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Fic: "The Half-Open Window" - John/Sherlock, Ensemble - R [Jan. 12th, 2011|09:13 pm]
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Title: The Half-Open Window
Pairing/Characters: John/Sherlock, Ensemble Cast
Rating: R
Warnings: Character deaths, a crime scene, the mortuary, a funeral, and mourning.
Notes: For this piece to fully make sense, you need to have read I Meet You There, and We Go; this is a follow-up. Mycroft in particular seemed rather angry that I didn't let those left behind have a say, so that's the objective. I also wondered what this world looks like now that two of its brightest lights have gone out. Since Tori Amos's "Garlands" (and Chagall, given that the majority of the lyrics are titles taken from some of his lithographs) gave me the title for the first piece and an atmospheric backdrop, I've pulled the sub-section titles of this piece from the song, too.
Summary: I'm off in flight towards another light—


I'm racing there

Sally gets there first, because that's her job. The night air is damp and crisp, the sky just a little too clear. She hugs herself tightly as she hands out orders, pointing when one of the new recruits doesn't seem certain of where the yellow tape needs to go. She only knows two things, and they're the only things she needs to know: one, that this is the work of that nut-job who's been baiting Sherlock, and two, courtesy of the comment threads on The Science of Deduction, that Sherlock is in there.

Her mobile goes off at about the same time one of the team approaches her, hesitantly, from the opposite side of the yellow tape. Her job's to keep the team inside and the public out. She holds up one hand, taking the call.

"Bad news. John wasn't at Baker Street, and the landlady doesn't know where he is."

"What about that girlfriend? Friend? You know, the one from the surgery."

"Sarah was expecting him," says Lestrade, slowly, "but he never showed."

"Fuck," Sally mutters, and the recruit standing in front of her blanches a shade paler. "Sorry, gotta go," she tells Lestrade, "keep me posted," and hangs up. This young man's only been on the job a week, and he already looks as if he's having second thoughts. Understandable, given what he's probably seen. "What is it?" Sally asks.

"We found a body," he says. "Chambers is convinced we'll find more."

"So am I," Sally says, and her throat constricts. "Any ID on the one you found?"

"No," says the young man. "Nice clothes, though. What's left of them."

"Then get back in there," Sally says, "and get me some answers."

He nods and flees.

Sally's mobile rings again, a shrill, panicked descant.

"What's going on down there?" Lestrade demands.

"One body so far," Sally tells him. "You'd better send Anderson and his lot."

"Any ID?" asks Lestrade, anxious.

"Not yet. Sharp dresser, they tell me. Could mean Sherlock or the bomber."

"Jesus," mutters Lestrade, after a few moments' silence.

"Listen, I've got Chambers here," she says. Her heart's in her throat as she watches him approach, and it's then that she realizes she knows something else, something that she wishes she didn't, beyond a shadow of a doubt. John's in there, too.

"I'm coming," Lestrade replies, and hangs up.

"Two more," says Chambers, simply. He takes hold of Sally's hand and places a small, charred rectangular object in it. It smells of burnt plastic, but it slides open easily when Sally tugs on either side. The lens collects a harsh, knowing pool of light.

Chambers is already gone, and Sally is too stunned to wipe her eyes.


Lovers

Getting past Sally, letting go of her, leaving her there to lean bonelessly against the patrol car until Anderson races to her side seconds later, is one of the hardest things that Lestrade has ever done. But it's not as hard as what he's about to do.

He lifts the tape and ducks under.

Chambers is with him inside a minute, explaining the situation. The fires are out. So far, they've discovered six bodies amidst the rubble, one of which is probably the bomber, three of which seem to be accomplices and whose guns suggest that they were snipers. They've found more of the guns, but not bodies to go with. It's possible that a few of the would-be victims had escaped. Snipers on the loose. Fantastic.

"You've left out two," says Lestrade, grimly, donning the mask Chambers hands him.

