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Srebrna, Skald Arkadii (and thoughts on writing)

Archive for the ‘Sherlock’ Category

Fading Interest

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In someone’s post (sorry, don’t remember who posted them, I just saved the file and my laptop rebooted, killing the opened tumblr tabs) I saw this little gif, with John disappearing slowly in his room.

fading john

This reminded me of a story of Tove Jansson about a girl who disappeared… And so, this.

Fading Interest

The lab was quiet, cool and, what was probably the most important part, isolated from the areas of the “teaching hospital” that contained the objects of said teaching, medical students. His access to the rooms and the tools was hard-won, by a combination of bribery (on the side of his brother), intimidation and effrontery (on his) and wilfull blindness (on Molly’s). He relished the relative peace as he put yet another slide under the microscope and adjusted the lenses.

The door opened and he felt compelled to glance up, just in case it was some benighted soul in search of doctor something-or-other, desperate enough to try the mortuary lab. He liked to send them on a wild goose chase across the hospital. Most never came back. Either something ate them or they grew smart enough not to try this room again.

This time, however, it was no student – the person who crossed the threshold could, by conservative estimate, contain three… no, four, underfed medical students. Mike Stamford was a man whose presence Sherlock neither sought out nor avoided – professional, kind, knowledgeable, willing to answer the most outlandish questions and, what Sherlock valued the most, silent at his work. When one worked with Molly, one was always bombarded by her exclamations, grousing, small snuffling noises she made as she thought and, if the mood struck her, gossip. As if Sherlock knew who “Kate and William” were. Probably worked in some other part of the hospital.

Mike was behaving rather unusually though. He entered the lab, but then held the door open for a few more heartbeats, as if letting someone in. Yet, there was nobody.

Does Mike have a little dog?

“Here we are. A bit different from our times, isn’t it?” he said into thin air and waited, before shrugging. “This is the main mortuary lab.”

Ah-ha. Green paint. Finally.

Would he be showing the dog around?

Did the only reasonable person here go mad?

“Mike, can I borrow your phone?”

The rotund medic patted his pockets and shrugged.

“In my coat, I suppose. What’s wrong with the landline?”

“I prefer to text,” he scrunched his nose. He would have to go and fetch his mobile and…

Someone patted his elbow and a large, fairly new smartphone hovered in front of his face, screen already unlocked. As he hesitated, the mobile was pushed into his hand, which he found… patted?

Male hand. Short, thick fingers. Soft. No manual work.

But, what was the most important characteristics, the hand was invisible.

There were ways to stop oneself from screaming in fear like a toddler at the sight of broccoli and Sherlock quickly and successfully deployed three of them – rapid swallowing, deep breath and singing a random song in his brain. Anything that would require less focus would, in turn, allow the panic to set in. No losing focus.

“Thank you,” he hoped that wherever the person was, in relation to him, he still managed to address him effectively.

It was definitely a man.

Also, a man of certain education.

The surgical instruments on the tray were getting quietly and creepily rearranged into some other – maybe more efficient? – order. It was not a mindless reflex that some non-professionals would express – pick up, look at the scary blade, put it away quickly. It was methodical and pointed and…

Bart’s. Mike. Mike smiling at him from the other side of the room, one eyebrow raised slightly in challenge.


He turned to look at the spot where the man should have been standing and thought, letting his fingers dance on the phone, sending a suggestion to Lestrade who to look for.

“Thank you,” he held out the phone on his open palm, waiting for it to be picked up.

Yes, definite contact with another hand, dry and warm. Short, blunt nails.

The phone floated to the side and Sherlock tried to map the way it was moving to a normal gait of a grown-up person…

Ah. Correction.

There was an additional sound that coincided with every other step.

“You could sit down, you know,” he said and waited for a moment for reaction.

Here it was. The phone froze mid-air and then slowly, slowly turned halfway to him and down.

So the man was now facing him, his free hand down – he was probably squeezing the handle of the cane in the other – and looking at him.

“I’m just saying, there are plenty of chairs here.”

The phone turned towards Mike.


Ah-ha. There is something there.

A shimmer. Maybe. Something so non-solid that his eyes burned just from looking at it.

“This is my uni mate, Doctor Watson,” Mike provided finally, confirming his guess about the profession.

“And he is looking for a flatmate,” Sherlock interrupted him, not taking his eyes off from the spot where he had noticed the slight blurring of reality. “He is… ah, accident? No… an injury, but not accident, or he would be receiving payments from his insurance.”

The hand with the phone, stiffly held at his side.

At attention.


“Afghanistan or Iraq?”

Written by Srebrna

2019/04/06 at 08:28

“A Desk” – Antique Shop AU

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I posted a snippet of a story on tumblr, and it will hopefully become a bigger thing (see comments on the post on tumblr). In order to manage the contents, I have a Scrivener project, a spreadsheet with dates and a family tree, to keep the ancestors in order.

