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DoS: Summer Edition #11 [Sherlock Request #5] [Aug. 7th, 2011|11:41 pm]
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Title: Close Call
Pairing/Characters: John/Sherlock, Lestrade
Rating: R (mostly for danger and injury)
Notes: This is in response to insane_duckfish's request for thank-God-you're-not-dead snogging, although I must confess it got off the leash and turned into more than just a standard ficlet, let alone more than just a standard drabble. Some others will fare in a similar fashion, too, as far as their requests, given what I have left to fill...
Summary: Knowing what you've got before it's gone makes everything harder.


Sherlock, John thinks as he's torn from fitful sleep by the ringtone he's assigned to Lestrade. It's what I've been dreading. He fumbles with the keypad and answers.

“What's happened? Where is he?”

Lestrade takes a weary breath.

“There's no hiding anything from you, is there? I'm having him checked over at Bart's. We found him unconscious under a blocked-off railway tunnel, the location of which he'd fortunately disclosed to me via text. There was blood on his shirt, but we decided to let the ambulance team sort that, as they were about thirty seconds behind us.”

John is already in his jeans and halfway into yesterday's button-down shirt.

“No update from Bart's, then? Not even a preliminary—”

“He was breathing,” says Lestrade, although who he's trying to reassure, John has no fucking clue. “The blood wasn't fresh; it had already begun to dry.”

“Why the bloody hell didn't you mention that in the first place!”

“Do me a favor and step outside for some air. I'll be there in five minutes.”

“With a car, in which we're heading immediately to Bart's,” John seethes, shoving his feet into the first pair of shoes he can find (his ratty old trainers). He hangs up and all but trips down the stairs, gropes around in the sitting room for his coat, fails to find it, and races down the remaining stairs without bothering to lock the door on his way out.

John spends three minutes with his hands jammed into his pockets, cursing visible puffs into the freezing air. He doesn't even wait till the car stops before dashing into the road, and Lestrade lays hard on the horn as he brakes with a sickening screech.

“The idea's not to hospitalize you both,” he says as John yanks open the door and slides into the passenger seat. “For God's sake, John. Be careful.”

“Just drive,” John says, folding his arms tightly across his chest.

For anyone else, there would have been forms to fill out. There would have been questions: Who are you? What's your relationship to the patient? What do you mean you just live with him? Where's the patient's next-of-kin? John's regretting the fact that there's nothing official, no piece of paper, no proof beyond his word that the man in the bed before him taped up with tubes and needles and an oxygen mask is his lover.

John swallows and steps closer, curling his fingers around Sherlock's still hand.

“Hey,” he whispers, just loudly enough that there's a chance Sherlock might hear if he's awake beneath the paraphernalia and the sedatives. “It's me. I'm here.”

Sherlock's eyes fly open almost instantly, fixed wide and unfocused on the ceiling for several seconds before they dart sideways to John. He looks confused, and even somewhat afraid. He tries to speak, but the oxygen mask garbles the sound that passes his lips. He tries to lift his free hand to remove the mask, but it's the one with a cannula stuck in. John loosens the mask for him, tugging it clear of his chin.

“John,” says Sherlock, thickly. “What...”

“Whoever you followed down there had accomplices lying in wait,” John tells him. “One of them caught you from behind, hit you on the head, and stuck a penknife between your ribs. You're lucky the blade was so small. You're already stitched up.”

“The wonders of modern medicine,” says Sherlock, licking his lips. “Water?”

John lifts the cup from the bedside table to Sherlock's mouth, dribbling a bit down his chin when Sherlock chokes on the first swig. Serves him right, John thinks, but he wipes up the mess before it can drip down Sherlock's neck and onto his hospital gown.

“Where are my clothes?” asks Sherlock, indignantly.

“Taped up in a plastic storage bin, just like every other patient's belongings.”

“And my mobile?”

“Bin,” says John, and then closes his eyes on the delayed sting of tears. “Exactly what part of the circumstances that led to your being here seemed like a good idea?”

“All of it,” says Sherlock. “Obviously.”

“Yes, but you know how there's always something you miss?”

“Not always always.”

“This time, that something tried to kill you, and if it'd had a bigger blade, it might've done,” John tells him, setting the cup down so hard that some splashes onto the table.

Unexpectedly, Sherlock frowns, cluttering his pale forehead with worry lines.

“I hadn't thought of that,” he says, and that's when it's pretty clear the drugs are more than half responsible for his pitifully stupid responses. Or at least John hopes they are.

