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Sherlock BBC Prompting Meme

"we get all sorts around here."


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Welcome! (Prompting: part i)
Giggles at the Palace
sherlockbbc_fic
Please check the Sticky Post to find the newest active part and post your prompts there.

Prompts from this post can be filled on the Overflow Post



This is a fic prompting meme based around the BBC series Sherlock, written by Stephen Moffat & Mark Gattis.

There are a couple of communities that have sprung up already, namely here and here and here, and also a very busy sherlockkink meme based around the Robert Downey Jr/Jude Law film, but since there's a GAP IN THE MARKET for a BBC Sherlock prompt meme and people are gnawing off their own hands in need of fic, here we go!

ETA: There's also a very dedicated meme here which covers all varieties of Sherlock Holmes adaptations/ spin-offs.

Guidelines:

1) This is a Sherlock meme, so no RPF please! We don't want any legal trouble.

2) Feel free to post anon by all means, it's a matter of personal preference.

3) Remember to include a warning in the title for anything a little more "niche" or that people might have a problem with - non-con, dub-con, death!fic, incest, death!fic etc. Other than that, anything goes - crack, slash, het, gen, fluff, angst, whatever floats your boat.

4) Feel free to prompt as much as you like, but do try to fill as well as prompt; we don't want pages full of frustrating unfilled prompts!

5) Have a look beforehand to see whether your prompt has already been prompted - we want to avoid duplicate prompts as much as possible!

6) Please, be civil, be friendly, but don't be shy!

*Any problems, please message jjgd *

LINKS AND AFFILIATES

Delicious Archive * sherlockfest * List of all the Prompting Posts * Overflow Post *


  • 1
Telekinetic!John

(Telepathic!Sherlock optional, although a really big sensory overload would be pretty epic...)

On it.

I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. EXCITE!

Reader [1/?]

(Anonymous)
I hope this is what you wanted, OP! Also, I'm American, so apologies for any Americanisms that may have slipped in.

In school, they called them readers. Telepathic was the polite term, but children were children. John watched them, sometimes, hovering on the edge of the playground, straight-faced and sour looking. Of course, readers weren’t the only evolved humans out there, but they were the easiest to pick on. It was their abilities, innately knowing someone’s deepest secrets, which made them pariahs. John was cheerfully bland. Power-free and, frankly, a bit chubby. So, he spent his childhood ignoring the sour-faced children on the playground.

He never anticipated that he would live with one.


It turned out that Queen and Country frowned upon uncontrolled superpowers in the military. Go figure. Although, John supposed that having soldiers who could blow up their own guns at any given moment was considerable risk. It was the head injury that did him in. The bullets to the shoulder and leg were enough to earn him a shiny desk job at some base, but when he woke up in the hospital with various bits of gauze, vials of medicine, and one terrified nurse hovering around him, he knew his career was at an end. They said it was the blow to the head, that a strong enough trauma could awaken dormant abilities.

Six months into his flatshare with Sherlock and John is starting to get the hang of things. He sits in the kitchen for an hour and lifts an orange with his mind, watching it shakily hover around in figure eights. He is so caught up in his practice that he doesn’t notice Sherlock enter the room until he slams a jar containing what appears to be a human hand onto the counter. The orange drops to the floor and rolls somewhere under the fridge. John raises his eyebrows.

“Is that a human hand?”

The response is emotionless, “I’m studying the effect of radio waves on dead tissue.”

“So you’ll be needing the microwave again.”

“Yes.”

John sighs and rests his chin in his hand, eying Sherlock with a kind of weary curiosity. He wonders if all readers are like this or it a purely Holmes trait. Mycroft seemed fairly normal in comparison,. Then again, John never had quite figured out what the elder Holmes could do, although part of him wasn’t quite sure he wanted to know.

“He wastes it at that job of his.” Sherlock’s voice comes from over by the microwave. He is holding the hand now, turning it over and over to examine it. John makes a mental note to buy more disinfectant for the kitchen, “I thought we agreed that you would stay out of my head.” The pause is long enough for John to think that Sherlock hadn’t heard him when the other man speaks, “Then stop thinking so loudly.”

John is left spluttering up a response when Sherlock slams the microwave door shut and bounces around the apartment, collecting various, seemingly random, objects. A blanket, a ball of yarn. That’s the problem with living with Sherlock Holmes. He knows what everyone is thinking at all times, always. He never stops to consider that not everyone else does.

He is halfway down the stairs when he calls out, “John! Aren’t you coming? There’s been a murder.”

John is down the stairs thirteen seconds later. The orange lays forgotten.

Re: Reader [1/?]

(Anonymous)
Very nice! I love the background into the world filled with superpowered people you give at the beginning. I look forward to seeing this continued. :D

I LOVE THIS. I LOVE THIS. I LOVE THIS.

Reader [2/?]

(Anonymous)
The murder is enough to keep Sherlock entertained for roughly a day. It’s just a matter of speaking with the right people. Sherlock is in a room with the victim’s father for about sixty seconds before he knows that the father killed the girl to keep her quiet. This gruesome fact doesn’t seem to bother Sherlock in the slightest, but it’s enough to send John up to his bedroom, where he can’t even bring himself to write up their latest case in his blog.

Two hours have passed when John is lured out of his room by the screeching of the violin. Sighing wearily, John limps downstairs, his psychosomatic limp acting up in the face of the stress. He finds Sherlock lounging on the sofa, pausing his music to tune the instrument. The bow swishes through the air as the detective points it at his roommate.

“Ah, John. Good. Your brooding was beginning to get overwhelming.”

John goes on the defensive, “I wasn’t brooding.” Sherlock raises an eyebrow and goes back to tuning his violin.

“Don’t make me quote your thoughts. We both know that you hate that.”


Three straight days of frozen waffles and take-out food is enough to get John shopping. Sherlock makes excuses to stay indoors, but the threat of asking Mrs. Hudson to clean is enough to get Sherlock out of the house, wrapped up in his usual coat, scarf, and gloves, looking for the world like a petulant child. They spend approximately twenty minutes in the supermarket before Sherlock has offended every clerk, terrified an expecting mother, and caused two small children to start crying. John wonders why he even bothers.

As John waits in line, cart full of various cereals for himself and instant coffee for Sherlock, the reader wanders away, somewhere into the back of the store. John feels very much like a nanny who has lost sight of his charge. The elderly woman in front of him insists on paying in coins that she’s clearly saved up since World War II and John clenches his fists and tries to make sure that nothing nearby floats away.

Twenty minutes later, he has paid and wanders toward the back aisles, searching for Sherlock. He finds him on the floor in the frozen food section, his knees drawn up to his chest and the heels of his hands pressed into his eyes. A small crowd of people has gathered, watching the reader like he’s some kind of circus spectacle.

John places the groceries on the floor and pushes his way through the crowd until he is down by Sherlock’s side, hand on his shoulder, “Sherlock?”

Sherlock looks up at him, his face paler than usual, his eyes glazed with a kind of fever, “I’m a bit overwhelmed.”


When they arrive back at the apartment, Mycroft is waiting for them, his usual umbrella in tow. The thought that maybe Mycroft’s umbrella is some sort of sign of his abilityruns through John’s mind and Sherlock has enough energy to mumble, “Wrong” before shouldering past his brother, into his bedroom.

“I see you’ve witnessed one of my brother’s attacks,” Mycroft begins. John stares and shrugs his shoulders in a kind of helpless gesture, as if to say, I guess. If you’ll tell me what that is. He has been doing this gesture a lot recently.

“It’s a bit taxing, hearing the thoughts of others. There’s never any peace. It used to drive him mad, as a child. Our mother – well, you don’t want to hear about that.” John has to catch himself, stop himself from saying, Yes, yes, I do want hear about that because he can hear his mother’s voice in the back of his head, telling him that it’s rude to ask questions. Instead, he settles on a, “Is there anything I can do?”

Mycroft smiles, which is more a flattening of his lips than anything else, “Give him time. And silence. There’s not much else.” He goes to leave and pauses in the doorway, “I am rooting for you, you know. You’re the only who has lasted this long.”

