Hi, just a little one-shot to keep me awake on my nightshift. I wanted to write a piece without any dialogue between John and Sherlock, as I love the looks they communicate with during the season finale. I know this scene has been done to death, but please humor me. Warning for implied character death. JX

R and R

Blue lights and other mirages

They looked at each other, the small smirk hitting John's face in realization of what Sherlock was about to do. That look said 'are you ready', but only to john's eyes. His shot rang out and hit the discarded vest.

There was a hell of a lot of noise and for the briefest of moments John was back, there; the faint sound of gunfire, the smell of burning. Only this time there was Sherlock's voice calling his name, just about audible over the rumbling violence.

John felt an arm flung out across his middle, herding him backwards against the furthest wall of the pool. Sherlock appeared to slam the tiles with more force than himself and he heard the man give out a noise as the air was knocked out of his lungs. He seemed to recover quickly enough to push John's head down, shielding him from the debris flung towards them; John's hands gripping tightly to the sleeves of Sherlock's jacket, making sure they didn't separate for a second. Deep breaths, fingers in ears, heads down just willing the carnage around them to stop. It felt like hours.

The mess began to settle and the dust began to fall.

They stood alongside each other catching their breaths as they had done that first night in the hallway after the Taxi chase. John straightened up and scoured the scene for any trace of Moriarty. There was no sign of him, nor the silent men that had meticulously trained the red beams of light over their hearts. They'd survived it. Good start. Because that is what this was between them, a start. John could feel it.

He was the first to move, taking tentative steps forward to survey the damage, a slight smile forming on his lips as he realized that they were getting out of here. Sherlock was right, a game this had surely been. He turned around, still out of breath and offered up a smile to Sherlock still pressed up against the cracked tiles.

The smile wasn't returned, instead a look of calm confusion settled on his pale sharp features, an expression that chilled John to the bone.

He didn't hear Sherlock say his name, but he could read it from the quiet whisper that left his lips. Losing all expression of relief, John started back towards him, eyes locked together as if trying to hold him upright with his gaze alone. Sherlock holds his arms out just as John reaches him, catching him in time to take some of his weight as he slid down to the cold wet, dusty floor. John could only stare at the streak of red left across the cracked white pool tiles, its contrast in colour penetrating his brain like a knife.

John's panicked hands began rummaging through clothing looking for an entry wound, trying not to lose himself in grey eyes when he removed them covered in Sherlock's blood. A noise left John's lips and he rushed to remove his jumper and hold it over the hole rapidly appearing in his friend's chest. No, this really isn't happening.

Sherlock's head lolled forward from the tiles with the resignation of a man that hadn't seen his opponent's impending 'check-mate' move on the chess board. His mind was blank. What an odd sensation. He couldn't feel his body, couldn't feel John's hands on his chest, no pressure, nothing. The only thing he was aware of was how physically close John was to him now, their faces millimeters away as the Doctor worked. This was the closest they'd ever been. Why did that matter?

Sherlock watched him with a silent intensity that John tried to ignore, eyes sweeping his features trying to memorize them. This was bad, this was very bad. Probably hopeless. Eyes that had watched John many times before bore their way into his heart. Categorizing, penetrating, and appreciating. Sherlock could smell him despite all that devastation, his shampoo mixing with smoke. It was always John.

" ...Yes please hurry... and get me Inspector Lestrade down here too.."

The panicked tears in John's voice woke Sherlock from his brief day dream with a start. He hadn't even noticed him make the call, hadn't even noticed he'd fallen asleep.

His breathing was becoming a little harder now and he reached a hand up to John's shoulder trying to get a breath, leaning heavily as the Doctor tried in vain to stop the blood. So much blood. John stills for a second taking in those large grey eyes and begins to gently ease him down until he's lying on the floor. The pain is excruciating for both of them and John follows him down, kneeling over him, their foreheads almost touching as the Doctor keeps his eyes locked on the sleepy, grey pair below him, wishing he could just make it all go away. Isn't that what he's supposed to do?

Respiration rate increasing. Massive damage to the lungs. So this is what it's like to die. Eyes so heavy.

A panicked pair of hands and another quickened breath above him shakes him awake once more, eyes not focusing as they should, confusion setting in. He can't quite remember what had happened, but he knew that it was a bit not good. A shiver takes him by surprise and pain registers somewhere he can't quite place. It's so cold. They must have forgotten to put the heating on in the flat again. Oh no, that's not right.

It's not so hard to breathe now and he knows he should be concerned about that. He feels light and looks up into eyes that are pleading him to stay awake. He can feel his arms enough to bring a hand up to the tear streaked face above him, stroking his cheek, wiping away a smudge of blood. You'll be okay without me. I promise.

"John." Resignation.

"No." Anger. Tears.

Someone is moving him again, only there's no pain now as he finds himself enveloped in arms and material and him. So warm. He was always so warm. Hot tears fall from above andhe receives his first and last kiss from the man that has followed him here, followed him everywhere. He can let go here. It was always going to be here.

Blue flashing lights somewhere through the hole in the wall.

When the first officers arrive on the scene, along with an ambulance that was not needed, they couldn't remove the man they found there, desperately clinging to another amongst the blood and dust.

Sally was kind when it had mattered.

Lestrade cleared the area of the watching and placed a strong hand on John's shoulder, eventually being allowed to loosen the Doctor's grip on the man that lay in his arms.

This was going to be the breaking of John Watson