last01standing: ([BtVS] Hush)
[personal profile] last01standing
Title: John is Legend
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: I've got no claims to any version of Sherlock. Same is true for I Am Legend
Summary: The world is overcome by the vampire plague. John survives. [I Am Legend fusion]
Warning: I Am Legend fusion. Which means massive apocalypse. Which means pretty much everyone will die. Main characters are not exempt.
Author's note: Originally for a fill on [livejournal.com profile] sherlockbbc_fic. Original prompt and thread can be found here

ETA: This has been translated into Chinese by the awesome [livejournal.com profile] jessw_sh: 末世传奇


John is Legend


“I’m coming for you, Watson!”

221B Baker Street is boarded up. It’s not the most secure location in the city, not by a long shot, but it’s his home and he’s not going to leave. No matter how many of them know he’s hiding here, he’s not going to leave.

He chances a look out the peephole, already knowing what sight that will greet him. Even in death, Mycroft Holmes is still impeccably dressed, holding that damnable umbrella as he waves it in the direction of John’s homestead.

“I wonder why your brother hasn’t simply gone to his surveillance tapes to check up on us,” John says over his shoulder to Sherlock.

He knows the response that should come. A scoff followed by a rapid-fire discussion of how death has dulled Mycroft’s senses to the point where he can no longer remember how to monitor his surveillance tapes.

The only response he gets is a single loud bark.

“Quiet, Sherlock,” he scolds. “We don’t want to attract more attention than we already have.”

The dog listens, wagging his tail in agreement.

Outside Mycroft screams, “Watson!”

“Tomorrow,” John says. “Tomorrow, Sherlock, we soundproof the flat.”

He proceeds upstairs to his room, pulling out his walkman and headphones. The lights blaze even though the rest of the city is dark. It’s the product of Sherlock’s generator, his last gift before the end.

He falls asleep to Rachmaninov’s violin concerto, pretending it was Sherlock playing the melody.

The tremor in his left hand is back.

***


“I assume I can trust you with my disposal.”

Sherlock has been running a fever for the past six days. John hasn’t been to the clinic in almost a month. There’s no point to it. The entire world is wasting away and reports of vampyric figures reanimating during the night is enough to keep people isolated.

“Your disposal?” John echoes. “It’s just a fever Sherlock.”

“It’s not. I’m presenting all the symptoms from the news reports and as a medical man, I’m sure you are not so dull minded as to insist on denial.”

“I don’t want to have this conversation.”

“Why? Is the thought of ending my life for the second time this much of a chore? I assure you that if the situations were reversed, I would have no hesitation before ending your vampyric existence.”

“Bit not good, Sherlock.”

“Not good, but very necessary. I would rather not suffer the intense mental atrophy that accompanies this transformation. No, it would be best if you did away with me as soon as the transformation was complete. I’m afraid I must insist on your word.”

“I don’t want—“

“John, please.”

John exhales. There is a sheen of sweat on Sherlock’s brow. “Of course, Sherlock.”

***


John may well be the only person left in London. He certainly hasn’t seen another living person in the past two years. The dog, had been a godsend, the last hope in an otherwise dead universe. He'd called it Sherlock because it was easier to talk to a living body than a ghost.

If the dog could survive, there is no reason a person couldn’t.

But in the past month, John has come to the conclusion that Sherlock is a very clever dog.

He spends his days hunting around the city. If possible, he would have liked to clear a square mile around Baker Street of the vampire but if the nightly encounters by Mycroft and scores of others are any indication, he’s nowhere close to done.

But it doesn’t mean he stops trying. He methodically goes through the houses, dragging the vampires from their semi-comatose states and into the sunlight. That had been one of Sherlock's ideas. He’d raced through every vampire novel known to man, trying to pick up on common myths so he could find a way to fight them.

It had fallen to John to test the myths.

Wooden stakes worked like a dream though hitting the heart was not necessary but it was sunlight that saved him time. He’d wasted hours whittling stakes out of odd bits of furniture before realizing there was a much simpler solution.

He’s most fascinated by the differences between the types of vampires. There are two different sorts. The first are the truly dead. The ones like Mycroft Holmes and the spectres of the Scotland Yard team, who had succumbed when the world first spiralled into dust. The second seemed to have some small measure of blood flow, that seemed like they were still living.

It doesn’t matter except on a global scale, each sort of vampire dies the same.

***


“A bacteria, I expect,” Sherlock declares. “Airborne judging by the fact that this all started with the dust storms. Indiscriminate and highly contagious. It appears that it can be passed from one person to another through exchange of bodily fluids meaning that there is some sort of contamination in the blood. So why can’t I find it, John? Why can’t I find it?”

It’s the fourth day of his fever. Sherlock’s eyes are bloodshot and just a bit unfocussed. John is more preoccupied with keeping him alive than his findings. “You need rest, Sherlock. I know it’s dreadfully dull, but you need sleep.”

***


“Found you, you bastard,” John hisses, staring at the fresh blood sample through Sherlock’s microscope.

The bacterium is a bacillus. The answer that countless experts had searched tirelessly for before the plague took them all away and it’s John Watson of all people who finds it. John Watson and not Sherlock Holmes.

