Post Reichenbach fic. Compensation for lack of activity in my other fics.
Sorry if it's a little unpolished; down with a terrible cold in a foreign land.
Please please review.


John.

Sherlock?

This phone call. It's my note.

Sherlock-

That's what people do, don't they? Leave a note.

Leave a note when?

Goodbye John. Goodbye-

Sherlock!

John woke up with a start, his heart racing. He was sweating, his whole body trembling. Sleep deprived eyes scanned the darkened room, half-crazed with fear and despair. For precious seconds he believed-he wanted to believe it was all just a dream. A stupid dream, its contents safely encased in the fuzzy remnants of the night, and there was nothing wrong at all.

Any moment now. Any moment and Sherlock is going to drone on his violin, driving Mrs Hudson nuts. No Moriarty. No nightmares. Just Sherlock.

John paused at the door. Sherlock is going to take one look at John and tut at how poorly he's been sleeping again, unlike himself who barely needs any rest at all. When John opens the door, Sherlock will be sitting in that awkward position in his designated chair, hands brought together, fingertips touching, his green-blue eyes glittering with intelligence and thought. John's presence will jerk Sherlock out of his reverie, causing him to jump up with that old energy, yelling at him to grab his coat because they're going to St Bart's for a chemical analysis. No rooftops. No phone calls. No goodbyes.

With shaky hands, John opened the door with a creak. The room was unusually quiet, tinged with grief. John bit his lip, still forcing himself to hope. He glanced at the chair. An indent was all that was left to echo the former presence of its owner. So lonely. John looked at the window, where Sherlock would stand to play on his violin. He would stare blankly outside, his entire figure relaxed and encased in the flowing music. So elegant, so peaceful. All that John could see was a gaping hole where Sherlock should be. The violin lay on a table, cold and silent.

I'm a fake.

John turned away, blinking back tears. He saw the wall, pocked full with bullet holes-

Bored. I'm bored, John

-with the yellow smiley face grinning at him.

Get Sherlock.

John padded to the kitchen, hoping Sherlock was working on his vile experiments again.

It's him. He's back.

Chemical instruments lay scattered all over the table, scientist absent to observe.

Nobody could be that clever. You could.

John realised he was crying. He sniffed noisily and realised his hands felt warm and moist. He looked down to see his his hands covered in blood. He has been clenching them far too tightly.

Goodbye John.

He choked back a sob. Staggering back into the living room, John collapsed into his chair, staring at the blood. All the blood-

So much blood. All that blood. It's all wrong, so horribly wrong. Too much. He can't be Sherlock. No... It's some trick. Oh god no...

There were tears streaming down John's face now. He couldn't stop it now. All the memories and pain came flooding back as the tears flowed.

They were turning his body. No, don't touch him! John could see his pale face, stained terribly red with blood. His own blood. His brilliant green-grey eyes, always piercing through lies and deception like a steely knife through butter. So full of life, so beautifully expressive. John could see them now.

Empty, glazed, dead.

Dead. No. No. No. John's head was whirling; he couldn't stand properly, as the shock and grief seized him by the throat and threatened to snap his sanity. Why wouldn't someone just shoot him now? All that blood...

John was a medical doctor; he knew a fatal injury when he saw one. His head. His brilliant head, crushed upon impact, beyond hope. Hope? John reached one hand out, cold and shaking with disbelief. This can't be. John still hoped. He grabbed Sherlock's wrist, desperately searching for a beat of life. Anything. Sherlock's hand felt wrong. Cold. Lifeless. John looked at Sherlock's body. His favourite scarf hugging a cold neck. Lifeless. His lips were already growing blue, and John realised he would never speak again. That deep, rich voice, intelligent and cutting, cracking with emotion just a few seconds ago. Gone. John couldn't stop looking at the blood. All the blood, so much blood-

"John."

Sherlock? Surprise and shock caused John to jump. That tone, that slight, so characteristic of him. Is it really?

John looked up, his hope crushed immediately.

"Mycroft." Here was another Holmes. The wrong one. He was standing in front of him, his figure blurred through John's tears.

"Why the hell are you here?" John's voice was icy, almost exactly like Sherlock's when he addresses his brother. The one who told Moriarty everything.

John could see that Mycroft didn't escape from Moriarty's destruction unscathed too. He was just that bit worn around the edges, those eyes slightly clouded with mourning.

"You need to get out of this place. It's not doing you any use. Sherlock's... gone. Stop it." Mycroft was kneeling, his face level with John's voice unusually soft and hesitant.

"I have arranged new rooms for you. A car is waiting downstairs. If you would..." John wasn't listening. He gazed about the room, so much... lesser in life without the eccentric sociopath. Sociopath? No... friend. John's best, most human friend but now he's gone and with him, John's lost not only Sherlock. John's hear has been torn away from him the moment Sherlock spread his arms and fell. All the way down, John remembered dully thinking he looked like an angel. A dark, brilliant, beautiful angel flying for the first time. He needed to believe Sherlock knew what he was doing. His great coat billowed behind him as he fell, down down down.

John barely heard the thud. But he did feel his heart being ripped out, bleeding and torn, all over the pavement where Sherlock now lay, broken.

"...John? John, please. Sherlock wouldn't want to see you like this."

"I know that." John said quietly. He stood up, wiping away tears. He followed Mycroft out of the room. As he turned back one last time, gazing into that room where so many adventures started and ended in, John realised.

He believed in Sherlock Holmes. He would remember him as the most human human friend he has ever known. And if he was the only person who still believed in him, he would carry that duty with him for as long as he lived. As he closed the door softly, John realised.

He believed in Sherlock Holmes. But sometimes, that is all he could do, and belief is not enough. The hurt is so great, so physical it was impossible for him to even get out of bed. The tears will keep on falling, the echoes of the great consulting detective so loud it drowned out everything else.

So as John walked out of 221B Baker Street, he realised. He believed in Sherlock Holmes. He will always believe in him. But sometimes, just sometimes, it was best to let go.