A/N I am SORRY. I cannot express how sorry I am for the delay. But I had exams, then i was in Spain, then I had the biggest writing block EVER. I really hope you can forgive me, or at least not kill in very, very painful way... yeah.

BUT, this part is in fact BETA'ED, by wonderful, wonderful, and wonderful... I'd forget about wonderful, so, wonderful Avelera, who took it upon herself to look the last part through and correct my horrible English. :D

(Okay. On with the story now. The rest of my comments and answers on your fantastic comments later.)


The first thing that Sherlock was truly aware of was intense pain emanating from the outside, inside, head, chest, teeth, light, and it was cold everywhere... the fire was burning Sherlock's skin, the heat was freezing his breath in hurting lungs and everything was jumbled and...

There were lights, he suddenly thought, a lot of lights and shouts and voices. Before. He was being moved then (moving? everything was so heavy, and head was so light it must be in the air, maybe he was caught between some atmosphere layers, yes, thermosphere or stratosphere or asthenosphere or...) and the smell of disinfectant was suffocating him as well as the sounds all around but at least it was not this heavy smell of chlorine and...

Oh. The pool. He was shot at the pool, and now he must be in a hospital, that was only logical. God, Mycroft was going to kill him, he will take him and shut him in that wretched house as he did before and there will be no cases, no chase nothing nothing nothing nothing but the pain and the pain and...

Next time he regained consciousness there was only a minor tingling, a ghost of pain he felt before, and he almost smiled in relief. So he was not completely cut off from the painkillers, as he first suspected, good. There was nothing worse than this mind-blocking, brain-stopping (were those even words? well, they were now) pain.

"I see you're finally awake. Good"

Correction. There was nothing worse than this mind–blocking, brain–stopping pain except His Not Majesty, Just A Minor Government Official Mycroft Holmes, who, as Sherlock could see after lifting slightly his left eyelid, sat in the comfortable armchair beside his bed, holding his beloved umbrella with both hands, as if it was the sign of his power and authority. No, not holding; from the whiteness of the knuckles Sherlock could say that 'clutching' was much more appropriate term. Fascinating.

"Mycroft. Have you actually run out of nations to enslave?" being shot was not a reason to be civil or, god forbid, nice, to his brother. Mycroft was Not Amused.

"I believe this is the moment I should ask you what you were thinking. But I do not deem it necessary, as I am well aware that you, dear brother, thought absolutely nothing. Oh, I am sure there were dozens of little notions running around your brain in most peculiar manner that could be mistaken for the 'thoughts' by someone mentally deficient." said he almost flippantly, but the thin line of his lips and the deadly grip on the umbrella were telling Sherlock another story altogether; he was reminded of the night when... No. It was all behind him, and Moriarty was nothing like drugs. "You could at least open your eyes, Sherlock, when I'm trying to berate you in the manner that won't involve physical harm in a form of slamming your head, and mine as well, repeatedly into the wall."

"I hate you," said Sherlock reflexively, looking Mycroft straight in the eye. He was trying to tune out the remains of the pain from his brain, as he could feel he'd be needing his entire brain capacity to put the facts together and filter out Mycroft's ramblings when he finally starts to talk with sense. "And please skip the 'speech' part, will you? Anything you could possibly say has already crossed, and the word 'crossed' is quite deliberate on my part, so just tell me what happened, and let's be done with your visit."

Speaking this much was clearly a mistake, as the pain worsened considerably, leaking back into his thoughts and muddling his brain, and it was all his brother's fault, of course. Sherlock was also quite sure that if he could concentrate for more than five minutes, he could also figure out how the whole 'being shot' part was the fault of Mycroft's fat.

"You were shot." started Mycroft wearily after a short pause, and Sherlock considered wasting some of his energy on being sooo surprised, because who would have thought! No shit, Mycroft! but resigned after a particularly inconvient stab of pain. "After that Moriarty and his men left, blowing up the pool on their way out. You are lucky that your favourite Detective Inspector was bright enough to drive ahead of the official police force, as he arrived early enough to get you out before the building collapsed. I believe you should thank him next time you meet."

Sherlock had to squash down the urge to ignore Lestrade completely from now on. Not acknowledging the man who saved your life just to spite your brother was a tiny bit too childish even for him. There was something missing, though, and Sherlock wanted to remove his own brain through the nose and shake it a bit, or delicately throw it at the wall, because maybe then it would start working properly. He settled on shaking his head instead. Oh. Mistake. Very, very, very bad mistake. On the brighter side, he thought, there must be a way to vomit all over Mycroft without getting up if it comes to it.

"I believe you wanted to ask about your friend," continued Not The British Government, putting as much disgust as he could muster into the last word. Mycroft did not approve of Sebastian, because he agreed to spy on Sherlock for money, not even having decency enough to look embarrassed. As Sherlock argued, one day, that it was only logical and practical to do so, Mycroft just waved the umbrella, and said that there is practically nothing logical about friendship. "He came out without a scratch, leaving the pool on his own before Detective Inspector Lestrade arrived on the scene. And unless on a date with Sergeant Donovan he has asked about your health, he is likely totally oblivious to the state you are in – by his own choice, I assure you."

Good. There will be no awkward talks about what happened at the pool, and moreover Sherlock didn't want to be seen in such a state. Crippled. Sick. Slow. Sebastian would be disgusted, and for a good reason. And, oh God, Sherlock didn't beat Moriarty. He let him win, he was too slow, too stupid to win and maybe he was just a freak. Just a strange freak, with tricks upon his sleeves and no real brain, maybe it was all the show and the truth was... Sherlock would ask Mycroft, because if he wouldn't know then who would, but his lungs were somehow gripped in invisible vice and it was impossible to breathe. Stupid wound, stupid, stupid, stupid... It must be the reason his throat hurt and eyes watered. Yes. Pain. Idiotic, pedestrian pain. Mycroft stood up, and bent over Sherlock. For someone who didn't know him it might have looked as if he was considering a hug, but Sherlock knew his brother well enough.

"I'll call the doctor, Sherlock, the pain medication must have worn off. Get well soon, I'll try not to visit too frequently. Oh, and speaking of doctors – there is a file on John Watson on the table to your left, in case harassing nurses boreyou. He was one of the snipers, and from the data gathered he was the one who informed the police about your situation. There is also 95% of chances that he was the one who shoot you. "

Sherlock was right. It was possible to vomit on his brother's suit without moving from the bed.

The restaurant was nice, even though it practically dripped with tacky, kitschy decorations. The owners probably tried to imitate baroque style but managed to make the restaurant look as if someone painted some rubbish found in the nearest bin started randomly gluing it to every surface possible. Sebastian was almost sure there was a golden boot hanging from the chandelier and a banana split on the wall behind him. However tacky, the restaurant looked really expensive, and he could withstand worse things for a good shag. And Sally was more than good - aggressive, violent, strong, sure of herself and with inclinations to dominance . Oh, thinking of those lean, strong body writhing under him, of making this woman beg in sexual haze... No, it was most certainly worth having his eyeballs burned out with all this tackiness.

Sally came in late, as always, and he toyed with the idea of taking their game a little further tonight and punishing her for this, the blood must look the most wonderful on her dark skin... But there was something wrong, he thought, as she sat down hastily, without looking at him; her hand shook a little and she was breathing unevenly, as if she was scared or nervous, and knowing her he could tell that there were not many things that could do either. And the decor was not THAT bad, after all.

"Hi, sweetheart" he said after a few minutes, curiously looking as she fumbled with the menu.

