To Mend Again
So, here is a story on AO3 about Sherlock and Redbeard oh and John of course. This story is rated PG.
Happy Reading and remember as President Lincoln said when he visited San Dimas, Calif.,” Be Good to Each Other and Party on Dudes.”
Sherlock is having nightmares and keeps calling out for Redbeard. John wants to know why Sherlock is so tormented, so he asks Mycroft who is Redbeard. While John is with Mycroft, Sherlock finds John’s journal from when Sherlock jumped off the roof. Together Sherlock and John must mend if they are to continue their friendship.
Unable to sleep John Watson paused outside of Sherlock’s bedroom door. He could hear Sherlock tossing and turning and muttering in his sleep. John strained to listen, but could not make out what Sherlock was saying, then suddenly John heard Sherlock shout,“Redbeard nooooooooooo…”
John tapped on Sherlock’s bedroom door, “Sherlock, it’s John are you alright?” No answer. John waited a few seconds. “Sherlock? Sherlock if you don’t answer me I am coming in.” John sighed, then with grim determination opened Sherlock’s door. Sherlock was sitting on the edge of his bed wrapped in a robe and smoking a cigarette.“Sherlock, are you okay?” John asked in a gentler tone.
“What?” Sherlock asked looking bored. His face was pale and drawn and his hand trembled slightly as he took another drag on his cigarette. “John, what are doing here? Don’t you have a wife? Aren’t you supposed to be on your honeymoon, you know your sex holiday?” Sherlock emphasizes each word, as he always did when he wanted to piss me off.
John turned to leave, then smiled and pointed a finger at Sherlock. “You are purposefully trying to make me mad. That’s a distraction to get me to leave.”
Sherlock rolled over on his side, “Stay or leave it makes no difference to me.”
John looked down at the ground then up at Sherlock’s curled up form. “ Sherlock, are you …um…using again?”
This time Sherlock looked irritated. “John, for God’s sake go home to your psychotic wife Mary, make up, fight, have sex whatever. Just leave me alone. It’s getting old you staying here. I have no privacy. I am not using I just had a bad re occurring childhood dream and needed a cigarette. Now leave me alone.”
John knew better than to push Sherlock when he was like this. “I’ll be downstairs if you need me, but before I go who is Redbeard?”
Sherlock looked at John for a moment then took such a long drag on his cigarette that John winced at what must be happening to Sherlock’s lungs. “John, I’m not using. I’m clean and stay here as long as you like. Eventually you will have to make up with Mary, though. After all I’m the one she shot and I don’t bear any grudges. As far as Redbeard goes he’s just a silly character from a nightmare about something that happened ages ago”
John nodded then headed downstairs to leave. He knew there was one person that would know who Redbeard was, Mycroft, Sherlock’s brother. The cab ride over to Mycroft’s club was shrouded in swirling clouds of fog that seemed an extension of Sherlock’s cigarette. John felt claustrophobic as he watched the cab disappear into another patch of white mist. Once inside Mycroft’s club John never ceased to marvel at how the club seemed a reflection of a post-World War 1 relic. The walls were covered in dark oak, the only natural light came in through high stained glass windows.
Mycroft motioned for John to come over to where he was sitting. Mycroft always looked at John as if he was a small annoying insect. As much as John hated Mycroft’s patronizing glance he hated his tone of voice even more. “John,”Mycroft purred, “what brings you here?”
John wanted to hit Mycroft as hard as he could, “Mycroft, I’ll get straight to the point. Sherlock, has been smoking again, which as you know is often a prelude to his using again. He has been having bad dreams and keeps calling out to Redbeard. Who is Redbeard?”
Mycroft waited so long to answer John thought that he wasn’t going to. Then Mycroft smiled, “Redbeard was Sherlock’s Irish Setter.”
John looked amazed, “You mean Sherlock had a pet? ”
“Yes,John, Sherlock had a pet as a child. If fact he hasn’t had a pet since. Well, until you came along, John. Perhaps, we should call you yellowbeard.” Mycroft laughed hollowly at his own joke.
John was expasarated, “Myroft, if you don’t want to tell me fine.” John stood up to leave.
