Disclaimer: I dont own Sherlock, but I do own this particular universe and this particular idea.
The day was cold when it started. John remembered that. He had just moved to London, had just moved the last box into his new flat. The entire place was rather boring right now, with blank walls and empty rooms – well… empty except for all the boxes. John wasn't a pack rat or anything, but he did have quite a bit of luggage when moving his entire living to a new place. Still, after arriving at eight in the morning and unloading the moving truck with just himself and the driver, he was rather tired by noon. And he'd be lying if he said he wasn't hungry, so he decided to take a walk to find the nearest restaurant for cheap. The movers were already out of sight by the time he got to the street, which he didn't mind. He didn't want to draw too much attention to the fact that he was new.
Lucky for him and his stomach, food wasn't a far walk. At the corner of Melcombe and Baker Streets, there was a Subway and cozy looking Italian restaurant called Ask. John was never one to pass on cheap and good sandwiches, but he would prefer to keep his first meal in London centered on real food. Beyond that, the chilly air made him long for hot, tasty food, more than any toasted sub could provide. So Italian it was.
There was a red border between John and the outdoor tables and chairs for Ask, but he was rather sure he wanted to eat inside if at all possible anyway. He was just stepping toward the door when something made him stop.
"John?" someone called. John frowned and turned around to see who could possibly know him in an area like this. He'd hardly ever been in London before, much less this spot. "John Watson," the man continued. "Long time no see."
It was then that John laid eyes on a pudgy man in a pale trench coat, carrying a black umbrella in his hand in preparation of the cloudy sky. Recognition spread through John and he smiled, half in apology for not realizing sooner.
"Mike. Hey," he greeted. "Yeah, long time. What brings you here?"
"Just about to head for the tube," Mike said, motioning over his shoulder toward the station almost directly across the street. A man stood there, eyeing the people around him anxiously and fidgeting with his coat cuffs. Another man, in a dark jacket, was leaning against the railing beside him and looking like a tiny mob boss. "Was meeting with an acquaintance of mine who's looking for a flatmate. What are you doing here in London?"
"Just moved in. I was about to get some lunch. Do you want to join me?" John asked, feeling his fingers going cold from the wind. His eyes glanced down the street to where a woman complained loudly as a man shoved her into another group of people while he spoke wildly on his mobile with no care for her. She shoved him back, and they proceeded to cause a scene. John frowned deeply.
"Sure, sure," Mike agreed, oblivious, and motioned for John to lead. Noticing the crazed man heading their way to avoid the woman's further yelling, John wasted no time in stepping into the restaurant. Better to avoid people with drama. "Bloody freezing out today, eh?"
"That's November for you," John muttered, rubbing his hands together and glancing out the window to the street. "I'm surprised it stayed warm as long as it did, to be honest."
"True that," Mike said. "Last year it was already snowing by now."
"Last year I was living on a tree farm with my uncle and we had a freak rain shower," John said, shrugging. He slipped his phone out of his pocket and frowned at it. No messages. "Weather can be unpredictable sometimes. Things can change before you even know it."
Mike chuckled, but before he could actually say anything, there was the distinctive sound of pierced glass. Pain shot through John's left shoulder before a dead thunk said something collided with the wall in front of him. In those few instants, John's arm spasmed with the shock and his fingers released his mobile, sending it flying off somewhere into the room. A spark of light said it hit one of the hanging lamps, but John was already hitting the floor, so he didn't much care.
"John! Oh my God!" Mike was shouting. People were screaming. One of the waitresses had already snapped her mobile to her ear with a call for an ambulance and the police. "Is there a doctor in here?" Mike called out.
"I'm a doctor," John grunted, holding his shoulder and shaking on the floor.
"You're not really in a condition to-," Mike tried to argue, and then someone shouted for a doctor out in the street as well, where the traffic had stopped.
"I'm a doctor!" John called out determinedly so people outside might hear.
Before Mike could argue, John was wobbling to his feet and out into the cold day. The man in a dark coat and dress slacks was jogging away down the street, not looking back. The fidgeting young man in a short jacket and torn jeans stood just outside the station where he'd been before, hands holding a gun and shaking like crazy. His eyes were down on the ground where the man John had spotted earlier on his mobile was lying in the street. Officers from the station were already out and taking control of the shooter, but no paramedics were available for the man in the street or for John.
The other injured man was much worse off than John. Blood was pooling around him, and despite his work in the hospital, the sight made John's gut quiver. His legs faltered, and John dropped down by the other man's side. He was shot close to the heart, and seemed to have been clipped on the left side by a car that had been passing when he'd fallen into the street. The car had stopped just after the incident, and the driver was out and looking crestfallen.
"You alright?" John half hissed, trying to ignore the growing pain in his own shoulder as he tried to put pressure on the other's wound. The man on the ground before him was growing paler by the second, and his eyes seemed to have already lost all focus. "Are you alright?" John tried louder. The man tried to look at John, winced a smile, and closed his eyes. "No!"
"Someone call an ambulance!" John recognized Mike's voice behind him.
"It was an accident!" The shooter was crying. "H-He told me to do it! I didn't mean to!"
John shook his head and pressed down with his injured arm on the wound while his right hand tried to fake a heartbeat for the man on the ground. Blood flow. Keep the heart going. There had to be a pulse when the ambulance arrived. John was a doctor, damn it. He could be useful. Oxygen. John pulled both hands away, now bloody, and leaned over the pale man's face. He tried CPR for a moment and then returned to his previous stance. What good was a doctor if he couldn't even attempt to keep a victim alive?
"John, stop," Mike was saying, but it sound off – like it was farther away than it needed to be. John shook his head. He wouldn't stop, not until paramedics arrived.
Simulate the heartbeat. Pressure. He could do this. The pale man's eyes fluttered half-heartedly. His bright eyes looked up at the doctor through tiny slits and shut again. John felt the sharp sting of being shot ring through his arm again, although nothing new had happened to him. He felt weak in the aftermath. No. He couldn't stop now. His injury was nothing compared to this man. He wouldn't stop now.
In the distance, the sound of sirens rang out between the buildings.
John opened his eyes to stare at the blank ceiling. Somewhere to his right, a television was softly playing a rerun of Oprah. The audience was cheering, and Oprah was laughing. The woman watching it was hidden from view by a striped green curtain. John let out a sigh and slowly pushed himself up using only his right arm. His left was up in a sling, as though he would forget he shouldn't move it. A cane hung from the railing of his bed.
"Ah. You're awake," Dr. Sarah said to announce her entrance. Her nametag read 'Dr. Sarah,' but she explained that it was her first name, not her last. She just didn't like to sound old and she felt patients would respond easier to it, so she had the hospital let her be known by her first name.
"So it would seem," John replied. He eyed the cane disdainfully. Sarah smiled knowingly.
"It's only temporary. There's nothing wrong with your leg physically. I suspect it's the stress causing you to limp. Once you get back into a routine, it should fade away," she assured. "The shoulder, however, will take the normal healing time. That one is completely real."
"What about the other man?" John asked, switching the topic of conversation off himself. He set a serious gaze up at Sarah, one that meant he wanted no tricks. "No one's been answering me since I've been here, but I don't want any more games. What happened?"
Sarah's smile dropped into a pitying frown. She glanced down at her clipboard and then back up at John. Her shoulders sagged with grief.
"I'm afraid he didn't make it, Dr. Watson," she said. "After you lost consciousness at the scene… The medics did their best, but… but he was D.O.A. I'm so sorry. I know you tried your best."
John pressed his lips together and gripped his good fist into a ball. His eyes hardened and he set his heavy stare on the cane, the sign of his weakness. He gripped his fingers around the metal handle and closed his eyes.
"Some bloody good doctor I turned out to be," he murmured.
Sarah shook her head. "Now now. You did the best you could in the situation. Chin up. You're our new doctor, aren't you? People are going to die around you…quite often, I'm afraid. But you have to find a way to relax and come to terms with it."
