I don't own the show.

This was written for a prompt - it was a while ago, but as far as I can remember the OP wanted John to be mugged and Sherlock to get the wallet back.

Hope you enjoy :)

John was halfway to the surgery when it happened.

He'd left Sherlock slouched so far down in his armchair that he was almost horizontal, despondently and repetitively checking his emails, the website, and John's blog. Their last case had finished four days ago: the time since had been blissfully quiet for John and unremittingly dull for Sherlock. Even his latest experiment - something to do with variation in levels of earwax based on gender, age, and ethnicity - had ceased to interest him.

Sensing the impending storm, John had hightailed it at the earliest opportunity, using the excuse of walking to work as his reason for leaving so soon after breakfast. He was twenty minutes into the forty-five minute walk when an unshaven young man came abreast of him on the footpath and jostled him, shoving him off-balance and into the narrow alley that had just opened up between the buildings on their left.

Adrenaline kicking in, John was spinning, hands raised for action, when a blow caught him across his left side, sending him sprawling to the ground. Almost before he could think mugging and more than one of them the baseball bat was coming down again, this time catching his bad shoulder.

There was a fierce burst of pain - he might have yelled - and his vision swam sickeningly. He managed to kick one of them when they came too close; the bat swung once more, intentionally aiming for the shoulder this time, and he shouted again, shoulder erupting in a bright flare of agony, vision going completely black for a second or two.

He felt hands under his armpits, dragging him further into the alley. Someone rifled through his pockets and removed his wallet and phone - "No good," one of them said roughly, "It's marked"; there was the clatter of his phone hitting the concrete and then the sound of rapidly retreating footsteps. He lay there, gasping for breath, waiting for his vision to settle enough that he could try and move. Turning his head, he could dimly see the stream of rush-hour pedestrians hurrying down the street perhaps twenty feet away, looking neither right nor left as they passed the mouth of the alley and vanished. They wouldn't have heard his yells over the sound of the traffic, and likely wouldn't care anyway - what was one more mugging on the streets of London?

Finally the dizziness faded somewhat; he rolled over gingerly and groped for his phone. The back had come off when the mugger dropped it, and the battery pack had fallen out. He managed to piece it back together, shoulder throbbing horribly, and hit speed dial.

The wrong speed dial, as it turned out.

"Early enough for you to be calling, John; is Sherlock being unbearable? I've already told him there are no cases at the moment."

John blinked up at the sky, trying to place the voice, and oh that's who it was, "Greg?"

He could hear the immediate shift from relaxed friend to alert policeman, "Yeah, mate, it's me. Has something happened?"

Shoulder now screaming at his awkwardly sprawled position, John managed to shuffle backward until he hit the cold brick wall behind him, biting back a gasp as his whole side protested the movement. Dimly, he realised Greg was still waiting for an answer, "Oh. Yeah. Just been mugged."

"You've what?" He heard Greg swear, "Right, where are you? I'll be there as soon as I can. Are you hurt, do you need an ambulance?"

"Meant to call Sherlock… must've hit the wrong number. Bit bruised, nothing that a few painkillers and an icepack won't fix." And if that didn't tell Greg volumes about his state, he didn't know what would; it was rare for him to even admit pain, let alone request and voluntarily ingest painkillers.

"I'll call him, don't you worry about that. Where are you?"

"Um…" John looked toward the mouth of the alley helplessly, head now pounding in time with his shoulder, "Alleyway. Off the street. Dunno."

There was concern in Greg's voice, "Okay, I'll trace your phone and be there soon. You'll be fine, John, just… don't move. I'll be there soon."

He managed a strangled laugh that trailed off into a whimper, "'kay."

John let his phone fall to the ground and just concentrated on breathing. A few minutes passed before his phone beeped, indicating a received text message. It was Sherlock.

+On my way. Don't move. SH.+

John exhaled a vaguely amused breath. Why did everyone seem to think he was going to vanish into thin air? He was having trouble enough just breathing, let alone standing up and walking away.

+Well, now that you've told me not to move, I guess I won't go for a nice wander down the street while I wait for you. JW+

was what he meant to text; what emerged from his trembling fingers was

+Pnkllrs JW+

The reply was so prompt that he realised Sherlock had pre-empted him.

+Done. ETA 10min. SH+

His phone clattered back to the ground. Ribs now protesting every breath, John closed his eyes against his pounding headache and brought his right hand over the carefully press down his left side. His jumper was too thick to properly feel his ribs through; he shoved his hand under it, untucking his shirt and bringing his hand up over bare skin to check for fractures or breaks.

It took longer than he would have liked, but finally he was satisfied that they were merely badly bruised. Good - definitely no need for the hospital. His shoulder was neither dislocated nor broken, he would have felt that immediately; more bad bruising, then, and all the more painful for being on his left shoulder.

