Sherlock BBC Fic: Take My Hand, Knot Your Fingers Through Mine
current mood: uncomfortable
current song: Open Your Eyes - Snow Patrol
Title: Take My Hand, Knot Your Fingers Through Mine
Characters/Pairings: Sherlock/John pre-slash (or very close friendship)
Word Count:: 1,900
Rating/Warnings: PG13, for vague descriptions of injuries and some angst
Disclaimer: I do not own Sherlock.
Summary: “I know this is an inconvenience for you, but I would really rather you were awake right now, John.” John is unconscious, and Sherlock decides to talk to him anyway.
A/N: Inspired by the song Open Your Eyes by Snow Patrol, and written as always, for Jenny (and DAVE). <3
Rain isn’t falling from the sky in a steady pitter patter of drops; rather it is drenching the world in a fine, omnipresent fog that is nearly indistinguishable from the very mist that Sherlock exhales. When Sherlock opens his eyes, it’s all that he can see. He thinks, John.
John is an ever present fixation in Sherlock’s thoughts these days. Some might call it an obsession, but they would be wrong, because obsession is how Sherlock feels about cases and bodies. Obsession is a manic sort of thing, frantic and wild. John instead lingers comfortably in the back of Sherlock’s mind, not always at the forefront, but always there nonetheless.
Sherlock blinks, and again he thinks, John. He fans out his hands as if to search for John, but all his fingers come into contact with is the cold, rough ground. He runs his finger along it experimentally and he thinks, road.
Sherlock breathes, the bitter air burning his lungs, and looks around, wondering why on earth he is lying in the middle of a road. There are a few cars, specifically a black cab that he could have sworn he was riding in only a moment ago. It’s turned on its side. Or maybe Sherlock is turned on his side. He isn’t sure anymore. Sherlock sees the (maybe) overturned cab, and the broken glass littering the ground (peppering his skin, grinding against his palms), and the lights (dim yellow streetlights, twinkling). He inhales the biting air again and thinks-
sleek roads, screeching tires, he’s thrown against John, glass breaking, soaring FLYING crashing, where is John, JOHN-
Sherlock gasps painfully, and he doesn’t think, he knows, car crash. He replays it in his mind-
-the leather of the seats against his skin, empty roads and wondering thoughts and then CRASH, John being thrown from side to side, he’s lost track of him, where IS he, JOHN-
-and he is able to distance himself and calculate trajectories, angles, distances, data, until he has a mental picture of the scene, all laid out like a map inside his head. There are a couple of other people somewhere in the debris (like the cab driver, still nestled safely inside his vehicle by Sherlock’s approximation), but none of them matter, even if John would scowl at him for thinking that. They mean absolutely nothing, because right there, like magnetic north, is John.
Sherlock looks and he can just see him, a blond haired man lying just outside the cab. Not moving. John.
Sherlock tries to shout, but his throat feels rubbed raw by the cold, and his voice comes out cracked and weak, useless for calling out to anyone. Sherlock’s hands turn to fists. He hates feeling useless. Taking another breath, he manages to cry out, “JOHN.” His voice breaks partway through and he coughs violently, his throat aching.
And he’s still useless, because John is still lying crumpled and unmoving. Why isn’t he moving? Sherlock called him, he quite obviously needs him, so John really should be responding by now. Unconscious, Sherlock thinks. Maybe. Perhaps even dead (no).
If there’s one thing that can be said of Sherlock, it's that he hates not knowing, especially when it comes to John. Narrowing his eyes, Sherlock flattens his palm against the road and heaves himself onto his stomach with a grunt, ignoring the ache he feels from the movement. His breathing is heavier, that simple exertion draining him, but John is there, right there, and Sherlock is so close.
Sherlock fixes his gaze on John and begins to crawl. It’s not crawling as he did in nursery, as then crawling was simply a mode of transportation; neither is it a frantic yet exhilarating scramble through the narrow sewer tunnels of London to find evidence. No, this is an exhausting and desperate sort of crawling. It’s steadily putting one arm in front of the other and dragging himself across the tar, feeling his body scrape against the ground as he gradually inches himself forward. It’s painful, it’s tedious, it’s torturous.
As he gets closer, John’s face begins to come into detail. Cuts and bruises litter the doctor’s face, and with his eyes closed he almost has the appearance of sleeping. No good, Sherlock thinks, and tries to crawl faster. His palms sting and the tips of his fingers feel numb, but he really is close this time, almost able to touch John.
“John,” he pants, frozen in place for just a moment as he waits for a response. The intake of a breath, the wrinkling of a forehead, the, “Sherlock, don’t you understand I’m trying to sleep here?” that should be coming. Any minute now. Please.
He pulls himself forward and grabs John’s wrist, the skin smooth and cool, not at all like how Sherlock would have pictured it. John’s skin should be warmer than that, shouldn’t it? Frantically, he feels for a pulse, waiting one second, two (oh god no)-
There. A beating heart, steady and sure. Sherlock almost collapses from relief. “John,” he breathes. For a moment he closes his eyes while counting John’s heartbeats and simply is. And then-
Not dead, merely unconscious, but is he all right? What about concussions, trauma, limps that aren’t psychosomatic, nights of hospital beds and pain, comas, and ARE YOU ALL RIGHT-
-thoughts come rushing back in. Sherlock’s eyes snap back open. “John,” he says, gripping the other man’s wrist tighter. He lets go for one (terrifying) moment and shoves against John’s arm. John doesn’t even wince, his face blank and devoid of clues in unconsciousness.
