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Fanfic: Dreaming is boring - Chapter 4

First chapter
Previous chapter

Chapter 4

Sherlock peeks through the train’s window; half kneeling between two rows of seats, ignoring the glares an old lady was directing him from the other side of the wagon, he can see the blond man standing in the platform again after a, surely unsatisfactory, inspection on the other train. He can barely see him with this angle, but the pose is distinctive: military man.

The train suddenly moves, slow at first, leaving Bruges behind. He can finally exhale. The day started just fine, but now he’s running away with destination unknown, no suitable information to go further and with at least one of Moriarty’s men going after him. Terrific.

He seats with his legs outstretched and closes his eyes with the intention to reexamine the events that has lead him to this mess and figure out a plan.

Dawn surprised him reviewing the information Mycroft had sent him. Just four photographs, two of the sniper, two of possible henchmen that could attend the meeting. He dressed himself with a pair of well-worn jeans and a two sizes too big jumper. A casual jacket and the glasses from yesterday completed his attire.

He arrived twenty-four minutes early, trying to ignore the tingling in the pit of his stomach that he associates with chases or interesting cases.

Since that moment he is aware of a missing component on the equation, an important one which he refuses to name even in his head. The no name ban is pointless anyway; his brain keeps providing an image that makes the effort useless. His abrupt awakening has left him with an intact imprint in his memory of a soaked John, which leads him to the vision of an overly distress ex-army doctor, in front of a black tombstone, giving him a sense of uneasiness that makes him rub his temple every now and then.

He remembers thinking that morning that he wanted to end this as soon as possible, preferably today; probably his first mistake. He snorts at his naivety shaking his head as if expelling the unwanted thoughts by kinetic energy and recovers his original purpose.

The 26 on Walplein resulted on being a brewery, apparently the only one left in the city, and one that you can visit. He sat on a bench outside, making a good impression of a tourist studying a map while taking into account his surroundings. After seven minutes he went inside through an ample corridor to a patio with the brewery itself on the back. The place was a rat trap, with no other evident exits that the one he used to get in… or the roofs, now considered; this was his second mistake.

A couple of minutes later a large group of people emerged from the inside of the brewery, chatting amiably They were having a guided visit. Sherlock spotted her as part of the group, the mysterious woman at the hotel. Unlike the day before, he saw her face clearly and raised his eyebrows in recognition: he couldn’t associate the face with a name but with a case, his first case with John; she was with Mycroft that night. He frowned that morning in the brewery as he frowns now in the train. Why send her here? In retrospective is clear she has training on field missions, but anyway…

She clearly saw him frown and crossed the patio to reach him.

“Oh Francis, what a surprise!”. She kissed him in the cheeks, whispering a muted “my lead” with the second one. “Why don’t you get us some drinks? You have to tell me about you”. For a beat Sherlock hesitated, she gave him a meaningful look. Something was amiss, something wasn’t going as planned.

He headed inside, taking mental note of the people at the tables: two men in his twenties chatting amiably, one of them oblivious to the crush of his friend; a woman in her late forties, divorced, holding a book that she wasn’t really reading; a man alone, gym building, tapping in the table, impatient; a family of four, battling with an hyperactive child; a couple, not strictly speaking, she, younger, turned to her right taking pictures, he using his phone. Inside was the rest of the visit group, two of them not-so-inconspicuous undercover agents. He seriously needs to talk with Mycroft about his people’s incompetence. No sight of the men in the photographs.

His third error was not paying attention to the only one that wasn’t drinking.

“Stupid” he chastises himself.

“Sorry, sir?” Sherlock startles to find a man (the conductor, by his outfit) standing besides him.

“Oh, nothing, not that you are stupid. Well probably you are, but not the point.”

“Excuse me?”

Sherlock resumes his position but the man isn't moving, he's waiting, and he's getting annoyed.

“Hm? Oh, of course, well...” he looks behind the conductor to see the flashing panels with the destinations and reviews his options in the blink of an eye. “One ticket to Liege, please” He displays his best smile and the man seems both unsettled at it and relieved about leaving the wagon.

That sorted, Sherlock goes back to the problem in hand: he needs a plan; he surely should hide for a while, again.

“Stupid”. Repetition is needed for once. He shakes his head.

After he retrieved a couple of beers at the bar he saw the woman seating in the farthest table from the building, the nearest to the door entrance, facing the other tables. He sat at her right facing the door. The moment the sniper entered in the brewery two minutes after the hour and froze at the sight of the man everything went downhill.

He doubts Moriarty's men know who they are following, but he's sure the blond man suspects. Either way he can't be sure. Can he? And this is bad, really bad. He sends a message to Mycroft resisting the habit of signing it.

Who is he?

The phone rings immediately. He looks at the other occupant in the wagon, the old lady now sound asleep, and picks up with resignation.

“Who is following me? I know she sent you a picture”. The woman registered the change in the sniper too and took a picture over Sherlock's shoulder with her phone.

“We're on it”

“Let me guess: they suspected there's a leak on the organization, hence the change of day, and the sniper’s surprise, he didn't expect him, neither the incompetents you call 'your experts'. He's one of the top men, he can make decisions, he...” Sherlock visualizes the scene; the details clear in his head: when the sniper reached for his pocket everything moved quickly. The woman shouted at him. He sensed movement at his right and turned to look at the man he has ignored before, he was alone (the girl with the camera wasn't with him, she was seated in other table, with the divorced woman, probably her mother, both with their eyes open wide, now he acknowledges the resemblance).  Said man, blond, military demeanor, stood and at his signal a shot impacted in the sniper's chest. “... decides. He decides. He probably was the number two after Moriarty”

“Well spotted”

“But why the risk? Why exposing himself? And why killing his own man?”

It seems to Sherlock that his brother’s pause says more than the words that follow. “He was hired, Sherlock, a hired killer. He pays loyalty to the biggest cheque.”

“It was no longer his man. He was the leak” Sherlock states. “Once confirmed by the presence of your agents and... our behaviour...” the vision of two cold eyes fixed on his own crosses his mind “Mycroft, he saw me, he looked at me, I’m not sure if he recognised me but he followed me after we rushed outside... ”

“You knew this could happen.”

