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John Watson discovers the dogtags of an old friend...and a new enemy.

This was inspired by the opening scene in "ASiP", with John's nightmare. I imagined it was Moran who shouted John's name when John was shot, and that he shouted "SEBASTIAN!" when he woke from the nightmare.

John brushed his left thumb on the well-worn dogtags. The letters were barely readable, but he could still read the name on the first line. He heard Lestrade come up behind him, but stayed where he was, kneeling in front of the shattered window.

"John? You okay?"

He stared at the name again, but his mind was somewhere in Afghanistan...


Their convoy had walked into a trap. He was one of only two medics in the team. Paulsen was meters away, cowering behind an overturned truck. He was fresh out of medical school, at Bart's. John considered him like a younger brother of sorts. Sniper fire peppered the air all around them. John swore as bullets pinged close to him. Too damn close.

All they had to do was hold on until their rescuers arrived. John knew one of them, a man who served in Special Ops, whose loyalty to his friends were absolute. Brash, taciturn, somewhat of a bloody arse, but a good man to have at your side.

Come on, dammit, where are you?

Another volley of sniper fire slammed into Paulsen and the other two soldiers near him. The force of it tore into the young medic and hurled him out of cover and into the open. John hardly hesitated; he grabbed his kit and rushed out, keeping low to the ground.

It was bad, really bad. Paulsen's eyes were wide with shock, with agony, staring up at John in utter blind panic. John bent to apply pressure to the wound in the center of Paulsen's chest, already seeping blood at an alarming rate.

"W-Watson? I'm sorry, I'm so sorry--"

"Save your strength, lad. You're gonna be okay, but you need to keep talking to me. We're gonna get you out of here--"

A whine cut through his words, a split second before a high velocity bullet punched through his right shoulder. The impact drove him backwards into the sand and he lay there in agony. Paulsen screamed once, then that scream cut off with a horrible finality.

Then a familiar voice shouted, "WATSON!"

He nearly sobbed in relief as he screamed back, "SEBASTIAN!"

The cavalry was here...and Colonel Sebastian Moran was leading the charge.

About time you got here, was John's last thought.



Lestrade's voice brought him back to the present. John slowly got to his feet, cradling the dogtag in his hand. "Sorry, just woolgathering."

The letters sparkled in the dim light: MORAN, SEBASTIAN

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May 2012

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