Comments Posted By floppybelly

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footsteps

“Tell me more about your family,” Sinnie prompts, holding open a bag as Jolene tosses in pieces of a cast she’s removing.

“My family? Hah. There aren’t many of us left,” the doctor seems to be more amused by this fact than sorrowful, though it’s never exactly easy to tell what she’s thinking at the moment.

“As I mentioned a while ago, the various generations have always carried this gift, in one way or another. One great-grandfather was a healer of minds, a well-practiced psychiatrist. My uncle was Graced more in the area of the plant kingdom, traveling from one forest to another to repair damage from fires or man-made destruction. My father was a veterinarian, working with both pets and livestock with one of the lowest euthanization rates in the world. I’m just following in their footsteps, one of the more boring stories in our lineage.”

“You’re not boring! You’ve made a big difference in our tour, when so many more of us would have just been sent right home with a purple heart.” The patient they’re working on seems to have been listening in, and he nods in agreement with Sinnie’s assertion.

Dr. Uzumane shrugs, not really acknowledging the compliments as she moves on to stripping the cots of their used sheets. “Anyway, these days it’s just me and my brother. He never really displayed any extra abilities, but he’s a very gifted chemist in Philadelphia. Needless to say, we’re not exactly close. Considering our… respective dispositions, it’s more than likely the lineage will end with us.”

» Posted By floppybelly On 10.03.2014 @ 10:35 am

dignity

Jolenne could hear them, more often than they realized.

“The doc hasn’t been outside since we got here… is she alright?”

“She’s always like this. She’s got something against the sun, I swear. What a freak.”

“Really? Weird.”

They weren’t wrong, exactly. There were many things about the world outside her medical tent which kept her from venturing beyond its flaps. The sun was the least of these reasons. After so long shielding herself from the fighting and the violence, from the harsh conditions and the even harsher voices shouting commands, it was far too long to change her habits now. She had too much dignity to wander out with a face like a lonesome puppy, too much pride to ask for an extra set of hands to keep up with the heavy workflow. And far too many soldiers she’d already alienated with her strange ways. It wouldn’t do any good now.

» Posted By floppybelly On 09.21.2014 @ 1:29 pm

merciful

Sinnie scowled behind her helmet, thankful that none of the civilians could see her indecision. They weren’t entirely civilians, was the thing. They were trainees in an enemy camp. But new ones, still relatively harmless. Still young with plenty of life left to live, if it hadn’t been taken away by this endless war.

“Don’t hesitate, private Dashan,” A voice crackled in on Sinnie’s earpiece, her commanding officer about twenty paces away. “You can’t let them tell their friends how merciful we are. They’ll see us as weak. Come on, you know this.”

Sinnie shook her head in silent denial, gesturing with the nose of her gun to usher their captives into a nearby stockroom. “Mercy is not the same as weakness,” She muttered, mostly to keep her own resolve than to go against her orders. “Besides, they’re more useful to us alive than dead. We can bargain with them or even train them for ourselves.” The new prisoners of war seemed just as frightened as they had been staring down the barrel of death, but at least for now nobody was in danger.

The CO grunted his reluctant approval, knowing the new recruits wouldn’t keep their virtuosity much longer.

» Posted By floppybelly On 09.20.2014 @ 8:44 pm

hundred

Peter waved a hot-pad in front of the oven, wafting the hot air away from his mask before reaching in to retrieve his prize. Three round cakes, dyed with special food coloring to make them silver, bronze and copper. The colors weren’t perfect, but the idea was there. The adolescent stacked the three on top of each other, covering them with a decently smooth coat of black icing.
Dulcet tones sounded from the practice room down the hall as Peter painstakingly sunk package after package of little red birthday candles into the cake, trying to keep their spacing as even as possible. Just as he managed to get the last candle plunged into the spongy surface, the amplifiers in the other room let out the soft crackle of powering down. Peter knew he didn’t have much time left, and he scrambled with a box of matches to get as many candles lit as he could. He’d managed to get the center few rings blazing bright and dripping red wax by the time the band made it to the kitchen. The three bots were blindfolded over their optics and being led by the arm, bobbing along carefully on the elbows of Steve, Michael, and Sam.
Once the metal men had been gathered around the table, their band-mates removed the blindfolds with a grin. Peter cursed, still trying to get the last ring of candles lit. The middle ones were nearly melted down to the icing by now. He looked up quickly at his friends and family, a familiar smile crowding his cheeks against the cool wooden mask. “Well guys, I tried. Happy hundredth birthday.” He carefully slid the cake across the table to the bots, who seemed pleased as punch by the recognition.
Sam cleared his throat after a moment, “Aren’t you going to blow out the candles?”
Rabbit happily took the initiative and exhaled across the surface of the cake, his flamethrower igniting and melting the last few remaining candles. The black icing somehow appeared even blacker than before, now smouldering slightly. Peter sighed and hoped the fire alarm wouldn’t be triggered again. “I guess it’s good you guys don’t eat cake.”
The Spine winced and took Rabbit by the arm, dragging him away for another lecture on appropriate flamethrower usage. The Jon lingered behind as Peter cut slices for the remaining humans out of what little of the cake he could salvage. With a soft chuckle, the young inventor slid a small sliver across the table to the golden Walterbot, who had to restrain himself from polishing it off in one bite. His koi would appreciate the sentiment.

» Posted By floppybelly On 09.29.2012 @ 12:49 am

breath

Peter and his two boys stood solemnly around the work bench. It had been a rough couple of months, watching their creator struggle with the loss of Delilah. The bedraggled inventor had poured his heart and soul into his latest work, a brass-and-gold-plated robot with artistic seams and what seemed to be the most promising innovations into human-like movement. All the programming was in place, the joints were functional, now it was just time to activate him.
“You ready, boys?” Peter met the glowing gaze of his copper and silver creations, who unwaveringly supported him and each other. They nodded, Rabbit with a small smile of anticipation. “Let’s put the breath of life into him.” He reached deep into the brass chassis and made the connection to the blue-matter core. It hummed to life slowly with a small vibration, sending precious power flowing through the wirey veins of the metal man.
Peter’s face lit up as he watched the systems power on, the core still vibrating in the chest cavity. The old inventor’s eyebrows furrowed as he donned his goggles, peering suspiciously as the core’s movement became more exaggerated and volatile. “That’s not right… Boys, get out of here!” He scrambled away from the prone figure on the desk, clinging to the Spine’s arm as he was dragged away from the site of the implosion.

