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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.

Orders.

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.


THE END

Vital Stats: Originally written in August 2011.

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

Comments

sailthouforth
Aug. 18th, 2011 09:46 pm (UTC)
As always, your writing is like a punch to the stomach, in the best possible way. John and Lestrade break my heart, but Sherlock gets me even worse... I feel like he's secretly relieved he doesn't have any emotional attachments to plague him, not even realizing that moments like this -- witnessing someone else's vulnerability, or pain -- are the building blocks of those very connections.
morganstuart
Aug. 19th, 2011 11:01 am (UTC)
Your kind words are much appreciated! I do love to read the "gut punch" kind of stories, so I'm both amazed and thrilled if I've managed to create the same feeling. Thank you.

I feel like he's secretly relieved he doesn't have any emotional attachments to plague him, not even realizing that moments like this -- witnessing someone else's vulnerability, or pain -- are the building blocks of those very connections.

Beautifully put! You've summed up exactly what I was hoping to convey. The very act of setting aside his work to witness this means he's slowly being pulled into this caring lark himself, even if he doesn't realize it.

I'm so glad all three of them seem fitting and moving to you. I appreciate your reading and commenting so much!