DISCLAIMER : I don't own these characters. I'm not Moffat.

A/N: This is part two in the 'I.O.U' collection. This was co-written with Jmackers on Tumblr. She has a new blog now and I've lost contact with her but this was super fun writing, so thank you. I wrote the Sherlock bits here, and she wrote the John bits, and I think we took it in turns with any other characters in this. I hope you all enjoy.


Going out on a case. I won't be back until much later. Please don't feel the need to stay up for me, as touching as that would be. – SH

John sighed as he looked at the phone in his hand. Sherlock had left him here abruptly about half an hour before, with no explanation as to where he was going or what he was doing. It was unusual behavior for the detective, as they'd been working together on every case since the day they met. The doctor sighed again and sent back a single word: Okay. -JW

Sherlock was running. Running wasn't an unusual occurrence for him, but running alone without his blogger, John Watson, was. His heart was thrashing inside of his rib cage. Adrenaline was pumping through his veins. The sound of footsteps closing in on him thundered out loudly. Earlier he'd received a disconcerting phone call, and intrigued he had decided to look into it. Now he found himself running through a dark and deserted block of flats.

As he finished typing up his latest bog entry, John worried about Sherlock. His mother had always said he'd worry himself into an early grave, and now he was certain she was right. Scenario after scenario flashed through his head in which Sherlock was injured, dead, dying. He felt small and helpless, and when he flipped on the telly, the only thing on was crime shows. Those certainly didn't help. Finally, just after midnight, he shut down his laptop and clomped upstairs. As he was undressing, however, he realized how futile it would be to try to sleep in his own bed with Sherlock who-knows-where doing who-knows-what. In his red pants and a t-shirt now, he grabbed for a robe and headed for Sherlock's room. He turned off the light, curled up in the detective's big bed and was sound asleep in minutes, his hand still on his phone.

Sherlock deduced that the person, whoever they may be, was unfit. He also had a strong instinct that the person was ready to draw a weapon on him at any moment. It was then that Sherlock made a decision. Given his very limited options he chose the window. He closed his eyes, braced himself, and jumped.

John woke suddenly from the nightmare, sweating and gasping for breath. He'd watched Sherlock fall, and keep falling, and keep falling, until finally his slim frame hit the pavement like a rag doll being tossed aside. He hunted for his phone in the bed covers, and when he switched it on he found a text from Lestrade.

Sherlock's been hurt. St. Bart's at once. -GL

He panicked, wondering how long it had been, but breathed almost a sigh of relief when he checked the time and found that it was likely the buzz of his phone that had woken him up. He leapt from the bed and threw on the first things he could lay his hands on, grabbing a shirt of Sherlock's before heading to his own room for trousers and shoes. He was out the door in minutes, hailing a cab urgently and almost shouting the address at the driver. He fidgeted the entire way, checking his watch every few seconds and his phone between times, making sure once again that he'd texted Lestrade he was coming. When the cabbie pulled up at the hospital, he did a very Sherlock-like thing and threw the fare at him. He dashed into the building, making his way through the people in the waiting area to the desk to ask for Sherlock. Lestrade materialized out of nowhere and silently took his arm, leading him to an elevator that took them to the 4th floor.

Sherlock's head was pounding. His body felt as though it was on fire. It took him one long moment to realize that he was no longer on the cold, hard ground he'd fallen on. From the loud beeping sounds filling his ears, and the smell of death coated in disinfectant, he quickly decided that he was in hospital. He had no idea how he'd ended up here, but one thing he knew for certain was that he was in a lot of pain from the fall. "Sherlock?" a soft voice broke through the continuous beeping.

"Sherlock? Sherlock!" John nearly shouted as Lestrade ushered him into the room. He made a dash for the bed, and nearly screamed when he saw the bandages across his flatemate's head, the skin beneath a matching shade of white. Sherlock's eyes flickered open, and John let out the breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding. "Sherlock, what happened? Are you okay? Who did this to you? I'll kill the bastard!" He reached down and laid his hand over Sherlock's, staring into his eyes as if he were reading the detective's mind. Lestrade chose that moment to quietly exit the room, leaving them alone together.

