Sergeant Sally Donovan was in control. Detective Inspector Lestaude had gone on holiday for two weeks. And for those two glorious weeks, Sally was in charge. She handed out cases, or took them if she fancied them, and a certain freak was banned from Scotland Yard. She even got out of her crowded workspace and was able to set up shop in Lestrade's office. Ah, it was bliss. Not to worry. Not to have to take orders. Not to have to deal with Sherlock Holmes.

Sally winced as she thought the name, and scolded herself. I promised myself not to think about that freak, she reminded her own brain, except to enjoy his lack of presence!

Then came the call. Weeks later, Sally would think of that call, and have to go take a hot bubble bath while watching the old soaps that she had a secret love for while eating a box of chocolates to calm herself down. That Call, she referred to it with a shudder. That Call.

Really, it was a day when she should have been at her desk, or rather at Lestrade's desk, finishing reports and ordering rookies to bring her coffee. But she hadn't felt like being cooped up indoors and had instead spent a leisurely day patrolling London's streets, keeping the garbage criminals in line. Not normally what sergeants from Scotland Yard did, but no-one questioned her orders. She was in charge.

"There's been reports of gunfire in an alley," said the call.

"I'm on it," Sally replied.

And that was how she ended up staring down at a body that had been put there by Sherlock Holmes. She always knew it would happen. She just had never dreamt that the body would actually be Sherlock Holmes.

A quick survey of the scene told Sally that the perpetrator was nowhere in the area. She dropped to her knees beside Sherlock's still body. He was face-down, blood pooling beneath him, staining the dark fabric of his trench coat. He didn't appear to be breathing. Sally quickly reached to take his pulse, not knowing what to expect, or feel, or even what she hoped to find. And she didn't know if it was relief or annoyance that flooded her when her fingers felt a weak but steady beat in his neck.

Sherlock groaned softly. He was conscious! Sally suddenly didn't know what to do. She had been in this situation hundreds of times before- gunshot victims lying near-death. The first thing she needed to do was call an ambulance, which she did. But then- what? Normally she would have held the victim's hand, let them know that they weren't alone, and talk soothingly while trying to staunch the flow of blood.

But this was Sherlock, and she wondered if he'd even appreciate any of it.

"I hope you appreciate this, freak," she muttered as she gingerly rolled him onto his back. There was a ragged tear in his shirt. He was completely soaked in blood. Knife wound, from the look of it. But that wasn't the worse of it. Sally's heart jumped to her throat. His head was slick with blood; it pooled in his ear as it streamed from a tiny hole in his skull. A gunshot to the head. Where was the ambulance?

"Sherlock," Sally said, loudly as his eyes flickered under their lids. Sally heard a trace of panic in her own voice and viciously stomped on it. She never let emotions get the best of her in the field. Caring about the men and women who lay dying wasn't going to save them. Clear thinking might. "Sherlock, can you hear me?"

She tore off her own jacket and wadded it up to press against the knife wound on Sherlock's chest, but what about his head? Sally squashed the thought that the man was already dead, even as he groaned and his eyes flicked open. They were glazed and unseeing, but somehow they managed to lock on Sally's face. Sherlock wet his lips, trying to speak.

"Everything's going to be fine, Sherlock," Sally reassured him, and this time her voice was calm and in control. "There's an ambulance on its way, so I need you to hold on. Can you do that?"

Sherlock's lips moved, but Sally couldn't hear what he said. She leaned in closer, her dark brown eyes uncharacteristically worried for the man she hated most in the world.

"Who shot you, Sherlock?" she asked him, battling the concern by replacing it with the fact that there was a killer loose on her streets. A killer she had to stop. "Did you see his face?"

Sherlock's lips moved again. Sally leaned in closer, so that her ear was almost touching his mouth before she finally heard what he was saying.

"Freak," he whispered.

And then those pale grey eyes rolled up into the back of his head and his whole body went limp.

All right, so I thought I'd try something different by actually posting my updating schedule for the entire fic, so here goes:

Chapter 1 (this one!) – Oct 7

Chapter 2 – Oct 14

Chapter 3 – Oct 21

Chapter 4 – Oct 28

Chapter 5 – Nov 4

Chapter 6 – Nov 11

Chapter 7 – Nov 18

Chapter 8 – Nov 25 (end)

Please be aware that this is subject to small variations, but I will attempt to stick to it as closely as I can!