Song: In the House, In a Heartbeat - John Murphy/28 Days Later OST
Sherlock wasn’t in the flat.
Sherlock wasn’t where John had left him.
It had been a long time since the doctor had felt such terror. His heart was seizing up, and beating so quickly that John feared it might tear a hole clean through his chest.
The ex-army captain had only been gone for five minutes, at the longest. He and Sherlock had been squatting in their flat when this whole mess began. How something like this even starts, John isn’t sure. One moment there were riots, and the next, the British government were announcing a city-wide evacuation. It had something to do with a virus. John wasn’t sure about all the details, but what he did know… was that London was burning.
He’d always thought the possibility of a ‘zombie apocalypse’ was laughable.
His opinion had (oddly enough) changed by this point.
So, being the capable, war-trained soldier he was – John insisted that Sherlock stay barricaded in the flat, while he braved the streets to ransack the local pharmacy a few doors down. They needed provisions if they were going to be held up in the flat. John had felt a great swell of relief about the fact he’d done the food shopping the day before… but the city was far more violent now than it ever had been. If they were going to survive, they would need a host of medical supplies.
So, he’d armed himself, dressed in layers, and took to the streets.
For the most part, the walking dead were easy to evade. They weren’t all there, and their motor skills were considerably lacking. He was thankful that they didn’t have the capability to ‘run’ like those other zombies he’d seen in that movie once.
John picked off a few off as he barrelled his way into the deserted pharmacy. He had blocked the door, and proceeded to fill his rut-sack with as many pain-killers, antibiotics, bandages and medicines that he could. He even hopped behind the counter to clean out a few of the drawers filled with stronger, ‘behind the counter’ prescriptions that contained the likes of Vicodin, Fentanyl, and Codeine.
That had all been easy enough, and couldn’t have taken him more than five minutes.
But all the same… Sherlock was gone.
“Sherlock!” He yelled, frantically searching the entire flat for any sign of his partner.
When he turned up nothing, John bolted back to his room. He gathered up all his weapons, useful army gear, and everything else he would need to find Sherlock while (hopefully) simultaneously protecting himself from this damned Z-virus.
Sherlock would get an earful about staying put when he found him.
‘Unless he’s…’ John immediately pushed that thought away. There was no chance that Sherlock had been careless enough to get infected. He wasn’t that stupid.
Then again, he had been oddly fascinated by this ‘Z-virus’ that appeared to reanimate the dead. John had spent the past two days convincing him NOT to capture, nor allow, any zombies into the flat for experimentation. Sherlock’s excuse of: ‘Think of all we could learn, John!’ hadn’t played well.
Stepping back out into the chaotic, overcast London streets, John was a bit dismayed to find that it had started to pour rain. That would lessen his visibility considerably, and that wasn’t good… especially since there were deceased, cannibalistic humans roaming around in search of a living meal.
Hearing a few low moans to his left, John turned, and unloaded a few rounds into a pair of approaching corpses; a bullet in each brain. Thankfully, they were easy enough to enable, and not too bright either.
“Sherlock?!” He bellowed again as he moved.
A few more infected turned in his direction. Shouting probably wasn’t the BEST method for finding his friend, but hell, John was desperate. He hadn’t seen another ‘living’ soul for days. Mycroft had sent Sherlock a text nearly a week ago about sending a help. But that still hadn’t happened. And John hadn’t even heard from Lestrade, which was a worrying thought in itself.
Grabbing the bat wedged in between his knapsack and holster, John took a few well-aimed swings at the approaching undead – and bashed their skulls in with a couple of solid hits. So much violence might easily scar anyone else… but John had seen his fair-share of horrible brutality during his time in Afghanistan.
He didn’t know these people. It was him or them. All that mattered now was finding the only other person he cared about… the only other person, who up till five minutes ago, had been alive.
Sheathing the bat again, John tore down into the alleyway that bordered 221b Baker Street. He called out again as he rounded the corner… but was stopped dead in his tracks when he saw a familiar, tall, blue-robed detective.
But it wasn’t Sherlock…
No… this creature was slightly hunched; not tall and proud like his Sherlock had been. The familiar royal blue robe was stained with dirt and a considerable amount of blood. There was more running down his pale throat, from what appeared to be an open flesh wound along the side of his right cheek. There were dark, discoloured circles beneath his lids, which by stark contrast, made his icy-coloured orbs all the brighter.
It wasn’t Sherlock. Not his Sherlock…
“No…” John breathed out, unable to look away from the reanimated corpse of his friend.
Sherlock was looming over the dead body of a girl; her blood was spattered all along the pavement of the back alley – some even painting the side of Ms. Hudson’s bins. Slowly, the detective turned and set his cold, seemingly lifeless eyes on John. He wheezed, and appeared to be breathing much shallower as he took a step forward. Sherlock’s fingers were rigid and tense, and he walked with a slight gait; no longer gliding along with certainty and grace.
