Size: 551 MB (zipped)
Running Time: 10 hrs, 21 mins (My God!)
I have now recorded an audio version of The Heart In The Whole, which can be downloaded from mediafire. Can't put links on here but it's:
Full Podfic: mediafire. com/?434ffvk1bo7zxci
Take out the space before the 'com' - or there's a clickable link on my Profile page. Obviously, it is massive, as this fic is over 100K words, so I have also put up Chapter One separately, the idea being that you can check my style/accent don't drive you up the wall before committing to download the whole thing:
Chapter One only: mediafire. com/?a2xlvhoc6ob8dwy
again, take out the space before the 'com', or click on the link on my Profile page.
The main podfic is set up like an album with 20 tracks (it doesn't include the out-take).
Music - there's a little bit at the very start of the story, but then it's just a snippet at the end of each chapter. I have used (with permission) Jack Lukeman's gorgeous cover of 'Crazy', which I listened to repeatedly whilst writing the story, and which seems to embody how I feel about the whole BBC Sherlock phenomenon, how it inspired me to write, which I'd never done before, and now love so very, very much. To discover such an overwhelming passion at my age... does that make me crazy?
Thanks - overwhelmingly to my amazing friend staceuo, who has mastered the whole recording, and whose genius husband gave me some brilliant tips. Without her, I would not have got the podfic done at all. Thanks also to mattsloved1 and her adorable husband, who helped to get me started and encouraged me along the way, and to LadyMerlin, who gave me the podfic idea in the first place.
I did honestly intend to take heed of requests with the out-take / deleted scene, but it turns out that writing to order is just one more thing that I completely suck at. So, with apologies, I bring you a segment which nobody asked for but which wanted to be written - it fits into the time-frame of the last chapter. (Oh, and the movie referenced is Monty Python's Life of Brian, which John has threatened Sherlock with before.)
Five Months After Moriarty Was Shot
Sherlock opened his mouth for the fourth time since they had got into the taxi, and yet again closed it without speaking. John was angry. Very angry. His knuckles were white where he gripped the hand rail and he was gazing fixedly out of the window. Not yelling, not shouting... he hadn't said a word since they had left the crime scene and was just ignoring Sherlock as if he had the cab to himself.
Sherlock did not like being ignored.
When they arrived home he paid for the taxi, letting John go ahead. He was almost tempted to stay put and go elsewhere for the night, but decided against it. There were occasions when an angry John would calm down if given some space and 'air', but Sherlock had learned enough to recognise that this was not one of those times. He followed the echo of footsteps up the stairs, ruthlessly squashing down any awareness that he might be in the wrong.
John was standing foursquare in the living room, arms folded, facing the door and Sherlock took his time hanging up his coat and scarf, affecting a nonchalance which he was annoyingly aware would not fool John at all.
Deciding to get it over with, he turned back. "I suppose tea is out of the question?"
"We can have tea. We can have tea just as soon as you explain to me what the fuck you were thinking."
Sherlock almost dismissed the query, intending to brush past John and throw himself into his chair, but somehow he didn't quite dare. Interesting.
He shook off the feeling and curled his lip. "Do you really think you could follow?"
John took a half step forward. "He had a knife, Sherlock. A great big, fucking knife. Did you even see that? Did your so-called powers of observation pick that up at all?"
Sherlock found himself suppressing the urge to retreat, which one level of his brain found fascinating. "Would you be referring to the blade which was pressed against your carotid, John?" he enquired, holding his ground with an effort. "Would that be the fucking knife you had in mind?"
John's eyes widened at the rare profanity and he moved to step forward again but then stopped, holding his position in the middle of the room.
"He was targeting you, as you well know. I had the situation under control before you jumped in front of me. How could you be so fucking stupid?" He had unfolded his arms but his hands were clenched into fists at his sides.
"Why did you do that, Sherlock?" he demanded. "What the hell were you thinking?"
"I was thinking that you had a knife at your throat," Sherlock snapped. "Pardon me for assuming that was a bad thing!"
