|Skullduggery and Other Pickup Lines
Author: Amledo PM
John has left 221b for a relationship building retreat, however he returns home early, a decision that just might prove life-saving for a certain Consulting Detective. Sherlock/JohnRated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort/Romance - Sherlock H. & John W. - Words: 2,187 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 30 - Follows: 1 - Published: 10-25-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7494644
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
(A/N: This is my first go at BBC Sherlock. Now, I can't claim to be an expert on legal matters, but I'm pretty sure that I haven't recently acquired the rights to said show. If I had it would be nothing more or less than what you are like to read in my fics. That said, this is slash, Sherlock/John, but it isn't graphic, I wouldn't do that to you. Ok I might if you beg enough. Anyway, I think that's everything. On with the show.)
Skullduggery and Other Pick-up Lines
Reality swirled in tantalizing wisps orbiting the perimeter of the demented circus that had invaded his mind and he struggled to reach out for it. But every time he thought he had a grasp of something concrete, even the merest tendril of Real, it would vanish in a puff of smoke. He would watch it drift through his fingers and feel very much as if he were falling away from it.
The shifting play of light and darkness over the kaleidoscopic colors and shapes that suddenly comprised his world were so disorienting that he had long since abandoned up and down as concepts. He was certain that sound had transformed itself into a shapeless creature blurting half-words and stuttering shrieks that could just as easily be a cat as a half-remembered nightmare from his childhood. Truly it was a cacophonous mass of lunacy, the threads of his own attempted speech wrapped and dangled about one another like carelessly unspooled yarn. It was a tapestry of many harsh colors and sensations that he dared not follow to its end, lest madness take him fully.
Doctor John H. Watson, once more of 221b Baker Street, was happy to be home. It had been difficult, leaving Sherlock and their lodgings behind, even if it only had been for a week. He had grown accustomed to the pace of life with the Consulting Detective and spending a week in the country had nearly driven him mad. He wouldn't be doing any such thing in the future, chiefly because he no longer had a girlfriend to drag him on a couples retreat in the first place. It didn't hurt him the way it should have, not as long as he had Sherlock to come home to.
The door to Sherlock's room was open wide and John set his bags down to go and greet his flat mate, after all Sherlock had been upset to see John go. But the sight that met his eyes was more startling than he cared to think. Sherlock was draped haphazardly over the bed, not quite in a way that would qualify as being on the bed. Legs akimbo and left half dangling precariously, Sherlock looked more like a ragdoll that someone had carelessly discarded rather than the greatest Detective of the 21st century.
On closer inspection—because what else could John do but check on the man—Sherlock was a proper mess. His normally pale face was a shade of sickly white-grey typically reserved for wet news-print; his unaccountably messy black hair was lank with sweat. Perhaps the most disturbing sight was the image of those hypnotic grey eyes gone glassy and fixed in an open position; they stared forward with an empty, lifeless gaze.
"Sherlock?" John called softly as he stepped closer to the other man, glad that the room had not been closed. When he received no response he placed his hand on Sherlock's forehead, his Doctor's instincts taking over. The man's skin was slicked with sweat and his temperature was somewhere in the neighborhood of 'alarming' to 'hideous'.
"Good God," John breathed and at once began to pull at Sherlock's clothing. He could afford no drop of modesty to be spared when his friend was so dangerously warm. "Mrs. Hudson!" John shouted as he finally managed to undo the buttons of Sherlock's over-shirt.
"Yes Doctor…oh, goodness!" their Landlady spoke in an affronted tone, as though something she saw had offended her. Oh, right.
"He's on fire. Please run a cool bath. We have to bring this fever down," the Doctor's voice was confident, his heart was not. Seeing Sherlock in such a state had shaken the foundations of his world, and he didn't know if he could stay impassive enough to be of help.
A Demon was assaulting him, battering him around like he was a toy. There was obscene force in each and every contact, adding the pain of being beaten to the misery of burning and freezing simultaneously. The swirling clouds and lights were blocked out for an instant and he was smothered. Just as he began to panic and gasp for breath the sensation passed and the world was…wrong again.
The Demon's fiery hands ran over his bare skin with little regard for the pain it caused him, leaving welts and bruises in their wake. A scent that he had no clear name for clawed at each of his senses in ways that he couldn't explain, and it made him sick. The Demon that he couldn't see vanished when his body decided that it needed to be sick.
For a very brief moment the world righted itself and the colors swirled into a shape of a face.
"John," Sherlock's roughened voice was a mere rasp and though John wanted very much to be angry about the sick on his shoes, he was simply too relieved to hear Sherlock speak.
"Sherlock," John whispered softly, but the man was gone in a feverish haze once again. That one moment of clarity renewed John's efforts to help. He ignored all concepts of modesty and stripped Sherlock naked, exposing the taller man to the cool air, hoping to quell the fever.
"Come on old boy," John breathed and ignored his shoulder's protests to lift Sherlock into his arms. The man really was too light for his own good. "Avert your eyes Mrs. Hudson," the Doctor called ahead and carried his companion through their rooms to place him in the bath.
