"Sherlock, stop looking at me like that. I'm fine, I swear." John muttered, leaning heavily against the side of a building. Sherlock glanced at him once more and turned back to peering over a low fence, eyes scanning the surrounding area as best he could. When no sounds or sights seemed out of place he gave a relieved sigh, sinking to the ground with his head in his hands. He gave a bit of a hiss; pulling back one of his hands to see it was covered in grime and blood.

"John," he murmured, looking up at the other man. John turned, jolting out of a form of half-sleep. He dropped to his knees next to Sherlock, favoring his right ankle as he fell.

"Yes?" he whispered, scanning around as the sound seemed to pervade the silent atmosphere. He gently angled Sherlock's head to see better in the bit of light they had, for they couldn't risk lighting a torch. They would be found and then…

Running through the streets, holding Sherlock's hand as hard as he could so he wouldn't be separated from the man. They couldn't risk being lost or losing any ground. Turning sharply to avoid an old shopping cart overturned in one of the alleyways only to come face-first with a man with a knife. Falling backwards with a cry of shock only to hear Sherlock get accosted further up ahead. Frantically battling off the knife and shooting the man as soon as he could get his gun out, but heart sinking as the click goes off. One bullet left.

Taken down from behind as he was distracted by the gun. Knife presses into his throat. Eyes squeeze shut—this can't be the end. He couldn't die here!

A sharp bark of a command sounding like, "Wait!" Relieved pressure on the knife…just enough for him to squirm a bit and holler for Sherlock. Increased weight on the knife again. Everything seems to go dark….

Air floods back in as the weight lifts. Sucks in breath of cool air and rubs his bleeding neck. Sees snippets of a fight between Sherlock and his assailant between tunnel vision. Sherlock's hit with the knife…goes down.

Scrambles to his feet. Grabs Sherlock. Races away down the alleyways again, trying to put as much distance as possible. Stumbles. Hears something crack in his ankle. Ignores the pain.

John shakes his head roughly, trying to knock out the flashbacks. The memories would do no good here. They had put a lot of distance between their attackers and them now, and could afford to rest for a few moments.

He glanced at Sherlock's head, grimacing as he saw a long cut in his forehead from the knife. His black mess of hair was glued down to his head by dried blood, and his pupils seemed too dilated. Concussion, on top of the blood loss from the wound.

"Idiot," he muttered fondly, smoothing the wound with his fingertip, trying to gauge how deep it was. "You are not fine." Worry threaded itself through his voice as he realized the wound needed stitches as soon as possible.

"I didn't say thank you, by the way," he said quietly. "For saving my life."

Sherlock met his eyes and gave him a tiny smile. "I couldn't just leave you there, could I? I'd be lost without my blogger." Without warning, his hand rocketed up, placing it over John's lips. "Shut up!" he hissed.

Ears pricked, he scanned the surroundings again, pulling out his phone quietly as he did so. Bending over it to block the light from the screen, he flipped it open, only to have it declare [NO SIGNAL]. Swearing softly, he snapped it shut and slipped it back into his pocket.

"Still nothing. We're on our own." The words ghosted off his lips and if they weren't sitting so close John would have thought he imagined it. He nodded agreement almost unnoticeably, Sherlock feeling the tiny movement under his hand.

Slowly peeling his hand off of John's lips with a glare to remain completely silent, he rose to the balls of his feet. There were footsteps coming closer. He could hear them. That and the combined breathing of at least five men. They were being followed.

John tensed as he heard the footsteps too, gripping his gun although it wouldn't provide much help against more than one man.

"Damn it," he swore under his breath. "I thought we lost them!" A quick scan showed him that they were both hurt and completely exhausted. They couldn't take another fight…they would be slaughtered before he could raise his gun.

"Sherlock, we need to go!" he pleaded, pulling on Sherlock's shoulder lightly. "The gang isn't going to let up. If we don't leave now, we'll be killed, and I, for one, don't want to die in some godforsaken alley!"

