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Sherlock Fanfic: Of Unforseen Distractions - CaffieneKittySpace
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Sherlock Fanfic: Of Unforseen Distractions
Title: Of Unforeseen Distractions
Fandom: Sherlock (BBC)
Alternate Postings: AO3
Rating/Content: PG13, some violence, blood
Warnings: none
Word Count: 3475
Disclaimer: Not my world.
Beta/Britpick: The invaluable and amazing irismay42! \o/
Notes: This story has been being written for so many years now I've lost count. Based very loosely on a second-hand report of a thing that happened to a guy I knew years ago, who I haven't talked to in a few decades and who has NO idea I write fanfic. If he finds this, uh, hi! Details changed to etcetera.

Summary: John would have been fine if he hadn't been attacked by the gnome. But that's getting ahead of the matter.

Of Unforeseen Distractions

John would have been fine if he hadn't been attacked by the gnome. But that's getting ahead of the matter.

It had been a typical case and a typical Sherlock.

John had only just caught the turn of the interview - going from question, to statement, to accusation as Sherlock added the details together on the fly - changing a casual witness interview into a sharp accusation, and sending the apparently maiden-aunt-murdering Oliver Sackworthy into sudden flight. He'd bowled Sherlock over by the simple expedient of waiting until his back was turned while detailing out the proof of Oliver's guilt, then shoved him over an anti-macassar-covered ottoman and head first into the solid oak airing cupboard. Oliver then hared off through his kitchen, sending a jar of utensils clattering on his way out the back door.

John turned to pursue, calling, "You all right Sherlock?" back over his shoulder as he paused in the doorway of the kitchen.

"He's getting away, John!" Sherlock shouted, floundering in an avalanche of chintz.

John pelted out the back door into a dark garden, catching the dim-ghost of Oliver's grey button-down shirt as he leapt over a fence two gardens away. He swore and vaulted the garden fence.

He wished he'd brought his gun but why would he? It was supposed to be a witness interview, not a murderer chase. Sherlock had given no hint that the distraught nephew of the murdered woman was even suspected to be her murderer. Judging from the rapid shift in interview tone, Sherlock hadn't realised either until something about the way the man stood in his freshly-inherited deceased aunt's house in Hampstead had tipped Sherlock's mental scales from witness to murderer.

It'd save time- John thought, huffing as he ran past a shih tzu going mental at the intruders running through its yard before hopping another fence, -if I just carry the bloody gun any time Sherlock will be talking to anyone. Ever.

Vaulting a sturdy garden wall, John landed in a pristinely-maintained herbary lit by a single 'moon glow' lamp, narrowly missing a bird bath and an unrealistic plastic fawn. The walls on the other sides were much taller, not easy to leap or climb. Half the garden was faintly lit by a soft light from inside the back porch of the house, along with a few moonglow lamps that dotted the garden features along the opposite wall, but the rest of the yard was black as coal. In the farthest darkest corner behind a shadowy ornamental tree of some sort with other shadowy plants or garden knicknacks barely hinted at beneath it, John could hear the grunt-THUMP-scrabble-rustle of what was presumably Oliver; throwing himself up against the high garden wall, scratching for a grip, and then falling back down against the leaves.

"You've nowhere to run, Oliver." John said, voice even and calm. He held his hands spread low, non-threatening, steady gaze aimed (he hoped) directly at the invisible man in the shrubbery. "Give it up. Turn yourself in."

Behind the tree all was silent except for laboured breathing and faint rustling noises that edged along behind the shadowy foliage, back towards the one lower fence they'd just jumped over.

"Ah, ah now," said John, stepping between the breathing and escape. He strained to hear the footsteps of Sherlock catching up, but the shih tzu they'd run past before was still barking loud enough to raise the dead. In the dark John had no idea which back garden they were even in anymore, or how Sherlock would know which way they'd gone. Given it was Sherlock though, he'd probably follow the sound of the shih tzu.

Sirens sounded faintly, several streets away. Can't be for us, Sherlock never calls the police, but our murderer won't know that... "Hear that? It's over, Oliver."

The shadow breathed a harsh sob and rushed towards John, swinging something unexpectedly large towards his face. John cursed and snapped his arm up to block the inbound blow. The large thing impacted his arm with a jarring sting and a hollow plastic thunk.


John glanced up at the thing he was fending off. In the faint light carried from the back porch, a cheery plastic face under a red cap smiled down at him.

...Garden gnome?! was all John had the time to think before a hot slash of pain crossed his abdomen. He gasped and staggered back, clutching at his stomach then bringing his hand back into the faint light. It was wet, and red as the gnome's cap.

"Leave me alone!" Oliver shouted, wild-eyed, a reddened kitchen knife glinting in the faint light. He dropped the garden gnome, turned and ran back to jump over the shorter fence, and was quickly lost in the darkness.

John's legs went wobbly and he collapsed to his knees in the garden next to the gnome. He crossed his arms over the long cut and bent forward to put as much pressure on it as he could. The plastic deer stared at him in frozen alarm. His ears started ringing.

Bloody hell. The gnome was a distraction.

In the back porch of the house whose garden he was bleeding in, a light went on.

"I have a dog!" a tissue-thin voice quavered from inside the house. "A vicious dog!"

"Call 999. Police." John grunted out, pained shallow gasps. "Ambulance."

The door banged shut and a deadbolt slid home. Sensible. Murderers about tonight. John tipped slowly sideways, lying curled on the damp lawn, face to face with the discarded garden gnome. And you. Should get you too, for aiding and abetting.

The gnome smiled innocently.

"John?" He heard Sherlock call faintly.

"Here!" John tried to shout as loud as he could. It came out something like a creaking cellar door.

A flutter of black coat like an avenging vampire vaulted the garden fence and knocked over the plastic deer. Sherlock glanced down at the fallen pseudo-ungulate before looking around the shadowy garden and locking his eyes on John's fallen shape. "John?"

John tried pushing himself up onto one elbow - the one not attached to the arm pressing against the bleeding gash on his abdomen - but that pulled things in alarming ways and threatened to hurt a lot more than they already did. With a grunt he settled back down to the moist loam, thumping his head against the hollow plastic gnome. Rhymes. Loam gnome. Gnome loam. Gnome, gnome on the loam, John thought giddily. Ooo, giggling would be a very bad idea right now.

Sherlock's coaty blackness crouched beside John's curled form. He reached out a gloved hand in the dark, but hesitated. "You're hurt."

Thank you, Captain Obvious. In the darkness the blood was black against John's black coat and deep brown jumper. He didn't want to check to see how fast it was flowing, but it didn't seem arterial or he'd be spattering the foliage and be far less calm and conscious, so at least that was something. Not much of a something though.

Sherlock hovered, pale face hanging blank as the moon over John. It looked a bit like the face he seemed to get when he was having an emotion and not sure what to do with it yet. Not that he'd ever admit to having such a face.

"'S a scratch. Had worse," John dismissed airily, beginning to feel less giddy and more woozy. The sirens were getting louder now, a two-tone harmony with the faint ringing in his ears. "Be fine. Ambulance soon."

"Which way did Sackworthy go?" Sherlock said, a sudden alarming coldness in his voice.

"Back." John ducked his head toward the lower-height fence.

"I should have seen him, I just came that way. How did I not see him?" Sherlock snarled, glaring back over his shoulder like the fence had insulted his tobacco ash findings. "Over another fence, into the alley, that gate-"

"Long gone," John grunted. "Police'll. Get'im."

Sherlock stood in a rush of black wool. "Not if I get to him first."

"Leave it. 'S got a knife. Sherlock-!" but Sherlock was already leaping back over the fence the way he'd come.

Typical. Actually a bit more intense than was typical for Sherlock, and that was saying something. John gritted his teeth as adrenaline began to subside and the wound began demanding a lot more of his attention. Trying to distract himself. He's probably just put out he got shoved into the cupboard at the start, trying to make up for missing out on the early bit. Leaping over garden fences after a gnome-wielding maniac. Such fun.

A siren pulled up in front of the house. Oh good. This is starting to get really annoying.

Paramedics soon scurried around him in wan torchlight, laying him out flat, pulling the gnome out from under his head and setting it to one side. He stared at it. It stared at him. John again fought the urge to giggle as it would do nothing but hurt and alarm the paramedics.

"Sir, what-"

"John Watson. Abdominal knife wound. No allergies," John grunted efficiently.

The paramedic team began doing very familiar triage things, but John couldn't be arsed to care about too much but the burning coal of pain in his gut as they shifted his arms away to dress the wound and hook him up to an IV.

The garden's faint lights swirled around as the pain went distant and John faded in and out of awareness. He listened for Sherlock yelling or anything that might say what the situation with Sackworthy was, but there were too many sirens, and with the dose of morphine sulphate now coursing through his system he very quickly found it a challenge to be arsed to care about that either. But he did care. Sherlock'll be fine. At least he knows Sackworthy is armed now. I just got sidelined for this chase. By a gnome.

It wasn't until the paramedics began loading him on the stretcher for transport that John stirred again. With herculean effort only made possible by the analgesic now coursing through his system, John flailed out, grabbing the gnome's hat with his fingertips.

"Sir!" a paramedic cried out, "Please stay still!"

"Nn." Keeping his freshly IV-laden arm across his slashed midsection, he pulled the gnome up onto the lowered stretcher with him, wrapping his unmolested arm round the tacky garden decoration's neck. "Gnome. Comes with us."




And on that note, John thought it was best to pass out, clutching his hollow plastic assailant.


"And how exactly am I supposed to interrogate Big Ears here, John?" Lestrade smirked at the garden gnome tucked alongside John in the stretcher in the recovery cubicle off the Royal Free Hospital A&E. "You know, all these years I thought Noddy'd be the one to go bad."

"As you might, PC Plod," Sherlock snapped.

"Sherlock," John said, voice low and warning, despite the warm buzz of the very nice painkillers.

Sherlock sighed. "Fine."

Inspector Lestrade had shown up shortly after to let them know the murderer had been caught and to get a statement about the attack from John. They had reached the part of his statement involving the garden gnome attack, and Lestrade wasn't having any luck at all keeping a straight face about it.

"Gnome or no gnome, you two chasing after killers is going to end me, I swear." Lestrade frowned and ran a hand through his hair. "You need to call us in."

"I did," said Sherlock.

John raised a bleary eyebrow. Doesn't usually. Guess that explains the early sirens.

"I didn't consider him a valid suspect at all until I discovered what he'd done to his aunt's collection of Hummel figurines." Sherlock's shoulder lowered and raised in faint acknowledgement of this oversight. "I may have made an accusation. Sackworthy ran. John pursued, I was... detained."

John giggled. "In an airing cupboard! By chintz!"

Lestrade laughed ruefully and shook his head. "You are very lucky to get away with as little damage as you did, John."

"More likely, Sackworthy was far less committed to stabbing a person he'd just met than he had been to poisoning his own Aunt." Sherlock muttered.

"Didn't look so minor when they were loading you in the back of the ambulance," added Lestrade, with a glance at Sherlock. "Looked like you'd been slaughtered."

"Bled a lot, but not bad." John gestured at his bandaged abdomen under the thin, bog-standard NHS blanket. "'S a nicked vein. Biggish one. Quick bit of surgical gluing on the vein, bunches of stitches-"

"Twenty-seven," Sherlock contributed lugubriously.

"Yeah, something like that. Top up the blood, make certain the patch job holds, list of restrictions for 'bout a month, exercises." John waved a hand. "They'll keep me in observation tonight once they get a bed free, but it's just a scratch, really. Abdomen's too mobile or they'd have just used surgical tape to close. I've had far worse."

Sherlock made an unintelligible noise. John frowned and looked at him.

"You know, you're also lucky it wasn't the more usual cement sort of dwarf," Lestrade noted, smirking. "You'd have a broken arm as well."

John nodded amiably toward Lestrade. "'S'true."

Sherlock snorted. "Please. It's fifty centimetres tall. Sackworthy couldn't lift and swing a solid cement garden gnome that size."

The look of disgust on Sherlock's face at Lestrade's snickering and John's pained giggling didn't do much to contribute to them stopping laughing.

"As it is, we won't even need it for fingerprints," Lestrade said cheerfully as the giggles wound down.

"No?" John was distantly disappointed.

"Sackworthy literally begged to be taken in. Ran straight up to the first uniform he saw and confessed to everything." Grinning, Lestrade nodded towards Sherlock. "Easy to understand though, what with himself here chasing after him like a cross between Dracula and Batman."

Sherlock rolled his eyes. "You are taking a witness statement Lestrade! If you could restrain yourself to the facts and not-" he fluttered his fingers in the air towards Lestrade, "-fanciful pop-culture nonsense."

Lestrade raised his hands in surrender, grinning. "Well, I think that's all I need for now anyway. I'll call round tomorrow, yeah? One of the PC's will be by with an evidence bag for your little friend."

"I'll make sure he's no trouble and goes quietly," John said with all the mock-gravity a morphine derivative analgesic could provide.

With a smirk and a lazy semi-salute -- waving a finger in the vicinity of his forehead -- Lestrade left.

Floating on the painkillers, John listened to the familiar rhythms of an emergency medical facility. At the heart of it, much the same as a field hospital. Triage was triage; a bit like a second home. However... Sherlock was never this quiet after a case. John looked over to see Sherlock glaring down at John's injury as though he could weld the wound shut with laser beams from his eyes.

No, Batman can't do that, that's Superman. John hiccupped a deep laugh and immediately regretted the tug on his stitches. Sherlock twitched in alarm, one hand making a quickly-halted reach toward John.

John caught his breath, the brief twinge sinking back into the analgesic fog. He mustered his wits. "I'll be fine Sherlock. It's long, but shallow. Slash not a stab. Bled a lot, didn't get through the peritoneal sack or nick any major arteries. No organ damage, barely penetrated the muscle. They're mainly keeping me overnight for blood and fluid IV's and as a precaution to be sure I don't I pop their stitching or gluing and need further surgical intervention. Or in case I throw a clot I suppose, which isn't very likely. I could give you a figure on the chances but right now-" John giggled woozily and waved in the direction of his head. "Drugs. Numbers. Pffft."

Sherlock remained silent, jaw clenching grimly.

"Really. Mostly it's just blood loss and a bit of shock." John breathed and grinned, patting his cheerful plastic bedmate. "And not just because of the gnome."

Sherlock aimed his glare at John's face before turning to glower at a trolley of medical supplies.

"It's fine, Sherlock," John said, drifting a little. "As I said, I have had far worse."

"Not while I've known you," Sherlock muttered to the trolley.

"I..." John tilted his head at Sherlock's half-turned back, seeing something in the half-hunched angle of his shoulders.

"Did this scare you, Sherlock? Me getting hurt?"

"No." Sherlock snarled at an innocent pile of fresh gauze. "It enraged me! How dare he hurt you! That amitacidal waste of an arts degree."


"Amitacidal. Latin for paternal aunt is amita," Sherlock waved a hand dismissively, "and you can follow the rest."


The leather of the gloves on Sherlock's hands creaked as he clenched and unclenched them. "He could have killed you, John. With a kitchen knife. Probably one last used by his aunt to slice up the Sunday roast."

"A kitchen knife and a garden gnome," John muzzily quipped.

"Will you shut up about the bloody gnome!" Sherlock rounded on John.

John said nothing, but patted his plastic assailant consolingly on the cap when Sherlock turned again to pace and snarl.

"If he'd killed you, I would not be responsible for my subsequent actions against him."

While the swirl and swish of Sherlock's coat as he paced was mesmerizing to John's medication-addled brain, Sherlock's words and the emotion behind them riveted John's attention.

"As it stands, I shall be as cooperative and considerate a witness at his trial as there ever was one." Sherlock glared thunderously at the IV drip hanging above John, then away. "The prosecuting barrister will weep with delight. I'll ensure every single scrap of evidence is so water-tight in presentation that there will be no doubt of his premeditated guilt. Sackworthy will be punished."

John blinked sleepily, processing Sherlock's tirade. "You really are upset about me getting knifed, aren't you?"

Spinning on his heel, Sherlock turned to John, mouth open to speak. Just then a hospital porter and a nurse bustled into the recovery bay. Sherlock's mouth snapped shut.

"Right! We've got a spot for you for the night on the third floor, might not be great company, but you likely won't be there long." The nurse looked up from his chart and blinked down at the gnome beside John. "I thought the Inspector was taking that with him?"

"He needed backup," John giggled. "'S a dangerous assailant."

"There's a PC coming 'round for it shortly." Sherlock translated, having gone back to staring down at John's abdomen.

"Ah. Well." The nurse looked at the gnome again and shook his head.

I don't doubt you're still not the weirdest thing he's seen, John thought gnomeward.

"If all goes well we'll be releasing you around six PM tomorrow, but we're keeping him in tonight. Now," The nurse turned to face Sherlock more directly. "Visiting hours are over but you can stay to see him settled in if you like? We just need some space here for a bit to move him out, and then you can follow him up in a few minutes to say your goodnights."

In lieu of giggling, John smiled beatifically up at Sherlock.

Silence fell for a moment. Then Sherlock visibly jerked, realising the last bit the nurse had said had been addressed to him. He frowned and blinked.

The nurse smiled at them indulgently.

Sherlock made one of his many 'humans are tedious' noises. "I'm going to find something resembling coffee. Enjoy snuggling with your gnome." He started to stride out of the recovery cubicle, but stopped at the edge of the open curtains. "I'll... be up in a minute. To, ah..."

"-here for an evidence pickup from J. Watson? It's a...gnome?"

From where he was lying, John could see a constable's hat swivelling by the A&E registration desk.

Sherlock expelled a disgusted huff back over his shoulder. "The constabulary is here for your little friend. I'll go make sure they don't find their way to Maternity and try to impound someone's child." He sailed off through A&E; a tall black schooner in a sea of blue scrubs.

As the orderlies reconfigured his stretcher and IV for transport, John wrapped his non-IV'd arm around his short plastic assailant.

"Know what?" he whispered to the gnome. "Sometimes I think he might actually give a damn. Don't tell anyone though."

With that John settled back into the morphine fog with a smile, waiting for the PC to come over and escort his assailant away.

(that's all)

...and if any ACD fans are reading, yes I am aware that it went a little into "Three Garridebs" territory in the end there. That sort of snuck up on me. :-)

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Current Mood: weird weird
Current Music: "People are Strange" ~ The Doors

4 comments or Leave a comment
borgmama1of5 From: borgmama1of5 Date: November 24th, 2015 05:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Love this...the characterizations seem spot-on!
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: November 24th, 2015 06:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
irismay42 From: irismay42 Date: November 25th, 2015 06:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Just gonna add some general squee here too!!
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: November 26th, 2015 07:13 am (UTC) (Link)
4 comments or Leave a comment