John stands, waiting. He’s not exactly sure what he’s waiting for, the right moment? The motivation to really do it? He’s been thinking about this for a while now. Set dates, said to himself “If this happens today, then I’ll do it,” and all of that has led to this. St. Bart’s seemed like the right place. Poetic justice maybe? Something like that.
There isn’t a breeze, it’s perfectly calm up here. “Sherlock,” he says quietly, like it’s a secret, when in reality everyone knows. They’ve been worried about him for a while now. They were right to. There are people down there, on the street. Just going about, living their lives. John wishes that it could be that simple for him. A few tears slip from his face and he doesn’t brush them away. He’s scared, sure. But the pain is stronger than fear. It’s stronger than everything.
Sherlock got the text message ten minutes ago and he’s almost there now. He can see it, St. Bart’s. There’s a figure on top of it. “John,” he calls, even though he knows he won’t hear. Why did it have to lead to this? He should have known better. He should have come back earlier. He should have stopped this. But it’s too late now. Far too late. And there’s only a faint chance of him making it to the top before John jumps. “Please don’t jump.”
John opens his eyes for some reason. It’s snowing around him. It’s cold but he can’t feel it. He can’t feel anything but the agonizing pain of having a gaping hole in his chest. It feels like that anyway, ever since Sherlock… He steps closer to the edge and glances over. His toes are hanging off the edge of the building. It wouldn’t take much now, and he’s so close. So close to it all being over. Just a bit more…
Sherlock is running up the stairs to the roof, the elevator being too slow. He has to make it. He has to stop this. There isn’t a choice. “Dammit, John. Why did you have to do this?” John was smart; he shouldn’t have let this happen to himself. It had been hard for Sherlock too, but he hadn’t thought about anything like this. He always figured that John would just be able to cope and move on. He reaches the top and throws open the door. Running to where he sees John standing on the ledge. “John,” he starts quietly, “John, stop this. Get off the ledge. Please. Don’t jump.”
“Sherlock,” John says as he glances back. “I had wondered when you’d be making an appearance.”
“Please, John. You don’t want to do this. I know you don’t. Just step back onto the roof.” Sherlock walks closer slowly. He doesn’t want to startle John in case he accidentally falls.
“I can’t, you know I can’t do that. I have to do this.”
“No, John, you don’t. You don’t have to do this.”
John laughs darkly. “Sherlock, you never were good at understanding people.”
Sherlock reaches where John is and gently holds onto his hand. “I’m back now. Just, just step off the ledge.”
“Let me go, please. Why can’t you just let me go?” John asks, broken.
“I’ll never let go. I promise I won’t go away again.”
“You always do. I always wake up and you’re gone. You never stay. You disappear.”
“John, please!” He begs. “Just, take my hand. Step off the ledge. Don’t jump.”
“Goodbye, Sherlock.” John leans forward quickly and Sherlock is too startled to grab him.
“John!” He screams as he watches John fall. It happens in slow motion and he can watch each wave of John’s arms and kick of his feet as he gets closer and closer to the pavement below. He watches as John lands. Hard, the side of his face slamming into the ground and his face is turned at a horrible, unnatural angle. Blood starts pooling around him and Sherlock screams. It’s not fair. He came back. He was here. He was here to save John. Sherlock turns away and tears fall. John’s gone. John’s gone forever and it’s his fault. Entirely his fault. He should never have left in the first place. He shouldn’t have been so stupid.
Sherlock steps up onto the ledge and looks down. It’s the exact place where he had jumped so long ago. It calls him closer to the edge. They have unfinished business to attend to. “John,” he says and the tears fall, more and quicker now. He knows what he has to do. “I’ll jump for you.”