THE ACADEMY CHRONICLES - A series of Oneshots containing the origin stories of Team Awesome and other events leading up to Episode Six


On This Broken Night (London Riots)


221b Baker Street, London: August 7, 2011

Everything was fire.

Whatever place this was, or had been, it was a barren wasteland now. The charred remains of castle brick and the stench of burning flesh was everywhere. Nearby, the man was dimly aware of people, familiar people fighting, crying out, dying. He saw a young woman with hair of flame leap into the fray, watched in shock as she was nearly torn in two with a sword.

And suddenly his eyes darted to the man next to him, the healer in a land of death, falling, blood blossoming on his chest from an arrow wound.

His arms, his heavy, slow arms could not find purchase on the smaller man's body as he crumpled to the floor, face battered from battle, blood staining his blonde hair to match the flames. He held the man stupidly, staring about the war-torn scene for help. All around them lay the bodies of the fearless teenagers they had joined forces with.

As he bent over his friend, his only friend. . . A small, bloodied piece of paper fluttered out of his coat, landing in plain sight. The words on it, still readable, mocked him.

PLEASE SAVE THEM.

As the smoke grew thick about him, he almost felt a tear slide down his cheek. Yes. It was time.

Sherlock Holmes gasped awake, his blue-green eyes surveying the darkened room in panic. In the flickering half-light of the urban night, he could make out his desk, covered in all manner of papers and artifacts of both various adventures and old dinners that had never quite gotten finished. The wardrobe stood by the smallish window, and some of his clothes had managed to make it unto hangers this time, though as he sat up he remembered that he still was wearing one of his nicer shirts. At least his shoes had made it off this time.

The alarm clock on the cluttered bedside table informed him that it was nearly 3 AM. He sighed. Only half an hour of sleep. Well, that wasn't unheard of.

"Are you alright? I heard you cry out."

And suddenly Watson was there, watching him with concern on his worry-lined face. He was there, and alive — so beautifully alive that Sherlock smiled in spite of himself. He turned on the lamp next to his bed, noting that the bulb would be due for a change soon.

"I'm fine, John. I just had a nightmare."

He studied John's face. It was clear that his flat mate hadn't gotten any sleep either. Probably more flashbacks from the war. He knew that the man suffered from the things he had seen even then, and though he would not often show it, parts of him would never fully recover.

Not that Sherlock minded. After all, people with minimal baggage were ever so dull.

"That one again?"

He could feel John's eyes piecing his soul in the way no one else's quite managed. No one could hide anything from Sherlock, but he was sure that with the exception of John and Mycroft he managed to hide quite a bit from humanity.

"Yes. That one again."

Watson sighed, sitting at the foot of the bed and smiling gently at his friend.

"You know it's just a dream, Sherlock. It's not going to happen. How could it? Look around. We're safe at home in our little flat in Baker Street."

"I know that, damn it!"

Sherlock winced at the shock and hurt in Watson's eyes. He hadn't meant to be quite that forceful.

"I mean, clearly it is logically impossible that we could be in the Middle Ages. This is the 21st Century. But it. . . I'm sorry. I'm fine. Go back to bed."

"No you're not. And I'm not tired." John smiled apologetically. "Sorry, but I'm not going anywhere."

Sherlock sighed. He knew that there was no arguing with Watson when he was concerned.

"So what? Are you going to read me a bedtime story? I'm sure Mrs. Hudson would find that very amusing. Something to tell the neighbors."

John threw a pillow at him. He caught it easily, which seemed to annoy the blonde man.

"It's not funny."

"Yes it is."

They grinned at each other.

"Yes it is," John agreed. "But no, I'm not going to tell you a story."

As Sherlock was about to reply, he suddenly noticed something odd about the light.

"John! Something's wrong."

They ran to the window. Sure enough, the city was brighter tonight. Too bright.

"Fire?"

Sherlock nodded, flames in his eyes. "It's like the entire city's gone up. Who would do this?"

"You don't think it's Moriarty?"

He scoffed. "Not his style. He's not this sloppy. No, the people responsible for this were no artists. That's one thing I know for certain."

"So what are we going to do?"

"Nothing."

"Nothing?" John's eyes were wide in surprise. He had clearly not been expecting this answer.

"Nothing. This is nothing out of the ordinary. Things like this happen every day. Yes, it's bad, and yes, I know you want to help, but I see nothing coming of this but frustration at the general stupidity of humanity, and I got enough of that from Anderson yesterday."

John hissed in frustration, grabbing his coat.

"And what good can you possibly do, John? Sit down."

He bit his lower lip. "Sherlock, I'm a doctor. People might be hurt."

Sherlock shot him a look he rarely ever used, his eyes open and vulnerable.

"Please. Just stay in tonight."

Watson sighed, hanging his coat back up. He wasn't inclined to argue. Not today.

"Thank you."

"I'll make us some tea, I guess."

As John went into the kitchen, Sherlock reached into his pocket, withdrawing a small business card. On it was a crude drawing of a dragon being strangled with its own tail. He flipped it over. On the back, the message appeared again: PLEASE SAVE THEM.

"What if I can't?" he whispered. "What if I lose –"

He cut this thought short as Watson returned with the tea.

"What's that?"

He shoved the card back in his pocket. "Oh, another card I pinched from Lestrade."

John smiled warmly at him. "So you're going to call him after all."

"Well, who knows? Maybe he'll need us."

He sighed, hoping that Watson would assume it was from boredom. Now would be an inconvenient time to explain about the sink, or why he knew deep down that his dream was more than just a dream.

Hopefully, he never would need to.


This Night Of Counted Sorrows

John's POV by Rachel Brook. Used With Permission.


221b Baker Street, London: August 7, 2011

Desert sands. Heat. Gunfire. Explosions in his eardrums.

Running. Screams. Whistles of bullets coming too close.

But he continued to run forward. He had to. He was needed.

"Evening…" Something says near his feet, giving him pause.

He looks down. There is a large snake at his feet, looking up at him with dark, knowing eyes

He freezes, his blood stilling in his veins. That voice…

The snake crawls up his leg and wraps itself around him. His waist, shoulders.

"This is a turn up…isn't it…" It hisses in his ear, its tongue licking his ear. Fangs dripping with poison. Poison that smelled of chlorine and semtex.

And suddenly, another voice is there. "…John…"

He looks up, blue eyes meeting a set of shocked Storm Blue eyes framed by dark brown hair. "What the hell?"

The serpents moves it head so it becomes his mouth. "Bet you never saw this coming."

The Storm eyes look betrayed.

His heart begins to crack within.

The storm eyes and the snake stare at each other for a long moment. And then there are red dots. Red dots, like fireflies all over the Storm eyes.

"I will burn the heart out of you!" The snake says, like a lover to his beloved, rubbing its head against his chest, right where his heart was.

He watches, frozen in horror, as the serpent sinks his teeth into his chest…

And the Storm eyes burst into flames.

"SHERLOCK!" John Watson screamed as he sat up, breathing hard, his blue eyes flicking around his room, light streaming from his window from the street. Things slowly came into focus. His desk, his closet. Home. Safe.

He collapsed back onto his bed, trying to calm his racing heart. His head turned to see his alarm clock flashing 2:55AM at him.

Running a hand over his face, he knew that there was no way he was going to be able to go back to sleep. So, he might as well get up.

Climbing out of bed, his winced as slight pain shot through his shoulder. The wound had healed…but still ached. A dull pain that he knew would never go away.

Tea. Tea would be good. Tea would clear his head.

He made his way down the stairs to the living room and was headed towards the kitchen when he heard a shout.

John tensed, senses heightening, listening hard to the sound.

It came from Sherlock's room.

Cautiously, John approached the door that was slightly open.

Sherlock was sitting on his bed, brown hair messier than usual.

So, he had slept.

John opened the door a bit more, concern becoming evident on his features.

"Are you alright?" He asked his flatmate. "I heard you cry out."

Sherlock's storm blue eyes looked up at him, a brief flash of surprise followed by something John couldn't for the life of him identify, a faint smile growing on the other man's lips that became visible when he turned on the light beside the bed.