Hand still bracing his ribs, he let his head fall against the wall and waited.

After some time, there came the sound of sirens moving closer; just as they were becoming unbearably loud, they switched off, and John opened his eyes to see Greg's BMW scream into the alley, lights flashing, and come to a stop maybe three feet away. The driver's door opened and Greg leapt out, making for him at a jog.


John tilted his head up at the man and managed a faint smile, "Fancy meeting you here."

"Sherlock's on his way - are you alright? What did they take? Where are you hurt?"

He blinked at the onslaught of questions, "I know, he texted me. Bruised ribs and shoulder on my left side - nothing broken so far as I can tell. Only took my wallet, luckily - they were going to take my phone as well but they said something about it being marked."

"Are you sure you don't need an ambulance? Do you need me to take you to a hospital? At least for a checkup?"

He shook his head slowly, careful of his headache, "No point. I'm a doctor, remember? I know what I'm talking about. Baker Street will be fine. Painkillers, an icepack, and a lot of sleep will set me right."

Greg nodded, "Right. D'you want a hand up?"

"Please," John eased himself forward, pausing when his shoulder gave a particularly vicious throb.

Greg's arm settled at his back on the right hand side. It took them a few minutes, but finally he was on his feet, by which time Sherlock had appeared at the mouth of the alley and was making for them in a swirl of Belstaff.


Why did everyone feel the need to tell him his name? He knew his name, he'd been using it for about thirty years more than they had.

Sherlock's eyes were flicking over him lightning-fast, assessing his condition, trying to find the best way to help; John saw the glance at Greg, who was still bracing John's right side, and no Sherlock don't the genius moved forward and lifted a hand -

"Not the - " John trailed off into a strangled groan, hand clenching white-knuckled on Greg's shirt as Sherlock grabbed his left arm, jarring his shoulder in the process. His forehead landed on Greg's shoulder; he was panting, dragging in air through clenched teeth as he tried to breathe through the overload of pain. Sherlock's hand disappeared, and there was a brief rattle of pills in a plastic bottle before a hand hovered in front of his mouth.

"Open up."

John lifted his head a bit and obeyed, swallowing the pills dry as soon as they were in his mouth. His forehead sank back down onto Greg's shoulder - and a very comfortable shoulder it was, too - while he waited for the painkillers to take the edge off the pain.

"Thought you said you didn't need the hospital," rumbled a low voice in his ear.

"I don't," he muttered without lifting his head, "It's just bruised, they'd tell me to keep ice on it and not do any heavy lifting for the next ten days."

"Doesn't look 'just bruised' from your reaction, mate."

"It's my bad shoulder." John lifted his head and let himself breathe a little easier.

Greg jerked his head toward the Beamer, "Home?"


Soon John was buckled in to the backseat, sitting on the right hand side behind the driver's seat so that the seatbelt went from his left hip over his right shoulder, thus avoiding the injured side. Sherlock was curled into the passenger seat, mirror flipped down and angled so that he could keep an eye on John without having to awkwardly turn his head.

John closed his eyes against the steadily darkening look in Sherlock's eyes and tried to ignore the pain.

Lights and sirens turned off now that the situation was clearly not a complete emergency, they made it to Baker Street in a little over ten minutes. Once inside, John eyed the towering staircase with dismay, bit back a groan, and started to climb.

It took him a good three or four minutes to reach their flat, by which time his arm was clamped tight against his side to brace his ribs, his whole body was throbbing with pain, and he was swaying on his feet. Greg came alongside and slid an arm around his back, helping him the last few feet into the kitchen where he promptly collapsed into a chair.

There was a brief rattle as Sherlock placed the bottle of painkillers in front of him before shrugging out of his coat and scarf and sweeping across to the bench to rummage through a drawer. John stared at the plastic bottle and shook his head at Greg's motion toward it.

"Thanks, but no. I'll manage."

"Your face is grey, mate. That's some serious pain you're in."

"It'll ease once we get some ice on it. Check the freezer."

One bag of frozen peas and one of mixed veg hid the table with a thud, and Sherlock swanned past, scissors dangling from his fingertips, "It's empty."

Greg rolled his eyes, leant sideways, and grabbed a tea-towel from the rail, wrapping the bag of peas securely in it. John eyed the advancing form of Sherlock nervously, "Why the scissors?"

"I'm assuming you'd rather not lift your arm up to get that jumper off?"

His shoulder ached at even the thought of it. "You want to cut it off me?"

Sherlock's eyes narrowed in consideration, "One line down the middle of the chest and one up the left arm to the collar should do it, then we can take it off down the right arm."

"This is my favourite jumper!"

"You have terrible taste," Sherlock said bluntly, and then relented, "Don't worry, I'll buy you a new one."

