Title: What We Have...
Author: Jessie Blackwood
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Fandoms: Sherlock
Rating: PG-13
Note: This is for all the soldiers I have known, admired and loved, for those who have passed, those who are retired and those still serving, in particular Dudley (2 Commando, WW2, one of the originals, sadly now passed, father of my best mate), Tony (Dudley's son and brother of my best mate, retired), Phil (currently in the TAs and still serving), Steve (ex-para, retired), and Frank (SAS retired) in the UK and Mike (Tank Sergeant) in the US. Thank you for your dedication, guys. Heroes all.
Disclaimer: Characters owned by Moffat, Gatiss and the BBC. I don't own any of it, except maybe the idea for the story, etc. etc. etc., no infringement of copyright intended, no money being made, etc, etc. Any resemblance to any persons living or dead is purely coincidental.


"I can't believe I'm going to miss it." John lay back against the hospital pillows, eyes narrowed and mouth set in a grim line. Sherlock sat nearby, observing the frustrated tension in the set of John's jaw and his drawn-down brows.

"You could still watch it on television," Sherlock offered, despite understanding that to John that would be less than second best.

"Not the same, Sherlock. You should know that."

"Well, it isn't your fault that your appendix decided to burst yesterday. At least you'll be alright now. I have to admit, you had me worried for a while. I was quite impressed with Lestrade. He got us to A&E quite fast."

"A police car will do that, Sherlock."

"I've never been in a police car with its sirens going like that. I had no idea that Greg was such a good driver." John smiled to note the almost childish glee in Sherlock's voice. He sounded like a excited little kid at the memory of the mad emergency dash through London rush hour traffic. John had realised that the growing pain in his belly was potentially dangerous as Sherlock was casually deducing Lestrade's crime scene. Greg had been amazing though. He hadn't waited for the ambulance to arrive, citing that it was probably as quick to use a squad car and promptly got behind the wheel.

"He's a policeman who happens to be trained in pursuit driving. Of course he's good at it," John said.

"I must admit you had me worried when you said it had stopped hurting."

"Yes, well, you weren't the only one. Sometimes ignorance is bliss." When you are a doctor, you know the consequences of a burst appendix, John thought. Not a pretty scenario.

"Is it? I haven't found that to be particularly true." Sherlock frowned. Usually he hated ignorance with a passion. He had to understand the far end of everything; always supposing it pertained to a case.

"Look, why don't you get off home," John suggested. "You should get back on that case. Greg will need you."

"Nonsense, John. I want to be here, with you. The case comes a poor second to your welfare. You're looking a little peaky. Shall I get the nurse?"

"No, Sherlock. I just need sleep. Would you shut up for a while and let me rest ? Please? I'm still a bit woozy from the anaesthetic..."

"Of course, John. I'll sit here and watch over you." Sherlock did just that, wondering whether John would even be awake on the morrow to watch the parade down Whitehall on television. He hadn't missed attending since he got back from Afghanistan, although last year Sherlock's best efforts at giving him a better view nearly ended in disaster. Mycroft actually made sure everything worked out well though, Sherlock thought grudgingly, watching John drift in a warm drug-induced doze.


Sherlock was, surprisingly, still there when John woke up, laptop on his knees, tapping away in a frenzy. He looked up at John as the doctor's eyes opened sleepily. "Did I wake you?" Sherlock enquired, voice pitched low.

"No. I'm surprised to find you still here, that's all."

"Why wouldn't I be? I did say I would stay."

"Yes, you did, but there's a case. Isn't there?"

"Pft. Boring. Too easy. It was the husband. I emailed Greg with my findings an hour ago."

"I've been out for an hour?"

"No, you've been out for two, I only worked it out an hour ago." Sherlock looked up as the door opened to admit a small blond nurse who looked about fifteen. John smiled but then grimaced in sudden discomfort.

"Now then, Doctor Watson, how are we feeling?"

"Ah, hello, nurse. I'm not feeling too bad actually. A little tender but nothing I can't handle. Any chance of being discharged?"

"Not until Monday, now. The doctor in charge will need to sign you out as I'm sure you know. You need to stay with us a while though, just to make sure you're responding to treatment. A burst appendix can have complications, but it's no use me telling you that. Sounds like I'm teaching my grandmother to suck eggs."

"Looks like you're stuck for the weekend then," Sherlock commiserated. "Would you like me to see if Mycroft can intervene?"

"You'd ask your brother for a favour for me? I'm not sure I want to be the cause of you being indebted to your brother for anything."