He finally forced himself to move, going to step around John even though his instincts warned against it. Less than a second later, he had his back to the wall and John's arm was braced against his chest, holding him in place. They stared at each other, only inches apart, Sherlock feeling startled and oddly breathless until John's free hand darted to the back of his neck and tugged his head down.
The kiss was more forceful and demanding than anything he had experienced before and the thought of resisting it never entered Sherlock's mind. He opened his mouth to John without hesitation, accepting the fingers which tightened in his curls and the leg which pressed between his own and the hand which slid down across his abdomen to wrap around his hip.
His head thudded back as John's mouth moved down his neck and he moaned in anticipation as he felt the first scrape of teeth against his skin, tilting his head to the side in a clear sign of acquiescence. He wasn't sure what to do with the sudden outpouring of power from this man who usually treated him with such care and reverence, but Oh God... he liked it.
And then suddenly it was gone as John stepped back, quickly moving several paces away.
Sherlock stayed slumped against the wall, not entirely sure his legs would hold him. "What's the matter?" His voice sounded most peculiar.
"I have to go out."
"What do you mean?"
"I need..." John looked wild, the emotions flitting across his face in rapid succession. There was a flash of shame just before he spoke again.
"I need some air. I'll be back later."
"Stop!" Sherlock pushed himself upright. "Wait."
John obeyed automatically but was still half turned towards the door.
"What's the matter?" Sherlock repeated.
"You were almost killed." John's head was down. "Right in front of me." He turned to face Sherlock again and the look in his eyes was fierce... predatory. "I want to strip you," he said. "I want to touch every inch of your skin. I want to prove to myself that you're all right, that you're still here, that you're still... mine." He was leaning forward, as if maintaining his distance was physically painful.
Sherlock swallowed. "That would be... I mean, I would not be opposed..."
John shook his head. "No good. I'm too angry." His eyes were raking over Sherlock hungrily. "If I come near you now, I'll do much more than that."
Sherlock stepped away from the wall, his heart racing. "You told me once about 'angry sex'. Do you remember?" He took another pace forward and John moved back. "Months ago, when I was blind - in more ways than one. When I didn't understand what your words meant."
John stopped retreating, his eyes steady on Sherlock's approaching figure.
"Well, I'm not blind any more, John. And I'm no longer inexperienced. I'll never want anyone else, but you're always so careful with me and sometimes I..." Sherlock broke off, then steeled himself to make the admission. "Sometimes I wish that you weren't." His voice was low and he could feel the colour in his cheeks but he kept his head up, letting John read his face.
The silence between them was heavy, then Sherlock saw the decision being made. His stomach fluttered as John settled into a much more military stance than he usually adopted at home.
"Clear that table," he commanded, nodding towards the kitchen.
Sherlock raised an eyebrow - it wouldn't do to make it too easy. "Why?"
"Because I am going to fuck you on it."
It was like being caught up in a flash flood, Sherlock thought vaguely a little while later.
He was flat on his back, hips at the edge of the table and legs hanging over the end; he could feel his trousers and underwear still dangling from one ankle. John had pulled the other leg clear and was now standing between them, looking down at him. Sherlock gazed back up, fascinated by this new aspect of his lover's personality, which he had suspected but never been successful in provoking before.
John had two fingers buried inside him; Sherlock had been too distracted to note what he'd used to lubricate them but it felt like some kind of oil. He squirmed as the fingers twisted, rubbing in exactly the right place. He wanted more contact but John wasn't touching him anywhere else, just standing over him... watching.
Sherlock tried to concentrate, sparing a brief thought for the experiments which were now strewn across the floor since he had cleared the table by the simple method of tipping it up. There had been a couple of things running which he would have to repeat, but nothing remotely as interesting as John was being at the moment.
"Unfasten your shirt," John instructed, still fully dressed himself. He hadn't even rolled up his sleeves and Sherlock could feel the fabric brushing against the naked skin of his inner thighs, driving home the disparity between them, a constant reminder of who was in charge. He hesitated. The shirt was long and covered his groin at the moment giving some illusion of modesty, however ridiculous that seemed.
Eyes narrowing at the delay, John's free hand rose to the front of his shirt and gripped it. "Undo the buttons or I will rip it off you." There was no hint of doubt in his voice and Sherlock's body tightened around the invading fingers as he bit back a moan. He remembered that the purple silk was one of John's favourites and raised his hands to start on the buttons, already planning which shirt to wear the next time he anticipated pissing John off – the pale green which Mycroft had bought him... he wouldn't mind if that one got destroyed.
Sherlock looked down, taking a breath. Then he glanced back up at John through his lashes and brought his hands to the edges of his shirt, slowly pulling them apart, the silk slithering over his skin and slipping to the sides of his body as he exposed himself fully. He watched John's eyes darken.
"You are breathtaking." John's free hand rose and pushed at his chin, tipping his head back then smoothing down over the skin of his throat, the touch gentle but firm. "Are you..."
"Yes!" Sherlock cut off the consideration, arching his neck into John's grip.
"You're sure you...?"
John's hand moved on, roaming over arms and shoulders and chest, and it wasn't even a sexual touch, it was John reassuring himself, but Sherlock's breath still hitched as the tip of a little finger brushed over his nipple. He bent a leg and raised it, bare toes curling around the edge of the table as he felt one side of his shirt being pulled closed, then John leaned forward, mouth closing around a nipple through the dark purple silk.
Sherlock couldn't hold back his groan this time, closing his eyes and picturing what he must look like, laid out virtually naked with John fully dressed and bent over him. He flexed his leg, trying to ease away from the relentless stimulation of his prostate which was making it difficult to think, but John's other hand quickly moved to grip his hip, pinning him down and Sherlock shuddered on the table.
He squirmed again and John pressed harder inside him, the thumb of that hand now stroking over the taut skin around where his fingers were buried, and Sherlock had to force himself not to fight... the sensations were overwhelming. He opened his eyes and brought his arms up, wanting to pull John down on top of him, to wrap arms and legs around him, to get some friction where he wanted it with increasing desperation.
"No." John snapped out the word without releasing him and Sherlock bit his lip because he had to hold on to something... He spread his arms out instead, gripping the sides of the table as John rubbed with his tongue, soaking through the fine material and dragging it across the flesh beneath, his mouth hot and just a little bit rough and Sherlock raised his head to look down the length of his own body to where his erection was curved up against his belly, hard and straining for attention.
"John... please..." He didn't even care that he was begging.
John lifted his head. "You are not in charge of this situation." He pulled back the shirt to expose the results of his efforts and Sherlock looked down, seeing his nipple slick and wet from John's mouth and almost expecting to find a pulse beating there as it throbbed in time with the pounding of his heart. John's focus shifted and he adjusted his position, moving to the other side of Sherlock's chest, then looking up into his face and Sherlock found his own gaze flicking between John's intent eyes, his opening mouth, and his all too obvious destination.
"Oh, God..." His head fell back onto the table, body jerking in response as John licked across his other nipple, free hand sliding from Sherlock's hip, along his side, around his neck and then up into his hair, holding him in place with his head tipped back, which pushed his chest up further into John's waiting mouth. Any attempts to pull away just impaled him more deeply on John's fingers... and it was too much.
Sherlock couldn't focus. His mind flashed back to a long distant taxi cab ride, when he had wondered about John abandoning his restraint and just taking him and now... finally, here they were. The hand between his legs was supremely possessive, the constant stimulation building a pressure which Sherlock couldn't relieve but there was no escaping it, and there were teeth now, nipping at him, the darts of not quite pain shooting out in all directions and sensitising his skin so that even his few remaining items of clothing felt unbearable. He shook the trousers and underwear off his ankle and wrapped that leg around John, trying to tug him closer... and John raised his head.
