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Evening Falls So Hard (Sherlock)

Title: Evening Falls So Hard
Author: Morgan Stuart
Fandom: Sherlock
Disclaimer: This universe does not belong to me; I'm just an appreciative visitor. I make no profit from this fan work.
Description: From a bridge, John takes in the view of life after Sherlock.
Historian's Note: This occurs after Sherlock is gone and presumed dead, post-Reichenbach (or any other "Final Problem"-esque scenario you choose).
Author's Note: This is a 221b ficlet (my first!): 221 words, with the last word beginning with a "b."
Chinese Translation: available here and here by freya_fsc
Warnings (Highlight to Read): Musing/discussion about suicide




"Greg." John sounds surprised.

"I may be slow, but I usually get there in the end. You had me bloody well terrified I'd be too late here."

"Sorry," John says. "And thanks for the thought. But you shouldn't have come."

"Why's that?"

He considers. "You didn't know me, before. Former soldier. Former doctor. Now I'm a former flatmate, former... well. There's only so far a man can go, measuring himself by what he isn't anymore, what he's lost."

"You're a good man. That hasn't changed."

"I shot that cabbie."

"Yeah, I know."

The water mutters below them.

"Pardon me for asking the obvious," Lestrade says, "but I've been told it's what I do. Planning to jump, are you?"

"And waste my valuable training? Why, with these skilled hands" – John's right one clutches his cane, while the left trembles violently – "I might could do up my own shoelaces, given enough time."

"It's not your hands he valued the most. It's your heart."

"That's not in the best shape either, these days."

A pause. "Not just yours, mate."

John turns, stares at Lestrade as if he's never really seen him, and then nods.

"No, I'm not jumping," he says at last. "Just limping along. Wouldn't mind some company, though." John's brief smile is grateful, if bleak. "Always good for a clearer view, bridges."


THE END

Vital Stats: Originally written in August 2011.

The title refers to the lyrics "When evening falls so hard, I will comfort you" from the song "Bridge Over Troubled Water," written by Paul Simon and first performed by Simon and Garfunkel.

Comments

( 60 comments — Leave a comment )
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goldvermilion87
Aug. 16th, 2011 06:31 pm (UTC)
That was beautiful! I like that it's angsty, but not TOO angsty... I mean, I guess I might find it a bit overly dramatic if Lestrade was actually stopping John from jumping?

Also, I think the title is great!
morganstuart
Aug. 17th, 2011 11:40 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much! This makes me very happy. I'm so glad that the angst level hit the right note without going too far.

I'm also delighted you liked the title. I was afraid it was a bit trite, but I couldn't help myself. Once I heard the song in my head, connected to this ficlet, I couldn't "unhear" it, you know? ;)

I really appreciate your reading and commenting.
mazaher
Aug. 16th, 2011 07:10 pm (UTC)
Every word seems to make drops of sense trickle out of grief, like blood from a wound. Rather frighteningly beautiful. Thank you.
morganstuart
Aug. 17th, 2011 12:05 pm (UTC)
Oh, what a lovely thing to say! My goodness. Thank you so much for this.
spacemutineer
Aug. 16th, 2011 08:33 pm (UTC)
There's something about the way Lestrade says, "Yeah, I know." that I really love. There's a lot in those three words about familiarity and trust. Did he always know? Did he just trust Sherlock about it when he let it go in the first place? The line is such a perfect touch here.

Overall, lovely and sad, which is always my favorite. Very nice work.
morganstuart
Aug. 17th, 2011 04:28 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm so happy you liked Lestrade's line there. I do like to think this is a sign of trust - not only that he knew (as you say, perhaps as early as the very night it happened) and chose to be quiet about it, but also that he lets John know that he knew -- and that he's still calling John a good man, despite the knowledge of what John did.

Your kind words have made my day. I'm a fan of "lovely and sad," myself, so it thrills me that you think this works. I appreciate it.
kari77
Aug. 16th, 2011 08:43 pm (UTC)
This is fantastic. Just the right amount of melancholy and comfort, two people sharing a similar grief.

There's only so far a man can go, measuring himself by what he isn't anymore, what he's lost."
What a gorgeous and perfect line.

