[BBC Sherlock Fan-Fiction]
Sherlock lurched down the dank alley, his feet splashing in puddles of water left by the late rains. He threw an arm up against the brick wall beside him as his leg threatened to give out. He was panting. Hard. Had he ever run that fast or that far before?
Certainly not like this…
A blast of pain, muffled as it was by exhaustion and the cold of the night, shot up the side of his body and he collapsed to the damp cement. He forced his trembling body into a sitting position, leaning back against the wall. He clamped his arm tight over his side.
He could feel its warmth.
"You'll come with me, Mr. 'olmes?" The man was smiling almost warmly, his face crinkled with old age. Sherlock stayed sitting on his chair, lifting the edge of his tea mug to his lips.
"You promise to make this interesting for me?" he asked drily. That wasn't what he wanted to ask. The man's wrinkles deepened as his smile spread.
"Oh, very, Mr. 'olmes. And, of course, things'll stay quite dull for your Dr. Watson." There it was, that thing he wouldn't ask.
Watson will remain unharmed?
Sherlock sighed theatrically and stood up, as if he was being charitable by paying the man any attention. He set his mug down, removed his dressing gown, and walked over to the door, where his blue-gray wool coat hung from a peg.
"I want your man tailing Dr. Watson to be called off immediately," he ordered as he pulled the jacket over his thin arms. The man seemed pleased with that.
"Not 'til you see 'im, sir," the man replied amiably. "'e doesn't want you runnin' off before you get there or somefin." Sherlock forced his temper down. He should have been used to this by now—being spirited away in the middle of the night by the desires of some criminal who thought he was a big-shot in the black underbelly that was the beast of London. Someone big enough to take down Sherlock Holmes. But this time it was different—normally it was a gun to the head and a threatening grimace. This time it was a content Watson, strutting down the aisles of a supermarket, an ordinary man in a dark coat following with a knife.
He knew Watson could take care of himself, but… This was what "friends" do—they looked out for each other. And even if they weren't friends, Watson was the one person who stood by his side, and he at least owed him something for that.
"Silve' ca', two 'ouses down," the man said, still sounding as pleased and happy as before. "We'll be the'e befo'e you know it, Mr. 'olmes."
Sherlock groaned despite himself as he attempted to move to a more comfortable position. He tried to throw his arm against the trash can beside him so it could take some of his weight, but with a massive clang and a rattle it toppled to its side, sending up a splash of water as its contents rolled onto the soaked street. He hissed sharply as his side flared. He pressed down tighter; the blood ran faster.
He reached for his cell phone, as was his habit. His fingers curled around empty space. Again. Of course he didn't have it. He had taken it. Him,
Todd stood in the middle of his blackened warehouse, a few thugs on either side as the silver sedan pulled into the vast, empty room. He was a youthful crime boss of the underworld—twenty-six, with over six feet of height, tanned skin packed beneath with muscle, shortly cropped black hair that showed a scar near the left edge of his hairline. He wasn't a particularly complicated or interesting man—raised in a house of moderate income, a natural evil streak in him made him strike into the work of the black market, using his natural strength and average cunning to gain a spot for himself in London's underbelly. He had risen somewhat quickly, thanks to the fact that average intelligence was considerably higher than the usual level of intellect in the crime circles, and he was currently resting on his laurels as the boss of a somewhat successful crime ring. He was grinning darkly as Sherlock's door was opened and the consulting detective stepped out.
Sherlock looked around, clearly disinterested. He counted the men—seven, including the older man who had picked him up in the first place and the two far behind him near the main warehouse door. In front of him, Todd, two men on his left and one on his right. Sherlock gave another theatrical sigh and turned to Todd.
"Your man. On my Watson." Todd's grin grew, creeping up the left side of his face.
"No pleasantries?" Sherlock stared at him, his face impassive. Todd didn't seem to mind.
He turned to the older man, standing faithfully near Sherlock's left elbow.
"Mr. Parkinson, if you would? I don't think we'll have any use of him, now." Sherlock's eyes narrowed, but it wasn't the kind of movement a dim son of the black market wouldn't catch. Mr. Parkinson reached into Sherlock's pocket, his hand grasping for the Blackberry Sherlock was known to never travel without. Sherlock didn't protest. Parkinson's fingers found their mark and he pulled the mobile out. With unusual dexterity for someone who hadn't been raised in the age of technology, he clicked out a message, pressed send, and then tossed it to Todd.
"'e's got 'is orders, sir," Mr. Parkinson informed him.
"You wonder why you never interested me?" Sherlock Holmes asked abruptly. Some of the thugs looked bewildered, though they tried to mask it, but Todd and Parkinson, to their credits, seemed fairly still. "The reason why I never personally hunted you down like I have so many of your contemporaries, to the point where, to prove yourself as something more than a child who thought he'd get off on the miseries of others, you had to call me to your hiding spot?" There was a heavy silence, the air even thicker for the recently fallen rain. Todd arched an eyebrow at him.
