He stands by himself behind the crowed that had gathered. The air is cold, with the threat of rain present, yet he does not feel a thing. Soon the medics come by and tell the crowd to part. He has no reaction to seeing his dead body in front of him. He looks into his own empty eyes that stares up at the sky, face half covered in blood. Before the medics reach the body, he moves forward, kneels down besides his body, and gently closes his eyes.
"Good night," he says, and he lets the medics take him away. After the body was taken away, the crowd begins to move away, paying him no mind, for they could not see him. With his vacant expression, he turns away from the bloody pavement, and begins to walk away.
"Hello Sherlock." says a voice behind him. Sherlock stops walking with a start, surprised that someone noticed him. He turns and sees a man that appeared to be a couple of years older than him, but the thing that makes him different, and that explained to Sherlock that he was not a human, was his magnificent brown wings.
"An Angel," Sherlock says, with only a hint of surprise in his voice. The Angel smiles and nods.
"I have come to bring you to heaven."
Sherlock scoffs, "Heaven? I am going there? Dull."
The Angel laughs at his comment, "Yes, I am as surprised as you are, but we do not have that much time. Before you can enter heaven, you must pick the flowers from the moments in your life that has made you become who you are. When you have gathered them, you will be able to enter heaven and plant them in the Gardens of Heaven, and then you will begin your eternal life."
Sherlock doesn’t say anything at first. It begins to rain where they are standing, and he watches his own blood begin to puddle with the rainwater and flow into the sewers. "Very well," he says, watching the evidence of his death disappear in front of his eyes, "Where do we begin?"
The Angel doesn't say anything, but he smiles. He walks to where Sherlock is standing and takes his hand. “We begin on Day 1.”
They both stand in a hallway. Sherlock looks around, and quickly he sees that they are in the very same hospital they were just standing just outside of only seconds before.
“How ironic,” Sherlock’s companion begins, looking at he doctors and nurses walking passed them, “That you were born inside the building you jumped off of.” Sherlock only glances at him before walking down the hallway. He never knew the exact room in which he was born, but something inside him tells him where to go. His speed increases as he gets closer to the room, and soon he hears the high-pitched crying from inside a room to his right. He pauses, just outside the door, hesitant on going inside.
“Don’t worry,” The Angel says behind him, “They won’t be able to see or hear you.” Sherlock takes a deep breath and walks inside.
His mother is lying on the hospital bed, smiling at the crying infant in her arms. She laughs at his screaming, still in awe of her newborn.
“Mummy! Tell him to be quiet!” Sitting at the foot of the bed, a young boy of seven covers his ears to block out the crying. Sherlock’s mother laughs.
“Mark that as Mycroft’s first comment, or complaint, about his baby brother,” Sherlock saw his father laughing as well, standing over his family. He watches as his mother calms the infant, and the crying soon stops. He sees on the end table a bouquet of white lilies. Sherlock looks back to the Angel, who stands close behind him.
“Go take one of the lilies, Sherlock.” He says.
Sherlock watches his family and approaches the bouquet, taking the largest flower. He looks at its pure white petals; a blank slate, ready to become something more. If only they knew what would become of Sherlock Holmes.
“I’m ready,” Sherlock says, and, holding the lily in one hand, and the Angel’s hand in his other, he watches his family fade into darkness, until he is unable to keep his eyes open. Finally he blinks, and the scene in front of him changes.
He finds his mother reading on the front porch of his childhood home. Looking at it now, he finds that it was smaller than he remembers, reason being he was a lot smaller back then. The home sits on top of a small hill on an acre of land, in the front the slope falls down towards the road, and behind it is more leveled. He looks around the yard, remembering the rock garden, and the large yard where he and Mycroft used to play.
“Boys, please be careful over there!” she yells, not looking up from her book. Sherlock can hear the laughter from his older brother as he and Sherlock, who, at age 3, wobbles behind his older brother. He finds that they are running around the yard in front of the house, just before the slope begins to descend, picking dandelions.
“We used to pick dandelions in the summer for my mother,” Sherlock says, watching himself stoop over one of the flowers.
“Dandlion!” The child yells, and as he bends forward to pick it, he loses balance and falls over. The child laughs, and his older brother comes and helps him up.
“Sherlock stop falling over! You’ll get grass all over your clothes and Mummy won’t be happy.”
“Dandlion Mycoft, lemme pick it!” Mycroft helps him up and they pick the flower together.
Mycroft stands and looks at the bunch of the flowers in his hand. “I think this is enough Sherlock, lets put them in water.”
Mycroft runs back to the porch, but Sherlock still stands there, with the single flower in his hand. The older Sherlock watches him, and he holds his breath as the child wobbles over to him. The two of them lock eyes, and Sherlock with the dandelion smiles and holds up the flower to the ghost.
“Here,” he says, still smiling.
Sherlock looks to the Angel, who watches both of them. “I thought you said they can’t see or hear me.”
“Children,” he begins, ruffling his feathers, “children are different. They can see and hear things that older humans can’t. It’s part of their innocence.”
Sherlock turns back to his younger self, who is practically on his toes. Sherlock bends down and takes the flower. “Thank you very much,” he says, an unfamiliar lump caught in his throat.
The young Sherlock laughs, and runs back onto the porch when he hears his mother calling him. Sherlock stands back up, looking at both the lily and dandelion in his hand. Again he feels the Angel’s hand in his own.
“Are you okay Sherlock?”
“Yes,” he says, almost immediately. He remembers doing this. It was one of his first memories. “Yes,” he says again, regaining himself, “Let’s move on.”