"Don't you fucking 'sweetheart' me, you bastard," she hissed and Sebastian could have slapped himself for being sexist idiot. It was pure rage, not nervousness - really, he should have remembered she was not one of those cute, little, girly things that wrapped themselves in pink and went overly excited about some colourful weeds. He mentally ran through last few days, thinking what had he done that could have provoked such a reaction. He didn't get far (hell, the list was not easy to do; he prided himself on being very bad boy) before she managed to spell it out to him. "Don't you fucking sit there and look as if nothing happened, you coward. You just went home, you son of a bitch, and the Freak was almost dying, bleeding all over the place."

Now, that was both unexpected and quite disturbing, because it wouldn't even make it on the list and it had over ten positions so far.

"Wait. Are you shouting on me about Sherlock? Because, firstly, I won't point finger who tries to ridicule him on every occasion and calls him 'freak' on regular basis, and secondly, I believe our club has three rules: no Sherlock Holmes, no anal sex, no Sherlock Holmes. And..."

"And nothing. We're not talking about Holmes, we're talking about you! It was not shock, you weren't hurt, you weren't even fazed! You just stood there, when Inspector and that kid run into building, and had the guts to invite me on a date, just after the fucking pool exploded with them all inside." She was no longer prattling angrily, her speech became a low, hateful hiss which, along with her squinted with rage eyes and lean face made her similar to a pissed – off cat. What was, in Moran's book at least, fucking hot.

"And you agreed. Honestly, Sally, I don't see the problem. People always shag after funerals, the circle of life and this kind of shit. Haven't you watched this movie with Harrison Ford, where..."

"You just don't care, do you? All this time, there was I, silly little girl, thinking you were mysterious anti-hero: brave, daring and gallant, but in reality it's all stupidity and... Fuck it. Do you care about anyone at all? If it had been me, lying there bleeding, would you have just lit a fag and walked out of there?" Sally looked at him expectantly, but he was too stunned with her assumption that she could be more important than Sherlock, hell, that she mattered at all. No, it was not really true. He liked her, that fierce little bitch, and she was the first person that presented a challenge, that bit him back. But the silence lingered a minute too long, and she stood up abruptly, getting her answer from his blank stare.

"It's over, Sebastian. Our relationship was a mistake and..."

"Relationship? Mistake? C'mon, sweetheart, don't play prude little virgin, you just wanted a good rough fuck – you still want it. Like a slutty bitch in heat you are. If not me, then who? Anderson?"

"Richard is ten times the man you are!" she shouted now, her pretty face red and, oh, so fierce; she looked positively beautiful, and he wanted her to slap him, so that he would have the reason to catch her wrists and kiss her brains out. And then – fuck it out again.

"That really hurt." he smirked, also standing up. She looked lost, for a moment, as if this joke broke something important deep in her psyche. Weak, she was.

"I don't want to see you again, never. And if I see you on my crime scene, I'll shoot you." She was whispering, and, oh God, there were tears in her eyes. Disgusting. "I'll fucking kill you, and seeing how highly valued you are by Lestrade right now, he won't raise any objections. So stay the fuck away, you psycho."

As she left, hastily and swaying slightly on high heels she insisted on wearing. He sat down, ignoring the stares and whispers. Goody – good hypocrites, all of them. Lestrade more than anyone, always nagging about showing respect to the dead, reminding Sherlock of those little, petty emotions they insisted on showing.

Oh. So that was the problem. Sherlock could be perfect, brilliant creature, if only... Moran stood up as abruptly as he had seated himself three minutes ago. He had to go to the hospital, but before – he would step into the flat, yes. He would finally make Sherlock the man he should be.

Sherlock was reading the files brought by Mycroft for a fourth time this morning, not that he really needed to; he had it more or less memorised, but there was something lurking in the corners, something he needed to read out of this file, something he needed to know (why, why, why, oh, but why what?) and couldn't find no matter how hard he looked. He might get better results, of course, if it weren't for Lestrade's visit (wasting time, all this talking and thanking) and bloody nurses coming to get blood samples every few hours, checking that he didn't die of blood loss several times in-between (vamipres, all of them, sadistic little creatures). There was a sound of the door opening, and the person (male; doctor by the squeaking of the shoes, slight limp, sure of himself) came up to his bed; Sherlock couldn't be bothered to raise his eyes from the text, really, there was nothing interesting this man (Doctor Collins, 90% of chance) could tell him.

"I'd prefer, doctor, that you'd leave me to suffer in peace, as it would be in your best interest. If I look at you, there is 100% chance that I could call your wife shortly after and tell her several very good reasons she should get a divorce." he said, and it wasn't really an empty threat.

"That would be something I'd really like to see"

It was John Watson's voice. Sherlock looked up, just to see John Watson's face, real, three dimensional (slightly flushed, older than in the photos). The logical conclusion would be, then, that there was John Watson in his hospital room but somehow it took almost all of Sherlock's brain capacity to work out the fact.

John Watson. The man that saved his (and Sebastian's) live by calling the police. The man who almost killed him. Sherlock realised he really should shout to (and at, how the hell did one of most dangerous criminals made his way past them?) Mycroft's men guarding the door, because there was a perfect occasion to catch Moriarty's right hand man. It would be a reasonable course of action, thought Sherlock while drinking in every wrinkle in Watson's face, every centimetre of man's face searching for... goddammit, why couldn't he grasp it?

"Why?" he asked, finally meeting the man's eyes, wanting to hear something, anything from him, just to listen, because there was this thing about John Watson that made his brain stop (it couldn't be fear, could it? what, then? ) and it was both terrifying and... wonderful. He just had to figure it all out, before those idiots outside took them apart and destroyed the only chance to find the answer.

"Why did I come here?" clarified John... Watson, not John, the man was a criminal after all, despite some disturbing little thoughts that crept into Sherlock's brain. "Or why did I shoot you?"

"Both, actually." Answer on the question Why aren't you trying to kill me now? would be also appreciated, he wanted to add, but somehow... It seemed wrong. SO very wrong, now that John Watson broke the eye contact and smiled sadly at the ceiling.

"I wanted to check on you. Chest wounds can be tricky, and although I was quite sure I didn't hit the heart and man arteries, the lungs ARE quite important for the entire 'breathing' thing so I had to make sure there was no... danger to your life. "

Breathing's boring, giggled something deep in Sherlock's brain as he regarded Joh... Watson, who was still finding ceiling the most fascinating thing in the room. The Detective almost felt insulted. Choosing the ceiling over him, now that was first. Intriguing, though – an assassin who doesn't want to kill, who comes to heavily guarded hospital just to check if his target was alright after placing the bullet himself. Crazy. Insane. Dangerous. Illogical.

"You're not here to finish your job?" stated Sherlock, because it made sense – with every passing minute more sense, as he looked at the small, bulky man who was flipping through the chart again. Dammit, why couldn't he just look at him? "But you shot me in the chest before."

"In the chest, yes."

Did the man take the course on this? 'Strange talks 101 – how to say nothing comprehensible in the conversation your life depends on'? What the hell was it with shooting in the chest... what was he was missing, a code, maybe? Cultural reference – unlikely. Their eyes met, finally, and it became harder and harder to breathe, because it clicked, something deep inside shifted, again, and it wasn't Watson, it was John, John, John, his John. Fuck. Keep calm, Holmes, and carry the fuck on. Honestly, someone might have thought that you...

