A/N Well, this is it, everyone. I hope you all enjoyed, and PLEASE review, each and every one of you. Meaning that I am talking to YOU, and asking YOU to review, please :3 I don't bite! It would make me extremely happy, in fact, even if you don't have anything good to say. ^^ And while we're on the topic of Sherlock, "The Hounds of Baskerville" is airing in just a couple of hours. I'm excited! :D Oh, and if you have any urge to randomly converse with a rabid fangirl, feel free to PM me. I'd love that XD Oh, and people, if you're at all interested in a sequel to this, please either say so in a review or go and vote on the poll on my profile page. I guess this is it, to everyone!
Thanks to Sylvia Griffin3
Disclaimer I don't own Sherlock or any associated characters, events, etc.
"You couldn't have honestly thought that I was stupid enough to let you go alone?" Lestrade inquired amazedly.
Sherlock ran a careful hand over the bandaged part of his upper back, wincing at the soreness. "Maybe I could."
The Detective Inspector shook his head mutely, seemingly at a loss. The silence stretched on, until finally Sherlock spoke.
"Any sign of Moriarty?"
"Nothing. And none of those snipers of his, either. Not to mention the diamond. They're going to have to thaw the whole place, waste that much meat, just to find the damned stone. And I suppose Scotland Yard will be expected to pay for it."
Sherlock sighed, slumping down a bit farther in the plastic chair he'd been situated in. He'd never particularly liked hospitals. Though useful, they also kept themselves irritatingly clean. The scent of disinfectant seemed to be slowly poisoning his sinuses. They were also kind enough to bar visitors to a room. Which was possibly the most infuriating thing he could think of at the moment.
"We're going to have to take you in for question about Sawyer's death," Lestrade went on, looking vaguely uncomfortable in his own chair.
"What? Why?" Sherlock asked, scowling. "You know I didn't kill her."
"Yeah, well, it's routine."
"And I can tell you exactly who did. It's the man who used to work in the IT here. Under the name Jim. You can also blame him for Molly Hooper's derangement."
Lestrade looked briefly excited by this news, then visibly deflated again. "We haven't seen him for ages, though. Disappeared after your incident at the..." Then he was glaring. "Sherlock, he was at the pool, wasn't he?"
The detective didn't respond, instead choosing to feel sorry for the nurse walking by, who, judging by the state of her hair, hadn't been getting along very well with her husband lately.
"You can't keep things from us like this, Sherlock! This could be vital information! And if you get another encounter with this Moriarty character scheduled, I fully expect you to let us know-"
"But do you really?" Sherlock countered.
"Well... maybe I don't expect, but I wish I could." The policeman exhaled slowly, shaking his head and touching his graying hair with a hand, the ensuring wince leading Sherlock to conclude that he had a nasty headache. "You really are a hard man to work with sometimes."
"Then stop letting me help you," he suggested.
"Like we'd ever do that."
At a normal time, Sherlock might have smirked, but he really couldn't at that moment. There was too much conflict battling inside him to visibly show anything that might indicate happiness. "Like you would. I'm afraid you'll just have to put up with me for now."
There was another stretch during which neither of them spoke, and Lestrade leaned forward, rifling one-handedly through one of the gossip magazines spread out in a classic fan on the table. His eyes- dark in an entirely different way from Moriarty's- were unfocused, though, and it was clear that he had other things on his mind. He was free to leave, but he clearly didn't want Sherlock to be left alone. A concern completely without reason.
Finally, he spoke again. "I do have to feel a bit bad for John."
"Of course you do. He got shot."
"That's not what I mean. And it isn't the first time that such a thing's happened to him, either," Lestrade pointed out in what he clearly considered to be a wise manner. Sherlock grunted inaudibly in response, and the DI sighed for a second time. "Because of Sawyer. I knew they were going out; who didn't?"
"Of course all of Scotland Yard would be aware of my flat mate's every move."
"Sherlock, please. I'm being serious here. I don't think you'd know, of all people, but, well, it's hard when someone you're attached to dies."
"Very, very hard. And, well... could you... try to be considerate of that for once? John's a good bloke. He doesn't need insensitivity right now."
Sherlock opened his mouth with some very precise words in mind as to just how much of Lestrade's business this was, but an interruption occurred in the form of a young, ponytailed nurse- not all that different-looking from Molly- who hurried over to their waiting chairs, clipboard in hand. She consulted it quickly before looking up, a broad and very fake smile plastered over her face, wide blue eyes whizzing back and forth between the two of them.
"Mr. Holmes and Mr. Lestrade? Dr. Watson is conscious and ready for visitors at this time, if the two of you would like to come on up."
Sherlock was on his feet before he'd even begun to think about standing. Lestrade began to make a move to do the same, then settled back down with a wave of his hand. "Go on, let's not pressure him with more than one at a time."
"Just you, then, Mr...?" The nurse, Felicity Bloomington according to her name tag, clarified.
Sherlock nodded, and Lestrade tiredly supplied "Holmes" from behind him.
"Mr. Holmes. Excellent. Right this way, then..."
The elevator ride and walk down the hallway was a blur for him. All he knew was that, after both too long and too short of a time, he was standing before a door, and Felicity Bloomington was opening it, ushering him in.
There he was. John. Propped up on pillows with a thin, green-and-white striped blanket drawn up to his shoulders, one of which was bandaged up neatly. Smiling. A bit painful of a smile, but a genuine one nonetheless.
"Visiting time is limited to ten minutes," Nurse Bloomington reminded Sherlock quietly before politely backing out of the room and closing the door, leaving the two of them in the room alone. He was frozen, watching, just drinking in the fact that John was alive, that he wasn't bleeding, that he was out of the factory and safe.
"Well." The doctor, now a patient, gave a small cough. "Looks like you saved me back there. Not that anyone's cared to supply me with the details."
"We're even now, then." Sherlock's voice came out too rough, but he ignored it.
"Far from it." John looked down at his blanket for a moment, a small shadow of a frown flitting over his features before vanishing.
He's not mentioning Sarah, Sherlock recognized, and took it as an indication to do the same. Instead, he straightened his already perfect posture, still letting the warmth of he's okay run through him. "I thought that you were dead," he finally pointed out when he couldn't stand it any longer.
"Glad you didn't leave me for it."
"I thought you were dead," he repeated desperately. He realized he was shaking, and leaned back ever so slightly against the wall.
"But because of you, I'm not," John reminded him earnestly. "Look- I'm here! I'm all right!"
"This time, you're all right... but..." Sherlock swallowed. "I... can't stand... if I actually lost you..."
The smile was starting to slip off the other's face, giving way to a more serious expression. "I'm fine," he murmured, but it now sounded oddly as if he were trying to convince myself. "I'm fine, and you're fine. Sarah..." He winced then, drawing his eyebrows together and knotting one of his hands in a handful of blanket, like he needed something to hold on to. "She... didn't make it... but we're okay, aren't we? Isn't that something?"
And then Sherlock was smiling, really smiling, something that showed his teeth and reached his usually detached eyes. John didn't know everything that had happened in the freezer. He didn't know about the words that had been exchanged between the consulting detective and the consulting criminal, didn't know of the confession that Sherlock had made, not just to Moriarty, but to himself. All he knew was that the two of them had gotten out alive. And that was enough.
For now, that was enough.