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Sherlock Fanfic: Sunbaked (JWP 2015 #21) - CaffieneKittySpace
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Sherlock Fanfic: Sunbaked (JWP 2015 #21)
Title: Sunbaked
Fandom: Sherlock (BBC)
Alternate Postings: AO3
Rating/Content: PG13, pre-series John, blisters, sunburn, bad military protocol, bad medical advice too probably.
Warnings: none
Word Count: 670
Disclaimer: Not my world.
Notes: Written for watsons_woes July Writing Prompt #21: Heat Rash. Urrrrgh. This one was like pulling teeth. Bah. Feel free to skip it. :-/

Summary: A rotation at the multinational base hospital turns up more cases of injury by boredom and lack of thinking than by any sort of combat.


"There is a word in Pashto for your condition, private. Dalaal."

"What's it mean, Doc?" Asked the young red-skinned American currently covered by a third round of wet towels. "Heat blisters? Sun boils?"

John smirked. "It means 'idiot'."

The young man grimaced. "Ah. Yep, guess I earned that one."

"I won't ask what possessed you to use two hours out of your off-duty time to lay on the barracks roof in your pants - underpants, rather - at mid-day, deliberately sun-bathing. In Kandahar. At least you were wearing a hat and had the back of your neck covered or you'd be in very bad shape."

"I just figured I'd do like back on the farm," the young private said with a twang just like a stereotypical American cowboy, flinching at the sting of John removing the compresses. "You know, get the first burn out of the way to let the tan set in faster, so's I won't get burnt again."

"I did say that I wasn't asking." John resisted the urge to facepalm in front of the boy. "Don't do that again; that's not how sunburns work." He took off the last of the cool compresses and checked the private's skin temperature was cooler than the frankly alarming level it was when he came in. "Up you get. You'll live."

The private finished off another canteen of water then shuffled around gingerly into a sitting position. "What do I do about the blisters, Doc?"

"Sleep on your stomach tonight, no blanket. They'll continue developing through the night, so they will likely be worse in the morning."

"Worse?" The private repeated pitifully.

John nodded. "Cool showers when you can. Soak your BDU top with cool water, try to avoid breaking them-" John smiled at the young private ruefully. "But you're likely going to burst several the minute you put your full kit on. Your leave ends at 08:00 tomorrow doesn't it?"

The private moaned and put his head in his hands.

John resisted the urge to pat the young man on the back. His grinning, bloody-minded squadmates would likely be doing that at every opportunity soon enough. "Just do the best you can. I'll give you some gauze and burn gel, put that on before your BDU's as padding, then wrap it securely but not too tight with an ACE bandage. If you have a chance, come in at least twenty minutes before you go on duty and one of the orderlies will set you up and show you how to do it yourself going forward. I'll also pass word to your CO about your condition so that it can be factored into your operational capacity."

The private paused as he settled his damp t-shirt over his blisters. "D'you think my CO'll extend my leave 'til I heal up?"

"Heh. Noooo." John loaded the young man down with rolls of gauze and tubes of ointment to carry back to barracks. "From what I know of your CO, you'll likely get a loud 'this is a war zone, not a beach' lecture and sent out as usual. If you're very contrite and respectful, you might not get saddled with carrying extra gear."


"Now, it's going to be painful for a while but not unbearable." John handed him some extra ibuprofen packets. "If the pain gets too distracting, take an ibuprofen. If the blisters burst, try your best to keep them clean and covered with that antiseptic salve. As I said before, come in before you next go on duty unless it's a no warning call-up, then just do the best you can. Take a second t-shirt, spread the ointment inside and wear it underneath." Though if it's that sort of a call-out, his blisters will be the last thing on his mind.

The private nodded glumly and left, carrying his armload of medical supplies and walking very carefully.

John itched to get back in the field. His base rotation was up in twelve days, and then he was assigned to go with a fire-team out to one of the FOBs, he didn't know which yet. Sighing, John turned to restock the supplies of gauze and ointment in preparation for the next fool to do himself an injury.

(that's it. enh.)

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