rubberbutton: sherlock (pretty!sherlock)
[personal profile] rubberbutton
IV.

“So, what can you tell me?” Lestrade asks. He's got his hands tucked into the pockets of his trench coat and he toes a charred bit of furniture.

John likes Lestrade. He's is the most laid-back vampire John has ever met, and he treats John like he hasn't even noticed he's human – which, despite what Sherlock may say about his detective skills, John is reasonably sure he has.

The flat is burnt out and, eight hours after the explosion, the scent of smoke is still enough to make John's lungs ache.

“The forensics team thinks it's just a gas leak. Strange that two vamps wouldn't smell it, though. There would have been enough gas to wake anyone for an explosion this size.” He shudders. “At least they would have gone up quick enough. Bad bit of luck though.” Incineration is one of the few ways to kill a vampire, along with sunlight poisoning, and decapitation.

Sherlock crouches, rubbing a bit of ash between his gloved fingers. “Oh, this was no accident.”

“No?” Lestrade says, because Sherlock requires prompting. “What makes you say that?”

Sherlock looks to John to see if he wants to offer anything. When John doesn't – he has no clue what Sherlock's after – Sherlock sighs and begins ticking points off on his fingers. “One. These vampires were drugged before the gas leak started, to keep them from waking at the scent of gas. Two. The gas line has clearly been tampered with. Scratches on the connectors indicate they were loosened shortly before the blast, but the spanner used was a size too big and slipped against the fittings. ”

“How do you know they were drugged?” John asked. All that's left of the bodies are a few shards of bone and a pile of ash.

Sherlock plucks a bit of bone from the floor. It's a jawbone; a few fangs still intact. “Note the colour between the fangs. Traces of thallium, discoloured by the extreme heat. Thallium is tasteless and water-soluble. It would have been easy enough to inject it into a packet of blood. It would be hours before their bodies could process the poison, and they would be unconscious for the duration.”

“What'd the bomber use to ignite it?” Lestrade asks, warming to Sherlock's explanation but not quite ready to believe it.

“That brings us to point three: an aerosol can of spray paint set on the burner. There are bits of the shrapnel in the kitchen that don't match the rest of the blast pattern. Once the can reached eighty-seven point seven degrees, it over-pressurised and exploded.”

“And then the entire flat went,” John said, and whistled in appreciation. Sherlock nodded once.

“Who'd want to kill Evelyn St. John? He's a very popular, just won the election,” Lestrade said.

“Let's find out, shall we?”

–-

The terrorist is human and he's dead of self-inflicted thallium poisoning by the time Sherlock gets to him. Sherlock thinks it's part of a network of human rights terrorists. Lestrade thinks he's a paranoid conspiracy freak. When the trail goes cold outside of London, the sulking is epic.

–-

There's another article in The Times, this one about the bombing and growing concerns about the Human Liberation Front.

This one, John saves, slipping it under his mattress.

–-

“I need your help with an experiment,” Sherlock says, flagging John down as he collects discarded mugs, bits of tea leaves or flakes of blood clinging to the rims. It's been two weeks since they had to give up on finding the bomber's supporters, and Sherlock's only now begun to come around.

“What kind of experiment?” John asks. It is very close to dawn and he's tired.

“Don't be so suspicious. It won't hurt.”

“Will it stain the carpet? I had to rearrange the furniture to hide the results of your last experiment.”

“The odds are against it.”

“All right. What do you want me to do?”

“Stand there and read that,” Sherlock says, pointing to an eye chart on the far wall. John dutifully reads through it, first one eye, then the other. Sherlock writes down notes while he does so. When John finishes with the eye chart, Sherlock tests his reflexes, then his balance. He has John taste a variety of things – sweet, bitter, salty and sour - and assign a numeric value to their strength.

“What is this for, Sherlock?” John says, his mouth still twisted and puckered from a sucking on a lemon.

“I need a baseline of your physiological capabilities. Now: how would you characterise your ability to see in the dark?”

“Almost nil.”

Sherlock writes a few more notes in his Moleskine, then snaps it shut and begins rolling up his sleeve. “I think we'll start with fifty millilitres today.”

“What are you doing?” John asks and then, moving rather faster than he had when it had been a test, he catches Sherlock's wrist on its way to his mouth. “Sherlock, what are you doing?

