Disclaimer – You recognise it, I don't own it.
Apart from nurses and the occasional doctor, John was mainly left alone for the rest of the day.
He was actually quite glad of the quiet. Gave him time to think about everything. Gave him time to relax from the constant tension he had been under.
"Hey." A voice called from the doorway, "You're looking better."
"Alan." John laughed, "So are you."
"You gave us quite a scare… Gave me quite a scare." Alan replied, "Why weren't you taking care of yourself?"
"I… I had better reserves. Better food. I was physically more capable of the deprivation."
"But we needed you. What would we have done if you had collapsed on us? You were what kept us going. You gave us the strength we needed each day. What were you thinking?"
"I did what I had to do. I wasn't loosing another patient… Another man."
"You are such an idiot… Without you… We wouldn't have lasted five minutes. God, how can you not see that?"
There was an uncomfortable silence for a while.
"The others wanted to come and see you." Alan confessed, "But the doctors don't want you too disturbed. They would only allow one. I won the right."
"Poker." Alan shrugged, "We're all headed back to our units tomorrow. The doctors should let you come say goodbye then. Has anyone said when you're heading home?"
"I'm not sure I am… Two guys gave me a job offer. Medic for a highly classified unit."
"A Lieutenant Stone and Staff Sergeant Ben. Though if that's their real names I'll be surprised."
"Will you take it?"
"I don't know. They said I'd be making a real difference. But it'll be hard. I'm not sure that it's worth it."
"It is." Alan's response was quick.
"What?" John frowned.
"It's tough. It's hard. You'll be pushed like you've never been pushed before. But it is worth every tear, every sweat-drop, every injury… Everything."
"You can't know that."
"I can. I know." Alan countered.
"I told them to offer it." Alan perched on the bed, "Big Ben and Stone are my superior officers… Unofficially… It's a bit…"
"You could say that." Alan was blunt, "All of us can make recommendations as to who we believe should be part of the unit. The top brass make the final decision. Some guys recommend a lot of people. Few make the cut. So they're not listened to that much. Some guys, like me, don't recommend people. So when we do. The brass listens and looks. Guess Stone and Big Ben liked what they saw, TC."
"TC?" John fixed on the one thing that wasn't overwhelming right then."
"I told you I'd find you a nickname." Alan grinned, "They're calling you Three Continents Watson. It's a bit of a mouthful. So is Three Continents… So, TC for short."
"I'm not gonna win this one, am I?"
"No." Alan was unrepentant.
The next day, true Alan's word, John was allowed out of his bed and room to see the others.
Though they wouldn't let him out of a wheelchair. John rather thought it was a calculated criticism of his self-care. Probably orchestrated, in part, by the medic Lifeline. Even if John hadn't seen him since handing over his patients.
All the escapees were there. All in their various uniforms.
And all ecstatic to see him.
Once John had been hugged, bro-slapped and generally man-handled, all of the twenty four stepped back and pulled off salutes that would have brought a tear to any drill sergeant's eye… For all the right reasons.
Then they began to sing.
"Oh why you look so sad…"
It wasn't brilliant. There were plenty of wrong and clashing notes. They certainly wouldn't win any awards.
But you couldn't deny the heart and spirit behind it.
"I'll stand by you."
John laughed as they finished, some of them looking down and scuffing the floor, like naughty schoolboys.
"You rescued us." Jack spoke, "You protected us. You cared for us. We will remember. We are, now and for always, the Three Continents Division. Should you need us, ask and we will come."
"I did what anyone would do." John protested.
"But it was you who did it." Mac countered, "Anyone could of. But it was you who did."
"We had a small argument about what award you should receive." Sansone stated, stepping forward with what rather looked like a shoebox, "So we compromised."
With care and reverence the shoebox was handed over to John. Carefully opening it, he found what looked at first to be the collected works of a primary school art class.
Lifting one item out, it took John a little while to recognise it, but once he did he realized what the box contained in principle.
It was a gold medal hanging from a red, white and blue ribbon.
"Médaille d'honneur pour acte de courage et de dévouement." Jack stated, "Or in English…"
"Medal of Honour for bravery and dedication." John stated automatically.
It wasn't a real version. Rather a cardboard and paper and ribbon replica.
