vomit_bunny: (Working... honest)
[personal profile] vomit_bunny
Title: Self Deception
Author(s): [livejournal.com profile] vomit_bunny 
Rating: PG
Character/pairing(s): John
Summary: John wakes up in hospital
Disclaimer: not mine
Spoilers: The Great Game
Warnings: angst
Author's Notes: I’m sure this has been done before, apologies if it has.

John opens his eyes and stares blearily at the ceiling. White, boring, institutional.

“-ohn?”

It takes him a moment to realise that someone is talking to him.

“What do you remember?”

He tries to turn his head towards the voice but his eyes have drifted shut before he manages to answer.

-

He watches the nurses as they fuss.

“What do you remember?” the doctor asks.

“I.” He pauses and thinks for a moment. “There was an explosion.”

-

“What do you remember?”

He giggles. “Boom!”

“It’s okay, John, we’re just adjusting your medication.”

He wants to laugh at that but the sound seems to catch in his throat and it comes out as a sob instead.

-

“What do you remember?”

“An explosion.”

“Okay,” the doctor replies, making a note on his chart.

“Where’s Sherlock?”

“Who?”

“My friend. Sherlock Holmes. He was with me! Is he okay?”

“You need to calm down, John.”

-

There’s a doctor, or at least a man in a white coat, standing over him, adjusting an IV, when he wakes. His IV he realises after a moment.

“Hello, John,” the doctor says, his accent pure Oxbridge. “What do you remember?”

He thinks. “Um.”

“It’s alright.”

“I, what. What happened?”

“You were caught in an explosion. Minor burns and abrasions for the most part, but you took some shrapnel to your back and neck, a piece of it fractured the base of your skull.”

He lets out rush of air and tries to process the information.

“Are you alright, John?”

Something at the back of his mind demands attention. “Where’s Sherlock?”

-

“What do you remember?”

“Where am I?”

“You’re safe, John.”

“Where am I?” he asks more insistently, trying to push himself up from the bed.

“You’re at Selly Oak,” the doctor replies, easily pushing him back down onto the bed.

“Birmingham? Why?”

“There was an IED, John. Do you remember?”

“I remember an explosion.”

“And?”

“We’ve had this conversation before?”

“Several times,” the doctor explains. “Confusion is very common with this type of head injury.”

“I know,” John replies frustratedly. He shuts his eyes and takes a calming breath. “I’m sorry.”

“I understand.”

“No, I really don’t think you do.”

“Do you remember asking about Sherlock Holmes?”

He doesn’t, but that’s not important. “Is he alright?”

“John,” the doctor begins carefully. “Who do you think Sherlock Holmes is?”

“He’s my friend,” he answers, trying to pick through a jumble of memories. “He was with me when the bomb went off.”

“No one else on your team was hurt, but-”

“Team, what team? What are you talking about?”

“I need you to calm down, John. We had to sedate you last time.”

-

John stares at the wall. His room is utterly devoid of anything of interest; even the blinds are constantly kept shut, not that he thinks a view of Birmingham would really improve things. He stares at the wall and tries to connect all the pieces in his head.

-

He looks up when the door opens and catches a glimpse of stark white corridor beyond his room before he focuses on his visitor. She’s new and everything about her screams psychologist.

“Hello, John. I’m Dr Mathews.”

“Hello.”

“I hear you've been feeling confused, John.”

“I’m not confused.”

“John,” she repeats, trying to build a rapport by stressing his name, he thinks. “Can you tell me about Sherlock Holmes?”

“What would you like to know?” he asks, a little confused, not that he’ll admit it, that his psychologist wants to talk about Sherlock.

“Did you meet him in Afghanistan?”

He frowns. “Of course I didn’t.”

She smiles at that, encouraging.

“I met him when I got back.”

The smile doesn’t slip exactly, but it does strain around the edges.

“We share a flat,” he adds.

“Two hundred and twenty one, B, Baker Street?”

He forces a tight smile. “Yes.”

“Tell me, John, have you ever read anything by Arthur Conan Doyle?”

“What? What does that have to do with anything?”

“Would it surprise you to know that Sherlock Holmes is a character created by Doyle?”

“Would it surprise me to learn that my best friend is fictional?” he retorts sarcastically. “You know, it probably would.”

“I’m not trying to upset you, John.”

-

She has a book with her when she comes back, puts it on the bedside table but doesn’t mention it as they talk about Afghanistan and what he remembers or what he thinks he can remember. He can read the cover, though, A Study in Scarlet.