Thank you so much.
kari77
Aug. 16th, 2011 08:46 pm (UTC)
P.S.: Just dug out my Simon & Garfunkel folder and listened to the song.
(no subject) - morganstuart - Aug. 17th, 2011 05:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(Deleted comment)
morganstuart
Aug. 17th, 2011 04:59 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much for this! That 221b format is a lesson in humility, I discovered. It's so much harder than it looks! I'm so glad this worked for you anyway. I really appreciate your kind words.
uwsannajane
Aug. 16th, 2011 09:07 pm (UTC)
Wow! One of the best 221B's I've seen - you've gotten the language just right, so that each word does its work and the whole thing feels like a full story, rather than a vignette. That's rare. Plus the actual story is so sad and lovely.
morganstuart
Aug. 17th, 2011 05:02 pm (UTC)
Oh wow - you have no idea how much I appreciate this! Giving this format a try, I gained a whole new appreciation for it. It's so much harder than it looks! I'm thrilled that you enjoyed this and think that it works as a full story despite its brevity. I'm really grateful for your encouraging words.
thesmallhobbit
Aug. 16th, 2011 09:25 pm (UTC)
I really like the way you've captured John's sadness and Lestrade's concern and the promise that they will limp along together.
morganstuart
Aug. 17th, 2011 05:03 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much! I love how you've put it, "the promise that they will limp along together." Beautifully put, and just what I was hoping to convey. I really appreciate your kind words, and I'm so glad you liked this.
linkedfingers
Aug. 16th, 2011 09:43 pm (UTC)
This is beautiful!
I've read heaps of 221b ficlets, but I think this must be one of the best examples. Perfectly structured, perfectly balanced, every word meaningful (or even doubly meaningful) And I know that's the point, but you've managed to do it so well, and make it work on so many levels. All the restraint and perfection of a haiku - just longer - a haiku's favourite uncle maybe... A Holmesku? Anyway - thank you for making my morning.
morganstuart
Aug. 17th, 2011 05:08 pm (UTC)
A Holmesku! I love it! :) Seriously, thanks for your amazing feedback. I'd never tried this format before, and I discovered it's much more difficult than it looks! I'm thrilled to know that the story worked and conveyed its message on multiple levels, as I'd hoped. This is wonderfully heartening, and I appreciate your encouragement. Thank you.
archea2
Aug. 16th, 2011 10:02 pm (UTC)
Beautiful. I loved the last line in particular - pulling grief into a perspective of hope.
morganstuart
Aug. 17th, 2011 05:51 pm (UTC)
Oh, I appreciate this so much! I'm especially glad the last line struck the right note. Thank you.
ghislainem70
Aug. 16th, 2011 10:17 pm (UTC)
So beautiful, I have a lump in my throat. I am very sensitive always to inspirations from music, and you chose and honored a timeless song so wonderfully. Well done!
morganstuart
Aug. 17th, 2011 05:53 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm so happy you found this to be moving! Thank you so much for reading and commenting, especially since this was my first attempt at one of these ficlets. I really appreciate your kind words.
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litlover12
Aug. 16th, 2011 11:24 pm (UTC)
Oh, awesome. John's lines in particular were just perfect.
morganstuart
Aug. 17th, 2011 05:54 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm so happy you think so! Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.
mazarin221b
Aug. 17th, 2011 12:29 am (UTC)
Lovely. I like the exercise of the 221b - makes you think, plan, choose very carefully. I like how much you've said with so little, here.
litlover12
Aug. 17th, 2011 02:18 am (UTC)
Icon love!
(no subject) - morganstuart - Aug. 17th, 2011 05:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
fengirl88
Aug. 17th, 2011 01:34 am (UTC)
oww.

beautifully done!
morganstuart
Aug. 17th, 2011 05:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I really appreciate it. And sorry for the "Oww!"
belleferret
Aug. 17th, 2011 02:05 am (UTC)
You break and heal my heart with every fic you write. The love and understanding between these men is astonishing.

"Not just yours, mate."
*heart breaks*

"No, I'm not jumping," John says at last. "Just limping along. Wouldn't mind some company, though."</i>
*heart heals but not without a few tears*

And I LOVE the S&G reference. A favorite teary song of mine!
morganstuart
Aug. 17th, 2011 05:59 pm (UTC)
You break and heal my heart with every fic you write.

Oh my, that's such a lovely thing to say. Thank you, my friend. *hugs*

I'm so glad you found this to be moving, but not without comfort for the pain. I love John for being so affected by this perceived loss, and I love Lestrade for being there for him.

I'm particularly pleased the S&G reference worked for you! What a brilliant song that is.

As always, thank you for reading and for your kind words.
innie_darling
Aug. 17th, 2011 02:43 am (UTC)
Oh, John. This is lovely.
morganstuart
Aug. 17th, 2011 06:00 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much! I really appreciate it.
methylviolet10b
Aug. 17th, 2011 02:45 am (UTC)
New Morgan!fic! Already Tuesday is better.

"No, I'm not jumping," John says at last. "Just limping along. Wouldn't mind some company, though."

His brief smile is grateful, if bleak. "Always good for a clearer view, bridges."


You slay me. Absolutely dead. D-E-A-D dead. I just love the tone you achieve here, all the things that aren't said but clearly understood, all the emotions that won't go into words, all the utter weight of what John's struggling under, Lestrade's fears, the whole lot of it. GAH. Just...GAH.

