It was better if he didn't breathe.
Yup. Much better.
Oh. But there was that whole exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide things.
His vision was fading. (Were his eyes even open? Yes, they must be.)
Breathing is an autonomic nervous system function. Even if someone is holding their breath, when they pass out, the body will breathe again.
He sure wasn't unconscious after he inhaled against his conscious will. (But then, he wasn't conscious at the time.)
"Sherlock?" John called. His voice was distant, but urgent, and perhaps a little panicked.
It irked him. Doesn't John know he's busy trying to not die from this pain of breathing and also not die from the lack of breathing?
It was a fine line, and Sherlock was never one for tightrope walking.
"Sherlock, what hurts?" John sounded worried now.
Could he not tell? It seemed rather obvious to Sherlock.
"Breathing," he gasped.
Obvious obvious obvious from the attempt to not breathe. (Unsuccessful...)
John ripped his coat open. How dare he! He make quick work of the shirt, tearing it open and pulling off buttons. John would pay for that.
Sherlock wasn't entirely sure how at the moment, but he'd figure it out.
Later, when his chest wasn't screaming and his brain wasn't fogged.
So he took small breaths small breaths small breaths and John poked gently at his chest until he got to the side where it hurt the most and touched there and Sherlock groaned rather loudly startling John.
"Broken rib," John informed him. No really? Thank you for your brilliant insight there.
John murmured some things at him. He didn't hear.
He was groaning again. Wasn't he supposed to have a say over his transport and the noises that it made?
He felt John's fingers, more gently now, but still causing ache ache ache.
They stopped touching his broken rib and moved onto his trachea.
A deviated trachea is a sign of a pneumothorax.
Well. He couldn't tell from here.
He could lift his arm, do the same as John, locate it, determine its location, perhaps make a deduction, but he was damn near sure that if he attempted to do anything more than breathe that John would swat him.
He focused hard on the words. Focused hard on making his eyes meet John's.
"Collapsed lung," and then some more.
But that was all he heard.
He was going to suffocate. Dull. Dreadful. Tedious. Why?
He would have sighed if he'd known it wouldn't make him scream. Truthfully, at this point he wasn't entirely sure he could prevent that from happening, so better safe than sorry.
But regardless of his gasping gasping gasping breaths, his cells were still begging for oxygen, and the 20% of all that was being taken in was not enough for his brain and his brain cells were organizing a strike as he paused to think about that.
And the spots were dancing again, but he was breathing this time, and it wasn't that he'd pass out then wake up because of the pain of remembering to breathe, no matter how hard he tried to forget. No, this would turn from dancing spots to a comforting sleep. But a dull sleep. And that was never good.
But the dancing was making him dizzy, so he closed his eyes and hoped that it may help.
He hoped that there might be sweet, blissful unconsciousness. And there may have been; it's hard to tell when you're unconscious if you're unconscious.
But then there was a STABBING STABBING STABBING pain in his side, like when he remembered to breathe, except he hadn't forgotten this time, had he?
But John's face was peering at him, more anxious than ever. And there was stabbing pain, even if he paused his breathing, which was wrong wrong wrong.
Except it was an actual stabbing pain, like he'd been stabbed in the side.
(And he would know. He's been stabbed more than his fair share of times.)
But the spots were fading (can spots that block vision fade, or do they cause fading? Experiment) and Sherlock coughed coughed coughed.
He tasted blood on his lips.
"It's okay," John soothed him. "Just breathe."
So Sherlock breathed and gasped and coughed some more.
"Breathe. Calm down."
Calm? How the hell could John tell him to be calm when he was coughing up blood with broken ribs and a collapsed lung and perhaps had even been stabbed? And how the hell had he even gotten stabbed with John standing right there?
With John standing right there...
Sherlock glared at John, and he looked away. He knew that Sherlock had figured it out.
"You... stabbed... me..." he gasped.
"Shh," John urged. "You can yell later. Just... hush up and breathe. Please."
And Sherlock rolled his eyes, like he was only doing it for John's benefit, but decided that perhaps it may be a good idea to just lay here and breathe breathe breathe.
After all, there would be plenty of time for yelling at John later.
AN- Sorry if it was unclear, but John stabbed Sherlock to put in a makeshift chest tube, which would help him breathe until he could get to the hospital.