Chapter 1: The Sheet
I've been to Buckingham Palace. I draped myself over a brocade sofa and looked stunning.
It all started one Thursday morning. The phone went and he got up, grabbed me from his bed to wrap around his naked body.
My heart leapt with excitement. It's one thing to cover him at night, but quite another matter to be skin on skin. Being draped around his soft, pale, warm skin, allowing me to touch his chest, his muscular thighs, touching him all over, caressing him, feeling him, his body heat – Well - um –Where was I?
Yes – he wrapped me around his body and sat down with me in front of his laptop talking to the other man who lives here with him, James or Jack? – no – John!
Anyway, the doorbell was constantly ringing and he kept yelling at it to stop which made him all agitated and his lovely skin flushed and it became all hot to the touch - Sorry, got sidetracked again. Please excuse me.
Well, some sombre-looking, but well-dressed men came and told him to come with them. They raised their eyebrows at us and fetched his clothes 'Where you are going, Mr Holmes, you want to be dressed.'
'I know exactly where I'm going.' He smugly answered and chose me over his boring black clothes. I was singing at the top of my cotton lungs with joy.
So we left the flat, I took care to cover him nicely and to keep him warm and snug.
We were taken to this huge golden-red over-decorated drawing room in Buckingham Palace, can you believe that? And we were told to wait. He sat down with me on this brocade sofa where we looked rather stunning, I have to admit. He held on to me and I could feel that he was bored and fascinated at the same time. I took the opportunity and snuggled up to him as closely as I could.
When John arrived he raised his eyebrows questioningly. 'Sherlock, what are we doing here?' He sat down next to us on the sofa.
After some inquisitive glances he asked 'Are you wearing any pants?'
He doesn't need to, stupid. I am entirely able to cover him quite nicely.
And then he started laughing. A low rumble coming from somewhere deep down in his chest, shaking him and me in a very exciting way – it was heaven!
'No, seriously. What are we doing here. Are we here to see the Queen?' John asked.
'I don't know.' Then he looked to the entrance of the drawing room to a man just entering 'Oh, apparently yes!' and then this laugh again, deep, sexy, evil – It made me shiver.
'Just once can you two behave like grown-ups!' – A nasty voice, all upper-class, snobbish, a cold fish. Ah – the brother! We don't like him, do we? No!
I decided to make the best of the situation and clung to him as closely as he would allow me which was really close and I started dreaming this little dream, involving him, me and a lot of – I was disturbed because he suddenly stood up to greet somebody.
'Mr Holmes, the younger! You look taller in your photographs!' What a cheek!
'I take the precaution of a good coat and a short friend!' Ah, witty, awfully clever, he really is good, isn't he?
'This is a matter of national importance!' Cold fish again, trying to convince him.
Oh, but he's not happy with the situation. I can feel his heart beat faster, his pulse elevating and he makes to go, but – what is that? Someone trampled on me, put his dirty shoe on me, trapped me and I'm gliding off his shoulders, helpless – I'm losing him, he's leaving me – please don't abandon me – pleeease! Thank God! - His hand caught me in the last possible moment, he held onto me, not without revealing his beautiful back to his audience, oh, he's also very lovely to look at.
'Get off my sheet!' he snarled – like a tiger!
'Or I'll just walk away'
'I'll let you.'
What? No! Help! Don't leave me here alone! I need you, I belong to you. You're mine!
'Stop it now! And for God's sakes, put your clothes on!' the cold fish again, trying to exert some authority.
He slowly exhaled and I felt the fight leaving him and then I knew I had lost out to his nasty black suit.
He heartlessly abandoned me in a little anteroom and without a backward glance he left me crumpled and alone on the floor.
I would like to be able to say I was treated like royalty there, but in the end we're all the same, aren't we? Nobleman or peasant, all sheets end up in the washing machine.
I mustn't grumble, though. I met a nice Scottish woollen plaid and we had a satisfying snuggle in the dirty clothes basket.
Sometimes when I'm alone in the linen cupboard I can't help thinking back to him, though.
I remember his beautiful body, daydreaming about being wrapped around him and keeping him warm and snug.
Chapter 2: The Purple Shirt
The Purple Shirt is a rather insecure little garment, but madly in love with Sherlock - with his mind and his body ...
I know that he likes me, maybe even a bit more than that actually, but to be honest - I'm not entirely sure.
It's nagging me that he has others beside me. A very sinister black one for instance, a chirpy white one with thin stripes and one in midnight blue which is a sneaky bastard – sorry for being so rude, but I had to get it off my chest. I always thought I was his favourite, but I'm not so sure anymore.
Last Monday for example, I could have sworn I'd be his first choice and I stretched myself on the hanger, freshly laundered, smelling sweet, ready to go with him wherever he wanted. When he opened his walnut wardrobe I was already extending my arms towards him, but then his hand brushed past me and took the midnight blue shirt. You should have seen the smug smile on midnight-blue's face, it was so impertinent that I had to avert my eyes in shame. I blinked away some tears and insecurity swamped me once again. That has always been my problem: insecurity. I can never be one hundred percent sure if I'm really worth his attention, and if he really means me and not my mother-of-pearl buttons.
Does he really like my soul or just my beautiful facade?
Because you know I really love him – there, I said it and I'm not ashamed of it!
When he came into the little shop in Savile Row that winter morning and clapped his eyes on me - Have you ever seen those eyes? Did you notice how they can mesmerize you? - When he took me into his magnificent hands, eyebrows questioningly raised, softly stroking me, gently touching my buttons, fingering my seams – Ah - Just the memory makes me shiver – From that moment on I was completely at his mercy.
So I was already madly in love with him the moment he slid me over his naked torso for the first time. I brushed over his chest, his lean and incredibly soft back, shivered with anticipation when he pushed my buttons through the button holes, closing them one by one. His long slender fingers tenderly tracing the outlines of my buttons doing so. I moaned when he tucked my shirttails into his suit trousers. When he had finished putting me on, he stroked me. Long sensuous strokes gliding across my chest and arms, admiring me. I was a perfect fit and I felt like a princess. It was the climax of my tailored life.
You have to believe me, though, that my feelings are more than skin-deep. It's not only his gorgeous outside and his gentle touch that tie me to him. No, it's his mind, his free spirit, he is a proper genius – and an outsider. And that makes us true kindred spirits, because I was and I am an outsider myself.
'Such a strong and unusual colour, we will have problems finding a buyer for that one,' the snotty sales assistant tutted when he saw me. That's how they talked about me in the shop! Day after day they sold my ordinary colleagues, the pale blues, the whites, the greys. And then he came and lovingly picked me out of this row of ordinary shirts. He chose me, made me the one.
I have fond memories of that first time he put me on. On that first night, our first night, he had been working hard, with his mind and with his body, working on a case with Lestrade. His skin was flushed and he started to sweat because of the exertion when we were chasing a suspect and in the heat of the chase he was soaking me - we became all humid and hot and sweaty… Ooh - it's quite hot in here all of a sudden, don't you think? Well, where was I? - Ah, our first night, yes - When we came home that night he carefully undressed and dropped me gently onto the bathroom floor before he stepped into the shower and I got my first good look at him. Let me tell you that I've never seen anything more beautiful. He is like one of those Greek marble statues, perfect proportions - everwhere. You should see the little dimples above – ah, well, I'm rambling - lost in memories again.
These memories are mine and I can relive them anytime I want. Because I don't get to see him in all his glory that often anymore. Recently he has acquired a row of rivals for me, some of those you already met and more importantly his mind and foremost his heart isn't entirely focused on me anymore.
Since John has moved in he has changed, profoundly changed. Yes, he is still a meticulous dresser, he always looks dapper and beautiful, but he dresses for him now and not for me. John, the man who looks at him with those longing eyes - and I can see so much in them, I see my own feelings there. I don't mind John because I think that he likes me as well. And I like John, he makes Sherlock less of an outsider. And you should see the admiring looks he aims at me when he wears me. It's a real booster for my self-esteem. Sometimes I can virtually feel his desire to rip me from his body with his teeth. To be honest, I wouldn't mind that too much, really - And yesterday it almost happened!
We were out. Me, Sherlock and John. I have taken to slumber peacefully and to snuggle up contently to his skin when I'm on him and when we're out and about, protected by his suit jacket and his coat. All my senses are focused on him, his heartbeat, his breathing, his whole being. The outside world remains outside.
So I only snapped back to attention when, coming home late, they were noisily bounding up the stairs, not caring whether Mrs Hudson might hear them. Shedding coats and jackets on the way.
In the dark kitchen John backed Sherlock against the fridge and whispered 'Sherlock, don't do that again, you know I cannot hold back when you do that!' and his breathing quickened and he buried his mouth in Sherlock's hair. Sherlock's heart started beating a fast tattoo against me and I got all excited. Sherlock put his hands in John's hair and tilted his head backwards to look at him. Then he bent down and brushed his lips against John's, moving on to his jaw nibbling it. He planted little kisses on John's neck making him moan with pleasure.
John started to touch me, ooh nice! – but then he started working my buttons, roughly, inexpertly. I flinched and he cursed under his breath 'For f….'s sakes, Sherlock, why don't you just wear plain T-shirts. These buttons are driving me crazy!' I beg your pardon? – T-shirts? – What do you mean? - Discarding me? Abandoning me? – Just like the sheet? - Don't do that to me, please! It would kill me. I don't think I could live with that kind of rejection.
'Let me do it, John,' my Sherlock whispered and helped him to undo my buttons and I could feel myself relax and melt under his touch and I slid off his gorgeous shoulders and lay on the floor. Quite unexpectedly I was eerily calm then. I peeked up at these two and I saw how happy they were. Sherlock with his naked torso, helping John out of his lamentable Marks and Spencer jumper and T-shirt and then they stepped over me and walked out of the kitchen into Sherlock's bedroom.
I remained where I was, alone on the cold kitchen floor.
Seconds later there were soft footsteps – and then a gentle hand picked me up from the floor and placed me carefully on the counter, shortly stroking over me and this light touch made me feel unaccountably happy. Outrageously and stupidly happy - and somehow confident. Because I knew then that everything would be fine and that there would always be a place for me in Sherlock's heart and in his wardrobe.
For a shirt life simply couldn't get any better!
I hope you liked it!
Comments would be very lovely ;-) And thanks for the kudos for chapter one!
Chapter 3: John's Jumper
John's jumper is a serious and taciturn type, not really a jumper of the world. He talks about his life in 221b Baker Street, a secret he shares with Sherlock and his mad crush on the purple shirt
'Pleasure to meet you. Nice day, isn't it?' The jumper noisily cleared his throat to cover the fact that he felt uneasy. He'd never been a great talker. Everybody assured him that he was more of the serious and taciturn type. 'Well?' A shy smile lightened up his serious features, his rows of beige cable-knit wool. He slightly tilted his head. 'Um – yes! Right! About me? Um - What could I tell you? Yes, I might just as well start with my rank. I'm a captain of the 5th Northumberland Fusiliers. A proud military man, an army doctor as well. Well, I say I, but I mean of course my owner, Dr John Watson.
We have been through a lot together. To my eternal shame I have never seen any live action although I have been in Afghanistan. But being a rather civilian kind of jumper, I was only ever with him when he was off duty. It's not something I'm proud of, and I regret it, but that's the way of the world. He was invalided home from Afghanistan and we didn't know where to go to first, we were very lonely and depressed for a while. But now that we live here, in 221b Baker Street in London, our outlook on life is definitely much brighter.
All in all I'm okay with life here. At least now I see some real action, with John and Sherlock chasing criminals, solving crimes and being quite heroic. They are daring, valiant, honourable men. The dark blue cardigan told me about a particularly hairy incident when John had been decked out in explosives by this maniac Moriarty and he and Sherlock had to confront this villain! I wish with all my heart that I'd been there and I thank God that they both managed to come out of it unharmed - but I'm sorry to say that the cardigan was rather boastful about it.