“John, wait. Sit down and I will tell you about Redbeard.” Mycroft waited for John to settle down in his chair. “As, you know there is a seven year difference between Sherlock and myself. Sherlock was seven at the time and I tormented him unmercifully. After all he would be going away to school the next year, so I figured my reign of terror would soon be cut short. Back then Sherlock was a cheerful child and he and Redbeard were inseparable. They were always in their own little peaceful world, which I did my best to usurp. I would call Sherlock stupid if he couldn’t recite verbatim any selection that I would select from Shakespear,Goethe, Plato, you name it I harassed him with them all. I would tell him that his violin playing sounded like a cat being tortured. Sherlock, loved animals as a child and was most disturbed with this reference because he felt sure I had tortured a great many cats to know what one sounded like. The truth was Sherlock was a brilliant violin player a protégé in everything he touched. As much as I hated his effortless qualities of genius, I hated his bucolic relationship with Redbeard more. Nothing got to him as long as he had Redbeard by his side. Well, one particularly rainy day I was bored and decided it would be great fun to hunt Sherlock with a gun.”
John leaned forward,”You mean an actual gun?”
Mycroft looked at John as he were a slow witted child,”Yes, of course. It wouldn’t have been scary with a toy gun would it? Anyway, Sherlock and Redbeard were crawling through some tall grass towards a small,stone bridge. The rain had brought the level of the river quite high and before I knew it Sherlock slipped into the dark churning water. Redbeard was the first to jump in after him, then our gardener jumped in and pulled Sherlock out. When the gardener laid Sherlock on the shore, he wasn’t breathing, his lips were blue. Our gardener then began to give Sherlock mouth to mouth, all the while shouting for Sherlock to stay with us. In that moment I realized that some part of me truly cared for Sherlock and I was horrified, that the other half that hated Sherlock looked on with indifference. Well, eventually Sherlock coughed and well he lived. We had all forgotten about Redbeard. Somehow the dog made its way to where Sherlock was sitting and died in his arms. Sherlock began to breathe into the dogs nostrils and rub under his armpits mumbling. When Sherlock realized that his resessation attempts were not going to being successful. He cried out with such a cry of anguish that it sent chills up my spine. He then looked at me with such hatred. He screamed above the rain. “Mycroft, I hate you. From now on you are my arch enemy. Then Sherlock stayed with Redbeard until the gardener buried him. Sherlock, was never the same after that. He became withdrawn and obsessive. I don’t think I saw him ever smile again, until that time you and he acted like asses in the Palace.”
John sat back in stunned silence. “Good God, Mycroft. You killed Sherlock’s childhood pet. Hell, you killed his childhood. You are more than an annoying dickhead, you are a monster.”
For a moment Mycroft looked away and John thought Mycroft’s eyes seemed full of sadness. “John, that’s why you are so important to Sherlock. You are the only friend he has had since Redbeard.”
John stood up abruptly, “Don’t, just don’t think you are going to lay Sherlock’s personality problems on me. You did this to him. You both are the most insensitive people I have ever met. Sherlock lets me think that he is dead for two years. I am still having nightmares by the way and you torment Sherlock so bad that he didn’t form into a normal, well-adjusted person. You killed his dog. What kind of a person hunts their little brother with a real gun? What kind of parents did you two have?
Mycroft shrugged nonchalantly,” Our parents were perfectly, wonderful loving parents.”
John, sighed, stood up as if for a military inspection, turned on his heel and left. Time to get back to the flat. John had a plan that might help Sherlock through this Redbeard nightmare .
Sherlock walked paced through the living room, navigating his way through the mess and chaos. Where was John” Oh, that’s right he went out? I think he did. Sherlock stood outside John’s room and knocked, no answer.
“Oh, Sherlock, you scared me. I was just going to put this box of things back in John’s room from you know before. Mrs Hudson gasped, Sherlock was just too quiet sometimes.
Sherlock glanced at the box in Mrs. Hudson’s arms and sighed. “Just put it in the corner, Thank you Mrs. Hudson.”
Mrs Hudson smiled, put the box down. “Sherlock, are you okay?”