As Sherlock came closer– John finally drew his gun. It was becoming more and more difficult to see the approaching threat. A combination of heavy rain, and distraught tears were compromising John’s vision.
“I was only away for five minutes, Sherlock,” he choked out, shaking his head. “Five bloody minutes!” he screamed. John’s embodid rage was evident in the cry of his voice; he hadn’t felt this disoriented since that time he’d been drugged at Baskerville.
Sherlock continued to approach, gasping and hissing louder and louder with each step he took. John’s hand was shaking as he kept his weapon drawn on his best friend. He didn’t know what to do. His mind and his heart were telling him two different things:
Either he shoots Sherlock, and escapes with his life.
John winced, and took a quick glance behind him toward the mouth of the alleyway. More infected were still struggling their way down the street. Some were even fighting and grappling with each other.
The distant sound of sirens were of no comfort to him, and the sight of several pillars of smoke rising up into the cloudy sky from the various boroughs of London told a hopeless story…
Looking back toward Sherlock, John cursed and choked out a sob he’d been trying so desperately to hold in. What could he do? What was the point?
With certain death only steps away, John dropped his gun to the ground. He trembled and clenched his fists.
“I always knew you’d be my end…” he breathed shakily. “….S-Sherlock Holmes.”
Rather than live and survive alone in a city gone to hell, John decided to die at the hands of the only person he’d ever come to truly value. The only person he’d ever come to truly love.
Sherlock snarled and took a few, rapid steps forward - slamming John against the nearest brick wall. He closed his eyes, clenched his teeth, and waited for the inevitable. He waited to feel Sherlock sink his teeth into his neck and rip out his jugular; waited to feel his boney, lean fingers plunge into his stomach and rip out his heart, his lungs, his intestine…
But it never came.
In fact, all he felt was a quick, playful nip to his jaw.
“So I’m convincing, am I?” That familiar baritone purred against his ear.
John opened his eyes and frantically looked up at his partner. He could see familiarity in the detective’s eyes; an energetic spark that wasn’t there moments ago. “W-What… WHAT the fuck?!” John cursed, tears still streaming down his face amidst the rain. His heart was beating a mile a minute.
“I told you those novelty Halloween wounds and scars would come in handy one day. You really must try to stop doubting me.” Sherlock mused with the barest hint of a smirk touching his lips. “We can create your infected-persona back in the flat. I have more wounds to apply, but these guises require real blood. I saw this body and decided her blood was better served for our purposes. Smear some on your clothing, and let’s head upstairs. I don’t know how acute the senses of the infected are; I obviously haven’t had the time nor resources to run sufficient tests. But I’d rather not chance using fake blood or syrup. If it smells real, we have a better chance of convincing them we’re dead in order to make our escape.” He prattled on quickly. “Mycroft has been in touch. We must make our way to the palace of Westminster. We can rendezvous with the helicopter and M-”
Sherlock was cut short when John slammed his lips against the detective’s, gripping onto him as tightly as possible as he poured his worrysome heart into that embrace. Sherlock slowly returned it; he could feel John trembling, his hands on either side of Sherlock’s face gripping almost to the point of pain.
When they parted, John was still crying. He looked exhausted, and Sherlock felt a well-deserved pang of guilt. Perhaps demonstrating his plan to John, in hindsight, was a poor choice. He hadn’t meant to scare him so badly. “You were going to let me kill you…” Sherlock confirmed.
“Y-Yes… yes, god dammit…” John tried to clear the catch in his throat and pull himself together.
Sherlock lowered his eyes, and rested his forehead against John’s. “I’m sorry. I hadn’t thought that teasing you with my performance would have such serious repercussions. I was sure you would realize I wasn’t truly infected. Perhaps the chaotic environment isn’t the proper place to tr-”
“No, it’s not. It’s really not, Sherlock.” John growled, still trying to slow his heart-rate down.
The lanky detective gave him a comforting kiss on the forehead. “I assure you… I only jest about our current predicament because I know we will be fine. We will be fine, John,” he prodded, “I will get us out of here.” Taking a moment to evaluate John’s eyes again, and make sure his blogger really was ok, Sherlock nodded. “Wipe some of this girl’s blood on your clothing. We’ll get back up to the flat from the back door… get your flesh-wounds applied… and after a quick acting lesson or two, we’ll be on our way.” He smiled excitedly.
John nodded, and straightened up; soldier -mode resumed.
He believed him.
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AN: I could have given this a tragic ending. I nearly did. But I decided to go with one of those: ‘everything will be ok’ endings. Enjoy! x
# jawn of the dead