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08 October 2011 @ 11:47 pm
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Little beads of sweet glide down his temple, staining the pillow as they fall upon the fabric. He turns his head, breathing into the pillow, his eyes rolling behind his eyelids. His lips parted as he exhales deeply.
 
A flash of light and an explosion. Men fall and men are injured. Blood everywhere. On his hands and on his face too. The sand the men are lying on is red as they lie in a puddle of their own blood. All dead. Families. Friends. All lost. Young man with long lives ahead of them. Ended prematurely by enemy fire.
 
‘John –
 
His name comes from far away. He whimpers and turns his head again.
 
They have all fallen to the ground as an explosion deafens them. Men are screaming in pain and someone shouts for him to help. He climbs out of the ditch he’s hiding in and falls flat on his stomach at once. He crawls on and reachs a body in the sand. Dead. He continues on to the next.
 
‘John –
 
Again his name and something brushes past his cheek. Something warm. A hand?
 
Dust blinds him and he lowers his goggles over his face and ties his scarf around his face a bit tighter. He crawls on and reaches a young soldier who is lying in the dirty, desperately trying to keep his entrails in place as a deep cut has ripped open his abdomen. How the hell is he to help this man? He looks at the young lad whose eyes are huge with fear and he stares at them. He can’t be older than 21. And he was going to die in a far away country, away from his mother and the ones he loved. John gets up and leaves the lad to die and hurries over to the next. A dead Afghan woman, clutching a child to her chest. Both dead.
 
‘John, wake up,’ someone shakes his shoulder and he feels a hand in his neck. ‘You’re dreaming.’
 
He feels something force itself into his shoulder. He reaches over and digs his fingers into the hole that had appeared in his clothes. He withdraws his fingers but there is no blood. But there is a hole. A entrance hole in his clothes. He unzips his bulletproof vest and unbuttons his shirt. He pulls his t-shirt up and feels nauseatingly dizzy. A bomb, strapped to his chest. Lots of wires. Lots of little lights. It is beeping
 
‘John!’
 
It goes off.
 
His eyes fly open as he wakes up, giving a startled yelp and he wishing to sit up but something keeps him pressed down in the mattress and as his eyes fly around the room, flashing from object to object, it soon becomes clear someone iss sitting on his bedside. Sherlock has woken him from his dream.
 
‘You were dreaming,’ his flatmate repeats.
 
‘What are you doing here?’ he asks flabbergasted as he tries to sit up, trying to form some distance between him and the other man. ‘This is my room.’
 
‘You woke up Mrs. Hudson – you were shouting,’ Sherlock explains his voice sounding clear, like it usually does when he is deducing out loud. ‘I heard you shouting.’
 
‘I – I was dreaming,’ John stammers. Sherlock sighs and rolls his eyes. ‘I – dreaming.’
 
There is a short pause in which Sherlock looks down at John again, as he catches his breath.
 
‘What was it, John?’ Sherlock asks with a lowered voice, as if he tries to be kind. As if he shows interest. ‘What causes you to have nightmares so often?’
 
‘So – often?’ John pants as he frowns his eyebrows and scrutinises his flatmate as if he has never seen the man before. ‘Are you-- spying on me?’
 
‘Half the street can hear you!’ his voice sounds less kind again. Like it normally does. Less frightful to John in fact.
 
‘It’s – it’s just the war, that’s all,’ he says, closing his eyes and wiping the sweat of his brow. For a moment he blinks frantically, clearing the sand out of his eyes and he adds: ‘The war – always the war.’
 
‘John,’ Sherlock says and closes his eyes for a moment again. ‘You agreed to work with me because you love the excitement before, during and after a fight. You were bored! You limped. Ever since we moved in here you’ve been fine with what you’ve seen. Blood doesn’t scare you or else you would never toddle along after me every case I accept.’
 
He lowers his chin and looks at John from underneath his eyebrows and asks interrogatively .
 
‘What are you dreaming about?’
 
‘Do you even need to ask?’ John says annoyingly and slaps Sherlock’s hands away and turns on his side, away from Sherlock and facing the wall. He rubs his eyes again.
 
‘Is it – the bomb?’
 
John’s head shots back to Sherlock, his eyebrows raised.
 
‘How do you – oh, never mind’ he says as he faces the wall again.
 
‘I’ve yet to see you so afraid,’ Sherlock  says in the same soft way he had asked about the dream. John realises this tone was rather unusual and odd for his flatmate. ‘Are you afraid of death?’
‘No it’s not –,’ John says as he kept himself facing the wall. ‘it’s just – it was a bomb, Sherlock,’ and he turns to see his flatmate. ‘Bombs tend to scare people, Sherlock. Including me,’ and he looks away again but this time doesn’t turn back towards the wall.
 
Sherlock pauses, trying to choose his words carefully: ‘John – if you need to talk –
 
‘I’m fine,’ John interrupts him and sits up, moving over to the side of the bed as if he was to get up. Sherlock shifts, giving his flatmate the space to get away. But he doesn’t. John sits down on the bed site and dips his chin against his chest, sighing deep and staring at the floor.