|Of The Logic Of Magic
Author: mamazano PM
Jack and Will consult Sherlock on a matter of grave urgency. Part of the Museum series and one of the new adventures of the Immortal Captains, crossing blades paths with The Great Consulting Detective. Jack/Will, Sherlock/John. Slash.Rated: Fiction M - English - Adventure/Mystery - Chapters: 4 - Words: 8,111 - Reviews: 7 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 24 - Updated: 11-27-10 - Published: 09-05-10 - id: 6301035
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
AN: A new crossover story between Sherlock BBC and PotC, written in collaboration with danglingdingle. To read the story, all you need to know is that Will is still the Captain of the Flying Dutchman, Jack found the FoY and is immortal too, and they both work for the British museum... and then, an adventure begins, leading Jack and Will to cross (blades) paths with the Great Consulting Detective and his partner in (crime) justice.
Of The Logic Of Magic
John Watson liked visiting the museum. After the daily tsunami that was Sherlock Holmes, the museum was a quiet, static, blessedly still refuge.
Browsing through the exhibits for him was akin to practicing Zen (although John had to admit he had never attempted the latter). Perhaps this sense of calm and clearing of mind was what his flat mate achieved during his semi-catatonic states, when he would sit for hours, hands in prayerful poise.
John studied the panorama in front of him, a rendering of Pompeii, before its destruction. Yes, he reflected, Sherlock was much like Mount Vesuvius, not dormant, oh no… but brewing and bubbling, only to explode into burning excitement and action without a moment's warning.
Like this morning.
John had returned from the mart and another frustrating bout with the Chip and Pin machine, only to find the flat awash in a sea of papers. A flurry in the corner turned out to be Sherlock, throwing papers over his shoulder and shouting wildly at each one of them.
"Forty-five minutes of absolute silence would be great, thank you!" The madman yelled over his shoulder, holding up a rumpled sheet in triumph, leaping over to the sofa, where he flung himself on his back, waving the paper in John's direction with his eyes closed, two nicotine patches peaking from under his sleeve.
With all seriousness, John contemplated throttling the man, but averted the fisticuffs by appointing his attention towards the groceries. Stomping as loudly as he possibly could, John tossed into the cupboards and the fridge the canned beans, milk, cabbage, the olives that Sherlock agreed, miraculously to eat, even while working, and shoved the chocolate ice cream in the freezer with the loudest bang he could muster.
Of course, he'd forgotten the artichokes.
Whistling out of tune, John strolled into the sitting room where Sherlock lay prone with his fingers in his ears, humming a monotone noise, the sheet of paper discarded on the floor.
Flinging his eyes open, Sherlock started up, glaring at John who could not but to shake his head with vague amusement.
"Would you hand me my violin? I can't think, I need to think, my mind is decaying!"
That was it. Retreating upstairs to his rooms would not help, as Sherlock plucking away tuneless croaks and shrills could be heard as clearly as if sitting in the same space with the man… If only it was one of those days Sherlock didn't long for the chaos to coincide with his mind, John would've sat down and listened, quiet, watching as the music seemed to come from Sherlock within.
Today, as the morning had bode, was not one of those days.
With great discomfiture, John sighed, reaching for the shiny wooden instrument, and planted it in Sherlock's expectant hand.
Then, he made to leave, offering an 'I'll be at the museum' by way of farewell. Receiving a distorted note from the violin for a response, John shut the door behind him, trying his damndest not to worry about Sherlock's state of mind.
Rounding the corner, John found his way barred by an ornate sign announcing the new exhibit to be opening at the end of the month:
"The Bronze Age - A time at which smiths became metallurgists, makers of magic, heroes, and gods."
It sounded intriguing, and John made a mental note to return the following month to tour it. Sherlock might even be interested, he giggled, noting the last line in the description:
"Bronze Age smiths were often buried with the tools of their trade: hammers, an anvil, knives and molds."
Nothing like digging up the past, or a dead body or two, to amuse his…
"Friend. No. Colleague."
John had not realized he'd spoken out loud until he heard a gravely voice ask, "Well, which is it then, mate?"
Turning, John came face to face with the most remarkable creature, a character who could have stepped straight from the pages of a kiddies book. A pirate, no doubt, judging from the bucket boots, tricorn hat and the colorful array of clothing.
