Hi everyone. So, some of you probably hate me for taking so long to post. Well, here is a shocker for you - this is the last chapter of Elementary, My Love. Yup, I'm ending the book. Or am I? Anyways, enjoy!

Chapter LXXXIX

The next few days, both Ariel and Sherlock tried to keep things normal. But, of course, the nervous, unsettled energy filled the flat, and John picked up on it.

The day before Ariel was to go, the good doctor finally confronted his friends about it. It was dinner time, and Ariel had seemed especially jumpy when John had arrived home, having practically coward when he opened the door.

He started by clearing his throat, getting the attention of both the detective and his girlfriend. Once all eyes were looking at him, he started.

"So...what's going on?" He asked, deciding that the direct method would work best. Ariel cocked her head, still clearly pretending to be normal.

"Whatever do you mean John?" She queried. He looked at her, eyebrow raised and an unimpressed look on his face.

"You know what I mean. You two have been acting stranger for the last three days. So what's going on?" He asked sternly. Ariel sighed.

"I...I'm going away," she said, feeling he deserved to know the truth. John nodded slowly, not quite sure what those words had to do with the sense of doom in Ariel's voice.

"Right..." He said, clearly not understanding. Sherlock stepped in, as Ariel looked completely uneasy.

"She has a mission. From my brother," he explained. John nodded again, though he still didn't get it. Ariel sighed.

"I might not come back from this mission. This might be the last time I see you," she blurted out, feeling like she might cry. Suddenly understanding dawned across John's face, before it was quickly replaced with barely contained anger.

"That's not... He can't... You have rights," John stuttered out, unable to find quite the right words.

"When you sell your soul to the devil, you have no rights," Ariel replied bleakly. "Just...can we not talk about it? Can I just have one last night with my family?" The room was silent for a long moment, almost too long, until John's fork clattered on his plate and he sighed.

"I'm sorry." Was all he said, before offering his hand to Ariel, who squeezed it tightly.

"Thank you," she said softly. Their words spoke volumes more than was heard. John was apologizing, consoling, and sympathizing.

His own experience in war made him understand her just a little better. He knew what it was to be ordered, to obey, and to risk your life and everything you love. Ariel's two small words thanked him for all of that and more. For being her friend, and for being a part of what had become her family.

XXXXXXXXXXX

Sherlock stirred as Ariel got out of bed the next morning. He hadn't slept a wink, but had pretended to for her sake. He frowned, noting the lack of light outside the window.

"Ariel?" He asked the darkness of the room. He heard more shuffling and frowned harder. "What are you doing?" There was a sigh before she replied.

"I...I thought it might be better if I left before you woke up," she said softly, her voice trembling in such a way that Sherlock could tell she had been crying. He cursed his ability to block out nearly everything when he was in his mind palace. He sat up, looking at her through the dark.

"No. Please don't." It was almost a beg. Almost, but not quite. Sherlock knew this was not her choice, and he didn't want to make it harder than it had to be for her.

"Come back to bed," he said gently. Hesitantly, Ariel crawled back into bed, into Sherlock's waiting embrace. She nuzzled her face in his neck, trying not to cry again. Sherlock felt the rough material of her jeans as she clung to him. She had dressed to leave, and it broke his heart.

"I'll be back, yeah? As soon as I can," she said, her voice hopeful. Sherlock nodded slightly. "As soon as you can," he agreed. Silence filled the air as they were quiet a long moment.

"Sherlock?"

"Yes, Ariel?"

"Promise me something? Promise me, if I...if I don't come back, that you'll remember me? But that you'll move on?" She said softly. Another pause, this time as Sherlock thought of how best to respond.

"If," he said gently, "such a thing should happen, yes. I promise to always remember you." They lay there, clinging to one another in a tight embrace for what seemed like forever, and yet not long enough.

Their quiet moment was shattered eventually by the sound of Ariel's phone receiving a text. Sherlock knew what that text said just by the way Ariel stiffened and drew a deep breath. She pulled away, checking it, and sighed. Sherlock flicked on the bedside lamp to see her face.

She did something then Sherlock had only previously seen John do - she squared her shoulders, sat up ramrod straight, and her eyes turned from emotional to cold steel. The soldier preparing for war.

"I have to go," she said, grabbing a bag off the floor and heading for the door, not looking back. Sherlock leapt from the bed, grabbing her wrist, and spun her around. She looked up at him, love still clear in her steely eyes.

Without hesitating, he leaned down and kissed her passionately. It said everything he couldn't. And likewise, her response told him everything she couldn't bring herself to say. They pulled away, Ariel looking up at him for the last time.

"I love you," she breathed, her voice nearly a whisper.

"I love you too." He replied. Ariel's hand gripped the doorknob, opening it to the cool pre-dawn air.

"Goodbye, Sherlock Holmes."

Was that suffciently dramatic? Love it? Hate it? Want more? Let me know! I'm always wanting to hear from you!