They stared at each other, Sherlock open mouthed and panting, unable to prevent the way his hips tried to rise in time with John's movements, knuckles white where he was gripping the sides of the table to stop his hands from reaching out, keeping himself in place as John wanted. The hand in his hair released its hold and stroked round to cup his face and Sherlock turned his head immediately and pressed a kiss into the palm.
There was a sharp inhale and John's thumb stroked gently across his cheekbone, then the fingers which had stretched him were withdrawn, there was a flurry of movement as John yanked his top off, the sound of a zipper, then John was pushing into him, and Sherlock arched his back with a shout.
He looked back down as John spoke, voice tight with control and determination. "Raise your legs," he instructed, his hand roaming all over Sherlock's torso and chest, everywhere except where he most wanted the attention, as if to say 'your body is mine, to touch or ignore as I choose' and Sherlock did as he was told, draping his legs over John's shoulders and John took hold of his hips and pulled him right to the edge of the table, keeping him in place as he found the perfect angle and established a rhythm which seemed specifically designed to drive Sherlock completely insane.
He was already as physically aroused as he could ever remember being, and looking now at John it was impossible to think of anything but him. He kept closing his eyes to try to regain his focus but it didn't help – his mind still displayed images of John, the muscles of his chest and arms taut and defined as he held Sherlock exactly where he wanted him; lifting him slightly now to push his hands underneath, squeezing Sherlock's arse as he loved to do and Sherlock whimpered and pressed with his heels, trying to pull John down towards him.
"Stop that." John quickly adjusted his grip so that he could hold Sherlock with one arm, then leaned forward and applied a brisk slap to his backside.
Sherlock stared at him in total shock for one… two… three seconds. And then he came.
His body jerked and shuddered on the table and he forgot the rules along with everything else and threw one arm around John's neck, pulling him down, saying his name over and over, shaking and trembling beneath him and then at last… at last John kissed him, and Sherlock held on tight with arms and legs and urged him on until he came with a wordless roar, back arching so that his upper body was raised from the table, his arms supporting not only his own weight but also Sherlock's, who wouldn't let go, who was clamped tightly around him like the world's longest limbed limpet, still shaking and absolutely wrecked, but holding on. Holding on as if it was the most basic thought in his head, and the only one he still retained.
As John calmed, he eased them down again and rested sprawled across Sherlock, face buried in his neck. Sherlock could feel the trembling in the body on top of him and knew that John was working through the reaction not just to the sex but to what had happened in the alley earlier which had been, admittedly, a very close call.
After a few minutes John lifted himself and pulled away, tugging his jeans back up and fastening them.
"You don't ever risk your life like that again, Sherlock. Not for such a stupid reason. Do you understand?"
Sherlock looked down at himself, then sat up slowly and not without some difficulty. His limbs still felt weak. "Well, if this is your idea of a deterrent, John," his voice was a little unsteady, "I fear you may have miscalculated."
John stared at him, then stepped forward and pulled him close so that Sherlock's head came to rest on his shoulder. "What am I going to do with you?"
Sherlock's laugh was muffled against the side of his neck. "Right now, I'd have to say 'Anything you like'." He felt John kiss the top of his head, but then he was pushed back so that they could look at each other.
"Are you all right?" John asked, more gently. "I didn't hurt you, did I?"
Sherlock shook his head. "Not at all," he said, with a rather shaky smile. "Please feel free to shag me across the table whenever you feel the least bit annoyed."
John gave a startled laugh. "I'm not sure that would be entirely practical," he said. "But I'll keep the option in mind." They smiled at each other, but then the humour left John's face again. "I mean it, Sherlock. You nearly got yourself killed, and for a completely ridiculous reason. You can't do that again."
Sherlock stared back at him. "If someone is trying to rob you," his tone was serious now, "you don't hold out the most precious thing that you own and try to hide behind it."
"I had the situation under control," John insisted. "He would have been disarmed in seconds. You must have been able to see that? You see everything. You jumped in anyway. That was stupid. And dangerous."
