Natalie and John jumped out of the cab across from Bart’s and looked around.
“Where is he!?” Natalie asked looking this way and that.
“I don’t know,” John said walking into the street. But before he could get very far his phone started ringing. He pulled it out of his pocket and saw that it was Sherlock.
“Answer it,” Natalie demanded.
Without hesitation John did just that.
“Sherlock, are you okay?” John asked looking around.
“Put it on speaker,” Natalie said.
John nodded and pressed a button.
“-the way you came now.” came Sherlock's voice.
“No we’re coming in,” Natalie said starting to walk towards the hospital.
There was a pained inhale. “Just do as I ask, please,” Sherlock said frantically.
That stopped Natalie. Sherlock never sounded like that. Something was terribly wrong. John was walking back the way they came and Natalie ran over.
“Where?” John asked.
“Stop there,” Sherlock says after a moment and the two listen.
“Sherlock?” Natalie asked quietly.
“Look up. I’m on the rooftop.” Sherlock said.
The two turned around and looked up. Natalie gasped and covered her mouth. John looked absolutely terrified. “Oh god.”
“I...I..I can’t come down, so we’ll.. We’ll just have to do it like this.” Sherlock stuttered.
“What’s going on Sherl?” Natalie asked shakily.
“An apology, it’s all true,” Sherlock says.
“What?” John asked confused.
“Everything. I invented Moriarty.” Sherlock said.
“Why are you saying this?” Natalie asked. “Why, it’s not true!”
“I’m fake,” Sherlock said, voice cracking.
“Sherlock..” John said quietly.
“The newspapers were right the whole time. I want you to tell Lestrade, Mrs. Hudson, and Molly…. Tell everyone who will listen: I invented Moriarity for my own purposes.”
“Shut up Sherlock.” Natalie choked out. “Just stop.”
“The first time we met, you knew all about my sister,” John said.
Sherlock let out a sad chuckle. “Nobody could be that clever.”
“You could!” John says.
A watery laugh came over the phone. “I researched you, before we met. I discovered everything that I could to impress you. It’s a trick. Just a magic trick.”
Natalie closed her eyes, a tear slipping down here cheek. “No nononono.” She started walking to the hospital entrance.
“No!” Sherlock exclaimed. “Stay exactly where you are. Don’t move.”
“How can you expect me not to move Sherl?!” Natalie exclaimed. “How!?”
John placed a hand on her arm and she deflated, but didn’t continue moving. “All right,” John said into the phone. They stared up at Sherlock.
Sherlock reached a hand down towards them. “Keep your eyes fixed on me.” He was starting to sound my frantic. “Please, will you do this for me?”
“Do what?” John asked.
“This phone call- it’s, um… it's my note. It’s what people do, don’t they? Leave a note?” he said.
Natalie suppressed a sob as she watched her brother. John squeezed his eyes shut. “Leave a note when?” he dared to ask.
“Goodbye John, Natalie,” Sherlock said.
“Sherlock, don’t,” Natalie begged. “Please.”
It was quiet for a moment before they saw Sherlock throw the phone to the side.
“NO!” Natalie shrieks.
“SHERLOCK!” John screamed from beside her.
Time seemed to slow down as Sherlock stepped off the edge of the building and plummeted towards the ground. Natalie couldn’t move, couldn’t breathe, couldn’t do anything but watch as Sherlock disappeared from sight.
After a moment she could force herself to move. She pushed forward stepping into the street, John a step behind her. Nothing else was registering, just the goal to get to her brother. Suddenly she was on the ground as a cyclist hit her, knocking her into John. It took longer than it should for her to stand up again. Slowly she stumbled around the building to see a flurry of people surrounding Sherlock.
“Sherlock, Sherlock…” She whispered, collapsing at his side.
“I’m a doctor, let me through. Let me come through, please.” She heard John say distantly. “No he’s my friend. He’s my friend please.”
She looked at her brother. His eyes were open and glassy. Blood smeared across his face and hair. She saw John’s hand take his wrist to look for a pulse but someone moved him. Someone else grabbed her and pulled her back.
