BBC's Sherlock, Standverse (John has a Stand)
Summary: Sherlock has to catalogue the relevation about his flatmate. Set after Human Trigger.
Word Count: 765
john doesn't appear in this fic but it's about him so he's tagged.
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The stranger draws herself up, rallying her composure. “Doctor Stephanie Strange, former neurosurgeon.” She puts a hand out for a handshake and instantly John can see the problem, given that there’s a tremor that speaks of nerve damage.
“Doctor John Watson, former surgeon,” he responds as he shakes the hand firmly, and instantly sees a kindred light in her eyes. Not one of pity, as he’d seen in the eyes of so many others, but merely sympathy.
She looks him over, eyes unreadable. “Gunshot wound?”
“Afghanistan,” he responds, used to these sorts of conversations from Sherlock.
Her eyes instantly narrow. “Soldier?”
“Yes. Problem?” This time it’s challenging. He doesn’t particularly like it, but a mere doctor would fit in to society, and he still sticks out like a sore thumb. Sherlock may have thought of him as the normal one, but he meshes as well with ‘normalcy’ as a Holmes. Why else would he have found sanctuary with a man whose idea of an everyday occurrence was a samurai invading the flat and a head in the fridge?
She shakes her head, a brief smirk coming into play. “You could say I’ve had my worldview expanded from merely ‘do no harm’.” It fades as quickly as it comes, turning to a somber expression that suddenly makes her look old despite her physical appearance of middle age. “I understand that sometimes it’s necessary to take one life to save another, or many. That doesn’t make it any easier, and it’s good to find a better way, without simply just dismissing it as ‘there isn’t one’. The impossible is possible. Mental barriers are more of an obstacle than physical ones.”
John hears the unspoken and covers her hand with one of his own. A gesture of comfort, nothing more. “We do the best we can.”
The smile he receives in return is dazzling.
The demon’s face grins and spears him with what feels like molten lava. “Who better to use as a guinea pig, dear Sherlock?” Mocking laughter, and Sherlock shivers uncontrollably. Attempting to get up just results in him flopping on the floor.
And then there’s another face, a familiar face, and a comforting voice like the smell of jumpers. “You’re not here,” he rasps.
“Miracles are possible, Sherlock. And on that note, don’t you dare die on me, not now.”
He passes out instead. It seems the safest of the options.
Occasionally John will call for an update, and guiltily, Mycroft will tell him of any more members of the network they have uncovered. He’d tell Sherlock about the conversations, but Sherlock needs to make sure he finds the whole network through the data trails, and Sherlock can’t miss the devastation John leaves in his wake as the surgically strikes at each of the viper’s nests.
He’s also not about to tell his brother about the Speedwagon Foundation calling for updates on John’s location. He’s, for once in his life, honest with his sort-of-partners, telling them that he has no idea where John will be next because John’s the one choosing the next mission of all the information he’s being handed.
( Let's go. )
“Sherlock!” John screams, and Sherlock steps and falls, and then something…doesn’t go as planned.
John’s distraught. Good. He’s running, knocked into by the bicyclist as planned. The switch barely happens in time. But it’s quick enough.
And then it happens.
There’s an explosion, blending in with the sound of John’s scream. He carefully doesn’t react. It might be Moriarty’s network, trying to get him to betray any possible sign of life, so he doesn’t move, despite the sound.
But then John doesn’t come over. The running footsteps lead away, not to his body. Why?
“Are you all right?” Sherlock asks, and John shakes his head, transferring his gaze from the window to his friend.
“Sorry?” Whatever had been asked, he hadn’t heard.
Sherlock steeples his fingers, the dissecting gaze like John’s a brand-new puzzle. “You’ve been acting odd ever since Sally called me a freak. Again. You don’t like it when anyone’s rude; a little odd, really, considering I’m likely to be rude myself, but it’s bothering you more than usual. Why?”
John works his jaw. This would be a good time. And yet…not at all.
It’s a restaurant. There are people around. He can’t be sure Moriarty doesn’t have people here. He actually can’t be sure that there aren’t bugs or people around or anything anywhere. And after the pool, he’s fairly certain Moriarty has to be interested in him.
He doesn’t have the energy for this. He’s maintaining Right Where I Belong most of the time, now, because he’s paranoid, now. He doesn’t know how Sherlock hasn’t noticed by now being his usual reckless self hasn’t earned him near enough scrapes or bruises.
And he’s taken too long to answer, because apparently his face has answered for him, since Sherlock keeps up his interrogation. “Ah. You take it personally. Why? The company you keep, or…?”
By now, his face has given away the truth, that it’s more personal than that, and he knows Sherlock deserves to know, is getting restless, can’t wait any longer, and knows also that he wants to tell, being unable to talk about it is tearing him apart, and he’d never thought it’d be this hard.
But he doesn’t want to lose a friend. Despite the fact that he already is, that the secret is tearing them apart. And worse, he doesn’t want to give Moriarty the clue he needs to go find and unlock a Stand.
