Hi, so this is my modern rewrite of ACD's Dying Detective and I hope that you like it. As with most everything I wrote this is a prompt fill, but since it got a bit longer than the rest I decided to post it as a individual story.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything and I'm not making any money with it either
The Dying Detective
John had been away for a few days, one of his old friends from college had gotten married and he had been invited. It had been a nice celebration and for once John hadn't thought about Sherlock. Much. He always worried a bit, when Sherlock was left on his own. The man was liable to burn down the flat in one of his experiments. He had done so, more than once.
So John was pleasantly surprised to see the flat still standing and no fire fighters in sight, when he came home. While he had told Sherlock, when he would come home, he hadn't expected that the detective would actually pick him up from the train station.
He also hadn't expected Mrs Hudson to nearly jump at him, the second he unlocked the front door. The poor woman was nearly out of her wits and babbling something about Sherlock being sick.
This was unheard of and the worry that emanated from Martha Hudson, started to unsettle him too. So leaving his duffle bag on the floor of their living room, he entered Sherlock's room.
As usually, it was gloomy in the small room. The shudders drawn to leave all the light out and Sherlock was hidden behind a mountain of blankets. Even in the dark, John could see his gaunt, pale face and the eyes shining with fever.
"Goddamn Sherlock, why haven't you called a doctor?" John asked and stepped closer.
Sherlock's, "Stand back! Stand right back!" however stopped him right in his tracks.
"The hell for."
"Wouldn't be the first time I'll be around contagious patients. I'll just want to help you."
"Exactly! You'll help best by doing what you're told."
"Of course Sherlock."
"Good, it is for your own sake, you know. Besides I already know what's wrong with me. I have been poisoned with a deadly disease from Sumatra."
At this John instinctively took a step forward, only to be stopped by a hard glance from Sherlock, "As I said, it is contagious. By touch. Keep your distance." The voice was a fierce snarl and again managed to stop John.
"I don't care, Sherlock. I would treat a stranger with a disease that could affect me, so I'm sure as hell are gonna treat my friend." The next step he took was stopped with a venomous grey eyes. "You're not yourself, so I will treat you, whether you like it or not."
"If I am to have a doctor, whether I will or not, let me at least have someone in whom I have confidence," Sherlock said.
And that comment stung. John felt a cold hand clench his intestines and felt utterly incompetent and incredible used.
"You have no confidence in me then?"
"As a friend, but face it John, you are an ex-army surgeon, working as a locum, your skills in treating poisonous maladies are inferior."
John took a deep breath, closed his eyes and really hoped that this was not his friend speaking, not the man he had spend the past few months patching up, running after and starting to see more like a little brother he never had.
"I just write that up to your fever, but if you really have no confidence in me, then who can I get, that you have enough confidence in."
"Culverton Smith, he lives in 13, Lower Burke Street. He is a botanist, but he has the most vast knowledge on every obscure poison and disease there is."
John nodded and gave Sherlock on last look over, the man was gasping for breath and was visibly shaking even under the thick blanket. It didn't look good and it was a strange feeling seeing the normal so active detective like that.
"I'll get him, okay. Just, ... just don't die while I'm gone." John said and turned around, not waiting for an answer from Sherlock.
The taxi, he had taken, had stopped directly in front of 13, Lower Burke Street. It was a tall apartment building in the middle of a block full of them. John paid the driver and stepped out, looking worriedly up and down the buildings front. Taking a deep breath, he walked up to the front door and searched the doorbell panel. Smith lived on the fourth floor and John rang like a mad man.
Even after several minutes of incessant ringing, no one answered through the intercom. John used one of Sherlock's favourite methods to enter an unknown apartment building. He simply chose one bell and rang it, then told however answered that he had forgotten his keys inside. Seconds later he was in the building and on his way to the fourth floor.
Culverton Smith's flat was halfway up the hall and, with fear building in his stomach, John realized that the door was still open. He cursed himself, when he realized that he didn't had his gun with him and slowly approached the door.
