Title: Untitled Sherlock
Author: nancy
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Fandoms: Sherlock
Rating: R
Spoilers: vague spoilers for all 3 movies, especially for The Great Game. shmoop and tlc for this one, no real warnings.
Warning(s): Holiday story - Christmas
Summary: One minute, Sherlock walked along the sidewalk with his usual distance-eating stride and the next, without warning, he was flat on his back


One minute, Sherlock walked along the sidewalk with his usual distance-eating stride and the next, without warning, he was flat on his back. A sharp pain lanced through the back of his head and the world blacked out for an undetermined time. Sherlock groaned as it rushed back, his hand automatically reaching to press against it.

"Sherlock!" John exclaimed, voice filled with worry.

Blinking up at his partner, Sherlock found two of John staring down at him. His hand missed connecting with John's arm altogether, either of them, and he scowled, muttering, "Minor concussion, is all. I'm fine."

John gave him a fond and worried look combined which, coming from two of him, was rather disconcerting. "You lost consciousness for a full minute, Sherlock. An ambulance is on the way."

"Nonsense," Sherlock scoffed. "I'm fine."

He started to sit up and the world swam alarmingly. If John hadn't grabbed him about the shoulders, Sherlock would've dropped back against the pavement and likely worsened his injury.

John ordered, "Stay put," and lowered him carefully back down. "You might have injured your neck or your back in the fall on top of your head."

Sherlock shivered unexpectedly, the cold of the pavement finding its way through his coat. It was a heavy coat, but ice-covered pavement in late December was proving too formidable for its heat retaining properties. His teeth clattered together and he complained, "I'm cold."

John looked indecisive for a moment, likely weighing the cold against aggravating possible neck and back injuries. Instead of allowing him up, though, John shrugged out of his coat and placed it over Sherlock. Even in his thick, wooly jumper, Sherlock knew that the cold wouldn't take long to penetrate.

Astounded, Sherlock stated, "You can't possibly believe I'll allow you to do this."

John flashed him a brief grin and replied, "You can't stop me."

Sherlock glared at him and said, "You'll catch your death."

A wry expression surfaced and John told him, "I'm fine. I've been in worse conditions, Sherlock."

Frowning, Sherlock didn't like the reminder of John in war, he was about to complain anew, even descend into nagging if necessary, when the siren of an ambulance pierced his aching head. He groaned and held his head in both hands. Fortunately, the noise cut off fairly quickly and he sighed in relief.

Two medics approached with a stretcher and John greeted them by rattling off vital statistics and Sherlock's symptoms. It took a few seconds for Sherlock to realize that John's hand on his wrist had been more than simple comfort; the devious doctor had been keeping his finger on Sherlock's pulse.

He suffered through the indignity of being put in a neck brace and then rolled onto a stretcher. The only reason he didn't cut the men to ribbons verbally was due to the series of explosions such actions set off in his head. Sherlock barely noticed the trip to hospital, wrapped up in keeping his eyes closed and not vomiting as he was. And then a serious jolt of the vehicle sent him back into the fuzzy darkness.

The next thing Sherlock truly focused on was soothing fingers on his temples rubbing circles at just the right pressure.

John smiled down at him and said, "Welcome back."

Sherlock blinked a few times and squinted against the overhead light as he said, "We're at hospital."

"Excellent deduction," John teased lightly. "And they've already taken scans while you were out of it. Four stitches, no brain damage, nor to the neck or back, though you will be quite colorful for a week or so, I should expect."

Sherlock sniffed disdainfully. "As you're the only one who sees my back, that's an acceptable outcome."

John said, "I agree. Though I do want to check you out myself, just to be sure."

"Well, of course," Sherlock said, frowning.

Brushing his fingers through Sherlock's hair, John told him, "Not `of course,' Sherlock. I haven't privileges at this hospital. I'll check you out at home tomorrow."

Sherlock's frown deepened. "It sounds like you're implying that…"

"They're keeping you overnight, yes. No, Sherlock, don't make that face. You sustained a serious head injury and you will remain under care for the next twenty-four hours. And if you make the staff's lives a living hell, I will proceed to do the same to you upon release. Understood?"

Sherlock's frown shifted into an outright scowl. The last time John had carried out that threat, he'd gone to visit Harry for a few days and then proceeded to visit friends for another week. It had been a fortnight solid before John returned and not an experience that Sherlock cared to repeat.

"It seems I have no choice," Sherlock replied, sounding petulant even to himself. "I'll behave."

