Kitty had really, enormously, screwed up.
She's been so confident that this was her big break, and afterwards, she'd get a nice column in a major newspaper, or perhaps her own online section.
All those hopes were gone.
They'd fallen when Sherlock Holmes did.
But, she couldn't be blamed for his suicide though, could she? Not directly anyway.
The man was obviously unstable.
But as she lay in bed at night, the fact couldn't help but nudge her, just enough to keep her awake.
What if, it asked. What if he was the one telling the truth?
She could never be sure. She honestly wasn't sure if she wanted to know. If she was wrong, she had caused the death of a man, and completely smeared his name.
Sometimes she thought it better than she didn't know.
Richard had never come back after the confrontation with Sherlock and John that day.
She couldn't help but wonder what happened to him.
Perhaps he'd run away after hearing the detective (fraudulent detective, she reminded herself), had died. Gone for a new start somewhere that no one knew his name, who he'd been. Or had been seen as, rather. It would be hard, considering he was splashed across the covers of newspapers and tabloids for weeks as the crimes and the trials were heavily debated. But he was an actor after all, she had no doubt that he could change his accent and his appearance to the point where he'd no longer be recognized by anyone other than the most skilled observer.
If there were any skilled observers anymore; she couldn't be sure.
She'd been alright for a while. It had been hard, but she wasn't famous. Even after the article came out, it was overshadowed by the news that Sherlock killed himself.
New articles were written about the man's suicide, borrowing heavily from her article, but not many people read it. She wasn't vilified or denounced. People didn't look at her strangely, didn't widen their eyes as she walked by.
And that was fine with her. Honestly, she wished she could just undo the whole thing.
But for that time, it was okay.
Then the movement started.
I believe in Sherlock Holmes.
It showed up in yellow spray paint all over London. Billboards, street signs, abandoned buildings, brick walls. It kept getting taken down, but it always came back. Always. You couldn't walk down any street in London without seeing the trademark yellow spray paint, perhaps partly hidden underneath a hasty coat of paint, but always there.
Then the second one.
Moriarty was real.
That one was done in red. It wasn't as popular as the Sherlock movement, but it was angrier. Maybe it was the red, maybe it was the strokes it was done in, as though someone had emptied their rage into a spray can and marked it down.
She briefly wondered if it was John who'd started it, the man she'd met only once. He hadn't seemed like much of a threat at first, small and unassuming, but he grew angry when Richard insisted he wasn't what he thought.
John's rage did seem real though, his anger at being nearly blown up. (Kitty did wonder about the friendship he and Sherlock had, if it was that. If Sherlock had indeed set the whole thing up, why would he rig a bomb on his only friend? Richard had no answer for that.)
But after Sherlock's death he seemed... broken.
She read his blog post (of course she did, everyone read his blog) and his words hurt.
He was my best friend and I'll always believe in him.
She saw footage of him, of course, he was the highlight of the news channels for days, until he just stopped going out and providing them with anything to work with.
He seemed destroyed.
So she didn't think he was the one.
But who else was there?
She knew Sherlock Holmes didn't have any friends, really, besides John. There was the detective inspector he worked with, but the man had been suspended from the police force, and wasn't likely to go around committing crimes. There was the landlady, but honestly, she was old.
There was no one else.
It could have been some random person, someone who'd read their blogs faithfully, felt like they knew them, and knew that Sherlock couldn't do that. Wouldn't do that.
But that was nearly impossible to believe, because it would require a sense of faith stronger than the proof she'd put forward in her article.
Maybe in the end, that was what was important. Not evidence, but faith. Facts could be faked, of course, evidence could be falsified, stories could be lies.
But it had seemed so real.
And maybe some of it was. Most of it even.
But not all of it. Not the part that was the most important.
The part that was responsible for this whole entire mess.
A mess that she had caused.
She sobbed. She sobbed at what she'd done, at the man, men, whose lives she'd ruined. She cried for all the heartache that could have been avoided had she not been so self centred and gullible.
He could still hear him saying it.
"You repel me."
If only she could tell him now.
Yeah, me too.