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19 November 2010 @ 05:12 pm

Title: Trust it's a Game (3/?)
Rating: R
Fandom: Sherlock
Characters/Pairing: Sherlock/John
Warning:  Torture, eventual noncon
Word Count: 1,702
Disclaimer: Characters belong to Doyle, Sherlock belongs to BBC
Summary:    Moriarty finds a way to torture Sherlock by forcing him to torture John.   
Author's Notes:
Still working on Runs in the family.  And have been working on later chapters of this. Woo this is a tough one.  So please watch the warning. 


NOTE: Chapter two has been revised!  It was missing something and I realized it was Moriarty.  You can read this fine without it but if you wanted Moriarty . . . well he's there.  :)  



Everything hurt.  Different from Afganistan, where pain had been focused and sharp.  This was a full body throbbing with his pulse. 

He had been left alone after Sherlock’s visit.  His hands thankfully left untied, though his right one useless.  He had spent nearly half an hour painstakingly inching his jumper off his arm between puffs of breath and groans of pain.  Eventually he was able to remove it, grateful he had chosen the loose lumpy one the day before.  Then it was a matter of wrapping his undershirt round to hold his arm to his chest.  It hurt like hell.  The bones surely not in the right position, as much as he shifted it, but it was immobilized and clamped against his chest.  He’d need surgery to set the break when they got out of this.  When.  

John wasn’t so thick that he didn’t understand Moriarty was playing another game.  Wasn’t so trusting that he wouldn’t be able to see past his affection if the detective ever decided to abuse him.  But this was wrong.  It tingled in his subconscious, little sparks of worry, little trails of anxiousness.  Whatever his lover’s nemesis had in mind it was meant to dig in deep and nettle its way into their minds.  These wounds were meant to fester into something else entirely.  John let his head rest on his knees, pinning his arm protectively between his legs and chest.  Moriarty wasn’t sending Sherlock dashing about London this time around, he was performing open brain surgery.  And John felt so goddamn useless.  Was this his curse?  To be the tool to cut Sherlock to pieces? 

Not if he could help it. 

John forced his body to relax.  Pushing the tension out of his fingertips and urging his muscles to loosen.  He needed to gather himself, to be ready when they made their move.  Sherlock needed him to be ready. 


Moriarty gently cradled Sherlock jaw in his palm, the detective’s stomach turned as he realized he was mimicking Sherlock holding John’s face the day before.  Had it been a day already?  He strained his neck to remove his chin from the bastard’s fingers.  Moriarty just smiled before turning to look through to John’s room.  The doctor had been still for hours.  Not sleeping but a sort of forced restful state, with his eyes closed and his good hand resting in his lap.  Almost as if he were meditating though Sherlock had never seen him do so before.  He looked better.  He hadn’t yet put his jumper back on since pulling it mostly off yesterday, it had been hell watching him struggle with it.  It hung around his shoulders like an oversized scarf, still draped through one arm, though loose and sliding off. 

“I’ve been trying to decide what your next little project should be.”  Moriarty’s eyes ran over John, they twinkled with excitement.  “The break was fun.”  He turned so he could watch Sherlock’s expression.  “Though you did make quick work of it.  His face was absolutely priceless!”  Moriarty twisted his expression to one of shock, eyebrows pinched together much like John’s, though Sherlock could say with relief it reminded him nothing of the man.  Moriarty couldn’t mimic John’s eyes.  “Sherlock-“  but he could mimic his voice right down to the gasp of pain.  Sherlock cursed himself for flinching, for giving the mastermind exactly what he wanted.  Moriarty cackled, his head thrown back dramatically as he brought his hands to his stomach.  “You two are a piece of work!”  His face fell as he watched Sherlock, eyes wide as if he were reading him.  There were these moments where Moriarty dropped his act.  His mask fell to reveal him as he truly is, pure calculating evil.  He looked through Sherlock like he was studying the eternal workings of a clock that he was about to dismantle.  It was unsettling to say the least. 

“I thought we might use one of my toys this time around.”  Moriarty hopped up on the table and gestured to one of his ever present thugs.  He ambled over instantly a black bag held in his massive hand.  “I’m trying to keep a nice progression going.  You know work up to the good stuff.”  He winked at Sherlock, his smile twisting up the side of his mouth.  Fear trickled from the base of Sherlock’s skull at what the ‘good stuff’ could possibly entail.  “I think a little blood this go around is in order, what do you say Sherlock?”  The thug pulled out a long leather whip and Sherlock’s heart fell somewhere into his stomach.  “You can speak Sherlock.  The rule only applies to Johnny boy.”  He was grinning at him now, letting his fingers curl absently around the rough leather of the whip. 

Sherlock attempted indifference, forcing a bored look at the weapon.  But he knew he was failing.  “What’s the point of all this?”  He set cool eyes to bore into Moriarty’s.  “You have me torture John and then what Jim?  It seems a lot of wasted energy for little result.  You could use me for any number of things and here you let my brain rot away in trivialities?  I thought you were intelligent enough to use your tools for their rightful purposes.” 

Moriarty’s smile grew bigger, a feat that seemed impossible.  He slid off the table and leaned into Sherlock’s face, his lips hovering over the detectives.  “Ooo nice try Sherlock!”  His voice was a purr as his lips grazed Sherlock’s before he pulled himself up again.  “What better use can I put you to but to have you destroy yourself?  And how better to do that then to watch you destroy John Watson.”  He turned to John sitting against the wall.  “Yes I think the whip will do nicely.”  He spun the handle in his hands before dropping it in Sherlock’s lap.  “Eight lashes we’ll say.   On his back of course.  I want each to bleed or you’ll have to do it over again.”  Sherlock was hauled up by one of the men and shoved toward the door.  “Same rules apply.  And come Sherlock have a bit of fun would you?” 


John opened his eyes at the sound of the door.  Sherlock stood with a whip in a white knuckled fist.  He looked worse than he had ever seen him.  His skin was far too pale and lines dug into the smooth flesh under his eyes.  John’s skin tingled with apprehension and his chest tightened at the look on the detective’s face.  John could read Sherlock, had been able to instinctively, nearly from the beginning.  And what he saw skirting behind his lover’s eyes made his heart ache.  Sherlock was falling apart and they had barely begun this game

He blinked and the detective was kneeling in front of him again.  John watched his face as Sherlock wrapped his arms around him hands carefully sliding the jumper further up.  He let his forehead rest against John’s as he pulled the undershirt up to reveal more bruised flesh.  John couldn’t suppress the gasp as the material tugged at his arm.  The undershirt was left to rest across his shoulders.  Sherlock hands stilled then at John’s sides, fingers light on his skin.  He looked far away, his eyes clouded with emotion.

