Author's Note: Here is part two, the same incident from John's POV.

Legacy of the Hound


It was hard to concentrate. His leg was throbbing with a very insistent pain. It had been getting worse since they'd returned to London. When John had gone out the day before, he'd barely made it home, his leg giving out so badly he'd spent the last few blocks using various buildings, fences and posts and crutches. That wasn't the worse of it, though, there was a black hole in his memory that spanned two hours. He had no idea what had happened during that time, but he did know that when he came out of it, he was a long way from Baker Street, hidden in the shadows of a building set for demolition. He managed to pull himself together well enough to make it into the flat without limping too badly, but after an hour of Sherlock's pacing he'd gone to bed. Sleep eluded him, and he'd gone downstairs and taken one of the sleeping pills he hadn't used since he'd moved into 221B.

Now his fragile control was being tested by Sherlock. They had been back two days, and nothing interesting—by Sherlock's definition—had happened and he was bored. Never mind the fact the experiment that had left a slimy foam over half the flat still hadn't been completely cleaned up. Between the throbbing in his leg and the pain in his hand and shoulder it was all he could do to keep still so when Sherlock complained that no one was doing anything interesting, John snapped.

Silence greeted his remark. He glanced at Sherlock—the man was staring at him with an odd look on his face. John picked up his tea cup and walked into the kitchen doing his best to not limp. He managed to get his cupboard open and slide one of the pills out into his hand without Sherlock noticing. Not bothering to say goodnight, he headed towards the stairs. The first few he managed with just the banister for support, but the rest, his leg got heavier with each step and by the time he reached the top it was all he could do to make the transition from the banister to the wall and slide along it to get into his room. The last few steps from the door to the bed were a controlled fall, but he made it and dragged himself onto the mattress. He dry swallowed the pill and laid back, he would change clothes in the morning.

The pain that slammed through him pulled him from his sleep with an agonized scream. He reached immediately for his shoulder, his hand came away dry, and he knew where he was. He leaned forwards covering his face with his hands, his whole body shaking. It had to be the fog from Baskerville that had started this return of the nightmares and all that went with them. John tried to get control, fighting back the memories as well as the lingering effects of the hallucinogen and the sedative that was already trying to pull him under again. He needed to tell Sherlock, the man deserved to know what was going on in case this got worse and he ended up like poor Jack Turner.

"John?" Sherlock was at the door his voice soft, gentle, concerned. For a man who had said he had no friends, John really knew better. He could hear it in Sherlock's tone. Still he wasn't ready to deal with this, especially not with the sedative in his system.

"It's nothing, I'm fine, go away." The words hurt. He didn't want Sherlock to go away. Despite everything, he trusted the man with his life. He heard Sherlock take a step and John's body reacted—he flinched. The footsteps stopped and his door closed. He thought he heard something outside the door. He listened for a minute, waiting to hear Sherlock go downstairs, but he didn't. Sherlock must still be in the hall. There was something comforting in that. He laid his head on the pillow and within seconds the sedative took him again.


Everything was always covered in dust, it always was. Trying to perform surgery was almost impossible under these conditions—not that he got a chance to do a lot of surgery. When he'd joined up, he'd expected to serve at a hospital, but things didn't work that way out here in Afghanistan. Yes, they had bases, yes they had some things that remotely resembled a hospital, but that was not where John was needed. He was out with the triage medics, the surgery he did was "down and dirty, keep them alive until they can get back to base" work. Stopping bad bleeds, occasionally removing bits of metal that were life threatening if the patient was moved. It wasn't what he'd expected, but it turned out he was very good at it. Many of the doctors who'd signed up cracked on the line. John didn't. He calmly dealt. He'd seen men die, he'd used his service Browning more than once. On one occasion when they had been unable to move and he knew they were going to be overrun, he and Jack had been forced to make sure their patients didn't fall into the hands of the incoming troops. Their patients—two men hit by antipersonnel landmines—were not going to live anyway, and to let them suffer torture before they died was irresponsible. So John had done what was needed.

Now he was stuck in this damn building, they'd been pinned down for five days. Every time they thought they had a clear way out, it was blocked. Their group that had been ten was now three. Mark, an officer from the 52nd, Jack and John. The bodies of the others were in the corner, covered, but the first to die had started to decompose. The whole country had that smell, John thought. He remembered reading John Masters and the comment the man had made about how the country had smelled of body odor and death. It was as true now as it had been in 1920.

