Relief Effort By Moonhawk64

A/N: Because I needed to. And because my prayers go out to the people of Japan, and all the search and rescue crews working so hard to help.

3/19/2011 - I originally stated - rather emphatically - that this one chapter was a oneshot, and I wasn't going to write any more on this. Boy was I wrong! This story demanded I write more!

Dr. John H. Watson, M.D., late of the British Army, now flatmate to one of the most brilliant - and eccentric - men he'd ever heard of, stared, appalled, at the telly, as images of the disaster in Japan were played out in small scale. Small scale on the telly, yes, but John had traveled in Afghanistan's bombed-out war-zones enough to come closer to truly comprehending the real scale of the disaster than most.

"God help them." He breathed, tears pricking his eyes as he saw the massive damage - farm fields and whole towns scraped completely clean and replaced with roiling water and mud-browned debris. They would be finding bodies for days - even weeks - and possibly thousands would never be found at all.

Suddenly, his phone rang, and John jumped. Sherlock, closer to it where it lay on the table than John (and to John's surprise), picked it up.

"It's Mycroft." Sherlock frowned, but, again to John's surprise, answered it anyway. "Yes?" He said with more politeness than usual, given the acrimonious relationship he had with his older brother. He listened for a few moments, then told John, "Mycroft says we're sending search and rescue crews to Japan and -." But John leapt up and grabbed the phone from the younger man.

"Mycroft, it's John. You know about my surgical and triage experience, but I also spent some time in Afghanistan with some U.S. blokes from San Francisco. I was curious about how they dealt with earthquakes, and they gave me a good deal of information, not just about the main quakes, but about the aftershocks, too. It's not the same as actual experience, I grant you, but I daresay I know more than most here. What I'm trying to say is -." John was apparently interrupted by Mycroft, but Sherlock already knew where he was going with this, and stiffened. He didn't like it. Not one bit. Disasters happened, people (as Moriarty so contemptuously pointed out) die. He had to bite his tongue not to protest, but bite it he did. Because John knew Sherlock and respected him; didn't try to change him (except for occasional reprimands if he went too far outside the boundries of social etiquette), and Sherlock could do no less for John. John had to go. And Sherlock would not insult him - or their friendship - by trying to talk him out of it.

"Yes, I know what I need. I can be ready to go in half an hour." John was saying. "Yes, I will. And...thank you." John rang off and glanced to Sherlock.

"Go." Sherlock said only. "I'll call Sarah and let her know." John gave him a grateful look.

"You'll take care of yourself while I'm gone?" John was enough Sherlock's friend to be worried, even as he started for his room to pack the few things he'd need.

"Yes." Sherlock assured him with a smile. "I'm sure Mrs. Hudson won't mind seeing to that. Worry about yourself and your patients. I'll be fine."

And John smiled briefly and left the room.