“Yes,” Sherlock hissed through gritted teeth. “Please leave me alone, now”
Sherlock waited until she left the room before he walked over to the box and looked inside. Just a couple of shirts, mis- matched socks, a bag of dark stained clothing, John’s folding cane, and a small leather bound book. Sherlock picked each of the items, then threw them back in the box. “Boring, stupid things.” Sherlock added with disgust, then picked up the book and looked inside. It’s a journal in John’s handwriting, Sherlock thought as he thumbed through the book. Realizing it was a sort of journal most individuals would have respected the privacy of others and not read the contents. Not so with Sherlock, he happily invaded John’s privacy without a second thought. Sherlock thumbed through the pages, hum no dates on the pages, “Now, that’s odd,” Sherlock mused aloud, for he knew John’s pension for keeping accurate records. The journal had preprinted pages, so Sherlock turned to Day One and began to read.
“My therapist says it will help to write in a journal about what happened. I’m trying, but I just can’t….
Okay back again just threw up for the fourth time today. Mrs Hudson came around with some soup, bless her. I slept 14 hours today. Going back to bed now.
“I still can’t write it. I can’t say the words let alone write them. Sherlock, …Sherlock, killed himself by jumping off a roof in front of me. I saw him plummet to his death, there was so much blood. Jesus, there was a lot of blood…My stomach is cramping up again, sleep used to be a comfort but God now all I do is have nightmares, maybe I should take the anti-depressants my therapist prescribed. No, can’t do it. I’ll just go back to sleep but maybe I will be lucky and have a peaceful sleep.
The funeral was today, it was awful to think of my dear friend being laid in the cold hard earth, and that tombstone what a cold looking monstrosity, Mycroft must have picked it out. As I look around I realize that Sherlock’s parents aren’t here. Why? Couldn’t take it I guess. Oh, Jesus right in the middle of the funeral a wave of nausea hits me so hard I just knew I was going to collapse. Lestrade takes me by the arm and leads me away from the group. “John, you are as white as a sheet. Are you okay?” I nodded yes and then promptly began to throw up in the gutter next to the hearse. I can hear the strains of the church organ playing the hymn,”It is Well with My Soul” I was told that Sherlock had expressed to Mycroft that this hymn be played at his funeral several years ago. How odd that Sherlock even knew a hymn. There are so many things that one person does not know about another I suppose. It was time to go I left but had no idea how I got home, I just remember sitting across from Sherlock’s empty chair and thinking this can’t be real. He is just faking it, this must be a trick. He can’t be dead, he just can’t. “Sherlock, one more miracle,” I whisper to the empty room. Before I know it I am weeping and shaking uncontrollably .
Spent four days in hospital. Mrs Hudson apparently found me unconscious and called an ambulance. I’ve told Mrs Hudson that I can’t go back to the flat. I will have to rent a room somewhere else. My chest feels so heavy. I’ve lost a lot of weight, so much so that I feel like a clown in baggy pants. Why can’t I handle this? I can’t fix it. I am so angry with Sherlock, why didn’t he trust me? What a selfish prick he was to do that to all of us. Then I’m sorry I thought such mean thoughts. I take it back, I take it back, maybe if I take back the angry thought, Sherlock’s death won’t be real. I’m going to sleep again. Sometimes when I first wake up I don’t think he is dead and for a moment all is right again, then I look around at the small room I have rented and oh God no he is dead again. It’s as if I can only see him jumping to his death over and over after the phone call That tragic call where even though I could not see Sherlock’s tears, I could hear them in his quivering voice. “I’m a fake….just a magic trick…this is what people do, leave a note. When…” “SHERLOCK …..”, I remember shouting, then he is gone. Good God my clothes had blood all over them. What did I do with them? Did I throw them away? I must ask Mrs Hudson what happened to them. I must ask her if…What must I ask her? My memory is absolute shit lately. I can only remember clear details of the past. Everyday things like eating, brushing my teeth, things like that I just can’t remember. Did I pay the rent? I must have I am still here. What about the other bills, God I just can’t think straight. I’m going back to bed…
