I felt I wanted to share it with some of the Sherlock lj communities that have sprung up, because i'll certainly be reading the fic others are writing, and even if mine is very rusty and not really very good, i thought people might want to read.
Interesting thing update: I have a motorbike finally, which has been both terrifying and awesome, luckily more awesome now than terrifying. I'm on twitter at http://twitter.com/mypheralside with a private account if anyone on my flist wants to talk life and whump and fandoms, come find me.
I really hope you guys are all doing great and carrying the fandom whump torch on lj, give me a life update in a comment if you're not too annoyed by my inability to keep up with Lj!
Title: A Better War
Genre: Missing scene for The Blind Banker.
Warnings: None. Just a little whump and comfort (sort of).
Authors Comments: I read this and became happy happy:
"A wide array of complications may occur in survivors of strangulations and near-hangings, including muscle spasms, transient hemiplegia, central cord syndrome, and seizures."
Although i realised that after not writing for years i didn't think i'd be able to sustain more than a quick missing scene or tag, so i went with a missing scene and one small side-effect. Plus i'm not really sure i can do justice to Sherlock's voice, so best to have him talking as little as possible.
This takes place after Sherlock is attacked in Soo Lin's apartment, picking up from where they walk down the street.
"I'm fine," Sherlock replied, coughing and tugging at his shirt collar as if he needed it loostened. He darted suddenly to the left and shot his and up for a taxi, almost taking John out in the process.
"Taxi!" he called, or rather tried to call, emitting nothing but a pathetic croak. Luckily the passing cab didn't care and pulled in, and Sherlock dived for the door, scooting over to make space for John and creasing into a small coughing fit. John eased the door shut and, with his eyes cast sideways at his coughing flatmate, gave the driver their destination.
The taxi pulled gently into the traffic, the sounds of the surrounding vehicles muffled. Sherlock's coughs subsided to the odd huff as his throat caught, and he turned his head towards the traffic, closing his eyes briefly. John tried surreptitiously to watch him, never quite sure whether Sherlock was paying attention or not. He wasn't yet used to the way the man seemed to be completely oblivious one second and then hyper-aware the next, and how both states seemed to look frustratingly identical. He was pale, but that really wasn't saying much, and John gave up all pretense and turned his head to look as Sherlock removed his scarf far too carefully, his eyes still closed.
If he was honest with himself, Sherlock's erratic nature was exactly what made him such an appealing companion, although even that word sounded too chummy... just 'company' perhaps. His frenzied behaviour and the floods of thought he frequently spoke out loud filled a hollow gap in John's stomach that had been eating him up since he had returned from the war and found normal life to be a million shades of grey.
Sherlock was a black and a white all at once, changing so fast that it brought John to life just being around him. He was merciless like the war, one second he made you feel worthless with his careless derision and the next he seemed to have targeted you specifically with his insults. John remembered thinking the same of the fighting in Afghanistan - one day the battle seemed oblivious to you as it destroyed anything within its reach, making you feel tiny and meaningless - the next it would seem that a bullet was made specifically for you, and all the world was out to get you.
Mycroft was right, he found, he missed the war. And Sherlock was his replacement. Sherlock was his war.
A noise made John jump and Sherlock jerked beside him, grasping for his neck and letting out a strangled choke as he pitched forward, his mouth open and gasping for air.
"Woah!" John reached out and copped a flailing hand in the face for his trouble as Sherlock tried to push him away. He raised his hands placatingly and leant back as the man gripped the taxi seat beneath him and heaved for breath, leaning forward, his throat only letting in small whining snatches of air. John watched, wincing, keeping a keen eye in case he needed to intervene, but after a few seconds of desperate gasping Sherlock suddenly got a full breath of air and collapsed somewhat, curling down to allow his head to rest on his knees, breathing hard.
John realised distractedly that the taxi was pulling over, the driver no doubt worried about the commotion. He put a cautious hand on Sherlock's shoulder, strengthening his grip when the man didn't try to throw him off.
"Do you want me to drive you to the hospital?" the driver called out from the front of the cab.
"No!" Sherlock croaked, jerking up quickly, "no I'm fine." Coughing followed and John gently pushed his friend's shoulder until he leant back against the taxi seat.
"I'm not that much of an idiot," John answered, concern etched on his face. "I know you said breathing was dull but i didn't think you were quite this serious."
He frowned as Sherlock calmed his coughs and leant back a bit, "Your neck's red... something did happen in that flat didn't it?" He reached for the detective's neck and pushed his collar back, peering a little closer at the pink band around his neck. "These are like strangulation marks, were you fighting with someone??" John couldn't keep the incredulation from his voice.
"They fought, I asphyxiated." Sherlock answered, his voice sore and catching, his breathing still fast and deep, trying to make up for lost oxygen.
"You passed out??" John asked, his voice rising a pitch as his eyebrows look a similar climb skyward. "Yes, the hospital please," he said, turning to the driver.
"No!" said Sherlock again, a little more forcefully this time. "I'm fine, to the Museum, go. Go!" His last command was issued loud enough to convince the driver, who turned back to the wheel with a shrug.
"Sorry..." John trailed off, unsure if the cabbie has heard him and feeling a little stupid saying it at the same time. The taxi moved back into the traffic and he looked back at the detective, his eyes now closed and head tipped back to lean on the top of the seat.
"Losing consciousness and strangulation are not everyday occurances you know," John said in frustration. "There can be complications, that was probably a muscle spasm due to the pressure applied to the muscle - it might happen again, worse might happen."
Sherlock opened his eyes and lifted his head. "Well then," he said, his voice a little steadier and a collected smile adorning his lips, "you'll just have to keep an eye on me won't you, you are a doctor."
"I.. you can't... me being a doctor isn't going to help a whole lot if your throat closes over in a taxi!" John spared an apologetic glance at the driver who appeared to be getting concerned again, and lowered his voice, "We need to get you looked over at a hospital."
Sherlock exuded condescension, apparently regaining much of his composure, "You're rather exaggerating the potential neurologic sequelae of strangulation and momentary loss of consciousness, and the last thing I want to do is go to a hospital where hordes of imbiciles will make me sit in a waiting room for hours and then exaggerate at me in the same way."
The detective turned decisively towards the window, staring out at the passing streets.
John stared angrily at the man for a few seconds, before sitting back firmly with his lips pursed in annoyance. The taxi banked left and he watched pedestrians and shop-fronts flash by in a wash of colours, distant cars honking and people teetering on the road edge, looking for gaps to dart out and cross. He heard an awkward grunt from beside him as Sherlock delicately cleared his throat.
"Your concern is appreciated, however." The detective said, as if he were addressing some foreign dignitary he had just met and with whom he had been instructed to be civil.
John smiled and decided Sherlock was not just a replacement, but a better battle than the one he had left in Afghanistan.