John kissed him on the forehead. "Good. Now then. Mycroft texted me three times in the last half-hour, so you should expect a visit before the night is through, I should think."

Sherlock's groan had nothing to do with his injury and everything to do with the metaphysical pain of a `get well soon' visit from his elder brother. It would be absolute hell.

*  *  *  *

It was always interesting to watch the brothers Holmes interact. Interesting in the way of train wrecks and nature programmes…John simply could not look away even though he knew it really wasn't decent to be so openly fascinated.

They'd been at the hospital for a couple of hours and John was fairly certain that Sherlock had fallen asleep in defense against boredom. He'd refused to give Sherlock access to telly or phone, which was the equivalent of forced isolation for the genius, but it was for his own good. John knew that his lover's head was splitting and trying to watch telly or use a phone would only exacerbate his condition.

Mycroft showed up around eleven that evening, just after Sherlock had dropped off to sleep. John looked up from his magazine when the door opened and Mycroft stepped into the room. For a few seconds, he saw open concern as the elder brother gazed upon the younger and John wondered anew at the rift between them. It was obvious that Mycroft loved his brother, even though he would never openly admit to it. And Sherlock clearly craved his brother's approval, for all that he did his best to ignore him.

The worry vanished from Mycroft's face when he glanced over at John and questioned softly, "How is he?"

"You didn't hack into his medical records?" John countered, lips almost twitching into a smile.

Mycroft made an annoyed gesture and said, "Of course I did, but that doesn't tell me how he is, not really. And how did this happen?"

John refrained from grinning as he explained, "Refused to wear the Wellies I bought him and slipped on some ice on the sidewalk."

Mycroft's lips twitched as if also restraining a smirk at his brother's expense. "I see."

"He's got a serious concussion, which is why we're keeping him overnight but I didn't see anything on his scans to worry us," John continued. "He's had double vision, nausea, and loss of consciousness, but is cognizant and suffered no apparent mental disfunction from the trauma."

Mycroft latched onto, "No apparent?"

John half-smiled and said, "I doubt we'd notice any loss of capacity unless it was truly significant, genius that he is."

"True. And he's fine, you said?"

"He is. I'm bringing him home tomorrow afternoon unless something happens."

Mycroft nodded, looking back at Sherlock. He finally said, "Keep me apprised," and left without saying goodbye.

Not that John was surprised.

Setting aside the magazine, John walked the short distance to the bed and took Sherlock's pulse. It was almost an automatic habit with him these days. Sherlock got into so much trouble that it was impossible not to keep an eye on him physically.

He looks so damn young, John thought with a sigh.

And he did. All the mania and contempt and brilliance vanished while asleep and he was just a young man with curly hair and pale skin. Too pale, just then, injured as he was. John often wondered what in hell he was doing, being the lover of a man who was over ten years younger and so brilliant. It wasn't as though he brought much to the cases they worked on, barring the occasional pop reference or medical diagnosis.

Sherlock sighed in his sleep and shifted, a frown marring his face. John reached out and lightly massaged Sherlock's brow with his thumb. Sherlock sighed again, but the lines smoothed out and a faint smile touched his lips as he seemed to settle into a deeper sleep.

John knew that Sherlock's nightmares were completely different from his own, but he had them. Not that the other would ever talk about them, but he'd heard `Moriarty' pass from sleeping lips more than once. If John could undo one thing, it would be to somehow take Sherlock off Moriarty's radar forever. For the psychopath to never have noticed Sherlock in the first place. They'd barely escaped that poolside encounter with their lives.

Shaking off the melancholy before it could start, John leaned in to kiss Sherlock's cheek, just by his ear. For some reason, that little contact always soothed them both. It was a nothing, just a little touch of lips to soft skin, but it was more intimate than they ever got in public.

John returned to his chair and rubbed at tired, gritty eyes. He was going to be absolute rubbish the next day, but he would keep watch over his lover. Sherlock would not be vulnerable like this, not if John had anything to do with it.

*  *  *  *

Sherlock knew he was being a prat, but couldn't help it. His vision had cleared and the nausea had gone away, but his head hurt. He was tired. His back ached. And then Mycroft appeared, dapper and perfectly put together, to give them a lift home.

"Can't have you taking a cab home in this condition, Mummy would never forgive me," Mycroft announced.

John rolled his eyes, but only put a hand at Sherlock's lower back to guide him. He wisely didn't suggest using a wheelchair, as Sherlock would likely have thrown a fit at the sight of one. He looked tired, too, which also had Sherlock feeling out of sorts. He didn't like it when John became all over-protective, as if Sherlock couldn't take care of himself.