“Of course I did!” A snore from the old lady makes him lower his tone “It’s my responsibility, Mycroft, and I’ll fix it” He can’t believe what he’s going to say. He inhales deeply “But I can’t do it alone, I need help”

“Needless to say you have it, dear brother”

Sherlock doesn’t calm though, something akin to remorse creeps his nerves and makes him revisit the surge of panic when he saw the man behind him after turning the second corner in his scape.

“Look, I tried to keep track of him but he disappeared so I left the brewery. He must have run to the roof. He may not trust everyone in the organisation but he had help there, a marksman and another henchman at least. He found me immediately,” Sherlock says bitterly “and followed me. I lost him in the train station. If he suspects, if he recognises me...” Sherlock’s voice falters.

“We are on it already; I’m heading to pick up John, we’ll take him to a secure place”

“Good” A lump on his throat prevents him to speak further. “Keep me informed” He hangs up and rubs his eyes tightly with both hands. He’ll fix this, he’ll do it. Now he needs a plan and a new disguise.

He won’t sleep that night.

Fanfic: Dreaming is boring - Chapter 3

First chapter

Chapter 3

Sherlock arrives to Bruges on Sunday early afternoon (local time) after two hours and ten minutes of restless confinement in a train, roughly twenty minutes of waiting and one more hour in a less luxurious train.

He decides to walk all the way to the hotel, not wanting to be locked in another public transport. Additionally he’ll be able to learn about the city as much as he can.

He walks with a brisk pace, straining his long legs after sitting for too long. The streets are deserted until he reaches the main streets, full of tourists. Nobody pays much attention, he is only another visitor with a big backpack (actually almost empty), an itchy wool hat (wich will burn as soon as he dyes his hair) and a modern-retro-whatever pair of glasses, everything together makes him look ten years younger. It’s easy to blend with the mass, he considers, the entire bustle is really appropriate for an inconspicuous meeting, on plain sight, you are just another one.

He spends most of the time till evening in the hotel, making a mess on the bathroom and cursing whoever has said that dying your hair by yourself is easy. He would have preferred a wig, but long term it’s better this way. He’s not trying to pretend being another person; he’s trying not to be himself. He messes his new bright blond locks with disgust; if nothing else he has tried very hard to be his own self.

Everything cleaned up, glasses on, hat on the bin, he goes downstairs through the winding corridor to the reception hall, to check if there is something for him. Maybe it’s too soon, but he needs to be prepared before the meeting takes place.

A sudden wave of uncertainty runs through his body; can he count on his brother for this? It’s unsettling, actually, the level of dependence; he has not relied on him willfully since he was twelve. Sherlock has never doubt about Mycroft’s intelligence, of course, the intention behind his actions, that’s the tricky part. It always is with a Holmes, he acknowledges with a crooked smile.

There is a woman talking with the receptionist when he arrives: dark haired, small, with a big suitcase precisely the optimum size for a baby elephant to fit in and a couple of shop bags. Executive secretary looking at her nails and the phone she just has pocketed. She talks and talks about how she has come to the city in a rush for her free week without thinking much, and without booking a room. Dull. His mind wanders through his plans for the day in case there isn’t any news from his brother, but he keeps hearing the woman beg for an acomodation and then for a recommendation of other places nearby. “Really, why people can’t be more thoughtful?”, he rants internally, “It’s easy get information ahead, more so with her mobile and one would think that you need some organization skills to be a PA… Wait…”

The tiny woman is making her escape when he reacts. He’s going to run after her but he kicks something with his right foot, spilling its contents. It’s one of the woman’s shop bags, but his name is in one of the things that have come out of the bag. Well, not his real name, but the one he gave to Mycroft.

“Can I help you?” the girl at the counter looks at him with a trained neutral smile.

“Uhm, yes, can I have a map of the town?” better to act normal, better be cautious either the small woman is an enemy or an ally; but following her it’s tempting.

“Sure. Look, here we are” says the receptionist, circling the spot in the map where the hotel is. “And…”

“It’s ok”, Sherlock interrupts before she goes with the whole explanation for a tourist visit, “I can interpret a map” He cannot see the woman by the window anymore.

The receptionist's smile falters “Ok”

Sherlock looks at her frown. Too bad, maybe? He blinks; what would John say? “Thanks”, he tries to mimic one of John’s ‘charming’ smiles plus half lidded eyes “May I ask you for a late dinner recommendation?”

The girl’s face makes a funny thing and turns bright red, and she lowers her face looking at the map clearly avoiding his eyes. “Ah… I don’t… I really can’t give you, uhm, a direct recommendation but…” she darts her eyes at him for a millisecond and keeps wandering the pen above the map “this, this street is… there is a lot of good restaurants”.

“Thanks” he retrieves the map and flounders to his room, confused by the results of his trying-to-act-normal-as-John-do, angry for not being following the owner of the bag and intrigued by its contents. Said contents are distributed on the bed a minute later: a silk woman’s blouse the brand of the one impressed in the bag, a small laptop in a plain handbag with a typewritten tag reading Mr. Drake, a couple of maps of the city and a phone just like John’s one. He's fiddling with the keys when the phone rings.

“M” Surely not... He picks up the phone. “Yes?”

“Sherlock”

“Really, Mycroft? Why all this farce?”

“We need to be cautious” Sherlock scoffs. “This is serious, if you want to continue with this you have to follow my lead” he pauses but there is no reply “The meeting has been confirmed for tomorrow”

“I thought it was on Tuesday”

“Things are moving quickly, I'm afraid”

“Right. Where?”

“Walplein, 26. At noon. You will find useful information in a pen drive attached to the handbag”

“Haven't you learned already with those things?”

