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Without You, Alone

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“For the last time, John, I’m absolutely fine.”

John Watson glanced around the small white room, as if only just recognizing where they were. “Oh my,” he flatly responded, “You’re so right, Greg. You’re in hospital for absolutely no reason. How silly of me.”

He got up from the standard, horrifically uncomfortable plastic hospital chair that all hospitals seem to have stock in and stood at Greg’s bedside. Picking up the chart, he re-examined all of the test results he’d seen too many times to count.

“John,” Greg reached over with his right hand and gently pulled his chart down, “Please go home. At least for some real food. This hospital stuff is absolute shite.”

John let a small smile grace his mouth; he knew that Greg was right, that he should go home (no, not home; it’s not home without Greg there) and have a proper meal, maybe a long shower and a kip on the couch. But he couldn’t bring himself to leave.

Greg had been hurt, quite badly, on a supposedly routine questioning of a suspect’s family. The suspect had burst from an adjacent room with a gun, shot Greg in the shoulder, and run out the door; Greg radioed for backup and followed. Running after the suspect, he’d rounded a corner into an alley that dead-ended in an ambush. The suspect and four others were quickly arrested, but not quickly enough: the five had beaten him unconscious, breaking his right femur, left wrist, and several ribs in the process.

Donovan arrived on the scene in time to see Greg being lifted into the ambulance; the first thing she did was call John.

John beat the ambulance to the hospital.

And now, with Greg’s leg and wrist in casts and his left arm in a sling, John hadn’t left his bedside in thirty-six hours; he hadn’t been asked to leave, not at all. John suspected Mycroft’s involvement, and begrudgingly resolved to send the man a text to thank him.

John hooked the chart back on the bed and walked to the other side. “Budge over.”

Greg slowly, ever so slowly, obliged.

The bed was slightly larger than a standard size hospital bed, just enough room for two grown men to be in side by side; John supposed he should thank Mycroft for that, as well.

John lay beside the man he’d grown to deeply care for and slipped his hand into Greg’s good one. He didn’t look at him, just stared up at the ceiling, but he felt Greg’s eyes on the side of his face.

“I could have lost you,” he said quietly, so quietly that he almost wasn’t sure if he spoke it aloud. He allowed his head to loll onto Greg’s shoulder.

Greg moved to press a kiss on the top of John’s head; John couldn’t help but notice the look of pain that move elicited. “Nah. Can’t be rid of me that easily.” Greg nuzzled John’s hair. “What’s that the American’s say? ‘I’m like a bad penny’?”

John snorted and tightened his grip on Greg’s hand; Greg squeezed back.

“I lost my best friend a year ago to a madman. I don’t know what I’d do if I lost you to some common thug.”

Greg was silent. John counted his inhalations, a quiet but constant reminder that the man he loved was truly alive and well.

He should probably tell Greg that one day.

“So my downfall would be acceptable if it was done with class?”

John startled out of his thoughts, pausing before answering. “We’re not talking about that. You better not have a ‘downfall’ any time soon. If that happens, remember I’m a doctor; I’d bring you back to life so that I can kill you myself.”

“That seems a bit counterintuitive.”

“It’s the soldier in me.” Another squeeze of the hand. “I can’t let those I care about do stupid shit without me.”

He turned to look at Greg, “All or none, Greg. It’s both of us or neither.”

Greg started laughing, and then took a sharp breath in as pain coursed through his ribs.

“What’s so funny?”

Greg was trapped between panting in pain and laughing. But he managed to hiss out, “I can’t help but think of that part at the end of Titanic. That ‘you jump, I jump’ moment.”

His breathing evened out. “Although, the first ‘you jump, I jump’ was a bit less angsty and a bit more romantic.”

John’s mouth was agape. “How do you remember so much about that movie? And now I’ll have that bloody song stuck in my head for days, thank you very much.”

Greg made a small shrug, causing John’s head to rise along with it, “Annie was a big fan of it; she dragged me to see it twice. And then when it came out on VHS, she’d watch it at least once a week.”

John stared Greg down. “I had no idea your ex-wife was such a sap.”

Greg scoffed, “’Sap’ is a nice way of putting it. Seemed that I was never enough of a Jack for her.”

John’s smile grew wicked, and he said, “Does that make me the Jack to your Rose?”

“Hah! No.”

Greg shifted, moving to raise the head of the bed; John sat up and adjusted accordingly, turning to look back at Greg.

“But if you’re insisting that I’m your Rose, I’d prefer that you’d be my Nine.”

John face screwed into something simultaneously touched and amused. “Greg, that’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever said to me. Does that mean we have to get married in a police box now?”

Greg let go of John’s hand and smacked him on the arm, wincing. “Shut up, Watson.”

They grew quiet after that, nothing but Greg’s labored breathing and the beeping of machines between them.

Finally, John broke the silence, “I love you.”

Greg’s answer was immediate, “I know.”

Gobsmacked, John shot back, “Did you just – “

Greg grabbed John’s hand and gently encouraged him to lie back down again. “Yeah. I just.”

John smiled and reached up, giving Greg his first proper kiss since the incident; Greg accepted the kiss and reciprocated, with gusto.

Greg was the first to break the kiss. “But hey,” he said, “There’s one thing that’s come of this.”

“What’s that?”

Greg motioned to the bullet wound in his left shoulder. “Now we match.”