“You never think of that, do you?” John asks.

“On the contrary,” replies Sherlock, with vague regret, “I think about it often.”

“Not often enough,” John says, tightening his hold on Sherlock's hand. “What am I supposed to do if someone manages to kill you, I mean really kill you? What am I supposed to tell Mrs. Hudson? Or Molly? Worse yet, what am I going to tell Mycroft?”

“That wouldn't be an issue,” Sherlock says. “He'd know already.”

Sherlock—”

“I know,” he sighs, letting his eyes drift shut. “You're not being funny.”

“I hope you're not, either,” John says, willing his voice not to break.

Sherlock looks restful, but he's tense, his fingernails digging into John's palm.

“You're very upset with me.”

“Yes.”

“Furious with me, in fact.”

“How'd you guess.”

Sherlock sighs again, and it's then that John realizes his eyes are shut because he's close to tears, too. A trickle has escaped and made its way down his right cheek.

“You're right to hate me.”

“Oh, for fuck's sake,” John hisses. “I don't.”

“You must. It's only logical. I'd hate you if you were the one lying here.”

“Is that so?” John asks, wiping the stray tear away with his thumb.

Sherlock opens his eyes, blinking rapidly. His gaze shimmers, far too bright.

“Not really,” he says, surrendering to an undignified sniffle. “Tissue.”

John fetches him some from the loo, and he spends the next five minutes listening to Sherlock blow his nose repeatedly as the remainder of the tears he's held back spill over. It's an impressive display, even more so than when he's faking it.

“Come on, that's enough,” John says, edging onto the bed, just enough to work an arm around Sherlock's shoulders. “If you don't stop, I'll have to put the mask back on.”

Sherlock chokes out a laugh, hiding behind the mess of loo roll.

“Don't you dare.”

John kisses Sherlock's hair. Buries his nose in it, smells rust and damp earth.

“You need a bath,” he tells Sherlock.

Sherlock shakes his head and turns as far into John's embrace as he's able.

“I know,” John whispers. “Me too.”
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Comments:
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[User Picture]From: woman_of_
2011-08-07 10:56 pm (UTC)

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Lovely, they so care about each other!
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-08-10 11:41 am (UTC)

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Thank you for reading :)
[User Picture]From: violetknights
2011-08-07 11:20 pm (UTC)

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The best kind of broken and relieved and awesome!
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-08-10 11:41 am (UTC)

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Thank you very much! :)
[User Picture]From: morganstuart
2011-08-07 11:47 pm (UTC)

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Really lovely, as much for what remains unsaid as for what's spoken/shown. Just gorgeous.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-08-10 11:41 am (UTC)

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Thank you! They do between-the-lines communication very well, yes.
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[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-08-10 11:42 am (UTC)

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*hugs you*

Thanks, as always <3
[User Picture]From: strobelighted
2011-08-08 12:11 am (UTC)

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Aww, this is so sweet. ♥
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-08-10 11:42 am (UTC)

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Pleased you think so <3 Thanks!
[User Picture]From: zephyr_macabee
2011-08-08 12:59 am (UTC)

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You turn my insides to mush with your words.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-08-10 11:43 am (UTC)

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*re-forms them as best she can*

Thank you <3
[User Picture]From: antesqueluz
2011-08-08 02:02 am (UTC)

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Awww. Sweet and sad and relieved. Love this.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-08-10 11:43 am (UTC)

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Glad you enjoyed it - thank you so much!
[User Picture]From: cerusee
2011-08-08 02:21 am (UTC)

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Lovely. I got kind of misty, then read it again, and went into a positive damp.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-08-10 11:43 am (UTC)

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*hugs*

Thank you so much for reading <3
[User Picture]From: uwsannajane
2011-08-08 02:22 am (UTC)

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Eek! Scary plus sweet. Oh, lovely.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-08-10 11:44 am (UTC)

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A complicated one as emotions go, yes. Thank you :)
[User Picture]From: kalypso_v
2011-08-08 02:49 am (UTC)

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“Worse yet, what am I going to tell Mycroft?”

“That wouldn't be an issue,” Sherlock says. “He'd know already.”


I'm afraid this made me laugh far more than I should when they're both so upset!
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-08-10 11:44 am (UTC)

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Don't worry; I was kind of smiling by that point as I wrote it, because it is kind of funny. Thank you :)
[User Picture]From: tardis_stowaway
2011-08-08 05:31 am (UTC)

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This is wonderful. John's desperation before he reaches Sherlock is really palpable. Their conversation in the hospital is full of emotion yet very true to character.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-08-10 11:45 am (UTC)

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Oh, good: it's a fine line to toe, emotion and staying in character! Thank you very much :)
[User Picture]From: hsavinien
2011-08-08 05:41 am (UTC)

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Awww.

