|New Sherlock Fic: "Lady in Waiting" - Ensemble Cast, John/Sherlock - PG13
||[Sep. 1st, 2011|09:29 am]
(lives between pages)
Title: Lady in Waiting
Characters/Pairing: Ensemble, John/Sherlock (not so straightforward, either...)
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.