Title: You're Not Alone
Author's Name: Laura Sichrovsky
Word Count: 2781
Spoilers: None really.
Summary: Sherlock is gravely injured and struggles to hold on until help arrives. Sally Donavan is the first one to find him and she stays with him until the medical help gets there.
Prompt: Written for an LJ BBC Sherlock Make Me A Monday prompt: Sherlock is badly injured and the only person who can keep him company until help arrives is Sally Donovan.
Disclaimer: This is where I put the statement saying that I do not own John or Sherlock, (Heh! I wish!), or anything relating to the show or books. No one is paying me to do this and if you feel the sudden urge to send me gifts, you might want to talk to someone about that. Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat own all things Sherlock and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle owns Holmes and Watson. None of them have given me permission to use these characters as I have so if you have problems with the story, please send the pretzel bombs to me, not them.
Author's Notes: Yet another prompt inspired story! The prompt is: Prompt from Dreambrother89 on The Game is On's Make Me a Monday #61: "Sherlock is badly injured and the only person who can keep him company until help arrives is Sally Donovan." Thanks need to be given, and here is where they go. Thanks to Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat for giving me a Sherlock I can get behind. Thanks to Benedict Cumberbatch for making this Sherlock so amazing. I tried to fight it, but he was just too remarkable not to fall for. Big thank yous to Emma de los Nardos and Gemma for the super-fast beta jobs and the hand holding. Your input was invaluable and I owe you both so much! Thank you to Elin for reading this over for me. And my biggest thank yous to my guiding influence and my best friend, Ann. She's the best beta ever and the Sherlock to my John. Without her, I am nothing. (Couldn't do it without you, love. Wouldn't want to try.)
You're Not Alone
Sherlock hears Lestrade calling him, he just chooses to ignore it, racing down the alley after the suspect. It's not that he's any kind of hero, but rather that he won't let himself be beaten by someone this…dim.
Lestrade had called Sherlock in on this case because there had been pressure from higher up to locate the missing jewels and get them back to the museum before the general public noticed anything was wrong. It hadn't been an exceptionally difficult case, although Sherlock had resorted to using his homeless network to discern exactly where the thief had hidden the missing emeralds. From there it had been a simple matter of leading the police to the hideout.
Sherlock had held back a bit when the police first went in, after all, this man had murdered three guards, but one look at him told Sherlock he was nothing but a common thug. Sherlock had easily located the box hidden under a loose floorboard, but it only held half of the jewels.
"What have you done with the rest?" Sherlock asked, frowning at the man. Sherlock suspected that he'd sold them, but that would be impossible to prove without more data.
"Wouldn't you like to know?" the man growled back at Sherlock.
Sherlock turned to Lestrade, about to share his thoughts on the subject when there was a commotion behind him. What no one had expected was for the thief to pull away from the officer holding him and run out the door. Sherlock's reflexes had him moving faster than the other people in the room and he tore off after the suspect, determined to figure out if he was right and put the man in jail.
Now Sherlock can hear officers behind him, but they don't sound like they are going to catch up any time soon. The man takes a hard right and Sherlock turns, shifting direction to keep up. Behind him he hears someone slide and fall, obviously surprised at the sharp turn the chase took. Sherlock looks ahead and sees the alley is effectively cut off by a chain link fence. The man hits it at a dead run, throwing himself up and over with shocking agility. Sherlock is jumping, even before he gets there, landing halfway up and pulling himself to the top in short order. He flips over it, feeling the breath jarred out of him when he hits the pavement.
The man turns again, this time to the left and Sherlock smiles, putting on a burst of speed. He knows these streets pretty well and if memory serves him (which it usually does) this alley will end in a wall about twenty feet in. A few seconds later, Sherlock can see that he was right. He can also see that his suspect is no longer alone.
What the… Before Sherlock can process what's happening, there's a bright flash of light and a deafening roar. He feels like he might have run into the wall or that someone's punched him. The breath is driven from his lungs and his knees go out from under him. He's momentarily stunned when he hits the ground, his mind reeling, trying to assimilate what's happening. And then everything else is eclipsed by a monstrous pain that starts at his left side and radiates out. Dimly, he can hear footsteps approaching.
"He doesn't look like a copper," a rough voice says.
"He is. He's with the guys who tried to arrest me." Ahh, the voice of Sherlock's suspect. Sherlock grits his teeth against the pain. "Just shoot him in the head and let's get out of here."
So, that's what happened. Sherlock feels like he should be more panicked about having been shot, but he's oddly calm. He looks up at the two men standing above him, taking in everything about them. They have the same eyes and nose and Sherlock surmises they must be related. This realization makes him understand that he must have followed the thief to a planned meeting. Just his luck, he didn't listen to Lestrade and he'd walked right into the re-enforcements. Well, re-enforcement. The man with the gun aims it right at Sherlock's face and for a moment, Sherlock actually feels the flutters of honest panic.