Mycroft ignores him and keep talking. “You will receive all the data we can gather till then. We have yet to confirm who will meet him. I might be repeating myself, but be careful, Sherlock”

Sherlock hangs before he can say anything else and immediately changes the name of the contact to “The Queen”. With a sigh he drops the phone and makes himself comfortable in the bed to start reviewing what Mycroft have for him. It's past 3 am when he drifts off.

~~~~º~~~~

I'm barefoot. The carpet is soft and warm. This is Baker Street, I know it is, but is pitch black, I need to open the windows.

The light blinds me. I should run away from the window, someone might see me and it's not safe, not yet. But I'm here and I need to keep everything in place, I need to bring John back, here is safe, no one knows I'm here.

My room is virtually empty, I must bring my things back, with John, he will help, he will be eager to help. “John!” No one answer, but he should be here soon. Surely he's out shopping, we need milk, I need to start working in my cultures now, I'm not on schedule with the tests on Streptococcus mutans.

There's noise upstairs. John is at home then. I rush to his room and the door opens before me. Everything is wet here, the walls are weeping, it seems. We need to fix this, Mrs Hudson is going to be angry.

John is soaking too. His head is resting on his knees and I can't see his face. He's a doctor, he should know he cannot be this soggy without catching a cold.

John” I shake him lightly but he embraces his legs more tightly. “John, please, we need to fix this”

You are not here”

~~~~º~~~~

Sherlock wakes up with the sound of a new email received.

Fanfic: Dreaming is boring - Chapter 2

Previous chapter

Chapter 2

"How it’s that even possible!?” Sherlock clenches the phone making the cheap device creak. He lowers his voice; the walls of the small room are only slightly thicker than a paper. “Your people are useless, and you are…”

“Careful, Sherlock. My patience is thin”, says Mycroft through clenched teeth. But he says no more for a while, an unpleasant feeling of guilt tingling in his conscience. “We know they have left the country, and we are sure…”

“You have lost them, how can you be sure of anything at all?”

“We have lost track of one. We know where the other two are. They are being careful in their movements, disappearing temporarily, and they are having… help.”

Sherlock inhales deeply, he was dreading this. Before he can talk, Mycroft voices his thoughts.

“You might think that once overthrown the king, everything would fall apart. Perhaps there would be a bitter struggle for power and the enemy would wither and die, but no. Everything is working without him, it won’t last but…”

“I’ll make it fall”

“Sherlock, you…”

“Don’t. Just tell me where to start”

A rustling of papers by the receiver makes Sherlock snort, he knows his brother has memorizing all the details of the report that some, mostly useless, minions may have passed to him. No need to search through the file but to gain time, both know that is useless though. Sherlock can’t wait hiding somewhere for the house of cards to collapse, he’ll blow it, he’ll dynamite the hell out of it if necessary. He’ll make the world safer for everyone that matters. His mind diverts when Mycroft speaks again.

“Belgium, Bruges. This one will be there for a meeting on Thursday; we are working in the details, probably with one of Moriarty’s big men.” Mycroft sighs, “You really don’t have to do this, I have men on this.”

“They are incompetents and inefficient, I’m more than capable”, he says venomously at the phone, while typing with his free hand on a borrowed laptop.

“That’s not what I meant”

“I know what you meant, just send me the details” Says Sherlock, his patience disappearing quickly.

“I need to secure a line…”

“I’ll be at the Ter Reien, it’s inconspicuous… and suitable. To the attention of Mr. Drake”

“Oh, for fucking s-!”

Sherlock hangs up before he ends the phrase and throws the disposable phone to the bin. He picks it up again at the third message.

Sherlock, please, be discreet

MH

You may want to know they will visit the cemetery today.

MH

No need to say I’ll be looking after them.

MH

Later, in the silent night, Sherlock will fall asleep thinking about clenched fists and slumped shoulders. He’ll dream, but he won’t remember anything in the morning.

Previous chapter

Fanfic: Dreaming is boring - Chapter 1

Characters/Pairings: Sherlock, Mycroft, OCs
Rating: G
Status: WIP
Warnings: No beta-ed
Summary: After the fall Sherlock can't help but dream - Small scenes from Sherlock POV in his time alone after feigning his own death, trying to get down the rests of Moriarty's organisation.

Also on AO3

Chapter 1

It’s been three days, two hours and forty-something minutes since his fall from St Bart’s roof.

His impossibility to recall the exact minute is worrisome and a perfect indicative of his state of mind. It’s been almost five days since the last time he slept properly; it’s not he can’t sleep, it’s just he doesn’t want to. He’s in a foreign place, alien, but disturbingly familiar: he just can’t help but notice the similitude with THE flat, their flat, from the pattern in the wood to the absurd quantity of chairs per square foot.

Sherlock stands up and paces in the tiny room, feeling like a trapped mouse. His joints ache, and he’s grateful nobody can see him so dishevelled and distressed. It’s a perk of being alone: no need for self-control; more so if you need the remaining energy to focus in more significant tasks.

A soft tap in the door and the sound of paper sliding under it catches his attention. Two long strides are more than enough for him to pick the small envelope from where it landed. He opens it in a fluid movement of his fingers. The handwriting is recognizable, even in the concise message: “Field cleared. Targets located.”

Sherlock frowns at the word choice: “Located”, not “under control”. They know where the snipers are, but they haven’t caught them. He makes a mental note: he’ll make his brother regret his people’s incompetence the next time they see each other face to face. This deserves an apocalyptic brawl.

They are safe for now, though, if the first part of the message is worth of taking it seriously. He lets himself fall to the bed, noticing his pulse eases a bit. It’s enough for the tiredness to overcome him and let the sleep keep him dead to the world for what could be a few hours. But he dreams, so he awakes far too soon.

~~~~º~~~~

Mycroft is right in front of me, talking, nonsense apparently (no novelty there): he opens and closes his big mouth but he just makes noise, like a trumpet. I look around but he keeps blocking my view, he doesn’t let me see what’s behind him. I want to shout at him but he dissolves to the ground. Git, he must let me insult him properly.

The puddle at my feet looks deeper than it should. I kneel, to take a proper look. It’s like an abyss.

A soft noise came within it, making the surface tremble. It’s a voice. I try to make no noise at all to comprehend what it’s saying. It’s no use; I need to be nearer, I grip to the border of the puddle that used to be my brother only that it’s no longer a puddle either, it’s a hole on the ground, open to the black abyss. I notice my body weight it’s precariously balanced in the border but I get to hear the voice more clearly: It’s John’s voice, unmistakeable.

I identify the feeling of a rush of panic: my hand has slipped form the border, I’m falling, again.