Sherlock forced his eyes open, ignoring the wave of nausea that flooded through him in doing so. He saw a blurry figure dancing in front of his eyes. His body and mind immediately went into over drive. His heart was pounding, and his brain was screaming for some kind of escape. " GET AWAY FROM ME, GET OUT!" He yelled. Surely this was the person who'd forced him to jump, and now they were back to finish him off.

John flinched at the sudden outburst, only just barely caught himself from toppling backwards onto the floor. "Sherlock, please. It's me, John! You're okay. You're going to be okay. It's John, Sherlock, and I'm here to make you better. Don't worry now; everything's going to be alright." He slowly made his way back to the bedside, hoping desperately that Sherlock would hear him; that somehow his voice could make its way through his injured brain to the part that still remembered him.

Sherlock's panic washed away as his mind unfogged and he realized his mistake. The person that he had just yelled at wasn't his attacker. It was John. His closest and only friend in the world, his blogger. He instantly felt sorrowful. His friend looked terrified, and going by John's expression his own condition must be far more severe than Sherlock had imagined. "Sorry." he whispered sadly. A single tear drop spilled down his cheek. He oddly felt rather emotional.

John laid his hand gently over Sherlock's again, noting the tear trickling across his lovely cheekbones but not saying anything. He pulled up a chair and sat down, bending his head over so that it made a sandwich of his hand and Sherlock's. "Sherlock, I was so afraid. I dreamt…. I dreamt that you fell, and you wouldn't stop falling, and then there was the ground, and you wouldn't open your eyes, wouldn't talk to me… And I woke up and Lestrade had texted me and all I could think was 'he's hurt, he's hurt, oh god, Sherlock's been hurt'. Don't ever do this to me again, you hear?" And his own tears brimmed hot and heavy in his grey eyes.

Sherlock screwed up his nose at the mere thought of how sentimental both he and John were both being. He himself was usually able to remain cold and unattached, but now his emotions were out of his control, and he found himself trembling with each immense, and amplified feeling passing through body, " I'll try." he winced. It was becoming increasingly difficult to talk. It was in that moment that everything began to blur. Sherlock felt his eyes roll back into his head.

Sherlock, don't do this. Don't go now, you're not ready. I'm not ready. I'll let you go to sleep in a bit, but you have to get through this first, okay? You hear me, Sherlock?" John's medical training was slowly taking over, and as Sherlock's body began to stiffen while his eyes rolled back, John was diagnosing as fast as Sherlock could deduce. He laid a warm hand on the center of Sherlock's chest and just held it there, allowing the pressure and the warmth to slowly spread through the detective's entire body. Gradually, he felt Sherlock begin to relax, and his eyelids slipped close as he sank back into the bed. He'd passed out again, but the seizure was over, and John sank back into the chair he hadn't realized he'd left. Through all of that, he'd never let go of Sherlock's hand.

When Sherlock next awoke he found himself in a far better state of mind. Everything was now so much clearer and his emotions were beginning to sink back into their rightful place - the depths of his ice cold soul. His body still felt as though it was going through hell, though that was all rather dampened by his fatigue. It didn't go amiss that a hand was pressed into his own. It didn't take Sherlock long to realize who the hand belonged squeezed the hand tightly. " Oh John." he muttered.

"Sherlock? Oh, thank God. I was so worried for a bit there. You've been asleep for two days!" John unconsciously clutched Sherlock's hand tighter, brushing his thumb across the delicate veins just below his knuckles. The pale, hollow face that had replaced Sherlock's vibrant, alive one brought tears to his eyes. "Sherlock?" The name had been the most frequent word from his lips since the text message from Lestrade, and now it was a question to the man himself, as he saw something in his detective's eyes that frightened him more than his dream had.

" Well you can stop worrying now, you daft idiot." Sherlock snapped defensively. He didn't mean to sound so harsh, but now that he was on the mend it seemed the brick wall between himself and the world around him was being rebuilt, and with it Sherlock was becoming his usual distanced self.

