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Offerings To The Temple Of Mendacity

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Author: Howlynn Realm: Sherlock Story Title:Offerings to the Temple of Mendacity - Book Two of the Mendacity series. Summary: John is safe and sound with Sherlock. What happens if he isn't? What if things don't go as planned, and of course, they never do.

Welcome back. This book begins with trouble and more trouble, but I hope you will enjoy it. This is a long chapter but it begins right after book one. There is no six month time warp. The last Book ended on a happy, hopeful spot...but this is what happens next. Things can go to the devil very quickly in dear old London town. This book has a slightly different format. (Yes, it's an experiment) I start you in Molly's POV but can't tell the whole story from her eyes. Hope you will stick it out before you decide it's too sad to survive.

Character/Relationships: John and Molly would never have noticed each other if he were not dead. The thing is, Molly knows he isn't and she never expected things to get this complicated. John is off on his next great adventure and there are secrets that bind him to Sherlock in ways even consulting detectives can't imagine. Welcome back to Part two, If you thought the first part was complicated, well you are in for a bit more. Please keep your hands inside the compartment at all times.

I Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.


Book Two

Soldiers fall too.

"You're a soldier of mercy, you're cold and you curse,

'He who cannot be trusted must fall.'"

– Bob Dylan, No Time To Think [Street Legal, 1978]

Molly awoke fuzzily to the sound of knocking. She scrambled out from under the covers and tripped, landing on all fours. Her dressing gown (actually Sherlock's) is at the end of her bed, and she quickly ties it around her, cursing that she must look a sight. The knocking gets louder and without thinking she throws the door wide in annoyance and demands, "What!"

The man turns and clears his throat, "May I come in?" he asks somberly.

"Greg. Umm, sure. I suppose." She stands aside, confused, but tries to give him an apologetic smile as she smooths her hair and wonders what he must think of her, not dressed at half-nine in the morning. "Kind of a late night and I have a shift tonight, so bit of a lie-in. Have a seat. Tea?"

"No, actually I'm here on official business. Could you have a seat? Please?" He motions for her to sit on her flower-jumble couch, intending to join her there.

She cocks her head at him, unable to figure out if he's found out about John's gun, or if someone has questioned something on Sherlock's post mortem. Either will get her arrested. "Am I in trouble, then?" she says trying to joke, but honestly just sounding scared and guilty. They may spend every Sunday together at Mrs. Hudson's, but if he has to choose between friendship and work, Molly knows he will do what he thinks must be done. He arrested Sherlock.

"No, love. Nothin' like that. Just come sit here." He smiles as if he's paying dearly for the gesture, and again motions her to have a seat. His familiarity jolts her and she finally registers his face isn't just full of hesitant regret, but pity.

Molly complies slowly, not taking her eyes off him. He only slipped into pet names when he didn't want to tell her something. After Sherlock died, he'd spoken this way to her. Her knees bend and the left one pops, making her feel suddenly old. He sometimes shows up for a hot cuppa and a talk, but Greg looks brittle and not like he has any secret party plans for Mrs. Hudson or deliciously funny gossip on his mind.

He takes his seat next to her, not even removing his mackintosh. It radiates a chill as if the world has turned cold. It dawns on her, he's going to tell her something awful. "Oh, God. Who?"

"I'm… so sorry." He takes a deep breath and his eyes are going shiny as his mouth forms the words, hesitant and gentle, shoulders hunched with weight, "It's John." His lips clamp between his teeth and his breath hitches. His face pulls into a grimace and he wipes his eyes quickly and sniffs his nose. His head shakes and he is not quite in control of himself.

She shakes her head, grins like he's telling her a joke, sees his face isn't displaying any mirth and then looks down to see he has taken her hand in his. "Is he hurt? What hospital?" Her mind at once fills in that Sherlock probably got John injured already. Greg is here to take her to him. He's like a kindly big brother, with a touch of overprotective father.

Greg's hand is cold from the rain and he's rubbing his thumb on her ring. It is still pouring outside and he is covered in dots of water his mac has repelled. They are shiny, silvery beads with glittering miniature images of her reflected in distorted glass. His body shifts subtly toward her more and she perceives a whiff of rain mixed with aftershave and damp wool. He looks back up into her eyes then away, his voice sounds hoarse as if he's been shouting, "Molly, this not easy for me, especially since you're…I…"

She nods, "He's been hurt, hasn't he? He's going to be okay, isn't he?"