Sherlock held up a hand, obviously a signal for John to shut up. "Thinking," he hissed.

John wiped his face with the back of his hand, smearing blood and dirt across it. They were both broken and dirty. The plan had gone completely wrong from the very first second. Sherlock had explained in Baker Street that they were going to sneak into the very edge of a smuggler's camp, check what they could find out about their comings and goings, and then leave. Very simple, very easy.

Until they were detected by the other perimeter security no one knew about. They had ran for almost a half an hour before running smack-dab into another patrol group going the opposite way. There had been a fight, and they had turned and fled deeper into the mass of tunnels and old buildings.

"They're looking for us, Sherlock….they know we're here…," John whispered, but fell silent, trusting Sherlock to figure out a plan.

Sherlock rolled his head back. It was pounding at the temple. Unaccustomed interference. He couldn't clearly find the solution; he couldn't make the plan, or see the answer. Worse yet, his phone signal was still unable to be located. Lestrade knew they were working on this case, but there was no way to reach him. No way to reach help of any sort. They were on their own.

"Come. We can't stay here. Lean against me." Sherlock murmured, gesturing to John, "And for God's sake, don't drag your feet. We don't need to leave any obvious tracks." John nodded, feeling the flight response was their best bet to get out of their alive. They had to keep moving.

He threw his arm around Sherlock's shoulder, gritting his teeth hard as his injured ankle slammed against the ground. He limped as fast as he could, putting as much weight as he could swallow on his injured foot without crying out.

Sherlock was getting dizzy now, the blood loss and concussion taking a toll. He shook his head lightly to get rid of the fog, leading John on uneven dry surfaces that would leave the least amount of tracks. The surfaces were more in the open, however, and Sherlock could swear they were being followed. The footsteps seemed to echo all around them.

"Sherlock, stop. Stop. I need to take a break." John gasped a few steps later. When Sherlock released him John crumpled to the ground, grabbing onto his ankle with a smothered cry of agony. It was swollen to about three times its normal size and throbbed viciously.

He gestured to Sherlock to bend down again, glancing at the cut. "You're losing a lot of blood," he muttered. "Here, take this and tie it around your head. Head wounds bleed a lot but I don't think this one is too serious. It's the concussion I'm worried about; we need to get you to a hospital." With a sharp tug, John ripped off a piece of his shirt and handed it to Sherlock.

Without realizing it, he was occupying a frame of mind he hadn't thought about in almost three years. The mind of Captain John Watson, army doctor. The sight of his best friend with blood matting his hair, pain shooting up his own leg, and the incoming threat of danger on all sides shot him back into a world he never thought he'd have to inhabit again. His hands were perfectly steady. Sherlock Holmes always saved John Watson. This time, just this once, it would be John Watson who saved Sherlock Holmes.

Sherlock reached for the cloth but his eyes wouldn't focus to it. He grabbed thin air about six inches to the left. "John…I'm afraid you'll have to help me with it…," he murmured softly.

Fear spiked in John's stomach as he realized just how much Sherlock had deteriorated over the course of just a few minutes.

"Here," he whispered, tying it on firmly. He grabbed Sherlock's hand and squeezed it lightly, trying to send wordless comfort. "Lemme see your phone again, ok? Check the signal?" He flipped open the phone and relief burst in his chest as the phone burst into life.


[Beep] [Beep]

[Beep] [Beep]

[Beep] [Beep] [Beep]

All texts from Lestrade, growing more and more frantic as they went on. He was looking for them. He knew something had gone wrong when they hadn't arrived back at the station.

He also had given away their location. The lights and beeping from the phone was a bright beacon in the misty darkness. The footsteps were getting closer.

John heard the footsteps and leapt to his feet, adrenaline eradicating any trace of pain for the moment. "We need to go. Now." He grabbed the phone and sent off one frantic text. Help.

"At least we have signal," Sherlock said, already clambering to his feet, having heard the footsteps himself. "Are you sure you can move?"