Anyway, I guess I have to tell you something else about John and Sherlock. It's a bit embarrassing for me – Um - Well – Let me put it this way: Living with them is quite a change to my military life – If you catch my drift. And - There is something I need to get off my chest, although apparently nobody seems to care about it, but it has to be said: I'm not actually gay. There, I said it. Just so you know what you are dealing with.
I don't know why this happened to John, he had never ever shown any inclinations to being with a man before, but after he had met Sherlock everything changed and our lives went topsy-turvy.
And there's more – Sherlock and I also share a secret! And although I don't think he wants John to know, I'm sure he wouldn't mind me telling you. Here it is: From time to time, when John's away, Sherlock comes up to our room and takes me out of John's wardrobe, strokes me tenderly with his long fingers and puts me on. He is a quite different man compared to John. Where John is sturdy and comfortable, Sherlock is lean and muscular. We're not made for each other, the fit is anything but perfect, the sleeves several inches too short, but that's not the crucial part of our relationship. When he slips me over his head, he usually sniffs at my wool as if he is drinking in my scent and then he lies down with me on John's bed and I feel his heartbeat gradually slow down and his muscles relax one by one and finally - he floats into sleep. I know that very often he is too troubled to find rest, but every time he wears me, he drifts off into a peaceful slumber easily. It makes me very proud and I feel like a father watching over his sleeping son.
Still, I admit that sometimes I don't know how to take this new life. But - I'm loyal and tolerant, up to a certain degree, and I like being with John because he's a very good man.' He broke off and listened to the soft footstep coming up the stairs, 'Ah, here he comes.'
He settled contently back on the shelves of John's wardrobe and waited. John plodded into his bedroom, only in white briefs and barefooted. He opened his wardrobe and grabbed some clothes. Obviously he had just taken a shower, his hair was still damp. He put on a pair of jeans, a plain white shirt and his beloved beige cable-knit jumper who was proud to be chosen and stretched luxuriously over his arms and chest enjoying John's body heat.
Together they went down to the kitchen where Sherlock was already busy with some experiment or other.
'Tea?' John asked and Sherlock just grunted, apparently too busy to look up from the microscope. John took this as yes and set out to prepare some tea. The jumper looked around the kitchen, his gaze settling on Sherlock who made him smile. Although he had no inclinations whatsoever to the male sex he had to admit that Sherlock was a splendid sight.
Especially in his purple shirt. The jumper blushed. The purple shirt. He adored this beautiful shirt, had done so for quite some time already. When he looked at that extremely pretty shirt, her neat little face, the glorious mother-of-pearl buttons – ah! His heart skipped a beat and he sighed. Alas, it was unrequited love because she never did as much as glance in his direction. She was entirely focused on Sherlock; he doubted that she even knew he existed. And the jumper, not really being a jumper of the world, didn't know how to change that situation.
As it turned out chance took over and played Cupid.
Later in the day John and Sherlock went out to see Lestrade who wanted to debrief them in a particularly interesting case. They all sat in a brightly-lit meeting room in the Yard, John and Sherlock next to each other, quite close, and the jumper shot admiring glances in the shirt's direction. His heart was beating wildly, he was sure everybody in the room must be able to hear it. The shirt didn't notice, though. She had her eyes closed, a look of rapture on her pretty face. Disappointed the jumper sighed again, apparently resigning to his fate.
How could chance play Cupid then?
Well, later that evening, when John and Sherlock came home, they started kissing as soon as they had entered the living room – passionately - really, it seemed to the jumper as if they could never keep their hands off each other for long – and one thing led to another and the kissing soon turned into something else entirely and the shirt was discarded on the floor and the jumper followed and landed on top of her. John and Sherlock vanished into the bedroom leaving the door open.
'Ouch!' a voice piped up, 'Get off me! You're hurting me!'
'Oh, I'm awfully sorry. I didn't mean to. How can I – Oh, my goodness. Please excuse me. Are you hurt?' and the jumper shifted a bit sideways to get his weight off the purple shirt. The shirt looked up and straight into the jumper's eyes. What she saw in those eyes disturbed her. She blinked. The jumper! She knew him, he was John's favourite. A bit plain, obviously a Marks and Spencer model, vintage, can you believe that? - But very comfy and – Wait, there was something else! – She saw undisguised admiration in those brown eyes. She had only ever seen that in Sherlock, but she was never entirely sure it was meant for her. But now and here! The jumper was looking at her and her only!
'I'm fine, actually. Thank you!' She smiled timidly up at him and snuggled a bit closer to the jumper who couldn't believe his luck. He blushed and tried to move his woollen body so that it accommodated her nicely.
'John!' Sherlock's muffled cry rang out from the bedroom, followed by moans and grunts which flustered both of them. They locked eyes, both of them blushing. Desire stirred in the jumper and without thinking he bent down and kissed the shirt full on her soft lips. Her eyes widened in surprise, but then she succumbed and melted into this tender kiss. She experienced feelings that she had only ever attributed to Sherlock so far and there was something else she felt: desire. She looked into the jumper's eyes and she saw her own feelings mirrored there.
Their kissing grew more passionate and eager, the jumper started to stroke the shirt in determination, he moved on top of her and then their movements were matching the rhythm of the moans coming from the bedroom. Slowly at first, but getting more and more urgent until the tension the jumper had felt for weeks exploded and he clenched his teeth and then let out a moan that matched the ones coming from Sherlock's bedroom.
He looked down at the shirt and she was just as satisfied as he was, judging by the look of rapture on her face. Still, sobered now, he felt a bit ashamed that he had let himself be governed by those carnal desires. He leaned down to plant a little kiss on her now plump and rosy lips. She sighed happily and they embraced and settled into a very comfortable silence and his shame dissolved into happiness – but all of a sudden he was brutally snatched away from her. He couldn't believe it; his face displayed a look of utmost horror. He extended his arms and desperately tried to cling to her, their fingertips brushing against each other for the very last time, but then he had to let go. The shirt let out desperate sob and tried to reach out to him again, but he was gone. He had to leave her behind, alone, devastated.
'Sherlock, do you want your shirt?' John shouted towards the bedroom where Sherlock was still lying on the bed, basking in the aftermath of their quick and very satisfying encounter.
'No, I'm fine. I'll dress later,' came the drowsy reply. John shrugged and put on his favourite jumper who was hanging limply on his frame. The jumper felt shattered, broken, hopeless. As if fate had allowed him just one little glimpse of happiness and then brutally snatched it away from him again.
John, entirely oblivious of the ongoing drama, walked into the kitchen to get some water. And so this cute little couple had been united and separated in a matter of minutes and only heaven knows when they will be able to come together again.
I hope you like it! Thanks for comments and kudos!!
Chapter 4: The Coat
The coat kept nagging so here's his POV on life with Sherlock. He's got a right ego, that one. I wonder where that comes from ;-)
Look at me! – I’m a star!
I really don’t want to sound cocky, but where would he be without me? I’m definitely the best-known and most admired coat in London – well Great Britain, oh come on, let’s skip all pretence of modesty – the world!
Let me introduce myself. I’m a great coat, darkish salt-and-pepper black, with two pockets, a little strap at the back to tie in the waist and enough expensive fabric to allow him to make me billow out behind him like peacock feathers when he struts.
Him! – Well, you might have heard of him, although he really is only the form on which to exhibit my glorious being, but nevertheless I would like to tell you something about him. He’s called Sherlock Holmes. Well, he’s of medium height and astoundingly lean, that’s why he needs me to make an impression. Although – his suits tell me that he’s very impressive anyway – Without me? – Just wearing them? Can you actually believe that?
And the sheet once even had the cheek to tell me he’s even more impressive without anything on! – The sheet. I wonder where she disappeared to? One day she just vanished, haven’t seen hide nor hair of her ever since. Anyway, I think the suits and the sheet are just some petty minds, jealousy clouding their ability to judge.
Otherwise I do have to admit that we complement each other fantastically, him and me. Me with my dark, brooding and elegant looks and him with his dark curls and angular face with those razor-sharp cheekbones. He really is quite stunning, but only half as much when he is not with me!
Ah – he takes me everywhere! Even in spring or summer, when the tiniest cloud covers the London sky – a common occurrence – he grabs me, shrugs into me and grows in size. That’s really a picture to behold. I love it when he passes a window or a mirror and I can admire my beauty – oh, those lines, that flourish!
There is only one thing that really spoils our lines sometimes and that’s his rather short and stocky friend John. He always wears jumpers and practical cotton shirts and those military-style jackets and the way he walks – clumsy would be a euphemism. Have you ever seen his favourite jumper? I mean, have you ever looked at it closely? Cable knit, for God’s sakes! People stopped wearing those thirty years ago – at least! People with a fashion sense, that is. I won’t even start complaining about the rest of his attire – it’s just not worth my time.
Sometimes I can feel downright hostility emanating from John. As if he somehow feels that I cannot take him seriously – An incident for example in Baskerville comes to mind when he had the nerve to criticize him when he made to turn up his collar to have a perfect line. This man actually said ‘Could you please not do that this time!’ – We were astonished. ‘Do what?’ – ‘Turn up the collar of your coat so you look cool!’ – Excuse me, mister! That’s what I’m here for! To make us look cool. If you don’t understand that, then we might have to think of something to make you see –
And could you believe it – in the little inn they stayed in a Dartmoor village, this little mousy man had the nerve to actually throw me out of the room when he came in! I was draped gloriously over a chair when he came in and took my space! He threw me outside on a chest of drawers in the cold and draughty landing! And he remained inside the cosy, warm room with him – for hours. I don’t know what they did, but I have to admit that I felt a pang of jealousy.
Anyway, afterwards he fetched me when they left the inn and we walked into the moors and it was quite frightening, but I clung to him and protected him - but that’s really not important. The most important thing was that we looked actually stunning doing so.
And let me assure you, he won’t abandon me anywhere, anytime soon, because he needs me!
I won’t be ignored – not like the sheet, poor, innocent thing.
So rest assured, you will see more of me. Definitely!
Thanks for all the kudos and comments :-D
Chapter 5: The Hairbrush
Sherlock owns a hairbrush? With hair like that? Of course he does! - Here's the hairbrush's POV on life with Sherlock and John
Enjoy reading ;-)
'Dark - Luscious – Satin – Curls – Glossy – Shining – Unruly – Springy – Mane ...'
'He's being monosyllabic again!' The slender, but sophisticated antique coat rack standing in the corner of the bathroom astutely pointed out.
'Who?' came the immediate reply from the sponge.
'The hairbrush! He's being monosyllabic again. Something must have happened.'
'What makes you say that?'
'Well, every time something happens the hairbrush loses his ability of coherent speech and resorts to uttering those words.'
'Dark – Luscious – Satin – Cu…'
'See, it's like a mantra. This can go on for hours –' The coat rack was silent again, listening to the monotonous droning of the hairbrush, musing.
'Blimey! How often does he do that?' The sponge was incredulous. He was quite new to the household and not used to all the going–ons yet.
'Well it happens quite regularly, usually when he has been to the hairdresser's.'
' .. Unruly – Springy – Mane – Dark – Lusc…'
'He? Who's he? - The hairdresser? Why should the hairbrush be bothered?'
'He is Sherlock of course - Why should it bother the hairbrush? Um - Not quite sure! But I have a theory. I guess it's a kind of angst. Verlustangst or fear of loss.'
'Don't play smart with me! – What are you on about? How on earth do you know that?'
'Well, I used to live with a German psychotherapist.' The coat rack lowered his voice and tried to sound as important as he felt. 'I encountered quite a few interesting cases over the years there, you see. So, if you want to hear my humble opinion, every time he gets his hair cut, the hairbrush experiences this fear of loss.'
'Satin – Curls – Glossy – Shining …'
'Oi – Brushy. Aren't you done yet? Give us a rest!' The sponge shouted suddenly.
'Unruly – Springy – Mane – Dark – Luscious ..'
'Oi! Shut it, I said!'
'It's no use shouting at him! He has to go through his cycle, he will snap out of it eventually!'
'But it's driving me fucking mental! I cannot stand it' He screwed his eyes shut and screamed 'SHUT IT! I SAID!'
