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The Man By Any Other Name (1/2)


Title: A Man By Any Other Name (1/2)
Rating: NC-17
Pairings/Characters: Sherlock/John, Lestrade, Mycroft, and Anthea
Summary: For this prompt that asked for a take on The Bourne Identity with Sherlock and John. John Watson wakes up and doesn’t know his name--- who better than to find it for him than Sherlock Holmes?
Disclaimer: I don’t own it.
Notes: This is complete, split into two parts (both posted). Also, John is a BAMF (but I didn’t have to tell you that, did I?)


Angelo had been on a two-week vacation on the North Sea and all he’d planned to do was fish.

He lit his cigarette, breathing in the smoke as he gazed up at the twinkling stars. He loved the way his boat rocked with the sea, languidly in tune with the world. Angelo blew out smoke, walking out onto his small deck to flick some ash out into the sea. The embers glowed, and that was when a strange shape in the water caught Angelo’s eyes. He paused before groping the deck until he found his spare flashlight.

Once the beam hit the water, Angelo almost shouted in surprise.

There was a man in the water. Dear God.

Angelo was still for only a few seconds before he sprang into action. The man was drifting toward the boat, and it didn’t take much maneuvering in order for Angelo to get his hands on him. However, it took almost all of Angelo’s strength to pull him out of the water. For a small man he must have had some serious muscle mass on him.

It took a lot of pulling and shoving, but eventually Angelo was able to get the man inside. The man was breathing, but when Angelo shook him he wouldn’t wake. Angelo sighed and he took a moment to compose himself. He ran a slightly shaking hand over his face and took in the big picture.

The man was wearing some sort of black suit that felt odd under Angelo’s fingers. He cut it off, and he saw that the man had been wounded in the left shoulder. Angelo was able to use his tweezers to remove the bullet that had been stopped mostly by the strange material that had once clothed the man.

Angelo dropped the metal slug into the trash and went into the next room to wash his hands. The situation was just starting to sink in--- and Angelo felt his breath catch.

He’d just pulled an unconscious man out of the water who had a bullet in his left shoulder. All he’d wanted was a vacation, not a bloody Bond adventure. Angelo wiped his hands off on his ruddy jeans and lumbered back into the room--- only to see that the table that the man had been resting on was empty.

Angelo had time to breathe once before he was slammed up against the wall. He wheezed, and he was spun around. He saw deep blue eyes and an earnest but angry face.

“Who are you and what have you bloody done to me?”

The man’s voice quaked with rage and fear. Angelo choked as the man’s thumb pressed into his throat with a deceptive strength that was not advertised by his size. Angelo gripped the man’s wrist with both of his hands, gasping as he drew in a breath.

“You were floating in the water--- I pulled you out.” The man searched Angelo’s eyes, and he lessened his grip on Angelo’s throat. “I’m Angelo, what’s your name?”

The man blinked, and when he inhaled it shuddered in his chest as he swayed on his feet.

“I don’t know--- Oh God, I don’t know.”

He let out a strangled sound, and Angelo had to move fast in order to catch him.

“Easy.” Angelo helped move the man to a chair, quickly grabbing a blanket and draping it over him as the man got his breath back. He was shaking, and Angelo cleared his throat awkwardly. “I’ll make you a cuppa. Just take it easy.”

Two cuppas and three biscuits later, the man licked his lips and sipped his tea, his eyes calmer.

“Do you have a knife?” When Angelo didn’t answer, the man lifted the blanket up to partially expose his hip. “There’s---there’s something under my skin and--- and I need to take it out.” Angelo squinted, and there was a raised spot on his hip. He hadn’t even noticed it the first time, but there it was. Angelo handed the man the pocketknife he’d used to remove his suit, and the man smiled a bit with gratitude. “Tweezers?”

Angelo nodded, and he watched as the man made a small incision into his own body with an incredibly steady hand. He bit his tongue and put the knife down, taking the tweezers from Angelo’s hand. If Anglo had been the one to do it, his hands would have been shaking and he probably would have done a lot more damage than strictly necessary.

The man was able to extract the slim metal object within seconds in a way that was almost surgical.

He pulled it out and sighed. He got up, holding the blanket around his waist with the metal object in the tweezers. Angelo helped him to the sink, running the metal piece under the water before the man gently placed it on the counter. He tied the blanket more securely around himself and then he reached for the metal thing, turning it over in his palm.

Suddenly, the tip glowed red, and the man almost dropped it. He frowned, and Angelo watched, entranced, as the man pointed the red light at the opposite wall. The word LONDON appeared followed by a series of numbers. Angelo and the man were silent, but Angelo was sure that they both had the same set of chills running down their spines.

::::
 
He knew he could read, write, and he was physically fit. He could do forty-five pull-ups before he began to feel an ache in his muscles, and he knew seven different types of knots. He could speak English, French, German, Arabic, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Italian, and he knew several words in Latin.

But he still didn’t know his own damn name.

Angelo began the trek back to shore the next day, and Angelo had been kind enough to give him a wooly jumper, trousers, and shoes. Before he left, Angelo pressed one hundred pounds into his hand.

“This should be enough to get you to London.”

He sniffed, and Angelo squeezed his good shoulder in a way that was supposed to be comforting. He forced himself to smile at Angelo.

“Thank you.”

They shook hands, and then it was just him, the man without a name. He got on a train, and by the time he got to London it was late. He wandered, and he only stopped when his stomach growled. He went into a small shop, one of the late-night ones. He grabbed orange juice (glucose) and sunflower seeds (protein, not a lot, but it would have to do).

There were four other people in the shop excluding the nameless man and the cashier. There were two thin young men hanging out by the cakes, and a mother and daughter were picking out milk and yogurt. Besides the public entrance there was another exit in the back. The two young men’s hands were shaking; probably junkies, and their clothes were baggy enough to be concealing weapons.

All these facts swirled in the man’s head, pressing against the back of his eyes. The man bit his lip and reached for a bottle of aspirin when one of the young men shouted, whipping a gun out from under his coat.

“Don’t fucking move!”

Everything froze, and the lad had the pistol pointed at the cashier. The other fellow, the accomplice, also had a gun, and it trembled in his hands, waving from the mother and daughter to Nameless.

Somewhere, an unseen clock ticked down with an increasing speed inside of the man without a name. Reality seemed to slow, and his mind, blank of all personal information, was already beginning to deconstruct where to put his right foot first. The daughter buried her face into her mother’s waist, whimpering. The clock stopped ticking--- and the nameless man stepped forward.

::::
 
Lestrade stared at the security footage with a mixture of fascination and horror. He swallowed a small sip of water, and Anderson and Sally stood behind him, equally shell-shocked.

“How---?” Sally tapped the screen of the television they had at the station. “Go back, play it again.”

Hitting rewind, Lestrade narrowed his eyes before pressing play.

The black and white footage showed the grainy picture of a little shop in London. A little shop that, about twenty minutes ago, had called the police and while talking to one of the witnesses, Lestrade had learned the strangest of things.

“I don’t know who I am. If I answer your questions, can you please help me?”

The man had seemed so--- so small and unassuming in his jumper with his blue eyes. And he was a man who needed help, and Lestrade had said, “of course.” Then he saw the security footage. At first glance, Lestrade didn’t believe it. Then he kept watching, rewinding, watching, and rewinding until he finally took it back with him to the station.

The tape played, and there was silence. Anderson rocked back on his heels.

“Again.”

Lestrade rewound the tape. As soon as it began to play, he dug his phone out of his pocket and rang the only man who could help him.

“Sherlock, get down to the station. Now.”

::::
 
Sherlock felt the familiar hum of adrenalin buzzing in his body as he swept through the doors of the Scotland Yard. He passed the usual faceless police officers, heading toward Lestrade’s section of the building. Once he got there, he received yet another surprise.

Neither Anderson nor Sally eagerly greeted him with a scathing and unsophisticated remark. Instead, they were glued to a television screen along with a whole crowd of fellow officers. Sherlock frowned, and Lestrade stepped out of his office. Sherlock strode up to him, his eyes searching Lestrade’s face.

“You said you needed me to identify a man.”

Lestrade nodded, moving toward the television. Sherlock followed, and the Detective Inspector waved the crowd away.

“All right, you can see it again later.” Lestrade rewound the tape, and Sherlock watched the images flicker on the screen until Lestrade paused it. He turned to Sherlock, pointing to the man on screen. “I need you to tell me everything you can about this man.”

Sherlock gazed at the screen and nodded. Lestrade pressed play, and Sherlock let his fingers whisper over the buttons on the VCR. The man on the screen was dressed in a jumper and jeans, nothing remotely stood out about him. He had extremely good posture (upper class--- no, most likely military). Then the two junkies pulled out guns. The mother and child flinched. The man didn’t.

Interesting. Sherlock watched as the junkies yelled, waving their guns about, and the man with the jumper barely moved at all. Then the child moved closer to her mother, and judging by her facial contortions, she must have emitted a sound of distress.

The man finally moved.

He sprinted forward with astonishing speed and punched the accomplice junkie right in the nose, and judging by the rate that the other man crumbled his nose had been broken (burst capillaries flooding the Eustachian tubes with blood--- resulting in extreme dizziness, nausea, and usually unconsciousness). Pivoting on his foot, the man in the jumper avoided the falling body and delivered a quick but harsh kick to the back of the other man’s knee. He fell backwards, and the other man let him fall.

There was a brief pause, the man standing over the two junkies. Then, the one who’d had the gun pointed at the cashier reached for the girl. His hand was quickly crushed beneath the jumper-man’s boot, and the final punch to the back of the head would be enough to give the junkie a severe concussion, possible brain damage.

And that all happened within fifteen seconds.

Sherlock paused the tape--- delightful chills dancing up his spine. Lestrade shifted his weight from one foot to the other.

“Got anything?”

Sherlock exhaled, his lips twitching.

“Oh, yes.” Sherlock took a step back from the television. “His posture and highly efficient fighting technique suggest a military background. When the gunmen revealed themselves he never flinched or showed any sign of typical fear like we saw in the mother and child, so he’s acclimatized to violence. However, once he’d put the accomplice out of commission and he dropped the other man--- he paused.” Sherlock glared at the screen, at the non-descript jumper. “It wasn’t until the little girl cried did he complete his deliverance of violence on the criminals… so he’s got a strong moral principle.” Sherlock bounced on his heels. “How did he die? Where is his body?”

Lestrade’s lips curled up into a crooked smile.

“He’s not dead, Sherlock.”

Sherlock felt everything come to a screeching halt.

“Is this a poor attempt at humor?”

“No.” Lestrade nodded his head to the side. “Follow me.”

Lestrade led Sherlock back to one of the conference rooms, and all the shades were drawn on the windows. The Detective Inspector opened the door, and the man from the video was waiting inside. He was in the same jumper and was sitting on the far side of the room. His left hand had been trembling, but once Sherlock was three steps into the room it stopped.

He stood, back impeccably straight and shoulders square. He had worry lines, and he extended his hand (polite). Sherlock took it, and the man’s hand was calloused, and while his grip was firm it wasn’t overtly aggressive. Sherlock cleared his throat.

“Sherlock Holmes.”

The man withdrew his hand, a pained, uncomfortable half-smile on his face.

“Pleasure. I--- um…”

The man looked at Lestrade, and the Detective Inspector spoke.

“Sherlock, this man has no memory of who he is.”

Hushed silence filled the room, and Sherlock met those lost blue eyes. He smiled despite himself, absolutely giddy.

