ooc;; I’m sorry I haven’t gotten back to you, John! I promise, Monday. Monday it will happen.
[Not a problem, hun. <3]
Aftermath [John & Sherlock]
“Good,” Sherlock stated. Everything about John’s body language said the other was not alright, but he had seen John recover from war. He was sure something like this would turn around in a matter of days. If it even took that long.
The silence that followed was, in a word, intense. Heavy, long, and awkward. Sherlock’s shoulders relaxed again, letting go of his tenseness. It was edging on four in the morning. He thought, for just a moment, that he should get sleep. It refreshed the mind, and would allow Sherlock the chance to act as if nothing happened, his usual method of coping. His eyes flicked towards his bedroom door.
Where John stood, Sherlock had to take a step to the side to get around his flatmate. He stopped, right beside the other, though facing the opposite direction. He lifted a hand and cupped it firmly over John’s shoulder. It rested there briefly. Sherlock nodded, pat the other man twice and made for his bedroom. Once beyond the door, he nudged it mostly shut with his heel, leaving a crack where he could inspect if John had also departed the main room.
John inclined his head towards Sherlock when the detective placed a hand upon his shoulder, curious to see if it was because he needed something or he had another question. He was a little surprised, pleasantly so however, when he realized that it was merely Sherlock’s way of perhaps conveying whatever it was he couldn’t say at the moment. Giving the man a nod to show he understood, he watched as Sherlock departed to his room.
He turned once he believed the door to be shut and, for a moment, debated whether he should follow the other’s example and get some rest now, or try and get some things done beforehand. In the end, a brief yawn chose the verdict for him and, rubbing at the back of his head with a sigh, John left the main room and entered his bedroom. He pushed the door behind him, though didn’t bother to see if had shut or not before sitting down on the edge of his bed. Removing each shoe first, he eventually turned over onto his side and shut his eyes.
Sleep never came easily to the doctor, but for some reason that night, knowing that both he and Sherlock were safe for now — the reprieve from consciousness welcomed him with open arms and John shifted one last time so that his back was facing the door before falling asleep.
Aftermath [John & Sherlock]
“I know!” Sherlock exclaimed, slamming his palm on the desk. He took a slow breath, fixing his eyes on the papers spread across the surface. He couldn’t blame John for not understanding. Well, he could. And did. But he shouldn’t, and he knew he shouldn’t, and it frustrated him. Before John came along, he wouldn’t have cared about blaming idiocy. He wouldn’t have given it a second thought.
Sentiment is a chemical compound found on the losing side, he repeated to himself internally. His fingers curled under his hand, making a fist against the desk. He took another controlled breath, collected himself, and stood straight. In all his frustration, all his self-directed anger, he had forgotten to ask.
“Are you alright?”
He had asked it once, at the pool, when he had removed the explosives. But, only once. He did not know how John was, after that. Guilt was a very inexperienced emotion for Sherlock, and having it pull at him now jarred him from his usual aloof demeanor. His brow creased and eyes darkened with genuine concern, even if only for the brief moment the question was asked in.
John couldn’t help the quick flinch which forced him to take a step back when Sherlock slammed his hand down on the desk. He knew he should be used to the detective’s sudden outbursts by now, for numerous reasons, but somehow it had still put him off a bit.
He had to remind himself to think about it in different terms than he normally approached things. Sherlock was as passionate about his work as John had been as a field medic. Failure wasn’t an option. Anything less than a perfect success was unacceptable, so when things went wrong, frustration and anger was only natural, even expected.
Sherlock’s question drew John back to the night’s previous events, and he unconsciously tapped the side of his leg once with a clenched fist, his arm hanging loosely at his side. After a moment of quiet, he nodded his head once.
"I will be," he replied, nodding again.
Afganistan Days (tag@John)
Really, if he’d wanted, Sebastian could have sneaked the file from the tent once he’d found it among John’s papers, or attempted to stuff it into his jacket, or some such other endeavour to attempt concealing his actions. But when John entered the tent, he made no such movement. Wood had compromised the mission; Sebastian was only doing what he deemed necessary to ensure it would not happen again. He continued perusing the file until John charged toward him and snatched it from his fingers.
He looked at John, then, staring stone-faced at the shorter man as the doctor began his angry tirade of an explanation. And no, Sebastian was certainly not “happy”.
Upon being ordered to exit the tent, he instead stepped around John, intending to pick up the file from where it had landed on the cot. He’d take the file and ensure that Wood was discharged. It was a wonder a man with a chronic medical condition had been assigned to active duty in the first place. But now that Wood’s condition had fucked things up, compromised a mission and endangered the life of his sniping partner because he couldn’t contain his damned breathing, Sebastian would ensure he was removed.
“You’re forgetting your station, Captain,” he said, as his hand reached the file again. “Second time today—first questioning a superior officer during a high-risk fucking military operation, now giving orders? Will have to report you if this keeps up.”
John clenched his teeth hard enough he could feel them grinding against each other as his frustration grew. As a medic he knew he had certain rights when it came to questioning his superiors — especially when it came to protection of the other soldiers — but there were limits he knew he had to mind. That didn’t mean he was happy about it, but he knew he’d be better off keeping his mouth shut.