» Posted By floppybelly On 09.28.2012 @ 10:43 am

before

Rabbit crossed his arms and stood in the corner stubbornly with a quiet hrmph.
“Now now, Rabbit, don’t be that way,” Peter smiled at him from the work bench, twisting his screwdriver in behind the silver skullplate before him. “You’ll like your new brother, I promise.”

Rabbit frowned and tapped his foot, trying to find anywhere to stare besides the dark, lifeless eyes of the disembodied head. “Pappy, you spend all your time with him now, when wi-wi-will it be my turn?” He sighed and let his posture slouch, a gesture he’d picked up from Peter’s wistful gazing at Delilah. Why couldn’t they just go back to before, when it was just the two of them?

The copper resounded softly against the basement floor as he took still-shaky steps over to his creator, leaning over his shoulder to watch with mild interest. The lifeless sockets stared back, one black eyebrow cocked as though in a challenge, or perhaps in questioning. Rabbit mimicked the unconscious expression, which Peter caught out of the corner of his eye, eliciting a chuckle. “Just imagine, Rabbit, once your brother is awake you’ll have someone to talk to while I’m asleep.” He smiled and patted at the bot’s arm before hunching back over his work.

» Posted By floppybelly On 09.24.2012 @ 10:01 pm

sustain

Sherlock leaned back against the cool bricks of the underpass, letting his head rest on the dank surface as he exhaled a thick cloud of tobacco smoke and breath-fog. The fog swirled around him and wrapped gently around his mind, providing a quieting buzz laid over the over-stimulation of his beloved London. The couple passing by, with a concealed quarrel about diets? Not important. The car going overhead with one wheel flatter than the others? Not relevant. Had to focus on the case. Sherlock closed his eyes and ran over the details of the crime scene again. Could Lestrade possibly be on to something with the fingerprints on the window pane?

His thought process was crudely interrupted as his wrist was grabbed roughly and the cigarette plucked from his fingers. “Oy, this park is public property of the commonwealth, smoking ain’t allowed. Go home, yeah?” The middle-aged copper with a family of five tossed Sherlock’s butt to the gravel path and snuffed it out with his shoe, a pitiful hiss escaping the heat of the tip against the damp little rocks. Sherlock sighed and shoved his hands into the pockets of his coat, impatiently fingering the nearly-full box of fags awaiting him as he turned and headed in the opposite direction of his interruption. Impossible to sustain a smoking habit in the city these days.

» Posted By floppybelly On 09.04.2012 @ 9:44 pm

side

Sherlock laid back as the darkness and the high-thread-count sheets enveloped him, rolling onto his side to fix a gaze on the crescent moon as he contemplated the night’s events. The adrenaline and endorphins from an exciting case well solved had long since subsided, leaving his general mood at a low buzz. The night had been… interesting. What had started as merely an accidental accompaniment, bringing the new flatmate along to prove a point to Lestrade, had turned out to be a valuable partnership. Even without being asked, the quickly-loyal doctor had gone to great measures to ensure Sherlock’s safety.

Burying his face into the cool down pillow, Sherlock drew a breath and tried not to think about what might have happened if the sharpshooting veteran hadn’t rushed to his side. Failing that, he tried to keep from wondering what difference it would have made in the world if he’d actually gone through with swallowing that infernal capsule.

» Posted By floppybelly On 08.24.2012 @ 10:33 am

luggage

The boys shuffled in from the taxi, their newly-tanned skin a stark contrast to the bleak, grey sky outside. Sherlock immediately dropped their luggage once he was across the threshold, and tromped up the stairs. John followed with a weary sigh and sank onto the ouch to decompress from their long, exhausting trip to India.
A scream from downstairs brought them rushing back down to 221A, where Mrs. Hudson was doing battle with a small speckled swamp adder armed with only a broom.

» Posted By floppybelly On 05.12.2012 @ 1:18 pm

primitive

The case was only a level six, but John had begged Sherlock to take it because it was the bloody ZOO and he hadn’t been since primary school. Before he knew it, Sherlock found himself wandering between exhibits and trying not to flood himself with the information contained on the hundreds of people surrounding them. The case was to do with the disappearance of a rare, valuable parrot, and Sherlock had a good lead within four minutes, but the look on John’s face as he pressed his palms against the glass of the polar bear enclosure was too priceless to interrupt. Soon the two city boys were staring unabashedly at a pair of gorillas, going at it energetically in the middle of their jungle gym.
“Primitive creatures,” Sherlock sneered, as John tried not to giggle, “All they can think about is eating, fighting, and fucking.”
John rolled his eyes and leaned in gently against Sherlock’s side. “You know, we have those same instincts too. The pons is a vestigial structure, present in humans, gorillas, reptiles… basically anything with a brain stem.”
Sherlock looked affectionately down at his doctor. “I’ll acknowledge having one,” he growled softly, “But that doesn’t mean I have to listen to it.”
“Oh, I dunno,” John smiled up at him as he squeezed gently at a finger, “Sometimes it can be fun to just give in and let the ol’ reptile brain take over for a bit.” He considered for a second, letting the imagery sink in, “Maybe I’ll show you sometime.”

» Posted By floppybelly On 05.11.2012 @ 8:17 am

outgoing

John figured Mycroft must have disconnected Sherlock’s phone after his death. It was a likely explanation as to why John’s messages never went from the “Outgoing” folder of his phone to the “Sent” folder, as though they were stuck up somewhere in the signal-laden atmosphere, floating around eternally as they tried to get to their recipient. He was somewhere even beyond their reach.

Even still, John couldn’t bring himself to delete them. Each one felt almost like a prayer, more concrete than anything he could ever say to that cold tombstone. The messages to no-one were like a private blog on a private subject, no less effective at helping the abandoned doctor come to terms with his feelings. Every so often he would pass the time by going through them, always figuring that if something ever changed, if one of them no longer held true, he would delete it.

21 Jan 2012, 20:43
I don’t know how, but I know this is fake. Stop this. Come home.

22 Jan 2012, 09:12
Goddamnit Sherlock, whatever you think you’re trying to prove, this isn’t the way to do it. Come home already.

30 Jan 2012, 10:24
I really hope there’s a good reason for this. Even if there’s not, that’s okay. I hope you’re sitting out there somewhere, having a good laugh. Just as long as you’re not dead. Come back please.

30 Jan 2012, 10:25
I need you.

05 Feb 2012, 12:46
I met up with an old friend from the Army today, you might have liked him. He’s even more handy with a gun than I am. I hope you come back soon so you can meet him.

12 Mar 2012, 21:23
I miss you. The city misses you. Lestrade misses you. I’d say your brother misses you, but I haven’t talked to him. You should see the graffiti, Sherlock, we all believe in you. I just wish you were here to be believed in.

04 May 2012, 07:12
Mrs. Hudson had a break-in just now, I only just got to her in time. Dunno what I’d do if I lost both of you.

15 Jun 2012, 23:40
I don’t like to believe that you’re actually dead, you know. My leg hurts an awful lot these days. If you’re out there somewhere, please come back.

» Posted By floppybelly On 05.10.2012 @ 8:23 am

shorthand

Before Sherlock died, the two flatmates rarely touched. John was withdrawn and still used to the homophobic atmosphere of the military. Sherlock was just as withdrawn, more concerned with clues and details than with people, even those most prominent in his life. Why put forth the effort?

After Sherlock died, that all changed. Small touches were exchanged between the two, a shorthand system of communication which they learned instinctively as they went along. A punch to the cheek was easy; “You’re an ass.” A gentle palm on the knee; “I’m sorry, forgive me, I need you.”

Time progressed, and the language between them grew as more vocabulary was added. A tug on the elbow; “Don’t leave me.” A quick squeeze of the thumb; “I’ll be back.” A chin on the shoulder; “Keep watch over me.” An arm around the waist; “I will, now and forever.” A gentle grip at a tense shoulder; “Ignore him, he means you harm, I’m with you.” A subtle lean into a flank; “Thank you for your company.” A rub copied after a self-inflicted one; “Are you in pain?” A thumb across the ribs; “You need to eat more.”

Time marched on, and while old phrases rarely went out of usage, the overall nature of the language began to change. An inhale against a neck; “You’re mine and no one else’s.” A kiss behind the ear; “I missed you.” Even simpler phrases gained their own codes- a nuzzle under a jawbone became “Good morning,” and a hug around a thigh turned into “I love you.” If the time-tested couple seemed unusually silent to onlookers, it would only be because they were not privy to the unspoken language shared between them.

» Posted By floppybelly On 05.09.2012 @ 8:21 am

tasting

John leaned over the back of the wheelchair and planted a kiss between Sherlock’s curls. “You’ll love this,” he promised, pushing the previously bed-laden detective through the doors of a small convention center.

Ordinarily Sherlock would have come up with some snarky reply, but the topic on the sign genuinely did interest him, and it was SO good to be somewhere out and about and seeing something other than the ceiling for once. He knew to be on his best behavior, of course- one re-cracked limb would have the good doctor sentencing him to another month of bed rest.

The two made their way into the throng of enthusiastic apiarists and it was all Sherlock could do not to turn this way and that, taking it all in at once. John paused behind him and took a deep inhale, the air thick with a sweet, sticky scent and multiple conversations. Stripes of black and yellow flashed comically from nearly every surface, and several children went running by with giant bee puppets, chasing each other with a buzzing sound.
Immediately Sherlock grabbed a schedule from the back pocket of an attendee, and propping it open on his cast-bound left arm, made a quick scan and inventory of the offered events. “John, let’s go here,” he pointed at the event on the third floor, scheduled to start in fifteen minutes. John nodded and pushed him through the crowd, which was happy to part for the injured gentleman.

They’d hardly gotten halfway to the elevators, however, when John stopped in his tracks. “We’ve got a few minutes to kill,” he pleaded with Sherlock, “Let’s check this out?”

The scientists rolled his eyes and assented, and soon they were both assaulted with enthusiastic welcomings; the honey salesmen were holding a tasting, and were eager to peddle their wares. Sherlock found himself surrounded with tiny plastic cups, each labeled with their relevant information and painted with a dob of amber liquid in the bottom. He and John immersed themselves in the process, overwhelmed with the variety and sweetness of the samples.

By the time the two were finished, Sherlock was nearly vibrating in his chair. “John, I had no idea that honey could be so drastically affected by the flower from which it came!” He turned back in afterthought, “Could you grab me one more each of the Bushels and Barrel’s Clover-fed and the Karen’s Butterfly Bush? I’d like to analyze the differences on a molecular scale.” John only smiled and made the small errand, returning to set the samples on Sherlock’s lap before they headed on to explore the rest of the convention.

» Posted By floppybelly On 05.08.2012 @ 7:17 am

instrumental

John was relaxing at home with the radio on, windows thrown open to welcome in the rare glimpse of sunlight and gentle breezes. It was far past time to air out the stench of stale, rotted watermelon that had settled into every surface of the flat. Strains of a Beatles song drifted around him as he stretched out on the couch and let himself relax after a hard day at the surgery. Sherlock wandered out from his bedroom and tossed aside the handfull of baseball cards he’d been dusting for prints. He instead grabbed a thick textbook from the pile near the door and threw himself into his chair to dig into it. John rested peacefully as the music lulled him to sleep, each page turn gently articulating a new turn of phrase.

It was days later that John learned just how amazing Sherlock’s memory was, at least in the department of music. He had been fiddling about with his violin for the better part of the day, throwing in a sonata here and a fugue there, sometimes taking the lead part of a major symphony while leaving the accompaniment to the imagination. John could only guess at what had brought about this melancholic mood, but was stopped straight in his contemplation when the little stringed instrument suddenly emitted something more familiar.

It began with broken arpeggios, the same ones that the radio had been playing the other day. They skipped within each chord, Sherlock’s practiced fingers dancing along the neck to keep them in their proper incorrect order. The chords followed their familiar progression, finally culminating to a climax where Sherlock broke into an eye-watering vibrato of the highest part of the twelve-voice harmony. His eyes squinched closed for recollection, he perfectly replicated the song he had heard but once before, the instrumental arrangement imbuing it with a new meaning that John had never attributed to it previously. Between the ends of each melodic phrase, Sherlock continued to fill in the gaps with the arpeggios, ensuring a concrete stability of symphonic engagement. On the next verse, he switched to a different line of the harmony, and on the third time he found a way to play two strings in tandem, grasping at the final two parts simultaneously.

As the song wavered off into an unfulfilling ending, John released the breath he hadn’t realized he was holding. “Sherlock,” he gasped, the steel-grey eyes snapping to meet his, “That was…. that was amazing! Bloody brilliant! I had no idea you could do Because with just one person.”

Sherlock frowned slightly, trying to sort out John’s words. “Because what?” Then he realized his mistake before John replied, “Oh, was that the name of the song? Dull.” He shrugged the violin off his shoulder and set it lovingly back in its case as John gaped at him.

“Dull?!?” The doctor shook his head sadly, “Sherlock, for someone so musically inclined, you sure are ignorant about the most influential band in history.”

» Posted By floppybelly On 05.07.2012 @ 8:02 am

nominated

John rolled over and curled his arm around Sherlock’s diminutive waist, burying his cheek against the smooth pectorals. “I still can’t believe I was nominated for an Oscar,” he grinned down towards Sherlock’s navel, the buzz of the telly washing over them both as the sun struggled to rise.
Long, thin fingers combed through his hair, returning in the other direction with a gentle application of fingernail. “Believe it,” Sherlock purred beneath him, wishing the birds would hold off on their infernal chirping for just one day.
John arched his neck to look up at his partner, one leg curled up over his. “I mean, it’s a bloody Oscar! Where do you go from there? What’s left to do?”
Sherlock smirked and leaned in to kiss and nibble gently at John’s prolific nose. “Win, of course.” He sincerely hoped John would win against him and of course, against Moriarty. He deserved the award the most. There would be plenty of chances for Sherlock to win in the future, but there wouldn’t be any more for John if he didn’t win this one. It was crucial.
John hummed happily and toyed with Sherlock’s navel, curling his toes in against the bony shins as he tried to calm himself enough to get another couple hours of sleep.

» Posted By floppybelly On 05.06.2012 @ 5:37 am

upright

Mycroft was gone for the day, probably off to pester the Prime Minister about Bulgaria, Sherlock had mused. He sighed softly with a relaxed smile and leaned back into the armrest of his brother’s overstuffed couch, propping his feet up just a few inches short of Mrs. Hudson’s thigh. She was soaking under the the reading lamp in the corner, her glasses propped up on her nose as she shared a companionable silence with friend and tenant. The two of them spent the afternoon reading; Mrs. Hudson slowly fingered her way down each page of a Victorian romance novel as Sherlock leafed through the pathology indexes of the river-borne species in various parts of Africa.

The grandfather clock ticked steadily away from next to the kitchen, where John had just finished his lesson with the Holmes family culinary servants. He was just making note of the last few steps in a creole casserole recipe as he wandered into the sitting room to find Sherlock. One glance at the peaceful literary scene changed his mind, and he instead set about exploring the rest of Mycroft’s mansion. The floorboards barely creaked as he snuck his way upstairs to the mysterious man’s living quarters.

Before long, both Mrs. Hudson and Sherlock looked up from their books at the tinkling sound of piano notes from the floor above. A few random keys, then a stroke down along the length, and John let his hand drop. He had been surprised to find the old upright stuffed into the corner of Mycroft’s study.
Firstly, that the older Holmes was a musician- though now that the doctor thought about it, he supposed they both would have been forced to learn an instrument at the same age. He wondered if Mycroft was as brilliant at it as his sibling.
Secondly, that it was this little cherry-sided upright which adorned Mycroft’s personal study. John would have expected a flashier display of wealth, perhaps a Steinway baby grand. Moving on to the next room, he put on his “Sherlock-cap” and puzzled about it as he vaguely toured his way through the grand staircases and personal galleries. The secluded location indicated that the piano was kept for personal reasons- sentimentality or privacy. Its keys were clean, so it likely was not devoid of use. John shook his head and promised himself he’d ask Sherlock about it later, why his brother wouldn’t want anyone knowing about his musical habits.

» Posted By floppybelly On 05.04.2012 @ 9:57 pm

hearing

Sebastian scuffed his shoe against a mark on the granite floor, looking up as John emerged from the washroom. The sniper ran his eyes up and down along the doctor, checking for any last-minute fixups. He reached out and straightened John’s tie a smidgen before clapping him on the shoulder. “You’ll do fine, mate,” he reassured his nervous friend, “If we can handle Afghanistan, you can handle one measly little hearing.”

John chuckled, “Yeah, sure, but Afghanistan wasn’t in front of a judge and audience!” He licked his lip, gaze falling somewhere past Seb’s knee. “And somehow, it feels like more is at stake here. Silly, yeah? One man’s honor, more important than an entire country?”

Sebastian only smiled grimly. “Depends on the man,” he offered gently. It had been a rough few months, watching John work to undo everything that Jim had orchestrated. Almost everything, anyway. He couldn’t undo the most important part.

Lestrade, flanked on both sides by very stern-looking lawyers, was ushered in to the courtroom, and exchanged nervous glances with John and Seb as he was rushed on by. A roar of intermittent chatter emerged as the doors opened, and a few flashbulbs went off. John cringed at the sight and steeled himself for a similar onslaught. A reassuring little push at the small of his back sent him in that direction. One last glance back, and Seb shot him a thumbs-up. “I’ll be in the back, mate. Go knock ’em dead.”

» Posted By floppybelly On 05.04.2012 @ 6:12 am

separate

“Come on,” Hope snarled as he pushed John into the elevator. “There’s no use fighting any more, you’re going to get on the plane and you’ll be in Hawaii with Sebastian by this time tomorrow. We’ve got to separate you from Sherlock and get you bonded to the right Sentinel.”
“You can’t. I won’t,” John snarled. He would have crossed his arms stubbornly if they hadn’t been bound behind his back, roped securely into Hope’s grasp.
“You’ll do what I say, young man, and you’ll like it too. Given enough time.” The elderly Guide jammed his finger against the button for the basement again, and as they passed the first floor where John knew they were keeping Sherlock’s unconscious body, he could feel his pulse accelerate and suddenly he was straining against his bonds again.
They passed down a second level below ground level, and John leaned in against the wall of the elevator in exhaustion. “Please,” he begged, as though it would have a different effect on the heartless Guide this time, “I don’t want to do this. I want to stay with Sherlock. He needs me, please!”
Hope spat at John’s feet. “Even if that were true, I’d gladly let him go insane as punishment for all the trouble you’ve put us through, Phantom.” The doors opened and Hope tugged John to his feet. “Now let’s get moving, your plane leaves in an hour.”

» Posted By floppybelly On 05.02.2012 @ 8:36 am

hallowed

John longed to hold on to Sherlock in some way as the two stepped over the threshold, a cold shield of magic washing over them in a protective cleansing as they approached the hallowed sanctuary of the Dali Lama. They’d been on this case for two weeks, and it had been rough on both the Adept and the ex-angel. Sherlock had tried every trick in his books, spent ages in the library, consorted with the black market and his favorite pooka, and had even stooped so low as to resorting to Mycroft’s expertise- which still had turned up nothing, but had provided this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for further research.

Sod it, John thought with a shiver, as he took two larger strides and curled his fingers in at the strap on the back of Sherlock’s coat. John knew Sherlock needed the stability and companionship right now, as he was venturing into new and powerful territory. They were about to consult with the most spiritually-powerful man in the known world, and even Sherlock’s non-Sensitive hairs were beginning to stand on end from the sheer magnitude of power surrounding them.

John kept his gaze on Sherlock’s elbow as they arrived, averting his eyes from the holy avatar. It had been a long time since he’d been worthy of setting his sights on anyone of this caliber, and he wasn’t about to try his luck now.

» Posted By floppybelly On 05.01.2012 @ 6:00 am

alibi

Greg and John exchanged glances briefly outside the door to the superintendant’s office. Both men sported bloodshot eyes, Greg’s dark and sunken in from stress and lack of sleep, John’s sore and slightly crusty from the silent, private crying he’d only just managed to stifle for this appointment. A grave nod passed between them, and Greg pushed his way into the door, John following close behind.
A stern, bloated face greeted them with narrowed eyes, nearly hidden behind mountains of paperwork stacked on either side of the desk. Greg recognized the case files which he’d been requested to pull earlier that day… or had it been two days ago? The detective inspector found it remarkably harder to keep days apart when unconsciousness no longer helped to separate them. John eyed the names on the files wearily, recognizing the ones closer to the top as the cases he and Sherlock had helped with. The rest, judging by their dates, could only be the ones Sherlock had solved for the Yard before John had met him. Their pages were yellowing and dusty, and had probably not seen the light of day in years.
“Gentlemen, I’m sure you’re both aware why we’re here.” The superintendant glowered at them each in turn, and they nodded bleakly. “But just for the record, let’s restate the issue.” He sighed and reached for the most recent case, shuffling it into order between his hands in the small surface of desk which was left clear before him. “Detective Inspector Lestrade has consulted on multiple occasions with a man by the name of Sherlock Holmes, who has either assisted in the resolution of numerous difficult cases, or has fabricated crimes and then been consulted to solve his own work. We are here to determine which.” John detected a lip-curl of disdain in Greg’s direction before the gaze softened slightly and turned to him. “Doctor Watson, you’ll only be needed in reference to the most recent instances, of course. To provide an alibi for the cases preceding your involvement, I’ve been told to consult with one… Mycroft Holmes?”
John nodded and swallowed. “Yes, Mycroft has access to a vast network of various surveillance devices and other personal connections, which I’m sure he’ll be more than willing to share in defense of his brother.”
The superintendant cleared his throat. “Obviously it would be ideal if I had access to a more objective source, but from what I understand of the deceased, he had very few connections to more… reputable witnesses. I have on file one pathologist, one delinquent, and one street performer?”
John sighed and sunk his face into his hands. It was going to be a long night.

» Posted By floppybelly On 04.30.2012 @ 8:04 am

sliver

Sherlock had frozen in mid-stride as they paraded through one of the less busy streets of London, returning home after their repeat visit to the Art Gallery. He had been muttering softly as they walked, gesturing from hand to hand as he worked out the course of events they’d been following for the good part of a day. John kept a good meter or two of distance between himself and Sherlock, not wanting to give anything away with any facial expressions. He knew it was probably a hopeless cause, but why make it any easier on the genius? At least they were getting some sun. John gently nudged his elbow against each pole that passed between them, not paying as much attention as he might ordinarily.

When Sherlock suddenly stopped and spun on his heel, hurrying off back the way they’d just come, John was caught by surprise and reached out to grab the telephone pole he was about to nudge, using his momentum to swing around it and hurry after his partner. A sharp, hissing intake as John’s palm dragged across the rough wooden surface brought Sherlock to a halt. He turned to see John inspecting his own fingertip before he dipped the pad into his mouth at an awkward angle, trying to use his teeth to pull out the sliver of wood which had intruded below the surface of the skin. Meeting no success, the doctor swore lightly and shook his hand in the chilled air as the pain started to throb around the intrusion.