John's heart nearly broke at the harsh words from his beloved detective. He'd never thought of it that way before, but in the past few days, whenever he thought of Sherlock he though of 'his' detective. And now, it appeared, 'his' detective was retreating back into his old shell, and John didn't like it a bit. "Sherlock, please don't. You know I can't not worry about you. You go out, and you get into trouble, and you've pissed off everyone in England who's capable of injuring you, and at least I'm usually with you. But then you go off without me, and you get banged up like I've always known you would, and it was the one night I wasn't there. Please, Sherlock. Let me care." And John dropped his head back onto the bed, the tears coursing down his rough cheeks in abundance.

Sherlock felt absolutely wretched as he watched his friend break down in front of him. He hadn't realized just how much John really cared for him, until now that is. " I can't take you everywhere with me John. You might get hurt. Where would I be without my blogger?" Sherlock traced his fingers down John's face. I was at that point a cough interrupted them. The cough came from a very disproving Mycroft.

"Now boys, you know I hate to interrupt your little lovey-dovey moment here, but let's be realistic. Sherlock, you need to give a statement, because you were obviously involved in something criminal when you jumped out of that window. John, you haven't eaten or slept in four days. Anthea has food for you in the lobby, and then you're to go shower and get some rest. Come along now, hurry up." With that, Mycroft pivoted on his umbrella and walked away, tossing over his shoulder "If you're not out in two minutes, I'm sending Anthea in after you."

"Oh, sod off, Mycroft," John murmured under his breath, never budging from his position next to Sherlock.

Sherlock began to feel extremely guilty." You haven't eaten or slept in four days?" his eyes widened. Now that he thought about it John had lost an awful amount of weight and there were dark circles wrapped round the underbelly of his eyes." Why?" Sherlock questioned him, " Why would you do that to yourself?" he searched John's eyes for an answer but it seemed that John was closing off from him and becoming harder to read.

John heard Sherlock's questions as if he were underwater. Nothing was quite clear any more, except that Sherlock was alive, and Sherlock wanted him gone. He took a moment to collect himself, wiped his tears on his sleeve, and stood to leave. "I'm sorry if I've bothered you, Sherlock. I'll be going now." He turned sharply and headed for the door, praying that his strength would last him out of Sherlock's sight.

Sherlock panicked instantly as he watched John turn. He, in that moment, was the very spitting image of the broken soldier Sherlock had first encountered, " Please - don't go." Sherlock begged, " I only asked those questions because I...worry. " It was true that Sherlock worried immensely about John. It was that concern for his beloved flat mate that had prevented him from telling John about the phone call or asking for his help. Not after what had happened last time with Moriarty. He would not put John in such danger ever again. The pool incident was far too close of a call.

John looked his flatmate in the eyes, and he knew that what he heard was the truth. "Sherlock, you needn't worry about me. I'm sure I do enough worrying for the both of us. But… I thought you didn't care." He hung his head, staring at his shuffling feet and avoiding the laser gaze he knew was now fixed on him. "I thought caring wasn't an advantage. I never expected…" He choked up, not once looking at Sherlock. "I mean, I didn't think you'd—Oh, I don't know what I'm trying to say, only… I didn't want to lose you. And now you're back, and you'll get better, and we'll forget that any of this ever happened. It'll all be normal and good again. And you'll like that. I'll like that. It's fine." He turned again to go, this time not looking away from his suddenly fascinating trainers

Before Sherlock could really comprehend what he was doing he began to pull at his IV. He hissed as the needle ripped from his skin and blood trickled down his arm. How did he get John to understand that he really did care? And that in fact he always had cared? When he had first met John he had instantly felt a great wave of worry for his well being. He had felt a huge gush of raw emotion. Something that rarely occurred in him. Because John was as broken and lonely as Sherlock always felt. He fell to the floor with a thud and lay there, too weak to stand.

John was hardly out of the door when he heard a hiss, followed by a thud, followed by the frantic beeping of every monitor in the room. He was back inside in less time than should have been possible, and the moment he saw Sherlock on the floor, it was all he could do to keep from panicking. He picked him up, cradling him tenderly in his arms, and hit the buzzer to call for a nurse. "Sherlock, you daft idiot. What on earth do you think you were doing? You could have killed yourself!" He was sitting on the floor, Sherlock wrapped in his arms, rocking back and forth in an attempt to calm them both.