Sherlock forced his mind to conjure up the disturbing image of John with the knife at his throat. In retrospect, he could see that John was right. As the scene played out in his mind, he could recall John's tightening muscles and confident stance, deduce the planned move which would almost certainly have succeeded. Why hadn't he seen it at the time?
"I saw only the knife," he acknowledged. "The knife at your throat." He shook his head, disappointed in himself. "I didn't observe."
He looked back up again. John had an eyebrow raised. It dawned on Sherlock that admitting he had enjoyed his 'punishment' may well have been the second worst idea he'd had today.
"Fine," he muttered in defeat. "Bring on the snake comedy."
Ten days later, Sherlock was sitting on the sofa holding grimly on to his laptop while John and Lestrade bustled around, sorting out a takeaway and setting up the DVD which Lestrade had brought with him. He heard the clink of beer bottles and curled his lip, keeping his head down as they moved into the living room.
A plate was deposited on the table in front of him but Sherlock ignored it, then Lestrade spoke, his voice hearty. "Here you go, Sherlock."
He looked up. The man was holding out an uncapped bottle of beer. He checked Lestrade's other hand but it held two more bottles, with no sign of a glass. He opened his mouth to protest this uncouth behaviour...
Sherlock took the bottle.
He concentrated on his laptop for as long as possible, begrudgingly putting it down when the film started. Before long, John and Lestrade were chortling as a group of men pretending to be women pretending to be men dropped a large rock on top of another man for a completely nonsensical reason.
"Good shot," said one, and John glanced round with a reminiscent smile, which quickly faded as he noticed the untouched dinner. He glared, and Sherlock picked up the plate with bad grace and started eating. The deal had been a 'normal evening' with food, drink, a mutual friend, and this strange 'comedy' film; although Sherlock would like to debate that definition. And when he said debate, he clearly meant ridicule.
Another hour marked the sudden appearance of an alien vessel, which seemed to have wandered onto the set from a different movie. The film's main protagonist was taken aboard and abruptly headed off into space. Sherlock wished he could do the same. He reached for his beer.
Some interminable time later, John and Lestrade were both singing along to the dubious lyric, 'Life's a piece of shit, when you look at it'. In mitigation, there did seem to be end credits scrolling up over the screen to distract from the caterwauling, and Sherlock breathed a sigh of relief.
Penance over. He had survived the snake comedy (which had appeared singularly lacking in snakes of any description, let alone pythons) and now things could get back to normal. He pinned a relieved smile to his face and sat back. As soon as Lestrade was gone, he would get out his violin, he decided.
His attention was diverted by the enthusiastic babbling of his lover and his... he wasn't quite sure how to define Lestrade. John would clearly say 'friend' at this point, but Sherlock didn't feel ready for that definition just yet. Perhaps, one day.
This progression suddenly became much less likely as he focused on Lestrade's words.
"So what next week, John?" he was saying. "Holy Grail? Or some of the classic series?"
John frowned in contemplation and Sherlock felt an unpleasant sensation, his eyes moving between the two of them. "There's more?" he enquired, aghast.
"Oh, yes," replied Lestrade. "There are several more films, and the TV show ran to four series - I think the full DVD box set has about fifteen discs - I'll have to check it when I get home."
Sherlock calculated quickly. Fifteen discs. He factored in typical running times with how long they would want to watch per session, working out how many more Saturdays like this one he could potentially be facing.
Visions of John and Lestrade chuckling together, with himself bored and excluded, rose in his mind and he turned to John.
"I'll have the piercing."
Later that night, long after Lestrade had recovered from his sudden choking fit and gone home, and following the truly spectacular sex which John's excitement about the piercing decision had led to, Sherlock was drifting comfortably off to sleep when John sighed, then spoke quietly. "I won't make you watch Monty Python if you really don't like it. You don't have to get the piercing."
Sherlock was tempted to use an expression he had picked up from one of John's programmes but decided against it. He would save 'Duh' for an occasion when John was fed up; it would make him laugh.
"I know that," he said instead.