Lestrade looks like his heart is about to break, his chin quivers and he looks ceiling-ward as he takes a deep breath, then shakes his head. "I regret to inform you, that John Watson has, by our best guess, perished," he says, reverting to his usual Yarder method of delivering news to loved ones. He'd wanted to say it kinder and not make it sound so much like a stranger, but he'd resorted to what he knew, to keep himself from making a cocked-up mess of it, trying to soften something that could not be polished.

Molly sat there, eyes wide, no response, as she attempted to digest the words. He's mistaken. John is safe with Sherlock. John couldn't be dead. She saw him trot off following the sound of the violin. What if someone found him before he reached Sherlock? What if Sherlock is hurt too? Nobody would know to look for him if they were both hurt in an alley, but no, to their best guess? What does best guess mean? John's missing but they think he's been killed? "Wha…What...happened?"

Greg swallowed hard and with a deep breath, said, "I wanted to be the one to tell you. We don't have a body… I mean, any remains, but that happens sometimes in these cases. People've got no idea how bad the current is. The Thames is never an easy rescue. Well, you know, you have had to examine enough of them. It looks placid but it's swift and cold. Happens all the time. Make a gesture, or fall in drunk. RNLI was dispatched. They were right there, but he never surfaced. Tower lifeboat station got the call, there were witnesses. Two of them were Mycroft's men. One happened to be trained in rescue swimming, he dove in right after. He had to be rescued, in fact."

"Not, my John." Her face begs him to clarify that he means some other John.

"God, I'm so sorry. They did all they could. He just never came back up. Set up a very generous search parameter with the officer in charge. Mycroft stepped in and got us some budget, they're spending a bomb trying. Got him a helicopter and they are still looking, but…could be days or never. Divers checking to see if he got snagged up, but we may never know. Even with all the- "

Molly can't process this information. She stands up but falls back down to her seated position. "No. No. It isn't fair. Someone pushed him. He wouldn't. He wouldn't, Greg. Not after…" Not after he finally found Sherlock. She reaches up and covers her mouth to stop from screaming. Did Sherlock abandon him? No, No he wouldn't be that stupid. It had to be a trick, unless… Did Sherlock refuse to listen to him? John was going to go with him? Did he throw John away? "I will die by your side or…" Oh, John. You gave me your gun, but you had the escape bag. You wouldn't do it this way.

"Oh, bloody hell, Molly. I can't tell you how sorry I am. I hate having to tell you, but there are reporters and it's gonna make the news, every hour, all day. They remembered him and Sherlock chumming about and it's all turning into a circus. They won't take long to figure out who you are. That damned picture…of the kiss. Didn't want you to find out that way."

"But, if they haven't found him, it could be anybody. It could be anyone at all. Lots of people look like him. They made a mistake, that's all," Molly declares, a false boldness and ease in her voice, yet an imploring mien creeping into her eyes, begging him to stop telling her something so stupid.

"Molly, he left a note, his wallet, and his phone on Waterloo Bridge. At six-fourteen, according to the time stamp on the footage, this morning, just at sunrise. He was seen climbing over the rails and he didn't wait around. Most take hours and two dozen people chin-wagging to either make their point or pull back. It's just a cry for help. John wasn't making a gesture. He got right to his intended plans. A lad here from uni, caught it on his camera phone. He and his friends popped out for the sunrise. Wasn't raining then. They were just out for kicks and having a laugh. The pictures clear and crisp. The bloody kids leaked it to the media…God, it's on every channel. Got no doubt," he says reasonably, in his most soothing voice.

"He wouldn't do it like that. He's a doctor. Drowning hurts. It takes too long. Eighteen minutes to expire, Greg. It's horrible. He wouldn't do it like that," she is reasoning it through, using her training and experience to convince Greg of his error. She's determined to persuade him this cannot be.

"So that means you did realize he has been suicidal for…well, ever since Sherlock." Greg reaches out as he watches Molly shatter, piece by piece. He hands her his handkerchief. Seconds later he folds her in his arms and rocks her. "God, I'm sorry. Sherlock, now John. I didn't want you to see. Mrs. Hudson sent me. She's devastated. Mycroft is there. He's got people searching his flat, it's all pretty cut and dry, but you know his posh, insufferable way. I shouldn't say that. Least he's trying and if not for him, they'd have called it a job by now."

Molly begins to sob and Greg chews his lip and pats her like a child, murmuring silly, meaningless words. The only thing he can make out is 'all my fault' and he chides her gently. He tries to convince her that she can't predict the future, as if he's speaking to his daughter.

