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15 August 2010 @ 05:49 am
SherlockBBC Fic: Self Deception  
Title: Self Deception
Author(s): vomit_bunny 
Rating: PG
Character/pairing(s): John
Summary: John wakes up in hospital
Disclaimer: not mine
Spoilers: The Great Game
Warnings: angst
Author's Notes: I’m sure this has been done before, apologies if it has.

John opens his eyes and stares blearily at the ceiling. White, boring, institutional.

“-ohn?”

It takes him a moment to realise that someone is talking to him.

“What do you remember?”

He tries to turn his head towards the voice but his eyes have drifted shut before he manages to answer.

-

He watches the nurses as they fuss.

“What do you remember?” the doctor asks.

“I.” He pauses and thinks for a moment. “There was an explosion.”

-

“What do you remember?”

He giggles. “Boom!”

“It’s okay, John, we’re just adjusting your medication.”

He wants to laugh at that but the sound seems to catch in his throat and it comes out as a sob instead.

-

“What do you remember?”

“An explosion.”

“Okay,” the doctor replies, making a note on his chart.

“Where’s Sherlock?”

“Who?”

“My friend. Sherlock Holmes. He was with me! Is he okay?”

“You need to calm down, John.”

-

There’s a doctor, or at least a man in a white coat, standing over him, adjusting an IV, when he wakes. His IV he realises after a moment.

“Hello, John,” the doctor says, his accent pure Oxbridge. “What do you remember?”

He thinks. “Um.”

“It’s alright.”

“I, what. What happened?”

“You were caught in an explosion. Minor burns and abrasions for the most part, but you took some shrapnel to your back and neck, a piece of it fractured the base of your skull.”

He lets out rush of air and tries to process the information.

“Are you alright, John?”

Something at the back of his mind demands attention. “Where’s Sherlock?”

-

“What do you remember?”

“Where am I?”

“You’re safe, John.”

“Where am I?” he asks more insistently, trying to push himself up from the bed.

“You’re at Selly Oak,” the doctor replies, easily pushing him back down onto the bed.

“Birmingham? Why?”

“There was an IED, John. Do you remember?”

“I remember an explosion.”

“And?”

“We’ve had this conversation before?”

“Several times,” the doctor explains. “Confusion is very common with this type of head injury.”

“I know,” John replies frustratedly. He shuts his eyes and takes a calming breath. “I’m sorry.”

“I understand.”

“No, I really don’t think you do.”

“Do you remember asking about Sherlock Holmes?”

He doesn’t, but that’s not important. “Is he alright?”

“John,” the doctor begins carefully. “Who do you think Sherlock Holmes is?”

“He’s my friend,” he answers, trying to pick through a jumble of memories. “He was with me when the bomb went off.”

“No one else on your team was hurt, but-”

“Team, what team? What are you talking about?”

“I need you to calm down, John. We had to sedate you last time.”

-

John stares at the wall. His room is utterly devoid of anything of interest; even the blinds are constantly kept shut, not that he thinks a view of Birmingham would really improve things. He stares at the wall and tries to connect all the pieces in his head.

-

He looks up when the door opens and catches a glimpse of stark white corridor beyond his room before he focuses on his visitor. She’s new and everything about her screams psychologist.

“Hello, John. I’m Dr Mathews.”

“Hello.”

“I hear you've been feeling confused, John.”

“I’m not confused.”

“John,” she repeats, trying to build a rapport by stressing his name, he thinks. “Can you tell me about Sherlock Holmes?”

“What would you like to know?” he asks, a little confused, not that he’ll admit it, that his psychologist wants to talk about Sherlock.

“Did you meet him in Afghanistan?”

He frowns. “Of course I didn’t.”

She smiles at that, encouraging.

“I met him when I got back.”

The smile doesn’t slip exactly, but it does strain around the edges.

“We share a flat,” he adds.

“Two hundred and twenty one, B, Baker Street?”

He forces a tight smile. “Yes.”

“Tell me, John, have you ever read anything by Arthur Conan Doyle?”

“What? What does that have to do with anything?”

