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Empty Promises

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He stood there on the edge, looking over the extravagant city of London, the city that he came to love so dearly. His eyes scanned around. He’d been in the hospital beneath his feet countless times, saving life after life with haste. Every day became harder and harder. At this point he only had one person to live for, but it wasn't the same anymore. His eyes trailed down to the solid pavement beneath him, oblivious people walking and rushing around on the late night streets of London. Then the picture came into view. A body on the cold hard ground, motionless, ignored, blood pooling out of a destroyed skull. He shook his head quickly, tears forming quickly as he stumbled backwards with a choked sob. No. Not today, not ever, I have to stay strong. With that thought, he left, avoiding the staircase to the roof every day he walked into that hospital. John Watson could never step over that ledge like his best friend did two years ago.

John Watson had a girlfriend now, Mary Morstan, the one person that could take the edge off of the pain that John felt deep down. Day after day, John worked himself to exhaustion just to keep his mind occupied as best he could, but in those silent moments when he was sitting at lunch or lying restless in bed, images and thoughts crept into the back of his skull.


“Sherlock, what's wrong? And don't say nothing, because I can tell when something is wrong with you,” John looked at his best friend in worry.

Sherlock slowly shook his head, “it's quite positively nothing, John. I'm simply thinking, you should be accustomed to this by now.”

John opened his mouth to protest just to watch the tall detective stand and disappear into his room for the rest of the day.


Unsaid words would fill his mind until he slipped away from the woman lying beside him to go into the bathroom and cry. His nights were spent in this endless, vicious cycle of thinking then crying, occasionally he would cry himself to sleep.

Almost every evening would be spent with any sort of alcohol he could get his hands on. He could never understand why Sherlock couldn't go long without smoking or shooting up with drugs. Now everything was so clear to him. Sherlock had been depressed and it was a release for him. Just as alcohol was now a release for John. The doctor knew he should stop but he couldn't. Time and time again, he would promise it was his last one, and time and time again, he would pick up yet another bottle and drink until he forgot.

He stayed as far away from Baker Street as he could these days, taking longer routes to go around if necessary. Seeing that flat, thinking of those memories broke John down, made the man cry. John always thought of himself as strong, not only physically but emotionally as well, but the recent events showed him otherwise. Not only had he disappointed himself, but he'd disappointed Mary. She got upset with him sometimes when he would break down and cry when they were alone, claiming that he loved Sherlock more than he loved her. John refused to admit that he ever felt anything towards Sherlock, he wouldn't even admit it to himself.

Every day of John Watson’s life was now a struggle just to get up, and now here he was, back to a wall on the roof of Saint Bartholomew’s hospital. He sobbed and slid down it, holding his hair. He looked over and a bottle of forty and grabbed it, taking a hefty swig before he pushed himself off the ground and looked at the ledge, stepping up. He raised his arms just as Sherlock had and shut his eyes tight, bracing himself.

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His chest full of air, weight starting to move forward. Then there it was. A heavy hand on his shoulder, not a woman's touch, the hand was too big. It pulled him back off the ledge, almost aggressively. John let out a puff of air as he fell back onto his bum, the alcohol falling out of his hand and smashing.

“What the hell?” He groaned and rubbed his hip, opening his eyes to see black oxford leather shoes. He watched, soon seeing the heels of the expensive footwear as they started moving away. His eyes trailed up black trousers to find a long black coat. He finally reached the back of the person's head, black curls on top.

“Hey!” John stood up angrily, “I said what the hell, mate!”

The figure didn't say anything but kept walking instead, stride long and not stopping. John suddenly took into step with the man and caught up, catching the arm and spinning him around.

“What. The. Hell?!” He said louder, growing more angry as his eyes met steel blue eyes that were everchanging.

John froze and his lips parted as his jaw dropped, those eyes, that hair, that face. Blue eyes, long nose, pink lips, black curls. I know that. I remember that. Sherlock. He stumbled backwards. Questions and thoughts raced through his his mind as he stared, openly, eyes running through emotion that could be shown, his mind containing much more. How? Why? I grieved for so long, and you just let it happen. Now you're here. You're actually here. In front of me with that blank look. Why?!

John tried to form a sentence, mouth opening and closing over and over like a fish out of water, gasping for air, for a way to live, but there was nothing. Silence surrounded them, John’s sense of what the world around him sounded like disappeared. He couldn't hear anything. He watched the man in front of him. His lips moved, but John didn't hear anything. Sherlock spoke once more and yet again, so response. He tried a third time.

“Don't try that again,” the figure said lowly and quietly, perhaps a bit louder than before but John couldn't tell. He hadn't heard him. His words were exaggerated, almost miffed.

John looked into Sherlocks eyes, he was miffed. He was more than miffed, he was upset, the man in front of him was angry. No. Not angry, upset, disappointed. How can he be upset with me? I'm not the one that jumped and disappeared! He left me alone! He didn't even think about me! All for what?!

John closed his eyes, his head starting to hurt. When he opened them again, the figure was gone, just like that and the man that he once knew better than anyone was gone. He didn't even hear the door shut behind him, leaving him to question whether what had just happened was real or merely a figment of his imagination. Have I lost it finally? All these years of therapy and I finally snapped? He rushed over the the ledge and kneeled down, looking over, watching for that figure to appear just once more, to prove to himself that he wasn't crazy, that he hadn't lost every ounce of sanity to his name. He stayed there, watching, waiting for what seemed like hours. Sherlock Holmes never came. John slumped back to his calves and rubbed his face, looking at his watch. Four AM, I've got to be at work in two hours.

John stood slowly and shakily and went through the access point on the roof, a large message spray painted on the wall in front of him. The doctor stopped in his tracks, face paling like a man who was raking dead leaves and came across a cold severed hand.

Get Sherlock