He gives her a few minutes and then she leans back and dries her tears, numb and shattered. "He went with Sherlock," she said in a very small voice. She covered her mouth and shook her head, realising she shouldn't have let that slip.

Greg nods. "Yeah, I guess so, sweetheart. That's the jist of his note. You sit here and I'm going to make that tea."

Molly nods, still holding her fingers clamped to her mouth. Did Sherlock know? If Mycroft is with Mrs. Hudson, he must. She is torn between feeling grief for Sherlock so raw she wanted to rush straight to his side and being so angry at him she never wanted to speak to him again. All of this effort, was doomed from the beginning. This is the worst moment of her life.

By the time Greg had the tea made, Molly had slipped back into her room and quickly dressed in jeans and a jumper John had left at the flat. It smells of him and she couldn't help but picture his body swirling and dancing to the current, heading out to sea by now, skin absorbing water and face just beginning to swell and distort. No. Stop it. I can't think about that now. But Molly's mind doesn't obey her very well and she can't escape her own morbid imagination.

She closes her eyes and sniffs the collar, not wanting to let him go and yet her mind can picture him in the water, just another average looking man, departed and ready to melt away from all he once brought to the world. He would never leave this pleasant intoxicant on a piece of clothing again. John's gone to the sea and his eyes are part of the water. Rigor mortis would have just begun, delayed by the cold water, but his body will be losing temperature faster than if he weren't in the liquid. The last warmth of his life would be seeping out and his eyes would be looking into the murk that took him. Sometimes Molly hated her job and wished her mind didn't catalogue all the stupid information that assaulted her as she thought about John drowned.

Greg returned with two cups of tea and pressed one into her hands. Molly sipped it, looking out the window and watching the rain, worried about him being out in this, alone. It is silly of course, he won't care at this point, but the thought still tugs at her heart. Her eyes close and she remembered how just a few hours ago he was on his knees, warm and almost happy, and how she had ruined it all. "He asked me. And I told him yes, but that he would change his mind. He promised. The last memory had to be spectacular. It was. It was lovely. Not how I expected. Still. It was. If I had known…" she sips her tea.

"I'm so sorry to have to ask, but you were there last night. What time did you leave his flat?"

"About midnight we went for a walk. We talked. I caught a cab from the park home and he left. I thought he would be okay. He said he would see me soon. "

"You think it was over the violin? Mycroft said it…was worth more than you or I will ever make. You think that might be what pushed him? What time was it when you left him?" Greg asks again.

"After two," Molly sets her tea on the table, shaking too hard to hold it any longer.

"Best we can figure, he went to the flat, had a cup of tea, left again. Took his service pistol, decided not to …you know, Mrs. Hudson and all. Changed his mind and decided on the bridge." He says as gently as possible.

"I have his gun," she says softly.

His eyebrows shoot up. "May I ask? Was there any kind of an argument?"

She waited, then sighed and nodded. "We did argue. We were probably a sight. But it was all fine when he left, I thought. We made up. He was not intending anything like this when we parted."

"I see. Tell me what it was all about, Molly?" he studies her, eyes appraising yet still friendly.

She smirked as if it would sound too stupid, but it was more of a painful scowl then a smile. "Sherlock, of course. Somehow he still rules, even now. It was just too much for John, the violin being gone. John wasn't himself. He…he pulled the gun on me. But we got it all sorted. It wasn't even loaded," she almost laughed, her eyes distant. "I don't even know how to load it much less shoot it. He just can't be gone. He was in the army, he could maybe swim."

"Yeah. But not for hours, and with the temperature drop last night, look Molly, I wouldn't be here if I had any hope. He.. he didn't come back up. Most pop back up, struggle against the current. John didn't surface, best we keep realistic expectations. Did he say anything about meeting anyone else?"

Molly froze. "No." she says and sips her tea again.

"Thing is, we have a few CCTV frames, showing him walking with a man. We think it was him, not the best angle, but I hoped maybe he mentioned meeting a friend or where he was going after the park. If I didn't know better…I mean he was a tall sort, it kinda reminded me … never mind, of happier days. He didn't seem distressed. He was on the cameras for Tower Bridge rescue; he just was walking along and suddenly turned and climbed up and jumped. No standing there, no time for anyone to say a thing. Tosser with the camera phone was recordin' before. Would'a missed it entirely otherwise. Damnedest thing I ever … not a second's hesitation. Most pace back and forth and think about it. He didn't. I just can't get my head around that. He didn't think about any of us."

Molly winces at the image. She leans into him and he holds her, kissing the top of her head and soothing her and maybe himself a little as well. So far as a police officer remaining detached in this case, Greg has failed on every count. But, he is human and this is John he's having to discuss. John and Molly have been his to watch over since before Sherlock died. He had loved Sherlock and therefore those who Sherlock loved were his by osmosis. Sunday at Mrs. Hudson's had become about all he had now as far as family. This wasn't duty. John was his family.

Here with Molly, he's as close as he can get to display the injury he feels. He couldn't show his grief, except hidden as barking orders, among his colleagues. As it was, Sally Donovan had insisted on driving him here, like he needed her pity. He knew she was still uneasy with him, since she and Anderson had gone over his head and been such a dolorous stroke in the events surrounding Sherlock's death. He knew she was just being a cop and doing her job, but he would never trust her instincts again.

She could be right, wrong or crooked as a stick, but methodical and contentious as she was, she had no instincts. It is something he considers vital to all really good cops. She would always make a fine assistant, spot on as far as precise detail and facts, but she always blew it by either not trusting her instincts or not having them.

Greg had let her talk him into the wrong path once too often. She was down in the car now, frustrated and probably whining to Anderson what an idiot he was being about John Watson. The signs were all there, she told him three times. It's all open and shut, and they are wasting their time, Sally has patiently mentioned. She has quoted the high rates of suicide among Physicians. It is as deadly as being a cop she had joked.

She listed John's markers that should obviously prove that Greg's instinct didn't justify how he is acting. She had talked all the way to Molly's apartment in her low patient tone, assuming his silence meant she should continue. " John is just a basic everyday case, Detective. No Matter that he was your friend. John was a wounded soldier suffering from PTSD. He was living alone. He had a high stress traumatic loss in the past three years, to suicide, which he witnessed. He was making large life-changing, stress-inducing decisions. It isn't farfetched. I wish for you it was, but you have to stop. You're going overboard."

Greg listened to Sally, but he just didn't agree. John deserved someone to go over the top for him. Maybe he did kill himself, but Greg knew his instincts said he was missing something. He didn't care what anyone thought, he didn't believe the evidence was the whole story.

He looked at Molly, wanting to express how much he was hurting right this minute too. John had been changed by Sherlock's death, hell they all were, but he'd been coming back from that broken place finally. " John was a fine man, by the way. Brave. So damned loyal," Greg sighed with frustration and sorrow. When he continued his voice broke, "So bloody wasteful. All those brains, both of 'em."

Greg stands, noticeably restless and exhausted. He paces about, still trying to come to terms with it himself. "Why'd he give you his gun?" he turned suddenly with the question, surprising her. "You can't shoot it and you can't load it. He must've known that."

"I don't know," she says hesitantly.

"But you took it. Must've been a good reason?"

"He pulled it on me. I figured it was safer in my purse," she answers. Her ears feel hot.

"God. He threatened you? That's crazy, isn't it? So you think he just cracked up? Snapped and endangered you? Why didn't you call us? Had to be frightening. He's a dab shot, you know. Was," Greg said the last word, moving John to past tense with a shaking head. Adjustments to a new reality needing to be made quickly were his stock and trade, but it was always harder with friends. He could not imagine John pointing a gun at her unless he had gone mad. Nothing about last night seemed to match with the John Watson he knew.

"It was over. Didn't want to get him into trouble," she answers, but she doesn't meet his eyes.

"Might have been for the best, sitting in a … I don't mean that…You couldn't have known. Hell, if anybody should have spotted it, I should have. I just…need to know. I mean he was pretty chuffed about announcing your plans. He proposed and he looked like a man in love, to me. I was relieved, if you want'a know. He's been in a bad way for a long time, but last night, I thought that maybe it was getting better for him. But still, he pulls a gun on you, then hands it to you, and you go home. Less than four hours later…" Greg stares at her, evaluating her.

"He caught me in a lie, and he was very angry. He realised he was acting crazy. He handed it to me so I would know it wasn't loaded. Told me he would see me soon, to go home. I did. And now you're here. I don't know anything else. I wish I did." She chooses her words carefully, picking her way delicately through a verbal minefield.

"Oh, never mind me, Molly. Just faffing around trying to figure it out. I liked him, you know? He was such a good chap and this is such a shite end for a man like that. He saved lives for God's sake. He was making plans to marry you and it is such a … damned shame." He flops back down, takes two guzzles of the tepid tea and gives her a smile of commiseration. "I just want to understand it all. He was my friend. What did I miss, last night? I didn't have a clue. I should have seen it. Should have seen some sign, it's what I'm trained for. Any other night for the last year, I was sort of prepared. I mean Mycroft has called me. We haven't camped in the Jaguar for months. I missed something. Sherlock would detest me for this."

