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The Distance Getting Close (Sherlock)

Title: The Distance Getting Close
(1st in the Good Father Series)
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: What Lestrade needed that night was distance. What he wanted was a few hours alone in which to grieve. What he got was Sherlock Holmes picking the lock of his front door.
Historian's Note: The events in this story take place approximately five years prior to those in the Sherlock episode "A Study in Pink."
Acknowledgements: Grateful thanks to _doodle, Britpicker and beta extraordinaire, and the Beta Who Must Not Be Named, a great help in all things. Any remaining errors are my own.
Chinese Translation: here and here by freya_fsc



Time brought healing, people said. He had his doubts. Time seemed to offer perspective, at least, but then a week like this past one came along and ripped the bandages from old wounds, proving them to be as gaping and bloody and tender as they were when fresh.

He needed distance – he would gladly give a week, a month, God, a decade of his life to gain it right now, this night – but such relief, if it did exist at all, refused to be rushed.

With a hand that shook from far too much caffeine and nicotine and far too little sleep, he reached for the next best alternative and poured himself a glass.

Tonight he had no team of professionals for whom he needed to remain steady and focused. He might be too dedicated to his work to drown himself in a bottle permanently, but he wasn’t above taking a bloody swim once in a while if he needed it badly enough.

When the muted complaint of metal against metal announced that someone was picking the lock on his door, Detective Inspector Gregory Lestrade merely sighed.

"Now’s not a good time, Sherlock," he said to the shadows, half in apology and half in warning.

The trust he showed this eccentric and troubled young man was a risk, he knew, but he took chances every day, putting his life on the line and relying on his instincts. This self-appointed assignment wasn't so different. On the worst days, it felt like a solemn responsibility. On the best, a rare privilege.

Of course, it was a risk he'd never have taken – or, at least, never have brought home quite so literally – if Jenny were still alive. But she wasn't, was she? And perhaps risk itself didn't concern him so much now that his very worst fears already had been realised.

Besides, there was so much to be gained, for Sherlock Holmes as a person and London as a whole, if Lestrade could help the genius finalise his ugly divorce from recreational drugs. Sherlock might have fled the posh grounds of every private rehab facility to which his brother sent him, but he had come willingly – and returned repeatedly – to Lestrade's far humbler door.

Lestrade wished with all his heart, though, that Sherlock hadn't chosen this night for an impromptu visit.

"If I'd wanted you here, I would've given you a key," he said without heat.

"If you hadn't wanted me here, you would've changed the lock."

With a snort, Lestrade took another drink. The exchange was as familiar as the call and response of a liturgy. Comfortable. Mutually fond, he might call it, if this were anyone else but Sherlock.

“Come closer, yeah?” Lestrade motioned toward the lamp by his armchair, currently the only source of illumination in the darkened room.

“I'm still clean.” He heard the petulance of a wronged child in Sherlock's tone.

With a shrug, he said, “I need to go through the motions sometimes to maintain the elaborate self-deception that I have at least a little common sense. Humour me.”

Sherlock moved forward into the light. His pale eyes reflected fierce intelligence, nothing more. They narrowed as he studied Lestrade in turn. “You're drunk,” he accused.

“I'm not, but I am purposefully, willfully headed in that direction.”

Disgust from Sherlock was never unexpected; when it came, Lestrade took it as his due, as another idiot among billions who had the poor taste to be born a lowly human being rather than a brilliant Holmes. It wasn't personal.

Disappointment, however, was something else entirely. It implied expectation. Lestrade dropped his gaze once he recognized the expression playing across the young man's gaunt features.

“This isn't like you," Sherlock said.

“Boring you, am I? I told you, this isn't a good time.”

“On the contrary, boring is very much like you. Pathetic isn't.” Biting. Wounded.

Lestrade held his tongue and closed his eyes. Sherlock wouldn't understand; he'd never had and never needed what Lestrade now missed. Not for the first time that night, Lestrade tried to recall what it was like to have a family to remind him that home could be more than a blank screen on which to replay the horrors he witnessed on the job. He failed.

"Detective Inspector, do I need to remind you that your line of work requires every single one of the undoubtedly few brain cells you possess?

How very well he knew it. "That's rich, coming from you." The parry was half-hearted at best.

"I have them to spare. You don't." The scathing baritone grew soft, almost diffident. "That said, I'm not using now. We had a deal."

The lost note in the normally arrogant voice roused Lestrade. He straightened in his chair and met Sherlock's stare. "We still have a deal. My getting pissed for one night in the so-called privacy of my own home doesn't affect a thing. Not my work. Not yours."

Sherlock raised an eyebrow, eloquent in his wordless scorn.

"Excuse me if I don't model ideal behaviour for you every single moment of my life. I may be pathetic, but I'm not irresponsible. The day I show up drunk at the office or a crime scene, you have my permission to feed me my warrant card."

The flash of relief on Sherlock's face rebounded on Lestrade, who managed to scavenge something of his characteristic humour. "Or try to, anyway. Not going to happen."

"Your showing up drunk, or my feeding you your warrant card?"

"Yes."

Sherlock's smirk was welcome, but it disappeared a heartbeat later as the young man began to pace. Moving jerkily, all elbows and knees and agitated energy, Sherlock reminded Lestrade of the addict who had trembled and thrashed and keened his way through withdrawal scant months ago, often in Lestrade's spare room. A few times, in the very bleakest of hours, in Lestrade's arms.

"I came here to see if you had anything for me. Anything new. Even the rumour of anything new. Or the memories of anything new to me. I'm bored. And you're no help at all."

Lestrade fought the urge to stumble to the nearest wall and beat his head against it. "Look, Sherlock, in the last three days I've slept maybe seven hours combined, and now I'm too exhausted to make it to my bed, much less sleep. Give me one night to lick my wounds, then things'll be back to normal, yeah?"

Sherlock continued his pacing.

Scrubbing his free hand through his hair and over his stubbled face, Lestrade bit back a groan. "You have complete run of the place. Amuse yourself. You know where to find clean sheets for the spare bed. Just leave me a quiet corner and let me be for a bit. All I'm asking is a few hours."

Pausing, Sherlock blinked at him. Thinking, obviously.

"Don't worry: I won't sing maudlin songs or wear the lampshade on my head or put my fist through the wall. I'm just as uninteresting after a few as I am sober."

Sherlock remained still and silent.

"And stop staring at me like I'm under a bloody microscope!"

Lestrade hunched over his glass, wishing he had the energy to locate and light a cigarette. The packet on the table beside him was empty. Tossing back another mouthful of whiskey instead, he did his best to ignore Sherlock as the young man began to move amid the shadows, examining possessions he'd seen countless times before while treating Lestrade's space as his own.

When Sherlock hissed with sudden understanding, Lestrade flinched at the sound.

"Of course! Of course. Why didn't I see it?" Sherlock tangled his fingers in his curls.

"You closed the Skidmore case today. Fine, yes, you close cases routinely. But in this one, the final victim bore more than a passing physical resemblance to your late wife, if the pictures are any indication. Like your wife, this woman too was pregnant when she died. And if you'd made it to the victim's flat only two-and-a-half hours earlier–"

"Yeah, thanks for the historical reenactment, mate," Lestrade mumbled. Failure and whiskey burned together in his belly like acid.

"But surely you don't…" Long strides put a scowling Sherlock directly in front of Lestrade, looming over him, well inside his personal space. "There wasn’t enough data. You couldn't have… After all, you did move in immediately after you intercepted that last call–"

"Sherlock!" Lestrade raised his hand as if to deflect a blow. "I'm not a mystery that needs solving, all right? I didn't ask you to make sense of this." He was fraying. Christ, he needed to hold himself together, at least until he had the luxury of breaking down without an audience.

He drew a deep breath, sighed it back out like a prayer, inhaled again. "The fridge is reasonably full. Get something to eat. Several somethings – God, look at you. Go hack my computer or reorder my bookshelves or do whatever it is you do. Please."

The young man retreated a few steps and then shifted where he stood, his sharp angles suggesting first defensiveness and then frustration.

“Tomorrow, Sherlock." Lestrade softened his words and turned them into a reassurance, summoning the voice of the father he'd never had the chance to be. "I've got nothing now. And I'm not due in 'til late morning. But if something new hasn't turned up by the afternoon, I'll have a look through the cold case files. One way or another, I'll find something for you. Tomorrow."

Sherlock stared down at him, as inscrutable and cold as carved marble. Then he turned on his heel and left without a word.


***


When Sherlock returned more than an hour later, Lestrade was still peering sightlessly into the darkness, feeling nearly as mangled as the glassy-eyed victim he'd so recently failed to save.

Despite his stated intention to get drunk, Lestrade had nursed his whiskey sparingly since Sherlock's departure. Perhaps this had less to do with his self-control than the fact he scarcely had the energy left to bring the glass to his lips.

"If humans could perish of their own dullness, you'd be long since buried, Lestrade."

Too surprised by Sherlock's reappearance to think of any comeback, Lestrade offered only a shaky two-fingered salute in reply.

This time his visitor appeared to be carrying something, although Lestrade's bleary eyes couldn't make out what it was. Perhaps a small piece of luggage? Fair enough, Lestrade thought. At least he'd know that Sherlock had somewhere clean and safe – and, more to the point, free of illicit substances – to stay.

For no reason his weary mind could grasp, however, it looked like Sherlock was unpacking on the far end of the sofa, in the middle of the sitting room, in the dark.

"You can have the spare room, y'know." Then, "What're you doing? And why don't you turn on a light?"

"Shut up, Lestrade."

At last Sherlock presented himself, perching on the nearer arm of the sofa and glowering into the dim lamplight as though daring Lestrade to mock him.

It had never occurred to Lestrade that Sherlock might play a musical instrument. Yet the elegant violin now resting against Sherlock's collarbone, balanced between shoulder and hand, seemed to be a natural extension of the young man's body, an integral part of a now-complete whole.

After several seconds and a pretentious sniff, Sherlock purposefully rearranged himself to face the opposite direction, turning his long, narrow back to his audience of one. And then, without preamble, he began to make the most haunting music Lestrade had ever heard.

Oh.

Sherlock didn't play the violin: he breathed life into it; he communed with it. The instrument sang with all of the feeling he seemed unwilling or unable to express in other ways, by turns demonstrative in rapid, skipping successions of sounds and empathetic in the slow pulsation of a single, melancholy note.

Soon the young man slid off the furniture, his slender limbs swaying like a dancer's as the melody rose and fell. Lestrade set his glass aside and crossed his arms over his chest, as if mere muscle and bone could contain the swell of emotion that the music evoked.

While he watched, the restlessness bled out from Sherlock's frame. In place of the manic former junkie stood a virtuoso, fluid and graceful and consumed by inspiration.

How mad, Lestrade thought, that Sherlock would choose this empty shell of a home as the place to abandon himself to his genius. How incomprehensible, that Sherlock would decide to share this startling and intimate beauty with, of all people, an exhausted and heartsick copper – one who couldn't, despite his damnedest efforts, keep any of the people around him from dropping like flies.

Ah, but Sherlock was alive, wasn't he?

Not a corpse with a needle in its arm, cold in some gutter. No longer curled into a miserable, sweating knot in the tangled sheets of the spare bed, or heaving over Lestrade’s toilet, vomiting up strangled breath.

Sherlock was alive.

The violin beckoned Lestrade from a distance, drawing him in and away, far away, from the shadows encircling him. He had never heard the likes of it. Without asking, he knew that this music had never been composed or published or rehearsed; it simply was happening. Now. Spontaneously.

An offering, meant for him.

He didn't realise he was weeping until he tasted the salt of tears on his lips.

The violin spoke. Lestrade understood its message.

Humbled and overwhelmed, he closed his damp eyes, uncrossed his empty arms, and surrendered himself to the sound.


***


When Lestrade woke from a sound sleep, stiff and awkward in his armchair, he found a duvet from his airing cupboard draped haphazardly over his body. Sherlock and his violin were nowhere to be seen.