The snippet then:

The little bell over the shop door tinkled annoyingly, but he had to admit, it was just the right kind of sound to pull him out of his Mind Palace, even in the deepest stage of cataloguing. Unfortunately for the customers, it never put him in the best frame of mind.

The man standing in the entrance was… short.

Or rather, he looked shrunken. Diminished. Reduced.

Not that he could have been much taller, but the cane he carried definitely didn’t help. He was unsymmetrical and that made Sherlock’s skin crawl with discomfort.

“How can I help you?” he asked briskly, walking up to the man in long strides. “Are you looking for something specific? A gift? An intriguing memento, a…” he trailed off, taking in the whole posture – now leaning away from him.

“I’m looking for something for myself, actually. You could call it a gift, but it would be more of a tool,” the man said softly.

“A typewriter,” Sherlock hazarded a guess, because the customer was annoyingly blandBeige jumper, who wears beige jumpers, what would you need a jumper like that for?!

“Actually,” the man ran his finger over all the inlay on one of the cabinets, “I need a writing desk. Something with a bit of substance, but not too big… Has to fit in my not that big a flat.”

Sherlock frowned, taking in the whole sight. Straight as if he had swallowed a stick. Neat. Very neat. Obsessively so. A cane. Very short shave – not cut – of the hair. Precise movements. Economical. Leaning away from that leg when walking, but seems fine when standing. Tanned hands and face, Acceptable, if not very expensive cologne. Obvious signs of lack of sleep. Neat if very bland clothes. Squinting lines in the corners of his eyes, will need glasses soon…

“Afghanistan or Iraq?” he asked finally, unable to work this part out, and the man’s eyes snapped up to his in surprise.

“How did you…” he shook his head and shrugged. “Afghanistan. Back three months ago and… Looking for something to do.”

“So you picked up writing?” Sherlock turned towards the back of the showroom, working his way to the few less expensive pieces that he could maybe offer. “Why on earth would you do that, if you’re so uncomfortable with the idea?”

He heard the man stop behind him and inhale harshly.

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“Your left hand tensed when you spoke about writing. You’re looking for the right kind of desk, a plain signal of procrastination. You’re not in a very good financial situation, but willing to splurge on unnecessary piece of furniture that will take up a significant portion of your living space. You don’t want to write, but feel compelled to. I can guess your therapist would think it a great idea to have you write – maybe about your war experience, maybe about your everyday life – but you can’t, you are very uneasy about it. Something wrong about writing? Someone in your family…?”

“How did you know?”

The question was slightly broken. Just like the man, now standing by a case of assorted beaded jewellery, looked just a tiny bit not alright.

“I can see it. In you,” he explained impatiently. “Now, maybe one of these? Not too big, not too heavy – if you move out of that ridiculous bedsit one day, you will wish for less heavy lifting.”

Blue eyes blinked at him.

“They are… nice,” the man admitted, pulling one of the drawers open. “Rather modern for an antique store?”

“Well, they are more in the ‘classic design’ area than actual antiques, but Mrs Hudson decided to keep them. People like them. They look old enough, they say, but they have comfortable drawers and a lock that actually locks something.”

“Oh,” the man nodded slowly. “That makes sense… I just…” he trailed off, looking up the aisle, to where the actual old pieces were. “Oh.”

The “Oh” turned out to be an elegant little Davenport desk in dark walnut. Sherlock had set it in the back of the set, intending to come back to it and repair the drawer, but he never got around to doing it… Yet even with the little defect, it was most definitely out of the short soldier’s range.

“This one may be pricey,” he warned as the man caressed the wood in awe.

“Doesn’t matter,” came a breathless reply. “Just tell me how much and I’ll make sure I can get the money. I…”

“You weren’t looking for just a desk. You were looking for this desk,” Sherlock could relax finally. “For whatever reason, this is the exact desk you wanted.”

A slow, dreamy nod.

“I never expected to– just find it,” the man answered softly. “This was supposed to be mine, you see. But they sold it. Without ever telling me. They just got rid of everything that belonged…”

“Ah,” Sherlock slowly slid down to sit on one of the less antique chairs that peppered the room. “Your family got rid of some mementoes… Your great-grandfather’s then?”

“After a fashion,” the customer looked away. “He adopted my grandfather when my actual great-grandparents died in a train accident. Brought the lad up by himself, he was, ah, a confirmed bachelor, I think they called it at the time. Well, he and his friends. My father… He hated the very idea. I adored listening to the stories about “Uncle John” and his adventures, but ever since grandpa died, father forced us to just stop bringing the topic up…” he frowned, fiddling with the lid clasp. “The drawers are in the wrong order.”


