It never happens as planned.
Always at the worst times.
There never really is a good time to lose someone though, is there?
A crash came from outside Greg’s office, he stood to peer out the glass windows surrounding him as the door swung open revealing an out of breath Sally Donovan. She gave him a look that sunk his stomach.
Greg quickly grabbed his coat and followed Sally out of the office. They passed a desk that had nearly been cleaned off, the phone, papers and a stapler on the ground.
Quickly, they hopped in the squad car and headed towards Bart’s.
“What happened?” He asked, his voice nearly shaking.
“We don’t have all the details. He and Sherlock were following a lead on a case. They had evidently found the man they were looking for and he took off. Obviously, Sherlock chased after him with John on his heels, however, what they didn’t account for was that he wasn’t alone. They were ambushed by a group of 3 or 4 that were working with the man.”
“Is Sherlock alright? Why didn’t he call it in, he knows we would have been there!” Greg couldn’t help but to raise his voice. Sherlock’s arrogance had put them all in undesirable situations over the last few years, but they always got out alive. Maybe not this time.
“You know how he is, but yes he is fine.”
“And what about John?” The lump in his throat became harder to ignore as Sally looked at him again.
“Sal, he’s gonna make it right?” She sighed as they pulled into Bart’s.
“It doesn’t look good, Sir.” Greg hung his head momentarily before they exited the car, making a quick entrance into the hospital.
A nurse greeted them almost immediately as they walked in.
“Looking for John Watson.” She smiled at Greg as she typed on the computer.
“He’s in surgery right now, the family is in the waiting room to your right.”
Greg nodded his head in thanks as the pair walked to the room. The first site was of an upset looking Mycroft, the next, a disheveled Sherlock.
“Sal, go back to work. I’ve got this one.” They smiled to each other as she squeezed his arm and walked back towards the doors.
Mycroft and Greg locked eyes and a bit of tension fell out of both of them. Sherlock glanced up, the tears evident on his face. And then he laughed.
“Please do tell what is so funny, brother mine.” Mycroft rasped. Greg placed a tender hand on Mycroft’s arm before speaking.
“Sherlock?” Greg squeaked out. The man looked up at him, a face of innocence greeting him. He felt Mycroft shift. The older Holmes reached out and placed a hand on his brother’s shoulder.
“It is not your fault.” The younger man laughed as another tear fell.
“It really was a matter of when, not if. When would I inevitably kill John Watson. God, I can see the headline now. Reckless Sherlock Holmes kills friend and Army veteran John Watson. The Sun will really love that one.” Sherlock mockingly spoke, but the pain was evident.
“You didn’t kill him Sherlock. You couldn’t have know that man wasn’t alo-“
“I always know, Mycroft. That’s my job. I know. And I also know that being stabbed in the chest with what looked to be a serrated knife can leave fatal cuts. Whether it hits the heart, lungs or causes massive blood loss, chances are I have killed John Watson.”
“Maybe if you chose to not be reckless, you would have realized that sooner or later running after fugitives in alleyways was going to get someone hurt.” Greg snapped.
“Gregory-“ Mycroft started, but was soon stopped.
“No,” Greg threw his hand up to stop Mycroft. He turned toward Sherlock. “You do not get to act like this was just by chance. For how many years have we told you to not run after people like that? For how many years have you been told to call if you found something? No matter how much you would like it, you are not a police officer. You are not a detective. You are careless, reckless and irresponsible and now John Watson is laying on an operating table because you couldn’t call for back up.” Mycroft stepped between the two men, his hands on Greg’s shoulders pushing him back.
“Gregory, go outside. Go. This is not the time nor the place.”
Sherlock chuckled again. Greg pushed passed Mycroft, across the room in a matter of seconds. He grabbed Sherlock by the collar, lifting him out of the seat and shoving him against the wall.
“Tell me what is so damn funny, Sherlock!” Greg spat at the younger man. Another tear fell down his face.
“I would give anything for it to be me on that table right now,” Sherlock whispered. Greg’s eyes softened as he let go of Sherlock’s collar. “You’ve all done it once. You moved on. John got married, Greg, you lived your life without me in your hair. Mycroft went back to running the country without analyzing footage of me all the time. I know that if I were to die you all would be able to move on eventually, you would be able to function and lead normal lives afterwards.” Tears streamed down Sherlock’s face as struggled to catch his breath between words. Tears began to form in Greg’s eyes.
“I can’t live without John. I know I can’t. He’s everything to me. He keeps me grounded, he keeps me on the right track. He’s my compass. He’s my partner. And I can’t do this without him.” Sherlock slid the floor, his back against the wall. Greg rushed to him, Mycroft quickly behind him. They put a reassuring hand on each shoulder.
“Statistically speaking, considering he still had a heartbeat upon arrival, he has a much higher chance of survival than the average person. Plus, he is in excellent physical shape, not a smoker. Statistically, he should be fine.” As Mycroft finished Greg gave him a look that clearly said Not helping to which the older Holmes ignored.
“He’s gonna be fine, Sherlock. He always is.” He pulled Sherlock into a tight embrace, which the younger man willingly accepted, Mycroft with a loving hand on Greg’s head and on Sherlock’s shoulder.
It had been two weeks since the stabbing. John was still in the hospital, having undergone 2 more surgeries since the original. With the help of Mycroft, Greg located the attacker and his goonies, bringing them all in a bit more bruised than what they had originally been.
John made improvements every day.
Sherlock apologized every day.
When John walked for the first time after the incident, Sherlock was right by his side. A reassuring smile on his face and subtle reminder that never again would anyone hurt John Watson.
John was ready to leave the hospital.
Sherlock installed a completely sterile medicine cabinet into their apartment.
John and Sherlock went home, slowly and a bit wobbly at first, but Sherlock’s grip was firm on John and he would never let him fall.
The day John Watson was saved, Sherlock was lost.
He lost a bit of himself in the incident. He no longer ran into alleys after people without back up. He sent Greg a short but precise email on what he had found that week. He asked John if taking a case was a good idea and actually cared what John had to say. That day chipped a piece off of Sherlock and replaced it with more human piece.
He wasn’t the only one that changed that day though. Mycroft no longer feels the need to watch CCTV of Sherlock at all hours of the day. Greg no longer worries that Sherlock is lying dead in the streets somewhere. They no longer worry that Sherlock puts his own adrenaline rush in front of everything else. Since that day, there has been a lot less worrying in the Holmes-Lestrade house.
To say that a loss is a bad thing is not always true. Sometimes, facing a loss changes you in just the right way. As Sherlock sat in his chair, watching over the city, John writing out another blog post, he realized that sometimes change is good. Sometimes, you have to lose a piece of yourself to find a better one.