod.
"Mycroft, you owe me one thing… Keep John safe."
That was the last words that Sherlock said before he pulled his suitcase alongside to catch a cab to the Heathrow Airport