John scowled. "I can move. And it doesn't matter if we have signal if we're dead. They're here. We need to run. Come on." He grabbed Sherlock's hand like a vice, pulling him forward.

Sherlock tried to think through the fog pervading his head. He imagined the map in his head. They needed to get to the road, somewhere public, and somewhere where they would be found. They could make it to the nearest high street but they had to maneuver through the alleyways first.

"Don't think so hard, Sherlock," John scolded from in front of him. "You'll make the concussion worse."

Sherlock broke off his train of thought, feeling dizzy and nauseous.

"Look," John stated, pulling out the phone from his pocket as he ran. "I'll just keep the phone in my pocket. They can trace the call, maybe. If not, we need to move. We can't wait here and pray for Lestrade to rescue us. That's a death wish." He pulled Sherlock deeper in the maze of alleyways, army training causing him to instantly listen for pursuing footsteps. He heard some, but they were distant. They were gaining space. They could get away.

There was a large warehouse up ahead, between the two men and the main road. All they had to do was cut through the building and they would be home free. They could make it out.

…Until the warehouse door opened slowly. It was not salvation. It was more of the men. The same gang that had been hunting them down. They had been using the warehouses as their base of operations.

A voice rang out, vicious and demanding. "Take the Doctor. The one with the leg."

John froze for a moment, throwing himself in front of Sherlock. The man couldn't think straight and John would be damned if he would allow him to get hurt. Nothing would happen to Sherlock. Not on his watch.

He pulled out his gun and aimed it at one of the gang members in the front. "I'm a crack shot!" he yelled. "You get closer, he dies!" What John didn't realize was that as they were preoccupied by the men in front of them, the other men had fanned around in back. They were completely surrounded, with only one bullet left.

Sherlock blinked hard, gritting his teeth. He was furious…offended. He looked around through the haze covering his eyes. There were ten men, all told (including the ones that had caught up to them that John hadn't noticed). Likely with more on the way. Even at his best he couldn't take on more than three. In this state it would take a miracle.

John cocked his gun at the man, but none of them even wavered. Instead, the majority of them just laughed. He closed his eyes briefly, wanting them to know he meant business. Pulling the trigger with a crack, he felled the one gang member. But instead of slowing down, they got closer, condensing until there was no way out for John and Sherlock.

There was no escape. There was no way they could win a fight in their state…John could hardly stand and Sherlock had a severe concussion.

"Stop!" John called, throwing his empty and useless gun on the ground. "Stop. We'll negotiate. What do you want?" Their only hope was the phone in his pocket, steadily blinking on 911, recording the conversation around it.

"We want you, Doctor Watson," one of the men said quietly, obviously acing as leader.

"Me?" John parroted, confused. "Why me?"

Sherlock looked up from his stupor, confused. Did he hear right? People normally didn't want John.

"You are a person of interest," the leader demanded. "We collect those."

"A person of interest?" John questioned, one eyebrow rising. "I'm not a person of interest. I'm just an ex-army doctor."

He was distracted form any reply by Sherlock wavering behind him, grabbing onto John's shoulder to steady himself. Sherlock needed help—any sane person could see that. He needed help soon. There was only one thing he could do. "If I come with you, will you let him go?"

Sherlock made a small sound of defiance in the back of his throat but John ignored him as the leader broke from the crowd and strode forward towards John. "We never had any interest in him to begin with," the man informed him.

"Promise me you'll actually let him go," John snapped, hands balling into fists. He stood tall, despite the pain radiating from his leg. If he was going to die, or become a captive, he wouldn't do it by losing his pride. "No harm. You'll escort this man to the nearest hospital to make sure he gets there, and then leave him. You give me your word?"

The leader glanced at the other men in his group and laughed bitterly, starting a chorus of laughter from the men around them. Unnerved, John took a step backwards.

"We've been watching you for quite some time, Doctor Watson. It is only you that we are interested in, and I'm afraid that it is us—not you—who wield any sort of power in this situation."

