11a9il4 prompted me with toffee. Er, this is really only vaguely relevant to the prompt. But never mind, eh?
John quietly nudged his way into the bedroom as he prodded at his face: half-numb, thanks to the dentist’s work. A toffee had ripped out a filling yesterday evening. The inconvenience was a blight, but it was the I-told-you-so expression on Sherlock’s face that still rankled.
You’d think his lover would be more sympathetic, but no. John hated the dentist, but rather than keep him company, Sherlock had stayed curled in their bed while John went to the emergency appointment at the start of the working day. Now, after an interminable wait, he was home, and Sherlock hadn’t budged. He was sprawled across the mattress, half-tangled in the sheet, his eyes closed and his ribs swelling with every steady breath.
Despite himself, John felt something tender eclipse his foul mood. He adored Sherlock in all his whirling, brilliant madness. Watching him work was as captivating as it had been the day they met, but it was these moments that John treasured. No one else got to see him this way; the view was John’s alone to appreciate.
As quietly as he could, he shed his clothes, leaving everything in a pile on the floor before he slipped in next to Sherlock’s lean form. The cool Autumn air had chilled his hands, and he heard Sherlock’s gasp as he slipped his palm over the plane of that slender waist.
He expected to be chastised, but instead he got a grunt of welcome and a whispering symphony of cotton as Sherlock turned and enfolded him in the curve of his embrace. A pointed nose nuzzled at his ear, but the kiss he received to his cheek was a ghost of sensation: a hint of Sherlock’s usual devotion thanks to the anaesthetic.
‘Didn’t feel that,’ John muttered grumpily, trying not to slur.
‘Bit happy with the needle, was he?’ Sherlock asked, shuffling down a little way and opening one sleepy eye to examine John’s face before he nipped at the steady pulse in John’s neck: a sharp flash of sensation that made him arch his hips. Sherlock purred, and John became aware that not every inch of his lover was as languid as he had originally thought. ‘Told you not to eat the toffee.’
‘Yes, fine,’ John retorted. ‘The genius knows best. You were right. There’s no need to rub it in – Oh!’ He bit his tongue, which would hurt later, but he was happy to suffer. Sherlock had slid south, and now his curls tickled the skin below John’s navel while his mouth worked its adoring magic.
John closed his eyes, and passion blurred his praises as Sherlock proceeded to make everything better.
Allfinehere prompted me with “strut”. Written darn quick and with much joy!
Sherlock knew that a man’s walk was his signature. People’s movements were revealing; none more so than the way they progressed through their day-to-day existence.
Mycroft sauntered, never in a hurry, never a hair out of place. He gave the impression that nothing was more important than his current occupation: perhaps he was correct.
Lestrade shuffled, beaten and world-weary under the weight of the crime he saw every day. Only once the mystery was solved could he find temporary respite. His stride gained purpose, at least for a while.
Anderson would strut, false confidence peacock bright. He flashed his feathers and flapped his hands, a display to detract from his incompetence: transparent.
Then came John, hobbled and limping, the rhythm of his life thrown off by the vice of a tormented mind. Oh, his strength was as clear as sunlight, dazzling to those with eyes to see it, but his steps were those of a broken body far beyond repair.
So Sherlock turned John’s thoughts from his monochrome life and showed him the thrill of the chase. He helped him forget his cane and his war wound, and John remembered how to move. Sherlock could almost hear the tattoo of the military’s drum – a soldier’s march: unstoppable.
And he was helpless to do anything but follow that same, unfaltering beat.
221b: My john
Ossyriand prompted me with “my John”. There were so many ways this could have gone; I took the path of least resistance.
(Don’t forget you guys can bid for me in the Support AO3 Auction at my author page!)
Sherlock had always considered love bites puerile. How insecure did an individual have to be that they literally marked their lover as their possession? He had dismissed the act as juvenile until John came home with a petite dark bloom at the crook of his shoulder – easily hidden by a jumper but readily visible when he was padding about in his pyjamas.