Figures, this would be the one time he couldn’t listen to his own advice.
Turning to face the colonel, crossing his arms over his chest as he regarded the man. “What good do you think reporting me is going to do, colonel? I’ve been stationed here for a long time, and never once has a complaint ever been raised about me. My record is clean, and I do my job better than anyone. You, on the other hand, had some issues at your old station, right? Suddenly you arrive and there’s a complaint about me?” John scoffed. “Who do you think has a better chance of being believed?
"And let’s say you do succeed and report me. Let’s say it even goes as far as getting me removed. Who suffers then? You’d only hurt yourself, and the likelihood of this mission’s success. Sure, you all may know the basics of first aid in the field, but what happens if one of you gets shot, or seriously injured? Then what? Think before you act, Colonel Sebastian. It’ll serve you well in the future."
Take your time and get properly back on your feet before forcing anything. I’m sorry you got hit so hard.
[Thanks love. I’ve been feeling a little better so hopefully I’ll be back soon.]
[ I feel terrible for not having replied recently you guys, and I’m sorry.
It’s just that so many things, emotionally, hit me all at once. My grandmother passed, and then my grandfather soon after her, not mention theatre’s been stressing my ass out like nobody’s business and then I had to keep face for my brother’s wedding and pretend like I wasn’t having like, a mental breakdown.
So hopefully my John muse will come back to me soon and I won’t be as much of a wreck. I’ll be on tomorrow and try to get to replies then.
I’m so sorry again you guys, I would have told you sooner but I just didn’t have it in me to get on here for some reason. ]
Aftermath [John & Sherlock]
The eye contact had not gone unnoticed, it was just a matter of Sherlock not caring if he was caught mid-stare. One hand held his elbow and the other was curled in front of his lips as he meandered around the living room. There was a path—it was the same path he took every time he found himself wrapped up in his thoughts—but it looked aimless. He was so concentrated, once he’d turned away from John, that he did not take notice of the other watching him immediately.
More, he did, but it did not strike him as unusual until John spoke. To which, Sherlock waved the hand in front of his face with a quick scrunch of his face and muttered, “Fine, just fine.”
His hand was shaking. Very minutely, but as soon as he moved it, he had noticed. He reasoned out every possible cause, choosing instead to fix it by fumbling into a box of nicotine patches. It had been a full twelve hours at that point, so he convinced himself that must be what his body was begging him for. It went right on the inside of his wrist, and he gripped the edge of the desk, leaning on it for a moment.
It was rare that Sherlock ever considered sliding back into old, terrible habits. Only shortly before encountering and moving in with John, he had quite the hard drug addiction. Privately, of course. Even Mycroft hadn’t picked up on it until years after it had begun, but he had stopped. He caught himself carefully eyeing the bookshelf where he knew the box was buried under old experiment journals. This cracked his self-assurance, forcing Sherlock to admit to himself that he was definitely not fine.
John watched Sherlock’s movements for a time, even though the detective had tried to assure him that he was fine. From where John stood, the man appeared anything but, and it amazed the doctor that he had learned to pick out normal things in Sherlock’s routine that he would notice should those ticks or habits make any change. His pacing was much brisker, his expression was tight in some thought that seemed to be troubling him, and the way he so quickly went for his nicotine patches.
For a brief moment John entertained the idea of stopping him, of reminding Sherlock how bad of a habit it was, but ended up not saying anything of it. Everything they’d gone through that night looked to be having more of an effect on the detective than John had previously believed, and he couldn’t make himself scold Sherlock for returning to unsavory habits. Everyone had their way of comfort; perhaps this was Sherlock’s. John would of course have a word with him about his dependency later, but for now he kept such thoughts to himself.
When his flatmate gripped the edge of the desk, John found himself a little more than concerned. Despite assurances to the contrary, he now most definitely did not believe that Sherlock was alright. Though John, being the ‘idiot’, as Sherlock called him, couldn’t conjure another reason for Sherlock’s discomfort other than the detective being disappointed he hadn’t caught Moriarty when he’d planned to.
Approaching him after a time, John crossed his arms over his chest, standing just a few feet from Sherlock now. “You’ll have other chances to catch him,” he tried to reassure. “I’m sure he’ll try something again, and you’ll be ready for him.”
Aftermath [John & Sherlock]
Having seen John’s nerves, and interpreted them entirely different, Sherlock didn’t move. He waited for John to go through all the steps, not needing the screen to know where in the process his flatmate was, by watching John’s fingers. He waited with unusual patience, not saying a word until John stood up. He didn’t make eye contact, sliding into the chair, but his statement was directed at John. “You should get some sleep.”
Somehow, Sherlock didn’t expect John to follow the advice. He knew John better than that by now. Leaning an arm on the counter, he scrolled through the different messages, commenting a short, “Boring,” at each one, except for the last, which got, “Obvious.”
Sherlock sighed and sat back, staring at the screen in his frustration for a moment before standing up again. “Call Lestrade in the morning. See what he has,” he said offhandedly, positive John was still there to listen. He paced into the living room, turned, and looked at his flatmate. Not for assurance that his demand had been heard. Not to make a new one. Not even to comment on the way John was dressed. He just stared.