Whether he means flatmates, mystery-solving-partners, or friends, is up in the air.

John averts his eyes, smiles, feels a sudden flush of embarrassment that he can’t quite explain, “It’s never boring.”

Mycroft raises his eyebrows and smiles, a real one, before he exits, leaving John alone with a sickly detective and the skull on the mantle.

“Stop thinking at my skull,” Sherlock calls from the bedroom. “You’re giving me a headache.”

:pulls up a chair and gets comfortable:

Re: Reader [2/?] (Anonymous) Expand

Reader [3a/?]

(Anonymous)
Sherlock rarely eats and so, the next morning, John tries to be helpful and make breakfast. The detective’s bedroom door is closed and, John suspects, locked. Padding into the kitchen in nothing, but a pair of pajama pants and an old t-shirt, John sets about preparing French toast. He isn’t quite certain of his cooking abilities, but his mother always used to make him French toast when he was sick and so, finds the gesture comforting. He forces himself to practice his own talents, using his telekinesis to crack eggs (failure) and pour orange juice (another failure). John is on the floor cleaning up his attempts at kindness when Sherlock’s bedroom door open and the reader stumbles out, bleary eyed, his hair sticking up at odd angles.

“It smells like burnt hair,” he observes and then wanders in the direction of the bathroom. John sighs dramatically, but takes an experimental sniff.

When Sherlock returns, he looks a bit better. Color has returned to his cheeks, his eyes not quite as wild as they were yesterday. He flops down on the sofa with a theatrical air and picks at his fingernails. John finishes up with the floor and sets his roll of paper towels on the counter, walking slowly into the living room. Sherlock doesn’t look up.

“You have questions.”

“You’re letting me say them before you answer them.”

“I’m trying this low profile….thing.” The reader pauses. “So. Ask.”

John hovers awkwardly between the kitchen and the living room, his hands nervously latching on to the base of his t-shirt. He decides that he will remain standing, but sits anyway. “What happened yesterday. At the market. Does that…what was that?”

Sherlock pinches the bridge of his nose, “Cause and effect,” He is silent, but seemingly sensing John’s confusion, he continues, “The human mind is like a computer. It only has a finite amount of space.”

John tries to understand, “So…your brain….filled up. With other people’s thoughts.” It is more a statement than a question.

“Yes.”

There is an awkward silence, heavy in the air. John feels as if he should say something sympathetic, but Hallmark doesn’t exactly sell cards that say things along the lines of, “Sorry you read too many thoughts. I hope your brain is okay.”

“It would be an interesting customer base for them to try out,” observes Sherlock. “Readers are severely unrepresented in the marketplace.” John does not need to remind Sherlock to stay out of his head.

It is 2 PM and John trying to lift a chair with his mind. Sherlock is watching from the safety of the sofa. John can’t help, but think that the detective resembles a highly devious cat. At least if Sherlock had a tail, John could tell what mood the other was in.

“You’re not focusing,” Sherlock states. “I can hear you. Think of the chair and nothing else.” John rolls his eyes, but tries to focus. Chair chair chair – His father smashed a chair into the kitchen floor the night his mother kicked him out. Harry cried into his shoulder and John covered her ears to block out the sound of fighting –

“John,” Sherlock’s voice is cool, commanding. John blinks, shakes his head slightly. Clear. Calm. Think of nothing except his goal. John stares hard, feels his temples ache as his eyes squint with effort. The chair moves a few inches, scraping across the floor, shakes, and lifts two inches into the air before it clatters back down to earth. John feels a swell a pride that he long associated with good grades in medical school.

Sherlock flips on the television, seemingly losing interest once John accomplished his task. The shrill voice of a woman claiming that she don’t know who her baby daddy is fills the room and John finds himself gravitating toward Sherlock, settling next to him on the sofa.

[3b/?]

(Anonymous)
John hits his alarm clock a few times before he realizes that it’s not his clock, but his phone that has been buzzing and he may have texted Harry, “dngkngdfggsd.” He picks up the phone and says pretty much the same thing into the receiver, only to be greeted by the dulcet tones of Mycroft. “John, I’m so glad that I didn’t wake you.” John quietly hates the entire Holmes family. “Calling my esteemed brother is useless. I require his…ah…consultation in a certain matter. Shall I expect you two for tea?”