"'cause you couldn't find me, I reckon." There was a malicious laugh from either of his sides. Sherlock rolled his eyes.
"Do you really reckon a second-rate criminal like you would escape my notice? No, Calacus Todd, I don't find you interesting because there's nothing creative or challenging about a criminal who lies." He pointed imperiously at the Blackberry still in Todd's hands.
"If you think you've struck me some blow by ordering your man to strike out at my colleague, you're quite mistaken. Watson can take care of himself."
But even an army doctor could fail to notice a plain man with a hidden knife until it was too late.
"Then why did you come, Holmes?" Todd asked, sounding unimpressed.
"For you," he responded, his tone still light and disinterested. "Although I am in no position to arrest you, if you truly think I couldn't tell this was Warehouse 665 on Seaworth Lane, despite your blacking out all the windows, than you have greatly underestimated me." That seemed to get under Todd's skin. "You can keep your freedom, for now, but it won't be long before the forces of Scotland Yard are swarming over your hideout. And you don't have the intelligence to move from this place cleanly enough to avoid my gaze." Todd was torn between fury and dark amusement, now.
He pulled out a knife, very much like the kind Sherlock had imagined his agent would pull out on Dr. Watson.
"Who said anything about you ever leaving this place to tell them?"
He was losing blood. Quickly. His coat and shirt were completely soaked through in the surrounding areas, and the clean material around that was beginning to draw more up into its fibers. He had to tell Lestrade, or Watson, or someone that he was there, sitting there and dying and bleeding.
What a pathetic way to go. Years of hunting down criminals, making London's streets safer, and now he was going to perish in one of them along with a pile of loose trash and a puddle of filthy water.
As much as he hated the idea, he was hoping. Hoping they would find him, there, against that filthy wall in that black night.
They never expected him to be fast.
Sherlock sank his fist into one of the thugs' guts, shattering his momentum and causing him to fall to the ground in the fetal position.
They always resorted to brute violence, eventually, and it was where they fell. If they would just bother to be elegant and quick, a single bullet at close range, they would have him. But they wanted to scare him, to make the terror of the underworld hurt for his crimes against the criminals. They didn't use their guns, their single bullets. They used a small cache of thugs.
And they never expected him to be strong.
He swung his leg up and around, striking another in the back of his head, crashing his chin into the cement below them. He pivoted on the ball of his left foot, catching another man's arm as he swung a blow at Sherlock's head.
They never talked about this part, the men who attacked him. Strange, for all the stories they told of his stark intelligence, the chill of his personality and the contempt in his eyes. For all they talked, and ranted, and raved, and warned their fellow criminals of the bane that was this man, they never mentioned the part where he beat them to the black gates of hell and back. How the brainiac had bested them not just at his own game, but at theirs, too.
Sheer physical violence.
He threw his torso down in a swift bend, upending the man and causing him to flip over Sherlock's shoulder. He skipped, almost ballerina like for his grace and his thin limbs, over the spasmming assemblage of criminals prostrate before his feet. He turned, his eyes on the silver car.
Parkinson was already in the driver's seat, fumbling with the keys and trying to turn it on. Todd stood nearby, his gaze fixated on Sherlock's, the knife still clenched in his hands. He looked full of loathing, but uncertain, too.
He wanted to kill Sherlock. But he didn't know if he could.
Sherlock quirked the corner of his lip up into a smirk.
Sherlock was faster, lighter, and far more clever than Todd, and with a simple side-step Todd went ramming past him, like a bull against the matador. Sherlock's smirked stretched a little at the analogy. Just like the bull, Todd would face his defeat at the hands of a being much smaller and, in pure strength, much weaker than him.
Todd turned again, still charging. This time Sherlock didn't avoid him—that could get boring too fast, and he was tired of dealing with this. He wanted to get home, finish his tea, open the newspaper for potential interests, and wait until Watson returned to the flat to have him make more tea. Rumbles in dank, filthy warehouses by the docks could only be entertaining if they happened at irregular enough intervals, and this one had outlasted its welcome.
He caught Todd's arm as the blade of the knife neared his abdomen; for a moment the two struggled. Had he said he was so much weaker than Todd? Alright, not entirely true. Sherlock Holmes had a stunning amount of strength in those invisible muscles of his. But force wasn't his best area.
He slipped to the side, carrying Todd's momentum further. As Todd lurched after his knife, Sherlock brought his knee ramming up into Todd's imbecilic face. There was a satisfying crunch as his nose gave.
He would find him. Watson. Sherlock wouldn't sit here, alone, dying. For a moment he looked at the ground beside him, his face a rueful grin. One of the greatest minds Britain had ever seen. And he could be so stupid.
He fought down another growl as pain seared from the knife wound.
Todd hit the ground. Hard. There was a crack, but Sherlock couldn't tell for sure if that meant he was dead. Sherlock leapt away, keeping a wary eye on the bigger man. He paced in a circle around him, a large cat hunting its prey, and waited for Todd to rise so he could strike him again.