John blinked, panic starting to rise in his throat. "I'll give myself up to you! You don't need him, you just said that! So why can't you just let him go?" His voice was desperate.

The leader scoffed at John's plea, pulling out his own (fully loaded) gun. "We can do this my way, or my way. Your choice, Johnny-boy." He leveled the gun at John's forehead.

John raised his hands above his head slowly, breath coming ragged from fear. "I surrender. We surrender. Just, god. Please. Is it so hard to just let me know that he'll be safe?"

The gang leader narrowed his eyes.

A shot rang out.

But it wasn't from the gang leader's gun. John knew this because the gang leader (the one who was just threatening to kill him) was on the ground, a pool of blood staining the dirt underneath him. He was dead.

John stumbled backwards in shock, eyes as wide as dinner-plates. Without thinking, he scrambled forward, snatching the fallen gun from the corpse and clutching it to him. He glanced around frantically, pointing the gun.

But there was nothing he needed to point the gun at. Because, as he was talking to the leader, officers from the Yard had slowly been circling around the members of the gang. They took the men out silently, taking their spots in the circle and responding to the conversation so the gang leader (and systematically, John) still thought that his men were still in position. In the murky shadows, it was hard to tell the difference.

Lestrade had taken the honors of pulling the trigger.

John whipped around, shaking. His body seemed like it was starting to give out, too much excitement and pain for it to handle. "Lestrade?" he asked, wavering on his feet.

"Y'alright, John?"

He tried to take a step forward towards the policeman but his hurt ankle gave out, pitching him forward. Lestrade caught him quickly, pulling the gun out of John's limp fingers and pocketing it. "Whoa, boy. I've got you. You're fine."

John nodded, steadying himself but still leaning heavily on Lestrade. The man glanced at him. "Where's Sherlock?"

He froze, glancing into Lestrade's worried face. "What?" The man gestured to the captured gang members. There were nine of them.

That was when John realized that Sherlock had been oddly quiet while he was pleading for Sherlock's life. He hadn't really expected Sherlock to stop him (the man wasn't sentimental enough), but he was expecting at least one comment.

"Where's Sherlock?" he gasped, whipping his head around frantically, searching for that pale figure that screamed Sherlock. He tried to take a step forward but couldn't, crumpling to his knees in the dirt. His ankle was most likely broken, or at least badly sprained.

Lestrade grabbed his radio, barking a few commands while helping John up, allowing the man to use him as a crutch to get to an ambulance. Paramedics started swarming around John, giving him painkillers and anti-inflammatories, setting his ankle in a makeshift splint.

"What happened, John, when did you last see him?" Lestrade asked frantically.

"We were surrounded and we were both hurt badly," he started, trying to shove some of the medics away. "I last saw him when they first gathered around us. I'm not sure when he stopped talking—after they said my name, I think. I knew they couldn't have wanted me. They just wanted me distracted so they could take him! I'm such an idiot!" John's voice grew more hysterical as he talked, burying his face in his hands.

"This is my fault," he whispered, voice broken. "He was hurt. Very hurt. His deduction skills were slim to none with that concussion. He's as weak as a baby and could be in serious danger and it's all my fault."

Lestrade nodded quickly and picked up his radio, this time informing his men about the details of Sherlock's injury, the fact that he was most likely taken by one of the gang members, and how long he had been missing. Police officers scrambled and were immediately searching the area.

John jumped up. "I want to help. Let me help."

"No, no, no," Lestrade snapped. "Look at you!" He pointed at John and the man in question glanced down, wincing as he realized how bad he really did look. He was swollen, injured, and now drugged. Not to mention covered in blood. Granted not all of it was his, but it was still blood.

"It doesn't matter," John muttered, physically waving his hand as if he was waving away the comment. "I was in the army. I fought with a bullet in my shoulder, for god's sakes! Lestrade…," he trailed off, taking a deep breath. "Sherlock means everything to me. Absolutely everything. And I'd rather die than see him hurt."