Clearly, the girlfriend of the moment was in possession of esteem issues, though was she trying to warn off other women or Sherlock himself? Either way, it didn’t work. John had been single again a fortnight later.
Now, though, Sherlock realised his analysis had been superficial. He had focussed on appearance (obviously), rather than sentiment, and as such he had missed one, glorious facet.
John enjoyed it.
His grin was evidenced in the tooth-edged kiss he bestowed on the hard ridge of John’s shoulder. The writhe of that naked body beneath his bare flesh, soft yet strong and perfectly flawed, threatened to derail his hard-won control. John’s gasping growls only sharpened the erotic crackle in the air, and Sherlock’s moan became a purr – far off thunder – as John’s fingers left bruises against his flanks.
That blond head was flung back, the column of his neck exposed in wordless request.
John’s wish was his command.
Morningbeauvoir prompted me with “catfish”. *Shrugs* I tried, hun. A 221c for you :D
(Don’t forget you guys can bid for me in the Support AO3 Auction at my author page!)
‘Don’t. Touch. Anything.’
John froze in the doorway, the shopping dragging at his fingers as he stared at what had been their kitchen table. Most of its surface was occupied by what looked like a cross between a meth lab and an industrial accident in a glass factory.
‘Having fun?’ he asked. ‘What exactly are you doing?’
‘Distilling toxins. A thirty-five year-old man who lived alone with no enemies was found dead. House locked, no signs of forced entry. Police ruled suicide by poisoning. Mostly because his blood looked like this.’ He held up a vial of what looked like ink, black and putrid.
‘Christ, how long’s he been dead? A week?’
‘Less than twelve hours.’ Sherlock’s eyes gleamed behind the safety glasses as he extracted some liquid from one of the flasks. ‘He kept rare salt-water fish. The aquarium took a considerable amount of his living space, his money, and I suspect it cost him his life.’
John hissed in protest as Sherlock cut open his finger and squeezed some fresh blood onto a Petri dish before adding a single droplet of venom. The response was instant: coagulation and lysis – blood turned to tar.
‘So what killed him?’
‘Plotosus lineatus.’ Sherlock sighed and reached for his phone. ‘The idiot was stung by his own very rare, very deadly catfish.’
The catfish mention is indeed believed to be fatally venomous, but not in the way mentioned above. I took a little liberty for dramatic effect. Clogged blood is so much more interesting than a respiratory paralytic ;-)
Jigsawworld prompted me with safe. Not sure this was quite what they had in mind, but never mind, eh?
(You can find other 221bs and shorts archived away at AO3)
As a child, Mycroft knew that keeping Sherlock safe was an impossible task. His brother was always searching for more knowledge, more understanding, more stimulation – and his quest brought with it dangers aplenty. He climbed, both literally and figuratively, and he fell just as easily. Broken bones and brilliant eyes swimming with restrained tears; a racing mind with nothing to give it succour.
Sherlock was the embodiment of his own destruction. It had never been a case of if, only when.
Years passed, and the danger increased. The gleaming blade of that vast intellect turned inwards, and Sherlock, isolated first by unkind peers and later by choice, fell victim to its edge. Cocaine was the breaking point, when Mycroft’s gentle guidance became a cage for Sherlock’s own good. He wrapped his brother in the bars of surveillance and locked away his funds. It was all he could do: tyrannical tenderness.
Then came Doctor Watson, and rather than turning away, Sherlock took his hand, leading him on a mad race – life and death and both of them laughing all the way – through London’s streets: two halves of a legend yet to be told.
Through months and years, long absences and painful reunions, that spark did not fade.
Alone, they were nothing but embers of men, but together, they blazed.
Minim-calibre prompted me with Lurcher, which was more challenging than you’d think. I have a 221C this time, and a warning for implied animal-abuse/destruction, so it is under a read more… just in case.