“I’ve never had to deduce who a live specimen was before.” Lestrade rolled his eyes and the nameless man’s smile fell right off his face. Sherlock drew in a deep breath. “After reviewing the security footage from the shop, I’d say you’re a military man, but high up. MI5, MI6 most likely. You weren’t afraid of guns. You knew that those two young men were no match for your skills the moment you stepped through the door. Judging by the speed at which you incapacitated those men, I’d say most if it was a reflex more than thought-out action on your part. The only moment of hesitation was near the end, which was when what you’d done began to sink in. However, once the little girl was in danger again, you reacted accordingly, so you’re not a mindless soldier, you do have moral values.”

“Brilliant.”

The word seemed to slip out of the man’s lips without him realizing it. Sherlock blinked, startled. The man had a surprised but pleased expression on his face. Sherlock watched the man watch him, and he saw the man’s right hand slip into his pocket. Sherlock cleared his throat.

“When I came through the door, you immediately rose to shake my hand despite the fact that you don’t know your own name. Being polite is obviously very ingrained into you. Your handshake, however, was half social pleasantry and half assessment of me to see if I was a threat. While I can hold my own in a fight there’s no doubt in my mind that you would best me in a physical altercation, and you came to the same conclusion in that moment.”

Grey-blue eyes widened, a hint of a flush on the other man’s cheeks.

“Fantastic.”

Sherlock’s lips twitched.

“Do you know you do that out loud?”

The man’s flush deepened into a proper blush.

“Sorry, I’ll stop.”

“No.” Sherlock smiled a bit. “It’s fine.” The man’s hand twitched in his pocket, bringing Sherlock back to the rather fascinating situation at hand. He turned to Lestrade, who looked annoyingly amused. “I can handle it from here, Lestrade.”

The older man frowned, but nodded.

“Five minutes.”

Sherlock waved his hand dismissively, and as soon as the door closed he whirled back around, noticing how his quick movement caused the man to subtly shift his body into a more defensive stance.

“What’s in your pocket?”

The man frowned.

“What?”

“Your pocket.” Sherlock licked his lips with excitement. “After you became comfortable your right hand went into your pocket. You have something--- something you don’t want Lestrade or the other officer’s to see.” When the man didn’t move, Sherlock rolled his eyes. “Oh, maybe I should mention that I’m not with the police.”

“I was starting to suspect that.” The man chuckled a bit, though it was more out of shock than humor. “What are you exactly?”

“A consulting detective.” Sherlock smiled. “When the police are out of their depth, which is always, they call me.” The man’s breath caught, it was subtle, but Sherlock noticed everything. The man’s eyes also shimmered, like he was hopeful but dreadfully anxious. “What’s in your pocket?”

The man hesitated, but then slowly drew his hand out. Resting in his palm was a thin piece of metal, slightly rounded like the world’s thinnest bullet. He put it in Sherlock’s hand, letting the consulting detective examine it.

“It was in my hip.”

Sherlock’s head jerked to meet the man’s earnest gaze.

What?”

The man grabbed his jeans and pulled them down slightly to expose his hip. Sure enough there was a wound, a sign of a clean and precise incision. Judging by the angle and pressure of the cuts, the man had cut into himself. The wound was too clean for him to have been panicked (medical experience--- possible doctor). The man took the odd device out of Sherlock’s hand, his frown deep and dark.

“Look.”

He pressed a small button on the side, and the tip glowed red. The man pointed the light at the wall, and when the word LONDON and a series of numbers appeared Sherlock’s heart skipped a beat. It was all so wonderful that Sherlock could hardly breathe. The door handle went down, and the man hurriedly shoved the metal device back into his pocket, his whole body tense as Lestrade lumbered back into the room. His eyes surveyed Sherlock and his nameless companion lightly.

“So… figure out anything new?”

The man was uneasily still beside Sherlock, his hand back in his pocket. Sherlock shrugged, his elbow brushing against the nameless man’s arm.

“Nothing out of the ordinary.” Sherlock glanced at his phone, checking the time. “I think it would be best if John came back to Baker Street with me. The more I can observe him the faster we’ll be able to find out who he is.”

Lestrade and the man frowned, but it was the man who spoke first.

“John?”

Sherlock turned to him, his lips curling into a crooked smile.

“There’s an odd American idiom for an unidentified man: John Doe.”

The man, John, crossed his arms, raising his eyebrows.

“So you’re just going to name me?”

“It’s better than just thinking of you as ‘the man’ or ‘nameless.’ John is a perfectly decent name, isn’t it?”

John nodded, huffing out a resigned sigh. Lestrade regarded John with a piercing gaze.

“Are you sure you want this--- uh, John?”

John looked at Lestrade, his hand still in his pocket, fiddling with the metal device.

“Yes. Where else am I going to go?”

Lestrade’s face fell, and a shadow of fatherly concern flickered over his features. He cleared his throat awkwardly, reaching into his pocket. It was his card, and he scribbled his number on the back of it before handing it to John.

“Here. If either of you find out anything or need some kind of… help, don’t hesitate to call. I’m talking to you especially, Sherlock.”

Sherlock nodded to appease Lestrade before tugging on John’s elbow, pulling him out of the room, out of the Scotland Yard, and into London’s night air. Sherlock hailed a cab, and once they were both inside John finally took his hand out of his pocket, exhaling loudly.

“Thank you for not saying anything about--- you know.”

Yes, Sherlock did know, and he shook off the gratitude.

“Don’t mention it.”

When they arrived at Baker Street, Mrs. Hudson had taken her herbal soothers, so she was already asleep. John followed Sherlock up the stairs into the main sitting room. Sherlock watched as John took in his new surroundings, glancing at the skull on the mantle and the general chaos of Sherlock’s home. He was cautious when he entered the kitchen, never venturing too close to the wall or table. Sherlock took off his coat and draped it over the chair.

“I should have some night clothes that would suit you, but they will be a bit long.”

John shrugged.

“That’s fine, thank you.”

Sherlock left and went into his bedroom, slipping into something more comfortable while digging up some old flannels his mother had given him last Christmas. When he went back out into the main room, John was standing by the window, looking out of it but he turned when he heard Sherlock’s door open. He handed John the clothes and pointed down the hallway.

