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the island of conclusions

Aloha, Dr. Watson (Sherlock/ H50, gen)

the island of conclusions

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Aloha, Dr. Watson (Sherlock/ H50, gen)

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John smile
In a weird way, this is a companion piece to A Catch. It doesn’t really have anything to do with that story, but I missed John like crazy when I was writing it, and wondered what he was up to while Sherlock was meeting Neal Caffrey in Florida.

Title: Aloha, Dr. Watson
Fandoms: Sherlock / Hawaii Five-O (John, Steve); pre-series for both.
Rating: PG-13, gen.
Word count: ~2.3K;
Warnings: blood, language and dramatic irony.
Spoilers: none, but I’ve borrowed a character from H50 1.09.
Disclaimer: not mine, no profit.
a/n: thank you to the helpful folks at sh_britglish -- all remaining Brit-fail and military-fail my own.

Summary: At least one of them was calm as fuck.



To Steve’s chagrin, he didn’t notice the other man’s approach until he heard the hissed syllables of the security protocol at the cave’s entrance. The fact that he was physically restraining Nick from ripping the dressings off his mangled leg at the time might have had something to do with this lapse, but Steve didn’t believe in giving himself excuses.

He called back the required response, and felt an absurd wash of gratitude as a slight figure in sweat-stained fatigues slipped into the cramped hollow in the rock. The man was only a little older than Steve, compact and sandy-haired, with a face that must recently have been boyish. He wasn’t wearing the insignia Steve had expected.

The man followed the direction of Steve’s eyes. “Your people passed the call on to us,” he said, gruff and faintly diffident. “Nearest base and all that. Dr. John Watson, Royal Medical Corps.”

“McGarrett,” Steve said. “Steve McGarrett.” He didn’t give his rank or his branch of service. It was bad enough that he’d had to call for medical aid--no point in revealing anything more. His handlers would have told this Dr. Watson everything he needed to know. “You came alone?”

“I have a man guarding the jeep. It’s about a mile away—that’s as close as we could get. No question of getting a chopper into this jumble.” Oddly enough, Watson didn’t sound particularly pissed off that he’d had to pick his way through a mile of dangerous territory on his own; his precise British tones were as dry as the landscape itself.

“What’s his name,” he asked, coming to crouch on Nick’s other side and extracting some instruments and a field lantern from the neat pack he’d been carrying.

“Taylor. Nick Taylor.” Steve answered, and watched the doctor’s hands deftly begin to assess the situation.

Nick was sweaty and wild-eyed and right out the other side of coherency. Steve considered himself capable of holding it together in pretty much any kind of shit storm—a hypothesis he’d had ample opportunities to test. But listening to the tremulous ramblings of his normally cogent friend was beginning to make him feel like he wanted to jump right out of his skin.

It had been all he could do to drag Nick into this pathetic shelter after their target had unexpectedly started shooting back. Steve had managed to take the target out thirty seconds later, but not before the man had gotten off a crippling shot to Nick’s leg. The plan had always been to hike out, but after a mile or so of Nick bleeding and stumbling and cursing it was clear that the plan was going to have to change. Hence, this glorified hole in the rocks. Steve had managed to get the bleeding under control, but that obviously wasn’t going to be enough. So he’d reluctantly keyed the emergency code into the sat. phone, and hunkered down to wait, watching his friend go slowly out of his head from pain and shock.

Thinking back on the long night, Steve shuddered involuntarily.

Watson looked up. “You alright?” he said sharply.

“Yeah.” Steve blinked, tried to focus. “Fine.”

“Mmmn. My years of medical training may not have taught me much, but I did manage to pick up that someone with a bloody rag tied ‘round their arm is generally not fine.”

Steve had almost forgotten. He twisted his head, and sure enough, the field bandage he’d hastily slapped over the wound was solidly red—the thing must be still bleeding. He hadn’t noticed, could barely feel it now.

“There a bullet under there, McGarrett?”

“No, sir.” Steve shook his head. “Just a graze. Shallow. It can wait.”

The doctor didn’t look convinced, but he turned his attention back to Nick. “Now then, soldier,” he said, and Steve was glad that at least one of them was calm as fuck. “I’m Dr. Watson. I’m going to need to take a look at that leg.”

Nick gave no sign of having heard, just groaned and thrashed weakly against the stony ground as Watson ascertained what Steve already knew; there was a jagged entrance wound in the meat of Nick’s thigh, but no exit wound.