John does not get to answer because Mycroft hangs up and John wonders if, when the two brothers got the superpowers gene, they somehow missed the one for common courtesy.


He takes his time getting ready because it’s still early and he knows that Sherlock probably didn’t sleep anyway. He’s right. The detective is leaning over the kitchen counter, notepad in hand, observing some kind of light yellow fluid in a jar. John gets about two feet away before he stops in his tracks, sniffs, and wrinkles his brow.

“Is that…..is that urine?”

“It’s not mine,” Sherlock answers, as if that will reassure John, as if there isn’t urine on the place where they eat things. Sherlock glances at John and makes a note in his pad. John doesn’t even attempt to begin to explain everything wrong with this situation. Instead, he turns and heads back to his bedroom.

“Mycroft called. He’s expecting us for tea.” Sherlock manages to take his eyes off the jar of urine long enough to gaze sullenly at his flatmate.

“What’s he missing now?”


It turns out that the British government is not missing an ‘it’, but a ‘who.’ His name is Thomas Hartley. He is a low-level employee who recently fell into the good graces of Her Majesty’s government and was promoted to a higher security clearance. Two days later, his girlfriend is dead, their apartment is in a state of disarray, and Thomas Hartley is missing. The police are quick to conclude that it is a domestic dispute gone wrong, but the British government likes to have a certain degree of finality when it comes to employees involved in murder, especially employees with access to secrets.

The first place they investigate is the apartment. There are the tell-tale signs of a police investigation, which means that Sherlock spends about thirty minutes muttering about respecting a crime scene while John pretends to be able to understand what happened by inspecting the color of the sofa cushions. Sherlock has vanished into the small apartment’s kitchen when he calls out that no, the girlfriend was not murdered here.

“They found her blood everywhere,” John replies, dumbfounded.

“A detail,” says Sherlock, exiting the kitchen, fork in hand. “Catch.” He throws the utensil with surprising force considering his lanky frame and John has about two seconds to think oh my god, there’s a fork coming at my face before the utensil stops mid-air, seems to pause in front of his nose, and then clatters to the floor.

“You’re getting better.” Sherlock is pleased or something close to it.

“I’m not one of your experiments,” John feels his heart slamming against his ribs.

“John,” says Sherlock, almost kindly. “Everything is an experiment.”

Reader [4a/?]

(Anonymous)
These are the facts:

Abigail Gabel, the victim, was a twenty-six year old medical student. She shared an apartment with her boyfriend of two years, the missing Thomas Hartley. On Monday, the dog walker let herself in to the apartment and found Abigail on the floor, her throat slit. The apartment was in a state of disarray, as if a great struggle had taken place and the boyfriend has been missing ever since.

Fortunately, John Watson is a doctor and so, when he and Sherlock go to investigate the body, John says, “I thought you said Hartley was right-handed?” Sherlock says that yes, yes he is and he almost smiles because he knows where this is going and he loves a good plot twist.

“This cut,” He gestures to the poor girl’s throat. “was made by a left-handed person. In fact, I’d say—“

“Herself?” Sherlock’s eyebrows are raised, his lips quirked. John puts his hand to his mouth and stops to think. She didn’t die in the apartment. She didn’t die in the apartment and she killed herself and her body still wound up at home.

Sherlock is positively gleeful on the taxi ride home.

.

The next day, a postcard arrives, addressed to Sherlock. Mrs. Hudson leaves it next to the skull, so that she knows he’ll see it, but it’s John who reads it after two days pass and the not-knowing begins to drive him mad.

“Hey, sexy,” it begins. “Are you enjoying my puzzle? Oh, that poor girl did cry. I’m looking forward to meeting you and your little wind-up soldier very soon.”

Sherlock does not find the postcard as unsettling as John does. Nor does he understand why John bristles at being called a wind-up soldier.

.

It is a Saturday, or John thinks it is a Saturday, when he wakes up someplace he shouldn’t. He comes to in a windowless room, slouched against a cold cement wall. A single light bulb swings back and forth from a string and John feels like he’s walked into a horror movie. His head doesn’t ache and there is no tell-tale symptoms of being drugged. He stretches his mind back, tries to think of what he last remembers. He was – he was discussing the postcard with Sherlock, who sent it, what it could mean. Then, there was a knock on the front door. He went to answer it, could see himself walking down the stairs as clear as day, could see himself opening the door and then – and then –

Nothing. His heart leaps into his chest at the prospect. A variety of explanations flick through his mind, none of them particularly pleasant. Schizophrenia, kidnapping, terrorists –

The door to the room opens, showering John in light from the hall and the soldier squints to keep from being blinded. At first, he can’t see the man that enters, but he can hear him. His voice is silk-smooth and very soft.

“Hello, John. My name’s Jim.”

.

Jim is obscenely polite for a kidnapper. John supposes that that trait is meant to scare more than comfort, but John is a soldier before anything else and he schools his features carefully. Jim is all smiles and bounces about the room with a kind of energy reserved for little children and mental patients.

“So, you met Abigail.” Jim talks about corpses like he talks about old friends. For some reason, John is not surprised by this.

“You killed her.”

Jim smiles, but it is more a baring of teeth, “No, no, Johnny. She killed herself.” He pauses, rolls his shoulders. “I made have made a few suggestions. For instance,” He turns that too white smile on John. “Stand up.

It’s like moving through water. The world slows down and John rises to his feet, although not of his own volition. The realization comes to him with a sickening sweat. Jim is what his schoolmates called a puppeteer. Mind control. The boogeyman of the super powered community, something that John had always assumed was a myth, something created to scare the normals into fearing what they couldn’t understand. Be careful. Those freaks can get in your mind and take you over.

John is afraid.

Reader [4b/?]

(Anonymous)
John doesn’t have a choice when Jim tells him that they are going for a ride. He follows after the man like a dog, his legs moving beyond his control. His mind goes into overdrive, trying to think of some way to get out of this, some way to get free, sherlocksherlocksherlockohgodhelp.

He remembers being twelve and curled up in the schoolyard while two older, stronger boys beat him into the ground. He remembers watching his parents’ marriage falling apart. Most of all, he remembers hating the spiraling feeling of being so out of control. Jim stops and so John does. The man turns, seemingly having sensed the route of John’s thoughts. He reaches out, grabs either side of John’s face and commands, “Stop thinking.

John’s world goes black.

.

When he comes to again, he can feel the tang of the scent of chlorine in his nose and the sticky sweat of humidity on his skin. He is standing next to an indoor pool and there is a gun in his right hand. He cannot move, cannot even flick his eyeballs to the side. He is stuck staring ahead, where his line of vision is filled with Jim’s back and – and Sherlock. The detective looks panicked, or at least his version of panicked, which took John four months to learn to detect. His eyes are widened slightly, lips slightly parted, skin a shade paler than usual.

“Let him go,” says Sherlock.

“Oh nooo,” replies Jim. “Johnny boy and I are having so much fun. Aren’t we, John?” Jim scampers over to John and embraces him from the side, maintaining eye contact with Sherlock. Inside, John flinches, but instead the words, “Yes, of course” come out of his mouth like someone else was saying them. Jim licks John’s cheek and takes a step away.

“He’s my dog now.”

Sherlock looks like someone has just pushed his mother down a flight of stairs and John thinks, get out of here while you can.

“Johnny,” says Jim. “Be a dear and put your gun in your mouth, hm?”

Re: Reader [4b/?] (Anonymous) Expand
The barrel of the gun tastes sour and metallic and reminds John of Afghanistan. He remembers another time, lying in the sand, broken and with blood in his mouth. The gun tastes like then, like a time when he knew that he was going to die. He didn’t die then, but John Watson knows that he will die now. Jim presses close again and his laughter huffs in his ear. John bristles, feels disgust roll through his stomach. Jim pulls away and walks toward to Sherlock.

“John,” he does not turn, does not take his eyes off Sherlock. “pull the trigger.”