“The bathroom is the first door on the right.” With a nod and another hushed whisper of gratitude, John was gone. Sherlock wished he could make time go faster so that it was morning and they could go to the bank. Alas, Sherlock could not control time, only the means he took to pass it. Sherlock didn’t have much time before John was back, tugging uncomfortably at Sherlock’s shirt (not comfortable with tight fitting clothes) while he desperately tried not to trip on the long flannel trousers. John held his day clothes in his hands, and for a moment he looked even more lost than when he’d first shaken Sherlock’s hand. “Is anything coming back?”

John shook his head, his bare feet treading quietly on the carpet.

“No.”

Sherlock watched John take a seat in one of the armchairs, holding the clothes (that had obviously been given to him by a much larger man) against his stomach. Sherlock saw John’s eyes flicker over Sherlock’s violin case, glance away, then slowly slide back to the instrument.

Interesting.

“Do you remember music?”

Once John shook his head, Sherlock’s mind was made up. He crossed over in front of John and picked up his violin. He sat on the couch, his bow ready, and he kept his eyes on John. Sherlock wanted to see his new companion’s face when he played--- and it was worth the extra observation.

Sherlock dragged the bow against the strings, and John’s fingers twitched, his body relaxing slowly as Sherlock changed keys, tempo, and dynamics. When he stopped, John straightened up a bit. He smiled, and it made all the lines on his face just melt away until he looked years younger. No one had smiled at Sherlock--- not a true and honest smile since his mother. Sherlock had been smirked at, and maybe even flashed a smile that was weighed down with disappointment and anger… but rarely just a smile.

He cleared his throat; his cheeks warm as he went into another song, choosing a more romantic piece. Judging by John’s tired grin, he didn’t mind it at all.

::::
 
Sherlock woke rather suddenly for several reasons. One, he was not in his bed but on the couch. Two, he was still holding his violin (though it was now on his lap) and he never would be so careless as to fall asleep in the middle of a piece. And three… something was sizzling in the kitchen.

After making sure his violin was perfectly fine, he stood up quickly to see John scrambling eggs in his kitchen. He was completely focused on his task, flipping and sprinkling bits of spices before repeating the process. Sherlock watched the way his shirt clung to John’s torso and how his trousers hung low on John’s hips. Sherlock cleared his throat, his voice taking on a bit of a rasp because of the early hour.

“What are you doing?”

John didn’t turn around.

“Making breakfast.” He flipped eggs onto a plate. “Why are there fingers in the fridge?”

Sherlock sat down at the table and saw that there was a cup of a tea waiting for him.

“An experiment for a case. Let me rephrase my question: Why are you making breakfast?”

John joined Sherlock, serving him a generous amount of eggs before taking care of himself (selfless).

“I haven’t eaten since yesterday morning. I’m hungry.”

He shrugged, and Sherlock smiled into his tea. They ate in shared, amicable silence until footsteps creaked on the steps and the door opened. John looked up and Mrs. Hudson shuffled in like she did every morning.

“Good morning--- oh. Oh, sorry, Sherlock, I didn’t know you were entertaining.”

John’s ears were red, and he stood (ever polite).

“I’m John.”

Mrs. Hudson smiled, and when John went into shake her hand she kissed his cheek affectionately. John had flinched, but he quickly returned the gesture. Mrs. Hudson dropped off the biscuits she’d been carrying and smiled at both of them.

“Young love… don’t mind me, boys, I’ll stay out of your hair.”

With a small wink and wave, Mrs. Hudson left as quickly as she came until it was just John and Sherlock staring at the door. The man was clearly embarrassed at Mrs. Hudson’s assumption but not in a typical repressed alpha-male way. No, John was reserved, his blush the only sign of his discomfort. Sherlock put their plates in the sink, and the noise made John jump a bit.

“You need clothes that fit.” Sherlock evaluated John’s body. “Mrs. Hudson’s son is about your size.”

It only took Sherlock telling Mrs. Hudson that John suffered from amnesia for her to absolutely dote upon him. John was hesitant but polite, and he soon was dressed in fitting jeans and a new jumper, a blue and white striped one. John tugged at the jumper, smiling a bit. Sherlock picked a piece of lint off of John’s shoulder, smoothing out the wooly material.

“Much better.”

John’s lips twitched as he ducked his head down in order to try and hide his smile.

“Thanks.”

Mrs. Hudson cooed from the other room, and Sherlock almost rolled his eyes. John bit his lip and Sherlock took John’s arm in his grip.

“Come on, John, the bank will be open soon.”

::::
 
Soft, classical music played inside the well-insulated building. The floor and stairs were made of marble, and the woman at the front desk regarded both John and Sherlock with a cold, calculated stare. John cleared his throat, and the woman’s eyes went back to him.

“Write down your number.”

John took her pen and scribbled down the number (very good memory) and slid the paper back over the desk. The woman took it, entered the numbers, and soon a man appeared. He nodded at John, but when Sherlock went to follow the man’s eyes turned steely and his hand fell heavily on Sherlock’s shoulder.

“You have to stay here.”

A flare of something akin to panic buzzed in Sherlock’s veins. He caught John’s gaze, and the shorter man’s hand darted out and grabbed Sherlock’s wrist.

“He’s with me.”

There was a tense moment, but the man’s heavy hand fell away from Sherlock’s shoulder and they were led down a regal staircase. John’s grip never faltered, and they were shown to a private viewing room. A metal case was brought to them, and soon John and Sherlock were alone.

The metal box thrilled Sherlock and it frightened John. Sherlock could tell by the way the man moved around it. John sighed and reached for it after a few hushed moments. He popped it open--- and his breath stuttered out of him.

A passport and a couple hundred pounds were inside. John reached for the passport, Sherlock looking over his shoulder as he opened it. They both laughed.

“John Watson.” John giggled, a bit hysteric. “I’m John Watson.”