A frozen pizza, an electric can opener, and a half-eaten jar of marmalade appeared to be missing from the kitchen. In the rubbish bin Lestrade found two handwritten pages in what was likely the Tsalagi syllabary (or so a Google search informed him), but might have been an elaborate secret code instead.

A hand-drawn, exceptionally detailed, and extensively labeled cross-section diagram of the bowels of a wharf rat was taped to the refrigerator door, not unlike a child's finger-painting proudly brought home from school for parental display.

All of Lestrade's books had been rearranged in their shelves according to some obscure logic that he couldn't begin to fathom. And his computer sported a new wallpaper: a screen capture of security camera footage from the office, showing one of his fellow Yarders investing great determination and industry in picking his nose as he waited for the lift.

Lestrade chuckled aloud as he discovered Sherlock's parting gifts.

The pain of past loss and recent failure had not disappeared, not even diminished, but after several hours of untroubled sleep he found it to be a weight that he could shoulder once more. His heart felt full now rather than simply heavy.

What Lestrade craved more than anything was his purpose, his work. Maybe, just maybe, he and his team and his new consulting detective might solve a murder this day. The pale grey glow of a rainy morning shone through the window like a promise as he waited for the kettle to boil.

Echoes of remembered music filled the emptiness around him.


THE END

Sequels: This may be read as a standalone story or, if desired, "Father and Farther" and "I Wonder As I Wander" may be read as sequels to this work.

Vital Stats: Originally written in March 2011.

Originally written to fill the prompt for "the first time Lestrade heard Sherlock play the violin" for the “Spring into Sherlock" Festival at sherlockmas.

The title was inspired by the lyrics "I can feel the distance getting close" in the song "China" by Tori Amos.


Or "read it at the 'Spring into Sherlock' fest."

Comments

( 39 comments — Leave a comment )
theteej2
Apr. 26th, 2011 01:11 am (UTC)
Oh my GOD!

This was eloquent and gorgeous and struck dangerously close to home. Beautiful job, just beautiful!

I've found myself just sitting there, or even showering, and a stray thought would go through my head and I'd think about Cheryl and the tears would just start rolling. And I couldn't shut them off. Since the funeral that hard grief has abated, now there's just a deep sadness and a peace only God can give.
It's a relief in a way.

This story reminds me of that,(and that grief shouldn't be buried.) It's exquisite, thanks so much!
morganstuart
Apr. 26th, 2011 02:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for the lovely feedback! I truly appreciate it.

It broke my heart, reading your comments and thinking of your recent loss. I'm glad that, having gone through that hard grief, you're finding peace. My heart goes out to you.

I really appreciate your kind words. Thanks again for reading and commenting.
bk7brokemybrain
Apr. 26th, 2011 08:18 pm (UTC)
I love seeing the early days between Sherlock and Lestrade. They are both so wound up here, I loved the resolution brought on by the violin. Gorgeous.
morganstuart
Apr. 26th, 2011 09:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm so glad the resolution with the violin worked for you and you liked the story as a whole. I really appreciate your kind feedback!
lucybun
Apr. 27th, 2011 02:38 am (UTC)
Beautiful! Lestrade and Sherlock are actually the only pair I don't seem to ship in this fandom, but I do love to read stories about their friendship and/or working relationship and how it formed; and this is a great example of one of those stories. There is a sense of care here on both sides that shows why these men were drawn to each other and how they helped each other to get to a better place. The use of the violin here as a way for Sherlock to communicate in a way his words won't allow is touching. Lovely, lovely, lovely.
morganstuart
Apr. 27th, 2011 01:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for your kind words! I'm so glad you liked it, and that Sherlock using the violin to communicate made sense and worked for you. I really did want to show how these two men helped each other, so your comments made me very happy. I really appreciate your reading and commenting!
(Deleted comment)
morganstuart
Apr. 27th, 2011 01:47 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much! I'm so glad the father/family dynamic worked for you.

That he can find something to feel good about in the fact that Sherlock's still alive, thanks to him, and the way Sherlock uses his violin to help share his gratitude for that is really satisfying, too.

This really makes me happy. Thank you! I was aiming for "bleak but hopeful," so your comments have officially made my day.