~~~~º~~~~

He wakes, sweating.

fic: Heart in a cage

Title:  Heart in a cage
Author: tomoewantsdolls
Word Count:  3059
Status: complete (12 short chapters or scenes)
Characters:  Sherlock, John, almost all the lot
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Rating:  PG
Genre:  Friendship, angst/fluff, magical realism, post-Reichenbach
Summary: John’s heart is broken and he cannot fix it. The best thing he can do is put it away... or maybe not.
Author note: This is basically magical realism, so many things do not make sense strictly speaking, starting with the premise of the story, medically impossible, obviously. And please, forgive any writting mistakes, I'm not a native speaker so any comment in the matter is highly apreciated (and I'll fix it immediately!)

Also on Ao3

1. Not your housekeeper


John’s heart is broken and he cannot fix it.

He doesn’t live in 221b Baker Street anymore, but Mrs Hudson visitshim every day. He doesn’t live far, anyway, and it’s the way she has found to fix her own heart. She visits him every day, and every day he only says four words; “It hurts so much”.

Once and again.

On those times she grabs her heart, trying to maintain its pieces together and forces a smile. ‘It will get better’, she says. ‘It will get better’.

Today she cannot help crying a little, and she feels her heart stutter and clench. It stings in all the cracks and old wounds. Tomorrow she will doubt, tomorrow she will hesitate, but she will come again.

She must to; she cannot give up, what would Sherlock think of her if she let John, their John, disappear?


Today John is different. He’s cooking breakfast.

‘Want a cuppa?’

Mrs Hudson just nod, she’s afraid of speak, afraid of say something that would break the moment, the miracle. In the end it doesn’t matter.
In the end John realizes he’s poured an extra cup of tea.

‘That’s not his cup’, he mutters.

‘Oh, dear’, she rushes to his side but he’s gone again, his gaze drowning, fixed in a point over her shoulder.

‘It hurts, it hurts so much’

She sobs and fights her tears when a single drop escapes and wanders down his cheek. It’s not until the next day that she notices the birdcage. It’s black, and it’s covered with a black woollen cloth.


2. Not my division

        Or when Lestrade pays a visit.


Today Lestrade has come to visit.

He notes the change, of course he notes. He just doesn’t know if he likes it. He’s eager for him to recover, but he doesn’t know if that’s the better way.

His first glance is to the birdcage, but John seems oblivious to it, or at least he doesn’t care. ‘So, how are you…?’ He asks. He wants to say “How are you functioning like this?” or “How are you coping with the emptiness?” but Lestrade keeps the sentence like this, unfinished.

‘Fine, you want a cuppa?’

‘Er, no, thanks’

John gets up anyway and made a beeline to the kitchen. He takes two mugs but hesitates filling the second one. He turns to Lestrade, opens his mouth and says nothing. Lestrade notes a waver in his gaze. He turns to see the black cage, its trembling, like John himself.


3. I don't count

Or when Molly tries.


Molly stands in front of 221b Baker Street for a while.

She puts her hand on the doorknob, feels her heart flutter in desperation and puts her hand in her chest instead. The knob sighs patiently; it’s the fourth time in five minutes, but it has all the time of the world.

Molly encourages herself and tries again, but the door is opened in that precise moment from the inside.

‘Oh’, Mrs Hudson pats her chest lightly, ‘Oh Molly, dear, you’ve surprised me’

‘Oh, yes, hmm, sorry... hmm...’

‘Can I help you?’

Molly twists the end of her shirtsleeve in her fingers, trying to find the words. The notch in her throat is a bit distracting.

‘Hum, I... it’s John here?’

‘Oh, no dear, he doesn’t live here anymore’

‘Yes, I know, s-someone told me, told me his address, I’ve been there, but he’s not at home, and I thought, well, maybe he...’

‘But that’s wonderful! I was afraid he wouldn’t go out... ever again’

One of their hearts beats wishfully, healing a bit, the other one beats glumly, cracking a bit.

‘I’m heading to his flat, for a bit of housekeeping. Maybe he has come back already. You can come with me if you want, surely he will be
happy to see you’

Molly’s smile skips her face.

‘No, I don’t think so, I-I mean, it’s late, I...’

‘Maybe next time?’

‘Maybe’


4. Nothing hapens to me

What have you done, John?


John is finally at home.

Well, he doesn’t think of it like that, not really. There’s not a big leather sofa that hums contentedly when you sit on it, there’s not a fridge that presents its contents hoping to surprise you, there’s not seventeen steps that creaks to welcome you home…

It’s just a place where he keeps his things: a collection of jumpers, an illegal firearm, a plain card box with an undefined mix of items…and now an empty birdcage.

It’s a day after he has gone out that first time and Mrs. Hudson looks at him with a frown, trying to understand what’s different but failing. He feels a bit ill.


It’s six days after he has gone out that first time and Mrs. Hudson still looks worried but hopeful. He feels a bit dizzy.

It’s seventeen days after he has gone out that first time and Mrs. Hudson looks really worried but keeps silent. He feels a bit lightheaded.


It’s nineteen days after he has gone out that first time and Mrs. Hudson looks terrified but can’t make the words leave her mouth. He doesn’t feel much, really.


5. I don't have friends

          Back to Baker Street


John is back in Baker Street now.

Mrs. Hudson insisted on it. She looked worried; well, not only now, it seems it’s her normal state in the last few… weeks? Probably months.
To keep track of time is hard for him.

He complied, he didn’t have a reason to not to. He doesn’t have many things anyway; the moving was completed within one morning.

So. Today is another peaceful day in 221b Baker Street.

A loud crash of china and a startled cry suggest is not a peaceful day in 221a Baker Street, but John doesn’t move from the sofa. Said furniture squeaks in frustration and John finds himself an inch closer to the floor.

The seventeen steps creak loudly in an oddly familiar chuffed tone and the door bangs open to present a tall dark haired figure.

‘John!’

John’s eyebrows rise in mild surprise.

‘Who are you?’



6. I only have one

      Sherlock is troubled


Sherlock’s world tilts slightly to the left.

As if it’s suddenly heavier on that half. His mask hangs slightly out of place, and he has to shake his whole body to restore its former position.