Something was forcing him down; the Demon had stolen his Blogger and was trying to drown him. But his body would not respond; he could not fight to save his own life. His limbs were not attached to his own mind; even his voice was a captive of the hideous creature that had somehow stolen his mind. How desperately he wanted John to come back, so that he could wrap his arms around the other man and know that the world was real.
"John! John! Please John…" Sherock whispered frantically, his voice desperate with panic. John bit back a whimper of fear and wiped a few tears from his eyes before pouring more cold water over his friend's head.
"It's okay Sherlock, I'm here. We're getting you cooled off. I know you don't want me to have to take you to the hospital. I know you don't want Mycroft to spend the next several weeks treating you like an infant again. After Moriarty you know he will. Please Sherlock, if you just wake up now everything will be alright," John's voice broke as he pleaded and pressed his fingers to Sherlock's flushed cheeks. He knew that they couldn't avoid the hospital, even if the younger man managed to wake up, something was still seriously wrong.
Mrs. Hudson had left to call for an ambulance, but even knowing that help was on the way, John remained cemented at Sherlock's side. He couldn't bring himself to leave his friend, even for an instant.
The world was shifting more and more sluggishly, as though he were on a high-speed carnival ride that was coming to its end. The colors that danced so merrily before were turning into a stark reality. His vision was not what it should have been, everything was visible, as it should have been, but it seemed that he was surrounded by a thick fog. Although, what mattered to him was the most prominent thing in his sight, Doctor John Watson, three days growth of a beard and clothes two nights spent in a small chair. While Sherlock's gaze did flicker to the needles in his wrists and the machinery hooked to him, he wound up focusing on John once again. The smaller man was asleep, his face still creased in worry, allowing Sherlock to know that something had indeed gone horribly wrong.
"John," Sherlock was appalled at the crack in his voice, but it woke the good doctor. The smile that John flashed him was enough to break through the fog that surrounded him.
"You had been poisoned," John said at once, responding to the look of curiosity in the Consulting Detective's face. "You have been here a week, and yes I brought you a change of clothes," the older man said as an afterthought and Sherlock beamed.
"My dear John," Sherlock reached out with the hand least encumbered by things—medically necessary things, but things no less—and grasped the doctor's free hand. "What a lovely mess you are. You really didn't have to stay here…"
"Oh, shut up, of course I did. I spend a week out of Baker Street and come home to you poisoned…I had to stay. It's my fault that it happened. If I hadn't listened to her, I would have been there for you," John said, gripping his friend's hand, his expression turning pained.
"No, you've been trying to make things work with her for so long now. You had to go, it was important to you."
"Not as important as you, it seems. Sherlock, I left her and came home early. And all that I could think was what if I hadn't? I couldn't live with myself if I had spent the whole time gone and come back with my relationship intact, and you were gone. I never should have left. I never should have…I've been blind Sherlock," John had tears in his eyes and they glanced away from each other for a moment to allow themselves time to breathe.
Sherlock caught sight of Mycroft easing his way out of the room; the older man had been there the whole time it seemed. But whatever was coming, and Sherlock knew it to be big, his brother didn't want to intrude.
"John, I don't know what you mean love…"
"I've been ignoring things, I…wanted to…just let it go. But Sherlock, when I found you and you were sick, you were begging for me, you clung to me and I learned a few things," John shifted his grasp and threaded his fingers between Sherlock's, the taller man's eyes widened in realization.
"I said something?" Sherlock breathed, wondering what he had given away.
"No, you didn't. But I have something to say to you, and I know you consider yourself married to your work…but Sherlock, I love you," John said softly, waiting for his hand to be released, or some negative return.
"Are you sure John? Because I wouldn't ever let you go," Sherlock breathed gently, his hand tightening around John's.
"I'm sure, I'm very sure," John replied softly and smiled.
"Good, that's good. I um, I'm very attached to you, and I've come to find it hard to imagine my life without you. I think it is safe to say that I love you too John," Sherlock stated softly and the pair smiled shyly at one another. The sound of a photo shutter, however, broke their concentration and both men turned their gazes upon one Detective Inspector Lestrade. He smiled brilliantly and pocketed the mobile.
"They'll love this down at the Yard," he said with a bit of sarcasm that told Sherlock he wouldn't dare. "We've tracked down you assailant Sherlock. One Colonel Moran, a former associate of Moriarty," Lestrade stated and calmly placed the offending mobile on Sherlock's bedside table, so it was the consulting detective's own phone.
"Thank you Lestrade," John said, recovering from the situation and obviously aware that the other man had been on the case.
"When they release you, you can come down to the Yard and we will brief you more thoroughly on the case," Lestrade said as Mycroft reentered the room, looking bored as usual. Sherlock noted with a small inward smile, that John had yet to let go of his hand.
(A/N: Ok, so how was that? It really is my first actual bit of fanfiction for the show. I'm more used to Classic!Holmes so this was a challenge, and thank you to some eagle-eyed reviewers who caught my Classic!Holmes slip ups. More in this fandom to come though.)