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They’d been married for ten years, happily. It was a pleasant time for the both of them in their lives. John was holding a successful job. Sherlock quite the same, with his consulting detective business. They made more than enough money to leave 221B Baker Street, but the nostalgia of their adventures and the time they’d spent there was embedded into the walls of that apartment- literally and figuratively -so never once, had they decided to leave. And that was fine. Their lives had calmed down, immensely. Ever since they’d got married, adopted a little girl name Rosie, and lived on, their lives had been occupied. But the past month had been like no other. In fact, it was almost as if Sherlock had slipped back into the mindset of needing to be doing something, twenty four seven.

You see, John didn’t mind how Sherlock was. He didn’t mind the constant pacing at night, he didn’t mind the mumbles and such, he didn’t mind how Sherlock inevitably became irritable when he’d prompted him to eat if he hadn’t in a while, and he certainly didn’t mind Sherlock dragging him across the country just to solve a case. In fact, in that last point, John really appreciated it. It was dangerous. He didn’t want Sherlock to be alone. To get hurt. He liked to watch him as he worked, and of course, always brought his revolver in case someone attacked. No. He didn’t mind any of that. What he did mind, however, was the drug use of Sherlock when he was on an intriguing case, that he want or had to stay awake for. He didn’t like it at all.

It was a colder November night, when the case concluded. Of course Sherlock solved it, but it had taken a toll on him. He’d become ill around half way through, with a fever, not stopping to rest to work it through his systems, and he’d also been awake most of the time. Drug induced. Their daughter, Rosie, had had to stay with a few babysitters and such- all having had to been approved by Sherlock before hand, using his skills, of course -and hadn’t seen her dads in a while. It broken John’s heart to see how their little girl was either living the life with her dads, or growing up in the care of a babysitter. But it also broke his heart to see Sherlock, laying around on the couch all day, not uttering a word. Even if Rosie was babbling to him. He always talked to Rosie. But during those depressive spat of boredom, he couldn’t even muster that.

So, to resolve the issue, Sherlock and John would occasionally go on their week long adventures. But this one had taken a month. It was unlike no other. Close to the difficulty of the crimes of Moriarty, even. But a completely different criminal, of course. I’ll spare you the gory details, but long nights of Sherlock becoming frustrated with the stumps in the case, and long nights of John having to listen and try to help him deal with it had been the events of the past month. Until, that is, Sherlock’s mind inevitably cracked the case, the criminal going to jail, in the end. The relief that filled John as he drove down the roads of London, to their flat, was unlike no other, and wouldn’t compare to the feeling of joy that Sherlock could have time to rest.

John had stopped at the babysitter’s house, a flat a few blocks down from their own, and had buckled Rosie in the back, her babbling on about how she’d missed the two, and what she’d done over the past couple of days. John found it endearing, and had obviously kept silent and listened, after giving her a warning to be a little bit quieter, as Sherlock had dozed off. He’d been in the same position the whole ride, asleep, John suspected, as soon as they’d left the final crime scene, after watching the criminal be put into the patrol car. John hadn’t bothered to turn on the radio, speak, or stop. He’d just wanted them to get home, so Sherlock could rest, Rosie could rest, and of course, John rest. The past month had been stressful, rest non existent. It would be a nice break.

It was a cold November night when the case concluded. It was a cold November night when Rosie had had to have a talk with John about something important. It was a cold November night when John had had to try and get Sherlock to wake up from his overdose. It was a cold November night that John nor Rosie would ever forget anytime soon. A cold November night to most. To Sherlock, a relapse of sorts. To John, the first time he’d seen Sherlock overdo it in eight years. To Rosie, the first time she can remember her father, John, talking to her in a serious manner about her papa. It was a cold November night when everything went to hell. And it was one that no one would forget soon.

John had been humming a little to himself as he pulled into a parallel parking spot near the flat, Rosie long since passed out, and Sherlock unmoving since he’d gotten into that car. Eleven thirty at night, John had recalled looking at the clock in the car. “Ohh, Sherlock. We can’t keep doing this. We’re getting too old. Rosie far too young for this... why can’t you just be content with the easier cases? It would be... so much safer. For all of us,” he had mumbled to himself, in dismay, obviously knowing Sherlock wasn’t awake to hear, but needing to vent his problems either way. He smiled, sadly, at his sleeping partner, before turning around in his seat and looking at a sleeping Rosie. “I’ll be back, don’t move,” he’d said to Sherlock, chukling at his own joke as he’d climbed over the backseat, pulling Rosie into his arms, after unbuckling her seatbelt.