“It’s not your fault.”  It was whispered through John’s lips but lacked none of his army bread authority.  He let his free hand roam to Sherlock’s slacked fingers and squeezed them reassuringly.  “Ok let’s get on with it shall we?”  He gritted his teeth and pulled away.  Sherlock’s eyes widened as John shuffled, turning in the detective’s hands until his face was toward the wall and his spine open to the room.  “He wants a fucking whipping we’ll give him one.”  Sherlock looked down at John’s exposed back now between his knees.  His mind flashing to those instances when he had admired it before, another time John had been vulnerable before him and he had first run his hands against the hidden skin, tracing scars and birthmarks with his fingers.  He shook the thought away, not wishing to link that moment to this.  But it was impossible.  How would they survive this if they couldn’t escape their own minds?  “It’s not you it’s him.”  John’s voice startled him back to the present.  He had a sudden urge to kiss the protruding vertebrae but thought better of it.  He got back to his shaking feet and practiced swishing the whip a bit to his side, it smacked the air and pricked their ears.  John didn’t flinch.  “Just get it over with alright?” 

Sherlock swallowed the bile rising up his throat and let the whip fall hard, trying to gauge the pressure it would take to open the skin and what areas were better suited for it.  John jolted but then let his breath out through clenched teeth.  The whip left a clean red strip from shoulder to hip.  It bled mostly near his spine, oozing slowly down his back.  He let the whip fall again, not willing to torture John with waiting for it.  The second strip was smaller, he had used less pressure and it still bled.  Good.  It wasn’t until the fifth lash that John’s breathing became haggard.  The noise started Sherlock out of focus and suddenly his senses were flooded with John’s hitched breath, his trembling arms, and the blood now gathering at the back of his trousers.  The sixth lash fell, leaving a dark maroon welt but it didn’t bleed.  Sherlock nearly fell to his knees at the sight.  That lash would be purely his doing.  He had caused John that extra hurt.  Obscenities built behind his teeth but he chocked them back.  The last three lashes were finished as fast as he dared.  John had slumped into his knees but remained sitting.  His back glistened in the light and Sherlock felt he might be sick.  He threw the whip as far away from himself as he could manage but his hands felt just as filthy.   “Sherlock.”  John’s voice was calm though strained.  “Listen to me alright?  It’s not-“  John heard the door thud shut behind him and buried his face in his hand. 

12 November 2010 @ 04:03 pm
Title: Trust it's a Game (2/?)
Rating: R
Fandom: Sherlock
Characters/Pairing: Sherlock/John
Warning:  Torture, eventual noncon
Word Count: 1,146
Disclaimer: Characters belong to Doyle, Sherlock belongs to BBC
Summary:    Moriarty finds a way to torture Sherlock by forcing him to torture John.   
Author's Notes:
Still working on Runs in the family.  Nearly done with that one but this was just begging to be purged.  OH MY GOD.  I want to get to these other really intense chapters but I have to get through these first.  That's why's it's taken so long.  So if this seems rushed let me know and I'll try to fix it.  

“But Sherlock this is for you!”  Moriarty grinned, trailing his fingers along the detective’s shoulder.  “I know how much you like to play with John Watson.”  He whispered as if he were spreading locker room gossip.  Sherlock schooled his features in a scowl to hide any further expression.  At the pool Sherlock had realized his tolerant flatmate had somehow become his dearest friend.  Shortly after the pool Sherlock realized he was in love with the army doctor.  And just as easy as everything had come with John so had that change in their relationship from friend to lover.  And now Moriarty had seen all their cards.  Twisting it all into collateral and John into a game piece. 

“Assignment number one, Sherlock!”  Moriarty giggled like an enthusiastic school teacher as he dropped his hand on Sherlock’s shoulder and guided him to the door leading to John.  The room was lit in harsh fluorescents, John was sleeping propped against the wall.  “I need two broken bones.  Any bones you wish aside from the obviously unacceptable ones.”  Sherlock let out a mocking huff and in one swift movement Moriarty had Sherlock’s index finger bent backward.  His teeth were gritted in a sneer, his expression murderous.  “Don’t you ever laugh at me unless you want me to personally rip every limb from John Watson’s body.”  The threat hung in the air.  Sherlock didn’t react, his face a mask of indifference.  Moriarty took a breath to calm himself, yanking Sherlock’s finger farther back and twisting it so the bones ground painfully.  Then his smile was back.  “Say for instance, you decided you were going to break John Watson’s finger.  It’s a rather small bone yes?”  He purred as he examined Sherlock’s finger thoughtfully.  “If you were to choose such a bone I’d say you’d have to break the whole appendage.  Every bone in the hand that is.”  He gave the finger one more yank backward before dropping it.  “In other words don’t go for a finger.” 

He shoved Sherlock toward the door the detective grabbed the handle automatically.  “Only two rules Sherlock,”  From his peripheral Sherlock saw Moriarty lifted his index finger.  “One: No talking.  Can’t be giving away all the fun to Johnny boy now can we?”  he lifted his second finger and wiggled the digits.  “And two: after your assignment if you toddle, I’ll just have to assume you need my help and come assist you.”   Moriarty watched him carefully.  “Off you go then!”


Sherlock let the door swing shut behind him.  John jolted awake, immediately aware and at attention.  His face swung in the direction of the detective, relief smoothing the lines on his forehead.

“Sherlock.”  The name was a prayer, ghosted from split lips.  “Are you alright?”  He wanted reassurance.  Sherlock couldn’t answer him, instead he took in John’s swollen face.  Puffed and purple and terrible.  One eye nearly shut, the other red and weary.  Sherlock bit the inside of his cheek to keep from screaming.  He could taste the blood pooling at the back of his throat and swallowed it down.  Moriarty wanted two broken bones.  He scanned over John’s abused body.  John’s eyebrows creased as he studied Sherlock’s too pale face and thin lipped grimace, concern shot through his features.  “Hey, are you alright?  Sherlock?!”  Sherlock forced himself to focus.

He kneeled in front of john.  Took a moment to control his features to mask his rage, and John watched him apprehensively.  Then he let his fingers hover over John’s face, cataloguing the abuse.  Making a mental branding, burning it right into his grey matter to pull up when he had his hands around Moriarty’s throat.  He let a finger drop on a purple cheek, John didn’t even flinch at the touch.  He was watching him carefully, waiting for direction, totally open and trusting.  Sherlock felt a stab of regret and then dismissed it just as quickly.  He let his hand rest gently against the curve of John’s jaw.  His mind swarmed for a possible escape and came up with nothing.  There was no way out.  Not right now.  He just had to see through this.  Keep Moriarty entertained until an opportunity arose.   He nearly growled at the thought. 

“Fuck Sherlock.  Say something.”  Sherlock pulled his eyes up to meet John’s, relying on their unspoken communication.  He tilted his head slightly to the right and John blinked understanding.  “You can’t.”  He whispered, slouching further into the wall.  “Ok.” 

Sherlock noted John’s hands had already been untied for his convenience.    He had a sudden image of Moriarty standing by the window watching every intimate moment.  He dropped his hand from John’s face.  Gritting his teeth in determination he shifted so his foot was flat on the ground with his knee up to act as a support.  He couldn’t waste anymore time.  He pulled John’s right arm toward him resting the forearm on his knee, absently examining the torn and oozing wrist and cataloguing it.  He had an x-ray in his mind as he scanned John’s body.  He had rejected the bones that could bring further damage in the breaking.  Also the ones that would be difficult to mend and the ones harder to get to.  Then the ones that would impede an escape and ones that could have complications in healing.  He held John by the elbow now, the doctor looking at him curiously, not understanding but how could he?  I’m sorry John but I have to break a few of your bones so Moriarty doesn’t break all of them didn’t translate in a gesture.  Sherlock locked eyes with John, willing him to read his apology if nothing else and then directed his eyes back to his task.  Without hesitating he slammed his palm down in one quick movement, first the radius snapping then the ulna, making a horrible wet noise that echoed in the room.  John jerked away, his yell choked back in his surprise.  Sherlock dove for him, pulling John back toward him.  Sure hands grasping his arm, righting the bones and holding them in place. He could feel the bones grinding under his fingers, detached and floating.  

“What-?!”  John gasped, his good eye wide, glistening with pain and fighting unconsciousness.   His shoulders trembled with shocks of agony and he swayed where he sat.  Sherlock pushed himself to his feet in one swift movement.  If you toddle, I’ll just assume you need my help and come assist you.   He gave John one more look, taking in his shaking, the odd angle his arm now dangled at, his heaving chest and those still trusting eyes.  He felt a pang of shame at the relief he felt in seeing them.  Then he turned his back on the doctor and marched toward the door.  “Sherlock . . .?” His gasped name barely reached his ears before it was cut off by the click of the lock.    

02 November 2010 @ 09:35 am
Title: Trust it's a Game (1/?)
Rating: R
Fandom: Sherlock
Characters/Pairing: Sherlock/John, Moriarty
Warning:  Torture, eventual noncon
Word Count: 1,819
Disclaimer: Characters belong to Doyle, Sherlock belongs to BBC
Summary:    Moriarty finds a way to torture Sherlock by forcing him to torture John.   
Author's Notes:
Still working on Runs in the family.  Nearly done with that one but this was just begging to be purged. 

Sherlock woke slowly.  A carefully developed habit, stretching his senses to make himself aware of whatever he was waking up to.  At Baker Street this would only take a moment.  He would feel the material of the sofa against his neck, smell John’s faded cologne, hear his exhale as he quietly read the paper in his claimed chair.   Then after staying as still as death Sherlock would hop up from the sofa into a sitting position, startling John into dropping his tea.  And effectively dragging a string of curses from the doctor.  But he wasn’t in their apartment.  His hands were bound behind him, he could feel the crude ropes digging into his flesh and bent his fingers to graze the knot.  Expertly tied.  The floor was cold against his skin, cement most likely combined with the overwhelming musty smell of earth he was in a basement of some kind.   And by that expensive perfumed smell, he wasn’t alone. 

“Come, come Sherlock.  I know when you’re faking.”  Moriarty’s shrill voice pierced the stillness.  Sherlock opened unimpressed eyes at him.  “There you are!”  He was bent over him, arms clasped behind his back in a crude reflection of Sherlock’s confinement.  Three men stood behind him, clothed in black, lined up like trained dogs.  Muscles shown clearly through the thin fabric, making it clear their use.  They stood in front of a thick window that took up the entire length of the wall.  One way mirror, he suspected, it was pitch black in the adjacent room.  And there was one person missing from this one. 

“Where’s John?” 

Moriarty rolled his eyes.  “How boring.”  He leaned back on the sole table in the room gesturing with a twist of his hand for his men to lift Sherlock into a chair.  “When did you become so predictable?” 

“What do you want?” Sherlock shifted in his seat.

“To play a game.  John’s just waiting for it to start.”

“I’m done playing your games.  You’ve grown dull, Jim.  You’re repeating yourself.”

“Oh I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised this time.”  Sherlock couldn’t read the look in Moriarty’s eyes.  It was inhuman.  “It’s really quite interesting.” 

“I doubt it.”  A little voice in the back of his head, that sounded strangely like John, was telling him to stop egging him on but he pushed it away.  Moriarty was running his fingers absently over a file on the table.  Sherlock couldn’t see from his vantage point what it contained.  Moriarty smirked before shutting it with a flick of his fingers. 

“Well maybe a bit more for me than for you.  Call it an experiment of sorts.  You might learn something along the way if you pay attention.” 

Sherlock looked bored.  An expression he had tailored to Moriarty.  The consulting criminal smirked.

“I want a bruise.”  Sherlock’s eyebrows pinched in honest confusion.  Moriarty leaned in closer.  “At least a foot long bruise on your lover boy, so you might have to whack him a few times.”  He slammed his hand down hard on the back of Sherlock’s chair making a satisfying smack.  “Make it deep enough to get the full spectrum of bruise fading.  Think of it as an art project.  Use your artistic licenses, beat your initials in him for all I care.  I hear you do wonders with a riding crop.”  Moriarty was grinning wickedly, his tongue darted out to lick the corner of his mouth and Sherlock felt himself gaping.  He quickly locked his jaw back in place and scowled. 

“Fuck off.”

“Oo so obscene!  I love when you talk dirty!”  The criminal mastermind trailed a finger along Sherlock’s jaw.  The detective viciously yanked his face away. 


“No?”  Moriarty’s look was murderous.  “I ask so little of you, Sherlock.”  An obsessively manicured hand reached up to grip the detective’s face, pristine nails digging into chiseled cheekbones.  “You are going to regret that.  Saying no to me.”  Moriarty tightened his grip leaving moon shapes in Sherlock’s flesh.  “You see John is going to get a bit more colorful either way and I assure you my friends here are of the overachieving variety.”  He gestured with a thumb at the burly men standing near the large window.  “They so like what they do.” 

Sherlock’s eyes widened when he saw the men shift to position, inching closer.  “Leave him out of this.”

Moriarty laughed, high pitched and ear splitting.  “Your heart Sherlock!  How can I burn it if I don’t put a match to it?”  He gestured wildly as if a thought came to him. “A match!  Excellent!  But we’ll have to work our way up to that wont we boys?”  He smiled at his men and then turned on his heels with little more than a swish of fabric.  “Looks like Sherlock’s sitting this one out.  Let’s go see how John is faring.”  With a flick of a switch the room went dark and the adjacent one was lit.  Sherlock was now staring at a blindfolded John, bound similarly and propped against the wall. 

“Moriarty!“  But the door was already shutting, leaving the word to bounce hollowly through the room.  The only sight, John Watson (blindfold removed), shoulders tight with a solder’s control, squinting up at his captors.




“Where’s Sherlock?”  John ground out. 

“I’m sorry John.”  Moriarty pouted.  His hands in his pockets, his whole demeanor relaxed.  “Sherlock said he didn’t want to play anymore.”  He crouched until he was eye level with John, their noses almost touching.  “So I guess that just leaves us.  And my friends of course.”  As if on cue the three large men abandoned their post around the room and approached John.  Moriarty stepped back, grimacing as if imaging the mess.  “Now, now boys.  Remember the rules.  Don’t break him!  At least not yet.”  His tone was the same used for overzealous children with a delicate new pet.  “And you,”  He touched one on the shoulder with a finger on his shoulder.  “Let’s keep our trousers up shall we?  We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves!” 

The drones moved forward after that, forming a semicircle.  John was pulled up roughly by his arm still trapped behind his back.  He tried to get his feet under him but the knot at his ankles and the jarring grip of his handler(determined to hold him up off the ground, was preventing it)  He bit back a groan as his shoulder twinged at the abuse.  He had been trained for this.  And Moriarty wasn’t going to break him on day one.  The madman rocked back and forth on his heels looking bored.  John spared a thought for Sherlock, hoping that the fact he had Moriarty’s attention meant that the detective was safe.  He was ripped from his thoughts by a fist connecting to his abdomen, careful not to hit any ribs and subsequently ‘break’ him.  Then they moved to his face, sending him reeling, his head whipping back.  They were coming faster now, quick blows all over his body, meant to bruise, to mark.  He felt blood filling his mouth from a cut lip and took some satisfaction in spitting it in a goon’s face, only to receive a reprimanding blow to the shoulder, making him gasp and his vision blur. 

Moriarty’s voice echoed suddenly in the small space, a shrieking giggle of a sound that made John shutter. “Ooo do that thing that I love!  You know where you use your hands . . .”  John’s mind supplied him with horrible images of what that could possibly mean.  He didn’t have to wait long to find out however as his shirt was yanked up and hard callused fingers were pushing under his ribcage.  John clenched his eyes shut as Moriarty squealed in the background.  “That’s it!  Oh you know what I like!”  The fingers pushed deeper until it felt like they must be pressing against his internal organs, shoving the oxygen straight out of his lungs and stretching his skin until it would rupture.  The impossibly huge hands gripped his ribs in their palms as the fingers could go no further and John was sure he was about to pass out.  Moriarty pushed himself off the wall looking bored again.  He crossed his arms and approached John, looking him over carefully as if he was inspecting his lankys’ handy work: the fingers still under his ribs and the ones yanking his head back.

 “Well boys, I think play times over for now.  Johnny’s looking a bit tuckered out.”  John was dropped, landing painfully on his bruised hip.  “I’m going to have a chat with Sherlock, see if he’s changed his mind.  I’ll be back in a bit Johnny boy!”  The door slammed as the last goon exited and John curled around his abused stomach.


Moriarty didn’t look the least bit surprised in seeing Sherlock standing, the ropes discarded on the floor, his hands in fists.  “I wouldn’t if I were you Sherlock.  But if I were you I wouldn’t put so much weight in one person.  It’s so easy to shake John Watson in front of you and make you dance.  Like a trained dog.”  Moriarty tisked, hopping up on the table in one swift moment, crossing his leg over his knee. 

Sherlock had watched the whole scene.  Wanting desperately to run in and murder John’s abusers.  But Moriarty was far too clever for that.  There was a camera visible in the corner of the room.  Along with another small window.  There were close eyes being kept on the room and Sherlock couldn’t risk John.  Not without a plan. 

“What do you want?”  Sherlock repeated the sentence from earlier, forcing the words between his teeth trying to keep the desperation from his voice.  Eyes darting to John still visible in the brightness of the room laying on the floor then dragging them back to stare down the man responsible. 

The consulting criminal was flipping through the file again.  Sherlock had already looked, in his desperation to orient himself with the room, formulate a plan.  It was John’s medical file.  Carefully marked with all his weaknesses with particular attention to his psychological ones.  “Trust issues it says.”  His finger slides down the page.  “And yet the first day tagging along with you he kills my cabbie to save your arse.”  Moriarty lifts his eyes to Sherlock, hand flattening to lean into the file.  “What sort of charm do you hold over that army doctor, Sherlock?”  He eyed him thoughtfully, Sherlock didn’t answer.  They glare at each other for what feels like minutes.  Moriarty’s face is still with curiosity his eyes wide, it’s the first undeguised expression Sherlock has seen on his face.  It’s terrifying.  Then it’s gone and he is grinning again.  “The rules are simple.”  He meanders to Sherlock.  Close enough that the detective could touch him if he dared.   “You hurt him a little or I hurt him a lot.” 

26 October 2010 @ 01:39 am
Title: Runs in the Family (6/9 maybe)
Rating: Pg-13 for language probably
Fandom: Sherlock
Characters/Pairing: Sherlock/John, Harry/Clara
Warning:  Slash, child abuse, alcohol abuse, spouse abuse, mentions of suicide and eventual mentions of drug abuse
Word Count: 1,482
Disclaimer: Characters belong to Doyle, Sherlock belongs to BBC
Summary:    Harry's losing it and John is picking up the pieces but will he let Sherlock in? 
Author's Notes:
Oh my god.  It's been a long time.  But I've been feeling . . . I don't know . . . uninspired.    If you are still reading this stick with me.  I'm looking forward to the next chapter.  I have to salvage my crappy portrayal of Sherlock in the last chapter.  Feedback would be wonderful! Also a tentitive question, anyone interested in being a beta?  I would really like someone to bounce ideas off and to help me improve.  I don't feel like I'm getting much better.  X_O

John sat staring at a framed painting on the opposite wall. Hung in the same spot since before he could remember, not quite center on the wall across from the sofa, a large stain stretching from the left of it, bubbling up the wallpaper.  It depicted a man sitting solemnly beside a body of blue green water.  It wasn’t a particularly good painting, John couldn’t even say he liked it.  It was disproportioned, in a way that said the artist was trying too hard.  It reeked of failure.  John let out a puff of air.  “Maybe you should move.”

Harry groaned and rolled over on the sofa.  She stared blearily at her brother, sitting in nearly the same pose as the painting, arms wrapped around his legs and chin resting on his knees. 

“I mean why stay here?  There’s nothing here worth anything.”  John was talking at the painting but he could feel Harry’s eyes on him.  He turned to find her scowling, clearly not interested in this line of conversation.  He shrugged. “Just seems like its holding you back is all.”

“Fuck, John.”  Harry pulled her pillow over her head her arms dropping back to her sides dramatically.  “I don’t even want to think about that right now.” 

He hated this house.  They both did.  It was too heavy on them.  Oppressive.  He pushed. “The plan was to move as soon as you found another place.  So move.  Sell it and be done with it.  Burn it if you must, it might actually improve the block.” 

“John my head hurts.”  Harry growled.  “I don’t want to talk about this.”

“You haven’t even rearranged anything. At least burn that fucking armchair.” John pointed to the ugly blob of furniture that Harry had her legs draped over, their father’s imprint permanently pressed into the cushion. 

Harry pulled her feet back as if the chair had suddenly burst into flames at John’s command and scorched her feet.  Catching herself she sat up with an angry grunt, flinging the pillow from her face.  It landed next to John dragging his focus to its stained yellow sides, and ripped corner, sad and exposed having long since been stripped of its case.  “I didn’t plan on staying here.” Harry conceded.  “I want to feel different before I leave.”  She dropped her face in her hands with a growl before looking back up at John.  “I don’t want to drag all this shit around with me.” 

John noted the sweat matting her hair to her face.  Her flushed cheeks on otherwise pale skin.  She had gotten thinner since the last time he saw her.  That awkward reunion coming back from Afghanistan sitting in a hospital bed in a drug fog.  She had bounded in with glossy eyes, a stale smell of wine on her breath and Clara missing from her side.  She smiled while he yelled at her through pain clenched teeth.  And she pulled a small flask out of her bag just to spite him.  Watching him as she took a long swig. 

 “Alright.”  He nodded, shifting slightly to relieve his numb legs.  They sat in silence with Harry watching him her hands kneading the blanket as if she were preparing to say something.  “What?”  John said finally jarring Harry into speech. 

“You think I’m just like him.”  Harry snatched the pillow back up with a quick aggravated swipe. 

“Who?”  John cringed as the word left his mouth.  He knew who.  Sherlock would tut at him for being so obtuse.

“I’m not.”  Harry shuffled down the couch again.  Pulling a blanket up over her shoulders and then kicking it off with a frustrated sigh. 

“No.  You’re not.” 

Harry’s voice was soft when she finally responded making her sound younger.  “You don’t remember him before the alcohol.”  John winced.  They had had this conversation before.  “He wasn’t so bad before mom died.”   They had all these conversations before.  Recycled words that came easily but tasted the same; old and microwaved. 

“You’re not like him.”  John reiterated through clenched teeth.

He forced back the building tension, unclenching his fist and leaning back to rest on the corner of the sofa, stretching his legs out in front of him.  His eyes fell on a particularly hideous sofa pillow thrown in the corner of the room.  It was something straight from the sixties, a dirty yellow with an ugly brown floral pattern.  John smiled despite himself.  Choosing his words carefully.  “Remember that time I had nothing to wear to school?”  He started slowly, eyes on this pillow as the memory formed itself.  He could hear the couch creek as Harry turned to face him.  “I think I was six or something but I had nothing to wear and we searched through mom’s old stuff, because she had been so tiny, and I went off to school in that horrible brown turtleneck?  The one with the yellow stripe through the middle?  Like a slop of butter on a slice of burnt toast!  It was terrible!”  John chuckled to himself.  “But I rather liked it-“  He dropped his head back to see her reaction and felt a jolt through him at her  to find Harry staring at seeing her watery eyes.   

“John, it’s not funny.”  John’s eyebrows creased in confusion. “Jesus Christ John.”   Harry’s mouth gaped before she clamped it shut with a click of her jaw.  “You aren’t telling me you forgot why we had to search through mom’s clothes at 4 in the morning before dad got up so we could find you a turtleneck?!”  Harry’s voice was strained as if caught at a fork between crying and screaming.  John felt the skin prickle at the back of his neck and tore his eyes away from his sister. 

“I forgot.”

“You forgot!  Fuck.”  Harry’s hands trembled where they clung to the sofa cushion. 

“You always made it alright.”  John blurted.  The words spilling from his mouth before he could analyze them and Harry looked at him as if he’d slapped her.  “Shit no.  I didn’t mean it like that.  I mean you made me feel . . . normal.”  The tension he had just managed to release returned with a vengeance nestling in his spine.   “All I remember is being upset about going to school and you taking my hand and going through mom’s clothes.  It was like an adventure.  It was about wearing mom’s jumper and you rescuing me.” 

“Yeah?”  Harry looked angry now, her fingers digging into the cushions making her knuckles white.  “Not about dad finding you in it after school?”  John felt his face flush as the memories leaked from a door he had boarded up years ago.  “Not running out of the house in nothing but your undershirt and trousers, in the middle of winter, until he left for work half an hour later?  That doesn’t filter in does it?  You just remember the fucking jumper!” 

“Jesus, Harry Stop it!”  John got to his feet, noting with a quiver of anger how shaky his legs were.  Standing he had no idea where he was going so he stood with his hands in fists.  “You see?!  This is why I hate coming here!  I come back here and I have to be seven years old again!  I can’t do it!”  John dropped his face in his hand trying to regain control of himself.  “God and you’re such a fucking contradiction!  You defend him one minute and the next you’re yelling at me for not recounting all the gory details!  I don’t even know why we are even fighting about this!”

 “Because you forget, John!  You forget and leave me to remember everything!”  Her hand came up to press against her temple.  “I keep every bloody detail and you’ve managed to box it all up and move on!  It’s not fair.”  Tears had leaked from Harry’s eyes and her body shook with angry sobs. 

John’s shoulders slumped in defeat.  “I don’t know what you want from me.”  He sat back in his spot on the floor dropping his chin on his knees.  The pose made him look seven again and Harry shuddered.  “If I remembered everything I’d go crazy.” 

Harry snorted humorlessly.  “Or drink.” 

John’s hands dug into the fabric of his jeans but he forced deep breaths.  Ignoring the comment he pulled out his phone.

“Texting your boyfriend?”  Harry spat, more vicious then she intended.  “He must be a nice distraction.”  John wasn’t giving her a reaction.  “Tell him I said ‘hi’.”  Silence stretched between them as John sent his text and Harry laid back down resting her head on her arms and staring at the man in the painting.  “I never rescued you.”

“Of course you did.”  John said finally, eying Harry carefully.  She didn’t respond, rolling over to face the back of the couch.  John sat in thought, listening until her breath evened into sleep. 

27 September 2010 @ 08:29 pm
Quick sketch for Make Me a Monday. 

26 September 2010 @ 10:11 am
This came out of a doodle.  I intended to paint Mycroft Poppins in a dress . . . ah well.  Next time. 

24 September 2010 @ 09:42 am
Title: Runs in the Family (5/?)
Rating: Pg-13 for general drama in this chapter
Fandom: Sherlock
Characters/Pairing: Sherlock/John, Harry/Clara
Warning:  Slash, child abuse, alcohol abuse, spouse abuse, mentions of suicide and eventual mentions of drug abuse
Word Count: 1,874
Disclaimer: Characters belong to Doyle, Sherlock belongs to BBC
Summary:    Harry's losing it and John is picking up the pieces but will he let Sherlock in? 
Author's Notes:
Tell me if I overdid it with the drama here.  I have this plan to tie it in but I don't know if it's just too much.  Feedback would be wonderful!  I could always rewrite it. 

EXTRA WARNING:  Mentions of suicide in this chapter!

Sherlock stared vacantly at a boiling test tube before shutting the burner off with a huff.  He had managed to make an impressive mess in John’s absences in the search for a distraction, having found nothing.  Lestrade was useless, which wasn’t surprising and John hadn’t texted him all day.  He was positively jittery with energy.  He considered pulling out the laptop and pulling up every file he could find on John.  It would be easy.  Then he could piece together his history, perhaps find the source of those dreams and that would occupy him until John came back and then he could confront him.  But he had made a promise never to invade on his privacy in that way.  Though of course that promise was made under the assumption that John would tell him so he wouldn’t have to.  He considered tracking him down but pulled out his phone again instead, sending another message to his unresponsive companion.  And then blessedly there was a knock on the door.   Sherlock’s head shot up from the screen and with a swish of fabric he was off the couch and down the stairs taking them two at a time.  Flinging the door open to find a blond woman, hair pulled back in a sloppy pony tail, glasses perched on her nose and a jacket pulled tight around her.  Her eyes were red rimmed telling him she’d been crying though she was smiling kindly now.  And he noted the bruise, not fully covered by her foundation stretching along her jaw.  It seemed Harry was making a mark on everyone these days. 

“You must be Sherlock.”  She said presenting her hand. 

“And you’re Clara.” 

“Good on you, you got it in the first try.”  She smiled.  “I’d be more impressed but we all know John keeps few acquaintances and with the current Watson drama I was likely to turn up.”  Sherlock blinked a bit surprised at the woman.  Despite her appearance (the bruise marking her in a way) Clara was not a weakling.  “Is John in?”

“No.”  Sherlock nearly pouted but restrained himself.  “I’d don’t know when he’ll be in.” 

“Didn’t say when he’d be back or where he’d gone hu?”  Her teeth clenched through her smile.  “Typical Watson behavior.”  Sherlock felt himself nodding in agreement, already feeling a strange sort of kinship with the woman. 

“Would you like to come in for tea?”  He asked, surprising himself.   He felt a strange desire for company and more so for answers.

“Love to.”  Clara walked up the remaining stairs.  “And I’ll catch you up, since I’m sure John hasn’t said a word.”  Her voice was laced with frustration, like someone use to dealing with this situation.  Sherlock was staring at her intently, at her easy submission of information.  She turned at his hesitation and shrugged.  “Hey I wasn’t sworn into secrecy.  I’m free to say whatever I like.  And God help me I remember being desperate for someone to talk to me when I first started seeing Harry.  We’ve got to stick together now, Sherlock, if we have any hope at all of surviving the Watson siblings.” 



“You checked yourself out?”  John had stormed through the front door to find Harry sitting on the couch in a t-shirt and shorts, boxing items around the living room. 

“I can just as well sober up here.” 

“Damnit Harry!  The rehab is meant to ease you through it, keep you away from temptation!”

“I don’t need it.”

“Right, ‘cause this has worked so well before.”  He stretched his arms out to indicate the mess of empty bottles and take away containers, of strewn laundry and boxes. 

“I can do it this time.”


“You’ve never taken me to a rehab before.”  Harry looked up from her box accusingly.  And that was the truth.  They had never taken their father either.  It was an unspoken rule, an unconscious reflex, to not involve anyone outside the family.  John focused on the box she was packing, noting it was filled with Clara’s things. 

“And it never stopped did it?”  John swiped a weary hand over his face not sure if he was talking about his sister or his father and realizing there was little difference.  “Besides.  You’ve never been violent before.”  Harry froze, her hand trembling a bit where it was holding that wrinkled band shirt before dropping it into the box. 

“I’m not dad.”  Harry said softly.  More to herself than John.  “I don’t need rehab.”  She said finally, focusing on closing the box.  “I can do it myself.  And I don’t need my baby brother looking after me so you can run home to your genius detective and forget I exist.  That’s what you want to do, isn’t it?  Well, I free you from your responsibilities here, Johnny.  Go home.”  There was a viciousness in her voice, her temper rising as John attempted to stem his own.  “But before you go can you take this with you?  I imagine Clara has no intention of seeing me again.”  She kicked the box fiercely sending it sliding across the floor to bash into her brother’s feet.  John sighed and dragged his tired limbs to sit beside Harry on the couch. 

“Fine.” They sat in silence a moment, that one word hanging in the air as they both examined the opposite wall.  John sighed.  “We’ll stay here.”  He reached out, entwining his fingers with his sister’s.  “But this has to stop Harry.  It has to work this time.”  Harry didn’t respond.


“So what do you know?”  Clara sat with her legs crossed, the mug held in both her hands, warming her palms. 

Sherlock squinted where he was lent against the doorframe.  The truth was he didn’t know much besides what he had deduced the first time he used John’s phone.  His fists clenched at his side before he shoved them in his pockets.  It never mattered before John- people, and feelings and pasts unless they directly related to some criminal motivation.  And now he cared and it mattered and it was . . . .aggravating.  “Both parents dead, one living sibling.” He started.  “Harriet Watson, older sibling by at least two years, married but undergoing a divorce,”  He paused to eye Clara’s reaction, she didn’t so much as flinch.  “an alcoholic.  Father died before John went to war.  By John’s distaste of alcohol I imagine his father was also an alcoholic.  Mother was out of the picture much earlier than that, having either died or left.”

Clara nodded, the mug still pressed to her lips.  Realizing it was her turn to jump in she brought the warm tea to rest on her knee.  “Died.  Killed herself.”  Sherlock’s eyebrows rose at that.  He was leaning toward dead, John had high morals and a strong protective sense, not something you see in abandoned children.  He hadn’t considered suicide though, that seemed like something that would mark someone, show up clearly on their face and Sherlock wondered if he was missing something.  And again found himself frustrated by how little he knew about John. 

“I wouldn’t be too upset.”  Sherlock’s focus return to Clara who was looking at him understandingly.  “I only know a bit more because I’ve got six years on you.  And six years ago Henry Watson was still alive.  And things only get said when their being dealt with.”  Clara shrugged and took another sip of tea. 

“Susanna Watson was a manic depressive.”  She continued.  “I only know that because we worry Harry is too.  It seemed it was manageable until after she had John.  Harry was about five when john was born.  Susanna would have episodes locked in her room for days, Henry was working or sat in front of the telly, so Harry was taking care of John. “  Clara went to lean her chin in her hand and winced at the pressure on her bruise.  She sat back instead hardening her face and continuing.  “It was a pistol.  Harry was eight John was a little over three.  Harry was in school.  John was in the room.”  Sherlock’s head shot up and his chest tightened.  Clara had the decency to look guilty for saying it and Sherlock felt a sudden jolt of shame at not having waited for John to tell him. 

A dozen questions raced through Sherlock’s already overactive mind as his heart ached painfully.  It was a terrible feeling really, this caring business.  When he spoke his voice was rough.  “Harry told you all that?”

“Harry’s favorite topics when she’s drunk are her parents and Kate Winslet.  And Harry is drunk a lot.”  Clara’s hands tightened around the mug.  “Anyway.  Harry and John spent their adolescence taking care of each other.  Their father was a drunken, abusive bastard.  And Harry seemed to inherit the worst of both parents.  Though she wasn’t violent until recently.”  Clara said in a breath.  “Makes you want to forgive them anything hu?”

Sherlock was scowling.  John wasn’t to be pitied.  And Sherlock was sure that was the reason he never told him.  John didn’t want sympathy and Sherlock wasn’t going to give it to him.  He did however wish Henry Watson was still alive, if only so he could murder him.  “So what’s happening now?”  Sherlock asked between gritted teeth. 

“Now?”  Clara finished her tea with a gulp.  “John’s probably trying to get Harry to detox.”

“Why, if it’s never worked before?” 

“It worked once.”  Clara corrected.  “After Henry died we had a sort of intervention.  Harry was good for nearly a year.  Really good.  The best I’d ever seen her.  Then John went to Afghanistan and she fell apart.”  Clara set the mug on the only uncluttered corner of the coffee table.  “It seems John’s doomed to be the catalyst to the mental instability of all the Watson women.”  Clara’s eyes widened as she realized what she said.  “That was terrible of me to say.  Please don’t tell him I said that.” 

“What do we do?”  Sherlock cut in.  He didn’t mean to sound so desperate.  He had hoped that after knowing what was going on he could help but this was beyond him.  People aren’t simply fixed.  They can’t be worked out and corrected.  He felt even more helpless then when this started, juggling all this damning information.  He regretted talking to Clara.  He should have waited for John but a part of him argued John would have never said anything. 

Clara was smiling sadly at him.  “We wait until they need us.” 

“What does that even mean?” 

Clara shrugged.  Sherlock imagined she’s had years to harden herself to this.  “It means if we rush in there with our arms open they will bite our fingers off like cornered dogs.  They need to know they need the help before they’ll take it.” 

Sherlock wanted to punch the wall, he wanted to throw his mug across the room but he was the epitome of control and instead only gripped it tighter.  “Then why did you tell me?”

Clara considered him carefully, taking her time to answer the question.  “So you don’t leave him.”  Was her simple answer. 

Before Sherlock could argue his phone buzzed at his side.  

Won’t be home tonight.  Don’t wait up. 

22 September 2010 @ 10:07 am

Title: Runs in the Family (4/?)
Rating: Pg-13 for general drama in this chapter
Fandom: Sherlock
Characters/Pairing: Sherlock/John, Harry/Clara
Warning:  Slash, child abuse, alcohol abuse, spouse abuse and eventual mentions of drug abuse
Word Count: 820
Disclaimer: Characters belong to Doyle, Sherlock belongs to BBC
Summary:    Harry's losing it and John is picking up the pieces but will he let Sherlock in? 
Author's Notes:
This chapters been a long time coming!  I'm sorry.  I was afraid of ruining it.  Hopefully it came out all right.  It was suppose to be longer but it seemed to end there so I let it. 

Next chapter Clara apears!  Yay!

He had woken to find John dreaming.  But it hadn’t been a war dream.  Where John is a soldier clawing through Afghanistan, shouting orders, dodging bullets, jerking off the bed to press his hands painfully into Sherlock’s side mumbling about too much blood.  His arms jutting out to fight and hold and shoot and save.  No.  Sherlock knew those haunting and this had been something entirely different.  It was too . . . still.  John lay with his arms flat against his sides and trembled.  His teeth clenched, not making a sound.  It was the most terrifying thing Sherlock had ever witnessed. 

Then it was over.  His features relaxing with a breath.  And unnerved, Sherlock found himself downstairs making tea and attempting to block the image from his mind.  John was never helpless.  Never so vulnerable, not even when he has given himself over to Sherlock and they are sprawled out on their bed tangled in each other’s arms.  There is always a sliver of control.  To see it gone, stripped from the man and leaving him that shell, it made the detective furious.

He didn’t know what to do.  He stared into the mug of tea, now lukewarm in his hands.  John was his go to for emotional matters.  He was as solid as the earth and knew the depths of people as well as Sherlock knew blood analysis.  So Sherlock was at a loss when John was the emotion in question.  He needed his help to help him.  He gripped the mug so hard his knuckles were as white as the porcelain, before dropping the mug on the side table and following John down the stairs. 

He found him slumped against the wall with the phone pressed to his ear.  Yesterday’s trousers pulled up and buttoned around his waist.  He looked tired. 

 “Can she do that? . . . ok. Yeah.  I’ll take care of it.”  John ran a hand over his face.  “Thanks.”  He stood there, shoulders slumped, seemingly oblivious to the detective behind him. 

“John-“  The doctor jumped and tried to hide it by focusing on putting his phone in his pocket. 

“Sherlock, I have to-“

“I’m going too.”

“It’s alright I-“

Sherlock set his jaw now trying to stem his anger.  “-can handle it right.” He voice was deadpan, almost harsh.  “I want to.  I’m bored.  It has nothing to do with you or any interest I have in your well being.  I’m simply bored.”  John stared with wide eyes.  “Does that help?”

“I’m sorry.”  And he meant it.  Sherlock could see it in the lines of his face.


“Harry’s a mess, Sherlock.”  He tried that half smile, the one that said this was all a silly little nuisance not worthy of Sherlock’s attention. 

“I like mess.” 

John slid a weary hand over his face.  “She’s the worse yet.  You don’t want to meet her like that right?  Just . . . give me a few days to work things out.  She just needs . . . “  John tensed at Sherlock’s expression and then drooped in resignation.  His forced smile morphed to frustration and his hands pulled at his hair.   “I don’t know.  I don’t know what she needs but I’m what she’s got.  And this is what we do.  Families right?  We pick up pieces or sweep them under the rug if we need to.  Get them out of sight.”  John took a deliberate step back.  Sherlock matched his step forward and John blurted, his anger rising at being pushed, “I don’t want you to see!” 

John stopped at the admission.  His hands dropping to his sides as he searched his companion’s face.  Sherlock had set up his mask and was as impenetrable as ever.  John’s face was a haze of swirling emotion, none of which Sherlock could grasp.  And they were always so good at reading each other that this strange territory, this place where they didn’t recognize one another, was truly frightening. 

“Just- just let me fix it ok?”  Sherlock saw John’s eyebrows crease in frustration at the near whimper in his voice.  “Just give me a little time and I’ll be right where you need me.”  He moved to kiss the detective but Sherlock didn’t concede, using his height he didn’t bring his lips down to meet him so John settled for kissing him on his jaw before jerking away, grabbing his coat and making for the door. 

“I haven’t hidden anything from you, John.”  He finally said, unable to mask the hurt in his voice as John stopped.  “Because I trust you.”  John’s hand tightened on the doorknob, then he was gone.  The door closed softly behind. 

Sherlock considered shooting at the wall to ease his frustration.  He settled instead on pulling out his phone and texting Lestrade for anything that could possibly occupy his mind and keep him from chasing John down and shaking answers from him. 

19 September 2010 @ 10:59 am
Another Mycroft sketch.  Because I like to draw Mark Gatiss.  That's the truth of it. 

19 September 2010 @ 12:06 am
Title: Truth
Rating: PG-13
Fandom: Canon
Characters/Pairing: Sherlock, John, Mycroft, Father Watson, Mother Holmes, James
Warning:  Mention of death
Word Count: 1,500 (EXACTLY!  I had a hard time ending it!)
Disclaimer: Characters belong to Doyle
Summary:    When their mother gets sick the Holmes boys meet the Watson boys
Author's Notes:
For the challenge

Sherlock watched his brother approach the door of the quaint little country house with all the air of their father.  His shoulders were pulled tightly back and his feet moved so intentionally that they never scuffed the clay colored dirt.  It was such a pathetic portrayal that Sherlock had to look away, focusing instead on the door opening a crack and a boy a bit younger than Mycroft looking out.  He hadn’t been sleeping, Sherlock noted by the bags under his eyes and his sluggish movements.  His clothing, though faded and terribly washed out, was neatly ironed.  Military perhaps.  But only recently so.  They showed wrinkle around the seems, obviously new to the concept.    

