For Tilly


11. Part 3

~~I’m coming home from the shops and I meet Mycroft coming down. He looks pale and worn. “Oh, John,” he says, mildly. “Sorry I missed you.”

“Then you shouldn’t have waited until I went out to come by,” I say, irritable. If Mycroft thinks I’m that stupid then he hasn’t been paying attention.

“Sherlock had some business matters to discuss with me.”

I nod. “I’d better get upstairs.” I don’t have time for him right now.

Sherlock is sitting in the leather chair, his legs folded under him. He motions me into the other chair. “Sit down, John. There’s business. I dislike wasting time on such things, but it seems to be necessary.”

I sit down. “What is it?”

He holds out some paperwork. I recognize it. It’s a durable power of attorney agreement. “In the event that our plans go awry,” he said. “Should I collapse or have a dramatic downturn, you’ll be empowered to make medical decisions for me.”

I would have thought that I’d have some feeling about this, but I don’t. It’s as he says. Just business. The business of dying. I sign the papers. “There.”

He’s frowning. “I didn’t expect you to be so – equitable.”

“We won’t need it. You’ll do this on your terms.”

“I hope you’re right.” He clears his throat. “I’ve updated my will. You get everything, except a few items of family sentiment that will go to Mycroft. Feel free to distribute anything of mine to any acquaintances as you see fit.”

I sigh. “I don’t want what was yours, Sherlock.”

“Then burn it all,” he says, an edge coming into his voice. “What difference does it make? Everything of mine is yours anyway, none of it matters, and I won’t know what’s done with my possessions either way, so take what you like of me and put out the rest for the dustmen.”

I just look at him. He looks back. I am deafened by the noise of all that we’re not saying.


Two days later Sherlock stumbles twice and nearly falls. The second time I guide him to a nearby bench and sit him down. He has been very quiet this day.

“I can’t see out of my right eye, John,” he whispers. I can hear a tremor in his voice. “It went away about half an hour ago.”

I just nod. “We should go home.”

“This case is almost done. Let’s finish it.” He looks at me, pleading.

“I wish I could stop this,” I whisper.

He reaches out and grabs my hand. I grip it tightly. I profoundly do not care if anyone gets the wrong idea.

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