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Sherlock Fanfic: Lines of Comunication - CaffieneKittySpace
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Sherlock Fanfic: Lines of Comunication
Title: Lines of Communication
Fandom: Sherlock (BBC)
Disclaimer: I did not create, nor do I own these characters or their world.
Word Count: about 1000
Rating/Warnings: SQUINT, PG-13, Alcoholism and family issues. Profanity.
Summary: Some conversations are stuck on repeat.
A/N: I’m not sure where this came from, but here it is. Not Britpicked, though it should have been, free-range Britpicking welcome. [LJ-Only]

Lines of Communication
by CaffieneKitty

John’s mobile rang.

“No one’s ever going to love me, Johnny.”

Christ, thought John, Here we go again. “Harry. How much have you had?”

Harry snarled. “That’s always your first assh- guess, innit? Harry’s emotional, so Harry’s drunk. ‘S not fair.”

The urge to retort that years of direct experience provided ample statistical data making his guess very likely true was hard to repress. “How much, Harry?”

“Just wine.”

“How. Much.”

“Couple bottles. Small bottles. And some port. An’ a vodka.”

John tensed, calculating his sister’s possible blood alcohol content in his head. “Over how long?”

“Since noon. Hours and hours.”

Not near coma if so, small mercies. “You’re certain?”

“Yes, ‘Mum’. I’m relaxing, I’m not fuckin’ poisoning myself.”

“Yes, you are,” John said quietly, but Harry ranted on over-top of him.

“She never loved me, Clara. Never ever. She just nagged and nagged and nagged.”

“She couldn’t-” John rubbed his hand down his face and took a deep breath. “I’m not getting into this with you again, Harry. You need to stop drinking, have some tea, water, get some sleep. Are you still seeing Dr. Cathcart?”

“He’s a quack.”

“Still seeing him though?”

“Don’t need to. Not sick.”

John gritted his teeth. “Yes, Harry, you are.”

“Oh, just shut it, alright? Christ, you’re like her. Nag, nag, nag.”

Something rustled in the sitting room behind John, reminding him he wasn’t alone in the flat. He turned further into the corner of the kitchen, not wanting to bother Sherlock with his family drama.

“Harry, are you going to stop drinking now and have some water?”


John could hear her pout over the phone. He could see the same pout from her eleventh birthday, when there was nothing like a pair of roller skates among the meager pile of birthday presents.

“I can be at your flat in half an hour, Harry, but if I have to come down there, I will be pouring everything with an alcohol content, including mouthwash and hand sanitiser, down the loo. And I will sit on you until you fall asleep.”

The phone emitted a very wet derisive noise. “I’m still bigger than you. Always have been.”

“But not tougher. You know I will, I’ve done it before.”

“You don’t know, Johnny.” Harry wailed. “You don’t know what it’s like to have no one love you ever. Never ever.”

John counted to ten. “I can catch the next bus, Harry. Thirty minutes and I’ll be at your door.”

“Yeah, fat lot you care. You’re just like Clara-”

“Yes,” John snapped, then lowered his voice, nearly growling into his mobile. “I’m just like Clara. I can’t stand by and watch you do this to yourself, Harry. Neither could she. That’s why she left you, you ass, not because you told her to go. She loves you too much to watch you destroy yourself with drink.”

Harry’s breathing hitched on the phone. “So what am I supposed to do, Johnny? I miss her.”

John rested his forehead against the fridge and closed his eyes. “Try. Just try. Stop drinking tonight, take some water and paracetamol, go to bed with a bin handy. In the morning, ring Dr. Cathcart, get a detox program going. Make the effort, really make the effort to get well. Clara will be there to support you, and so will I. As long as you try, Harry. You have to really try.”

Harry snuffled.

“Well? Will you? Or am I getting on that bus?”

“...I’ll see. In the morning.”

Yeah. As always. “Water, paracetamol and a bin. And sleep on your side.”

“I have done this before, Johnny.”

“Yeah. I know.” John bit the words out over the many other things he could have said.

“I’m sorry I’m such a mess.”

“Don’t apologise. Just try. Okay? Please? I’ll ring you in the morning.”

“I’ll be having a hangover.”

