Summary: John realizes something and Sherlock is kidnapped.
Genre: hurt/comfort, slash, romance
Length: 1,800 words
Disclaimer: I do not own/am not associated with/make no money from Sherlock.
Sherlock Holmes was kidnapped and John Watson discovered he was in love with him.
It would make sense that the one instance precipitated the other; after all, there's nothing like discovering a person is in mortal danger to force an epiphany about one's feelings for said person. But the truth was, the two events, though ironic in timing, had very little to do with each other.
John Watson realized he was in love with his flat mate in that most unremarkable way in which such revelations creep up on people, while he was doing the shopping and had stopped to get Sherlock's brand of shampoo. It was less of a shock than it should have been; after all he had been in love for quite some time, (and well aware of a physical attraction for longer still). It had just taken that long for him to notice. So he said a soft, "oh," and then, "Well…alright," and continued the shopping.
He considered, as he walked home, whether this were the sort of thing he ought to share with Sherlock. Normally, he would work under the assumption that Sherlock was ten steps ahead of him and already knew, but feelings were trickier for Sherlock to unravel. Sherlock could very well reciprocate and not even know it. By the time he reached the door, John was feeling an odd mixture of euphoria and dread as he prepared himself to manage the near impossible and shock his flat mate.
The door was open. Mrs. Hudson was lying on the floor in the hallway.
The shopping didn't make it to the kitchen.
There were no signs of a struggle or a disturbance beyond that of an old lady left sprawled upon the floor. John checked her first, of course, dropping the bags and unconsciously reaching for supplies he didn't have on him. He breathed a sigh of relief when he found her heart and lungs to be in working order and then he called for an ambulance while checking for blows to the head or other wounds. He found a pinprick in her neck but no wounds as would be expected from a fall.
He called Sherlock's phone and heard it ring in the room above. He let it ring until it went to voicemail and then he shouted, just in case Sherlock was in and simply hadn't noticed someone walk into the flat and take out Mrs. Hudson. The paramedics arrived.
It was only after they were leaving with Mrs. Hudson and he debated going with her versus staying and trying to find out what had happened that it occurred to him he had no way of knowing that whoever had done this had actually left. They could have gotten Mrs. Hudson on their way in and be there still.
John called Lestrade and then cautiously but diligently searched the flat. There was no one there. No intruders. No signs of struggle. No Sherlock. There was Sherlock's phone. And his coat. And his scarf. The feeling of dread that had seeped into him when he saw Mrs. Hudson looking dead on the floor slowly grew and blossomed into something savage inside him. Something with teeth.
There was an envelope, sitting next to the phone. It was addressed to Mycroft.
Lestrade arrived and the flat became a crime scene. He asked John the usual questions; what did he see, what did he know, did Sherlock have a case, did he piss anyone off recently, beyond what was usual? The only new information John had about Sherlock was that he loved him, but he wasn't going to share that with Lestrade.
The hospital called to say Mrs. Hudson was awake.
Somehow, a meeting between John, Lestrade, and Mycroft convened in Mrs. Hudson's hospital room. She was able to share that Sherlock had been taken, but she didn't know by whom.
"They knocked at the door and I answered," she explained from her bed. Though she didn't seem to be having any ill effects, the hospital wanted to monitor her overnight just in case. "There were two of them and they had guns. One of them grabbed me and put the gun to my head. Sherlock came out just then. They told him to go with them and he did. I don't…I don't know what happened after that."
"You were drugged, Mrs. Hudson," John explained, holding her hand while fear and anger churned inside him. What sort could threaten little old ladies, could drug little old ladies? What would that kind of person do to Sherlock while he was in their power?
Mrs. Hudson squeezed his hand in return. "Don't you worry, dear, I know you'll get him back."
"Of course," John answered.
He would get him back. He was not going to discover that he loved him and then lose him forever on the same day.
Mycroft didn't trust his people. Someone among his people had talked to someone they shouldn't and informed them about a certain brother, a weakness, of a certain lowly government employee. That someone who shouldn't have been informed but was happened to be a very nasty someone, but not very smart. They were good enough to get to Mycroft, to get Sherlock, but they weren't good enough to completely cover their tracks. Their cryptic letter told Mycroft exactly who they were. His cameras, which they obviously didn't know about, told him where.