“No need to shout,” Sherlock says, gazing at John coolly. John tightens his grip, though Sherlock still could have broken it easily. “I'm testing the effects of vampire blood on humans. If you object to the taste, I could do an intravenous injection. Or, I don't know, put some honey in it or something.”

“The taste?” John says. “It's illegal for a human to drink vampire blood. Like, really illegal. The courts won't slap you on the wrist and tell you you've been rather naughty if they catch you – it'll be the rendering plant for me and a long sunlit holiday for you.”

If they catch me.”

When they catch you,” John corrects him.

“How could they possibly catch me?”

“Mycroft will know.”

“Mycroft will guess; he won't know. And even if he did, he wouldn't turn me in. He abhors scandal.”

“I'm not going to do it,” John says, releasing Sherlock so he can throw his hands up in disgust.

“I could command you.”

“What are you going to do? Sit on my chest and hold my nose until you can pour your blood down my throat?” Sherlock's eyes narrow speculatively and he takes a step toward him. “No, no, no. No! I'll lie about my ability to see in the dark! Falsify the data!”

That brings Sherlock up short. “I'd know if you were lying.”

“Yes, but would you know about what? Would you know if I delayed my reaction by one second or two?”

Sherlock's expression is mulish, but John knows he's won when Sherlock says, “It's for science, John.”

“Some things are meant to be a mystery.”

Sherlock straightens, his expression intense and unreadable as he looks at John. “No, they're really not.”

–-

There's an article in The Times, which John has taken to reading regularly. The HLF has orchestrated a string of bombings on the continent and there are growing rumours of activity in the far north of Britain. Report any unauthorised human activity immediately! the paper urges. National security may depend on it!

There's an accompanying map illustrating suspected Resistance hideouts and border crossings.

John folds the paper and slips it under his mattress with the others.


V.

John brings in a tray of tea and a warm glass of blood for Sherlock's pre-morning meal. Sherlock's been lazing about all night, refusing to get dressed and sighing huffily whenever John is in earshot. He's lounging on the bed now, the covers all kicked down to the foot of the bed.

The drapes are still open, and the sky is just beginning to turn pink. John sets the tray on the bedside table and goes to draw the drapes, first the blackout drapes, and then, for good measure, the green brocade of the curtains.

“You've scalded the blood,” Sherlock says.

“I'll go and warm you some more,” John replies. He starts to collect the tray but Sherlock catches his wrist. He pulls when John doesn't come fast enough. “Yes, yes, all right, hang on.”

John sits on the edge of the bed, but that's not enough for Sherlock who yanks so hard that John slides across the silk sheets. His heart pounds in his chest and he tries to free himself instinctively, but Sherlock doesn't let go, which is what really throws John into a panic. He struggles, starts to thrash, but Sherlock's got both of his wrists pinned to the bed, his legs straddling John's waist. He doesn't even have to exert himself.

Eventually, John tires and he relaxes back onto the bed, breathing hard.

“Finished?” Sherlock asks.

John swallows and closes his eyes. “Yes.”

“Good.” Sherlock lets him go and rolls off him, shifting so that they're lying side by side. He tucks an arm under John's neck, holding himself up on the same elbow, so can lean over John. His fingers find the collar of John's shirt, unbuttoning it to mid-chest. John's hand comes up and grips Sherlock's sleeve, not trying to stop him, just seeking leverage.

Sherlock bends his head and his lips brush the side of John's neck, right where it meets shoulder. It's not a kiss, exactly, but it sends a shudder through John. Sherlock licks him, tracing the skin in slow, careful circles. John keeps his eyes tightly shut when Sherlock bites him. This isn't Sherlock's usual careful bite, using only the dens major to cut the skin. This is a full-mouth bite and John will have an impressive set of marks tomorrow. It hurts, the pain sharp, and John whimpers. Sherlock's free hand strokes down his side, ribs to hip and back.

Sherlock drinks deeply, and John is torn between pulling away and pushing into him. John can still feel the pain but it's stopped being unpleasant somehow and now feels more like pleasure. With a jolt he realises he's hard, and shame washes over him in the same instant. How fucked up is he that he likes this? That he wants this?

Sherlock growls and shakes John a little, like a dog with a bone.

