Sherlock stood on the edge of oblivion, looking down at the small people, working up the courage to be a hero for John, for Mrs. Hudson, even for Lestrade. He saw John getting out of a cab across the road. Sherlock hit 1 on his phone and then "Call".
"Turn around and walk back the way you came," said Sherlock when John picked up.
John Charged forward and said, "No, I'm coming in."
"Just do as I ask! Please," plead Sherlock. The tone of his voice caught John's attention. He stopped, turned around and walked back toward where he'd gotten out of the cab.
"Where?" he asked.
"Stop there," said Sherlock.
"Sherlock," John said while looking around. He was frightened. Sherlock could hear it in his voice.
"Okay, look up. I'm on the rooftop," said Sherlock. John spun around and looked up at the roof of St. Bartholomew's Hospital.
"Oh god," said John. John hoped he was wrong about Sherlock's intentions.
"I— I— I can't come down so we'll just have to do it like this," said Sherlock. Now he was starting to sound scared. He needed to be strong for John…
"What's going on?" asked John carefully.
"An apology. It's all true," lied Sherlock. This was for John's protection. A lie wouldn't hurt him too much as long as Sherlock was careful.
"What?" Now John was confused. Sherlock couldn't be serious.
"Everything they said about me. I invented Moriarty." Sherlock was lying through his teeth. Sherlock looked back at Moriarty's dead body lying on the roof.
"Why are you saying this?" asked John. After everything that John had been through with Sherlock, he didn't want to think that Sherlock had done it all as a joke. It didn't make sense.
"I'm a fake," gasped Sherlock. He needed to affirm Moriarty's lies in John's mind. He needed John to believe he'd been played.
"Sherlock—"John started but Sherlock cut him off.
"The newspapers were right all along. I want you to tell Lestrade, I want you to tell Mrs. Hudson and Molly. In fact, tell anyone who will listen to you. That I created Moriarty for my own purposes." Sherlock was near tears. Lying to John was agony.
It wasn't just John that needed to doubt. It was everyone. This was what Moriarty had been playing towards all along. He helped build Sherlock up until he couldn't get any higher, only to make him fall so hard he'd never get back up.
"Okay, shut up, Sherlock. Shut up." John was trying to keep doubt from setting in. He tried to reaffirm his faith in Sherlock. He was almost angry that Sherlock would try to lie to him. "The first time we met—the first time we met—you knew all about my sister, right?"
"Nobody could be that clever," said Sherlock. There was pain in his voice. He knew John believed in him more than anyone else. It hurt so much to lie to him.
"You could," said John. He spoke those words with conviction. Sherlock gave a short laugh. John had always believed in Sherlock. There was no doubt there and Sherlock knew he had to dig the cut deeper. He had to make this hurt or John would never be able to move on.
"I researched you. Before we met," said Sherlock. His voice was getting stronger with every lie. This was for John's protection. "I discovered everything that I could to impress you. It's just a trick. A magic trick." In those words, Sherlock said what he couldn't say. John wouldn't be able to hear the real message. That killed Sherlock the most. Sherlock always tried to impress John because he… Don't think it, he told himself.
Shaking his head, John said "No. Stop it now…" He started to walk forward but Sherlock stopped him.
"You stay exactly where you are! Don't move" said Sherlock.
Lifting his hand, John said, "Alright..." as he stepped back in place.
Sherlock reached out his hand, as if to touch John knowing that he couldn't, not now or ever again.
"Keep your eyes fixed on me," instructed Sherlock. "Please, will you do this for me?" he begged.
"Do what?" asked John. He needed to keep Sherlock talking.
"This phone call, it's... it's my note. That's what people do, don't they? Leave a note?" asked Sherlock. This was his goodbye to John. People only left a suicide note if they thought someone would care enough to read it. Sherlock was leaving this note for John. Sherlock could feel the hot tears running down his face.
"Leave a note when?" asked John, although he already knew the answer. He didn't want to hear this, didn't want to believe that Sherlock would do this to him.
"Goodbye, John," said Sherlock. This was it. He needed to do this. Never mind if John understood why. Sherlock had said all he could. It was either this, or Sherlock would lose everyone he loved. He would lose John. Life wasn't worth living anymore if John wasn't in it.
"No. Don't—"John never finished the statement. Sherlock tossed the phone behind him onto the roof.
"SHERLOCK!" yelled John. Sherlock could see him rush forward. With a deep breath, Sherlock let go of everything.
He pitched forward, tumbling off the edge of the roof.
Sherlock closed his eyes as he fell. The ground disappeared and suddenly… he was flying. He could hear John, he could see him rushing forward but he couldn't touch him; he couldn't stop him or protect him.
Sherlock jolted upright as he awoke with a strangled scream in his throat. His bed and clothes were soaked with sweat. The sheets were tangled around his legs. Sherlock untangled himself and looked out the window of his small flat at all of Paris stretched before him. There was a full moon, and judging by its placement, Sherlock guessed it to be about 2:30 in the morning. He laid back down putting his arm over his eyes.
He hated how even in his dreams, he could see and feel every emotion, not just on his side, but on John's as well. There was so much pain in that last moment. Sherlock wanted to tell John everything, tell him how great of friend he was, look him in the eyes and promise him that everything would be fine… Instead, he had lied, faked his own death, ruined his own name, broken his best friend, and fled to another country never to be heard from again. The great Sherlock Holmes was perhaps the worst friend in the history of the world. Despite his noble intentions, John wouldn't forgive him if he knew the truth.
AN: Please Review!