Chapter Rating: PG-13
Summary Plot: After the incident at the pool, John Watson begins to feel uncomfortable of how he currently stands with Sherlock Holmes. No longer wanting to remain the 'loyal pet', he takes a stand and confronts the sociopath. Meanwhile, Moriarty's plans are back in motion and Sherlock has to take him down quick, but he's finding progress to be proven difficult as he begins to unwillingly succumb to his connection with John.
Comments: Chapter contains violence and angst
Angel-Castiel - Hey thanks! It's from both POV because it was initially our RP haha!
CrazyCSIgirl15 - Thank you very much : )
Chapter 5 - Infiltrating the Parliament
The information wasn't enough. There had been too many loose strings and holes in the plan.
Sherlock knew that the missing pieces were only a few. Just a few documents that he had left out on his previous raids. In all honesty, he wasn't too sure where else to look. He already checked the entire Oil Exchange department and the Terrorist Investigations, but what he was missing was probably the original confidential signature that assigned this plan in the first place.
He knew a great deal of the conflict between the oil companies in the Middle-East and the British Government. Oil prices were rising at a ridiculous rate around UK, the scarcity of the fuel was no doubt the main trigger to the F.A.D.E project. Suspicions were on the speculation that the oil companies in Afghanistan were deliberately holding back the trades to weaken the UK, hence explaining the nuclear explosives the Government had planned to pull in retaliation.
Sherlock had narrowed down his deductions to the main leaders of the project: Mr Gareth Whittaker who had his part in the Nuclear Weapons department, Mr Czernobog Maxim Petrov- the administrator of Foreign Exchange, Mr Peter Nelson Gray who had been in charge of the Transportation from the Middle-East and Ms Hannah Auckland, the head of Oil Trade. However, he still needed to know who the main sponsor was, and the ringleader.
The streets of London had darkened to a misty sapphire grey as it approached twilight. Sherlock sat impatiently as the tube carted southbound, mildly registering the announcement 'The next station is Green park' and checked his watch. Only one more stop until their destination, and about time as well. He hated the underground for many reasons, for one, it was usually so busy that it was hard to have free space to stretch his legs. It was also stuffy, it had the awful stench of tourists, and what's more- it was bloodyslow.
The only reason he had resorted to this type of travel was because of discretion. It would be highly conspicuous if a taxi was to stop near the Houses of Parliament at late evenings, especially as he's done that twice before. He supposed it was lucky that there was a direct route on the Jubilee Line between Baker Street and Westminster, not able to even comprehend the stress he would undergo if they should change. The crowd at the Westminster tube station had been clearing steadily as many of the late workers were starting to head home. Sherlock stepped out of the carriage with relief, making sure John was closely towing him as he crossed the platform. He resisted the urge to hold his arm- or hold his hand- or hold any part of him for that matter. Now that they were at the closest point to their destination, he had began to feel the hunch growing on him again and couldn't shrug it off.
"You know- you can still turn back." Sherlock spoke up his concerns finally as they reached the top of the first sets of escalators, rounding on John and looking at him with a serious intensity. "It will be dangerous. Especially since they'll be expecting me again." Oh but what's the point of telling him this? If anything, it would only encourage him. The word 'danger', after all, was Sherlock's way of luring John before.
John spent the entire day at his office mulling over the information Sherlock had given him just before he left the house. This was certainly bigger than anything they were involved in before- well, the Chinese Lotus ring was pretty intense but they were all foreign black market dealers. This was a plan that would directly affect many regular citizens.
He avoided Sarah. A lot. She came in for another snog at lunch and he faked that he was starting to feel a sickness coming on and he didn't want to spread it to her. He should have known better than to create a sickness excuse in a clinic. Especially when Sarah knew all the symptoms. But John was a terrible liar.
John finally broke and said that he had done something wrong, but he wasn't ready to say what yet. Sarah seemed to be a bit upset over it, but reassured him that she was happy that he at least told some of the truth. They ate the rest of their lunch in silence with some occasional, idle chat.