“The femur’s cracked—broken maybe.” Watson gave Steve a grim look. “The bullet’s done some other kind of nasty damage in there, as well, judging by his pain level, but I can’t tell exactly what without going in. I’m going to stabilize the leg as best I can so we can get him out of here. How much morphine have you given him?”

Steve had given him as much as he dared, and then some—but at least he’d remembered to keep track.

Watson frowned when he heard the numbers. “I can’t give him more without risking respiratory distress. You’re going to have to hold him steady for me while I splint the leg.”

Steve nodded, and steeled himself for the job; it wasn’t going to be pretty, he knew that much.

Watson pulled a canteen out of his pack and handed it to Steve while he busied himself with various supplies. “Here, have some, and see if you can get some into him, too. No,” he said sternly as Steve started to raise Nick’s head. “You first— you need it.”

When Watson was ready to start, Steve leaned over Nick, trying to brace both shoulders and hips. Nick’s eyes were dark in his drained, clammy face, pupils blown wide from the morphine. He was muttering something under his breath, an urgent commentary filled with the names of people Steve didn’t know.

“Easy now, buddy,” Steve murmured. “We’re gonna get you out of here.” He truly doubted Nick could understand him, but he figured tone of voice was probably more important in these situations anyway, and he tried to pour twice as much confidence as he actually felt into his.

Suddenly, Watson pulled something straight, and Nick yelped, bucked and went rigid and panting under Steve’s hands. “Hang on, man,” Steve said, patting now, soothing, trying to get Nick to relax, to slow his breathing.

He was so intent on the task that the deafening crack of a gunshot in the enclosed space took him completely by surprise. Heart hammering, Steve swung his head towards Watson, who was now holding Nick’s splinted leg with one hand and a pistol in the other. Following the line of the firearm, Steve found himself looking at a long and very dead snake, its head blown clean off its body by Watson’s shot.

Watson held up his lantern to get a better look. “Blunt-nosed viper,” he said, and shuddered. “I hate those fuckers. Can’t tell you how many bites I’ve treated from those things—deadly buggers, they are, too, if you don’t have the anti-venom. Keep an eye out, will you? You might have parked yourselves in a bloody nest of them, for all we know.” He put the pistol down, and calmly went back to work on Nick’s leg.

Huh, Steve thought, frankly staring at the doctor for a moment, maybe it’s true what they say about the spirit of the Blitz.

Watson finished up pretty quickly after that, possibly spurred along by the idea of more snakes. He unpacked an implausibly compact stretcher from his remarkable pack, and between them they loaded a barely conscious Nick onto it.

Steve couldn’t help biting off a groan as Nick’s weight pulled on his injured arm. Watson frowned at him again. “Are you alright to help me carry him down? Or shall I radio my corporal?”

“I’m good,” Steve said, surprised. He hadn’t realized he looked that rough. Which he must have said aloud, because Watson quirked the smallest of smiles at him and said. “No, mate, you don’t. Just like you might have lost a bit of blood yourself. C’mon then, let’s go.”

++++

Hours later, Steve paced in the tiny spill of light outside the OR on the British base.

He was exhausted. Their descent, Nick’s stretcher slung between them, had been painstakingly slow, punctuated only by Taylor’s half-conscious groans. But the jeep, and the corporal, had been waiting just where Watson had said they would be, and it had been an uneventful, if bumpy, couple of hours back to the base, where Nick had been immediately swept into surgery.

Steve had tried waiting inside, but they wouldn’t let him watch the operation, and the camp hospital was stifling and overcrowded. In the end, he’d preferred the raw, whistling cold of a Kandahar night. Every once in a while, a friendly British nurse would stick her head out and try to persuade him to get cleaned up, or have something to eat, but a stubborn sense of loyalty kept him waiting, hungry and aching, until he knew for sure that Taylor would be alright.

Even Steve, though, was beginning to bump up against the limits of his endurance, and the stars were going in and out of focus overhead by the time Watson finally emerged, in scrubs now, and wearily pulling off his mask and cap.

“He’s fine,” he told Steve tersely. “We can’t do anything fancy here—but they’ll fix him up good as new once he gets to Germany. He’ll be evacuated as soon as he’s stable.”

Steve let out a breath he hadn’t known he was holding. “Thank you, Dr. Watson. Thank you.”

The doctor smiled, an unexpected warmth suffusing his creased, tired face. “John,” he said. “It’s John.”

“Steve.” Steve smiled back, he couldn’t help it.