John groaned, resigned himself with a shallow sigh as the scissors bit into the hem of his jumper, and tipped his head back to stare at ceiling, unable to watch as Sherlock cut a perfect bisection line up the middle of the jumper.

He blinked.

The camera mounted high in the corner of the kitchen was turned their way, and the green light was winking at him.

"Are you serious?"

"What?" Greg asked.


"Mm?" came the distracted hum, the scissors almost up to armpit level.

"Your brother is keeping an eye on us."

"What!" Greg followed John's line of sight, eyes widening.

Sherlock barely blinked, "The three of us are together in the kitchen, and you're clearly in a significant amount of pain. Of course he's keeping an eye on us."

"Didn't you specify for emergencies only?"


"This isn't really an emergency, is it?"

A line appeared between Sherlock's brows. He didn't reply.

"What I want to know," Greg broke in, "is why on earth Mycroft has a camera in here in the first place?"

"We let him," John replied.


"One in the kitchen, one in the lounge, only to be used in emergencies. The flat's not all that safe, to be honest, and having that extra layer of security could come in handy someday."

"And in the meantime he's using it to check up on you."

"Yeah, well," John shrugged with his free right shoulder, "That's Mycroft for you."

The sleeve came away cleanly; Sherlock peeled it away from John's left shoulder with all the concentrated precision of a scientist, took the excess material under the arm and around his back, and then slid it down the right arm and off his body completely. His shirt was unbuttoned and discarded in ten seconds flat, and Sherlock and Greg were left staring at the mass of the bruises on his left side.

John looked down at himself and winced. That was going to be painful by the evening.

"Pass the ice, someone? Oh, Sherlock, don't."

Sherlock's eyes were scanning his shoulder and left side intently, first flickering over the damage like they did when he was deducing, and then moving slower and more intently, as if he was memorising the bruising.

"You were taken off guard, obviously," he said as Greg handed the ice pack to John, "Probably a supposedly accidental shove by a passerby pushed you into the alley, and then there was some sort of lightweight blunt force trauma to the ribs which shoved you off balance and onto the ground - "

"Baseball bat," John sighed, readying the frozen peas for when Sherlock had finished.

Sherlock's mouth tightened into a grim line, "Baseball bat, then. Once you were on the ground there was a single blow to the shoulder; you fought back, of course, managed to - kick someone? Yes, good - and then the bat met your shoulder again, quite deliberately this time because they'd seen how much pain it had caused you the first time and they weren't in the mood to fight, simply wanted to incapacitate you for long enough to steal your valuables. They grabbed your phone and wallet, saw that the phone was marked and dropped it, and took off."

"Are you done?" John asked, "Can I ice my shoulder now? No, actually, I'm going to shift to the couch first. I'd rather not move for the next six hours if I can help it."

"I'm done, yes."

The ice against his shoulder went a long way toward easing the worst of the throbbing pain.

With ease born of familiarity and too many late-night visits, Greg stepped around the lanky genius to fill the kettle at the sink, "I'll get the tea sorted, John; you go and make yourself comfortable."

"Suit yourselves," Sherlock was shrugging into his coat and winding his scarf around his neck, face dark, "I'm going out."

"Out?" John said, "What do you mean, you're going out? Where are you going?"

Sherlock looked at him, and John fought back an instinctive shiver - there was a smirk playing about his mouth, and the look in his eyes was positively feral, "I'm going to get your wallet back."

He was out the door and down the stairs in a swirl of Belstaff. They heard the front door slam.

Greg dropped tea bags into two mugs and sighed, "I hope he's not planning to do anything too illegal."

John glanced up at the video camera and confirmed that the green light was still blinking, "I hope he's not planning to do anything too stupid. Mycroft's probably watching him on CCTV right now."

Bracing himself on the table, he eased to his feet, waited a moment while the burst of pain from his ribs faded back to a dull throb, and gathered the ice packs before moving through into the lounge and settling on the couch. Greg joined him after a few minutes, setting the mugs of steaming tea on the coffee table and almost spilling them when John bolted upright and started frantically patting his pockets and swearing under his breath.


"Phone - where's my phone? I'm late for work!"

Greg cocked a disbelieving eyebrow at him, "You're insane if you think I'm letting you off this couch anytime soon, mate."

John matched him stare for stare, "I'm not that daft. It's polite to call in when you can't make it, though."

Greg produced his phone, and John lost no time in calling the clinic and leaving a brief apologetic message with the receptionist. He was intentionally vague about how he'd been injured, detailed said injuries as bruised ribs and shoulder, and added that he likely wouldn't be in the next day either but would let them know.

