A/N: Sorry this took so long, I just have not had the time to type it up until now. Big thanks to Evan for beta-ing this for me. Huge thank you to everyone who favourited, and is following the story. Special thanks to: lost feather, methegirl, tofu-rox, Manu4380, saph-kira33, Super Lizard, MirrorFlower and DarkWind, Hittocere, Uncanny-dreamer, Stick-Em-Up-Punk, RoadkillHermes, BumblyBee3, SugarSnaps037, BlackxValentine, Holly Short of the Lep recon, L A Adolf, Skipper96, & ZeeAwesomeSauceIsAwesome for reviewing.
I slowly approach the bed, anxiety building. I'd seen him hurt before, heck; I'd usually been the one to treat him. Those times were different though. Those times he had led us into the danger, with me stupidly following. This time was different because this time I had been the one leading, and he had simple followed out of possibly loyalty, concern, or worry.
Before either Sherlock or I can react Jason has fired his gun.
I cringe, waiting again for the searing pain, but do not feel it, instead I feel myself lowered back onto the ground, before I hear the crunch of bone that signifies Holmes having taken care of Jason, with a swift uppercut to the nose. As I glance around for the bullet on the ground I see blood splattered on my jacket and shirt. Quickly lifting them both I see that it is not my own. As this registers my head snaps up to where Holmes is, seeing that he is now kneeling beside me.
"Holmes…? Holmes? Holmes! Sherlock! No, you can't die on me! I didn't mean it, I would miss you just as much!" I am nearly hysterical, thinking I have just lost my best friend in the entire world. Slowly, nervously, I lift my hand to his throat, determined to check his pulse, or possible lack thereof.
Gently pressing my fingers against his throat, I feel his pulse. Weak, but fairly steady. I left out the breath I hadn't realized I was holding before slumping forward slightly.
I smile, though I fear it came out as something of a grimace, due to the flash of fear that crossed lestrade's face.
"I trust you inspector, just make sure the doctors get the bullet out of Holmes…" This is the last thing I say before I begin feeling dizzy. I see Lestrade saying something, but his words fall on deaf ears as I drift into the peaceful black that is sleep and oblivion.
I am suddenly pulled back to the present by a hand gently shaking me.
"Mr. Watson, you must rest."
I look up and see one of the nurses standing beside me, patiently waiting for a response.
"I feel fine." I respond, feeling uncharacteristically stubborn.
"You were badly injured, you should not be moving around yet."
I stubbornly fold my arms across my chest. "Madame, I feel fine. I need to be here when he wakes up…"
My voice started out strong but wavers off as I finish, worry seeping through instead of strength or confidence.
The nurse merely shakes her head and gently but firmly pulls me out of my seat.
"The surgery went well; it will just take his body a while to recover. When it does, he will wake. We will notify you as soon as he regains consciousness. In the mean time, you really do need to rest. Your ribs have not finished healing and the pain killers will be wearing off shortly. If you are feeling up to it, visiting hours start in a few minutes. Your fiancé has been here every day waiting for you to wake up."
As she's talking she helps me walk back to my room, settling me onto the bed and making sure I'm not in pain.
My heart jumps at the mention of Mary, and I realize that this is the first time I've thought about her since I woke up.
I nod to the nurse, indicating that I would be feeling up to seeing Mary. As the nurse leaves to fetch her I gingerly recline against the propped up pillows. The nurse had been right, I could feel the pain killers wearing off and the pain from my ribs and all my other bruises begin to seep through.
A few short moments pass before I feel a crushing weight settling over my body, and I hear Mary's voice.
"It's so good to see you awake, John. I was so worried! How are you feeling?"
"It's good to see you too, Mary. I'm feeling fine, just a little sore…" I wiggle around a little as I'm speaking, trying to get Mary to loosen her tight hold on me.
"Oh gosh, I'm sorry!" She quickly steps back from the bed, delicately seating herself in the chair beside the bed.
I laugh gently and pat her hand. "It's alright, the pain killers are just wearing off."
"Would you like me to call the nurse?"
"I'm okay, you just hug very tightly." I say this with a smile to show her I'm just teasing.
She laughs lightly in response.
"Well I'm glad you're healing. The doctor told me you had two bruised ribs and two cracked ribs. Also, every part of your body was bruised. He said you weren't waking because it was your body's way of dealing with the immense stress to it. John, why do you always follow that man into dangerous situations? One of these days it's going to get you killed! He doesn't care for you the way I do and yet you are always running off with him on his 'adventures'. Even when you have plans with me! You promised me when I accepted your proposal that you were done helping Holmes with his ridiculous crusades. Is this the way it's going to be when we're married? You always running off to follow him, leaving me to worry until you show up in one hospital room or another?"
As Mary stops to catch her breath an awkward silence falls, both of us lost in our own thoughts. As everything she says sinks in, I recall a statement that was made previously.
"Mary… What do you feel for me? I mean, when you think of me and when you're near me, what do you feel?" I ask this as quietly as possible, afraid to break the silence.
The look she shoots me appears to be a very puzzled one, before she reaches out and grasps my hand. "I love you John, you know that."
"Would you blindly follow me into a possibly dangerous situation?"
"Please Mary, just humour me."
"… Alright. I would, as it's not my place to defy my husband."
I hum lightly and nod my head in acknowledgement.
"That's true. If you had a choice, to stay safe or come with Holmes and I on one of his 'crusades', as you call them, what would you choose?"
"Well… I would like to come, but… I would probably be in the way… And you would not be able to focus on what you're doing…"
As she speaking she fidgets, and only glances into my eyes, before returning her gaze to the sheets. I had never seen Mary anything but confident, so it was slightly shocking to see this.
"Okay then. Would you take a bullet for me?"
Mary visibly hesitates before nodding.
"Thank you. Oh, and I didn't follow him, he followed me." I then explain what happened, while slowly slipping from my seated position into a more slouched one.
"Wow… Well, do you see now how dangerous it is following him around? You did not follow him this time, but they still came after you because of your closeness to Holmes. This has to be your last case. You can't handle any more beatings."
Though she probably said it with the best intentions, it still stung.
"I am quite tired Mary. I should get some rest so that my body can continue to heal properly. Could you send in a nurse on your way out?"
"Of course, dear. Get some rest. I will come visit you again tomorrow, if you are up to it."
She leans over and kisses me before turning to leave. Just before she leaves the room she half turns and looks me in the eye.
"You did promise."
Before I have time to respond however, she's gone and a nurse is checking me over. The nurse gives me a small shot of painkillers with a mild sedative to help me sleep, then leaves after making sure I'm comfortable. As the room becomes almost completely black, save for the light filtering between the curtains on the window, my mind drifts to the events of the past few weeks.
Holmes had been increasingly irritable as my wedding drew closer. Every time I mentioned Mary or anything about the wedding he'd either snap at me or ignore me completely. As I'm remembering this, the pain killers start taking effect, causing my thoughts to blur together.
Just before I fall asleep a few things dawn on me. One, Sherlock loves me. Two, my fiancé basically told me I have to choose between her and Holmes.
A/N: Hope it was good. I'm not sure when the new chapter will be out, and I may need a new beta for this story. I had a lovely one, but she has been M.I.A. for a short while now. I will try to update within the month, or sooner.