"SHERLOCK!"

John pounds through the streets, worn shoes beating relentlessly on the cobblestones below. Hurry, hurry, he has to run faster or he'll lose him and he can't see him anymore because of that blasted fog and all these corners he has to turn, but where is he and why can't he see that coat swinging in front of him anymore?

Gun in hand, he runs.

Sherlock is out there, somewhere. That bloody fucking idiot; who's idea was it to run after wanted criminals, gang members, anyway? Yes, yes, clues and the case are important and all that, but John wishes that Sherlock would just think sometimes before he runs off to be the big damn hero.

Heroes don't exist. They don't, Sherlock told him that himself, but still he is out there probably being pulverized by eight thugs who are three times his size, at least.

"SHERLOCK!" he screams again. Oh, god, if it wasn't so bloody fucking misty outside he'd have caught up already, but his jumper is heavy with perspiration and fog and his feet are sliding around inside his shoes and he gives himself seven minutes, give or take, until he won't be able to run any farther.

Suddenly, in the distance: a gunshot.

Shit. Shit, shit, shit. John clenches his own gun a bit tighter in his hand, lamenting the fact that he's carrying it and not Sherlock. God. Jesus, no, if he could only run a bit- faster-

And he's there. He flings himself around the corner, into a dank alley (of course), and there's Sherlock, crouched leaning against the dilapidated bricks, clutching his hand to his chest.

He's bloody.

John skids down the alley to him and pries Sherlock's hand away from his heart.

"It's just my hand, John," Sherlock mutters. "No need to be alarmed."

John stares. Probably he glares.

"Oh, probably I should mention that I did send the thugs into a trap," Sherlock continues calmly. "Lestrade was waiting on the other side."

John's eyes never leave Sherlock's face.

"You..." he begins, then pauses to draw a shaking breath, "you stupid fucking idiot."

Sherlock's eyes snap up to meet John's. "I'm fine," he says, wrinkling his nose.

John collapses, falling forward onto Sherlock's chest. He rests his forehead on Sherlock's collarbone, drops his hand to Sherlock's waist, and just breathes.

"Don't you," he starts, "don't you ever run off on your own like that again. I mean it, Sherlock. I need to be with you, especially when I have a gun and you don't."

Sherlock raises his non-bloody hand and rests it in the small of John's back. "You... you thought I got shot, didn't you?" he asks, voice small.

"Didn't you?" John replies.

"No," Sherlock breathes. "Just grazed my hand. Minkovich, the tall one- awful shot. Barely touched me."

John huffs a laugh into Sherlock's shirt. "You have to be more careful, Sherlock," he says, then presses his lips to the dip in Sherlock's clavicle. Sherlock stills, presses his hand more firmly into John's back.

"I've upset you," Sherlock says, and John smiles against his skin. "...Sorry."

A pause.

"Come on then," John answers. "Back to Baker Street? I need to look at your hand."

Sherlock's reply comes by way of a soft smile before he allows himself to be dragged up out of the alley and pushed into a waiting cab.