That duty done with, he set his phone on the coffee table, pressed the ice pack against his shoulder with one hand, and curled the other hand around his steaming mug. Truthfully, the incident had knocked him a bit, and not just physically. He was an ex-soldier, not to mention Sherlock's unofficial bodyguard; he was meant to be in decent fighting form, and he'd let a couple of civilians get the best of him. He reminded himself that there had been at least two of them, that they'd caught him completely off guard and that they'd had weapons, however improvised, while he himself had been unarmed; it didn't help much, and he resolved to start doing some of his tougher workouts from the army as a way of building his fitness and reflexes.

Leaning into Greg's side, John let the warmth and the familiar smell of paperworkcoffeecomfort ease some of the lingering uneasiness of the morning, "Shouldn't you be at work?"

"This is work," the older man replied easily, arm stretched along the back of the couch and knee knocking gently against John's, "I'm interviewing the victim of a mugging. Donovan's in charge of the squad while I'm away, she's competent enough to handle anything that crops up, and if not she'll call me."

John couldn't argue with that, "Fair enough. Put a movie on?"

"James Bond?"


They were half way through their second Bond movie when Greg's phone rang. He passed John the remote with a muttered, "don't worry about pausing it" and went out onto the landing to answer the call, pulling the door to behind him.

"Lestrade speaking."

"Boss? Donovan."

"Don't tell me the lab boys are scrapping again, I had to sort them out only last week."

"It's not the lab boys, don't worry," Sally sounded almost amused beneath the layer of professionalism, and then sobered, "You're working the Doctor's mugging, yeah?"

Greg's breath caught, "Yeah, I'm with him now. Why, has something happened?"

"You could say that. One of the muggers has just pitched up at the Yard, he's turning himself in."

He blinked, sure that he couldn't possibly have heard that correctly, "Sorry, what?"

"One of Watson's muggers has just turned himself in. He's given us the names of the others in the group, says he's very sorry he even thought of stealing the wallet and he won't steal anything ever again," there was that very slight thread of amusement back in her voice, "We've got an ambulance on the way over now, he won't be in a state to give an official statement for a few days yet, I wouldn't think."

"Ambulance? Why, is he hurt?"

Sally detailed the injuries.

Greg listened. And listened. And listened.

The front door opened and shut, and a head of tousled black hair came up the stairs followed by a billowing overcoat. Greg held up a hand to stop Sherlock going past, held his gaze steadily, waited for Sally to finish, and then said calmly, "That's quite the list of injuries. All concentrated on the left side of the torso, you say?"

Sherlock dug his hands into his pockets and looked bored.

"Mainly shoulder to hip, some scattered down the thigh and calf, but yeah. Three-quarters at least on the left hand side, I'd say. He says the perp blindfolded him before he could get a look, but he sounded male and Australian."

"Australian?" Greg echoed, incredulous, while thinking that's no indicator, anyone can fake an accent.

Sherlock pulled a brown leather wallet from his pocket - his own was black, presumably this was John's, then - and flipped it idly through his fingers.

"I know, sounds barmy, right?" Sally was saying, "Personally I think he's a bit cracked. We'll get a statement out of him once the hospital clears him, anyway, and see what we can do from there. Unfortunately he says he'd already ditched the Doctor's wallet before he got assaulted."

"Have you forgotten who John's flatmate is?" Greg asked, still holding Sherlock's gaze, "Sherlock's holding the wallet right now; no doubt he sniffed it out straight to the tip where it was dumped."

"Right, well, that's one problem solved."

"I'll get things finished up here with John and be in after lunch, alright? You can hold the fort until then?"

"Yeah, Boss. Oh - the squad sends their best wishes to the Doctor."

"I'll pass that along. See you this afternoon."

Ending the call, he jerked his head toward the lounge and asked quietly, "Are you going to tell him?"

To his credit, Sherlock didn't claim ignorance or innocence. His mouth opened and then closed. He hefted the wallet for a moment, looking uncertain, and then said, "Do you think I should?"

Ha. He wasn't getting out of it that easily. "Your decision," said Greg noncommittally, and lead the way back into the lounge.

John glanced up, looking as if he'd be fast asleep by now if not for the pain he was in.

"Sorry about that," Greg murmured, slipping back into the corner of the couch beside him, "Donovan. Apparently your mugger just turned himself in."

"I brought your wallet back," Sherlock added, aborting a move to give it to John and setting it on the coffee table instead.

John somehow incorporated a half-grateful, half-longsuffering eye roll into his glance up at the lanky genius, "Whatever it was you did, I don't want to know about it. Sit down and watch the movie."

Sherlock looked somewhat aback but did as he was told, immediately groaning as he saw what was playing on the screen and receiving John's socked feet burrowing against his legs in retaliation. Greg stretched his arm along the back of the couch, nudged a friendly knee against John's, and fought back a grin as he turned his attention to the movie.

In the corner of the lounge, the steady green blink of the camera light silently disappeared.