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Fic: Choose Your Battleground [Elementary]

Title: Choose Your Battleground
Fandom: Elementary
Rating PG
Characters: Joan Watson, Marcus Bell
Length: 900
Alternate Link: AO3
Author's Notes: Written for the watsons_woes JWP Prompt 2015 #20: Yankee Doodle came to London, a challenge to include an American in today's story. This story follows my JWP #2 story, Respiratory, Perfusion, Mental Status, but can stand alone. Unbeta'd.

Summary: In the aftermath of the bombing, Joan proved that her training had prepared her to save lives in more ways than one.

Joan sat in the back of an ambulance, cleaning out the deep cut on her hand. She wasn't sure when she'd been injured – maybe while trying to shove rebar out of the way to get to the patrolman screaming about his leg.

Captain Gregson had asked her and Sherlock to take a look at the parking garage where a car bomb had gone off earlier that morning. She'd been running late, still three blocks away in heavy traffic, when she heard the second explosion. Felt it, in her bones; every New Yorker's post-9/11 nightmare. She'd gotten out of the cab and run towards the blast site, pushing through the crowd desperate to get away.

She'd started triage the moment she arrived at the half-collapsed garage, just like she'd been trained. It was a blur in her memory; cries for help, broken bones, shrapnel, gushing wounds, people trapped in the wreckage. Seconds counted and she'd drawn a one-word assessment on each casualty with the Sharpie from her purse. Green, yellow, red. Black for those beyond help.

Sherlock's arm had been twisted at an unnatural angle. He was breathing normally, bleeding from a gash on his head with a capillary refill under two seconds; barely conscious but responsive. She'd scrawled 'yellow' on his forehead and moved on.

The EMT in the ambulance handed over some steri-strips without comment when Joan demanded them. One minute to properly apply them, and she was ready to head back in.

Marcus intercepted her as she ducked under the yellow crime scene tape. He was limping, Joan noted, details bright and sharp with the adrenaline still pumping through her system. Marcus was wearing the spare shirt he kept in his car, and had quickly washed his face and hands. There were smudges of grey dust around his hairline and his nails were rust-red from compressing Estevez's femoral artery on her orders.

"You alright?" he asked, handing her a bottle of water.

She nodded, opening the bottle of water and chugging it down. The cool water soothed her throat, rough from breathing in the concrete and smoke and God knows what particles in the air. At least a parking garage wouldn't have asbestos in the walls.

"What's the count?" Joan asked after she finished the water.

"Thirty-nine wounded, not including the walking wounded like ourselves," Marcus told her. "Five dead." He hesitated. "Estevez didn't make it."

"Sorry," she said.

Marcus shrugged, his professionalism an unbroken mask. "It is what it is. Why don't you go home, take a shower, get some rest."

Joan glared at him.

He took a step back, holding his hands up. "Hey, it's not ... whatever you think. I told every man and woman on my team the same thing."

"And how many of them took you up on it?"

Marcus tried to smile; he couldn't quite pull it off. "None of them. But at least I tried. Holmes is at St. Vincent's. I can get you a ride over there," he offered.

Joan thought about it. He was probably being prepped for surgery now. Once upon a time she would have been putting on a surgical gown, scrubbing in and picking the right piece of music for the surgery. Pitting her wits and skill against death on the calm, sterile battleground of the operating room.

Joan shook her head. "Sherlock won't be out of surgery for a few hours, and he won't be conscious until after midnight. Could you please make sure that his surgical team is informed about his drug history? The anesthesiologist will need to know."

Marcus nodded and pulled out his cell phone. "Carter's at St. Vincent with the officer's families. He'll make sure they get the message," he said, pecking away at the screen.

"Great. I need to check out the north-east corner of the parking garage. Sherlock had texted me something about a white van parked there," Joan said.

Marcus looked up mid-text. "Wait, no. The scene's closed. We've got canine and bomb-disposal units in there, looking for any more casualties or devices. It's been designated a terrorist attack. The FBI's going to be heading up a joint task force. The Army's even flying in some of their bomb experts from Afghanistan."

"So you're telling me that the feds are taking over the investigation?"

"Yeah. Aside from securing the scene and looking for survivors, the NYPD's been ordered hands-off until they arrive."

"Good thing I'm not NYPD," Joan said crisply. "Are the garage's video files intact?"

"Yeah, but the corporate office's legal department won't surrender them without a warrant."

"I'll see what I can do," Joan said. "Text me their address."

"Okay," Marcus said. "You should clean up first, though," he said seriously.

"No, I don't think I will," Joan said. "If some lawyer wants to withhold video evidence that would help us catch the people responsible for this, he's going to have to see me in person, see this," she hissed, gesturing sharply at her dirty, torn, blood-stained self, "and he'll need to say no right to my face."

This time Marcus managed to smile, or at least bare his teeth. "Yes, ma'am," he said. "I doubt a cab's gonna stop for you, so I'll assign one of the squad cars to give you a ride. And … I'll let the captain know you've got it handled."

Joan thanked him, accepted the ride, and went to work.

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Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
gardnerhill
Jul. 22nd, 2015 04:34 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah, CompetentBadass!Joan Watson for the win. She may also have learned a bit about making visual statements (or even a scene) from her partner.
keerawa
Jul. 22nd, 2015 08:36 pm (UTC)
She most certainly has! Usually Joan's the one smoothing things over, but I'm sure she can rise to the occasion. Thanks for the comment, gardnerhill!
capt_facepalm
Jul. 26th, 2015 12:49 am (UTC)
This reads like it could really be part of the show. You have the characters drawn perfectly.
keerawa
Jul. 26th, 2015 12:59 am (UTC)
Thank you so much, captain! I'm proud of this one.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )