Author: Yuu-chi PM
One suffering from traumatic blindness, and one a self-diagnosed sociopath. Neither of them thought that an unlikely pair such as them would be drawn to one another. In a shifting world such as teenage-hood, is love such an impossible thing after all? AURated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Sherlock H. & John W. - Chapters: 3 - Words: 6,562 - Reviews: 15 - Favs: 25 - Follows: 60 - Updated: 08-07-12 - Published: 04-11-12 - id: 8014055
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John Watson went blind when he was six years old.
Well, perhaps a more accurate statement would be something along the lines of 'lost his vision for an indeterminate amount of time', but John finds it easier to simply shorten it down to one pitiful six-lettered word that earns him sympathetic silences and the occasional hushed murmur of condolences.
Strictly speaking, John's blindness did not stem, in fact, from an injury, malfunction or problem within his eyes themselves, rather, as his snooty therapist was quick to point out to him every single session they'd had for the past eight years, from the trauma of the damage in his shoulder. He was not born blind; he became it, and if he could become it, he could overcome it.
Thanks, John couldn't stop himself thinking sarcastically every time her dreadfully nasally voice informed him of that fact, I could have figured that out for myself.
Traumatic blindness wasn't by any means uncommon, but it was certainly rare enough to make John an unpleasant enigma – that and the fact that going on ten years now he hadn't been able to see the slight grey of the London sky or, indeed, his own reflection; something so many took for granted.
For the first year or so after the onset of his blindness, John had been living at a dedicated medical institution that specialized in cases such his own, teaching him about his new condition, counselling him and all in all, seeking to help him adjust. John supposed it hadn't been a bad place, upon reflection, but being as he was no more than a frightened child thrust into a strange and frightening situation he really had no right to be in, at the time he'd struggled to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Both metaphorically and literally.
By the time he'd been there for well over the twelve month margin, the pity funds his sob story had awarded him were dried up and he was deemed more or less stable enough to be returned to the care of his nineteen year old sister – who John privately thought both then and now, had been less than stable enough – and his place in the institute was dully awarded to a newer more pitiful case.
Harriet had always been a loving enough sister, but she had her own problems and her own trauma and it took less than two years for the weighted burden of John's special needs to cause her to crack and throw herself into the alcoholism that had been threatening to take her since that night three or so years ago when she'd sat silently by John's bed in hospital as he stared blankly at her face, unrecognizing and distant.
("Harry? Harry, Where are you?")
John didn't blame her – tried not to – and after she nearly lost custody over him when an unexpected dob-in from her ex-girlfriend led to an impromptu police investigation into her suitability as a guardian, he was packed up and shuttled off to boarding school.
He kept silent about it, even when Harriet was smoothing his blonde hair back from his ten year old forehead, suitcase by his side and her urgent voice whispering into his ear. Telling him she loved him and that she promises she'll be better when he comes home, telling him that the school would be a nice place, accommodating of his disability and he could call it home and did she mention how much she loved him, her brave little brother, her soldier?
Her breath had stunk tartly of liquor and John had not been all that sorry to be led demeaningly up the stone staircase by a new, unfamiliar hand and away from Harry, away from long nights listening to her groan into shot glasses and cry herself to sleep when she thought John wasn't listening. To be taken away from the shoddy two-bedroom apartment they shared on welfare and taken away from the whispering voices of those who knew what had happened on that night when he was six.
John Watson went blind when he was six years old, but by the time he was sixteen, he really didn't care anymore.
Once, when he was around twelve, Sherlock had managed to set the chemistry lab of his school on fire.
To be fair, it hadn't entirely been his fault, as he'd pointed out several times to his brother, his chemistry teacher, the school headmaster and to the parents of the girls whose hair had been singed off terribly by the hungry flames. Of course, nobody had listened to him so after the first few corrections; he'd simply stopped trying and taken the blame accordingly.
He couldn't really say he'd viewed expulsion from Whiteboard Academy as much of a punishment – for an 'elite' school, the riff-raff they let on the staff was astounding. In his brief but eventful seven months there, Sherlock had counted no less than three chronic adulterers, a gardener with a nasty penchant for young boys and a rather dull but no less disturbing tangle of inter-martial affairs among four teachers that may have made him nauseated had his sociopathic nature been so inclined to let him.
All in all, he couldn't say he missed the depressingly drab building nor the understocked science rooms that had been one of the factors behind the failed experiment that had led to the closing down of the entire C wing of the school for a month.
Regardless, that made three different schools that Sherlock had found himself unable to return to and even with his family's influence and his elder brothers constant nagging, the Holmes family was fast running out of schools willing to accept their youngest son.
The straw that broke the camel's back – as Sherlock is fairly certain, but not entirely sure the colloquial saying goes – probably came when he was nearly arrested at the sweet age of fourteen and although the family prestige was enough to keep him from actual detainment and sweep his name from the records, his parents had by then had quite enough.
Off to boarding school young Sherlock went with barely more than a pat on the back from his parents and a promise – threat, Sherlock translates – from Mycroft to call him once a week to check on him.
Sherlock didn't particularly mind anyway. Home, away, prison, school, it's all the same to him – dreadfully dull and unable to quiet the dismal roar of his rampaging brain which sees him through many a sleepless night.
Whatever school he goes to the fact of the matter remains the same – he's surrounded by the same blend of unobservant, unmitigated cretins whose only goal in life seems to be the pursuit of worldly pleasures and find amusement in the application of labels upon him just for being … different.
Not that Sherlock particularly cares, but even he has to admit it may be nice to travel down the halls without the risk of his books being viciously knocked from his hands by boys too doped up on their own testosterone and masculinity to understand the childishness of their actions.
Idiots. All of them.
None of them knew what it was like to think at such a speed that sometimes Sherlock found that he himself was unable to keep up with his thoughts, only allow them to overwhelm him until he just wanted silence, just wanted for everything to stop to just give him one moment of peace, to allow him time to recoup.
Sherlock wouldn't say he envied them – how could he? Them with their dull, boring minds and uneventful lives ahead of them – but sometimes he wished that just for one simple, blissful moment of peace.
Instead, he found enemy after enemy, a product of his frightening intellect and icy demeanour.
No matter, because even at sixteen Sherlock Holmes was more than adult enough to understand the titles and glory that surrounded each and every student that had ever felt the need to taunt him or shove a sharp teenage elbow into his side would not last and by the time freedom from the tediousness of education – what was there he needed to be educated in by those inferior to him? – rolled around, the façade of teenage brilliance they possessed would crumble like fine grains trailing through slender fingers to join the millions of other below them, no more than a trickle contributing to a whole.
It must be dreadfully boring, Sherlock decided, to be in the possession of such an infantile mind.
Because if Sherlock is anything, it's a brand of brilliant that is endlessly more lasting and he takes comfort in the fact that he's enduring and regardless of his short comings, he is not dull, he is not boring and even if for the life of him, he'll never know what true silence is because of that, he'd rather be forever on the brink of insanity than be not-brilliant, be nothing and pointlessly devoid of meaning in the grand scheme of things.
Sherlock Holmes is brilliant; and that, he assures himself, is all he'll ever need.