"Oh this is madness, he tried to kill Sherlock, what more do we need?" asked a new voice, a female voice, coming from behind them. Sherlock turned to see Irene walking up onto the platform, her green dress flowing behind her dramatically.
"He's innocent Irene; don't talk about things you don't understand." Sherlock snapped, holding the torch steady as Victor grabbed the gag out of John's mouth.
"Sherlock don't be an idiot!" were the first words out of John's mouth, spitting out what must have been the terrible taste of the cloth.
"John you're innocent, I promised you that I'd free you." Sherlock insisted.
"You're too late, you don't have proof. This has to happen." John said nobly, or just idiotically.
"I won't let you die." Sherlock said flatly.
"But he must!" Irene insisted, stamping her high heel against the wood loudly enough to get all of their attention. John's eyes widened with fear when he saw her, as if he wouldn't say anything while that witch was present.
"Let him speak." Victor insisted. "He may be the only one with the truth."
"I'm not talking to you." John insisted with a snap, talking to Victor while his eyes kept flickering over to Irene.
"Well of course he won't, he's protecting his family, he has to keep his mouth shut or they'll die! Don't condemn poor John's family to death just to ease your curiosity." Irene insisted.
"Irene, please, just leave us alone." Sherlock growled, about done with Irene nosing her way into everything important going on. She really did think she was all that, a trait that Sherlock really hated in her. Then again, he hated all of her traits.
"Mr. Watson, please, who hired you?" Victor wondered. Sherlock watched him hopefully, the fire from the torch flickering in the newly risen sun.
"I can't, I'm sorry." John muttered sadly, looking at Sherlock with apologetic eyes. "I'm sorry."
"Oh, well that's a shame." Irene muttered, lunging at the torch in Sherlock's hands and trying to wrestle it from his grasp. Sherlock held firm, not letting that idiot woman torch his boyfriend.
"No, Irene don't, don't!" Sherlock screamed, grabbing the torch with both of his hands and trying to pull it back. But Irene had grabbed the other end, the end with the flame, and within a moment of struggling she suddenly discovered her mistake when her dress caught on fire. Sherlock stumbled back in shock, watching as Irene went up in flames, not able to do anything but gape. She flailed desperately, trying to pat out the fire but it was only spreading more and more, she was going to burn.
"NO, SHERLOCK, HELP ME, HELP ME!" She screeched, her hair going up in flames as well. Soon Irene was engulfed, and both Sherlock and Victor could only stand there in pure shock, pure amazement, as Irene's skin started to sizzle off of her bones. The crowd screamed in horror, many people covered their eyes, some tried to jump into the arena to help out, but it was a lost cause. Sherlock knew that, everyone knew that. Irene was a goner. But she wasn't dead, not yet, because with her final breath she hurled herself into the bonfire, spreading the fire from herself to the sticks and logs, suddenly catching the massive bonfire ablaze. John screamed desperately, struggling against his bonds and trying to skirt away from the blaze, suddenly not wanting to die anymore, not when the future was so close. Sherlock panicked, of course he panicked, he wasn't going to let John die this easily, he was not going to be murdered by Irene.
"John, JOHN!" Sherlock screamed desperately, feeling as though he had just been punched in the stomach with an iron fist. Without any hesitation Sherlock jumped into the fire as well, running up to the stake on which John was tied, hoping to release him.
"Sherlock get out of here, what are you doing? John insisted with a squeaking voice the flames just starting to lick towards where his feet were planted in the wood.
"I'm saving your life." Sherlock breathed, madly trying to untie the ropes that bonded John to the stake. The crowd was alive with horror, screaming desperately as they saw their king jump into a bonfire to save a servant.
"Sherlock get out of here, you'll burn!" John demanded, his voice cracking with emotion as the fires got larger and larger underneath them. They were being basked in thick, dark smoke, raising from the blaze and threatening to choke the two of them. Sherlock's hands shook in horror, clawing desperately at the knot but he wasn't able to untie it, he couldn't get his fingers under the rope in time.
"Sherlock!" screamed Molly, jumping over the wooden wall in the stands and throwing her high heels into the dirt. She ran at Sherlock desperately, her dress flowing carelessly along as she carried a large sword in her hands. Sherlock had never been so happy to see Molly in his life, and knowing her, she was right on time.
"Give it to me, GIVE IT TO ME!" Sherlock screeched, holding out his hand desperately. Molly threw the sword up to where Sherlock was standing, and miraculously he caught it by the hilt, fumbling a little bit and almost falling off of the mound. But he regained his balance and cut through the rope with one stroke, pulling it from around John as quickly as possible. Thankfully John helped, evidently he wanted to be saved, and finally he was untangled from his binds, just as soon as Sherlock's foot had moved dangerously close to the flames.