Sherlock curled into the warmth that was radiating off John's body. He let his head flop weakly onto John's shoulder and found himself whimpering as his body reminded of how grave his injuries were, and sharp pains began attacking his temple, " John - " he choked on his flatmates name, unable to think or speak clearly, "Normal - don't - want - " he grunted. He couldn't get his lips to function with his brain. Something he wasn't used too and he disliked it intensely. " Caring - you - I-"

"Sherlock, shut your bloody pie hole before you kill yourself. The nurse is coming to help me get you back into bed, and bed is where you're going to stay." John rocked the whimpering detective in his arms, stroking his hair and keeping an eye out for fresh blood. "Shhhh now. It'll all be alright. I won't be gone long, but you know Mycroft. If I don't leave, he won't let me come back. I'll be here when you wake up, I promise. Okay, Sherlock?" John just kept talking as the nurse came in, helped him back into bed, and re-hooked him to all of the various tubes and wires that he'd stripped away. She shook her head in astonishment, but didn't say a word. After she'd added a bit more morphine to Sherlock's IV drip, she left them alone again, and John simply sat and held his friend's hand until he fell asleep again. Once he was sure that Sherlock wouldn't wake up until he could get back, he turned to leave. Anthea was at the door, holding a set of his clothes and waiting patiently. "How long have you been standing there?" The words were sharper than he'd meant them to be.

" Long enough." Anthea, as she was known by most of the world, replied curtly,whilst glancing at the now deeply unconscious Sherlock. " Long enough to see that you need some help." She smirked at the doctors sorry state. She might not like John but her boss's little brother was severly hurt, and it seemed John was the key to his recovery. As Mycroft's PA that made John one of her priorities. She pulled a sandwich out from her bag and offered it to him. " It's not poisoned." She rolled her eyes

John reluctantly accepted the sandwich, chewing deliberately at each bite in an attempt to buy himself some time. Anthea herded him out of the room, however, and took him down the hall to another room, freshly made up, with a door on the opposite wall that could only lead to a bathroom. She laid his clothes on the bed, ordered him to shower and sleep, then vanished. He finished the sandwich and headed for the shower, closing and locking both doors behind him. As he scrubbed away the grime of four sleepless days and nights, he couldn't help but recount the terrifying events that had made them so. The text from Lestrade that had nearly stopped his heart. The first time Sherlock woke and didn't remember him. The second time; oh God. He didn't want to think about it, but something was making him. He finished his shower and dressed himself on auto-pilot, the wheels in his brain churning like dairy maids. He stretched himself out on the bed, determined for Sherlock's sake to sleep for at least a little while, and set his alarm for three hours later. Sure enough, he was asleep in ten minutes, as the built-up fatigue took over his body.

Sherlock tossed and turned in his sleep. The goings on in his brain couldn't be described as nightmares because they were too confusing and jumbled up for even the great detective himself to work out. They were on the other hand terrifying. They began to swallow him up into a dark, and silent place. It was too dark. Too silent. And then there was John and his hollowed out eyes from sleepless days, his face as white as a sheet, his lips pursed together in deep worry, a frown set in his features.

He may have fallen asleep quickly, and he may have stayed asleep, but the dreams that John Watson had during those three hours were anything but restful. He relived that awful night more than once. He watched Sherlock throw himself out the window. He heard the malicious cackle from the building above. He saw the cars and heard the sirens as someone else found the body and called an ambulance. But the thing that would haunt him for years to come was the sight of Sherlock lying broken on the pavement; bleeding from multiple wounds, dozens of broken bones, and John was completely powerless to help him. When his alarm went off, he jerked awake gladly, happy to escape the horrific scene. He stepped into the bathroom and splashed some water on his face, straightened his clothes, then headed down the hall to Sherlock's room.

Sherlock felt a shudder ripple through him as he woke. He really didn't want to face another day of being a useless living corpse. He also didn't want to see the worry he causes John. He hated himself for what he's doing to his friend. However he found himself strangely relived that John wasn't there with him at the accident. John might have got hurt too, and if that had happened Sherlock would have never forgiven himself." John." he muttered under his breath as he felt a sudden urge to see him.

As John slipped quietly into the room, he realized that Sherlock was already awake. He hurried to the bedside and grabbed his chair from the day before. He took Sherlock's good hand in both of his, and when the detective turned to look at him, he faked a smile as best he could. "G'morning, Sherlock. You feeling any better?" Of course, he said morning, but when he checked his watch he saw that it was actually nearly nine in the evening.

