A/n: This story is a little... heavy, I suppose. At least, it felt that way while I was writing it. I feel extremely guilty doing this to my two favourite characters on Tv, but it can't be helped. I will hopefully continue this, but I'm juggling a couple stories at the moment (not all fanfics unfortunately) and quite a bit of homework, what with exams. But... I simply had to upload this.
The taxi careened around the corner, artfully dodging the other cars with the sort of skill reserved specifically for impatient cab drivers. Sherlock sat in the back seat next to John, talking loudly into his mobile to Lestrade.
"No, check the sister's record. Yes, the sister. Yes, I know she said – no, I realise that. Look, no, wait a second. Can you go any faster?" he raged at the cabbie, who obediently sped up.
The cabbie was one of the few who still drove past Baker street, and one of the even smaller group that would contend to pick up the infamous Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson. Some of the others still picked up Watson, but never the two of the together.
In any case, as a consequence of this infamy they knew this particular cabbie quite well, and he obeyed Sherlock's slightly over zealous demands as a matter of course. He mainly put up with them for the tips, though. Dr Watson had taken to giving cabbies tips when they had to deal with a Sherlock's more abusive eccentricities. The size of the tips usually made up for the shouting.
"No, take the left!" Sherlock roared, as the cabbie took the more conventional route to the police station, "That's the slow way."
John held his head in his hands as the cabbie glanced back at them quickly.
"Cant' go up there gov," the man said dully, "Gotta detour this way. Won't take that long."
Sherlock sat back and huffed, "Well, alright," he said angrily, "But hurry up. Lestrade, are you still there?"
There was a faint noise of conformation over the phone, as Lestrade came back on the line.
"Right, try and find the sister. It doesn't matter as much, but she might be in trouble. No, I know that they told you- look, do you – CHRIST!"
John whipped around, but Sherlock was already leaping forward at the cabbie, tearing at his seatbelt in an effort to move. John looked back out of the windshield, just in time to see the semitrailer's bumper plough into the side of the car, throwing him into a world of noise and pain.
There was an ear-wrenching sound as the car's tough metal shell twisted under the sudden, terrifying impact, and John felt his neck strain and his head whip backwards as his body tried to continue on at its previous speed. Glass flew through the air, and the cabbie was flung around like a ragdoll, kept in his seat by the seatbelt which sawed at his chest. The semi-trailer was creaking and groaning as it finally rolled to a stop, the taxi stopping with it.
The semi-trailer's driver fell out of the cabin, with a large gash on his face, and was helped away from the scene by some of the less shaken passers-by.
John sat amongst the twisted metal and broken glass, as the bonnet of the largely undamaged semitrailer smoked and spouted small wisps of flames. He tried to move, but couldn't. His seatbelt was half strangling him and he tried desperately to tear it off, away from his neck. He couldn't call for help.
The phone sat on the seat, still connected. But he couldn't reach it, not with the seatbelt trapping him against the ripped car seat. He strained to reach it with his fingertips. He could hear screaming, a rasping, coughing, desperate scream, and for a moment he thought it was his. It sounded a little like what his scream would sound like – if he could scream. But then a spark of realisation hit him… it wasn't him - the seat belt wouldn't let him scream. He could feel his throat bobbing and straining to make a noise, but it was producing no sound.
So who was screaming?
That spark of realisation froze. It fell through the air and dropped into the pit of his stomach, where it sat, cold. John felt his mind roll and shake and shout within him, felt his throat pulse and try to cry out. He stared across at the other side of the car, the side that had taken the majority of the impact, perhaps sparing him from harm. Oh god.
John wasn't screaming.
"Sherlock? What was that?"
Anderson looked up from his work, and a couple of the other officers looked at Lestrade in confusion. He ignored them.
"Sherlock? What's happening?"
Anderson rolled his eyes, and sat back. He knew what this was. It had happened before.
"Probably one of his experiments." He said, "Probably testing the… Psychological… thingy," he said, unable to think of a proper scientific term. Sherlock had been insensitive on the phone before, more than once, and had always boiled it down to 'an experiment'. Frankly, it pissed Anderson off, more than his usual Sherlock-antics.
"Tell him he's an idiot." He added for good measure.
Lestrade ignored him. There was no sound at the other end of the phone, and his heart started pumping away somewhere near his throat.
"Sherlock? What the hell is-"
There was a scraping, shuffling noise, and a voice echoed through it.
"Greg? God – got – have"
"John? What's happening?"
Heads turned. There was a note of panic in the DI's voice that sounded more foreboding of something serious. Anderson stood, watching the Detective-inspector's face.
"Jesus… Are you alright? Is he alright? Oh, my god, no, I'm coming, Jesus. No, stuff the case, I'm… oh my god, Is there and ambulance? I'm coming, I'm coming, hold on."
"What is it?" Anderson said cluelessly. He still didn't relinquish the suspicion this was another one of the freak's 'experiments'. Greg knew what he was thinking, and wiped his forehead, pulling on his coat as he dashed towards the door.
"Their taxi was hit by a semi-trailer, Jesus Christ, he's dying.."
Anderson felt a swoop in his stomach. There wasn't even time for the guilt to set in, as he followed Lestrade out of the building and slung himself into the car. The DI gunned the motor and sped off into the crowd.
"What happened?" Greg yelled into the phone, not bothering to stop to talk, but careening through the streets with only one hand on the wheel, "Are you alright?"
"Yes, no, god, I don't know," John said frantically, sounding as though he were speaking through a mouthful of blood. Lestrade blanched as he realised that this was probably the case. John wheezed, "The cabbie's a bit hurt, but he's okay, I guess. Oh god. We're trapped in the car. I don't think Sherlock'll last much longer. I can't-I can't-I think he's choking, Jesus, help me Greg!"
"Hold on John, there's an ambulance coming," Greg reassured him as the vehicle in question hove into view in his rear view mirror, "Hold on, we're coming."
The dial tone sounded in his ear, and he threw the phone aside. Jesus.
John slumped. His legs were pinned under god knows what – something metal – and he couldn't reach Sherlock. Sherlock was unconscious, but in the flickering light, John couldn't properly see him. He was limp, and rolled with the slight movement of the car. He was no longer screaming. John had never heard him scream before. Not like that.
There was an almighty wrenching noise, as someone outside tugged on the door. John finally felt that scream burst from his lips, as the bowing door pressed against the sharp metal that dug into his legs, driving it deeper into his flesh. In pure agony, he writhed and thumped his hand against the miraculously intact window. The tugging stopped, and a face appeared at the window.
"John?" came the familiar voice, and John could have cried with relief.
"Don't pull- hurts – gotta - Greg – no, it's Sherlock, he's dead, he's dead, Sherlock!" John yelled in an apoplexy of fear, as the detective began to convulse, and John immediately knew that he was choking, "Sherlock!"
He began to fade, falling into unconsciousness' waiting arms. A hand started pulling the glass away from the car door, trying to get to him.
"Sherlock…" he whispered, unable to hold on any longer.
He slumped back onto the battered headrest, dead to the world.