'Lusc..' The hairbrush stopped mid-word and blinked. He shook himself as if to fully awaken his senses. He looked around, taking in his surroundings. He was lying on a shelf on his back staring at the ceiling of the bathroom. 'Are you talking to me?' he asked in his soft and silky voice.
'Anybody else going on about luscious, glossy curls? Of course I am talking to you!'
'Where am I?' The hairbrush asked in a very small voice. 'You're at home. Everything is all right. We are here with you. Calm down. Everything will be fine. His hair will grow again.' The coat rack delivered these familiar calming words in a soothing singing voice which caused the sponge to raise a mental eyebrow. Too many sessions with the German therapist, he thought sourly. The hairbrush seemed to consider what the coat rack had said for a moment, but then he whined 'Why does he always put me through that? Every month? Why? He must know how much his curls mean to me. He can't be that ignorant, can he?'
The sponge actually snorted. He had learned the hard way what it meant to be on the serving end of a relationship in this household. Since he had been bought by John and left in the bathroom, he had been used by Sherlock Goldilocks to clean a myriad of stinking fluids from the bathroom floor. Dark purple liquids oozing from Petri dishes and other paraphernalia. So don't talk about being ignorant in front of me, the sponge thought furiously.
He knew quite well what his purpose in life was. He was a natural sponge after all! He was meant to be used in the shower to clean soft skin. And that's what John used him for, but more often than not he was abused. He only hoped that John knew that Sherlock had his own agenda as far as the sponge was concerned.
'He must know, he must, he simply must – ' The hairbrush went on, childishly whimpering, which jarred on the sponge's nerves. 'It's the highpoint of my day, you know! When he takes me into his right hand and his fingers mould around my black handle –' The sponge cringed and rolled his eyes and the coat rack forced himself to feign attention although he knew this routine almost by heart. 'I feel a shiver running through my entire being. And when he starts weaving me through his dark, luscious, satin, glossy, shining –'
'Yes, we know!' the sponge interrupted impatiently.
'- unruly, springy mane of hair,' the brush continued undeterred, 'I am happy - I'm simply happy!' A single tear rolled down the handle and the brush sniffled. 'And now? There is nothing left! No mane, no curls, no nothing!'
'You know that this is not true!' The coat rack softly said. 'You know that he would never cut off his curls. It's just a trim, a quarter of an inch! As always! It will grow again!'
'But what will I do in the meantime?' The hairbrush wailed like a little child and the sponge felt a searing anger build inside him and his voice screamed of its own volition 'Just fucking wait! He can't very well plaster the hair back on, can he?' That outburst silenced the hairbrush, stunned it even. He was used to the gentle soothing of the coat rack; the harsh admonishing of the sponge was completely new to him. He blinked a few times trying to regain his composure.
'But it's not only that!' he went on. 'He's not using me as often as he did before. I didn't understand it at first because when he actually did use me his curls were not entangled or unruly, but soft and luscious and glossy like satin –'
'In your own time, brushy, but quite quickly!'
The sponge was clearly growing more exasperated by the minute. The hairbrush took offense at that and shot a glance at the coat rack who nodded at him encouragingly. 'Well – at first, I didn't understand that, as I said. But then, one evening, Sherlock had taken a shower and he was putting on his clothes again and then, of course, Sherlock was reaching for me – but he was stopped! John had come into the bathroom and John had stopped him! This man said, and I'm not making this up, he actually said: Let me do this for you, and he weaved his fingers through Sherlock's curls, disentangling them, smoothing them, stroking them! – And Sherlock never did as much as cast a glance backwards at me. I was completely forgotten! As if I had vanished into thin air!' He made a little whistling sound. 'I won't tell you what they were doing next – it would make a maiden blush – but it resulted in getting Sherlock's glorious curls all messed up again!'
The coat rack had tutted and sighed at all the appropriate moments and the sponge couldn't help but cringe at the thought of Sherlock and John having … He was a full-blooded bloke after all, lusting after voluptuous and soft female curves. It was hard enough for him to live in an all-male household - but thank goodness, up to this moment, he hadn't been privy to any disconcerting incidents in the bathroom. He couldn't help wondering how he would react to that.
The hairbrush went on, growing almost hysterical now 'And you know what: I HATE HIM FOR IT! I HATE JOHN! - I wish he had never been born! He takes him away from me -' and his little black bosom was heaving with hysterical sobs.
'There, there,' the coat rack tried to comfort him. 'Don't let that get to you! Remember, he will always need you. You're the only one in the world to make his curls curl like that! Nobody else comes even close to you!' The hairbrush continued wailing, but then he stopped 'You think so?' he sniffled, calming down slowly. The sponge couldn't help wondering how quickly this little bastard changed his moods. Oh, he made him more furious by the second.
'Absolutely, my little friend, absolutely!' The coat rack sounded very grandfatherly and wise and the sponge had grudgingly to admit that he was just a tiny bit impressed how the coat rack had wangled that. But this cheeky little hairbrush was doing his head in; he was very worried about his future as member of this bathroom.
'Just a moment, Sherlock! With you in a sec.'
John stepped into the dark bathroom and groped around on the shelf above the basin. He cursed because he accidently touched the open tub of Sherlock's lemon hand cream, but then his fingers found what they had been groping for.
'Let me do that for you, Sherlock.' John stepped behind Sherlock who was slumped tiredly on the sofa, his head resting on the armrest. The hairbrush couldn't believe that this was actually happening to him. Here he was, in John's hands, for heaven's sake and he was forced to glide through those luscious, glossy … ooh, but hang on - it felt gooood! – The combination of John's touch and Sherlock's curls, it was like a dream come true. He'd never thought - not even in his wildest dreams – The hairbrush rolled his eyes with pleasure, gave in to the unexpected feelings swamping his little body and purred like a kitten.
John was slowly combing through Sherlock's dark curls enjoying the feeling of the soft mass of hair. He brushed Sherlock's hair in sensuous strokes moving from the temples to the neck. John had always wondered about this rather feminine accessory in Sherlock's possession, but it made utter sense when you looked at this sheer mass of curls. With a lopsided smile John had to admit to himself that all he needed was a rather plain comb.
John put the hairbrush aside and started massaging Sherlock's head, starting at the temples, exerting a bit of pressure. He moved his fingers in slow circles, sensuously and expertly, eliciting low moans of pleasure from Sherlock which seemed to come from somewhere deep down in his chest. John smirked. He felt Sherlock slowly relax and succumb to his expertise. 'Lovely, John,' he murmured drowsily, 'Please, don't stop.' And so John didn't.
And what about our little friend, the hairbrush? Well, he had been put aside, but surprisingly he didn't mind that at all – Because never ever in his entire life as Sherlock's servant had he been used in such a sexy and fulfilling way.
And when you peered closely enough at his little elfin face you could actually make out an ecstatic grin spreading from one ear to the other.
Chapter 6: The Scarf
The scarf is one of Sherlock's oldest companions. He tells us how Sherlock and John finally found out what they really mean to each other ...
Thank you so much for kudos and comments ;-D
I'm a striped woollen scarf, dark and light blue, Paul Smith, vintage.
I'm more of an outdoor type; indoors I'm usually taken off and put aside which really annoys me because honestly I don't see why! I could just as well stay where I am. No need to be disrespectful!
Anyway - I'm one of Sherlock's oldest and closest companions and I know him like no other. I know things before he knows them. You will soon find out what I'm talking about.
Let me tell you how we met: To my eternal shame I had been taken to an Oxfam shop by my insignificant previous owner. And there I was, rejected, sorted out, no longer wanted.
I had been there for a few days when a rather gorgeous man graced the shabby confines of this shop. Let me recall my first impression: I saw a tall man with dark curly hair, a very fine face, amazing cheekbones and the most piercing, slanted, feline ice blue eyes I had ever seen. He was very dapper and stuck out like a sore thumb in this shop. The most striking feature of his attire was a splendid, apparently very expensive great coat. I was speechless and could only gape at him.
He was accompanied by somebody who was obviously a homeless person and they were conferring in low and urgent voices in the back of the shop next to me. I could only catch snatches of their muffled conversation 'Important information' – 'Need to get it quickly' – 'I know you'll manage'. When they had finished talking the homeless person received some money from this man and left.
This man, who had been addressed as Sherlock by the other person, stayed behind and, seemingly bored, started to rummage through the basket I was in. Suddenly his gaze settled on me and he grabbed me, his eyes widening. Oh - I can recognize bliss when I see it! And there it was – blatant on this Sherlock's face!
He took me out of the basket, fingered my fabric, looked at me from head to toe and then performed this now familiar manoeuvre for the very first time, wrapping me around his neck. I felt like I had finally come home! To be honest, I couldn't help it and shed a single tear.
The skin on his long, slender neck was so soft, his lovely dark curls tickling me in the sweetest imaginable way, his fingers stroking me and then it was settled and he offered me a new life.
Since he had put me on he hadn't uttered a single word; he paid for me and left the shop in silence. So imagine my surprise when I heard that amazing low baritone for the very first time. My whole body reverberated from this outstanding sound coming from deep down in his chest. I almost fainted with pleasure, it was soooo sexy! – I knew then I would never leave him again.
We led a fairly happy life although I couldn't shake off the impression that despite all his splendor he was a very lonely man. He was working very hard, yes. But a private life? Friends? A lover?
Nobody ever came by to see him and when we moved to 221b Baker Street I feared the worst. A life full of gloom, loneliness, boredom and desperation would be awaiting us. The only person he ever actually talked to was a skull on the mantelpiece and you can't call that a lively conversation, can you?
But only a few days after we had moved Dr John Watson came into our lives – Ah – that first encounter in the lab! Sherlock showing off his outstanding intellectual prowess and thus reducing John to a gaping admirer. I could see their potential from the word go.
'We've only just met and now we're going to look at a flat together. We don't know a thing about each other. I don't know who you are, I don't even know your name.'
John was annoyed and didn't know what to make of this fascinating and irritating man. I knew exactly what he felt!
'Problem?' Sherlock wrapped me around his neck in the usual fashion and I enjoyed the following deductions in close proximity, trembling with every word.
'I know that you are an army doctor, recently invalided home from Afghanistan. I know that you have a brother, but you won't go to him for help. Probably because he walked out on his wife, more likely because he is an alcoholic and I know that your therapist thinks your limp is psychosomatic. Quite rightly, I'm afraid. That's enough to be going on with, don't you think?'
John gawped at him and Sherlock opened the lab door and made to go. Almost as an afterthought he added 'The name's Sherlock Holmes and the address is 221b Baker Street. Afternoon!'
And with an incredibly sexy wink he sauntered out of the lab and left John standing there, flabbergasted and fascinated at equal measures.
That's how we met John and the next day he moved in. Oh, how our lives changed then! Sherlock had finally found his counterpart, his missing half. Not that they would have noticed! They seemed to be oblivious to the fact that they were meant for each other, they considered themselves just flatmates.
But I couldn't be fooled because when we were out I felt his lovely skin flush whenever John came near him, his breath catching in his throat and his pulse elevating. And I saw John, how he looked at him, furtive glances at first, more openly later. I knew they were meant for each other before they even had an inkling of what lay ahead for them.
Do you want me to tell you how and when the penny finally dropped? - I know you do!
It was after the pool incident which could have ended fatally, but they were saved by a phone call! Moriarty then left and put an end to his threat with a snap of his fingers, almost casually calling off his snipers.
After the police had been, the explosives had been taken care of and their statements had been taken we were sent home by Lestrade.
At home I had a front seat. I was draped over Sherlock's favourite chair and I could watch the whole drama unfold. Watch with me:
They were both all churned up inside, restless and inexplicably sad.
Inexplicable to them, not to me, though! But I'll be quiet now – just watch.
At home the events of this evening finally took their toll and John felt all his energy draining away from him and lay down on the sofa. Sherlock was restlessly pacing the room.
'Sherlock, please stop it. It's driving me mad, this pacing.' John said softly. Sherlock didn't respond.
'Sherlock, please!' more insistent now.
'Hmm?' Sherlock stopped for a moment and looked at John. He had been far away with his thoughts and didn't know what John was referring to.
