Prompt: Here. Sherlock is in a bad car accident.
Word count: 1200
Notes: The lovely brightlywoven assured me that this scenario was just about medically plausible :D
The world was made of screaming metal.
Gravity tumbled over and over and so did Sherlock in the middle of it all, through endless seconds of chaos, through a vision which was a cacophony of light-dark-light-dark, through the shrieking of machinery.
The taxi hit the edge of the road and flipped into the air, and as it fell toward the Thames the noise inside it momentarily dropped to nothing and gravity was gone completely – an eye of calm.
Then it hit.
Sherlock could not have lost consciousness because that was not something he did. He was adamant about that for some reason. Surely he’d soon be able to account for the several moments preceding that thought which appeared to be temporarily misplaced.
He was surrounded by crushed metal. Crumpled edges black against the pale blue sky.
And mud. He blinked. He didn’t think the mud had been there a second ago. It must be oozing in, stealthily, greedily, through where windows had been. There was water, too, seeping out from where it had been hiding in the mud.
But the metal was the problem. It was pressed in above and around him. The seat had been deformed somehow and he was mostly lying sideways, restrained by the sling of the seatbelt. Some far-away part of his brain instructed him not to try and move. His body didn’t really seem like it belonged to him. One of his hands looked as if it was reaching out to the world outside. He watched it.
He was supposed to be thinking, he was sure, but that really did seem like too much effort. His head hurt; a dull ache which seemed to be biding its time before becoming something worse. He was pretty sure that he’d just lost another unspecified chunk of time, and that he should be more worried.
He closed his eyes and listened to the seagulls shrieking faintly, and then to the shrieking of sirens which got mixed in with the birds at first and then drowned them out.
Hands touched his face and he opened his eyes to see that it was John. Of course. That was why he hadn’t been worried, because he had known that John would turn up.
Maybe he should be listening, it occurred to him after a while. He blinked a few times to get his ears working.
“Please say something.” John was almost begging. “I know you’re in there, Sherlock!”
It was easy just to drift on the edge of awareness with everything diffused and distant.
“Sherlock, please.” John was pressing something soft against his brow now. He looked frightened, although he was trying to hide it.
That was what finally convinced Sherlock’s brain to start kicking itself into gear. John shouldn’t be looking like that on his behalf. “Hello,” he tried to say, but his mouth wasn’t obeying him properly and he wasn’t sure what came out.
Nonetheless, John sagged slightly with relief. “Okay, Sherlock, I hear you, that’s great. You’re going to be fine, understand? They’re just working out how to cut you out of this.”
“Yes,” Sherlock said, and again wasn’t sure that it sounded right, but again John seemed to know what he meant. He reached in through the window-space (he must have been kneeling in the mud, Sherlock thought, and also thought that it was lucky it was low tide) and took hold gently of Sherlock’s outstretched hand.
“John, the paramedics are here,” Lestrade said, somewhere outside. “They’ll need some space.”
Sherlock felt his hand tighten a little around John’s.
“I’m his doctor,” John said. “I’m not leaving him. You tell them that.”
“I didn’t really expect anything else.”
Sherlock listened idly to voices blurring in the distance. John released his hand (he missed the warmth of it immediately) and shone light in his eyes. Sherlock flinched. The act of moving seemed to unlock something inside him, restoring the connection to his body.
“Try to stay still,” John said. He was using a stethoscope now, which was cold. There was someone standing behind him, but they were irrelevant. “Shut your eyes for a minute.”
Sherlock obeyed and felt John remove whatever-it was from his forehead, replacing it with something which he must have taped on, because he didn’t hold it in place anymore.
There was beginning to be pain. A lot of pain, throughout his body and particularly in his head.
“It’s okay,” John said, as if he could read Sherlock’s mind. He took hold of Sherlock’s hand again, which helped a little bit. “I know it hurts now, but it won’t for much longer. The firemen are going to start cutting you out now that we know your condition.”
He considered asking but it seemed irrelevant. “Why?” he said.
“Why did you crash?”
Uncanny. He was supposed to be the one to do that sort of thing. “Yes.”
Speaking took a lot of effort.
“The driver’s dead,” John said. “It looks like a heart attack behind the wheel. You were just unlucky.”
No puzzle. It was a shame that there was no puzzle.
There was more pain now. He noticed himself breathing, which he hadn’t before, and it hurt each time.
“Can’t you put him out for this?” Lestrade asked. “Seems cruel otherwise.”
“We’re intending to,” John said. He was conjuring items from nowhere; a mask which was slipped uncomfortably over Sherlock’s nose and mouth, and something sharp which went into his arm.
“Go to sleep now, Sherlock,” John said. “It’s going to be okay.”
Sherlock had no intention of going to sleep, but somehow he did anyway.
He woke slowly. “You’re in the hospital,” someone said. “Can you tell me your name?”
“Sherlock Holmes,” he said, with effort. He fought his eyes open. The lids were very heavy. On the other side of them there seemed to be a lot of white, with dark blurs of shadows across it.
“That’s good. Your address?”
“221b Baker Street. Try some harder ones.”
He finally wrested his eyes open properly. John was leaning forward next to his bed, with an open book upside-down on the floor by his feet. He looked tired. “Welcome back,” he said. “You’d be surprised how difficult you found those questions yesterday.”
“You’ve got a bad concussion, four broken ribs, and you took some heavy internal pounding, too,” John told him. “So they want to keep you in here on painkillers for a few more days, and then you have to rest at home for a while. Rest.”
“I’m going to be making sure of that,” John said sternly. He wasn’t all that good at looking stern. “Also, Lestrade doesn’t want me to tell you that he’s been dropping in regularly over the last twenty-four hours to see how you were doing. Mycroft says the same thing.”
“Why would they say that?” Sherlock asked in honest confusion. “That doesn’t make any sense.”
John grinned. “Clearly.” There was a pause. “I should probably go now so that you can get some more sleep.”
“Please don’t,” Sherlock said, before he knew that he was going to.
John looked surprised, and then pleased. “Alright,” he said. “I’ll stay.”