“No. No! NO!” Natalie yelled struggling to get to her brothers side. “PLEASE!”
A group of medics rushed over and lifted Sherlock’s body up and placed it on a stretcher. Then they were gone. Sherlock was gone.
Natalie couldn’t feel anything, it was all numb. Her brother was dead. He was gone. Just like that. Someone helped her up and lead her to a car. Not caring she got in and let it take her to where it was going. How was Mycroft going to react? Her parents? Not keeping track of time she was suddenly being gently helped out of the car. Someone was leading her somewhere but she couldn’t focus. She couldn’t get the image of Sherlock falling out of her head.
“Natalie?” Came a voice. When did another person show up. She looked around. She was inside. When did that happen?
“Natalie.” Came the voice, stronger this time. “Nat!” they shook her shoulder lightly.
She looked up to see Mycroft staring at her. “Myc.” She said. And that was all it took. She was breaking down, sobbing into her brothers chest. “He’s gone, he’s gone, he’s gone.”
Mycroft stroked her hair. “Shhh, I’m so sorry. You weren’t supposed to be there. You weren’t supposed to be there.” He whispered again.
“What do you mean?” She asked through her tears.
“We were coming to pick you up but you were already gone when we got there. By the time we knew where you were at it was too late.” Mycroft said.
“What do you mean?” She asked pulling back to look at him.
“It’s a trick. Just a magic trick.” Mycroft said to her.
“What does that mean?” She whispered searching her brother’s face for answers.
“It means,” Came a voice from behind her. “That I’m not dead.”
She spun around so fast she fell into Mycroft, who caught her and held her steady.
“Sherlock.” She mouthed, face going pale.
“Mycroft sit her down,” Sherlock said quickly seeing her pallor change.
Mycroft slowly lowered them to the ground. Natalie’s breaths were coming faster and faster. What was going on? Sherlock was dead, but he was also standing right in front of her. What was going on? What was happening? Why couldn’t she breathe? Her hands were shaking, chest heaving trying to take in air, eyes wide.
“Natalie.” came a voice. “Nat you need to breathe, please.”
“I.. can’t.” She choked out. “I can’t I can’t I can’t.”
“You can, I promise you can,” it said. “Just follow my counting.
The voice started counting. Four in, hold Seven, out Eight. She tried to follow the pattern but it was too hard, she couldn’t.
“Natalie!” Someone exclaimed.
She was falling. The dark was creeping into her vision. She was getting dizzy.
It was dark. All that was left was dark.
Slowly she regained consciousness. She was in a bed. It was soft. There was a warm blanket over her. Someone was holding her hand.
She opened her eyes to see Mycroft staring at her worriedly. It was then that she noticed a mask over her face. There was a beeping coming from next to her.
“Why am I in hospital?” She asked.
“You had a panic attack and lost consciousness. When you didn’t wake up after three minutes I brought you here. You’ve been out of it for a few hours.” he explained.
“You fainted because you wouldn’t breathe. It’s there to help you.” Mycroft said gently.
She thought for a moment before gasping. “Sherlock.”
The heart monitor started to speed up.
“Nat you need to stay calm,” Mycroft said urgently. “Please.”
“How can I be calm!” Natalie shouted. “I watched him die and then he shows up in your office!”
Mycroft let out a breath. “Thank goodness this is a soundproof room.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Natalie demanded.
“You weren’t supposed to be there, Natalie,” Mycroft said. “We were coming to pick you up to tell you what was about to happen but by the time we got there you were already gone. Sherlock is still alive. There were people after him, after your friends. If he didn’t make it look like he was dead, you all would have been dead. He’s. Still. Alive. And he’s waiting back at my house waiting for us to come home.”
Natalie stared at him, trying to detect any traces of lies. When she found none, she slumped into the pillows and started to cry.
Mycroft stroked her hair. “Shhh. I know, I know. It’ll be okay though. I’ll all be okay. I promise.”
Natalie nodded and decided to trust her brother.
It was all going to be okay.