Scarlet Thread of Life.

Summary: "The scarlet thread of life was slowly unwinding as the young man's life was slipping away, and John Watson could do nothing to stop it."

Rating: T for Teen

Characters: Sherlock and Watson

Genre: Tragedy

His heart jumped in his throat when he heard it. That awful sound of a gunshot splitting the air, the cry of pain coming from the victim, the awful sound of a body hitting the ground. There was nothing he could do about it, his younger flat mate was going too fast and too far ahead of him. All he could do was hold his breath and hope and pray that Sherlock was still alive.

But he could smell it, there was no denying it. He had smelled it many times before. That overwhelming, choking smell of coming death. It almost made him gag as he ran to where the detective had fallen, his blood staining the snow red. "No," he cried out, choking back tears, trying to hold back his emotions. He knelt beside his friend, trying to asses where he was shot and his heart went to his stomach. The gunman made sure that the first shot was fatal, near the detective's heart.

With a shaking hand he tried to stop the flow of blood, to stop the scarlet thread of life from unraveling. Sherlock noticing the presence of his friend slowly opened his eyes. "John," he gasped "how bad is it." John couldn't bear to look into his friend's eyes, to see the pain there, those piercing eyes slowly going dim. "I'm doing the best I can; you're losing too much blood." Too much blood, too much of the thread unraveling. Sherlock shuddered from the pain and from the cold as he struggled to stay alive. Heartsick, Watson picked up his dying friend, cradling in his arms, while one hand was still on the seeping gaping wound.

Many times he saved a soldier who was wounded when he was in Afghanistan, so now when he friend lay here bleeding, why he couldn't help him. Then he heard it, the gasping breath of someone struggling to breath. He wanted to shake his friend, curse at him, and yell at him to not give up. It was then he felt the gentle but firm grip of Lestrade's hand on his shoulder. "Watson, stop it. You are only making it worse." It was then he realized that he was literally shaking the young man out of pure shock and grief. The scarlet thread of life was nearing its end, and soon Sherlock's icy blue eyes would dim and the great detective would breathe no more. Sherlock slowly opened his eyes once more and croaked, "John please, there is nothing you can do. I know that now." John swallowed hard and shook all over, unaware of how red the snow was becoming now. "Dammit Sherlock," he whimpered, "don't tell me that. I am a doctor," tears began to well in Watson's eyes. Sherlock wasn't supposed to die like this. Not when he was there, where he thought he could save him. Sherlock weakly grasped the grieving doctor's hand. "John," he whispered, "you cannot save everyone." And those with last words the young man drew his last shuddering breath, and the scarlet thread unraveled no more. Watson continued to hold his friend's limp body in his arms, shocked and grief stricken that the great Sherlock was gone. Lestrade knelt beside the sorrowful doctor. "John, let him go. We need to put the body on the gurney." John slowly looked towards Lestrade and whispered, "Leave us alone for a few minutes" he managed to choke out. Lestrade nodded and left Watson's side again, his shoulders sagged from sadness and fatigue.

John drew deep shuddering breaths as he looked down at the still face of his friend, the eyes dim and unmoving. He traced his fingers along the length of his friend's black coat, that beautiful black coat that was stained red with blood. Snow began to fall again but John didn't notice, nor did he care. Nothing mattered now, all that mattered was that he lost the one man that rescued him that one day long ago when he needed him most, and he failed him. Lowering his head, his kissed the younger's man curly head, tears streaming down his face. "I couldn't save you, but you have saved me my friend. More then you could ever know." And then, after being lost for words, John buried his face in Sherlock's chest and wept.