“Would you like a look?” she asks after his eyes flick to it for what feels like the hundredth time.

He reads the first page, the first paragraph and shuts the book, looking at her incredulously. “Am I not real either?”

“John Watson is a fairly common name,” she points out reasonably.

-

He throws the book across the room when Dr Mathews leaves, angry and ashamed, as if reading it is capitulation of some sort. It hits the wall with a loud thump and fall to the ground, pages open, spine bent.

He ignores it for the rest of the day, focusing on the comings and goings of the hospital personnel, instead. He can only remember, not that that’s worth much at the moment, three members of staff, well four with his psychologist. It’s still the oddest shift rotation he’s seen.

He eventually asks one of the nurses to fetch the book for him. She babbles excitedly when she sees the cover, she’s a huge fan, used to read them as a child, and has he got a favourite? John didn’t even know there were others.

-

He reads A Study in Scarlet, it’s really just a nineteenth century version of A Study in Pink with a story about Mormons tacked on. Nothing someone couldn’t fabricate from reading his blog, okay there are parts where the author would have needed to have seen inside their flat or have eavesdropped on their conversations but it’s not beyond the realms of possibility. John holds onto the idea with all his worth.

-

“I need to borrow your laptop,” is the first thing he says when Dr Mathews comes back.

She doesn’t argue, just hands him the computer and talks him through connecting to the wi-fi. Part of him is disappointed, he’d hoped she wouldn’t let him, that she’d argue.

His blog and Sherlock’s web page don’t seem to exist. “That’s not right.” He feels muddled, and scratches distractedly at the IV port on his hand. He tries typing Sherlock Holmes into google. The first result is a wikipedia page about a fictional detective and he gives up and closes the laptop.

He feels sick.

“John?”

“I don’t see why I should believe you,” he manages to say. “I don’t really have much of an incentive, if you’re right I’m mad.”

“I don’t think you’re mad, John. I think you went through a traumatic experience, both physically and mentally, and your mind created somewhere safe for you while you recovered.”

He wants to laugh at that, because safe is the last word he would use to describe his life with Sherlock, but he holds back, a little afraid it’ll come out closer to hysteria.

“But you need to let it go now.”

It’s all so completely reasonable that he feels a bit guilty when he insists that she leave.

-

“Really, John,” she says the next day, and the way she uses his name still grates, “I’m not your enemy. There is no grand conspiracy.”

“I know,” he replies tiredly. Sometimes he dreams that they come for him: Lestrade or Mycroft, once, memorably, Mrs Hudson, but most often it’s Sherlock. Nearly always Sherlock, in fact, who strides in as if he owns the place and explains away all of John’s confusion so easily, a neat little solution to terribly complex problem.

“It’s not real, John.”

He turns on his side and closes his eyes at that, ignoring her until she leaves. He’s a coward, he realises as he listens to her talk to his doctor about increasing his medication, but he doesn’t care.

-

He opens his eyes and stares blearily at the ceiling. It’s white, boring, and institutional.

“John,” someone prompts.

“I’m sorry,” he starts, turning his head and frowning in confusion. “I can’t remember your name.”

The doctor smiles. “Don’t worry,” he says. “It’s Moran. Dr Sebastian Moran.”




The End

Feedback makes me happy.




ETA: there is now a little sequel in the comments (which now has its own sequel!) and and I strongly encourage anyone who would like to take this idea and run with it to do so! On that note [livejournal.com profile] baileyhix has written an amazing part two  and [livejournal.com profile] seektheinfinite has an equally wonderful conclusion, both of which I can't recommend enough!
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Date: 2010-08-15 05:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] twistedsheets10.livejournal.com
OH FUCK.

/world explodes

Date: 2010-08-15 04:25 pm (UTC)

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From: [identity profile] raiining.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-09-06 07:58 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2010-08-15 05:18 am (UTC)
caffienekitty: (like omg!!)
From: [personal profile] caffienekitty
*flails like a mad thing*

GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!! Fantastic!

Date: 2010-08-15 04:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vomit-bunny.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 2010-08-15 05:20 am (UTC)
hagstrom: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hagstrom
SHIT!
Its pretty great! Quite shocking! But you know? there's one thing about it that displeases me...those words; "The End"...you mean "It will continue..." Right? *doespuppyeyes*

Date: 2010-08-15 04:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vomit-bunny.livejournal.com
I sort of half want to write a second part, even though I enjoy a nice ambiguous ending, but all my brain keeps supplying is something along the lines of: Sherlock sweeps in and rescues John :D Yay! Now, if someone else wants to write a sequel? Well I’m all for that!

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] hagstrom - Date: 2010-08-15 09:43 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2010-08-15 05:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] staci-starseed.livejournal.com
OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG!!1

You NEED to write more. Moran MUST be working with Moriarty and they've stolen John and and trying to drive him mad! I bet they record the "therapy" sessions and Moriarty is sending them to Sherlock and Sherlock is going mad trying to find him!

OMG MORE!!!

Date: 2010-08-15 05:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chiroro.livejournal.com
OMFOGMOMFGOMFGOMFG I AGREE WITH THIS COMMENT SO MUCH!

Sequel to sort of sequel... maybe? Part 2/3ish

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2010-08-23 01:51 am (UTC) - Expand

Re: Sequel to sort of sequel... maybe? Part 2/3ish

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2010-08-26 02:42 am (UTC) - Expand

Sequel to sort of sequel... maybe? Part 3a/?

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2010-08-26 03:10 am (UTC) - Expand

Sequel to sort of sequel... maybe? Part 3b/?

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2010-08-26 03:39 am (UTC) - Expand

Sequel to sort of sequel... maybe? Part 5

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2010-08-30 02:12 am (UTC) - Expand

Author's Note (darn character limits)

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2010-08-30 02:14 am (UTC) - Expand

Re: Sequel to sort of sequel... maybe? Part 5

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2010-08-30 05:41 pm (UTC) - Expand

Re: Sequel to sort of sequel... maybe? Part 5

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Date: 2010-08-15 05:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] autumnatmidnite.livejournal.com
HOOOOOOLLLLLYYYY CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This was BRILLIANT :D

Please tell me there is going to be a sequel? PLEASE. I am willing to offer my soul as payment.

Date: 2010-08-15 04:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vomit-bunny.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Aww, don't say that, I wrote this sort of by accident when I got stuck trying to finish some PWP... I don't want to think about what I'd end up with if I tried to write a sequel :P

Date: 2010-08-15 05:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] erynn999.livejournal.com
Oh, fuck. Gaslight ^10,000

Date: 2010-08-15 04:40 pm (UTC)

Date: 2010-08-15 05:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] faience.livejournal.com
Omg. D:

But also: more please!

Date: 2010-08-15 04:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vomit-bunny.livejournal.com
Thanks for reading... and of course Sherlock comes riding in a rescues John!

Date: 2010-08-15 05:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alleskleber.livejournal.com
Wow. This is wow. Insane, not insane, evil Moran. Whats right, whats not. AAAArgh.

Date: 2010-08-15 04:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vomit-bunny.livejournal.com
Thanks! Your comment really made me smile!

Date: 2010-08-15 06:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] baileyhix.livejournal.com
This reminds me of a short story I read when I was younger...it was about a pilot for the allies who awoke in a hospital and the person who were taking care of him were nice and kind and asked him seeming innocuous questions assuring him he was safe. He was able to make his way to a window and saw that he was in France somewhere...most of it controlled by the allies at that point then he saw these words carved into a wooden post across the road.

"CAVEAT CANIS" "Beware of Dog" when they came back to his room with their questions he gave them his name rank and serial number because he realized he was in German hands.

Its considered a classic so this is a compliment of the highest sort.

GOOD JOB!
the reward for good work is more work though...WINK!

Bart

Date: 2010-08-15 04:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vomit-bunny.livejournal.com
Thank you so much, that really is quite a compliment!

the reward for good work is more work though...WINK!

Noooo! Are you sure you wouldn't like a go yourself?

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From: [identity profile] baileyhix.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-08-15 05:51 pm (UTC) - Expand

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From: [identity profile] vomit-bunny.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-08-15 05:59 pm (UTC) - Expand

How's this?

From: [identity profile] baileyhix.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-08-15 08:02 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2010-08-15 06:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elystia.livejournal.com
Oh. SHIT. D:

This was fantastic!

Date: 2010-08-15 04:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vomit-bunny.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 2010-08-15 07:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katling73.livejournal.com
Dayum! Nice ending! :D I totally did not see that coming.

I do hope you'll continue this! Please?

Date: 2010-08-15 04:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vomit-bunny.livejournal.com
Thank you, I'm glad I managed to surprise you!

Date: 2010-08-15 07:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peppermouse.livejournal.com
OH. MY. GOD.

Freaking awesome. What a twist.

