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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 11:55 am (UTC)
Oh, this is so brilliant. The 221b format suits your writing perfectly. Every single word is poignant and powerful.

It fits so well that Sherlock is the observer of John's and Lestrade's grief.

Thank you!
Aug. 19th, 2011 03:04 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much! This makes my day, it really does. I'm so glad that you think my writing style is working in this format, and that the poignancy comes across, despite the story's brevity. I'm particularly pleased that the way Sherlock witnesses John's and Lestrade's grief seems fitting in this context.

I can't thank you enough for your encouraging words. They're most appreciated!