"I'm sorry, sir," he says, "but I thought you already knew. They're over there, beyond that collapsed wall. We've cleared a path." He shifts to stand in Lestrade's way, as if to shield him from the inevitable. "If you'd rather not—"

"Bloody let me through," Lestrade hisses, shoving him aside.

Lestrade has seen his fair share of devastation. Fires, explosions, shootings, stabbings—but none of it, no, none of it comes close to tripping his way through this brief maze of shattered concrete and tile, with too little time to prepare himself. The team has set up lamps and markers to help them find their way. Almost there.

They're together, he thinks, stumbling out of the shadows and into artificial light.

The sight is oddly comforting, insofar as such a sight can be.

The exit wounds in John's back trip off a sharp, terrible pang in Lestrade's chest, but he doesn't slow his approach, doesn't dare stop until he's able to crouch next to them and study the strangely peaceful tableau. John's body covers Sherlock's protectively—there's no almost here; in life, their pose would be that of lovers. It's like Pompeii, thinks Lestrade, dazedly, tempted to curl their lifeless fingers as tightly together as they must have been before the last spark of life had fled. They're forehead to forehead, Sherlock lying flat beneath John. John's head is turned ever so slightly. Their bloodied lips touch, just a bit off-kilter. Sherlock's mouth is slightly open, and John's lips seem molded to the corner of it—perhaps a cruel trick of the chiaroscuro.

Lestrade covers his face, his eyes stinging, and shouts.

"Chambers! Get Anderson in here! Now!"


Circus

Anderson does his job, because it's his job, and that's that.

For all of Sally's joking that one day it would be Sherlock Holmes who'd put the body there, he'd never honestly thought Sherlock Holmes would one day be the body. Just because somebody hates you and you hate them doesn't mean that they aren't part of it all, doesn't mean you actively wish they'd just vanish. Especially not if they're as useful as Sherlock Holmes. Well. As useful as he once had been.

There's not much evidence to collect, at least not on the bodies, as the situation's pretty cut and dried for such a fucking mess. They're already reconstructing a hostage situation just like the ones they've already seen, except John had been the hostage, and, at some point, the semtex-loaded coat had been removed from his person and deposited on the floor, where a single bullet shot from John's handgun detonated it. Miraculously, the gun hadn't been far from John and Sherlock, although heaven knows they'll have to wait for fingerprint analysis to determine which one of them fired.

Seeing Sally upset isn't what has him shaken. It's seeing Lestrade.

The DI is standing beside Anderson as the last handful of photographs are taken. Now comes the tedious part: separating the bodies, coping with the chaos of notifying family members. Someone's already called John's sister, sounds glad that the parents are long dead. Mycroft Holmes had contacted them almost as soon as the explosion had been reported. And now Lestrade's on the phone with him again, nodding repeatedly, his mouth set in a taut, pained line. Anderson bends to help Chambers roll John away from Sherlock, but Lestrade grabs his arm as he hangs up the phone.

"Wait."

"Why?" Anderson asks, perplexed. "There's nothing left to do."

Lestrade looks at the bodies for a few seconds, and then lets go of Anderson's arm.

"Someone from Bart's is coming to collect them," he says.

Anderson bristles. "But that's—"

"Not their jurisdiction, I know," Lestrade sighs. "But it is now."


Trampled Flowers

Molly's hand starts to shake on the receiver. She fumbles behind herself for the arm of the chair and sinks down in it, the wheels bearing her backwards ever so slightly, light as a feather. She says What? a full three times before the voice on the other end of the line (Priyanka from reception, she thinks) manages to get the message across.

Sherlock is dead. John is dead. They're being brought to Bart's.

Molly blinks at the desk, but it's no use; the whole room is swimming, spinning—

"Who..."

Jim. Jim from IT is a murdering psychopath, and he's dead, too.

