When Johnny Comes Marching Home

Quick one chapter fanfiction. Non slash. Molly is metioned but does not play an important part in the story. Mild bromance, humor and blood/gore. :)
(Sherlock BBC)

NOTICE: I really don't know much about schizophrenia. I used it as a sort of I'm-your-bestfriend-no-matter-what thing between Sherlock and John. I apologize for any mistakes regarding it :)

Sherlock was in one of his moods again. Instead of a smiley face on the wall, this time he’d used red spray paint to mark where to shoot. John was greeted by the scowling face marked on the wall and the loud blasts of Sherlock’s gun. Little bits of the wall flew out where the bullets punctured it.


“Sherlock?” John called, stumbling over a pile of books in the doorway.


Sherlock stared at him and continued shooting at the wall. Somehow, miraculously, he was hitting his targets without even a cursory glance in that direction.


“Did you remember my pudding?” Sherlock asked, sounding thoroughly bored with life in general.


Ker-pow went the pistol. The angry face was now missing an eye.


“Do you have to shoot holes in the wall? What if the neighbors complain again?”


Sherlock rolled his eyes and placed his gun on the end table.


“Thank you,” John said, carrying the bags of groceries into the kitchen.


“Please don’t move my thumbs again,” Sherlock called after him.


In the kitchen, John gingerly picked up a cellophane bag of bloody human thumbs from the counter, “But they aren’t in the fridge,”


John swallowed the bile rising in his throat and dangled the bag in front of him between finger and thumb. Sherlock failed to reply. Grimacing, Watson carried it to the fridge and flung it inside, slamming the doors shut. He wasn’t opening that thing again. George, the human head, always seemed to be laughing at him. Sherlock could put away his own damn pudding. What did John care if it spoiled?

The sound of gunfire resumed once more. Bang, bang, bang.


Mrs. Hudson’s voice drifted up the stairs, “Sherlock? Are you shooting holes in the wall again? I’m not fixing it a second time young man!”


The gunfire continued. John could hear Mrs. Hudson making her way back down the stairs. Apparently she too had given up trying to bring Sherlock out of his funk.

John’s cell phone buzzed. He pulled it out of his jacket pocket and flipped it open.

It was from Molly:


There’s been a mass shooting. We need all the help we can get. Please come. –Molly<3


John felt the color drain from his face. He stared at the pixels, willing them to rearrange themselves. Did the insanity never end?
He considered texting her back, saying that he was tied up and couldn’t come. However, that would be cruel. People were hurt and he was a doctor. They needed him.

On the other hand, Sherlock was prone to using his lab supplies in creative ways when left to his own devices – especially when he was depressed as he was now. John wandered back into the living room, phone in hand. He pointed to it, mouth opening and shutting, trying to get the words to leave his clogged throat.


“What?” Sherlock snapped, “Out with it, Watson,”


“I have to go to work. There’s – there’s been a shooting. They need all hands on deck,”

Sherlock stopped and flung the gun aside in a random direction. It hit the wall and slid behind the couch.


“Then put on your scrubs and go. Don’t worry, I won’t do anything foolish,” Sherlock added as though he had read his flatmate’s mind.


John nodded and darted inside his room.





People were barking orders at him from all directions. The injured moaned and reached for him, clinging to his shirt, begging him to let them die. It was hell. Hell had erupted right there in the London hospital. John could barely keep a firm hold on his sanity. One woman, pregnant, was clutching her stomach and wailing for her baby – blood had blossomed there on her shirt. The chances the unborn child had survived were slim to none. Seeing her there, John surged forward, pushing aside nurses and shell-shocked survivors.


The woman looked up at John through a film of tears, “Please help me,” She cried, reaching out a bloodstained hand to John’s.


He clasped it tight and knelt in front of her, “I promise you, we’re doing everything we can,”


That was a lie, but it was all he had to comfort her with.


“Can you save my baby?” She moaned, her fingers digging into the damaged flesh of her abdomen.