Sherlock brought himself back over to John, the manufactured case instantly forgotten, as he pulled his utility knife from his pocket and slid the delicate tweezers from their sleeve in the side. He captured John’s hand in his own firm grasp, and slowly and delicately tugged at the end of the splinter until it was freed. He tossed it aside and brought the finger closer for inspection, insuring no remnants were left behind. John shivered at the intimate gesture as Sherlock stuck the injured finger into his own mouth and ran his tongue gently over the puncture site to collect the small drop of blood which had pooled in the interim.

» Posted By floppybelly On 04.28.2012 @ 10:35 pm

poster

The nights at Mycroft’s were rough, for the most part. Sherlock, as always, had trouble sleeping, and often lay awake throughout the night, just barely catching snippets of conversations that his brother would be having in his office a floor above. Twice during the week it thunderstormed at ungodly hours in the morning, and the heavy raindrops echoed loudly as they struck the panes of the window and the small terrace outside.

John slept through it all, though not smoothly. His nightmares were as bad as they’d ever been, though he didn’t remember the next morning that they’d been laced with fleeting sensations of betrayal and insurgencies. His frantic, unconscious thrashing, the side of him which was not pinned down in Sherlock’s grasp, left several dark bruises along his limbs where he’d struck himself against the solid wooden posters at the corners of the bed. Sherlock tried to wrap his friend a little tighter in a blanket, but that only seemed to heighten the panic, as his pulse skyrocketed and his breathing was labored between the whimpers and pleading and the occasional shout. It was a wonder the veteran didn’t wake himself, Sherlock mused as he dodged a kick to the knee.

As the week neared its end and they got the all-clear sign from the fumigation team, Mrs. Hudson and the boys retrieved their laundry from the basement facilities and packed up to go back to their own, familiar abode. John had a final look at the bed as he zipped up his suitcase on its duvet, seemingly lost in a thought.
“You know, Sherlock,” he piped up on the way to the black car where Mrs. Hudson was ready and waiting, “Maybe we should get a four-poster bed.”
Sherlock frowned at him. “With the number of bruises it gave you? I didn’t realize you were such a masochist, John.”
The doctor flushed and ducked his head, “No, actually, I… I was just thinking those posters would be awfully handy for attaching ropes to.” Sherlock’s squint of confusion only futhered his silly mood, and Mrs. Hudson had to wonder what the giggles were for as John climbed in next to her.

» Posted By floppybelly On 04.27.2012 @ 7:59 am

gladiator

The sun beat down mercilessly upon the two warriors. One, in the traditional style of a Murmillo, blocked the blows with the metal fish scales strapped to his arms. The other, dressed as a Secutor, dodged his opponent’s net and made a parry with his dagger. A bead of sweat dropped from below the helmet of the Murmillo fighter, but the other gladiator showed no signs of strain or exhaustion. His pallid complexion mirrored his calm facade, and he spun gracefully before landing a fatal blow to the gut of his opponent.
The program terminated just as the roar of the crowd grew unbearable, replaced the the applause of a single shipmate.
“Well done, Data!” Picard smiled from his observational stand near the holodeck’s entrance. “That was an excellent fake-out, sure to fool even the hardiest of ancient Romans.”
Data tilted his head. “Indeed, sir, I have found these warriors to be lacking in any form of challenge. Perhaps I should move on to the next era.” He removed the crested helmet he’d worn for the purposes of the simulation.
“I think nobody would fault you for that,” Picard agreed, and held out his hand for the helmet, “But before you switch programs, I’d like to have a go myself.”

» Posted By floppybelly On 04.26.2012 @ 7:46 am

chapped

John gripped at his knees anxiously as the two rode in the back seat of the taxi. Sherlock still hadn’t told him where they were going, and the ride was getting progressively bumpier as they headed to the very outskirts of the city and the roads became rough from poor upkeep. John wasn’t sure whether they were on a case, and if they were, why Sherlock would tell him nothing about it.

Finally, the cab stopped just past the edge of the city limits, at what appeared to be the end of a very long gravel driveway. Sherlock paid him heartily and arranged for a pickup appointment in three hours’ time. They climbed out onto the road and headed down the driveway, and John noticed for the first time that Sherlock had replaced his usual Oxfords with tall, thick-leathered boots which ran over his trouser legs to the height of his knees. For that matter, now that John was paying attention, he noticed that Sherlock’s trousers were different as well. A stretchier material hugged his thighs and went seamlessly between his legs. By the time they approached the sign for Saturnalia Stables, John had just made the connection. At his hum of recognition, Sherlock smiled down at him.
“You mentioned you wanted to try riding, yes? I thought this weekend would be a perfect opportunity.” John nodded in agreement, as the weather couldn’t have been any nicer. Only a single cloud marred the perfect blue expanse above their heads, a rare sight indeed. The winds were firm, but not viciously so, and Sherlock’s coat-tails and curls ruffled amicably along with each gust. The tails of the horses who chose that moment to gallop out from behind the main arena did as well, excluding those which were still in loose braids.
John grinned in excitement as Sherlock made arrangements with the stable hands. Soon John was being fitted for rental gear, and Sherlock’s own personal gear was brought out of storage. John halfheartedly wondered if he secretly had his own horse hidden away as well.
“I haven’t been here in months,” Sherlock rambled off to John as they were led through the stables full of horses brought in for a meal. “I stopped coming as often after secondary school, and when my childhood horse passed, Mummy didn’t bother getting me another one. I’m sure Mycroft still has one of his own, though.”
They passed an immaculate door where a tall, muscular chestnut thoroughbred had her face buried in a bag of alfalfa. “Borealis,” read her name plaque.
“Ah yes, that’ll be the one,” Sherlock sneered. He gestured to their guide, who had a look at the membership card which Sherlock had filched off his brother the previous weekend, and went in with the royal blue halter hanging by the door. He emerged with Mycroft’s horse by the lead, and Sherlock took her out into the arena. “You go pick one out, and meet me in there,” he called back over his shoulder.
John found himself alone with the guide and a good twenty horses to choose from. He did a quick scan and made his way to the shortest one he could find, a blue roan quarter horse/tennessee walker mix. “Pepper,” he read off the sign on the door. The guide led Pepper out for him, and John was pleased to see that the withers only just reached to nose-level. The better to fall from, he reasoned.
Next, the doctor met Sherlock in the small enclosure of a hallway which led to the arena. The two horses were tied to the walls by their halters, while Sherlock tacked up his borrowed horse and their guide did the same for John. The doctor took his last chance to have a seat on a solid chair and stretch any last trouble out of his tricky leg. He watched with fascination as Sherlock bent to clean Borealis’ hooves, his leather-chapped arse raised in the air as he flicked a small pebble out from next to the frog. Soon both horses were fitted with a saddle blanket, saddle, and bridle, if John was remembering all this correctly as Sherlock nostalgically volunteered the information to him from somewhere behind the poll.
The two equines were led into the arena, and Sherlock made an impossibly long stretch with his left hamstring from the ground to the stirrup. John made a mental note of his flexibility for later, and the stouter doctor was given a step stool. With a wary test at the stirrup, he flung himself over the saddle and immediately wished he’d never mentioned this in the first place at all.

» Posted By floppybelly On 04.24.2012 @ 8:25 pm

scorn

Sherlock stole glances across the top of his textbook at John as he read, processing both the written information and several other trains of thought simultaneously. The older man was curled into his armchair with a thick quilt and a mug of tea, watching the news. Some stories brought an anxious crinkle to the doctor’s brow, while others had his nodding thoughtfully. Suddenly, John’s face shadowed into a scowl of scorn at the telly’s information. It was strange for Sherlock to see this expression on the face which he had become so accustomed to seeing in a state of kindness and concern. The detective couldn’t even remember the last time he’d seen John get angry any anyone other than himself, and never before with this shade of disrespect and dismissal.
Out of curiosity, Sherlock turned his gaze to the story at hand. There was a female behind an anchor’s desk, strawberry blonde and of slightly above-average aesthetic values. Sherlock knew that this woman was very much John’s type, so she couldn’t possibly be the issue of dissent. He diverted another fraction of his attention to the subject of her speech. “…while amazing in the obscurity of his range of knowledge, seems to display some typical symptoms of Aspberger’s, and in extreme cases, even Psychopathy, as accounted by a colleague from the Scotland Yard.”
The scene cut to a video clip of Sally Donovan in her uniform, a microphone pressed to her face. “Yeah, he’s insane,” she quipped dismissively, “The only thing that makes him happy is a good murder. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him switch fields in the future, if you know what I mean.”
The anchorwoman reappeared at her desk, with a cutaway in the corner showing that beloved photo of Sherlock ducking away behind a deerstalker. “Well there you have it, folks. If you’ve got a question that needs answered, Sherlock Holmes is your man… so long as it’s gruesome, obscure, or both.” The channel quickly switched gears and went on to cover the latest football match.
Sherlock flickered his gaze back over to John, who seemed to be positively seething. “How DARE they?” He growled around clenched teeth, fingers digging into the plush arms of his chair.
Sherlock only chuckled. “You really are too sensitive when it comes to the media,” he prodded playfully, “If anything that was quite good publicity, and may even help thin out the more mundane queries we get. Actually,” now that Sherlock paused to recount the few other times he’d paid attention to local media, “As far as news stories go, it was one of the more accurate I’ve seen.”
John grumbled softly but said no more, not bothering to correct Sherlock about the media being what he was sensitive about.

» Posted By floppybelly On 04.24.2012 @ 10:35 am

entrée

Greg tried to keep his head down as he stole glances around the restaurant. “I still can’t believe you’ve brought me here,” he hissed, “I’ve never even laid eyes on this part of town… There aren’t even any crimes here!” After a bit he stopped and nearly ducked under the table, his face burning beet red. “Shit, is that the Chief?”
Mycroft glanced in that direction. “Of course it is, Chief O’Brien frequents this facility on the weekends. Now if you’ll concentrate,” he sighs, tugging on Greg’s elbow patch, “Our waiter will be interring us in three minutes and thirty seconds, and I’d prefer it if you were prepared to place an order.”
Greg sighed in turn and turned his attention to the menu. He passed by Foie Gras, Filet Mignon, Schweinshaxe and Jägerschnitzel, and suddenly noticed that none of the entrées had prices included next to them. “Ah, Mycroft,” he was about to ask, when the elder Holmes brother employed the apparent mind-reading ability that both brothers occasionally possessed.
“In any dining establishment of this caliber,” Mycroft explained, “It is assumed that the patrons will want only the highest quality… And are willing and able to pay for it without concern.” He delicately laid his fingertips atop Greg’s knee to quell any protests. “Your part will be on my tab, of course. Have you come to a decision, Detective Inspector?”
Greg nodded softly, certain that the question referred to more than the uncalled-for display he had been subjected to. If this… whatever-it-was would go any further, it would have to first be put to a few tests of a different nature. Lestrade wondered how Mycroft would fare in a tent on the hillsides of Scotland.

» Posted By floppybelly On 04.22.2012 @ 5:48 pm

sound

Mrs. Hudson had just returned home from Speedy’s, carrying a large sack of bagels. She set it down inside the doorstep as she paused to slip out of her shoes. She was just about to head into the kitchen with her bagels, when she heard that sound again- the one that was unlike any other, which had accompanied the boy’s excited return after a strange meeting with a friend she’d never heard of. The landlady tried to place the sound, and found that it was almost as though… someone had taken the larger metal strings out of a piano, and was running something along them. It was godawful and went on for several seconds before ending with a thump.
Stock still in the foyer with her bag of bagels, Mrs. Hudson stood and listened. All was quiet for another moment, until the doorbell rang.

