His hands were shaking.
For the first time in his life Sherlock Holmes' hands were shaking and he could do nothing to stop them. Up until now, his body never betrayed his emotions. Always sure of himself, almost cold-blooded... He was Sherlock Holmes. He did not need feelings, they were of no significance to his work. Not so long ago, John called him a machine. A brain without a heart. And yet, his hands would not stop shaking.
The waiting room at Bart's was empty except Sherlock, who sat with his back straight, hands on his knees, steel-like eyes glued to the wall on the other side of the white, lifeless room. He looked lost in thoughts. But Sherlock's mind was blank, empty. He could do nothing but stare at colourless walls of the waiting room, letting the feeling of absolute horror fill his body.
What if John died? What if they couldn't save him?
He thought he had lost him in that dark alley. Blood was everywhere - on the ground, John's shirt, John's hands, John's face... And when Watson closed his eyes...
Sherlock stood up from the chair he occupied for the last few hours and looked blankly at the nurse. Her face wore a professional, empty expression but her eyes...
"I'm sorry, sir. There was nothing we could do"
Sherlock nodded. Yes, of course. He should have known there was no way to save him. But even though his brain knew it was logical for John to die from such a wound, he could not move, think, breathe... His legs gave up from under him and he fell to his knees, eyes filled with bitter tears. Sherlock hid his face in his hands and wept quietly, wept like never before. He could sense the presence of the nurse beside him, but her words made no sense to him. How could anything be "alright" without John? How could he, Sherlock, come back to the solitude he was so used to before John walked to the lab in this very hospital for the first time? He was...
"She did not suffer, sir, died in her sleep."
John was... wait, what?
Sherlock lifted his head. The nurse was kneeling in front of him, her eyes full of understanding.
"What?" he rasped out, voice hoarse.
"Yes, sir. Mrs. Joanna Walker. Your grandmother."
Sherlock laughed. Ignoring the startled look the nurse gave him, Sherlock got up to his feet and laughed, relief visible in every inch of his long, slim body. He wiped the tears from his face quickly, trying to hide the evidence of his weakness.
"I don't know the lady, madam" he said finally, eyeing the nurse with his grey eyes. She blinked in shock for a few seconds, then started to apologize to him with the most convincing look of bewilderment upon her face he ever saw.
He turned around to look at the doctor standing in the door, looking at him with unreadable expression. Sherlock, ignoring the still apologizing nurse, nodded quickly.
"I'm Doctor Peterson. If you could follow me, sir."
They walked through empty corridors in silence, emotions building up inside the detective with every step they took. His hands would not stop shaking.
The doctor stopped outside white door with number 513 on it and looked briefly at Sherlock.
"Before we come in, I need to tell you few things. Fortunately, the bullet only scratched the wall of the patient's stomach, causing severe bleeding. We managed to stop the blood loss and close the wound. Mr. Watson is still under the influence of morphine and other painkillers, he might not recognize you. We woke him up from the narcosis about half an hour ago, so he's still very weak. Please, do not exhaust him."
Sherlock nodded, not really listening. John was alive. Alive. John was alive and he's going to be okay. Soon, they'll be together at 221b Baker Street again, sitting in front of the telly watching James Bond movies.
He needed to see him. Now.
The doctor opened the door, letting the detective inside. The first thing Sherlock realized when he entered the room was how pale and small John looked on the white bed, surrounded by cables and machinery that kept him alive. Holmes looked at the screen of the cardiograph, noticing the steady, but still weak pulse.
The detective looked down at his friends. John's eyes were barely open and looking at him, the deep ocean-blue irises were alive, not dead, and they were seeing him...
Sherlock took John's hand in his own, pressing it against his face to feel its warmth.
Not cold, warm, so warm...
"John" he chocked out, his throat tight with emotions.
"You look horrible" John said weakly and Holmes chuckled hysterically.
"Your powers of deduction are improving, my dear doctor."
"I'm learning from the best"
They stared at each other in silence. John's hand was still pressed against taller man's cheek, the detective's steel-like eyes locked with doctor's blue ones...
Sherlock leaned forward and smiled slightly when John lifted his head up a little. Their lips touched softly. Feeling the delicate touch of Watson's mouth upon his own, Sherlock deepened the kiss almost brutally, holding John's face in his hands, trying to stop dry sobs from escaping his throat. The doctor lifted his arms to put them around his friend's neck and pull him closer still, his fingers making their way through curly black hair.
When they finally pulled apart, Sherlock rested his forehead against John's, his breath quick and uneven. Their eyes met again and John smiled widely. Holmes swallowed.
"I thought... I thought you..."
" I know."
Sherlock sighed deeply, closing his eyes. John was okay. Warm and alive. Not cold and dead, lying alone in that dark alley, his body slowly consumed by rats, ocean blue eyes wide open and dead, dead, dead...
He felt warm fingers on his cheek and sighed again, leaning into the touch.
"I'll be fine" John said.
And Sherlock believed him.