There was silence for a moment, then John rolled over to face him, eyes curious in the dim light. "Then why?"
Sherlock looked away. Things between them had changed subtly since the... encounter on the kitchen table. He had been concerned that his body's odd reaction might be misinterpreted, since he was quite certain that he didn't want John to start hitting him, but John had set his mind at rest, as usual.
"It's not the fact that I slapped you," he had said with a smile. "I know that's not what you want. But it's as much in your head as your body, with you. I think that - just every so often - you want me to dare."
That made sense to Sherlock, who had immediately felt better, and John had subsequently lost the sporadic hesitance which he had displayed previously. He still followed where Sherlock led, that would never change, but he would now take a kiss if he wanted one, and he no longer seemed to fear that Sherlock would vanish if he held too tightly. And he did hold tightly. And Sherlock wasn't going anywhere.
"Because you want it," he replied at last. "Because it will please you, and ever since you told me it's been like a niggle in my head."
John opened his mouth to protest and Sherlock shushed him. "It doesn't bother me," he said. "It's not something I would ever have thought to want for myself, but I don't mind it."
"I know that you love me," he added. "I know that I demand a lot..." He broke off. "No," he amended. "I demand everything from you and I don't always give you everything in return."
He rolled onto his side and pulled John against his chest, his words a promise. "But I will make you happy if I can."
Positively, and absolutely, the end! I'm sorry it's taken me so long so get the podfic sorted out; it was going well, considering the ridiculous length of the fic, but then I was ill and lost my voice for three weeks. Bummer. So if you wonder why I appear to be auditioning for a job as a phone sex operative from Chapter 16 onwards... it's because I gave up waiting to sound normal again.
Anyway, time for a long belated Thank You to those who have encouraged and supported me along the way with this mammoth story…
GRATEFUL THANKS go to:
staceuo, CorvidCoccinelle, mattsloved1, and all my LiveJournal friends - especially ArianeDeVere, who beta'd the out-take for me. LittlePippin76, Typist Massacre, musse, spot-of-bother, tehomet, RosieG, XMillieX, DarkHuntress01, Crystalized2, Glittery-excuse-for-a Fae, hsm2739, Azaelea, enigma-kar, OryonUK, heliotropia, Uncanny-dreamer, tangawarra, Bookspazz, Caighley, Cyberbutterfly, Yvaine24, Divine Sally Bowles, ELMO-kibafangirl11, , eryv, mildetryth, Eyebrows2, fireheart93, FNCtheThird, Httw, InsanityAllowance, Intrepid Inkweaver, IShouldBeOverThis, , KayukiKismet, kemokage, Lady Karai, LadyGreyTea, Lady Merlin, lauraelisabethh, Lawliet's Angel, lege et lacrima, Lolita-mist, Lonewolfe001, Loola-bye, mabaroshi16, Mazz84, Mazereader, misslike, Miss Scribble, Ms. Writeable This, pumpie2, Umi Ungalad, Ruyu-san, Sournois, Suezanne, wilhelmena, akuma-river, Alora05, angelmaple, Artemis-M, bbmcowgirl, cheeseisthebestevr, Cousin Kate, Curiously Cinnamon, DuckiesgoMoo, emka62, Gannent, fallingupwards666, Grissina, glasdocka, Grimshaw Redford, Harriverse, IreneNorton, KiraSparrow, kuhekabir, Kyla45, lilyrose225, Lotus-chan, LuffyMarra, Midge1811, MissMattSmith, momentshaveyou, mornir-brightflame, mrs winny, Naphyla, nessiebones, neverenuff, otaku1717, Panther Fire, Paulasdf, PersonalLegend, pocketwatchgirl, pryde90, sarahelizabeth1993, Shadow Cat17, Sherlockygalx, Slash Superqueen, smiles2go, swabloo, tangledhair, thegeekyprincess, theimprobableone, trulybliss08, ultraviolet128, watin77, whovianbard, WinnieThaPoo92
My God, that took ages - look how awesome you guys are!
It's been a blast :D