Mycroft was in a very important meeting when the call from his surveillance team arrived. He stood and smiled diplomatically at the Ambassador. If he was annoyed, he didn't show it. "If you will excuse me, I'm afraid I need to take this call."
"This had better be important, Jasmine." His assistant had recently moved on to Disney Princess names.
She answered quickly and succinctly. "It's about John Watson. He made a visit to your brother's grave today. He was saying goodbye."
"Well that hardly seems worrying." Mycroft answered, annoyance seeping into his words a little. His brother's grave. References to the 'incident', as he and his brother termed it, were not welcome and it made him feel a little unbalanced. "He's done that twice a week the past few months. It's nothing new."
"It was how he said it, sir. I think he means to kill himself."
Mycroft sighed. If John Watson died, Sherlock would fall to pieces. How tedious. He did not want to see his brother that way. It would distract the both of them greatly. "Very well. I'll take care of it." He disconnected and sent a text to the emergency mobile his brother was keeping.
Return to Baker Street. Doctor Watson wants to die.
Time to return to that meeting.
When Sherlock got that text, he was an hour away from the flat. He wasn't too concerned about being recognized, but he was very anxious for another reason entirely. Surely John wouldn't – he was a soldier. He'd seen plenty of his friends die. It simply wasn't logical for him to do this. Right?
Sherlock could feel his stomach twisting anyway. He felt as if he needed to hurry. That was irrational, he thought to himself. Why would he want to hurry? Why is he anxious? John would never kill himself. It is not in his character, not in his behaviour.
He ran from the tube stop anyway. He stopped when he was almost across from the flat. He could see the emergency vehicles crowded around Baker Street. Sherlock took a few shaky steps closer.
There was a body being wheeled out of 221B.
His world began to spin.
Sherlock Holmes had killed his only friend. He collapsed to his knees, feeling ill. His chest hurt and he couldn't breathe. He steadied himself against the wall with one hand, and felt someone touch his shoulder but Sherlock waved them away.
He had never felt so human and he hated it. The first time he'd let his walls down since childhood, allowed sentiment to have some hold over him and he hurt. He hurt a lot.
His cheeks were wet. It wasn't raining.
'Friends protect people.'
Sherlock had failed.