Sherlock snorted, and glanced away from John's inquiring eyes. He felt a little better, but with every little move he felt a great wave of agony pulse through him. Sherlock hated hospitals though. To him they were pointless, and dull, and stressful. And then of course there was John to think about. Surely being in this kind of environment was causing John to worry way more than was healthy for him. No, he had to get back to the flat. " I'm fine." He lied, voice flat and serious.

"Sherlock, don't lie to me. I'm a doctor, remember?" He'd managed to forget Sherlock's initial outburst, but now all of the pain and the fear was flooding back. He steeled himself not to cry again, but it cut like a knife to see Sherlock like this. He'd hoped that maybe—but it didn't matter now. All that mattered was getting Sherlock well enough to get out of this place and back to the flat where he could heal properly. "Sherlock, why are you doing this? You have to stop pushing people away. They're only trying to help you, and you have to realize that you need their help." He was using very general pronouns, but his heart was screaming "ME! Don't push ME away, I'm trying to help you, Sherlock, because I—" No. He wasn't even going to say it to himself. So he simply sat and stroked the hand he'd been holding.

Sherlock creased his brow. He had the distinct feeling that John was trying to tell him something but he decided he wouldn't push it, for now at least." Nonsense John. I'm perfectly fine. I'm not pushing anybody away - I just want to escape this dreadful place." Sherlock protested, wrinkling his nose up, " Please - get them to discharge me. You're a doctor. Surely you can do that?" He pleaded, looking at John with huge round puppy dog eyes.

John had seen the eyes before, when Sherlock wanted to keep his severed head in the fridge, or live bats in the living room, but never before had he seen the depth of sincerity and pain that now lay behind them. He nearly melted on the floor, but managed to pull himself together enough to answer. "Not just yet, Sherlock, but if you behave yourself I can have you out in a few days."

Sherlock swallowed down hard. It hadn't worked. He'd have to stay in hospital, dying of boredom, whilst being eaten whole by his internal stress that was currently balling up tightly in his chest, making it hard to breathe. He licked his lips, sighed, and rolled over so he was facing away from John, " Fine." He spat out sharply

"Sherlock, don't do this. Don't shut off like this again. Remember the last time you were sick? Lestrade was going to bring you here, but guess who stopped him? That's right; me. And guess who took care of you for three sodding weeks while you had that awful bout of sickness? Me. And who puts up with your craziness and your mess and your demands and your brilliance every single day? John Watson, MD. I'm sick and tired of this, Sherlock, and I'm doing my best for you. But evidently, my best isn't quite good enough for you. So you can either accept my help, or I'll leave and you can do whatever Mycroft tells you to do. But I'll warn you now: if you tell me to leave, I'm going back to the flat, packing everything I own, and moving out within two days. I'll be gone forever, Sherlock. So choose wisely." The angry speech came pouring straight from the doctor's wounded heart, and he stood as he finished as if to make good on his promise of leaving.

Sherlock felt physically sick with anguish. His heart fluttered within its cage. He knew John was deadly serious about leaving him. He slowly lifted his head, though it pained him to hold the weight of his skull on his neck up. He winced and opened his mouth to speak. The words wouldn't come though. This just frustrated Sherlock, and his frustration quickly flared up into maddening annoyance. John had done so much for him and Sherlock couldn't think of the right words to thank him with.

John had every intention of carrying out what he'd said he was going to do, but when he saw Sherlock so frustrated and in so much pain, he had to sit again. "Sherlock, I'll stay if you want me. But if you don't want me, I'm leaving, and I'm not coming back. I can get you out of here as fast as humanly possible, and I'll do everything I can to get you back on your feet sooner than you probably should be." He took the hand that Sherlock had offered and resumed his ritual stroking.

Sherlock hummed softly as John continued to stroke his hand, " John - where on Earth did you get the idea of me wanting you to go from my life?I just thought that maybe, since you're clearly under a lot of stress you'd want to leave this place, and me with it." His voice quaked with a light tremor of fear. Sherlock squeezed John's hand. It was the only way he currently knew of sending a message of thanks to John. John always seemed to be there in Sherlock's weakest moments.

