Shared Experience

Author: MonkeyBard
Rating: G
Summary: They said they'd share everything.
Date: 8 July 2015
A/N: My mind fixated on the middle two lines and would not let go. Also, it caught the images from that uber-creepy deleted scene that keerawa linked yesterday. My brain needed to create a not-creepy antidote. So, yeah. This.

JWP #8: Poem prompt.

The Ballad of Reading Gaol

"I never saw a man who looked
With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
Which prisoners call the sky,
And at every drifting cloud that went
With sails of silver by."

--Oscar Wilde

The first time he wakes, it's dark. Well, as dark as these places ever get, which is never absolute. Lethargy and tubing hold him motionless. Logic tells him where he is and memory tells him why. Some people forget the moment of trauma. He is not one of those. The pain is helpful in that way.

He's too weak even to turn his head against the pillow, so instead of eyes, he uses ears. There is a hush like a library, but he hears low voices and movement in the corridor. A rubber-soled shoe squeaks on the floor outside his room before moving away. There is the soft whuff of air pumping, providing him assistance through the canula at his nose. A quiet beeping breaks in every 35 seconds. He listens particularly for one thing, but cannot hear it.

Failing sound, he uses his sense of smell. Recycled air. Industrial floor cleaner. Alcohol from swabs and hand sanitizers. Flowers. Who sent him flowers?

A nurse enters, disturbing his concentration. He opens his eyes to glare at her, but she is oblivious to his ire. She checks pulse and blood pressure, examines machines and chart. Her hands move to the IV bag and soon his eyelids are heavy. Pain recedes. Sleep advances.


The second time he wakes, it's light. Sunlight flows through the window to his left. He has the strength to turn his head now. He squints, taking in the small piece of sky visible beyond the glass. A tail of cloud is passing from view, scudding its way westward. It's early morning. He knows from the angle of light the hour and the direction he faces. What he doesn't know is the day.

The sound of movement to his right draws his attention from the view. The creak of the chair beside the bed as someone shifts on it. He draws a breath and the corner of his mouth twitches in a tiny smile. There is the scent he missed before. He turns toward it and finds the sight he so desires.

John takes his hand, warm palm, fingers strong but gentle. With the other hand, he brushes a dark curl from Sherlock's forehead.

John leans in and speaks softly. "I know we agreed we'd share everything, every experience, every emotion, every day of the rest of our lives. But you didn't have to take it so far. I'd've given you a pass on the experience of being shot and nearly dying."

Sherlock cannot quite muster the energy to speak. Instead he squeezes John's hand weakly. Not much, but the best he can do. It's enough. They understand one another. He sees it in John's eyes.

"D'you need anything?"

Sherlock squeezes harder.

John nods. "You rest. Get some more sleep. I'll be here when you wake up. I'm not going anywhere. I promise."


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