"Look, I know that you knew them. That's why they had me ring up to tell you. Bad enough you're on the late-shift alone—listen, do you want to go home? I can send—"

"No," Molly says, firmly, crushing a handful of tissues to her eyes. She hangs up and sits there for a long time, blowing her nose loudly in the silence. She plays back through the information, which, in spite of her shock, she'd got in the end. She'd always been very good at remembering lectures, even when distracted. Sherlock and John and Jim are dead. They're bringing John and Sherlock, but not Jim.

"Just as well," she sobs aloud. "You bastard."

She's put herself back together by the time the doors swing open and the gurneys are wheeled in, one after the other. Once the paramedics are gone, Priyanka stands hovering in the doorway, asking if she can get Molly anything—tea, coffee?

Molly ignores her and bends over the longer of the two body bags, her hands shaking as she works on a pair of gloves, carefully pulls the zipper down just far enough. A whimper catches in her throat, but she doesn't shy from the sight, parting the bag carefully. There's dried blood on Sherlock's lips. His hair's a mess. She strokes it back from his forehead, and then presses her palm gently against his colorless cheek.

Through the thin layer of latex between his skin and hers, he's cold.

"Molly?" Priyanka asks, her voice trembling. She shrinks back into the hall.

"Coffee," Molly whispers. "Two sugars, black."


Winter

Early the next morning, Mike visits the mortuary, because it's an honor.

Molly has already phoned in sick, which is unsurprising, given what she'd been through the night before. Mike has lost his fair share of loved ones, but he can't really imagine losing someone with whom he'd never even got a chance. Someone with whom he'd never even had a chance. Priyanka claims Molly had hardly cried at all, had gone about her duties to both of them with quiet dignity long into the hours after midnight.

Mike closes his eyes. He can't imagine it, which is part of why he's here.

He can't remember the name of the intern who greets him with downcast eyes, leads him to where his friend's body is being kept. He hadn't been prepared for the bone-numbing chill, but then, that's cold storage for you. He ought to have worn his coat. The intern uncovers John's head and shoulders without a word and leaves quietly.

When he's finished paying his respects, Mike can see himself out.

"Can't think of anybody who deserved this less, hey?" he asks, trying his best to smile, but it's really no use. John's features were never meant for such unnatural stillness, but, cleaned of blood and whatever else, he at least looks peaceful. Mike wonders if it would've been better if he'd never made it home at all.

Your fault, says a voice in his head. You should never have introduced them.

Mike knows that's not the way of it, not really, but the fact remains that John Watson—and Sherlock Holmes, come to it—might not be dead now if he hadn't set them on course for utter ruin. He rummages in his pockets for a handkerchief, finding them empty. His sleeve will have to suffice. He lays a hand on John's covered arm.

"I'll see you again sometime, mate. God willing. You take care now."

And take care of Sherlock, the mad bugger, rest his soul, he thinks, and goes out.


The Marriage

Sarah doesn't have a black dress, and she hadn't been about to go buy one, either.

It's strange to be here, more strange than sad. John had been a dear friend, but for such a short time, and she'd never got the chance to find out if he could have been something more. To her right, hatted and veiled, Mrs. Hudson sniffles quietly into a handful of tissues. To her left, sober and silent, Harry Watson stares at her hands tightly folded in her lap. It's the first time she's ever met John's sister.

Sarah wouldn't have expected a single funeral if it had ever come to this; she'd always imagined—and, yes, she'd imagined it a fair few times, what with the introduction she'd got to the kind of danger they'd courted on a regular basis—that the families would have wished for separate, private affairs. She hadn't known the Holmes family were Catholic, although she had known that John's family were Anglican. It's a wonder, then, that the parish priest has even permitted such an arrangement.

From his vantage point at the pulpit between the parallel caskets, Sarah can't help but think the poor man is performing a marriage of sorts, what with the way his outstretched hands seem to join them to silent assent shot through with the soft sound of sniffling and the occasional muffled sob. That's Molly, Sarah knows, just behind her, and in the front pew, Sally Donovan is leaning heavily on DI Lestrade's shoulder.

She's still not listening to what's being said when Mycroft Holmes replaces the priest. If she listens, she'll fall to pieces. Instead, she listens to those assembled around her and thinks about why, tentatively reaching over to take Mrs. Hudson's hand.

"I'm dreaming this," Mrs. Hudson says, scarcely a whisper. "I've just got to be."

Sarah squeezes her fingers, at a loss for words.

Harry steals a glance at both of them, and what Sarah sees in her eyes is resentment.

You're loved, Sarah thinks. And you loved each other more than we'll ever know.


The Mimosas

Mrs. Hudson knows she's not fit to be entertaining, but, bless them, they've got nowhere else to go. She can't imagine that Mycroft would have been up to hosting such a thing; as it was, he'd drifted out of her flat at least twenty minutes ago and she'd seen neither hide, nor hair of him since (although she'd heard his footsteps on the stairs and had tried her best not to think about what he's doing up there).

Not many have come, and that's a relief. There's the Detective Inspector and Sally in the corner, talking quietly to that poor young lady from Bart's. Such a pretty thing, Mrs. Hudson thinks, taking another sip of her drink. She'd have done for one of them, anyway, if they'd not been so set on each other.

Sarah, always so helpful, has taken a round of plates off to the kitchen. Mrs. Hudson hadn't set out much, just some crackers and cold-cuts and cheese, although for drinks she'd turned out the whole cabinet, and for that, everyone seems grateful. Especially John's sister, although she knows she ought to be concerned about that.

Harry is sitting alone on the sofa, drinking a glass of red wine. Before Mrs. Hudson is aware of what she's doing, she's on her feet, swaying a little at her hip's protestations, making her way across the room. She's on her third mimosa, and it's almost gone.

Harry doesn't even look up as Mrs. Hudson takes a seat beside her.

"Where's your lovely girl, then?" she asks kindly, having at least had it on good authority from John that Harry and Clara had begun to patch things up.

"Home," Harry says, and it's clear she's trying to smile, but her eyes are raw and it's not working. "Up north. Her sister's having a baby. I've been waiting to hear."

"That's wonderful news," says Mrs. Hudson. "Sorely needed at a time like this."

"I used to think," Harry says, lowering her eyes again to her glass, "that I'd get a letter or a phone-call. That it would've been different. That he'd have been over there, not here at home, and that I'd at least have a reason to hate him for it. I never wanted him to leave. I never wanted him to leave."

Suddenly, Harry's wine is on the floor, and she's sobbing on Mrs. Hudson's shoulder.

"Hate him a little," Mrs. Hudson murmurs. "If it makes you feel better, I suppose. It's an awfully foolish thing he did. Both of them did, really."

"Sod that," Harry hiccups, and, to Mrs. Hudson's surprise, she's laughing. "How can I bloody well hate my own brother for having fallen arse over teacup for some brilliant wanker who made him feel more alive than he'd felt in years?"

Mrs. Hudson cradles her, rocks her like a child.

"You can't, love. Forgive me. Neither can I."


The Half-Open Window

Mycroft stands motionless in the doorway of 221B for quite some time.

The flat is precisely as they'd left it, save for some signs of tidying-up that can only have been Mrs. Hudson's doing. John's laptop is open on the desk, and Sherlock's violin lies abandoned on the floor next to the sofa. A slight breeze steals in through the window—the plastic they've taped in place has come loose, flaps eerily like a disembodied wing—and stirs some loose papers on the floor. Mycroft crosses the room, finally, and gathers them up, knowing there's some chance that they might be important. It wouldn't do for his brother to have unfinished business.

It's a curious sensation, his reason for so many years of worry slipping away.

Devastating, too, of course. Their mother has been in hospital ever since Mycroft had broken the news; she'd been at high risk for a heart attack for quite some time as it was. They'll have a private service on the grounds after the cremations have been carried out, for family only. Mycroft will extend an invitation to Harry Watson, but he expects that she'll refuse. And she would be right to, Mycroft supposes, given that he will have covertly spirited away a handful of her brother's ashes.

Mycroft steps up to the window and tugs the plastic free, breathing in the scent of not-too-distant rain and the sounds of Baker Street below. What brought Sherlock to this point he knows in part, of course, but John will in many respects remain the one piece of the jigsaw for which Mycroft grudgingly admits he may never find a place.

What matters is that Sherlock had.

And Mycroft cannot begrudge him that, not as long as he lives.



- Epilogue: I Broke Them All For You -
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Comments:
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[User Picture]From: lucifer2004xx
2011-01-12 09:34 pm (UTC)

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ouch, ouch. in need of tissue... *sob*
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-01-14 11:37 am (UTC)

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*offers tissues, hugs*

Thank you. And I'll find a way to make up for this, I really will.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-01-14 11:40 am (UTC)

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I don't cry easily, either; the list of films that's made me cry is only three long, and the list of books that have made me cry is only two long. That said, this set of stories would be only the second time I've cried in conjunction with discussion over something I've written, so, hey, new territory in fanfiction, always a good thing *sigh* Finding new limits is always entertaining (or traumatic).

Thank you very much *hugs*
[User Picture]From: mysterypoet66
2011-01-12 10:02 pm (UTC)

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1. It's brilliantly done. Intensely still, scalpel-precise in the images and moments documented. That's what it feels like, events being documented.
2. I'm either horrifyingly masochistic, or there is something, in the dread deep of winter, that requires bleeding a vein of emotion that has no place in the world of sunlight and warmth.
Also, yes - kittens. Lots of kittens. Kittens are good.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-01-14 11:42 am (UTC)

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Something pretty nasty does emerge this time of year, at least in me; it's when I'm most likely to have some pretty low episodes (and subsequently use them). I've lost two friends in as many months, and I don't think I'm properly dealing with those losses even now. I was really questioning myself on grounds of why I thought filling that request was a good idea, or even necessary, but then, it's all connected on some level, isn't it?

Maybe it'll all go away if I put the kittens back in the mortuary.

Thank you, my dear, as always *hugs*
[User Picture]From: gideon_harker
2011-01-12 10:06 pm (UTC)

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I have a huge lump in my throat...am not crying only because I'm not alone. This is beautiful, but so heartbreaking...
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-01-14 11:43 am (UTC)

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*hugs* Well, I'll hope you're less alone now, as that can help chase the tears away.

Thank you so much for reading.
[User Picture]From: aynslee
2011-01-12 10:09 pm (UTC)

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Gorgeous. I have this image of John and Sherlock hovering by somewhere hazy in the afterlife, right before moving on for good, and John's very sorry that they've caused everyone so much upset, and Sherlock's quoting him mortality statistics and grumbling about Anderson being on the scene at their death, yet feeling bereft at having to watch Mycroft stand in their flat for the last time. Mycroft was the saddest one for me, but I love that he acknowledges John's huge presence in Sherlock's life. I love the joint funeral too, and the comparison to a marriage. Very fitting. They went out together, with a bang, and is comforting, because it's what they would have wanted too.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-01-14 11:46 am (UTC)

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...your description has me somewhere between tears and laughter, so, congratulations, you're the second person in these comment-threads to draw tears from me. You're pretty good at avenging yourselves, and I find that reassuring.

Mycroft was the saddest for me, too, although Mike and Molly were a close second. Molly's section was the most painful as far as actually setting it down; Mycroft's was so calm and quiet, a steady resolution, but Molly's was...hard. It was very hard.

Thank you so much for reading!

[User Picture]From: ktbean
2011-01-12 10:17 pm (UTC)

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Oh My God. That was absolutely heartbreaking.
*Goes off to a corner to cry*
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-01-14 11:47 am (UTC)

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*offers hugs, tissues, tea, biscuits, etc.*

I'm really going to have to work on my warnings system. Actually, the problem is that I don't really have a warnings system, given I don't usually have a reason to give warnings in the first place!

