John winced moving past the dead body of Chazz, the fool had fell for the unconscious act. Well John couldn't take all the credit for his acting skills, he had been partly unconscious.

"If you say please I could give you a bit of this sedative, maybe dull some of the pain from what Luca's going to do with you." John hadn't replied, his skin felt hot with fever.

"There you are again, that's the Captain Watson we all know. Stubborn ass that he is. You're a fool Watson. A bloody fool. What did you care of those people they didn't know you! You didn't know them. They were the ENEMY. We were at war!"

"They weren't our enemy. They were civilians, women, children, fathers-you idiot."

"Still, I had no part in their demise but you still had me arrested! Thrown away in prison!"

"Yeah? Tell me Private, did you say anything to stop your comrades from raping and torturing those civilians?"

"They aren't even human. They breed murders and killers."

"No you, you aren't human. You are every bit of a murderer and killer as Luca. Your hands are just as bloody!"

"You would rather destroy yourself just to save others? Sounds like a fools mission. No matter-Luca said I can pull the bullet out, and I guess I will. So Just stay still, I'd hate to nick an artery or anything important."

Chazz had leaned over the doctor, "No worries I sanitized the blade, look its still smoking from where I ran a flame over it. I wonder if I should let it cool, no, no we don't have time. Luca is talking to the boss, so I only have a few minutes with you, before he comes back. He doesn't like to share his victims." John tried to brace himself for the pain, the knife was digging into his thigh, hot angry, sharp, he tried to concentrate on breathing and not being sick.

"Oh damn that didn't take long." You sure you don't want that sedative?" John forced his eyes open, pin pricks of black doted his vision, he could feel the blood starting to flow more freely it was warm now against his cold body. Why did he feel suddenly so cold, oh yeah shock, wonderful.

"I'll take your silence as a no. Oh wait doctor, stay awake now, I'll bandage that off-" And John had lost consciousness, he'd only awakened some time later slipping between awake and a nightmare he often had.

"People have died."

"That's what people do!"

"Get him on that table Chazz, I'm going to make arrangements for papers."

"Yeah. Yeah." The smaller officer growled lugging the dead weight of John Watson out of the folding chair they'd tied him too. Thinking from the look of him he wasn't going to last long. How convenient Vinny's shop had been. An excellent choice, they wouldn't be disturbed and the shop sign had been switched to closed. Not to mention all the fun tools lying around. Chazz wondered what Luca would use first, this is where his mind was as he hugged the Captain to him moving towards the metal table. Unaware of the hand reaching around and taking the still bloodied knife from his waistband.

And to Chazz's surprise he placed the doctor onto the table, grunting from the effort not caring for the heavy lifting that was usually Luca's job. But when he went to pull the Captains legs up the sharp edge of the blade met his neck. He stilled.

"You wont be able to fight us both Watson."

"I don't plan on it. How about I start with you and then move on to your friend." He growled.

"Your week, do you think I cant over power you?"

"Maybe, but you'd be a fool to try." Of course Chazz hadn't listened to the warning in the Doctors voice. The two men had struggled and now the blade was buried in the unlucky mercenaries chest. John needed to get away, he was fighting waves of darkness threatening. He needed to hide at the very least, before DeLuca came back. Knowing damn well he didn't have the energy for another struggle. If only his leg would comply, he found himself wishing for his dammed cane.

"And I know your therapist thinks your limp is Psychosomatic. Quite correctly I'm afraid that's enough going on with you don't you think?"

John had to chuckle despite the situation recalling the first conversation he'd had with his mad flatmate.

"Damn my leg!" he groaned irritably only having made it just across the shop reaching the doors.

"Hurts doesn't it?" John clutched the doors lever, his eyes clasping shut, he swore under his breath at the luck of it all.

"When I heard you'd been shot I celebrated, I hoped you'd died and at the same time I was angry those Jihadists stole the opportunity from me. It was enough to land me in the hole for breaking some sailors nose. It was worth it. And now here we are. You shot me in the leg its only fitting that I shot you there. Karma if you believe in that sort of thing." John tried to ease his breathing he needed to fight the threat of darkness his whole body quaked with fever and he knew his chance of survival was none if he gave in and passed out.

"You've lost enough blood. How the hell are you still even standing? Amazing adreniline, really amazing. I bet you're seeing double aren't you." John actually could barely see, everything felt so out of focus.

"So a colleague of mine warned that I would have 24 hours to live and even less if you were harmed or injured in some way. Well looks like its been about 13 since we snatched you from under that government dogs nose. And everyone is looking for you and I've got you. Guess you're not as valuable to your dear friends as everyone seemed to believe. Or they aren't as smart as everyone believes. I can't wait to brag to Capricio that I fooled the Holmes' brothers and murdered The Ghosts best friend. I was talking to him earlier and he said to be sure to take a picture, he'd like to be the one to send it to Mycroft himself. Seeing how your friends have been given my boss a bit of a headache ruining his games." John tried to buy time so he could think.


"Oh yes. See Capricio and his rich friends like to have these little hunting games. Where they pick a mercenary from their own organization and let em loose like a live video game, and everyone places a bet whose champion they chose from their team will make it to the end. At first Capricio used civilians but they tended to die earlier on. So he had an idea of using ex military except what x soldier will want to play such a game. We started abducting them from cities all over Europe. And yeah they lived a little longer most made it to the end of the game, but we couldn't just let them walk. "

"You killed them?"