Sherlock felt the vibrations of John’s laughter against his chest until Sherlock was forced to extract himself. He took a step back, smiling as John turned to face him.

“I told you the name suited you.”

“You guessed.”

Sherlock raised his eyebrows.

“I never guess.”

John smirked.

“Yes, you do.”

John Watson was still a bit breathless when he turned back to his safety deposit box. He took out the money, running his fingers over the miscellaneous items inside (contact case, gum, a crumpled receipt) when the edge of the box caught, lifting up slightly. John and Sherlock went still.

There was another layer, a fake bottom concealing it. Sherlock licked his lips.

“John---”

“I know.”

John’s shoulders were wound tight as he reached forward with steady fingers to lift edge of the box.

Stacks of money in multiple forms of currency lay under a revolver. The weapon was a dark, ominous shadow that fell upon the paper bills, but that wasn’t what made John’s breathing ring hollow in his chest. Passports. A dozen passports with different names on each of them. James, Jacob, Michael, Ian… countless of plain names to match John’s face. John sorted through all of them until his shaking hands made them tumble out of his grip.

While John took a few moments to compose himself, Sherlock took a look at the additional passports. They all seemed genuine--- either legally obtained or issued by somebody with very powerful connections. John snatched the bag that their escort had left them and stuffed the cash and passports inside. He left the gun and quickly closed the box. With a level stare he slung the red back over his shoulder and looked up at Sherlock.

“We’re leaving.”

John grabbed the box and passed it off to the man waiting outside for them. They jogged up the stairs and didn’t stop until they were out of the bank and in the chilly London air. Sherlock watched John take four slow, even breaths, his eyes a smoky shade of grey. Sherlock could see the flickers of fear, anxiety, and chivalry playing across the other man’s face, and Sherlock derailed the thoughts before they could dig their roots into John’s mind.

“We should go to the address listed on the first passport. It says you live in London.”

“Sherlock…” John bit his lip, his brow furrowed. “I don’t know you--- and I don’t know what all this,” he waved the bag, “means.”

Sherlock frowned.

“You’ll find out who you are faster with me.”

John sighed.

“It could be dangerous.”

Sherlock smiled.

“I know.”

John laughed a bit, shaking his head.

“Right. Well, as long as we’re clear on that.”

::::
 
A motherly older woman who reminded Sherlock of Mrs. Hudson greeted them at the address listed on John Watson’s passport.

“Doctor Watson!” She kissed John’s cheek as she opened the door for them. “It’s been too long, and you’ve brought a friend!”

John nodded, recovering remarkably quickly by the onslaught of physical touch and new information.

“Yes, this is Sherlock Holmes--- and I’m afraid I’ve forgotten my key.”

One sympathetic smile and spare key later, John and Sherlock were on the fifth floor and were entering a large flat. There was a lot of space and sparse furniture. It was far too big for one man to live in, but there were no signs that anyone else stayed in the flat, let alone a family.

John seemed to be swallowed up by the flat, the large rooms making the doctor seem so small. There were some books, but nothing specific. Sherlock huffed with frustration as John put down his bag on the desk. He put his hands in his pockets, licking his lips nervously as Sherlock surveyed each room.

Nothing… it was all so boring. Boring color, boring appliances, nothing personal.

Everything stopped in Sherlock’s mind--- and he breathed out.

“That’s the point!”

John had been in the kitchen and he peered through the door, his eyebrows raised.

“What’s the point?”

Sherlock went through the drawers of John’s desk, nothing jumping out of him until the last one. A black light. Interesting.

“This flat is boring, John. Intentionally so. Anyone could live here--- John Watson or any other man in London.”

John’s shoulders sagged.

“Great. I’m a bloody ghost who keeps thousands of pounds and a gun in a safety deposit box.” Sherlock pulled out the black light and flipped it on, sending an odd glow on the floor. Sherlock moved to the bedroom, and the bed was spotless. There were no stains on the carpet… on anything. Sherlock growled and John (having followed Sherlock) waved his hand in front of the light. “What’s this?”

“A black light.” Sherlock frowned as John examined it with a careful curiosity. “It’s the only thing of interest I found in your desk.” John was quiet, and he went to walk past Sherlock, but once he passed through the black light, Sherlock stopped him. “Don’t move.”

John froze and Sherlock reached for his jumper, pulling down the right shoulder. Under normal light, the skin was a soft peach color--- but under the black light… it was another thing entirely.

Bright blue markings stood out on John’s shoulder, a word wrapping around his bicep in intricate and gothic lettering. John was twisting around, trying to get a good look, and Sherlock read the word aloud to save John the trouble.

“Healer.”

John rubbed at his shoulder like if he tried hard enough he could erase the neon-blue lettering.

“Why---Christ, none of it makes sense.”

“You’re a doctor.” Sherlock turned off the black light, setting it down. “At least that’s what your landlady believes.”

John crossed his arms after he fixed his jumper.

“But why would a doctor have a revolver--- or a bunch of passports?” John stalked to his desk, leaning against it. “Hell, why would a doctor have their bank number embedded in their hip?”

Sherlock didn’t say anything because he didn’t know. The clues didn’t add up to anything pedestrian. John was right--- doctors don’t have guns and fake passports. Doctors also typically don’t drop junkies in a matter seconds like it was as natural as breathing. They both were quiet, and then all of a sudden John straightened.

His gaze was riveted to the far end of the hallway, to a window that was sanded down to look cloudy, to distort images on the other side. John slowly moved forward, cautious, his body lithe and tight. Sherlock licked his lips.

“John?”

The doctor held his hand up, quieting Sherlock. He was absolutely still, and when he turned, his eyes were grey again--- all business.

“I don’t think we should---”

The glass shattered with deadly pops of gunfire. Sherlock’s eyes were wide as a man crashed through the window. John ran forward and knocked the automatic weapon out of the darker-skinned man’s (Italian, maybe) hand before Sherlock ducked behind the desk. He watched as John traded blows with the man, and it was vastly different from the security footage of the shop.

