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Out of Darkness, Out of Doubt (Sherlock)

Title: Out of Darkness, Out of Doubt
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: Sherlock observes more during cases these days than he used to do. Not much cop, this caring lark.
Author's Note: This is a 221b ficlet: 221 words, with the last word beginning with a "b."
Historian's Note: This occurs at some unspecified time during events depicted in the first series of Sherlock.
Warnings (Highlight to Read): Non-explicit but disturbing description of murders and their crime

Even to Sherlock's dispassionate gaze, the crime scene had been... unexpected.

An ungodly nightmare, a grey-faced Lestrade had called it. John had closed his eyes and swallowed hard before kneeling on gore-slicked tiles beside the dismembered victims.

It was no surprise, then, that Lestrade ended up at 221B, that the three men pondered evidence and devoured related files until late night bled into early morning.

When John finally piled a duvet and pillow on the sofa, telling Lestrade to salvage whatever rest he could, the detective inspector offered no protest.

John yawned his good-nights and stumbled up the steps to his bed.

Wide awake, thrumming with thought, Sherlock turned to his improvised laboratory at the kitchen table.

A short while later, shouts sounded from upstairs.


A litany of names. The soldiers who bore them would never heed that desperate summons.

After a final ragged, inarticulate cry came silence.

Asleep on the sofa, Lestrade folded his arms to his chest, tucked tight fists beneath his chin, and frowned.

Softly, he moaned a plaintive call for the one he had loved and wed, buried and mourned. Then, unanswered, he growled out a troubled sigh.

Sherlock remained motionless. Listening. Watching. Bearing witness.

After a time, when all again was still, he nodded to himself and returned to his flasks and beakers.


Vital Stats: Originally written in August 2011.

The title borrows from the song "Witness" by Sarah McLachlan.


(Deleted comment)
Aug. 18th, 2011 06:04 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm so glad this worked for you! I'm especially thrilled the dual ideas of the "caring lark" - that John and Lestrade are part of it, because they both obviously care, but in his own way, Sherlock is being pulled in that direction, too, as evidenced by his reaction to their pain, if not the victims' - came through. The way you describe it here is just what I was hoping to convey, so this does my heart good. :)

I'm really grateful to you for pointing out that line. It's so helpful to me to know what works and why, and I'm particularly pleased that those verbs in succession drove the feeling home.

You're so kind to take the time to read and comment as you do. I appreciate it very much.