Title: Time to choose a side, Doctor Watson
Author: Ariane DeVere
Word count: 600 (+ 100 word Author’s Note)
Warnings, kinks and contents: Warning for brief references to homophobia and depression
Summary: Five times when John Watson had to make a difficult decision, and one time when the decision was easy.
“Time to choose, John Hamish.”
It was a heartbreaking decision to make. His sister had just come out to their parents and, as the siblings had feared, their furious father told her to leave the house forever. After she had run out into the street, sobbing, Mr Watson turned to his son and told him that if he ever spoke to Harriet again, he too would not be welcome in the family home. Mrs Watson whimpered, but she did not intervene even when John looked hopefully towards her.
After packing both his and Harry’s bags, John moved out that afternoon.
“You have to choose, Watson.”
It was not as hard a decision as he’d feared. Private Watson had entered the armed forces as a standard soldier but must now choose whether to stay there or transfer to the Royal Army Medical Corps and specialise. The main reason he had joined the Army was because he had become disenchanted with his medical career, but now that he had the option of giving up his training altogether, John realised for the first time that it would be a terrible waste of his talents.
He signed the transfer request form the following day.
It was impossible. The agony shooting through his left shoulder was excruciating and John couldn’t stop shaking, making the pain worse. Infection had set in badly after the surgery and despite the Army doctors’ best efforts, John was hovering on the brink of death. After everything he had gone through since being shot, he was almost ready to give up.
“Don’t you bloody dare,” Murray told him. “You’ll be fine once you’re back in England. You just have to hang on and choose to live.”
The pain was almost unbearable. Reluctantly but stubbornly, John chose to survive anyway.
“I know it’s difficult, John, but you have to choose.”
John hated being told the obvious; he hated these therapy sessions. Ella had his best interests at heart but she wasn’t saying anything he didn’t already know. Of course he had to find a way to reintegrate himself into society, but since losing both his military and medical careers, what was the point? The tremor in his left hand and the stupid psychosomatic limp meant he couldn’t even stack shelves in a supermarket.
He knew that Ella was right, but some days it didn’t seem worth choosing to keep living.
“Time to choose a side, Doctor Watson.”
Fairly straightforward. The man-who-thought-he-was-scary-but-really-wasn’t walked away nonchalantly twirling his umbrella. All right, maybe he was a bit spooky, if only in the way he had worked out so much about John just by looking at his hand. With that, and Sherlock’s equally accurate deductions earlier that evening, John was unsure whether either of the men was even slightly trustworthy.
His phone had trilled another text alert just as the man left. He took it out and looked at the latest message.
Could be dangerous. SH
Well, that made the choice a lot easier.
“Oh, just choose a side, John.”
Piece of cake. After he and Sherlock had finally admitted their feelings and consummated their relationship, Sherlock refused to make the decision about whether he wanted the left or right side of their bed.
Despite John opting for the left-hand side, for the rest of their lives the two of them were generally so wrapped around each other that if anyone had been watching them, it would have been impossible to tell which side either one favoured.
Then again, if anyone had been watching them, s/he probably wouldn’t have been concentrating on the bed.
Finally the plotbunny woke up! But instead of being helpful, she promptly turned the intended 221-word story with a final word beginning with ‘b’ into a much longer story. Once I realised that I would have to write far more than 221 words, I decided to revert to my other favourite style, the 100-word drabble, for each ‘section.’
I’m clearly out of practice, however, because it took me quite a while before I also realised that I could write one more section than intended and turn the story into a 5+1 fic.
And yeah, this AN is also 100 words.