The rest of the day, John would have felt a whole lot more guilty if he hadn't had their break-in to look forward to. John returned to the flat, all smiles, and armed himself with his handgun as they left.
He knew better than to talk as they took the public transport to Parliament. Sherlock didn't like mindless chatter when he was trying to think- and he always was thinking. He followed along once they reached their stop and was ready to keep silent the whole time, but then Sherlock rounded on him and cut off his path.
Turn back? Hell no. He gave Sherlock a pointed look that was both calm and stubborn and clearly stated that he had no intentions on going back. "And let you have all the fun?" However, he knew this was serious. "Somebody has to be around to get you out of trouble."
If he had the moment right then without the obstructing fact that they were in a public location, he would have sworn that he could've grabbed John and pull him into a tight embrace. God, he didn't know what he would do without him. Unable to see any way of convincing John to back off, Sherlock gave him a last affirming nod before sweeping up the last set of escalators into the open.
The air was bitter and cold, it had dropped several degrees since the afternoon and the frost was biting into what was exposed of his face. A long trail of steam billowed freely from his lips as he strode across the darkening streets towards the Parliament. The temperature never really seemed to bother the detective, another absurdity that his fellow former colleagues at Scotland Yard had pointed out, apparently thinking that immunity to intense weather was inhumane. He begged to differ. He just wasn't fussy.
He glanced up the set of high windows as he calmly bustled off the main street and nearer to the River Thames where he slid down to the lower platforms at the dock. He couldn't risk passing the front again, knowing that the security levels were much higher. John check-ups had become frequent, for every few minutes Sherlock would glance back on his companion and look on behind him to see if they were being followed. It wasn't easy to know where the attacks would come from, but Sherlock was determined not to let their guard drop.
The ledge along the river was wet and slippery, yet Sherlock continued to edge along effortlessly until he reached the certain point where he had left the window open in his last raid at the lower floor's toilets. Thankfully for him, he had sufficient inside help, Mycroft being one of them, and the cleaners whom Mycroft bribed to help keep guard of the opened window.
Hoisting himself up on the higher ground, Sherlock naturally turned to help John too, tugging him up the slope from the docks until they were teetering on the side of the building. "Right. You go in first." He said firmly, nodding his head up to direct him to the open window on the first floor. "I'll watch your back."
John was pleased that Sherlock didn't push any further than that. He could understand one last offer to go back to safety, but anything more than that would have made John doubt whether Sherlock really wanted him here. Besides, there was no way that he could let Sherlock go off on his own again.
He was glad that he had thrown on an extra jumper before he left. If he only had his usual shirt and black jacket, he would have been a lot worse off. The cold air nipped at his fingers and ears and his nose. He probably should invest in a good pair of gloves for nights like these. However, he ignored it. He wasn't able to play it off like nothing the way Sherlock could, but not a single word of complaint came from his lips.
He had to constantly wipe at his nose to keep from sniffling- no need getting caught because of a stuffy nose- and his lips started to get chapped from licking them too much. But he was fine. Better than fine. His heart was pounding in his chest despite his calm exterior. They were breaking into Parliament and he felt more alive than ever. It took a bit of effort to keep up with Sherlock. He was able to navigate the area just fine thanks to military training, but Sherlock had longer legs than his. He'd probably beat him in any race.
Once they got to a window, he grimaced as he tried to think of a way he could reach up that high. But then Sherlock offered a hand and he was able to pull his weight up. His breathing was steady and the soft breath clouds rose up from his nose. He gave Sherlock a small nod and then grabbed on to a drain pipe with one hand to shimmy up a few feet so he'd be able to grab on to the window ledge. He made sure to keep as quiet as possible as he lifted himself up and climbed in. He kept low and in the shadows, eyes searching around to get a good idea of the area.
Just at the second John's feet disappeared through the window, Sherlock immediately made his way up to follow as well, clambering the same set of pipes and grabbing onto the window ledge. Before he could get any further though, a sudden yell broke out from inside to which he froze in panic. "John?" He called, pulling himself up through the window quickly to see that the cleaner guard that Mycroft hired had been surprised by the unexpected intruder. He was brandishing a Beretta 92, semi-automatic- and bloody loud if he fired it.
