John wasn't aware that tears of relief mixed with the blood on Sherlock's body. If Sherlock had died with John's blood in his veins, the doctor was convinced that he would have despised himself, would have hated his own blood, and wouldn't have wanted to keep that deadly liquid in himself. He would have found a way to get rid of it and to join Sherlock. Slashing your wrists wasn't a tough thing to do and it wasn't the most unpleasant of deaths. John shook his head to rid himself of the thought. Sherlock was alive and in his subconscious John wondered if he should probably reconsider adjusting the dose of his Diazepam having such disturbing thoughts.
The ex-army doctor distantly perceived his name being called.
"John! We have to get him to the clinic…"
That sent pricks through John's body. He remembered how Sherlock had begged not to be taken to hospital when John had arrived, finding his flatmate in that miserable state in the bathroom. Apparently, he had been much more terrified by their stay in the clinic than he would ever admit while fully conscious.
"No!" John exclaimed furiously. "You will not take him to that clinic again!"
"John, be reasonable!" Mycroft scolded.
"I can take care of him."
Sherlock's brother laughed scornfully. "Look at you, Doctor Watson, you are undoubtedly out of your senses, and you want to take care of my brother?"
"I might be out of my senses, but that's just because I care! I am still a medical man and I am only acting on my patient's behalf and wishes. I will take care of him right here, no matter what you say! Just leave me some of the medical equipment."
"You are not acting on anybody's wishes, let alone behalf, because of the simple reason that Sherlock is not your patient! You have no legal rights," Mycroft replied disdainfully. "I really have to doubt your medical abilities, John. He has just survived another cardiac arrest and you think you can take care of him on your own?"
Mycroft gave John a piercing look, a deep frown on his face.
"Not only can I do it, I will! And you won't persuade me otherwise! If you are acting in his best interest, as you always point out, then leave him here."
"You are… insane!" Sherlock's brother spat.
John got to his feet and invaded Mycroft's personal space, waving the blood-soaked wash cloth in his hand.
"You – will have to kill me to get Sherlock out of here."
That earned John a pitiless smirk. "Although it is not a means that I prefer, it wouldn't be a problem. I assume you are aware of that as we had this little talk before, remember?"
John glared at the older Holmes. He seemed to have noticed a shift of expression in John's face as he raised his eyebrows just a split-second before the ex-army man's fist shot up into Mycroft's face.
The tall man stumbled backwards, gripping the edge of the table to prevent him from falling. Obviously that hadn't been what he had expected. He straightened his shoulders, wiping away the tiny trail of blood running from his nose.
The room was dead quiet apart from the beeping of the heart monitor and the regular hissing of the Ambu bag being pressed.
Everyone was staring alternately at John and Mycroft, the former looking down at the disobedient hand guiltily, the latter staring at the ex-army doctor coldly and yet with slight amazement.
John was shocked by his own reaction. That was actually more than a bit not good and didn't really help to refute what Mycroft had just said about his state of mind. In fact, he had just proven that he was as crazy as one could get by punching the most powerful man he knew straight into the face in front or far too many witnesses.
Actually, John himself had started wondering whether Mycroft was right. From when the team had arrived in the flat he had given them a display of his weakness, rocking his friend and sobbing over him. Most people would probably just dismiss it as sentiment, but that was the exact problem when dealing with Mycroft Holmes.
The doctor was numb. He was sure that he had just squandered any chance of keeping Sherlock in his care. This loss of control was the worst that could have happened, because nothing in the world would keep Mycroft now from taking his brother to the clinic, forcing John to let his friend down, that was for sure. John's vision blurred and the ex-army doctor had to force back the tears that were burning in his eyes once again. Keeping his promise was not only amatter of friendship but also of honour, and he had always been an honourable and trustworthy man.
John raised his eyes, looking straight into the older man's face.
Pull yourself together, John Watson, you will not fail your best friend! he thought. Mycroft had it coming, long since.
John didn't know what he could say to avoid worseninghis position, so he kept quiet and waited. Finally, Mycroft broke the silence.
"Admittedly, your arguments are quite forceful," he said in a low voice. "What reason is there – apart from this one - that should convince me to leave my brother in your care?" Mycroft enquired, rubbing his chin.
John hesitated. His heart was pounding. "He begged me," he stated plainly, in absence of anything better to say but the truth.
Mycroft stopped short. His eyes narrowed and he slightly tilted his head.
"I see," was all he said slowly.
For a time that felt endless there was again silence, the two men having locked eyes. Although no word was uttered, their glances spoke volumes - a silent battle fought between the ex-army man and the personification of the British Government, however, John knew that he had gone too far this time.
"What do you need?"
John choked. "I'm sorry?"
"I said, what do you need?"
John's jaw had dropped. He was completely stunned, having expected anything but this. However, he knew that he had to reply fast before Mycroft changed his mind, as he might perceive a delayed reaction as yet another proof of John's inability to take care of Sherlock.
So, John forced himself to switch into doctor mode and enumerate the things he needed, while carefully watching Mycroft, whose face remained deadpan, a bruise forming on his cheek. John still couldn't believe Mycroft's change of mind, but it seemed as if Sherlock's brother had been convinced by something. His face hadn't given John any sign as to what Mycroft really felt, his glances only displaying his power. John was pretty sure that it hadn't been his punch that had persuaded Mycroft, so apparently this man, usually as emotional as steel, did have something like a heart.
After John and Mycroft had come to terms, Sherlock's breathing aid was removed and he was lifted onto his bed, the heart monitor being placed on the night stand. John didn't need very much apart from more fluid substitutes and some emergency drugs in case anything unforeseen happened. Although John rejected any help, Mycroft insisted on at least leaving one of his medical team within reach. In other words, there would always be one of those black limousines outside 221B with a doctor on board who would just wait in case John needed help. He considered this a complete waste, but had no choice but to agree.
After the medical team had already left with most of the equipment, John sat down on the edge of the bed next to his still unconscious flatmate, whose nose and mouth were covered by a breathing mask, the attached oxygen flask hissing soothingly. Suddenly, Mycroft half entered the room, stopping in the doorway.
"I am really not sure whether I won't end up regretting my decision. Don't disappoint me, John. In the worst case scenario, rest assured that you willshare my brother's fate." he said, his voice dangerously determined. He turned around on his heels and started walking from the room.
That hadn't been a threat to John. If Sherlock died, he wouldn't want to live anyway. At least he wouldn't have to think about how to take his life, John thought bitterly.
"Mycroft," John hailed the inscrutable man, who turned around again, giving the doctor a questioning look.
Sherlock's brother raised his
eyebrows – and left.