It was a bloody sodding nightmare, and John wished he would just wake up, except he could smell the copper in Sherlock’s blood so clearly it was happening.
John did what any person would do, which was to stand up over Sherlock’s prone and rapidly cooling body and fire his gun point-blank at the bastard who’d shot him. One to the head, one to the chest, two to the stomach, and the last two through the kneecaps for good measure. It was probably overkill, since the wounds in the head, chest, and stomach would undoubtedly have done their job, but by then the man was falling over backwards, and the kneecaps were the only safe bet.
With Sherlock’s murderer safely out of commission, John went back to Sherlock.
John was a doctor. John knew dead.
Sherlock should have been dead.
“Hello,” said Sherlock.
John scrambled backwards until his back hit the wall.
“Oh, please,” groaned Sherlock. “Don’t be tedious, John.”
“You’re dead,” said John, eyes wide.
“Sherlock, I saw him shoot you straight through the forehead. Even I couldn’t have made that shot, and I’m good.”
“You’re very good,” agreed Sherlock.
“Stop flirting! You’re dead, you can’t flirt!”
Sherlock sighed and sat up. The wound in between his eyes had stopped bleeding, and Sherlock ran his fingers over it, frowning.
“Ow,” he complained. “That’ll sting come morning.”
John’s eyes widened. “You’re a vampire.”
“Morning, John, weren’t you listening? If I were a vampire, I’d be asleep by morning. And anyway, you fed me toast. Vampires don’t eat toast.”
“Depends on the author,” said John, and gave a nervous hiccup.
Sherlock got to his feet and checked himself over for further wounds. “I’m not a vampire. My coat could do with a dry clean, though.”
“I am not having this conversation.”
“Oh, John,” sighed Sherlock, noting the dead body on the other side of the room. “You killed him.”
“He killed you first!”
“I thought we’d discussed killing people for me, John? It was difficult enough covering for you the first time, but soon enough Lestrade will catch on.”
“It was self-defense.”
“His brains are leaking out, it’s going to be quite a mess.”
John paled. “Christ. You’re a zombie.”
Sherlock sighed and rubbed his face. “I’m not a zombie.”
“No, that explains so much. All the body parts in the bath and the brain in the freezer and how I never see you eat anything—“
“Toast, John, just this morning I ate toast.”
John pointed at Sherlock. “You’re dead.”
“Then if you’re not dead and you’re not a vampire and you’re not a zombie – what are you?” John sucked in his breath. “Oh, no.”
“Ah, figured it out then,” said Sherlock, almost proud.
“You’re immortal. You come back to life like Jack Bleedin’ Harkness.”
“I know you said the programme was stupid, but I didn’t think you were actually paying attention when I was watching Torchwood—“
Sherlock snorted. “The programme is stupid, and I was not paying attention. I did, however, just get shot between the eyes and yet here I am.”
“You’re honestly telling me that you can’t die, because you’re immortal.”
“Eternal, to be exact, but let’s not split hairs about it.”
There was quite a lot of silence while the two men stared at each other.
“Eternal,” said John flatly.
“Yes, John, do keep up. Immortal implies that while I age, I never die. However, I am Eternal, which means that I will always be exactly as I am.”
John stared at him.
“Did you ever notice, John, how in the last eighteen months, you have gained and lost the same seven-point-five pounds and cut your hair every third week? Your shoulder hurts just a little bit more with every spring, and you have also exhibited signs of failing eyesight, in that you turn your reading lamp on a full fifteen minutes earlier than you did this time last year. Whereas I have not shown any such examples of aging.”
“You’re younger than I am, you wouldn’t,” said John cautiously.
“Actually, I’m quite a bit older.”
“How much older?”
“Three thousand years.”
John stared at him, and then began laughing, because what else did one do when their roommate was shot between the eyes, refused to die, and then announced their immortality? No, check that, eternity.
“Three thousand years?”
“Give or take,” replied Sherlock calmly.
John rolled his eyes and got to his feet, still giggling. “Fine. You’re eternal. Congratulations.”
Sherlock’s eyes widened. “You’re all right with this?”
“Could be worse,” said John, who thought he might be a bit too practical at times. “At least I’ll save money on bullets. I suppose you’re going to tell me that you sprung out of the earth, fully-formed, did you?”
“Very nearly, yes.”
“And that you can tame wild horses with a soft word and sprout wings on command?”
“Horses are easy. Wings require paperwork.”
“Oh, of course. Can’t have eternity without paperwork.”
“You know how I dislike paperwork.”
“Sure, that’s why you’d rather I not kill someone to save you, it involves paperwork.”
“Not to mention it’s rather pointless,” said Sherlock, “on account of my being eternal.”
John sighed and rubbed his eyes. “Sherlock Holmes, eternal. Come on, you great eternal wanker. I need tea.”
“Really, John, would you want to imagine a world without Sherlock Holmes in it?” asked Sherlock as he lifted the violin to his chin.
“Wait, where’d you get the violin?” asked John.
Sherlock didn’t answer; instead, he began to play, but he notes sounded wrong. Monotonous, toneless, blaring, exactly like….
John’s alarm clock.
John Watson opened his eyes in the semi-dark room. The alarm continued to bleat, and he reached over to snap it off. He paused for a moment, remembering the dream. Nightmare. Something, and then he rolled over and propped himself up to look at Sherlock next to him, still unbelievably asleep, and without a telltale bullet hole between his eyes.
Even with sunlight streaming in through the windows, it was easy to imagine Sherlock as a vampire. Cold and calculating, and God knew there were people out there who’d believe him capable of sucking someone’s blood. There were probably people who’d believe that John was a werewolf, John thought wryly as he noted the love-bite on Sherlock’s shoulder.
The zombie comparison was not worth making, particularly since there was a fermented rabbit in the cupboard next to the Jammy Dodgers, and a freezer bag full of fingers.
John watched Sherlock sleep, and thought that he really ought to wake him up soon. They were due at the Old Bailey in two hours and Lestrade was sending a car. It wouldn’t do to be late, not for this trial. Moriarty behind bars – maybe John could stop having nightmares about eternal Sherlock Holmeses. When the madman wasn’t trying to kill him, John might sleep easier.
A world without Sherlock Holmes. John pushed the nightmarish thought away, and gently shook his lover awake.