Fandom and/or Prompt: BBC!Sherlock/any other TV or Film Sherlock Holmes ; Sherlock, Sherlock Holmes ; falling through reality. Prompt from padawanpooh.
Warnings: References to drug use.
Notes: Written for consci_fan_mo-Day 3. Full Metal Beta provided by filthgoblin. Comments and concrit welcome.
Summary: Sherlock misses his old vices. John offers him something better.
He missed the drugs.
There. He’d said it. Or at least thought it. Not so much the rush itself, but rather the subversive thrill associated with scoring. The knowledge that he, a gentleman of a certain class, with a mind as finely honed as any he had ever encountered, would willingly associate with the most vile and desperate of criminals to feed his addiction…
Damn it! Just the memory of the various dangers he’d skirted or the repulsive creatures he’d been forced to associate made him feel more alive than he had for the past week of stultifying respectability.
Sherlock looked at John, doing something on his laptop, clearly content to waste his time somewhere in cyber-space, perhaps even discussing some inane entertainment offered by television, when a whole filthy world throbbed just outside their front door.
Having chosen to quit without assistance from any maudlin support groups or benevolent deities, he lacked a nonjudgmental kindred spirit to share his longing with. John would be more than willing to listen of course. His patience and placid temperament were great gifts to Sherlock in providing a sounding board for his detective work.
This wasn’t the same.
Sherlock could face anger, hostility, fear and even contempt. If he wanted that kind of abuse he could ring up Donovan, or just spend a few extra hours inside his own jangling head. What he feared was pity.
He had given up the drugs not for his own well-being, but to avoid the clucking tongues and averted eyes as he staggered down the street, his very demeanour an affront to all things respectable.
“This is futile,” he announced, the sound of his voice rather shocking him with its hoarseness.
“What is?” John quickly responded, leading Sherlock to believe that his purported involvement in the frivolous pursuits offered on line was a façade covering the genuine concern that he’d been loath to express.
“This,” Sherlock repeated, making a gesture that dismissed not only their living quarters, but the whole world and his very life.
“That’s where you’re wrong,” John replied.
“Prove it,” Sherlock demanded.
John got up and walked across the room to where Sherlock had been lying on the couch. Sherlock looked up, not deigning to actually move. John was holding his hand out, indicating that Sherlock should take it.
John’s face was a picture of compassion, and Sherlock was both touched and amused by what he assumed the gesture meant.
“Really, John? Is that the best you have to offer? Shall you heal my existential ennui with physical intimacy? Do you not know me better than that?”
“I do, Sherlock. And difficult as it may be, I ask you to trust me now. I believe I can shed some light on your dilemma. Take my hand.”
“Oh, why not?” Sherlock sighed with a certain amount of exasperation, although his mind was becoming engaged with curiosity as to what exactly John might be offering and why he had chosen this particular moment.
At first, the clasp of hand in hand provided nothing save the actual sensation of touching and the reminder of just how long it had been since he’d had physical contact with a fellow human being, but then he felt a rising warmth emanating from John’s hand, a heat that made Sherlock feel as though he were being scorched from within. The instinct to pull his hand away was nearly over-whelming, but John’s grip was too strong. Inhumanly so.
“What on earth…?”
“Not anymore, Sherlock.”
Quite right. His very body was fragmenting, a terrifying thought, only because it meant he must be losing his mind. As he felt himself being reduced to the most sub-atomic particles or whatever those Quantum Physics fellows called it, Sherlock became aware with great clarity that he was actually falling through reality. He had no body to speak of, nothing physical to latch onto, only his prized intellect. However John had achieved this miracle, it hardly seemed to prove that life had meaning, but rather the opposite.
Where was the journey taking him? And what had happened to the conductor of this particular wild ride?
“John?” he attempted to call out, only to be stymied by the lack of a mouth or any other vocal equipment. Yet he sensed that John was still near him, although what “near” meant in this state of non-corporeality was anybody’s guess.
The fall went on long enough for Sherlock to start worrying about the mundane things that he might miss if he didn’t return to his solid state.
At last, Sherlock became aware of himself as a physical being again, but he was surely not at home on his couch or even at Baker St. He was in a place of darkness and cold where the air was so thick with dust that it threatened to choke his lungs and the ringing sounds of mortar and gunfire that could easily have left him deaf. Then there were the screams; divided, he supposed, into those of fear and agony although such distinctions were arbitrary in such a situation.
His mind sorted the screams back into their component parts and he found some of them to be men speaking contemporary, colloquial, sometimes profane English and others to be a language he thought might be Arabic.
“Pashtun, actually,” said John, although Sherlock couldn’t see or truly hear him.
Then he knew. This was Afghanistan, and somewhere out there, the “real” John was about to receive the injury that would change his life and eventually bring him into Sherlock’s life. John had managed to take Sherlock into his nightmares, an action far more intimate than anything Sherlock could have imagined.
Sherlock was touched by this gesture and the selflessness it represented on John’s part. He’d have to ask John how he’d accomplished the feat. One would assume some kind of powerful hallucinogen delivered topically. Impressive, most impressive.
“Finally got your attention, did I?”
How was it he could feel John’s smile, when he couldn’t actually see anything.
“Lesson learned. We can go home now.”
Sherlock felt just the edge of panic tingling through his bloodstream. Real or delusion, this was not a place he wished to stay for any length of time. Then he realised the formulation that was being sought.
“I want to go home.”
The ride was smoother this time, as Sherlock tried desperately to catalogue the actual sensations, so he could re-live them at some point in order to analyze the experience, although in his heart he suspected there was a strong similarity to the drug high, which was so difficult to describe beyond the most banal verbiage. He could only hope this experience was less addictive.
If he could feel his head he would have cocked it, waiting for some amused comment from John. None was forthcoming.
He was back on the couch. Slightly dry-mouthed, he noticed, but that meant he had a mouth to be dry and that was a very good sign.
As his eyes regained their focus, he spotted what appeared to be small valise opened to reveal a contraption that was completely unfamiliar to him. It could either have been a bomb, or photographic equipment, or perhaps something of a medical nature. There was a large elastic on his wrist, reminiscent of the nicotine patches he’d used to try and break another addiction.
Oddly enough he wasn’t inclined to panic or demand explanations. Nor would he reduce himself to a cliché by announcing a new leaf of any kind. He would be the man he always had been, but something had changed. Something had changed between him and John as well. What exactly that was remained to be seen.
In the meantime, they were still holding hands and Sherlock wasn’t inclined to let go just yet.
“Where did you learn that trick,” he asked, choosing to feign nonchalance.
“Something I picked up from a fellow I met in the service. Bit of a madman, bit of a mercenary. Went by the name of Cobb.”
Psssst....I'm soliciting prompts for a "Drabble-a-Day" project. Feel free to drop some Here