Time was lost to Sherlock now that he is dead, but he finds himself reliving significant parts of his life, picking up flowers for the garden in Heaven. His Angel is with him the whole way, giving him comfort and space whenever he needs it. Sherlock finds a calendula when he relives his father’s death. On his first day of school he picks up some cherry blossom, while on the last day he finds a wilting red chrysanthemum.
“Each of these flowers holds the symbols of you at these points in your life,” the Angel explains, “the wilting chrysanthemum shows your lack of true friendship while at school, and this,” he holds up a cyclamen, “Shows you leaving school in a resignation against your peers.”
Sherlock takes a breath as he takes the flower. Having the number of flowers growing with each moment, the Angel has given him a basket to hold them all, and with a sigh, he drops it in with the others.
“However, Sherlock, not everything is negative, as you know,” he says with a smirk.
They appear in Sherlock’s dorm room when he was in university. They see him at his desk, bent over some glass beakers. He is wearing protective goggles, and Sherlock laughs at how he used to wear them at all when, in reality, they weren’t necessary.
“I remember this experiment,” Sherlock says, catching the single carnation in a small vase in the single window, “I was testing how to prevent oatmeal from growing mold.” He walks up to his younger self; eyes alight with fascination at the unusually shaped glass in front of him. It was a regular enough glass, but the opening thinned into a small tunnel that curved downward before bending back up, making a ‘u’ shape.
“If I put the oatmeal in a glass container like this, gravity aids in preventing the bacteria from getting in by trapped it in the tube here,” he explains, pointing to the oddly shaped tube that extends from the glass, “It was a bother getting all of the oatmeal in though,” he smiles, looking at the dirty desktop.
Behind him, the Angel laughs, and Sherlock takes the carnation. “My experiments took me away. They made me forget about all of the troubles my deduction skills caused me…” he stands there, quiet, looking at the flower in his hand.
He puts his hand on Sherlock’s shoulder, “There is more to see, Sherlock.”
“It was the son.”
Sherlock looked around them both. It was at night in London, and the yellow tape around them told them that they were at a crime scene. Once his eyes fell on the young adult, Sherlock instantly knew where they were. “This is the case I solved.”
“Excuse me?” the young Officer Lestrade asked, making his way to Sherlock. “How did you get here?”
“It was the son,” Sherlock repeated, ignoring Lestrade’s questions, “She has one of those necklaces that has chains that symbolized her children. Two of the three are girls, her daughters. They are shiny and look like new, but the boy charm is dull. She never got along with her youngest son, but felt the guilt of taking his charm off of her necklace.”
Lestrade glanced back at the body. Sherlock continued, “I overheard you talking about her. Alissa Banks. I looked her up and her son is a known drug addict with very little control of his temper. They had a fight out here over money probably and he got angrier and angrier and-“ he holds out his arms, displaying the dead woman in front of them.
Lestrade almost laughs, “How did you-“
“Just go tell them,” Sherlock said, and he turns and leaves, with Lestrade behind the yellow tape not knowing what just happened.
“The next day, they arrested Peter Banks,” the older Sherlock tells the Angel, “After this case, Lestrade came to me when he needed help.” They walked to the crime scene, and Sherlock finds the dead woman holding a nasturtium flower. Sherlock picks it up and continues. “It was my first victory, you can say. The first time I felt needed. Appreciated.” He puts the flower in the basket and looks at his companion with hesitation. “Let’s get the next part over with.”
Sherlock laughs at the warning the rhododendron gives him. He already knows what comes next. His fall into drugs. Lestrade gave him cases, yes, but not enough to help Sherlock with his mind. He turned to drugs, which helped him in the long run mentally, but physically it was killing him. He doesn’t remember exactly how many years he abused, probably more than 3 or 4, but Leastrade quickly denied him of any help, and despite the pleading from his brother to stop, Sherlock shut himself out from the world.
Until one January day.
They were in the lab in St. Bart’s.
“Afghanistan or Iraq?” The younger Sherlock asked. The not-so-younger, Sherlock realizes. They were almost done. The older man looks at Sherlock with confusion. The Ghost watches the scene in front of him, with shock and bewilderment. He turns to the angel behind him.
The Angel smiles at Sherlock’s discovery. He holds a petunia in his hand.
“But… why didn’t I recognize you before?”
John ruffled his feathers a bit. Behind them Sherlock lists everything about John Watson, but the ghost looks at his angel, knowing nothing about him.
“Sherlock, I have lived my life, my human life, with you. Everything we experienced together healed you just as much as it has healed me. After you died, my whole world fell apart. I couldn’t take it. It took a long time, but the wound you caused began to heal; yet the scar remained. I lived the rest of my life, and I eventually passed on. When I did, I was able to do this.”
Sherlock was still confused.
“We angels, time isn’t really a big deal to us,” he laughs, “I just wanted- I needed- to see you again. I wanted to go through this with you because, eventually,” he pauses. The scene in front of them fades just as Sherlock from the past gives his name and address with a wink. Soon they appear somewhere outside. Trees surround them, full of birds singing their eternal songs. In front of them is turned earth, waiting patiently for Sherlock’s flowers from his life.
Sherlock sets down the full basket, and as he stands up, he feels a weight on his back. He stretches out his new wings, feathers black as night, and in his own hand, he holds some sweet pea blossoms. He looks at John, and something inside him tells him that these flowers belong to John. He gives them to him, and finally John completes his sentence.
He eyes glow in the heavenly light, and he says, “Because, eventually you will go through it with me.”