"What do you suggest?" John asked, not honestly caring right now, but figuring it would be good to know for when he found the urge to try.
"I go to the park and read books," Sarah answered, nodding shortly. "But our doctors try all sorts. Molly on the first floor writes a blog. She swears by it. Anderson is only part time, mostly works with the police, but he likes to go to a shooting range. It really depends on you and what you like to do."
"Well thanks for the suggestions. Do excuse me. I'm going to absent myself for a bit," John said, pushing himself to his feet and holding his cane so he wouldn't fall over. Sarah nodded and stepped out of his way.
"You can check yourself out whenever you're ready to leave. The director says you should take two weeks to recover at least before you come in to work, that way you'll at least be through the worst of it. Then you'll be on clinic duty until the shoulder heals completely and you can get back to operations and such. Look me up when you start work, yeah? I'll help you find your wits," she said with a smile and then stepped around his bed to visit the elderly woman in the bed beyond the curtain.
"Thanks, Sarah," John said and hobbled to the desk. He grabbed his wallet and slid it into his back pocket, took his keys and put them in the front, then he carefully closed his fingers around his mobile.
Mike had come with him to the hospital after he passed out. After they'd diagnosed his injuries and patched him up, Mike had come in looking grim and set the phone down. He'd been wearing gloves the whole time. According to him, the phone had broken a lamp of some sort and shocked him when he'd first grabbed it, so he didn't like holding it without gloves anymore. John had picked it up twice, almost calling his sister, but he'd never been shocked. The electricity had most likely emptied into Mike, the first to grab it, and was harmless now. John just hoped it still worked properly after being electrocuted.
He set the phone in his sling, resting against his arm. He couldn't hold it in his left hand, but he'd never really enjoyed carrying things in jean pockets before, and his jacket had been taken away because it was covered in blood. He was borrowing another doctor's extra shirt.
While Sarah continued to talk with the other woman in the room, John slipped out and started to walk around the floor as he'd done the day before. The Princess Grace Hospital was a fine place for medicine, specializing in all sorts of fields, and was a quick ten minute walk from John's new flat, farther by car due to the direction of traffic on roads. He had not expected his first visit to the hospital after his move to London to be as a patient, but life is what it is.
After his first walk around the floor, John spotted Sarah at the nurse's station, confirming some information with the two women behind the desk. John bit his cheek and wished they had met on better terms. He waited until she was gone and then headed over to check himself out. It was probably better to get his pain meds and get home before he made a bad impression on all of the hospital staff before he even started working.
Limping down the street felt much worse than walking around with the sling on his arm. He felt like everyone and their brother was throwing a glance in his direction, like high school all over again. But soon he'd be home and could safely wallow in his solitude until he could go to work. At least now he could unpack.
Against his arm, his mobile vibrated and startled him. At least this proved it still worked. He paused on a street corner and leaned gently against the wall so he could pull out the device. The number shown on his screen but wasn't registered to any of his contacts, or perhaps the electric shock had erased his contacts. He hadn't yet checked. The screen flickered.
"Hello," he answered as he put the phone to his ear.
"…Hello?" a confused, deep voice replied. "Who is this?"
"Doctor John Watson. Who's this?" John asked, looking around as though his caller was in view.
"How do you have my brother's phone?" the other man asked, all seriousness.
"What? I don't. This is my phone. I think you just dialed the wrong number." John shrugged his shoulders and cleared his throat.
"Wrong number? That's interesting," the other man said and almost sounded like he was forgetting the conversation. Then he was back. "Thank you, Doctor. Sorry to bother you. I'll let you keep walking now."
"Hang on. Walking? Who is this?" John asked, scanning the street again. No one was paying particular attention to him anymore, and the only males on cell phones were two teens heading for the station. Neither of them could have this deep voice.
"I hear foot traffic in the background. Simple." The man went silent again, and then there was the sound of a clearing throat. "The name is Sherlock Holmes. Good day, Doctor."
And the call cut off.
Reviews and Opinions are love! Any insight into common London practices or whatever will be most wonderful. Thanks!