BOYS OF BAKER STREET:

An A-Z Almanac of Hurt/Comfort

Secondary Genre: Drama/Angst

Rated: T for Medical Drama

Character/s: John Watson

A/N: Enjoy! 4 more to go!

V is for Voltage

Where Sherlock leaves an experiment unattended and John gets a nasty shock


It was past ten in the evening when John entered the flat. He had stayed back at work to complete some paperwork, and then got stuck in traffic due to a four-way vehicular incident, which culminated in a cab fare that near made him choke. Needless to say, he was in quite a foul mood and the state of the living room did nothing to abate that.

'SHERLOCK!' he bellowed, eyeing the convoluted mass of wires crossing the floor of the room. There was no response from the Detective, and John growled impatiently, stepping over a taught stretch of wire and resting a toe on the small patch of carpet that wasn't covered by an electrician's nightmare. Knowing his idiot flatmate, it was probably live. He lifted his other leg, but a poorly timed muscle spasm over balanced him and he pitched forward, reaching out instinctively for something to stop him from face planting onto the living room floor. Unfortunately, the something turned out to be the wires – which he correctly assumed were live. John's breath caught instinctively as electricity coursed through his body, and moments later, he was airborne. He hit the wall with a dull crack, denting the drywall with the force of his collision and sliding down with a groan. Still partly conscious, John attempted to lever himself upright and failing as the sudden heart palpitations took his breath. God, he was going to have a heart attack – possibly – and judging by the grey mist edging his vision, he was well on the way to losing consciousness.

His next attempted to call for his flatmate came out as a feeble croak – which constricted his stuttering breath further, and sent an otherworldly pain jack-knifing through his chest. He reached up with trembling fingers, which were tingling so fiercely, it was like they didn't exist at all. The next inhale came with a sob, because it was really, really getting difficult to breathe – which was sending him into a panic, systematically shutting down the medical part of his brain. All that was left was instinct, the soldier in him coming out in a way it hadn't since his return from duty. When it came to fight or flight, he'd go down swinging any day of the week; so with an animal grunt, Captain John Watson heaved himself off the wall and onto his feet – which was when Sherlock decided to show his stupid face. He burst from his room, his face a mixture of indignance and fury, ready to berate the older man for ruining his experiment. Sherlock had barely opened his mouth when John – who was behaving strangely – emitted an odd sort of growl, shocking the Detective into silence.

'Get…rid of that…shit…right bloody now. I swear to…ohh…fucking hell…Sherlock…I will skin you.'

Goosebumps raced immediately down Sherlock's spine, and that was how he knew he'd gone too far.

'John?' He speaks softly, stepping forward – and noticing the tremor in John's compact frame – that was all it took for him to begin deducing. Grey pallor, perspiring excessively, hand fisted against his chest…

John hissed, his brow morphing from rage to pain, teeth bared as he pitched forward, body spasming into seizure so quickly, he was foaming before he hit the floor.

Sherlock rushed forward, his throat tight with panic as he crashed to his knees and rolled John on to his side. 'John? Can you hear me?' Sherlock called, pressing his fingers against the man's pulse. It was far too rapid and as the Detective pulled out his phone, John stilled suddenly – before going limp with a terrifyingly final exhalation.

'No…not happening. God, god!'

Sherlock rolled the Doctor onto his back, knowing instinctively that he had roughly two minutes before he was alone again forever. Dexterous fingers dialled 999 rapidly, and set the phone on the floor, before straddling his friend unabashedly to perform CPR.

Between explaining the situation to the operator and pumping John's heart for all his worth, the younger man was tiring quickly. His face was damp with sweat and tears, arms straining and throat burning with demands for John to come back – in short, he was so far gone into his litany of no no nonono – he barely noticed the miracle, when it arrived in the form of DI Lestrade, who raced up the stairs at the sound of Sherlock's disturbing cry.

'Shit mate, move – move!' Greg ordered desperately, pulling Sherlock away and turning his attention to John.

'Greg? Please…I,'

The DI almost sobbed himself at the sound of child-like desperation coming from a man normally so cold and calculating.

'Sherlock, take a breather – you poor bastard – you've earnt it. I'll take care of John, if it's the last thing I do.'

