Title: Sensory Perception
Fandom: BBC Sherlock
Category: First Time, H/C
Date: September 2010
Setting: Season 1
Disclaimer: Sadly these characters are not mine.
Spoilers: The Great Game
Word Count: 1205
Summary: What happens when the world's only consulting detective loses the one of the things most dear to him – his sight.
Notes: Feedback is better than nicotine patches.
.: Sensory Perception – Part 1 of 6 :.
Propped up by crisp white hospital pillows, knees drawn up to his chest, Sherlock's unseeing eyes stared out into the unrelenting, onslaught of nothingness.
They had told him how it had happened of course.
The clinical, detached explanation from his specialist had been far more preferable to Lestrade's awkward one-sided conversation.
The explosion had damaged Sherlock's retinas, burning away more than just the sensitive tissue there.
It had burnt away his life.
Never mind the bullet that had torn through his lung, puncturing his back and his chest. That pain was fleeting compared to not being able to observe the minutia of the world around him. Often Sherlock wished the sniper had aimed four inches to the right, so that he had never had to awaken into this abhorrent, living nightmare.
"It's time for your bath, Mr Holmes," came the cheerful voice of his care assistant as he bustled into his room.
He gave the man no reply. The only movement in his taut frame was a thin finger plucking at a small broken thread in the bed sheet as he continued to stare into the abyss that engulfed him from behind his own eyes.
Cold water crashed over their heads, as the world above them went supernova.
The momentum from John's desperate rugby tackle, combined with the explosion, ploughed them down through the dark water.
John managed to slip his hand to the back of Sherlock's skull just before they collided with the hard tiled pool floor.
Liquid fire shot through his nerves as the fingers on his right hand were crushed, and
he cried out, bubbles bursting against his own face.
Sherlock wasn't moving.
Forcing his eyes open against the vicious chlorine, John tried to see what was beyond the angry, distorted surface of the water, in the dangerous darkness above.
Had Moriarty survived the blast?
Sherlock wasn't moving.
What about the snipers? Had they gone?
John's lungs strained for oxygen.
And still, Sherlock wasn't moving.
What should he do? Where was safe?
The reflex to inhale became overwhelming, burning deep within his jaw.
And god dammit, Sherlock still wasn't moving.
Grabbing a fistful of Sherlock's shirt, he kicked them upwards into the unknown.
He broke the surface first, gasping as air came rushing into his lungs. He altered his grasp to keep Sherlock's head above the choppy water.
"Sherlock," he yelled, but the man was like a rag doll in the water. Long limbs trailed down and worryingly John couldn't detect a rise or fall of his chest.
Frantically twisting around, he spotted a faint green emergency light that was valiantly trying to flicker on. It was a good a plan as any, and he struck them out towards it.
Then without warning, something heavy fell through the darkness into the water just inches from his head. It's descent grazed his shoulder, before pulling treacherously at their clothes, threatening to sink them back down under the surface.
"Fuck!" John howled, realising this new danger. The building was falling down around their heads and there was nothing to stop the next one killing them both.
Calling on the last of his strength, he tightened his grasp on Sherlock, he kicked for the flickering beacon once more.
But despite all of his efforts, he could never close the distance...
John awoke with a start and a yell that seemed to bounce off the four small walls of his room.
Pulling himself upright, he fumbled for the light switch. He felt his sweat rapidly cooling on his flesh and his heart was jack-hammering against his chest. Blinking against the light, he rubbed the grit from his eyes with his good hand, and cursed the ease at which his subconscious could overlay old nightmares with new.
Swinging his legs slowly over the edge of his bed, John winced as he jarred his broken hand. Then he studiously ignored the shaking of his other, as he reached for the plastic cup of water on the nearby cabinet. He sat for a few minutes, taking slow deep breaths, until the tachycardia started to recede.
Slipping down from the hospital bed, he hissed as his bare feet hit the cold floor. His limbs had stiffened while he had slept, despite the nightmare, and the deep bruises scattered about his body didn't help with his mobility.
Pulling on his own dressing gown, John slowly limped out of his own room, past the nurses' station and down the corridor. At this time of night there was little activity in the private hospital, and he made the short journey to Sherlock's room unchallenged.
He paused for a moment, before opening the door and slipping quietly inside.
The room was dark. A sliver of street light came through the join in the curtains, leaving a sodium stained streak across the bed sheet. It was enough illumination for John to see Sherlock's form, curled up with his back to the door. It made him seem small, almost fragile.
For a moment, the memories of that night threatened to overwhelm John. Taking a deep breath to steady himself, he tried to push them aside and padded forward towards the bed.
He'd seen Sherlock once since then, straight after his surgery. He'd been unconscious but John had sat in his wheelchair by his bed for an hour, watching the monitors, trying to believe what his medical knowledge told him. Sherlock was indeed alive, and he would live.
John knew that Sherlock's chest wasn't only marred by the emergency surgery on his lung, but also from deep bruises and cracked ribs. The memories came crashing back over him.
John had through sheer force of will and sinew, kept Sherlock's heart pumping. Even though the pain from administering CPR through his own broken hand had caused him agony, allowing black tendrils of unconsciousness to flicker at the edges of his mind as he sat astride Sherlock's chest, he had pummelled it with his full weight. He had yelled at the man not to fucking die there, at the pool edge.
John had stuffed his own shirt into the wound in Sherlock's chest, trying to seal it enough to get at least the other lung to inflate as he'd leant down to breathe into Sherlock's mouth in a grotesque parody of an open mouthed kiss. He'd screamed at him not to let Moriarty win.
The minutes had seemed like hours, as by the flickering green light, he'd watched the water bubble from Sherlock's mouth, his eyes staring up at nothing as if he'd already died. And all the while John pumped his chest, and watched the blood run out onto the tiles and drip into the pool.
John didn't remember Lestrade arriving, nor the torch lights dancing around the ruined building, searching for them. He only remembered that as Lestrade had pried John's hands away from Sherlock's chest and pulled him up, to let the paramedics swarm in, he finally broken down and wept in the man's arms.
A soft noise roused John from the memories that were like burnt like vile acid into his mind.
Sherlock turned his head slightly, his unfocused eyes peering over his shoulder.
"John?" he whispered. "Is that you?"
.: End of Part 1 of 6 :.