“I know this is an inconvenience for you, but I would really rather you were awake right now, John,” Sherlock says, putting his hand back on John’s wrist. The relief in his expression when he rediscovers the pulse is minute, but more than anyone else has ever elicited out of Sherlock.
Sherlock scowls regardless. “And you call me the idiot. You’re the one who got yourself knocked unconscious. I even had dinner plans for us tonight. We were going to go to that new Indian place you wanted to try.” Sherlock wrinkles his nose. “I was going to criticize your restaurant choice actually, a bit of a dump that. The food would have been dull, predictably, and afterward you would have agreed that we should just stick to Angelo’s.” Sherlock has the feeling that if John had been conscious, he would have rolled his eyes, but smiled indulgently. John does that. Indulges Sherlock, that is. It feels…nice, when he does.
Sherlock drags himself across the road once more, so that he and John Watson are lying side by side, only a foot of space separating them. Much better. Sherlock sighs and moves his hand so that it’s grasping John’s hand instead of his wrist. The skin of John’s hand is rough and it warms slightly in Sherlock’s grasp. Yes, this is much better.
Except that John’s eyes are still closed. Sherlock holds John’s hand tighter, running his thumb over his palm. “Maybe after the Indian I would have taken you to the cinema,” he says, staring at the hypnotic lines and scars of John’s hand. John’s hands are unlike any others’ (this is actually true of all hands, but these ones are John’s, which makes them special). “I do hate the cinema,” Sherlock adds. “It’s unbelievably dull. I’d probably get us kicked out by the second half of the film to be honest. But you love going, and you’d be surprised if I took you.” Sherlock’s eyes dart up to John’s face. “I enjoy surprising you for some reason,” he breathes, watching his breath fan over John’s face, watching the other man breathe it in. There is something wonderfully satisfying about his carbon dioxide sneaking its way into John’s lungs. He breathes several more times, watching as John inhales in turn, and it never grows dull.
He squeezes in closer to John, so that John’s forehead is resting against his cheek. His skin is cool, and as Sherlock closes his eyes, he thinks that he could spend hours like this, memorizing the stress lines of John’s forehead. “After the film I suppose we would have just sat at home. Watched telly,” Sherlock says, but can’t manage to put much disdain in his tone. “It was going to be horribly dull the next few days, but tonight would have been manageable.”
In fact, it would have been more than manageable. It would have been comfortable, a sort of equilibrium that Sherlock had never been able to reach on his own. It would have been brilliant. “We are rather brilliant together,” Sherlock dares to say aloud, rubbing his cheek ever so slightly against John’s forehead. He can feel every point where they’re touching at their faces and hands. Sherlock tentatively reaches out his foot and touches it to John’s.
“Being polite is unnecessary and distracting, as you well know, but insist on disregarding,” Sherlock says. He pauses for a long moment, closing his eyes and cradling John next to him. His John. “But please wake up?”
If this was one of those films that Sherlock wanted to take him to, John’s eyes would have fluttered open and Sherlock would have held his face in his hands and maybe even shed a tear or two. As it is, John continues to breathe, and that’s enough for Sherlock. From beneath his eyelids he can see red and blue light flashing across his vision, and thinks finally. He only holds John closer though, pressing his face into his hair and inhaling the scent of rain and John.
Sherlock stills as John shifts. He looks down to see John’s blue eyes looking blearily up at him. “What’re you doing?” John mumbles, eyes half focused and full of exhaustion. But there’s a smile at the edge of his lips, a sort of fondness that makes Sherlock smile too.
“Nothing. Everything’s fine, John,” Sherlock says, moving his hand to comb through John’s hair in what he hopes is a comforting manner. John is too weary to question Sherlock, instead pressing into the touch. “Can I go back to sleep now?” he breathes, his exhale misting out into the air Sherlock breathes. Sherlock quickly inhales to catch John’s particles of carbon dioxide.
“Sherlock,” John sighs, sounding exhausted, but entirely unworried. Like nothing is even wrong. Sherlock tightens his grip on John and nods. “Go to sleep, John.” Though John’s eyes are finally open, Sherlock’s hand still running through John’s hair of its own accord. Blue and red lights come closer and he feels himself settle back into their perfect equilibrium. Oh yes, they are brilliant.
When he looks down, John is staring at him with a goofy kind of smile on his face. Sherlock’s eyebrows furrow. “What?”
“Nothing,” John says sleepily. “You were just smiling.”
Of course Sherlock is smiling. John is alive, and his eyes are open, and everything it all right again. Sherlock buries his face in John’s hair so that John can feel his smile too.
John hums appreciatively before sighing. “Sherlock? Can I close my eyes now?”
Sherlock pulls away to see John struggling to keep his eyes open. Sherlock doesn’t especially want John to close his eyes, but he’s been known to make the occasional sacrifice when it comes to John, so he nods. “Yes,” he says. “When you wake up, maybe we’ll go out to dinner.”
“That sounds nice,” John mumbles, already half asleep.
Sherlock smiles to himself. “Yes, I rather think it does.”