John wobbled on his perch, pressing his back tight to the ridge of Sherlock’s spine. There wasn’t enough room for them both up here, but it was their only choice. It turned out the warehouse they were investigating was guarded by a veritable pack of dogs. One look at the army of growling, hungrycreatures had shaken them into action. So here they were, sat on top of a precarious stack of crates awaiting their rescue.
221b: Body Worship/Blow Job
Snogandagrope prompted me with body worship and blowjob. I sort of combined the two and made this.
Warnings for arty-ish porn? (But not really. It’s all more sort of…. implied.)
He was not prone to worship. Praise and exultation rarely escaped his mouth. Even now, inspired as he was, Sherlock traced his silent accolades across John’s skin with lips and fingertips. Each caress was a wordless adoration, punctuated by John’s quiet, breathy moans.
There was much to admire. Normally, bodies were of little interest to him beyond the evidence they could offer, but this bower of flesh was beyond any other. It cradled John himself, giving him form and substance, and it was the man within that made the construct beneath his hands so precious.
Warm skin stretched over muscle and bone: skin flushing to his command as his tongue darted over the crest and valley of each rib. The soft swell of John’s stomach, vulnerable and exposed, twitched beneath the downward skim of his palm.
John’s breath hitched, and Sherlock smirked against his waist, his eyes pressed shut to better devote himself as he ducked his head. A hint of teeth against John’s hipbone: a solid mimicry of what throbbed, hard and feverish, in Sherlock’s grasp.
‘Please! God, Sherlock, please! Ah!’
Salt and strength, John’s flavour distilled to its purest form against his tongue, and Sherlock hummed in appreciation. This man, this conductor of light, was worthy of his veneration, and he was happy to give it:
His earnest benediction.
Mylittlemindpalace prompted me with watercolour. The British weather helped with this one. “Gainsboro” is a shade of grey, and “aquarelle” another name for watercolour. Thank you, hun <3
Traffic lights gleamed like improbable supernova as the distant chime of the pedestrian crossing lost itself amidst the downpour. Domes of umbrellas rippled and danced, their unlikely arches smeared and amorphous: fractured by the water on the window-pane.
John watched it all, lost in idle reverie. Cardinal buses passed, drab and lacklustre beneath the gainsboro sky, and the rainbow of cars was reduced to muted, metallic shades. Even their lights were only embers, barely visible amidst the reflections which danced in the rippling puddles.
Everything looked as if it had been rendered in aquarelle, daubed with a clumsy brush and hints of diluted hues. When the sun came out, the city would glow, decked in the wealth of the passing weather, but for now it was nothing but a dismal dream, bland and unremarkable.
‘What are you looking at?’ Sherlock’s voice, so quietly curious, made John turn. It was such a different view; there was nothing nebulous or indistinct to be seen. Sherlock was all sharp lines and rich pigment: a plum shirt collar capturing honed clavicles in a striking vee, those silver eyes beautifully acute… Even the sensual curve of his lips and the curl of his hair were well-defined, as if he were the most solid thing in an ethereal world.
A man of absolutes amidst London’s watercolour blur.
Luciannajellyfish prompted me with Semaphore, and I finally managed to get something done for her.
On the day Greg Lestrade got his divorce, he knew where it had gone wrong. Communication. All that time together and somehow they’d forgotten how to get the message across.
Him and his ex-wife could talk all day, blink Morse code, wave their arms in fuckin’ semaphore and still not understand a word the other one was saying. They’d had lust, fair enough, and companionship for a while, but that was over, and he was left to witness everyone else making the same old mistakes.
Well, almost everyone.
He picked up his coffee, taking a sip to hide his smirk as two of the biggest kids in London had some kind of bizarre, non-verbal argument in front of him. Sherlock rolled his eyes and lifted his shoulders in a shrug, his lips pinching in a grimace as he absently picked fluff from the cuff of his coat. An apology, maybe? Respect and affection underneath the dramatics.
John folded his arms, eyebrows up and chin down, weight distributed evenly on his feet: all thin irritation and frustration over an endless supply of something both softer and stronger.
They understood each other perfectly: no words required.
They might be shagging, or they might not. In the end, it didn’t matter. Greg could see the truth – what they were to each other.
Blinksowlishly prompted me with the quadrille of certainty/perception/reality/presence. This is the result.
I am really, really sorry.
The first time he feels it, that unfathomable weight of Sherlock’s presence, they have only known each other for five days. Yet his body has attuned itself. Near or far, he always knows that Sherlock is there.
Until the day that he is not.
John sits in the mausoleum of their flat, his bare feet freezing and his hand curled over his lips holding in the noises/words/recriminations/questions/doubts…
There is something else here, but it is a fading phantasm of memories. What will leave first, he wonders. The scent, perhaps. The bouquet of chemicals and clean laundry, fresh rain and whatever Sherlock put in his hair. It has lingered with them for so long, but already he senses its departure.
A knot of grief catches in his throat. His next breath dies with it.
His body plays tricks. He sees tall dark figures out of the corner of his eye and feels a magnetic pull down his right-hand side. A tremor across his hip announces an incoming text, but his phone’s screen stays blank.
Life with Sherlock haunts him.
His legs spasms, and John gasps at the sensation, digging his hand into his flesh as he forces himself to focus. This is what’s real. This loathsome, hollow absence is his future now.
Sherlock is dead, and he is never coming back.
Semioticsofdeduction prompted me with Marionette. Oddly enough, it was Mycroft who came to mind.
Mycroft Holmes knew which strings to pull to make the world go his way. Mummy and Daddy were his first victims, their feet marching to the beat of his drum. Then came Sherlock, who focussed all the considerable strength of his stubborn will and resisted: the one marionette that would not heed the puppet master’s call and sought to sever those frail tendrils that bound them.
Yet even after all these years of conflict, something tenuous remained.
That was what brought Mycroft here, to this pallid room of painful truths. A hand lay in the curve of his palm, fragile bones beneath ashen skin: a whisper from death’s domain.
Now his skills were honed to the point where it was nations which he guided through a show of his devising. Yet what use was his quiet power when he could not save Sherlock from himself?
After years of trying to control Sherlock, he had to admit defeat. What had once been a childish battle of wills had brought them here, to their respective breaking points: Sherlock the victim of an overdose, and Mycroft a helpless observer.
Now, he could only hope that there would be someone else to take up the effort. Someone honest perhaps, who could do what Mycroft could not, and finally bring out the best in his brother.
Sophiethegeek and hummingwyrd prompted me with “Chemistry”. Ugh, I don’t quite know what happened.
Nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, lesser quantities of hydrocarbons, sulphur and a soupçon of ozone: car-exhaust. Strong ribbons of fumes wove through the air above the roads, racing across the city and filling the summer sky with smoky haze.
Parks bled with the cleaner scents of alpha-pinene, limonene and sesquiterpene – the trees adding their delicate touch to the sharp notes of freshly cut grass. Nature and artifice were locked in constant battle and cleaved ever in two by the flowing perfume of the Thames.
The river’s molecular formula was best left unconsidered: corpses, refuse, and other trifles in a suspension of silty water – less than savoury.
Yet more vast than that was the heaving cloud of every person walking the streets of the metropolis. From the symphony of perfume and cologne – too many components to quantify – to the base, animal undertone of uric acid serum in sweat, copious now in the August heat, humanity added their contribution to the stink.
Nicotine and tar, acetone, butane and a dozen other perfect poisons coiled in cigarette smoke, and the food from Speedy’s added its overture – mono-sodium-glutamate and spice, fat and carbohydrate.
The ebb and flow of it all assailed Sherlock’s nose, and he closed his eyes to savour it – this unique chemical smog.
London in a single breath.
jigsawworld prompted me with cut. I went the obvious route.
P.s. My 221bs/snippets are now all archived on AO3 :D Hurray!
A sanguine swell; claret ink on the paper of his skin. The blade trembled, arcing over the column of Sherlock’s throat like the first whisper of a bow across the strings of a violin. Blood formed a perfect line in that brief instant before gravity took hold. Then it began bead and drip. Another shirt ruined.
‘You think I won’t do it?’ the thug asked: young, not prone to violence but growing desperate.
‘No, you won’t.’
John’s eyes shone with disbelieving mirth that, even on his knees with his life on the line, Sherlock was still so quintessential. Yet anything else – silence, civility – would strike genuine fear into John’s stoic frame. If he thought that Sherlock had any doubt of his own survival, he would falter.
Yet John was not the one whose equilibrium trembled.
A shift of tension, and Sherlock exploded into action, sinking a glass shard into his attacker’s knee. The scream echoed even as Sherlock shoved the arm holding the blade away, spinning around in a flurry of fabric to turn the tables.
Gentle hands reaching out to check on Sherlock as he held the whimpering attacker firmly in place. ‘It’s shallow, might not even need stitches.’ John smiled, shaken but courageous still, and Sherlock dipped his head in acknowledgement of his words.
A healer’s blessing.
drszm prompted me with chamomile Having spent my entire day in bed being utterly non-productive, a 221b seemed like just the trick. So, er, here? Have this.
P.s. My 221bs are now all archived on AO3 :D Hurray!
On the surface, John Watson was a man with simple tastes. Army life had stripped him down to the basics; there was no room in warfare for shades of grey. Perhaps that was why he kept his complexities so well-hidden. To the unobservant which, he had to admit, seemed to be everyone else in London, John was without nuance.
Sherlock knew differently. It manifested in the strangest ways, quirks of behaviour and unexpected complexities of taste. His base state was normal enough: like English Breakfast tea – strong, dependable, easy-going. That was John on a normal day in Baker Street, but a fractional shift in situation could bring new flavours to the surface. Adrenaline and the smoky spice of Russian Caravan, a case-solved and the bright, golden taste of a pallid Oolong, a long day at work and the bitterness of a noir Assam.
All were unique, which Sherlock found fascinating, but he had his favourites.
A quiet night in, companionship and tentative peace. He would have loathed it, before John, but now Sherlock took a deep breath of firelight and chamomile and smiled to himself over his microscope.
Other people saw John in many different ways, but Sherlock knew he was the only one gifted with this insight – this interpretation of a seemingly simple man.
John’s perfect, complex blend.
I had five minutes to spare, and I’ve been thinking if 11a9i14 and their prompt too much :D Last one for today, I promise!
P.s. There are other 221bs etc at my writing page: http://beautifulfic.tumblr.com/My-Fanfiction
‘Give me your word?’ His mother’s voice was reed thin, a whisper of sound to match the fading wraith of her body. ‘Tell me you’ll stop taking those wretched chemicals?’
Sherlock pursed his lips, his hands shaking from the ebb of his high. He looked at the window, the door, the floor – everywhere except at the soon-to-be-corpse of his mother. He stayed silent.
‘Swear it.’ Mycroft’s voice was desperate, a hushed litany underscored by the metronome of the pulse-monitor. ‘I want your oath that this won’t happen again.’
After the third overdose in as many months, Sherlock did not have the strength to turn his back or voice a cool retort, so he closed his eyes. At least that way he did not have to see the helpless grief in his brother’s face.
‘Promise?’ The word felt strange on his lips, a request rather than a demand, far too tremulous for his liking. John was still staring at the object in his hands, his blunt fingers strong around its innocuous corners and the chemicals within. ‘I don’t need it anymore.’
Blue eyes lifted to meet Sherlock’s gaze, and while he could not discern every nuance of John’s emotion, he was familiar enough with pride to bask in its presence.
‘I promise, Sherlock. I’ll get rid of the box.’