Fandom: BBC Sherlock
Word count: 1145
Warnings: Reichenbach Fall-related angst; alternate ending to episode; spoilery warning for temporary character death (highlight to read)
A/N: Day 7 of my August fic challenge. This is a timestamp for Do More Than Belong for reticento who asked for John testing the limits of his Healing power. Although it may seem weird, I want to thank hir so much for requesting this because I did not know that I had this story to tell and I don't remember the last time I had an idea grab me so hard. This world concept has opened up for me in a way I never expected, which I find wonderful. So I hope you all enjoy!
Fair warning: this really won't make much sense without having read the original story. The title is from a quote by Patrick Overton.
Also available on AO3.
Summary: For all of his Sight, Sherlock couldn't find a way to escape Moriarty's final problem. John absolutely refuses to let that be the last mistake Sherlock ever makes.
This wasn't happening.
"Goodbye, John," Sherlock said, in a terribly final way.
"No," John said firmly. Because reality was going to reassert itself any moment now and Sherlock wouldn't be on that ledge trying to break John's heart. He wouldn't. "Don't."
Sherlock stood there for a long moment, wordlessly, and it was like watching slow motion running far too quickly when his mobile fell away from his ear and his arms stretched wide and he… and he-
"No," John said again, and desperately, "Sherlock!"
John ran, eyes fixed on his impossible madman as he tumbled gracelessly through the air. He didn't see the bicycle, barely saw the ground when it slammed into his face. He vaguely noticed the people crowding around Sherlock's crumpled form, but only because they were in his way. He pushed through them and dropped to his knees at Sherlock's side - a needle drawn to its compass north once again.
Hands snatched at him, trying to pull him away, but John might as well have been the Rock of Gibraltar for all the difference it made. He wasn't going anywhere.
Sherlock was a mess of blood and twisted limbs, and John shunted aside the part of him that was screaming in favour of the doctor's calm under fire, the intimate knowledge that there would be time to panic later. He reached out and his Quality snapped to life inside of him, the spark of his Healing just waiting to be unleashed.
John fumbled desperately for Sherlock's wrist, ignoring the unnatural slide of bones under the skin, searching for a pulse. If there was a pulse, then John could fix him. Or at least fix him enough to give the doctors the opportunity to do the rest. They were right outside the bloody hospital - surely John could keep him alive that long.
There wasn't a pulse.
It didn't matter.
John laid his hands down, one over Sherlock's heart and the other on his head: the two most powerful points of contact. The amount of power he sent slamming into Sherlock could have regrown an entire limb, he was sure, but Sherlock didn't so much as twitch. So John gritted his teeth and dug in, looking for the best way to put Sherlock back together again.
The bones were first. John focused exclusively on the ones that were causing real problems, like the rib that had punctured his lung. The fractured wrist and the broken collarbone would have to wait for someone who had power to spare; John had so much yet to do.
John's Healing scoured Sherlock's body, seeking out damage and danger until John was dizzy with the constant, endless draw of power.
The hands again, clasping instead of pulling, and the murmur of voices telling him to stop, that he was killing himself, that it was too late. John ignored them. They wouldn't dare move him now, not when it was as good as a death sentence to wrench him away and give his Quality nowhere to focus itself.
They didn't understand anyway.
At this moment, with Sherlock broken and empty under his hands, John couldn't have cared less whether he killed himself or not.
Which was probably good, because he was certainly making a good go of it. John was being sucked dry from the inside, heart and soul and Healing draining through his fingers and sinking into Sherlock's lax body. He re-knit Sherlock's organs and smoothed torn skin and mended broken veins, but he couldn't find the spark of life he so desperately needed.
John. didn't have training for this. He was floundering his way around based on field experience and intuition, but John knew that if he didn't do something now, no one else would be in time to help.
Nothing can help, an insidious voice in his head hissed. It kept going, one endless hiss of incrimination, he's dead, he's dead, Sherlock's dead and it's too late, it's always been too late…
Blackness threatened the edges of John's vision. There was a high-pitched ringing in his ears, and John knew that he was inches away from passing out, or worse. If he lost consciousness now, while he was still tapped into his Healing, John wasn't sure that even being right outside St. Bart's would be enough to let him survive.
John kept pushing, willing his Healing to do the impossible. Begging that it would be enou-
It nearly jerked John out of his Healing trance entirely, so unexpected was that sound. His own body's imminent failure forgotten, John focused on Sherlock's heart, pouring every last shred of himself into Sherlock's body. He stilled, listening with every sense he could.
Ba-dum. Ba-dum. Ba-dum.
The hands on his arms were suddenly a boon when they kept John from collapsing on top of Sherlock in a mess of relief and bone-deep exhaustion. Sherlock's heart continued to beat, its rhythm slow but undeniably real, and John turned the dregs of his Healing to the brain, heart in his throat as he scanned it for activity. Sherlock would never forgive him - hell, he'd never forgive himself - if Sherlock survived this only to live the rest of his life as a vegetable.
Brain activity was normal. For a relative definition of 'normal' since this was Sherlock and no one's brain worked quite properly immediately after a major accident, but John would take what he could get.
And right now, that was Sherlock, suffering but alive. Alive.
Breaking the connection nearly knocked John out entirely. His fingers twitched spasmodically against the front of Sherlock's shirt, in the snarls of Sherlock's hair, and John wasn't sure he could have lifted his arms if his life depended on it.
It took him three tries to speak, and his voice still came out paper-thin. "A&E," he managed. "He's-"
Someone - or more likely several someones given the number of hands John thought he could feel on his body - pulled him carefully to his feet. John couldn't look away from the shallow rise and fall of Sherlock's chest. Two sets of orderlies pushing gurneys materialized out of the crowd; Sherlock was lifted onto one and John got pushed down on the other.
The world spun violently as soon as the gurney was in motion and John shut his eyes against the dizzying sensation. He was definitely going to pass out within the next thirty seconds. Hopefully he'd wake up again, and preferably not locked in a top secret government facility.
In those last few moments of consciousness, while John was wheeled into building under the eyes of far too many witnesses, he had the absent, borderline hysterical thought that he'd have to revise his belief that his Healing was somewhere around Level 7.
Because apparently, when he really meant it, he could bring a dead man back to life.