"I should call the guards" he said finally, as he couldn't decide between Please, run before they catch you here and I want to take your brain to pieces to see what the hell makes you tick. John gave him a small smile, as if it was a joke so bad, that almost cute. (But wasn't it? The entire situation was just one big joke from the start, and... why couldn't he think? Damned painkillers)

"You really should. But you won't." he said confidently, and wasn't it a kick in Sherlock's teeth that it was fucking true? The chest was getting tighter with each second, and the detective had to remind himself to breathe, because it would be a bit too ironical that he would suffocate himself when there was a professional killer in the room. Ironical? Hah, pathetic. "Besides, I'm... I'm going. You'll be okay, that doctor of yours knows what he's doing and if you don't try to get up from the bed for a week, you'll be alright."

And he was leaving, just like that, as if he was really doctor and this wasn't the (most important... where did it come from?) most insane talk in Sherlock's life. Honestly, this was it? The man waltzes in and doesn't even...

"Stay," he said before he could catch himself, his brain somewhere miles and miles away from his treacherous mouth; there was also a strange mutiny of his hand, which moved up, a bit, as if to catch John, never let him go, but he managed to crash that revolt in time. Pathetic, for God's sake. He should... But there were more words, rushing out of his stupid, idiotic, perfidious mouth, and he could not stop, not when John stopped in the middle of the room, because... "You could stay and we've got an unused flat in 221, just downstairs, or you could take my room because I sleep on the sofa all the time, I play violin at night and sometimes I don't talk for days but you could live with me and become a surgeon again and..."

... because he was pathetic like that. Oh god, what a gibberish. What sentimental, stupid thing to say. He really was as weak as Moriarty and Sebastian thought he was. Disgusting. No, extremely disgu...



There were other mouth on his. John's mouth. John was kissing him. THAT... was unexpected. And quite welcomed. No. No it wasn't, it was not...

But then, before Sherlock could try to fight him off, it was over, John was at the door, and the detective was left with the feeling that his ribcage would explode from all the pain.

"He will kill you." he managed, through clenched throat, as John reached for the doorknob.

"Yeah, I think so too" said the doctor, leaving without as much as a 'goodbye' or 'sorry for molesting you in the hospital' or 'thank you for your kind offer'. There was silence, again, and Sherlock, after exactly thirteen minutes of consideration, took a cup and threw it with all his strength at the poor, innocent wall. It deserved it, he thought as the cup scattered in several dozens of pieces and the wet stain from tea made its way down the paint. Stupid painkillers, they made him slow, it was all their fault, that...

Speaking of 'slow' – Mycroft's men bolted in with Lestrade in tow, all ready to fight the ninjas.

"Just a cup" he said, staring at the ceiling; now he could relate to the interest John demonstrated before. "If you wanted to catch John Watson, though, you're late by... fourteen minutes, now. Congratulations."

He must be a suicidal masochist. An insane suicidal masochist. That was the only logical explanation of John's actions, or at least the only one that he could think of that didn't include mind – controlling rays and hypnosis. What the hell had tempted him to visit Holmes? Or shoot him in the first place? And calling the police... Jesus. He almost wished that Sherlock (Holmes, let's keep it professional... oh, hell, who was he kidding, SHERLOCK, now more than ever) had called for the guards, because then John could at least know where he was standing, because his brain was one great jumble of wishes, desires and useless rational thoughts.

It was rational to call the police; as much as Jim liked to think of himself as untouchable, killing Sherlock Holmes could be a beginning of his downfall. There were stories of what happened to those who dared to harm the man, and it was not something John wanted to think about right now.

"His brother is a big shot in politics," explained Jim once during his 'OMG, I'm totally smitten and I want to have his babies' phase of the hunt. "And when I say politics, I mean playing Risk with real armies while drinking panda's blood or piss, or something equally über-posh. You just can expect such a guy to get a bit violent about his brother's misfortunes and burn the offending people down, piss on their ashes, get his minions to gather it, use it to build concrete wall, and then take it apart with a nuclear blast."

"Ha, bloody, ha. Don't sprain your imagination while thinking this up," muttered then John, sipping his tea and just trying to read. Jim just smiled wider.

"The pissing part was my input, I admit... Oh, can you imagine dating Sherly – boy? Or can you imagine what he Big Bad Brother will try to do to us, sweetheart? Beautiful. Oh, it's fucking Christmas!"

Beautiful. This could be the reasonable explanation for his tip to the police (which he would gladly supply if Jim wanted to listen, ha, if he met Jim during those two days after the explosion)... and his actions had nothing to do with saving Sherlock bloody Holmes. No, nothing, really. Besides, John was forced to hurt the man either way, because some exceptionally moronic cops thought that announcing their desire to visit with sirens, flashing lights and all this crap was an exceedingly good idea. If it weren't for his shot, one of the other snipers would take over, probably Martin who always had trouble with accepting John as his boss, and they would not aim for the chest. No, headshots are so much safer when it comes to effectiveness.

That was the crux of the matter, wasn't it? The reason why John suddenly stopped sulking in the flat (stripped bare from Sherlock Holmes's pictures, he made sure of that) and went to the hospital just to see the man, to finally see for himself if consulting detective's condition was really as stable as shown the reports (his doctory part of the brain supplied him with thousands of possible complications; but really, his shot could have just missed the relatively safe spot...and game over). He shot Holmes to prevent him from being killed, not because he wanted to save Jim.

Dammit all to hell.

John knew this from the start. Or rather: should have known, if he had just stopped for a moment and really thought about the entire situation. But no, he had to understand this the moment when he had really no place to go; Jim repulsed him, the lone idea of meeting him, talking to him now was physically making him sick – besides the man won't take it all easy, there will be a hell to pay for this little hospital visit – and shooting Sherlock just about hammered steel reinforcements to the (already tightly shut) doors to the light side of the force. Interesting. He should feel despair, not this burning anger.

"Okay" said John aloud, starling a nice little old lady he was passing by. "Time to do the right thing, because for fuck's sake..."

He was a soldier, a doctor, and quite a nice man. He had saved Molly, saved Sherlock, and now he would just have to save London, because Jim's pyromaniac tendencies were fucking annoying and John liked London. Time to stop being the coward, John, he thought, the plans, scraps of information forming in his brain. Jim does not POSSES YOU.

Men guarding the door to the apartment were as indifferent as always, only nodding slightly as John passed them by. He would get in, grab the papers from the pod drawer in the desk, drop them to the Scotland Yard, and then... well, first things first. Jim was at the conference in China, again, so there was no...

"Hello, Johnny. How's our best friend Sherlock?"

Fuck. 'No danger of running into Jim', indeed. And this was really the best moment for John's mind to turn completely blank, wasn't it?

"Hello Jim. And he's fine, wouldn't want your archenemy to die in hospital from the nasty infection or the lack in his doctor's skills..." he said flippantly, because what else left him to do? Besides, it was somehow funny, Jim sulking on the armchair, his arms folded, he just required the lamp he could turn on when John tried to sneak in the flat, and it would be just like in the cartoon or American sitcom.

"No, I'd rather he died from the abundance of MY doctor's skills. When you went there I thought you'd try to finish the job you botched, Johnny, botched so hard it hurts, and I wanted to wait here for you so we could celebrate the premature demise of Sherlock bloody Holmes with some fireworks and explosions. But nooo... You had to go and waste all this champaign I brought." Jim still was sitting and sulking, looking like a child who had been denied a cookie or a visit to the cinema. God, how John hated the man. He stared moving towards the bedroom, thinking how fast he could pack his things and whether Jim will try to stop him, or throw him out, or kill on the spot. Honestly? John didn't care.

Then suddenly there were hands stopping him from behind, turning him forcibly around before he could really process what was happening, and shoving him at the wall. John stumbled back, and in the second (fuck, he forgot how fast the man could be) he was pinned to the wall by angry, no, furious Jim, who was panting in barely contained murderous rage.