It couldn’t have been longer than 30 seconds before Sherlock turned away again to contemplate the thoughts that were now taking the space left when he’d moved on from Moriarty. John had almost died. It came back to him, almost like a slap to the face. John had almost died, and it had been his fault. Granted, John didn’t die. Sherlock wouldn’t let that happen, and that was what was important. But there had been a brief moment when Sherlock was certain that if he didn’t dance Moriarty’s steps exactly, John would have been blown to bits. It unnerved Sherlock that he had shown such a gaping weakness.
'You should get some sleep.' John had lost track at how many times he'd said those exact same words to Sherlock, and now here they were with their positions reversed. Of all the people to tell him to go to sleep, he hadn't expected it to be his flatmate. And of course it would only be a perfect reversal if John refused, which was exactly what he did. He didn't feel like sleeping right then, as tired as he was.
He walked into the living room a moment to pick up Sherlock’s dishes before returning to the kitchen to put them in the sink, listening to the detective scroll through the cases while commenting monotonously at them all. But it wasn’t until he asked him to call Lestrade that John finally stopped what he was doing to give a short nod, returning to sit at his computer once Sherlock had gotten up.
John looked up after a moment to ask a question when he realized that Sherlock was staring at him, for no particular reason John could decipher other than to stare. It made him slightly uncomfortable but he couldn’t look away either. It wasn’t until Sherlock looked away that John returned his gaze to his computer. Though, after just a few seconds, John got to his feet, leaning against the doorway into the living room as he watched the detective pace the room. “…You, alright?” he asked after a time.
Afganistan Days (tag@John)
Despite the hiccup caused by Wood’s ill timing (the disruptive breathing, the commotion of a medic rescue in the midst of a sniper job that was meant to be silent, the enemy medic, Watson questioning Sebastian’s over the radio), the mission was largely successful, once the disruptions settled and their forces moved into the city. On their side, there were only a few injuries, and even fewer casualties. Only negligible damage, really; Sebastian had seen far worse. Most of the enemy combatants had been taken into custody, the rest were taken out. There would be one more mission, one final sweep of the city, and then they would be done, the city completely in their control. Then they could move on to bigger, more exciting fish—or so Sebastian hoped.
Yet the work did not end when the mission did—there were prisoners to intake and secure. As Colonel, Sebastian’s role was significant, albeit primarily in directing, organizing, and giving orders, rather than direct involvement with the prisoners. After several grueling hours, he delivered his report on the day’s proceedings to the Field Marshall, and was finally free.
Exiting the Field Marshall’s tent, he took a moment to take in the camp: night was already well underway; it was quiet, with most of the soldiers likely already in bed, but the embers of their fires still hung in the darkness, little dots of light around the camp. Kabul’s missions, as expected, were nothing like the excitement he’d been expelled from at Mazar-i-Shari. Still, here, in the silence, in the cold November desert wind, surrounded by a hostile, wild environment, Sebastian found a semblance of solace. One more mission, and his penance for excessive force would be complete, and he could return to the heat of battle.
Wood was a problem, however. Watson had insisted that Wood was the best, and the doctor seemed knowledgeable enough about the skill levels of his fellow officers. Sebastian had taken him at his word, with the almost deadly result of Wood endangering the entire mission and everyone involved. If Sebastian was going to let Wood anywhere remotely near him or the final mission, he’d require more information as to what the fuck happened today, and insurance that it wouldn’t happen again
With that in mind, he marched toward the medical tent.
John took the time given to him in their short reprieve to check up on the rest of the camp, make sure their supplies were all stocked up, really anything to keep him busy. He didn’t enjoy having an absence of things to do out here. When he’d left Wood, the man had been asleep in his own tent. His situation had stabilized and John hadn’t felt it necessary to keep him in the medical tent any longer.
It wasn’t long however before John had walked the camp full circle, returning to his own station within the span of maybe half an hour or so. He’d expected an empty tent, a quiet space for the most part. Not Sebastian rooting around his medical files without permission. Frowning, John approached him in a brisk pace and practically ripped the folder from the colonel’s grasp.
He didn’t need to look at the name on the label to know who’s file it was.
"Chronic bronchitis," John snapped. "He’s had it almost all his life. His mother smoked while she was pregnant with him and continued even after he was born. The bronchitis developed when he was around fourteen. Happy?" John took the luxury of privacy very seriously, so by the time he was finished he was practically shouting the words at Sebastian. He tossed the file onto his cot, then turned back to face the colonel, still frowning. "Now get out."
[ Hola! Ugh, I feel terrible for not getting to replies when I thought I would. Theatre has been kickin my ass lately cause we open our show this Friday.
But I promise, I will try to get to them Wednesday night when I get home from rehearsal. ]
[ Hello all!
It’s SOOOOOO awesome to have things to reply to when I come on here, it’s a great feeling. :) I’d love to get to it tonight, but I have to go to a party for my brother and his fiance. I will see you all tomorrow!~ ]