A/N: I'm baaaack, for the last chapter of this story! (beams, then pouts) Dang, is it really the last one already?!
First of all, thank you so much for your reviews and adoration for the previous chapter! I can't even describe how much it means to me. (hugs)
Awkay, because I'm pretty sure that you're eager to know how this tale ends… Let's go! I truly hope that you'll enjoy this one.
Feel Alive Again
/ When violet eyes get brighter
and heavy wings grow lighter
I'll taste the sky and feel alive again
And I'll foget the world that I knew
But I swear I won't forget you
Oh if my voice could reach back through the past
I'd whisper in your ear,
'Oh darling I wish you were here'
(Owl City; 'Vanilla Twilight') /
Days slip by. Turn into weeks. Which turn into months. And before Sherlock and Hamish realize it two years have passed from the day when a single gunshot stole away something that nothing in this world could ever replace.
After overcoming the initial fear of losing Sherlock, too, Hamish began to let his pain show fully. The child who used to be a stellar student began to act up at school and lashed out at Sherlock for any and every excuse the boy managed to find. It didn't help that they were both suffering, grieving and outraged. Or that while one of them was excellent at expressing their emotions the other was hopelessly horrid. Their shouting matches most likely kept poor Mrs. Hudson awake through several nights. At one point Hamish ran away from home. The boy was found after twelve endlessly long, painful hours, trying to sign himself up for the army. Their shouting matches didn't end to where Hamish broke down into loud, uncontrollable sobs in Sherlock's fierce embrace. But it was a massive step forward.
Sherlock himself came close to relapsing to old bad habits several times over. It was… difficult to take cases again all by himself, without John by his side. It was even harder to come back home all alone, high on adrenaline that needed a release. To sleep in a lonely bed. And to know that the loneliness he needed to get used to once more would be there for the rest of his life. In the end Mycroft and Greg forced him into therapy, announcing that there'd be no cases without counseling. Sherlock admitted reluctantly that perhaps the woman wasn't completely useless.
It's been two years of pain, struggling and anger – but by some miracle they're both still alive today.
With a deep breath Sherlock finishes the process of packing up, then glances up and is surprised to find his reflection from the window. He blinks twice, as though not quite sure that he's really looking at himself. The past couple of years walking around with half of his heart missing have left their mark.
His hair's shorter than before and if he really focuses he's almost sure that there's a couple of touches of silver creeping through. There are new lines on his face. His eyes are also older than before. No amount of pain and suffering has, however, taken away the spark in his eyes. That fire is what's kept him alive. That, and…
He looks to the side at the sounds of steps. Hamish enters the room, appearing very serious and determined. "So", Sherlock states, getting up so swiftly that it should've made him feel dizzy. "Are you ready to go?"
That's nervousness, right there. A great deal of it. "Where are we going?" Hamish asks tensely. This anniversary isn't as bad as the previous one but there's no denying the crushing ache they both feel.
Any other day Sherlock might've smirked smugly. Not today. "To do something special", he announces, then grabs a large bag and heads towards the door. "Are you coming?"
Hamish hurries to catch up. The boy's eyes dart suspiciously towards his bag. "What's in there?" the child, who's grown up far too quickly over the past couple of years, inquires.
Hamish' eyes widen. "What? Are we allowed to…?"
"Yes, we are." Sherlock grits his teeth, the oncoming admission burning his tongue like acid. "Mycroft… pulled a couple of strings." Only John and Hamish are valuable enough to make him accept favors from his brother.
A miracle happens, right there. Hamish giggles, only briefly but still. For the duration of that sound John's with Sherlock once more, only a single step behind like always.
The cab drive is silent and somewhat tense with both of them deep in thought. Hamish' shoulders seem painfully stiff from all the emotions the child's trying to hold back. Sherlock wishes, from the bottom of his supposedly nonexistent heart, that he'd have the words to tell the boy to just let it go. That it's perfectly acceptable to let the walls break down. But then the journey is over.
Without saying a word they climb out of the car and head towards the edge of Thames. That's when Hamish freezes. The boy's eyes widen to a comical size.
