|Of Strings And Things
Author: StrawberryFields4EverAndAlways PM
This sort of goes along with my other Sherlock story, the one with Sherlock's mum. You might want to read that one first, but it's not crucial that you do. This is about Sherlock's violin playing. Not slash. Drabble. Oneshot.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Friendship - Sherlock H. & John W. - Words: 1,049 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 3 - Published: 11-30-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7598599
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I am not Stephen Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Sue Vertue, or anyone else who is important. I do not own.
Author's Note (actually important!): For the song featured here, look up Cantabile by Niccolo Paganini. The best recording I have found (and a good representation of how the song sounds in this story) is the one performed by Leonid Kogan. It's the one with more than 300,000 views on YouTube. Watch it, and try to ignore the pianist going in the background for these purposes. This story does not feature a random piano-playing guy appearing out of nowhere. But watch it. It's absolutely, devastatingly beautiful.
This London summer was miserable, and the sounds coming from 221B Baker Street did nothing to improve anyone's mood. If you were anywhere near the flat in question, your ears would be subjected to some of the most god-awful sounds known to man.
These noises combined fingernails on a chalkboard and an animal dying a ludicrously painful death. Sherlock Holmes, the world's only consulting detective, had nothing better to do while shut up alone in the flat than to saw rabidly at his violin. He hadn't had a case in weeks- London's criminal activity had dried up along with everything else in the drought-ridden city.
John Watson returned home from the store, and nearly dropped the paper bag of groceries tucked under his arm in an effort to cover his ears. "SHERLOCK," he bellowed over the racket.
The younger man slowly lowered his bow and glowered at his associate in the manner of a recently-scolded small child. "Yes, John?" he asked calmly, as the entire street surely let out a collective sigh of sweet relief. Sherlock lay on the sofa in a now-familiar state of disarray. His shirt, usually meticulously pressed, was, having not been removed for several days, horribly wrinkled, and was mostly unbuttoned. His trousers were also crumpled and on his person for days on end. One sock had wandered off to who-knows-where, and its remaining twin had seen better days. The detective's hair was in desperate need of combing, the dark curls sticking out in a variety of interesting directions, stubble given free reign over his usually-clean-shaven face.
John shook his head and began putting his recent purchases in their proper places. "You can't keep living like this."
Somehow, Sherlock seemed confused by the ultimatum. "Living like what?"
The doctor turned about incredulously. "Haven't you looked in a mirror recently? You look like you could go live under a bridge and beg people for spare change or something."
Sherlock groaned in annoyance. "What else is there to do?" He looked over at his Blackberry on the table, as if by looking at it, he could induce a call from Lestrade.
John thought this over carefully, staring into space with the new egg carton in his hand, trying to think of something that Sherlock could do to pass the time without hurting himself or others. Or damaging property, he thought, remembering the bullet-riddled wall. "You know," he said cautiously, "You have a violin, but I've never heard you actually play it. Mostly, you just seem to be trying to kill it."
Sherlock raised an eyebrow skeptically. "You want me to play a song."
John gave him a nod accompanied by a small shrug. "Yeah, I guess so." Anything was better than that dreadful screeching.
The detective stood and brought the violin to his shoulder, tucked it under his chin. He took a deep breath and slid the bow down, creating a clear, beautiful note, hand quavering on the fingerboard. Many more notes followed, and Sherlock's eyes closed, seemingly of their own accord. The song was mournful, but carried within it a very vibrant energy. John was absolutely spellbound, awestruck, a number of words that mean the same. It went on for more than three and a half minutes, and Sherlock didn't miss a note. He knew it all by heart. At some point that John couldn't quite identify, Sherlock ceased to play the music; it was playing through him. Finally, one last high note rang out, and it was over.
John heard applause coming from downstairs. Mrs. Hudson seemed to have liked it as much as he. "What was that song?" he asked Sherlock, who was in the process of getting back on the couch.
"Cantabile," the other man replied. "Niccolo Paganini wrote it." There was silence for a long moment, and then he continued. "It's quite odd how delete so much from my mind, but I can't get rid of the music."
"And you shouldn't. You're actually quite good."
"Always the tone of surprise," Sherlock said with a slight smile.
John continued putting groceries away, saying, "Who taught you, you know, how to do that?"
Sherlock would never know why he started in on the subject. It wasn't like him at all to talk about personal matters, but the music had gotten to him, as it always did. It was odd to admit, but it made him feel human. "My mum started sending me for lessons when I was a really young kid. However, after so many violin teachers dropped me for being generally impossible, Mum just taught me herself. Mum was a child prodigy of some sort- played with the London Youth Symphony in her teens. Everyone in the music community thought Lenora Tierney would be the greatest violinist of her generation, but all she ended up doing was become a housewife and die at thirty-seven. A complete waste."
John was shocked that his friend would say so much about his family, though the little speech was very Sherlock. It was bare bones, just the facts, not a hint of sentiment creeping into his words. He might've been explaining to John how one can tell if a cadaver's injuries were post-mortem. However, the reminiscent mood quickly passed, and Sherlock was back to normal.
That night turned out to be an extremely lucky one. Detective Inspector Lestrade rang to ask for Sherlock and John's assistance in solving a possible murder-suicide, and it rained in London.