Suddenly, there are sirens in the distance and the man looks up, his face clouding. He fires off another shot, but his concentration is blown, and the shot veers off wildly. The two men shout at each other and run out the alley, leaving Sherlock behind.
He blinks, understanding that he somehow survived, and takes a minute to appreciate his luck. Next time, he'll leave the foot-chases to those who are trained for it. Sherlock goes to push himself into a sitting position and is startled when his arms don't respond. He tries again, exerting more force, but a wash of pain steals his breath and stops his movement.
Sherlock lays there for a moment, assessing the situation. He's in a back alley, well off the road. He can't move and based on the waves of dizziness that are starting to creep up on him, he's losing a lot of blood. All of this adds up to not good at all. He's got to think, there's always a solution. He just has to find it. Except that he's finding it hard to concentrate. There's a ringing in his ears and the lightheadedness is getting worse; he's having trouble focusing on anything. Sherlock was starting to think the pain was receding, but now it's getting worse again. Every time he draws in a breath it feels like a knife in his side.
Sherlock wonders exactly how badly he's injured and if he'll get medical help in time. Thinking of medical help leads him to thinking about John and he feels suddenly very alone. It's the first time in months that Sherlock's gone on a case without John. He finds it a bit ironic that the one time he actually gets injured is the one time his doctor isn't there. John is working today, doing a late shift at the clinic. John doesn't even know where Sherlock is, as Lestrade stopped over at the flat after John had left for the day. Sherlock feels a bit guilty that he didn't even leave John a note or send him a text telling him he was going out. The last thing he'd said to John was that he needed to pick up milk on his way home. Sherlock desperately hopes it's not the last thing he ever says to John.
Sherlock can barely keep his eyes open, but the waves of dizziness have gotten better. Or maybe he's just gotten used to them. He feels like he's lying on a boat, like he used to when he went to his grandparent's house over the summer and he and Mycroft would row out on the pond to try and catch geese. Sometimes he would just lie there and stare up at the clouds and feel the boat rock beneath him. That same calm lassitude is lulling him now and he thinks he might be going to sleep until his breath catches and he coughs. The pain is sharp and clears his head a bit.
Sherlock's finding it harder to breath now and he thinks this really can't be a good thing. He draws in air, ignoring the flash of pain and is disturbed to hear a wet rasping sound in his throat. It brings back flashes from when he was five and his cat died after being run over. Not a good thing to be thinking right now. Although that might be better than the statistics that run through his head. One in five gun shot victims will die, he'd read somewhere. He finds himself wondering how many other people were shot today and where he fits in to those numbers. He's really got to get his mind away from here. He thinks about John again, picturing him sitting at his desk in his office at the surgery, reading files, having no idea that Sherlock is lying in an alley bleeding to death. John doesn't know that in an hour or so he's going to get a phone call saying, "so sorry, John. We couldn't save him." He can picture John's face dark with sorrow and suddenly, Sherlock is fighting again.
He's got to stay awake, got to shake off the fog in his head. Everything is dark and he can't open his eyes. It's like fighting up through water and he feels heavy and sluggish. He's too far under the waves, he can't get free, it's just too much work. Sherlock thinks of John again, determined not to do this to his friend. John will blame himself for not being here. John will be alone again. He can't leave John alone. He's got to survive this. It's like clawing across ice, cold and slippery with nothing to grab onto for purchase, but Sherlock will not give up. He's screaming in his head, the sound a loud mantra of "no" and "John" and he struggles harder against the undertow pulling him down.
Suddenly there's light and he hears his own voice croak out a very weak, "no." He feels a hand on his shoulder and he fights his eyes open to see Sally Donavan kneeling next to him. He focuses on her as she looks down.
"Hang on. I've radioed in and there's an ambulance on the way."
Sherlock swallows, trying not to cough again.
"This…must be…gratifying for you." He's shocked at how much work getting those words out is. She looks at him.
"Is that what you think?"
He can't work up the strength to answer her, but she must take his silence for an affirmation. She frowns at him.
"We insult each other, we bicker, we don't agree on anything." Her voice is quiet and her eyes are bright. "But that doesn't mean I want to see anything bad happen to you. I might want to punch you, but I won't let you die."
"Sentimental?" Sherlock gasps out.
"Nah. John will kill me if I let you die."
Sherlock smiles at her, surprised at her display of humour, but the moment is cut short when he chokes on a breath and starts to cough again. Sally leans forward, putting her arm behind him to help him sit up. Sherlock feels wetness on his lips and from the way Sally's eyes widen, he's pretty sure he just coughed up blood. She pulls a tissue from her pocket and wipes his mouth, although Sherlock notes she's careful not to let him see it. Sally pulls her radio out, turning away from him to speak.
"This is Donavan. I need an ETA on that ambulance."