The men at the shop were no match for John. The man in John’s flat, however, was highly experienced.

It was like watching a dance, a brutal dance that was merely a barbaric display of physical prowess and bloodlust. John didn’t pull his punches, and when he was kicked in the stomach he landed on his back a few feet in front of the desk. He jumped up (a kip-up), back arching and body tuned for violence--- it was magnificent.

The man was bleeding a bit, mostly from a nice punch that John had delivered to his lip. John backed up, groping the desk, and Sherlock saw him grab a pen of all things and twist off the cap. The man shot forward, and John took a more passive approach, letting the other man come to him--- and each hit the man tried to land was stopped by a quick but savage stab of the blue pen to his flesh.

Extraordinary.

John’s coup-de-grace was impaling the pen in the top of the man’s right shoulder, kicking his left ankle in (breaking it) and shoving him to the floor. John was breathing heavily, and only when a light gurgle came from the man below him did John turn around, his eyes bright as he caught Sherlock’s wide-eyed gaze.

“Are you all right?” John’s fingers twitched at his sides, his brow knit with concern. “Sherlock, have you been hurt---?”

“No, John, I’m fine.”

John’s eyes were piercing, unwavering.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, John. There are more important things to deal with at the moment!”

John frowned but nodded, turning back to the man underneath him. He couched down beside him, ripping a small backpack off of him. John tossed it in Sherlock’s direction.

“Look through it, tell me what’s inside.”

Sherlock got up, his limbs tingling as he did as John told. The bag held a protein bar, miscellaneous receipts, nothing of importance. Sherlock flinched as something hit the floor hard. He looked up to see John holding the man’s skull in his hands, bringing it up before slamming it back down onto the floor.

“Who are you?” The man spit in John’s face, and John just snarled and brought the man’s head down onto the floor harder. “Who are you?

Sherlock’s fingers brushed against folded bits of paper. He withdrew two papers printed out rather recently--- and his eyes widened.

It was a picture, two pictures actually, of Sherlock and John from the bank. The bank they’d been in not even an hour ago. His mouth went dry as he cleared his throat.

“John.” John didn’t respond, and Sherlock raised his voice. “John.”

The doctor looked up, dropping the man’s head as he stood up. There was blood under his fingernails (he’d have to wash his hands thoroughly, and soon) and his face was flushed from adrenalin. Sherlock stood, showing John the pictures. John’s eyes widened, and his cheeks faded to grey. He inhaled, and that was when the man who’d once been gurgling on the ground, stood up. He was breathing heavily, and John stepped in front of Sherlock, his one hand on Sherlock’s wrist while the other was out in front of him.

The two deadly men stared at each other, and then the other man turned and ran. Not at them, but to the window where he jumped out and plummeted to his death. Both John and Sherlock blinked--- their hearts in their throats. John moved first, grabbing the red bag of money off of the desk. Sherlock exhaled loudly.

“Why--- why would he do that? It doesn’t make sense!”

John was guiding Sherlock out of the flat and into the hallway, his warm hand on the small of Sherlock’s back.

“Come on, Sherlock. Walk with me.” They found a back way out of the building, and once Sherlock was back in London air he could breathe again. John kept wiping his hands off on his jeans, his eyes blue-grey again. Sherlock sniffed, and the noise seemed to snap John out of his reverie. “Right. Um, Sherlock, you have to go to the police. Take this,” He handed the red bag to Sherlock, “and tell Lestrade everything.”

The bag was heavy in Sherlock’s hand, and he shook his head, giving it back to John.

“No. Whoever got these photos--- the police can’t touch them. We need someone bigger than the police.”

John sighed, pulling at his face with his hands.

“Do you know anyone like that, Sherlock? Because obviously my resources are a bit limited.”

Sherlock smiled, though it was pained and hollow.

“As a matter of fact I do.”

::::
 
First, before Sherlock went to Mycroft for help (of all the God-forsaken things) they had to go back to Baker Street. While Sherlock didn’t have friends, he was rather fond of Mrs. Hudson, and whoever was after John (though the pictures said now both of them were targets) must know about Baker Street. John agreed that they needed to get Mrs. Hudson to a safe location first--- so they’d get her and then go to Mycroft. Simple.

Only, not so simple once they got inside. Sherlock and John went up the stairs, and Sherlock shouted.

“Mrs. Hudson, get your things you’re going on vacation!”

Before Sherlock could open the door to his flat, John stopped him, making Sherlock move to the side. He licked his lips, his eyes alert.

“In and out, Sherlock. Only bring essentials.”

Sherlock nodded, and John swung open the door--- and was immediately attacked. He reacted smoothly, punching the assailant, a woman, in the stomach. She hit one of Sherlock’s shelves, and Sherlock recognized her. Before he could stop John, the doctor hooked his ankle around hers grabbed her shoulder, leveling her onto the ground. The wind was knocked right out of her lungs. John’s hand went around her throat, his thumb pressing against her larynx--- not enough to cut off her air flow, but just enough to show that John could if he wished.

There was a click of the safety being switched off of a pistol, and soon cold metal was being pressed against John’s temple. Mycroft emerged from the shadows, his ice-blue eyes steely.

“Kindly remove your hand, sir. Now.”

John did, and the woman’s eyes watered a bit. She coughed and rolled onto her side, curling in on herself as she slowly sat up. Sherlock rolled his eyes and put his hand on his brother’s wrist.

“Put the gun away, Mycroft. There’s no need to be so dramatic.”

Mycroft wrinkled his nose but did take the gun away from John’s head. John relaxed slightly and leaned back onto his toes. He cast a wary gaze at Mycroft before he offered Mycroft’s assistant his hand (which she took).

That’s Mycroft?”

“Yes.” Sherlock forced out the word past his teeth. “And I’m sorry your first meeting with him had to be so volatile. Mycroft has a weakness for ‘making an entrance.’”

His brother straightened his tie.