John had to smile at the sound that was almost a purr coming from Sherlock. The unselfish words were not lost on him, however, and they set his brain to churning, wondering what Sherlock meant by them. /He was afraid, then. Afraid for me? But why? He's got no reason to care. But I don't have a reason to care for him either, and I do. I guess—caring—doesn't need a reason./ John sighed a little bit and smiled weakly at the injured man, hoping his thoughts weren't showing.

"You can go now, John. I shall only be sleeping. It shall be quite mundane for you, I'm sure." Sherlock could tell something was bothering John. He was using the same smile he himself used to mask emotion and pain. Sherlock didn't doubt for one moment that whatever it was that was troubling John it was one way or another all his fault.

They hurt, those words. They hurt like hell, and he almost couldn't keep himself from screaming at Sherlock to shut up, just shut up and let him care. For once, let him care. But John said nothing, only kept running his thumb over the back of Sherlock's hand. He didn't move, didn't speak; just sat there caring and not being cared about. He felt more alone in that moment than he ever had before he met Sherlock, and he very nearly hated Sherlock for it. But he couldn't hate him. Not when he knew he was the only friend the detective had. And really, Sherlock was his only real friend as well. They needed each other, but for some reason only John could see it.

After a few minutes of silence Sherlock realized that perhaps words weren't the answer to getting to the root of what was bothering John. Instead he used the one simple action of moving his hand so his long fingers linked with John's, and he grinned up at his flatmate with a grin so wide that it almost split his face in two.

Again, John was speechless. The fingers were strange enough, but the face his flatmate was making was one only seen on the most exciting and challenging of cases. "Sherlock, are you alright?" He felt the pulse in the other man's wrist as an expression of more immediate concern spread over his face.

Sherlock chuckled. " Honestly John, would you please relax? All this stressing really isn't good for you. You might end up on a hospital bed yourself.I'm fine - in fact I'm more than fine." He reassured him. He was feeling a little sleepy but apart from a few bodily complaints, and hating the hospital with his every fiber, he was quite content with John sat by his side. It was nice to know someone cared about him. Maybe caring did have it's advantages after all.

"Sherlock, you know I can't relax when you're cooped up here, torturing the nurses and scaring the doctors because you're bored. I can't get you out before—wait, what time is it?" He checked his watch, surprised to find that it was nearly midnight. "I can get you out in the morning if you promise to sleep tonight." Sherlock's changing behavior was beginning to make his head spin, and he really didn't know what to do anymore besides get his friend back to the flat.

"Sherlock, you know I can't relax when you're cooped up here, torturing the nurses and scaring the doctors because you're bored. I can't get you out before—wait, what time is it?" He checked his watch, surprised to find that it was nearly midnight. "I can get you out in the morning if you promise to sleep tonight." Sherlock's changing behavior was beginning to make his head spin, and he really didn't know what to do anymore besides get his friend back to the flat.

" I promise." Sherlock's eyes fluttered shut as his fatigue finally swept him into the world of sleep once more. " Thanks John - for everything." His lips finally found the words he'd been searching for as he snuggled up under his blankets, a gleeful smile taking place on his sleeping face.

John watched his friend drift off into a peaceful slumber, wondering what was behind the simple words and expressive face. The smile Sherlock had given him as he thanked him could almost be called angelic, and now as he lay sleeping John couldn't help a rush of emotion at the sight of the strong, powerful, arrogant, always-right detective curled up and sleeping like a baby. Maybe that was why Sherlock never slept. Perhaps he felt that it deprived him of power, of control. Those were things he never wanted to be seen without, so he avoided sleep unless he couldn't help it. He didn't want to admit to being human like everyone else. But he was so beautiful when he was asleep, the dark curls falling over his bandages to brush his pale skin, that John couldn't help leaning over and tenderly brushing a stray eyelash off of his cheek. Then, all of the pain and rejection and worry and stress of the past now five days came crashing down on top of him, and he bent over their still-joined hands and cried himself to sleep.

Sherlock woke up screaming in terrible pain. something was crushing his bruised and cracked ribs. It took him one frightful moment to realize where the painful pressure on his chest was coming from. John was, or rather had been, fast asleep. He had been using Sherlock as a pillow.

