Inside his mind, Sherlock was still far from calm. The voice from above soothed him, chased away the shadows still lingering, but did nothing to mitigate the pain in his heart. Still slumped on the stone floor, Sherlock let himself feel that pain. He pulled down all the barriers he had painstakingly built up around himself. He let go, tired of pushing away what he felt, tired of pretending he was above normal human emotions.
But that didn't make him weak. No.
He was always aware of how fragile human emotions were, how they could be twisted and manipulated to cause as much pain as was possible. He was all too aware of that. That was why he had cut himself off. His past had taught him that friendship would only lead to misery, love to heartbreak. But now he could see that he had been wrong.
So, so wrong.
Isolation was what had caused Sherlock's fall. Not the connection he felt with the people he now called 'friend' instead of 'colleague' or 'flatmate'. He had not believed that they could care for him. Never for one moment had he thought that he could ever be anyone's best friend. He had underestimated his friends and that had been the straw that broke the camels back. On that rooftop, tension high, all balanced on a knife edge, when the realisation that he was not ready to end it hit him like a wall, when he realised he actually had a reason to stay alive.
But what kind of life was this?
Stuck in the dank depths of his mind, skulking in the shadows. Re-living memories that only made him stronger, he realized suddenly. This was a eureka moment for Sherlock. Although it seemed simple, childlike, the cracks ran deeper than that. Sherlock was a disintegrating building, crumbling and in need of support. A porcelain pot with a spider web of silvery cracks on the surface, ready to shatter at a single touch.
Broken, but not beyond repair.
Sherlock hauled himself painfully to his feet, feeling his muscles protest at the effort. The world tilted as he swayed unsteadily. Without the support of the wall he was currently slumped against, he would have fallen again. This was a starting point, but the journey ahead of him was long and arduous. Having fallen so far and so hard, it would take a lot to get back up again.
Nevertheless, he could do it. He was Sherlock Holmes. He had to do this. For himself above anything else. Many a time Sherlock had been described as selfish. This was not entirely true. He always put other people's safety in front of his own, even if it did not seem like it. But this time, he could be selfish. He could allow himself to think of himself only. It was all about Sherlock. His mind, his body, his future.
Despite this, he needed to know he wasn't alone. Being alone, really alone, was something Sherlock did not want to experience again. He could thank Mycroft for his new-found strength. His mind had finally caught up and connected the soothing voice with his brother.
Nothing could sever the bond between the Holmes brothers, which was stronger than they portrayed, stronger than either of them gave themselves credit for.