Author's note- Just a little one shot I hope you enjoy. Although it's not set during the Reichenbach fall, it is on the same building.
Disclaimer- I do not own Sherlock or the other characters within the BBC series.
A Moment in Time
It was quiet; deathly so. In a strange way it could be considered peaceful, serene; given the current situation it was refreshing. A single gentle breeze whipped the man's hair slightly, his thick black hair fell back on his forehead as the wind subsided and everything became still once again. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, relishing the cool air in his warm body.
His coat flared behind him as he took another step forward. A small smile played on his lips, all traces of his smug smirk had vanished- long gone. Suddenly, his eyes flashed open- sharp blue-grey eyes that seemed to gaze into your soul as he analysed and deduced your life story. But they were different this time, they were softer... sadder. Internally he cursed himself for showing emotion, but he was only human- more human than people realised. He hurt too. Every name he was called stabbed him, like a knife piercing his heart.
Taking another breath, he fought the urge to cry- it's all he wanted to do, but crying wouldn't wash away the pain. Nothing could wash away the pain.
The man knew this wasn't the answer, but he had no other solution- and he hated not knowing the answers. He spent his life solving mysteries and crimes, piecing the puzzles together, doing what only he could do; but when it came to himself, he was out of ideas. What a waste of a brilliant mind, he thought slightly bitterly albeit a bit sarcastically to himself- but it was what they wanted.
'Freak,' they would constantly jest at him; make fun of him until he started to believe those words. They gave him scars- mental scars imprinted on his heart. Turning up the collar of his coat he stood up straight. He was reminded of what John said about him being: "all mysterious with his - cheekbones. And turning his coat collar up so he looked cool." He smiled at the memory. Most days he rarely smiled, and when he did it never seemed to reach his eyes. But no-one noticed... or at least they didn't say anything about his behaviour, about the way he had been for the past week. Does that mean that no-one cared? Did no-one care about how depressed he was? About how suicidal he was?
He almost relapsed back to drugs; he was so close to getting what he so desperately craved. Someone cared then. John had cared- he had given a shit about his flatmate, his friend. Throughout that awful night John had stayed with him, not leaving his side even long after the troubled man fell asleep. Maybe John still cared, by some God given luck he could still care about the man who he lived with.
Another step forward.
Another step closer to freedom.
What would people say? Would anyone miss him? Would anyone come to his funeral? Would anyone cry? Questions flashed through the man's mind, his thoughts racing at the speed of light. But he would never know the answers. He wouldn't be there to see the aftermath.
Another tentative step.
A deep breath.
He stood on the ledge.
Time seemed to stand still.
A moment in time.
He would end it the way he had started it... alone.
He took a shaky breath, and he clenched his hands to keep them from shaking. For a while he stood there, but he started to attract attention. All he wanted was a moment to himself. To look at the city before him. Closing his eyes, he thought of everyone who ever meant something to him. Mycroft, Lestrade, Molly, Mrs Hudson, John...
He needed to talk to him so badly. To say goodbye, to say something... anything! He needed John. Fighting back the urge to cry like the weak man he was, he shakily retrieved his phone from his coat pocket. Maybe... deep down... he wanted to be saved. Saved from himself. But right now, he just wanted to feel better, and he didn't know what else to do. The man hit the speed dial for John and pressed the phone to his ear and waited. All was silent. All was peaceful. The dial tone sounded in his ear.
It rang once... twice... three times. With bated breath he waited, and hoped the man on the other end would pick up.
"Hello?" he let out a breath as John finally answered.
"John..." the man's voice choked. A pause, and then:
"Sherlock? Are you okay?" John had never heard him like this before. "What's happened? Talk to me."
"I'm sorry," Sherlock murmured, he breathed in a shaky breath.
"Where are you?" John could sense something was seriously wrong. Sherlock hesitated, but despite himself he said:
"On the roof of St Bart's..." There was an agonising moment of silence, in which John digested and began to deduce why Sherlock would be there.
"Okay, Sherlock, I'm just a short distance away, I'm coming there now. Keep talking to me," John was panicked. He knew something had been wrong with Sherlock for ages, but he simply put it down to one of his usual moods. Several times he had questioned Sherlock, but he never really pressed him to make sure he was really okay. Hindsight is a wonderful thing though... John thought sadly to himself. Sherlock always seemed to bounce back every time he was down, but this was different, even John never would have thought that his flatmate would resort to this! He sighed, devastated at how depressed Sherlock must be to be considering this option. "Why are you on the roof Sherlock?" He knew the answer but he needed to keep his friend talking.