Her jeans were stained with blood and birth fluids – her body had already tried to rid itself of some of the excess.


John wasn’t going to lie to her this time, “I’m so sorry,”


The woman burst into sobs and pitched forward, clinging to John. All he could do was hold her and motion for a nurse to help her to the maturity ward. They would have to perform an emergency abortion. John stood and watched her limp away, supported by a young man with a shock of red hair. Watson felt like he was in enemy territory as a military doctor again. He was watching the injured and dead being brought in from the sands all over again.

He saw Molly on the other side of the room helping them bring in a stretcher bearing an elderly woman. Normally this would be the perfect time to stop and chat, but the circumstances had changed now.


“Watson, we need you in ICU!” Someone clapped him on the shoulder and darted past him.


Coming out of his reverie, John obediently followed, diving deeper into hell.




It was past midnight by the time John got back to the flat. They’d managed to save almost all the victims except for the woman’s unborn baby, a ten year old boy, and an elderly woman. Not bad for a night’s work, John mused. The flat was quiet and dark – mostly. John could hear violin music coming from upstairs. Did Sherlock ever sleep? The violin fell silent as John opened the door.


“Ah! John! I just learned a new piece, you should listen,” Sherlock was standing by the window, waving his bow around absently.


He was dressed in nothing but his boxers and nightgown. If John had been a little bit more awake, he would have noticed that Sherlock had stolen Mrs. Hudson’s bunny slippers.


“That’s brilliant Sherlock,” John stumbled through the living room towards his bedroom, “But I’ll have to hear it later. It’s been a long night,”


Sherlock’s face fell. “Oh. Alright then.”


John disappeared into his bedroom leaving Sherlock alone with his violin. He looked down at the instrument, mahogany gleaming in the streetlights from outside. Placing the bow to the strings he made it sing.


Quietly, ever so quietly, he sang along to the hauntingly familiar tune, “When Johnny comes marching home again, hurrah, hurrah,”





John came out of the kitchen the next morning. In one hand he held a bagel. In the other was a bottle of pills. He held it up and shook it, rattling the little pink and yellow capsules around inside.


“Sherlock, what the hell is this?”


Sherlock was lying on the couch with his violin playing Fur Elise – over and over and over and over again. The detective ignored him, closing his eyes so he could focus on the music. When he opened them again, John was hovering over him, looking extremely cross.


Sighing, Sherlock stopped playing, “What?”

In reply, John held up the bottle of pills and shook it again. Frowning, Sherlock resumed playing. This time it was some sort of Spanish polka.


“Read the labels. You’re a doctor. You’re clever. Figure it out for yourself,”


Sherlock thought he was clever? That was new. John backed away from the couch and consulted the bottle. It was a special sort of sedative, the kind usually given to people with specific mental deficiencies. John plunked down in the armchair and rotated it to read the other side of the label. Printed clearly in bold black lettering was the name Sherlock M. Holmes. It was a prescription for Sherlock.


“M? What’s your middle name?” John asked aloud before he could catch himself.


“I’d rather not say,” Sherlock replied.


It still didn’t explain why a doctor would prescribe it to Sherlock.


“What’s this for?” John opened the bottle and poured some of the pills onto his palm.


They were oblong in shape and two-toned, one side yellow, the other pink.


“What do you think they’re for?” Sherlock’s playing speed was increasing, the pitch rising higher.


John furrowed his brow. He was beginning to get a headache from the sound.


“Normally this is for schizophrenics,” John trailed off and stared at the pills that rested in his palm.


“If you hold them like that, not only will whatever germs are on your hands transfer to the coating but you’ll also have pink and yellow marks all over your palm,” Sherlock commented drily.


His playing ceased momentarily. Then he began to play ‘When Johnny Comes Marching Home,’ John failed to recognize the song, much to Sherlock’s disappointment.


He dumped the pills back into the bottle and twisted the cap back on, “So how did you convince a doctor to let you have them? Pretended you had schizophrenia?”


Sherlock’s fingers danced over his violin strings, “Why pretend to be something that you already are?”


John’s heart stopped for a moment before starting again. This couldn’t be happening. Not Sherlock. He seemed so….okay, he wasn’t normal, but he didn’t strike John as the sort of person to have schizophrenia. Then again, it would explain his mood swings, sudden outbursts and odd habits.


“Come on John, use that brain of yours,” Sherlock ended the song and launched straight into the Doctor Who theme tune.


“You,” John started.


“Yes, me,” Sherlock nodded to the music.


“Have schizophrenia,”

“Bravo, give the man a gold star,”


Sherlock ended the theme tune and set his violin down. He made a steeple with his hands beneath his nose and glanced over at John beneath bushy eyebrows. He was waiting for his view to change, for him to realize that Sherlock was different from everybody else. They always acted differently when they found out. Always.

John looked down at the bottle in his hand and then back up at Sherlock.


“Right. I’ll go put these back in the cupboard,” John stood and walked away like nothing was wrong.


Sherlock was genuinely surprised at his reaction. Normally, people didn’t act the same way. John seemed somehow unaffected by his discovery of his illness. Musing over his blogger’s reason for this, Sherlock plucked at the violin, which rested on his chest, idly with one hand.





John reemerged from his bedroom later that evening to find Sherlock asleep on the couch, cradling his violin. He looked extremely cramped, his shoulders and neck rigid. The man never relaxed even when he was completely asleep, snoring softly. John tiptoed towards him and grasped the neck of the violin. If he could just pull it out from under Sherlock’s arm….

Two sharp tugs did the trick. Sherlock’s grip loosened and John found himself holding the violin. It was old. Not exactly a relic, but not brand new either. The strings were worn and frayed from use, the varnish scratched and chipping. A light bulb went on in John’s head as he stood there staring at it in the dim light. Maybe fixing Sherlock’s violin would cure his bought of depression. Grinning, John scurried away from Sherlock, bow and violin in hand. He had a lot of work to do before morning….


Sherlock curled his fingers, expecting to feel the smooth neck of his violin. When his fingertips did not contact the peeling varnish, his eyes sprang open. In a panic, he scrabbled under the cushions of the couch for the instrument, searching in every conceivable place. After fifteen minutes, he gave up, sat on the edge of the couch and raked his fingers through his curly hair. Somehow or another he’d misplaced his violin, his security blanket. He’d had it for years.

Then he saw it.

There was a box on the coffee table. It was an ordinary looking parcel wrapped in brown paper with a tag hanging off of it. Sherlock held the tag between thumb and forefinger and stared at the name written in ink.


How the hell did this get in the flat? Confused and missing his violin terribly, Sherlock tore strips of the brown paper off. Underneath the dull wrapping was an equally dull cardboard box. There were no markings of any kind on the box. He spun it around on the coffee table, shook it gently, but there was no way to tell what was inside without opening it. Part of him told him not to open it, that it could be a devious trap sent by Moriarty. Another side of him screamed for him to tear it apart and find out what could possibly be inside. His curiosity won him over. He opened the box.

At first, all he could see were white packing peanuts. Then he saw the unmistakable neck of a violin protruding from the styrofoam. Could it be? He pushed aside the soft crinkly white shapes so he could see the rest of the violin. It was his, but it looked different. It smelled like new varnish and the strings glistened.

“Happy unbirthday, or whatever,”

Sherlock looked up to see John standing there with a cup of tea, a smug expression on his face. John had done all this just for him? Was it some kind of peace offering because of last night’s events? No, John wasn’t the type of person to do something nice just because a man had a mental disorder. Sherlock grinned like a kid at Christmas and lifted the refurbished violin from the box.

“John, I can’t thank you enough,”
“You’re welcome,” John laughed, opening his laptop to begin a new blog.


The Violinist

No, this isn’t about a mad man with a violin that slashes people’s throats with his bow. Although, this is about a mad man with a violin.

This particular mad man’s name is Sherlock Holmes.







The End

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