So he bites his lip. Maybe he can give Sherlock clues. Lead him into the correct answer, hope Moriarty doesn’t get there first. “Remember our conversation about monsters.”
“What kind of evidence could lead a man like you to believe he’s a monster?” Sherlock’s incredulous.
“Obviously, the persuasive kind,” John whispers.
John is fairly sure that Sherlock’s a normal human, not a Stand User. As weird as people see his flatmate, Watson is the real freak.
Sherlock picks up his phone. It’s about time John called. He could hardly shop for more food without his wallet; forgotten in his room; John’s been forgetful lately; John’s worried about something. Moriarty, probably. Something happened during the kidnapping; something he didn’t feel he could tell Sherlock. Why? Because he was worried about how Sherlock would react? Worried that he’d try to take revenge? But no, there was a secret; something John didn’t want Sherlock to know; something that Mycroft knows about John that he doesn’t; how? Obvious, contacts. Not worth his time, not like John. All these signs John is normal, average, and yet—
And yet, he’s sympathetic. Like he understands, how? How would John know? There’s the obvious answer, of course, his sister, homosexual, him having to protect her; doesn’t approve of her drinking, liked the wife, but he’d hardly stand for bullies going after his sister; but it’s not that, it can’t be; Mycroft wouldn’t know if that was it, he could be cruel and pretend he knows something, but that doesn’t explain John; John, who wants to explain, but doesn’t know how, John who thinks he of all people won’t believe—
The phone rings. He picks it up. “Sherlock.”
The singsong voice on the other end is unexpected, unwanted. But then, he’d known Moriarty would survive. “There’s something about John…he’s keeping secrets. I could help you find out.”
“Piss off.” He hangs up before he realizes that was…that was emotional, that was wrong. Moriarty could have John. That could have been a subtle taunt. And he just threw away a lead, though of course Moriarty wouldn’t have let him trace the call. Still, he was Sherlock; he was better; he could have heard a train or some other clue to help him save John—
He frets until John returns, and then unfortunately yells at him. Both of them are being wound tighter and tighter, and it has to have an end.
John is secretly made of steel, Sherlock reflects, as he unleashes his healing power before managing to get the cultists to dive back behind cover again. Admittedly, he’s a little hazy, what with the head injury and all.
He also, surprisingly, does not happen to be Templar. Sherlock’s never gotten a faction affiliation wrong. He’d almost fly into a sulk if he wasn’t too busy trying to find what, exactly, shows to what other faction John Watson might happen to belong.
Illuminati, in Sherlock’s experience, tend to be greedy or at least vaguely corporate in nature. (Perhaps he is basing it off a certain Sebastian Wilkes, but he can hardly be blamed for using personally gathered data.) Yet he can’t see anything (blind, unquestioning obedience, a chaotic nature) that would lead John Watson to be Dragon.
In the end, John Watson is a Dragon, and perhaps that is the most chaotic and unexpected of all.
He reads others. Often, they don’t even care, or regard it as useful, hungry, prying eyes willing to try to poach him from the Templars.
And then he meets John. John of the assault rifle, John of the healing touch.
He’d met him, unassuming, beige jumper. Reads that he was a soldier, Afghanistan or Iraq, but he’s so pleasant, projecting anything but a dangerous air, that he doesn’t realize how dangerous the man could be. Just a simple brushing by in Agartha, as he’s on his way to the Archives, the books that the Council of Venice will still allow him access, that is. He takes in the blond, short, limping man and dismisses him.
It’s not often that Sherlock Holmes makes a mistake. But it does happen.
The next time, it’s a meeting between factions, moderated by the Council. He assumes John is Templar like him, is annoyed that he’s not trusted on his own but understands why. He’s glaring at the Illuminati, all but baring his teeth as they squabble through words that, with enough intent behind them, could probably rip out throats with magic. (After learning the Bee-touched can’t die normally, he’s been tempted more than once just to kill another agent for annoyance, since it won’t stick anyway.) There are others there, but none of them matter.
John clears his throat. Somehow, he’s able to immediately draw all the attention in the room, as well as get their argument to dry up like they’ve suddenly lost the ability to speak. Given the world they live in, it’s not an altogether ludicrous thought.
It’s John that outlines the plan, a different one than either Sherlock or the Illuminati had proposed, and…it’s not actually half bad. The soldier has a gift for strategy. Captain, then. Could have risen further, didn’t want to. Enjoys looking out for a small, family like unit. Replacement for a never-quite functional family, then. Probably the brother, given the evidence of the phone. And always had that unassuming air. People dismiss him, and he uses that as a weapon just like anything else, when needed.
It’s difficult, getting on with the Illuminati. He keeps wanting to point out that Sally is hardly just with the man, but John actually manages to get him to keep his tongue civil, and when explaining how the magical artifact they’re going after works, he keeps saying “Amazing” with wonder in his eyes. It’s almost painful to part at the end, once they’ve deposited the artifact with the Council (it’s the only place they can agree upon).
