if there's a place for [us] that love has kept protected - New Sherlock Fic: "Lady in Waiting" - Ensemble Cast, John/Sherlock - PG13 [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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New Sherlock Fic: "Lady in Waiting" - Ensemble Cast, John/Sherlock - PG13 [Sep. 1st, 2011|09:29 am]
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Title: Lady in Waiting
Characters/Pairing: Ensemble, John/Sherlock (not so straightforward, either...)
Rating: PG-13
Notes: My entry for Cycle 3, Round 4 of thegameison_sh in response to Sherlock Mod pennies_4_eyes's Phantom Touch challenge.
Summary: She'd shield them from danger at every turn if she could.


Day in and day out, it's difficult watching the dangers they court. Gunshot and knife-flash, gas explosions and hot ash: she'd shield them from danger at every turn if she could. Her whim often reaches them in the nick of time, whether to jog loose a rusted gate or to point them in the direction of that certain, secret escape.

She lives in the detective's head and heart: each neuron a carefully plotted network of streets, every pulse of blood from chamber to ventricle a shortcut. She's come close to watching him die, only to whisper resurrection in the rustle of discarded newspaper or the distant grind of an overground train. Time and time again, she watches him rise in a blaze of sullen triumph. He is the most contrary of all her wayward sons.

She lingers in the doctor's conscience: buried deep, but never far at a moment's need. Where once she followed him through sandstorms and firefights, she follows him now through the shadows and dim lights of her boroughs' abandoned spaces, surreptitiously prompting him to strike. Of all her lately wounded sons, he is the most loyal.

Together, they're an improbable sum: her terror and glory incarnate. There's tenderness in them, too, a sense of wonder and belonging. She feeds them when she's able, tilts her pavements so that their steps find nourishment and harbour. She guides them both back to her shelter, draws them inexorably home (together).

She sets a guard on them, reticent sons and willing daughters. They'll be hated by many and cherished by a few. Those who hunt them, she'll send minions to slay. She'll reward the truest of those who aid them with safe passage and honour. To those who shield them and heal them, she'll give riches beyond telling: her ripest and rarest fruits she'll offer up, her choicest treasures she'll lay bare for the taking.

She'll command the waters to yield what they hide. She'll lift them to her highest places, let them seek the unseen from her ramparts and towers. She'll cast nets of silver by nightfall and wash the morning with gold dust. She'll ensnare their myriad foes and preserve their fingerprints. What her gutters can hold fast, they will.

She'll trail them in the rush of every hard-won breath, give life to their flight when they falter. She'll hiss lies in the ears of their enemies, sing the sleepless doctor soundless lullabies. And as for his opposite number, she'll give him the map to the heart of her mystery: persistence and sharpness beyond mortal sight.

Above all, she'll give them what they lack. She'll see that no lingering glance is wasted, reassure each that the other is always just behind. She'll knock sense into the blind and hobble the stubborn, even if she must lead them close to drowning. She'll show no shame or mercy: trip them into each other's arms, no forfeit.

Contrary to legend and hearsay, London is not a harsh mistress.

She'd tell you that she loves them if she could bear it.
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Comments:
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[User Picture]From: gothikmaus
2011-09-01 09:11 am (UTC)

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Oh. <3
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-09-05 02:34 pm (UTC)

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Thank you very much, my dear <3
[User Picture]From: chocolamousse
2011-09-01 10:19 am (UTC)

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She guides them both back to her shelter, draws them inexorably home (together).
She'll knock sense into the blind and hobble the stubborn, even if she must lead them close to drowning.
These are lovely lines.
I remember Mycroft's sentence about walking in London with Sherlock and seeing the city as a battlefield. Seeing London as a protector is quite original and heartwarming. :-)
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-09-05 02:35 pm (UTC)

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I see London as a protector; I always have. Maybe it's just my own experience of her, but seriously, I've never felt anything but safe there. Looked after.

Thank you so much for reading <3
[User Picture]From: falling_voices
2011-09-01 10:42 am (UTC)

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She feeds them when she's able, tilts her pavements so that their steps find nourishment and harbour. She guides them both back to her shelter, draws them inexorably home (together).

Oh, dear. Sentient!London always breaks me, but this is the first time I've read one that genuinely scared me. The power behind it is almost palpable. Also, that last line is a killer, ohman.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-09-05 02:36 pm (UTC)

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Endanger her loved ones, and you're in for a ton of trouble.

Thank you very much!
[User Picture]From: rabidsamfan
2011-09-01 12:00 pm (UTC)

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That's downright poetic.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-09-05 02:36 pm (UTC)

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Pleased to hear it <3 Thank you, my dear!
[User Picture]From: gemini_melia
2011-09-01 02:09 pm (UTC)

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Oh, wow. The poetry of this piece is simply beautiful - the rhythm and cadence of it is so subtle and moving!
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-09-05 02:37 pm (UTC)

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Glad to hear you found it effective <3 Thank you for reading!
[User Picture]From: themusecalliope
2011-09-01 02:39 pm (UTC)

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I love sentient!London stories. :) Thank you kindly.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-09-05 02:38 pm (UTC)

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I love them, too ;) Thank you very much!
[User Picture]From: mushroom18
2011-09-01 03:36 pm (UTC)

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This is just absolutely beautiful. Had to read it three times just so I could drink in the words again (and make sure that I got them. I haven't had any sleep in days lol). She'll knock sense into the blind and hobble the stubborn, even if she must lead them close to drowning. She'll show no shame or mercy: trip them into each other's arms, no forfeit. London keeps them together, and she's quite possessive about it. Amazing. ♥
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-09-05 02:39 pm (UTC)

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As well she should be ;)

Thank you so much for reading! Get some rest <3
[User Picture]From: bluerosefairy
2011-09-01 04:09 pm (UTC)

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Oh, this is beautiful. I think I like this the best of all the sentient!London stories I've ever seen. You give her such poetry here, very apropos for the city of Keats and Byron, Shakespeare and Milton. And that last line is so starkly lovely.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-09-05 02:40 pm (UTC)

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As a poet, I feel quite at home in this city that has housed so many others. And I'd like to think she cares about what goes on in her streets, besides...

Thank you so much for reading!
[User Picture]From: eglantine_br
2011-09-01 04:33 pm (UTC)

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London as a Godesss? Love it.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-09-05 02:40 pm (UTC)

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If you like, yes! London as herself, really.

Thank you so much <3
[User Picture]From: sirona_gs
2011-09-01 04:37 pm (UTC)

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Oh my god, this is just. I. I have no words. SO BEAUTIFUL, JUST, SO. Out of this world. I LOVE YOU, LONDON. <3<3<3
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-09-05 02:40 pm (UTC)

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I love London, too <3 I hope she never changes.

Thank you!
[User Picture]From: mazaher
2011-09-01 04:59 pm (UTC)

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"She'll cast nets of silver by nightfall and wash the morning with gold dust."
I remember =)
Thank you!
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-09-05 02:41 pm (UTC)

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It's the most wonderful sight, isn't it?

Thank you, my dear <3
[User Picture]From: gloria_scott
2011-09-01 05:22 pm (UTC)

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Oh, this was one of my top picks! I should have guessed it was yours. ;-)
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-09-05 02:41 pm (UTC)

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Actually, I was quite afraid people would have an easy time of guessing it was; stylistically, it bears resemblance to one of my much earlier challenge entries (Muscle Memory).

Thank you very much :)
[User Picture]From: methylviolet10b
2011-09-01 05:47 pm (UTC)

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That's beautiful in all the right ways. :-)
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-09-05 02:42 pm (UTC)

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So pleased you enjoyed it, my dear! Thank you :)
[User Picture]From: shouldboverthis
2011-09-01 06:26 pm (UTC)

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Oh, saw this one--surprised that it was yours. Good to see you pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-09-05 02:43 pm (UTC)

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I admit to having had a good laugh at this comment, not least because I was pretty sure it bore enough stylistic resemblance to one of my previous entries (Muscle Memory) that people would peg it as mine immediately! Prose poetry? Hardly outside my comfort zone; if anything, I'd argue I kept well inside my usual territory on this one :)

Thank you very much!
[User Picture]From: random_nexus
2011-09-01 07:26 pm (UTC)

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*jaw hanging open, a gasp of wondering appreciation, and then a slow grin* Oh, how well you did this! I had goosebumps!
Still have.

<3
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-09-05 02:44 pm (UTC)

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*hugs*

Thank you, lovely!
[User Picture]From: plalligator
2011-09-01 08:20 pm (UTC)

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Asdfghjkl personified!London have I mentioned how much I love personified!London? <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

This is brilliant.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-09-05 02:44 pm (UTC)

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I love it, too ;)

Thank you so much!
[User Picture]From: sethra2000
2011-09-01 09:28 pm (UTC)

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Oh poetry, possessive London is wonderful, looking after her boys.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-09-05 02:45 pm (UTC)

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As she should do *gives her a stern look*

Thank you very much <3
[User Picture]From: antesqueluz
2011-09-01 09:52 pm (UTC)

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What a lovely concept. Even the city herself conspires to bring these two together.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-09-05 02:45 pm (UTC)

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I'd worry if she didn't, to be honest ;)

Thank you so much for reading!
[User Picture]From: shefa
2011-09-02 02:13 am (UTC)

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Oh, this brought tears to my eyes. Rhythmic and poetic and almost painfully intimate. Wow.

That last line made my heart clench.

*breathes

Beautiful. So beautiful.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-09-05 02:46 pm (UTC)

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I always feel so loved in London; it's a private joke between me and, well, I guess my muses, that Crowley and Aziraphale have got it so very wrong about London not having a sense of love to it (or perhaps they just won't fess up to feeling it, neither of them, at least not in the novel). It's everywhere. It knocks me sideways.

Thank you very much <3
[User Picture]From: ciaranbochna
2011-09-02 03:42 am (UTC)

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Complex and dark, like a perfect merlot.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-09-05 02:47 pm (UTC)

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Mmmmm, yum! Thank you so much <3
[User Picture]From: kate_lear
2011-09-02 10:26 am (UTC)

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Just about to go offline for a week and wow, that was an amazingly lovely thing to read before I go. I love London, and supernatural-type stories, and this was just incredible.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-09-05 02:50 pm (UTC)

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Hope you have a restful time offline, my love *hugs* Thank you for reading.
[User Picture]From: imhit
2011-09-02 10:53 am (UTC)

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Gorgeous.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-09-05 02:53 pm (UTC)

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Thank you <3
[User Picture]From: ellieet
2011-09-02 02:53 pm (UTC)

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*see icon*

YES.

Just - YES.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-09-05 02:53 pm (UTC)

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*thumbs up*

Thank you!
[User Picture]From: quantumdoll
2011-09-02 10:38 pm (UTC)

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Oh my god. I never thought something written from the perspective of a city could be so poetic, but there you have it. Absolutely beautiful.
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-09-05 02:53 pm (UTC)

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*hugs*

Thank you very much.
[User Picture]From: laurab1
2011-09-04 02:33 am (UTC)

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London is just that awesome, of course. Clever :)
[User Picture]From: irisbleufic
2011-09-05 02:54 pm (UTC)

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She is, at that! I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be, certainly :)

Thank you very much for reading!
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