Ok so, if you've read any of my other fics you've probably worked out I like whumping people. A lot. So I warn you now this is basically my excuse to whump Sherlock in (hopefully) creative ways. I can't help it; he's just so easy to injure.
Warnings for: Eventual S/J in later chapters. A ridiculously far-fetched plot and mentions of blood/violence in this one.
John was on a date with Sarah; and things were going remarkably well. True, she'd told him she never wanted to see him again after the Black Lotus fiasco, but they'd eventually decided to give it another try.
In the in-between time he'd dated Alisha. She'd barely lasted an hour – Sherlock had burst into the middle of the restaurant, seized John by the arm and dragged him out. He'd only wanted John to help him on an exiting new case (or so he'd said) but poor Alisha had been convinced he'd just been abducted by a madman. It had taken hours to explain to the police.
Sarah smiled at him across the table. "What're you thinking?"
"Nothing. Nothing." Bringing up anything to do with their first date was a fatal mistake. He glanced at the menu and looked over at her. "What're you having?"
"The chicken looks good." She launched into an anecdote about her grandmother and chicken, and John was just beginning to grin as the story reached the climax when his phone went off in his pocket.
He'd put it on silent, but it was one of those models that vibrated whether you wanted it to or not, and he felt himself flushing. Sarah prattled on unaware for thirty seconds before it stopped.
He managed to forget it, because at that moment the waiter stepped up and took their orders, and then they fell back to cheerful banter. Sarah even laughed when he began to tell her about one of the latest cases.
She was just becoming interested when the phone went off again, a short burst of vibration that indicated a text. He considered sliding it out to check, but it was probably Sherlock telling him something irritating, like to pick up milk. Or maybe it was something about a new case, in which case he'd be put in an awkward situation – ditch Sarah or risk annoying Sherlock. He ignored it.
The food was good and afterwards they had coffee. It was nice, sitting leisurely with someone who didn't talk about body parts constantly, even if she was a doctor. She had a sense of humour, and hadn't deleted things like last week's episode of The Apprentice from her memory.
When they'd finished he stepped outside to hail her a cab whilst she was in the toilets, intending to walk himself home, and he thought to check his phone. He had one missed call marked Sherlock, but he opened the text first.
He stared for a second, wondering if there was some kind of mistake. The text read:
To: John Watson
From: Sherlock Holmes
He read it twice, and then hit speed-dial. The phone rang for a good twenty seconds before it was picked up.
"Sherlock?" he said. "Sherlock what was the-"
"Oh, hello Jonathon." Sherlock cut across him. His voice was perfectly normal, but since when had Sherlock called him Jonathon?
"Sherlock are you alright?"
"Fine, Jonathon." There was a definite stress on his name. "Perfectly fine."
"But the text?"
"Experiment. I was bored; wanted to see if you'd come running any faster if you thought I was in trouble. Obviously not." There was an edge of hurt in the smooth voice.
"It was on silent. I didn't realise you'd rung. You sure you're alright?"
"Don't worry yourself Jonathon. Carry on with your date."
The phone clicked off. John left a message for Sarah at the reception, and then began to run.
The door to 221B looked perfectly fine. Mrs Hudson wasn't out in the street, there were no police cars. Even so John was uneasy; Sherlock's texts were always immaculately spelt, always with the trademark –SH at the end. Even if it was a test there was the fact he'd called him Jonathon. Maybe the whole thing was still part of the same experiment, but John wanted to be sure. He was a careful man, after all; better to look foolish and laugh about it later than…well…
He tried the handle very slowly, still breathing heavily from the stairs; locked. He didn't know whether that was a good or a bad thing, but extracted his key from his pocket and slipped it into the lock. The click seemed horribly loud.
The flat was in disarray when he stepped through, but then again, the flat was always in disarray. There was no furniture upended, or smashed crockery that would have given him a clue, but Sherlock had been training him to see further…
There! The sofa was pushed slightly out of place – he could see the row of crumbs that hadn't yet been hoovered up, and the indents in the carpet. Of course, Sherlock could have moved the sofa by himself – it was only a few centimetres difference – but the man was notoriously lazy when it came to domestics. John deemed it unlikely.