"Oh, god Sherlock I'm so sorry! I—that was—I'm so sorry" John was babbling incoherently now, attempting to apologize. He hadn't realized that his head had dropped, not onto Sherlock's hand, but onto his chest. The chest that was covered in bruises and contained multiple broken and fractured ribs.

Sherlock moaned softly as John's head lifted, removing the pressure, and with it some of the pain." It's ok." He closed his eyes and screwed up his face, concentrating on trying to rid himself of his aching ribs.

"No it's not. I'm a doctor; I should know better. I'm so sorry, Sherlock. Here, let me get you something for that." He scanned the room until he found what he was looking for: a bottle of pain relievers on a table by the door. He grabbed the bottle, tipped out two of the pills, and filled a cup with water. Returning to the bedside, he wrapped an arm around Sherlock as he helped him take the medication. "Don't worry about getting in trouble. I'm a doctor, remember? Now you need to go back to sleep. And feel free to blame me if they won't let you go in the morning. It really would be all my fault."

Sherlock clicked his tongue against the roof of his mouth and sighed heavily." You're not the one who jumped out of a window, John. My pain has nothing to do with you. In fact I really didn't mind you falling asleep on me - it's just the ribs - they hurt a little."He exhaled again. " Besides I don't want to go to sleep. I just want to talk to you,if that's ok."

"Alright. But you promised you'd sleep, and it's only been-" consulting his watch- "three hours. You've got an hour, and then you're going back to sleep." He smiled at Sherlock's stubbornness that he'd gotten so used to over the past year or so.

Sherlock smiled, " Thanks John. You're a good friend. Perhaps my only friend. I don't know what I'd do without you." Sherlock reached out and clasped his hand round John's. He missed John stroking his hand terribly so. He wasn't sure why that was. He's pretty certain that it has something to do with human emotion however.

"Well, you wouldn't eat, you wouldn't sleep, you'd annoy the hell out of Lestrade-oh wait, you do that anyway-and you'd be dead before you turned forty." The warm pressure of Sherlock's hand made him instinctively wrap his own around it, and he resumed the stroking of his thumb that seemed to comfort the injured detective. "But then, I'd be dead already if it weren't for you." He couldn't look Sherlock in the eye as he choked over the last words.

Sherlock automatically pulled John into a tight hug, well as tightly as the wires he was attached to allowed him. He groaned as pain ripped through him, " Don't you dare say that." He panted through gritted teeth. " You've almost been killed because of me. You being here still is only due to how strong you are."

Sherlock's arms around him was probably the last thing he'd expected, but he leaned in so as to keep Sherlock from ripping out of his IV again. Then, after a visual request for permission, he climbed onto the bed beside his friend and laid down, keeping his arms wrapped around the detective. "Thanks, Sherlock. You know I couldn't bear to leave you now. Now for the last time, go to sleep. I promise, I'll be right here when you wake up, and then we can go home." He smiled at his flatmate, then nestled his head into Sherlock's uninjured left shoulder. His left hand was still locked in Sherlock's right, and other hand found its way up to tangle in Sherlock's curls. Sherlock's left arm was around his waist, and he sighed, drifting off to sleep feeling happy and safe.

Sherlock knew that his mind was playing daft tricks on him. He knew that he was in hospital and that John was nearby. However that didn't stop him from having nightmares. He was falling, so fast and so far. His body hit the ground and death seeped into his broken and bleeding form. John was standing over him, dark eyed, and fuming with rage. His angered friend turned his back and began to walk away. " No." Sherlock whispered." Please - don't - I'm sorry. Come back. Don't leave me, please."

John felt the tell-tale quivers running through his friend that meant nightmares. He'd been dozing lightly for a while, but now he was fully awake. He pulled Sherlock in close, hoping that the physical contact would seep through and calm him without waking him. He buried his face in the detective's neck and whispered softly, over and over."Sherlock. You're fine. You're safe, and I'm here. It's John, Sherlock. I'm here, and I'm holding you, and nothing's going to hurt you. I'm not leaving, okay? It's alright, Sherlock." He smiled into the curls that were falling on his face when he felt his flatmate ease into a more peaceful sleep cycle.