Beautifully done, as always - and doubly impressive that you managed this in just 221 words.
morganstuart
Aug. 17th, 2011 06:05 pm (UTC)
Aw! Aw!!! I appreciate this so very, very much. You just can't imagine. It thrills my heart that the tone worked for you, and the words conveyed what remained unsaid as well as what was spoken. I found this to be a very tricky format to work with, so it's reassuring to know that the ficlet managed to achieve what I'd hoped it would. Thank you!
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cookiefleck
Aug. 17th, 2011 04:21 am (UTC)
Loved this... poor, dear, hurt John, my heart goes out to him. The emotional delivery of the doing up shoeleaces line absolutely slayed me.

And Lestrade, such a good man himself, saying the right things, being in the right place, selflessly.

Great use of language... loved the muttering water, too. And ETA, how much do I love S&G. I once wrote a fic called "Troubled Water." And the name of my LJ blog is "The Dangling Conversation." Treasure any mention of their music.

Edited at 2011-08-17 04:23 am (UTC)
morganstuart
Aug. 17th, 2011 06:23 pm (UTC)
Oh, thanks a million for reading and commenting! I'm so, so pleased you found this to be moving. Especially the line about the shoelaces. (Oh, John!)

I'd hoped Lestrade's voice struck the right balance between the professional (he's probably trained to handle situations like this) and the personal (he's lost someone too, after all, in fact the very same someone). I figured that each of them was the man most likely to understand what Sherlock's absence meant to the other.

I'd suspected S&G were responsible for your LJ's name! It's great to have that confirmed. I'm so glad the reference seemed right here.

As always, my friend, your feedback means a lot to me. Thank you so much.
vince_moon
Aug. 17th, 2011 03:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, well done. So much emotion in this.
morganstuart
Aug. 17th, 2011 06:24 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much! I'm delighted that you liked it. I appreciate your kind words.
capt_facepalm
Aug. 18th, 2011 01:23 am (UTC)
What an elegant ficlet! Well done!
morganstuart
Aug. 18th, 2011 09:55 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much! I really appreciate it.
marysutherland
Aug. 18th, 2011 10:58 am (UTC)
Very well done, particularly Lestrade calmly asking the obvious and John's bleak joke about the shoelaces. Though is there a comma missing there (between might and could)?
morganstuart
Aug. 18th, 2011 11:19 am (UTC)
Oh, thanks so much! This was my first attempt to wrestle with the 221b format, and I found it's much more difficult than it looks! (I probably should've guessed that, eh?) So I'm especially grateful for your encouraging words. I'm so pleased Lestrade's question and John's joke seemed fitting.

Thank you for noting that. I'm always grateful for a keen eye! In this case, I don't think the comma's needed. I was going for the "might could do" construction. Quite informal and unlovely, but I had hoped that this more vernacular pattern might convey some of John's agitation. Does that sound right? I'll double-check my references, though, about the punctuation: I'm stepping a bit outside of my comfort zone here, so I may well be mistaken.

I'm grateful to you for reading and commenting! I appreciate your kindness.
lucybun
Aug. 20th, 2011 12:27 am (UTC)
This is perfection. I don't have the proper words to express how wrenching and real this is, but it's both. <3
morganstuart
Aug. 20th, 2011 05:42 pm (UTC)
Oh, what a lovely thing to say! <3 I appreciate it so much. It's my first attempt at the 221b format, and it was a real challenge to try to convey the right mood with such brevity. I'm so glad this feels real, as well as wrenching. I can't thank you enough for your kind words.
caffienekitty
Aug. 26th, 2011 06:59 am (UTC)
Owwwww. Love this. I've recced your story here.
morganstuart
Aug. 26th, 2011 11:51 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much! That's wonderful of you. I appreciate it, and I'm so glad you liked the story.
scotlandyarder
Sep. 6th, 2011 01:36 am (UTC)
This is just... Perfect. I can't think of a better word. Beautifully moving, elegant little fic, worthy of /many/ re-reads.
morganstuart
Sep. 6th, 2011 11:07 am (UTC)
Oh, what a lovely thing to say! Thank you so much. I'm delighted that you liked this and found it to be moving. Your kind words mean a lot to me.

Edited at 2011-09-06 11:38 am (UTC)
ficsa
Sep. 14th, 2011 11:29 am (UTC)
This was lovely. Painful, but heart-warming too; so much emotional resonance in so few words.

*applause*
morganstuart
Sep. 14th, 2011 11:58 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much! I'm so glad you found it to be moving. I really appreciate your kind words.

Edited at 2011-09-14 12:00 pm (UTC)
supermusicmad
Nov. 14th, 2011 12:31 am (UTC)
So much pain and loss and hope and EMOTION in 221 words? I don't know how you do it. Wonderful.

Also: Oh look, another song I can add to my playlist of Sherlock angst. :D
morganstuart
Nov. 14th, 2011 02:38 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much! This was my first foray into the 221b format, and wow, it's harder than it looks (and yet strangely addictive). I'm so happy to hear the feelings come across despite this ficlet's brevity. Thank you so much for your encouragement!

I feared that song was a bit trite, but I couldn't help myself, what with the bridge metaphor and all. And it is such a gorgeous piece. Ah, Sherlock angst! :)

I appreciate your kind words!
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