"It's about five to ten minutes out." Lestrade's voice crackles over the radio.
"I'm not sure I have five to ten minutes." Sally is trying to keep her voice down, but she has to be heard over the radio. Sherlock closes his eyes and pretends not to notice. "I need medical help here right now."
"I'll radio the drivers," Lestrade responds.
Sally puts the radio down and turns back to Sherlock. She puts a hand on his shoulder.
"You don't…have to…pretend," Sherlock gasps, keeping his eyes closed against the pain. "I know…I'm dying."
"No, you're not," Sally says firmly. "Look at me."
Sherlock forces his eyes open, meeting her dark brown ones.
"You are not going to die. You are going to stay with me and we are getting you to a hospital. Do you understand?"
Sherlock nods once and she nods back. Sally pulls Sherlock's mobile phone out of his coat pocket and he quirks an eyebrow at her.
"I'm calling John."
"No," Sherlock gasps. She furrows her brow at him. "Don't…want to…worry him."
"It's a little late for that, don't you think?" Sally asks, her expression neutral. "I mean, he's your best friend. That alone must worry him."
Sherlock rolls his eyes at her and she smiles at him.
"I won't call him until the ambulance gets here," she says and Sherlock nods at her again.
Sherlock shifts a bit, trying to get more comfortable. A sudden wave of pain shoots through him and Sherlock can hear himself scream. It's a sound he's not used to hearing and it's jarring to him. He swallows, trying to calm himself and when Sally takes his hand he grabs back, holding on like it's a lifeline. And maybe it is.
"Sherlock." Her voice is firm. "Sherlock Holmes, look at me."
He fights the waves of pain and panic to focus on her face.
"Follow my breath," she says. "Breath with me. Short and shallow, not too deep. Slow it down. That's right. In and out. In and out."
What she's saying isn't profound or even that comforting, but the sound of her voice keeps him anchored and Sherlock puts all of his attention on her. In the distance Sherlock hears voices. He wonders for a moment if it's a hallucination, but Sally stops talking and looks up.
"Donavan?" Lestrade's voice sounds far away to Sherlock.
"Over here! And hurry." She looks down at Sherlock. "Don't you dare die on me now. I won't be telling John that you died this close to help."
Sherlock tries to nod at her, but he can't find the strength. He squeezes a bit harder on her hand though and her lips press together. He's surprised to see unshed tears in her eyes.
"Now!" Sally yells, looking at the mouth of the alley. "We need help now!"
Sherlock hears footsteps running in their direction and from the relief on Sally's face he deduces they've been found.
"Sherlock?" Lestrade is there now, kneeling next to him. "Oh, God, Sherlock."
If he'd had any doubts about how badly he was injured, the look on Lestrade's face would have convinced him. Lestrade moves to take Sally's place, but Sherlock shakes his head. He looks at Sally and squeezes her hand again. She smiles down at him.
"Lestrade will stay with you," she says gently. "I've got to call John, remember? That way he can meet you at the hospital."
Sherlock gives her hand a squeeze of acknowledgement. She starts to let go, but he stops her, tightening his grip again. Sally looks at him, her brows furrowed. He can't pull in enough air to talk, so Sherlock mouths what he wants to say to her. Thank you. She smiles at him again and nods, putting his phone to her ear. Sherlock has no idea what John says when he answers the phone, but Sally seems a bit surprised.
"Um..no. This isn't Sherlock, John. It's Sally Donavan. I hate to have to tell you this…No, John, calm down. No, he's…" She turns and looks at Sherlock. "He's going to be okay. But I think you want to meet us at the hospital."
Oh yes, John is going to read him the riot act when he sees him again. But at least he's going to see John again. Sherlock hates to admit it, but he came pretty damn close to the end of his career today. He's hung on by sheer force of will and little else. Although, if he's honest, help came from someone unexpected. He looks over at Sally. She's still on the phone. Lord, John must be upset. She sees him being loaded on the stretcher and walks over.
"No, John, I'm looking at him right now. He's looking at me. Yes. No, Inspector Lestrade is going to ride with him. Yes, John."
She shakes her head at Sherlock and he smiles at her. He's actually kind if grateful that she's the one taking the full brunt of John's mother hen syndrome right now. He's surprisingly grateful for everything she's done for him over the last little while. He might have to be less caustic towards her at the next crime scene; well a little bit, anyway.
The paramedics start to load him into the ambulance and Sally steps over and takes his hand again. She gives it a quick squeeze and Sherlock squeezes back. She lets go, giving him a quick wave as she continues talking to John.
"I know, John. Yes, he doesn't always think, does he? John, I really need to go now. Yes, I understand. I'll see you at the hospital later. Yes, John."
As the ambulance doors close and Lestrade settles in next to him, Sherlock relaxes a bit, feeling more confident that he's going to be okay. At least he will if John doesn't kill him when he gets to the hospital.