He walked in front of the car.
A swish of fabric made him turn around and step back.
Parkinson's knife flashed, and with a stunned grunt of pain Sherlock felt the blade slide into his body.
His first friend. His only friend. Watson was always there. He would find him. He would save his life. Just like he'd done before. No matter what. He wouldn't come too late. He would find him. Watson would find him.
Sherlock gagged and coughed, sagging against the wall for support. He had managed to evade Parkinson, who was much slower than Sherlock for his age. Most of the other thugs had been laid cold, and Todd still hadn't moved.
He was out of the warehouse, now, the midnight blue sky all around him, the air heavy with old rain choking in his lungs. He gasped desperately for air, against the burning in his side. He didn't know if he'd felt pain like this before. He pushed off of the wall, running as fast as he could, one hand pressed to his side. He could feel himself leaking. Blood pouring out and going everywhere. Splashing behind his steps.
But he had to run, because it was better to suffer a marathon in agony and to recover than to die, then and there, by the smiling old man who would look warmly upon you as he snuffed out your life.
Watson. Hurry up.
The blood kept flowing, making a trail behind him.
Things were starting to go dark. Darker than the blue around him. And fuzzy.
He had run as far as he could, he knew it. He found the mouth of an abandoned alleyway and threw himself inside. He lurched down the dank alley, his feet splashing in puddles of water left by the late rains. He threw an arm up against the brick wall beside him as his leg threatened to give out. He was panting. Hard. Had he ever run that fast or that far before?
"Sherlock!" Sherlock turned his head as a pair of footsteps hammered down the alleyway. A dark, heavy figure dropped to his side, his hands already feeling around the knife wound, and even without any kinds of deduction Sherlock knew who it was.
"Watson," he sighed, relieved. Watson turned to look over his shoulder and shouted for Lestrade. Another pair of footsteps rushed towards them.
"The man," Sherlock started. He was breathing hard, but it was okay, now. Watson had come, just like he had known he would. Watson shook his head.
"He jumped me, bloody git," Watson told him, checking around the knife wound for the extent of the damage. "Right near the green beans. I managed to catch him out of the corner of my eye, and he didn't get me. I knew right away that meant you were in trouble, though." Sherlock laughed weakly.
"Clever deducing, Watson." He groaned as Watson's fingers got too close to the injury.
"I've already called an ambulance, they're on their—Sherlock! Jesus Christ!" Lestrade swore, standing over the two of them and staring at the puddle of blood forming around Sherlock and his stretch of wall. "What the hell happened?"
"665… Seaworth Lane," he choked out instead. The world was starting to slip away, but he was alright. "An old warehouse, by the docks. I don't imagine they'd all have gotten away by now." Lestrade nodded curtly and radioed it in.
"How bad is it?" he asked, frowning at Watson. Watson shook his head, but when he looked up at Lestrade, and then back to Sherlock, he was smiling.
"It's a deep wound, and you've lost a lot of blood," he explained to Sherlock. "But it's not severely life-threatening at the moment. We need to get you to a hospital quickly, though." He turned back to Lestrade. "Any news on that ambulance?"
"I'll make sure they send the nearest guys," Lestrade assured him. He jogged back off to his car, talking in his radio the whole way.
"I knew you'd find me," Sherlock said, laughing a little. He smiled at Watson, and Watson smiled back at him, exhausted and relieved and overjoyed that he was, for the most part, okay.
"Of course," Watson agreed, his voice teasing. "You're injured, and I'm your doctor."
Based on an image by Cobyfrog_deviantart: .com/art/BBCHolmes-Find-Me-204379538 I liked the image for his expression, it told a lot of the story in that one smile! In her comments was a note about wishing there was a blurb/fic to go with it—I liked the image well enough that I volunteered, and the more I thought about doing it the more I found I wanted to. So here it is! I hope you like it, Cobyfrog!
This is NOT slash! strikeWell, I guess it can be if you really want it to be, but I didn't write it as such/strike. It's completely Gen. The reason Sherlock is so sure of Watson is because they're friends—albeit this takes place absolutely before The Great Game and maybe The Blind Banker, so it's still fairly early in their friendship. But that's all they are, in my mind—friends; closer than brothers and the other half of each other—but not romantically, and certainly not sexually.
Expect Calacus Todd to return! But with a completely different face, personality, and role. "Calacus Todd" is just too cool a name to use on one lame little gang member.
I haven't enjoyed writing anything this much in a long time. :heart: I liked making it a frame story, with the surface action and then the deeper level of the flashbacks. I wanted to make it, actually, a lot more disjointed and trippy, because I DO LOVE THAT, but it didn't quite work out. I managed to add a bit right near the end, where it goes back and forth by, like, one line for four "paragraphs", but that's it.
strikeDid you notice that I repeated the first paragraph word for word in the last flashback? IID :heart: Damn, I'm good sometimes…./strike