It made his stomach do back flips.

"I'm fine, John." Sherlock said, studying him. "I just had a nightmare."

John studied him right back. "That one again?"

"Yes. That one again."

John crossed the threshold into his flatmate's room and sat at the end of the bed, a gentle smile making its way to his lips.

"You know it's just a dream, Sherlock," He said, the man's name like honey on his tongue.

"It's not going to happen. How could it?" He continued, feeling like he was talking to a child. "Look around. We're safe in our little flat in Baker Street."

"I know that, damn it!" Sherlock growled, startling John, and wincing almost instantly.

John was used to this. Used to the yelling. He shouldn't have sounded like a parent trying to console a child. Sherlock wasn't a child…well, sometimes.

"I mean," Sherlock continued, no longer looking at him. "Clearly it is logically impossible that we could be in the Middle Ages. This is the 21st Century. But it…"

Sherlock stopped himself. "I'm sorry. I'm fine. Go back to bed."

"No you're not," John replied, a soft, apologetic smile coming to his lips. Sherlock's eyes snapped back up at him. "And I'm not tired. Sorry, but I'm not going anywhere."

And, God help me, I never will.

Sherlock sighed. "So what? Are you going to. . ." A mischievous glint entered his eyes. ". . .Read me a bedtime story? I'm sure Mrs. Hudson would find that very amusing. Something to tell the neighbors."

John seized one of his pillows and chucked it at the taller man, which he caught easily.

"It's not funny."

"Yes it is."

They grinned at each other.

"Yes it is," John gave in. "But no, I'm not going to tell you a story."

Sherlock's mouth opened to respond, but stopped as a frown formed between his eyes.

"John! Something's wrong."

They ran to the window…and sure enough, the city was brighter tonight. Too bright.

"Fire?" John asked as the city of flames met his eyes.

"It's like the entire city's gone up. Who would do this?"

John shivered as a name enters his mind. "You don't think it's Moriarty?"

Sherlock scoffed. "Not his style. He's not this sloppy. No, the people responsible for this were no artists. That's one thing I know for certain."

John nodded. "So…what are we going to do?"

"Nothing."

His eyes widened, staring openly at his flat mate. "Nothing?"

"Nothing." The consulting Detective repeated, not looking at John, the reflection of the fire burning in his eyes. "This is nothing out of the ordinary. Things like this happen every day. Yes, it's bad, and yes, I know you want to help, but I see nothing coming of it but frustration at the general stupidity of humanity of humanity and I get enough of that from Anderson yesterday."

John hissed in frustration. Sometimes, sometimes…Sherlock just didn't get it. He grabbed his coat. He needed to do something!

"And what good can you possibly do, John?" Sherlock's voice followed him, annoyingly calm and piercing. "Sit down."

Gnashing his lip with his teeth, John turned slowly to face his flatmate. "Sherlock, I'm a doctor. People might be hurt."

But there was a look on Sherlock's face. One John rarely sees.

And one that tore his heart at the seams.

Sherlock looked…terrified. Eyes wide, vulnerable. "Please," His voice was soft and begging. "Just stay in tonight."

John knew he was being manipulated. That Sherlock was using his ability to get him to do what he wanted.

But he couldn't refuse him.

Not after knowing that Sherlock suffered a nightmare several minutes ago.

Not after the nightmare he had awoken from.

So he hung back up his coat.

"Thank you." Sherlock whispered.

John nodded. "I'll make us some tea, I guess."

Considering that neither of us are going to go to bed anytime soon…

The water didn't take long to boil and John quickly returned to the other room just in time to see Sherlock's lips move as he held a card before him. His brows were drawn, worried.

"What's that?" John asked.

Sherlock moved quickly to conceal the card. "Oh, another card I pinched from Lestrade."

John smiled, knowing that was Sherlock's way of saying "I don't want to talk about it." He'd leave him be tonight. "So you're going to a call him after all."

Considering you've been driving me up the wall, you brilliant idiot.

"Well, who knows?" Sherlock said, taking the tea mug John handed him. "Maybe he'll need us."

I hope so.

For your sake, Sherlock.