Breathing is Boring



I just posted a Mikeroft (Mike Stamford/Mycroft Holmes) one-shot, but you already knew that. Probably. 

The Start of Something Good

The silence was glorious. After a day of authoritative screaming at people for them being incompetent, Mycroft was glad there was no more sound than the subtle clinging noise of cutleries against plates. He adored these moments, where he was completely in sync with his companion, but none of them felt the need to say anything. They both needed the silence, cherished it.

Today’s dinner was simple, yet delicious; cooked new potatoes with extra salty butter, fried salmon and a yoghurt-based dill sauce.  Mycroft had done the cooking, as usual. He loved cooking, though he never told anyone about that. His job required certain poise, and the image of him standing by the stove in an apron would impress neither Mycroft’s employees or colleagues, nor his Employer. At home, however, Mycroft did as he pleased. If it didn’t disturb Mike, that is.

 

Mike and Mycroft met through Sherlock, strange as it sounds. Mycroft had never thought he would be introduced to anyone by Sherlock, let alone anyone he liked as much as he liked Mike. It was at Saint Barth’s, several years ago, when Mycroft visited to deliver some evidence from an incident that concerned a dear friend of the Employer’s that was to be examined, (Mycroft hadn’t succeeded in persuading Sherlock into taking on the case, but he knew that access to evidence eventually would be too much for him to resist) when he’d simply run into Mike on the sidewalk. Mycroft wasn’t completely sure of what had happened, how he got to be so smitten, but now it was like they’d always been together.

 

Mike Stamford wasn’t a perfect man. In fact, he was almost the polar opposite of a perfect man. He was fat. Really fat. He was an asthmatic, a diabetic, and had awful rashes. He snored and talked in his sleep. He was quite intelligent, though, but not at all brilliant. Nothing like Mycroft, or Sherlock. He was not rich, but he wasn’t poor. He got by. He complained, sure, but Mycroft could tell that he had always been quite satisfied with the life he led. He secretly loved teaching at Barth’s, despite always complaining about his students.

 

When their plates got empty, Mike and Mycroft carried them to the kitchen and put them in the dishwasher. Mike went over to get the paper bag that stood on the island unit, while Mycroft got two glass plates out of a cabinet. It was Friday, and Friday meant dessert.

From the bag, Mike produced two quite large pieces of lemon tart that he put on the plates, while Mycroft fetched forks, spoons, two small glasses and a bottle of Ratafia. They carried it all out to the salon, and sat down at the table by the big window. For some time they just sat there, watching each other.

“I take it you’ve had a rather pleasant day at work?” Mycroft asked Mike.

It was the first words that were uttered between them that day.

“Yes, I guess you could say that”, Mike answered. “The students were concentrated, didn’t talk much, and seemed to understand what I tried to teach them.”

Mycroft smiled, one of his rare, genuine ones.

“I guessed it would be something down that lane. You look satisfied.”

Mike gave a light chuckle.

“I cannot say the same for you, I’m afraid”, he said. “At least not earlier, when you came from work. I guess it’s a bit better now, though. Stressful day?

“Quite. It seems I am surrounded by idiots, and I suspect we’re in the process of getting a mole.”

Mike raised his eyebrows.

“I haven’t decided”, continued Mycroft, “If I’m simply going to get rid of him, or if I’ll let him stay and use him against his employer. I could, of course, combine the two and use him for blackmailing. We’ll see. I will deal with it Monday. I have prevented him from doing any harm during the weekend.”

Silence fell again, and both men picked up their cutlery and tasted the tart.

“I saw your brother today”, Mike told Mycroft. “He was in the lab examining some samples.”

“New case, I presume. Did you get anything from it?” Mycroft asked with genuine curiosity.

“No, I only popped in and said hi. We’re not really on a friendly basis. When it comes to Sherlock, no one really is.”

Mycroft sighed.

“I know. Not even I am.”

Silence fell once again over the table while the two men ate their lemon tart. Mike was the one to break the silence.

“It must be hard, your brother being so alienated to everybody.”

“Oh, yes. I worry about him constantly. As you know, I even have a team set on finding out what he’s up to, but even that isn’t enough to keep track of him. He is Sherlock, and if he doesn’t want you to know what he’s doing, you don’t get to know. Not much, anyway.”

Mycroft now sat with his elbows on the table, his hands supporting his chin and gesturing sporadically while he talked.

“Does he have friends, I mean, at all?” Mike asked and mirrored Mycroft’s position.

“I… don’t know. There is Mrs. Hudson, I guess, the lady with the apartment on Baker Street, but as I understand he can’t afford the rent. And of course, stubborn as he is, he refuses to let me help him.”

“He should get a flat mate or something, then”, Mike suggested.

Mycroft snorted.

“Why would anyone want to share a flat with Sherlock Holmes?”

“Valid point, I guess.”

“I think even he knows that no one would”, Mycroft said thoughtfully. “If he’s even thought of it, that is. Do you think you could somehow put the idea in his mind?”

Mike considered it.

“…Yeah, I guess so. It will have to be something subtle, if I know him right.”

“Yes. Preferably not directed to him personally. You could mention the concept of flat-shares to someone else when he’s around. I think that would do it.”

“He’s awfully observant, your brother. Much like you.”
Mycroft smiled at Mike, who smiled back at him.

The attraction Mycroft felt towards Mike was mostly due to this kind of situation. They would talk, and Mike would say something, however small, and Mycroft would become all warm on the inside. Mike was so unbearably kind, at all times. Kindness was not something Mycroft was accustomed to, having grown up in his family. There was a reason why he and Sherlock were like they were. With Mike, however, Mycroft’s cold heart always melted. Whatever it was that troubled him (and he had had quite a lot of trouble in his life), Mike always made it all feel better.

“I think he needs someone like you”, Mycroft told Mike with a shy, a bit out of character, smile. “A Doctor would be perfect for him. A medical man.”

“You’re probably right. But I don’t think someone like me would do, because…” Mike laid his hand on Mycrofts. “…no offense, but your brother isn’t as lazy as you are. He would never endure dragging someone like me around town solving crimes.”

Mycroft laughed.

“True. We’ll come up with something. Have anyone particular in mind?”

Mike sat silent for a moment while he thought about it.

“Dunno. Maybe. I heard something about one of my classmates from my student time at Barth’s, apparently he’s back from service in Afghanistan. Got shot or something, I reckon.”

The two men looked in each other’s eyes smiling.

 

This could be the start of something good. 

A More Or Less Permanent Destination, part 6

The world was spinning before John’s eyes. He shoved himself from the edge down to the hard, black surface of the rooftop, more due to a reflex than anything else. Duck, was the first word that came to mind. Vatican Cameos.

In stressed situations, John always went with what he’d learned in military training. It was safe, it had saved his life many times. It made him calmer, to feel like he knew what he was doing.

No one would be able to see him from the ground where he lay behind the barrier.

What. The. Actual.

John was confused. Sherlock was dead. Wasn’t he?

Fuck.

No. That had been Sherlock’s voice, no doubt. But was it really him? It could still be in his own imagination. Imaginary Sherlock.

But Imaginary Sherlock didn’t move his lips, did he? And the screaming was from down the street. Why should I have imagined multiple Sherlocks at the same time?

The Sherlock John had been talking to just before the sound had vanished. John was alone, hiding behind the barrier at the edge of the rooftop. He suddenly felt silly.

Why am I even hiding?

John had thought Sherlock was dead for a long time now. Sure, there had been times when he had hoped and wished that the detective somehow had survived, but the evidence of his own eyed was too much to keep it going. There had been no pulse, and he’d seen Sherlock fall. To be reunited with Sherlock was an impossible thing, or at least it had been until now. John had to remind himself that he had no actual proof that it really was Sherlock who had shouted those words down on the street. He needed to see him with his own eyes to believe it.

Don’t let yourself fully believe it before you’ve got actual proof. Don’t let yourself get disappointed if it’s not actually true. Just don’t.

John didn’t know if he could handle it. Losing the hope of getting Sherlock back, would feel like losing him again.

And what if Sherlock really is alive?

The army doctor wasn’t sure how he would feel about Sherlock being alive; since it would mean that Sherlock would have tricked John into believing he was dead. It would mean that all the loneliness, all the sleepless nights and all the hopelessness would be in vain. Sherlock would have known how John would feel, wouldn’t he?

Perhaps not. He is Sherlock after all. But to willingly put me through that much pain? Even Sherlock wouldn’t do that.

 

Rolling away from the edge of the rooftop and standing up where he could no longer be seen from the street, John tried to wrap his mind around the situation. He was almost sure that Sherlock was alive. He just had to be certain. If Sherlock was indeed alive; what would he do? Would John confront him? Leave him be, and act as if he didn’t care? Pretend he didn’t know about it, and continue living in his current misery?
 

