When I started writing this, it was related to a new universe that's going to be popping up in drabbles for a bit, but after writing it I stared at it and realized, 'wait, hey, some of these things make more sense in context with the universe, but it can be read as completely standalone'. So, here you go, universe optional!
Also, I like Mycroft, but he's occasionally a git. And John might be a little manipulative, but it's for the best.
BBC's Sherlock, Universe Optional
Summary: Items- 1. John Watson cares. 2. Caring is a weakness. 3. John Watson is anything but weak.
Word Count: 555
“Will caring about them help save them?” Sherlock sneers. He’s probably worked out exactly where this conversation will go, the ‘pedestrian’, ‘dull’ responses that John will give, and his reactions to those. So John disappoints him. Fine. John’s disappointed too.
“Yes.” It’s not the answer that most would give, or if it is, for most it’d be for clichés, but John doesn’t need a fairy-tale when he’s been living so long in the real world, thank you.
Watson may not be the one who observes, but it’s easy to read Sherlock at the moment. The detective takes a moment to realize that John has gone off-script, again, and suddenly the anger disappears instantly. If John was in an imaginative mood, he would have described the sound of always turning gears audibly grinding to a halt. Grey eyes stare at the doctor with an intense scrutiny that Holmes only applies to the most interesting of problems. “What?”
“All right, maybe it’s not as important for you with your consulting detective thing, but I’m a soldier. I never stopped.” It’s easy for John to say this to Sherlock, despite the fact that he would never say this to Ella. “As much as I hate to agree with your brother, this is a battlefield. The ones that thought it was just some kind of lark, the ones that didn’t have anything to fight for, they’re the ones that usually died first. Some of them were lucky, of course. Some of us,” he leans slightly, knowing the detective will take the hint, “…weren’t so lucky. Fighting for your own life was good. Fighting for someone else’s was better.”
“I would have thought you would have called yourself a doctor first.” All right, perhaps that wasn’t the reaction that he’d been going for, but it was a start.
“They’re both different ways of saving people.” He thought for a second and shook his head. “All right, not always. But emotions, even boredom, can be just as unhealthy.”
There’s a slight nod to show Sherlock understands the point. “Why not surgery, then, if you want to save people’s lives so much?”
“There’s the tremor,” John states bluntly. “Yes, maybe it’s psychological, and under pressure it’d be just fine, but people don’t want even the possibility.”
“I’d trust you,” the detective remarks, and that earns a smile.
“Yeah, well, you do a lot of dangerous things most people wouldn’t.”
As much as Holmes tries to hide it, that is, in fact, a smile. “I’ve never noticed it affect your work.”
“God, Sherlock, I’m not asking you to go and weep in the streets for these people. And maybe it doesn’t work for you. All I’m asking you is take it into consideration. Human brains are amazing and capable of this thing called multitasking. Emotion and logic aren’t exclusive.”
“Sarcasm doesn’t really suit you, John.” He doesn’t really sound annoyed, though. “As long as you’re not asking me to be nice to Anderson.” He goes back to thinking, but mutters one last thing under his breath.
The only word John hears is ‘Mycroft’, but it’s enough to understand everything. “And if you’ve been taking social advice from your git of a brother, you might want to reconsider that.”
That grin is clearly smug, even though Sherlock doesn’t acknowledge it any other way.