"I..." The consulting detective didn't know what to say, for once he was at a loss for words, "Look John, don't come, I'm not worth it. Donovan and Anderson were right."
"What were they right about Sherlock?" John sped up his pace to almost a jog, trying to get there as quickly as possible.
"I'm a freak," he said bitterly, "I'm no good. I'm pathetic." His voice finally broke and he bit back a sob as a traitor tear trailed down his pale cheek.
"No, they aren't right," John told him, he was almost there now, "They are far from right." John took a deep breath, knowing full well Sherlock could jump at any moment, "Sherlock, you are a brilliant man. You have a spectacular mind, your way of thinking and deducing is phenomenal, and because of you, hundreds of lives have been saved. Criminals have been caught. You aren't a freak. You're talented, your different from them, you're better." Sherlock felt another tear fall as John continued. "You are Sherlock Holmes. The world's only consulting detective. In every way, you are brilliant; yeah you can be a right idiot- but a brilliant idiot at that. And Sherlock... you're my best friend." John was climbing up the flights of stairs all the way to the roof of St Bart's.
During this, Sherlock had noticed that police cars had stopped outside the building; people were watching, staring.
"I can't do this John..." Sherlock cried, breaking down, "Your words... I can't tell you how much they mean to me. They've touched me John. But I can't do this anymore; I can't take the name calling, the jests. I'm sorry... thank you for everything."
"Wait Sherlock!" John yelled, Sherlock hung up on him. Chucking his phone to the side, Sherlock took a deep breath to ready himself. Looking out one last time across the vast city, he cried. He really was stuck; he didn't know what to do. He had hit an all time low. The only thing he wanted was to see John for the last time, but he wasn't here. Hope wasn't here. Sherlock moved forward right to the edge of the ledge, and closed his eyes.
Goodbye John. He thought.
John was now sprinting up the stairs, almost at the rooftop now. He had called Mycroft and Lestrade and informed them what was happening and they were now on their way- even they were worried about the self proclaimed high-functioning sociopath. Running faster than he ever had done before, John scaled the last few steps and burst onto the roof. His heart was racing a million miles an hour, thumping in his chest. But he felt it drop as soon as he saw Sherlock right on the edge of the rooftop ledge.
"Sherlock!" He yelled as he ran forward to his best friend.
A moment in time. One neither would ever forget. A moment when the world seemed to stand still, it was just them, alone. In that moment, their hearts were both beating, faster than they had ever beaten before. Their breath was fast, adrenaline coursing through their veins. Their eyes were wide and bright, both filled with tears. Both of them... were alive.
"Sherlock stop!" The doctor had finally reached his friend after what seemed like an eternity. The troubled man said nothing, but made no further move to jump. Instead, he edged back away from the edge slightly. "Sherlock, look at me," John requested. His voice shook very slightly. Sherlock looked down, unable to look his best friend in the eye. He was too ashamed, too worried of what John thought of him. "Please." John's voice was barely a whisper. Everything seemed so surreal to him, the thought that he almost lost his best friend seemed like an odd thought. It didn't seem right.
"J... John..." the consulting detective stammered out his friend's name in a voice that trembled. It was then that John noticed the tears that freely flowed down Sherlock's pale cheeks, one after the other, each tear a waterfall. Never before had he ever really seen any form of big emotions from Sherlock, the man tended to keep them locked away- he restrained them from showing so he did not appear weak. And it broke John's heart to see him like this: so broken, so hurt.
"Sherlock," John started to coax him, "Step off the ledge back to me. Let's get you home now." Sherlock shook his head, and angrily wiped away at the tears, "Come on Sherlock, it's going to be okay now, I've got you. I'm here." Sherlock Holmes finally looked at his friend, and John could see the war in Sherlock's mind, the pain in his eyes. Taking a few steps back, Sherlock got down from the ledge. Letting out a breath that he didn't know he had been holding, John moved tentatively towards the man.
Not knowing how the broken detective would react, but wanting to do it anyway, John pulled the taller man into an embrace; a warm hug. At first, Sherlock stiffened under the contact, but quickly wrapped his arms around John as he broke down once again in his best friend's arms.