“Would it surprise you to know that Sherlock Holmes is a character created by Doyle?”

“Would it surprise me to learn that my best friend is fictional?” he retorts sarcastically. “You know, it probably would.”

“I’m not trying to upset you, John.”

-

She has a book with her when she comes back, puts it on the bedside table but doesn’t mention it as they talk about Afghanistan and what he remembers or what he thinks he can remember. He can read the cover, though, A Study in Scarlet.

“Would you like a look?” she asks after his eyes flick to it for what feels like the hundredth time.

He reads the first page, the first paragraph and shuts the book, looking at her incredulously. “Am I not real either?”

“John Watson is a fairly common name,” she points out reasonably.

-

He throws the book across the room when Dr Mathews leaves, angry and ashamed, as if reading it is capitulation of some sort. It hits the wall with a loud thump and fall to the ground, pages open, spine bent.

He ignores it for the rest of the day, focusing on the comings and goings of the hospital personnel, instead. He can only remember, not that that’s worth much at the moment, three members of staff, well four with his psychologist. It’s still the oddest shift rotation he’s seen.

He eventually asks one of the nurses to fetch the book for him. She babbles excitedly when she sees the cover, she’s a huge fan, used to read them as a child, and has he got a favourite? John didn’t even know there were others.

-

He reads A Study in Scarlet, it’s really just a nineteenth century version of A Study in Pink with a story about Mormons tacked on. Nothing someone couldn’t fabricate from reading his blog, okay there are parts where the author would have needed to have seen inside their flat or have eavesdropped on their conversations but it’s not beyond the realms of possibility. John holds onto the idea with all his worth.

-

“I need to borrow your laptop,” is the first thing he says when Dr Mathews comes back.

She doesn’t argue, just hands him the computer and talks him through connecting to the wi-fi. Part of him is disappointed, he’d hoped she wouldn’t let him, that she’d argue.

His blog and Sherlock’s web page don’t seem to exist. “That’s not right.” He feels muddled, and scratches distractedly at the IV port on his hand. He tries typing Sherlock Holmes into google. The first result is a wikipedia page about a fictional detective and he gives up and closes the laptop.

He feels sick.

“John?”

“I don’t see why I should believe you,” he manages to say. “I don’t really have much of an incentive, if you’re right I’m mad.”

“I don’t think you’re mad, John. I think you went through a traumatic experience, both physically and mentally, and your mind created somewhere safe for you while you recovered.”

He wants to laugh at that, because safe is the last word he would use to describe his life with Sherlock, but he holds back, a little afraid it’ll come out closer to hysteria.

“But you need to let it go now.”

It’s all so completely reasonable that he feels a bit guilty when he insists that she leave.

-

“Really, John,” she says the next day, and the way she uses his name still grates, “I’m not your enemy. There is no grand conspiracy.”

“I know,” he replies tiredly. Sometimes he dreams that they come for him: Lestrade or Mycroft, once, memorably, Mrs Hudson, but most often it’s Sherlock. Nearly always Sherlock, in fact, who strides in as if he owns the place and explains away all of John’s confusion so easily, a neat little solution to terribly complex problem.

“It’s not real, John.”

He turns on his side and closes his eyes at that, ignoring her until she leaves. He’s a coward, he realises as he listens to her talk to his doctor about increasing his medication, but he doesn’t care.

-

He opens his eyes and stares blearily at the ceiling. It’s white, boring, and institutional.

“John,” someone prompts.

“I’m sorry,” he starts, turning his head and frowning in confusion. “I can’t remember your name.”

The doctor smiles. “Don’t worry,” he says. “It’s Moran. Dr Sebastian Moran.”




The End

Feedback makes me happy.




ETA: there is now a little sequel in the comments (which now has its own sequel!) and and I strongly encourage anyone who would like to take this idea and run with it to do so! On that note baileyhix has written an amazing part two  and seektheinfinite has an equally wonderful conclusion, both of which I can't recommend enough!
 
