From the Personal Blog of Doctor John Watson
He never ceases to amaze me, this Sherlock Holmes. His deductions, his insight, and his idiotically stubborn streak that yields to absolutely nothing. There really is no one else in the world like him. Possibly the closest thing you can find is Mycroft (he kidnapped me the other day, by the way, apparently just to check up on us—again), but he at least has what could possibly pass for tact. But just barely.
If you ever want Sherlock to admit something, you had better ready yourself for disappointment, misdirection, plenty of contempt, and many uncalled-for scathing remarks - and, by the way, while the last of those are often invariably true, it still doesn't stop them from stinging, or excuse them in any way.
As I managed to find out, though, that stubborn streak has managed to cling on all the way, crossing the line from idiocy into something that I'm not going to spell out - for decency's sake. I will spell out one thing, though.
That bloody idiot.
It was freezing cold on the rooftop, and John shuffled along with his hands shoved deep into his pockets in a vain attempt to ward off the biting air. His eyes roved around, breath fanning out thickly before him as he scrunched up his face and squinted in the dim light that had managed to penetrate the dark little corner.
He leaned over the concrete barrier just in time to see the dark outline of his flatmate emerge stealthily from a dark alley below, before Sherlock tilted his head up, quirking an eyebrow slightly as he looked up at him intently. John shook his head in reply, and even from his higher vantage point he could see Sherlock's irritated huff of breath. John started to smile and stopped himself just in time, envisioning with a mental smirk the accompanying expression in his flatmate's eyes.
Straightening up, John rolled his neck, hearing and feeling the small cracks and pops. Here they were, standing in the cold and waiting for a knife-wielding serial killer on a hunch based off of the fact that the killer had been wearing a hat. Which was based on…something that Sherlock had seen which led him to deduce that he was wearing a hat at all.
'Could be worse,' he thought, moving back across the flat rooftop, eyes still keeping a wary lookout. 'It could be snowing, for one.'
He reached the other end of the building, staring out over the London, taking the sight of it all in as the sounds of the city echoed down from what seemed like miles away.
A small huffing gasp interrupted his reverie, He stiffened immediately, a Pavlovic response cultivated from years spent scouting deserted villages with his company, and he whipped around in the next moment, brain shifting into defense mode.
A hulking figure stood across from him, bundled in a heavy coat with an odd plaid hat perched on the wide head, lending an odd sense of inappropriate comedy to the situation. The beefy right hand clutched cold steel, which shone in the moonlight. It was a hunting blade, the serrated edge shining like the sharp teeth of a feral animal, bared in attack, prepared to cut in, to bite down, to tear.
John's breath hitched in his throat as the two men stared at each other, puffs of grey breath drifting lazily in front of two stock-still figures. For several moments, all was clean and all was calm, and the only thing left in John's head was: 'How the hell did he know about that hideous hat?'
And then, just like that, time rushed back into action for both of them simultaneously, as they were suddenly galvanized into action at the same moment.
The doctor bellowed "Sherlock!" as the killer turned on his heel and fled across the roof.
"Sherlock, he's here!" John yelled again, beginning to give chase. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see the lone, dark figure begin to run, but he was headed for a building across the street. Ignoring the mild exasperation that flickered through his mind, John put aside the questions for later as he focused on the chase, dogging the man's heels as he sprung nimbly onto the next roof, clearing the gap between their building and the next easily.
The killer didn't seem to have any real direction as he tore through the night, but he seemed to think he knew how to lose a pursuer, as he took risks in an attempt to shake off the doctor. John was, of course, having none of it. He kept up the chase, following his every dodge and twist and turn.
The two of them leaped across another empty space onto a building that was still under construction, the scaffolding sticking out, skeletal and cold.
The wooden boards creaked warningly under his feet as he pounded over them, and he only tore his eyes away from his target when the rustle of a dark coat and accompanying footsteps announced the arrival of the world's only consulting detective.
"Sherlock!" John gasped as his flatmate fell into step behind him. "How the hell-?"
"Shortcut," Sherlock answered curtly. "Watch it, John, he's going up."
The doctor looked around to see the man's boots disappear up a plywood ramp up to the second, and top, story. He began to charge up, leaving Sherlock behind as he pulled the gun from the waistband of his slacks. Aiming it in front of him, he emerged through the small opening, steadying it as his eyes searched for their target. He was met with the dark scaffolding glaring back at him.