From around the corner, the sound of dragging and muffled speech could be heard. Lestrade threw his hand up to stop John from speaking, but John knew better and didn't say a word. Together, they moved closer, John hobbling behind him to see what was going on. They carefully made their way around the corner.

"Sentiment, John," Sherlock drawled, clubbing the gang member over the head. There must have been a struggle, and Sherlock was able to break free.

John blinked and then stared. "Sometimes sentiment is a wonderful thing," he deadpanned. "How did you manage to do that without passing out?"

Sherlock blinked heavily. "Oldest trick in the book," he said. "I lied."

"You lied to me about your injury?"

Sherlock nodded. "As soon as I noticed that we were being followed again, I began to exaggerate the extent of my concussion."

John let out a big, frustrated sigh. "And why was that, then?"

"It was the only way to make our escape. One at a time. Once we split up it would be easier to recover the other. And after you were takern we coudlsr morek nl…" Sherlock's words started to become incoherent and he started to sway.

"Wouldn't it have been smarter to let me in on the plan?" John snapped. "But no. You're Sherlock Holmes and you'll never…," he broke off midsentence to catch Sherlock before he hit the ground.

Greg caught John who caught Sherlock and together they dragged the unconscious man over to the ambulance. When they got Sherlock into helpful hands, John couldn't help letting out a bit of a sigh with a broken smile. "Never, ever pretend a Doctor doesn't know what he's talking about. I'm medically certified, Sherlock. I know the signs of a concussion when I see them."

He sat down heavily by Sherlock's stretcher, watching medics fuss over them both, feeling oddly detached. The only thing that seemed real was the weight of Sherlock's hand, which he had still clutched firmly after taking his pulse. He was exhausted and felt a bit like he was going to faint himself.

Lestrade stayed on the scene, barking out the final orders, doing the count, and making sure all the gang members were accounted for. Including the dead man, there were ten this time. The ambulance doors were soon closed, sending Sherlock and John to the hospital. Greg had informed them he'd be along soon after to check on them.

John leaned against the wall of the ambulance, allowing himself to think of how the mission was a complete and utter failure. The gang had won. Sherlock and John would have both been dead if it wasn't for the quick action of the police. There had to be a way to defeat them.

Sherlock's eyes opened and he blinked, trying to come into focus. He looked over at John. The man in question was half-asleep against the side of the ambulance, the other medical workers leaving him alone. Half of his face was shadowed with a large bruise and one eye was partially swollen closed.

Sherlock frowned. Even with all the victories that may have come from today, the miniscule number of arrests led to more questions than answers. They needed to regroup, they needed to rest, and they needed to know what this enemy wanted with John Watson. He frowned deeper. Sherlock knew that wasn't a distraction technique. He knew this was something more. There was something sinister going on, and he wasn't going to allow it to happen.

He saw John stir and quickly shut his eyes again, pretending to fall back asleep. There were too many questions to answer, and his head was still much too foggy.

John sat up, looking around, hearing Sherlock move a bit. He glanced down. "You're awake, Sherlock," he drawled. "You must be forgetting I'm a Doctor. You can't fool me."

"No, John, I'm not awake."

John chuckled. "Of course not. What was I thinking?"

"Not thinking at all, apparently."

"Obviously. According to you, I never think." Then he grew somber. "How are you feeling?"

Sherlock kept his eyes firmly shut. "My eyes won't focus, and I feel like I should vomit."

"That's the concussion. Just keep them closed. But try not to sleep, as that could be dangerous." He helped Sherlock sit up, dumping a bowl of equipment into another bowl and bringing the empty one over to Sherlock. "Here. If you feel like you're going to hurl, use this. Don't worry, that's a natural reaction to being hit over the head."

A medic tried to come over and help but John waved him away. He was Sherlock's Doctor, he could take care of this. "They gave you stitches, so you're fine other than the concussion. They should go away in about a week or so, but we're going to check you into the hospital, just to make sure."