'Please stop pacing, sit down.'
'Sit down? No - I can't, I really can't. If I sit down I will start reliving everything. I will see the pool, the explosives –' he broke off and started pacing again.
'I understand, Sherlock. But will you sit with me for a moment, please?' John asked in a very small, pleading voice.
This seemed to strike the right chord because Sherlock stopped pacing and slowly walked over to John. He looked down on him, his face unreadable. John hoped that his own face was unreadable, too. He feared what Sherlock might deduce from looking at him.
Sherlock frowned and sat down on the sofa, John unconsciously wiggling closer to him. They had never sat so close together and John felt something that was unfamiliar to him. No, not unfamiliar, but unexpected in connection with Sherlock. He felt nervous, apprehensive and what he really wished for was for Sherlock to be even closer.
'Sherlock,' he said, 'I don't know what happened, but ever since we faced Moriarty at the pool, my heart is aching.' Sherlock raised an eyebrow 'Well, you're the doctor. You should know what to do.'
'That's not what I meant, Sherlock,' he paused as if to collect his thoughts, 'My heart aches - because I thought I was going to lose you,' he shyly glanced up at Sherlock whose face was impassive. John's heart sank, but he didn't want to backpedal now, so he continued.
'I felt my world - our world - slipping away from me and it weighed me down that we would die without – '
Oh God, Sherlock could be really ignorant at times.
'Without – I – um -' he cleared his throat, 'Without me telling you that I need you, Sherlock - because without you I'm nothing.' John halted, he didn't know if Sherlock grasped what he was saying.
Sherlock didn't answer, but quickly got up and walked over to the fireplace. He stood there for a moment, facing the wall, fingering the skull. He had had to get up; he couldn't risk John seeing his face, he was sure it was like an open book.
He was profoundly confused because he had felt the same and he didn't know what to do with those feelings. It had almost broken his heart, seeing John, decked out in enough explosives to bring the whole building down. He gladly would have given his life for him then and he knew John would have done the same. And John had hinted at what that meant for them, now, that their lives were going on. It meant that they had to be open from here on, but he couldn't! He had no idea how –
'John,' he finally managed to say, his voice very low and insecure, 'John, you must help me. I – I don't know what to do.'
John heard what he said and he understood. He got up and walked over to Sherlock. He stepped behind him, slipped his arms around him and let his head sink on Sherlock's back. He felt Sherlock stiffen at the novelty of this touch, but he held on to him and after a few more moments Sherlock relaxed and placed his hands tenderly on John's.
'I - I feel the same, John,' Sherlock said quietly.
John closed his eyes for a moment and relief flooded him.
'Sherlock, look at me,' he said and he spun Sherlock gently around to make him face him. John peered at him enquiringly. Sherlock looked so vulnerable and so young and so innocent. John's heart leapt, he was sure now.
'Sherlock, why did we wait so long? Until it was almost too late?'
'I didn't know what was wrong with me – I just - ,' he broke off, for once he was lost for words.
'There is nothing wrong with you. Everything's fine, it's all fine,' and John stood on tiptoe to kiss his lips, but Sherlock recoiled slightly.
'What is it?' John asked anxiously.
'John, I don't know what to do. I've never –' and he averted his eyes and blushed which was quite lovely to see in this usually so pale face.
'Don't worry. I'll show you,' John murmured and kissed Sherlock very tenderly. And Sherlock kissed him back this time, tentatively, his eyes remaining open as if he wanted to be alert. But then he let out small moans of pleasure and closing his eyes he gave in to the sensation of kissing the man he loved.
Ah – Finally! You might say and rightly so – and that's exactly what I felt!
These two are simply made for each other and I'm proud to have been privy to the beginning of that love story. A little later that evening I was even privy to a bit more than their first kisses, but that's another story and I would love to leave that to your imagination.
I can only say that from that moment on my Sherlock was a different man - he was whole.
Of course that didn't mean that he stopped being annoying or obnoxious or ignorant, but he had - finally - found and recognized his complementing half.
Chapter 7: The Suit
The suit is a right handful - and constantly fighting with the scarf ...
Imagine your clothes having a life of their own and constantly fighting, flirting, bickering while you're wearing them and you are entirely oblivious - quite a troubling thought, don't you think?
Enjoy reading! Comments would be more than welcome ;-)
I'm the coat's best friend - obviously. He is the only one worthy of my attention in this household. Oh, what fun we have when we laugh about all those half-wits who live here. The scarf's the one I wholeheartedly despise – He's an Oxfam find! – Just think of the vermin he might have picked up there! Thing is we can't ignore him because he is always present when we're out and about with Sherlock. He seems to be a special friend of our owner.
The one that really takes the biscuit, though, is Sherlock's friend, John. Have you ever seen him? I mean, have you ever looked at him in detail? Did you notice the clothes he wears? Boring shirts, plain jeans and his jumpers! - Cable knit jumpers! Can you believe that? He covers up his rather stocky body as if haute couture never happened!
He used to be a soldier, you might argue - I know. Not much use for a dress sense in the army, you might add - But still, not an ounce of finesse, no sartorial elegance seems to rub off on him from my owner. John's just so ignorant. And did you happen to see his festive Christmas jumper? That really was an eyesore. Sherlock on the other hand: me, teamed up with a tight shirt. That's the ticket!
Sherlock Holmes, you might have met him, he is quite a handsome man and if I didn't know better I'd think I was created exclusively for him - Bespoke, so to speak.
He possesses the kind of physique you need for me. The body of a runner, lean, muscular, wiry – Ah! Covering someone like him is probably the best thing that can happen to a Spencer Hart suit. He wears me with such elegance and grace; people actually swoon when we walk past. But of course the man can only ever be as stunning as his suit!
Oh, sorry, manners! - You'd certainly like to know who I am: I am a black Spencer Hart suit, three buttons, slim fit - obviously. Narrow waist and tight trousers. Very tight trousers. I notice just how tight when we brush past John and he draws in a sharp breath when looking at our backside. It actually works every time! I can always feel him looking. And why not, it's an amazing sight. A firm, muscular, perfectly formed posterior and the big bonus: covered by me! Oh my goodness, I am outrageously gorgeous!
Today he wears me with a purple shirt. I don't really care which shirt he puts on in the morning, they are merely accessories and I outshine them anyway!
Oh, hang on - he grabs the coat and there's John in his despicable navy blue military style jacket – Conclusion? We go out!
Sherlock and John went to St Bart's to meet Molly at the lab. Sherlock had left some mud-covered shoes and gloves related to a recent case with her and Molly had traced some very unusual pollen in the mud. On top of that she had taken some superb photographs of outstanding tattoos she had found on a corpse. They were for Sherlock's amusement only and they were waiting for him next to the test tubes on the desk. Sherlock sat down in front of the microscope and looked at the prepared slides. Molly and John went to the cafeteria for tea and sandwiches; Sherlock had declined, as usual. John wasn't happy with that, but he knew better than to insist. Sherlock had taken off his coat, but the scarf remained where he loved to be. Sherlock had come down with a hefty cold and so the scarf was wrapped around his neck to keep him warm.
'I'm too sexy for this man – too sexy for this man – too sexy by far –' Out of the blue the suit broke into song, 'I'm a model – you know what I mean and I do my little turn on the catwalk , yeah – on the catwalk – and I shake my little tush on the –'
'I can't believe it, Spence! Singing again? Will you never show any mercy? Do you want us to beg?' The scarf wearily interrupted him.
'What on earth are you talking about? And it's Spencer to you, Pauly.' The suit was really pissed off because he had been disturbed by the scarf. The scarf only snorted. Here we go again, he thought. Arguments with the suit were an everyday occurrence and he was beginning to grow sick and tired of them.
'Spencer,' the scarf said, sarcastically emphasizing the last syllable. 'What makes you so sure we're eager to hear you singing this song fifty-bloody-times a day? It's not as if you had a great singing voice or as if this was an even remotely intelligent song –'
'So?' The suit broke in, impatiently, 'What are you trying to say, Pauly?'
'Just tell me, Spencer. What's your excuse for singing?'
'I don't need one, stupid! And move away from me, I don't want to catch any of the vermin crawling all over you,' he snapped.
'Now listen, doofus!' The scarf exploded, 'I've had it up to my last stripe this constant going on about my past! In case you don't know I am a designer scarf!'
'Designer? Huh!' The suit laughed derisively, 'You started out as a High Street common and you ended up an Oxfam find. So, please, don't you dare talk about being designer!'
'Boys!' The purple shirt who had been following the angry exchange felt the need to interfere. 'Enough now! We are all sick and tired of this constant bickering!'
The suit aimed a triumphant sneer at the scarf who rolled his eyes. 'I saw that!' The shirt admonished them. 'You Paul, you should really hold back. Don't let him get to you every time. You know what he's like. All looks and no depths. All beauty and no brain!' The suit smiled, he was actually flattered because his limited mental capacities had only allowed him to register the words looks and beauty and had filtered out all the rest.
'You are so much brighter, Paul. Stick it out! I'm with you!' The shirt whispered and smiled up at him. Paul smiled back, he liked her, she was nice. Too bad that she was always so preoccupied with Sherlock. And he had heard a rumour about a fling with John's favourite jumper.
Obviously claiming to be the winner of this round the suit broke into song again, 'I'm too sexy for this scarf – I'm too sexy for this scarf – scarf's going to leave me –'
'Scarf's going to chin you if you don't shut it!' The scarf shouted angrily and grabbed the suit's lapels.
'Get your dirty paws off me at once or I'll –'
'Or you'll what?' They were both fuming and the tension was palpable. The shirt was surprised by the intensity of their feelings. She wanted this to stop.
'Or I'll scream blue murder and when the coat hears that – '
'The coat? What are you? A girl? A sissy?' The scarf was incredulous. A grown suit crying for the big brother? He couldn't believe it and the rage he felt grew into an almost impossible dimension. He grabbed the suit's lapels harder and started to shake him violently. 'Stop it!' The shirt screamed at the top of her fine cotton lungs, 'Stop it! Are you two mad? What's gotten into you?'
Sherlock started to cough then, lightly at first, but then the coughing grew stronger and really started to shake him until it turned into a nasty bark. They were all startled and fell quiet to focus on him. The shirt was very anxious, after all she was nearest to Sherlock and she could hear his chest rattling and realized how laboured his breathing had become. The scarf and the shirt exchanged worried glances. The suit was indifferent.
'Sherlock!' John had just come back to the lab and hastily put down tea and sandwiches, the tea sloshing all over some notes, 'Are you okay? I knew it was a stupid idea to come here.' What he meant of course was I could have told you, but you weren't listening and you are too bloody stubborn anyway. He put a hand on Sherlock's forehead and grabbed his wrist to feel his pulse. 'You're running a fever now and your pulse is sky high. Off we go. Let's get you into bed.'
'No, John! I'm fine, I'm absolutely fine. Let me just finish this.' But Sherlock's voice was small and gone all croaky and he felt far too weak to offer much resistance.
So the scarf and the suit were forced to fight it out some other time. During the whole cab ride back to Baker Street they were quietly fuming, not uttering a single word. Even the coat kept quiet. To be honest he wasn't interested in this petty little feud between the suit and the scarf. The only thing that could hold his interest for a substantial amount of time was his own person. Sure, he enjoyed the occasional bitching about all other members of the household, but, please! This was ridiculous! A veritable kindergarten drama.
Sure, he and the suit shared some history; they knew each other from the time at that posh shop near Regent's Street. Sherlock had bought them at the same time so the coat felt a certain kinship with him - and on top of that the suit might just as well know some dirty secrets that he'd rather forget – So, admittedly, there was a certain obligation which bound those two together. Today, though, he felt no obligation whatsoever and it didn't belong here and surely that was old hat! – So the coat continued ignoring everybody and kept staring out of the window.
When they arrived at home Sherlock immediately stepped out of his coat and suit and left them on the floor in the living room. Realising his mortifying defeat the suit went beserk 'What is this? I don't believe it! Who do you think I am? I'm not finished with you, Pauly. You stinking, vermin-infested piece of –' The bedroom door clicked shut, cutting off the angry tirade and the scarf felt peace and quiet flooding him.
And so it came that this rather wasted day offered one last triumph for Paul, the scarf, because Sherlock insisted on keeping him wrapped around his neck after he had undressed and slipped beneath the covers, whereas Spencer the suit had been abandoned on the living room floor, crumpled and ranting.
John, worrying about Sherlock, undressed as well and lay down next to him making sure he was snug and warm. And the scarf? He was content and felt very important. To watch over a sleeping Sherlock was a novelty and made up a thousand times for his fights with Spencer, this ignorant idiot.
As they all lay there he felt Sherlock's breathing slowing down and becoming less laboured. Very gradually they drifted off into a well-deserved and healing slumber and the scarf had a lovely dream.
He dreamt of a certain purple shirt, offering him a bit more than just her beautiful smile.
Chapter 8: The Tumbler
Another slightly different angle of an extraordinary scene from s2: Sherlock's panic attack in the Hounds of Baskerville told from the Tumbler's POV ...
It' a bit angsty ... but enjoy anyway ;-)I
It's almost impossible to believe that this is the same man.
Sherlock's body is silhouetted against the living room window. He is playing the violin, the bow gliding gently across the strings. His eyes are closed, his face a study of concentration. From time to time a ghost of a smile curls the corners of his mouth. He's playing Johann Sebastian Bach, the andante of Sonata No 2 in A minor, one of my favourites.
He presents a fine picture of somebody entirely at peace with himself. Underlying the outward calm I feel his barely restrained energy, his ever-buzzing brilliant mind and the ever-present need to keep occupied.
John is sitting in his favourite chair, reading, looking up at him from time to time. He is unaware of the fact that his face is like an open book, there to read for everyone who cares to look. He looks at the violin player with undisguised love in his eyes. I can discern admiration and contentment. And he exudes so much calm and peacefulness. No restlessness in this man. He has found his place in life.
Looking at them I can't shake off the impression that these two exist in a bubble of their own, almost disconnected from and not in need of other people.
What a difference to the night I first met them.
I'm shaking - violently.
No, that's not correct. The hand that's tightly gripping me is shaking - like a leaf.
The whole body attached to the hand is trembling like a feather in the wind.
I look up and see panic in those pale piercing eyes. Pure and bone-chilling panic and I see other emotions flittering over that face as well: surprise, awe and amazement. Barely noticeable, changing so quickly, like clouds chasing over a stormy sky.
What a combination of emotions! Oh, he's troubled, deeply, deeply troubled. He's been sitting here in front of the fireplace of this small country inn in the little Dartmoor village for the last thirty minutes, alone, nursing me in his shaking hands, staring into space.
He is unusual and absolutely fascinating.
What I usually see in people holding me is greed and greed only. Greed for what I contain (he opted for Cardhu, a fine Scottish whisky, in case you might want to know).
But in him? There's bewilderment! – The question I ask myself is: Why is he so bewildered?
The emotion overriding it all, though, is PANIC - blatant – gut-wrenching panic.
Another man joins him and sits down in the chair opposite, facing the fireplace as well. I can sense an immediate connection between these two. There are sparks flying between them - I'm not entirely sure what kind of sparks, though.
He puts me down on the arm of the leather chair and clasps his hands in front of his face. He wants to hide his shaking hands from his friend - partner - lover?
'Sherlock, Henry is in a pretty bad way. He's manic. I gave him something to calm down and sleep. He's totally convinced that some mutant super-dog is roaming the moors.'
His eyes are twitching nervously and he's constantly clasping and unclasping his hands. He's not looking at the other man and apparently not listening to him either. And I realise where the root of his panic lies. Henry – Henry and the hound. That's why they are here. The pieces of the puzzle start falling into place -
The other man continues, 'But there isn't. If there was we would have heard of it, somebody would have made a feature of it, it'd be for sale – Well, we probably should start looking for a great, big dog.'
Still, the eyes are twitching, nervous intertwining of his fingers. He's in- and exhaling loudly, trying to slow down his pulse. The other man looks at him enquiringly. He seems puzzled too, this behavior must be very out of character. He goes on, 'What have we got? – Well, we all heard something.'
The breathing becomes even more pronounced, he's trying to get something out, I can feel that he's about to spill the beans. There he goes.
'I saw it, too,' his voice is small, insecure, devoid of all confidence - But - He can't be serious!
'I saw it too, John.'
'Now, hang on a minute. You saw what?'
'A hound. Out there in the hollows. A gigantic hound' and he is baring his teeth and is almost snarling, the look of panic on his face is really frightening. He's blinking rapidly, apparently trying to erase the image flashing in front of his eyes again. And I feel suddenly sorry for him, from deep inside my crystal heart I feel with him. I feel sorry because whatever he saw it has shaken him to the core.
'Um –' John is smirking! What is that? Now, that is an unexpected response. A situation like this would have called for comfort, concern – but derision? What is really going on between these two?
'Look, Sherlock. We have to be rational about this, okay? Now, you, of all people, can't just – Let's just stick to the facts.'
What does he mean, he of all people? What is so special about Sherlock that he is not allowed to show panic? I mean I heard people talk about this hound that's supposedly wandering around in Dewer's Hollow. I heard their frightened whispers and I was witness to heated arguments being fought out whether it was true or not. I personally don't go for the supernatural, I take everything at face value and I think it is simply a horror story to frighten children. So basically, I would agree with John, but seeing Sherlock's panic, I'm beginning to wonder.
Sherlock is smiling - Why is he smiling? – Oh, but it's a joyless smile, not amused, no, he's bewildered by John's reaction.
'Once you've ruled out the impossible whatever remains, however improbable, must be true.'
Delivered in a monotonous voice, like a mantra, supposedly said to calm his nerves. But what does he mean? He's cryptic, obviously trying to find an explanation to calm himself, to soothe his mind that's racing in overdrive.
John's just as befuddled as I am 'What does that mean?'
Sherlock grabs me again, 'Huh!' he scoffs when he realizes the shaking hasn't subsided. 'Look at me. I'm afraid, John,' he observes, tilting his head. He tries to distance himself, but he's failing, 'Afraid!' and he takes a large sip. I really hope that will help him.
'Sherlock!' John says and I can hear a growing disquiet in his voice. He's at a loss.
'I've been always able to keep myself distanced. Divorce myself from feelings,' almost spitting out the word, 'But you see, my body's betraying me!'
He's tilting me sideways, watching me with those fascinating eyes, 'Interesting, yes, emotions.'
John seems to be frightened now, he's following this little act of Sherlock's attentively. 'Just take it easy. You've been pretty wired up lately, you know you were.' He's keeping his voice down, not willing to cause a scene. 'I think you just got yourself a bit worked up. It was dark and scary –'
John goes on talking, trying to talk away Sherlock's inner turmoil. But Sherlock starts sweating and to move restlessly in his chair, unable to control his body, he moans as if in pain.
'Sherlock!' John repeats in a soothing voice, I wonder if he is somehow in the caring business.
'Worked up? Me? There's nothing wrong with me.' Oh, my God. Now he's really close to the edge, he almost starts hyperventilating. He puts me down on the armrest. He's clasping his hands, unclasping them again to rub his temples. He starts moaning, his fingers fluttering mere millimetres in front of his face.
'Sherlock!' John again, but he's got it all wrong, he shouldn't use that I'm listening to you-but -I don't believe you-voice.
'There is nothing wrong with me! Do you understand!' Sherlock shouts all of a sudden causing all the other guests in the restaurant to look up from their dinner. He grabs me as if he needs something to hold onto. The violent trembling makes my content almost slosh out so he takes his other hand to steady me. I look at John who seems surprised by this strong reaction. He is silent, his mouth pinched. He clearly feels uncomfortable.
'You want me to prove it? Yes? Right. We're looking for a dog. A great big dog. That's your brilliant theory. Alright. Cherchez le chien! Good. Excellent. Yes! Why not start with them -' and he points quite rudely to a couple sitting at a table enjoying dinner.
And off he goes spilling out deductions, conclusions and details at a breathtaking pace, the words fairly tumbling from his mouth. His mind just opens the floodgates and the most brilliant deductions come streaming out. The cogs in his evidently extraordinary mind working smoothly like a Swiss mechanic, jumping from detail to detail, from deduction to conclusion. I can see clearly now why John doubts Sherlock's claim. How could he be irrational? What an extraordinary brain! I'm awestruck and I'm just gaping. But - Sherlock's distress is so obvious, now who to believe?
After what seems minutes without taking a breath he ends with 'You ask: How do you do that, Sherlock? I just use my senses, John. So you see, there's nothing wrong with me! In fact I've never been better. So – just – leave – me – alone!'
Oh, my goodness. What is he like when he is not off his head? He must be an amazing partner to live with. I envy John - and I feel sympathy.
Sherlock takes a generous sip of my content, hands still shaking and his face furrowed by a puzzled frown, he's still unwilling to accept his body's shortcomings.
John seems to be taken aback, shaken and dipping his chin he says 'Yeah - Okay.'
He clears his throat, 'Why would you listen to me, I'm just your friend.'
I can feel frustration here, this seems to be a minefield, some unchartered territory. And I'm not so sure about my earlier assessment anymore. What on earth are they to each other?
'I don't have friends!' Sherlock spits out, his face an ugly sneer. Oh!
If I am surprised by that reaction John is devastated. His face turns ashen, he fairly deflates. He is groping for something to say and finally comes out with 'I wonder why.'
He gets up and without a glance walks out of the restaurant. Sherlock looks up then and follows him with his eyes. But he seems unable to make up his mind to go after him, panic and confusion still overwhelming him. It's so obvious on his face.
He stays with me at the fireplace. He downs my content and refills me from a bottle next to his chair. Other emotions are flickering across his face now. I see sadness, longing, pain and regret.
We sit there for another hour or so, his refilling me from time to time allowing me to catch glimpses of his face. I can't shake off the feeling that this is an unexpected and unwelcome foray into an area of his emotional household, so to speak. This night has truly shaken and horrified him and he can't come to terms with it. He simply cannot grasp it or explain it away with his usual rationality. It seems to shake him to the core. Why doesn't he open up to John? They are lovers after all. I'm sure of that now! How can I tell? - Let's call it a gut feeling.
He's still holding on to me like a man clinging to a lifeboat. His slender fingers gripping me hard. And so we sit and wait for the time to pass.
He took me home with him and put me on the mantelpiece. I can say that I know him a little better now and I'd say I serve as a reminder of that truly horrifying experience.
So here's my place. I can watch John and Sherlock going about their daily life and I can see what they mean to each other. And I was right!
John had been really shaken by that night, deeply hurt. How they made up is not for me to say as I haven't been privy to that, but it is obvious that they have when you look at them now.
I hope you liked it! Thanks for all your feedback!! JJ
Chapter 9: John's Jacket
John's black jacket witnesses an experiment in 221b which makes Sherlock and John sing slightly raunchy and sweet songs and leaves them quite drunk on the living room
Fluffy Johnlock ;-)
Come on - come on
Come into my sleep
Come on – come on -
The black jacket opened his eyes and tried to find his bearings. 'Where am I?' It was almost pitch black and he couldn't hear a sound. The smells seemed familiar, but then he had never been a great one on smells. It smelled a bit like the chemistry kit John used to experiment with during his time in Afghanistan. Yes - There was a smell of something like a disinfectant - but he also smelled alcohol. A very distinctive and strong whiff of – He sniffed. Yes, it was a smell that he recognized quite well: the smell of gin! - He sniffed again. Gin, yes! And tequila, and some sickly sweet liquory thingy - He sniffed some more. On his black leather shoulder, on his black cotton arms, the smell of gin and near the cuffs, there was a distinct lemony scent. And again he sniffed and made out a salty undertone near the pockets.
But where was he? He looked around him. He made out stairs, some leading up, some leading down. Conclusion? He was on a landing. To his left he made out a faint light and that smell again. He sniffed. The chemical smell was definitely coming from there. He blinked. Was that a microscope on the table? Looked like it. He shook himself to clear his head. Ouch! He shouldn't have. Behind his eyes stars exploded in a myriad of colours. He screwed them shut and winced. My goodness, how much alcohol was in his system? He sniffed at his arms again, he smelled as if g&ts and tequila shots had been generously spilt over him.
His eyes had adjusted to the surrounding darkness now. He saw a glimpse of light coming from the living room. It was dawning, can you believe that? He had no recollections of the last hours, no idea how he had landed here on the floor. He looked around and in the light of the dawning day he saw them. They were slumped on the floor, entangled. Sherlock lay on his back, John's head resting on his belly. One of Sherlock's arms was draped around John's head, the other placed loosely on John's chest.
They were both in varying states of nakedness - and sleeping. That was quite a picture to behold. He smiled. The jacket tentatively moved his arms. The sudden movement made him wince again and then the memories of last night came back.
'It's an experiment,' Sherlock said, arranging bottles of varying sizes and contents on the table in front of the sofa. He arranged and rearranged them until he was apparently satisfied. John and I had just come home. We sat down on the sofa and watched.
'What for?' John demanded, quite reasonably, if you ask me. From my years with him I knew that he was able to hold down his drink, but he had never seen the necessity of experimenting with it. Not with an alcoholic in the family. Sherlock, on the other hand, did nothing but. Experimenting, I mean of course, not drinking.
'Well, the last time we went out together I had the feeling that you can drink a glass or two and I want to test how long it takes before you sing raunchy songs and start taking your clothes off,' he grinned maliciously.
'No bloody way, Sherlock. I'm definitely not going to be part of one of your humiliating experiments - again. I'm not going to be your guinea-pig in this one!' John huffed, but in fact he really didn't know what to make of it. Should he be cross with him for even considering this or should he be looking forward to what might be an amusing evening?
Sherlock's next remark decided it, 'You know, John. I didn't mean you to be the sole participant,' he raised an eyebrow, 'I am absolutely willing to take part as well.'
'What kind of experiment is that supposed to be then?' John snorted, but good-naturedly, 'And since you're always so keen on scientific conditions and airtight results: Who's going to monitor it?'
'I reckon, I will still be able to do that when you already take your clothes off and dance for me,' Sherlock smirked and kissed John. Sweet and sensuous kisses, meant to melt down the last bit of resistance John might feel. Oh, damn it, John thought. I was surprised to see that Sherlock played my John like a puppet on a string, unbelievable! He really knew which buttons to press and bang! - John was putty in his hands. Sorry about the mixed metaphors, I've never been one of the poetic kind.
John took me off and placed me on the armrest of the sofa, keeping me right next to him.
'Well, John. Let's start with something sweet. How about that?' He lifted a bottle of some garish orangey liquid; I almost gagged when I saw it. John wasn't overly keen on this offering either, I could tell from the way he dipped his chin. 'Right, let's do it!' They clinked their glasses and downed the first of many. Sherlock winced and pulled a face that could only be described as appalled. John managed to keep a straight face, 'Sherlock, I refuse to take any more of this - definitely!'
'Yes, I see what you mean –' Sherlock agreed and I could smell what he meant, think of jelly bears dissolved in sickly sweet lemonade and you get the picture.
'That's a girly liquor, Sherlock' John complained, 'Let's take some manly stuff.' Sherlock raised an eyebrow and his lips curled in a mocking smile, 'Manly stuff? What would you consider appropriate then?' John turned his gaze to the table. I would have held any bet that he would choose tequila – His eyes roamed around – Bingo! - 'Let's have tequila shots, maybe some g&t later.' Good choice! Couldn't have chosen better myself actually. Sherlock seemed satisfied and miraculously produced sliced lemons and salt from underneath the table. And off we went!
I have to tell you something, though - If you are curious how this experiment unfolded, I must be the monitor for you - because quite frankly Sherlock wasn't up to it:
Shots 1 – 4:
John: Shots one and two go down easily, number three the same, but with the fourth one his eyes become slightly unfocused. No slurred speech yet. He smiles a lot.
Sherlock: The first two shots leave him completely unaffected. The third one is downed and I can make out a slight flushing on his pale cheeks. He returns John's smiles. The fourth shot makes him wince. The flush deepens.
Shots 5 – 8:
John: Five: He winces, bares his teeth and lets out an infectious laugh. Six, seven: He blinks a few times and aims his broadest smile at Sherlock. 'You know, Sherlock? That has been an excellent idea! Oh, by the way, love, you look gorgeous today. Why don't you take that shirt off - Let me help you!' Eight: John swings Sherlock's black shirt over his head.
Sherlock: Five: No reaction apart from a slight twitch of the corners of his lips as if he was permanently suppressing a giggle. Six, seven: He gets up to get more lemons, slightly staggers and has to steady himself against the chair. Eight: Takes off his shirt, moving rather seductively in front of John.
Shots 9 – 12:
John: Nine: Sings: 'You're too sexy for your shoes – too sexy for your socks – socks are going to leave you –' Ten: Sings: 'Take your trousers off - just take your trousers off - just take, just take your trousers off!' Eleven: Kissing Sherlock. Twelve: 'For fuck's sake, Sherlock, you are beautiful!' Kissing Sherlock again, pawing him.
Sherlock: Nine: Takes off his shoes and socks. Ten: 'John, please get undressed now.' Eleven: Helps John to undress and kisses him. Twelve: Slightly slurred speech 'John, I shuppose we should – ' Cut short by John's kisses.
'I want you to put on my jacket, Sherlock. I want to see you wearing it,' John whispered huskily and stumbled back to the sofa from where I was monitoring the experiment. He grabbed me and took the two steps back to Sherlock. He locked eyes with him, drunken lust apparent in both pair of eyes. 'Put it on!' Sherlock grinned and obligingly slipped his long slender naked limbs into my arms. Then he did something that was new for me, he turned up my black corduroy collar. Yes, sir! He took a step towards John and wrapped me around John's naked torso covering both their bodies with me. Oh, heaven, bliss and paradise – I mean – um – yes, it was unusual – and of course I'm not interested in men, so I shouldn't have felt anything, but damn it! I did and it was wonderful.
Sherlock bent down and nipped at John's lips. He slipped his tongue in John's mouth and they engaged in the sexiest kiss I have ever seen from that close range. And I can assure you that I saw quite a few women coming and going in John's life – Um – Anyway - Yes, I could feel their body heat rising, I felt their pulses elevating and their breathing becoming more erratic. They gently moved their bodies in a drunken swaying motion.
'John, I think I'm actually too drunk to –' Sherlock broke off suddenly, blinking. John opened his eyes, a bit sobered by Sherlock's remark and cleared his throat, 'Let's have a last one and then will see.' He prepared two generous g&ts and handed one to Sherlock.
'To our experiment!'
'To us!' John made a sudden step forward startling Sherlock who sloshed half of his drink all over me. Oh blast! I hate to smell of alcohol. Sherlock giggled and tried to wipe away the mess with his hand. John tried to clean me as well and both their hands were all over me, rubbing my cotton front and the leather patches on my elbows and I just let it happen and I almost forgot that I was soaked in gin - Sherlock then put down the rest of his drink and shrugged languidly out of me, making a show of it. He made to swing me over his head, but then thought better of it, and just threw me in the direction of the hall where I landed with a thud on the floor - Well, thanks very much for that!
I couldn't see them anymore, damn it! But I could hear them.
'John, I think we should have one last – whatever. Give me just one last –' he didn't go on, but chuckled drunkenly and I heard them quietly moaning - and then Sherlock's impossibly low sexy voice singing softly
Swim to me through the deep blue sea upon the scattered stars set sail –
Fly to me through this love-lit night from one thousand miles away –
And come into my sleep, come into my sleep -
Come on, come on –
come into my sleep
and John whispering something which made them both laugh softly and I swear by God that's the last thing I remember.
Chapter 10: Molly's Lab Coat
Molly's lab coat is the witness of many sighs, humiliating scenes and unrequited love - awww, poor Molly ;-)
That's him! Nice – Really nice! Oh, yes, he's something! Energy – Strength – Fury. The lines of his body – the way he twists his narrow hips allowing his right arm to gain maximum speed and impact when it comes crashing down onto the corpse with the riding crop - exciting! Lovely! Molly loves it, too. She's watching him flogging this corpse in the mortuary through the window high up in the wall, her right hand balling a paper tissue in my pocket which is getting soaked by the cold perspiration forming on the inside of her hand. Her left hand is fiddling nervously with my lapels. Her heart is beating a steady fast rhythm – dudum – dudum – dudum. She lets out a heartfelt sigh – Oh, my goodness, a woman in love! What have I gotten myself into?
I met her two days ago, she bought me in a shop specializing in working clothes. She picked me, one of the most fashionable models, state of the art really, and now I see the reason why she chose me over the plainer ones next to me. I'm supposed to make an impression. On this outstanding specimen of a man? Please allow me the shadow of a doubt! I talked to her old lab coat and he told me that this infatuation has been going on for months – Unrequited love! How romantic! But, hey - who knows? I might be doing the trick!
'I was wondering,' Molly has entered the mortuary and is trying to get Sherlock's attention, her voice a little bit shaky. She is kneading her fingers nervously. Sherlock is busy scribbling something into his note book; he's frowning when he glances up at her, 'Are you wearing lipstick? You weren't wearing lipstick before.' Ooh la la - What a voice! – A low, sexy, rumble, and here's a man with an eye for detail, lovely!
'I refreshed it a bit,' Molly replies. Good answer, girl. Casual and believable. 'Sorry, you were saying?' Sherlock glances up from his note book again. Polite and attentive, too! 'I was wondering if you would like some coffee?' Yes, Molly, that's a nice start, why not go for a coffee with this lovely man!
'Black, two sugars, please! I'll be upstairs!' Sherlock briskly says before pushing past Molly and storming out of the mortuary. 'Oh, okay.' Molly stammers.
What? - No, not okay! He just turned you down, honey! He didn't misunderstand you, no! He didn't want to go out with you, not even for a coffee. Oh, my poor girl - You shouldn't take this to your heart, though. There will always be another time! Try again, honey! Don't give up, he's worth another go! Perseverance!
But - No! - Hey, wait, what are you doing, Molly? You are not serving him this coffee, you are not his maid. Show a bit of self-respect! But no, I can feel that you are not open for good advice from an experienced lab coat. You are going straight to your doom. You can't help it, girl, can you? He's always on your mind; you'd probably do anything for him. Sweetheart, he's going to break your heart!
'Ah, coffee! Thank you, Molly!' he takes the mug without a smile and turns away from her, 'What happened to the lipstick?'
'It wasn't working for me.' - Molly! Don't be so insecure, brighten up, men like self-confident women!
'Really? I thought it was a big improvement. Mouth's too small now.' What a cheek! No, really - Definitely not a gentleman! One does not comment on a lady's looks. Or attire and if you do then only in a positive way! That is a rule one of inter-gender politeness - or whatever this is called.
But, oh my God - I got a closer look at him! He is gorgeous! Those dark curls, in startling contrast to his pale skin, those fine features and icy eyes. I can definitely see why Molly's making such a fool of herself. Oh, well, I will just have to help her as well as I can then, won't I?
Oh, there he is again! Haven't seen him in a while. He's coming towards us – Hey, Molly, sweetie, turn around and face Mr Gorgeous.
'Molly, I need your help,' he opens the conversation. I could have thought of a better opener, but let's not grumble and see where he takes us. 'I need to check something on the two fresh corpses. Are you still working on them?' Corpses, corpses, that's NOT romantic, not a bit.