Sherlock takes a step forward and John imagines a better world, a world where Mycroft bursts in with the entire British army or Jim stops blocking John’s powers, allowing him to stop the bullet. Neither of these situations happen. What does happen is click.

The gun does not fire.

“Did I forget to mention that?” Jim laughs, turning back to John, fussing with the ex-soldier’s collar. “There’s one bullet in that gun. How far are you willing to go to save your tin man, Sherlock?”

“This isn’t a game.” Sherlock replies stiffly. Jim’s eyes turn serious, angry.

“Everything is a game.” That manic smile is back. “Do you want to hear the rules? You can’t play a game without rules.” John feels drool pool around the gun, tries to swallow, and finds that he can’t. Jim takes Sherlock’s silence as agreement and so, he continues.

“One question. One chance to save Johnny boy. Or kill him.” John feels faint, but know that he couldn’t pass out if he tried. His limbs feel like they are carved out of marble. He is like a living statue. His heart flutters about nervously in his chest and he can’t really form thoughts beyond a single stream of panicked gibberish. Sherlock is frozen in place and then, ever so slightly, he nods, “Alright.”

Jim whirls around, “Ooooh, excellent.” He claps his hands together. “I think you’ve known this was coming. Where,” He pauses, for dramatic effect, John assumes. “is Thomas Hartley?”

The silence following the question is heavy and thick. The only sounds are those of John’s quick breaths. Sherlock tucks his fingertips under his chin, “I can’t read your thoughts.”

“Of course you can’t. Where would be the fun in that?”

John watches Sherlock, watches that machine of a brain work behind his eyes. Jim waits patiently as seconds turn into minutes and John begins to wonder, begins to think that Sherlock doesn’t know, but how could he not know, Sherlock Holmes knows everything –

“Your suit,” says Sherlock, finally, finally. “Your suit is expensive, but not current. It’s been washed more than once.”

“Tick tock, Sherlock. I’m going to need more than that. John, pull that trigger, would you?”

Click. John feels the sting of bile at the back of his throat.

“I’d say it’s at least two years old,” continues Sherlock. “something you could get at a thrift shop if you looked hard enough.” The corners of John’s vision goes black. Gooseflesh rises on his arms.

“John.” Says Jim.

Click.

“But that’s what you were going for. A low-level government stooge wouldn’t be able to afford the latest. Would they, Thomas?”

Jim is silent. Then, he laughs. “Very good</>.” He applauds loudly and it echoes through the room. “John, clap for Sherlock!” The gun clatters to the ground as John’s hands automatically begin to applaud. He feels like he could die right there.

“You’ve had your fun,” says Sherlock. “Let him go.”

“You heard the man, Toto.” Jim glances over his shoulder at John. “Go back to your Dorothy. Run on!” Just like that, control returns back to his muscles and John feels his legs give out under him as he exhales a reflexive, “Christ.” He’s down on his knees when Sherlock rushes toward him. John takes deep, gulping breaths, feels for the gun by his feet. Jim backs toward the door.

“This has been fascinating. I’ve got to tell you, Sherlock, you are everything that I hoped you would be. And let’s not forget my lovely assistant, John!”

John feels Sherlock’s hands on his shoulders, the detective trying to make eye contact with him, but all John can focus on is the gun in his hand. He raises is shakily, aims it at the laughing man in the two-year old suit.

“You going to shoot me, Johnny?”

Ugh, that's part 5. (Anonymous) Expand
Re: Ugh, that's part 5. (Anonymous) Expand
Re: Ugh, that's part 5. (Anonymous) Expand
(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand
(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand
(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand
Writer here! (Anonymous) Expand

Reader [6/7]

(Anonymous)
“Do you think you’ll be able to pull that trigger, good doctor?” Moriarty draws the last letter of the word ‘doctor’ out, sounding, for all the world, like he is purring. John’s hand twitches as he feels the Irishman’s influence return. He feels his fingers stiffen, become paralyzed as Sherlock pulls him to his feet, the detective’s jaw set in a hard, angry line. Moriarty grins and shifts, pulls a gun of his own out of the back of his trousers.

