‘’m sorry I couldn't make it,' Greg said, broken, head in Sherlock's lap, face damp from their combined tears. Mere weeks from retirement, and the future for he and his husband was now shattered with a gunshot, hope turned to nightmare then and there. 'Sherlock, I'm sorry.'
Sherlock shook his head sadly, and his voice was tremulous, as if wanting to say anything else but this. 'You're a good man Greg. You wouldn't be the man I love if you had chosen differently. But... I'll miss you Greg. I'll always miss you.'
'Don't do anything idiotic when I'm gone, sweetheart?' Greg whispered, fighting the pain, the makeshift bandages and Sally’s best efforts doing little to help. 'You're good too, yeah. Promise?'
'I promise,' Sherlock murmured. 'I promise, I love you.'
'Love you, too,' Greg replied with a brave attempt at a smile. 'I don't think...'
'You did well,' Sherlock said, finally, bending down for one last tender kiss. 'You did well. Go to sleep, my love. Sleep well.'
'Farewell,' Greg mumbled. 'My love...'
Sherlock ran his fingers soothingly through Greg's sweat-spiked hair, his grief unhidden to all around. 'Just listen,' Sherlock said. 'Just listen.' And he sung, old gentle songs and poems Greg had sung to him long ago, during withdrawal and pain and boredom, letting the words cocoon them together for Greg's final few moments in the world and beyond.
‘Perhaps I might. You never know.’
But the ambulances, stuck in the chaos of the surrounding streets, were too late. By the time one had made its way through in response to Sally’s call, they found Greg’s body was long lifeless, cradled in Sherlock’s arms, those Greg had saved standing quiet and shocked all around.
Sherlock eventually stood up, leaving the paramedics confirm the bitter truth he already knew, hardly bearing a glance at the dead gunman on the floor. ‘Greg was never anything less than one of the best. Remember that,’ he announced to the crowd, his voice momentarily strong in that truth. Only then did he turn away and let Sally guide him to the departing ambulance to be with his dead love again.
Greg's buried in Sussex, the cruel shadow of a shared dream. The grave next to him lies empty, and the bed next to Sherlock is unoccupied forever, despite his taunting dreams. But the bees buzz from the hives, Greg's idea, and Sherlock forces himself to do his best with his shattered heart.
It isn't easy. It never will be.