Thank you very much <3
[User Picture]From: cj_ludd18
2011-01-12 10:26 pm (UTC)

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It's a lucky thing we bought tissues last weekend, because honestly I am still trying to cope with the things this piece makes me feel. Kleenex helps. Kleenex and possibly large amounts of sugar later and hunting down the 'fluff' tags on Delicious.

Absolutely perfect, word for word. Real and beautiful and terribly heartbreaking, with a bittersweet slice of mend at the end. It was wonderful of you to include everyone; it was brilliant of you to order everything the way you did, and how you slowly opened the wounds to let us see what, as you so wonderfully put it, "this world looks like now that two of its brightest lights have gone out."

Thank you for this so very, very much.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-01-14 11:50 am (UTC)

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I salute your foresight. All I've got is loo roll.

The other option would have been flashing forward to some years down the line; what does this world look like once it's stabilized? However, I didn't think that would have the same immediacy, wouldn't put across the same message re: what the loss felt like to the living and what it would mean. There's a story I've been running from writing for a few months now that doesn't even begin to go as far as this one, but it turns out I had to write something absolutely terrible to make myself realize I'm being silly about the story I'm running from. Now, that one doesn't look scary anymore. It only just looks difficult.

Thank you *hugs*
[User Picture]From: uwsannajane
2011-01-12 10:40 pm (UTC)

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I wasn't sure that you could improve on the perfect little sliver of sorrow that was "I Meet You There," but this is also beautifully done, and I'm just all ripped up. The image of the lovers at Pompeii did me in especially.

Thank you.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-01-14 11:52 am (UTC)

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SPQR Blues (a completely amazing web-comic) has seen to it that Pompeii is never far from my thoughts. As far as cataclysmic events that have left behind profound emotional artifacts, you can't beat it as comparison-points go.

Thank you, too.
[User Picture]From: hollyxu
2011-01-12 10:45 pm (UTC)

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I must be masochistic, because this hurts like crazy, and yet reading it felt so good at the same time.

... I'm going to go find a nice, fluffy kitten now.

Yeah. Kittens would be great.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-01-14 11:54 am (UTC)

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No, I know what you mean; I don't think I'd have got through writing these if they hadn't felt just as good as they hurt. I've lost two friends so far this winter, and if I needed any further indication that maybe I was still hurting for closure on multiple levels, I needn't look any further. AUs have their uses.

Thank you very much for reading!
[User Picture]From: mauvais_pli
2011-01-12 11:02 pm (UTC)

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Oh, dear God. Now this was ten times more devastating. Very intense; I would have been completely broken down towards the end, if not for Harry.

"Sod that," Harry hiccups, and, to Mrs. Hudson's surprise, she's laughing. "How can I bloody well hate my own brother for having fallen arse over teacup for some brilliant wanker who made him feel more alive than he'd felt in years?"

Well, point.

Loved Molly's bit especially, too.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-01-14 11:55 am (UTC)

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Harry was originally going to have a section to herself, but then I realized that Mrs. Hudson's section was perhaps the best place to let her have her two cents' worth. Moving from Mrs. Hudson to Mycroft upstairs seemed more logical than sticking Harry in between the two.

Thank you very much!
[User Picture]From: baba_o_reily
2011-01-12 11:07 pm (UTC)

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Well, that was absolutely heart wrenching. Your writing always seems to be emotionally pitch perfect. There was just enough of that ache, but also a sense of peace about it. It was melancholic with out being maudlin. You have a very delicate hand, and its a serious pleasure to read.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-01-14 11:57 am (UTC)

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I didn't quite feel like I'd achieved total closure with the first piece. For John and Sherlock, yes, but for the others? Not at all. It was Molly and Mycroft whose bits I imagined first, and two perspectives isn't enough to hang a whole piece on. And so the others came in.