'The paperwork has already gone through, I'm afraid,' Molly is apologetic, she'd really like to help him. Oh, how he looks at her! Do I see a glimmer of interest in those icy eyes? He ponders for a moment, 'I like your hair, Molly,' he cocks his head in a very cute way, 'You usually wear it parted in the middle, but this suits you really well,' and he smiles. My goodness, quick, get me a fan, I need some air, I need some water – And my sweetheart Molly as well. She shyly smiles up at him, blushing crimson and then turns around to hide her face from him. If you don't mind I'd rather admire him a little bit longer – But what is that? I hope this is just a trick of the light or something - As soon as Molly's turns away from him, the smile virtually dies on his face and is replaced by a grim expression. What was that then? - A tactical smile and a faux compliment? You bastard! What do think you're doing? Playing with my girl, exploiting her? You are definitely going to break her heart!
Molly seems to try to put a bit of distance between herself and Mr Gorgeous, she has found herself a suitor, a certain Jim, working in IT. I can't put my finger on it, but he's kind of weird. Weird in a nasty sense, though, not weird in a Sherlock sense.
We're on our way to the lab – Sherlock's there, working, and his friend, the cute, stocky one, is with him. They are both adorable, really! I wouldn't say no to either of them! We are just inside the lab when the door opens again and this Jim Weird comes waltzing in. 'Oh, hi!' Molly's voice sounds a bit too cheerful, even to my untrained ears. She is hiding her true feelings, wants to appear happy. Jimmy is not giving her much attention, though, but focuses on Sherlock instead. Strange!
'So, you're the great Sherlock Holmes, Molly's told me all about you.' A nasty voice, trying to sound friendly, trying to hide the wolf within. 'Pleased to meet you!' He's extending a hand, but when Sherlock does not take him up on the offer he retracts his hand hastily accidently turning over a metal dish and sending it to the floor with a loud bang. Embarrassed he bends down and picks it up.
Sherlock shortly glances up from the microscope and lets his gaze fall on Jim, 'Gay!' he says and Molly sputters 'What?'
'Nothing! Um – Hey!' I have to bite my hands to keep myself from howling with laughter. Yes, he really hit the nail on the head there; that was exactly my first impression of Jim Weird! There is an awkward silence and since nobody's paying much attention to Jimmy anymore he decides to beat his retreat.
'Well, I just leave you to it. Molly, meet you at the pub? About sixish?' – About sixish? Yeah, right. And he leaves the lab.
Molly's is not amused, 'What do you mean – gay? We're together – He's not -' She's exaggerating, of course, they're not together, they have just been out three times, but she wouldn't tell Sherlock that, would she? 'With that level of personal grooming?' And he launches into an enumeration of apparently gay details ranging from tinted eyelashes to tanning cream to visible underwear - 'Plus the very suggestive fact that he left his telephone number under this dish for me. So I'd suggest you better break it up now and save yourself the pain.'
Hang on, how come he knows so much about gay grooming, underwear, tanning cream? Granted, he is a very dapper man, always dressed to the nines, his face and skin flawless ... – Ah! – But, ahh! - Now the penny dropped! Stupid, ignorant, fangirling me! Why didn't I see it before? Oh Molly, sweetheart, you can really save yourself the trouble and the pain. He is NOT available and now I'm beginning to see this cutie John in a completely different light, too. I don't think they are a couple yet, no - But definitely on their way there. Lovely!
But my poor, poor Molly. She's gone all white and she's angry, 'Why do you have to spoil everything?' And out we run, she's trying to stifle the sobs, but once we're in the loo she doesn't hold back anymore. Hush, my little girl, it's alright. He doesn't do you any good, he would've broken your heart eventually and there was really no future for you anyway!
We are working together in the lab again, Sherlock, John, Molly and me.
We enjoy an amicable silence when suddenly Molly quietly says, ''You look like my dad, he's dead - Oh, sorry.' Why does she bring her dad into it?
'Molly, there's no need to make conversation. This really isn't your area,' Sherlock's low voice rumbles, oh my God he can be so impolite! But I must say he's not completely wrong, that was a strange remark.
'My dad, when he was dying, he was always cheerful, he was lovely, except when he thought no one could see him. I saw him once when he thought nobody was looking and he looked sad.'
'Molly!' Sherlock sounds uncomfortable and I still don't understand, why would she bring this up now? But Molly is not to be deterred, 'You look sad,' she says quietly, 'When you think he can't see you.' Molly looks at Sherlock who quickly glances over to John who is busy at the far end of the lab, out of earshot. She's got his attention now. I thought that Molly has moved on, after so much time and so many defeating moments, her longing unfulfilled, her love unrequited – and that she can accept Sherlock and John - and now I'm confused and I really don't see where she's heading.
'Don't tell me you're okay, because I know you're not and I know what it means looking sad when you think nobody can see you.'
'You can see me,' Sherlock says, puzzled.
'I don't count,' Molly replies resignedly. My poor baby, that's the saddest thing I've heard in a long time. I can only admire her courage and her grace that she offers him her friendship and help despite the knowledge that she's not appreciated – wait, there's more – 'If there is anything you want, anything at all, anything I can do – Tell me. You can have me -' Oh? Is that it? She still offers herself after all he did to her? Sherlock's eyebrows shoot up and he looks at her – surprised?
'No, I mean – you know,' she's blushing. Well, she should. She's so clumsy sometimes.
'What could I want from you?' Hang on - has he ever understood the meaning of courtesy? He really lacks social graces, doesn't he?
'Nothing. I don't know. I'm just saying. But you could probably say thank you anyway.' Yes, show him.
'Thank you,' he obediently says. See, that didn't hurt and you might have learned something for the next time. But he's knitting his brows, genuinely puzzled now. Yes? What the hell is going on? I would really like to know. She must be psychic – and must have picked up something even John, his partner and lover, hasn't noticed – and now she's offering him friendship and help. Dear, dear girl, you are an angel.
They look at each other for a moment and I can see something passing between those two, a new understanding, some kind of bonding. Oh, that's so sweet and so deserved! But I can feel that Molly wants to be away now, she's restless and pretends to need something to drink and a sandwich. In fact, she's shaking like a leaf - She might be offering friendship, but she still feels love.
Sweetheart, let me tell you one thing: you will get over him and there's plenty of fish in the sea! Sorry for those chlichés, but life's one big cliché anyway, isn't it? And he might turn out to be a person you can trust and who trusts you - a true friend!
One day you will find the right man, the man of your dreams – Oh, by the way, what about that nice silver fox, that Inspector, what's his name again? – Ah, yes – Lestrade!
Chapter 11: The Skull
The Skull was a going-away-present from Mycroft when Sherlock went to Cambridge. She tells us about their life at university and how she came to be his only confidant – until John came along
'That's – a skull!'
'Yes, friend of mine. Well, I say friend.'
This fateful exchange marked the end of my life as I knew it. Everything went downhill from the minute John Watson decided to worm his way into our life. If I hadn't gone past the pearly gates already I'd have considered taking my own life at this very moment.
Sherlock and I were content, we weren't lacking anything. I was there for him – and he was there for me. I even dare say I was his raison d'être - and I have been from the first second we met.
'A birthday present!'
'What do you mean no?
'No – You never give me birthday presents. No – If you did I'd never accept it because of that incident with the science kit and the hole in the wall on my eighth birthday. No – It's not even my birthday today. My birthday's in June. If I'm not mistaken it's September. Am I right?'
'Cleverly observed as usual, my dear brother,' Mycroft conceded, 'Not a birthday present then.'
'A going-away-present? Seeing you off to Cambridge with something to remind you –'
'Remind me?' Sherlock rudely interrupted his older brother, 'Of what? Of you? I'd rather leave everything behind me – and that includes you, Mycroft.'
'Oh, don't play the petulant child, Sherlock! Always so resentful - For God's sakes, you're eighteen, not eight! Just take it,' he shoved the package into his brother's hands, clearly exasperated, 'Do whatever you like with it!'
Sherlock looked down on the gift-wrapped object. Distrustingly, lest it should explode or send off unpleasant smells. He wouldn't put it beyond Mycroft to play a joke on him. He narrowed his eyes and started taking in all the details – his mind processing them in numbing speed:
Pale green shiny wrapping paper, no Father Christmases, no Easter bunnies, so clearly no left-over from past festivities, bought exclusively for this occasion then, the same applies to the ribbon, colour-coordinated, two-tone green stripes, it has taken some time and skill to fasten it because the object is of a rather extraordinary shape, therefore no tie, no book, no family picture.
Gingerly he groped me, I could feel through the wrapping that he possessed the slender fingers of a surgeon or violinist– indeed, he was probing very delicately.
Sherlock arched an eyebrow – his probing fingers sending this astonishing information to his brain - A skull. And his mind replying - Oh, for God's sakes, Mycroft!
He unwrapped me and when our eyes met for the first time I was relieved to see joy in his pale blue eyes, a glimmer of surprise which quickly faded into delight and curiousity – a myriad of emotions – all of them positive despite his initial reluctance! Out of the blue something happened which caught me completely off-guard: I could watch what was going on in his head – I could read his thoughts! - I could virtually see his mind carrying out a ridiculously quick assessment of me: skull, clearly genuine, female, roughly two hundred years old - and I'm delighted to reveal that he was right! My heart went out to him - My soulmate, my companion and maybe more -
His lips curled in the most fleeting of smiles, but Mycroft had picked it up, 'I'd thought you might like it. It'll keep you company in Cambridge – You will need it.'
Those were Mycroft's enigmatic parting words. Twiddling his umbrella he left us, thus sending his little brother, me and their unresolved issues off to Cambridge.
My name is Mary Isabelle Monchamp, née Harrington. I was born in Exeter in 1812 and died in Limoges in 1834 giving birth to my son James. I had been a young innocent English country girl and I had been swept off my feet by a French aristocrat travelling around England. He had wooed me, married me and carried me off to France to live in a draughty old manor house all in a matter of weeks.
I don't relish those memories – I loved my darling Henri dearly, but life was hard for me in France. After I'd lost my life giving birth to the heir of the Monchamp family, Henri lost his mind. He never got over witnessing my agonizing death – and a few months after this calamity he dug up my grave and stole my head, or rather skull, and fled back with me to England. Initially I was shocked, mortified, but then I made my peace with his decision and was glad to be back in my home country. His family certified him insane and his heritage went to our son.
It is a long and rather sad story – and irrelevant to the one I want to tell you. Let me merely say that much; after a frightful odyssey through England Henri died, poor and insane, an untouchable - and I was taken in by an eccentric English vicar who kept me on the mantelpiece in his study. He always offered the same explanations to his appalled visitors, namely that I served as his reminder of mortality.
Ah! – Time flew by and I went through many hands before I landed in a rural antique shop in the south of England where a certain Mycroft Holmes picked me up and bought me.
And now I had finally come home - My dear, dear Sherlock reminded me of my darling Henri, the same dark brooding looks and elegant cheekbones. His wonderful, wonderful voice sending shivers up and down my spine, so to speak. His delicate shining features and his elegant fingers holding me when he spoke to me were ample compensation for my past ordeals.
Shall I confide in you, divulge some snippets of our life in Cambridge? Oh, yes - I will.
Well, Sherlock and me kept very much to ourselves.
He seldom brought fellow students home to his chamber. Those were rare occasions, and that I wasn't very fond of them I have to admit. He wasn't as attentive to me when he had a visitor, he only had eyes for him – it was always a man by the way. He only had eyes for him then, as I said, but most certainly not in that way! No, no that came later – with this John. Oh, I could tell you a few tales about those two! Fortunately I am not a prudish person and I know and appreciate what a man needs.
Well, in Cambridge, he had something else on his mind, something else entirely - he brought them home to lecture them. This is a little weakness in my Sherlock; he is always careful to make sure he is the cleverest person in the room, the one to outshine the others. Not a difficult feat, the ones he brought to his chamber were simpletons compared to him. Funnily enough, I never saw the same person twice – they never returned.
All the better - because that left my Sherlock for me. Oh, we talked a lot - well, I say talked - but he told me everything. He poured his little heart out, all his sorrows and pains. Yes, sorrows and pains! Just because he is such a brilliant man doesn't mean that he is not human or that he drifts through life without cravings and needs.
What fascinated me in a way was that he suffered from boredom most of the time, making it difficult to endure him - sometimes even for me. He would pace the room for hours, ruffling his hair, shouting out his frustration. I took it all in good stride - well, most of the time, as I said - knowing that he needed to let off steam. He didn't sleep very much – and used the dark hours of the night to work his way through an amazing array of chemical experiments, the odd reaction causing things to combust spontaneously or to go up in a billow of sulphurous smoke. Neighbouring students weren't exactly on speaking terms with him after a few of those nightly endeavours.
Thankfully for all of us he brought his violin back from one his rare home visits – It calmed him greatly, for from then on he was playing lovely tunes instead of burning down the chamber.
Most of the time he applied himself to his studies, though. He studied a little bit here and a little bit there. Moving from philosophy to ancient languages, from mathematics to physics. He excelled in everything, in his studies that is, but socially he kept himself to himself. So, imagine my surprise when one day he told me about a person he seemingly was very interested in.
Professor Huntington, as far I recall. Yes, he once had a crush on a professor! He could talk for hours about his exceptional brilliance, his outstanding mind and his way of putting the less gifted students in their place. Oh, he admired him.
I sensed the infatuation slowly fading away when he started criticizing him for not having spotted simple mistakes he had made in equations and Sherlock had had to point them out to him. Oh, he couldn't forgive that, my Sherlock. He couldn't abide mistakes or imbecility as he called it when he ranted about that Professor Huntington. Fallibility in someone he adored? He was disillusioned. He never again took a shine to a professor or a fellow student after that.
Oh – and another rather salacious incident comes to my mind which characterizes my Sherlock quite well. One late evening he came home and –
'She tried to –' He was breathless, his face flushed and he looked indignant, 'She actually tried to put her mouth on mine!'
He paced the room, hands flying, his whole body exuding indignation. 'She put her disgusting little paws in my hair, tightly gripping and moved her pink face so near that I could see the blood vessels in her watery eyes. She was strong so I couldn't just break away. I tried, believe me, but her hands held onto me like an iron vice. And the smell! She must have actually bathed in Dior's Poison. If I ever had to attribute a smell with the dark caves of hell that'll be it. A heavy, sticky, sickly smelling perfume. I don't think I will ever be able to smell that again without – '
He shuddered and repeatedly wiped both hands over his face before he weaved his fingers through his curls over and over again as if to chase away the memories and the lingering smell.
'She tricked me! She asked me to help her with her term paper and I knew her from philosophy lecture, so I said yes. What a stupid, stupid mistake that was. She invited me to her room – I should have known! Her room was darkened, candles lit! All my senses screamed – get out - but she was quicker. She actually blocked the door with her plump little body and made her move. Vice-like claws in my hair, her breath on my face – and then she pressed her chapped, papery lips on mine –' He resumed the swishing motions, growing more frantic, trying to wipe away the ghosts of memories from his lips. Little moans of frustration escaped his mouth.
'I had to endure it! But as soon as she softened her grip I dashed for the door and ran.'
Oh, my poor lamb! My heart went out to him. Such an innocent little angel – he knew nothing of the world outside his mind palace, knew nothing of the desires of a young woman madly in love with him. He was ignorant of the effect he had on the female students – and some male specimens, come to think of it – when he walked by them or exchanged the odd unavoidable word.
So, I have to concede that for all his splendor he always remained an outsider, an innocent, ignorant, lonely young man. It makes me indescribably sad when I think back to it. I had him to myself, that's true. But what you really want is to see the ones you love happy, wouldn't you agree?
Something has moved inside me - something has changed.
Divulging secrets of our past made me realize that maybe - if I cast aside the jealousy that has been eating at my heart for the past months - I can say that John Watson, although he stole him from me, and I'm still angry with him for that – that John Watson is the one to make my Sherlock happy. I have never ever seen him shying away from John's touch or trying to get John's smell out of his system or doing anything else to keep him at arm's length.
No, he genuinely feels for him, blazingly open, there to notice for everyone.
And John feels the same for him. He is a calming influence. He offers him assistance and guidance, he even manages to give him some peace of mind from time to time.
And there's truly no tragedy in that.
No - I can see now that I am happy for them.
Chapter 12: Epilogue - Goodbye Sherlock
After Sherlock's death everything changes and all the clothes have to adapt to the new situation...
This is the final chapter. Thank you all so much who read my story or commented, bookmarked or left a kudo ;-D I really, really appreciate it!
This chapter is dedicated to the lovely WitchRavenFox (check out her story Against The Counter in 221b, it's hot ...!)
Three weeks, two days, fifteen hours and twenty-one minutes ago our life as we knew it ended -
John slowly stroked over the fine fabric, drinking in the deep purple of the shirt that he loved so much. He traced the mother-of-pearl buttons, weaved his fingers into the collar, following the lines of the seams as if caressing Sherlock's body. He lifted the shirt and sniffed, inhaling his scent that still clung to it. The shirt had been waiting to go to the cleaners, Sherlock didn't have time to do it, and now John silently praised his laziness. Gently he put the shirt aside, touching it one more time - it would go with him.
John got up from the floor to get more cardboard boxes, he planned on leaving the flat for a while and had set out to pack some of Sherlock's clothes and things – some he would take with him – some he would leave behind for the time being. He had no idea when he would be able to pluck up the courage to come back to their home. At the moment he was trapped in a numbing haze – merely existing, not living.
The purple shirt was glad that he had put her down, she couldn't have looked at John's face any longer. Grief had buried deep lines around his nose and mouth; dark pouches underneath his eyes were witness of nights without sleep. They all had heard John waking from what was at best fitful sleep, and once awake realizing his loss once again. They had heard his muffled crying, his desperate whimpering at night.
The shirt squeezed her eyes shut, she had no tears left; the only thing that kept her going was the support of all the others. They had stood together like one, all of them.
Sadly, the coat and the suit hadn't made it. John had been forced to leave them with Sherlock, but the scarf had come home. John had taken to wearing him constantly. Paul, the scarf, Sherlock's oldest companion, had had the sad duty to tell them all what had happened.
It had been the worst day of their life.
'He stood no chance – Moriarty was there, up on the roof, waiting for Sherlock. Ready for him. You can't imagine the craziness that fairly exuded from him, the danger that surrounded him like a halo. A maniac if I ever saw one - he was so cold, so ice cold –' the scarf broke off, balling his fists, the memories were threatening to overwhelm him and he choked back a sob. 'They were pacing around each other. Talking, talking, talking – Each of them trying to gain the upper hand in this game of life and death. And then Moriarty told him that he had to kill himself to come full circle. Everybody should believe that he was a fraud – a fake! Finished! Disgraced! - And he left him no choice!' The tears were streaming down his face in earnest now.
'He told Sherlock that his snipers would kill John, Mrs Hudson and Lestrade if he didn't kill himself.' The shirt's hands flew to her mouth and the skull gasped. John's jumper and the black jacket exchanged pained looks. 'There was one moment Sherlock thought he might have glimpsed a chance and I could feel his exhilaration, his elevating heartbeat - he saw a way out for us. He told Moriarty that he could redeem himself and save John and the others as long as he had him.'
Paul sobbed – all the awful images flashing in front of his eyes. 'But Moriarty,' he halted, 'Moriarty took his hand as if to thank him - it was a chilling moment - and then he said and I will never ever forgot those words, he said - As long as I'm alive you will have the chance to save your friends, you've got a way out - well, good luck with that – and then - then he shot himself and we reeled backwards in panic and – oh – it was so terrifying.'
The purple shirt and all the others, John's jumper, his jacket and the skull were numb with pain, staring ahead, only occasionally glancing at Paul. They were aware of Paul's agony, feeling with him, but they couldn't spare him, they needed to know what had happened.
'Sherlock panicked, he knew that there was no way out anymore, he was desperate, whimpering, moaning, he came undone – because he knew that he would have no choice but to jump. After some dreadful moments he stepped up onto the ledge and stood there, looking down, swaying. I was astounded and awed by his composure then.
The last thing he did was to take out his phone and call John. Their final phone call was heartbreaking – he tried to apologize, to convince him that he was a fraud and he really tried to hold it together, he wouldn't allow himself to break apart. But when he said goodbye his voice was breaking and I felt a single tear falling down on me, soaking my fabric. It's still there,' he pointed to the spot where Sherlock's tear had graced his fabric, 'I could hear John's frantic voice through the phone and I could feel Sherlock's growing panic and fear, his heart pounding wildly, felt him exhaling one last time.
Then he spread his arms – like the wings of an angel - and after an indecisive moment he let himself fall into the void, taking me with him.' Paul covered his eyes with his hands, sobs were shaking him. The others watched him, unable to hold back their own tears.
The purple shirt moved closer to the jumper, tentatively groping for his hands. She needed to be near him. The jumper looked at her - she was devastated; they all were. Nobody said a word.
After a moment of silence Paul started speaking again, very quietly, 'He died for John. He sacrificed himself for others. He is a real hero,' he sniffed, 'The jump was horrifying – a nightmare. We thudded hard onto the pavement, I think I passed out for a moment – when I came to there was all this blood – his blood,' his voice was very small, awed by what he had gone through, 'I felt his life leaving him. Heard his last breath – I don't think there will ever be a happy moment in my life again.'
The skull looked down on Paul, taking in his grief, and on the others with their sadness – she herself took Sherlock's death very, very badly. He had been the second love of her life - and she had lost him to death as well, just as her beloved husband– she feared for her future. Should John decide against her – what would become of her? She couldn't suppress a desperate sob.
Paul looked up to the skull, acknowledging her pain, and then he continued, his voice muffled with tears, 'They tried to help him in hospital, but they couldn't. I don't really know what on earth they tried to save his life because I had been separated from him by then. They had taken me away and given me to John.' He tried to wipe away some of the tears still streaming down his face, 'Oh, poor John – he is heartbroken. What comforts me a bit is that I'm his now, that I'm still here with you. But I miss him so much –' his voice broke again.
'We all do,' John's jumper quietly said and they all felt that this simple sentence held the essence of their grief. 'I will remember him the way he was when he wore me,' the jumper said earning a few surprised glances, 'Yes, that was our secret. He wore me when John was out and he needed to calm down – then he would come to me and put me on and I calmed him, soothed him, enabled him to find much needed rest.'
'I know,' the purple shirt said, almost inaudibly, 'I was with him once, do you remember?' – 'Yes, I do, that was lovely,' the jumper said, looking down on her pretty little face, unsure if this was an appropriate thing to say.
'I will remember him as somebody who could surprise you with his ideas, his experiments, his moods. He could be such a blast,' the black jacket chuckled quietly, 'You should have seen the two of them, singing songs, sharing drunken kisses. They were adorable.' He glanced at the others, he wasn't sure if sharing such a memory was impious, but that had also been Sherlock.
'I understand,' the purple shirt said, smiling at him, and the jacket was reassured.
'What will always stay with me is his beauty - his eyes, those pale blue marbles, his cheekbones - and his lean body,' she looked around herself, they were all listening attentively, 'He was so gorgeous. I always loved to be skin on skin. Oh, I will miss touching him,' she buried her face in the jumper's chest who patted her back soothingly.
'He was such an outstanding man, such a gentle, lovely man and he loved John dearly,' they all looked up to the skull on the mantelpiece who hadn't spoken so far, 'He had found a true companion in him, his complementing half. We must all look after John, I fear he's falling apart.'
The coming weeks proved her right. John had gone back to work after a week, but they could fairly see him becoming less and less every day. Mrs Hudson tried to make sure he ate on a regular basis, but they all saw him shunning his food.
He passed the evenings sitting in the living room, facing Sherlock's favourite chair. He stared ahead, his eyes lost in the past, unreachable.
So all that was left to them was trying to look after John as well as they could and trying to come to terms with their own grief. Those were quiet days. Their world had come to a standstill on that fateful day and was only very, very gradually starting to spin again.
The last few days had finally brought a slight reprieve, and they all hoped for it to be permanent It seemed as if John had found a remnant of his will to live, and he had started to sort through Sherlock's things.
They all sensed that a change was imminent and that they would probably have to say goodbye a second time soon –
Three weeks, two days, fifteen hours and twenty-nine minutes after their life as they knew it had ended