Sherlock sat up, waving away John's concern. "This is all terribly overdramatic. I'm fine. How's your foot? The bruise on your face is doing much worse."

John frowned. "Concussions are serious, Sherlock. If you don't take the treatment seriously, your brain could be permanently damaged. And I'm sure you don't want that. And I'm fine. The swelling's already going down in my ankle and the bruises look worse than they feel." He sighed. "What are we going to do now, Sherlock? They're still out there. And what do you think? Did they actually want me, or was it all just a distraction?"

Sherlock's frown returned. "John, I'm going to need you to focus. Dig into your memory."

"For what?"

"That man. You must have seen him before."

John thought hard, scanning his memory. "No, I don't think I have….," All of a sudden the face clicked into his mind, so big and obvious he was surprised he had missed it to begin with. "The army!" he burst out. "That man. The gang leader. He was with me in the army. He was under my friend's command… I remember him because he took a strange interest in me for some reason."

Sherlock nodded sagely. It was as he suspected.

"What do you think he wants now? I'm no better than any other ex-army doctor around. What do you think he wants with me specifically, if not to get to you?"

"That," Sherlock said simply, "is something we have yet to find out." He reached out as if he wanted to take John's hand, grasped it for a moment…. and then fumbled wildly, grabbing for the bowl, vomiting harshly.

John recoiled back to avoid the spew of sick and then rubbed his hand gently on Sherlock's back, trying to comfort him. "Don't worry, Sherlock. You're fine."

The trip at the hospital ended up being longer than expected. There were various tests that needed to be done, and Sherlock slipped through various stages of consciousness. John had his leg examined, there was a hairline fracture and a proper cast needed to be set. Lestrade joined them to take their statements, John having to fill in a lot of paperwork because Sherlock wasn't in any state to do so, and it was another eight hours before they would get back to Baker Street.

John was exhausted, both mentally and physically. Part of him wished he could be Sherlock, slipping down into the gentle embrace of unconsciousness. He didn't want to deal with anything anymore after so many statements and so many doctors bustling around him. His head was a fog.

It was only with much difficulty could he convince the doctors that he was a certified doctor and could care for Sherlock and after a long argument they allowed him to take Sherlock and go back home. John and Lestrade helped a semi-conscious Sherlock up the stairs and deposited him on the couch. Lestrade was forced to leave soon after dropping them off, rushing back to the Yard to finish statements and reports.

Mycroft was in Baker Street when they arrived.

John collapsed in a chair, vowing to stay up and take care of Sherlock despite the amount of sleep he wished he could have, not noticing Mycroft until he turned around.

"Mycroft?" he yelped, seeing the man in the other chair.

"You didn't even think to call," the other man moaned, patronizingly. "I put a lot of trust in you, John. You must realize that."

John squeezed his eyes shut and counted to five silently, trying to keep himself from breaking and screaming. He couldn't deal with this. Not now. He was too tired and in too much pain. He couldn't deal with Mycroft on his case as well.

"I do," he whispered politely. "It's been one hell of a day. I'm sorry."

Mycroft picked up Sherlock's violin and bow, eyeing them carefully. He glanced at his unconscious brother on the couch and frowned. With the bow, he gestured at the stairwell leading to John's bedroom. "You're in no state to keep watch," he muttered.

John frowned. "I'm a Doctor. I have to watch him. If I don't he'll be forced to go back to the hospital, and I know he's more comfortable here in 221B. Someone medically certified needs to constantly keep an eye on him." Then he laughed ruefully, glancing down at his foot. "And I'm really in no state to be climbing any more stairs."

Mycroft straightened up. "I am the next of kin. I am permitted to make these decisions. You, however, are not fit to be caring for anyone medically. You have been on your feet for almost sixteen hours, you are injured and under the influence of painkillers. Your decisiveness as a medical professional can be called into question at any time."