Thank you very much <3
[User Picture]From: archea2
2011-01-12 11:24 pm (UTC)

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Very heartwrenching, because the elegy must triumph over hope - none of them can quite rely upon another to help them quench their grief. I've cleverly kept the prequel to read next - want to end on a tale of bees and warmth. But winter has its own beauty, too.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-01-14 11:58 am (UTC)

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I hadn't thought of that, but actually, these pieces can be read in reverse order just as effectively as in the order in which they came! Thank you for pointing that out :)

And thank you for reading, of course!
[User Picture]From: quantumlobster
2011-01-12 11:25 pm (UTC)

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The reference to Pompeii is what affected me the most.

I can never look at photographs of the casts of the Pompeiian dead curled protectively around their children and loved ones without being hit with the fragility and ephemeral nature of life. You caught that here as well.

Also, you captured so very well what those who have to go on living must confront. I lost my mother (far too early) four years ago, and the grief, rage, guilt and love have never faded, though I thought for certain they would have dulled by now.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-01-14 12:06 pm (UTC)

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If you're not following a web-comic called SPQR Blues, you need to start! It's set in Herculaneum, and we're up to the point in the plot where all signs are suggesting that Pompeii is about to blow. There are a couple of characters whose deaths will devastate me, if indeed they're slated to die. That's the worst thing, not knowing who will survive.

As immediate family goes, I've only lost my maternal grandfather - and I was seventeen when that happened, and it was odd, because I was never close to him. I felt sadness, but not the gut-wrenching loss that I'm pretty sure I'll feel when my dad's parents finally go. This winter has been hard, however, because I've lost two friends in quick succession. It's the first time I've lost individuals to whom I've had emotional ties strong enough for the loss to really, truly hurt.

*fierce hugs*

Thank you.
[User Picture]From: compactstars
2011-01-12 11:25 pm (UTC)

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You're an artist.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-01-14 12:08 pm (UTC)

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I'd be more inclined to say I'm a mad scientist carrying out experiment after experiment, one of which has finally exploded in a grim, unexpected fashion. I'm glad I wrote these, but I'm also regretting just how deep the shrapnel seems to have gone.

Thanks *hugs*
[User Picture]From: obopolsk
2011-01-12 11:38 pm (UTC)

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This is such a beautiful piece. I'm glad I finally watched this so -- more so because it means I can read your fic.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-01-14 12:09 pm (UTC)

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Oh, I'm glad you've watched it, too, if only because it's an amazing show! Yay!

Thank you - and I hope you enjoy what you find here :)
[User Picture]From: drowning_london
2011-01-12 11:47 pm (UTC)

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OMG Bawwwww! The original piece made me quite sad, but this just had me full out crying over it. It's amazing how you've squeezed so much emotion into every word, every sentence! ;-; You've done a fantastic job.

Now, if you wouldn't mind considering writing something just as full of emotion, but happy, I would be forever indebted. *clings*
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-01-14 12:10 pm (UTC)

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I agree; this is far sadder than the original piece. Hurts a lot worse than I intended it to, as well, but I don't exactly regret having written it. I love the way that kink-meme prompts and offhand comments can result in something so much bigger than any of the parties involved could've imagined. It's similar to the magic of interactive theatre.

Thank you very much!
[User Picture]From: azure_horizon
2011-01-13 12:02 am (UTC)

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Ah. Yeah. Tears.

[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-01-14 12:10 pm (UTC)

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Tissues. And many, many thanks.
[User Picture]From: mazarin221b
2011-01-13 12:17 am (UTC)

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Oh well hell. That's two fics in one day that's made me cry. God, how beautiful this is. It sounds strange to say considering the subject matter, but if the unthinkable ever did occur, I can imagine it would be just like this.

What a lovely, lovely piece of work.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-01-14 12:12 pm (UTC)

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Take comfort in this: it's probably never going to happen! And it definitely won't happen the way I've set it out here, as we know there's a second season. Without them, there wouldn't be that. I do wonder about all of the Reichenbach talk, though. I wonder if they're going to start off with Reichenbach in S2, rather than finish with it!

Thank you very much for reading <3
[User Picture]From: mirasymphony
2011-01-13 12:40 am (UTC)

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This is heartbreaking and absolutely beautiful.