The blue eyes smiled at him and suddenly there was a round drawer knob presented to him.

“The one with one knob should be at the bottom. I know, I was the one who broke it. Check if it matches.”

He picked up the piece of walnut and inspected it slowly.

“So,” he said, trying to make some time. “Your great-uncle was a writer?”

“Well, partially. After a fashion. He was a doctor, you see, and used to be a soldier… But then he wrote stories about his adventures with his friend, a detective. Published them in the Strand,” there it was again, that fleeting smile. “I used to read them in secret every night. Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, logicking their way through the unusual and complicated crimes of London.”

He straightened up, feeling somewhat lightheaded at the pronouncement.

“John Watson, MD,” the man extended his hand.

“Ah,” he smiled, maybe shakily. “Sherlock Holmes,” he swallowed roughly. “I think, doctor Watson, we may have something to discuss…”

Sherlock…?” the man frowned. “But, how on Earth…”

“There were three Holmes brothers,” he blurted out. “The first Sherlock was the youngest, but my great-grandfather, Sherringford, was the eldest.“

And the tree I’ve written for the purpose, using Family Echo and GIMP:
drzewo genealogiczne J+S

Written by Srebrna

2019/03/23 at 15:07

Be patient with your patient

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“Somebody left here in a hurry three days ago.”

John was still fuming inside, so he clenched his teeth and tried not to react too explosively.


“Soo Lin Yao,” Sherlock gasped, his voice breaking. “We have to find her.”

The vowels sounded as if he was getting a nasty throat infection, but John ignored the painful sound for the moment.

“How, exactly?”

Of course, for some people the clues would just lie on the street. Like an envelope marked with the name of the museum – and used as a letter, apparently.

“We could start with dis,” Sherlock suggested, choking.

“OK, now I’m worried,” John stopped the detective before he could walk away. “Come here, let me check your throat. You sound very weird.”

“No way you’re chec…” Sherlock coughed, “anything, in the middle of the street! We have a case!”

“And you have…” John pulled on the blue scarf, uncovering a ring of quickly darkening bruises around Sherlock’s neck. “Dear God! What happened in there? Was there…” he glanced up and then back at the flat. “Someone was inside, am I right?”

“None of your…”

“Am I right?”

“You don’t…”

He reached up, placing one hand on the side of Sherlock’s jaw and the taller man shuddered at the touch. John willed himself to speak slowly and cautiously.

“Sherlock, was there someone in the flat with you? Did they attack you?”

The detective squeezed his eyes shut and squirmed. It wasn’t a confirmation, but it was… close enough.

“Fuck. All that time I was standing here like an ass and someone inside was trying to…”

“Strangle me,” Sherlock coughed. “With a shirt – or a sheet, not sure. Wasn’t paying attention.”

John pulled the collar of the Belstaff aside and slowly checked the bruised area with his fingertips. The ugly contrast between the broken capillaries and the milky white alabaster of the skin around them was… rather jarring.

“Swallow,” he ordered harshly. “Any blockages?”

“No,” came a croaky response.

“Normally…” John sighed. “Normally the treatment of strangulation injuries would begin with a visit to psychiatric ward,” he paused, “as most cases are the outcome of suicide attempts. We can safely eliminate this aspect. You will have very vivid bruising – the scarf will have to stay on for several weeks – and then there are the internal injuries…”

He frowned and tried to recall the specifics. No. He needed a reference for this.

“Home,” he said decisively. “Now.”

He stepped towards the street and looked around, keeping a tight hold on the black wool sleeve.

“But, John…”

“Shut up before you do yourself more damage.”

And a miracle happened.

A cab stopped. Right in front of them.

“Where to, friends?”

The ride was quiet – Sherlock was obviously tired of trying to argue with John and John trying to remember as much as he could of potential damage.

“First, a cold pack. Good thing I always keep a few in the freezer… Naproxen will be the best here… And we’ll have to check your reflexes.”

He saw Sherlock’s widened eyes alighting on him, but shook his head. There was no reason to frighten his friend more.




In the living room, he busied himself with finding the painkiller and the cold compresses which, wrapped in a kitchen towel, went around the neck.

“The cold will help to manage the bruising, too,” he added as he handed Sherlock a pill and a glass of water. “Now take this and sit with your lovely ice collar, just like that. Tell me if you feel faint or have trouble swallowing. I need to check something.”

He took a few breaths and watched as Sherlock took the painkiller and managed to wash it down without visible signs of distress while John dug for the relevant textbook.

“Now… I’m just repeating this out loud for my own sake, so let me just go through the checklist. You don’t have any cuts around your neck, one thing I don’t have to worry about. The surface bruising we’ll manage with arnica gel,” he pulled out a small tube. “Voice box and windpipe – you can talk and you can swallow, so this should be fine. Main arteries in the neck…”

His hands shook as he carefully touched his friend’s bruised skin.

“Didn’t have time,” Sherlock croaked. “Didn’t press enough.”

“And you aren’t feeling faint? Woozy? Nauseous?”

“None,” Sherlock sighed. “Can we go to the museum now? Because, seriously…”

“Close your eyes, put your hands to the sides,” John ordered calmly, overriding the pained rasping. “Now. And touch your nose with your left index finger.”

There was a moment of silence as Sherlock almost poked out his eye as a result of that little test and the detective looked in surprise at his own digit.

“I can’t go to the hospital,” he said slowly, trying to straighten himself. “I gave to…”

“Sherlock,” John picked up his friend’s hands from where he was picking at the cold compress with shaky movements. “This is not something you can ignore. You were being strangled. We don’t know what kind of effects that had. We could be…” he swallowed. “We could be looking at brain injury.”

Pale eyes widened as Sherlock’s hands tightened on John’s fingers.

“I feel fine,” the raspy baritone wavered for a moment. “I’m not… I’m OK, I’m not… Brain damaged!”

“I will be with you every step of the way,” John assured him. “But you must have this looked at. Ultrasonogram is the least… Sherlock, there are studies, death can happen up to two days after initial injury. You have to get this diagnosed.”

“You do it,” the pale detective demanded. “Diagnose.”

“How?! I don’t even have the needed machinery! Now, please. I’m not going to call for an ambulance, but I need you to leave this coldpack in place and come with me to the cab. Then we’re going to Barts and you will get this seen to. I will stay with you, but I can’t treat you, and definitely not here.”

Sherlock was breathing shallowly but rapidly, watching him in silence from his place on the couch.

“I promise, I will be there for you, all the way. Now, let’s go. The cab is waiting.”


“Come on, we need to…”

“John, call Mycroft.”

He saw the grimace on his friend’s face that had nothing to do with his bruised throat.

“What for? I mean, I suppose I should, he is your brother…”

“They won’t let you stay,” he whispered. “Mycroft can make them.”

“Well, that is a risk…” he frowned and picked up Sherlock’s mobile. “Very well.”

He felt his free hand being grasped in the detective’s long, cold fingers. Trembling, long, cold fingers.

His gaze met the green eyes of the man looking at him in fear.

“Don’t worry,” he said, hearing the signal and waiting for Mycroft Holmes to pick up. “I won’t leave you alone there. Mycroft? This is John. We need your assistance. Yes, I’m afraid it’s a rather pressing problem…”

Written by Srebrna

2019/02/18 at 17:00

Posted in Monday Fix-Its

Tagged with ,

Links to my tumblr stories (shorts, longs, whatevers)

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Because Tumblr is very fine when sharing a meme is needed but is sucks major time for anything else.

Miscommunication (Parentlock, Rosie, short):

The road to be never taken

  1. The road to be never taken
  2. How do we even go on
  3. Undoing and unmaking
  4. Recording log 003

Monday Fix-Its (different first meetings, various canon points changed):

Other small forms:

Written by Srebrna

2019/02/17 at 21:23

Posted in Sherlock

Deep Scars

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“I’m not dead. Let’s have dinner,” she said, her fingers hovering over the keyboard as she smirked at John.

“Who… who the hell knows about Sherlock Holmes, but – for the record – if anyone out there still cares, I…” his voice broke. “I feel things for that idiot that…” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Srebrna

2019/02/04 at 16:37

A Case of Nerves

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“Right. Okay. You’re unattached. Like me. Fine. Good.”

“John, um… I think you should know that I consider myself married to my work, and while I’m flattered by your interest, I’m really not looking for any…” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Srebrna

2019/01/28 at 16:36

Medical Attention Required

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“What kind of a nurse are you?” he seethed, looking at her. “He clearly needs medical attention – if it had been me in that bonfire, he would be here demanding I submit myself to examination at least!”

“Well, I can provide medical attention quite well, thank you very much, Mr Holmes. Unlike you, I do have a degree in medicine!” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Srebrna

2019/01/21 at 14:45

Veritas vincit

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His brain was racing at a speed of light, trying to understand the message now displaying on all the screens around him.

Moriarty was back. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Srebrna

2019/01/14 at 13:33

In vino veritas

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He was feeling it more and more acutely. The pressure inside, pushing him to say things. To express himself. To finally tell them all. To shout it to the world and check their stupefied faces when they hear him.

He watched with bated breath as they all stepped aside. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Srebrna

2019/01/07 at 13:10

Nice or Naughty?

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The whole previous year came under the caption “hard” in John’s book.

It had been hard not to punch Mycroft on the nose when he showed up with the doctors.

It had been hard to let go of Sherlock.

It had been hard to go back to London, leaving the half-healed detective behind.


Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Srebrna

2018/12/31 at 13:08