"I'm afraid calling for back up would only give whoever has turned among my people the chance to inform them," Mycroft said to conclude his explanation, "But I was able to procure this for you."
"This is…this is a license…to kill," John said, after taking a minute to study it.
"I know your back ground, Dr Watson. This may not be Afghanistan but this is war. They declared war upon me and all of England. Finish it and bring my brother home." And there was something so vicious, so deadly sparking behind Mycroft's eyes that for the first time John recognized that Mycroft was just as worried, as terrified, as angry as he was.
"Right," John said. He loaded his gun.
Getting in was surprisingly easy. These weren't master criminals or super geniuses; these were thugs who got lucky when Mycroft's intelligence sprung a leak. They got lucky when they implemented their kidnap plan. Their luck had run out.
There was one man guarding the door. He never even saw the hand that rammed into his throat. He was still trying desperately to recover and suck in oxygen when the fingers found his pressure point and he dropped into unconsciousness. John lowered him to the floor and onto his side before handcuffing him just to be on the safe side.
Mycroft had estimated that it was a small operation; quite likely made up of three men in all. He wasn't quite right. John silently took down two more men before he found the room where Sherlock was being held. Sherlock wasn't alone. Three men were with him.
John tried to hold onto the fact that Sherlock was alive and to shove all other emotions to the side. It wouldn't help the mission to notice the bruises. Or the blood.
The easiest and most satisfying way to act would be to burst into the room and shoot each man dead before they had time to react; he even had the license for it and these were most definitely not nice men. But that wasn't who John was. Sherlock was not at this moment in mortal danger and anyway, when did he ever pick the easy way?
He entered the room. Just as he expected, they were too slow to react when he shot the first one in the arm, the one he recognized from the tape as the one who held the gun to Mrs. Hudson's head and injected her. The second, a woman, got a shot to her hand when she reached for her weapon. The third threw his hands in the air as though in surrender before suddenly leaping towards Sherlock's bound form, shoving a knife threateningly towards his throat.
He was dead before he hit the ground. The remaining two were quite meek in allowing him to handcuff them.
Sherlock looked a bit dazed but alive and more or less whole, and completely perfect and beautiful while John cut him free, eyes drinking him in and assessing and his hands roamed, desperate to touch and to heal.
Sherlock let him, disturbingly compliant while John checked for broken bones and hidden traumas.
"John?" Sherlock said, slowly bringing his hand up towards where blood had splattered on his shirt.
John meant to say something like, "I'm fine," or "You're safe now." The sort of thing his training told him to say to trauma victims. The sort of things you say to friends. What came out was, "I love you."
Sherlock blinked at him. Their heads were quite close together, John practically in his lap as he ran his fingers over Sherlock's head, searching for head wounds. The fingers had frozen though, along with John's ability to breathe or to think, so now it was John holding Sherlock's head, with his lips inches away, and if their lives were a proper romance story, they'd be kissing at any moment.
But their lives aren't a romance and Sherlock's lips are covered in blood, and he still wasn't answering, just studying John as though he were a puzzle.
"Just…I just realized…and I thought you should know," John said after a moment of silence. So John didn't kiss Sherlock.
Sherlock kissed John. It was quick and chaste and left blood on John's lips.
"Sherlock?" John asked, slowly resuming his movement over Sherlock's scalp, while staring into his eyes and trying to judge with limited lighting whether he had a concussion.
"It's fine, John," he answered, "I'm fine. You're fine. We're…fine." At which point Sherlock suddenly leaned over and was sick all over John's shoes.
It turned out Sherlock did have a concussion. And cracked ribs. It could have been worse. Those men had really hated Mycroft Holmes; they had been discussing recording a torture session before John arrived.
Twenty-three days later a perfectly clear headed Sherlock bypassed John's favorite mug to grab the chipped one for his experiment, even though John's mug was clean and he had to wash the other one out. He stared at the mug as he held it under the water for a moment as a sudden and blinding realization hit him, before abandoning the mug and experiment altogether.
"John!" he called, "John! Oh, how stupid I've been not to realize…"
Luckily, John was not kidnapped that day. And their second kiss was decidedly less bloody than their first.