It hurts to breathe.

And you'd laugh, which would hurt, considering breathing is this awful, even though there's nothing funny about that, except you're Sherlock bloody Holmes and that is a marvellous deduction.

That thought alone is enough to make you almost giggle, except there was that whole breathing thing.

You're a bit confused, and you know you shouldn't be admitting that, not even to yourself, but it's true, and you can't for the life of you remember what you were doing.

Besides breathing. (Which hurt.)

You suppose the question should be why it hurts, since you know that it's not supposed to, at least most of the time, unless you're shot or stabbed or sick, and you don't feel sick.

But you don't feel shot or stabbed either.

How do you feel?

Trapped, you decide. You feel a bit trapped. Like the time you were thrown in the boot of a car (okay, the times), but less bumpy.

And there's something at the back of your mind, and it seems important, but you can't cling to it, like it's giggling at you as it slips just beyond your reach.

Fine, you tell it. If that's the way you're going to be I don't care. You have more important things to worry about.

At least you think you do.

But it decides it's ready to be caught, and jumps to the front of your mind without warning, almost startling you. You should open your eyes, it says.

You scoff, because that's silly, you don't need to be told to open your eyes- except you do, because you somehow managed to miss this, what with the breathing and whatever the hell you were thinking about, because they are indeed closed.

But you're sure you had a good reason.

So you decide to give in to that silly little notion, and open your eyes, because sure, why not?

You remember why not.

Because it hurts.

It's bright and dusty, and your eyes hurt and it's goddamn bright.

You throw that stupid idea to the back of the brain where it belongs, and close your eyes again. Instead you search for the memory of how you came to... where ever you were, where it was bloody bright and hurts.

Because now that you think about it, it's not just the breathing that hurts. And now that you've thought about it, you can't unthink it, which you realize is rather rubbish.

You were trying to remember.


It's all rather foggy, and you don't think it's supposed to be this foggy. (It's not, your brain confirms, but you're having a bit of difficulty trusting it at the moment, since it hasn't been reliable. As far as you're concerned, it has to earn that trust.) But you can't remember. And the name Sherlock Holmes is synonymous with cleverness and whirling about with your coat and scarf, so the simple fact that you're more than a bit confused is unnerving. (But facts, yes, you like those, they're safe and wonderful, and you focus on those.)

It's muffled, like you forgot to take his headphones off after Mycroft dragged you for a helicopter ride. (And you're pretty sure that's not what happened, but can't know for sure, because there's that whole foggy thing going on with your brain.) But something manages to get through, because it's your name, and you know your name.

It's being shouted at you, or you think it's shouting, because it's really the first thing you heard, and it makes sense that it's louder than the rest.

But it's not just that, because it's a voice that's saying your name with something else, urgency and caring, and something you can't even name, and you know who's saying it.

You can't believe you forgot him, because he was the one who was there when it happened.

(Yes, when it happened, because you remember it now, the explosion that you walked into like a fool, John a good distance behind you because you couldn't be bothered to wait for him. You couldn't be more relieved for that in your life as you remember how you turned and held out your hand, yelling at him to stop, to not come any closer, and then you don't remember much after that, but you assume there was something, because that's how you ended up on the ground, with John near you, calling your name. And yes, you're on the ground, because even hospital beds aren't this uncomfortable, and that explains the dust and the bright and just... everything.)

You sigh with relief, because it all make sense again in the world. But sighing hurts.

John keeps calling your name, clasping your hand, and you find it hard to hear him still, but you know he's not going to stop until you respond. So you try.

"John?" you manage to mumble, and the word feels familiar on your tongue, like it's meant to be there.

And you can feel John smile, even though your eyes are still closed. "Yes Sherlock," he says.

And you smile back.