I can’t be Adam. I can’t be myself. I can’t be who I want to be. It’s easier for everyone if I’m Gracie. And there’s all this hate. I hate myself. No. I hate this body. I hate being a girl. I’m not a girl. But I’ve to be a girl. There’s so much anger in me. I can feel it in my veins. I hate my body and sometimes, I just want to destroy it. Is it so hard to understand ? 

Lestrade is the first to find out. Only he and Sherlock will ever know why. Anderson can hear a disbelieving murmur of, “God, no,” from his office, but he leaves his superior to his business. The one-minute phone call ends and Lestrade is striding through the offices of the Yard to get to the entrance, where he begins to run through London with no destination; simply running to run, to distract himself, to hide from the truth. Donovan notices he is out of breath and exhausted when he returns an hour later. She also notices the tear streaks down his face. She doesn’t ask; he doesn’t tell.

John is called an hour later. Immediately after he has processed the shocking news to the best of his ability, he rounds the corner into the sitting room and meets Sherlock’s curious gaze. Sherlock asks what that was all about. John doesn’t reply. Can’t reply. They both receive a text from Lestrade beckoning them to Scotland Yard for a debriefing. Sherlock believes it’s a case. John doesn’t have the heart to tell him otherwise. He is silent as they drive and he knows Sherlock has noticed, but can’t cover it up because he’s far too worried for his friend (will he laugh? will he cry? will he be angry? God, what were they going to do?). John closes his eyes and exhales; his breath fogs the window.

The DI and the doctor stand in silent support behind the office chair as Sherlock is informed of Mycroft’s assassination. As the younger brother, he is told his legal role in Mycroft’s will - half his possessions and a third of his funds will go to Sherlock - and is given a more detailed, very unwanted version of his sibling’s death. The only thing Sherlock is capable of thinking, for some strange reason, is how he is going to tell their mother; he can only feel dread and an inexplicable emptiness. He hangs up without a word, places the mobile on the desk, and stares blankly ahead of him. He feels John’s hand on the back of the chair and can tell he and Lestrade are both staring at the phone, thinking the same thing: What are we going to do without him?

He wishes he knew the answer.