The peephole revealed a strange man in tweed, braces, and a bow-tie. She’d never met him before, but he seemed harmless enough. Pulling the door open with her free arm, Mrs. Hudson blinked owlishly at the man. “Can I help you, young man?”
He grinned wide and bounced a bit on his toes. “Yes, exactly, I’m looking for Sherlock Holmes?” He sniffed vigorously at the air between them, excitedly adding, “And are those onion bagels?!? I wonder if I still like those…”

» Posted By floppybelly On 04.22.2012 @ 10:22 am

swan

John had been helping Sherlock with his physical therapy after the short fall from a second-story balcony which had dislocated his shoulder. The joint had healed very well, and was almost entirely functional again, the stubborn detective urging it forward in its recovery perhaps a little too quickly. John was keen to slow him down whenever he winced at the residual pain or stiffness.
As a final exercise, John had dragged Sherlock back to the university swimming pool, this time during hours of operation. The water-based strain would do the joint good, and John looked forward to the swim. In addition to the lifeguard, there was only one other person in the pool, an elderly fellow who swam steady laps back and forth and minded his own business.
John waited in the shallow end for Sherlock to come out of the locker room and join him, lazily treading water in his swim trunks, diving under to wet his hair as he kept his shoulders beneath the surface out of a slight sense of modesty. The water’s refraction made it hard to make out his scar.
The door to the locker room swung shut, and John looked ’round to see the lanky detective heading instead for the deep end. His lithe form was nearly as white as the linoleum, the surface broken only by a matching blue speedo and swim cap, the dark curls tucked in for protection. Goggles hid the pale eyes, though John was sure that still nothing was hidden from Sherlock’s view. He watched with growing apprehension as Sherlock climbed the ladder of the taller diving board. A light bounce into the air, and soon Sherlock was executing a perfect swan dive into the deep end. John was reminded briefly of the fall that Sherlock had taken off Bart’s those years ago, though this performance was far more streamlined and graceful.
The white dolphin slid easily beneath the surface, angling his momentum to send him shooting along the floor of the pool, only to surface by John’s side. A punch was delivered to his good shoulder.
“You idiot.” The pout given to the doctor was almost comical, given the dark goggles. “You bloody well know this was for recuperation, not showing off. You could have re-injured your shoulder!”
Sherlock huffed softly and worked his elbow in great circles at his side. “No harm done, of course. In fact, I think I may be back to a fully operational status.”
John only rolled his eyes and laid back to float on the surface, successfully averting his gaze from the small blue speedo which left very little to the imagination.

» Posted By floppybelly On 04.20.2012 @ 10:58 pm

slight

They’re returning home from a crime scene, where Lestrade has been unusually obstinate, and Sherlock has stolen his handcuffs as payment. The brooding detective tosses them onto the seat of the taxi, between himself and John. The doctor chuckles softly and lifts them to inspect before handing them back to Sherlock, where they become a plaything, spinning around one long finger.
“It’s funny, you know,” John muses softly at Sherlock, who is surely going over the evidence and clues, fresh in his mind.
“Hrm? What is?” The pale, focused gaze out the window at the passing scenery doesn’t shift, the conversation not even a distraction from his thoughts.
“You. For someone who solves crimes for a living, you’ve got the stickiest fingers of anyone I know.” He considers for a moment before adding, “How DO you do that, anyway?”
Sherlock glances over at him as the street lights flash over his face. “The pickpocketing? It’s only a slight of hand. I could teach you if you’d like.”
John grins and agrees, and the two practice together once they reach the flat. After an hour or so, John can successfully filch Sherlock’s magnifying glass from his pocket. Sherlock assures him that on any other target, his efforts would go unnoticed.

John only realizes as he goes to bed that the lesson may have been a monumental waste of time. As Sherlock has no qualms about taking what he wants from others, John knows he would feel far too guilty to steal even an inconsequential trinket from anyone.

Next week, as John is just finishing up the shopping, a beady-eyed little asian woman cuts in front of the doctor and snatches up the last jar of his favorite jam before he could reach it. Her abraisive glare only adds to the insult, and John finally finds himself in a position to vindicate a slight against his good will.
It is with no small sense of satisfaction that John places the last jar of brambleberry jam on the conveyer belt with his order, the offending shopper none the wiser.

» Posted By floppybelly On 04.20.2012 @ 7:14 am

sunglasses

Sherlock curled into the corner of the bistro, nervously hidden in a hoodie, ripped jeans, and a pair of sunglasses large enough to cover his cheekbones. Half of his mind was on constant alert, surveying those around him to make sure he wasn’t recognized. The other half was concentrated on the two men seated closer to the door, engaged in friendly conversation. The shorter one had his elbow propped on the table, resting a casual grip on his cup of tea as the sunlit window highlighted a golden sheen to his hair. A metal collapsible cane rested against the wall beside him.
The taller man, adorned with a shaggy brown cut and three-day stubble, leaned back against his chair, his hips scooted forward just enough to make room for the pistol concealed in the waistband against his back. Without having to re-consult his references, Sherlock knew that this man matched the descriptions and photographs of one Sebastian Moran. When Hu told him that the sniper was keeping a personal watch on John, he hadn’t been exaggerating.
Sherlock sat in his booth for awhile longer, resisting the urge to curl his knees up to his chin, as he knew the distinctive gesture would be a dead giveaway to John. The literary part of Sherlock’s mind cringed at the idiom.
A careful observation of the interaction between the two sharpshooters revealed a well-established friendship. They were comfortable in each other’s company, and were happy to discuss subjects of both a personal and general nature. John shared his morning paper with Sebastian, who poured over it with a hawkish stare. Sebastian told John of his prior night’s conquest, complete with lewd charades, and John laughed heartily and took a bite of his scone.
Sherlock stood and ordered a drink to go, hiding his face with it as he passed his quarry on his way out the door. This situation required delicacy and careful planning. If he was to make himself known to John, it would mean the end of John’s friendship with Sebastian. Sherlock tried not to let himself think about the benefits of leaving the situation as it was.

» Posted By floppybelly On 04.18.2012 @ 8:50 pm

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