[personal profile] wave_of_sorrow
Title: This Is The Way The World Ends
Author: [livejournal.com profile] wave_of_sorrow
Character(s)/Pairing(s): Holmes/Watson (sort of), mentions of Mary, Mrs. Hudson, Lestrade, Clarky and Gladstone
Verse: '09 all the way, baby!
Rating: R
Word Count: 648
Disclaimer: Don't own. Don't claim. No money being made.
A snapshot of what their lives might have been had Blackwood won.
Spoilers/Warnings: AU
A/N: Written in response to a prompt by [livejournal.com profile] ingridmatthews over at [livejournal.com profile] worththewounds who asked for a Blackwood wins scenario.

As always, any and all comments and feedback would be most appreciated.

Shards of glass litter the streets, gleaming dully in the cold moonlight and vaguely reminding Watson of London in the winter, covered in snow and ice and turned into a dazzling vision of a million diamonds tumbling from the sky and blanketing the earth. A woman’s scream, loud and terrible, yanks him out of his thoughts and back into the crumbling house that serves as a shelter to find Holmes staring at him, eyes wide and empty in the dark.

It smells of smoke and death, the warm, metallic scent of congealing blood filling the night air and making bile rise in Watson’s throat; he clenches his jaw against the overwhelming wave of nausea that hits him as the woman’s cries turn desperate. He wonders whether Mary screamed like that and shivers as he remembers the last time he saw her; lying naked on the kitchen floor in a sea of crimson, her body cold and dead eyes wide open.

“I’m sorry about Mary,” Holmes whispers, his voice rough and frayed around the edges, as he watches Watson make a small fire between them.

“Don’t, Holmes. Just don’t.” He is tired, so very tired, and so there is no venom in his words.

“I know how much she must have meant to you,” he continues in a voice that is devoid of emotion, hugging his knees to his chest.

“Do you?” Watson demands, much more softly than he had intended.

Holmes’s eyes soften then and Watson catches a glimpse of a thousand other worlds and possibilities, entire galaxies trapped in their irises, and the smile Holmes gives him is so sad and so vulnerable that it can hardly be called a smile at all.

“I do,” Holmes says forlornly and, as the woman’s screams stop suddenly and irrevocably, he flinches and hugs himself more tightly, turning his face away.

They share a meagre supper of thin stew and old bread, neither of them speaking as they force down the food. Holmes curls in on himself again as he watches Watson clear away the leftovers.

“I miss Gladstone.”

The words startle Watson as much as the way they are said and when he looks over at Holmes to see his dark eyes filling with tears, sparks of light reflected in them, he is at a loss.

“I miss him too, old boy,” he whispers at last, sitting next to Holmes and giving his shoulder what he hopes to be a reassuring squeeze. Holmes’s hand immediately flies to Watson’s aching thigh, resting there warmly as if he was hoping he might take all the pain away.

They stare into the fire for a while, remembering Baker Street and Mrs. Hudson, Inspector Lestrade and Constable Clark, violins in the dead of night and private smiles shot over the edges of newspapers; the faded memories of a life that ended a long time ago.

They lie down to sleep on an old mattress, smelling of dust and sweat and fear, and then Holmes burrows against him, tucking his head under Watson’s chin and holding him tight as if he were afraid he might slip away. And Holmes smells of dirt and sweat and blood, but somewhere underneath that there are the remnants of evenings in the sitting room and tobacco smoke and chemicals and home.

“Somebody died here,” Holmes says, voice hollow. “Perhaps we’ll die here too.”

“Don’t say that,” Watson says sharply.

Holmes looks up at him and gives him a sad little smile, crooked and fragile, “Oh Watson,” he says and, after briefly cupping his cheek, settles on Watson’s chest again. He throws a leg over both of Watson’s and in another place and time Watson might have objected, might have blushed and gently pushed Holmes away. But as it is, he only wraps his arms around Holmes and kisses his temple.

They fall asleep to the sound of gunshots.

Date: 2010-12-16 11:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wlk68.livejournal.com
Bleak but awesome. Nicely done.

Date: 2010-12-17 08:53 am (UTC)

Date: 2010-12-16 04:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] silence447.livejournal.com
Your words perfectly conjure up a desolate "Blackwood-won" atmosphere. Very well written!

Date: 2010-12-17 08:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wave-of-sorrow.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! :)

Date: 2010-12-16 05:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] genagirl.livejournal.com
That was just beautiful. So haunting but lovely in its fragile way.

Date: 2010-12-17 08:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wave-of-sorrow.livejournal.com
Thank you very much. I'm glad you liked it!

Date: 2010-12-16 08:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stephiel.livejournal.com
Just amazing, haunting and touching.
Very well done.

Date: 2010-12-17 08:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wave-of-sorrow.livejournal.com
Thank you, bb! <3

This is the way

Date: 2010-12-16 09:53 pm (UTC)
ext_565103: (clouds purple)
From: [identity profile] amaraal.livejournal.com
Awesome. You are an inconspicuous shell, and you provide us with black pearls... Thank you very much!

Re: This is the way

Date: 2010-12-17 08:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wave-of-sorrow.livejournal.com
Gosh, you're making me blush here. Thank you for reading and especially for your lovely comment! <3

Date: 2010-12-16 09:56 pm (UTC)
errantcomment: (Default)
From: [personal profile] errantcomment
Oh. So sad and austere.
But very lovely.
Thanks. ^^

Date: 2010-12-17 08:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wave-of-sorrow.livejournal.com
Thank you! :)

Date: 2010-12-17 07:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ewanspotter.livejournal.com
Oh, wow. This is utterly haunting. Wonderful job.

Date: 2010-12-17 08:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wave-of-sorrow.livejournal.com
Thank you so much!



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