|Fic: "I Meet You There, and We Go" - John/Sherlock - R
||[Jan. 10th, 2011|02:23 am]
Title: I Meet You There, and We Go
Warnings: Major character death(s).
Notes: A kink-meme fill for this request: Split perspective—Sherlock is both dying and keeping his bees. And by dying, I mean at the Pool, with John trying his best to save him. In his own mind, Sherlock is years off, keeping his bees. Change it any way you want, but what I really, really would love to see is Sherlock both living and dying, and not being able to distinguish which is real. Title from "Garlands," by Tori Amos.
Summary: Sherlock doesn't believe in second chances, but a last one will suffice.
*** eastern_passage has done some artwork to accompany this. ***
As the first bullet hits him, Sherlock pulls the trigger, and the explosion fades to a dull, soothing hum. Not fair, Sherlock thinks as he draws breath to shout, but can't, because there's a second bullet, and John (didn't even make the first move)—
John is already there, arms strong and sure around him.
Covering him as debris rains down, his breath harsh and frantic against Sherlock's sweat-slicked cheek. It's familiar (shouldn't be, they've never), somehow disarmingly sweet. Warmth blooms, no, burns in Sherlock's chest, seeps out between stuttering pulses: his heart and then John's, his heart and then John's, his heart and then John's.
He's waited years for this, would've waited forever.
Normally, John is wary of the hives, and Sherlock doesn't necessarily blame him. He treats Sherlock's stings with weary affection, implores him to consider the ridiculous suit, veil, and gloves. Not fair, Sherlock tells him, tugging John in closer by the arm tentatively curled around his waist, wielding the smoker with his free hand. John's other arm slips around him. They wouldn't get a clear view of me, nor I of them.
John mutters (don't know the difference), tensing as a few drones whiz past Sherlock's shoulder, catch their wings on the greying wisps of his still sun-touched hair.
"Of course I know the difference," Sherlock says, coughing, only it's his head on John's shoulder instead of John's on his, and his lips are inexplicably wet.
"The difference between what?" John asks, and the relief in his voice is palpable, but unconvincing. It's as real as his hesitant fingertips struggling to pick at the sodden wreck of Sherlock's shirt. "Sherlock, talk to me. Keep going."
"Here," Sherlock says, letting his eyes drift shut again, "and there."
It's later, much later. Evening. They're inside.
John undoes the buttons of Sherlock's shirt one by one and finds each sting with careful fingertips. Only two of them today. Sherlock reclines against the pillow, smug, while John applies a damp, stinging cotton ball first to one, and then the other.
"What on earth would I do if you were allergic?" he asks.
"Save me, I suspect," replies Sherlock.
"That's not funny," John says, and Sherlock can't help but notice that he's coughing between words, too. So much dust in the air, so very fine. Smell of something burnt. Hiss of steam, flicker of dying lights. He's given up on picking at Sherlock's shirt and has taken to propping him up instead, one arm wrapped about Sherlock's waist, the other hand busy checking the pulse-point at Sherlock's throat, and then his wrist—
"I meet you there," Sherlock tells him. "You make it."
"You're bloody well going to make it, too, if I have any say in the matter!"
John's frowning at him now, frowning very hard indeed. His hand drifts from Sherlock's throat to his cheek, and John's breathing is even harsher now than it was before. There's shouting beyond the mountain range of rubble, the jagged lines and shadows' sharp relief. But all Sherlock can hear is the hum, low and inevitable.
The hives are quiet at night, because the sound follows Sherlock into sleep.
And on this night that's like so many others, fraught with visions only half dreamed, Sherlock wakes with a start to the press of John's damp palm at his cheek.
"What did you dream?" John asks. "Your heart's racing."
Silence, Sherlock thinks. The bees have gone out.
"I dream of what it's like," he says with difficulty, and the words taste right in spite of the fact that everything else tastes wrong, "when we leave this place."
John is quiet for an unbearably long while (too quiet: no humming, no breath) before he lets his forehead drop to rest against Sherlock's, smudge of ash and grit and sweat mixed with something far too heavy to be tears. He presses one hand over Sherlock's heart, and there's warmth again. The promise dazzles him. It stings.
"What's it like?" asks John, finally, his voice thick with the promise of rest.
"There are bees," Sherlock says, fumbling loosely for John's hand at his chest. Finds it, closes it in his own. There. "It's peaceful," he says, squeezing John's fingers.
John laughs, but it bubbles from him strangely, more like a sob. It's beautiful.
"Then what are we waiting for?" he asks. By now, his voice is almost a whisper.
"We'll go," Sherlock murmurs, turning his head, and their lips almost touch. He doesn't believe in second chances, but he does believe in last ones. "Like this—"
Sherlock drifts again, lulled into slumber by John's kiss.
- Continue: The Half-Open Window -