Excuse me while I go and get a tissue now.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-01-14 12:12 pm (UTC)

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I'd offer tissues, but I'm down to just loo roll myself *hugs*

Thank you so much for reading!
[User Picture]From: flamilocks
2011-01-13 12:43 am (UTC)

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I think that this was even more heart-breaking than the actual deaths. I teared up before; with this, seeing the reactions and the disbelief, the coming together of everyone, to me is so very, very sad. I'm sitting in my student union right now, holding off actual tears. What especially grabbed at my heart was Molly's reaction - and even moreso Mycroft at 221B, looking at the unchanged flat.

Thank you for writing this. So, so much.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-01-14 12:13 pm (UTC)

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I think Mycroft will be the one to pack up all of their stuff, too. Or he'll send Anthea and a team of grunts to do it. Either way, it's his domain. Poor Mrs. Hudson; she doesn't even have the heart to go up there.

Thank you so much for reading!
[User Picture]From: karadin
2011-01-13 01:01 am (UTC)

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It works, and doesn't take away from the first fic, thanks very much.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-01-14 12:14 pm (UTC)

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Relieved to hear it! I'd originally been thinking about a flash-forward, say six months or a year, to see what the situation looked like, but I thought, no, that doesn't quite illustrate just how deeply the loss is felt. Thank you for reading once again :)
[User Picture]From: bulleteyes
2011-01-13 01:31 am (UTC)

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You need a new tag, my dear. Heartbreak, not merely angst, fits this beautiful, exceptional piece.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-01-14 12:14 pm (UTC)

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And I need a new warnings system, too! Thank you very much for reading *hugs*
[User Picture]From: tellytubby101
2011-01-13 01:57 am (UTC)

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Um. It kind of hurts to swallow. My throat's closed up and there's a burning pressure behind my eyes.

It's... amazing, this fic. Really, I'm left without words. You showed EVERYONE, which is something death!fics usually don't handle. And you handled it beautifully.

Wow. Just... wow.

And oh shit, I think I'm going to start crying.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-01-14 12:15 pm (UTC)

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*hugs* Well, if you did cry, I hope it was cathartic.

I've noticed that, too, re: death-fic; usually, it's just one of them dying, and usually, it doesn't give everyone left behind a say. I saw a gap in the narrative trend and went for it.

Thank you.
From: kholly
2011-01-13 02:23 am (UTC)

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Ok, I cried and cried and cried. I had to get up and make a cuppa half way though just to take the time to remind myself that there is a season 2 so this isn't how it ends. And they're not even real people. How do you make me care so much?

Well done. Wandering off now to find something fluffy.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-01-14 12:17 pm (UTC)

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I suspect the problem is that I care far more than any sane person ought about characters who are completely fictional. Granted, I don't feel alone in it, because it's clearly a malady that many of us share *hugs*

I'll join you re: tea. Thank you so much for reading!

[User Picture]From: emerald_embers
2011-01-13 02:26 am (UTC)

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Wonderful :). Strangely, it was Mike and Molly who had me closest to weepy - I think because they're so stoic in their own little ways, and I can just see them exactly how you've written them here.

And Mycroft's last admission to himself here, the thought he'll never really know exactly how John fit into place, is just perfect in every way. I can't nail exactly why that is, but it's just right somehow, the idea that for all John seemed close to normal, he never was ordinary and somehow surprised someone as smart as Mycroft.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-01-14 12:18 pm (UTC)

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MIKE AND MOLLY WERE SO FUCKING HARD I CAN'T EVEN. Mycroft was hard, too. Those three viewpoints in particular made me tear up, although Sally was a near thing, too. Harry was originally meant to get a section to herself, but I felt better about wrapping her and Mrs. Hudson all up in one, for some reason. Those two are particularly vulnerable in their own ways, and I let them support each other.

Thank you *hugs*

Edited at 2011-01-14 12:19 pm (UTC)
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