By Raven Morgan Leigh
Gen, Hurt/Comfort, Sickfic Challenge
Sherlock Holmes & John Watson
Tragedy Strikes Sherlock when he tries to save children from a planted bomb.
GEN: Sherlock Holmes & John Watson
DARKNESS: A SHERLOCK STORY
Sherlock woke. He could feel… something. He was lying prone – on a bed. He smelled something, alcohol, something medicinal, hospital? No sound. Complete and total darkness.
It was smothering him.
He tried to speak. He could not hear himself. He lifted a hand, felt his throat vibrate. Still he could not hear his own voice. He must be shouting.
He jerked, slapping the hands away. Who was this? Who?
Had he been captured? He’d thought that time was over, all Moriarty’s minions dead or imprisoned by three years worth of his own efforts.
Hands held him still. He was too weak to struggle much. He was tiring.
He’d been drugged, he could feel it, and his awareness faded.
Was he dreaming? Sherlock opened his eyes. Still dark. Nothing on his face, as far as he could tell. Still no sound. Still, the smell of hospital. Hands again. This time, tapping, lightly on the inside of his wrist. He started to pull away, but stopped—a pattern. It was a pattern. A message.
J. O. H. N
John?? Sherlock said it… aloud, he knew did. But he couldn’t hear it. Deaf?
The explosion. IED.
Tapping on his wrist again. Morse code?
Sherlock slid his fingers around John’s wrist.
Y.E.S. came the tapped reply.
“John—I can’t hear, can’t see. Can’t even hear myself,” Sherlock said, struggling to have faith that his words would be understood.
More tapping. BMBBLSTS
“Too fast. Slow down.”
B. O. M. B. STOP. BLAST.
Through a painfully slow series of tapped sentences, Sherlock discovered that yes; he’d been in the way of the bomb blast that had taken out a good portion of the downtown London library. Yes, the children had been saved. Sherlock’s blindness was due to Traumatic Brain Injury and the doctors didn’t know if it was permanent or not. His eardrums had burst, but he’d probably get his hearing back.
Blindness. Permanent. How would he work? His life was over.
It was overwhelming, and Sherlock sank back into the pillows. His chest heaved, and he realized with a shock that he …was crying. He hadn’t cried since the day he’d jumped from the roof of St. Bart’s. There had been no comfort, then, only the bitter promise of days alone, filled with violence and bloodshed.
Gradually Sherlock became aware that he was being cradled gently in John’s strong arms. And for the first time in a very long time, he allowed himself to trust, to take comfort in being held.
Seven weeks later—
“How the bloody hell did you figure out that this was a poisoning?” Lestrade asked, nonplussed. “We were sure that this was a suicide.”
“You found Ellerson hung by the neck, but the bones in his neck were intact. Did you not notice this?”
John’s hand tightened on Sherlock’s, shaking slightly. He was laughing, the cretin! It warmed Sherlock.
“Honestly, Lestrade, I wonder that you and those infants you call your detectives can be trusted to get out of bed in the morning, “ Sherlock intoned. “Try using all of your senses. Do you not detect that heavy chemical smell? “
“Yeah, “John said. “What is it? Smells sort of like—“
“—Antifreeze.” Lestrade finished, heavily.
“Obviously, Mr. Ellerson was poisoned with it. Then the murderer hanged him by the neck in an effort to make the murder appear to be a suicide. “Sherlock said with satisfaction. “The son, Avery Ellerson, did it. He’s a car mechanic, and according to the case files, he’s also a gambler. He’s also the heir for the property—he planned to sell it to pay off his gambling debts.”
“Brilliant!” John squeezed Sherlock’s arm.
Sitting in the back of the cab with John, Sherlock could tell by the coolness of the air that it had gone dark. He should been tired, but the day had been exhilarating. He patted John’s hand. “Thank you.”
“For what?” John sounded puzzled.
“Giving me my life back.” Sherlock said.
“Always, “John said. “I’ll always be there for you.”
And the cab rushed through the night, bringing them back to 221 Baker Street. Life was good.