John is a little bit like the Secret World, actually. Sherlock’s gotten to the point where he understands most of the rules. In the end, though, no matter how banal, commonplace some of it has become (zombies are almost boring, now), it still manages to surprise him enough to keep him not-bored.
“You don’t have to go,” Sherlock states quietly, still staring at papers.
John shrugs, letting the slightest of smiles creep over his face. “You did say that he warned you against me.”
This grabs Sherlock’s attention, even over the distraction of a case. He looks up with bright eyes. “Yes.”
“Well. That means I scare him.” It would be a stress reliever. Besides, with Dr. Kujo and the others, it had been demonstrated exactly how effective having a powerful network as an ally. In the interests of his flatmate’s health, it might be best to call off the ridiculous shadow games the elder Holmes and he had been playing.
Sherlock stares for a second before, well. That might be a giggle. “Off you go, then.”
John sees the destruction and his heart enters his throat. For a minute, maybe, he even blacks out. When he comes to, he’s still sitting and his Stand is trying frantically to get a response from him, assuring him that he’d done nothing, this wasn’t his fault. Sarah’s worried—of course she is, people just don’t black out without reason—but he has to get there, he has to make sure Sherlock’s safe. He has to make sure that he hasn’t… He’s barely aware of walking to his flat, and it’s almost not a surprise to see Mycroft sitting there.
His frantic queries are met by raised eyebrows, but it seems Sherlock has yet to get out of his bored funk. Which is good. That’s good. If he was hurt, Sherlock would, well. Be irritable, but not quite bored anymore.
“A gas explosion. Apparently.”
“Though the police have been known to get things wrong,” Mycroft states deliberately, staring directly at him, and John feels faint. He needs to sit.
The way he sinks down, his limp’s back and he’s in a terrible condition. Even Sherlock must notice by now.
“They haven’t,” he states once to reassure himself, and then again, for Mycroft, “They haven’t.”
“Mycroft, this is ridiculous. As if John would bomb anywhere.” Sherlock is desperate and angry, and John should probably be touched by the defense if he was anywhere near his right mind right now.
John’s beginning to process things again, though, and he knows this is important. He looks back up again to see Mycroft’s stare, and nods once. Fears weren’t reality, after all, and he would’ve noticed his Stand getting out of control.
There’s a long look as the elder Holmes stares him down, and whatever he sees there, it’s enough. “Do think about the offer, Sherlock. Or I’ll perhaps borrow your…blogger.” He stands and walks over to John, holding out his hand for a handshake. It’s anything but friendly. “Goodbye, John. See you very soon.”
Sherlock breaks into an furious and discordant violin…noise, and Mycroft leaves. John tries to calm his racing heart, because he knows there will be questions. He’s anything but his usual self, and Sherlock couldn’t have failed to miss it.
“John. You were lying in bed with a fever, unable to discern the world around you. There is no logical reason why you could have saved your unit.”
John’s bleary eyes finally focus on Sherlock’s face. It’s good, this. That Citizen/Soldier has decided that his brilliantly impossible flatmate is forever off the hit list, so he doesn’t accidentally summon him and bomb the flat when being awoken. Really, in all honestly, for a Stand User with his sorts of nightmares, there is no other flatmate he could have possibly gotten.
“So you shouldn’t be feeling any guilt now.”
If John isn’t mistaken, that’s actual emotion in the detective’s voice.
“No logical reason, no,” John agrees quietly. Sherlock’s absolutely rubbish at comfort, which is perhaps why it works. “Thank you, Sherlock.”
John might not be a Holmes, but by this point even he knows Mycroft has to be doing this on purpose. The meddler’s hand isn’t visible as he moves around the pawns, but it would take interference for this many of Sherlock’s cases to involve Stand Users. He’s still not sure how the cabbie’s Stand worked, but shooting him seemed to do the trick. The others had been a little harder to fix without Sherlock ending up dead or finding out. Perhaps it’s luck that Sherlock had managed, largely, to avoid the supernatural in his cases before, considering that he liked the macabre, the baffling, the ‘weird ones’.
The sudden change when John came was too suspicious a coincidence, though. If the Elder Holmes couldn’t scare John away with words, he’d keep throwing them in situations where John was likely to have to expose his secrets at some point.
The next time a telephone booth rings when John walks by, he answers because he’s been holding in a scream for some time. “You’re very lucky that I am who I am and that I’ve used my powers before. Not just someone who’d just got them. Your brother would already be dead if I wasn’t. I get your wariness, but throwing him recklessly into situations where I might be at work or at the shop or just not fast enough is a plan so convoluted as to be stupid only a Holmes would have considered it!”
He’s breathing hard when he hangs up, but despite the anger he feels strangely satisfied, and Citizen/Soldier stirs contentedly in the back of his mind.