Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Sherlock Holmes
Challenge/Prompt: fffc Bingo:
Word Count: 931
Date Written: 24 March 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Doyle, not the author, and are used without permission.
He felt his heartbeat pounding a maddening rhythm in his chest. He shouldn’t be here. He didn’t even know where here was. His hands sweated; his mouth was dry. He felt like turning around and running back in the way from whence they had come, but then where was that way? They had traversed through so many tunnels in the London Underground network that he no longer knew his way. He was completely lost, and he doubted Sherlock was much better.
But then, Watson reminded himself stubbornly, Sherlock was Sherlock. The man had the most genius mind on the planet, if not also the rudest mannerisms. He could not possibly be lost! John may not know where they were going, but Sherlock did. All he had to do was follow Sherlock.
John smirked at the simplicity of that thought: all he had to do was follow Sherlock, indeed! All he ever did was follow Sherlock, and it never failed to get him into a world of trouble! Yet, now, all he had to do to get himself out of trouble was to follow Sherlock? The mere notion was absurd!
“But -- “
“Not now, Watson. I’m thinking.” Making a musing sound deep in his throat, Sherlock tapped a finger to his lips. “Now the criminal would have gone . . . “ He paused, his voice trailing off, and turned in a slow circle, studying each possible angle.
John wondered where they were at. Now that he looked more closely at the area that was lit by what almost seemed two giant spotlights, it looked more like an abandoned parking garage than anything that should have been found in the underground network. Following Sherlock’s slow turn, John asked in sheer frustration, just hoping to get them moving again, “Maybe that one?”
Sherlock tisked at the tunnel at which John pointed. “Nonsense. Don’t you realize we’ve already been there, John?”
John’s hand fell back to his side. “No,” he said sheepishly. His mind began to remember everything that had led them to this moment while Sherlock continued to ponder the situation. He had seen so much in the war, seen so many horrific deaths, experienced the loss of so many friends. Was he really such a glutton for punishment that he could not keep himself to himself or, at the very least, avoid being friends with the one man who was bound to always bring him more battles and deaths? He shouldn’t be here! He should be --
Sherlock started walking. With scarcely another thought to it, John took off after him. It didn’t matter what kind of insane situations into which Sherlock led them. John was beginning to realize he would always follow him, and not simply because he was the smartest, most intriguing man John had ever met. There was something about the man and something about their relationship that ran far deeper than that.
This network, John suddenly realized, was similar to the network of his own heart which was still pounding rather loudly though now seemingly lodged in his throat. The tunnels were the veins, and this center through which they were now passing was the large muscle itself. The veins ran all over the body that contained the heart whereas these tunnels led all over London.
Much, he realized, like Sherlock himself. Sherlock was the center, the command of everything around him, but he never knew down which tunnel, or vein, he was going to lead him next. The only thing he did know for certain was that it would be an adventure well worth the experiencing, and Sherlock would protect him from whatever came at them. Much like the heart kept the body going, Sherlock kept him going.
He had been but a shell of a man when he met. That’s why he had missed the battles and even the bloody deaths so much: experiencing those, experiencing action and possible dying all around him, was what had made him feel more alive in his life than ever before. Everything up until the war had been almost like a story. He had survived it. He had gone through it, but it had been more like reading a story about somebody else than actually living it himself.
But now he was living again. Now his mind was sharp, and his nerves were constantly on edge. There was danger and the possibility of dying around every corner except that, truthfully, there was no possibility of dying, not as long as he was with Sherlock. The genius might be a pompous ass, but he was also a true friend, and more. He’d never let anything happen to him from which he could not recover.
“Oh, do wait up, will you?!”
“I will, John,” Sherlock called back over his shoulder without even bothering to glance at him, “but the killer may not!”
“Keep running then,” John muttered. Sherlock continued without another word, making it impossible to tell if he’d even heard him or not, but still John followed. He’d always follow Sherlock Holmes, John realized, until one of them was dead. That wasn’t bound to happen any time soon. Still, he hoped when the time did come, he would be the one to die. He could not imagine going back to the way his life had been before. With Sherlock, he was alive; without him, . . . he was nothing but an empty shell waiting to decay. Watson broke out into a run. Whatever the night held, whatever this adventure held, whatever life itself held, he was glad to spend it with his dearest friend, alive together.