What if he couldn’t save him, or everything was reversed?
I’M SO SORRY.
Don’t worry, it’s okay to hate me for this piece.
Sherlock had been wandering London for hours. The tiny flat he had cooped himself up in lent nothing to thinking, and he seemed to fancy a walk. There was something soothing about walking in the rain, and he had allowed his feet to lead him. The streets were empty, the wet and the cold driving the majority of people to stay inside, and those who had braved the weather barely gave him a first glance, let alone a second. He turned his collar against the cold and felt the rain slowly penetrating his clothing. He barely noticed.
He pulled himself out of his mind, forcing himself back to the reality and looking at the buildings lining the street. With a start, he looked over to Speedy’s Cafe. He had unconsciously wandered to Baker Street, even though he knew he should not be here. He turned tail and started to walk the way he had come from when he heard a loud bang. The few people in the street stopped, unsure of what the noise was or where it had come from, looking to each other questioningly. Sherlock knew exactly what that noise was, however. And where it had come from. He bolted over the road, barely missing a passing car, and hammered on the door of 221B. No one came, and cursing, he fumbled in his pocket for a key, then remembered he did not have one anymore. He banged again, calling for Mrs Hudson. Still no one came. She must have gone out, although Sherlock could not think why, not in this awful weather. He threw his shoulder against the door and it shook slightly, but it was strong.
A man shouted at him to stop, assuming Sherlock was up to no good, but he ignored him. He had to get inside. He had to prove himself wrong. He shoved at it again, ignoring the pain in his shoulder. The door cracked a little; he could hear the lock snap some of the wood holding it in place, and he knew a few well aimed kicks would gain him entrance. Almost falling down the stairs, he kicked with all his strength, finally finding the right spot, and the door flew open.
Sherlock flew up the stairs two or three at a time, not bothering to check whether Mrs Hudson was indeed in. He knew he would be unwelcome anyway, after three years of deceit.
The inner door to the flat was, thankfully, open, and he wretched it open. He stopped in his tracks.
Stepping into 221B Baker Street was like taking a step into a memory. Nothing had changed. It was cleaner than it had ever been, and somehow brighter, but Sherlock knew there were no new residents. They wouldn’t have kept the moose head, or the skull on the mantel. Even his violin still rested on the deck where he had left it. He took a few steps slowly in, and called softly. “John?” As anticipated, no one answered. It was almost too quiet.
He peered into the kitchen, which he had never seen so tidy in all his years living there. There were no experiments or specimens taking up the table, and it smelled of cleaner, fresh. And yet it didn’t feel lived in. It was like it had been preserved, as if on display. Filled with homely things, but empty.
He headed to the bedroom. His bedroom. ‘No’, he told himself. ‘It’s not your room, you don’t live here, you’ve no right to be here.’ He pushed at the door, which was oddly ajar.
A metallic smell filled the air, mingling with gunpowder and dampness. The curtains were drawn, but even in the dreary half-light that filled the room, he could see an leg laying limply, protruding from behind the bed. He felt himself swaying, and grabbed the doorframe for support. He tried to take a few deep breaths to steady himself, but the smell of iron and powder was only getting stronger and he squeezed his eyes shut.
“Please no,” he found himself muttering, and he took a few tentative steps forward, to the end of his bed.
John was sprawled on the floor. One arm was awkwardly thrown over his head, and the other hand was curled loosely round a standard issue army pistol. His eyes stared up at the ceiling, glazed and vacant, and Sherlock fell to the floor at his feet. He felt a lump in his throat, and however much his brain screamed at him to run, get away, too much, too painful, his fault, his John, he couldn’t leave. He reached up and took the gun, putting it up on the bed, and wrapping his fingers around his wrist. Still warm. No pulse.
He choked, almost sobbing, and he leant forward, wrapping his arms around John’s lifeless body and pulling it to his chest. Breathing was becoming harder, and the smell of blood increased. The sight of the needlessly large pool of blood on the floor hit Sherlock like a freight train, and he forced himself to look away. He burrowed his nose in John’s hair. His smell hadn’t changed, he smelt like tea, moderately expensive aftershave, shampoo, and faintly of gunpowder.
Sherlock felt his eyes sting, and tears formed in them. He cradled his friend. The pain seemed to consume him, pain like he had never felt anything close to before, and his skin prickled with goosebumps.
“Sherlock?! Jesus, no…” a voice came from behind him. Sherlock had not heard the sirens and footsteps behind him, and barely registered the man now barking down the phone and running his hands through his hair. He felt a hand on his shoulder, and tried to shrug it off.
“Go away,” he growled, his voice cracking and low, but the hand only gripped tighter.
“Sherlock, please, there’s… come on, please,” Lestrade begged, his own voice betraying him and heavy with emotion. Sherlock could not let go of John, and he turned away from the inspector. A piece of paper lay on the floor, one that Sherlock had not seen before, and he reached for it, keeping one arm firmly around John. It was folded neatly, and he flipped it open. The writing was remarkably neat, written with a steady hand. As he read, tears, threatened to spill over his cheeks, and he swallowed hard against the lump in his throat.
‘He’s lost without his blogger. I loved him, and I will never believe that he lied.
Dr. John H. Watson’
((Someone could do better, but I couldn’t resist, sorry))