“This is hardly a matter of pride, Sherlock. Your friend’s face--- as well as your own was plastered all over Interpol. You were classified as highly dangerous and as enemies to the state.” Mycroft ran his fingers through his hair, and Sherlock saw that stress was pulling at his brother’s shoulders and making him seem… translucent. “I’ve put a stop to it, but that will only hold for so long, Sherlock. And then I get word that you’ve killed a man---”

Sherlock took a breath, but John stepped forward.

“That’s not true! All the damage done was by me. I--- a man came into my flat with a gun. I…” John paused, sparing a look at Sherlock. “I stopped him, and I tried to find out who he was, but he jumped out of the window.”

Mycroft’s eyes narrowed, and Sherlock put his hand on John’s shoulder.

“It’s true.”

There was a tense silence, and Mycroft exhaled.

“Why would a man be trying to kill you, Mr.---”

“John Watson.” John answered curtly. “And I don’t know. I… I don’t have any memory before four days ago. Sherlock’s been helping me figure out who I am.” He paused again, this time looking down, his shoulders rising a bit. “I didn’t--- if I’d known this was going to happen I never would have left the Scotland Yard.”

When John’s voice cracked, Sherlock squeezed his shoulder. Mycroft’s scrutiny lessened. Even he could tell that John’s grief was very much genuine. Mycroft bit his lip, and he exchanged a quick glance with his assistant before looking back at Sherlock.

“Tell me everything you know about Mr. Watson.”

Sherlock took a breath, and Mycroft’s assistant was typing away on her Blackberry.

Doctor John Watson is highly trained for hand-to-hand combat… unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. My first thought had been MI5 or MI6, but upon the last engagement I saw him in… I’d say his military involvement is something much higher and very underground. He has high moral values, however. The first fight he was in was triggered because a mother and child were in danger, and the second time he was more concerned about my health than he was about getting information from our attacker. He’s polite, very resourceful, and disciplined.” Sherlock motioned to John’s red bag. “He had a bank number in his hip. In the box were thousands of pounds in different currencies, a revolver, and over a dozen passports with different names and locations of residences in each of them.”

Mycroft’s eyebrows shot up.

“How genuine were the passports?”

“Very. I couldn’t find any outward hints of forgery.” Sherlock tapped John’s right shoulder. “John also has a tattoo that’s only visible in black light.” Mycroft’s assistant’s typing faltered then stopped. “It says: Healer.”

Silence stretched out in the flat, and Mycroft frowned, which was never a good thing.

“I’ve never heard of anything like this.”

John sighed, but Sherlock felt like he’d been plunged into the icy waters of the Thames. If Mycroft hadn’t heard of it--- than whoever did know was far darker and much more sinister than Mycroft and the strings of the world that were tied to his fingertips. That was when a throat cleared and Mycroft’s assistant spoke up, staring at John like he was a ghost.

“I… I have, sir.”

::::
 
After assuring Sherlock and John that Mrs. Hudson was currently being taken to a safe house, Mycroft had his assistant (choosing the name of Anthea) lead them to a tucked away part of Sussex. Anthea sat in the passenger’s seat, and in the back Mycroft, Sherlock, and John all had to fit. While John wasn’t keen on others touching him, he didn’t mind that the right side of his body was pressed up against Sherlock.

In fact, it didn’t even faze him as he kept his eyes on the window. Sherlock was certain that if he asked John how to get back to Baker Street that the doctor would be able to write down a very detailed set of directions of every road and how long they’d need to be on it. Marvelous.

John Watson was the perfect mystery. No matter what Sherlock learned about him, a myriad of new mysteries sprung up to take the newly acquired fact’s place.

Sherlock’s attention must have been far less subtle than he’d hoped because John turned away from the window, his one eyebrow raised a bit.

“What?”

“Nothing.” Sherlock had the strange sensation that his face was a bit hot. “Just observing.”

John’s ears went pink, and he smiled a bit, cautious, but hopeful and trusting--- like Sherlock’s attention was fine.

“Oh.” The doctor nodded, looking back to the window at the passing street signs. “Okay.”

Mycroft cleared his throat pointedly, and Sherlock whirled around to glare at his insufferable romantic of a brother. Even Anthea giggled as they finally came to a stop at a homey cottage. John opened the door, getting out and waiting for Sherlock before closing the door. Mycroft got out after, leaving directions for the driver and opening Anthea’s door for her.

John stretched, his shoulders popping. Sherlock glanced at the house. Small, homey, and it had a very tended to garden. Anthea smoothed out her pencil skirt, her eyes away from her Blackberry for once. Mycroft clutched his precious umbrella, joining his assistant’s side.

“Where exactly did you meet this man, Anthea?”

Anthea cleared her throat as she rang the doorbell.

“North Korea. We realized that we could complete our directives quicker if we were to help each other.”

John raised his eyebrows.

“Directives?”

When Anthea refused to comment, Sherlock nudged John’s side.

“It’s best not to ask, John. My brother is the British government. I’m sure Anthea was off saving the world from some political regime or another.”

Anthea’s smile, while beautiful, was chilling.

“Sure, Sherlock. Let’s leave it at that.”

She rang the doorbell again, and a squeal was heard from inside. A squeal that made Mycroft frown, Sherlock stiffen, and John’s eyes widen. The door flung open, and a little boy (five years old, approximately) grinned when he saw Anthea.

“Auntie A!”

Anthea soon found herself with an armful of child. She put the child’s weight on her hip, and it was obvious that it hadn’t been the first time she’d had to catch the boy mid-embrace. A deeper voice boomed from the doorway, drawing the attention of John and Sherlock.

“Benjamin, I told you to wait---” A tall beast of a man lumbered into view, but once he saw his houseguests he fell silent. Sherlock wasn’t sure what surprised him more, the fact that the man barely fit into his own doorway or that he was American. “Hello, A.”

“Hi, Bunny.” Anthea smiled as the boy, Benjamin, kissed her cheek adoringly. “I was hoping we could have a cuppa. Maybe a chat as well.”