"It isn't your fault."

He nods, "Yeah. Yeah, it's what everyone said about Sherlock, too. Not my fault. Thing is, something right here," he bangs his chest twice, "tells me it is."

Molly shakes her head and leans into her crossed arms as if she had a stomach-ache. "Everything hurts. I feel like I'm coming apart from the inside. This is what it was like for him, I guess, but worse. I need to see it." Molly lifts the remote and points it at her telly.

"No. Don't do that. Serves no purpose." Greg says slowly, scrunching his nose.

Her finger hovers over the power button, but she presses it with resolve.

'…leading the search and rescue for Dr. John Watson. It is rumored that he had been unable to cope with the accusations of fraud and treason that may have contributed to the suicide of the late consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes, who plunged to his own death from the roof of St. Bartholomew's Hospital just a little over a year ago. Holmes was posthumously cleared of all charges. Friends and family have asked we all keep the former army surgeon and decorated war hero in our thoughts and prayers. Here again is the footage, recorded by three students, walking in the early morning hours, on scenic Waterloo Bridge. Back to you, William."

'Good Morning. At the top of the hour, Mathew Carter will give you the latest on the FTSE 100 and what's happening right now on the London Stock Exchange. Kerrigan Havertry will tell us about our record temperature drop overnight and Scott Kole will bring you an update on what's to be expected this week in sports. Currently, we have the sad duty to report that a respected and beloved member of our community, best remembered for his work on some of the most baffling crimes of recent times, has apparently been reported missing. At this time, it is confirmed that the search and rescue mission has now changed over to search and recovery. Dr. John Watson, is presumed dead. Please be cautioned, these images may be disturbing.'

The clip begins with a girl's face smiling and saying 'Hi' to her mother. In the background a man can be seen walking. The camera goes from her face and suddenly focuses on the man lifting his foot up on the rails. The wind warbles the sound quality and the amateur camera man's breath is clearly heavy as he focuses bumpily from the girl to the man directly behind her climbing the rail. He zooms in at a dizzying speed and the lurching is exacerbated with each breath and twitch he makes. John's face, looks calm with grim determination. He pays no attention to his audience as he finds his center of balance and stands up on the handrails, arms wide for stability.

'Hey, what's that bloke about, then?"

'Christ, you think he's a jumper? What's he doing?" a separate male voice asks from outside the viewer's range of field.

The image shows John discarding a few items behind him. He stands stiffly, salutes. Then spreads his arms and falls forward. The camera-person rushes to the edge of the bridge and catches the splash with shaking hands and keeps the device focused on the river suddenly even shakier with adrenaline; there is a cacophony of sounds as the group mentality centers on stunned disbelief. They ask each other what to do and the girl can be heard describing what she just witnessed to someone in an emotionally unstable voice hovering near panic.

"Look. Another one." The second male voice prompts.

The camera swings back to the bridge and two men can be seen, one throwing his dark jacket, shirt and tie hastily to the other as he vaults up onto the rails. The man holding his cloths, points to something in the water and the other nods, and breathes with obviously exaggerated distress in preparation for the cold water below.

"Naw, he's trying to save the first bloke, I bet." The shirtless man is shown plunging into the Thames in a graceful dive. There is a splash and then the shot ends.

'Despite valiant efforts of the unnamed government employee who happened by on his way to work, John Watson, doctor, war hero and crime specialist, is dead." The voice jumps jarringly from funereal to lively. "Tonight we will have a special exposé on the spectacular rise and tragic fall of the dynamic, though often misunderstood, team of Holmes and Watson, Britain's most beloved super-sleuths, the end of their story, but the beginning of their legend, tonight at seven. Up next…"

Molly mutes the volume. She looks up at Lestrade and sighs, head shaking in denial. "It was definitely him. No question. Maybe they just didn't see him, and he got out." She is nestling into his arms again, hanging on for dear life and mumbling her words into his shirtfront.

He rubs her back, maybe clinging to her a bit, too. Grief is far above all standards of proper behavior conditioning and without bashful barriers or the need for social graces, they comfort each other, stiff upper lip be cursed. "Molly. I was two blocks away. Just off an investigation. Call came across the in-board. I was there within ten minutes. If anybody wanted to find him, it was me. The sea took him. I sort of hope that, in a way. Just gone. You had to do for Sherlock, and I know how bad that was, but floaters…sorry, drowning victims, I don't want you to see that. Not for John. I think maybe he'd like it that way better, too." He sighs and she can feel his breath in her hair.

