Disclaimer: I own nothing recognizable.
John's squad had been on call that night, and it was a night to remember.
Several dozen bombings had taken place in the space of just a few minutes, and utter chaos ruled the scene.
Vehicles opened up like sardine cans, bodies twisted past recognition- it was a nightmare scene for even the most hardened war vet to experience.
The wreckage was still burning when they arrived to help, and John was the first man to wade through the twisted metal and flames to try and approach the only, mostly intact, vehicle left.
As soon as he touched the door it fell off. The driver was dead, but the passenger in the backseat was still breathing- if only in labored gasps.
"I've got a live one here!" He shouted to his teammates as he climbed into the unstable wreck to aid the injured man.
"Civilian, caucasian, mid to late twenties, low BP, labored breathing, unconscious." He called out as his team arrived.
They managed to get the man out before his car too blew up. He was the only survivor that they found.
It was hard work trying to save the man's life, but John never gave up. After three hours of surgery they had finally stabilized their mystery man and moved him to the recovery bay.
He was too unstable to transport until he woke up so they had to keep him for a while, and as John's unit was coming off rotation he decided to keep an extra eye on the mystery man even though he wasn't a part of the support staff and therefore shouldn't be in the recovery ward except for emergencies.
And so that was why John was present three days later when the man- no-one could find any information on him anywhere and so they still didn't have a name to call him by- finally opened his eyes.
"Hello there, Sleeping Beauty, I'm glad to see you're finally awake." John said idly as he checked the patients vitals manually.
"How..." The man began before his voice gave out. John helped him to take a drink of water before attempting to answer the half verbalized question.
"How did you get here?" At the man's nod, John explained.
"We were called out to a bombing site a few days ago, we found you and we brought you back here for emergency surgery. Now that you're awake you'll probably be transferred to a better hospital further behind enemy lines." John paused here, unable to decide if he should tell the just awoken man that he was the only survivor or not.
"Who else?" Came the quiet query, firmly taking the choice from the doctor. With a sad smile and kind eyes firmly trained on the patient, John answered.
"I'm sorry, but you were the only one we found alive." Instead of the expected shock from hearing such news, the man simply gave a satisfied smile and closed his eyes to sleep some more.
It took two days to arrange nonemergency medical transport for the civilian, and in that time they had learned a bit more about the mystery man- though not nearly enough to satisfy the gossipy soldiers.
His name was Jim, but he refused to give a surname to accompany his proper one- he said it wasn't of importance.
He worked as a consultant, but refused to say anymore about his work than that.
He was quite the charmer and had every member of his support staff wrapped around his finger by the end of his first day of consciousness, but he only had eyes for John- or at least that was the rumor that had started after Jim's fifth inquiry about the blonde doctor that he had first woken up to. He seemed quite put out when he realized that John wasn't his active-care doctor.
The day of the transfer came, and with it a request from Jim to speak with John before he was loaded into the ambulance.
Hurrying to see the patient he hadn't laid eyes on since the man had regained his senses, John wondered at what they could possibly have to say to each other.
"Johnny!" Jim, who was still attached to heavy pain killers and so could be forgiven such excesses of emotion, called out in glee as he caught sight of the doctor.
"Hello." John said as he sat on the edge of the narrow cot.
"What? Am I not your 'Beauty' today?" Jim asked playfully, but before John could answer- he had hoped that Jim had still been too out of it to remember that embarrassing comment- the injured man put on a serious expression.
"Dr. Watson, I just wanted to thank you personally for saving my life." Holding up a hand, Jim cut off John's attempts at modesty.
"No, let me finish. I've talked to everyone who would talk about what happened that day, and they all say the same thing: you risked your own life to pull a half dead man from a burning wreck, you then slaved away for several hours in surgery on said man. I asked the doctor who's been keeping tabs on me just what my chances of survival really had been before you saved me. Do you know what he said?" When no response came he continued.
"He said that, considering the extent of my injuries, I should have died- if not in the car then on the operating table. He said that no-one else could have saved my life but you." John tried to protest, but Jim would have none of it.
"You saved me, and only you could have done it. You are a miracle worker John, my personal miracle worker. I owe you my life, and that's a debt that I intend to someday pay." John began to protest, but just then the nurses showed up to cart Jim outside to the awaiting ambulance.
"Someday, Johnny. Someday!" Jim called out to the befuddled doctor just before the doors shut and he was taken away.
He had just been released from the hospital the day before after several grueling months of intense treatment and physical therapy, and was now sitting in a cafe, nursing a really bad cup of tea, and trying not to think of the sudden turn his life had taken.
He had been a great surgeon- one of the best that the Army had and they knew it- but now his hand trembled too much to even keep his cuppa steady long enough to finish a sip.
He'd had the body of a Greek God- or at least that's what all his previous lovers had told him- but now he had a limp and couldn't put strain on his left shoulder, he knew all his muscle tone would be long gone far too soon.
He'd had friends galore, now he only had Harry to talk to- she'd come by the hospital once, drunk, handed him her old phone and told him to keep in touch. She had been his only visitor since his return to England.
Downing the last of his now cold tea, John decided that he couldn't put off returning to the depressing flat that Ella had found for him. And that was another thing about his life that he hated at the moment: Ella.
She was a good enough therapist, and if he were some idiot civilian then he would find her to be a pleasant enough confidant; but he wasn't and he didn't and she just didn't seem to get that.
He is- was- a soldier. He had looked men dead in the eye and shot them.
He was- is- a doctor. He had taken the men he had shot and stitched them up again with nothing more than a spool of wire and a fishing hook- you sometimes simply had to make do on the front lines with anything you had on hand.
He understood that he had problems, he'd be an idiot not to, but he just couldn't understand how this soft, pressed-suit, never been in a fire-fight, probably thought being late for a manicure was a life-crisis woman was supposed to help him.
Taking a deep breath, and dispelling the line of thought that had distracted him there for a moment, John began to stand to leave.
A hand- thankfully on his right shoulder- gently pushed him back down.
"You're not leaving yet, are you Johnny?" Repressing the urge to grab for his gun at the surprise- it was still back at his flat anyway- John took a moment to look over the suit wearing man that had just taken the seat across from him, trying to place where he'd seem that face at before.
It suddenly clicked.
"Jim?" The brunette's eyes lit up at being remembered.
"So you remember me! Do you also remember what I promised you?" John gave a short nod.
"You said you wanted to repay a perceived debt that you owed me, but that really isn't necessary." His protests were waved off.
"Nonsense. If I think it's necessary then it is necessary." Realizing that he was slowly losing the argument, and not really seeing a point in having one in the first place, John decided to just see what this man- whom he hadn't seen in years- wanted.
"Well, let's start with a new place for you to live. We can see what else needs doing after that." Was the immediate reply.
'Just what have I gotten myself mixed up in?' John thought, and immediately followed it up with:
'And who exactly is this 'Jim' anyway?'