"Stop! Stop he's with me! Sherlock Holmes!" He hissed urgently, throwing himself down from the window so the guard could see him clearer. A wash of relief appeared on the guard's face, he seemed to have been as initially scared of them as they were. Why Mycroft hired such an amateur was anyone's guess.
Sherlock collected himself and brushed down his trench coat as he studied the area as well, making his way to the door and peered down the expanse of the corridor.
"Anything?" He diverted his question to the guard whom he posted to keep watch for any other parties attempting to steal the information.
"No, Mr Holmes, sir. The Parliament has been clear since evening."
That was great news, at least. Sherlock felt his lip quirk as he dipped out into the corridor- quickening to a light jog as he turned up the stairs to the second floor to the main offices. Right. So where hasn't he been yet?
Funny enough, the yell didn't come from John. The yell came from the rookie guard that John pulled his gun on the second he rounded the corner. Unfortunately, the guard was smart enough to whip out his own and they were standing each other down at gunpoint until Sherlock clamoured through the window.
Well, that was a relief. For a second there, he was almost worried that he had blown their cover minutes into the mission. He exhaled slowly and carefully put his gun back in it holster on his belt. Right. He wasn't too sure if trusting a guard was the best idea since having more people involved meant more mouths that had to keep shut... but John wasn't going to question the ideas of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes.
Nonetheless, he at last gave the guard a small nod as if to silently apologize for pulling the gun on him. At least he didn't fire- John had seen too many needless deaths in one lifetime.
John kept as quiet as he possibly could as he followed Sherlock. He had mapped out in his mind the rooms Sherlock had told him he had gone to before he reminded, "you never mentioned the basement."
Their footsteps echoed lightly- especially from Sherlock- who hadn't really bothered to keep himself too low profile now. The place was relatively quiet, and the working hours had ended several hours ago. He flipped out his torch and casted the beam of light on the offices as he passed, squinting around at the signs and picking up every single detail that might help him for later.
Left - fire exit. Goes straight down to the side of the building. Right - staircase to the upper floors. Ahead - Common's Library... Clock Tower...
Sherlock stopped as he heard John speak, his breath catching. Ah yes! How could he forget? "The basement!" He whipped round on the spot so he could shine the torch on the doctor's face. "Yes, of course. Obviously. Thank you, John." He flashed him a smile as he backtracked to the set of stairs they passed, weaving round a few deserted corridors and ducking under some statues as the patrol guards passed.
He checked his watch again; it was coming fast to nine. And he didn't have much time until they started to lock all the doors. Without hesitation, he ushered John into the basement where it was cooler yet, the ceiling was incredibly high for an underground storage, and thousands of shelves and cabinets had filled the entirety of the room.
"There, in the strict confidential section- need to find... some sort of certificate. F.A.D.E Project."
Even though Sherlock allowed the whole world to know that they were there, John still kept his footsteps quiet. Survival instincts kicked in and the one thing that he learned in Afghanistan was that if you think you're alone, keep quieter.
John grimaced and shielded his eyes from the light when Sherlock suddenly spun around. But once the light was gone, he gave a small grin, glad that he was able to be of some sort of use. He could feel the adrenaline course through his veins every time they turned a corner or had to hide away from a guard. Once they were down in the basement, John gave a small shudder and rubbed at his arms. Okay, man up, it's just a bit of cold.
He immediately began to search files under the 'F' section. But that would be too obvious. He chewed on the inside of his cheek before looking up files on the names that had popped up before - Whittaker, Gray... and it wasn't long before F.A.D.E. was mentioned in one of the files. "Sherlock," he muttered, raising the paper up a bit.
The stacks of documents would have been overwhelming for a newcomer, but to Sherlock's delight, it seemed John had a decent enough clue on where to start. Even some of the staff at the Parliament had a hard time navigating through the hoards of information..
Sherlock had himself busied in a huge stack of papers under 'Nuclear War' flipping through centuries old to modern day declarations. Whoa, top secret stuff. Good thing a lot of these were brought down. He bit his lip lightly as he whipped out a particular piece with the familiar name, "Anderson Derrington... where did I hear-? Oh yes." F.A.D.E, the full name only mentioned once in the piles of documents Sherlock had- Frederick Anderson Derrington Execution Project. Yes, he was snagging this piece.
As he dived frantically deeper into the pile hoping to find more, but he was loosing hope fast as he was approaching the end, and no doubt the dates were getting older... and older...
John's first tiny mutter had gone unnoticed at first, but after having a louder call, Sherlock pulled his head out of the stack of papers and looked over. "What? What did you find?" He hurried to him, standing close enough behind John so he could look over his shoulder and scanned the paper.
"Excellent- take that with you. We've only got ten more minutes until-"
Sherlock jumped, his eyes darting to the door of the basement. Someone had switched on the lights.
He chewed on the inside of his cheek while Sherlock looked the files over. While the man busied himself with that, John turned back to the files and began looking for some more. He took a couple and stashed it in the back of his pants- same went for the first stack of papers he had once Sherlock finished looking through them.
And then their time was up. He grimaced at the voice. He immediately looked around for another exit and found a ladder going up to a hatch in the ceiling marked 'Employees, only'. No doubt, it was some sort of janitorial route but it was better than the one other exit that had a guard in it.
"Sherlock," he muttered, pointing to the ladder. "Go straight to that."
Because their presence here was busted anyway, John withdrew his gun and shut off two of the lights, immediately giving them an effective cover of darkness to rush to the ladder. John waited for Sherlock to climb up before going and pushing through the door. He quietly shut it and locked the latch.
Sherlock had seen the other exit too- having already noted it the second he walked into the basement. His keen eyes spotted John's movement to his gun, then swiftly looking to the side for the path to the ladder, taking in the exact route before the cover of darkness so he won't tumble over the shelves.
Just as the lights went out again, he immediately made a move to grab John's sleeve and jerked him hard as he pelted through the length of the basement, ducking his head as the guard open fired into the dim. Something hot whizzed past Sherlock's ear- so bloody close- hearing the sharp clang as the bullet ricocheted at the far end on the pipe.
He was on the ladder, taking two- three steps at a time and pulled himself through the hatch into the dingy corridor that stank of disinfectant and various other cleaning products. There wasn't time to look around though, they had to get out. Fast.
A visual map instantly burst into life in Sherlock's mind, closing his eyes as he frantically sought out the best escape route. Sharp right- first corridor- back to the main hallway. No. There will be more guards there by now. Left- second... third corridor. Another sharp right- pass the lockers. Narrow stairs to the first floor.
Got it. "This way!" Sherlock made sure that John had finished locking the latch before going into a full blown sprint, his hair whipping from his face and the wind howling in his ears. There were sounds of approaching footsteps at their tail- four... no, five people. Where were they all coming from?
John's heart stopped for a moment when he heard the bullet whiz by in their direction. It was closer to Sherlock than to him by the sounds of it and he was thankful that he heard it ricochet off of the walls instead of burying itself into his flatmate's muscle.
Climbing was no problem. John was used to that sort of thing and he found himself having to wait for Sherlock to climb up rather than having trouble catching up. However, once they were back on foot and running, Sherlock was back with the advantage. John ran as quickly as he could but even then Sherlock was able to get four or five pace's worth ahead of him at all times.
And then people were right behind them. He didn't dare to look back, but John did knock down lamps and rubbish cans as they went to create obstacles for whoever was behind them.
Sherlock spared the moment to look back- John was still at his tail and behind him just emerging from the corner were the five that were chasing them.
At that, he pumped up in break neck speed, his strong athletic legs propelling him fast through the marble halls of the Parliament. They were coming close to the toilets, Sherlock's heart was thundering against his ribs but he didn't slow down one bit. He felt the cool air chiseling his dried lips, panting lightly and rounding the final corner to the last corridor.
There was an open fire again, this time several more bullets narrowly missing Sherlock. The toilets was just up ahead- just a few more seconds-
He screeched to a stop, skidding along the smooth tiles of the hall as the same guard who let him in had stepped out of the toilets- for a split second thinking that he was going to shoot at the chasers- until the end of his gun flashed gold as a bullet exploded through the barrel and hitting-
"John-!" It was the longest three seconds of Sherlock's life as he watched the bullet ripping through the doctor's stomach. He didn't have time to calculate the damage- the five men were approaching fast, and there was no way they could squeeze through that window now. The detective took the only chances he had, diving for his companion's falling body and twisting himself so his shoulder collided with the glass window- sending them flying back into the chilly air and into the river.
John knew that they were in extreme danger, but he was absolutely revelling the way his blood was coursing through his veins and his heart pounding away in his chest. This is what made him feel alive- living on the knife's edge.
The faintest hint of a smile managed to cross his features as they got to the home stretch. They were so close. His eyes brightened up more and more with each missed bullet and he felt a great emotional high...up until Sherlock came to a skidding halt and he saw the guard raising the gun at them. There was no time to move out of the way and everything went in slow motion as he watched the bullet fire out of the barrel of the gun and sink into his stomach.
His vision was blinded by white-hot, indescribable pain. He was a doctor who spent two years in Afghanistan, watching war wound after war wound and he knew that the bullet he just took wasn't anything he could push through. He wanted to- so badly. He tried to keep his momentum going forward, but his legs were failing him. He tried to tell Sherlock to go. His mouth formed the words, but no sound came out. And then he fell. But rather than feeling the cold floor, something warm and strong took hold of him.
And before he knew it, every inch of his body was wet and freezing and only made him more aware of the pain that was ripping through his body. He was barely aware of himself and his surroundings. All he knew was that he was losing too much blood, too fast, and if he didn't die from blood loss, it would be hypothermia. His voice was hoarse and he could barely speak, but he kept trying to mutter 'Land' until his voice was audible.
They made impact with the surface, the shock from the sudden cold slap threw all thought out of his mind at that moment. He was still under, and there was a moment of utter panic and confusion as he tried to figure up from down.
Everything was a haze of blurry green and a murkish brown- his ears drowned in the gurgling sound as they fell deeper and deeper yet. Sherlock's senses rebooted, judging from the thickness of the pollution in the water they were several feet down. He didn't let go- holding onto John's body as tightly as he could as he kicked his legs back into action and twisted into position as he swam with the current further down the river.
With a loud splash, Sherlock surfaced first against the dock, water spraying from his mouth as he spluttered, bringing John's body up with him and placed him on the chilling concrete.
Then his heart stopped.
He wished it was a mistake- he wished it was just his imagination when he saw the fresh gaping hole in the soldier's stomach. There was no denying it. Raw crimson blood was gushing out of his wound as freely as if the bullet had ruptured his heart. Harsh, overpowering reality had struck Sherlock dizzy, he couldn't speak- the voice in his throat was caught.
"J-Joh-" It was no use. He didn't know what to do, there was too much blood loss- he had no bandages- no stitches- wait- his phone. His phone! Sherlock fumbled in his pocket, but the phone simply fell out of his trembling fingers and clattered on the floor. It was useless, the water had destroyed the batteries.
Oh god. Oh god.
"John! John- I'm so s- Oh god-" Sherlock could feel tears welling in his eyes, he looked around wildly for anyone- the main road hadn't been far. Getting to his feet- he quickly yelled out as loud as he could to anyone who was passing by. Help! Goddamit!
Once they were back on land, John began to get his wits about him. His body was in shock, yes, but at least he wasn't panicked. In the water, all basic thought had shut down because he had no control. The current was too strong for him to move with all his clothes dragging him down. But now he had the cold, solid ground beneath him.
The pain was almost unbearable and his entire body was shaking and convulsing, but he tried to keep his hands as steady as possible as he unzipped his jacket.
What killed him the most was how Sherlock was reacting. He could hear the panic in the man's voice- John had seen this before. Panic led to death. John lifted his jumper up past his ribs and tried to press his hand down on the wound, but the blood just slipped through his fingers.