"It's okay now Sherlock, it's going to be okay," John murmured in his ear, "I've got you, I'm here now."
"N...n... no!" Sherlock sobbed, "I'm sorry... I'm so sorry!"
"You have nothing to be sorry for," the doctor whispered, gripping his friend tighter in the embrace. From below in the streets, outside the hospital, a police siren sounded closer and closer until it came to a standstill. John felt his phone vibrate with a text message in his pocked, and assumed it was Lestrade warning them that he had just pulled up outside. Under his touch, he could feel Sherlock shaking with sobs continuing to wrack his slim body.
From behind them, someone cleared their throat and two sets of footsteps cautiously approached- leaving a meter or so between them and the pair hugging. At hearing this, Sherlock pulled away from John, slightly embarrassed at seeming so 'weak'. He turned to look at the two people with surprise; he hadn't expected them to come even if John requested it. Why would they want to even look at him? He was a freak; he didn't want them to be tainted by his presence.
"Mycroft... Lestrade..." He murmured their names with quiet surprise. Of all the people that could have come, the person he least expected to see was Mycroft. But above all, what surprised him the most was the look of genuine worry and concern on both of their faces, and the sadness that clouded their eyes. Even he couldn't deny the fact that his brother was actually worried about him- as much as Sherlock hated to admit it. They didn't seem to know what to say and- for the first time in his life- neither did Sherlock. Carefully, as though his step may make his brother bolt off the building, Mycroft slowly walked over to where the doctor and the consulting detective stood- with Lestrade just paces behind. John had never seen Mycroft look so emotional, so close to tears- and the same was for Lestrade, who had a single tear roll down his cheek. With such brotherly emotion neither John nor Sherlock had seen before, Mycroft went right up to his brother and wrapped him in a real, warm, tight embrace.
And in that moment in time, Sherlock realised many things. He realised that people did actually care for him- they did give a damn whether or not he died. He realised that he had his best friend- John, who would do whatever to make Sherlock happy and safe. He realised that his colleague- Lestrade, would care enough to bother coming when the consulting detective was in danger. And he realised that his family- Mycroft, actually did genuinely care about him, and would come when his little brother was in danger. Nothing would get better immediately- they all knew that, but maybe... just maybe, they could save Sherlock from himself.
They all took Sherlock back to 221B Baker Street, Lestrade controlling the onlookers to give the consulting detective a little privacy from the judgemental gazes. Sherlock had barely spoken on the way back, tears occasionally would fall down his cheeks and John would wipe them away as the detective gripped his friend's hand. Mrs Hudson was quietly told what had happened, and she was shocked to hear it, her eyes watered as she walked into the boy's flat where they all sat. Walking over to Sherlock, she gave him a hug; he surprised her when he returned it gratefully. During these few moments in time, John came to realise that Sherlock actually really did care about feelings and people- even though he refused it. John knew that deep down, Sherlock just wanted to be liked and respected without hurtful torment.
This is why things quickly changed.
Down at New Scotland Yard, whenever Sherlock was around, no-one dared to even mutter a harsh word. Sally had stopped calling him a 'freak,' and to everyone's amazement, even Anderson had stopped being as rude. John knew that Lestrade had had a word with them all, but he also guessed that Mycroft had been on their cases- as he was now watching out for his little brother whom he cared about. The surprise of being treated nicely hit Sherlock hard, and it was evident that he was confused as to why they would be like this- but his confusion soon cleared and he was grateful for the welcome change.
A month or so down the line, Sherlock had returned to practically his normal self; although he did go easy on the insults. In fact, people only insulted him if he initiated a battle of insults or if Sherlock decided to make it clear how stupid everyone is. But even so, no-one really cared; they were all glad they had the real Sherlock Holmes back again. Things had changed slightly, Sherlock was much happier in himself, and John was happy to have his best friend back. In hindsight, Sherlock regretted putting everyone through that. But it also changed things for the better. Oh what a moment in time can do.
In that moment in time, Sherlock Holmes forgot who he truly was.
In that moment in time, Sherlock could have jumped.
In that moment in time, John could have been crushed watching his best friend fall.
In that moment in time, everything could have changed.
A moment in time is all it takes to realise.