He scrutinizes the person in front of him. It’s John, and it’s not. It’s unsettling. He expected rage, tears, and fists even, but the eyes of the man in front of him are vacuous. He holds his mask in place with two fingers debating internally if you can make some sense in someone’s brain by shaking them by the shoulders, vigorously. Or if that could trigger further damage.

A movement on his right catches the attention of the small portion of his brain that isn't panicking. It's Mrs Hudson. She lift her chin pointing (not so) discreetly to a corner of the room where a black woollen cloth rests, hiding an object he cannot identify.

‘I’ll made you a cuppa’, she says, and rises on her toes to reach his cheekbones and lets a lingering kiss. He barely registers her muted words accompanied by a squeeze on his forearm. ‘You have to find his heart, you must!’


7. As a conductor of light you are unbeatable

      Sherlock wavers


He needs data.

He needs a point to start with. He had studied the cage and is both marveled at John's audacity and horrified at the resultant change in demeanor.

He paces and paces, and John looks at him as if he's some kind of dull TV program.

'You're strange'

Sherlocks stops inmediately, staring at John with uncertainty. "Strange isn't freak. It isn't." Under his mask anyone could see fear, hurt, but John doesn't see it and no one else is in the room.

'Meaning?'

'You move, a lot, but you don't get far'

A smile spreads in his face, surpasing all his barriers. He's tempted to let them fall whole.

'You're right'. And he lets his body move and makes something he doesn't remember doing before: initiate a hug.



8. Do you ever wonder if there’s something wrong with us?

      Everybody has a heart


'Do you have it or not?'

Sherlock is exasperated. He wonders why he expected a different development of this encounter.

'Not exactly'. Tic, tic, tic.

Sherlock delivers his deadliest glare. Tic, tic, tic. Ugh, if he could stop that obnoxious noise! He sighs, closes his eyes, clenches his jaw and focuses on his goal. John's words have propelled forward, but he has found a barrier in his path named Mycroft. He tries to clear his mind when his brother speaks.

'I've been keeping an eye on it'. Tic, tic, tic.

'So you know where...'. He pauses, a frown emerges on his face. Tic, tic, tic. Mycroft manipulates a pocket watch that has extricated from his
chest, and the noise stops.

Mycroft rolls his eyes, for once he forgets he is above all that. 'Don't be daft. This is just... a rampart, more practical than your mask, y should say. Nobody can exist without a heart, not for long', he says pointedly, 'not as oneself anyway'.

'Then, why are you wasting my time!?' He explodes, rising to his feet. This is cruel. There is so much to do...

'I'm merely keeping you ocuppied while my people makes the place safe for you to meet her'.

'Her?'

'Did you know she's alive?' Mycroft looks at him for a second. 'What I am saying? Of course you did.'



9. You should never let it rule your head

      The Woman helps, in her own way


He can see she's delighted.

Before she can speak he growls his command, making it sound as indisputable as he can manage, given the circumstances: 'Give it to me'

'Men! Coming back from the dead and that's all they have: demands'. Irene pouts.

'I don't have time for this'

'Okay', she says, feigning annoyance. 'It's not as if I intended to keep it forever, I owe you after all. I'm not so ungrateful.'

Sherlock exudes relief from every pore. 'But', his hair stands on end, 'you must know a couple of things: when it was trusted to me it was in a
very bad shape, I barely could keep it working. You cannot give it back to him like that, that would destroy him'

'I... can't. I don't know what to do...'

'Use that perfect brain of yours. Or better! Use your heart. I know is somewhere under all that layers. You can do it.'

Sherlock manages to avoid drowning in the confusion that's beginning to overwhelm him and gives her a tiny nod.

'Why you?' He splutters suddenly. 'I mean, how did you get it?'

'Oh, he didn't give it to me directly; as I'm sure you have guessed'

'I never guess' He snaps automatically.

'I don't think he would have trusted me, your better half is the jealous type'

'My...' He blinks, twice.

'You're a bit slow today. Have you eaten properly all this time? Anyway, I volunteered. Oh, you would have enjoyed his face when he saw me!'

'Mycroft's'

'He wasn't very pleased to see me... But he was out of his depth, hopeless... I don't know if I could have done it better, but I promise you I've tried my best.' She pulls from her purse a small velvet bag. Inside there is an ornate key. 'Okay, I'll give you what you came for, but first...'

'What?' He's desperate at this point.

'Dinner'.



10. The game is on!

      Sherlock gets results


He takes the shortest way back to Baker Street, however it seems endless.

His steps are cautious; he doesn’t want to risk a thing. It looks so fragile... He keeps the small box tucked under his coat, pressed on his
chest, on the left side, where a low hum emerges from the lonely occupant, lulling its unexpected companion. Sherlock reviews his
conversation with Irene on his head, once and again, looking for clues, trying to decide the next step, but he finds himself at home without an
answer.

The whole house is buzzing expectantly at his actions, but he retreats to his bedroom the moment he feels John’s eyes on him, the
word ‘coward’ echoing in his head.

He puts the box on his bed and opens it. The room gets a bit colder; he can even see the steam from his breath.

John’s heart is small and beats in steady but muted rhythm. He considers retrieving the black birdcage but dismisses the idea immediately. He
doesn’t like it, at all. It’s not a comfortable place and it’s cold; John’s heart deserves all the comfort and warm the world can provide. He
decides to make a nest on his own bed, till he finds a more suitable place.


Later that night he places his blue scarf around it.


When he checks it in the morning, he swears he can feel the warm emanating.

By midday he's sure. He discards the searching of a more suitable place.



11. Yes, thank you for your input.

      About Sherlock's research


The next days are busy days.

He had neglected all the polite and social conventions that apply when someone comes back from the dead, or so it seems. He endures all the lectures and handshakes and hugs and screams and recriminations. He actually ignores them all, and takes the opportunity to do some research.


‘Fix? A heart is not a machine, Sherlock’, says Mrs Hudson fondly, ‘it needs… I don’t know, comfort, affection, hope maybe, happiness... and love, of course.’
John watches him enters in the kitchen a moment after, muttering something on the line of ‘emotions’ and ‘not my area’.