The promise was so earnest, that the younger man slumped against the wall in quiet relief, reaching out almost mechanically to flip the switch that got John into this nightmare in the first place. From there, he zoned out – even as the medics arrived to restart his heart, barely noticing the DI tugging him along. It wasn't until John was loaded into the Ambulance, that reality snapped back and Sherlock lost the plot. He screamed himself hoarse, fighting the Detective Inspector tooth and nail with demands to go with John. The behaviour bewildered Greg, because Sherlock had never been this violent, even when high.

The most terrifying part was the panic attack.

In seconds, Sherlock went from violent to sobbing – clutching at Greg like a lifeline – gasping and clawing like a distressed child.

No words could bring Sherlock back to any semblance of calm, so against his better judgment, Lestrade called for a medic to have him sedated.

The fight left the man so quickly, the Detective Inspector grunted at the sudden dead weight and with assistance, bundled the now unconscious man into the back of the Ambulance alongside John.

The emergency vehicle sped away and Greg slumped against the patrol car, scrubbing a hand across his face. It was going to be a long night.


When John awoke, it was to the sound of excessive beeping and loud snoring. He groaned quietly and smacked his lips as he struggled to peel his eyelids apart. He felt hungover and his chest hurt like a mother, but he seemed to be mostly intact.

The snoring ceased abruptly and when John finally managed to blink his eyes open, he was greeted with the sight of a very dishevelled Lestrade, stretching painfully and leaning forward.

'Alright there, mate?' He queried groggily. 'You gave us quite a scare.'

The doctor grunted, and tried to sit; but was rewarded by a twinge of pain in his chest.

'Easy, you've got several cracked ribs.' The DI warned.

'Wha' happened?' John managed, accepting a cup of water from the older man.

Greg sighed. 'Sherlock left an experiment out and you got zapped,' he explained, watching John's face morph from curiosity to fury. Seeing the tirade about to begin, Lestrade held up a hand to stop him.

'In Sherlock's defence, he exhausted himself performing CPR before I arrived and he had to be sedated because the stupid git worked himself into a right state. He's still asleep and I reckon he's been punished enough.' Greg paused. 'Besides, he did have the forethought to leave a warning, but it must've slipped off the door before you arrived.' He held up a piece of printer paper with a cartoon drawing of what looked like Anderson and Donovan being struck by lightning.

CAUTION JOHN; HIGH VOLTAGE.

John sighed, his anger draining immediately. 'Where is he?'

Lestrade jerked his head in the direction of the privacy curtain. 'His brother arranged it – felt it would be more conducive to his recovery. I have absolutely no clue what set him off so badly, but I'm pretty sure Mycroft knows…'

The Doctor shook his head and levered himself upright. 'Is he still sedated?'

'The dose should be wearing off fairly soon, do you need a hand to get over there?' The DI replied, watching John stubbornly get to shaky feet.

He parted the privacy screen, not overly surprised to see Sherlock semi-conscious and staring at the ceiling.

'Sherlock, mate?' The Doctor nudged his friend to draw his attention. The man hesitantly flicked his gaze to the older man before drifting lazily back to the ceiling.

'John…please accept my deepest apologies,' he offered flatly – but John didn't take it as being insincere. The man was clearly troubled and after losing it so epically, as Greg put it; and was probably trying to over compensate by acting like more of cock than usual.

'Sherlock…' The doctor reached over and splayed a bandaged hand across the Detective's furrowed brow.

'Leave it, John...my actions were unacceptable, you nearly died...'

John sighed, and dragged the chair over to Sherlock's bed. 'We nearly die all the time. I don't plan to scream or get angry – but please just be careful. It would have been just as been to find you fried in that mess. I'm thinking of you too…'

Finally meeting his gaze, Sherlock smirked half-heartedly. 'I don't understand how you can live with me.'

The Doctor chuckled. 'Sometimes I don't either – but mostly, it's quite easy. You're my best mate and…'

'Yes John, enough of the sentiment – get some rest so we can both get out of here…' he trailed off and looked away sheepishly. 'I do mean it…I'm sorry you got hurt – that…must never happen again. To lose you would be…'

He didn't continue, but John caught the meaning and gave him an amicable pat on the shoulder.

Sherlock may be a dick most of the time, but he certainly had his moments.