“You don’t think I’d come unprepared to this little show, do you?” He lines up his sights, aims the weapon at John, then at Sherlock, then back to John. “Now, Johnny. Hold still.”

In the next thirty seconds, several things happen. Moriarty’s gun fires. John simultaneously feels himself yanked sideways, Sherlocks fingers like tiny pinpricks of pain in upper arm. He feels the bullet piece his arm as he and Sherlock topple into the swimming pool. For a few seconds, John cannot breathe, pain and water swirling through his lungs and suffocating him. Then he is pulled to the surface, and he pulls in air, gasping in both pain and relief. Another bullet fires, whizzes past his ear, and John, in a daze, watches as it slices through the bloody water – his blood – and embeds into the pool’s floor.

A third bullet hits Sherlock square in the shoulder and the telepath splutters in the water, disappears underneath the surface, and as a fourth bullet cuts through the air, John’s mind suddenly clears and everything seems to slow down. He can see the bullet, as if in slow motion, heading toward them, and suddenly the bullet isn’t moving forward at all, but going back from where it came. In fact, it’s heading at such a speed toward the cackling Irishman that Moriarty doesn’t appear to have time to think before the bullet sinks into his throat. Moriarty lets out a choked noise, drops the gun, which clatters to the tile and slides into the water. He hunches over, palm pressed to his throat as red begins to spill between his fingers.

John has barely time to register the fact that he just shot a man with his brain before the knowledge that Sherlock is still underwater sinks in and he is pulling the detective back up to the surface, holding his head above the water as Sherlock takes deep, pain-filled breaths. He gives the poolside a quick, cursory glance, only to find the space where Moriarty had been struggling a few seconds earlier to be empty. Still, Sherlock has a bullet in his shoulder and John’s instincts kick in as he pulls both himself and the telepath to the side of the pool, struggling out of the water with considerable difficulty.

In a pool of bloody water, the two gather their breaths, Sherlock coughing a bit more than John likes.

“Alright?” John asks.

“Apart from being shot?” Sherlock wheezes.

“Yes.”

“Then, perfectly fine, I suppose.” John laughs breathlessly and rolls onto his back, clutching his injured arm and assessing the injury. The bone is shattered. Sirens sound in the distance.

“That’ll be Mycroft.” Sherlock observes, sitting up with a wince, palm pressed into his shoulder.

“He knew where we were?” John is half tempted to punch Sherlock in his injured shoulder.

“Of course not, but the fact that he didn’t was probably enough to get him to send out the entire British army.” They sit there in silence for a few minutes, listening to the sound of dozens of police officers trampling toward the pool.

“Thank you,” John says. “For pushing me out of the way.” Sherlock tilts his head back, squints up at the ceiling.

“I’d be lost without my reader.”

Reader [7/7] (deanoning because, at this point, idc)

Three days later, the bullet has been removed from Sherlock’s shoulder. John’s arm has been placed in a cast that is to be removed at a time in the distant future. Mrs. Hudson runs about the apart offering tea and kind words of support because Good Lord, dears, you were shot! And kidnapped! Eat a biscuit, dear. Mycroft visits every other day, seemingly indifferent, but John sees the lingering looks he gives his younger brother’s shoulder.

“You stopped the bullet,” Sherlock says, not glancing up from his latest experiment. John doesn’t like the idea of a human skeleton in the kitchen, but he hasn’t said anything because it seems to keep Sherlock from complaining about how the hospital wouldn’t give him narcotics for his pain.

“I did,” says John.

“He’s still out there. Moriarty.”

“With an injury like his, I doubt it.”

Sherlock looks up from the fibula that he is examining and stares at John with a thinly veiled look that says Wrong. John shifts in the armchair, twists so that he can get a better look at the telepath,“You think he survived?” Sherlock goes back to prodding human bones.

“I know it.” John puts the television on mute and pauses to think. Outside, red and blue lights flash, pouring in through the windows.

“Arson,” says Sherlock suddenly. John glances at the window instead of the telepath. “Are you up for it?”

John runs a hand over his cast and thinks of the bullet that he stopped in mid-air, “Always.”

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