Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Fic: No Way Out But Through [BBC Sherlock]

Title: No Way Out But Through
Fandom: BBC Sherlock
Rating PG-13
Characters: John Watson, Sherlock Holmes, Mary Morstan-Watson
Length: 1000 words
Alternate Link: AO3
Author's Notes: Written for the watsons_woes JWP Prompt #25: Moved by music. Inspired by an Irish anti-war, anti-recruiting song, 'Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya'. You can listen to a traditional version by the Irish Rovers, or the punk version with a fantastic vid by the Dropkick Murphys. Post season 3. Set between Human Intelligence and The Milk of Human Kindness. Unbeta'd.
Summary: In which John has to convince Sherlock and Mary to let him go on this mission with Moran.

John walked up the seventeen steps to 221B. The flurry of texts he'd received once Mycroft lifted his 'radio silence' indicated that Sherlock and Mary would be waiting for him here.

John cracked open the door. Sherlock, who had obviously been pacing, whirled around and began scanning John's body, clothes and hands for information. John nodded to Mary, who was sitting tight-mouthed on the sofa, and hung up his coat.

"Absolutely not," Sherlock said when John turned back around. "Whatever ill-conceived, dangerous stunt Mycroft has talked you into, you will call him back and tell him you won't do it."

John walked to his armchair and sank into it with a sigh. "You haven't heard what it is yet. Mycroft called me in to interview Moran."

Mary leaned forward awkwardly, her belly in the way. "Sebastian Moran?"

John nodded. "Moriarty's right-hand man. He thinks this broadcast isn't from the real Moriarty, and he's offered to help us find and bring down whoever's behind it. Mycroft wants me to act as Moran's handler for the mission."

Sherlock shook his head, but it was Mary who spoke up first. "Moran has a reputation, John, and it's a nasty one. He's not just a sniper. He was Moriarty's pet torturer, as well. Isn't it more likely he's trying to get you in a vulnerable position, where he can make you pay for Moriarty's death?" Her voice was strained, as if she knew exactly what such a man was capable of.

For a moment John wished for his old Mary back, the Mary who had never been touched by that darkness. "I don't think that's his goal," John answered. Sherlock stepped forward, opening his mouth. "And neither does Mycroft."

Sherlock sneered, dropping into his own chair. "I'm aware that I've not been meeting your need for adrenaline recently, John, but from one junkie to another, there are less deadly ways of getting a fix."

Sherlock's sharpest barbs were reserved for himself these days. John watched Mary reach out as if to take Sherlock's hand, even though he was out of reach.

"Look," John said, "I won't deny that's part of the appeal, but if Moran is really willing to help, that's an opportunity we can't afford to miss out on."

Mary folded her hands over her belly, eyes hard.

Sherlock scoffed. "For Queen and country, John? Are you really so susceptible to Mycroft's manipulation?"

"No, Sherlock, this is for us. When we thought this was Moriarty, we thought he'd be coming after you. If it's not Moriarty, if this is some person or group of people pretending to be Moriarty, that makes them more dangerous, not less. The one thing everyone knows about Moriarty is that he's obsessed with you. So they'll have to make a move. And if it's not really Moriarty, it won't be clever, it won't be a game, it will be a bomb or a sniper or, I don't know, poison in the bloody milk! And how am I meant to protect you against that? I can't, and that is why I have to do this." John realized his voice had risen nearly to shouting level, and settled back into his armchair.

Mary was examining him with narrowed eyes. "So what, exactly, would be your role in this mission of Moran's?"

John shrugged. "I'm not sure. Mycroft said, 'handler', but I was thinking, on the way back, that it might be more advantageous if these people, whoever they were, thought they were buying both Moran's services and mine."

Sherlock rolled his eyes. "They'd never believe that, John."

"They might," John said mildly. "After all, I have a wife and a little girl to look after now, and that nice nest egg you'd willed me disappeared back into your bank account when you came back from the dead. That's motive, and an incentive. Because unless you've changed your will, your assassination would net me a nice bonus on top of any pay they'd offer."

Sherlock's face curdled as he pulled his legs up into his chair. "You never used to be such a good liar," he muttered.

The three of them sat there for a few minutes, considering the possibility.

Mary finally broke the unhappy silence. "Putting you directly into play is more dangerous, but it has a better chance of success. Moran won't be able to play both sides with you watching over his shoulder."

John nodded. "It guarantees that you and the baby are out of the line of fire. And they'd be fools not to call on my expertise when it comes to moving against Sherlock. Should we stage some kind of public fight?" he asked Sherlock.

Sherlock shook his head. "Too obvious. But if you have a few days, you might pick up that gambling habit you had back in your twenties."

John agreed, not asking how Sherlock knew about that not-so-proud chapter of his life.

Sherlock dived for one of the filing boxes in the corner. "Moriarty had his hands in dozens of gambling establishments in London. Most of them are still operational…" he trailed off, lay down on the carpet, and began pouring over the contents of a folder.

Mary began to struggle to her feet. John hurried over to help her. Once she was up, Mary grabbed him by the back of the neck and kissed him, hard. She pulled back after a minute and stared at him. "Don't you dare leave me alone with this baby, John Watson," she said quietly.

"I wouldn't," he assured her. "Sherlock will look after you both."

She barked a harsh laugh and closed her eyes. When she opened them again, they were wet. "I swear, there is a God up there, and right now he's having a good laugh at my expense. No unnecessary risks, you hear? And you come home to me. To us."

John hugged her. He didn't promise, as much as he might want to. They all knew better than to believe those kinds of promises.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 28th, 2014 02:54 am (UTC)
Ooooh, very intense! I like how you portray the tension and the emotions of all the characters.
Jul. 30th, 2014 09:07 am (UTC)
Thank you, methylviolet10b. It would be a difficult thing for Mary and Sherlock to accept, John going into danger without them.
Aug. 2nd, 2014 01:08 pm (UTC)
Such danger!
There is a great difference between regular military (John) and espionage (Sherlock, Mary). To John into play is a very dangerous option.
Aug. 2nd, 2014 09:35 pm (UTC)
Very true, Captain. Thank you for reading and commenting!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )