"This will be dangerous. Our chances of success are not optimal," John walked down the line of eight men and women, watching them all in a scrutinising look. "But if we do succeed it will be one step closer to destroying the enforcers and with them the empire." There were a few cheers at that. John let a small smile slip across his lined face. Not quite genuine. It had been a while since he had genuinely smiled. Four months to be exact. "This is voluntary. If you do not want to do this, leave now. There are other jobs in the rebellion that need done." Nobody left and a silence filled the cold air. John nodded. "Good. Arm yourselves and get into formation."
The mission itself was simple enough. Get into an enforcer base to rescue members of the rebellion that had been recently captured and blow up the place on the way out. John had done this plenty of times. Every time he had survived, though they had not all been a success. But this time it was different. The base was bigger, better protected. And the last time they tried they lost one of their best men. Sherlock Holmes.
John remembered the first time he joined the rebellion. He had been running, running from the force he had once been a part of. He had joined the enforcers as a medic in the hopes of attaining glory and dealing out justice. What he had discovered was dark secrets, drugs that turned you into emotionless, mindless drones and an empire that wasn't as good as it seemed. With a leader who had not created peace and freedom in the world but rather suppressed the people and killed all who stood in his way. John had gone through the rigorous training, found out that what he had been brought up being told had been a lie. So he had escaped. Ran away.
The group quickly got into formation, John taking lead with a gun in his hand. He navigated the underground passages that had once been the London subway, discarded in favour of a new and better transport system, with ease. The darkness did not bother him. Every member of the rebellion knew these passages off by heart. Because knowing them could be the difference between life and death, escape or capture.
He was so tired. Running, running was pointless. The things he was running from, the things he had almost become, they were tireless. They could go on forever. He had collapsed in the mud and rain. Waiting for his death. Because no one left the force. Not if they wanted to live. But his death never came. He heard gunshots, shouts and running. Then someone was shaking him. He had opened his eyes to see the most beautiful man staring back at him. His pale, finely chiselled face was splattered in blood and mud, his dark curls unruly and tangled. His eyes were of so many colours, is was like looking into a galaxy. He had been perfect.
John put his hand up for the group to halt as they got to one of the stairways leading to an entrance onto the streets above. This lay just out with the compound they were planning to enter so they area would be regularly patrolled.
"How close is the next patrol?" John spoke quietly into the microphone embedded into his ear.
"Three minutes, you had better be quick."
"Thank you, Anderson." John nodded, indicating for his group to follow him. And quickly. He disliked Anderson, the communicator for this mission. So had Sherlock. But he would have to deal with it.
After a few questions they had allowed him to join. Even the rebellion saw the benefit in someone who was enforcer trained. And John had never been tainted, never taken the drug. He quickly joined their ranks, moving up as he proved himself again and again. He rarely saw the brilliant man who had saved him. But then again he was Sherlock Holmes, joint leader of the rebellion. He didn't properly see him again until they were thrown together in a partner mission. That was when it all began.
The group silently ran out the entrance, swift as they followed John. None of them lagged behind, which made John glad. They had been specially picked, though. John slipped behind a building, the eight following suite and pressing against the wall behind him. John watched the gate carefully. Two guards. Simple lock mechanism that could be picked. Not what he would have expected of an enforcer base. An important one at that. But he would go with it. Made their job much easier.
Their mission was a brilliant success. John and Sherlock just clicked. Sherlock was brilliant, John could see why he was one of the leaders. John went with the flow, following his every move. They were in sync. After that Sherlock had requested John on every mission he went on. They became partners, excelling where others failed. They were the rebellions hit team. Their secret weapon. It was on one mission gone terribly bad where they shared their first kiss. That had been a year ago.
John readied his gun and indicated for the man on his right, Mike, to do the same. The two of them had the best shots of the group. It was a long distance but it wouldn't be hard to take the two guards out. Enforcers may be emotionless, extra resilient and trained fighters but they weren't invincible. A well aimed gun wound would kill them just as it would any other person. He aimed, Mike doing the same. Everyone got ready to move, the best lock pick prepared to unlock the gate as quickly as possible. Because after the first shots were fired time was against them.
It had been in an old warehouse surrounded by enforcers that they kissed. They would need a miracle to survive and imminent death affects people in strange ways. Yet somehow that miracle had happened. They had escaped. It was all a bit of a blur to John but they had made it. After that their relationship changed. They spent every moment together. John remembered the quick, chaste kisses they exchanged as Sherlock headed to yet another meeting while John tended to the wounded. The nights they spent together before going out on missions. But no one said that love in the midst of a war was easy.