They won't talk about it later, but an agreement is gently knotted in these two wounded hearts. From this day forward, in times of need, they each had found a sorrow's friend. They had been acquaintances sliding into family since the Sunday dinners at Mrs. Hudson's began. This day tied new bonds. Greg had flapped back and forth between friend and professional several times this visit, but as he held her, and couldn't help feeling his own loss, friendship won. Molly made him feel big and strong and protective. "John was either a damned fool, or there is more to this story. I won't give up."

Molly stiffens slightly then nods. "I'm glad it was you that told me. Thank you for that."

Just before he leaves, Greg turns his tired, seen-too-much eyes on her. "Got the letter when you're feeling up to it. I wouldn't say this to just anyone, but, I have to tell myself that both of 'em are happy now. Terrible as it sounds, God help us for knowing it, but at least now…it's okay for them. I'm just…worried about you a bit. You need me…anything. I mean that."

Molly forces a smile, "I appreciate, that you came. I would have been a mess if I had to find out from telly or some stranger."

Greg's shoulders shrug and he is embarrassed by her acknowledgement. "I was afraid you would'a already had it on. It's high profile. Just wanted you to have a heads up, inquest and the whole mess—you'll likely be called to testify. I know you have to do this all the time, but this one may be a bit dodgy if we don't figure out who the man in the CCTV is. Mean's you were the last to see him alive. Not the same as just giving them details on a stranger. Won't be as bad as Sherlock, I hope. I'll be in the middle of it too, but you call me, no matter. I'm taking you and Mrs. H. out on Sunday, no sense her fussing with cooking all day. We gotta carry on and remember we still have people who care. I know none of us will be in the mood, but well, the three of us…we need to stick together. We don't have much of anyone else these days. "

"Thanks, I'll call. I promise." she says with a nod and an attempt at a smile of thanks. Molly knew she would call him, because this is just the beginning of hell, and Greg may not be brilliant, but he has a map.

Lestrade spends as long as he can with Molly, but he needs to get back to the scene. Sally doesn't say a word driving back, but he can tell by her antsy driving that she wants to say all sorts of things. She stops at a sandwich shop for lunch and forces a paper wrapped turkey and rye into his hands. He nods and smiles at her a little. She was a hard bird in a yard full of pigeons, but so long as she didn't give up, maybe she would find her instincts one day.

He conducts his police business of the day, on scene, waiting stoically in the downpour for his friend to be brought out of the river. The search is called off finally. It is nothing unusual for London. It happens here, every three or four days, that someone decides to end it this way. They usually aren't very successful. RNLI [Royal National Lifeboat Institution] has an exemplary track record. Over ninety-percent of all suicides and accidental fall-ins are rescued each year. Of those who aren't, only about half wash up on shore, somewhere, eventually.

Lestrade leans on the railing, exhausted, contemplative and cold. He looks out at the water, as if he could look hard enough to make Watson surface and smile an apology for everyone's trouble. He wished for some miracle, knowing it was too much 'Doctor Who' and not enough sleep making his mind tumble into such ridiculous craving, but at least it kept him from nodding off. His reserves had been long expended this day, and old regrets had tormented his two hours of sleep last night, so he keeps standing and wishing and watching the river.

The Thames is stunning and picturesque, but she is an unforgiving beauty and for those who trust her whims, there are inevitable falls. She is a gatherer of lost souls and today, Gregory Lestrade, feels her call in his bones. He'd lost two friends in the last year, and he's weary. He is tired of burying great men.

He croons the words that he can remember to an old Bob Dylan tune as he started home, wishing for yesterday. He understands not having time to think, unfortunately thinking is not optional in his line of work. He has spent the day trying to think but the bits will never add up to John Watson's life snuffed out in the Thames being something unpreventable. Destiny cheated John and there is no platitude that can change the pointless waste of all he still had to give.

"Mercury rules you and destiny fools you

Like the plague, with a dangerous wink…"

– Bob Dylan, No Time To Think


A.N.

I know you are mad at me right now. Don't give up. I do love Hamlet. Here is one of those quotes I find adorable.

'There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,

Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.' Hamlet, scene v

Keep that in mind at least until the next five chapters.

If you feel like yelling at me, there is a nice little box provided for that purpose. Thanks for reading. More very soon.