Keeping my promise

It has been a year and a half since Sherlock returned from the dead and John has only just begun to trust him again. Gradually life has gone back to normal with Sherlock and John solving crimes together.
However all that is soon going to change because there is a dark force lurking in the shadows; an old adversity who is determined to destroy Sherlock and everything he holds dear... starting with John Watson.

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1. Prologue

~~Chapter Text

I can't believe I am here again, here on the rooftop of St Bart's Hospital, gazing down at the one person I care about most. The wind howls around me, blowing strands of hair into my eyes and stirring the rubbish piled into the corners. Above me the sky is an unfriendly slate grey that hangs heavily, threatening rain. This time there is a noticeable difference in regards to the circumstances. Aside from the fact Moriarty is dead and no longer able to torment me, the other difference is that this time my friend John is up here with me.

The scenery hasn't changed much either since I was last here and there is still a fantastic view across a grim choked London. I step closer to the edge and glance down at the rust coloured stain marking where Moriarty had taken his own life, a stain that is now the only thing to show he was ever alive. I draw in a deep breath and tear my gaze away. Instead I find myself looking out over the edge of the roof at the grey pavement far below and my heart gives a little irrational flutter.

I have always been proud of the way I can remain emotionally unattached from any case I solve. Lately however I have been finding that, though I am still able to remain separate from what is happening, human emotions have begun to slip out when I least expect them to. I of course blame John. From the very first moment we'd met outside 221B Baker Street I had known he would have a profound effect on my life, a fact I had proved when I'd faked my own death to protect him. I sigh deeply. Life is much simpler without emotions. All they are good is clouding my judgement when I am trying to make a deduction.

Standing here now on the roof I can hardly imagine how I ever managed to find the courage to actually jump. I close my eyes and take a few steps backward, images from that fateful day flashing through my mind and for a moment I am back there, standing facing Moriarty as he gives me that terrible choice; either I took my own life or he would kill everyone I cared about. Fragments of the last conversation we'd shared suddenly come back to me.

“Three bullets, three gunmen, three victims. There’s no stopping them now. Unless my people see you jump.”

“Your death is the only thing that's going to call off the killers."

“As long as I’m alive you can save your friends. You’ve got a way out. Well…good luck with that.”

I had already been prepared to take my own life, though I'd known so long as Moriarty lived I could blackmail him for a code which I could then have used to stop the killers myself, when he'd decided to take the choice out of my hands by shooting himself. And I, despite all my clever observations that Moriarty had something with which to call off his gunmen, hadn't seen it coming. He and I may never have got along but that doesn't mean I am 100% glad he's dead. I have no one to pit myself against now, at least no-one who is on the same mental level as me.

I open my eyes again, knowing that all I'm doing is stalling, delaying the moment when I will have to look down and see John lying in a heap beside the stairwell in a spreading pool of blood. I can't however delay it any longer. Slowly I turn my gaze to John, my breath catching in my throat. Everything I'd done; jumping off the roof, faking my own death and hurting John almost to the brink of him committing suicide, had been for nothing. Despite everything my friend has still ended up getting hurt.

I hear a commotion coming from down below on the street and cautiously peer over the edge. A number of police cars are pulling up outside the hospital, their blue lights flashing, and people jumping out, Lestrade among them. It's about time he arrived.

"Hey!" I shout, waving my arms to get Lestrade's attention. Not that he really needed any help to find our location but he is so unobservant sometimes a child would be able to fool him. "We're up here."

I don't wait for a reply and draw back away from the edge of the roof, turning my full attention to John. I make my way toward him and fall to my knees, not caring about the blood. A wave of dread floods through me despite my best efforts to keep my emotions in check. Sometimes remaining unattached in just impossible. Before me John lies on his side facing towards me, eyes closed, and doesn't move except for the faint rising and falling of his chest. Gently I trace the blood back until I find the wound it's coming from.

The wound isn't as bad as it first appears. The bullet that should have pierced John's heart has instead cut a long bloody furrow into the inside flesh of his arm. This sort of wound, though painful, is not fatal. John would be fine. At this realisation I sit back on my heels and curse Moriarty for creating this entire mess. I am able to think more clearly now I have observed the situation and found it to be not as bad as I originally thought.

I glance down at John again. I am a little worried he isn't moving but the more rational part of me knows he has passed out from the pain. John has never been good with pain. Unlike me with my highly trained mind John is weak in comparison. Despite the fact I know he is going to be alright I still test for a pulse by laying two fingers on the vein in his neck.

A strong rhythm beats against my fingers and I allow myself the luxury of a small smile. With a shaking hand I reach out and stroke John's blond hair, telling myself as I do so that everything is going to be fine. I am glad there is no-one else around. It is rare for me to show emotion and I don't want anyone witnessing my occasional moments of weakness.

"It's going to be okay John, you're going to be fine. Moriaty has failed. He missed anything vital." I whisper, pausing for a moment before continuing. "Oh John. I was afraid I'd lost you when I saw all the blood. Please open your eyes and show me you're okay." My voice breaks slightly and my hand on John's head pauses.

A few tears drip down my cheeks and I hastily wipe them away. There is no need for me to be like this. John is fine. Deep down I know I'd never have forgiven myself if anything had happened to him. After all if whoever had shot him had been more accurate I would now be kneeling before a body. It is my fault he was hurt. If only I hadn't gotten so wrapped up in my latest case, a case that had turned out to be false trail designed to lure me to St Barts, I could have protected my friend and prevented this from happening. My first mistake had been letting him out of my sight earlier today. Everything had gone downhill from there.

I hear footsteps coming up behind me but pretend not to notice them; I already know who they belong to. The cold muzzle of a gun is pressed against the back of my head and I hear the click of a safety catch being taken off.

“Hello Sherly.” Says a familiar lilting voice, a voice I had never thought I would hear again.

I grimace and stand, turning to face the person I'd believed to be dead. As usual Lestrade and the others won’t arrive until it is much too late.

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