I went to a group grief workshop today. It was a disaster. The individuals all expressed their anguish, some angry, some weeping, other just telling the group all the grim details of their day. I don’t have anything in common with these people. They are all moving on and I just can’t. If I let go of the grief and move on, it means that Sherlock is really dead. Sherlock only remains alive through my grief. Wait…how did they get a tombstone for Sherlock so quick? Maybe it was because this was all preplanned and Sherlock is still alive. Mycroft will know and if I have to I will beat it out of him. I leave several messages with Mycroft, he doesn’t return my calls. I wait outside his club and he finally appears. I run after him, Mycroft, I whispered as my breath comes out in gasps. “Tell me about Sherlock’s headstone, why did it come so quickly? He is alive isn’t he? “ For once Mycroft makes full eye contact, “John you are going to have to realize that Sherlock is gone. I used my pull to get the tombstone made quickly, that’s it nothing more. John, you need to move on. Sherlock is dead. Your friend my brother is dead, John.” I look into Mycroft’s eyes, they are the same blue green as Sherlock’s, yet somehow they are more reptilian, cold, and yet is there something more lurking behind his bland expression? A secret perhaps? Mycroft blinks under my gaze. “John, get some help. If you persist in this line of inquiry I will have no choice but to have security block any access you have to me. Another words John, no leaving me hundreds of scenarios where Sherlock is still alive on my voice mail, no camping outside my club, for God’s sake if you keep this up I may get a restriction on my entrance to the club. John, get help, get medication, it’s been five months, get on with your life. Sherlock, would want you to move on.” Then Mycroft is suddenly whisked away in a black limo and I am left standing alone on the sidewalk. I take a cab to St. Barts, on the way there I suddenly hope the cabbie is the like the evil cabbie I shot and that he will have a cyanide capsule to offer me. The cab stops in front of hospital. I guess I am not getting a pill; the cabbie is just a cabbie after all. I get out of the cab as if I am a hundred years old, bent and stooped I make my way to the place where Sherlock met his death, my body aches all over. I look down at the spot, it is clean now, no blood, no cranial fluid, nothing, just stones. I stand there rooted to that spot until a guard comes out from hospital. He asks me if I need assistance. I just walk away; I don’t say one word to the guard. I am tired. Good God it is only mid-afternoon. Aw well, it is night somewhere, right? Time for a scotch and a nap.
Sherlock quickly put down the journal and shoved the box under the bed when he heard John’s familiar gait coming up the stairs from outside.
“Sherlock, what are you doing?”
Before Sherlock can answer he notices that John has a large, hairy, dog with him. “Good God, John what is that thing?”
John smiled,”It’s a dog Sherlock, an Afagan. He is a lovey creature and very smart. I thought maybe it would help Mary and I to relax a little if we had a dog around. Sherlock, can he stay here while I see how Mary is going to take me bringing a dog home?”
“John, you must be kidding. I don’t want some stupid, filthy dog messing up the place.” Then a look of recognition swam across Sherlock’s face. “You’ve been talking to Mycroft about Redbeard.” Sherlock had made up his mind to give John a lecture about how that was all so long ago and…..The words trailed away in his mind as Sherlock thought of John’s journal. The pain and anguish in that book were so overwhelming that Sherlock had no idea how to erase the suffering that rested in the corner of John’s eyes and furrowed forehead. John had forgiven him, but up until this moment Sherlock did not realize that even though the trauma John suffered might not be applicable in the present, the ill effects of the experience had taken its toll. Sherlock couldn’t make the hurt go away with a logic theorem, he felt bewildered, and things were not the same. Sherlock with his great mind palace could not fix this.
Sherlock looked down at the dog. “Maybe a dog would be good for you and Mary. He’s welcome to stay, however, don’t blame me if he starves to death, I barely remember to eat myself.” Sherlock, took the dog by the collar. “Hmm, what should we name you? Anderson, perhaps? No, you must be smarter than that.”
John could hear Sherlock conversing to the dog as they went down the hall. As John came around the corner he had to smile at the look of delight that light up Sherlock’s face as the dog ran about the room with Sherlock’s deer stalker hat in his mouth, shaking it. Sherlock, ran after the dog. “Give me that hat you miserable miscreant. “Sherlock shouted. John smiled to himself.
Sherlock watched John smile as he and the dog played together. It was strange to pretend for someone else, however, the dog was charming and it was also a hound. Perhaps, the dog could be trained for something useful like tracking a scent. In the meantime Sherlock was not sure whether he was actually enjoying himself, or if it was just mock enthusiasm for the dog. Whatever, it was Sherlock knew that he must try and do better by John. Sherlock took a vehement oath that he or no one else would ever hurt John that badly again.
So, here is a story on Wattpad about Sherlock and Redbeard oh and John of course. This story is rated PG.
Happy Reading and remember as President Lincoln said when he visited San Dimas, Calif.,” Be Good to Each Other and Party on Dudes.”