Inspired by this: ask for fics where Sherlock has aquaphobia
Deep waters, Sherlock, all your life …
It’s summer, and it’s unbearably hot.
Sherlock is only wearing his swimming trunks, while he crouches in the dried up grass and carefully takes a little brown frog in his hand.
Redbeard sits beside him, panting loudly.
Sherlock curiously holds the hand with the frog in it before his face. He laughs, when the frog walks a bit on his hand and it feels lightly slimy.
He looks at Redbeard.
“Come on Redbeard, we must bring him to the pond! This is no grass frog, it’s a sea frog. He can’t stay in this heat.”
Sherlock carefully closes his hand around the little frog and runs to the nearby pond. Redbeard follows him with a happy bark.
The pond has lost water because of the heat, but it’s still big and deep.
Sherlock slowly walks a bit into the water. Until it reaches his knees. It’s wonderfully cool and he giggles when Redbeard runs wildly into the pond and spatters him with water.
Sherlock puts the frog in the water, and watches how it swims away quickly.
“Bye, froggy,” he murmurs and smiles.
And then he hears it.
Voices. Coming nearer.
He frowns and swallows, when he sees a group of young boys walking to the pond. Their attention is on a gameboy one of them holds in his hands. They are laughing and shoving each other around.
Sherlock knows them.
They are two classes above him and they aren’t very fond of him.
Sometimes, they steal his lunch or his books from the library. And when the mood strikes them, they shove Sherlock around between them for a while.
Sherlock hopes they aren’t going to notice him.
Suddenly, Redbeard barks loudly, but friendlily and the boys look up.
The one at the front, big for his age and with tangled, sweaty, blond hair, Tom White, sees Sherlock and smiles spitefully.
“Look what we have here,” he says loudly, and the other boys look up from the gameboy. “The little freak is in the water. What are you doing in there, weirdo? Are you looking for your relatives?”
The other boys laugh, altough Sherlock doesn’t find the statement very funny or smart.
“Leave me alone,” Sherlock says and points at Redbeard. “I have my dog with me!”
A few of the boys swallow nervously when they see the big Irish Setter in the water, but Tom just laughs amused. “Your dog is like a big sheep, weirdo. Look. Come here, doggie, come here!” He whistles and Redbeard points his ears. In the next moment he jumps out of the water with his tale wagging. He runs to the boys and they laugh loudly.
Sherlock feels a lump in his throat.
It’s true, Redbeard isn’t a very good dog for protection.
He hopes that the boys won’t have enough energy to deal with him further.
But he hopes in vain.
Tom pats Redbeard between his earth and grins snidely. “Yeah, look at your dumb dog. I bet he would lick my hand even if I slapped him!”
Sherlock feels anger rising up in him. He balls his hands to fists. “Leave my dog alone,” he says. “Or I … I’ll tell your mother about the stealing!”
Tom looks at him sharply, and his look darkens. “What do you mean, weirdo?”
“I know that you steal money from her. For your cigarettes and …”
He doesn’t get any further. Suddenly Tom walks to him very quickly, with his hands balled into fists.
Sherlock moves back, suddenly he’s scared. He moves back until the water is nearly up to his belly button.
“You aren’t going to tell her anything, freak!” Tom yells at him and grabs him by the shoulders. “Or I’m going to be very unpleasent!”
The other boys come nearer too, they grin.
“Teach him a lesson, Tom!” One of them says and laughs.
“Yeah, I should do that,” Tom says and grins. “Hold his dog,” he advises the boys, and then he grabs a handful of Sherlock’s curls. Before Sherlock can do or say anything, Tom shoves his head under water violently.
Cold. It’s so cold.
And dark. Sherlock can’t see anything. He can hear a loud swoosh and laughing somewhere in the distance.
He holds his breath, and feels how fear rises up in him.
He struggles against the hands which hold him down, but he’s not strong enough.
He starts to feel uncomfortable, a pain begins in his chest.
And then, he panics.
His lungs begin to burn, as his body begins to scream for air in earnest.
He can’t … He needs to breathe, he needs to breathe, he needs to …
Sherlock feels like his lungs would burst the next second, he screams under water, he …
And then he is pulled up.
Suddenly, there’s air around him again.
He gasps for breath, and everything is burning inside him. Everything …
He is dragged onto the grass and falls into it.
Faint voices are around him, Redbeard is barking.
“Uhm, don’t you think you have overdone it a bit Tom?”
“Oh shut up, the little weirdo deserves it, Sam!”
“Yeah, but …”
“Shut up, I said! Let’s go.”
Suddenly, Tom’s shadow is above Sherlock, and the older boy whispers into his ear: “You are not going to tell this to anyone, you understand? If you tell anyone about this, I’m going to kill your stupid dog. My father buys rat poison every month, I could just give your dog a nice sausage with the poison in it …”
“No,” Sherlock gasps breathlessly. Tears flow over his face. “No …”
“Do what I say. I’m warning you, weirdo.”
And then Tom is gone.
They’re all gone.
Sherlock lays in the grass and gasps for breath. Crying, trembling, still full of panic.
Redbeard suddenly licks his face and whines quietly.
Sherlock stares at the blue, cloudless sky above him and cries.
Since then, he could never go into the water again.
Aquaphobia, is the term for it, he learns when he tries to find out why he suddenly can’t bear being in deep water.
Caused by a traumatic experience.
And from now on Sherlock stays out of the swimming pool. Out of ponds and rivers.
Because every time he thinks about going into the water, he remembers.
Remembers the panic, the cold and the dark.
His struggle. The pain in his lungs.
The feel of dying in darkness.
And he can’t. He simply can’t.
John is in the well, and it fills with water quickly.
John is in the well full of rising water, Sherlock stands above and nearly hyperventilates.
“John,” he stutters, “Oh God, John.”
“Sherlock!” John calls out of the well, the water has already reached his shoulders. “Sherlock, is someone coming?!”
“Yes,” Sherlock says and swallows. “Yes, yes … I called for help and … “
“Okay, all right,” John says, and obviously tries to stay calm. “Everything is going to be all right, Sherlock.”
This makes Sherlock flinch, and he shakes his head in disbelief. “How can you say that? You are the one in the well!”
“Yeah,” John says and laughs warily. “I’m the one in the well. Oh Fuck, it’s so fucking cold. I can’t feel my legs!”
So cold …
Sherlock closes his eyes. Memories climb up in him, grab for him …
NO! He shouts at himself. Not now, John needs help, my help, John …
“Help will be here soon, John,” he says, and hopes he’s right.
The water is now at John’s neck, and Sherlock can see how John stretches his body, to stay on the surface.
Oh God …
“Sherlock,” John coughs, “If this … If this isn’t going to end well, I want you to know something!”
“Shut up, John,” Sherlock says, and feels how he is slowly getting desperate. There are still no sirens to hear in the distance … “Everything will be all right!”
“I hope so, I really hope so, but …” And then, John’s mouth is suddenly full of water and he coughs violently.
“JOHN!” Sherlock screams, and he sees, how the water still rises, how John’s struggle weakens …
I need to do something!
I need to …
Jump into the water.
Hold John over water.
Sherlock stares into the dark water. Dark. Cold. Memories …
His lungs burning.
The feeling of drowning …
Then he looks at John, who gasps for air desperately.
Into the water …
There are no boys who are going to push you under.
There’s just John.
John who is drowning.
John, who needs your help.
And just when he can hear the faint sound of a siren, Sherlock jumps into the well.
Then the water surrounds him and it’s so cold, that he gasps out of shock.
He pushes the feel of panic, the urge to get out, aside and moves to John, who seems to be close to passing out.
He grabs John under his arms and lifts him, as high as the chains let him.
Then, he paddles on the spot and holds John’s face above water.
John opens his eyes and looks at him weakly.
“You idiot,” he mumbles and smiles faintly. “What are you doing here? Do you want to drown with me?”
“No one of us is going to drown,” Sherlock says grimly. “Help is coming and everything is going to be all right, John.”
“Sherlock,” John whispers and sighs. Then he really passes out.
Sherlock can feel how his body goes slack in his grip.
He swallows when he noticeshow the water rises again.
How long, until …
And then, a bright light suddenly shines into his eyes from above.
“Sherlock!” Lestrade’s voice. Worried. “Sherlock, John, can you hear me?”
“Here!” Sherlock yells. “Get us out of this bloody well already!”
And then, someone comes to them with a rope and pliers.
While Sherlock still holds John’s limp body in his arms, they cut the chains, and finally, they are pulled out of the cold water.
Later, when they sit on a stretcher together, side by side, wrapped in blankets, Sherlock says quietly to John, “Did you know, that I have suffered from a case of aquaphobia since I was a child?”
“No, no I didn’t. Oh wow, Sherlock …”
“Yeah. Thanks for curing it, Doctor.”
And they laugh together.
Corrected by @bakerstreet-irregular <3
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