Bunny (a name that certainly did not fit the muscular man) nodded immediately.

“Of course. Come in.”

He held open the door for them, and soon Benjamin was watching the telly while the adults had a “seriously boring conversation, buddy,” as Bunny eloquently phrased it for the boy. Bunny led them to the kitchen and put the kettle on. After Bunny was assured that Benjamin was thoroughly distracted, he regarded Mycroft with a faint smile.

“So you’re A’s mysterious boss.”

Mycroft extended his hand.

“Mycroft Holmes.”

Bunny shook it, his arm flexing.

“Jack Rabbit--- call me Bunny.”

“Very well, Bunny.” Mycroft smiled thinly. “This is my brother Sherlock, and Doctor John Watson--- he’s suffering from amnesia, and it’s come to our attention that you may have some sort of knowledge of who he is.”

Bunny seemed surprised, and the kettle came to a boil. He poured the tea, and sighed as he looked at John.

“Sorry, son, I haven’t seen you before and trust me I’m good with faces.”

John smiled despite the disappointment he must have felt. Anthea licked her lips.

“Yes, well--- Doctor Watson’s got a tattoo on his right bicep that’s only visible when under a black light.” Bunny went still, and this time he didn’t regard John so flippantly. Anthea continued. “I knew that would be right up your alley.”

In the other room, Benjamin had fallen asleep. Anthea turned off the television, and while she was gone, Sherlock took the opportunity to ask a question that had been nagging him.

“Is Benjamin your son?”

The hair color was different, but adoption was an option. Bunny’s eyes widened.

“No, he’s the neighbor’s boy, and they wanted to go out to dinner so I offered to watch him.” Anthea came back, and her and Bunny exchanged a meaningful glance. He took a deep breath and sipped his tea. “In my line of work it’s not uncommon to see casualties and for things to get… messy.”

Mycroft straightened in his chair.

“And what exactly is your work?”

Bunny smiled at Mycroft, looking like a classic American cowboy.

“Don’t ask me questions and I’ll tell you no lies.” Mycroft nodded, and Bunny continued, sparing a glance at John. “I’m a part of an elite team, we’re the people the world goes to when the real shit hits the fan. We rarely go out to other agencies unless our squad leader specifically tells us to.” Bunny licked his lips, his fingers tightening around his cup. “We’d outsourced a few times when things got really shaky, that’s how I met our lovely A. But--- there was one time when we outsourced from the very start.”

John was attentive, and Sherlock leaned forward, searching Bunny’s dark eyes.

“What was different about that assignment?”

Bunny was startled, but he didn’t stall for time like most people did.

“An important mark was on the line, and to certain people, recovering him was more important than the actual crisis at hand. So--- our squad leader was ordered to use an outside source to apprehend the mark while we took care of the real problem. All he did was make a call--- and a day later this man just shows up. Young, about your age,” he pointed at John, “and his employer said to… to check his collar. He told us over the phone--- and he gave us the directions. Black light to the right shoulder.” He shivered, and if it made a big man like Bunny shiver than it was worth paying attention to. “In big, gothic lettering it said: Tiger. All we did was give him a picture--- and three days later he had our man.”

Sherlock was enraptured.

“What was the employer’s name?”

Bunny looked ill, like just thinking about the man was off-putting.

“He was seriously weird. Always whispering over the phone. He said that--- that his pets would grant any wish.” John stiffened at the word ‘pets’ while Sherlock just waited for Bunny to continue. “We only ever got one name, and our squad leader never said it more than once, but I’ll never forget it.” He sighed, and when he met Sherlock’s gaze, Bunny’s eyes were that of a hollow man who’d seen far too many horrors. “Moriarty.”



Onward to the next (and final) part...

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
nathcoelho
Apr. 19th, 2011 03:55 am (UTC)
oh god! this is one of the best fics i ever read it! i love it the plot! i love a BFAM!John! =) \o
mia6363
Apr. 19th, 2011 04:04 am (UTC)
:D :D :D Aw, thanks so much :) Did you read the second part yet? <3 I'm glad you like BAMF John. He's awesome :)
laurab1
Apr. 21st, 2011 01:52 am (UTC)
Tiny thing - it's MI5/6, not M15/6.

Back to reading - great, so far :)

Edited at 2011-04-21 01:53 am (UTC)
mia6363
Apr. 21st, 2011 02:05 am (UTC)
Aw, thanks for pointing that out to me :)
(Anonymous)
Apr. 22nd, 2011 05:30 am (UTC)
Your John is awesome and bamf. Brilliant fic.

Just like to point out one thing: John's gun would be a pistol, not a revolver. No law enforcement or military personnel uses a revolver these days.
mia6363
Apr. 22nd, 2011 01:06 pm (UTC)
Aw, thank you :) I'll fix it right away. Thanks for reading!
honestlyforreal
Sep. 12th, 2011 07:03 pm (UTC)
"What's in your pocket?"
"Your pocket."
"What's in your pocket?"

Answer the thin pale man Bilbo! (Sorry I immediately thought of that part from the Hobbit, you know, considering Martin Freeman and all :) )


This is awesome, btw!!!! I'm already lamenting the end of this story! Can't it go on forever?!!!! I LOVE it!!!!!!
mia6363
Sep. 12th, 2011 07:12 pm (UTC)
Hahaha, I wish it could go on forever :) Thanks for reading, I'm so glad you enjoyed it :)
army2319
Nov. 12th, 2011 11:39 pm (UTC)
*jumps up and down excitedly* OHHHHH! Moriarty! Oh, you GD son of bitch! But then again, when is he not the mastermind? Seriously now...
mia6363
Nov. 13th, 2011 03:53 am (UTC)
Haha, of course, Thanks for reading!
karmic_fic
Jan. 18th, 2012 11:32 am (UTC)
this is absolutely AMAZING!!! thank you so much for sharing this wonderful fusion!!!
mia6363
Jan. 18th, 2012 02:47 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading, I'm glad you liked it!
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )