Sherlock paced angrily. He'd been sure that John was here. So sure of it . He looked around. The small airport gave him nothing.
His phone beeped. Eagerly he swiped at the screen.
[Third runway. Find Crieff.]
Sherlock glanced up, looking at the signs hanging from the ceiling. He was at runway eight. He started running.
When he made it to the third runway, he looked outside. A rather unimpressive plane sat outside. The few cabin crew members were stepping off the plane now. Sherlock watched as an older woman stepped down first, followed by an older man dressed in a pilot's uniform. They're laughing about something, both looking happy and comfortable.
A moment later another pilot steps from the plane, looking anything but comfortable. He's short, slight, with a shockingly bright head of red hair and a face that nearly matches it. He steps stiffly from the plane, looking back at it once, almost reverently.
Sherlock finds an exit and quickly runs over to them. "Excuse me!" The woman and the first man turn to him.
"Yes sir, can I help you?" She sounds pleasant enough, but there's something off about it.
"I'm looking for Crieff."
The lady raises her eyebrows, but it's the man who replies. "Oh, Martin? Are you sure?"
"I need to speak with him immediately."
The man shrugs but gestures to the bright faced young man behind him. "He's just there."
Sherlock nods. "Thank you." He turns and walks swiftly to intercept Martin.
The young man startles as Sherlock steps into his path. "Oh, hello sir, can I... uh..."
"Tell me why I got this." Sherlock holds up his phone, displaying the text message. "And then you can tell me where John is."
Martin looks at the screen, his face paling as his hands grip desperately at his hat. "I... oh god."
"Where. Is. John?" Sherlock's voice is low and menacing, and for a moment he thinks Martin or Crieff of whomever he is might faint.
"I don't know." Martin cringes. "I..."
Sherlock steps in even closer, looming over Martin. "What. Happened?"
Martin swallowed and blinked. He let go of his hat with one hand, showing it was empty, then reached slowly into his trouser pocket. He pulled out an envelope and handed it to Sherlock.
Sherlock snatched it, tearing into it. He opened up a folded piece of paper, frantically scanning it. A moment later he crumpled it between his hands, his breath shaky and his eyes closed. When he opened them again, Martin was staring at him, eyes wide and frightened but intrigued.
"You're coming with me." Sherlock grabbed Martin's arm and started hauling him along. "You're going to help me."
Martin had only mildly protested at his abnormal kidnapping. Sherlock had silenced him with a glare, then started asking him questions the moment they were in a cab. Martin stammered out answers. He'd met a guy in a pub, they had a few drinks, and then... he was offered £10,000. Just to carry an envelope back to Fitton. He'd asked who it was for, what was in it, and why him.
The man had smiled and handed an unsealed envelope to him. "Read it. There's nothing dangerous on it. Cross my heart."
Sherlock frowned at the start of Martin's story. By the time it was finished he was full on scowling and looking, Martin thought, quite capable of murder.
"Oh, he is clever." Sherlock was muttering as the cab pulled up in front of 221B. He hopped out, handing the cabbie some cash, then darted to the door. Martin followed, feeling clumsy and entirely uncoordinated compared to Sherlock, who was long legs and arms and graceful to a fault.
Martin went up the stairs, walking into the sitting room and looking around. He smiled at the eclectic tastes that ran rampant throughout the flat. Then he swallowed as he looked at things and realized that, for a bachelor pad, it was rather expensively furnished. He stood very still, trying not to touch anything. After all, as Douglas was always quick to remind him, he couldn't trust his luck.
Sherlock had disappeared, so Martin continued to stand there, turning very slowly on the spot. As he was just turning his back on the front door he heard Sherlock behind him. Quickly he turned around, only to lose his balance and fall over into the couch, face first. As he pushed back up he saw Sherlock glaring at him.
"Ever used one of these?"
Martin looked down at the object being offered to him. He looked at it, curious, then shook his head.
"Oh, um, no... I mean, when would I... I..." He gave a shaky little laugh before looking back up at Sherlock. "Is it... real?"
"Of course it is."
"Oh." Martin's voice was trying to stop working as he held out one hand timidly. Sherlock placed the object in his hand. It was heavier than he'd imagined it might be, and cold.
"It's also loaded." Sherlock's voice carried back as he stalked into the kitchen, opening the fridge. Martin felt his stomach growl as he held a gun for the first time, all while standing in a complete stranger's flat.
It was an odd day, indeed.
"So, I..." martin drew in a deep breath, still staring at the gun. "Is it..." He searched for anything he might know about guns, coming up with very little. A name popped into his head suddenly. "Is it a... Glock?"
Sherlock walked out of the kitchen, nose crinkled as though whatever he held in his hands smelled bad. He sighed, sounding impatient. "No, of course not."
"Oh..." Martin shrank in on himself a bit. "Oh, right..."
"Glock's don't have safeties."
Sherlock stepped back towards Martin, taking the gun and replacing the open space in his hand with several miniature pies. "Eat." Sherlock gave him a meaningful look, and Martin nodded. Sherlock then showed him the small lever. "This is the safety - keep it on until you're going to shoot someone. This is the trigger. Keep your finger off of it until you're going to shoot someone."
Martin swallowed most of the pie he'd bitten into whole. "Do you... do you think it'll come to that?" He felt himself start trembling.
Sherlock shrugged. "Better to be ready for it."
"So why don't-"
"He'll be expecting me to have one."
Sherlock sighed again. "It is a game. A dangerous game. And I need your help." Martin looked up at Sherlock, confused. No one ever wanted his help, let alone needed it.
Sherlock nodded. "I need John. I need to get him back. And you may be the one chance I have to do that." His voice was soft, comforting. Martin smiled a little, until Sherlock turned his intense gaze back to Martin's face. "So you will come with me. And you will help me find my partner. Understand?"
Martin nodded. The gun settled back into his hand.
"I... I feel I should warn you..." Martin shrunk a bit as Sherlock glared at him. "It's just... I'm fairly useless if I'm not flying a plane..."
Sherlock stepped in close - uncomfortably so. Martin began backing up until he tripped over debris on the floor and slammed into the wall with his shoulders and head. Sherlock pressed in, menacing and terrifying.
"I'm going to say this only once." Sherlock's eyes blazed. "If you cause me to lose John. They will never find you."
Martin swallowed and nodded quickly, beginning to hyperventilate. "I-I-I-"
"Do. You. Understand?" Sherlock slammed his hand into the wall next to Martin's head.
Sherlock's eyes went wide as his mouth opened and he screamed - but Martin couldn't hear it. There was something wrong with his hearing. He remembered an extremely loud bang, but he wasn't sure what had happened. If he didn't know better...
Martin looked down and saw blood pooling around Sherlock's foot. He saw the gun in his hand and watched as Sherlock fell back onto the couch, blood smearing along as his foot moved. Sounds were beginning to come back to him, slowly.
He would just as soon his hearing wasn't coming back, though. Sherlock was having an impressive go at utilizing a sailor's vocabulary, and interspersed were the words, "foot," and, "gun," and, "shot me you IDIOT."
"What's going on here, then?"
Martin looked up to see a sandy-haired man looking at Sherlock cringing and swearing on the couch, his eyes panicked. The man's eyes tracked to Martin quickly, to the gun in his hand, and Martin quickly dropped it and stepped back into the wall, shaking.
"Who the bloody hell are you?" The man was across the room in a flash, hands slamming into Martin's shoulders. Martin whimpered.
"I-I-I-I didn't... I swear, I..."
"Who are you?" The man looked positively murderous, and Martin had a sudden epiphany.
"Are you... you John?" He was still shaking like a leaf under the man's hands.
"You're in my flat and it looks like you shot my friend, so how about we worry about your name first."
"I didn't mean to!" Martin scrunched his eyes shut tightly, a few hot tears rolling down his cheeks. "We were going to go find you, he's got a note in his pocket!"
John loosened his grip, stepping back. "You move, he won't be the only one with a gunshot wound." Martin nodded, his eyes still closed.
He could hear Sherlock's labored breathing, now interspersed with the name, "John."
"Yeah, Sherlock, I'm here."
"But... I got..."
"He said there's a note?"
Martin cracked his eyes open just a bit to see John pulling Sherlock's shoe and sock off carefully. There was a lot of blood, and Martin closed his eyes again, instead just listening to their conversation.
"Just a nasty graze. You'll be fine, but we should go to the hospital, just in case."
"No, John, they'll ask questions. You can patch me."
"Why did he have my gun?"
"The note. Moriarty. I thought-"
"You thought I'd been kidnapped or something?"
Sherlock huffed. "You weren't here."
"I was at a conference! I told you I'd be gone for a few days, and the reception out there is horrible."
John laughed. Martin opened his eyes again and saw that John had grabbed a first aid kit and was gently cleaning up the injury. He was grinning. "Hardly my fault if you weren't listening."
Martin watched as the two traded barbs, John cleaning and bandaging the wound. Then they turned to look at Martin.
"So who are you?" John stood up and crossed his arms.
"I'm... Martin. Martin Crieff. I'm an aeroplane captain, I live at-"
"Yes, alright." John held up a hand and Martin shut-up. A phone dinged, and John fished it out of his pocket. He flicked his thumb over the screen, frowning, then handed it to Sherlock.
Sherlock took the phone, his frown becoming a scowl, and rapidly descending into a glare. Without warning, he flung the phone across the room. It smacked into the wall as John shouted at him.
"Dammit!" Sherlock covered his face as John went to retrieve the phone.
"Um..." Martin's voice was high and nervous, and John looked over at him. "I just... I'm sorry, I didn't..."
John nodded. "No, it's... it's not your fault. You got caught up in a game you should never have been asked to play."
"Who was he?" Martin swallowed and stood up straight, stepping off of the wall.
John shook his head. "Trust me. Better if you don't know."
"So what does it say?" Martin nodded at the phone. He was trying to be brave, trying not to show how absolutely terrified he was. John looked at Sherlock, who still had his face covered, then stepped over to Martin and handed him the phone. Miraculously, it was still working.
Martin looked at the screen, his eyes going wide.
[Oh Johnny-Boy, I do love when you leave home for a few days. Sherlock is so much more fun when he's on his own. Tell that sweet little pilot I appreciate his help. -JM]