He took a cautious step forward, eyes straining, and as he began to turn he heard the obvious sound of feet on wood, slapping towards him.
In the blink of an eye, he felt someone push him, a body against his for a split second hard enough to send him stumbling forward as he heard Sherlock bark "John!"
Managing to keep his feet, the doctor turned and raised the gun, only to find that it had been Sherlock and that the detective was now grappling with a man who easily outweighed him by 100 pounds and happened to have a knife.
Of course, it was never good for one's health and well-being to underestimate Sherlock Holmes, as the man was beginning to find out as he was sent staggering backwards, blood beginning to pour from his nose.
The temporary shock that the doctor felt at the sudden rush of events was shaken off, the gun wavering momentarily before settling on the fight, then back down at the ground. He wasn't willing to risk a shot, not in this light, now with the two fighters in such quick motion.
Instead, he stepped forward, intending to help in some way, but there was another flurry of motion and the sharp sounds of fists hitting flesh, and the killer was slipping backwards. He staggered at the edge of the platform, arms flailing momentarily, his body finally tipping in what looked like bad slow motion.
Sherlock seemed to be leaning forward as well, and John only had time to be confused for a split second as he saw the heavy man's hand gripping a fistful of the heavy black coat. There was a scratch, a flutter, and a soft gasp that hung in the icy air; and that was all the evidence that the two men had been there in the first place as they disappeared over the edge and into the dark.
Words sticking in his throat, John ran to the edge, trying to ignore the sudden sting of bile as he heard an ear-splitting metallic crash and a snapping noise that made his jaw tighten.
Skidding to a stop, the doctor leaned over the edge, eyes falling upon the dark heap on the ground. Hearing his own heartbeat pounding in his ears, his eyes strained to see any signs of life from the sprawled mess below him.
"Sherlock?" he called, tentative. Then again, louder, "Sherlock!"
A groan reached his ears, and he immediately fell silent, listening carefully.
Sherlock's voice floated up, somehow managing to sound pained, exasperated, and slightly embarrassed all in the same tone. "Oh, must you shout, John? It's really not helping any."
John smiled, relief far outweighing any irritation he could have felt from the snippy retort. "Not dead, then?"
"Not as far as I'm aware."
"Good. Try and keep it that way until I get down, yeah?"
He turned and made his way down the scaffolding, his flatmate's quiet chuckle being the only answer he was going to receive.
By the time that John reached the ground, Sherlock was crouched over the target, one hand stretched out to check the man's pulse as he lay face-down on the pavement.
"Alive," Sherlock said, pulling his hand back and looking up at John with an unreadable expression in his pale eyes. "Though you may want to call our good friend Lestrade soon, that was a rather nasty fall."
"What, and you're just fine?"
Sherlock pursed his lips as he pulled the long blade away from the killer, eyes roving over the cold steel. "I…may have maneuvered into a more favorable position to minimize contact with the ground."
John blinked. "So…you landed on him."
"More or less. I also managed to catch myself a bit. Not much, but enough."
The doctor's eyes flickered upwards to the scaffolding that stuck out, the worry becoming more and more evident as it etched itself into his brow.
"You hit that?" he asked, incredulous. "Was that the godawful noise I heard?"
"No," Sherlock mused, still crouched over their target. "I suspect that was the sound of this man's legs breaking."
John sighed, rubbing the bridge of his nose before glaring at his flatmate, the irritation finally beginning to show. "Sherlock…" he began, but his partner interrupted before he could continue.
"John, you really should call Lestrade," he said, still not bothering to look back at the doctor. "Our killer may be out of it now, but his waking up and screeching like an owl is not something I really feel like dealing with." With that, Sherlock stood up, only to wobble slightly, immediately catching the doctor's eye. The worry returned as he stepped forward.
"What is it?" John asked, but as usual, the consulting detective brushed off the concerned doctor.
"Nothing, John, it's nothing," he snapped, irritation practically dripping off of every word, but the doctor had the sneaking suspicion that it wasn't irritation over the fact that John was hovering, but rather over the fact that he'd even wobbled in the first place.
The doctor couldn't hold back an irritated huff. "You fell off of the roof of a two-story building! Sherlock, it's not 'nothing.' You really should have someone look you over."