BTW, I love your description of moving their energies toward each other; I wouldn't have been able to describe this as well as you have, but it was part of the sttucture of this piece from its inception, and it's really gratifying to know that it came through and made sense. I really appreciate your feedback. Thanks for reading and commenting!

Edited at 2011-04-29 11:04 am (UTC)
amedia
Apr. 28th, 2011 07:19 pm (UTC)
I love how you extrapolate backwards; I can see this young man becoming the Sherlock we see on TV, and this Lestrade becoming our Lestrade, and the relationship they have on-screen coming about just this way.

Come to think of it--this hadn't occurred to me until just now--this actually makes it very sad that Lestrade still threatens to look for drugs and Sherlock still admits he may find them. What a wonderful subtext to import. o_O, as the kids say these days.

summoning the voice of the father he'd never had the chance to be.

Every line of the story was just right, but this is the one that made me wibble. By "just right" I mean crafted to the point of transparency, so that the perfectly-placed words efface themselves and the story itself shines through.
morganstuart
Apr. 29th, 2011 10:41 am (UTC)
I can't begin to express how much this means to me. Thank you so much for your always-insightful comments. I'm so pleased that you find these characterizations -- of each of the men on his own and of their relationship together -- as plausible when weighed against how we see the men and their relationship in the series.

You're right: it really does make the "drugs bust" extremely sad. Lestrade looks at him with what I read as this "Don't tell me I don't have the right to do this, because I have every right in the world, and you know it" expression, and I think it fits the idea that he's "purchased" this right with the proverbial blood, sweat, and tears. (It's not unlike the father, taking the keys from the teenage son, saying, "Why yes, I can ground you. I bought that car you're driving.") There's such a sense of exasperation and affection and weariness and history in that scene, it seems to me there's much more going on there than a DI wanting his evidence. John's reaction, interestingly enough, suggests to me that, after a few minutes, he picks up on this clearly, too - that there's something weighty going on beneath the surface for which he has no context.

(It also makes Sherlock showing off his nicotine patch and Lestrade responding in kind rather poignant, I think, if you accept the idea they've been aware of/watching over each other's weaknesses for some time.)

Augh, what you said about that line ("summoning the voice of the father...")... I can't thank you enough. You've thrilled my heart. Thank you so much.
rusty_armour
Apr. 30th, 2011 04:21 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry I didn't comment sooner. I've been selfishly reading stories this week and neglecting to leave feedback, which is a sin considering how beautiful this fic is. As Sherlock is so often oblivious to other people's pain, I find it really moving that he would share such an intimate part of himself with Lestrade in an attempt to heal Lestrade's suffering. It's as if Sherlock knew that the music would allow Lestrade to feel his grief and, yet, make it bearable. It's really touching that Sherlock covers Lestrade with a duvet when Lestrade is lulled to sleep then leaves a couple of other amusing presents to cheer Lestrade up.
morganstuart
Apr. 30th, 2011 11:56 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much for this lovely feedback! I really appreciate it. I'm so glad you liked this, and that the means Sherlock uses to try to ease Lestrade's suffering work for you. It struck me that Lestrade must have good reason for not really buying the "high-functioning sociopath" routine, but that Sherlock is pretty much incapable of saying, "I'm sorry you're sad" or "This isn't your fault" or "Thank you for saving my life" in a common or routine kind of way. I loved the idea that he would find some utterly unique and brilliant fashion to give back to Lestrade that support that Lestrade had already given him. I also thought of how Sherlock is often written as playing music to help John sleep, and I figured that maybe he knows to do this because he first did it for Lestrade. At any rate, I'm really thrilled at your kind response, and I appreciate it very much. Thank you!
(Deleted comment)
morganstuart
May. 8th, 2011 11:08 am (UTC)
Aw, thank you so much! I appreciate it.
(Deleted comment)
morganstuart
Jun. 16th, 2011 10:01 pm (UTC)
Oh wow! You have no idea how much your kind words mean to me. Thank you for reading and commenting. I'm so very glad you like the story and my interpretation of Lestrade. You've put a smile on my face, too. :)
heron236
Sep. 10th, 2011 08:20 pm (UTC)
So beautiful. Fify-seven ways of saying "I really haven't got the energy just now", and the wonderful descriptions of Sherlock's gifts... A really strong sense of the bond between them.
morganstuart
Sep. 10th, 2011 08:45 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm thrilled that you liked this. I'm especially pleased that the bond between them seemed right to you. Thank you so much for your kind words. I appreciate your reading and your commenting a great deal.
heron236
Sep. 10th, 2011 09:05 pm (UTC)
Well it's such a momentous thing for Sherlock to be disappointed in someone - to have had expectations - you brought that home really well :-)
morganstuart
Sep. 11th, 2011 11:59 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you very much! I'm so glad you think so, and that you found this to be believable.
shadesofmoon
Sep. 19th, 2011 02:09 pm (UTC)
Oh, a warm feeling in my heart and tears my eyes.
The violin-scene ... happy sigh.
The relationship, the characterization... more happy sighs
- it seems so very true and I can see both Sherlock and Lestrade becoming the men we meet in Sherlock.

I know (and love) your Sofie-series, and on this bleak Monday, recovering from a severe headache, I decided to read into your other stories. I'm not going to spam you with comments on each story, just allow me to say that they're great, magnificent, well-written and very much in character. I have to admit that I skip the angsty ones, but thanks a lot for writting and sharing!
morganstuart
Sep. 19th, 2011 03:28 pm (UTC)
Oh, I can't thank you enough! Your lovely feedback has made my day.

I'm so glad the characterizations and relationship seem right to you, as well as fitting as earlier versions of/precursors to what we see on the show. I'm so pleased that you liked the violin scene, in particular.

Thank you so much for reading my stories! (I'm working on another story for the Sofie-verse now, as a matter of fact. I appreciate your kind words about the series.) I just adore comments, and yours has thrilled my heart. Thank you.

I hope you feel much better soon!
gigglinggigi
Nov. 20th, 2011 02:12 pm (UTC)


“I'm still clean.” He heard the petulance of a wronged child in Sherlock's tone.

God, he's seeking approval, needing it so badly, have to wonder about his childhood don't we? (This is where I tell my own muses to be good.)

“Tomorrow, Sherlock." Lestrade softened his words and turned them into a reassurance, summoning the voice of the father he'd never had the chance to be. "I've got nothing now. And I'm not due in 'til late morning. But if something new hasn't turned up by the afternoon, I'll have a look through the cold case files. One way or another, I'll find something for you. Tomorrow."

He really does all he can to keep Sherlock out of trouble there, I could so see him calling around for cold cases because I bet with Sherlock around they do not have that many.


An offering, meant for him.

He didn't realise he was weeping until he tasted the salt of tears on his lips.

The violin spoke. Lestrade understood its message.

Humbled and overwhelmed, he closed his damp eyes, uncrossed his empty arms, and surrendered himself to the sound.


Okay this is very beautiful. I could picture him watch Holmes playing, that look on Sherlock's face. They music sweeping them both away.

You painted quiet a picture there.

And you are giving me a new pairing. which I am sure is not what you really mean to do, but Sherlock so needs a daddy, rather it's Lestarde just taking care of him as a Father or him and Watson doing it another way.. *smiles all innocent like and puts the bunnies back in the closet*


Okay I would just be pasting the whole last half, it's all too damn cute, and just nice. I loved th is thank you for the link!

Edited at 2011-11-20 02:14 pm (UTC)
morganstuart
Nov. 20th, 2011 08:48 pm (UTC)
I'm so pleased that this worked for you!

I do wonder about their childhoods. I've written a bit about that from Mycroft's point of view, but of course we see much more evidence of that in Sherlock's case...

I'm really glad you could picture that scene with Sherlock playing for Lestrade, letting the music say what he can't convey otherwise, and Lestrade realizing that Sherlock is alive because of him. It's so wonderful to hear that you thought it was beautiful. Thank you!

Okay I would just be pasting the whole last half, it's all too damn cute

Aw, this makes me smile!