But the intent was there.
"How many?" John asked looking at the box.
"We had an argument." Felip shrugged, "We all had different opinions."
"We also made this." Shri stepped forward, holding out a small patch.
It was fabric, and clearly meant to be sewn onto a shirt of some kind. The symbol on it was simple, but also complicated.
The world was clearly visible, picked out in blue and green, though three continents were firmly outlined in silver. Central to the design was the Rod of Asclepius, sewn in gold. It was clear that a lot of work had gone into the design.
"How long was I out that you were able to make this?" John breathed.
"My mother taught me to sew quickly." Shri shrugged, "I will be making more. Every unit needs a badge."
"You don't need to do that." John protested.
"Yes. We do." Charles countered, "None of us want to forget this… We're bloody proud of being your Three Continents Division. You're going to be a great man, John. A great man. A great soldier. A great doctor."
"And we want to be able to point and say, we were there. We were here." Felip agreed.
"I'm not that special." John argued, "I'm just John. Nothing special. Nothing important ever happens to me."
"No, it doesn't." Mac shook his head, "Because you do the important. You make the important happen."
"We don't care what you believe." Sarah put in, "We believe in John Watson."
There was a chorus of agreements, and nodding heads, over shadowing John's protests.
"Hey boys," A man in a Stetson called out to them, "You'd best be getting aboard, cowboys. I'm gonna hafta put the spurs to my steed to get you all home 'fore the sun sets."
Goodbyes were said quickly and before John had any time to really come to terms with it, everyone was gone.
Though he had time to whisper into John's ear.
"Remember what I said. It's dangerous, but it's worth it."
John was left in an empty room, in a wheelchair, holding a shoebox of paper and cardboard medals.
He heard footsteps behind him. But didn't turn. He was carefully putting the lid back on the box.
"What's your decision, Captain Watson?" Stone spoke from right behind John.
John rose to his feet and turned to face the pair. The box tucked under his arm.
"Count me in." John declared firmly.
The pair broke into huge grins.
"Good decision, old chap." Stone stated.
"Welcome aboard." Ben extended his hand to shake John's, "Welcome to the Tommies."
In my headcanon, the Tommies are the British equivalent of the Joes. Only unlike the Oktober Guard they actually get on with the Joes. They have a close working relationship. Neither Big Ben nor Lieutenant Stone are the top guy. But they are pretty high up the ladder. Big Ben, due to his position as liaison with the Joes. And Lieutenant Stone is somewhere in the top five… Possibly the top three.
I may at some point revisit this side of TMPPotB and provide a few more stories about the Tommies. However it will be heavy on the OCs. Mainly because I will have to make most of the Tommies up.
Do please give me your opinions on that.
However the muse has gone to the sequel for TMPPotB. I promise no swift production of this, as the muse has also decided to concentrate on Sherlock's POV. And he's proving difficult to write… Mainly because I have to put in things for him to deduct, and even I don't know my characters that well yet. So he's spending a lot of time sulking.
Wish me luck.
I would like to thank my followers and reviewers. Thank you.
Photo100 – Writing will continue. But it will be slow… Work gets in the way. As does my reading.
The Owl Mage – No. John does not want to be kidnapped today.
Gowvan – You may get your wish.
IzzyDelta – Alan's even mentioned in TMPPotB. Though he is a small part. And I had to include Ben and Stone, they're my only two sort-of-canon British Joe characters. Ben appeared in "A Real American Hero" (which I haven't read). And Stone is from GI: Joe Sigma Six (second season). Everyone else I made up.
Melrae – Mycroft? Try Sherlock when he does come home… Why would Mycroft be in trouble?
Pyro-Neko-Isis – Thank you. Hope you enjoyed.
Angelwings23123 – Nice to know. And thanks.
GabrielsDoubt – Don't worry. I'm writing this based mainly on fanfiction I've read and Classic GI Joe Volumes, up to and including number 6. Not a lot to go on.
Keltic Cat – Same here. Snake-Eyes is just such fun! And John wasn't recruited by the Joes. But that doesn't mean they won't keep an eye on him. After all, they owe him one.
Alli – Glad you think so.
Johnsarmylady – Thank you. It is always nice to be praised.
Once again thank you.