The first shots were fired, as accurate as they had hoped. As the bullets met their targets the group moved. The gate was unlocked and opened. The moved in, heading towards the building they knew held the captives. Their fellow rebels. The alarm would be going up now, the enforcers were efficient. It was only a matter of time until they would have to fight. But they were ready. This time they were more prepared. This time they knew how to escape and when to run.
They had truly been in a relationship for six months. They had fallen in love, you could say. It was hard, though. Not knowing if you would live to see the next day. So they acted as if each day was their last. Indeed, their fears had been well founded.
The first enforcers appeared as they entered the small building off from the main one. Both were identical, made of grey brick with barred windows. If they hadn't known where they were going, well, they would have been lost by now. They three enforcers that appeared were shot and killed before they could even get close. That was the good thing about most enforcers. When they were given the order to stop all intruders they dropped whatever they were doing to carry out this task. Even if it meant fighting without weapons (which they were very good at). They were a sort of a hive mind, only the more powerful ones having any form of intelligence.
It was exactly four months ago. A whole rebel base had been stormed by the enforcers, all the members there captured. Sherlock was given a team, ordered to retaliate and release what captives he could. The stakes had never been higher. Fourteen went in, two returned.
They moved quickly in formation down the corridor. John counted the doors quietly out loud, waiting for Anderson to tell them which was the right one.
John halted, as did the others.
"The door on your right."
"Thank you," John turned to nod at his troops. This was the right door. Through here were the captives. After this it was a fight for their lives.
"Good luck. You'll need it." With that the line cut off. John turned to the side, breaking down the door with his shoulder. They all filed in. It was empty. What? Something wasn't ride. John gripped his gun tightly as the door was slammed behind them.
"Ah, Doctor Watson. Ever so valiant offering himself for a suicidal mission with a small chance of success. How predictable." John knew that voice, but the sneer was unfamiliar. No...
"Go, John!" Sherlock shouted, his deep baritone commanding. "Go now, and take Sarah with you!" Sherlock fought as he spoke, spinning around to shoot an enforcer before stabbing another in the eye. Keeping the off John as he tried to treat the gun wound of their fallen comrade. Around them the rest of the team fought. A desperate, losing battle.
"I won't leave you!"
"You will leave me. You will do it now." Sherlock eyes were wild as he met John's, if only briefly. "I command it. If you do not go now she will die."
John shook his head, applying pressure to the wound. "No..."
"We will follow close behind." The look on Sherlock's eyes told John that he was lying. He knew that him, and the others, would not follow. But John believed him. He grasped onto hope, that small chance that they might all make it. A miracle had happened before. Why not now?
Turns out miracles can't fix everything.
John turned around to fix the speaker, gun in front of him.
"Oh, I wouldn't shoot. We know you're petty tricks, Doctor Watson. Do you not think we are prepared?" His grin was wolf like as he showed off his bulletproof vest.
"A shot to the head would still kill you," John managed to growl out.
"Ah, but you will not shoot me, will you."
"No..." John let his gun clatter to the ground. "Sherlock... Please."
The man who had once been Sherlock ignored him, indicating to the other enforcers. They grabbed the rest of John's men, disarming them.
"Line them up against the wall," Sherlock ordered. This was carried out swiftly. John felt the thin strands of hope begin to slip out of his grasp as he was shoved against the wall. But then again, he had never had any hope. He had lost that when he lost Sherlock.
"Sherlock, please, don't do this," John begged. The other eight looked defeated, shoulders slouched and ready for death. But John wasn't giving up. Not without a fight. He may not have any hope but that didn't mean he didn't have any spirit. He was a rebel.
"I'm sorry Doctor Watson. You've had your two chances. Your time is up."
"You have to fight it! You can fight it, I know you can fight it... The drug can't be that strong."
Sherlock merely laughed, once beautiful eyes now devoid of emotion. No, this was not the Sherlock that John had known. But John had already known that. "Ready your guns." John let his head drop. This was it, then. Their lives would end in a grey room, shot like common criminals. Sherlock moved to stand in front of John, gun raised.
John was lying in the rain and mud, seeing Sherlock for the first time as he saved him. It was the day he found his place in the world.
"On the count of three."
They were kissing in the warehouse, what they thought was their last moments. It was the day that John found love against all odds.
They were bed together. John said he loved Sherlock. Sherlock replied that no matter what, he would always love John. It was the day John felt safe for the first time, if only for a moment. A feeling that could never last.
John braced himself for the end. He was ready.