"You're mine, mine, mine, MINE, Johnny" he whispered, and suddenly kissed John deeply, hungrily, his tongue exploring the vicinity of his tonsils, sucking on his lower lip, and Jim's hands were suddenly everywhere... God, so many times before it all started just like this and... The sharp pain coursed through John's lips, and coppery taste filling his mouth, as Jim bit down, drawing blood. "My pet, my sweetest, loveliest, little pet." he whispered then, and if before John wanted to walk away from this mess, leave everything behind, go to Nepal and become a monk or to Peru and pretend to be a llama, those words, the bite, hell, the feel of Jim's mouth on his, the coppery taste of blood... something deep inside his brain just snapped. He wanted to destroy Jim. Hurt him. Make him feel the despair, longing, hurt and shame John felt, and fucking drown him in it. Pet? No, no, no, no. Never. Never again. With one swift move (Jim always underestimated him, it could be so easy) he pulled his arms from Jim's hold and punched him squarely in the jaw. Jim staggered back, hissing like a pissed – out cat. John drew a gun from his holster, and pointed it at ... ex-lover? ex-employer? Who cares.

"No Jim, I'm not yours. I never was. I am not your toy. I'm not your little soldier. And I am certainly not your pet." said John, panting slightly and tracing with a finger the bite on the lip. "And move back now, or so help me, I'll fucking shoot you. "

Jim wanted to smile, but obviously the pain stopped him from expressing anything more than a light sneer. Good. John never wanted to see this fucking smile again.

"If you were as good as you think you are, Johnny, you would notice Freddie and George on our left, now. And believe me, those are not plastic wands that they have aimed on us... God, that was quite an innuendo. But if you pull that trigger, you're dead. Dead as a door - nail... See what you're doing to me? I'm quoting Dickens."

"And what makes you think I care?" John didn't fear death. And certainly he didn't fear those two red-headed idiots with guns, who thought they were educated because they read the entire 'Harry Potter' series. What he really feared was that sneer on Jim's face.

"Because London will be blown up either way, darling. Who cares if I die, when all the orders are already given? Besides, I'm planning on a bit of surprise for Sherly – boy, and you really don't want to let me do that, do you? And I don't want to kill you now. No, you see, I want to break you into cute, little, kitten – shaped fucking pieces, and watch you die, bit by bit, piece by fucking kitten – shaped piece, to the Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture or "Love Kills" by Freddie M. And then, when you'll beg me on your knees for fucking forgiveness, then I'll show you how merciful I am, and I'll kill you myself. That will take time. You could always have time to try to escape and stop me. So, shoot now, and you will never have the hope to save your ... belooooved."

John hesitated only for the moment. Shooting didn't solve this the first time, did it? Now, instead running around and solving Jim's riddles, Sherlock was in hospital, high on painkillers. Besides... Yes, there was always a chance. He handed the gun, slowly, as if it was tooth that he pulled out himself, to Freddie.

"Good boy. Now, we'll lock you up in the bedroom... Oh, the memories! I hope we'll make a dozen more there. Goodbye, Johnny... And God, what a dumb blonde you are. I'm just going to watch the whole city burn, like Nero did with the Rome, and you just chose to sit here and wait for me. Hah, maybe instead of the car, I'll take the Vespa, hm? Ciao!" Jim waved goodbye, as Freddie and George pulled him to the bedroom, hurling him inside and shutting the door. It was a good moment to shout something, right?

"I hate you!" he yelled, trying to come up with a good comeback or a witty remark. "And... And... And you fuck like a GIRL!"

And it was suddenly so hilarious that he started laughing, and laughing, and somehow there his face was wet, his breath hitched in exactly wrong way, shapes started blurring and something in him trembled and... God, he was crying. Pathetic. Stupid, pathetic, idiotic... and even couldn't think of a good comeback. Honestly, the only one worse could be 'you fuck like your mother' and it was his second choice. He really needed to be eradicated from the gene pool for those puns.

He took a deep breath. And another. Looked around the room. Their bedroom, usually full of, well, everything, as Jim had an attention span of a toddler, was stripped bare, leaving only the bed, small table and one plastic cup with water. Hooray. He made his way to the windows – they opened just fine, but that didn't make the day brighter as jumping from the third floor on a concrete driveway and becoming a nice puddle of flesh was hardly a desired course of the escape.

There was a knock on his door, and George slid in the room, looking both sides as if waiting for some fucking train to run him over. John had to stifle laugh, it really didn't end well last time.

"Mr Watson?"

"What, came to see if I didn't build a flamethrower from this deadly plastic cup of mass destruction?" he asked dryly, and the man looked even more nervous than before.

"We just wanted, me, Freddie, and, well, the rest of the guys here, that we always liked you, sir, you treated us like humans, and well, we can't let you go because Mr Moriarty'll fucking kill us..."

"Yeah, I know, George, I'd never even ask for your help," John had to smile at the distraught man, because rarely you hear from natural born killers that they liked you. It was... nice. If a bit disturbing. "I know you've got your own problems."

"But sir... there is. Ah. Not sure I..." George, the man who had, according to rumours, once tortured a teenage drug addict to death... stuttering? blushing? God, this had to be a hallucination. "Mr Watson, lemmie get to the point. There is a gun in the bathroom, one of the guys accidentally left it... and it wouldn't be really my fault, right, if during one of the bathroom breaks you found it, right?"

"George. I..." where were all the words when John needed them? Well, one thing was sure – he would never be a writer. George just waved his hand, pointedly looking the other way.

"Just get out of here, sir. That's... the least we could do."

"By the way, do you have a phone?"

"Get ready for your bathroom break, sir, and I'll fetch it. You can never know when you'll need a cell in the fucking loo. But my bloody car keys stay, even if you fucking shoot. White Dodge Challenger is worth dying for... "

Who would have known, thought Lestrade tiredly, that visits in the restroom could be so dangerous. Either the microbes will kill you slowly and painfully, or, if you stay to thoroughly wash them off, a strange guy with a gun will avenge those little buggers. He was just washing his hands, head bent down, when he heard footsteps (nothing strange, even though the Yard was not a really busy place at 10 pm), which stopped just behind him. When Lestrade raised his head, in the mirror he could see, as in any good horror movie, a stranger with a gun aimed at him. Oh, bugger. What a week to stop smoking.

"Detective Inspector Lestrade?" asked the man, and Lestrade could have smacked himself. Watson, John Watson, the killer that (if he believed Sherlock's creepy brother and his android assistant) shot Sherlock. There was a second in which he toyed with idea of saying 'no, you're mistaking me with my twin brother, I'm the other G. Lestrade', and escaping to Ecuador or Guadalupe. But on the other hand – the man killed a dozen of people. And Lestrade was a cop, and a bloody good one too, all false modesty and Sherlock's comments aside.

"Yes. Doctor Watson, I presume?" he asked casually, and turned to the left to wipe his hands, forcing to move his rigid muscles, tensed in the urge to run, fight, drop to the ground, whatever, except just standing there with a paper towel in a hand. The man behind him either had a strange fit of hiccups and cough, or just giggled, what seemed a bit too disturbing for Lestrade to contemplate. Now, he had just to keep calm and somehow get out the gun he had...

"Good, you're just the man I was looking for. Now, I know you have the gun, so would you be so kind to turn around, raise your right hand, and very slowly hand me your gun with your left hand?" said Watson calmly. Dammit. Plan one, thought Lestrade, turning slowly to face the man, went to hell. Time to think of plan B... For example...