The lock was broken and the door showed a clear footprint, where it was busted. John stopped at the door jamb and listened for a minute. Only when he didn't hear anyone or anything moving inside did he dared to look through the small gap and into the apartment.
Inside everything was still, but it looked as if a bomb had exploded. John opened the door completely, slipped into the apartment and closed the door behind him again.
It spoke volumes about how far Sherlock had influenced him, that he didn't call the police first, but instead started to rummage through the flat, hoping to find any clue to help his friend.
The flat was in shambles all over the floor. Drawers pulled out and overturned, shelves cleaned by sweeping stuff off and right onto the ground. Amongst the debris John found shards from beakers and other chemical appliances.
John shifted through them and tried avoid getting cut on any of the shards, but when he opened a small box, lying among some books, a spring was activated and pricked his finger. In surprise John let go of the box and seeing a drop of blood, stuck his finger in his mouth. It was nothing big and had stopped bleeding fast, so John ignored it and continued on through the flat.
The bedroom looked as chaotic as the rest of the flat, minus the beakers and plus some clothing. Just like the living room, John went over it carefully, making sure that he wouldn't miss a thing.
He found a leather bound book, when he searched under the bed. Smiling in triumph, he pulled the worn diary out and opened it. Every page was filled with a tight-spaced scrawl and John flew over the pages as fast as he dared. He knew that he was running out of time, he had already spend nearly an hour going through the stuff in the living room and kitchen and he felt Sherlock's life ticking away with every second he wasted.
Finally he reached the interesting part and started to curse. There, ridden down neatly, was Smith's plans and actions. Not only had the man killed his nephew Victor Savage, but when he had realized that Sherlock was on him, had also infected Sherlock with a pathogen from Sumatra called Tapaluni fever. But Sherlock would never be so stupid as to get himself infected like Culverton had described.
Then literally the light bulb in his head was turned on, as he realized what Sherlock had done. The idiot had let himself get infected on purpose, to prove that Smith was the murderer. It was right up Sherlock's alley to do something so incredibly idiotic. He was never, ever going to leave Sherlock alone again. And when the detective would make it through this, John was going to kill him.
John continued to read, until he found where Smith had placed the antidote and threw the diary back under the bed. Black dots invaded his vision as he got up and he felt himself sway on the spot for a second, before he saw clear again. Must have gotten up too fast, John though and moved back into the kitchen.
Why Smith had hidden the antidote under the kitchen sink, John had no idea, but he guessed it was some weird, crazy scientist way. Probably came together with the strange forenames and the tendency to experiment in flats.
The antidote was safely put in a handkerchief and then placed in his jacket pocket. He closed the door on his way out and swore to himself to call Lestrade, the second he had injected Sherlock with the antidote.
On his way back to 221B, he started to get a headache. Probably tension related, which was something that was happening more often than not, when one worked with Sherlock Holmes. Judging by the way his stomach was protesting at every curve the cap took, John guessed that this would be one hell of a migraine too.
He was relieved, when he finally reached Baker Street. The world tilted dangerously the moment he got out of the cap and he had to gulp hard against the uprising nausea. He held on to the taxi longer than necessary and swore himself to fall into his bed, the second he had injected Sherlock and screw the broken in flat and Culverton Smith.
By the time he reached the front door of their flat, his legs felt like jello and he was not quite sure if he really could make it up the stairs. The banister was his greatest friend, as he pulled himself up the stairs, feet getting heavier and vision getting darker. He was lucky, that Mrs Hudson didn't come out and stopped him, otherwise he would have never made it up the stairs.
Somewhere in the back of his mind, he was yelling at himself that this was not an ordinary migraine. That something was really wrong, but he ignored that voice for now. Sherlock needed the antidote and unconsciously his hand padded his coat pocket to make sure that it was still there.
Just inside their living room, John stumbled over his own duffel back, felt his leg give out underneath him and he connected with the ground. The last thing he saw was the coarse carpet of their flat, before everything went black.