“All right,” John whispers. “All right. We have an answer now. We have an answer. Sherlock, that means we can fix it.”

There is no word from the dog. He simply curls up in the corner of the room and John tries not to think about the time almost a week ago when the dog didn’t make it home before dark. He hadn’t searched the dog for bite marks, doesn’t want to, doesn’t need to. He is already two weeks into the disease. John had deduced the signs almost immediately.

***


In Afghanistan, John is attacked by a bat. His mates tease him, drawling about a vampire that vants to suck his blood but that stops when John takes violently ill. He runs a fever for a week solid, screaming over the bomb blasts and when he finally pulls out, pale and haggard despite the harsh sun of the desert, no one mentions the incident.

After the bullet in his shoulder, the limp from nowhere and Sherlock bloody Holmes, he forgets about the incident.

But now he remembers and wonders if this is why he of all people is the only one immune.

***


The dog is dying by the time John has synthesize his first possible cure. He wavers on whether or not to experiment. But what else can he do?

What would Sherlock do?

(Sherlock would have killed the dog in an experiment long long ago.)

The dog, under John’s care lasts another two days.

***


The service revolver tucked under his pillow has only one bullet remaining. The penultimate round ended the life of his flatmate and best friend.

“Watson,” Mycroft calls from outside, “I’m coming for you, Watson.”

***


He finds the woman on the way out of the library, arms laden with books on bacteriology and microbiology. The sun is out, and they stop to look at one another, both shocked. “Hello!” John cries.

The woman runs. The books tumble out of John’s arms and he gives chase.

(Her name is Irene Alder and after a blood test, John determines beyond a shadow of a doubt that she is infected.)

“You’ve not turned yet,” John pleads. “Stay with me. I can cure you. I promise, I can cure you.”

“There is no cure,” Alder informs him. “My husband die of this only a week ago. There is no hope for people like you, Mr. Watson.”

“I’m not going to stop,” he says. “I’m not going leave London. I made a promise. I’m going to stay here and kill every one of those undead bastards until I really am the only one left.”

***


“Promise me you’ll fight, John,” Sherlock whispers. “The entirety of the Afghani army couldn’t take you down, Moriarty and his bombs couldn’t take you down, promise me you’ll not let something as utterly pedestrian as vampires be the end of John Watson.”

***


Alder lets him inject her with the cure despite her insistence and in return he shows her the work he’s done with the virus.

“You look like a mad scientist,” Alder says lightly, surveying microscopes and chemical equipment in his kitchen.

“Most of it belonged to my flatmate,” John replies. “He was a genius.”

“I rather think you seem to be a genius yourself.”

He grins for the first time in what seems like years and launches into an explanation about the mechanistic of the stakes and the physiochemical reactions a vampire’s body produces upon exposure to garlic.

It occurs to him only vaguely that he sounds like Sherlock in the midst of one of his deductions. He’s so caught up, he doesn’t realize what Alder is going to do until a heavy pan crashes against the back of his skull.

***


He wakes with a splitting headache and a note affixed to his chest. Something small and cylindrical falls to the side as he moves.

John,

By this time you have no doubt realized I have been spying on you. I am writing this note in the hopes of saving your life. I do believe you are a good man, John, but your actions had consequences. The truth is the, I did have a husband John, and you killed him.

You have surely deduced that we are infected, but we have found a way to survive. There is a society rebuilding slowly but surely. There is a pill that counteracts the effects of the germs, feeding them and preventing them from multiplying. There is no hope for those dead, but us infected who remain alive can live with this germ. I’ve left you one of my pills for proof.

I can only hope you believe me, John. That you heed my warnings and run. People will be coming for you. They believe you need to be punished for inflicting the damage on our fledgling society. But I would rather not see you burn.

Though it may not be possible, Dr. Watson. I wish you peace.
-Irene


He stares at the letter dumbfounded for a long moment before picking up the pill from beside him and pulling himself to his feet. Numb he drags himself to the microscope and looks at his most recent sample. There is a single phrase running through his head. Something he’d read countless times but always dismissed.

Bacteria can mutate.

He glances over to the mantle where Sherlock’s skull still sits. “I’m not going to leave,” he promises it. “This is my home.”

***


He continues in much the same manner for weeks, killing vampires, hunting for Mycroft, and not thinking of Irene’s letter. Sherlock has become an almost tangible presence in his mind, searching endless for proof of Irene’s answers.

He never finds them because one night, the pull up outside his house and destroy all of the dead who spend their nights tormenting him. He watches out of his peephole at the efficient brutality of the living vampires. His breath catches in his throat as he looks for Mycroft. Mycroft who’s hiding place he has never found and takes a perverse sort of glee in the fact that he is not among the carnage.

The break down his door, sweep in through the windows and he fights them. He knows how to do nothing else. He fights them until he feels the tell-tale pinprick of a hypodermic needle sliding into his next and his body unwillingly goes slack. As they drag him out the door, he sees Mycroft finally emerging from his hiding place. 221C. He curses himself. He’d been relentless him his search of the entire building but 221C had been so barren he’d only given it a cursory glance.