'What do you mean with if it’s enough with a soft mattress to provide comfort?’ Asks Molly, her eyes turned to the right, trying to give sense
to the sentence in her mind. ‘Don’t, Molly’
John enters in the morgue to find a red-faced Sherlock.

‘How do you show affection to others?’
‘”Give”, not “show”, Lestrade’
‘It’s the same for me. Certainly not with that look of scorn on your face’
‘You’re not helping’

‘What? Sherlock, look, if you don’t have intentions with that girl… or bloke, you should just say it. To them. It’s cruel to give them hopes, mate.’
Mike looks at him in concern,
‘What? No, that’s not what I mean’

‘What makes my brother happy? Are you kidding me?’ Harry Watson is frightening even when she whispers. Temper must run in the family, he
concludes. He’s expecting an answer but she just sits there and stares. When she finally opens her mouth to speak, John’s back with three
steaming mugs so she closes her mouth and glares at him with venom. ‘You’re gonna ruin it, aren’t you?’ She mutters.

‘What do I love? What do you mean?’ John looks at him puzzled.
‘Nevermind’. He says, turning his striped mug on his hands. Why is everyone so uncooperative? He slides down on the sofa, resting on John and
accommodating the big blanket around them.
‘Take’ He obliges and bites the custard cream John is offering him.

Why is everything so difficult?



12. I was so alone


Sherlock is a bit confused.

He can assess that John’s heart has improved (it looks healthier, bigger even) but John doesn’t. He looks… lost, absent. He’s kind to Sherlock, he always is, even when he’s upset (not that he’s very upset lately, which is extremely upsetting by itself, because Sherlock admits in his head that he gives him motives to a sprout of rage sometimes, and that is John also, and god how he misses it).

Better it’s not enough; he wants the whole John, with his good and his bad days.

Also, John hasn’t called him by his name, not once, as if he’s a stranger to him, or keeps forgetting him.

‘That hurts’, he admits in the solitude of his bedroom, sitting on the floor, head resting in the mattress, besides John’s heart. He looks intently at it. Maybe it’s time; maybe he should return it… But what if it’s too soon? Irene’s words have haunted him since then.

‘Okay, this needs experimentation’, he concludes. He accommodateshimself on the bed and cradles John’s heart in his hands with caution.

He takes a deep breath and proceeds to place it in his chest, where his own is beating, excited, expectant, welcoming.

At first is strange, he feels heavy, but not bad. Its not an unpleasant feeling.

He gets up, exultant. ‘That’s it’, he breathes. He feels happier than ever. He rushes out of his room, looking for John. He has fixed it! Now John would be himself again.

He has barely reach the kitchen when he feels dizzy, the blood in his head buzzing, pumped with the strength of two hearts beating furiously.
He can’t manage to the living room before his knees gives up and collapses, a sudden urge to scream running through his nerves.


John jumps from the sofa and kneels beside Sherlock. He frowns, his hands on his body looking for injuries.

‘Whats wrong? Tell me what’s wrong!’. He researches inwardly on his medical training fighting the panic that rises in his throat. He cannot identify any symptom, there’s no injuries and he’s feeling helpless, suddenly afraid of loosing a patient. He places his hands on his cheeks, pinning his face on place, and looks directly on his eyes, and he sees it. The pain, the fear, are his own. But not only his own. “He’s not a patient”, John realizes, “he’s essential to me”

‘Who are you?’ John demands, ‘I need to know’. There’s a crack on the mask that cover his face but otherwise the man keeps silent. ‘Please’, John begs, his voice broken. A tear runs down the other man’s cheek and the mask breaks in a thousand pieces, leaving his face bare.

John gasps and stares in disbelief. ‘Sherlock’ he mutters.

Sherlock throws himself into his arms and dissolves into tears. He wants to cry in joy, John remembers him, but the remaining feelings from the shared heart are overwhelming. ‘I’m sorry’, he says between sobs, ‘I’m so-sorry John, I didn’t-I didn't know’

God Sherlock’ John begins to cry too, hugging Sherlock tightly.

‘It hurts, it hurts s-so much’

John suddenly sobers up. ‘What have you done?’ He asks, grabbing Sherlock by the shoulders. He looks at him intently, then understands and takes pity on him.

‘Give it back to me’

‘But... No John, it’s not enough, it’s too soon... It...’

‘Hurts. I know, you idiot. That’s why... nevermind, give it back, I’m ready’

‘No, John, it’s my fault’

‘Shut up, I know it’s your fault, but it’s okay, you’re here and we have all the time of the world for you to compensate me’ He grins, and when Sherlock opens his mouth again he mutters ‘I’ve missed you’

Sherlock grins widely. ‘Me too’


End



      OMG, I'm so bad at endings... Anyway, I swear I wanted them to kiss, but though I tried it seemed it didn't fit and the moment passed... maybe next time.

      I hope all of you have enjoyed this little fic, it was a surprise how much I enjoyed writting it. Once again I may apologize for all my grammar and writting mistakes (any help in that matter is highly apreciated). Also, feel free to express your opinion about the story, I would love to know.

Fic: What is kept in boxes

Title: What is kept in boxes
Words: 221b
Rating: G (well, some mild swearing changes this?)
Warnings: not beta-ed nor brit-pickered
Disclaimer: don't own, don't earn a thing, just fun
Summary: What happens when you open some boxes?. Post TRF
AN: I'm not native speaker, so I apologize in advance for any mistake. Also, some help to fix them is much appreciated.



“Transport my arse”

John checked over his shoulder: Mrs Hudson wasn’t on sight.

He wasn’t sure how had he been convinced, but here he was: on 221c Baker Street, drowning in memories, that was.

Mrs Hudson had asked him to check on Sherlock’s belongings before deciding what to do with them: hidden treasures stored in cardboard boxes, neatly packed in perfect order. She had brought the boxes downstairs to show the flat, their flat, to a couple, potential tenants. She has told him that she needed to rent it, but she could wait for a while, for him to come back. He wasn’t sure he can, he wasn’t sure he will, so he kept silent.

“Transport my arse”, he repeated after a while, holding a possibly rather expensive shampoo bottle. He fought the tears at the smell that invaded his nostrils when he opened it. With blurry eyes he opened another box: the tinkling sound of clinking glass made him smile, and the memories of failed experiments and missing eyebrows brought a low chuckle to his throat.