"Jump!" John insisted, scrambling from the other side of the pole and grabbing Sherlock around the waist, throwing him off of the side of the platform and into the air. Sherlock screamed in horror, watching as the spot he had once stood in was engulfed in flames, knowing that Molly had been just in time. The two of them landed heavily in the dirt, John squishing Sherlock to the ground as he lay on top of him, breathing heavily in relief. For a moment they just lay there, hearing the crowd screaming but not necessarily caring, they were close once more, together without any bars or ropes restraining them.
"You saved me." John muttered, not bothering to move away dispute the crowd.
"I made a promise." Sherlock whispered back, staring up into his eyes and feeling the need to kiss him one more time.
"You're an idiot." John decided. Sherlock couldn't help but smile, laughing in relief even as the black smoke rose from the fires that burned the corpse of Irene Adler.
"I love you." Sherlock whispered, softly enough so that no one could hear. John could only laugh himself, dispute all that had happened to him, dispute all that he had done.
"I know." John agreed.
"Get off of him!" Victor exclaimed, appearing just in time to ruin the mood. He grabbed John by the shoulders and flung him to the side, leaving Sherlock exposed once more. John rolled in the dirt, covered now in dust and ashes and woodchips, obviously not having a good morning. But then again, it was a lot better than being burned. Sherlock pulled himself to his feet, not bothering to dust himself off. The crowd was spilling into the arena now, Sherlock saw the Adler family rushing to retrieve the body of their daughter, he saw his own family frantically running towards their son. John was being retrained once more by guards, pushing shackles onto his wrists.
"Release him!" Sherlock demanded, storming over to where John was being manhandled once more. This was just a never ending circle of John getting pointlessly arrested, when obviously he was no danger to anyone, not anymore.
"Sherlock you're out of your mind, you would throw away your life for a mere servant!" Victor exclaimed.
"I LOVE HIM!" Sherlock screamed, fuming with rage. Everyone stopped moving; even the Adlers paused to hear what Sherlock had to say. The crowd gasped in horror and immediately started talking, but Sherlock didn't care, what the common folk thought was never any concern to him. He was better than them all, he was their king.
"Emotions are pointless Sherlock; they mean nothing when it comes to the law." Victor insisted.
"But what if I am the law?" Sherlock wondered, walking closer and closer to Victor as he spoke, suddenly feeling much taller and much braver than he normally did.
"You're mad Sherlock, surely you must see this?" Victor wondered.
"You're just lucky I'm not burning you at the stake Victor." Sherlock growled.
"We still have a nice bonfire to throw Mr. Watson in, please just get this over with." Victor sighed, not looking very intimidated by Sherlock's aura of power.
"No!" said a new voice, pushing through the crowd who circled around Sherlock, Victor, and John. "No don't you dare burn that man!" The crowd parted and Sherlock saw his mother marching down through the dirt, Mycroft at her side, although he didn't look nearly as passionate. Victor looked over at Sherlock in confusion, as if trying to convince himself that Sherlock had been the one to put his mother up to this nonsense.
"Your majesty surely you don't actually mean that?" Victor wondered.
"You, Mr. Trevor, get out of my kingdom. I've had enough of your paranoia for one week, and now, trying to burn an innocent man, disgusting." The queen snapped, shooing Victor away with a mere flick of her wrist, as if he were no more than an annoying fly. Sherlock smiled proudly, now there was real power, now Victor would finally get what he deserved.
"But he's not innocent, I saw him, I caught him in the act!" Victor exclaimed.
"We have a confession from another servant, one who admits to being the one who killed my husband." The queen insisted. Two guards hauled John's date to the dance into the circle, Mary Morstan. She looked pale and sickly, but obviously she knew that she had to do something to save her friend's life.
"Mary, you told them...but your family?" John wondered. Mary just shook her head passively, not looking very bothered by the threat of her family's lives.
"They mean nothing to me John, not anymore." she insisted.
"And who did she convict?" Victor wondered.
"I told you Mr. Trevor, out of my kingdom, that means scuttle!" Mrs. Holmes exclaimed.
"Better get moving Victor." Sherlock snapped, a taunting smile on his face, daring Victor to even come close. Victor huffed dramatically, rearranging his cape around his shoulders and cast a very longing look to Sherlock.