As he headed upstairs his sense of unease increased; the flat was too quiet. Of course, he could have called out to Sherlock, but a soldier knew the importance the element of surprise. Getting up the stairs was hard, but he knew which ones creaked and where the carpet was thicker to cushion his footsteps.
The door to Sherlock's room was shut; his was wide open, just the way he'd left it. He peered through the gap between hinge and frame, but nothing seemed out of order. He entered and went straight for the drawer where he kept his gun without even turning on the light.
Once armed he felt better; he always did. Sherlock's door was like a target; his foot connected with a bang and the wood swung inwards, clattering off the hinges in a lopsided heap.
"Drop it!" John shouted. The man holding the gun started, and the weapon fell from his hand. Sherlock was lying on the bed, his hands bound behind his back and feet curled uselessly underneath him. There was a jagged cut in his temple, and John suppressed a grin; what had the idiot gotten himself into now?
Perhaps the gunman saw it, perhaps he was just crazy, desperate and lucky, but in a second he was across the room next to Sherlock, and something was glinting in his hand. John shouted and stepped further forwards, but it was too late. Stalemate.
"Really Jonathon," the blonde man said with a grin – one of his teeth was silver. "You should learn not to keep your medical supplies lying around where anyone could find them."
John looked more closely; what he'd taken to be a knife in the dim light was in fact a hypodermic syringe, full with a clear liquid. The tip was buried in Sherlock's arm, the man's finger on the plunger.
He felt a thrill of terror that came with a throbbing temple and racing heart; the only clear liquid he'd had in his kit was ketamine, in case he'd needed to operate on the field; he'd kept it in the first aid kit just as a precaution, although he wasn't entirely sure what the reason was for it. The amount in the syringe had to be three times the recommended dose; if Sherlock got that into him he'd fall asleep and never wake up.
"Always have a plan B, that's what he told me," said the man gently. "But Sherlock saw right through him. And he didn't even bother going to the police."
"That wasn't my fault," said Sherlock softly. "Your friend jumped of his own accord."
The needle jogged in Sherlock's arm, but the plunger stayed extended. "You chased him! You ran him all over London and you cornered him on that rooftop."
"Exactly what the police would have done." Sherlock was surprisingly nonchalant considering he was a finger-spasm away from death. John thought about shooting, but a body always reacted when shot, no matter where the bullet entered. Perhaps the needle would leave Sherlock's arm, or perhaps the fluid would be pumped into him. The chance wasn't worth taking, not yet.
The phone was lying on the bedside table – John imagined Sherlock, lying on the sofa, ringing him as soon as he realised he was in trouble and couldn't handle it on his own this time, then the text, maybe even as he was being tied up, pressing buttons desperately. The blow to the temple, the taking of the phone, and all the time he'd been waiting and John had been sitting in a restaurant eating chicken. The phone exchange, Sherlock with a gun to his head being forced to act normal…
"What I want to know," said Sherlock conversationally, "is why I'm not dead already. Why wait until good old Jonathon showed up?"
John twitched at the misuse of his name, but his mind raced; what was Sherlock trying to do?
"Because I needed your flatmate. He would have been your murderer if things had gone a little more to plan."
Sherlock's eyes widened a little. John ground his teeth and stepped forwards another pace. The man's thumb tightened a little on the plunger; his shoulders were so tense they were almost shaking.
"I will never harm Sherlock," said John. "No matter what you say or do, I will not hurt him."
"Oh come now; you wouldn't have actually had to kill him."
"What then? What were you going to do?" Sherlock's voice was showing definite strain now. John tried not to let his fingers twitch in anticipation as the detective talked, kept the man talking.
"It doesn't matter now; Jonathon messed it up. You won't work out why though, because you'll be dead soon."
"I'll shoot you," said John softly. "I'll kill you."
The man shrugged. "I don't care."
Sherlock sighed. "He was more than your friend, wasn't he?"
The man twitched and John felt a thrill of exhilaration. The room seemed to be growing darker round the edges as his vision narrowed, focusing on the two figures near the bed.
"How did you-"
"Know?" Sherlock completed the sentence for him, and there was a cocky edge to his voice now as he showed off, demonstrating his fantastic deduction skills, doing what he did best. "You'll die for him even after he's gone. I know the feeling."
That threw John off guard, but he didn't have time to dwell on it, because he wasn't the only one unnerved; the man trembled and his grip slackened just that tiny bit.