“I’m fully aware of that. I’m going to ring you anyway, bright and early.”

“You would. Wanker.”

John swallowed against a sudden tightness in his throat. “Water, paracetamol, bin, bed. Juice in the morning.”

“Night, Johnny.”


John disconnected and stared at his phone for a while, then flipped it over to run his thumb over his sister’s engraved name on the back.

Behind John in the kitchen doorway, Sherlock cleared his throat.

Without turning to look at his flatmate, John sighed. “Yes, Sherlock, that was my sister, yes, she’s stinking drunk and no I don’t think she’s actually going to do anything differently this time than she usually does. She’ll try, it’ll last a week or two, and she’ll be right back at it again same as always. I’m so bloody sick of-” He stopped, glared down at the work-top and forced himself to take a slow deep breath. “Sorry. Family rubbish. Shouldn’t let it get to me and none of your concern. Maybe I should just go your route and declare her my arch-enemy.”

“I don’t think that would help in your case, John.”

John chuckled, setting the phone down on the cluttered work-top. “Yeah.” Not to mention redundant. Harry’s already her own arch-enemy.

Sherlock cleared his throat again. “I was thinking, there’s an open-air concert in Regent’s Park tonight, perhaps...”

John looked over at Sherlock. He stood off-balance in the kitchen doorway; all his weight on one foot, like he was prepared to turn away and pretend he hadn’t said or heard anything.

Sherlock dropped his eyes and glanced back into the sitting room, speaking quickly. “If you’d rather not, I assure you, I understand. It’s a classical string quartet tonight; you’re likely tired of violin music, living with me.”

“No, no. I’d...” He tapped a corner of his phone, sending it into a half-spin.

“...Or if you’d like, I can get you a cab and you can go-”

“No.” John took a deep breath and made an effort to smile. “Concert sounds fantastic.”

Sherlock quirked a smile back at John before turning to get his coat.

John looked at the mobile on the work-top again. Sighing, he tucked it into his trouser pocket and went downstairs to meet Sherlock at the door.

- - -
(that’s all)

Tags: , ,
Current Mood: anxious anxious

12 comments or Leave a comment
ciaranbochna From: ciaranbochna Date: August 21st, 2011 08:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
This...has me pondering the past.

Meaning it burrows into you and rings true. Thank you.
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: August 22nd, 2011 04:14 am (UTC) (Link)
...eek? O.o

(You're welcome.)
ciaranbochna From: ciaranbochna Date: August 22nd, 2011 05:34 am (UTC) (Link)
You know I love it of course;)
fanbot From: fanbot Date: August 21st, 2011 09:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Very nice.
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: August 22nd, 2011 04:14 am (UTC) (Link)
(Deleted comment)
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: August 22nd, 2011 04:15 am (UTC) (Link)
In a sense, yeah.
embroiderama From: embroiderama Date: August 22nd, 2011 12:29 am (UTC) (Link)
This feels very achy and also very true--lovely.
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: August 22nd, 2011 04:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you. I was worried it might come across as preachy, which wasn't my intent.
r34dinglight From: r34dinglight Date: August 22nd, 2011 01:20 am (UTC) (Link)
lots of really aching lines to reflect on here. your soft but sure touch on their exchanges,harry & john's as well as the later one of sherlock/john, does to borrow ciaranbochnas' wordings, cause them to burrow into one. it does ring that true.

good job!
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: August 22nd, 2011 04:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow, thank you!
ungalad From: ungalad Date: August 22nd, 2011 06:51 am (UTC) (Link)
I love this. The dialogue with Harry was realistic and... gosh, Harry. I love her attitude. I probably shouldn't, but you got her spot on, or at least, as I imagine her: "What? I've no problem, shut up! Well, my only problem is that nobody loves me. D:" Completely irresponsible, in denial... Poor John, he doesn't even know how to deal with her. He does what he can, in spite of knowing that it won't work, and that hurts and it's very realistic, too.

And I love the ending, with Sherlock being hesitant but supportive. and they're going to a concert! It's very canon-ish. :) ♥
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: August 22nd, 2011 10:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aw, thank you!
12 comments or Leave a comment