He smiled at his unmoving daughter, who had mumbled something in her sleep. He was tempted to wake her, but couldn’t bring himself, and instead, would carry her to her room in their flat. And so he went. He held her close, holding her with his one arm, and with his other, unlocking the front door to their flat. It was a mess, but at least Sherlock had discarded the habit of keeping body parts in the fridge. John still couldn’t push Sherlock enough to get rid of that creepy skull, however. He smiled, carrying Rosie to her small room, laying her down on her bed, before he turned off all her lights, and closed her door, barely audible to anyone who wasn’t paying attention. He’d then gone back into the living room, to clean up a slight bit. Mostly just syringes; he didn’t want Rosie to wake and grab one while he was getting Sherlock. He was just that sort of parent.

He walked into the room, bending over and picking up the syringes on the ground, and on the coffee table, before looking at the list to see what other drugs Sherlock may have done. It seemed it was mostly cocaine, at that time, and a small amount of morphine, which John could only have guessed to be Sherlock’s attempt at easing the fever. He hoped it hadn’t. He hoped, in a dark place in his heart, that Sherlock had been in pain, and had realized taking drugs wouldn’t help with any of this. But he knew thinking that was futile, and that with cases like these, Sherlock would always relapse into his old habits. He sighed, walking to the kitchen and throwing them out. He’d then find himself lingering a second longer, looking in the direction of Rosie’s door, before walking out to get Sherlock.

Sherlock, as he’d suspected, was still slumped in his seat, the same position he’d left him. Slowly, John opened the door, putting a hand on his lover’s shoulder, half shaking it. “Sherlock! Time to wake up! Just help me get you into the house and you can sleep as long as you’d like,” John said to his sleeping husband, almost irritably. With no reply, John sighed. He hated this. This part of the case could either make it for him, or break it. He hated dealing with Sherlock when he came down from a case, or he loved it. No in between. He had been hoping this would be pleasant, but it was proving otherwise. “Alright, Sherl’, not my fault you’ve pushed yourself too hard you can’t even get up. AGAIN,” he said to himself, irritable as he grabbed Sherlock’s left arm, slowly pulling him out of the car.

Luckily for John, the war had taught him one thing. How to take care of injured or non responsive people. He held Sherlock by his arm, before swinging his arm over his neck, and holding him close to his own body by his waist. At least then, Sherlock half woke, complying to John as John kicked the door to the car closed, hoping he wouldn’t get a ticket. Such an innocent thought. Careless, in a sense. He smiled, seeing Sherlock’s eyes open the slightest, as he looked at him under the street light. He couldn’t see his pupils too well, otherwise, he would have probably of rushed him to a hospital. He only smiled, as he started to walk him to the flat, supporting most of his weight. He didn’t mind. He was just sad as to why he was doing it.

“You can’t keep doing this, Sherlock,” he lectured as he got him up the stairs, pushing open the door with the nudge of his leg. “You’ll make yourself sick, one day. A syringe with bacteria on it, or what if you get a mixture of something, and take a bit too much of it, hmm? What would I tell Rosie if you overdosed in the couch? Sherlock, I know you want to keep going but-“ he cut himself off with a sigh, as he shut the door with his foot, figuring he’d lock it later. “My point is, you can’t keep doing this.” Sherlock had closed his eyes again at this point, but John made note of how he looked. He was pale, and sweating. “I’ll talk to you when you’re more sober... but I hope some part of your conscious or that brilliant mind of yours hears this and takes it to heart,” he said, guiding him to their shared bed.

John laid him down, a miserable expression in his face as he wrangled Sherlock out of his coat. He felt horrid. “Oh, Sherl’,” he said to himself, laying next to him as he put an arm around Sherlock, pulling him close. Sherlock was on his side- in case he’d throw up from the drugs -and John was facing his back. He was scared. He wanted to hold him. To make sure he was alright. John put his head in the crook of Sherlock’s neck, breathing in. As weird as it was, he loved the scent of him. He loved everything about him, but the scent was definitive. And he couldn’t get enough of it. John held him a little closer, breathing gently for a little while. He decided he wanted to be a little closer, and to try and help Sherlock cool down a little, as he was rather warm from the fever. He sat up a little, undoing Sherlock’s buttons on his shirt, until he cane to his chest.

Then he noticed something that traumatized him. Sherlock wasn’t breathing anymore. And that’s when John’s instincts really kicked in. He flicked on the bedside light, and scrambled to the side of the bed. “Sherlock?! Sherlock, can you hear me?” John asked, as he quickly undid the rest of his shirt, opening it, before he looked at his face. No reaction. “Oh, Sherlock...” he mumbled, grabbing his phone and calling for an ambulance. “Hello? I need an ambulance at 221B Baker Street. What happened? My husband had stopped breathing. I’m actually a doctor- I have a pretty good idea of what happened. An overdose. Yes. Yes. No! He hasn’t- not that I know of. No. Okay,” he hung up the phone after answering a few more questions, annoyed.

“Sherlock?” John called again, half slapping his face, trying to get a reaction. He didn’t. Slowly, he put his index and middle finger to Sherlock’s neck, feeling for a pulse. His heart was beating so fast. John became increasingly worried, however, as it started to slow. Not enough oxygen. “No, no. Come on, Sherlock, don’t do this.” He looked over top of him, before he decided to start CPR, thinking the paramedics wouldn’t be here on time. He was efficient at it. He’d learnt the hard way his ti mais it effective, yet, fear remained as he continued compulsions. Would Sherlock make it this time? What would he tell Rosie? What’s going to happen? All of which would be answered soon. The panicked induced struggle to keep Sherlock’s heart beating had proven difficult, but John was soon being pulled away from Sherlock, just realizing the paramedics had arrived, and were getting Sherlock in a stretcher to take him to a waiting ambulance.

John, being pulled away, and having to watch as Sherlock was rushed out, thought of Rosie. He needed to get to the hospital so they could be there when Sherlock either awoke or, awfully, died. By the time the paramedics were out the door, Rosie had arose from her slumber, and was peaking out her bedroom door, looking around, unsure of what was happening, and why two people had taken her papa out of the house on a bed with handles. John walked out of his room, shaking, as he picked up Rosie from her under arms, holding her to his chest. “Daddy,” he heard her say, “where’s papa going with those people?” He held her a little tighter, as he started to walk out of the house, to their car. He buckled her up in the back, and got into the front seat, the door to Bakerstreet 221B still open. He didn’t care.

“Papa’s going to the hospital. Rosie, love. I need to talk to you about something. And you have to listen, okay? You promise you’re listening?” His tone was demanding, and intimidating. He knew this would be the best way to get her to remember and listen. “I promise,” he voice was now worried- scared, even. “Papa, sometimes, goes quiet. Do you remember how he does that? When he lays on the couch, and when you try and talk to him, he doesn’t answer?” He didn’t wait for a reply. “Sometimes, papa needs something to make him go like that. Sometimes, when he needs to think, he will take something to make him go quiet, but to keep him awake. And sometimes he can get hurt if he takes too much of that thing.” He didn’t know how to explain the next part. He was scared this would really traumatize her, but it was imperative, really.

“Rosie, you know how when you’re at the doctor, they sometimes give you a needle?” He looked into the review mirror, Rosie was nodding, probably too scared to speak. “Sometimes when people don’t feel good, they get needles. It can be if they’re sick, or if they need a vaccine, or if they need to have a blood test done. There’s two kinds of medicines in the world, Rosie. The ones that are good, and the ones people think are good, but will really hurt you. Sometimes, papa thinks he’s taking medicine that will help him. Make him feel better so he can think, but it doesn’t. And it really hurts him,” said John, now following the ambulance. He also didn’t know how to really give the next part of information to her, without scaring her too much, or traumatizing her.

“When papa takes too much of the medicine, he gets really sick. And he can stop breathing, or die.” He looked back at her. She had a scared expression, and was listening intently. He looked back forwards. “Rosie. If you ever see papa like that, and if there are needles near him, or he has one in his hand, you come to me. I know that right now, you might not see him do that as much, but when you get older, and you can stay at home when he needs to think, you might see him like that. What I want you to do is come to me. You don’t go to anyone else, unless he’s not breathing. Then, what I want you to do, is call nine nine nine, and tell them that he isn’t breathing. Do you understand me, Rosie? Do you understand?” She nodded, quickly. “Tell me what you’d do if he was laying on the couch, with a few needles in his hands, and he wasn’t breathing.

Rosie was stunned, but she answered. “I’d call nine nine nine, and of tell them what happened-“ she was cut off by John. “And you’d answer all of the questions the person on the other end had. Do you understand?” Another nod. “Good,” he parked in the hospital parking lot, Sherlock being taken in and admitted. He watched from a far, before sprinting into action. He picked up Rosie, and got into the hospital without a hitch. The real issue was the wait. Sherlock was being helped, but they couldn’t be near. They never would have been able to be in the same room, either way. Rosie and John were told to wait, and that’s just what they did.

It was around two days after Sherlock was admitted that he finally woke up. A tube down his throat, and laying in a comfortable yet bright room, he tried to look around. He was so tired. John was holding a sleeping Rosie in an arm chair across the way, and noticed him opening his eyes. Silently, he set Rosie down, and went to his bedside, taking the IV free hand of Sherlock’s, and interlacing their fingers, tears slipping down his face as Sherlock’s hazed eyes looked to him. He gripped his hand tighter, tears slipping quicker.

“You fucking idiot, Sherlock.”