John stared at the box. The outrage he had first felt when he'd realized that they had been going through his box was fading, replaced by the empty feeling he always had when faced with the memories of that time.
He'd watched as many great men died and they didn't get the title of "hero" because they hadn't done anything special, or been anyone special. The word "hero" could have been applied to each and every man who fought in that war alongside John, but they didn't care about anything other than the pain and whether or not they'd live to see their families again when that bullet found its mark.
John had held the hand of dying soldiers and looked them in the eye and said far too many times that it would all be over soon as he watched the blood poor out of them like sand out of a broken hour-glass. He'd whispered too many empty promises that they'd be fine to believe in the word "hero" anymore.
When Greg had called him a "hero" John had felt that revulsion that he'd first felt when the doctors in the vetran's hospital had called him a "hero" for saving the two soldiers who had been wounded before John was shot, apparently both of them had survived and were spreading rumor of his "heroism."
He felt like a fraud, all he'd done was patch up a couple of soldiers and had gotten shot trying to reach a third dying soldier. He rememebered the explosion of pain and the crunch as his clavicle shattered.
Sitting heavily on the bed he clenched his fists in an attempt to will away the pain that was coursing through his arm. He was still angry that Sherlock had allowed them to go through the box without a fight, and the fact that Greg had actually invaded his privacy like that made him even more angry.
But, John understood curiosity, and if anything he knew he should be grateful they hadn't noticed his gun under his pillow. With a sigh he stood up to go downstairs, his shoulder throbbing slightly.
There sat Sherlock, the lanky detective was folded up on the couch, eyes locked on John's face, his expression blank.
"Sherlock, I'm not mad-"
"Yes you are."
John sat down in his chair heavily, "-directly at you, is what I was going to say so you can relax."
"Then who are you mad at?"
"Mostly Greg for opening that box."
"Why didn't you stop them?" John could feel his anger coming back slightly but he pushed it back.
"They wouldn't have listened."
"You could have tried."
"I apologize that I didn't do things exactly like you want them done Mister Hero." Sherlock's last words were all but sneered and John stood up, trying his best not to punch the other man.
He settled for hissing out with as much venom as possible, "I'm not a hero, got it? There is no such thing as a hero."
The look on Sherlock's face told John that that wasn't the exactly reaction he had expected from the doctor.
"John, did you know your eyes turn dark blue when you become angered?"
John had to stop and blink, "Oh, see now they've gone back to a medium blue, which is good because you are no longer about to hit me right?"
Sherlock knew he was playing a dangerous game, if he said the wrong thing, worded one sentence wrong it was all over. So when John started laughing he knew he had played it just right.
"Only you Sherlock Holmes would notice something so mundane in the middle of a confrontation." John collapsed back into his chair shaking with laughter, even Sherlock had to join in for a moment.
When their laughter turned into giggles and died down Sherlock looked John square in the eye and promised, "It won't happen again."
John nodded after a moment, "I know it won't."
"How do you actually define a hero?"
John stopped for a moment before replying, "To me a real hero is someone who gives everything simply for the sake of giving not for the accolades or the praise. A hero is someone who doesn't care what happens to them, just so long as whoever they're helping is safe and unhurt. That is my definition of a hero."
"I see," Sherlock paused thoughtful, "Angelo's?"
"Sounds great, let me text Greg first though." John grinned.
"All right, let me go change clothes."
John watched his flat mate dissapear into his bedroom before pulling out his phone and sending a message to Greg:
Don't do it again.
"Ready to go?" Sherlock was already at the foot of the stairs holding John's coat.
Greg was sitting at his desk working on a seemingly endless round of paperwork when John's message reached him, opening it up he read:
Don't do it again.
With a sigh he typed back:
Believe me, I won't.
A/N: I'd like to say thanks to everyone who's reviewed, put this on story alert, or favorited it, and I'd also like to ask that you tell me what you thought of it. I appreciate the tip my anonymous reviewers gave me, but I'd like it even better if you gave me signed reivews so I could reply personally.
Thank you all, I hope you enjoyed this little two-shot,