Hey guys. I was working on my newest chapter for Silver Tongue and this popped into my head. It wouldn't leave me alone so I had to write it out. Not the best thing I ever wrote but it works. Hope you all enjoy, and don't worry the next chapter of Silver will be out very soon.

I don't own Sherlock, it I did John and Sherlock would have been a couple like we all know they should have been.

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Freak: a person or animal on exhibition as an example of a strange deviationfrom nature; monster.

John hated that word. He had first heard that cursed word as a child, though at the time it was from his own father's mouth. He heard it, directed at him, all through his childhood. When he joined the Army, his hate for the word escalated. He listened to his fellow soldiers call many of the native people that name, including the innocent of the wars. He could only do so much in the beginning. He was one of the Freaks to his fellow men in the beginning too after all. He made his way up. Soon he was a Captain and his men learn why they were never to utter the word. His last few years in the wars were sent never hearing the word again. His men had too much respect for him now. Even the new recruits never uttered the word as his dislike for the word had gotten around to most of the military as his skills as a marksman and as a doctor spread. When he was shot in combat defending his fellow men in an ambush, no one though he was going to survive. When he did the word was whispered in a different context.

Freak:

any abnormal phenomenon or product or unusual object; anomaly.

The bullet cut through a large vein and got lodged into the bone. He knew as the pain pierced through him that he wasn't going to live. As each beat of his heart his blood flowed freely from his body. He would bleed out on the battle field. John remembered praying not to die like that but he knew he was going to die. He fought the dark spots that danced across his eyesight. He fought for his breath but when he closed his eyes for the last time, he knew. So days later when he opened his eyes to see white ceilings, he didn't know what happened. The nurse said it was a 'freak accident'. One that all were happy for.

He was released for the military with an Honorable discharge and sent back to civilian life. He walked with a cane for his 'freak wound', his men called it. The bullet in his shoulder had cut not only a vein but it messed with a few of his nerves. His body though he was shot in the leg instead of his shoulder, where the bullet still resided. He tried to transition back to civilian life. He was a war veteran yet many only saw his leg. He was back to being different, a freak. Then he met him. Sherlock was different but John loved it. He gave John his life back and healed him in more ways than one.

Freak:

a person who has withdrawn from normal, rational behavior and activities to pursue one interest or obsession.

It was another day, another case. Sherlock was leading the way to the crime scene while John slowly pulled his mind from last night's horrors. John could still hear the screams as bombs exploded and gun fire rained on them from all sides. He felt the cool metal of his gun as he shot out the snipers on the hill. He could feel the adrenaline pulsing through him with each breath and squeeze of the trigger. John didn't know when they made it to the house the police found the body in or when they entered it. He was pulled from the memories by that one word. That one word shatter his already frayed control.

CRACK! The room froze as Anderson dropped like a stone from Johns left hook. Anderson sat on the floor where he had fallen, mouth open in shock. Blood flowed from his broken nose. Donovan was crouching next to him, anger and fear flashing in her eyes as she tried to stop the bleeding. Everyone in the room wore some form of shock on their face, even Sherlock with his widened eyes and Lestrade who mirrored Anderson. John didn't know it but he didn't look like the John they had all gotten to know. His soft demeanor was gone. His eyes steal, spine straight, shoulders back, and a dark look that promised pain if crossed. Gone was their John, replaced by the Army Captain they all forgot he had been.

"I am going to make this clear, so listen up. I have had to listen to all of you ingrates degrade Sherlock and I am done with holding my tongue. If I even so much as hear a whisper of that damned word directed towards Sherlock again I will shoot the one who utters it. I won't kill you but I will make sure you never forget the meaning of pain." John turned his sight from person to person in the room. "He does all the work while you all get the credit so shut the fuck up or find someone else to solve you cases."

"John…" Sherlock didn't truly know what he wanted to say. No one, not even his brother had stood up for him.

John ignored Sherlock's shock. He turned to look at the bodies. A full family, parents and three children. "They've been dead for about 8 hours if the reports of gun shots being heard is true. The kids died quick, point blank range, execution style. The parents suffered, bleed out slowly with the two gun shoots to the gut."

Sherlock followed John's lead. He jumped in throwing out facts and within two minutes they knew that the neighbor killed the family out of jealousy of the parents. They tried to take the kids but the youngest, a girl five years of age, must have screamed making her older twin brothers to fight back.

John left after Sherlock, ignoring how everyone beside Lestrade shielded away from him as he walked by. He walked out of the home expecting to find Sherlock already gone but he was pleasantly surprised to find the genius waiting in the cab for him. The ride passed in silence Sherlock texting on his phone and John watched people out the window.

"John… Thank you." Sherlock's voice was quiet, no more than a whisper but it caught John's attention.

John debated with himself before answering. "You know I hate that word. Always have. My father used to call me it. My mother was too drunk to care and my sister kept silent so she wouldn't get beat. When I got into the army I had to listen to my fellow men use that word. They called the innocent that. Never cared to learn their names just called them all 'Freaks'." John spit the word out with disgust. "Started calling me one too after I started defending them. That changed when I became a Captain. They all learned never to say that word again." John turned away from the window to look at Sherlock. Sherlock was watching him with unreadable eyes. "Sherlock you are not a Freak. You see thing in a way that threatens people. They can't hide from you. I know you say that being called a freak doesn't bother you but we both know different. I see how it hurts you. Your eyes darken and your remarks become sharper. You hide it well but I see the pain."

You don't need to protect me John." Sherlock scoffed. "I am more than capable of taking care of myself."

John smiled, eyes softening. "I know you can take care of yourself and block out the pain but Sherlock, it's my job as your friend to protect you. You can complain all you want but it won't stop me."

They were silent, Sherlock stared into John's eyes. He must have determined John's sincerity as he graced him with one of his true smiles. He turned back to his phone and John turned back to the window. "The look on Anderson's face when you punched him will be one of my fondest memories." Sherlock glanced back to John.

John turned back. "It was good wasn't it? It felt good too."

That was all it took for both of them to break down giggling. The driver watched them in the mirror. He didn't want to know what that conversation was all about.