That is all. I hope you write more!

Date: 2010-08-15 04:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vomit-bunny.livejournal.com
Thanks! I'm glad you liked it!

Date: 2010-08-15 07:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thisissirius.livejournal.com
HOLY SHIT SEBASTIAN MORAN. THAT WAS LIKE, WTF. AMAZING.

I NEED THE NEXT PART! THERE HAS TO BE A NEXT PART!

Date: 2010-08-15 05:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vomit-bunny.livejournal.com
Ha ha! Thank you!

I'm not sure I can manage a next part... maybe someone else will!

Date: 2010-08-15 07:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lavvyan.livejournal.com
Okay, this is very, very neat, and I love the twist at the end. Awesome.

Date: 2010-08-15 05:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vomit-bunny.livejournal.com
Thank you! I'm really glad you liked it!

Date: 2010-08-15 08:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] felicia-angel.livejournal.com
THAT WAS AWESOME (as everyone is saying) and I third or thirty-three or whatever it was for having a second part. If not, it still works really well on it's own. GREAT JOB!

Date: 2010-08-15 05:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vomit-bunny.livejournal.com
Thank you. I've tried my best on the second part front, hopefully someone else would like a go...

Date: 2010-08-15 08:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lemonflav-lopfe.livejournal.com
Um... I don't believe it has been done before. And if it has, not half as well as this.

This is shocking. Brilliant. Devastating and horrifying all in one go.

I sincerely hope you're considering continuing.

Date: 2010-08-15 05:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vomit-bunny.livejournal.com
Thanks, I'm glad you liked it! And thank you for putting my mind at rest, when I finished I was sure somebody must have written this before... I guess I have a weakness for it was all a crazy dream (or was it?!) fics!

Date: 2010-08-15 08:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] endgegner07.livejournal.com
OH SHIT!!
D:



GREAT story! Please have Holmes resucue him y/y?!!!!!

Date: 2010-08-15 05:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vomit-bunny.livejournal.com
Thanks!

Sherlock totally figures out what's going on, probably from his own hospital bed, and rides into rescue John!

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Date: 2010-08-15 08:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nejem.livejournal.com
I was SHOCKED whilst reading, and I loved it *________*
I need a blanket now.

Date: 2010-08-15 05:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vomit-bunny.livejournal.com
Yay! I'm glad you liked it!

Date: 2010-08-15 08:53 am (UTC)
randomling: A wombat. (Default)
From: [personal profile] randomling
Wow, that was pretty awesome.

I will join in with the chorus of people asking for more. :D

Please?

Date: 2010-08-15 05:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vomit-bunny.livejournal.com
Thank you!

I'm not sure that I can write more of this, maybe someone will...

Date: 2010-08-15 09:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] selenityshiroi.livejournal.com
Holy crap...just when I was thinking 'ouch...poor deluded John' you dropped that Moran.

Then I was thinking 'NOOOOOOooooooo...STOP THEM FROM DELUDING JOHN!!!'

Very, very clever!

Date: 2010-08-15 05:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vomit-bunny.livejournal.com
Thanks! You comment really made me laugh!

Date: 2010-08-15 09:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lucywiggin.livejournal.com
That was great! Is there more?

Date: 2010-08-15 05:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vomit-bunny.livejournal.com
Thanks! And I'm not sure...

Date: 2010-08-15 10:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] moose-mcmoose.livejournal.com
Good grief!!! That was sublime!!!

Please say that there is more to come.

Date: 2010-08-15 05:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vomit-bunny.livejournal.com
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it.

P.S absolute icon love!

Date: 2010-08-15 10:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] emmarrrrr.livejournal.com
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH MORAN!

MORE PLEASE.

Date: 2010-08-15 05:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vomit-bunny.livejournal.com
Thanks for reading!

Date: 2010-08-15 10:37 am (UTC)
doire: (Default)
From: [personal profile] doire
Ehh! Eeh! EGGH!

Date: 2010-08-15 05:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vomit-bunny.livejournal.com
Ha ha ha! Didn't see that coming, did you!

Date: 2010-08-15 11:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vegarin.livejournal.com
::flails around::

If it's been done, it hasn't done this effectively just yet, I think. I love the sparce pacing, and the ending...well, it doesn't need any more discussion. Ahhh!

Date: 2010-08-15 05:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vomit-bunny.livejournal.com
Thanks! I was trying to go for a sort of confused ans stark, while still being readable, feel with the pacing... I'm glad you liked it!
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