“Well, Steve.” John took his elbow, steering him firmly away from the hospital buildings. “You can see your friend in a bit, but let’s get you something to eat first, shall we?”

They ended up in what Steve assumed were Watson’s own quarters: spartan, but blessedly warm and quiet. Watson parked Steve in a camp chair and touched the now grimy bandage on his bicep.

“Has no one seen to this yet?” he asked, annoyed.

“They tried—“ Steve started, and let the doctor guess the rest.

“Hmph,” Watson snorted. “Alright—sit tight for a moment.”

He returned a few minutes later, triumphantly overburdened—a tray in one hand, a mug in the other, and his medical kit tucked under one arm. He handed Steve the mug first.

“Tea.” He gave Steve a different smile, this one wry and self-deprecating. “The British remedy for all ills.”

“That’s alright,” said Steve, cradling the warm mug in his chilled hands, “I like tea.”

It tasted a bit like dishwater, but it was sweet and hot, which presumably was the point. A few sips and Steve realized he was ravenous. He reached for the tray, but John held up a hand.

“Uh-uh. Get that off first.” He gestured at Steve’s shirt. “Presumably your Special Forces skills set extends to being able to eat one-handed while I take care of that arm.”

Steve laughed. “I think I took a seminar on that once, yeah.” He shrugged out of his filthy shirt and concentrated on the food—like the tea, its chief virtue was in being hot, but Steve was hungry enough to have eaten far worse—while Watson made comfortingly disapproving doctor noises over his arm.

“It’s gone too long for me to stitch, I’m afraid” he said. “But I can clean it properly, at least. You’ll have to get some repair work done on that pretty design, though.”

Steve risked a look. It was true—the gash ran straight through one of the more elaborate spirals. He shrugged his good shoulder. “It’s okay—I know a guy.”

“I’m sure you do.”

Steve had patched himself up so many times that it felt almost strange to be tended to in this fashion—with a proper topical anesthetic and by someone with strong, practiced hands. Not that it was unpleasant. Not at all.

“How long have you been here?” he asked, suddenly curious about the diminutive, imperturbable doctor with the sharpshooter’s eye and the beautiful smile.

“Long enough.” John kept his eyes on his work. “You?”

Steve had been so many places, and all so briefly, that they were beginning to seem a mere tangle of coordinates to him, not actual countries where people lived and worked and loved. But he didn’t think he could explain all that, so he just said, “Same. Where’s home?”

“London.” John’s voice softened perceptibly on the single word. “And yourself?”

“Hawaii.” Steve was pretty sure his voice did the same thing.

At that, John did look up, a delighted curiosity in his eyes. “Now that’s a name out of a travel brochure. Must be lovely.”

“It is.” For a moment Steve imagined he could catch the sweet, moist scent of hibiscus on the arid Afghani air, conjuring up memories he usually kept buried deep. “But the service has been my home for a long time now.” He dug savagely at his plate with his free hand before he could reveal anything else.

“Yeah," said John, in what Steve thought was something like agreement. And Steve might have been imagining this too, but the doctor's hands seemed to slow and gentle just a bit as he smoothed the last of the dressings around Steve’s arm.

“There,” John said. “That should do it. I expect you can see your friend now. And O’Brien is on leave—“ he gestured toward one of the two beds in the room “--so you can kip here for the night, if you like. I’m on duty, so I shan’t bother you. In fact, let’s nick one of his shirts, while we’re at it—he’s about your size.”

+++

John led him back to the hospital building and left him with Nick, who was just groggily beginning to emerge from the anesthetic.

“Take care of yourself, McGarrett,” John said, voice formal, eyes twinkling. “Don’t make me come rescue you again—you know how I feel about snakes.”

And with that he was gone, a small, sturdy figure striding purposefully down the whitewashed corridor.

“Aloha, Dr. Watson,” Steve whispered after him.


end

ETA: there's now a sequel: Pelekane: or, the English Visitor

  • All I can think right now is, JOHN AND STEVE DRINKING TEA TOGETHER. ♥ Also Steve's "It's okay, I know a guy." Steve always knows a guy!

    This was really great. I love Watson being so calm while Steve bugs out a little.
    • I wish I had one of those icons of Steve with a tea cup!

      And he does--he always knows a guy--and now he knows Dr. Watson too *g* -- I was kind of curious about what it would be like for Steve to meet someone who was even more unflappable than he is (though without the penchant for blowing things up)

      Thanks for reading -- I'm really glad you enjoyed it! (and I think I've come up for a plot for the other incarnation of this -- just need some research!)
  • Thank you! I love BAMF Watson!
  • This is massively awesome! I love John being all BAMF and capable and Steve taking care of his buddy while hurt himself.
    • I'm so glad you enjoyed it! BAMF!John is one of my not-so-secret self-indulgent pleasures, so I'm just glad other people enjoy him too. And I was tickled by the idea of Steve meeting someone who was possibly more unflappable than he is himself *g*

      thanks for reading!
  • This was just outstanding!

    I think you've captured the brave spirit of both men and I'd forgotten that John had served in Afghanistan as well.

    I'd like to think they would have met as some point and that Steve would have been impressed by the doctor.

    And this part: “Uh-uh. Get that off first.” He gestured at Steve’s shirt. made me grin. Even in dicey combat situations, Steve has to remove his shirt :)
    • hee! Steve shirtless and drinking tea -- I didn't even realize I'd done that *g*

      Thank you for the lovely feedback! I love both guys, and I'm thrilled you thought I'd captured something of their spirit. I was kind of surprised by how well they meshed when I stuck them together--

      thanks for reading!
  • Hooray!!

    As soon as I heard Steve mention "the 'Stan" in that episode, I immediately thought of him meeting John, and then you went and wrote it so beautifully for us!

    cheers; thanks so much for this!
    • Re: Hooray!!

      You're very welcome! (and thanks for the rec :))

      You were way ahead of me -- this didn't even occur to me until I started trying to write a H50 AU xover with Ritchie 'verse Holmes. Glad you enjoyed it, tho'!

      thanks for reading!
  • I am developing such a *thing* for Dr. John Watson and his calm in the middle of all hell breaking loose and this is enabling that right along. And of course I love Steve, and that we never knew he'd been shot, too, not until John pointed it out, because of course Steve wouldn't be thinking about that.
    • calm-in-the-middle-of-all-hell-breaking-loose!Watson is one of my not-so-secret pleasures, and one of my favorite things to write -- so I'm thrilled to find other people enjoy him too. And I'm still working on my huge curiosity about Steve and his pre-Danny black ops past....

      Thanks so much for reading--I'm glad you enjoyed it!
  • BAMF Watson! Hooray! A lovely crossover.
    • BAMF!Watson is one of my most favorite things -- I'm just happy other people enjoy him too!

      Thanks for reading --I'm glad you liked the fic!
  • I can so see this happening. Excellent fic.
  • really good fic hon. Thanks for sharing. Maybe a silly question, but what is BAMF...I could make a guess British Airforce Medical ???? but I'm sure sure that's way off the mark!!
  • Love your take on both of them here. I adore the Watson that Martin Freeman and the Beeb are giving us right now, and this is spot on in character. Well done, m'dear :)
    • I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I adore MF's Watson, too, and I'm thrilled that you think I've captured some of his character here!

      Thanks for reading!
  • This is excellent. Watson is just the sort of doctor that Steve needs, not buying his 'I'm fine' but trusting him to tell him if he really needs help. I'd love to have them meet up later, maybe Steve's in London for some reason or Danny insists that H50 keep a doctor on call and Steve says 'I know a guy.' :-)
    • I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I was a little surprised by how well the two of them meshed once I decided to stick them together. I have this idea where John flees to Hawaii to get away from Sherlock for a bit, but it might be total crack :)

      thanks for reading and commenting!
  • (no subject) -
    • I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I was actually surprised by how well the two of them got along, once I stuck them together. They should definitely have adventures -- Steve would blow stuff up, and John would be utterly unflappable about it (I have this weird, cracky idea of John showing up in HI to get away from Sherlock for a bit -- he and Danny sit around and dislike the beach together).

      And of course, link it to anyone who might enjoy it :)

      thanks for reading, and hope you're feeling better!
  • THIS. :D:D:D:D
  • I never considered a crossover like this, but it works so well!
    • I'm glad you enjoyed it! I wasn't expecting it to work that well when I tried it, either--but glad you thought it did :)

      thanks for reading!
  • Steve had been so many places, and all so briefly, that they were beginning to seem a mere tangle of coordinates to him, not actual countries where people lived and worked and loved.

    Beautiful. Thank you for this.
    • You're very welcome! I'm glad you picked out that line -- I wanted a sense that ultra-competent!Steve was still a little melancholy at this point in his life--

      thanks for reading and commenting!
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