Dusk had rapidly become night, the way it did in this country. Sunset never lingered here as it did in England. This was the danger hour. They liked to strike at this time, when you were most likely to let your guard down after a day of vigilance. John shifted, glancing over at Jack. The man was starting to break, he could see it. He'd never been suited for the front and had been on his way back to base when they'd been attacked.

Something scraped against the wall. John looked behind him in time to see the tall figure enter from the back. Mark was down with the first shot, the second slammed into John's shoulder sending a flash of agony through his body. Jack fired at the man, and John grabbed Jack and dragged him out through the door, taking a moment to secure the door to slow their attacker down, then they raced into the night.

Jack must have been hit. John realized the man was leaning on him as they ran. He stumbled, and felt the tear in his leg. Damn, Jack was slowing him down, but there was no way he would leave him behind. John had no idea how far they would get. The wound in his shoulder was beginning to get numb—which was not good. He could keep the adrenaline going for a little longer but after that they would have to hole up somewhere and hope an ally would come by. He spotted a dark cave-it was small, but enough to put solid stone at his back. He shoved Jack in and positioned himself in front, gun out, ready to fire if needed.

It didn't take them long to find him. There was a group of them there, shouting at him within several minutes. John tried to pull back further in the shadows. He could hear other vehicles approaching. He shouted for them to stay back, and they did—until their leader got there.

He approached John's hiding place—hands out as if he had no weapon. That wasn't fooling John this time. He'd seen too many friends die that way. "Stay back!" he ordered.

"John…" the man said, his voice familiar somehow.

"Stay back!"

The man crouched down and reached a hand out in a gesture of peace? Friendship? "John…" Again there was a familiarity to that voice that haunted him. It was useless, they were going to be taken. John couldn't let that happen. He couldn't… Maybe… He turned the gun on himself, aware of how large the bore was, the scent of the gunpowder and dust. "Please…" the crouching man said.

John looked at the gun for a second more, then without warning, turned and fired.

The man fell, his hand still outstretched, John felt a wrench in his gut. "I'm just a doctor," he said to the others gathered there, remembering the moment seven months before when he had been present at a massacre. The rebels had assumed he was unarmed and left him with their wounded. John had cared for them as his friends lay dead around him.

His friends.



John blinked, London appearing before his eyes. He dropped the gun and was moving. He dropped to his knees beside the man who still had a hand outstretched towards him, as if he didn't want John to be alone.

"Sherlock!" he said, terrified by the blossoming stain of red on Sherlock's shirt. "My god." He gently moved him, the reflexes of the battle line coming back easily, and checked—there was an exit wound. "It went through, it's a clean wound," he said. Part of him knowing that wasn't quite right, but the part that was still partially caught in the battle knew that it was a survivable wound. "Why?"

"So sorry," Sherlock breathed, sorrow lining his face in a way John had never seen. "John, I am so sorry."

Sherlock blamed himself, of course he did. John picked up his hand and wrapped his own around it. "You… are such an idiot."

"Yes," Sherlock sighed and closed his eyes.

"Medics!" John shouted and suddenly he was surrounded by people. Someone pulled him up and away from Sherlock and he almost fought it until he heard Lestrade's quiet command to come with him. John went with him, his eyes still fixed on Sherlock.

"I'll get you there, John, and I'll make sure this…disappears," Lestrade promised as the got into the BMW.

"Thank you, Greg," John said, leaning back in his seat with a sigh.


John was sitting beside the bed when Sherlock started to stir. He moved closer, laying a hand on his arm. "Sherlock?"

"John?" Sherlock said, his voice raspy.

John reached for the cup of ice water and slid his hand behind Sherlock's head and held the cup to his lips. "Drink."

Sherlock, for once, did as he was told, then opened his eyes and looked at him. It was a sad, agonized look. "John…"

"Are you in pain?" John asked immediately.

"Yes, but that doesn't matter. " Sherlock pulled him back down as John started to stand. "I'm sorry."

"There is nothing to be sorry for—I am the one who needs to apologize, god, Sherlock, why?"


"You let me shoot you, I could have…"

"I was hoping some part of you would recognize me and not kill me." Sherlock still looked distraught.

"That's a big assumption."

Sherlock frowned.

"You forgot about my shoes and the slime in the kitchen," John said with a smile, pleased when the sadness in his friend's eyes disappeared, replaced by a small smile of his own.

The End