John's hand is in Sherlock's hair, cradling the back of his head. Sherlock's drunk more than he ever has before. The room would spin if John were to try to sit up; he feels drunk, muzzy, high on Sherlock, wanting to give him everything. He wants to die like this, he thinks, maybe not this time, but someday. Rather than an accident, or heart attack, or cancer, he wants to go out like this.

John doesn't want Sherlock to stop, which is, of course, when Sherlock does stop. He raises his head from John's neck, pressing his fingers to the wound to staunch the flow, making it sting anew.

John opens his eyes; he can't bear to look at Sherlock but he can't bear not to look, either. Sherlock's pupils are so dilated that his pale eyes look black.

“Read The Times yet today?” Sherlock asks in a deceptively casual tone.

John blinks, trying to make some sense of the question. When his woozy brain finally works through the problem, he says, “You bastard. All this because of the bloody newspapers?

“I'm just curious,” Sherlock says and studies him with the intense scrutiny he usually reserves for corpses. “You seem to have found quite a bit of interest.”

“And you think, what? That I'm a part of a secret terrorist network?”

“I would know if you were, you're not very good at keeping secrets. Really, John, under your mattress?”

“Then what do you care?” John says, wanting to put more anger in it than he has the energy to muster.

Sherlock leans over him again, cupping the side of John's head, just under his ear, thumb digging into John's cheek. “Are you going to try to leave?”

John laughs, which is all he can do – the question is so absurd. "Yes, I was going to run away and join the HLF."

Even if he wanted to, he wouldn't be able to make it out of the city. There must be a dozen checkpoints and clearances for a human travelling alone. It's not just that, though; the idea of leaving, of walking out the door seems impossible.

"Are you reading my mind?" John asks. He thinks he can feel Sherlock's dispassionate touch at the back of his brain. Or maybe he's finally gone mad.

Sherlock nods.

I hate you, John thinks. I hate you, I hate you, I hate you. But even as he repeats it like a mantra, he can feel the roil in his gut, need and anger and desire. A thousand nameless things but none of them at all like hate.

"You're a wretched liar, John," Sherlock says finally, looking satisfied. He stands, wrapping his dressing gown around himself and belting it. He hesitates in the doorway, then turns out the light and shuts the door.

The room spins when John tries to sit up, so he doesn't. Instead, he lies there, putting a hand to his abused neck. He expects to spend the day there, nursing his anger, but instead he falls very soundly asleep.

–-

When he wakes many hours later, his mouth is dry as cotton, his neck aching and he desperately needs to use the toilet. He makes it to the bathroom, keeping a hand on the wall to steady himself.

He finds paracetamol in the medicine cabinet and downs the pills before drinking straight from the faucet in long gulps. He looks like shit. His neck resembles a badly cut steak, scabbed and streaked with blood, which has also marred his shirt. A new wave of irritation hits him; he really liked this shirt.

He daubs at the wound with bit of damp gauze. It looks a little better once he's cleaned it up. Twelve puncture marks – large fang (dens major), small fang (dens minor), incisor. He applies disinfectant and more gauze, grimacing against the sting.

He staggers out to the kitchen, feeling marginally more like himself once his fingers are curled around a mug of Earl Grey. He doesn't feel hungry but he knows he should be, so he makes toast and forces himself to eat it.

He's still not up to doing anything when he finishes that, so he goes to his own room and promptly passes out again.

–-

Sherlock is crouched next to his bed when he wakes up again. John thinks he's about to be shaken or woken in some other abrupt and unpleasant way, so he struggles to sit, trying to look lively and as if a shaking is not at all necessary.

But Sherlock isn't moving to wake John; he's just crouched there, in a way that would be murder on a human's knees, watching.

"Oi," John says, his voice thick. "How long have you been there?"

Sherlock shrugs, the question not interesting enough to merit an answer. "Are you all right?"

"A little the worse for wear," John says, though actually he feels quite a bit better.

"You've slept nearly twelve hours out of the past thirteen and a half. Normally you sleep six or seven."

"I'm recuperating," John says. "I don't heal as quickly as you."

"I know that," Sherlock says. "But this is even slower than I had projected."

"I'll be fine." John sits up and everything stays where it's supposed to. "Give me some space, Sherlock. I'm not as young as I was."

"You're dying," Sherlock says, frowning.

"No, I'm not, really," John says, and some of his irritation melts into amusement at Sherlock's concern. "This is how it is for humans. Tedious business, being human. Can't say I recommend it."

