Disclaimer: I do not own Sherlock - just the dvd box set of season 1.

NOTE - Before reading this story, I suggest you first read "Necessary Risk". I suppose this could be read completely on its own, but it's a follow on from that story. I would like to give a shout out to the first 13 people to have reviewed "Necessary Risk" as it was because of their encouragement that I decided to continue the storyline. Thank you! =D
Any mistakes found are completely my own.

(SHERLOCK'S POV)

As he woke up, he realized the beeping noise of his heart continued. That warm hand was still in his, but he couldn't remember who it belonged to.

Beep. Beep.

That was not the only sound in the room. There were two others, two people talking.

"The area around the wound managed to get infected before we could treat it, and he had a fever. The infection is Peritonitis. I assume your familiar with it?" said a unfamiliar voice.

Someone else in the room must have nodded their affirmative, as the voice continued.

"What has happened is that this infection caused his fever, which then developed into a state of unconsciousness. Unfortunately, Mr Holmes then slipped into a coma. The Peritonitis is currently being treated with antibiotics, so that should clear up soon. I am afraid, however, that we don't know when he'll wake up from the coma. It could still be a few days, maybe weeks".

"Thanks anyway. He would've died if you hadn't been so quick with getting him to surgery".

"Me? You're the one who saved his life, Dr Watson. You quickly helped stop the bleeding, and managed to keep him awake for as long as you could. If you hadn't managed to keep awake for that little bit longer we might have lost him".

Then he heard a door being opened, then closing again. Someone was still in the room, only one of the voices had left. The one that was closest to him - the one holding his hand - had belonged to, who the unfamiliar voice had called, Dr Watson. He was still there, still holding onto his hand.

"Come on, Sherlock. You need to wake up…" began the Doctor. "You should see Mycroft. You think you two hate each other…. He's worried, Sherlock…we all are. Lestrade searched the building opposite the flat. It's been abandoned ever since the explosion, from the Carl Powers case, so it was free for the sniper to use. The sniper's body was found…apparently Moriarty was pretty pissed off for you being shot. He killed him…so much for not getting his hands dirty" he could almost hear John's smile.

He wanted to reply, but all he could do was sit there and listen. His eyelids wouldn't open, his mouth wouldn't respond.

"Jeez, Sherlock. When you wake up I'm going to kill you" he chuckled. "Next time, just yell at me to move or duck. I can do that as well as the next person, you know".

He felt himself slipping back into wherever he had partially woken up from. Back towards the darkness….

He woke up again, and knew that there was someone else in the room too. John's hand was still in his, but there was extra weight on the bed near the bottom of his bed.

"John…you need to get some rest" said a voice he recognized.

(JOHN'S POV)

"I have done, Mycroft-".

"Not here, John. You haven't moved from that chair, apart from when you have to. Go home. Eat, sleep, wash. Just take a break or something. Sherlock wouldn't want you to put yourself through this" Mycroft interrupted.

There was no answer. John didn't bother replying, and Mycroft didn't bother arguing. He knew that John wouldn't leave, but John agreed - he needed to eat, sleep and wash. He silently thanked Mycroft as he left, for getting Sherlock a private room, one that also had a bathroom that had a shower. Mrs Hudson had been round with a change of clothes, so he decided to take advantage and get washed and changed. He didn't want to leave Sherlock alone, so he went to the cafeteria on the same level of the hospital to get some food - even if it were horrible hospital food.

John returned to his previous position, but was worried when he noticed that Sherlock looked a little paler, and his heart rate had sped up.

(SHERLOCK'S POV) - Ten Minutes Earlier

He missed John's presence. It was comforting to know that he was there. When he wasn't, there was nothing for him to do but lie on his bed with nothing but silence.

It was some time later that he heard the door to his room reopen, and someone walked in. The footsteps sounded confident, loud, like he knew Sherlock was listening. He could sense someone at the side of his bed, looking at him.

"Well, my dear, it looks as though you're healing nicely. I would apologize about your getting shot, but it was really your own fault".

The voice sent a shiver down his spine, his blood draining from his face, and he heard his heart rate speed up slightly on the monitor. He heard Moriarty chuckle lightly.

"Don't worry, my dear. I'm not going to hurt you…not yet anyway. I'm not even going to hurt your pet. You'll need him to help you for the next case I send your way…" he continued. "I just wanted to see how you were doing. And to let you know I'll be in touch".

He felt a hand push away from strands of his hair from his face, and wanted so badly to be able to move away. He heard the footsteps retreat, and heard the door once more. Moriarty left. It was only a moment later when he heard the door open another time, and heard his heart speed up again.

He soon realized that this was not Moriarty, it was John.

"Sherlock? You in there? Can you answer me?" John's voice asked, as he gripped his hand. "If you can hear me, squeeze my hand, Sherlock".

'Cliché' Sherlock thought, but tried anyway. He wanted anyway to tell John he was okay, and to warn him that Moriarty was close by.

(JOHN'S POV)

"Come on, Sherlock. Just squeeze my hand…".

He looked down from Sherlock's face to the hand he was holding. Nothing had happened. He was about to sigh his disappointment.

Sherlock's fingers twitched.