"He owes me, not the other way around. He still owes me a favour from the last time I got him results on that case of that missing General."

"Still going to miss the parade. It'll be the first year I've missed it completely. I was invited to lay a wreath at the regimental garden of rest this year as well. We lost six men over the last twelve months. I wanted to help remember them."

"A wreath won't bring them back, John."

"It's a mark of respect." John muttered pointedly. He sighed deeply. He wondered if Sherlock would ever learn.

"I'll be back in a moment. Call of nature," Sherlock explained and left the room. The call to Mycroft didn't take long and his brother was actually only too pleased to arrange matters. It might require working on some case or other for his brother in the near future, but Sherlock wasn't too worried. Mycroft usually only gave him interesting things to work on. When he got back, Sherlock wasn't sure whether to tell John about the arrangements but John was asleep so that settled that as far as Sherlock was concerned. He wasn't about to wake his best friend for something he would find out soon anyway so he simply sat back to wait.


"Doctor Watson?" John roused from a pleasant doze to see the night sister looming over him. "It's alright, Doctor. I'm sorry to wake you, but you're being transferred."

"Transferred? Where?" John's eyes slid across the where Sherlock was sitting with a smirk on that pretty face, his generous mouth curved in a frankly self-satisfied smile.

"To a private hospital," the sister was saying. "The ambulance is downstairs waiting. I'll send someone to get you prepped for travelling. I have the paperwork signed and ready."

"Sherlock, what have you done?"


Sherlock oversaw the transfer personally, sitting in the ambulance with John as they ferried him the relatively short distance to the comfort of a private room in a very private hospital. Understandably Mycroft had arranged for a bed in the same hospital the Royal family used, although it was by happy coincidence used by military officers as well. For once Sherlock could not fault Mycroft's choice and considered it more than appropriate. John would fit in well. The journey was quick, which was a mercy because John was aching by the time they arrived.

"Good evening, Captain Watson. I'm Sister Graham," the nursing sister said as John was wheeled out of the lift by the EMTs. "Welcome to King Edward VII Hospital. We'll have you comfortable in a jiffy. Now," she turned her attention on Sherlock. "Your husband will be fine, Mr Holmes. Can I ask you to stay here while we just get him comfortable and settled and then you can come right in. Nurse Blake will get you refreshments while you wait." Sherlock nodded, and grasped John's hand for a moment, his demeanor altered dramatically.

"Thank you, Sister," Sherlock said and allowed his bottom lip to tremble just a little before turning it into a brave smile, and, bending down, he dropped a kiss on his-somewhat surprised-husband's cheek. "I'll be with you soon," he said softly.

"If you wish, you can use our wifi facilities in the lounge area to contact your brother, Mr Holmes. He asked me to tell you he would appreciate it if you could let him know you'd both arrived safely." Sherlock nodded and squeezed John's shoulder. Then the porter wheeled John into his room.

"Oh, my god..." John muttered. The room was palatial, more like a hotel room with a hospital bed in it. In fact there were two beds, although one was a normal single on the other side of the room. There was an enormous flat-screen television on the wall opposite the hospital-style bed, built in wardrobes and storage, and an en-suite bathroom which looked more like a wet-room, the glimpse John got of it as he passed. The curtains were heavy and the decor was tastefully restful. He was transferred into bed, settled by two pretty nurses who fussed over his every need and made sure his pain medication was adequate and that he was comfortably propped on pillows before leaving him alone.

The sister appeared with a doctor in tow a few minutes later. "Captain Watson? I'm Peter Wells," the doctor introduced himself. "I gather your appendix has been removed, emergency surgery wasn't it?"

"Yesterday, yes. It burst before I could reach hospital."

"Nasty business, but I don't doubt you'll be fine. I've checked your antibiotics and been in touch with the doctors at Bart's. There's no reason not to continue as they began, so we'll manage your pain medication and continue with the same regime. If you don't mind, I'll give you the once over and then I'll let you get some rest." He very thoroughly checked his patient over, murmuring conversationally the while. "We have you listed as Captain Watson. May I enquire which service?"

"5th Northumberland Fusiliers," John replied readily. "Although I was invalided out a few years ago. Afghanistan."

"Ah, so you were wounded?"

"Yes. Left shoulder. Shot in the back."

"May I see?"

John nodded. "Of course."

Peter regarded the scar, gentle fingers probing. "It doesn't cause you any problems now?"

"No, very little. Aches in cold or damp weather, but that's it."

"Good. Well, it looks like that's the best you're going to get. Whoever did the repair was good."

"A colleague, Doctor James. She was, very good."

"Well, you can rest assured she did a very neat job there."

"Good to know." John forced a smile. Cheryl James was another casualty, only she hadn't been so lucky. A SAM* had destroyed the helicopter that was taking her on an evac mission. There had been no survivors of that one. She had been one of the regiment's losses last year.

"Well," the doctor was saying. "I'll let you get some rest now. We'll let your husband back in to see you. Is he staying the night?"

"Um... I'm not sure..."

"You live in Baker Street I see, so he wouldn't be far, but if he would prefer to stay he can. Is he very worried about you? Sister Harrington said she thought he was a little upset."

"Well, I was able to tell him the basics of it, so he understands, but... you know...We've not been together long," John lied, keeping up the front.

Peter nodded, his smile sympathetic. "Well, I'll tell him he can come back in. Seeing you awake should allay his fears but if you need help, let Sister know. If you need anything the nurses showed you where the call button is, I presume."

John nodded. "Yes, they did."

"Anything at all, Dr. Watson, just ask. I'll see you in the morning."

"Goodnight, doctor."

Moments later Sherlock dashed in and came to a halt, a smirk on his lips again. John sighed.

"So, did you tell them I was your husband?"

"I think that was Mycroft's doing. At least it smoothed the way. They won't try to stop me seeing you and staying if they think we're married."

"Frankly, I'm amazed that you want to bother. You'll get bored."

"Bored? With you? I hardly think so, John." Sherlock's voice dropped a little deeper, if that was possible. "I came back, didn't I? I came back to you. Not bored, you see. Never with you."

John wasn't quite sure what to say to that. He had known it, really, but Sherlock had this way of taking things for granted and glossing over any remotely difficult issues-such as those involving emotions-in favour of continuing where he left off. "I rather like it, actually," John said softly.

Sherlock stopped as if poleaxed. "What?"

"I said, I rather like it."

"I know...I mean... why?"

"Why? Because I do, that's why."

"No, why do you like it?"

"I don't have a reason, you prat. I just do. I... like us being together. I like that you can stay with me."


"Look, Sherlock, just because I like it, doesn't mean I want to run off and get married. We're two blokes, for goodness' sake. Neither of us is good at discussing how we feel. Besides, you're married to your work and I'm not gay. We're best friends. We're almost family, we've been through so much together. Why on earth wouldn't I like it that nobody tries to stop us sticking together through this?"

"I see." Sherlock's voice was smaller than normal. He tried to dislodge the lump in his throat. John actually wanted him there, with him. He looked comfortable, content, despite the necessarily intrusive hospital accoutrements of drip feed and drain line that were physical reminders to Sherlock's eyes that at the moment John was a patient and recovering from surgery. It made Sherlock's sides ache to keep the sudden uncharacteristic surge of emotion at bay. He sat down on one of the very comfortable chairs near the bed, closed his eyes and steepled his hands.

"Sherlock, are you okay?" John's voice grounded him, calmed him and reminded him that the man was alive and recovering and near.

"Yes, I'm fine."

"You're a bad liar," John said with a smile. "What's wrong? Have I said something...?"

"No, no," Sherlock lied again.

"Sherlock?" John's tone of voice was loaded with warning. Sherlock's eyes came up to meet John's and he was rendered mute by what he saw. "We'll talk about this tomorrow," John said gently. "Right now, I need rest. Apparently you are welcome to stay here. But we're a stone's throw from Baker Street. They'll call a cab for you if you'd rather go home."

"I want to stay," Sherlock admitted softly. "I'll go tell the nurses."

"Okay. Look, I like it that you want to stay, okay?"

"John?" Sherlock paused in the door and turned back. "What is it that we have, exactly, you and I?" The pose was blindingly reminiscent of their first meeting, when Sherlock had paused in the door, leaned back around and said "The name's Sherlock Holmes and the address is 221b Baker Street..." John swallowed, struck by how much had changed between them, as well as how much hadn't.

"I dunno, love. Something..." John frowned and shook his head a little. "Look, I'll talk to you about this tomorrow. It's getting late and I need to sleep. Go speak to the Sister."


Sherlock spent the night watching John's sleeping face from his position in the single bed across the room. For once, John's sleep was peaceful, deep and nightmare-free. That had been one reason for Sherlock's decision to stay. Something in him had balked at the thought of John suffering a nightmare in an unfamiliar place, waking to strangers instead of his flatmate. Sherlock himself managed a few hours, although he was up before dawn, staring out of the window at the street below, listening to the night sounds of his city. It grounded him, second only to his violin for anchoring him in the present, soothing his mind and body with its familiar rhythm. He paced the room slowly for a while, and then went in search of coffee as dawn broke. The nurses obligingly helped with that, furnishing him with proper coffee instead of the ever-present instant stuff the NHS seemed to thrive on. Yet another reason to commend Mycroft's choice of medical establishment. He took it back to John's room, perching on a chair and sipping it while watching the world outside come awake.

Later, Sherlock lay on his bed thinking, turning over events in his mind, replaying things they had said to each other. He loved John; that much was certain. As far as he could love, always supposing he understood the emotion. He also knew without doubt that John loved him back. Whether they were a couple was a debatable point. He rolled off the bed and went to shower, dressing again before John woke and perching himself to watch television. He would wake John in time to see the parade and the two minute silence. John would want to observe that much, even if he couldn't be there.

A knock heralded the morning shift of nurses and Sherlock smiled at them as John roused at their bustle. "Good morning, Doctor. Morning, Mr. Holmes," they chorused, busying themselves about the place, opening the blinds, tidying things up and checking John's condition. "Breakfast will be along for you both shortly. You're on fluids for now, doctor." John nodded. He had known he would be, at least until they were sure any infection had gone and his wounds had healed.

Sherlock frowned. "I don't want anything," he muttered to John after the nurses had gone.

"So don't have anything. You don't have to eat, but it would do you good. You're not on a case."

"I'm looking after you though. I don't want to be impaired."

"You are not looking after me, the nurses are. You can eat, love."

"You did it again."

"Did what again?"

"You called me love," Sherlock stated.

"Oh, sorry. It's just an endearment. If you don't like it, I'll stop."

"No, I never said I didn't like it, just... that you've done it twice." Sherlock frowned. "Why?"

"Because you're a close friend?"

Sherlock huffed and switched the television on. "I thought you might want to watch the parade and observe the two minute silence today? Even if you can't be there?"

"What? Oh, yes, thanks. I would. Poor second, but it'll have to do. I should text people, let them know I won't be there."

"Already done. I accessed your phone and your email list and sent messages to those people I thought were key, asked them to pass the news on. I may have let on where you were..."

John was shaking his head. "You're impossible, you know that?"

A knock on the door interrupted them. "Come in?" Sherlock called after glancing at John and seeing his nod. The door opened and a messenger came in with a basket of flowers.

"Doctor Watson?" he asked and John raised a hand. "These are yours, sir. Where shall I put them?"

"Oh, anywhere, thanks."

Sherlock retrieved the card and said "These are from Mycroft. Get well soon, regards, MH. Christ, he's not sending a text."

John laughed then grimaced. "Ouch, that hurts. Don't make me laugh, okay?" Sherlock smiled and said nothing.

There was a second knock at the door a few minutes later. This time there was another bouquet of flowers with a card from Greg Lestrade. A third and a fourth arrangement arrived over the next half-hour and the place began to resemble a florist's. The third proved to be from Harry and the fourth from John's army mates, tumbling through the door with scant ceremony about ten minutes into the television coverage of the event.

"Bloody traffic," Madoc complained.

"Anybody would think there was something special on," Findlay Murray added with a chuckle.

"Blame Murray," Alex Mitchinson said. "He wanted to stop at Tesco's for the beer."

"Well, we needed something to toast the poor buggers with," Murray complained and threw himself into a vacant chair.

"I feel like a fucking wanker with these," Madoc brandished the flowers. "Mitch insisted we get 'em, the poofter."

"It's traditional, like the grapes and the choccies," Alex protested, grinning widely. "Besides, I can't resist the chance to make you look like a wanker. That's traditional too." He avoided the swipe Madoc aimed at the back of his head and fished in the Tesco's bag, handing the grapes and chocolates to John. He tossed the offending six-pack to Murray who caught it deftly and levered one free of the plastic and cracked the ring-pull with a hiss. Alex then handed their fallen comrade a rather large and rather rude card of a big breasted nurse in skimpy uniform carrying an oversized thermometer and a dangerously large hypodermic. It declared for all to see that Nurse Nightly would be only too happy to sooth his fevered brow with her equipment. John shook his head with a grin and guessed that Jack Madoc had been the one to choose that.

John eventually pulled rank and ordered them to settle down so they wouldn't miss the march down Whitehall and the wreath laying at the Cenotaph. When everybody was settled, John looked around him and wondered at the way fate played out. He was lying comfortably in a private room, his needs catered for; his best mates with him, watching the parade live on TV. As outcomes went, it could have been a lot worse and had turned out much, much better than he had hoped for. When it came to the two minutes, the whole of London seemed to fall silent, the men in the room gathering closer around John's bed. When it ended, Sherlock was the first to intone a name.

"Clive Lancaster," he said softly.

Surprised, John added "Cheryl James". Madoc, Murray and Mitchinson all intoned their own additions until the list covered some twenty names. Murray handed Sherlock a beer and John had to make do with fruit juice but they all drank in silent salute to their fallen comrades.

"Who was Clive Lancaster?" John asked afterward.

"Journalist," Sherlock said economically.

"The one the Taliban executed last February?" Madoc asked.

Sherlock nodded. "He and I were at Cambridge together. He helped me with a case a while ago. We were not friends but... he deserved respect. He was reporting on the plight of orphans in Afghanistan when he and an aid worker were taken." Sherlock bowed his head. "He wasn't strictly military, I'm sorry if it wasn't appropriate."

"That doesn't matter," John replied, quick to reassure his friend. "What matters is that you remembered him. It gives them all dignity. He might not have served but he was in a war zone, serving in his own way."

"Dignity and honour," Madoc added, raising his beer can.

"I can't remember the name of the aid worker." Sherlock sounded worried. "That isn't right, is it, John? I should remember. He has as much right to be remembered..."

"Well, you remembered Clive's name," John said.

"That's a bit not good though, John. Why should he not be remembered as well?" Sherlock protested.

John gazed at him and smiled, revising his opinion. Maybe Sherlock had learned something after all.

"Rory Conlan," Murray said into the silence that had fallen on the room.

"Pardon?" John frowned.

"That was the aid worker's name, Rory Conlan. I Googled it on the i-phone." Murray waggled his phone in the air.

"In which case," John said, holding his hand toward Sherlock, palm up, indicating for him to speak.

Sherlock nodded and caught on. "Rory Conlan," he murmured gently. "Lest we forget."

"Lest we forget," the other men intoned and they all raised their drinks again.

"Now, lads," John said gently. "I'm sorry about this but I'm knackered and they'll shout at me if you stay too long."

"That's okay mate. We were just off so we can catch a pub and get some grub. You'll be okay?"

"Yeah, sound," John reassured. "I have a good nurse." He cast a swift look at Sherlock but the man didn't see the exchange. "Take care, lads." Each man came to grip John's hand in parting, smiling and wishing him luck. "See you round." He watched them go with something like regret but he was quite glad they hadn't stayed longer. Sherlock came over and studied him.

"You've overtaxed yourself," he observed. "Close your eyes and rest. You don't want them to keep you here longer than necessary, do you?"

"Hell, no. You might as well get some rest too, okay? You could call home for a change of clothes."

Sherlock retreated to his own bed. "I'll be here when you wake."

John nodded and settled down, closing his eyes. "Sherlock?" he asked suddenly, eyes flying open again.

"Yes, John?"

"What we have," he said, cautiously. He watched Sherlock put his head on one side and regard him with curiosity in his verdigris eyes. He reminded John of a Gyrfalcon he had once seen on the arm of a Pashtun in Afghanistan. The beautiful bird had swiveled its head to regard him with curiosity in its amazingly piercing eyes. "It's ours," John said simply. "I can't name it, not yet. I'd just like it to continue as it is. It's...well... it's just us, Sherlock. Could we do that, do you think?" John regarded his friend with a soft smile.

"And you're not yet completely comfortable with us, are you?" Sherlock suggested.

"I'm not exactly uncomfortable, just..."

"I understand, John. Long held beliefs and patterns of behavior are very hard to break. They require remodeling, a different outlook. You're already so different from the man I first met all that time ago, that someday..." Sherlock's voice tailed off, his hopeful gaze locked on John's.

"Someday," John echoed. "Things will maybe evolve between us into something more. Besides, I don't think that man you knew exists anymore."

"He died, John. You changed, you left him behind. No bad thing, although he is still part of you. You shouldn't forget him completely. He's the reason why you're here."

John smiled, nodded. "Then there's only one thing you can say to that," he said with a smile. "Lest we forget."

(*SAM = surface to air missile for those of you who are not familiar with military stuff. EMTs = Emergency Medical Technicians who drive ambulances in the UK and ferry patients, at least, I think EMTs do patient transfer. Apologies if not. I'll go away and check)