"You are dying," Sherlock insists, "all the time, every breath you take, you're that much closer to expiring."

"Well, if you want to look at it like that," John says. "Christ, and they say I'm morbid."

"No. It's a fact – it doesn't matter how you look at it," Sherlock says, growing agitated. He stands and paces in a tight circle around the room, stepping on the low chest at the foot of John's bed rather than going around it. "Stupid, stupid, stupid. I was worried about the HLF." He's talking to himself now. "As if they could hide you somewhere I couldn't find you. Idiot! I missed the central problem entirely. You are going to die. And what's worse is, you don't seem particularly concerned about it. You can't be trusted to take precautions, not with a death-wish."

"Sherlock!" Sherlock stops pacing and swivels to face John. "I don't want to die."

"Hm," Sherlock says, mouth twisting. "That's not quite true, now is it."

John swings his legs over the edge of the bed. The floor is very cold against his bare toes; he hunts for his fuzzy slippers, which are around here somewhere.

"You left them in the bathroom yesterday," Sherlock says impatiently.

"Oh. Can we talk about the death thing later? I need a shower. I'm starting to smell."

"You always smell. Though you do smell quite a bit stronger than normal."

"Duly noted,” John says with a grimace.

"That wasn't a complaint. I like the way you smell."

John pushes himself to his feet. The dizziness is completely gone, though he still feels a touch weak. Sherlock follows behind him so closely that John nearly trips over him, but he makes it to the bathroom without incident. Sherlock follows him right into the bathroom as he starts the hot water.

“I don't suppose you'd leave if I asked you to?”

“No.” Sherlock perches on the toilet, his legs folded under him and his palms pressed together. “I need to talk.”

“Do I need to listen?” John's still wearing his bloodstained shirt. He unbuttons it and drops it to the floor. The bathroom is steaming up nicely and his skin itches in anticipation. He hesitates at the zip of his trousers, but it seems a little late for modesty and Sherlock's not looking at him anyway, so he drops them to the floor as well.

The shower is wonderful, absolute bliss. John tries to keep his bandage dry, but he mostly fails. He washes his hair and soaps himself one-handed, his shoulder still a bit stiff.

Despite his earlier statement, Sherlock is quiet, but John knows he hasn't left. Even after he finishes rinsing the soap away, he stands under the water, the pressure strong enough to be a satisfying beating. Eventually, the water starts too cool and he shuts it off.

He gropes for a towel, and wraps it around his waist as he steps out of the shower. Sherlock hasn't moved, though his hair is even wilder in the humidity.

John stands before the mirror and peels back the soggy bandage. He should have got some more gauze before. He's going to step out and look for some in the hall closet, but Sherlock is there, blocking his exit.

“Stop messing about,” John says.

“Saliva is better,” Sherlock replies. He's very close, but he's not actually touching John. “In the latest trial, groups with saliva healed sixty percent faster than the control group.”

“I know, I read the study. Used to be a doctor, remember?”

“Let me,” Sherlock says, jerking his chin towards the bite.

“You're asking permission now?”

Sherlock purses his lips a little as he considers. “I don't want you to die.”

“Thanks, I think.”

“I don't want you to want to die,” Sherlock says, but it's still not want he wants to say; John can tell from the frustrated line between his brows. “I don't want to make you think dying is an appealing recourse. If you–”

“I think I've got it,” John says and Sherlock looks relieved. “Go on then, I don't mind.”

Sherlock's hair tickles John's damp cheek as he bends his head. The touch of his tongue is light on the punctures, the spit thicker than a human's. He's thorough, but quick and a moment later he steps back. The bite has stopped hurting entirely. John fights the urge to put his fingers to his neck and probe the injury to see if it's still there.

“Um, much better,” he says and Sherlock moves aside so he can open the door.

“I don't want you to die, John,” Sherlock says.

“I don't want me to die either.” John hesitates and smiles, weakly but meaning it.

Then he goes to find some clothes and decide whether or not he can safely dump the collection of mould spores under the kitchen sink.
From:
Anonymous
OpenID
Identity URL: 
User
Account name:
Password:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
Subject:
HTML doesn't work in the subject.

Message:

 
Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of people who comment anonymously.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.

December 2010

S M T W T F S
   1234
567891011
12131415161718
1920212223 2425
262728293031 

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios