A/N: I went back and edited the majority of the chapters, So I hope spelling is loads better and maybe even grammar too.
This idea popped into my head the other day and I just can't get the story out of my head.
Tell me what you guys think and where things should go from here.
Chapter 1 - The Rules
There are rules to the Gift.
Rule #1 - If it is possible to save a life while still keeping the secret then that life is John's personal responsibility.
Rule #2 - Always have a pair of headphones ready
Rule #3 - Never pry into someone's mind unless it concerns Rule #1 or self-preservation
Rule #4 - Avoid all acts of intimate touching of skin, unless for Diagnosis or unless in association with Rule #1
Rule #5 - Take Precautions. Wear gloves and an abundance of clothing (jumpers) when out in public and around people.
Rule #6 - The gift is to be keep a secret, people do not need to think him mad.
Rule #7 - Wear two pairs of Latex gloves when working with patients. Better safe than sorry.
Rule #8 - Avoiding crowded areas is appreciated
Rule #9 - Know the limits of the gift, over exertion could result in nosebleeds, hospitals, migraines, or worse
Rule #10 - Sherlock must never find out
There are rules concerning his Gift, granted John made the rules himself, but they are important and necessary and he abides by them all. If only Sherlock wasn't the exception to all of his rules, and not to the permission of John.
First, the history of John's gift is unsurprising but a necessary tale. A near death experience here...
The three minutes that the in-progress doctor was clinically dead after drunkenly falling and drowning in the Thames during his first year of Uni was more of full on death experience. There really wasn't a 'near' part about it. John had died. He even saw white in the most disappointingly cliche way possible.
A denial of morphine induced craziness there...
John spent three days in the hospital drugged up, recovering from his 'death.' All the while, hearing noises and freaking out when he was touched. To this day, it still surprises John that the staff didn't admit him to a sanitarium after how he acted those days.
It wasn't until months later, and serious bouts of denial and self-doubt that John came to terms with what he experienced on a daily basis.
John can read minds.
Yes, John realises it sounds a little cheesy and unoriginal, but he finally gave in. He acquiesced that he wasn't mad. He accepted that he can, in fact, hear other peoples' mind. He could find no other explanation, and let's be real, Google is not helpful when it comes to things like this.
It takes even more months, for the doctor to give up on the Google Gods (to which he attempted to find the origin of his gift), John transfers his patience to honing and mastering his skills,
When he finally gives into accepting his gift, months had passed devoted solely to ignoring his gift (to which John calls merely a mental blip, it wasn't until later he considered it a gift) and multiple hospitalizations for panic attacks and severe migraines because he went into an overly crowded store or someone handed him pen in one of his classes touching him accidentally (that was an embarrassing story).
After months, he finally is able to break his gift into three parts.
1. He always hears peoples' minds, no matter where he is, no matter how crowded or deserted the place is. However, he doesn't hear the minds clearly, they are fuzzy, hazy and incoherent. They become white noise, muddled unless John focuses on them. They are annoying and irritating at first but eventually John is able to tolerate them.
2. One day, John was listening to the white noise of other peoples mind when suddenly he hears a stream of sentences in his mind. He doesn't realises that he was staring at a girl across the cafe. He can hear her thoughts, something about perfume. John learned that if he concentrates hard enough he can zero in on individuals' thoughts and hear what they are thinking about. When he realised this with the girl at the cafe, he made a rule not to pry. John is, at first, unsettled by the fact that he can so easily invade peoples' minds, their privacy. He eventually mastered the ability to completely ignore the thoughts in someone's head no matter the proximity.
3. The gift is the most powerful through tactile response. John wasn't a very touchy person before the incident and he is definitely not going to change that now. Every time, someone brushed against John, he stiffened and gets thrown into the memories of the person. When this first started, the doctor was hospitalized more than once due to the overwhelming nature of the new attack/sensation. After those events, the doctor doesn't initiate any touching anymore, unless in cooperation with Rule #1. After he mastered how to effectively touch someone without having an attack the doctor refrained from unnecessary touching, it was the easiest way to prevent nosebleeds and blackouts.
When John comes across a person, skin to skin, his gift allows him to connect with the person he is touching, thus opening the other person's mind and giving John access and a connection to everything the person is thinking and has thought, every memory, every pain. This part of the gift is the scariest and unpredictable, hence Rule #5. After the second hospitalization, John started wearing jumpers and gloves whenever possible. The overwhelming emotions and fainting spells were frankly, getting embarrassing.
John made the aforementioned rules for himself because he felt like he needed to kept himself in check. He knew that the ability is dangerous and he needs a way to make sure his self-control is lost. John is compassionate and ethical and he has a selfless need to help other people, it's the reason John became a doctor. He relies on his compassion to keep himself attentive and non-abusive to his ability.
