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Sherlock BBC fic: How Many Times Do You Want To Die?

March 20th, 2011 (02:16 pm)
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current mood: good
current song: The Royal We - Silversun Pickups

Fandom: Sherlock BBC
Title: How Many Times Do You Want To Die?
Characters/Pairings: Sherlock, Moriarty, John, Lestrade, Mycroft
Word Count: 1,280
Rating/Warnings: T. Dark themes; implied gore, murder, and torture
Disclaimer: I don’t own Sherlock.
A/N: Inspired by Petra and the song The Royal We by Silversun Pickups. Written as an early b-day present for Jenn. <3 Thank you to Luna for the beta.
Summary: The pale figure gasps against the table, limbs cruelly stretched spread eagle and tied down. Red rivulets of blood run down his torso as a silver knife glints in the light. “P-Please,” he sobs.

“Now, that’s not very in character, is it?”




THE FIRST DEATH

“So. Here we are,” he says in a lilting, cheery voice.

The pale figure gasps against the table, limbs cruelly stretched spread eagle and tied down. Red rivulets of blood run down his torso as a silver knife glints in the light. “P-Please,” he sobs.

“Now, that’s not very in character, is it?” The scowl from the voice is heard rather than seen. The knife is traced along the body again, and the man shudders.

“P-piss off,” he says dutifully, dully.

The voice sighs. “Slightly better I suppose, though I know you can do better. Perhaps you just need proper motivation.” The pale man cries out as his hair is grabbed. Spindly fingers harshly caress the curly locks. A knife is lowered once again, and the cries continue.

Scotland Yard watches this video, and by the end every head is turned towards the consulting detective to whom it’s addressed. His face is paler than usual, his eyes tight, and there is something playing at the edge of his lips. Is it barely controlled grimace, or a slipping smile?

Either way, the symbolism of the video is lost on no one.


THE SECOND DEATH

“How can you feel safe?” Lestrade finally asks.

Sherlock looks up, his face impassive, as if he’s not in the middle of watching the new video. It’s dim in the flat, and the computer’s soft glow casts Sherlock into jagged pieces of shadow and light. He smiles, one edge of his lips creeping into darkness. Lestrade fights the urge to shudder.

“How can you worry about something as mundane as safety when someone is being so interesting?” Sherlock asks imperiously.

Out of the corner of his eye, Lestrade can see John hovering on the other side of the room. The doctor stiffens and turns away before Lestrade can read his expression.

“That interesting person you’re talking about is Moriarty,” John says tightly, back still turned.

Sherlock glances over at John, and Lestrade feels as though there’s an entire unspoken conversation in the way Sherlock looks intently at the back of John’s head. When Lestrade blinks, Sherlock is staring at the computer screen again, and Lestrade wonders if he imagined it.

“It’s new,” Sherlock says, as if that can cover all his sins. Lestrade gets the feeling that beneath his words lies the confession, I can’t help but need this.

Sherlock focuses all of his attention on the video, probably deducing the lean, dark-haired man’s life story from the way he screams. Electrocution. Lestrade almost shudders again.

Sherlock’s mouth twists into that selfish smile.


THE THIRD DEATH

Mycroft has been around long enough to know that there is no such thing as true omniscience. He has learned by now that putting up maximum surveillance around 221 cannot ensure Sherlock’s safety. Short of a miracle, Mycroft isn’t sure anything can accomplish that.

He still tries though.

This time there is no pale, skinny man being systematically tortured on film. Instead there is an audio recording which begins with low, shaky breaths.

“I don’t want to die,” the voice says in a deep baritone. It’s soft and trembling, enough to make Mycroft Holmes pause the video for exactly two seconds as he closes his eyes in remembrance.

When he opens them, he resumes the recording.

“Please don’t kill me.”

“Oh, shh, don’t say that. The microphone will hear you. Future generations and all that, don’t want to disappoint them now, do you?

“I didn’t do anything-”

“You LIVED. And that. My dear. Is enough.”


The last words were not directed to the man, but to whom he represented. Mycroft keeps his face void of emotion as he listens to the deep voice choke and gasp for breath, until it slows into nothing.

Mycroft’s knuckles are white from gripping the table, but his face still shows nothing.


THE FOURTH DEATH

The fourth video comes, and John vomits. He has not been so violently sick in reaction to blood since Afghanistan. He’s got a feeling these past few days will creep into his nightmares and become even more prevalent than scenes of war.

Sherlock sniffs disdainfully at the sounds of retching and turns his attention back to the video. John is throwing up everything he had for lunch, so he misses the widening of Sherlock’s eyes, and the slight paling of his skin.