 
 
vomit_bunnyvomit_bunny on August 15th, 2010 04:48 pm (UTC)
sort of sequel until somebody does better... hint hint
John stares at the bowl of jelly. This is apparently going to be the highlight of his day. Not that the thought of solid food really interests him, certainly not as much as it does the nurse. Then again, nothing interests John.

The first message was in the Times.
“Lost dog found, Baker Street,” Lestrade read as he moved a stack of newspapers from the hospital chair to join the precarious piles spreading across the floor and sat. “This is good!”
Sherlock didn’t reply, he hasn’t said anything since the inspector arrived, in fact, just handed him the paper. He sat up against the head board, eyes closed, hands steepled, thinking.
“Sherlock?”
He could hear the concern in Lestrade’s voice and for that moment he hated the man.


Somehow, through some monumental effort, John reaches out and pokes it with a spoon.

The second message came straight to Sherlock’s phone.
Days had passed and nothing. It wasn’t the prelude to a ransom demand, it was a taunt; someone had John and they intended to keep him.
He listened to the recording, muffled and distorted, with Lestrade and Donovan. Listened as John hesitantly agreed that Sherlock Holmes couldn’t possibly exist.
Donovan stared at him, her disapproval obvious; she blamed him for this. It was an oddly disconcerting feeling, agreeing with her.


His grip tightens for a moment and part of John, the part that still desperately holds onto something that can’t possible be true, wants to hurl the damn thing across the room. He doesn’t.

The third message was from Mycroft.
Sherlock was practically vibrating when Lestrade arrived. At last they had something tangible, something to work with! Mycroft, or rather one of Mycroft’s agents, had found the original printing plates. A sloppy mistake, Moriarty’s empire was hemorrhaging, the remaining pieces becoming clearer. Can’t he see, they’re so close!
Lestrade told him to calm down, the nurse told him to sit still before he pulled his damn IV out. He ignored Lestrade and tried to wave the nurse away, settled for telling her just what her boyfriend was doing behind her back when that didn’t work.


He doesn’t eat the jelly. No one comes to tell him to either so he tries to sleep instead.

There was no forth message.
Sherlock didn’t wait for backup, didn’t, technically, wait to be discharged from hospital.


“John? John, thank god! Are you hurt, are you okay?”
He still half asleep, reacting on instinct, and before John can work out what’s happening he finds himself threatening a figment of his own imagination with a plastic spoon.
Sherlock raises an eyebrow. “John, I can explain...”

--------
I don’t think this is all that good, or what you wanted, but hopefully it amused you.
I really wouldn’t mind if someone else wanted to give this a go... in fact, I would encourage it!
Angelachiroro on August 15th, 2010 04:52 pm (UTC)
Re: sort of sequel until somebody does better... hint hint
:D
(Deleted comment)
a knight in slightly inky armour: Holmes  [sherlock game on]xtinethepirate on August 15th, 2010 07:13 pm (UTC)
Re: sort of sequel until somebody does better... hint hint
Sherlock didn’t wait for backup, didn’t, technically, wait to be discharged from hospital.

*squeaks* OH SHERLOCK.
warriorbotwarriorbot on August 16th, 2010 09:05 pm (UTC)
Re: sort of sequel until somebody does better... hint hint
Oh thank goodness he was kidnapped! Because the other was too heartbreaking for words!

I have to say this is some damn powerful writing - the first part had me going "no, no, no, no, no" and making mortified faces at the screen. You made me so sad that a fictional character is fictional that I'm slightly worried for my sanity!

Would you cross post this to the BBC'verse slash comm?

http://community.livejournal.com/221b_slash

God i loved this so much.
vomit_bunny: Catvomit_bunny on August 16th, 2010 09:40 pm (UTC)
Re: sort of sequel until somebody does better... hint hint
Thank you so much!

Ohh! A new community to join! Yay!

Are you sure about posting this there? I'm not sure it's slashy enough? Though I hope to have something to post there soon...
hopelessly hopeful: {s/j}nejem on August 16th, 2010 10:04 pm (UTC)
Re: sort of sequel until somebody does better... hint hint
oh this good, this is GOOD!!! *____*
(Anonymous) on August 19th, 2010 08:55 pm (UTC)
Sequel to sort of sequel... maybe? Part 1/3ish
Sherlock raises an eyebrow. “John, I can explain...”

He does not expect John to laugh.

"You always say that," he says, brandishing his spoon. "You always have an explanation, and all makes perfect sense until I wake up and I'm back in this damned room." He pauses a moment and glares at the plastic utensil in his hand. "Why am I still holding this thing?" He shoots a dirty look at Sherlock, as if maybe the detective had somehow planted the spoon on him. "No more explanations," he mutters, his words beginning to slur. "Tired of 'em."

"John," Sherlock crosses the room, plucking the spoon out of the other man's hand and laying it aside. His throat tightens as he gets a better look at his friend. Too thin, too pale, eyes dilated -- obviously drugged. "John, I really am here this time. You have to believe me."

"Then get me out of here." It is obviously meant to be a challenge, one that John doesn't think he can meet, but his voice holds a fine edge of desperation and something else that might be hope. "Get me out of this hellhole, and I'll believe in whatever you want."

They stare at each other for a moment longer, and then Sherlock grabs John by the arm. "Come on, then."
vomit_bunny: Catvomit_bunny on August 20th, 2010 07:56 am (UTC)
Re: Sequel to sort of sequel... maybe? Part 1/3ish
Wow! I love you, Anonymous!
laura_trekkie: Holmes BBClaura_trekkie on September 1st, 2010 09:04 am (UTC)
Re: Sequel to sort of sequel... maybe? Part 1/3ish
Yay, Sherlock's getting John out of there. Though I suspect that the hardest part is still to come- getting John off the drugs and getting him to believe the reality.

Laura.
(Anonymous) on August 23rd, 2010 01:51 am (UTC)
Sequel to sort of sequel... maybe? Part 2/3ish

Excerpt from a voice recording sent to Sherlock Holmes' mobile:
"Of course I don't believe you. You're telling that the last several months of my life have been a delusion? It doesn't make any sense."

"You prefer to believe that you run through the streets of London with a sociopathic genius who fights crime?"

"..."

"Tell me, Dr. Watson, do you see yourself as some sort of vigilante?"

---

Sherlock experiences a moment of pure panic when John slumps bonelessly back onto the bed. He's only unconscious for seconds, but he's shaky and even more pale when he slowly sits back up.

"M'okay," he says, although he doesn't sound it. "Orthostatic hypotension syncope." He smirks a little at Sherlock's blank look. "Blood pressure dropped 'cause I stood up too fast," he clarifies.

"Obviously," Sherlock replies, and hates that it sounds uncertain.

"Look, who's the doctor here, you or me? We'll try it again, just slower this time."

A few minutes later, they are half running, half hobbling down corridors that look less like they belong to a hospital the further they get from John's room. John, on the other hand, looks more like he belongs in hospital the further they run. Sherlock tells him as much, but John flat out refuses to take an easier pace.

"Not slowing down," he wheezes as he stumbles into Sherlock. "Getting my second wind."

"You are not," Sherlock replied indignantly. "And when we get out of this, you're going to a real hospital."

"Am I?"

"Yes, one with licensed medical personnel and an ethics committee and everything."

John laughs. "Sounds boring."

"Don't tell anyone," Sherlock says, "but I may be willing to tolerate a little boredom. Only temporarily, of course."

"Of course." For the first time in what seems like ages, John smiles. "I'm touched, really."

"Speaking of which, you're taking all of this very well for someone who was convinced that I was imaginary a few minutes ago."

John shrugs. "Way I see it, either you're real or I'm having the best psychotic break ever. Either way beats lime jelly and sharing my feelings with the dread Dr. Mathews." The fighting in the background is getting louder, and John assumes that this means they are approaching the exit. Sure enough, a professional-looking woman with a gun materialises at the next turn and tells them to follow her. Sherlock merely nods-- their side, then.

"Mycroft's people?" John asks.

"God, I've missed hearing you state the obvious!" Sherlock grins.

"Then you're going to love this one," he replies. "This is all rather too easy, don't you think?"