As it turns out they're not alone. There are tens of people right there waiting for them, each of them holding a candle. Greg, Mrs. Hudson, Molly, Mycroft, Mike Stamford, countless of strangers…
"What…?" Hamish gasps.
"I invited them, to honor him." Sherlock swallows. It isn't even nearly enough to erase the lump sitting in his throat. "I… took the liberty to use his blog. One last time."
Hamish blinks rapidly, eyes darting around rapidly. "But… Who are all these people?"
Who are they? They're ordinary people. Good people.
They're John's comrades from the army.
They're those John and Sherlock managed to save.
They're the patients John helped.
They're those John worked with, with and without Sherlock.
They're John's friends.
They're those to whom the seemingly ordinary man left his mark.
Sherlock nearly cracks, right there. Because in that very moment John is everywhere around him. "They're your daddy's legacy." It takes all the willpower he has not to wipe away the small amount of moisture that appears into his eyes. "Now let's go. It's rude to keep people waiting, isn't it?"
Sherlock's glad that no one speaks a word as they approach and make their way through the crowd. A lot of the people offer smiles of comfort and understanding. Most of them don't have dry eyes. Their friends offer them nods, Molly squeezes his shoulder. And somehow that's enough to remind Sherlock that Hamish and he aren't alone, even now.
It seems to take ages before he finally reaches the edge of Thames. Once there he kneels and begins to rummage through his bag, trying to ignore all the pairs of eyes staring at him. Once the fireworks are ready he looks towards Hamish as firmly as he can with how badly his eyes sting. "Stand back", he orders.
Hamish nods, tears already pooling into the child's eyes.
Sherlock lights the first firework, then steps to a safe distance. In a few moments the whole sky is bathing in red, purple, green and gold. The people around and behind him gasp, someone sobs. Sherlock himself can only stare, his eyes uncharacteristically wide.
The sight is so beautiful that it doesn't seem to belong into this world.
Others take turns in lighting the fireworks. The mesmerized audience watches how even more shapes and colors erupt, painting the sky to a miraculous color. At some point Hamish stands right beside Sherlock. They don't quite touch but the connection is still there. Neither bothers to fight the emotions that want to push through as they watch the unearthly display. Sherlock blames the betrayal of his transport on the smoke coming from the rockets.
"Pa." Although Hamish is whispering he can hear how the child's voice breaks. "I… I'm pretty sure that daddy's here."
Sherlock nods. Because although it rebels all logic and reason he agrees. "So am I."
Through the rockets the wind carries a familiar voice into Sherlock's ear.
'That… was amazing.'
Even through the tears in his eyes and the ache in his heart, ignoring all the people around him, Sherlock smiles a little, right there.
Once upon a time he framed his death to save John's life. In full truth he would've been ready to die for real. Now… Now he must do something a thousand times harder. He must live for John, without the doctor. For Hamish.
Sherlock takes a deep breath, focusing all his attention on the sky.
I'll try, John. For you and Hamish both. As long as you promise to be waiting for me when I get there.
Once the last of the rockets has exploded Sherlock takes a deep breath, then pulls out something else from his bag. A violin that he bought to replace the one he broke during the very darkest of his days. It's easy to forget about the people around him, especially when he closes his eyes and begins to play from the bottom of the heart that a very remarkable man once gave him. All he focuses on is the feel of John everywhere around him. He doesn't need to see the notes. It's his own composition, the most important one, and the notes are right there in the most precious part of his mind palace.
A Sonata for Two, was the original title but he's changed it long since. Altered it to something that sounds far more true.
A Sonata for Three.
Sherlock doesn't have to look towards the crowd to see if John's there. He already knows. Surely John would know better than to leave him all alone.
A/N: Oh my gosh! I seriously can't believe that this emotional ride is over. (sighs and wipes eyes)
THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart, for sticking through this even through all the sadness and long update gaps! You've definitely me keep this story floating. So thank you! (HUGS)
PLEASE, do leave a note to let me know what you thought of this ending! Any good, at all?
I've really gotta go. I've still got a few things to do before the bed calls my name. Who knows, maybe I'll see you again one day.