The chimney by the looks of it, Sherlock says in his head. Notice the ashes falling from his suit.

They dispatch him with the same ruthless efficiency as the vampires outside his door.

***


“You should have run,” Alder says. “Why didn’t you run. You may have saved yourself.”

“I’m a soldier,” John says. “I’ve done nothing but defend my home.”

“You must realize that we consider ourselves natives as well. There is a new country rising from the ashes of the old. A new queen and new rules. You must realize these new countries are primitive, barbarian. They demand punishment for crimes. Justice.”

“Am I to be held to trial?”

“You’ve already been convicted. You’re to be executed. I merely wanted a brief moment to talk to you before you go. I am sorry they took you.” She touches his cheek, at the blood that is caked dry beneath his nose. “You didn’t have to fight.”

“Of course I had to fight.”

“Yes,” she says lightly. “I suppose you did. But I am still sorry, John.”

She leaves him alone. He doesn’t run. He doesn’t think he could at this point. The phantom pain in his leg aches, his shoulder feels like it’s been split in two and his head is a continuous pulse of pain.

The executioner in a black hood enters, guiding him to his feet and out onto a platform. Through the haze of pain, John notices that the sea of pale faces stills the moment they see him. The masses growing quiet. There is fear etched into their every movement.

Don’t you see? Sherlock whispers in his head. Don’t you see it? You’re the monster now. You’ve been killing them and now you’re their monster. Their thing in the dark. A society of vampires, gasping, drinking, seething and you’re the scariest thing they’ve ever seen. My dear John, you’re going to live forever now. You’ll be the nightmare that never quite goes away, the thing in the dark. Oh, that’s brilliant, John. You’re brilliant.

John forces a smile.

I am legend.

(no subject)

10/4/11 05:08 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] ladygrendel.livejournal.com
I like how you used the book and not the movie. The book is much more haunting, in my opinion.

(no subject)

10/4/11 13:47 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
There's a movie? I've tried to block it from my mind. =)

Thanks for reading.

(no subject)

10/4/11 05:54 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] ktbean.livejournal.com
Dude. This is beyond creepy. If I have nightmares it's all your fault. :)

(no subject)

10/4/11 13:47 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
Can I offer you a nightlight?

(thank you)

(no subject)

10/4/11 08:33 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] blaidd-drwg.livejournal.com
*laughs* Apparently I should not try to read and comment on fic when I should be sleeping. I wrote one comment, noticed I'd left out a pertinent piece of what I meant to say. Next I followed up that with what I hoped was a clarifying comment, but I messed that up too. *epic fail of self* *facepalm*
So I deleted both comments and we'll hope that third time's the charm. lol

Your story is well written and I think you did an excellent job of characterization. Not having seen the book or movie (and due to my sleepy self I missed noticing that you DID include a Major Character Death warning on the post in SherlockBBC) the deaths did alarm me. That was quite my own fault for missing the warning. Would you please consider reposting the character death warning in your author's note at the top of the story itself here?

(no subject)

10/4/11 13:52 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
Sorry if you were blindsided. I try to post warnings on places where I direct people but tend to assume people who read the journal itself know my tendency toward character death. For this one, I kind of just assumed the I Am Legend fusion functioned as spoilers enough, but I guess I was wrong. I've added the warning.

Thank you for reading.

(no subject)

10/4/11 14:14 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] blaidd-drwg.livejournal.com
Thank you for adding the warning here too. Sometimes people might come across a story because someone who read it rec'd (recc'd?) it in their journal (I've done this many a time) and fairly often the linking url will go straight to the author's journla (unless they've solely published it in a community post) so there can be readers who might end up here without having been at SherlockBBC and thus might have missed the death warning, so I'm very pleased that you've included it here for them. Plus sleepy people like me who might've missed the warning in the SherlockBBC post might notice it here. One can hope. :)

When it comes to movies, literature, etc. that flood pop culture it's easy enough to assume I suppose that most people would know what lays ahead (your assumption that mentioning I Am Legend was spoiler enough), but I'm one of the few who didn't see it or read it. Like The Sixth Sense, I never saw that and no one mentioned the twist to me. Years after it was released I happened accross the twist reveal in an article online by happenstance or I'd still be in the dark about that too.

I may have at some time read one of your other stories, but I don't recall at the moment (still needing to get some sleep...darn insomnia) so I can't say that I associate your journal or your writings with a tendency toward character death. I'll try to make a note of that and hopefully I'll be more aware (even when sleepy) of warnings wherever they may be. *smiles*

(no subject)

10/4/11 14:17 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] blaidd-drwg.livejournal.com
journal (not journla) *bangs head on keyboard*


I hope you receive lots of satisfied reader reviews on your story!

(no subject)

10/4/11 14:37 (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] trolllogicfics.livejournal.com
And I'll try to be better about warnings. I've never liked them much because I don't like to see them when I'm reading but I realize there are many folks who aren't like that.

(I Am Legend is a really masterful novel though. It's about the only vampire one I've ever enjoyed and while it does end much as this, it's well worth reading.)