He was surprised to find the white headphones in another box.

“This…” He frowned. He opened three more boxes, frantically, till he found what he was looking for. Placing it in his lap, he caressed around the empty socket. “I need to come back.”
Best birthday present EVER!!



(I love my boyfriend *_*  )

nice saturday

just this

Fic: Different points of view

Title: Different points of view
Betajuliacarmen , who has improved this so much! (thanks!!)
Words: about 2300
Rating: PG (some wounds healing, Sherlock being mean)
Warnings: bit angsty? not much, really.
Disclaimer: don't own, don't earn a thing, just fun
Summary: The same time lapse, bit after TGG, from different points of view.
Author's notes: this could be seen as bromance or something else, I guess is up to you :P


Different Points of View

 

John

 

Something’s wrong, but I don’t know exactly what it is. Certainly something is misplaced. I’m floating, numb, try to open my eyes but my eyelids feel heavy, try to move my body but I get no response from my limbs. That’s not good, is it?

After a while (minutes? hours?), I try to move again. Still no response. Then I hear a voice, a deep, soft voice… Sherlock’s voice, definitely.

I flinch, remembering a threat that I can’t identify. My limbs seem to reconnect with my brain.

“Sherlock!” My eyes open at once, searching for his long figure, but I find an empty room. Baker Street.

Am I in Baker Street? That’s odd, I don’t remember coming here. The last thing I remember is… the last thing is… Oh! My head is a mess. Think, John, think… I grab my hair with both hands till my head aches a bit. My heart races, all I can hear is the pounding in my chest. I remember being at the flat. Then I went out, heading for Sarah’s place and… and... Oh God, the pool!

“Sherlock?!” My heart is racing so fast that I can barely breathe. There’s nobody here, there’s nob…

“Calm down, John.”

I turn towards the voice. How long has he been standing there, right next to me?

“Wh-where have you been? I didn’t hear you come in! What’s going on, Sherlock?”

“This fidgeting isn’t doing you any good.”

“I’m not fidgeting! I’m calm. I’m fine.” More or less. Actually, I just noticed a worryingly sharp pain in my chest. A broken rib? When? The pool, obviously. (Hm, too much time spent with Sherlock, I’m borrowing his lines.) But how? I can’t remember.

“Sherlock, please tell me what’s going on. I’m freaking out.”

“The doctors think you’re doing fine. They’re being cautious in their assessments, but I can tell: they’re easy to deduce. They think you’ll be fine.” He grins. I frown. I start to ask exactly what the doctors had told him, when I hear a woman’s voice behind Sherlock.

“What are you doing here?”

“Can’t I talk to my friend?”

“Who is she?” I want to know.

“But Mr Watson is... indisposed! He’s...”

“Dr Watson, actually.” Nobody seems to listen to me.

“You’re hovering. Don’t you have better things to do? Nick some Oxycodone for a little after-work high? Spread malicious gossip about the Viagra fiend with the record-breaking erection next door? Maybe you should go home to your hoard of cats that--” I hear footsteps and a stifled sob as the nurse hurries out. I wonder distractedly if one of Mrs Turner’s “married ones” is a Viagra fiend, and what the record for priapism is, before recalling how Sherlock’s words had affected the woman (I’ve definitely spent too much time in his company. Not that I’m complaining, mind).

“That’s cruel, Sherlock.”

“Well, she’s annoying.”

“But she doesn’t deserve that. Whoever she is.” The pain in my chest is growing. Two broken ribs? Three?

I realize that I am standing in the middle of the sitting room, and feel a sudden need to sit down. Moving towards the sofa I hear a soft beep. Where is it coming from? It’s rhythmic, sounding like--

“Listen.” Sherlock whispers in my ear, startling me.

“What the…?” His habit invading my personal space is a bit unsettling.

“I’m sorry.”

That’s… unexpected.

“I’m really sorry.” A pause. Did he just hesitate? “I would understand if you… I won’t stop you if you decide to move.”

“What? I don’t intend to… Sherlock! What have you done? Put a dead body in the loo? Wait, I told you my mug wasn’t for experiments!” The pain in my chest grows and my vision blurs.

“I understand that I’m not a good influence, not for you.” Sherlock continues softly. “That’s obvious. I put your life in danger at least once a day--”

“At least,” I grin. “Sometimes six times before breakfast.” And I enjoy it, even crave it. Is this madness?

“Though I could reduce that rate by keeping the biohazards out of the kitchen,” he mutters.

“Yes. Wait, did I hear you right? I need to sit down.” My vision is becoming increasingly foggy. I close my eyes for a second. The beeping is getting louder. The sofa feels odd, not sofa-like at all...

Sherlock’s soft, deep voice vibrates in my ear, making me dizzy. “I, hmm, I don’t want you to go, John.”

I’m puzzled. Why would he think I’m leaving? It’s comfortable here. My head is spinning and my ears buzzing (a concussion? When did I hit my head?). The thought of leaving, of living a different life, with no mad chases across London, no dramatic unmaskings of murderers and conmen... It’s unsettling. I don’t want my life to change. It’s fine. It’s all fine (except perhaps for those biohazards in the kitchen. They can go).

“The fact is that everything is… less boring with you around, John.”

I smile. “Likewise, Sherlock.”

The buzzing in my ears is slowly fading, now the rhythmic beep is clearer. I open my eyes, which water a little in the glare of the lighting, and close them again. When did I lie down? Oh, of course, that’s it, it all makes sense now. My head feels clearer by the second, though the rhythmic beep of the heart monitor is becoming the aural equivalent of Chinese water torture. I open my eyes slowly, adjusting to the LED glare of hospital lighting. Baker Street had been a dream. Had my conversation with Sherlock been part of the dream? His voice had seemed so real.

I roll my head to the right, taking in the monitors and IV drips, the oxygen concentrator, and Sherlock. I feel a surge of pure joy at seeing the mop of black curls resting inches from my right knee. I’d like to think it’s the painkillers making me high, not Sherlock sitting by my bedside like the lovesick heroine in a soap. My smile widens, and I stretch my arm as far as I can, until my fingers manage to brush against his curls.

“I’m not going anywhere.”

 

---

 

Sherlock

 

The nurse is gone, finally! Lestrade will not return for at least half an hour (45 minutes if he runs into Mrs Hudson), and no other visitors (Mycroft) should be annoying me at this hour. I have mastered the art of hoisting myself into and out of the wheelchair in spite of the heavy, abominably itchy casts. John’s room should not be difficult to find.

The black-suited babysitter Mycroft set on me holds open the door with a wink, promising to turn the doctors and nurses away so my absence will not cause undue alarm. (He owes me a favour for covering up his idiocy during a jewellery heist at Mycroft’s manor last year.)

I note that the corridor is empty, the nurses having congregated in their break room to exchange malicious gossip over cups of sour coffee. I push the wheelchair down the corridor as quickly as I can, past the nurses’ station where a lone nurse is busy reading a trashy novel.

I duck my head as I roll past, the wheelchair gliding in perfect silence (having been carefully oiled with the salad oil from my otherwise untouched lunch).

I can’t help smiling as I reach John’s room seven minutes later. It was almost too easy, though my heart is now racing from the effort of manoeuvring the wheelchair, and there is an unpleasantly sharp pain in my chest. Mycroft’s other minion is missing from his post in front of John’s door, probably off flirting with that buxom young nurse with the dyed blonde hair. I’ll scold Mycroft later for the incompetence of his staff. I manoeuvre myself backwards into John’s room and carefully close the door.

I take a deep breath before turning towards the bed, and feel another sharp stab of pain in my chest at what I see lying there.

“John.” My throat is painfully dry. I try to clear my voice. “Hello, John. I thought I’d stop by for a visit.” I sound stupid. How aware would someone as comprehensively medicated as John be of his surroundings? Not enough data on hospital sedation, I should do some research once Lestrade has brought me John’s laptop.

I decide to keep talking as if John can hear me. Odd. It happens a lot when I’m near him: my doing things without any logic or reason. “What have you done to me, John?”

The beep of his heart monitor begins to speed up. 69 bpm, 82 bpm, 97 bpm. He is twitching, dreaming of panic and confusion.

“Calm down, John. This fidgeting isn’t doing you any good.” A frown line appears between his brows. Is he in pain? The painkillers must be wearing off.  His face looks terrible, pinched and grey. The bandage around his head makes him look oddly small and helpless.

I lift the sheet to evaluate the rest of the damage: crushed ribs, dislocated left hip, second degree burns along the right half of his body, innumerable cuts, scrapes and bruises. Oh, John. John, I...

 “The doctors think you’re doing fine.” I swallow with difficulty. They had said it would be a long recovery, that some of the damage may be permanent, that they couldn’t rule out the possibility of brain damage... “They’re being cautious in their assessments, but I can tell: they’re easy to deduce. They think you’ll be fine.” I grin encouragingly, as if he could see me, and his face seems to relax, the frown line between his brows fading a little. I could have imagined it, though. I admit to myself (if never to anyone else) that painkillers affect my skills of observation a bit.

“What are you doing here?”

I jump in alarm, not having heard anyone come in. Her voice was familiar. She was one of the nurses I had heard gossiping as I slipped past the nurses’ break room. “Can’t I talk to my friend?”

She crosses her arms, which are riddled with old scratches, and looks at me doubtfully, apparently unable to believe I have any friends. “But Mr Watson is... indisposed! He’s...”

Unconscious, damaged, in pain. I know. I don’t need a flat-footed nurse to remind me. I wrinkle my nose, noticing the faint reek of cats. There are hairs on her uniform that she had missed with her lint roller. “You’re hovering. Don’t you have better things to do?”

I notice that her speech is hesitant and a little slurred. I look up at her tired eyes, her shoulders sagging with fatigue, a light sheen of sweat on her face and neck. Her pupils are slightly smaller than the harsh LED lights would account for. “Nick some Oxycodone for a little after-work high? Spread malicious gossip about the Viagra fiend with the record-breaking erection next door?”

Her lips tremble as she attempts to look offended, managing only to look ashamed. One more deduction and I’m shot of her. “Maybe you should go home to your hoard of cats that--”

She turns and flees the room. I sigh and turn back to John. His frown seems to have deepened again. Oh, that was probably a bit not good, what I had said. John would think badly of me if he had heard it.

 “Well, she’s annoying.” Is a fact, but it sounds like a poor excuse.

I pull the wheelchair closer to the bed. I'm tempted to shake him awake. He would look up at me and I would be free of this constant, distracting worry. I lean over the mattress as far as I can (not being able to bend my right leg is... uncomfortable to say the least). Would he smile at me when he wakes? Or would he be upset?

“Listen,” My throat hurts again and I pause, at a loss for what to say. Well, first things first. “I’m sorry.” I sigh, I can do this. “I’m really sorry.” You’re hurt and it’s my fault. “I would understand if you...” blame me, hate me, leave me... ugh, it’s an uncomfortable thought. “I won’t stop you if you decide to move.” I frown. That was a lie; and he would know it if he could hear me. But it seems that I cannot stop talking now I’ve started, and it’s making me panic. “I understand that I’m not a good influence, not for you. That’s obvious. I put your life in danger at least once a day. --Though I could reduce that rate by keeping the biohazards out of the kitchen.” Perhaps I should have kept that information to myself. He might wake to ask exactly which biohazards have nearly killed him without his noticing.

But I’ve done good things for him as well, haven’t I, however selfishly motivated?  I could create a safe storage space for those biohazards, if it would keep him with me. “I, hmm,” Words are choking me. I enjoy his company. I can’t tell him, but he must know, he’s not an idiot like other people. Despite all the risks, the death threats, the bit-no-good things I say and do, he stays, he always stays. “I don’t want you to go, John.”

I stare down at him for a while. He’s doing fine, he’ll be fine, and we’ll solve crimes and chase criminals again. “The fact is that everything is… less boring with you around, John.”

I ease myself back into the wheelchair, feeling suddenly very tired. I lean forward and rest my head upon the mattress, just for a few minutes to regain my strength before returning to my room.

I must have dozed off, however, because I imagine John talking to me, brushing his fingers against my hair, assuring me he’s not going anywhere.