“Hello, How may I help you?”  The young man smiled but it was forced, rehearsed.  Obviously a trait adopted by someone use to greeting strangers on behalf of others.  Family business.  Hence why they were there.  To see the doctor. 

“May I have a word with James Watson Senior?”  His brother asked with his own brand of forced politeness.  Sherlock noted that perhaps older children had a higher expectation of falsified behavior. 

“I’m afraid my father no longer doctors, sir.” 

“Yes.  I had heard as much.  But our mother’s ill.  There is no other doctor in miles and it will be raining any minute now.”  The blond man looked up at the clear sky as if for answers.  Sherlock scoffed, dragging the his attention to the younger Holmes for the first time.  How observant. 

“It looks clear to me.”  He said slowly dragging his eyes away from Sherlock. 

“Please.  Just a word with Doctor Watson.”  Mycroft Holmes wasn’t one to say please.  Not to a doctor’s son at that, who looks to the skies for enlightenment.  Sherlock scowled but looked away a bit concerned with the worry in his brother’s voice.  He took a step closer to Mycroft. 

James Watson Jr.  For the use of Senior, told him that Mycroft had somehow deduced that the oldest was a namesake.  Sherlock would have to ask how later though it was probably something as dull as having heard it mentioned in town.  James Jr. let out a sigh leaning his forehead momentarily on the door frame. 

“What’s wrong with your mum then?”  His formality dropped Sherlock noted.  His shoulder’s seemed to droop with fatigue a strange, sad look to one developing a military stance.  

“An escalating fever and a terrible cough.”   Sherlock looked at his brother curiously.  He knew that Mycroft could spout off a fairly accurate temperature just by touching their mother’s forehead and that he could give an account to the minute of when each symptom started.  He could probably place weather her cough was a throat or chest issue.  His brother however had more tact than he and wouldn’t scare people away with his massive observational list.  At least not while standing in their doorway. 

Suddenly a loud clap of thunder sounded overhead causing the Watson boy to jump.  He looked at Mycroft as if he were some sort of soothsayer.  “Ok.  Let me talk to my father.”  He eyes squinted as if the idea was painful to him as he opened the door wider.  “You can at least bring your mother in from the carriage before it begins to rain.”  He cast one more skeptical look at Mycroft before walking into the house.  Mycroft trotted to the carriage for their mother and Sherlock strained his ears to listen to the voices in the house.  But they were talking in hushed tones and he couldn’t make out a word except for ‘John’ and a mumbled order to meet the people at the door.  John came darting out toward the front door, his too-long sun blonde hair bouncing into his eyes as he absently pushed it back with a small hand.  He nearly bumped into Sherlock in his distraction and smiled apologetically.  A real smile, unlike their older siblings. 

“Hello, I’m-“

“John Watson.”  Sherlock butted in, his face a mask of indifference.  John’s eyes widened slightly but then his smile returned as he stuck out his hand. 

“And your name is?” 

Sherlock glanced at the hand with a scowl and sighed in dramatic exasperation.  “Sherlock Holmes.” 

John pulled his now awkwardly extended hand back to his chest.  He frowned at it as if it was offensive and his cheeks blushed a faint pink before it was covered with a smile again.  Before Sherlock could comment on the behavior Mycroft came through the door holding their mother by the elbow just as The Senior Watson shuffled out of the adjacent room with his son trailing nervously behind.  Sherlock could immediately smell the alcohol on him though his eyes looked clear enough.  The reason, he assumed, why the good doctor was no longer in practice.  The man did look neat enough though.  His clothing still done up in a habitual military fashion.  His hair combed back, possibly just before entering the room.  He had a thick blond beard and sharp eyes.  “I’m no longer doctoring.”  He said though he pulled out his medical bag with a sigh.  “But I can’t just let you go untreated.  I’ll look you over and you can stay until the rain stops.” 

“Thank you, Doctor Watson.”  Their mother spoke with an unexpected grace for someone who could barely stand.  They followed the older Watson into another room.  Sherlock watched them go with concern unchecked on his face. 

“She’ll be alright.”  The boy’s hand was on his shoulder as he spoke softly to him.  Sherlock jumped back in surprise, shrugging the hand off.  Anger surged through him at being caught so vulnerable. 

“You’re mother died recently.”  He blurted with every intention of being hurtful.  John recoiled.  His face lax with shock, before recovering and smiling sadly. 

“Yes.  She died two months ago.  Did you hear that in town?”  He asked as one who has been meeting many strangers who knew too much about the Watsons.

“No.  I could see it in your clothes.”  Sherlock pointed to the wrinkled shirt and the dirty trousers.  “Your father and your brother are both military men and know how to care for their clothes.  You are too young to be in the military and do not have that same imbedded upkeep so you had someone else doing it for you, your mother, who is no longer around to do it and your father and brother aren’t concerned about your appearance.”  John looked embarrassed at that but stuck his chest out.  “They do not care about your appearance for the most fitting reason, that your father is no longer in business.  I assume because of his drinking which most likely began in extreme after the death of your mother.   And your hair.  It is grown out enough to be bothersome.  A mother would have noticed and had it trimmed.”

“Yes.  That’s all right.”  John nodded.  His fingers fiddling with his hair thoughtfully.   “That was rather brilliant actually.  Well done.”  That was not a response  Sherlock was familiar with and looked John over very carefully.  “You don’t have to worry about your mum though.”  John stuttered out suddenly.  “ I mean she’s not going to end up like my . . . I mean it’s not . . ..”  He took a flustered breath to get his emotions under control before he continued.  “She’ll be fine is what I’m trying to say.” 

“And what are you a doctor too?

“A doctor’s son.” 

“I see, that qualifies you to diagnose my mother?  Tell me.  What did you see that would assure you she is as ‘fine’ as you put it?”

“Her eyes.”  John smiled again, Sherlock found the expression rather fitting on the boy.  He was definitely one who wore his emotions on his face.  He shrugged.  “I’ve seen lots of eyes come through here and you can always tell the ones who are going to walk out alright.  She’s got a fire in her eyes.”

“How cliché.”  Sherlock waved a disinterested hand.  “I hope you don’t plan on a career in writing.”  John laughed openly.  His eyes sparkling at the strange boy.

“You say whatever you think don’t you?”  Sherlock was surprised by the question.  More so surprised that John was still talking to him when he was putting in a great deal of effort to scare him off. 

“I do.”  John nodded with that goofy smile on his face. 

“I appreciate that.”  He looked back in the direction their family had gone.  “It feels like a long time since anyone said anything truthful.”  Sherlock found himself tipping his head in agreement without realizing it. 

“What’s your favorite color, Sherlock?”  Sherlock blinked. 

“I don’t have one.”

“That’s unfortunate.”  John was as lighthearted as ever.  He phased through emotions faster than anyone Sherlock had ever met.  “You seem like a purple to me.  All mystery, and nobility and wisdom.”

“And mourning.”  Sherlock added automatically. 

“No, not for you.”  John smiled, unconsciously placing a comforting hand on Sherlock’s shoulder.  Sherlock let it stay.