AN: The chapter lengths in this are really weird, but that's just how it worked out. Sorry.

"We're losing him!" he called, just like on that first night spent together. And again, they were chasing someone, but this time they were on foot rather than in a cab, which you might think made it easier to catch, but it really didn't. It just meant they could leap across roofs just as well.

Just as John figured he was going to cough up a lung, he practically ran into Sherlock as he stopped abruptly.

"Go around that way," he gestured urgently. "We've got him now!"

John obeyed, ducking behind a dumpster to scurry down the alleyway Sherlock had told him too. Sure enough, there was a figure in the distance.

Just as the man reached the end of the alley, Sherlock dropped from above like some morbid superhero.

The man instantly spun and headed the other way, right for John. Unless the man could fly, he was trapped.

"Stop there!" John bellowed. "We're armed!"

It was mostly true. Sherlock had John's gun though, and he felt sort of naked. The man must have realized this, because he brandished a weapon out of nowhere.

John glanced at Sherlock. They hadn't prepared for this.

The man pointed his gun at John's chest, right at his heart, and shot.

Sherlock had him knocked out before he knew what hit him, and scrambled to his side, pressing on the wound with his scarf. John hadn't even noticed him whipping it off his neck.

"Sherlock," he said weakly. "It's okay."

"Shush," he scolded John. "Just breathe. Don't move. Lestrade and an ambulance are on their way."

"S'okay," he slurred.

"John," Sherlock snapped. "Do shut up. But keep your eyes open," he snapped again as they slid shut.

John exhausted an awful lot of effort, but managed to reopen them.

"C'lapsed lung," he muttered.

"Obviously," he retorted. "That tends to happen when you get shot in the chest."

In fact, I'm surprised you're not unconscious yet. With that shot, the amount of blood loss should have knocked out out... Sherlock shook his head. Now was not the time to be analyzing blood loss patterns and symptoms.

"John," he insisted. His eyes were quickly glossing over, and he was on the edge of an abyss Sherlock wasn't sure he'd ever come back from if he fell over. "Stay with me John," he urged. "you always make me stay awake when I get shot, or stabbed, or have a concussion, so it's just about time to return the favour." He pressed harder on the wound, knowing the pain should keep John more alert. It was hard to tell the amount of blood loss. His scarf was too dark.

"S'lock..." he whispered. "S'okay..."

"No John, you were shot. It's not okay," he snapped. "But it will be. Soon. But you have to stay with me."

"Verse..." he whispered. But that was all Sherlock could hear as the sirens pulled up behind him and the clattering of many footsteps, along with a gurney drowned the rest out.

John's eyes slid closed in the time Sherlock took to glance over his shoulder, ensuring they saw him. They did. Within seconds, Sherlock was torn away from John's body to allow the paramedics to work, applying bandages, masks, and inserting IV lines.

"Verse..." he muttered to himself.

"Sherlock? You alright?"

There were hands on him, and another one of those blasted blankets. And that persistent voice. Sherlock forced himself to focus on it.


"Are you alright? What happened? Sherlock."

Sherlock blinked, clearing his head.

"He's unconscious over there," he told him, waving a hand vaguely. "He shot John, so I hit him on the head with a metal pipe."

"And how's John?" Lestrade asked, patiently, like he'd already asked before. Sherlock suspected he had, but he just hadn't heard. He belatedly noticed that Lestrade's hand were on his shoulders. It was probably his fault he was wearing the blanket.

"Shot," he said bluntly.

Lestrade stared at him.

Sherlock blinked again, trying to figure out what was wrong here, because something obviously was.

"Yes, I know that. Where was he shot? Was he conscious when the ambulance arrived?"

"In the chest. And... I don't know. He was right before. He was talking to me."

"Right," Lestrade said, nodding. "That's good. Where in the chest?"

Sherlock glanced over to where he'd been rudely shoved away from, leaving John alone, as if to point out to Lestrade that he could see for himself. But John was surrounded by paramedics, and there was no way Lestrade was getting through that just to see where the man was shot.

Sherlock pointed to the spot on his own body, right over his heart. "There," he whispered.

He felt Lestrade's grip on his shoulders change, but couldn't determine why.

Shock. He must be in shock.

"Yes, you are," Lestrade said firmly. "And if he was conscious and speaking, that's a great sign."

He must have said that out loud. Lestrade couldn't read minds, could he?

"Of course you did, and of course I can't. I wish," he laughed.

"Oh," Sherlock noted.

The paramedics were moving John now, on the gurney, criss-crossed with wires and tubes, and covered in blood. Sherlock's scarf had been discarded in favour of a pressure bandage, and was lying abandoned by the dark spot on the pavement.

Sherlock took a step forward, fully intending to accompany John to the hospital in the ambulance, but Lestrade held his shoulder.

"I'll take you in my car. Okay?" He made eye contact with Sherlock, who sighed before nodding.

Must be in shock if he's not putting up a fight, Lestrade noted.

Instead, Sherlock took a step in the other direction, to where John had been laying only seconds before.

Lestrade realized what he was doing as the sirens started up and the ambulance carrying John began to speed off for the hospital.

He was getting his scarf.

He cradled it gently in his arms, as one would a newborn, or a particularly delicate sculpture, and he looked up at Lestrade.

"Okay. Let's go now."

Lestrade only nodded, still rather dazed from the whole thing, and leaped into his car, Sherlock following suit.

"Use the sirens," he ordered.

Lestrade nodded again, still at a loss for words as well as a reaction to the whole thing.