A/N: So I just saw Sherlock for the first time and marathoned it with my sister- I am totally hooked! I pretty much had to write something for it, so here's my first attempt.
"This way, John! Left, remember, left!" Sherlock ran quickly, feet pounding on wet pavement as he attempted to apprehend a criminal, one who he strongly suspected was responsible for a string of murders near Waltham Forest. John was right behind him, of course, and Sherlock had been trying to teach him something of the London street system for the past few days. It had been a less than satisfactory attempt with less than satisfactory results. Honestly, Sherlock could hardly understand how someone as bright as the doctor admittedly was, could be so dim-witted at times.
One of the downsides to being a genius, he supposed, is constantly recognizing the shortcomings of others.
"Sherlock," John panted, running up behind him. "I'm certain that you know exactly where we are going."
"Of course," Sherlock answered as he began to climb a fire escape ladder.
"And you're certain we can actually catch him?"
"Yes," Sherlock snapped, clambering up onto the roof. "We wouldn't be chasing after him if we couldn't, now would we?"
"No," John huffed, "I suppose not." He climbed over the ridge of the roof after Sherlock and took a second, resting his hands on his knees, head hanging forward.
Sherlock looked back and offered his companion a half smile.
"In fact, my dear Watson, I'm certain that we shall meet up with him on the other side of this roof," he said, then leapt from the roof they were on to one adjacent and a bit lower. He hit the ground running and wasn't surprised to hear John swearing from behind him as the shorter man landed. Something about Sherlock's ancestors, which was quite unreasonable as well as futile; cursing them now would hardly have any effect on anyone.
Sherlock turned back to the matter at hand and tore across the roof, swiftly ascending the ladder on the other side. Watson was only a few steps behind him, climbing down the ladder in a rather graceful manner that didn't seem to fit his short stature.
Sherlock spotted their suspect running around the corner towards them just as John drew up to his side. Sherlock moved to block the man's path.
"See? Suspect, right where I-"
His words were cut off abruptly by the sound of gunfire. It took him a second to realize that their suspect is the one shooting at them, at which point he threw himself to the ground, hands instinctively coming up to cover his head. He heard a grunt from behind him as John hit the ground at his side. The shots finally stopped, a sudden silence that was almost as surprising as the sudden noise that had erupted, followed by retreating footsteps.
"Well," Sherlock said, getting to his feet and brushing his coat off. "That was unexpected."
"Yes," John muttered, pushing himself up so that he was leaning against a wall. "Quite."
"I'll have to entirely recalculate my route now," Sherlock muttered, already mapping out the new route in his head. "Bother. I don't know that even my superior knowledge of London's interminable maze of streets will be enough to get us ahead of him now."
"Oh," John said, a bit faintly. "I don't think I'm up for anymore running today, Sherlock."
Sherlock frowned. There was something distinctly wrong about John's tone, though he couldn't put his finger on what it was, likely because it wasn't one that he'd heard from Watson before.
"You're always up for running," Sherlock mumbled to himself, calculating a backup plan in his head. If they weren't going to run, then it was unlikely that they would be able to apprehend their man… "I suspect it's a reaction to your time with that limp and the restrictions it placed on your movement. It would only make sense that you would feel cooped up without the ability to-"
"I, um, I…I like running," John agreed quietly, his voice trailing off. "But I don't think…Sherlock?"
Sherlock turned around, frowning, wondering why in the world John was so incoherent, and stopped dead in his movements.
John was blinking in confusion, his face drained of any color, and he was slumped uncomfortably against the wall. One hand was pressed to his side, near the bottom of his ribcage, and blood was leaking out from between his fingers.
"John, have you been…you've been…"
Sherlock couldn't think. His logic, his reasoning was suddenly gone, failing in the face of this…whatever this was. What was this exactly? It was certainly shaping up to be a tragedy, maybe even of Shakespearean heights. Like Hamlet, perhaps. Certainly not Macbeth, not Romeo and Juliet either…
John let out a weak chuckle that quickly broke off into a wheezing cough. Sherlock looked at him quizzically.
"Hell of a time…for you to lose…that deductive reasoning of yours," he mumbled, smiling weakly.
"Oh," Sherlock said, blinking. "Yes, I suppose so."
"Do y' think that you could help me?" John asked finally, and just like that, the fog that had been blurring Sherlock's thinking dissipated.
"What have I been doing?" He barked suddenly, rushing towards John and easing him onto his back. "Just hang on a moment, I'll call an ambulance."
"You prefer…texting," John said.
"Well, desperate times and all that," Sherlock said, speaking tersely into the phone and pressing a hand against John's wound. The smaller man hissed in pain, wincing.
"The suspect," John gasped out as Sherlock said a few short words into the phone before hanging up. "You let him…get away."
"Yes, I did," Sherlock answered, frowning at how much blood was still coming, coating his hand. He tugged his scarf off and pressed it against the wound. John frowned.
"Your scarf," he murmured, looking at it in a daze. "But you won't even…let me touch…your scarves."
"Listen John. I am doing what I must to help you, and I don't care about the suspect, or about my scarf. Isn't that what friends do?"
John blinked slowly, offering Sherlock a hazy smile.
"Friends? Thought we…were colleagues."