"Shouting will only get you killed, as I've got an escape route ready. The gun, please." Was there irritation, or nervousness in this voice? Lestrade felt a sudden twinge of anger, only fuelled by the normalcy of the man in front of him, his calm demeanour, his previous giggle... Who the hell the man thought he was? Standing there, in the middle of the Yard's restroom, with the gun, threatening Lestrade, hell, wanting to kill him. Waiting to kill him, more importantly. Why delay? Couldn't he just, for fuck's sake, shoot already and be done with it? Hell. Lestrade could KILL now for a cigarette. He took out his gun slowly, oh, so slowly, and, looking Watson straight in the eye, calmly and deliberately dropped the gun to the ground (even though he cringed inside at the hollow thud of metal hitting the tiles – he really hoped nothing got broken).

"Oops," said Lestrade defiantly, praying, begging, just come on, this one moment of stupidity, Watson, pick it up, just bend down and...

"Nice SIG. Now, those things done, we can talk" said Watson instead, his eyes not leaving Lestrade's, as if it was some crazy staring contest. Talk? Yeah, right, it is really nice and cosy to conduct a small talk when there are guns all over the place.

"Who said I want to talk with you?" asked Lestrade, trying hard to calm down, because unless he suddenly acquired the skill of breathing fire (and Sally did suspect that), taking those shallow angry breaths could only lead to hyperventilating. "Because you can talk all you like, Watson, but I, sure as hell, don't want to listen."

The man sighed, and broke the eye contact. Good.

"And if I told you that there were bombs in London that will go off in about the hour and I want you to stop it?"

"Yeah, and then I'll have to stop the Snow White and her seven bandit dwarfs from stealing the crown jewels. Sure." Lestrade almost rolled his eyes. Honestly, what the guy thought he was? Stupid? He will run around the London, and Moriarty will kill the Queen or something equally insane.

"Look, can you really afford not to believe me?" asked Watson, frustration evident now in the furrowing of his forehead. Lestrade thought about it for exactly four seconds.

"Yes, if I'm sure that you are just following your boyfriend's orders."

"Not anymore," muttered the doctor, as if to himself, and sighed deeply. "What should I do so that you could trust me? This really is fucking important, and with each and every minute the chances of stopping this madness are getting smaller."

"It's something my mother taught me once: never trust a man who creeps on you from behind in the toilet, points a gun at you, and threatens to kill you." said Lestrade firmly, still glaring at Watson, but something in his mind started cracking, seeing the frustration, nervousness (was the man's hand shaking?), aggravation and... something. Desperation. Yes, the whole stance of Watson screamed of it... Besides, he had let Molly free, didn't he? Screw this, thought Lestrade, serial killers have their quirks.

The point was, Watson didn't seem to be a ruthless, cold – blooded killer. It was not his appearance – the most brutal killer Lestrade encountered was a cute, pretty, twenty – year old girl who dressed in Hello Kitty t-shirts and he lost faith in 'nice' appearance long ago – but something about him... Lestrade saw a few murderers in his life (a bi of understatement, that) and this man just didn't fit in.

Watson lowered the gun, and, after several seconds of staring at it in complete silence (Lestrade forgot to breathe then, because what the...), offered it to stunned DI, grip first.

"What ..."

"Look, Lestrade, we started this wrong. Take the gun, arrest me, but for God's sake: Just. Listen. To. Me." the man was pleading now, even if somewhat angrily, his hand still extended, still holding the gun and Lestrade really must have been stupid not to take it, but... It was just not right. The gun felt too heavy in DI's hand, maybe because of the additional weight of Watson's gaze. Lestrade looked him in the eye again.

Dangerous man, yes. But everything in Lestrade's guts told him that he could trust him, and wasn't it a kick in his own teeth, that he, despite reason, logic and himself, wanted to trust John Watson?

"Tell me all you know, Watson."

Next half an hour was a constant blur of faces, rooms, questions, answers, the nagging you'll get all of those who helped you arrested and they are dead already, good job and was it really worth it, ever present in his aching head. At one point someone forced a hot paper cup full of coffee in his hand (not really shaking, were they? Just a temporary tremor caused by his shoulder wound), he might have even thanked but it was all lost over the commotion, shrilly ringing phones, the shouts and that buzzing in his ears. It didn't even properly register, as everything seemed dulled, distant, so surreal that he wanted to laugh and scream at the same time. The sandwich also sounded nice. Or curling into a ball and dying in peace.

The testament of how much everything was jumbled inside his brain was the fact, that it took him a full three minutes to realise that for the first time in the Yard he was deprived of DI Lestrade's calming presence at his side, and the only person in the office was a somewhat familiar man in ridiculously perfect looking suit, with even more ridiculous umbrella in his left hand. Oh, right, the overprotective big brother. My... something Holmes. John could feel the 'sandwich' and 'curling into a ball' stages swooshing past him at the speed of light.

"Looking from your point of view, coming here was a madness, Doctor Watson," said the older Holmes with a small smile that was meant to go with 'wasn't that nuclear explosion over your home-city nice?' or 'Your liver is in rather poor condition, good thing you won't be using it any longer'. "If I may ask, what do you think will happen to you now?"

"Good morning to you too" said John defiantly, honestly, he might be a former killer and an ex-vice-president of a crime syndicate, but it wasn't a reason to forget the good manners. "And frankly – I really don't care. I don't care what happens to me, you and the fucking rest of the world. So could you kindly piss off?"

"Ah, yes, you don't care. One could think that from all this 'not caring' you would just escape to the continent or go to the bar and get yourself intoxicated. The Police Station is hardly a place for 'not caring', just as not killing those you were supposed to kill is a rather poor display of disinterest," said Holmes, toying with his umbrella, still smiling irritatingly. John was really, really, too tired for this and had way too little caffeine in his organism.

"Your point being?" he asked finally, and Holmes chuckled slightly, as if it he just told some fantastic joke, which would be nice if John didn't suspect HE was this joke himself.

"Dear Doctor Watson. I really think that the problem here is that you care just a bit too much, don't you think?" and before John had time to answer with some witty remark that he would certainly come up with (... eventually, and no, it wouldn't be a 'yo momma' one), Holmes continued, pointing the umbrella straight at John's chest as if it was the best argument itself. "To the matters at hand. How much would you want for dealing with some rather undesirable people? Apart from a relative freedom, of course."

Of course, resounded in his brain. God, if he wasn't so tired...

"I quit - I don't 'deal with undesirable people' anymore. Even if... Especially if it grants me 'a relative freedom' " John was quite proud he managed to say the words with distaste rather than pure rage. Honestly, what was the game here? "And I never did it for money, but for..." yeah, John, what for? "Just leave me alone, Holmes. "

"Very well. It has been nice meeting you in person, Doctor" said the man after winning a short staring contest, finally lowering the umbrella and leaving in the dignified stride. But of course without goodbye, because why would he bother? Almost immediately after Holmes left, into the room sneaked Lestrade, looking as guilty as if he was the one with numerous kills on his record.

"Tell me, Watson, would you recognise Moriarty and his men if they wanted to sneak in Sherlock's room in disguise?"

"Probably" answered John hesitantly, trying to get the hidden meaning and some even more incriminating implications of the question. Lestrade smiled nervously, and held out something strangely familiar, but surely...

"Good. Take your gun, you're going with me to the hospital."

John started wondering if it was his coffee that was drugged, or Lestrade's. "What...?"

"You said Moriarty is planning a surprise for Sherlock, and that it will be most probably delivered in person. With all the commotion at the hospital caused by the bombs and evacuations it will be easy for him to sneak in, right? You did, after all. We need someone there to keep an eye on things, who knows best the breaches in security and Moriarty's twisted mind... and, God help me, but I trust you, Watson. So take the fucking gun, come with me and try not to look conspicuous, because if chief inspector hears about this..."

