Fandom: Sherlock
Rated: PG
Characters/Pairings: John, Sherlock
Notes: SPOILERS LIEK WOAH for the end of S1Ep03 - The Great Game.


Time slows.

There's a glint in Moriarty's eye, one last arrogant defiance against the idea Sherlock might stoop to this level, using a gun to blow up a bomb. But John knows him, knows him better than anyone. His legs still feel like jelly (never thought he could be this shaken, not after all he's seen, in the war, on the streets) but he finds strength.

The gun goes off and-
In a surge, John is moving, connecting with a wiry body-
Pain flares in his leg, the right leg, always the damnable right-
The shockwave, heat and flame pulsing outward as they fall-
Immersed in shocking cold, invasive and all-encompassing-

Light flashes overhead, the bomb blast heating the water above them, chlorine stinging John's eyes. His lungs are burning, begging air that isn't there (can't rise, not yet, the air is still deadly) but he keeps his grip. Sherlock's eyes meet his, pale and gray, distorted in the water.


He can't hold his breath. With a gasp, they break the surface of the pool, gulping air both refreshingly cool and blistering hot at once. The water around them dances with the splatter of the sprinkler system's rain, flames licking the edges of the room. John's leg is killing him, crimson tendrils of blood swaying beneath on the rippling current. They flounder towards the other side, coughing, breathless between the smoke and the adrenaline.

"You alright?" he asks as Sherlock hauls him free of the pool.
"You're shot," the man replies, eyes fixated on the red that sluggishly stains his wet trousers darker.
"Been shot before," John answers, a giggle threatening to escape, a grin already fixed on his face. (Drawn by terror, glued by amazement. Alive, survived.) "Might need that blasted cane after all." (It still sits in his room somewhere, dust gathering. Just in case.)

Police sirens in the distance. Moriarty is gone. (dead? escaped? vanished?) They cling to each other, keeping the other steady and moving as they make their own way out.

Haven't been beaten yet.