"Wake up."

Her voice was more urgent this time. She cursed at her inability to pull him up and berate him for doing something this stupid. She wanted to slap his wrist and then hand him a beer, like she had done countless of times before.

Being a surgeon, her hands had been her most prized tools. Even though her hands where intact, they were unable to do a thing. She peered into the water, not surprised when she didn't see her reflection. Her lips brushed the tips of his ear and she concentrated like never before.

She took a deep breath.

"Sherlock wake up!"

His eyes snapped open and his head emerged from the water. The bathtub began to drain after his heel knocked the improvised bathtub plug. Sherlock coughed up the water he'd swallowed and looked right through Joan Watson's concerned face.

He took in shallow breaths and sunk to the bottom of the tub, his knees poking above the rim. Hugging his chest, he blinked back tears.

"It was meant for me," he whispered. His voice was hoarse from the two months he'd kept silent.

When the shot was fired, Joan pushed him to the ground and he let out a laugh.

"You missed Jim," he goaded underneath her. "What a shame."

Jim kept his twisted smile intact.

Sebastian Moran and James Moriarty were tackled to the ground by an army of policemen armed to the teeth, not willing to take any chances.

Moran's voice rang through the abandoned building as he was handcuffed and dragged outside. "I never miss."

Sherlock looked down, his shirt was splattered with tints of scarlet; the smell of copper invading his nostrils.

"Watson!" He cried. Sherlock cradled her head and used his scarf to wipe off her blood.

"Ambulance!" He called out frantically, but he knew it'd make no difference. The rational part of his brain knew it was too late but the other part, the part he thanked Joan for told him he was obligated to try.

"Don't waste the medics time," Joan said smiling. "You know better."

"You'll be fine, Watson."

She gave a dry laugh and patted his arm. "I'm the surgeon, I know what's happening. I've got major internal bleeding and the bullet-"

"Stop that," he growled. "Stop that right now."

"It's okay Sherlock," she explained patiently. "People die."

"Not you, though. You're different."

She smiled, her eyes taking in every detail. The sirens in the background, the cop jargon flying over their heads. She didn't register any of that.

She took note of Sherlock's labored breath and the little squeaks he made, like a frightened mouse. His soft green eyes darted from her wound to the police men to her face, trying to find a solution. The crease on his forehead was deeper, and he seemed to have aged ten years in those few seconds. He held her gaze and squeezed her hand.

"Don't leave," he pleaded, his eyes filled with anguish. He took her hands in his. "Please don't take her."

Sherlock never pleaded. He never prayed. He didn't care for Gods because he never needed anything from them. But this was different. This was Joan. The only person who put up with his madness and kept him grounded. Joan, who would match him in a game of wits and win fair and square. The one who would tell him off but still forgive him because she knew he was sorry, even if he didn't say it. This was his only friend.

So even though he didn't believe anyone was upstairs listening, he prayed. Because maybe if he prayed hard enough, someone would answer.

But they didn't.


Joan woke up in her bed.

Then she screamed.

"Sherlock! Jesus Christ what are you doing here?!" She scrambled to her feet and leaned on the wall. She pointed to the door. "Go back to your bed, you know you have to ask first. For fucks sake you gave me a heart attack!"

When Sherlock didn't move and her breathing evened out, she looked to her clocks. All of them were unplugged. She shook her head and rolled her eyes.

Nice try Sherlock.

She reached for the plug and was startled when she couldn't get a hold of it. She tried again. After the fifth try she figured they must have gotten drunk the night before and was still a little buzzed, which would explain why she couldn't remember anything, and Sherlock was passed out on her bed.

Odd. She thought. I don't have a hangover.

She rounded the bed and sat next to Sherlock. Wondering why he had taken to sleeping on her side of the mattress. The only times he stayed in her bed was when he talked her into watching crap TV or late night movies he rented. He'd disappear into the kitchen and march into her room, popcorn in hand and a DVD in the other. She groaned and moaned about it but she'd let him settle in her bed and watch whatever film he wanted.

"So we're having a slumber party?" She asked the first time he brought a movie.

"Yes! Except we don't do each other's hair." He exclaimed excited while the previews started, "We just watch movies and eat junk food."

The alarm had woken her the next morning and she was pleased to see that Sherlock was still fast asleep. She suppressed a laugh when she saw him hugging the bowl of popcorn. She pulled the bowl with the few remaining kernels rattling inside from his iron grasp and instead of her morning jog, she decided to sleep-in instead.

She examined the floor.

Nope. No popcorn. Must've gone drinking then.

It wasn't until she examined Sherlock's face that she noticed the tear marks on his cheeks and the blood stains on his shirt. At the feet of the bed lay his blood soaked scarf and that's when she understood.

"Oh," she remarked with surprise. "I'm dead."