"You're a doctor, you'll do," Sherlock said, waving a hand dismissively. "And that was a double negative. But you should really call Lestrade."
It was fortunate that the detective was still looking at the suspect to make sure he wasn't about to get up any time soon, as he missed John rolling his eyes at the utter hopelessness of it all.
It only took a few minutes for the police to show up, which was fortunate, seeing as how they were in a random dark alley, and the guy had started to wake up.
What was unfortunate was that Sergeant Donovan had to show up as well.
"Figures that it would be you," she grumbled, glancing over at the tall frame in the shadows, dark and unmoving. "Freak," she added, almost as an afterthought.
"Always a pleasure, Donovan," he replied, the tone snide and yet distantly polite, not revealing in the slightest how the consulting detective felt (or, as Sally Donovan thought, if he felt at all).
Of course, John Watson was nothing at all like the Sergeant, and could see the annoyance building inside the man with every passing minute, the tugging at the edges of the detective's mouth and the stiff stance he'd adopted giving him away.
"Did quite a number at him," Donovan continued, eyeing a small spatter of blood on the ground where the man had been lying. "Sure there's nothing else you want to tell us? Perhaps you have a constant uncontrollable urge to push people off roofs? Anything else at all that you failed to mention?" Her voice was laden with sarcasm, but the meaning behind it was clear.
Sherlock's pale eyes flickered, the look holding such contempt with narrowed eyes and a barely concealed sneer that for a brief moment, all John could picture was a snake, a black mamba with those same grey eyes, coiled and set for a very angry, venomous counterattack.
The doctor opened his mouth to intervene, but Lestrade beat him to it.
"Donovan!" the Detective Inspector snapped in his usual brusque manner. "Accompany him," he jabbed a finger towards the drowsy suspect, "to the hospital, and stay with him until he can remember his own name, at least, and question him."
"Got it," Donovan said, standing up from where she had been crouching to inspect something on the ground. Brushing her hands off, she walked towards the suspect, not bothering to give the consulting detective a backward glance.
Lestrade, once sure that Donovan was following his orders, turned his glare to the shadowed figure of Sherlock Holmes.
"What the hell happened?" the older man asked, the tired tone belying just how many times he'd had to ask that question in the past.
"We found the killer," Sherlock said, the tone of his own voice revealing the exact same thing. "And we caught him, in a manner of speaking. What more could you possibly need to know?"
"How he ended up at the bottom of a building with two broken legs might be an excellent start."
Sherlock huffed, glaring off in the general direction of the ambulance as it began to pull away.
"Why don't you just ask him?" he said, gesturing at the vehicle as it disappeared. Hr sounded annoyed and almost tired, about as close to a petulant whine as the detective had ever gotten since John had known him.
"First off, we don't even know who he is!" Lestrade said angrily.
"I told you, he's the serial killer who—"
The Detective Inspector held up a hand to interrupt. "Not only that," he continued, "but I highly doubt he's going to be very responsive with enough drugs to dull the pain of two broken legs."
"So take him off the drugs—"
"Oh, yes, great idea, instead of being unconscious or drugged up, he'll be screaming in agony. Brilliant."
"He deserves it. I mean, what kind of idiot tries to land on his feet after a—"
"That's not the point, Sherlock!" Lestrade yelled, finally losing it. Sherlock sniffed, but fell silent, avoiding Lestrade's gaze. The Detective Inspector took a deep breath before continuing with very badly concealed anger.
"You can't keep doing this, Sherlock, it's not…" Lestrade struggled with the words for a second, "It's not healthy. If you keep this up, thinking that you're invincible and running around confronting killers, it's only going to be a matter of time before we find you bleeding to death in an alley again because you managed to get yourself shot by a serial killer! And that's only if you're lucky, because the way you're going, we just might end up finding your goddamned corpse!"
Sherlock let out a breath that was almost a hiss, eyes flicking momentarily to John before glancing away, the edges of his mouth turning down in obvious disapproval.
John simply stared between the two, trying to absorb that bit of information. It was obvious that Sherlock would have much preferred that he not know about it, and John couldn't figure out if he was better off not knowing about his flatmate nearly dying. In retrospect, he really shouldn't have been surprised, but that didn't mean that the good doctor was going to worry less. Quite the opposite, in fact.