When Sherlock awoke he was immediately met with the image of John's dark brown eyes. He found himself melting into those whirlpools of kindness. " Morning." He said sleepily, smirking and curling up closer to John.

"G'morning, Sh'lock." John was still groggy from the little sleep he'd gotten, but he was relieved to see that Sherlock seemed to be feeling better, and when the detective snuggled closer, he couldn't object. So he smiled and nuzzled into Sherlock's neck before murmuring "I think I can get you out of here today, if you can behave yourself for a few more hours."

Sherlock laughed into John's chest." Don't I always?" He asked innocently. It was then that he realized that even if he did get out the hospital he would still have to contend with weeks of being stuck in bed with his injuries. Still it could be worse. Sherlock shut his eyes for one moment of contemplation. " It'll be boring at home. Certainly won't be doing any more criminal chasing for a while." He said jokingly, opening his eyes.

"I'll make it interesting. Believe me, I know what you do when you get bored." He chuckled, then ruffled Sherlock's hair affectionately. "I should get up now. See about getting you discharged. I think I can do it, and if not, I'll talk to Mycroft." He sat up, disentangling himself from the wires and tubes and Sherlock's long arms.

Sherlock felt a stab of sadness at the thought of John leaving but he was relived that he would be finally leaving the hospital. He watched John leave and then with little to occupy his great mind began to deduce things. He noticed in the corner of his eye a black card on his bedside table. Reaching out he picked it up and opened it. His breath hitched as he read the text within it ' I.O.U. 'Not again he thought ... not again. He began to tremble. He was beginning to feel like he was being targeted

John didn't have to go far to find Mycroft, and he got the distinct sensation that the British Government had peeked in on them more than once during the night. But he had a job to do, and it didn't really matter what Mycroft had seen, anyway. "Mycroft, I need you to get Sherlock discharged. Today. This morning, if possible." He straightened up and hoped that Mycroft would understand.

" Do you really see that as a wise decision? You are forgetting my little brother has a number of serious injures. And there is the small fact that whoever forced him to jump from such a great height is still out there...waiting for him." Mycroft narrowed his eyes. " It would seem our favorite detective is being targeted. We need to protect him for as long as possible. "

"And do you really think that a hospital full of people, any number of whom could be working for the assailant, is the best place for him? I'm a soldier, Mycroft. I know how to take care of myself and those around me. I'm also a doctor, which means I'm fully qualified to tend to his injuries. I can keep a close eye on him in the flat, and and I can protect the building quite well, thank you. I want him at home, and he won't cooperate with you here." John met the important man's gaze steadily, not willing to back down.

" Very well John. If you think that's best, but if my brother is killed whilst under your care, you understand I could make your life an utter misery. You'd have his blood on your hands." Mycroft turned, sniffed, and began to walk away, only turning back for one moment. " Caring for him will only end up destroying you John." And with that he left the doctor to mull over the words he had just pushed out into the open.

What Mycroft didn't seem to realize was that John already cared for Sherlock, and if the detective died when John could have prevented it, he'd kill himself before the hell could get any worse. Maybe it was destroying him, but he didn't care. He'd rather be destroyed by Sherlock than live the miserable, boring, ordinary life he'd had before he met this most brilliant of men. He turned and went back to Sherlock's room, turning the phrase over and over in his head.

Sherlock smiled softly as John walked through the door but almost instantly frowned at his friends demeanor. " What's wrong John? You seem troubled."

"It's nothing, Sherlock. Just Mycroft being a dick, as usual." He sighed and took a seat in the chair by the bed, laying his hand on the side of the bed next to Sherlock.

Sherlock curled up to John, leaning his head on the doctors chest as to be able to hear the gentle thrumming of the his friends heart beating. " Ignore him. He tends to be an asshole to everyone." The detective smiled and let his eyes close shut. "That's government officials for you."

"That's the thing," John muttered under his breath, wrapping his arms around Sherlock and stroking the curly black hair. "He was telling the truth." He leaned back against the wall and focused on the soft breath ghosting over his chest as the detective slowly fell asleep. They'd leave when he woke up, he thought as he closed his eyes and allowed himself to follow.


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