Thank you so much for reading this. It was lovely of you, and I'm most grateful for your thoughtful feedback. :)
maggie_conagher
Dec. 5th, 2011 06:09 pm (UTC)
Doing my "homework' in preparation for your new post. How did I not comment on this before? I'm sorry.

It's amazing, morgan. Deep and extraordinarily intelligent and in character to the core on both counts. my god

Stunning. Shattering poetry. Truth.

The gentle humor at the end is still in character and takes nothing away from the weight and power of the first part.

If I had to pick fics to show what fan fic is to someone like Rupert Graves or Mark Gatiss, I would take this one.

Wow, I was not expecting to be gobsmacked today.
morganstuart
Dec. 6th, 2011 12:16 pm (UTC)
Now it's my turn to be gobsmacked! You can't imagine how much your kind words touch my heart. This is one of those stories that's especially dear to me - it's sort of my "manifesto" on these two men and their relationship, in a way - and I'm thrilled that you found it to be in character for both of them. That you liked the writing and thought it to be powerful means a great deal to me. And I'm so glad the humor at the end seemed fitting and didn't detract from the rest of it.

If I had to pick fics to show what fan fic is to someone like Rupert Graves or Mark Gatiss, I would take this one.

Here's where I get all teary-eyed and can't find any words.

Thank you so much for your generosity. Your comments - well, I'll be treasuring them for a long time!
monkeybard
Dec. 25th, 2011 02:39 pm (UTC)
Having read the others in this universe, I had to go back and read this one. I love your Lestrade POV/voice and it's particularly eloquent here. Just enough angst without wallowing or becoming maudlin. Another gorgeous fic, and I thank you for it!
morganstuart
Dec. 25th, 2011 11:46 pm (UTC)
Oh, I appreciate your kindness so much! This particular story is especially near and dear to me - I have a tender place in my heart for it - and so I'm really grateful to hear that you liked Lestrade's POV/voice here. It's also great to know that you found the balance of angst to be right; I have a high tolerance (active taste?) for bleakness personally, and so I'm perpetually concerned about going one step too far into maudlin territory! LOL.

It was lovely of you to take time to read and comment on this, and it means a lot to me. Thank you.
thesmallhobbit
Dec. 28th, 2011 07:00 pm (UTC)
I hope you don't mind me commenting on another of your fics I seem not to have appreciated before. This is just beautiful - you explore Lestrade's pain so well and show Sherlock's understanding of what is needed wonderfully. I really like the way you finish with Lestrade being aware that the pain hasn't diminished but that it can be coped with.
morganstuart
Dec. 28th, 2011 07:23 pm (UTC)
I hope you don't mind me commenting on another of your fics

Oh, good heavens, I'm most delighted and grateful! It's lovely of you, and I appreciate it so much. To be honest, this particular story is especially near and dear to my heart. It means a lot to know that you liked it. I'm so glad Lestrade's pain and Sherlock's understanding of what he needed worked for you.

I really like the way you finish with Lestrade being aware that the pain hasn't diminished but that it can be coped with.

Oh, thank you! It's wonderful to hear that this seemed fitting. I figured Lestrade's loss and (perceived) failure can't exactly be fixed; those aren't hurts that simply go away. The most Sherlock could do was help to make those burdens bearable in his own (Sherlockian) way.

Your feedback really has made my day. Thank you for your kindness, my friend!
phiso_kun
Jun. 18th, 2012 06:34 am (UTC)
Ooooh, beautiful. I've always loved the Sherlock/Lestrade dynamic, especially when Sherlock was young and manic and Lestrade was trying to save him. I love this story in particular because it brings in the violin, a part of him that many people forget about or ignore and is just such a vital part of him. I immediately put violin music as soon as I read him holding it, and even now I can still see that image of Sherlock with his offering sharp as a painting in my mind. I might attempt it - and attempt playing music again, because this story made me miss it desperately - once my hand gets better. If I do, I'll be sure to credit you for the inspiration. :)

Beautiful, wonderful job!
morganstuart
Jun. 26th, 2012 10:04 pm (UTC)
This story is near and dear to my heart, and I'm so pleased you liked it! It's especially wonderful to hear you liked the part the violin played in it. As you say, it's a vital part of the Sherlock Holmes character in any incarnation.