"This has nothing to do with the killer, does it," Sherlock said, his voice soft now. "You don't really care all that much about what happened, you already know I'm right about him being guilty. You only seem to care that I don't do things the way you want me to. You're trying to goad me into saying that I did something stupid so you can use that opportunity to puff yourself up something superior."
Lestrade snorted. "Please. You do that to us every single day." He crossed his arms, eyes still narrowed. "Listen, I'll give you until tomorrow…" a quick check of his watch had him correcting his statement, "or later today, I guess, to make your statement. But really, this is the last time the paperwork will wait. I'm getting tired of this game, Sherlock. You're no good to anyone if you're dead."
Sherlock muttered, "Scientific cadaver," under his breath, but Lestrade was already walking away. The two men stared after him, the silence stretching out before John finally got up the nerve to say something to break it.
"So…you've been shot, then?" he said conversationally, more of a statement than a question.
"Yes," came the stiff reply.
Another short silence.
"So…it was pretty serious, then?"
Sherlock's mouth twisted. "He may have exaggerated a bit."
"…about the whole 'bleeding to death' thing?"
"About the whole 'alley' thing. It was definitely a street. It even has traffic cameras, which is how my overly protective brother has now gotten wind of things."
John forced himself to bite back a groan as Sherlock swept past him, heading towards the street. By the time that John caught up, the consulting detective had already managed to find a cab despite the early hour, leaving the doctor to scramble in after him. It was only as the vehicle had been moving along for a few minutes that John finally noticed his flatmate, looking even paler than usual and his face screwed up in what was obviously pain.
"Sherlock, what's wrong?" he asked, worry flooding through him for what felt like the tenth time that night. "Are you all right?"
"John," Sherlock answered, hints of irritated patience peppering his speech. "I managed to get myself pulled off of a building by a serial killer. Now, despite the fact that I managed to soften the blow quite a bit, I would like to point out that it is an entirely logical assumption that yes, I may have sustained some kind of damage." His arms, folded neatly across his torso, shifted slightly. The movement sent a wince flitting across the detective's face. "In this case, I believe I cracked a rib, quite possibly two."
"Lestrade may have been right then, about the whole 'you taking too many risks' thing," John said without thinking.
Sherlock, who had opened his mouth to say something else, closed it again, a thoughtful expression settling onto his face like a mask. That reaction immediately sent small pangs of guilt through the doctor.
"Sorry," he said quietly. "I'll take a look at you when we get back to the flat then, all right?"
"Not necessary," came the immediate curt reply. "I've dealt with this before, and I certainly don't need your help this time around."
The comment stung, and John knew better than to hide it from the detective. Besides, it wouldn't be the first time Sherlock had delivered a barbed comment, and the doctor had figured out by this point that most of the time it was better that he saw his words had had their intended impact. It seemed to cheer him up a bit faster.
The rest of the drive was in a cold silence, both men lost in their thoughts. When they finally arrived, Sherlock exited the cab with the quiet swish of the greatcoat, and had already disappeared into their flat by the time that John paid the cabbie and got inside. When he'd finally reached the door, Sherlock was seated in the large chair, arms folded and staring off into space.
John sighed. He always hated it when Sherlock got like this.
"Tea? He asked. The only answer he got was a pensive grunt, which he decided to take as a 'yes.' Once again, silence fell upon the flat, save for the sound of cups clinking and water being poured.
Leaning against the sink, John inhaled deeply. It was early, far too early, but their conversation in the cab—if you could call it that—was bothering him. He didn't want to go to bed to leave it hanging like that.
So he brought Sherlock his tea, leaving it on the small table next to him. He had just turned back for his own cup when he heard the small hiss of pain from the man behind him. He whirled around in time to see the detective snatching his hand back from where he'd been reaching for the cup.
"Sherlock…" John began, his tone pointed and worried, but his flatmate didn't allow him to finish.
"My ribs are broken," he snapped, defensive. "I just forgot."
"You forgot?" John said, incredulous. "How the hell do you forget about broken ribs?"
"I just stopped thinking about it. Thought you would understand that kind of thing," Sherlock answered snidely.
"Why's that, then?" John snapped right back. "Because I'm such an idiot that I forget something as soon as it happens?"
The look on Sherlock's face, one of badly concealed amusement, told him that this just might be the case, and John could feel the anger rising up, his temper flaring.
"Oh, really? This is all back to my idiocy? Because I'm too stupid to really be thinking in the first place? Well, let me inform you of something, Mr. Holmes, that's just not how normal people think. We can't just go delete things like a computer, and we tend to remember something as important as pain!"
John nearly continued, but forced himself to stop when he looked back at his flatmate. Any amusement had gone, to be replaced with an expression that was nearly impossible to place. It wasn't hurt, it wasn't shock, and it wasn't irritation…but it seemed to be all of them without really being any of them.
"Fine," Sherlock said, staring at the doctor with an icy gaze before looking away. "I'll just give up on being normal so I can be somewhat intelligent. I do hope it's not a terribly inconvenience to you."
"It's pain, Sherlock! You're allowed to feel pain, at least!"
"Maybe. I'd much prefer not to," Sherlock said idly.
Utterly frustrated, John turned on his heel away from the detective. His tea forgotten, he stalked away from the room, only to be stopped by the sound of his mobile announcing he'd gotten a text, ringing from where he'd left it in his coat pocket downstairs.
The doctor glared over his shoulder. "If that was you…"
In response, Sherlock raised an empty hand, leaving the other thrown across his stomach, before returning it to its previous position under his chin. Never once did he bother to look over, as if the wall had suddenly become exponentially more interesting.
Fully aware that his flatmate was entirely capable of having sent that text, John went down the stairs with a grumble. Rummaging through the pockets of his coat, he yanked out his phone. Answering the text, he was surprised to see that it wasn't from Sherlock, but Lestrade.
'Tell Sherlock I've given Donovan my blessing to punch him next time she sees him,' the text read, and John sighed.
"What did you do this time?" he called up the stairs.
"Was that Lestrade or Donovan?"
"Hm. Thought it would be Donovan."
"What did you do?" John repeated, exasperated.
"Oh. I switched their keys 'round. And their ID's. I would have switched their wallets, but Donovan didn't have one, so I just gave her Lestrade's." The voice was smug, and John could picture the self-satisfied smirk.
"Well," John countered, "he's given Sergeant Donovan permission to hit you, so I'd be a bit more careful from now on."
John turned back, beginning to walk up the stairs as he covered up a yawn. He was only half-paying attention to what Sherlock was beginning to say, feeling himself starting to get tired. It was accentuated by the fact that he'd just attempted to shove his phone in his pocket, only to miss completely. The phone slipped from his hand, hitting the wood step with a healthy 'thunk.'
Swearing under his breath, the doctor leaned down. His fingertips had just brushed against the cold metal of the phone when his attention was caught by something else on the stair, something that glistened in the low light.
Sherlock was still muttering away when John came back in, an unreadable expression on his face.
"Why is there blood on the stairs?" John demanded.
The mumbled words cut off instantaneously as Sherlock finally turned to look at the doctor. He blinked once, and then simply looked away again, the bored expression settling over his face again.
"Oh. That." he said, curling his long fingers into a fist and tucking under his chin. "It's nothing."
"Nothing? Nothing?" John sputtered. "There's blood all over the stairs, that's not nothing."
Sherlock waved a dismissive hand at him. "You worry too much."
The doctor was across the room in four strides, staring down at his flatmate. "No, Sherlock," John corrected, "you don't worry at all. Where are you hurt? Show me."
The consulting detective scoffed. "Please. I don't need your help."
John's eyes flitted down to his flatmate's arm that had been folded over his side since he had come in. "Really?" he said, crossing his arms. "Then show me your hands."
"John, I don't—"
"Show me," the doctor snapped. It was no longer a request. It was an order.
After only a few seconds of resistance, during which Sherlock regarded John with a cold glare, he pulled his hand away from his side and proffered it, the pale skin dark and slick with blood.
A.N: Not my first story, but my first on this account. I'm not happy with my old stories (they were for old fandoms I don't follow anymore), and I decided making a new account would be faster for my new fics and fandoms I'll be working with.
Anyways, part one of two! Only a two-shot this time around. Generally, I like one-shots, but this one turned out to be too long, and my Beta-reader suggested I make it into two parts (she's the lovely wolstensherlockholmes on Tumblr), so I decided, Why not?
Part two, coming soon. Sorry about the sort-of cliffhanger, I do feel a bit bad about that...