Sherlock pressed harder against the wound and tried not to panic. John was obviously slipping into shock. What he wouldn't give for one of Lestrade's hideous orange blankets now…
"John, I have been closely analyzing our relationship, and I am certain that we are, in fact, friends. First, you have saved my life on more than one occasion. Second, you do the grocery shopping even when it's my turn. Third, you let me play my violin at all bloody hours. Fourth, we are flatmates and actually get on quite well. Conclusion: we are friends."
John laughed softly, wincing as his breath caught.
"Bit…one-sided," he said softly. "You've…saved…m' life too."
Sherlock frowned and pondered that a moment before nodding.
"I always get something wrong," he said, then grew quite panicked when John's eyelids began to flutter closed.
"No, no, John, don't sleep," he said, firmly patting his companion's cheek. He'd seen in shows on the telly where people always refused to let their injured friends sleep, and he'd thought it rubbish; if they were going to sleep, they were going to sleep. Now, though, with John the injured party, he was absurdly determined that he would keep his friend alert until the ambulance arrived.
"John. Don't you want to hear my amended list?"
John forced his eyes open, staring without focus at Sherlock.
"'mended?" He slurred.
"Yes," Sherlock answered. John's breathing was growing heavier, more labored. Sherlock looked again at the wound and realized with a start that it was very possible that it had hit his friend's lung. He shook his head and pressed firmer, refusing to allow himself to panic. John needed him.
"Yes," he repeated, "Amended. My earlier list was, indeed, one-sided. Do you know how I know we're friends, John?"
"No," John said, his head drooping.
"None of that, Watson. Look at me."
John gazed blearily at Sherlock.
"We're friends because I am absolutely lost without my blogger. Because I have let you become a hero, when I know that I shouldn't have. Because without you, John, I don't know what I am doing anymore."
John's mouth quirked up in a weak half-smile.
"Knew you'd…figure it out…'ventually," he murmured, his head falling forward limply.
"John? John! Damn it!" Sherlock yelled, cradling John's lolling head. John's blood had seeped through his scarf now, some of it staining Sherlock's hand, some trickling down to join the growing pool next to John's still body.
The wail of sirens was a welcome sound.
"Over here!" Sherlock yelled, as soon as he heard footsteps. "Here! I need help!"
The ambulance attendants came quickly, taking blood pressure and pulling out oxygen masks and shouting foreign medical words at each other. They moved John onto a stretcher, one of them squeezing a bag over his face, the other pressing wads of gauze to his side.
"Is he okay?" Sherlock asked, walking quickly behind them. His hands were covered in blood, and he was surprised to see them shaking.
"We're doing everything we can," a medic said, which wasn't really all that reassuring. "You look terrible. Have a seat here, the police will want to speak to you."
The man guided Sherlock onto the sidewalk and wrapped one of those bloody orange blankets around his shoulders, and a moment later Lestrade was hurrying next to him.
"What happened, Holmes?" He asked, and Sherlock was surprised that his tone was far less demanding than usual.
"We were chasing a suspect," he answered. "We've done it before, never had trouble, but this bloke started shooting at us. John was hit."
"Bloody hell," Lestrade muttered, running a hand through his hair. "Let's get you over to the hospital, Holmes. I'll make sure this is taken care of."
"Thanks," Sherlock murmured, allowing Lestrade to steer him towards a police car.
John woke to the familiar sounds of a hospital. He pried his eyelids open and took in the standard heart monitor and nasal cannula, and the less standard chest tube poking out of his side. Probably a lung injury, then.
"Oh, you're awake," a familiar voice drawled from the doorway. "I was starting to despair a bit."
"Sherlock," John croaked, his throat surprisingly raw. Breathing tube, too. Must have been bad.
"You've done a Very Bad Thing," Sherlock said as he flung himself into a chair. his long legs draped over the side.
"Have I?" John muttered, reaching for a cup of water on the table next to his bed. Sherlock handed it to him.
"Yes. You have. You scared me half to death, John."
"Well. It wasn't all that fun for me, either."
There was an awkward pause between them for a moment before Sherlock cleared his throat.
"I'm not all that good at this comfort thing. That was always Mycroft's area of expertise."
John snorted and nearly choked on his water.
"What?" Sherlock asked, perplexed. "It's not that surprising, surely."
"Not you, no," John managed, wiping his mouth. "But Mycroft? Comforting? Oh, your poor mother."
Sherlock scowled at him a moment before smiling slightly and changing the subject.
"You'd best get well soon, John. I'm already growing bored. Your day nurse, Gretchen, is having an affair with her mailman, probably from somewhere exotic, and your night nurse Jill is attending med school during the day. If I don't find something else to do, I'll soon have all the nurses on the ward psychoanalyzed, and heaven knows how dramatic nurses are."
"Quite," John said, a hint of a smile playing at his lips. "How very dull."
"Yes," Sherlock said. "So get well before I begin shooting up the wall. This wallpaper is horrendous."
"Just asking for it," John agreed. He was already growing tired, a result, he suspected, of the pain medication that was dulling the pain and turning the world fuzzy.
"You'd best get some sleep," Sherlock said. "You look dreadful."
John nodded, his eyes already slipping shut.
"And don't concern yourself with anything. I've already done the shopping, and I haven't forgotten the milk this time…"
John drifted off to sleep with Sherlock chatting comfortably in his ear and a smile on his face.