"That's easy for you to say," Sherlock retorts, jumping over a body, and the worried frown that crosses his face is so fleeting that John almost misses it. Their escort rolls her eyes and practically shoves them into the shiny black car that's waiting for them just outside.
vomit_bunny: Working... honestvomit_bunny on August 25th, 2010 02:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Sequel to sort of sequel... maybe? Part 2/3ish
Thanks again, anonymous! I've had an awful week, not been at all well, and this was a wonderful surprise in my inbox. You've made me feel much better!
Re: Sequel to sort of sequel... maybe? Part 2/3ish - (Anonymous) on August 26th, 2010 02:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
laura_trekkie: Holmes BBClaura_trekkie on September 1st, 2010 09:07 am (UTC)
Re: Sequel to sort of sequel... maybe? Part 2/3ish
Of course, I forgot to take into account John's pragmatic world view, so really, I shouldn't be surprised that he's taking things rather in stride *g*.

Laura.
(Anonymous) on August 26th, 2010 03:10 am (UTC)
Sequel to sort of sequel... maybe? Part 3a/?
"It's always a different car," John mumbles, collapsing into soft leather seats. "No wonder we can't balance the budget." On the edge of the seat, a pair of shoes and socks are sitting atop a neatly folded jumper and jeans. John's face lights up at the sight, and he loses no time in shucking his institutional pyjamas and pulling on his own clothes.He hears a warm chuckle from across the seat and looks over at his friend -- then past him, out the window. "We're in London?" John is shocked. For some reason, even when he'd been convinced that everyone in his sterile little prison was lying to him, he'd still never questioned the idea that he was actually in Birmingham. "I've been in London this whole time," he says and slumps against his window. "That's just not fair." The adrenaline rush that fueled his mad dash for freedom is fading rapidly, energy seeping out of him like water from a cracked cup.

"John?" Sherlock's voice sounds worried and very far away. John sits up. His head spins, and the voice sounds even more worried, but closer. "M'okay, Sherlock. Just... tired." He struggles with consciousness valiantly, but ultimately unsuccessfully, slumping again into something considerably warmer and friendlier than the interior of a government sedan.
"It's all right, John," he hears somewhere above his head. "I've got you."

---

John opens his eyes and stares blearily at the ceiling. It’s white, boring, and institutional. No. He screws his eyes shut, and opens them again. The ceiling's still there, damning him. "No!"
(Anonymous) on August 26th, 2010 03:39 am (UTC)
Sequel to sort of sequel... maybe? Part 3b/?
"No!"

Sherlock is standing in the doorway of John's hospital room, arguing with the doctor over the toxicology report, when he hears it. "Shit." He spins around and runs to the side of the bed. John's hands are clenched in his sheets and he's staring at the ceiling as if it might drop down like a spider and bite him. He's trembling. Sherlock lays careful fingers on one white-knuckled fist, and John jumps. He looks down at the hand covering his before dragging his too-wide gaze up to Sherlock's face. "John, it's all right. We're at Bart's."

"Bart's?" The relief that floods John's face is tinged with embarrassment. "Of course it is. Don't know what came over me."

"I did tell you I was taking you to a real hospital."

"Right, ethics committees and medical licenses. How's that working out?"

Sherlock rolls his eyes. "Splendidly. I was trying to get some information from your idiot doctor when you woke up.

"Ahem."

"Oh, hello. You must be my... Vijay, is that you?"

"Hello, John. I'd say it's good to see you, but under the circumstances...."

John shrugs in acknowledgment. "Obviously, you've met Sherlock. Sherlock, Dr. Mishra and I..."

"Were in the same class at King's. Really, John, I'm not the one who's been drugged." Sherlock makes another futile grab for John's test results.

Dr. Mishra pulls them out of reach while managing to look only slightly appalled by the company his old college chum keeps. "Quit that!" he scolds. "I told you already that there is not an exception in the DPA for nosy flatmates."

John laughs at them both. "Give it to me straight, Vij. Will I ever play the saxophone again?"

The other doctor rolls his eyes. "You couldn't play the sax before, John. I don't care what Violet told you back in 3rd year. And you're as well as can be expected for someone who's been through an explosion, then kidnapped and doped up for nearly two weeks. As soon as your bloodwork comes back clean and you prove that you can hold down solid foods, I'm cutting you loose."

"Gimme." John holds out his hands for the heavily guarded paperwork, and upon receiving it, begins flipping through the test results. "Hmm. Sodium pentothal, benzodiazepines... not very creative, were they?" Somewhere along the line, Sherlock has sidled up behind him and is reading over his shoulder. John doesn't say a word about it, which Vijay supposes implies consent. "Ergoline derivatives?" Sherlock's shoulders tense and John looks up at his doctor. "They gave me LSD?"

"Or something similar," he nods.

"Well, that's slightly more creative, anyway." John sighs. "I suppose it's not surprising that I was a little... disoriented... when I woke up."

"Is this sort of behaviour common to doctors, or are the two of you deliberately annoying?" Sherlock has never dealt well with being left out of anything, or with worry.

"Oh, for heaven's sake, here." John hands his paperwork over to Sherlock, while Vijay pointedly looks elsewhere. "Short version is they'll probably let me go home in the morning as long as I eat my dinner, use the toilet, and manage to go that long without hearing any colours. Sound about right, Vijay?"

"Yes, you're pretty much sleeping it off at this point. I'll just leave the two of you alone for a few hours."

"Finally," Sherlock huffs. Vijay just laughs and waves as he leaves.

"Honestly, Sherlock." The words are stern, but John's grinning like a fool. "I knew other people before I met you."

"Yes, but they were boring people."

"Sherlock, everyone's boring compared to you." John ignores the way that Sherlock's face lights up at that. "Tell me what's been going on while I was gone."

Sherlock frowns. "What's the last thing you remember?"

John's hit with a wave of deja vu, and his smile grows weary. "Big boom," he answers.
Sarahtrillsabells on August 27th, 2010 11:21 am (UTC)
Re: Sequel to sort of sequel... maybe? Part 3b/?
John laughs at them both. "Give it to me straight, Vij. Will I ever play the saxophone again?"

Damn you! I had just taken a sip of water when I read that. I nearly choked! It was either that or spray it all over the computer screen and I think the rest of the office migth notice if I do that.

And now I need to run away and find somewhere where I can laugh out loud. This sequel of a sorts made me so very happy...
laura_trekkie: Holmes BBClaura_trekkie on September 1st, 2010 09:13 am (UTC)
Re: Sequel to sort of sequel... maybe? Part 3b/?
Awww, poor John and his moment of unpleasant shock at waking up to see a hospital ceiling. I'm glad Sherlock was so quick to reasure him and that he knew his doctor this time. The banter between John and Vijay made me smile, as did Sherlock feeling left out *g*.

Laura.
(Anonymous) on August 27th, 2010 11:37 pm (UTC)
Sequel to sort of sequel... maybe? Part 4/5
Sherlock sketches out a brief story about waking up entirely alone in a pile of rubble by the pool. Moriarty's people were obviously closer than the police were or, as Sherlock puts it, "The idiots were too late to do any good, as usual." John makes a note to call Lestrade and thank him for hauling Sherlock's ungrateful arse out of the wreckage. There are probably other things he needs to be thanked for... he should probably just send gift baskets to the whole division and sort it out later.

Sherlock skims over the part about his own injuries, merely mentioning that he'd still been in hospital when he realised that John was missing, and focusing on the investigation into his disappearance. John silently adds the nursing staff at Royal London to his gift basket list. He suspects that list will eventually be quite long.

"Mycroft would probably be satisfied with a card," Sherlock adds dryly.

"How did... never mind." John shakes his head and smiles. "You think? After all, he did send along my clothes."

"I could have done that," Sherlock protests.

"And yet you didn't," John teases. "Yeah, of all the people who've had me kidnapped, your brother is definitely the most considerate."

"Oh, you should write that in the card."

Both men dissolve into a fit of giggles, which effectively puts an end to the summary of events. The rest of the evening passes relatively quietly. John eats his crap hospital dinner, even managing to nudge Sherlock into eating some of it. They debate the merits of watching bad telly, but decide it's not strictly necessary. John calls his sister, which results in the usual yelling/crying/declarations of fraternal/sororal affection and nebulous promises of tea dates in the near future. He also calls the Yard, and Lestrade is so annoyed that he puts him on the phone with Anderson. John subtracts a gift basket from his tally. And if John stays awake until he literally passes out from exhaustion, Sherlock never mentions it.

The next morning finds the two of them checking out of the hospital and into a cab. John has been found fit to return home, although Sherlock has been issued instructions to bring him right back again if there are any issues. Sherlock takes this duty very seriously, reminding John multiple times that he should let him know if anything doesn't seem right back at the flat.

"I'm fine, Sherlock." John insists. "I promise I'm not going to start screaming at the wallpaper when we get home."

"Not that I would blame you if you did," Sherlock conceded with a theatrical shudder. "But, let me know if you get any funny feelings about the furniture, or whatnot. Well, funnier than usual."

"Honestly, you get in one row with a kitchen appliance when you're pissed and you never hear the end of it."

"John, you punched the microwave."

"It was staring at me!"

"I told you the eyes were in there as part of an experiment!"

John laughs and rolls his eyes. "...So, how exactly am I supposed to know if I'm tripping again?"

Sherlock watches John intently, and his joking can't hide the fact that he's getting tenser the closer they get to home. The sense of unease is annoyingly contagious.

Mrs. Hudson is waiting for them when they arrive. If John's a bit embarrassed at the hugs and the fussing, he doesn't let it show. He does, however, remind Mrs. Hudson that she is not their housekeeper and heads to their own kitchen to make some tea. The kitchen is just as much of a wreck as he remembers, although it looks as if Sherlock's "reorganised" again.

"Where've you put the... Sherlock."

"John, what is it?"

John doesn't say another word. He just stares at the space on the kitchen table, between the partially-dissected hand and the jar of lateral incisors, that is currently occupied by a cheery little basket containing a dozen lime jelly pots, a scruffy blue teddy with a truly manic grin stitched into its face, and a home-made card with tumbling clowns drawn poorly on the front. He flips open the card, shakes his head, and passes it to Sherlock before sitting down at the table and resting his head on his hands.

Sherlock pales as he reads, "Welcome home, Johnny. Love, Jim."
vomit_bunny: Catvomit_bunny on August 28th, 2010 12:25 am (UTC)
Re: Sequel to sort of sequel... maybe? Part 4/5
Wow! Awesome -as I've come to expect from you anonymous- cliff hanger... looking forward to the last instalment!
yeah_i_be_crazy on August 29th, 2010 03:14 am (UTC)
Re: Sequel to sort of sequel... maybe? Part 4/5
Anon? Um..........GAH!!!!!!
Oh, and I love this.
wihlutawihluta on August 29th, 2010 04:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Sequel to sort of sequel... maybe? Part 4/5
Wow. This is awesome.
laura_trekkie: Holmes BBClaura_trekkie on September 1st, 2010 09:17 am (UTC)
Re: Sequel to sort of sequel... maybe? Part 4/5
Gah! Yay that John's home, but that's not a nice welcome back. Well, Mrs Hudson's welcome was nice, but Moriarty's put a real dampener on things :(.

I loved John's mental tally of gift baskets for everyone who had to endure Sherlock while he was missing *vbg*.

Laura.
(Anonymous) on August 30th, 2010 02:12 am (UTC)
Sequel to sort of sequel... maybe? Part 5
Sherlock stares at the card in his hand (A4 card. Ryman's. Fibre tip pens. Drawing and penmanship clearly indicative of mental instability), and then at John, who still sits at the table, head in hands. "Damn it, I'm no good at this," he mutters as he lays a pale hand on one shaking shoulder. "John?"

John looks up at him, and he's laughing, gently and relentlessly.

Sherlock has a sudden stab of empathy for the rest of the world. It is, in fact, quite unnerving when someone's emotional reaction is entirely inappropriate to the situation.

"H-he drew me a card," John gasps out by way of explanation. "With clowns. And it's bloody awful."

"I know," Sherlock answers carefully, "but we can..."

John talks over him. "He draws like a toddler with a drinking problem. I... It's just ridiculously bad."

Sherlock is at a loss. "You're upset because Moriarty... can't draw?" Only, John doesn't look upset. Despite the fact that his crazy flatmate's crazier nemesis has broken into their flat to leave disturbing little gifts in the kitchen, John looks positively cheerful.

"Everything was going too well, you know? Daring rescues, and old college chums, and jokes in the cab, and tea at the flat, but this?" John's grin is nothing short of beatific. "There's no way in hell I came up with this."

"What?" In his lifetime, Sherlock Holmes has been caught off his guard perhaps a double handful of times. John Watson has been a factor in nearly all of them. None of this prepares him for the realisation that John's faith in his existence, which has apparently been in some doubt, has just been solidified by recognising that the insanity that characterises their life together falls just that far outside the limits of his own creativity.

John grins and pats Sherlock on the arm. "It's all right," he says as he gets up from the table. "Now, what've you done with the kettle? Never mind, I see it's on top of the fridge."

"John, what on earth are you doing?"

"Making tea." John barely opens the refrigerator before slamming it quickly shut. "Without milk. Lovely," he grumbles. "Do you think I could still sweet-talk Mrs. Hudson into making us a proper cuppa?"

"Are you in shock?"

"No."

"Look, if you're in shock I can call someone or... fetch a blanket?"

"Sherlock, I'm not in shock!"

"Well, why not? Moriarty. Was in. Our kitchen!"

"Not personally, surely," John muses.

Sherlock says nothing, but stares at him, nonplussed.

"I mean, he's got people for that sort of thing, hasn't he?" John continues, beginning to pace. "Or, he had people, anyway. Mycroft's people shot a lot of them,"

"John."

"--but it would have been terribly careless for Moriarty to leave all of his people in one place, and"

"John!"

"What?" Sherlock just looks at him. "I'm not in shock," he insists. "I will admit to being little stressed."

"Whatever for?" Sherlock is not pacing, but he takes long strides around the kitchen, looking for anything else that may be out of place. "I've done such an excellent job of keeping you out of harm's way so far."

"Don't you dare start." Sherlock raises an eyebrow at that, but John pushes on. "I never asked for a sitter, and if I did, it wouldn't be you. Oh, don't look at me like that! Sitting is boring, and you can barely remember to feed yourself."

John reaches out and grabs one of Sherlock's arms as he walks past. "Hey." Sherlock turns to look at him. "I'm here." John says. "And you're here. And not only do we actually run through the streets of London fighting crime, we're also rather good at it."

Sherlock smiles. "Moriarty doesn't stand a chance then, does he?"

"Are you kidding me?" John nods towards the grinning blue bear. "That's a cry for help, is what that is."

It is impossible for either of them to keep a straight face after that.

---
John opens his eyes and stares blearily at the ceiling.

The painted plaster is chipped, and it's bordered by truly hideous patterned wallpaper. He smiles as he falls back to sleep.

---
End
Author's Note (darn character limits) - (Anonymous) on August 30th, 2010 02:14 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Sequel to sort of sequel... maybe? Part 5 - vomit_bunny on August 30th, 2010 01:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Sequel to sort of sequel... maybe? Part 5 - (Anonymous) on August 30th, 2010 05:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Sequel to sort of sequel... maybe? Part 5 - laura_trekkie on September 1st, 2010 09:22 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Sequel to sort of sequel... maybe? Part 5 - (Anonymous) on September 1st, 2010 11:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - Ferryboat George on May 24th, 2013 08:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
laura_trekkie: Holmes BBClaura_trekkie on September 1st, 2010 09:01 am (UTC)
Re: sort of sequel until somebody does better... hint hint
Yay, my second option was right. Not that I'm glad John's had these mind games played on him, but it's better than there not being any Serlock, Lestrade or Mycroft.

Laura.
Ferryboat George: pic#113796321Ferryboat George on May 24th, 2013 08:43 pm (UTC)
I actually think it's quite good :)