A/N: A thousand apologies for taking so long to update but as I have mentioned before I have very little time to write nowadays, I mean like just a couple of hours a week if I'm lucky and even then I have other writing commitments too (which I did in fact have plenty of time for when I first started writing them). Anyway, I just want to assure people that this story will not be abandoned, it's all planned out in my head and i know exactly where i'm going with it, it's just going to take a while to get it written down.
It had been three weeks since the attempted bank robbery. Three weeks since Jim Moriarty had taken a bullet meant for him. Three weeks since he'd plugged the wound, stopped the bleeding and saved the criminal's life and aside from a couple of weird, half remembered dreams and the occasional comment from his colleagues at the clinic and patients who'd seen him on the news, things were more or less back to normal. Well, as normal as anything in his life could be these days.
Today was a normal day, for him. Sherlock had gone haring off after a would be murderer and some stolen medals late last night with John in tow. They'd found the bloke, and the medals relatively quickly despite their quarry having youth and agility on his side, and hung onto him until Lestrade arrived with the car shortly thereafter, but by the time they got back to the flat at a quarter past four this morning John had been bloody knackered. He'd put the kettle on, intending to have a quick cuppa before going to bed but he made the mistake of sitting down while he was waiting for it to heat up and he was asleep in his chair before it had boiled
Consequently, having not made it as far as his bedroom, he didn't hear his alarm go off and he overslept. He woke with a start, a crick in his neck, a bus to catch and barely enough time for a quick shower and a change of clothes. Breakfast was a definite no go.
It was approaching midday now and John was starting to feel the effects of his late night and skipped breakfast. His stomach had been growling loudly for the last half an hour and a couple of matchsticks wouldn't go amiss for propping his eyelids up. Thankfully he only had a morning shift which was over as soon as he saw his current patient out and he was looking forward to a bacon and egg roll in the café around the corner then going home to catch up on his sleep.
He handed the elderly woman a prescription and smiled.
"There you go Mrs Parkinson. Take one, twice a day after food and remember to finish the course even if you feel better half way through."
Mrs Parkinson nodded and thanked him. As she stood, so did John, walking around his desk and over to the door which he held open for her. She thanked him again as she left and after watching her for a few seconds he let the door swing shut and heaved a sigh of relief. He padded over to the sink in the corner to wash and dry his hands then went to his desk to turn his computer off. Just as he reached for his jacket, hanging on the back of his chair his intercom buzzed.
"What is it Claire?" He asked, trying not to sound as annoyed as he felt.
"Sorry Doc, I know your shift just ended but would you mind just seeing one more?"
"Can't someone else do it. I'm exhausted. Really. I had a late night and…"
"I already asked but he'll only see you." The receptionist paused for a moment then added apologetically. "The doctor off the telly."
John sighed heavily, pinching the bridge of his nose and biting back a string of particularly ripe swear words."
"Okay, fine, send him in."
With yet another sigh he plopped back down in his chair, switched his computer back on, closed his eyes and buried his face in his hands while he waited for it to boot up. When he heard the creak of the door he plastered a smile on his face and looked up. The smile didn't last.
"You." He hissed.
The door swung shut and Jim Moriarty stood there, bright eyed and grinning cheerfully.
"What the fuck are you doing here?"
"Uhm…" He indicated his shoulder with a roll of his eyes.
"That's not what I meant. I meant what are you doing here? Here as in, my office."
"Well when I was discharged from the hospital yesterday they told me I should see my own d…"
"No!" John shook his head firmly.
"No?" Jim enquired.
"No." John reaffirmed. "I am not your doctor."
"Yes you are."
"No. I'm not. I told you before and I'll tell you again. I am not your doctor. I never was your doctor and I never will be your doctor."
"You were quite willing to be my doctor in the bank."
"No. No no no no no. That was not me being your doctor, that was me being a doctor. There's a difference."
"Not to me there isn't." He took a step forward and John took a mental step back. "You saved my life Doctor Watson." There was a brogue surrounding his name that made it sound different this time than it had all the other times Moriarty had said it. It was softer, less condescending somehow and it didn't send a chill through him. "You were there when I needed you most." A pause, for effect. "I need you now Doctor. It hurts. It really hurts. But I don't have to tell you that do I?"
John winced, remembering his own pain as clearly as if he'd been shot yesterday. He knew he was being manipulated, and by a master too, but he couldn't stop himself from switching to doctor mode once more for the devious Irish bastard.
"Fine." He grumbled. "I might as well have a look seeing as you're here now anyway. Sit down." Jim sat obediently, if also smugly. "And don't bloody grin at me or I'll punch you."
"Such a charming bedside manner."
"What? A broken nose will take your mind off your shoulder."
For a moment, just a moment, it almost seemed like the other man was going to say something else but nothing came.
"Jacket off then." With his uninjured limb Jim reached across himself and pushed his jacket off his shoulder where it had been hanging loosely. Beneath the jacket but over his shirt he wore a nylon covered foam sling designed to restrict his movement and prevent any unnecessary stress on his wound. "Shirt too. Top few buttons should be enough."
Moriarty made a show of trying to unbutton his shirt one handed, sighing and frowning occasionally. With just one button undone after several minutes of trying he looked across the desk at John and pouted.
"Sorry. Non dominant hand. Would you mind?"