John takes a shuddering breath and tries not to relive the screams of the video. “This is not okay, Sherlock,” he whispers into the cool lid of the toilet seat.

When John rejoins Sherlock, the video is still playing. Sherlock has put it on repeat, the grisly images playing out again and again. Sherlock is looking at the video with wide, sleepless eyes, the deep bags unsettling John as the consulting detective watches the screen.

John closes the lid of the laptop and puts his hand over Sherlock’s. Sherlock’s hand shakes under his perfectly steady touch. He looks up at Sherlock, but there is no emotion on his face. He’s left it perfectly blank.

“Are you alright, John?” Sherlock asks absently, looking off into the space where the video had been playing.

“No,” John says. “And neither are you.”

Sherlock exhales shakily. “No, I suppose I’m not.”

John tightens his grasp on Sherlock’s hand. Maybe if he holds on tight enough, they can be all right again.


LIFE

The body on the table is emaciated, pale to the point of pasty. His body is no longer clean lines and angles, but jagged edges and rough corners. His damp curly hair clings to his forehead, obscuring his vision.

“So. Here we are,” says a voice, the one Sherlock has been hearing in videos and nightmares for days.

Moriarty raises a knife blade and draws it slowly down Sherlock’s cheek. Sherlock bits his lip in a poor attempt to smother the cry threatening to spill from his lips. It comes out as a sob.

“You aren’t going to speak?” Moriarty asks, full of mock surprise. “The others all did. Of course, those were all just warm ups, all preparing for the grand finale.”

“Me,” Sherlock rasps out, his throat dry. “I’m your grand finale.”

“Bingo! Oh, Sherlock,” he says, running the knife down Sherlock’s torso, creating meaningless patterns down his chest. Sherlock shivers, unable to lean away from the pain.

“You know, they all screamed for me to save them, your doppelgangers,” Moriarty says, his voice snaking into Sherlock’s ear. Sherlock resists the urge to shiver again.

“But you? I want you to scream for me to kill you.”

Then the knife is at play again, and Sherlock cannot help but scream.


THE FINAL DEATH

They kick down the doors and shoot Moriarty, but they are sure that they are too late.

John walks into the room first, his mouth set in a grim line. He sees a pale white body chained against a table, dark curls smothering its face. There is also the very faint rise and fall of a chest, signs of life.

“Sherlock,” he breathes, running to his friend.

Sherlock’s eyes are closed tight, and he stiffens as John places his hand over his. “Please,” he whimpers, his voice weak and brittle.

“Sherlock, it’s me, it’s John,” John says in a voice that he hopes is soothing instead of panicked. “We got you in time. Everything will be all right.”

Sherlock shakes his head violently. “No. Please. Please, John, please,” he cries brokenly.

John doesn’t ask what he’s pleading for, because he already knows. In the brief moment before ambulances come and investigations are made, he lowers his head against Sherlock’s bare chest, feeling its rise and fall.

“Everything will be all right,” he repeats softly.

Comments

Posted by: This is my face, covered in freckles. (s0mmerspr0ssen)
Posted at: March 20th, 2011 07:40 pm (UTC)
sonaughty

Ouch.
Very well written... but damn. *shudders* This was dark.
Loved the fucked-up-ness!

Posted by: patster223 (patster223)
Posted at: March 20th, 2011 07:59 pm (UTC)

Dude, I know what you mean, it came out so much darker than I'd planned. *shudders with you*

Glad to see a fellow lover of fucked-up-ness! Thank you! <3

Posted by: Morgan Stuart (morganstuart)
Posted at: March 20th, 2011 07:50 pm (UTC)

Wow. Well done, you. Each character's reaction is pitch perfect.

Posted by: patster223 (patster223)
Posted at: March 20th, 2011 08:00 pm (UTC)

Oh, thank you so much. <3

Posted by: fragileobject (fragileobject)
Posted at: March 20th, 2011 08:07 pm (UTC)

It's been absolutely dark! A great work!

Posted by: patster223 (patster223)
Posted at: March 20th, 2011 08:39 pm (UTC)

Thank you! :D

Posted by: Nora (fauxps)
Posted at: March 20th, 2011 08:29 pm (UTC)

The idea is really good, but I feel that the fic itself is a bit short to develop the story fully. I would love to see it in an even longer version, because you have some really good elements here; the juxtaposition of Sherlock's professional, calculating personality and the subtle warmth of John's personality in the background - it works very well, and so does the gradual build-up of the grotesqueness of the killings (and the corresponding build-up of fear)!

Posted by: patster223 (patster223)
Posted at: March 20th, 2011 08:41 pm (UTC)

I know what you mean, it's an idea that probably belongs in a longer fic. I sort of envisioned this shorter structure though, and I'm pretty happy with it despite its length. I do know what you're saying though, and I appreciate your honesty.

Thank you very much for your comment! :D

Posted by: Jenny (tunes84)
Posted at: March 20th, 2011 08:52 pm (UTC)
Sherlock pissy

This fic is wildly intense and so damn amazing. Your characterization is pitch-perfect, and I hate you for it. I could envision the whole thing, even though it was terrifying to do so. Like I said, it's beautiful and horrifying and such a clever way to get a glimpse into Sherlock's head. You have that balance of his personality written so insanely well.

And now, to flail: UGH I HATE YOU FOR WRITING THIS AMAZING PIECE OF AMAZINGNESS. IT'S SO DARK AND HORRIBLE AND UTTERLY FANTASTIC AND THE BEST EARLY BIRTHDAY GIFT EVER. NEVER STOP WRITING ME SHERLOCK STORIES.

*GLEEFUL!ATTACK*

Posted by: patster223 (patster223)
Posted at: March 20th, 2011 08:57 pm (UTC)

*GLEEFUL!ATTACKS YOU BACK* ILY AND YOUR COMMENTS. AND AS IF I COULD EVER STOP WRITING YOU SHERLOCK. THE WAY THIS IS GOING YOU'LL PROBABLY GET ANOTHER FIC BY THE END OF THE MONTH, YOU WHORE. <3

THANK YOU.
- SH

Posted by: Jenny (tunes84)
Posted at: March 20th, 2011 09:01 pm (UTC)

AND I WILL BE EVER SO GRATEFUL TO MY DEAR, DEAR SHERLOAF FOR WRITING ME EVEN MORE STORIES. THIS IS HOW IT SHOULD BE. AFTER ALL THE CRAP I DO FOR YOU FROM 1800 MILES AWAY.

THANK YOU
-YOUR JW

Posted by: patster223 (patster223)
Posted at: March 20th, 2011 09:04 pm (UTC)

I JUST REALIZED THAT HALF OF THE SHERLOCK FIC I'VE WRITTEN HAS BEEN FOR YOU. *FACEPALM*

TEA.
-SH

Posted by: DarthHelloKitty (darthhellokitty)
Posted at: March 20th, 2011 11:03 pm (UTC)

Wow. VERY intense and disturbing. Good that they did get Moriarty at the end; you can't have someone killing everyone who resembles Sherlock to make a point.

Posted by: patster223 (patster223)
Posted at: March 21st, 2011 12:20 am (UTC)

Guh, I shudder to think what would have happened if they didn't get Moriarty.

Thank you!

Posted by: xxbakacoconutxx (xxbakacoconutxx)
Posted at: March 21st, 2011 07:35 am (UTC)

Wooooooooooooow awesome! I really loved this! The characterization was perfect, I especially loved John and Moriarty. I also love how ambiguous you left this, where you don't really see everything that's on the tapes, or what exactly is done to Sherlock, so really it could be as light or as dark as the reader wants it to be. It's a great touch, and you do it wondefully.

OT, I really like your journal O_o I've been looking for a new layout, would you mind if I asked what you used? I won't be stealing your header or anything though, promise!

Posted by: patster223 (patster223)
Posted at: March 21st, 2011 08:07 pm (UTC)

*takes a moment to stare at your icon*

*composes self*

Oh, thank you so much for this! This comment made my day. I have to say that ambiguous horror is some of the most frightening, because the reader/viewer is left to imagine what happened. Totally agree with you there, and I'm glad you think I pulled it off. ^.^

I adore my layout, it's so simplistic and clean. Sure, of course you can use it! I use:

Dark
3 column by Louise

I had to customize the colors though, I didn't much like the original ones.

Again, thank you! <3

Posted by: Hallie Jade (angelshandprint)
Posted at: June 5th, 2011 04:33 pm (UTC)
Sherlock

I LOVE this.

Posted by: patster223 (patster223)
Posted at: June 6th, 2011 02:02 am (UTC)

Thank you so much!! :))

Posted by: the_tire_swing (the_tire_swing)
Posted at: July 25th, 2011 09:18 pm (UTC)

Fuck-damn, this is twisted and dark and oh, so good

Brilliantly written, especially Sherlock slowly going crazy himself.

*memes*

Posted by: patster223 (patster223)
Posted at: July 28th, 2011 05:14 pm (UTC)

Thank you so much! :D

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