"Which is it, friend or colleague? They're not the same, now are they?" At John's puzzled look the man sighed and explained, "A colleague's one of them chaps you work with, you know the type." The spectacle waved a dismissive hand and continued, "Someone to toss back a pint or two at the local pub with, or go out for a good nosh up. But a friend," with a grand gesture, the man poked John in the chest with two fingers. "That's a whole different story. He's that mate who has your back when you're so rat-arsed you can't crawl, and cleans you up after you've honked your brains out. And… most importantly, still likes you come morning. So, Bob's your uncle." The man smiled, gold teeth glinting in the light.
"Um, yes. Quite."
"So, which is it?"
"Friend, I suppose."
"You can't 'suppose' a friend, mate!" The fantastical pirate pressed his palms together, eyes wide in horrified exasperation. "He either is or he isn't." He paused, glancing John from head to toe, then asked; "He is a 'he', is he not?"
John nodded his head in agreement, amazed at finding another tsunami in his port of refuge. Glancing around, he found he'd wandered into the Legends of the Deep exhibit. Well, that explained the pirate, all right. But not his inordinate interest in John's mental ruminations…
"Not to forget!" The man lit up, John half expecting to find a light bulb glowing over his head. "Partners, now that's a whole other category entirely-" He was interrupted mid-sentence, leaving John with his head tilted in an incredulous question.
He didn't get an answer, nor was he to find out what the illustrious man was after, as they were suddenly inundated with a mob of primary school boys, all jostling for place in the queue, a flustered and red-faced chaperone doing her best to control them.
"Oops, time to go!" The pirate turned swiftly on his heels, his long frock coat swirling around him in a more than familiar fashion.
As if experiencing a déjà vu, John watched the coat and the man dash pell-mell across the crowded rotunda, shouting commandingly as he went;
"Oi! With me, gents! Look lively now!"
The boys all drew to attention and followed the pirate captain in an orderly fashion, their chaperone mouthing a silent "Thank you" to their guide, earning a wink in return.
Uncanny resemblance, John mused. Curious to find out more about the fellow, he decided to follow the tour at a discreet distance.
As it was, it turned out the pirate was the illustrious tour guide, Captain Jack Sparrow. John remembered reading about him in the papers a while back and the furor he'd created when the museum had tried to sack him. He certainly wasn't your average bloke, and his unscripted but highly entertaining commentary on the exhibit was both educating and enjoyable. Well, for most. There seemed to be a running disagreement between the captain and the chaperone over what constituted "truth".
"Now Mr. Sparrow…" the red-faced woman had ventured, for the third time in as many minutes.
"Captain, Captain Sparrow, if you please," the captain had cheerfully interrupted each time, ignoring the protests that he couldn't have possibly met a mermaid or actually been eaten by a Kraken.
"You know what's the matter with the world these days?" Sparrow had finally said, after the fourth interruption, turning to his audience with a sigh. "I'll tell you what, mates. There is no magic. Nothing is unexplained, nowhere is unexplored. There is nothing left to tantalize the imagination, cause men to sail across uncharted seas, to risk life and limb to discover unknown worlds."
He sighed, then pointed a finger at the closest boy. "You there, tell me, where would you find monsters and creatures of the deep?" The boy opened his mouth to respond but did not get a chance as the captain pressed on. "In those infernal video games you spend all you time playing. That is the draw, why you waste countless hours with those insufferable contraptions, hour after hour. Doing what? Trying to beat the giant sea creature! There you find your magic, you elves and your leprechauns, your mermaids and your monsters. But back in the days of the tall ships! Back then the mysteries were alive! Every day, to be encountered."
He turned back to the diorama in front of him, depicting a ship being devoured by a tentacled sea creature. "Danger was real, was imminent, every day could be your last." Then, shrugging off his melancholy, he turned back with a wide smile. "But we have plenty of wonders around us now. Take this next exhibit, if you please."
The group of boys moved on to the next diorama depicting mermaids. Pointing at a large photograph, their guide announced, "I give you, the FeeJee Mermaid. Biggest hoax of the era." The boys all oohed at he hideous creature depicted.
"What is it?" Several asked in unison.
"It looks like a monster!" One boy exclaimed.
"It looks like Mrs. Beeman!" Another whispered to his classmate.
The boys all fell about in a bout of giggling.
"Boys! Control yourselves!" Their chaperone said sternly.
"Thank you. Now lads, listen to, er," Jack bent forward and peered at the woman's nametag. "Mrs. Beeman."
The giggling grew even louder.
"Oi! Shut it!"
