That Holmes Guy
"You do it."
"I did it once. I won’t do it again."
"Well I learned from your mistake and I’m not doing it.
"Someone has to go in there and—"
"Fucking bloody hell, I’ll do it you spoiled babies."
John Watson went chin down and stomping toward room 12. You try doctoring when it’s actually hard, you poncy gits. John didn’t say that, wouldn’t say it any of the times his colleagues complained about a patient. Neither of them had served, neither had put a soldier back together to a soundtrack of moaning because the morphine was running out and most of the oxycodone had again “disappeared.”
They’d grown used to easy consults, deferential families, to nurses smart enough to protect their egos. They’d forgotten that when people were hurt they lashed out and hurt. It didn’t make them bad, it made them human.
Sure he’d heard about this Holmes guy, another poncy git if the stories were true, a mouthy man who’d second-guess every diagnosis, argue the placement of a plaster each time he came in bruised and bleeding. The thing is, when John asked why the man was in hospital so often his idiot colleagues couldn’t tell him.
John opened 12 quietly.
The patient—sitting up in bed, eyes closed, both hands elegantly gesturing as if placing small things just so—stopped what he was doing, opened his eyes, and then his mouth.
"I used to do something like that in med school, write formula and mnemonics in the air. It helped me remember. My girlfriend said I looked like I was having seizures. Yours looks more graceful."
The man closed his mouth on words unsaid, and nearly smiled.
"Are you going to take your pain meds?"
The man shook his head no.
"Is there a reason?"
The man shook his head yes.
"Okay. Well you got it pretty bad with that cricket bat and I know you hurt like a bastard right now. Is there a way I can help with the pain?"
The man smiled for real this time.
The desert taught John how to be the kind of doctor he wanted most to be. Taught him about the part of the Hippocratic oath that said warmth and sympathy were as important as the surgeon’s knife, the chemist’s drug…or his own damned ego.
So for the next twenty minutes John offered the warmth of his attention and the sympathy of his regard. An hour later, he shared a spare five minutes. Then later another ten. And when John was off for the night he pulled a chair up beside the man’s bed and listened to him talk, and sometimes John said “amazing,” and sometimes “incredible,” and when John said, “I need a flatmate,” the man was unsurprised to hear himself say yes.
It was the first time that ‘the Holmes guy’ would say yes to the army doctor, but it wouldn’t be the last. Though he does still argue about the god damn plasters.
Medeia456 said maybe they could meet when Sherlock was vulnerable, perhaps a hospital. Why I felt we would hear none of Sherlock’s words I don’t know… By the way, these (and other stories) is published on AO3 if you care to follow me there.