John had his gun in position; he fired. The bullet travelled too fast for him to see, as always, but the change in grip that thrown him slightly off-aim; instead of smashing the plastic syringe and rendering it useless the bullet hit the man's hand with a soft squelch. His bones shattered and his fingers sprang apart.
The needle dropped to the floor, still whole. The man dived for it, leaving a smear of blood on the sheets as Sherlock scrambled away, rolling sideways and flopping off the edge of the bed. John fired again but there was an empty click (why on earth hadn't he replaced the bullets after the last gunfight anyway?)
He didn't linger on the fact he was losing his soldier's instincts and dived forwards instead, using sheer strength to move the man away from the syringe, no idea what was going on. It didn't feel right fighting a battle in the middle of Sherlock's bedroom.
The man kicked and the blow landed hard in his stomach; John curled in on himself with a gasp as the man got free, kicking him away for good measure. John rolled sideways with a groan and found his head level with the gun the man had dropped at the beginning, lying forgotten by the chest of drawers.
He rolled over and seized it, staggering to his feet only a few seconds after the man had and firing three times as he stood threateningly over Sherlock. The bullets went straight through and embedded in the wall, with a rather impressive blood splatter to go with them.
The attacker toppled sideways and slumped to the floor; John ignored him and stumbled forwards, dropping the gun. Sherlock was laying half-on and half-off the bed, very still, his lips pressed together tightly. John lifted him and wrenched the hand ties away.
It was only then he noticed the needle was sticking out of Sherlock's arm again.
For a second he wavered, then the doctor's instinct took over and he looked closely, dreading what he was going to see. The plunger was about a sixth of the way down.
John ripped the needle out and placed it on the bedside table, taking Sherlock's hand and tapping his wrist. Sherlock gave a shudder and his face contorted.
"Yeah. Yeah, it's me."
Sherlock opened one eye, then the other. "How much?" he said hoarsely. "Will I-"
John put a reassuring arm around his shoulders and held him tight; they were both shivering. "Not enough, I don't think. You'll have a high resistance to drugs anyway, if you've done them in the past. You should be fine."
"I feel tired."
John smiled. "I didn't say it wouldn't have any affect; it should hit you in about a minute.."
Sherlock sighed and looked at the wall where there were three neat bullet holes. "They're going to blame me for this aren't they?"
John laughed, but his voice was a little high. "Don't worry; I'm sure Lestrade pays for the damages when a dangerous criminal is involved."
"Not yet, try and stay awake a little longer, yeah? Tell me about the case before; what was he trying to achieve coming here?"
"He was…" Sherlock broke off and took a deep breath. "The other man, he was just embezzling. Then it got out of hand and he ended up killing someone – someone who was blackmailing him. I tracked him down and he ran. When he was cornered he jumped. Nothing more to it."
Sherlock was sagging further into John's side as he talked, and his words were beginning to slur. John knew that was normal – he would have expected the same if he'd administered ketamine on the field – but he couldn't stop a twinge of worry.
"And this one?"
"Lover. Boyfriend. Something like that. Broke in – I heard him, but I didn't get out in time – caught me, tied me up. He was going to kill me and frame you – what's what he meant by you being my killer. When you arrived back from the date, slightly drunk maybe, he was going to drug you and shoot me."
"I don't see how he would have managed to frame me."
"Put your fingerprints on the gun maybe; you wouldn't have been able to say how I'd ended up dead, which would have incriminated you to some extent. I'm not sure. He wasn't thinking it through very well I suppose; he might have been high. Even so it would have been bad."
"But it didn't work."
Sherlock gave a weak smile. "You got my message."
"Knew you would. Knew you'd ring back. You're cleverer than most of the idiots around."
"I'm sorry I didn't pay attention straight away." He paused. "I'll never leave my phone on silent again."
"At least he wasn't boring. I had to deduce almost everything; he didn't boast too much. I like a challenge."
"He didn't look like a killer."
Sherlock sighed and his head came to rest fully on John's shoulder. "He was in love."
John started. "What did you mean? You said you knew how he felt."
Sherlock didn't reply; his eyes were shut and his hand resting in John's lap. John laid him out on the bed in the recovery position, and then went to phone Lestrade.
To be continued!
Thanks for reading, reviews/constructive criticism welcome!