"Remember me Sherlock, will you?" he wondered hopefully, as if thinking that after all he's done Sherlock would still consider writing to him.
"Leave." Sherlock said flatly. Victor sighed heavily, glaring once more at the royal family before marching himself out of the arena, his cape getting caught in the back of his boot so that it didn't flow dramatically, spoiling whatever type of exit he was hoping to have.
"It's the Adlers; they're working with the Moriartys!" Mary exclaimed, and, right on cue, the crowd gasped. The Adler family was too busy trying to fish Irene's charred bones from the flames and didn't even notice that they had been revealed, but obviously they weren't going anywhere anytime soon.
"So John is innocent, release him." the queen demanded. John looked up at her with a look beyond thankfulness, it was praise. She had saved his life like no one else could've. "And the girl, she's free as well. I don't want any more unnecessary deaths on our hands, not on the brink of war." Sherlock watched as both John and Mary were unshackled, rubbing their wrists and looking thankful yet mystified.
"Why would you let us free?" Mary wondered. The queen sighed, looking upon them both with that motherly gaze she always wore.
"I understand the importance of family, more than anything. I know that if I had been in your positions I would've done the same thing. To kill the ones we care about to protect the ones we love, it's no question. I admire not only your devotion but your bravery, and for that you shall be freed." The queen assured. Sherlock looked over at John in relief, and as soon as John got his royal pardon he broke into a very dramatic run, leaping right into Sherlock's welcoming arms.
"I'm free, Sherlock, I'm free!" John exclaimed, wrapping his arms so tightly around Sherlock's neck that he may just kill the king after all.
"Yes, John, we can be together." Sherlock agreed, holding him as close as they had been before, resting his chin in John's hair and closing his eyes for a moment, relived beyond belief.
"As for the Adlers, if you could please escort them to the dungeons for now. We'll send them back to Moriarty in an ash tray." The queen decided. John finally released Sherlock, holding his shoulders arm's length away, the two gazing into each other's eyes like the pair of love sick idiots they were.
"John, like I've said before, you should be royalty. Now I think you can be." Sherlock decided in a soft voice. John's smile faded only a little bit in confusion.
"You're not seriously...proposing? Now?" John wondered. Sherlock just laughed, shaking his head with a small, soft smile.
"No of course not. Not now at least." He assured, not being able to retain his guilty laughter.
"I'm always in awe of you Sherlock. For someone who can't fight, who can't hunt, who can't do much of anything, you can do everything." John insisted.
"That doesn't even make sense." Sherlock decided with a laugh, his giggles escaping his lips involuntarily as he gazed upon the man he loved so dearly.
"No, it doesn't, but what does make sense these days?" John wondered. Sherlock just shook his head, pulling John's face closer and kissing him in front of the entire crowd, shamelessly and thoughtlessly. He knew that his mother was watching, he knew that his brother was watching, he knew that somewhere up in Heaven his father was watching as well, but that was for the best. This way everyone will know what he did and why he did it, everyone will know that the ice cold king of Lauriston had put not only himself but his entire kingdom on the line to save the one he loved. Maybe that was dangerous, maybe it was risky, but what did it matter anymore? There was no difference in love, whether you were a king or a servant, whether you were rich or poor, powerful or weak. In fact, love knew no bounds, not even between genders, and Sherlock and John, well, they proved it not only to their kingdom but to the world. It was alright, John was alive, he was free, and their secret was out. What would keep them from being together, what would keep them from loving each other? The two kings on the throne of Lauriston, what more could they ask for?
A/N: Well here I am again with the late author's note...Sorry guys I was so busy this morning that it just slipped my mind! Well nonetheless here we have it, the conclusion! I don't know if any of you guys remember but waaay back when I asked everyone what I should write, a medieval fanfic or a modern day apartment fanfiction...and what came out of that was the One Next Door. I had this idea before I even started The One Next Door, that's how old this story is. And now look at it, all finished up, with a happy little conclusion and everything. I consider the last three stories to be my sympathy trio, after so many heartbreaking endings I wrote He Loves Me He Loves Me Not, I Know Your Face, and Heir Apparently all with happy endings, all consecutively. However don't get used to it, I've had my fair share of boring bloodless endings, at least for another couple of stories or so...Anyway thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed! Next up will be a midlife crisis fanfiction, a shorty but a goodie! There is also a possibility of a sequel but I'll need to think about it more :)
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Sherlock is the youngest son of a powerful family dynasty, with all the pressure of being the perfect prince sitting on his shoulders. However, he builds his good reputation on lies and tricks, and he dreads the day when his failures will come into...