"It was cheaper than paying them. Funny how they knew it was coming, but they still fought till the very end. Oh, don't look at me like that, I was sure to dump the body close to wear we took it. Chazz was great at finding new recruits. We were targeting two new likely candidates. You see you always want the ones with families. They have more to live for therefore fight a little harder to win. Than there you were-can you imagine my excitement. Here I believed you'd died out there in the sand and instead you were very much alive. And now I'm going to make you very much dead."

"Actually its only been 12 and half hours." Sherlock's cool baritone voice held an air of superiority. "And for your information I would have been here sooner but the traffic this time of day is just chaotic. I almost shot a cabbie out of irritation. "

"So Sherlock Holmes I presume." Luca didn't turn around, he felt the gun at his head. "Are you going to shoot me then?"

"No, actually I did think about it, and all the wonderful little things I could do to a man like you before shooting you. But something else crossed my mind."

"Whats that?"

"I figured my brother would rather have his turn with you. He has this way about disappearing people, a little cleaner than what I had in mind. But just as affective. I think he has a few questions he'd like to ask you about your boss. "

"You wont get me to talk."

"Oh, I don't doubt you'll try not to, but Mycroft has his little ways. You know its funny I heard another man say those exact words, but after minutes of being "questioned" he gladly gave up Sebastian Moran. Hell he'd of given up his grams to make it stop."

John slid down the cool metal of the door, relief setting in.

"All this for him?"

"Of course Deluca, where would I be without my blogger? And if he was dead than this conversation would be ending differently."

"How's that?" DeLuca took aim at the now slumped over Doctor. Sherlock only answered with a shot to the back of the mans thigh and as he went down to his knees trying to bring his own weapon up to shoot, Sherlock shot him in the arm, the bigger man dropped the gun and swore angrily.

"I could just shoot you, like that. Oh don't worry you're still alive, but I think you're loosing blood there." Deluca didn't get to reply the other man brought the butt end of the weapon down hard against his temple.

Sherlock scowled at the other man kicking the discarded weapon away out of reach.


"You know that visit to the country is sounding better and better."

"You do know that Mycroft fabricated that case just to get u out of London. The fool thought he could contain the situation without you knowing."

"Of course, I did. You think I didn't notice the extra security he had around the place?"

"You did?"

"Give me some credit, I realized it as soon as the women walking her dogs passed by our apartment for the third time in an hour. Not to mention the black cars parked on every corner from the apartment to the hospital."

"Why didn't you-"

"I figured Mycroft had his reasons. Just thought might as well go along to the country. I actually believed it was your life in danger. Who'd want to kidnap me?"

"John you would be surprised. Now Mycroft will print out a background list of every enemy you've ever made from nursery school to present, are there any old friends I should be worried about?"

"He wouldn't?" John chuckled, the action made his vision blurr even more, he tried to concentrate on the nearing sirens screaming in the distance

"I wouldn't put it past him, he did mention a Timothy Hudgins? Ended in a bloody nose? Over a girls doll?"

"I hardly remember that, and it belonged to one of the younger girls in the park. He was just being a bully. Someone had to say something."

"I just cant understand why that someone has to be you?" Sherlock shook his head leading his friend outside. "Really John this is how it starts."

John squinted in the bright afternoon sun, the chill of the spring air eased the throbbing in his head. And was gratefully for the strong arms of the taller detective holding him, because though he could see the police cars nearing and the Ambulance behind them, the sounds all seemed to be growing more distant and his blinks became longer, and longer.

"Its alright John, go ahead and rest."

"Just going to rest my eyes. A minute."

Sherlock climbed into the ambulance with his friend, and kept his eyes trained on the pail form beneath the horrid orange shock blanket.

John Watson wasn't just anybody he was indeed a complex man, a good man. Far to good to be Sherlock's friend, but it hadn't been Sherlock's choice, John somehow for some reason chose him as a friend. And for that reason Sherlock never wished to make John regret his decision. Moriarty had tried to burn Sherlock, and he very nearly did. Instead Sherlock would come to realize the psychopathic Irishman had only ignited something within him, something deadly and uncontainable.

And Sherlock in the cold dark days following his "death" would need that conflagration, the fire that burned in him was only fanned and kept bright by the thought of his friends in danger. It was a fire he took with him when he felt the weariness. And he would burn anyone and all those associated with that person who threatened those he cared for, threatened to put out that fire. Sherlock's heart was those he cared for, and without his heart he himself would burn up.

A few hours Later

DeLuca swore irritably handcuffed and forced to sit in cement interrogation room. His leg throbbing, the door finally opened after hours of sitting. "I'm due a lawyer." He growled, and the tall man carrying a plain black umbrella took a seat in the chair across from him, leaning back he said coolly.

"Hello Mr. Deluca, my name is Mycroft Holmes. I believe you met my younger brother. Please accept my apologies, my brother Sherlock is a little unrefined and also for the time I've kept you waiting. You see a close friend of the family was in the hospital and I wished to visit and check in on his health. You know social obligations. But that aside, I have a few simple questions about your employer a Mr. Ceaser Capricio." DeLuca nervously swallowed looking to the now closed door, he was alone, with a chillingly polite British Government.

~Das Ende.~

A/N: Thank you all for your kind words of encouragement. Hope everyone enjoyed it! Such lovely reviews so far and I am very grateful! -Mary