He didn't have the rules immediately, however, and when he first started to accept his gift, he had many doubts and run ins on whether to use his gift to alter events. Close calls and narrows escapes in keeping his secret.
The doctor would repeatedly ask himself questions.
"If I can save their life by using my gift, should I?"
"Am I morally obligated? Ethically obligated?"
His questions weren't answered until six months after his 'death' and the first rule quickly became the most important one of them all.
It was a March day, he was walking down the street after one of his studies. White earphones were pushed into his ears, he had recently found out that listening to music through his headphones lessened the white noise in his brain and the annoying mumbling thoughts of the London's population. Suddenly, he heard a noise, yelling in his head, breaking through his music barriers and echoing almost painfully. He staggered on the street, listing to one side, tugging his earphones out and scanning the busy London pavement. People on the footpath strolled around him, glaring at him suspiciously. John ignored them, looking for evidence of distress in the area. Another yell echoed through his brain, causing John to shut his eyes at the unpleasant intrusion.
"Why, Why did he call whilst I'm working." He heard the thought invading his head. He whipped his eyes around, trying to find the origin of the thought. He saw a cab speeding down the street. He concentrated clumsily on the driver. Sure enough, the woman, the cab driver thoughts screamed in John's mind. He was dazed and wondered idly how the thought had penetrated his defenses. He noticed instantly the cabby's reckless driving, heading in his direction.
He suddenly spotted a little girl, no more than five. Her long blond locks curled down her back as she fiddled with a blood red balloon tied to her wrist. She was also heading into the street right in front of John, right in front of the distracted cab headed straight towards them. John listened for the cabby to realize her speed and slow down or brake. Her thoughts screamed about a cheating spouse distractedly. The cab was getting closer, ominously. John made a split second decision and grabbed the little girl by the back of her coat, pulling her out of the way of the careening cabby just as he felt the sudden whoosh of the vehicle speeding by. As John yanked the little girl back, the doctor tumbled also, pulling the girl safely into his arms. John hit the pavement with a thump and held tight onto the girl, protecting her from smacking against the footpath.
The entire exchange happened in less than 7 seconds.
"Amanda!" A woman called, her face suddenly loomed over John and he had reflectively wrapped his arm around the girl protectively.
"Thank you." The woman said as John stood the little girl, Amanda, up and then smiled down at her.
"No problem." John answered smiling and putting his headphones back in his ears. Thus, Rule #1 was born.
Later, he would ponder and wonder why he heard the cab driver's voice so vividly and with no conscious efforts to concentrate.
It would spend hours and hours brooding over the fact and days later would still idly wonder.
Finally, he couldn't think of a reason and the questions were driving him crazy. He decided eventually that is was inexperience on John's part and obvious distress in the woman's mind.
Since that incident, John never experienced thoughts like that again, thoughts that were uninvited.
Never, until Sherlock came around and literally blew everything he ever knew about his gift out of the water and onto dry land, leaving the doctor flopping like a fish desperate for air.
However, that tale is for another part of the story.
He spent the next six months, strengthening his skills and learning how to use them, but what is more important, using them without another person noticing. This was the hardest part of controlling his telepathy.
During his first experiments, John observed people and it became extremely and obviously apparent that the minds he probed knew of an intrusion. A little facial twitch here or a full out frown and frantic scanning of the crowd there. John didn't know how they knew but he guessed that somehow the brain is able to detect the intrusion, some primal instinct. Eventually, he managed to read thoughts without detection and without giving himself away, controlling even his own facial features.
However, tactile responses turned out to be bit different. When John touches someone, his mind connects to theirs, its make a bond that allows John to filter through the other person's memories. This type of invasion of the mind doesn't go unnoticed, not to mention the connection sometimes takes a bit of time to make, delving through memories, and then being able to break the connection safely is a tad noticeable.
Once, John had to break a connection with a comatose patient prematurely and abruptly, causing the patient's heart rate and brain activity to go up innocuously. John walked away with a bloody nose, dizziness and a migraine. The patient, who had been in a coma for five years, miraculously, woke up the next day, asking for a blond angel. In fact, the whole coma ward seemed to have a rapid spree of waking patients, each one asking for the blond angel. The last three patients that John woke that week came out of their comas without asking for a blonde angel and it wasn't until then that John knew he could successfully infiltrate an awake person without the person noticing a mental intrusion.
John worked six months at developing his gift, how to control it, how to read other people's minds, how to master his own physical features to not give away his gift. He learned how to control the minds, reading them and not making the other person feel violated. He finally learned how make a tactile connection subtly while taking the least amount of time possible.
It was a whole year after he acquired the skill that he could performed his tactile links without raising suspicion and feelings of intrusion or taking more than five-seconds. He started putting his gift to good use.
