Chapter 1. A Question
"Excuse me, Doctor?" John turned to meet a middle aged man in a black hoodie. He looked a little pale, bags under his eyes, 'Drug addict. No. Iron deficient. Maybe. Fatigued most likely.'
John put on a polite smile and replied despite his own exhaustion and wish to go straight home after pulling a very long double shift.
"Yes. Can I help you?" Mr. Hoodie had his hands behind his back and asked again.
"Are you a doctor?" the same question, John wondered if the man was drunk he wasn't swaying and there wasn't a usual sour smell of liquor or alcohol.
His soldier instincts went on alert seeing the mans face, something in his eyes made John nervous, he was very much aware he couldn't see the strangers hands. John shook it off, running around with Sherlock was making the Doctor paranoid.
"Yes. I am." the stranger smiled politely, had John been paying attention he'd of seen the gleam of excitement in the other man's dark brown eyes.
"Oh, I am sorry to bother you. You must be on your way out –"
"No, it's no bother. I have time if you need."
"Uh, well, I am a little lost can you show me where the cafeteria is or just point me in the right direction."
"Ah, yes. It's just down that hall there past the front desk follow the arrows, and the smell of stale bread and two day old beans." Mr. Hoodie chuckled now his hands in his hoodie's pocket.
"Have a good night Doctor." Mr. Hoodie started to whistle some familiar tune, one John remembered marching to in the army.
John yawned again, another reminder that it was way past his bedtime. He wanted to go home and sleep in a nice warm bed, for at least five hours, 'Please God, just five hours' but knowing his flatmate it wouldn't be likely.
Once Doctor Watson was outside the cool London air helped bring him out of the exhaustion that throbbed through his very being. He pulled his black jacket around him, wondering if he should stop and get milk or take the chance that his roommate had done what he'd asked.
"Doctor?" John's thoughts cut short, he turned toward the familiar voice, knowing it was Mr. Hoodie, even before he turned, 'perhaps he's lost.'
His phone buzzed in his pocket, without looking John swore under his breath at the text he'd no doubt received from Sherlock "Out of milk." John pulled his mobile out confirming he had been correct." Dammit Sherlock, I told you to get Milk." He grumbled.
"Doctor." The man's voice more persistent, less of a question more of a demand.
"Oh, yes. Hello again-" John frowned as his eyes fell on a 9 mm pointed directly at him. "You've got to be kidding me?" he groaned "Just one normal night, with at least 5 hours sleep is that too much to ask?" Mr. Hoodie's dark eyebrows shot up definitely thrown off by the unusual reaction.
"Keep walking Doctor, nothing funny, let's go have a nice quiet chat somewhere private."
"No. Here is good." John growled, his shoulders straightening his blue eyes held the dark brown ones.
"Alright, have it your way. Either we move over somewhere a little more private or I shoot the first person to walk through those A&E doors, man women or child. I know you could attempt to wrestle the gun from me, but I've noticed you rubbing your shoulder earlier. And maybe you manage to get the gun, or I manage to hit a bystander. Tell me doctor. are you willing to take that chance? Are you willing to play god?"
John swore under his breath knowing as did the shooter, that the A&E was full of mothers with sick children and the elderly.
"Ah, that's what I thought, go on then turn slowly nothing funny" The gun was pressed into the small of his back, John remained stiff and allowed the stranger to lead him across from the hospital towards a darkened alley.
Sherlock looked impatiently at his phone he'd sent his flatmate a text and usually John replied promptly. As the impatient detective started to send another text, his mobile started to vibrate. John's name flashed across the screen he went to pick it up.
"John-" Sherlock thought something was wrong immediately, there was no answer, just muffled sounds than he hit speaker phone. "John?" he heard his flatmate's distinctively stern voice. And his next words froze the blood in the consulting detective's very veins.
"If this is a robbery, just take my wallet and get on with it. No one has to get hurt." Sherlock could hear his friend reached into his wallet pocket for his wallet, perhaps he was holding his mobile in his other hand.
"Tell me Doctor, one thing. When you work on people, are they only numbers to you? Slabs of meat? Detached from the horrors outside in your nice air conditioned office. Are your patients all blurred faces? Do you like to play god?"
John was looking for an opening; they were in the secluded alley, but if he were in a scuffle what were the chances that some innocent bystander would come to help? Only to be shot in the process. No John couldn't allow that. Now this physcopath was asking him if he liked to play god? This confusing question brought John's hands down.
"What? Do I know you?" John didn't have time to ask anything else before the would be mugger pulled the trigger. The first bullet tore through John's chest and knocked him back from the force and surprise alone. Just perfectly timed as an ambulance siren covered up the sounds of the next bullets.
"No, you don't know me. But all of you doctors are the same. Cold, emotionless bastards. You all deserve to pay for her death." The mugger leaned over putting a black booted foot down hard on the bleeding shoulder, and with the gun still in his hand he pulled the good doctors wallet out checking for cash.
The hooded man's face stilled his eyes widening as he read the name on his victim's ID. His expression changed he took a step back.
"Why?" John groaned. His chest burned he could feel the blood pouring from the open hole.
"You're an Army Doctor? It says here, Captain Watson North Umberlin-" John tried to move back something cold and dangerous in Mr. Hoodie's tone. The blond Doctor couldn't sit up, his body was pulsing with pain. The shooter had one hand holding the gun and the other John realized was a prosthetic.
Mr. Hoodie fired now, his face becoming one of icy rage, he emptied the gun into the doctor, even after it was out of bullets he kept clicking. " Because you're a Doctor. And I can." He growled, his hand shaking he'd put the wallet in his own pocket.
John watched through his fading vision that the mugger started to walk calmly off, the bastard half turned and waved as if saying goodbye to an old friend. "Thanks Doc" he started to whistle a familiar tune, Johns shock addled mind couldn't quite place.
He groaned, trying to will himself to stay awake, he could crawl out but how far would that get him. He'd tried to roll over and push himself up, fighting the pain, it tore threw him, causing black pin pricks to cloud his vision. He thought he was hearing things, leaning against the cold brick of the wall, breathing hard. 'A lung.' He diagnosed his injuries taking inventory, and he heard it again.
"Watson!" he realized then that he had his phone is his hand, the light of his mobile dimmed from the blood, blood so much blood, he coughed; this nearly brought him to his knees.
Being a Doctor, John knew it wasn't good, shock was setting in, his adrenaline would wear off and the pain would be even more intense he needed to call for help before that happened.
If he had any chance for survival, he fumbled with his phone, now slippery. John was determined to dial emergency-but the voice on the other end sent a calming warmth through him. For a minute the world could stop, and he held to the life line.
"Sherlock-" he wheezed now, getting harder to breathe,
"John. Where are you?" more a demand then a question.
"Sh-" John's voice refused to form the rest of the vowels or consonants. He knew he had to push the words out.
"John?" worried pinched the voice
"Alley-hospital-ambulan-" then the adrenaline dropped kicking his feet out from under him, and the darkness bled into the light surrounding the mobile suddenly. Perhaps the light was going out, either way John couldn't hold the mobile any longer his hands felt heavy and he clung to the cold dirty brick of the alley wall.
"JOHN!" Sherlock growled no answer he loathed to hang up but the line was dead. He called Lestrade hurrying coat in hand he dashed out the door.
"What is it?" the DI's voice was gruff from being pulled from an hour of sleep.
"Lestrade, John has been shot! He's somewhere near the hospital in an alley. "
"What!?" Lestrade was awake now, wide awake.
A/N: Sorry for the update I'm just cleaning up some. This story has a few typos that escaped my notice among other things :)