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Echoes

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Wato hit the ground, arms covering her head. The echoes rolled through the marketplace.

She knew the damage without opening her eyes. Torn and splintered masonry, glass shards like knives everywhere, blood. Soon she'd hear screaming, cries for the doctor, the deep booming of another bomb landing further away. She was still in Syria; her return home was only a dream.

"Wato! Wato!"

Strong thin hands gripped her forearms. A woman's hands. Sherlock's hands.

"Wato-san! Are you hurt?"

Sherlock was in Syria?

No. No. Wato was home, she was in Tokyo.

A kind voice in her head now, not Sherlock's sharp words. Her therapist, her real one. Your mind was as hurt as your body. The pain will linger there, just as it does in your shoulder. Such wounds take a long time to heal.

She was… she was safe.

She opened her eyes.

Her partner, her friend, fear and anger in her eyes, shouting over her shoulder at the clumsy stupid oaf who'd dropped a shipment of plate-glass and caused the sound.

"I'm…all right."

Sherlock's attention came back immediately. Fear.

Wato smiled – thin and sad, but a real smile. "Just a bad memory. I'll be all right some day."

"Hm!" Sherlock reverted to her usual sharpness as she helped her partner to her feet. "I'm hungry. Let's get a bento."