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Fic: Things That Go Bump In The Night

Title: Things That Go Bump In The Night
Author: Erin Giles
Rating: PG
Characters/Pairings: John/Sarah, Sherlock
Words: 2035
Summary: Ever since her first date with John, Sarah has kept a cricket bat underneath her bed just in case. She never thought she’d actually use it though. Until tonight.

It was her brother’s cricket bat. He didn’t play anymore. Hadn’t played in years. So after her first date with John, and the likelihood that there would be more dates, she ‘borrowed’ her brother’s cricket bat. It sat snugly in the drawer under the bed next to the clean bed linen and towels. She hadn’t had occasion to use it in the three months that her and John had been dating, especially not on nights when John shared her bed. She never thought she’d end up following through on the cliché of having sports equipment underneath her bed.

This evening though she was hung over the side of the bed, fumbling fingers trying to find the towelling grip of it’s handle as the floorboards in her dining room creaked ominously. Her palms were sweaty and slick on the handle of her bedroom door, bat raised above her head as she tiptoed into the hall, barely daring to breathe as she blindly made her way towards the dining room.

She swung at the intruder before he had time to turn to face her. She clocked him round the head as hard as she could and watched dumbfounded as he careened sideways, hitting one of the dining room chairs and taking that to the floor with him. It was only as she flicked on the spotlights in the dining room that she realised her mistake.

She was greeted with the very familiar sight of a utilitarian jacket and sandy blonde hair, now sticky with blood.

‘John.’ His name escaped her lips in a scared breath as she dropped the cricket bat and crouched down beside him. He groaned as she tried to roll him over so he didn’t smother himself in her carpet. Fuzzy, blinking eyes tried to focus on her for a moment as she felt a surge of relief that she hadn’t killed her boyfriend.

‘John, can you hear me?’

He blinked a couple of times, still valiantly trying to focus on her as he brought a hand up to shield his eyes from the bright lights of the dining room. It took him a moment, but he eventually managed to force words out. ‘Sarah, are you alright?’

She laughed, slightly hysterically. ‘I’m fine, John. I’m fine.’

Her hands were shaking slightly as she helped him to sit up, catching a hold of his biceps as he lurched back and forth a couple of times, closing his eyes against the no doubt sudden vertigo. His skin had taken on an unhealthy grey pallor and blood was starting to seep past his hairline into the collar of his shirt. His hands gripped her elbows, as he seemed to put all his effort into breathing in and out for the moment.

‘I’m so sorry. I thought you were a burglar or something.’

He gave a weak smile at that and opened his eyes to look at her. She stared at each pupil critically, watching with worry as they both slowly contracted to focus on her again.

‘Stay there and I’ll go get the first aid kit,’ she said as she pulled herself back to her feet and hurried down the hallway to the bathroom. She retrieved the first aid box from underneath the sink as she heard a dull thunk from the dining room.

‘John!’ She was back in the dining room before she knew it, white knuckled grip on the first aid box, only to find that John had not only managed to right himself but the dining room chair he had knocked over, which he was now sat on, gripping the dining room table to keep himself slipping back to the floor.

‘I told you to stay where you were.’ Sarah set the box on the table and placed a hand on the top of John’s head, fingers trying to brush aside the bloody, already matting hair. He didn’t say anything. He seemed to be concentrating on his breathing again and Sarah felt sick.

‘John?’

He must have heard the worry in her voice because he opened his eyes and looked up at her quite sharply, causing him to cringe. ‘I’m fine. I’m sorry. I should have knocked rather than letting myself in.’ He looked down at the cricket bat still on the floor beside spots of blood. ‘You have quite a swing on you.’

Sarah gave him a half-hearted smile before she pulled one of the dining room chairs round so she was facing him. She held a finger up in front of her face and John knew what he had to do before she even asked him. He touched his nose and then groped somewhat blindly for her finger. He found it after some hesitation and then hit his top lip instead of his nose again. He tried for a second time and found Sarah’s finger much more easily before he poked himself in the eye.

‘Nauseous?’

‘A little.’

‘Days of the week in French?’

He stumbled over Vendredi but made it to Sunday without too much effort, by which time Sarah was cleaning the cut out that was hidden in his hair.

‘You’ll live,’ she told him as she applied steri-strips to his head before kissing the blossoming bruise on his temple. ‘Thank goodness.’ Her voice was a little breathy and she found tears were gathering at the corners of her eyes as she pulled back to look at him properly. Now that she wasn’t fussing over the mess she’d caused she could see how utterly spent he was, and she doubted it was from the mild concussion she had just inflicted on him.

‘John, why were you sneaking in so late at night?’

He sighed, shoulders slumping forward slightly, and Sarah knew the answer. Sherlock.

‘It’s stupid.’

It usually is with, Sherlock. Sarah refrained herself from saying as she realised John probably didn’t come here to complain; he just came here for some comfort and a bed to sleep in.

‘Tell me in the morning,’ Sarah said as she helped him to his feet and pointed him down the corridor towards the bedroom. He went without much prompting, leaving Sarah to retrieve a bag of peas and some paracetamol from the kitchen. In the bedroom John had stripped down to his undershirt and boxers, clothes in a pile on the floor rather than neatly folded. He was getting into the bed rather gingerly on the side as yet unruffled by sleep.

‘Take these before you get comfy.’ Sarah held out the paracetamol and a glass of water for him. He handed it back to her with a mumble of thanks before lying down. She placed the bag of peas she’d wrapped in a tea towel on the side of his head and winced when he let out an audible hiss.

‘I’m sorry,’ she repeated as she got into bed beside him, her fingers reaching out to comb out the dried bits of blood in his hair. He grasped at her forearm, pulling it down so he could kiss her hand.

‘I’ll be fine. I’ve got a hard head.’ He blinked excessively at her, clearly struggling to keep his eyes open.

‘Go to sleep. I’ll make sure the peas don’t melt all over the bed.’

He gave her that dopey half-asleep smile that she often woke up to on a morning before he let his eyes fall shut, his hand still grasping her forearm loosely. She laced her own fingers through his lax ones and with her now free arm went back to trying to brush the dried blood out of his hair. He sighed, a puff of air curling towards her smelling of Chinese. She stayed awake long enough to brush all the dried blood from his hair and hear his gentle snuffling snore.

* * *

Received 07:13
Argyll Rd. Kensington. SH

Received 07:56
John? SH

Received 08:24
It was the sister. Worn arch on left shoe. SH

Received 09:47
We’re out of milk. SH

Received 10:07
We’re out of tea. SH


‘John?’

‘Sarah.’ Sarah hadn’t really expected Sherlock to answer when she called him. She knew from John’s own frustrations with his flatmate that Sherlock very rarely answered his phone unless it was beneficial to him.

‘What happened?’

‘How do you- No, never mind. Can you just stop texting him, please? I’ll send him back to you this evening. Maybe you could have come up with an appropriate apology by then.’

‘What makes you assume I have anything to apologise for?’

‘Because I know you, Sherlock.’

‘And because you, yourself are perhaps feeling guilty for something? The cricket bat under your bed finally saw some action, perhaps?’

‘Goodbye, Sherlock.’ She hung up on him, marvelling at the fact that Sherlock could deduce what had happened without even seeing the state of John’s face. Sarah pushed open the bedroom door to find John still asleep, black eye now fully formed.

He drew a sharp breath, waking himself up as the floorboards creaked under Sarah’s feet. He immediately reached a hand up to his head to rub the sleep from his eyes, groaning almost immediately as he recalled his injuries. Sarah winced in sympathy as she stepped into the room.

‘I spoke to Sherlock,’ she said, holding out John’s phone towards him. He blinked at her a couple of times. An uncoordinated hand reached out for his phone. He glanced at the screen briefly seeing that he had five new messages. He sighed, dropping his phone onto his bed.

‘What did he want?’ John’s voice was gruff, and Sarah made a note to put the kettle on.

‘Nothing that can’t wait.’ Sarah sat down on the edge of the bed. ‘How’s your head?’

John exhaled slowly, a hand coming up to cover his left eye. ‘I’ll live.’

‘I am sorry.’

‘It’s fine. I shouldn’t have come sneaking in last night. I should have called. I was just so bloody angry with Sherlock I didn’t really think what I was doing until I was here.’

Sarah reached over and kissed John’s cheek. ‘What happened?’

‘Same thing that always happens. He almost gets himself bloody killed and muggins here has to save his life.’ John sighed. ‘What happens when I’m not there, Sarah? What happens when one day I’m at work or round here and he goes and does something stupid and gets himself killed, what then?’

Sarah bit her lip, but didn’t say anything. John’s phone was beeping. They both glanced down at it between them. Sherlock’s name flashing up on the screen, a message beneath it.

Received 10.32
Need to pack. Going to Devon. Curious incident of the dog in the night. SH


John exhaled a shaky breath, shoulders slumping as he tried to push the covers back and effectively remove Sarah from the bed too.

‘I need to go.’

Sarah frowned. ‘Of course you do.’

John hesitated in reaching for his shirt at Sarah’s tone of voice, looking at her questioningly.

‘He hasn’t even apologised.’

‘He won’t. He’s Sherlock.’

‘And you don’t think there’s something a bit wrong with that?’

John didn’t answer, instead busying himself with doing up the buttons on his shirt. Sarah sighed as John reached down to swipe his trousers up into his hands.

‘Sherlock-‘ John started, but Sarah was talking over him.

‘Sherlock survived 30-odd years without you, John. Surely he can survive a trip to Devon?’

John didn’t have an answer to that. He was still pulling on his clothes, mulling over Sarah’s words as he did. It was true, Sherlock had survived the last 30 or so years without John, but from what he glimpsed in snippets of information from both Lestrade and Mycroft, Sherlock had barely made it this far. It wasn’t that John felt obligated, but he felt that he should at least play his part in ensuring the consulting detective continued with his work.

‘Sorry,’ John apologised as he pulled on his jacket and headed towards the front door. ‘I’ll see you later.’

The front door shut behind him and Sarah let out a breath of resignation. A small part of her didn’t feel quite so guilty for clocking John round the head the previous evening now.

Comments

( 2 have written — Write to me )
pinkfairy727
Sep. 15th, 2012 08:55 am (UTC)
Hee! Fic! :D

I love it! Poor John, I would not want to deal with Sherlock with a cricket bat induced headache.
capt_facepalm
Dec. 29th, 2012 12:22 am (UTC)
Very nice!
Sarah deserved more than what Moffat wrote. Afterall, she took on Chinese-ninja-acrobats all for the sake of John's strange flatmate, and all without flinching. Heck, it was her and John's first date. Stupid Moffat. That girl was a keeper!
( 2 have written — Write to me )

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