The boys all fell silent at the captain's command.
"Now, as I was saying, this lovely lady here was the biggest hoax of the day." Jack frowned as the giggling threatened to erupt again, restoring order with a glare before continuing. "Thanks to this man here, P.T. Barnum." Jack pointed to the photo. "He knew from the start it was fake, and yet made a fortune off of the exhibition. And how was that, you might ask? Well, I'll tell you. It was 'cause he knew what was really important was not whether the mermaid was real or not. Just that the public believed it to be real."
"Or, as the ol' saying goes," Jack grinned, "there's a sucker born every minute."
"Now, if you'll follow me…" Sparrow's voice trailed off as the group moved away.
John remained in front of the exhibit, reflecting on the captain's words as he studied the hideous creature on display. He was right. Nowadays the creature would have been autopsied and analyzed, dissected and denounced. No more mysteries. Not with modern science at one's fingertips.
Perhaps this accounted for his need for danger, for excitement, for the rush of adrenaline he experienced when pursuing clues with Sherlock. For that moment in time at least, there was still a mystery to be discovered.
He moved on, and had just reached the end of the exhibit when he heard a horrifying cry and the crash of metal reverberated around him. Running towards the sound, he found himself hot on the heels of Mr. Sparrow, who cried out one single word in his heart wrenching panic;
They reached the shambles of the fallen scaffolding at the same time.
Beneath the twisted metal, to John's horror, lay a white-faced man. "Let me through, I'm a doctor, I can help," John told the frantic man who was about to bend to lift the fallen workman. "Don't move him!"
With practiced movements, John placed two fingers to the young man's throat and his ear to his mouth. Detecting neither pulse nor breath, he shut his eyes, composing himself, and turned to the stricken man beside him.
As calmly as he could muster, John sought the eyes of the man who kneeled next to the lifeless body, gently placing a hand to his back before uttering apologetically; "I'm afraid he's dead."
"'S impossible," Jack said almost inaudibly, eyes sorrowful as he carefully brushed a stray curl from the dead man's face. "We just need to get him out of here. Now."
"The guards have been notified," John said softly, emphatic with the man's shock, suddenly understanding what he'd meant by partners… But life had to go on… "I'm sure the police will want to investigate."
"We can't let them take him," Sparrow said quietly, grabbing John's arm tightly. "You're John Watson, aren't you?"
"Why, yes, but how…What does it-"
"I've read your blog."
"Ah. Yes. Right." It was a perfectly adequate explanation.
"Is there somewhere we can take him? We can't let the coroner get a hold of him."
John looked Jack in the eye, trying to steady the man by holding his shoulders, striving to deliver the facts as delicately as he could. "I understand he's a friend of yours, but it's standard procedure in accidents."
John looked around at the crowd forming. "I'm sorry," he whispered before standing up and gesturing to a guard. Eyes keen on Jack, he asked the guard that the area be cordoned off until the investigators arrived.
A hasty barrier was erected to shield the body from sight of the public.
"You don't understand, mate," Jack hissed under his breath, so the others wouldn't hear. "He's not dead."
"Sorry, what? I don't understand, come again?" Going through denial was one thing, but the fire in the man's pleading eyes spoke of something else entirely.
"He's not dead," Jack stressed each word. "We can't let him be taken to the coroner's, just like I said. You don't happen to know of somewhere we can take him? Somewhere discreet? Bloody anywhere!" Jack gave a quick look around, sheepish for having raised his voice. But there was no time for there shenanigans.
"I suppose we could take him to the mortuary at Barts." John pondered out loud, mostly just to calm the frantic Mr. Sparrow. "Molly would do anything Sherlock asked."
"Good man!" To John's utter astonishment, the previously grieving man flashed a wide, golden grin and clapped John on the shoulder, then jerked a finger at John, proceeding to bow with his palms pressed together. "I knew you could do it."
"But how do you suppose I can manage this? You don't think they will just release the body to me like that?"
"Call you friend, he'll know how." Jack smiled even wider, if possible, and added, "He is a friend, not a colleague. Am I right?"
"Right. Yes. Got it." Only momentarily wondering what it was about the man that compelled him into action, John sent a hurried text message to Sherlock.
DEAD MAN WHO IS NOT DEAD. AT THE MUSEUM. IMPOSSIBLE. HURRY. JW
Now, all he could do was hope Sherlock was arsed to reach his mobile and actually read the message…
Molly held the door as the two men carried the body bag into the mortuary.
