Author's note: This story takes place immediately after Season two, episode two, The Hounds of Baskerville. I got the idea as I was watching the show for the first time and it wouldn't leave me alone. I wrote it, then set it aside as I worked on other things. I discovered it the other day, and decided it was time to post. Let me say again, this story was written and is based on the characters as they existed only to this point in season two and does not take into account anything that has happened since. Thank you to TraSan and thank you all for taking the time to stop by and read. Huge hugs for all!

Legacy of the Hound

He was terrified. It was a novel sensation, and certainly far from boring. Terror. It blew the cobwebs away with the force of a jet engine, it also pecked away at rationality with a firm hand, slowly ticking away until there was nothing left but the overwhelming desire for action, and he couldn't act, if he did, it would all be over. And that thought, that single thought right there—it terrified him even more.

"John, please…"

Sherlock held out a trembling hand, an offer of—peace? Security? Friendship? No, not friendship, that thought was bitter. He had brought this down on the one person on earth that cared enough to stand behind him no matter what the cost. The man who, on the second night they had known each other, had killed a man to save his life—and now they were here because of a stupid, selfish need to test a theory. He should have used himself, but then how could he know? Why, why had he used John? The question would haunt him forever, and if the next few seconds played out the way it looked like they might, it would more than haunt him.

It would be his ruin.

Several Hours Before

"Please tell me there is something," Sherlock said as he paced around the flat. They'd returned from Dartmoor two days before.

"Nothing on the website, nothing in the papers. Sorry, Sherlock," John said. Sherlock frowned and looked over at the doctor, there was something off in his voice. Looking closer, he noticed the dark bags under John's eyes and the smallest tremor as he picked up his cup of tea from the table. "You could call Lestrade."

"Call Lestrade? Really, John, I would rather wander the streets peering in windows than call Lestrade." He looked out the window. "Why are people just walking around, not doing anything interesting? Why?"

"Well, I'm sure someone will run rabid any second now to amuse you," John snapped, slamming his cup down. Sherlock turned from the window. The reaction was utterly surprising from his friend. "Sorry, I'm sorry." John picked up the cup and went into the kitchen.

That was when Sherlock noticed the slight limp. At first he thought he was mistaken—or maybe John's foot had fallen asleep as it tended to do when he sat too long in one position. But no, this was different. The way his leg dragged slightly was different. It reminded Sherlock of the man who had walked into Bart's so long ago, leaning heavily on a cane. He shifted to get a better view of the kitchen as John put his cup down—and there was something else, John's left hand—the doctor clenched his hand, moving the fingers to still a tremor.

"I'm going to bed," John said without turning around. He limped out of the kitchen and headed up the stairs. He was leaning heavily on the bannister, using it as he once had used the cane.

Sherlock stepped silently across the floor, watching as John walked. Once he was sure he was out of sight, John was barely able to stand, each step looked like an agonizing movement forward. As soon as he reached the top of the stairs he stumbled to the wall and used it to hold him up until he made it into his room.

Frowning, Sherlock went to his chair, tucked his feet under him and leaned his chin on his hands. His boredom was gone, in its place a puzzle—John Watson. As far as he knew, the doctor hadn't been injured on their latest case, and while a turned ankle could happen at any time, it didn't explain the hand tremor. When had that started? Sherlock closed his eyes, thinking. Had it been on that bright morning after Baskerville? John had held the mug in both hands, but the night before it had been John's steady hand and marksman's eye that had brought down the hound.

John had been out of temper since they got home. Of course one of the experiments in the kitchen had decided to escape its prison and had left a strange colored foam over half the room. The smell had disappeared quickly, but one of John's favorite pairs of shoes was no longer brown but an odd chartreuse. Sherlock really didn't see why that set John off, after all, the foam had ruined four other experiments in its expansion and Sherlock had just accepted it as the way things happened sometimes. Still, John had thrown the shoes out the window and stormed out, not returning until late in the evening.

He'd been limping. The memory flashed in front of Sherlock's eyes. He'd been watching for John's return, and the doctor had been limping, but as he came up the stairs the limp had disappeared, so Sherlock had wondered if he'd imagined it. Why had he dismissed it so quickly? John had sat reading quietly for an hour before going up far earlier than usual. He'd come back downstairs briefly, then went back up again.