John sat up straight, narrowing his eyes. "I may be drugged and exhausted, but I'm not letting him out of my sight in a state like this."

"You will, because I am here, and I won't let him out of my sight," Mycroft looked down his nose at John. "If anything happens, I will wake you instantly. Deal?"

John closed his eyes for a few seconds, allowing exhaustion to crash over him like a wave. "Deal," he whispered, limping over to the base of the stairs. He frowned. "D'you think Sherlock would mind if I stole his bed? I'd like to be closer in case something happens and I don't think I'm in a fit state for these stairs at the moment."

Mycroft smiled. "I don't think he's in a fit state to argue with you. Get your rest."

He nodded and walked into Sherlock's bedroom, collapsing on the bed. He wasn't planning on sleeping, but soon he couldn't handle it anymore and fell over the cliff of unconsciousness. The last thought on his mind was of the mysterious gang leader and his connection to him.

It was almost one thirty in the afternoon when Mycroft went to wake John, nearly thirteen hours later. "He's stirring."

John snapped up, eyes opening quickly. Blearily, he fumbled for his phone, checking the time. "Bloody hell?" he burst out, clambering out of bed. "How… I wasn't planning…." He shook his head, pushing past Mycroft and almost falling over when he remembered the small cast on his leg. He pushed the pain aside and dropped down to his knees next to Sherlock. "Hey," he whispered. "How you feeling? How's the head?"

Mycroft slipped downstairs before he could be noticed by Sherlock, whose eyes were just beginning to open. His duty was done and he'd rather not force his brother into a tongue-lashing he wasn't ready for.

Sherlock blinked, and his eyes focused. He could see John. "Better. Clear." He paused, glancing over John and the flat for a moment. "Mycroft was here. And… you slept in my bed."

"Yeah," John shrugged. "Take it easy, Sherlock. You're still really weak. He was here… he took over watching you for me. And yes, I did. Sorry, the stairs were a bit much with this ankle. I hope you don't mind."

Sherlock struggled to a sitting position, helped along by John. "Can't a concussed man get any sort of privacy in this world?" he whispered mockingly under his breath.

John chuckled briefly. "When you're seriously concussed, nope. But now that you're awake, you're going to have to try to stay awake. Want me to get you anything? Food? Water? Painkillers?"


"Alright," John smiled, clambering up and limping into the kitchen. He could go for a spot of tea as well. "Any theories?"

Sherlock walked into the bathroom. "Hmmm?" he questioned, pulling the bloody bandages off of his head. Five stitches, nothing major. He fixed his hair with his fingers and threw away the bloody tissues.

"Sherlock!" John scolded from around the door. "You're not supposed to move around on your own! You could get dizzy and faint again!"

"Details, John. That's all details. What matters is that we have ourselves a case!"

"A case? Sherlock, you're hurt. I'm hurt. We're in no state to go running around London. We can check some facts here, do some research."

Sherlock grinned, picking up his bow and violin. "Simpler than that, my friend."

"Simpler than that?"

Sherlock waved the bow until it was pointing at John. "Most of the case resides within your head."

"Does it," John deadpanned, raising an eyebrow.

"Certainly. If you don't want a repeat of last night's endeavors, we shall have to try to find the meaning of its events."

John plopped down on the chair, taking a sip of tea, leg aching. "And how are you going to go about doing that?" he asked, playing along with Sherlock's genius-needs-an-audience game.

"You said yourself that you recognized that man, correct?"

"Yes. He was in the army around the same time as me."

"This was not a simple gang we were cornering, John! This was not some local arrangement. This has grander implications! We have stumbled upon something HUGE!"

John rolled his eyes. "Swell."

Sherlock was getting giddy. He jumped to punctuate the word 'huge' but stumbled, forgetting his weakness for a moment.

John jumped up, steadying Sherlock. "Easy! You're still sick!"

"Sick? Bah!" Sherlock grumbled, steadying himself and slurping his tea. "The game, John, is on!"