Sally was going to murder Holmes. She was going to grab him by this thick skull of his and smash it into the wall, so that his psychopathic brain would pour out all over the floor, and then, finally, she would be able to do something constructive rather than sit in his room persuading him to stay in the bed. Somewhere outside the door, just outside this spacious private room, the victims of premature explosions which started during evacuation were wheeled into the operation rooms. There must have been thousands of things for her to help, to catch those suckers who did it... But no, she was stuck here babysitting the freak.

"... I am perfectly capable of maintaining in a vertical position, thank you doctor, now I have bigger problems than laying around swallowing your illegally acquired pills..."

"For God's sake, Mr. Holmes, you'll pull your stitches at best, the damage could be really severe and..."

"Just listen to the man, Holmes, we'll stop Moriarty for now so you and your... friend can play with him some more, just..."

There were footsteps outside and into the room marched Lestrade – and Sally could've kissed him. Or slapped for coming so late. He even started placating Sherlock, who managed to swing his legs down the edge of bed, despite his doctor's best attempts of physically restraining him, but both his protests and freak's 'logic' were overridden by confident voice of the short, stocky man in doctor's coat... She had seen him before, hadn't she?

"If you move an inch from this bed, if you so much as wriggle, I'll shoot you" said John Watson, calmly, while folding his arms and leaning on the wall. Sherlock looked as if someone dropped a sledgehammer on him, several times and from the considerable high, what had really little to do with a fact that he almost managed to kill himself by sitting up. Ah, well, Sally didn't feel particularly better herself after seeing the public enemy #2, and she had only a slightly broken heart and a messy break – up earlier.

"What the... Inspector?" she squeaked, torn between the urge to strangle a smiling Lestrade, and reach for her gun, at same time Holmes manager to croak (strange, he had no problems talking earlier... was it panic attack incoming? Sally certainly hoped not):

"John. So... he didn't." Yup, this made as much sense as anything Holmes ever said, but it seemed that Watson shared his craziness, and seemed to know what was it all about. Habit, too many crazy psychopaths in his live. He just took a deep breath and smiled softly, before responding with a rather unconvincing shrug, that it would be too much excitement for a one day, even for someone like Jim. Jim. God. She needed coffee and chocolate icecream, more of it with each minute of the silent, but meaningful and intense looking into each others' eyes on Watson and Holmes's part (and she must really be sick to be reminded of some crappy romantic films by those two staring; no more of this crap, Sally). This was a great moment for Lestrade to explain that he was behind this whole insane, crazy, mental, freaky idea, and that Watson would be the one to help them to catch Moriarty. Well, there was a saying that you should sent a thief to catch a thief... but not by helping him to break into your house, dammit. Somewhere in the background (she was rather preoccupied with shouting at her boss, and she caught it with the corner of her eye... then it caught up with her) Watson was helping Holmes to lay down, muttering something, holding his hand and...

Gooosh. They'd look sooo cute, if the whole scene wasn't exactly as much disturbing as sweet – psychopath and his almost - killer, Danielle Steel would have a fit. On the other hand, if Lestrade and Holmes both thought Watson is harmless, it wouldn't do any good to question it. Oh, okay, she would question Holmes even if he said the Earth went around the Sun, but Lestrade hadn't been wrong about Sebastian, was he?

Speaking of the devil; she could hear the cheerful 'Twisted Nerve' whistling on the corridor, and if there was one person in the world who could do something like this it was Sebastian fucking Moran. Yes, there he was, opening the door and strolling in as if he owned the place, smirk firmly placed on his face, the irritating tune still on his lips...

"Sebastian. Decided to grace us with your presence" Lestrade looked positively murderous, and she felt a pang of satisfaction and relief that she wasn't the only one who found man's lack of presence at Sherlock's side unbelievably dickish, what meant she wasn't overreacting. Sebastian, good mannered as he was, didn't even spare a glance at her, or even Lestrade's if we're at it, direction (and that little voice in her head started chanting dick, dick, dick, what an unbelievable dick even louder), looking at Sherlock, and only Sherlock, with such a hungry expression as if he wanted to fuck the man right here and now. She saw it before, directed at her, and God, how could she be so stupid then to think it had been 'sexy'?

"Sherlock, feeling better, I see?" said Sebastian finally, after ending the crazy song with a long, high note which sent shivers down Sally's spine. "Doc, you're out, please, we've got some serious business here."

To Sally's disgust, Sherlock's doctor, who busied himself with filling in the chart, almost squeaked and practically ran at the dark, husky tone of Moran's (she won't be on first – name basis with that sucker) voice, not even bothering to ask anyone else in the room if his presence was required. Seeing as Watson took care of no longer uncooperative Holmes it was really for the best, but c'mon, were on this planet guys with balls who were not by any chance complete dicks or her bosses?

"Sebastian. How nice for you to drop by, did you bring me some notes for my unfinished cases?" asked Holmes as if it was nothing. As if the whole thing with being left, with Lestrade pulling Holmes out of the rubble just as Moran was telling (to himself, probably) some obscene (and impropriate) jokes about bombs and headshots, with Moran just shrugging and leaving, for fuck's sake! Lestrade started saying something, but Watson cut him short.

"I don't know what this 'business' is about, Moran, but Sherlock needs his rest right now," (the last few words were accompanied by a huff from the consulting detective, but there were no snarky comments to be heard) "and if it's not a matter of life and death, I'd prefer if it waited till morning," he said firmly, folding his arms, and Sally wanted to smirk at how his confident stance threw Seba... Moran off the tracks. There was a short silence, in which Lestrade started moving toward the door, tugging her to come with him. Before, however, they managed to make two steps, Sebastian regained his composure and with one fluent, swift movement drew a gun from behind his belt.

"Watson. Unexpected but quite convenient, this visit of yours. Tell me..." Moran smiled widely, showing much too many teeth for Sally's comfort and for it to look as anything else but a half – crazed grimace. God, what a creep. The mind – blowing sex was certainly not worth it. "... how do you feel now, just before you murder those two fantastic policemen and commit suicide shortly after?"

Moran placed the gun to Lestrade's head.

What the fuck?

"Surprise, Sherlock. "

Hilarious, wasn't it? The look of total surprise on their stupid faces, making them look even more idiotic; the sharp breath drew by Lestrade, not so wise now, are you, copper?, fury and confusion on this bitch's ugly mug, WTF of Watson's half opened mouth, but Sherlock, his Sherlock... Interested, but uncomprehending. Good. Moran smiled even wider, this whole thing was just too much fun, the whole plan of his, he'll be like this fucking Alexander the Great or... someone, fuck it now, who burnt the ships on his enemy's land so that the army had to march forth. And now he also had his favourite gun in his itching hand, could it be better? He could almost feel grateful to Moriarty for returning it to the Baker Street with a hand – written note of 'Take me' attached.

"What the hell are you doing Moran?" asked Lestrade, confused but, oh, so wonderfully angry, shooting glances at the very naughty doctor at Sherlock's side, who just drew the gun himself. Moran wanted to laugh, he was containing it for so long his lung could burst any minute now, but then Sherlock was speaking, his deep baritone slicing through the heavy air,

"Obviously, Lestrade, Sebastian wants to murder you, Sergeant Donovan and John, and then put the blame on the doctor. Safest option, the man is already considered a dangerous criminal." John,John,John Sherlock called this sucker by his first name, how idiotic(wrong, wrong, wrong, WRONG) was that? "The only thing that needs clarifying is where I do come in, Sebastian. You cannot possibly expect me to let you murder my acquaintances and not to interfere."

