BBC's Sherlock, Standverse (John has a Stand)
Summary: Sherlock has to catalogue the relevation about his flatmate. Set after Human Trigger.
Word Count: 765
john doesn't appear in this fic but it's about him so he's tagged.
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The demon’s face grins and spears him with what feels like molten lava. “Who better to use as a guinea pig, dear Sherlock?” Mocking laughter, and Sherlock shivers uncontrollably. Attempting to get up just results in him flopping on the floor.
And then there’s another face, a familiar face, and a comforting voice like the smell of jumpers. “You’re not here,” he rasps.
“Miracles are possible, Sherlock. And on that note, don’t you dare die on me, not now.”
He passes out instead. It seems the safest of the options.
( Let's go. )
“Sherlock!” John screams, and Sherlock steps and falls, and then something…doesn’t go as planned.
John’s distraught. Good. He’s running, knocked into by the bicyclist as planned. The switch barely happens in time. But it’s quick enough.
And then it happens.
There’s an explosion, blending in with the sound of John’s scream. He carefully doesn’t react. It might be Moriarty’s network, trying to get him to betray any possible sign of life, so he doesn’t move, despite the sound.
But then John doesn’t come over. The running footsteps lead away, not to his body. Why?
“Are you all right?” Sherlock asks, and John shakes his head, transferring his gaze from the window to his friend.
“Sorry?” Whatever had been asked, he hadn’t heard.
Sherlock steeples his fingers, the dissecting gaze like John’s a brand-new puzzle. “You’ve been acting odd ever since Sally called me a freak. Again. You don’t like it when anyone’s rude; a little odd, really, considering I’m likely to be rude myself, but it’s bothering you more than usual. Why?”
John works his jaw. This would be a good time. And yet…not at all.
It’s a restaurant. There are people around. He can’t be sure Moriarty doesn’t have people here. He actually can’t be sure that there aren’t bugs or people around or anything anywhere. And after the pool, he’s fairly certain Moriarty has to be interested in him.
He doesn’t have the energy for this. He’s maintaining Right Where I Belong most of the time, now, because he’s paranoid, now. He doesn’t know how Sherlock hasn’t noticed by now being his usual reckless self hasn’t earned him near enough scrapes or bruises.
And he’s taken too long to answer, because apparently his face has answered for him, since Sherlock keeps up his interrogation. “Ah. You take it personally. Why? The company you keep, or…?”
By now, his face has given away the truth, that it’s more personal than that, and he knows Sherlock deserves to know, is getting restless, can’t wait any longer, and knows also that he wants to tell, being unable to talk about it is tearing him apart, and he’d never thought it’d be this hard.
But he doesn’t want to lose a friend. Despite the fact that he already is, that the secret is tearing them apart. And worse, he doesn’t want to give Moriarty the clue he needs to go find and unlock a Stand.
So he bites his lip. Maybe he can give Sherlock clues. Lead him into the correct answer, hope Moriarty doesn’t get there first. “Remember our conversation about monsters.”
“What kind of evidence could lead a man like you to believe he’s a monster?” Sherlock’s incredulous.
“Obviously, the persuasive kind,” John whispers.
John is fairly sure that Sherlock’s a normal human, not a Stand User. As weird as people see his flatmate, Watson is the real freak.
Sherlock picks up his phone. It’s about time John called. He could hardly shop for more food without his wallet; forgotten in his room; John’s been forgetful lately; John’s worried about something. Moriarty, probably. Something happened during the kidnapping; something he didn’t feel he could tell Sherlock. Why? Because he was worried about how Sherlock would react? Worried that he’d try to take revenge? But no, there was a secret; something John didn’t want Sherlock to know; something that Mycroft knows about John that he doesn’t; how? Obvious, contacts. Not worth his time, not like John. All these signs John is normal, average, and yet—
And yet, he’s sympathetic. Like he understands, how? How would John know? There’s the obvious answer, of course, his sister, homosexual, him having to protect her; doesn’t approve of her drinking, liked the wife, but he’d hardly stand for bullies going after his sister; but it’s not that, it can’t be; Mycroft wouldn’t know if that was it, he could be cruel and pretend he knows something, but that doesn’t explain John; John, who wants to explain, but doesn’t know how, John who thinks he of all people won’t believe—
The phone rings. He picks it up. “Sherlock.”
The singsong voice on the other end is unexpected, unwanted. But then, he’d known Moriarty would survive. “There’s something about John…he’s keeping secrets. I could help you find out.”
“Piss off.” He hangs up before he realizes that was…that was emotional, that was wrong. Moriarty could have John. That could have been a subtle taunt. And he just threw away a lead, though of course Moriarty wouldn’t have let him trace the call. Still, he was Sherlock; he was better; he could have heard a train or some other clue to help him save John—
He frets until John returns, and then unfortunately yells at him. Both of them are being wound tighter and tighter, and it has to have an end.
John is secretly made of steel, Sherlock reflects, as he unleashes his healing power before managing to get the cultists to dive back behind cover again. Admittedly, he’s a little hazy, what with the head injury and all.
He also, surprisingly, does not happen to be Templar. Sherlock’s never gotten a faction affiliation wrong. He’d almost fly into a sulk if he wasn’t too busy trying to find what, exactly, shows to what other faction John Watson might happen to belong.
Illuminati, in Sherlock’s experience, tend to be greedy or at least vaguely corporate in nature. (Perhaps he is basing it off a certain Sebastian Wilkes, but he can hardly be blamed for using personally gathered data.) Yet he can’t see anything (blind, unquestioning obedience, a chaotic nature) that would lead John Watson to be Dragon.
In the end, John Watson is a Dragon, and perhaps that is the most chaotic and unexpected of all.
He reads others. Often, they don’t even care, or regard it as useful, hungry, prying eyes willing to try to poach him from the Templars.
And then he meets John. John of the assault rifle, John of the healing touch.
He’d met him, unassuming, beige jumper. Reads that he was a soldier, Afghanistan or Iraq, but he’s so pleasant, projecting anything but a dangerous air, that he doesn’t realize how dangerous the man could be. Just a simple brushing by in Agartha, as he’s on his way to the Archives, the books that the Council of Venice will still allow him access, that is. He takes in the blond, short, limping man and dismisses him.
It’s not often that Sherlock Holmes makes a mistake. But it does happen.
The next time, it’s a meeting between factions, moderated by the Council. He assumes John is Templar like him, is annoyed that he’s not trusted on his own but understands why. He’s glaring at the Illuminati, all but baring his teeth as they squabble through words that, with enough intent behind them, could probably rip out throats with magic. (After learning the Bee-touched can’t die normally, he’s been tempted more than once just to kill another agent for annoyance, since it won’t stick anyway.) There are others there, but none of them matter.
John clears his throat. Somehow, he’s able to immediately draw all the attention in the room, as well as get their argument to dry up like they’ve suddenly lost the ability to speak. Given the world they live in, it’s not an altogether ludicrous thought.
It’s John that outlines the plan, a different one than either Sherlock or the Illuminati had proposed, and…it’s not actually half bad. The soldier has a gift for strategy. Captain, then. Could have risen further, didn’t want to. Enjoys looking out for a small, family like unit. Replacement for a never-quite functional family, then. Probably the brother, given the evidence of the phone. And always had that unassuming air. People dismiss him, and he uses that as a weapon just like anything else, when needed.
It’s difficult, getting on with the Illuminati. He keeps wanting to point out that Sally is hardly just with the man, but John actually manages to get him to keep his tongue civil, and when explaining how the magical artifact they’re going after works, he keeps saying “Amazing” with wonder in his eyes. It’s almost painful to part at the end, once they’ve deposited the artifact with the Council (it’s the only place they can agree upon).
John is a little bit like the Secret World, actually. Sherlock’s gotten to the point where he understands most of the rules. In the end, though, no matter how banal, commonplace some of it has become (zombies are almost boring, now), it still manages to surprise him enough to keep him not-bored.
“You don’t have to go,” Sherlock states quietly, still staring at papers.
John shrugs, letting the slightest of smiles creep over his face. “You did say that he warned you against me.”
This grabs Sherlock’s attention, even over the distraction of a case. He looks up with bright eyes. “Yes.”
“Well. That means I scare him.” It would be a stress reliever. Besides, with Dr. Kujo and the others, it had been demonstrated exactly how effective having a powerful network as an ally. In the interests of his flatmate’s health, it might be best to call off the ridiculous shadow games the elder Holmes and he had been playing.
Sherlock stares for a second before, well. That might be a giggle. “Off you go, then.”
John sees the destruction and his heart enters his throat. For a minute, maybe, he even blacks out. When he comes to, he’s still sitting and his Stand is trying frantically to get a response from him, assuring him that he’d done nothing, this wasn’t his fault. Sarah’s worried—of course she is, people just don’t black out without reason—but he has to get there, he has to make sure Sherlock’s safe. He has to make sure that he hasn’t… He’s barely aware of walking to his flat, and it’s almost not a surprise to see Mycroft sitting there.
His frantic queries are met by raised eyebrows, but it seems Sherlock has yet to get out of his bored funk. Which is good. That’s good. If he was hurt, Sherlock would, well. Be irritable, but not quite bored anymore.
“A gas explosion. Apparently.”
“Though the police have been known to get things wrong,” Mycroft states deliberately, staring directly at him, and John feels faint. He needs to sit.
The way he sinks down, his limp’s back and he’s in a terrible condition. Even Sherlock must notice by now.
“They haven’t,” he states once to reassure himself, and then again, for Mycroft, “They haven’t.”
“Mycroft, this is ridiculous. As if John would bomb anywhere.” Sherlock is desperate and angry, and John should probably be touched by the defense if he was anywhere near his right mind right now.
John’s beginning to process things again, though, and he knows this is important. He looks back up again to see Mycroft’s stare, and nods once. Fears weren’t reality, after all, and he would’ve noticed his Stand getting out of control.
There’s a long look as the elder Holmes stares him down, and whatever he sees there, it’s enough. “Do think about the offer, Sherlock. Or I’ll perhaps borrow your…blogger.” He stands and walks over to John, holding out his hand for a handshake. It’s anything but friendly. “Goodbye, John. See you very soon.”
Sherlock breaks into an furious and discordant violin…noise, and Mycroft leaves. John tries to calm his racing heart, because he knows there will be questions. He’s anything but his usual self, and Sherlock couldn’t have failed to miss it.
“John. You were lying in bed with a fever, unable to discern the world around you. There is no logical reason why you could have saved your unit.”
John’s bleary eyes finally focus on Sherlock’s face. It’s good, this. That Citizen/Soldier has decided that his brilliantly impossible flatmate is forever off the hit list, so he doesn’t accidentally summon him and bomb the flat when being awoken. Really, in all honestly, for a Stand User with his sorts of nightmares, there is no other flatmate he could have possibly gotten.
“So you shouldn’t be feeling any guilt now.”
If John isn’t mistaken, that’s actual emotion in the detective’s voice.
“No logical reason, no,” John agrees quietly. Sherlock’s absolutely rubbish at comfort, which is perhaps why it works. “Thank you, Sherlock.”
“Will caring about them help save them?” Sherlock sneers. He’s probably worked out exactly where this conversation will go, the ‘pedestrian’, ‘dull’ responses that John will give, and his reactions to those. So John disappoints him. Fine. John’s disappointed too.
“Yes.” It’s not the answer that most would give, or if it is, for most it’d be for clichés, but John doesn’t need a fairy-tale when he’s been living so long in the real world, thank you.
Watson may not be the one who observes, but it’s easy to read Sherlock at the moment. The detective takes a moment to realize that John has gone off-script, again, and suddenly the anger disappears instantly. If John was in an imaginative mood, he would have described the sound of always turning gears audibly grinding to a halt. Grey eyes stare at the doctor with an intense scrutiny that Holmes only applies to the most interesting of problems. “What?”
“All right, maybe it’s not as important for you with your consulting detective thing, but I’m a soldier. I never stopped.” It’s easy for John to say this to Sherlock, despite the fact that he would never say this to Ella. “As much as I hate to agree with your brother, this is a battlefield. The ones that thought it was just some kind of lark, the ones that didn’t have anything to fight for, they’re the ones that usually died first. Some of them were lucky, of course. Some of us,” he leans slightly, knowing the detective will take the hint, “…weren’t so lucky. Fighting for your own life was good. Fighting for someone else’s was better.”
“I would have thought you would have called yourself a doctor first.” All right, perhaps that wasn’t the reaction that he’d been going for, but it was a start.
“They’re both different ways of saving people.” He thought for a second and shook his head. “All right, not always. But emotions, even boredom, can be just as unhealthy.”
There’s a slight nod to show Sherlock understands the point. “Why not surgery, then, if you want to save people’s lives so much?”
“There’s the tremor,” John states bluntly. “Yes, maybe it’s psychological, and under pressure it’d be just fine, but people don’t want even the possibility.”
“I’d trust you,” the detective remarks, and that earns a smile.
“Yeah, well, you do a lot of dangerous things most people wouldn’t.”
As much as Holmes tries to hide it, that is, in fact, a smile. “I’ve never noticed it affect your work.”
“God, Sherlock, I’m not asking you to go and weep in the streets for these people. And maybe it doesn’t work for you. All I’m asking you is take it into consideration. Human brains are amazing and capable of this thing called multitasking. Emotion and logic aren’t exclusive.”
“Sarcasm doesn’t really suit you, John.” He doesn’t really sound annoyed, though. “As long as you’re not asking me to be nice to Anderson.” He goes back to thinking, but mutters one last thing under his breath.
The only word John hears is ‘Mycroft’, but it’s enough to understand everything. “And if you’ve been taking social advice from your git of a brother, you might want to reconsider that.”
That grin is clearly smug, even though Sherlock doesn’t acknowledge it any other way.
He finds himself addicted to magic, that rush as he manipulates reality itself, the thought that if he wanted, he could call down a lightning strike, summon a fiery inferno. He tries more and more experimental spells, even writing his own. He’s one of the faction’s go-to experts on magical artifacts. He throws himself into situations with reckless abandon, more and more certain with every new death that it will not be his last. He experiments in the spirit realm, tries to see if his spirit, his mere will, can cast magic or interact with things. Spends longer and longer outside of his body before throwing himself back into the fray with an untempered fury.
“You can, in fact, die.” Sonnac’s voice is seemingly quiet, deadpan, uncaring, but he’s read enough of the man to know this is anything but the case. He does not understand it, but knows that the Templar cares, that there’s no such thing as favorites, no matter what the guards might say, that he appreciates them each in their own way, even the disappointments. Even when they do stupid things. “And there are worse things than mere death. For the most part, yes, our agents are immune to the Filth, but Orochi experiments have shown that this is not always the case.” A slight smile appears and Sonnac raises a hand to forestall the coming comment. “Yes, perhaps I should have shown you what we know about the experiments, which is precious little. Your curiosity and intelligence, however, may tell us things our analysts have yet to find. It is, after all, one of your strengths. Given your actions lately, though, I was concerned, as were others, that showing you the information we have might force you into even more…self-destructive patterns. We can little afford to lose you, and you would be missed.”
From Mycroft, it would have been a calculated speech to gain desired effect. From Richard Sonnac, well. Certainly it’s emotionally effective on them both. But the man had long ago earned Sherlock’s trust, because he had yet to outright lie. Omit certain truths, perhaps, but in a world such as this it was necessary.
Sherlock meets the man’s eyes and nods, earning a greater smile. “I’ll let Gladstone know you’re coming, then.”
Magic is a big draw. So is the promise of answers. In general, he mainly goes because he’s bored.
What he doesn’t expect is that he’ll find a family. He’s so used to not knowing what the word even means. Before, it was a simple fact of relationship. What he doesn’t expect is that the deducing thing doesn’t put them off. The Dragons are utterly fascinated and are even somewhat worrisome in their excitement to see him. Most think it’s a new form of magic, and when he tells them it’s real, it’s just logic, there’s a little disbelief but no anger. Even when it’s something personal, the anger rarely makes an appearance (or, when it does, it’s the usual ‘stuck up Templars’ speech).
Speaking of which, his lack of manners doesn’t seem to bother most people. He can feign it, occasionally, when he really needs it. Despite it all, the Templars seem to enjoy his bluntness, but then, they’re used to death, to the insanity. It’s difficult enough dealing with all of the vampires, zombies, mothmen.
They can deal with him. From the very, very hidden signs, they’re even amused by him, and there’s no arguing with the fact that he gets results.
And they’re not dull, like normal people. They may have started ordinary people, but no one who would charge a draug with a sword in hand was dull. And they understand that while compassion may be a tool in an arsenal, it’s not the only one. Letting sentiment control one isn’t the way to save people. The whole of mankind is more important than a single person. They understand how far he must go; perhaps that’s where the Templars get the reputation. They don’t have his brain, but he’s not alone.
He experiments. He can control this thing, now inside, this yellow Bee energy, even though it’s sometimes blue, like flames. Mostly, he can explode things, but it’s not as if his landlord will notice the difference between chemical and magical explosions. He tries to work out the logic behind the magic, because everything has to operate off logic, off rules, even if it’s not the rules he’s known.
And then there’s someone at the door. “Good afternoon. You’re…Sherlock Holmes, are you not?”
He glares. His brother, meddling again. The woman smiles and pushes past him. “Never mind. The state of your room tells me the truth. Bee problem? Most of the ones I talk to haven’t mastered this kind of control yet, but then, you’re no ordinary recruit, are you?”
She sits down unbidden, smiling at his glare once more. “I represent an organization headquartered here in London. Much like you accuse your brother of, we’re a world organization with connections in every government, though we consider ourselves a silent partner. But I can see you’re bored, so I’ll get to the point. We’re recruiting. Dark days are coming; I’m sure you’ve noticed. If nothing else, we’re interested in what you can tell us about your investigations into the Morninglight. Let’s just say we haven’t managed to get any conventional spying done.”
Well, that, at least, he can do. It’s what he was considering doing for Lestrade, or similar at least, so there’s no problem there.
She continues and manages to surprise him. “We can offer you a life of chasing something more interesting than your average criminal. But more than that, we have answers. We can tell you what of all this,” she states quietly, gesturing to the books haphazardly placed around the room, “…is real. We can do more than tell you; we can show you. And you’re capable of more than just pretty fireworks. We can train you in real magic. The choice is entirely yours, what to do with yourself and your powers, but you’ve managed to attract attention, and not all of it may be good. On your own, you might not last the week, or you’ll be dragged into a career by others less accommodating.” He’s handed an envelope, expensive stationary, mass produced but each letter is signed by hand, with a…what might be an old-fashioned dipping pen of all things, smells of old books, dust and…none of this is especially relevant right now, and the woman leaves. The Templars? Something new to research.
It takes nearly five months. They’re very good opponents, perhaps better than anyone he’s ever fought, and it’s brilliant. Mycroft is worried, of course, but then, he’s an interfering busybody who’s not to be trusted very far. A little testing has found the truth, though. His brother doesn’t actually understand this, which just makes it better. Finally, something that is his, entirely his. Something Mycroft doesn’t actually know.
There’s something wrong with her when he finds her. There’s a blackness in her eyes, something inhuman in her voice even as she thanks him. The others die. A few recruits make it, make a run for it.
When he wakes, she’s there. He died. This time he’s sure, and it’s fascinating. He doesn’t need to worry about that. She’s suddenly normal, like something is gone. Is possession possible? Suddenly there’s so much to know, so much to learn. The parents, her, they thank him, but he doesn’t even remember their names anymore, deleted. After all, there’s so much more to know, now. He needs all the room in his Mind Palace he can spare.
His eyes burn with a fever. He devours all the books he can find on the subject, tries to work his way through what’s real and what isn’t. (Sadly, that’s not labeled.)