What Hurts the Most
"I don't think so… do you?"
John looked at Irene for several seconds before he let out a grim snort, shook his head, and followed Sherlock out of the Power Station.
"So, she's alive, then? How do…"
"Yes, thank you for telling me. I'd never have known otherwise."
John cleared his throat. "I just thought you might…"
"Want to talk about it?" Sherlock sneered. "All lives end, John. Caring is not an advantage. You know I am logical and reasonable and yet…"
"Yes. Fine. We're here now. I won't bother you about—Sherlock! I didn't bring my wallet! You need to pay him!"
Sherlock rolled his eyes and reached into his pocket. Suddenly he froze.
He handed his wallet back and approached the door.
He held up his hand. "There's someone here."
John crouched inside the kitchen door and waited for the signal. He could hear everything clearly through the open partition.
"I dislike being outnumbered. It makes for too much stupid in the room." John rolled his eyes.
He heard the outer door slam behind the two men. It was almost time. He stood up straight and stepped toward the living room and then…
Neilson spun around at the sound from the kitchen, gun ready. Sherlock rolled his eyes.
And Neilson was down in seconds.
Mrs. Hudson ran towards the sound of cursing, while Sherlock hoisted the unconscious agent onto the seat she had just vacated.
"John! John are you alright?"
"No, I'm not!" I've got…" he broke into another string of curses.
"Language, John!" Sherlock walked into the room and his let out one barking laugh. "What did you—"
"Don't you sodding laugh! It was – AGH!"
"Here, Sherlock dear, help me get him up."
Sherlock shrugged, stepped over the belt of shattered glass and held out a hand. John glared at him, but took it anyway, and pulled himself up.
"OW!" More cursing.
"Yes, yes, doctor, you just let it out. Did Sherlock leave something on the floor?"
"Yes! It was that… Now you decide you'll play squash with me, Sherlock?"
"Yes, John. Being sarcastic will make you feel much better.
"All sport is boring. You know I will never–"
"Then why was my squash ball on the kitchen floor?"
"You see where you are going, but you don't–"
"You aren't answering my question. And maybe I would have seen it if I hadn't been staring at the chemistry set that was about to make contact with my–"
"You had no reason to see the chemistry set until after you slipped. And that was an important experiment! Hours of work! Idiot!"
John straightened a bit – then winced. "Sherlock. It wasn't anything toxic?"
"What? No you'll be fine."
"Are you sure?"
"Well, I'm sure that..."
"Boys! Would you stop fighting! You still look like you're in pain. Help me get him to the chair, Sherlock!"
John shoved her hand off. "No!"
"John, let me see if you're hurt."
"You were just tortured! I should be helping you. You need rest. You should get out of the city for a bit."
"Don't be an idiot, John. Mrs. Hudson belongs here."
"Yes, he's right, you know. I was pretending a bit."
"May I have it, then?"
"Of course. You left it in the pocket of your second best dressing gown, you clot!"
John gawped at Mrs. Hudson as she passed Irene Adler's camera phone to Sherlock.
"Really, John. I'm surprised at you. You've known Mrs. Hudson for nearly a year!"
"Yes but I didn't…" He hissed. "Well I'll just leave you to your mutual admiration society, then?"
"No, John! We need to get you to a chair."
"No!" John stumbled forward a few steps.
Sherlock smirked and Mrs. Hudson gasped.
"Oh you poor dear! That's a lot of glass!"
"A bit less than seven eighths of a graduated cylinder, I'd say."
"Shut up, Sherlock!"
John lay face-down on the couch.
"I've taken the larger pieces out, but this would be much easier if you would just take your trousers off."
"It would be even easier if he took his pants off, Mrs. Hudson."
"Shut up, Sherlock!"
"I'm trying to be sensitive. It wouldn't hurt you to try as well sometimes, dear."
"I want Sherlock to leave the room."
"I need him to help. I'm sorry, John."
"It's not that bad, Mrs. Hudson. I'm sure whatever is left won't hurt—"
"Not your best idea, John."
John craned his neck to look at Sherlock. "I thought you said it wasn't toxic."
"Not too toxic."
John groaned. "Mrs. Hudson are you sure you want me to…"
"Nothing I haven't seen before."
"Fine, then. Just… does he have to watch?"
"No problem." Sherlock punched the agent, who had just begun to blink his eyes, back into oblivion.
"It doesn't look like it needs stitches. Just something to prevent infection. Sherlock?"
Mrs. Hudson dabbed the liquid Sherlock handed her onto John's bottom.
"Agh! That stings."
"Don't behave like an infant, John."
"Good as new, John. You can pull your trousers back up."
John started to reach for his pants when he heard a sound.
"You did not just take a picture, Sherlock!"
"Useful data, John. You wouldn't put your dignity above bringing murderers to justice, would you?"
John held out his hand imperiously.
"One picture. For cases!"
John closed his eyes and dropped his head back onto the couch cushion. "Okay. As long as you're the one cleaning up the mess in the kitchen."
Sherlock almost looked guilty as he dropped his camera into his pocket. John glared at him from behind the shower curtain.
"Why are you still trying to take pictures of my bottom?"
"Data, John. Who can say when it might be relevant?"
"Sherlock, you do not just come in here while I am…" He stopped. His eyes narrowed.
"Sherlock, you've seen wounds heal before."
"Of course. Not exactly like…"
"No. There is no reason for you to be interested unless… Sherlock, come back here!"
Sherlock peeked back into the bathroom.
"Sherlock, what did you give Mrs. Hudson to put on my bottom?"
"Text from Lestrade. Case. I'm off." He slammed the door just in time to stop a very wet, and very angry John Watson from throttling him.