"I can," said Sebastian, the anger suddenly bubbling over the silent laughter in his head, because Sherlock was a genius, he should know by now, see the beauty of the plan, it's simplicity. The fucking copper moved then, did he really think Sebastian wouldn't see those little moves, the shifting of man's eyes, all tell – tale signs of someone about to do something as fucking stupid as trying to get hold of the gun? He almost felt insulted. Honestly, did the fact that he was one of fucking youngest colonels in British Army, he pondered as he smashed the barrel into the left side of Lestrade's skull, (with enough force to sent man flying down to the floor and get him a rather nasty cut and concussion but not enough to actually kill the sucker), meant nothing to those sore losers? Lestrade gave a faint moan of pain, and Moran had to bite his lower lip to keep himself from shooting the man right there and then, because this was so pathetic and perfect, that he could almost feel the fuckers' blood on the tip of his tongue, smell it... Hell. The adrenaline. This was what he missed while hanging out with the good, nice, proper Sherlock Holmes, this was the reason he needed to make the man better.

He took two steps back, still aiming the gun at Lestrade's head, and when he felt his back lean on the smooth, reinforced with steel (it was a very private room indeed) door, he turned the key. Sally was shouting something, it sounded suspiciously like 'you fucking son of a whoring bitch' (Moran was suddenly slightly grateful, however humiliating it might be, that Moriarty gave him 'inject me into guard's necks' syringes) if he'd care enough to listen, Lestrade was breathing hard, Watson managed to take advantage of the situation and point the gun at him (nice, very, very nice. Not disappointing), and Sherlock... Sherlock was staring, but instead of the understanding, inspired and genius look, he wore the unmistakable signs of... impossible. Fury? Really? No, mistake, this must be some fucking mistake, he must understand...

"Put the gun down, Moran," hissed Watson somewhere, but he was not important, besides who would be scared of little doctor who took it up his ass like some whore, and Sherlock was still not...

"Yes, Sebastian. Put the gun down, and we will consider the options then. I cannot comprehend why..." oh, so he finally responded, but it was too much, this was not someone Moran knew, this was some fucking sick twist of fate, the real Sherlock wouldn't tell him to put the gun down, to let go of all those wonderful, wonderful plans he had. The real Sherlock would understand that the cocaine high was fucking nothing to the high of being the master of life and death... Oh. Sherlock would, of course, if it weren't for those little snivelling suckers, this goody good Mr. Humanity on the floor, the vicious circle. Sebastian needed him to see, dammit.

"But don't you get it? You do, don't you, just let go of those ridiculous morality they want you to follow, as if you were one of… them, little mindless plankton. They are making you weak, HE" okay, maybe he really didn't need to kick Lestrade, but those idiots made it really hard for him to stay (sane?) calm "is making you weak. You don't need their mundane petty rules, Sherlock, think of what you could do! Evidence? Proofs? Sherlock, you know you can decide if the man is guilty or not, we could bring justice, just you and me. You don't need emotions..." wait. Did someone say something?

"Bullshit, all of it" that was Watson, shouting over both the Sebastian speech and the hollow thuds from the other side of the door. Ah, yes, they were trying to batter down the door, then. About fifteen minutes, then, to make Sherlock see and shoot those suckers. Plenty of time, then. If, of course, Watson would kindly shut up... Moran was rather keen on making people quiet, actually, pity that there was no time for those little games. "I know the person you describe, and he's a monster. MONSTER, Moriarty, and Sherlock can't ..."

The guy must be kidding.

"You hear that, Watson? Those thuds? It's the irony knocking here to laugh in your wrinkled face, fucker. And if you say any more of this self - righteous shit, I will laugh in your face and shoot Lestrade so that at least he doesn't have to listen to your hypocritical whining. So kindly..."

"If you try to pull this trigger, Moran, I'll pull mine. And I never miss. "

"Coming from someone who managed to botch up the easy shot in the chest, that's rich..."

"I. Never. Miss. Put your gun down."

"If you pull that trigger, I'll pull mine and you'll have both me and Lestrade on your conscience... And don't you think you've killed enough already?"

Watson actually flinched at that, showing that, yes, indeed, you could dig a hole on the bottom of 'absolutely pathetic' well. Really, like some pansy... Ah, yeah, he was one. That could explain something, if Moran really cared about explanations. Sally was saying something again, women, always yapping, how annoying, but he just tuned her out.

"Sherlock? We could be like gods, y'know?" he said instead of shooting her, the thuds, her yapping, the constant buzz in his head (what's the buzz, tell me what is happening on the loop in his bran, just because it could) making it impossible to think clearly, he just needed (screams?) Sherlock to say 'yes' to take those loose ends and finally make something out of the jumbled mess...

"Psychopathic tendencies, how could I miss that", muttered Sherlock, eyeing him warily. What? Was he... "I'm not sorry, Sebastian, but I really don't know, as you put it. Put the gun down and we'll..."

That wasn't the 'yes' he was hoping for. But it made everything clear. You win some, you lose some.

"Okay. Now I'll just have to kill you all. I would say it's nothing personal, like in the old movies, but it kind of is. So..."

Fuck. It was really not the moment to forget that Lestrade was conscious, and he could attack Sebastian's legs, and he staggered left, trying to keep his balance, shooting just to make Lestrade back off (worked, that one, but there were no grunts of pain so he must put some effort next time, really it was a disgrace) but suddenly a bullet passed centimetres from his face... Stupid, Watson, I'm not a fucking American to be scared off with warning shots, he though as he tried to aim for that little bitch, fumbling with her gun, who was the only one with the balls to actually DO something here, when there was another shot, the gun got a sudden momentum (shit, his gun was shot! That should not be as funny as it was, and he should stop laughing now. Really.) and shot the door instead. Sherlock must've rolled off the bed, because as Moran threw himself at the doctor there was no familiar black mop in sight... at least he had listened to one of Moran's monologues about civilian safety during shootings.

He threw himself at Watson, and they crashed to the floor, Watson's gun sliding somewhere behind to the right, and he managed to get the right angle to shoot the sucker who took his SHERLOCK, the pure, beautiful, perfect Sherlock, from him... But it would be too little for this little shit, too little for him to feel, he wanted to see the pathetic brain of the fucker spilled all over the tiles, taste it and he might have smashed the gun once or twice into man's skull, the buzzing was getting louder and louder and...

Oh. Fucking. Hell.

Sudden pain exploded in his stomach and chest, hot and burning his insides in the way nothing, nothing... Something tickled down his spine, he could feel the sensation of

Everything went black.

After fifty minutes of intense staring at the most fascinating blank page he had ever seen in his life, Lestrade meditated to such a level of initiation, that his enlightened brain was able to conclude, that writing the report might go a bit faster if he actually would grab a pen. It took him another three minutes to remember that something to write could be in the desk drawer. Of course, he didn't even look in the general direction of the drawer, his eyes still fixed firmly on the virginal page.

What would he even write? Snipers, shootings, bombs, guns, almost forty dead, numerous wounded, one converted killer, one inverted assistant, Sherlock, Hooper, Moriarty, Watson, Sally, Moran, all jumbled, intermingling with each other... God, no wonder that his head felt as if would explode any minute now. It might also have something to do with a concussion he had; but he was not going to sit uselessly in any hospital while he might sit uselessly in his office, especially when Sally demanded to be allowed to go to work, to help in catching the psychopath behind all of this, Inspector, I can't go home now. There was so much desperation in her voice, as they both stood (he a bit unevenly, leaning on the wall for support, she – swaying slightly) and watched the medical staff wheel away Moran, shouting to each other some medical technobabble, she almost begged Lestrade to let her go to the Yard. He couldn't leave her now, could he? He knew that desperate determination a bit too well himself.

And as if he had too little to worry about, the door opened suddenly just to reveal Mycroft Holmes, his umbrella firmly attached to his hand. Anderson was convinced the man was either an alien and the umbrella was his symbiot, or a mutant with an umbrella – like limb. Lestrade had to admit that both theories explained quite a lot – for example complete lack of proper manners. Did the man ever heard about 'Good morning'? Or about not coming when Lestrade had a hell of a headache?

"Inspector Lestrade, how nice to meet you here," Mycroft was smiling this creepy smile of his, while peering on the blank page in front of the Inspector. "The report is going quite nicely, as I see."

"Good morning, Mr. Holmes" he settled on saying that, instead of stuffing the man's mouth with the paperwork on his desk - that would require moving, and his whole body was a bit too heavy for this. "What do I owe the pleasure?"

"I was just talking to the Chief Inspector, as we have exactly the same problems in the government. I only occupy the minor position, of course..." (Lestrade almost wished he was having a cup of coffee right now, so that he could choke properly) "... but I also have this recurring problem with important papers getting lost and found."

God. There was Holmes – talk incoming. As if Lestrade's headache was not painful enough, the man had to come and make it worse. Something of his discomfort must have shown, as Holmes's eyebrow raised elegantly, and the man continued in more business – like (and full of distaste, of course, as always when he tried to speak normal English) tone.

"I will go straight to the point, then. Chief Inspector is perfectly sure that his secretary lost the paper stating that John Watson was working for the police for the last two years. As you were the one to draw that one up, I believe that you should have a spare copy to share."

Lestrade had to process this for about two minutes, before getting into a laughter fit. Really, was the man crazy?

"Why would I do it?" he asked after a while, when he managed to regain his breath (the slow upward motion of Holmes's eyebrows had somewhat sobering effect). "Watson is a criminal after all and as much as I'll be doing anything in my power to get him as light sentence as I can..."

"You will do it for the same reason I took the matter into my own hands... and why you gave Doctor Watson the gun when you took him to the hospital" Holmes leaned forward, and Lestrade stilled. "Because some wrongs need to be righted."

The smell was all wrong for it to be the bedroom or the living room. Unmistakable odour of antiseptics laid heavy on his tongue; infirmary, then. What Jim had come up with this ... Oh shit. All came crashing down on him, the pool, Sherlock, explosions, Moran, Jim, snipers, shots, everything at once. Shit, shit, shit, shit...

Shit. Yeah. Now, time to move on. He was in the hospital, probably because of the fractured skull... He tried to move. Nope. Something was definitively broken, because the pain should not be as unbearable after a simple fracture.

"You're awake. Good. Would you like some water?" said the deep baritone somewhere to his left, and the pure disbelief made opening eyes more than possible.

"Sherlock? What the hell are you doing out of the bed?" he croaked angrily, eying the consulting detective with as much irritation as he could muster at the time. God, the man was okay, really okay, alive and well, not dead. "I told you what I'll do to you if you move, didn't I?"

"Definitively some water, then" muttered Sherlock, trying to stand up, but with the pure power of Force John made his hand move and grab Sherlock's in tight grip. This was just... There was something important he needed to ask, now, this very moment, because... He was not thinking straight, was he? There was too much of pain filling his head, there was no place to keep all those little thoughts he had. Important. What could be important?

"You're okay, aren't you?" he finally said, clutching Sherlock's wrist as if it was his lifeline (and maybe it was? Maybe, oh, yes, it could be?), making sure they both were alive. Who knew with the afterlife, there could be tall, lanky, beautiful consulting detectives in your personal hell, however unlikely it seemed.

"Yes, of course. If those idiots here weren't so keen on torturing patients with bedrest..." shrugged Sherlock, corners of his mouth tugging upwards, and John unwillingly mirrored the smile. "And the offer still stands, with slight alteration. I am in need of flatmate, so you could..."

Ah, yes, that was this something tugging on his mind.

"Sherlock, I am not looking for a flatmate, but for an in – mate... Oh, well, I guess those get assigned" he croaked, suddenly feeling more tired than ever. Sherlock raised his eyebrow in eerie, Spock – like way, proving that yes, there were human beings who possessed the skill.

"Curious. My brother is quite sure you were working for police the whole time, so the prison is rather not an option there. And as much as I love proving him wrong..."

"You can't do this, Sherlock. I can't do this. I..." he had been killing, murdering, hurting people all this time, and he could not just walk away from it, now could he? He deserved the prison, hell, he deserved an execution, because he was as much of a monster as Jim...

"You're an idiot, John" sighed Sherlock, cutting into this train of thoughts, and rolling his eyes. "I'll just tell Mrs Hudson, our landlady and not a housekeeper, to empty the room upstairs, and you can wallow in self pity of a moral crisis there."

Before John could start explaining, putting those jumbled feelings into even more jumbled words, the shriek from the general direction of a door could be heard.

"Mr HOLMES! You shouldn't be out of bed again! Doctor Simmons will KILL me!" squeaked the little, pretty nurse, dropping in despair and desperation charts she was carrying, and running out of the room. Something shifted, then, as if that elephant in the room suddenly understood he was a figure of speech and disappeared in the fumes of absurd. And, as they both burst into laughter as if it was the funniest thing they ever seen, John could tell that yes, he would live in the 221b Baker Street.

This was just painfully right.

The sounds of Nobody knows where my Johnny has gone dug painfully into Moran's brain as he tried to regain consciousness, bit by bit. It is not a hospital, he thought rather stupidly, as he opened his eyes just to see Moriarty's face looming a few centimetre's from his; fuuuck, he really should headbutt the guy for his choice of music. Honestly, It's my party, as if Jim was some teenage girl with pigtails? This called rather for Another one bites a dust, if not If you want blood.

"Sebbie! How very nice to see your pretty eyes again!" yes, Moriarty definitely had something of a teenage gal in him. Besides... pretty? But seeing as Moran was the one on the bottom there (oh, no, this was NOT an innuendo, Moran didn't do such lousy innuendos), he just rolled his eyes. "Okay. Your manly eyes. You seemed quite desperate for a good doctor, and knowing the medical staff from the prisons..."

"Pity, then, that you lost your doctor" smirked Moran, and Jim smiled even wider.

"So I'm in a dire, dire, need of an assistant. Someone, you understand, who could help me kick the orphans and take candy from puppies. Do you know anyone good?"

"Best," said Moran smiling, truly, really smiling, because suddenly his life was on the right tracks again.

The End. Or maybe the beginning...

A/N: Aaaaand? Please COMMENT, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE - I want to know what was good, what was wrong, and if you'd like some Epilogue/companion piece to this.

The story is also getting translated into chinese by Satie on www(dot)mtslash(dot)com/viewthread(dot)php?tid=24779&extra=page%3D1 just replace (dot) with actual '.'

Now, comments:

When-life-gives-you-muffins - Aw, you made me blush... And I know that it was an evil cliffhanger, but I hope the story will be worth it.

starting anew - I hoped you got an alert! I'm SOOOOO glad you like the story! Tell me if the last part was as good as previous one! :D

NotQuiteBerserk - Awww... I hope that you're not sulking after THAT ENDiNG! :D

ultraviolet128 - Could you actually doubt that they will end up together? John and Sherlock are made for each other... :D Thank you so much!