John had quickly blossomed as an up and coming doctor as he worked through school. However, he was an ethical man, more often than not he didn't use his gift to cure patients. He did use two sets of latex gloves when he examined his patients, sometimes one set isn't enough. John refuses to use his gift as method of fraud. He doesn't use his gift, he does not want to cheat. He doesn't want to be a good doctor because he can read minds. He wants to be a good doctor because he is smart, charming and damn good at curing and helping people.
Despite all of this, sometimes his gift has a mind of its own and decides to work through John's precautions.
One point after the year mark, a patient heart rate had started to drop rapidly. John, at the time, had just started his residency in St. Barts and was doing one of his rounds. He hustled into the chaotic and bustling room already pulling a second pair of gloves on. The patient was only there for an overnight observation because of a concussion, he shouldn't being having these complications.
"Mr. Having. Can you tell me what hurts." John had spoken calmly at the man in front of him gasping for air, unable to speak back. John ran his hands over the man's scalp looking for bleeding or any sign of missed trauma. The man's eyes are panicked as they looked straight into the doctor. Suddenly, John felt a hand wrapped tightly around his exposed wrist. In a matter of seconds, John can see the man's lungs collapsing before his eyes, there is a bit of internal damage and trauma. He saw the man panicking and he can feel the lack of air through the man's touch. John broke the connection carefully when the man let go, he collapsed on the bed, not breathing. John was only connected for a split second, not noticeable to the others in the room.
"His lungs are collapsing, get him into surgery." John shouted to the nurses, orderlies and other doctors in the room, who only stare back incredulously. "Move!" John orders and the room bustled with movement and the patient was rushed away. John stood next to the empty space as he watched the man being wheeled away, a nurse doing rescue breathing upon the man.
"How did you know that?" Dr. Thorn, John's boss asked him later. John is used to questions in situations like this.
"Earlier, I saw Mr. Having experiencing very minimal breathing problems." John answered back matter of fact.
"That's just an after effect of the concussion." Dr. Thorn nodded, his eyes intrigued.
"That's what I assumed." John stated.
"Well, I'm glad we got it this time. Good Job, Watson." Dr. Thorn said with a smile, walking away. John does not like to lie, but keeping his gift a secret is important, and John returned to his rounds.
Most cases, John avoids his gift, he avoids the touching and the mind reading. Part of the doctor is uncomfortable with the invasion of privacy. After he mastered his skill, he did his best to find a way to avoid using it unless the situation deemed it absolutely impossible.
He wears long sleeves shirts and extra pairs of gloves, he listens to music on a daily basis and he never goes, willingly, into other peoples minds.
Then he decided to go to war. In the long run, it probably wasn't the best idea, but his dad was a war veteran and proud of it. Once John finished his medical school and became a doctor he signed up for duty. He was shipped to Afghanistan within six months.
Afghanistan was the only time in his life were he didn't feel shame for using his gift, yes he still ethically avoided it, but with the dying soldiers around him and the importance of saving lives, the gift felt that it needed to be present and with rations, John couldn't use two sets of gloves on the battlefield.
At first, John suffered many bloody noses, and he was lucky that was all. He knew the dangers of the connections he was making, willingly and unwillingly in the chaos of the battlefield. There were multiple cases during those times where he could have been in worse shape. His first tour was hard on him. While he would treat the wounded, he would see flashes of families and women, mothers and siblings, he couldn't push them out, they flooded in with the information of the injuries. For the first few months, John cried himself to sleep every night, over the families he had seen. After six months, John finally stopped fighting and intentionally used his ability to save as many lives as possible. He focused on the memories that had to do with the injuries, sometimes pictures of families would pop through and that just made John more determined to save the soldier. It worked, he saved many lives and even talked to the soldiers whose families he had seen.
Dr. Captain John Watson soon got a reputation. He became popular on the battlefield, he didn't even feel guilty about using his gift like that. He saved countless lives, three times the normal for an army medic.
During the war, he stopped hearing the white noise of people's thoughts. He thought this alarming at first but then grew used to it. Occasionally he would test and make sure he still could read minds, he would probe people's minds for reassurances but no more than a few seconds.
In the middle of his second tour, everything went downhill. He was shot and invalided home.
Upon returning home, John was immediately unhappy, he felt useless and his headaches were common due to the noise. He felt himself wasting away and worthless.
A week back in London, John fainted walking to his new flat. The white noises of the London population was to much for the doctor after not hearing it in the sands of the desert. He woke up in the hospital, he had been unconscious for two days. He immediately checked himself out against the doctor's wishes. On his way out he ran into Mike Stamford...
I don't know where this story came from.
Ahead, I'm going to skip Sherlock and John meeting and dive right into them working together, probably months down the road.