John narrowed his eyes and glared suspiciously at the Irishman. He wasn't at all sure if he'd been having genuine difficulty or if he was being manipulated again but he decided he didn't care. The quicker he got this done the quicker the other man could piss off and the quicker he could get home. If quick meant he had to partially undress Jim Moriarty himself then so be it.
"For fucks sake." He muttered under his breath as he stood up and walked around the desk. He parked his arse on the front edge and set to work on the buttons. As the second one came free his fingertips brushed lightly against the other man's collarbone eliciting from him, a soft sigh.
"You have lovely warm hands Doctor Watson." John ignored both the comment and the brogue which once again surrounded his name and continued on with the buttons.
"That should do it." He said, deciding that four buttons gave him adequate room to work. He tugged the white cotton to one side to reveal the dressing underneath and carefully peeled it back so he could inspect the wound. After several minutes of silent examination John sat up. "Well, it's not looking too bad. Nice and clean, no sign of any lingering infection. I'd have expected the stitches to have been removed by now though. What happened?"
The Irishman took his bottom lip between his teeth and wrinkled his nose.
"I uhm… I'm a bit hyperactive and fidgety."
"You surprise me." John said flatly.
"Anyway, I got frustrated not being able to do certain things for myself, threw a bit of a temper tantrum and reopened the wound.
"A temper t…" John looked suddenly horrified. "Oh God. Please tell me you didn't murder a nurse."
Jim sucked in a breath and fixed him with a look of mock indignation.
"What kind of a man do you think I am Doctor?" He asked. "Of course I didn't murder her. Not with all those witnesses around and this still needing medical attention? It was tempting though. She was particularly annoying, always fuss fuss fussing and soooooo predictable." On reflection John realised that actually, it would have been a pretty stupid thing to do under those circumstances and Jim Moriarty was anything but stupid. But now that he'd been discharged did that mean the poor unnamed nurse was fair game? "Don't panic Doc, that particular urge has passed." Jim continued having read John's expression. "She's in no immediate danger. Not from me anyway."
John let out a breath he hadn't realised he'd been holding.
"Good." He mumbled. "Good, that's good. That's, uh… yeah. Right. Well." He stood up. "I'm going to change this dressing." He said, peeling off the last corner and depositing the soiled item in a bin marked Medical Waste. He reached across his desk then to take a pair of blue latex surgical gloves from a box slightly left of centre and pulled them on with a snap. Then he located an appropriately sized sterile dressing from the shelf behind him, opened the box and set about applying it to the other man's wound.
Moriarty sat statue still and unflinching while the doctor worked but even he couldn't suppress the small shudder or the slight hiss of pain when John pressed gently against his shoulder to make sure the dressing wasn't going to move.
"Sorry." John whispered before realising who was talking to and mentally chastising himself.
"'s okay." Jim whispered back. "Wasn't that bad. You're very good with your hands."
"All done. You can do your shirt up now." John told him, ignoring the compliment but not the fact that doing up buttons appeared not to be as tricky as undoing them. Non dominant hand my arse, he thought. Bastard. He pulled off the gloves, tossed them in the bin with the old dressing and washed his hands, then he sat back down at his desk and started typing. "I don't think you need to change that every day any more. Every other day should be fine. How are you for pain killers?"
"They only gave me a couple of days worth."
"Okay. I'm going to give you more dressings and painkillers, enough to last a week. In the meantime you will find yourself another doctor." He didn't give the other man the opportunity to argue the matter, he continued on. "I'm going to need a current address, for the records."
Jim gave him an address.
"Is that your real address?" John asked as he typed it in, already knowing the answer.
"It's an address." Jim answered. "One that will look real if anybody bothers to check."
John pressed a button and a small printer whirred to life. It continued to whirr as it printed out the prescription. When it was done John tore off the piece of green paper and held it out. "Go to the pharmacy next door." He said, suddenly withdrawing his hand as Moriarty reached out to take the prescription from him. "I mean it. Find another doctor. Don't come back."
"But…" Jim pouted.
"No buts. Find. Another. Doctor." John punctuated each of his words with a glare and a small nod. "I don't want to see you back here again. If you come back, not only will I refuse to treat you, I will call the police and have you arrested for harassment. Do I make myself clear?"
"You're no fun." Jim sighed dramatically. "Fine. I'll look for another doctor. Happy?"
"Not all the time you're still running around scott free no." He finally relinquished the prescription. "Now get out of my office."
Jim sighed again and turned to leave. As he reached the door he looked back over his uninjured shoulder and said with no apparent trace of humour or insincerity but once again with the brogue. "Thank you Dr Watson."
"OUT!" John hadn't intended to shout but he hadn't been able to help himself. Jim Moriarty just inspired it in him, more even than Sherlock who frequently infuriated him to the point of shouting. "NOW!"
At that, the Irishman grinned mischievously.
"Has anyone ever told you you're damn sexy when you're mad?"
John picked up the box of gloves and hurled it across the room.
"OUT!" He yelled again.
"Okay, okay. I'm going." He opened the door and stepped through, adding at the last second before letting it close behind him. "It was nice seeing you again."
John let out an exasperated growl and dropped his head into his hands.
"Fucking Hell." He grumbled. "Save a man's life and this is the thanks you get." He took a moment to calm himself and then he buzzed reception on the intercom. "Claire, it's John Watson. Can you do me a favour?"
"Yeah, sure. What is it?"
"Make a note on my appointment schedule that under no circumstance is Jim Moriarty to given another appointment. Thanks."
Well, it was better safe than sorry.