Dr. Watson had texted her earlier, saying there'd been an accident at the museum. 'That would account for the second man's odd apparel… Must be one of those re-enactors', Molly assumed.
This case had to be dreadfully important for Sherlock to want the body brought here.
Usually she only handled corpses first vetted by the coroners, not a fresh kill.
Yes, this was highly unusual. But then, so was Sherlock. He hadn't been around the lab as much since he'd taken a flat mate. She'd just about given up on him, even had a boyfriend now. Yet her heart beat faster when she'd seen Sherlock earlier that day. She hated to admit it, but she missed him.
"Is Sherlock here?" John asked Molly, interrupting her thoughts as he glanced around the room.
"He's upstairs, I believe. At least he was when I took my lunch." She steadied her voice and asked casually, "Should I fetch him?"
"Let's get our friend out of here first," John said, gesturing to the bag on the table.
"Good day." The 'corpse' opened its eyes as Molly unzipped the body bag.
"Would you mind getting me out of this thing? It's damnably hot in here."
Molly's mouth worked soundlessly like a beached fish. Through the roaring in her ears before all went black, she heard Sherlock's languid voice from the doorway;
"You'd best catch her before she falls."
John immediately rushed over and caught Molly as she fainted dead away.
"How did you…"
"Pale skin, shallow breaths, light sheen on skin, all classic signs of someone about to faint." Sherlock smirked at John amiably, then frowned, amused. "Weren't you supposed to be the doctor here?" Grabbing Molly under her shoulders, Sherlock helped John with the dead weight of the woman. "There," he nodded towards another table. "Let's stick her over there, out of the way."
John checked Molly's vital signs after they gently laid her on the firm surface, Molly beginning to show signs of coming to. She'd be fine. Mental perhaps, having just had a corpse speaking to her, but her physical health would not suffer.
The 'corpse' in the meantime, was sitting up on the autopsy table, rubbing the back of his head and squinting in the bright, cold, white light of the morgue. His friend stood protectively beside him, a hand to the miraculously resurrected man's shoulder, while the other was nervously drumming on the hilt of his cutlass.
"You're Sherlock Holmes?" Jack asked, eyes narrowing as he took in the younger man's appearance.
"And you are Jack Sparrow. Tour guide at the Museum, sea captain at one time. Like to drink rum, recently been working on a ship. A sailing ship, probably a tall ship. Live in a flat with your lover, prefer walking to taking a cab. Recently been to America, Florida I would say, possibly the Keys. You are worried. Enough to stage this little accident. I gather your friend here needs to disappear for awhile."
"If I needed to disappear I could just go back to the Dutchman. No, we need your help on a matter." The corpse slipped off the table and offered a hand in a greeting. "Will Turner."
Sherlock ignored the extended hand.
"Rather an elaborate way to meet. You could have just come around Baker Street."
"Can't, mate. Being watched," Jack shook his head determinately.
"By who?" John asked.
"Men, several of them," the older man stated, giving a glance in his partner's direction, their eyes meeting briefly, Jack's hand brushing Will's shoulder as if in encouragement.
"They want the map," Will finished the sentence Jack had started.
"Map. Map, of course." Sherlock sneered derisively. "Naturally, you two have uncovered a very secret treasure map." Feigning enthusiasm, Sherlock clapped his hands together and brought them to his chest, then, as quickly dropping the act and continuing in an arrogant voice. "Really. Such a waste. You might have at least tried to make this little performance interesting."
Jack started forward with a gleam of anger in his eyes but Will stopped him with a steady hand on his arm. "That's not all."
"Oh! There's more? How charming," Sherlock's voice dripped sarcasm, already heading back towards the door with an irritated wave of his hand, but was stopped by the allegedly dead man's hasty; "Wait!"
Pursing his lips and closing his eyes to gather the strength to play along with the idiotic charades, Sherlock turned as a man burdened with all the weight of the world.
What he saw, was something unexpected.
"They've taken my heart." Will pulled back the collar of his shirt to reveal an angry red line down his chest, the pale edges of the scar disclosing the wound being age old.
"Haven't you heard of Confucius?" Sherlock loosened his scarf while peering closer at the cicatrice. "'Wherever you go, go with all your heart?'"
Almost touching Will's skin, Sherlock's fingers hover over the scar, his voice dropping, betraying his interest piqued. "Wise words, you should've paid heed to them."