His skin was already pale and ghost-like and his lips were blue from the cold. He tried a few times to speak. "Sh-... Sher-," he summoned up all the air in his lungs and finally cried out a hoarse-but-strong, "Sherlock!" He squeezed his eyes shut and tilted his head back as he tried to get a grip on himself. "G-give me a lighter and hold my head up."
There was someone coming- and they already had their phone out, no doubt calling the ambulance. Sherlock could feel the hope- the tiny sense of hope that his fragile heart clung onto. John's voice finally made it to his half deaf ears- spinning round and dashed to his side, his own legs giving in as he crouched by him. With haste- he quickly unraveled the scarf from his neck and folded it a few times and placed it under the doctor's head. Then fumbling in his pockets and almost dropping the lighter as well- shakily handing it over to John.
John knew what he was doing- he was acclimatised to such stress. But never, in Sherlock's life- had he ever been through the intense pain of losing someone. It was always him, himself. In his own bloody life.
"John... I'm so- so sorry. It's m-my fault-" Sherlock trembled out, unable to stop the onset of tears as they burned his eyes. He ripped off his own trench coat- not caring as the piercing frosty air rushed onto his soaking shirt and held the coat over John- giving him space to operate with the lighter but at the same time hoping to provide just some extra warmth and shelter.
Sherlock hadn't looked up at the stranger who had arrived, but he could tell it was a woman, middle aged... oh, an opera singer too- wait no, no shut up. What the hell was he doing?
"John..." he whimpered again, his hand was still shaking terribly, but he wanted to touch him, his gloved palm loosely cupping the doctor's face. It was pathetic; he didn't know how many times he had apologised now. But it kept coming out again and again, 'I'm sorry. I'm sorry'.
John would have sat up, but he was too weak right now to support himself and if his stomach wasn't exposed and skin drawn taught, then his skin would just rip open the next time he laid back. So he needed just his head up.
Even though Sherlock tried to keep the trench coat out of the way, it still was a bother. But he wasn't going to snap at him. He needed his energy to stop the blood. "Relax, Sh-Sher-" his voice trailed off before he could finish the man's name. Giving up on talking, John's shaking hand took the lighter and flicked it on. He held the flame to his skin and it took every bit of willpower he had not to pass out. He grit his teeth, refusing to shout in pain like he wanted. He didn't want to scare Sherlock. Instead, soft whimpers and labored breathing escaped him as he watched his skin turn an angry red and scar. But he was also causing the blood to harden prematurely over the wound.
Finally, he managed to stop the blood and his hand flopped to the ground. His chest rose and fell heavily as he tried to ignore the further searing pain on his side. It wasn't until now he noticed Sherlock crying and his hand on his face. Oh, Sherlock. He felt his chest tighten as he fought to stay awake.
"It's not your fault," he whispered, because talking hurt. John turned his head so he could kiss the palm of his hand before looking back up and managing a pained smile. "I don't blame you. It's going to be all right," he muttered, making every effort to comfort Sherlock through words because it took too much to move his arms. "I'm going to live. We can finish this. I have the papers, still."
Why was it that the world hadn't stop spinning the moment the bullet entered John? Why weren't there crowds of people here to help them? They were so eager before, so eager to get in Sherlock's way.
Why- Sherlock cried out in his mind- hadn't he been the one who got shot?
He knew this would happen- he knew this was going to happen. He won't be able to forgive himself- he let John follow. He let John get shot. It was stupid- Stupid!
You're an idiot. You're a fucking. Idiot!
The palpitations from his heart were painful, like phantom hands wrenching his muscles too tight. He couldn't stand it, emotions. Pure fresh waves of raw emotions tearing through his virgin mind. As John finished with the lighter, Sherlock allowed the trench to drop as he used both his hands to caress the doctor's face and hair. He could hear the woman sniffing behind him.
He dipped his head down, his icy lips tracing against John's forehead as he had kissed him that morning. His eyes were closed, the burning tears trickling gently down his cheek as he waited. The sounds of the ambulance and police's sirens were distant- but they were coming. Gradually growing louder, and louder.
Reviews are appreciated!