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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.


Aug. 19th, 2011 11:23 am (UTC)
Ooof. So descriptive and evocative with so few words. The disquiet, the exhaustion, the horrid nature of the crimescene - they all are living, breathing presences in this fic.

Wide awake, thrumming with thought...

Wow. Yep. Insomnia on the hoof, right there in five words.

I love Sherlock bearing witness, as the only thing he can do.

I repeat: you are really good at these 221b stories.
Aug. 19th, 2011 12:42 pm (UTC)
Oh, you're so kind! Thank you for your always-encouraging words. I'm so pleased this felt alive and vivid, despite the length. I'm especially glad the way Sherlock bore witness (as, you point out, the only thing he really could do) seemed fitting.

You've put a huge smile on my face. Thank you!