The ride home to Baker St. was quiet, thankfully, and Sherlock closed his eyes for most of it. A discreet touch to his knee from John opened his eyes and he found that they were home. He sighed, but pushed himself upright and slowly climbed out of the car, his entire body deciding abruptly to protest all and any movement.

"Oh, Sherlock?"

Slowly turning back to face his brother, Sherlock said flatly, "Yes, Mycroft."

"I've already informed Mummy that you won't be making Christmas dinner this year due to your injury. You'll need to stay home and recuperate, I'm sure."

Sherlock's eyebrows lifted in surprise. He was grateful for the reprieve, but a little wary as to why Mycroft had intervened.

Mycroft half-smiled at him and then nodded at John before saying, "Happy Christmas," and closing the door.

John chuckled and slid an arm around Sherlock's waist, moving him towards the flat. The walk up the stairs was excruciating and he had to grit his teeth to make it to the bedroom.

"Almost there now," John murmured. "Stop tensing up, you'll just make it worse."

Sherlock snapped, "I can't help it."

"I know, it's fine. I have painkillers for you once we get you lying down."

Uncomfortable, Sherlock said, "John, my ad…I don't do narcotics."

The `anymore' was implied.

John gave him a gentle smile and said, "I know. Trust me. We have non-narcotic painkillers these days."

Of course there were and of course John would think of it. Maybe he had suffered brain damage in the accident, after all for not thinking of it himself.

"You're just a little befuddled, Sherlock, relax," John said. "You haven't lost any of your brilliance."

Frankly alarmed that John could read him so easily, Sherlock replied, "I don't like the way this is going."

By then, they'd reached the bedroom and John said, "Use the bathroom now if you need to. These pills will knock you out for a good six hours, maybe longer. You need to sleep."

Sherlock scowled at his partner's order, but couldn't gainsay him. It was common sense, after all. He used the loo and took a few extra minutes to look at himself in the mirror, not liking the positively haggard expression staring back. He made a face at the reflection and then returned to the bedroom to find John changed into his pajamas.

John smiled outright at whatever he saw on Sherlock's face and said, "What? I need to sleep, too, you know. And it's not like I'd let you be on your own just yet."

Sherlock almost suspected John of using the circumstances to get in some extra `cuddling.' Not that the man ever used that particular word, but he was very tactile in bed, especially just before sleep and after waking. And while Sherlock didn't want to seem to need it, he did rather enjoy it. Not that he would ever say so unless under extreme duress.

"C'mon. Let's get you ready for bed."

Sherlock was glad of the assistance. John removed Sherlock's shirt, sliding it down his arms and then helped him out of his pants. Getting into his sleep clothes was another ordeal altogether, but he tried not to tense against the movements. Finally, he was sitting on the bed, ready to just curl up into a ball and not move ever again, but John had out his pen light.

"Just a quick exam, Sherlock, then you can take the pills and get some sleep."

Sherlock scowled at him, but nodded assent.

The quick, repeated flashing of penlight into his eyes restarted the throbbing headache, but John's murmured, "Good," eased something inside. John took his pulse and then checked under the bandage on the back of Sherlock's head.

Finally satisfied, John said, "All right, you're set for now. Here. Take these."

Sherlock accepted the two large pills and the glass of water, drinking half of it down in one go. The pills were revolting, but he simply ignored the taste until the water washed it away.

"Finish the water."

"How old am I?"


Glaring, Sherlock finished the water and set the glass on the nightstand with a thump. He didn't care about being dehydrated, he didn't want to get up to urinate again anytime soon. That done, he stretched out and carefully tried to find a comfortable position, but was unsuccessful.

"Here, let me."

Sherlock waited as John climbed into the bed and spooned up against his back. "Lie back on me."

Not all that sanguine about finding comfort, Sherlock cautiously rolled back until he rested against John like a human pillow. He was a bit surprised to find it very comfortable and, more importantly, the warmth of his partner immediately relaxed him which made it even more comfortable.


Sherlock nodded and agreed, "A bit, thanks."

John kissed the back of his neck and said, "My pleasure. Close your eyes, now, and get some sleep, love."

It would have sounded condescending coming from anyone else, but Sherlock heard the worry and care threaded through the words. He didn't understand why John felt such things for him, but knew enough to be grateful that he did.

Lacing their fingers together, Sherlock let out a long, deep breath and closed his eyes. Even though he was injured, he suspected that this Christmas would be the best in many years.