Sherlock remembered John had gone to his cupboard. They each had one, considered sacrosanct. Now, thinking about it, Sherlock went to John's cupboard and opened it. It was mostly mundane, he nearly closed it when a bottle caught his eye. Pulling it out, he stared down at the sleeping medication. It was a high dose of a powerful sedative. The date on it was from months before—when they had first met in fact. Had John taken one the night before? Had he taken one tonight? He'd opened the cupboard before going upstairs. Why? Why did he need them?

What was going on?

Sherlock went back to his chair, staring at John's as if it could give him and answer. Now that it was in front of him, running like an old silent film—jerky and too fast in some parts, too slow in others—he could see that John had been far from his usual self since they'd returned. Since they'd been apart most of the day the day before, Sherlock had no idea if John had received an unsettling phone call. He spotted John's phone on the table beside his chair—that in itself was out of the ordinary, he always had it with him. Sherlock picked it up and scrolled through the call log. The only calls and texts were from him, nothing else. The last one was from this morning when John had disappeared for several hours and Sherlock had texted him to come home and John had replied—uncharacteristically—to leave him alone, although in far cruder language.

Why hadn't he noticed that? John rarely spoke that way, even when he was furious.

Right in front of him all the time, the answer to his boredom, and he missed it. Sherlock was annoyed with himself. What could it be? The doctor was between women, could that be it? No, that was quickly dismissed. John had been through several and while he occasionally got moody, it had only lasted a day or two.

And that didn't explain the limp…

Sherlock's musings were shattered by the scream of anguished terror from the top floor. He was moving before his mind had time to tell his legs to move, flying up the stairs in three bounds and slamming open John's door. He turned on the light. John was sitting up in bed, shaking, his head in his hands.


"It's nothing, I'm fine, go away."

Sherlock took half a step into the room, then stopped and turned away. John had actually flinched as he approached. As he closed the door, Sherlock realized that flinch had hurt, physically hurt him. It had hit him somewhere in the solar plexus and felt like a solid punch.

He had taken one step from the door when the realization of it all slammed into him with far more force than that single punch. He was sweating, his hands shaking with reaction. In another step, he started to feel his legs go, and he slid down the wall, ending up on the floor next to the door to John's room, his own head in his hands.

The drugs. The drugs he'd exposed John to had somehow reached into the part of his friend that John kept hidden from view, the part they never talked about, the part that had sent him home from the war and left him a cripple. Now it was his fault that John was suffering, trapped back in that place again, all because of… Damn. Sherlock leaned against the wall. John might not want him in the room, but he wouldn't leave him alone.

Half an hour later, John was crying out again. Sherlock opened the door and this time John wasn't awake, he was still trapped back in the war. He reached out to gently wake John, laying a careful hand on his shoulder and John was awake.

But it wasn't his John, it was someone else. This man struck out, knocking Sherlock across the room with a controlled movement that left him stunned for a moment and brought back the day John had told him he'd "had bad days". Before Sherlock could get up, John had his gun out, trained on him, his eyes wild. He looked around the room as if he was getting his bearings and with a final snarl at Sherlock, limped quickly out of the room, slamming the door behind him.

Sherlock was up a second later, but John had jammed the door. The door to the flat opened and Sherlock raced to the window in time to see John slip across the street, staying in the shadows. Returning to the door to the room, Sherlock kicked it, and the jam gave way. He ran down the stairs and was halfway out the door when he realized he had to have help on this. He dialed Lestrade's number.

"This had better be good, Sherlock."

"Something's wrong," Sherlock said, at a loss of how to explain it.

"Sherlock?" Lestrade's voice had changed.

"I think the drugs from Baskerville brought back John's PTSD. He's just left the flat, gun in hand. We can't let this get out," he said desperately.

"I'm on my way, where was he headed?"

"Into the shadows, south."

"Right. Be careful."

Sherlock broke the connection and headed in the direction John had been going, hoping nothing would happen until he found his friend.

Friend. The word tasted bitter. He'd told John he'd had no friends when he'd been lost in his own hurt and John had been trying to calm him. Instead of accepting that helping hand, he'd struck it away, John had every right to be angry with him. Of course, what Sherlock had said the next day was also true. He didn't have friends. He had friend. One. The only one he'd ever had. One who had been loyal from almost the first moment, refusing Mycroft's money, chasing through the streets to save his life, one who had been there no matter what had happened, no matter what he did. And Sherlock had repaid it with this… Using his friend, his one friend as a guinea pig. He should have thought it through, the fog had brought not just the horrors of the hound to Sherlock, but Moriarty. How much more would there be for John who had suffered through the hell of a horrific war?

His phone rang, he pulled it out. "What?"

"I just got a report about three blocks from you, a man is backed into a corner, not letting anyone get close. The patrol said it was another 'freaked out vet'," Lestrade said, giving him the address. "Those were his words, Sherlock."

"It's John, it has to be. Tell them to back off. I have no idea what he will do."

"If he shoots someone…"

"I am almost there. If he is going to shoot someone it can be me," Sherlock snapped and broke the connection.

He ran down the street and around the corner. He spotted the lights from the patrol car the instant before they went off. Lestrade must have gotten through to them. He could hear them talking to someone, and John's voice answering. As he reached them, he spotted Lestrade's BMW, the detective inspector must not have been at home when he called. Sherlock reached the car as Lestrade got out.

"Keep everyone back, no matter what," Sherlock said.


"I mean it, no matter what."

"If he…"

"No. Unless we are both dead, you stay here."

Lestrade met his eyes, then nodded. Sherlock waited as the other police were waved away and he walked forward towards the man crouched in the corner. John's gun was trained on him as he approached, the muzzle steady, no tremor in his hands now.

"Stay back," John snarled.


"Stay back."

Sherlock crouched down so he was on the same level as his friend. "John…" he said again. The gun wavered, the muzzle turning towards John. Every instinct in Sherlock was screaming for him to act, to stop what was about to happen. He reached out, his hand between them, palm up. "Please…" He saw it flash in John's eyes the instant before it happened, and Sherlock held still and let it happen.

The bullet hit him hard, knocking him back, his head slammed into the pavement and stunned him. He heard Lestrade shout to the other police there and hoped Lestrade would keep his word. Everything slowed down. Sherlock looked over at John, realizing his hand was still stretched towards his friend.

John was staring at him, not breathing, the gun hanging lax from his hand. For three painful breaths Sherlock watched as John struggled, saw him mouth "I'm just a doctor" and wondered what had happened that led to that comment, where it had happened, what his friend had seen. Sherlock saw it all pass across John's face.

Sherlock didn't want to turn away, didn't want to leave John alone. He tried to reach his hand out further even as his eyes were closing. He heard the clatter of metal, and the rustle of fabric.

"Sherlock," John said, his voice frightened, as he tugged at cloth over the bullet wound. "My god." Sherlock was shifted. It hurt and he groaned, trying to stop it, but unable to. "It went through, it's a clean wound. Why?" John was desperate.

"So sorry," Sherlock said. He felt odd, but he knew he had to get those words out. "John, I am so sorry."

John took his outstretched hand and wrapped his own around it. "You are such an idiot."

"Yes," Sherlock agreed right as the world disappeared.


Sherlock shifted on the couch, trying to reach for his tea without John noticing. It was like trying to sneak something past—well—him. And just like nothing escaped Sherlock, John spotted the movement and was therein an instant.

"You are supposed to ask," John chided.

"I can do it."

"Just out of curiosity, how can you in good conscience text me from across town to come home to pick up a pen for you, but when you actually need help you refuse to ask?"

How could he answer that? The answer was simple—because he deserved to be hurt, he deserved to ache when he reached for his tea, he was the one…

"Oh for god's sake, stop that," John snapped. "I should have told you what was going on with me."


"It's true, I should have told you that I'd been dreaming and blacking out after Baskerville," John said firmly. Sherlock drew a breath. "And it is not your fault. You thought you drugged me, but you didn't. I was exposed in the lab—and then again in the hollow. You had nothing to do with that, Sherlock."

Sherlock tried to struggle into a sitting position. John moved to help him, sliding the pillows behind his back and sitting on the table in front of him. "I did poison you," Sherlock said.

"You put sugar in my coffee," John said, nodding. "That was pretty awful."


"And you did turn me loose in a lab with a recording of a hound."


"But you aren't the one who drugged me, Sherlock. And I am the one who didn't tell you what was going on. I should have, you were, obviously, in danger."


"Just drink your tea," he said, handing Sherlock the cup.

"Do I get to say anything?"

"No, you said it already." John smiled.

Sherlock sighed. "John… I…."

"Okay, you drugged me, you used me as a test subject."

"I did."

"I think we're even."

"What do you mean?"

John grinned at him. "I shot you." He started laughing, Sherlock stared at him for a moment then started laughing as well—until it pulled the stitches in his side and John was there immediately supporting him.

John was right. He was an idiot.

Author's Note II: I have a second chapter, the same story from John's POV. Interested?