I immediately put violin music as soon as I read him holding it, and even now I can still see that image of Sherlock with his offering sharp as a painting in my mind.

Thinks almost makes me teary-eyed! <3

I might attempt it - and attempt playing music again, because this story made me miss it desperately - once my hand gets better. If I do, I'll be sure to credit you for the inspiration. :)

Aaaaand now I'm teary-eyed for real. Thank you for this. I'm honored. I do hope your hand gets better soon (ack!), and you feel like returning to art and music!

You've thrilled my heart with your generous words. Thank you for this.
phiso_kun
Jun. 28th, 2012 05:44 am (UTC)
I've been on a violin binge since I read this. Oooh, it's lovely~ all thanks to this :D

But yes. I think I am going to attempt a painting or two, as I have two poses stuck in my head...it's going to be difficult and I have yet to decide if I want oil, acrylic, or watercolour (what do you think?), though I've also been known to mix mediums before...but yes. Some time this summer I'm going to start this little project and let you know how it goes.

And my hand is getting better now! I have touched my thumb to my index and middle fingers (all on the same hand) for the first time since April, so it's very exciting :D perhaps music will come from me before the summer's done?

You are lovely <3 and your stories are, too. I'm glad I found your page :D
morganstuart
Jul. 3rd, 2012 11:22 am (UTC)
Oh, this makes me so happy!

Some time this summer I'm going to start this little project and let you know how it goes.

*goes a bit flaily* I am so thrilled (and awed and delighted) to hear this. You're brilliant! As to the medium, I'm afraid I'm terribly ignorant on the subject; I wouldn't know which to choose, or whether or not to opt for mixing. Whatever you choose I'm sure will lead to something fantastic.

I do hope your hand continues to improve every day, and making music will be a part of your life again before the summer is through.

Thank you for your generosity and kindness. It means a lot to me that this story has inspired you.
gina87
Jun. 25th, 2012 02:22 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is absolutely beautiful. I find the whole Sherlock/Lestrade dynamic fascinating and love what you have done with it!
morganstuart
Jun. 26th, 2012 10:05 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much for this! I really appreciate it. I, too, am fascinated by the Sherlock/Lestrade dynamic, and I'm so happy that this take on it worked for you.
trishkafibble
Jul. 22nd, 2012 11:48 pm (UTC)
What a gift this story is--to Lestrade, to Sherlock, and to the reader, in equal measure.

Last night I was discussing fandom and other things with my eldest, and she said that her sticking point for fiction is characterization--it must be three-dimensional and realistic, or she can't enter into the story as she'd like. I told her that for me, the one necessary thing for me to enjoy a fiction is that the author be a benevolent god for her characters--that she gift them with the means to achieve whatever redemption they need, and allow them at least a small measure of the undeserved grace which the true God of real life allots to us all in abundance.

Your fictions, IMHO, amply meet both conditions. God bless you!!
morganstuart
Jul. 23rd, 2012 04:02 pm (UTC)
I told her that for me, the one necessary thing for me to enjoy a fiction is that the author be a benevolent god for her characters--that she gift them with the means to achieve whatever redemption they need, and allow them at least a small measure of the undeserved grace which the true God of real life allots to us all in abundance.

Oh, this is so beautifully put! I have tears in my eyes.

It gives me such great joy that you find this in my stories, and that the characterizations feel satisfying and believable, as well. You can't imagine how much this means to me. Thank you, truly.

I'm thrilled you see this story as a gift. Your uplifting words have been the same for me.
(Deleted comment)
morganstuart
Apr. 13th, 2013 11:41 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for your kind and generous comments! This is an older work of mine (as you can no doubt tell, it was written before the second series), but it's near and dear to my heart, and I'm absolutely delighted that it worked for you.

It's especially wonderful to hear that the depiction of Sherlock and Lestrade's early relationship - Sherlock fleeing rehab facilities but returning to Lestrade's door, in particular - seemed convincing. It means a great deal to me that Sherlock's choice to play his violin for Lestrade felt properly moving to you.

I really appreciate your taking the time to read my story and comment. You've made my day!
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