There would have been questions: Who are you? What's your relationship to the patient? What do you mean you just live with him? Where's the patient's next-of-kin? John's regretting the fact that there's nothing official, no piece of paper, no proof beyond his word that the man in the bed before him taped up with tubes and needles and an oxygen mask is his lover.

Gives me a stomach-ache to think of because it happens so often still.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-08-10 11:45 am (UTC)

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Yes, exactly :( Thank you very much!
[User Picture]From: dark_angel1090
2011-08-08 06:43 am (UTC)

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...And I'm reminded all over again why I worship the keyboard you type with.

[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-08-10 11:46 am (UTC)

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It's part of a MacBook, and it's getting kind of battered and worn. Not such a worship-worthy thing, I think ;)

Thank you *hugs*
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[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-08-10 11:46 am (UTC)

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Thank you :)
[User Picture]From: nerdgirl_11
2011-08-08 10:53 am (UTC)

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Lovely, lovely story! Thank you!! ♥
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-08-10 11:46 am (UTC)

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Glad you enjoyed it! Thank you!
[User Picture]From: mushroom18
2011-08-08 12:11 pm (UTC)

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Sherlock and John do need a mutual crying session sometimes. ♥ Lovely read as always.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-08-10 11:47 am (UTC)

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I imagine those sessions are rare, but I'm also convinced they must happen!

Thank you :)
[User Picture]From: frodosweetstuff
2011-08-08 02:48 pm (UTC)

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Awww, that was great! I really enjoyed their voices, could relate to John's anger so well and was so happy about the ending. :)

Thank you!
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-08-10 11:47 am (UTC)

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Glad the voices worked for you - many thanks!
[User Picture]From: ladymakbeth
2011-08-08 03:06 pm (UTC)

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Sweet story. And little sad too, neither from those two wouldn't bear the loss of the other.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-08-10 11:47 am (UTC)

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Not looking forward to seeing a grieving John in S2, if indeed we will *sigh*

Thank you!
[User Picture]From: verasteine
2011-08-08 03:23 pm (UTC)

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Oh, man, it's tough loving Sherlock. I adore this.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-08-10 11:48 am (UTC)

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The toughest *sigh* But John's up for it.

Thank you <3
[User Picture]From: tweedisgood
2011-08-08 05:52 pm (UTC)

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Worse yet, what am I going to tell Mycroft?”

“That wouldn't be an issue,” Sherlock says. “He'd know already.”


I know it's angsty and I shouldn't giggle but...

Lovely work, as ever.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-08-10 11:48 am (UTC)

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No, actually, it's fine to giggle; that moment's meant to be amusing ;)

Thank you!
[User Picture]From: mazaher
2011-08-08 06:14 pm (UTC)

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Well, given that you seem to have been bent on giving me a scare with this piece, I'd say the way you wrote the end is the best way to bring my heart rate back to normal. And warm it up, too.
Thank you =)
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-08-10 11:49 am (UTC)

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You're welcome! The next requests have a bit of angst in them, too, but I'm going to do my best to bring them all around to good endings.

Thank you :)
[User Picture]From: random_nexus
2011-08-08 07:05 pm (UTC)

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Oh, yes. All that's not being said and all that is, just lovely there. *fond smile*

<3
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-08-10 11:49 am (UTC)

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<3<3<3

Thank you, dear.
[User Picture]From: spacedmonkey
2011-08-08 07:19 pm (UTC)

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Gorgeous
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-08-10 11:49 am (UTC)

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Thank you :)
[User Picture]From: just_jane_doe
2011-08-08 07:58 pm (UTC)

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Awww.... they truly cannot bear to lose one another. Lovely job.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-08-10 11:49 am (UTC)

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Thank you! Pleased to hear you enjoyed it :)
[User Picture]From: methylviolet10b
2011-08-08 09:23 pm (UTC)

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Oh wow. Just all kinds of perfection in this. The feelings, the aggravation of the paperwork (even though it's mercifully kept from affecting John), the fear, the unspoken words. Wow.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-08-10 11:50 am (UTC)

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Meanwhile, Mycroft's sitting behind the scenes fretting *sigh*

Thank you :)
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