Wait, John. Save the thinking for when you actually know if Sherlock is alive or not. 

(Source: breathingisboring)

There have been no new fics in a while, now. I know this. I am working on it. Right now I’m writing part six of A More or Less Permanent Destination, but it takes pretty long time. I’m having a difficult time deciding how to proceed. You can probably imagine, if you have read all the previous parts. 

I know exactly what is going to happen, and where the fic is going, I just don’t know what way to get there is the better one. It’s gotta be awesome and plausible, you know. Maybe I can postpone this problem I have to part seven? And then you could help me out when you’ve figured out where I’m going! Oh, what an amazing plan! :D

If anyone wondered, this is where I got the url from :)

(Source: vitalyorlovs)

A More Or Less Permanent Destination, part 5

John and Imaginary Sherlock continued their walk. When they turned left from Ludgate Hill to Old Bailey, John began to understand to where he was subconsciously walking.

Of course.

Nothing would be more fitting than this. St Bartholomew’s Hospital. That was where he was going to do it. Just like Sherlock did. On the rooftop. John, with Sherlock following, used the back door to get in. They still hadn’t changed the code since he used to come there with Sherlock. He went up the stairs, not hurrying one bit. John could hear someone in one of the laboratories, but he didn’t mind. They couldn’t possibly know what he was up to, they wouldn’t bother him. He had all the time he wanted.

John stopped at the bottom of the last set of stairs. As he slowly climbed the stairs, one step at a time, he imagined Sherlock doing the same. What had he felt, knowing that he walked to his own death? He had known, of course. He must have, it was he who had lured John away.

John watched Imaginary Sherlock follow each step he took. He looked disturbingly indifferent, and that really set John off.

This isn’t right. Sherlock would have cared. He would. That man needed to live. He wanted to live. Sure, he was quite easily bored, and beyond depression when he hadn’t had a case in a while, but he was just in the middle of something! He was occupied at that time, for God’s sake! The only way he was looking the way he does now is if he didn’t really do it…

John stopped.

…If he really didn’t do it.

With speeding breaths, John continued to climb the last steps. He opened the door and went out on the roof, just to find Sherlock already waiting for him there.

John stood silent for almost a minute.

“Deduce something for me”, he said suddenly to Sherlock.

“I would love to”, Sherlock replied, “but there really is no point in it.”

“Why?”

“I’m in your head.”

John looked at Sherlock in surprise.

“That hasn’t stopped you from telling me the most fantastic things about people for the last couple of weeks!”

Sherlock looked amused.

“It was all you. Everything I do is made up completely by your own imagination.”

“But… What? What?

“Think about it, John. Sherlock wouldn’t ask anyone for their opinion when solving cases. He wouldn’t share a flat with anyone. You two are not that different, after all. Maybe he rubbed his way of thinking on to you. You already could think, you just needed to know how. You aren’t him, of course, but you’re not stupid, John.”

John flinched at the way he put his words. He thought it a bit hurtful that even Imaginary Sherlock spoke of his dead friend in third person.

“Thanks, I guess. Thanks to me, since you’re evidently just a creation of my own fantasy.”

Imaginary Sherlock smiled and nodded slightly before walking past John and looking over to the building on the other side of the road. John followed and continued further forward. There was a low barrier at the very edge of the rooftop, on which he sat down. In the corner of his eye, John could see Imaginary Sherlock standing next to him.

 

No one saw John where he sat on the edge of the rooftop. People kept going by the hospital, most of the time they went into one of the other buildings, but some of them just walked on by and disappeared around a corner. No one lifted their eyes enough to notice a man who stood on the verge of death. It would be any time now: John could feel it. He had had enough.

Sitting here, exactly on the spot where Sherlock spoke his final words, was excruciating. It all came crushing down on John, more than it had ever done before.

“I miss you, you know”, he said to Sherlock.

“I know you do, …”

“Yeah, yeah. You are me. Right.”

John took the gun from his pocket and looked at it. He held it as hidden as possible to avoid getting it caught on a security camera. Mycroft could be (who was he kidding: Mycroft certainly was) watching him.

The black steel was cold in his hand. John stroke the weapon with a tender finger along the pipeline.

One shot.

That would be enough, and it would all be over.

Or a jump. Very theatrical. Like Sherlock.

John looked down on the pavement underneath him. It was a very long fall to the ground. Sixty-two foot seven inches, he’d read somewhere. With an acceleration of 9,8 meters per square second, the velocity on impact would be about 43 miles per hour. Like crashing into a concrete wall.

Jumping down a building is so not a thing I would do. Gun to the head is much more me. Classier.

John giggled a bit over his choice of words, but then stopped abruptly. He came to think of the way Sherlock had looked when John saw him on the ground. The body: before with so much half-hidden strength, now broken like a porcelain doll. The pale face stained with blood. The coat covering up the scraps that remained of John’s best friend.

John remembered it with such clarity that he almost thought everything else to be a lie. All the details around were blurred, fuzzy. He only remembered people dragging him away, hindering him to touch Sherlock. He had only had time to check his pulse: to shatter whatever hopes remained inside John that Sherlock had survived.

 

Imaginary Sherlock sat down beside John. Together they looked down to the ground, and then at each other. John sighed.

“You know it’s now or never”, he said to Sherlock despite the knowledge that he was only talking to himself. “I probably can’t pull anything like this off again, not anytime soon, at least.”

“I don’t think you need to worry about Mycroft,” said Sherlock.

“Why?” John began to ask, but immediately knew the answer.

Sherlock succeeded here. There probably is a glitch in Mycroft’s system, and it is here. That is why Sherlock chose this place.

Interrupting his thoughts, John suddenly heard a voice yelling at someone in the distant, probably further down the street.

“Watch your step, you blithering idiot!”

John hadn’t heard that agonizingly familiar voice in ages.

No. It can’t be. He’s not alive.



End of part 5

A More Or Less Permanent Destination

By Breathing Is Boring

A More Or Less Permanent Destination, part 4

Drinking had been one of John’s last resorts. It had worked well for a while, but now even the soothing blankness that came to his mind after a few glasses wasn’t enough. He learnt that the pain always came back, together with a gut wrenching guilt that always accompanied the hangover the following day. It just wasn’t worth it. The pain and the slow destruction of his liver. John figured that if he was going to kill himself, he might as well do it properly. Quick and painless. That was the point, wasn’t it? To avoid pain.

 

Saturday.

Maybe this will be the day.

John knew that it would be easier to do without Mrs. Hudson in the house. He would have all the time he wanted while she was away.

Warminster, was it?

John had never been there, at least not that he could remember. It didn’t matter now, though. Warminster was just another place that he would never have gone to, would never go to. If, of course, he decided to end it.

 

If John was to do it, this would be the best time. He went through the factors he had to play with in his mind.

Saturday: no work. Mrs. Hudson gone, visiting friends: alone, undisturbed. Molly works a lot these days. Too busy to really stay in touch. Lestrade has no real reason to see me anymore, we are barely friends, and Sherlock obviously don’t help him with his cases. Mycroft… He probably has his eyes on me. Better be counting on it.

Mycroft could be a potential problem if John was to kill himself. He would have to be careful. He would only get one chance, and if he blew it, hesitated or got caught, he wouldn’t get another one.

The easiest way to die was of course for John to just take his gun and shoot himself in the head or something.

Yes, head. Fastest and most certain way… Possibly a blow to the neck/spine, that would probably both kill me and make me feel nothing. But it needs to be a very precise shot. The head is easier to hit.

 

John went back to his room after breakfast, opened the desk drawer and checked on his gun. It was there, just as he left it when he came back from the morgue the day Sherlock died. John sighed and grabbed the gun. He put it in a pocket and walked out of the room. His heart rate increased as he went down the stairs and grabbed a key on the way.

Better lock the door, don’t want Mrs. Hudson to come home to a crime scene.

He didn’t want her to come home to his corpse either. That was why he walked away from the flat, with no actual idea of where he was going.

John wandered on, only occasionally noticing where he was.

Clipstone Street.

Tottenham Court Road.

Long Acre.

On his way down Fleet Street, he almost got hit by a biker.

“Watch out! God!” the biker yelled angrily at him as he maneuvered to stay out of the traffic on the road.

John lost his breath in shock. He hadn’t thought of it much, but he wasn’t exactly comfortable with bicycles nowadays. He didn’t know why, but something told him it had to do with Sherlock’s death. He had a faint memory of being hit by something unexpectedly, and he definitely remembered falling to the ground. At least rising up from it.

“Listen to him, John”, Sherlock said.

Sherlock had appeared, out of nowhere, as usual. He walked beside John as they began to move again. After a moment of silence, John said:

“You know what I am about to do, don’t you?”

Sherlock looked at John.

“Of course I do. I know your every thought. I’m in your head, remember?”
“Right.”

John felt his hart sink inside him. That was the final proof, then, that Sherlock was really just his own imagination.

Besides the fact that your hand goes straight through him when you try to touch him.

Sherlock had never confirmed that he was just a fantasy. To know for certain broke John’s poor heart. He decided that Sherlock had confessed just because John had decided to kill himself.

“Are you coming with me?” he asked Sherlock

“Of course”, Sherlock replied. “To the very end.”


End of part 4

A More Or Less Permanent Destination

By Breathing Is Boring

I’m sorry I haven’t posted anything lately. There has been a lot going on; lots of studying and lots of playing the violin and lots of singing and practicing monologues. If you just stick with me for a while, though, there will be more fics. I have planned great things for A More Or Less Permanent Destination. The next part is kind of depressing and sad… but it will soon have a quite (I think) unexpected turn of events. This is great, I know so much that you guys don’t!

So hang in there! Be brave! And thou shall be rewarded!

A More Or Less Permanent Destination, part 3

John’s hand went right through Sherlock’s forehead. John sighed. Of course he was disappointed, but he was getting used to this. Sherlock was only alive in his head, and John knew that. He just didn’t want to believe it.

 

John turned to the fridge to get something to eat.

Eggs.  Frying pan. Is there any bread? No. I’ll have to manage without any carbohydrates for now.

John pretended not to care that the Sherlock sitting at the table was just a creature of his own imagination.  It was better that he was here, wasn’t it? Whenever Sherlock wasn’t around, John felt even more alone. Alone and depressed. It was like going back to the time when Sherlock wasn’t around, after John had come back from Afghanistan. Only worse: back then John hadn’t known how good having a friend around felt. His comrades in Afghanistan were one thing, Sherlock was another. Sherlock had been one of a kind.

Sitting down by the table, John ate his fried eggs. He constantly found himself staring at Sherlock, waiting for him to do something. Blink, maybe. Sigh, cough, run his fingers through the black curls of hair that occasionally fell out of place. Anything really, that made the memory seem more human.

 

Work was monotonous. Patients came in to John’s office, explained their problems, got examined. John recommended something for them to do, mostly just rest, but sometimes he prescribed some medication. None of the patients ever presented a really serious problem.

The lack of interesting occupation made it hard for John not to think of Sherlock. He tried to engage all his thinking capacity in each and every patient, but it wasn’t as easy as he would like it to be. He was bored most of the time. The work was not nearly exiting enough.

Dull.

How fitting. John tried not to look too much at Sherlock, who now stood in the corner of his office. The patients didn’t have to know that the doctor responsible for their well-being was hallucinating. It was hard as it was, keeping up the mask that everything was fine. It would be even harder if he had no work to go to. His days would be unbearable.

After the remark of how boring the situation was, Sherlock just stood there in the corner until John went out of the room to leave some files to Administration. When John came back, Sherlock was gone. He did that all the time, Sherlock. He appeared out of nowhere, and then, suddenly, he would disappear without warning. Poof.

 

John went home to the flat, like he always did after work if he didn’t need to go shopping for groceries. He met Mrs. Hudson on the stairs to 221b.

“Hello, John!” she said and smiled at him.

“Hi, Mrs. Hudson”, John replied.

He could see that the total lack of enthusiasm in his answer wasn’t exactly well received. Not that Mrs. Hudson thought that he was impolite, but John saw that she wanted him to be more cheerful.

I don’t think I will ever be like I used to, John thought as Mrs. Hudson passed by.

As if she had read John’s mind, the look Mrs. Hudson gave him was concerned, almost apologetic.

“I’ll be back in a few days; I’m visiting a friend in Warminster.”

After a few moments of hesitation, she said “Take care of yourself, John”, with a bit too much worry behind the words than John would have preferred.

“I will. You too”, John replied before he went through the door and up the stairs to the flat.

 

The days just keep on passing by.

Every moment was painfully slow, but at the end of each day, John could hardly remember what he had done. The only thing he always knew when he went to bed at night was that he didn’t want things to stay like they were. He wanted change. He couldn’t go on like this. He wanted to go back to the way things were before, but he knew that was impossible. Still, he didn’t want it to end. To end it would be to give in, to start believing in the lie Sherlock had told him. 


End of part 3

A More Or Less Permanent Destination

By Breathing Is Boring

Falling is just like flying, but with a more permanent destination.

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