*Note: Written for the prompt 'Military AU'.

The first hour is all darkness and hushed whispers in a strange language John - really should know - but doesn't know.

He hears one word in English the entire hour, and it scares him more than anything else in his entire life: Hostage.

John runs over the safety procedures over and over again in his head, trying to remember what he did and didn't do before he was taken. 'Did I send out a signal?' he asks himself, (because he certainly can't ask his kidnappers). 'No, of course you didn't send out a bloody signal; you were unconscious.'

John smells blood. He feels a slight twinge in his left shoulder - an itch, almost - but far too painful. It feels as though something is scratching a hole through his skin, and he can barely hold back a scream as the pain grows sharper, until he blacks out.

When John comes to, his shoulder burns, his mind aches, his stomach is doing flips, and his head spins. Captain John Watson is not okay.

He barely has time to react when a strong hand grabs him by the hair and yanks him up to stand, and starts dragging him along to god knows where. As the two men pull him along, he feels the blood rush out of his head, and reality capsize as he falls to the ground.

"Blood loss... Shit..." He murmurs to himself, because he's damn sure his captors aren't listening. Whatever's hurting his shoulder is causing him to lose blood, which will - eventually - cause him to die. Now, his captors might not care about that, but he sure as hell does.

He tries to sound as commanding as possible. But it's hard to be intimidating when you're blindfolded, bleeding, and being shoved by a strong, strange man in a place you've never been. "Listen -" His voice cracks, and he wonders how long he's gone without a drink for. He coughs, and he feels the thick, salty, metallic taste of blood on his tongue. "Shit... I'm a doctor, please, let me -"

The same rough hand from earlier shoves John down onto the cold ground, and he feels the unfamiliar crack as his finger breaks against the hard floor. He stifles a moan, and the next second, his blindfold is ripped off and he's bombarded by blinding light.

He squints through the tears and the searing pain, and as his eyes adjust to the light, a grotesque view comes into focus.

A camera. Three men. Seven guns. John could take them on if he wasn't too busy bleeding to death.

John groans as he looks at his shoulder, which has a very large, very inconvenient hole in it.

The man with the rough hands prods John roughly in the back, and yells something John vaguely understands as, "Name!"

John grunts, lets out a deep breath, and restrains the urge to kill everyone in the room as he stares at the camera. "Captain John Watson of the Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers."

There's some quick speaking in Farsi, and the a painful, unwanted silence.

A voice (cool, British, in control, and deep enough to strike oil), begins speaking from seemingly nowhere. "Hello, John. How are you?"

"How do you bloody think?" John spits out, unsure of where the strange voice is coming from.

"Terrible, obviously." The voice sounds almost bored, and John wishes they were speaking face to face, so he could see the dull expression that was no doubt on the owner's face. "We're short on time, so I'll make this quick. What I need to know is simple: Afghanistan or Iraq?"

John blinks, stunned. "What?"

"Are you in Afghanistan or Iraq?" The voice asks, calmly. His captors begins to shout again in Farsi, but John doesn't care. John doesn't even care when someone grabs him by the shoulders and shoves him out of the room into a small cell with no explanation.

This is not good. This is very, very, very, very not good.