A late, very, very late 'Halloween/October Fest' Special! I apologize to any Brit-nit-pickers out there for any mistakes! A HUGE Shout out goes to: Charm and Strange for being a fantastic BETA! :D
Please enjoy. :)
Takes place recently after "The Blind Banker."
It was raining outside of flat 221 B, one of those soft, pitter-pattering rains that made Sherlock feel as if an electric current was running all throughout his body. Even so, there was no where to go in such weather that wouldn't thoroughly electrocute him. As if to make matters worse, these were the kinds of days that made John feel particularly sleepy and just want to curl up on the sofa and watch a movie. That was usually damn near impossible considering Sherlock's indignation towards flicks, but John had a secret weapon this time that would block any logical argument of refusal that the detective could conjure up. If he refused, Sherlock was to simply be out voted. And besides, John was delighted in finally obtaining the upper hand over his impervious flatmate.
Finger ready to go on the control, John eagerly awaited his girlfriend Sarah's arrival. He had been looking forward towards their wonderful, warm night together all day, and it was now nearly 9 pm. Finally, someone lightly tapped on the door; John quickly opened it and was embraced by Sarah. She bounded into the sitting room and nearly collided with Sherlock.
"Oh, hello," she chimed happily, holding out two DVD cases. Sherlock merely raised an eyebrow and tiled his head to look at John.
"You didn't tell me we were having company."
John smiled. "Yes, well, I thought it'd be a nice night for a movie."
Sherlock immediately opened his mouth to object, but John had already planned ahead. He quickly put his arm around Sarah, giving her a gentle squeeze. "Sarah and I are going to watch the movies, Sherlock. No one's going to force you. You're welcome to join us though, if you like."
Sherlock looked down seriously at the DVD cases, considering John's offer. Most movies were so utterly predicable and uninteresting to him. "It's not those stupid 'James Bond' movies you're always going on about getting me to watch, is it?"
John laughed, and quickly popped open the cases and walked over to insert the first movie into the telly's player. "No—but I am going to make you watch one of those, just you wait,"
"We're going to be watching horror movies!" Sarah chimed in merrily from the couch, already wrapping herself in a blanket to dry off.
"Horror movies?" Sherlock echoed dryly. "Oh God, John, you can't be serious."
"What? The weather's perfect! All nice and dark and stormy. It's practically screaming terror tonight."
"Oh yes, the water cycle and cold darkness. Seems more likely you'll catch an illness than be murdered." Sherlock scoffed, making his way across the room.
"Don't mind him," John smirked to Sarah. "He's not much of a movie buff."
"I can tell," Sarah giggled, scooting over on the couch to make room for John to plop down beside her. "I'm excited!"
"Me too," John replied simply, smiling once more.
Sherlock only gave a dramatic sigh and left the room with an energetic bound in his step. He hated being forced to watch John and Sarah be all romantic, let alone listen to it. For the next hour, Sherlock tried to entertain himself with just about everything he could think of, from dropping the toaster into the bathtub to reloading John's gun and shooting another smiley face into Mrs. Hudson's wall. He had to stop himself from carrying out the ladder idea though; John had already told him once to stop being so loud in his boredom, and so there was no way he'd let him get away with gunfire again. He even resorted to his dear skull for amusement, but even his relentless toothy smile wasn't providing polite conversation.
Finally, Sherlock Holmes had to face it—he was bored. So. Utterly. Bored. The last option of entertainment seemed so utterly degrading…but…what other choice did he have? Slowly, and more like a sulking teenager than not, Sherlock trotted back into the sitting room and sat down in an armchair off to the side of the couch. He refused to look at the moving images before him on the telly's screen, and settled for sighing dramatically into his hands, feeling the air rush out between his fingers.
"You're interrupting the movie, Sherlock." John muttered, his voice low and clearly transfixed by the people on the screen. Sherlock rolled his eyes in the darkness, wondering how far he could force his eyeballs into the back of his skull. Suddenly he heard Sarah give a small squeak and Sherlock refocused his eyes, thankful for the shadows hiding the disgusted look on his face just as Sarah buried herself into John's side. To distract himself, Sherlock glanced at screen.
"The murderer is her brother," Sherlock drawled, channeling all of his soulful boredom into his vocal cords. "And he's going to trip and miss the heroine in…right now…" The knife welding murder on the screen indeed, missed, just as Sherlock had said. Sherlock didn't even blink as he felt his IQ dropping painfully. He sighed. "Now, she's going to pick up a conveniently placed pan, and hit him-"
"Sherlock!" John hissed, his blue eyes now focused on him. Sarah stared at Sherlock, wide-eyed.
"Have you seen this movie before?" her was tone perplexed as she leaned in close.
Sherlock smiled an unfriendly smile back at her silhouette. "No."
John narrowed his eyes at him, and the movie continued without Sherlock's intrusions.
Another hour in, and Sherlock looked over this time to see that John had simply fallen asleep, his head resting on Sarah's shoulder. The next movie's opening was just beginning, at only six minutes in. He let his breath go, not realizing he had been holding it in for so very long, as it hissed out from between his teeth. Great, now there's no one to tell her to go home-
Beep-beeep-beeep-beep!- suddenly something flashed an alarming shade of red in the darkness, and John abruptly woke up, twisting clumsily for his mobile.
"Wha-?…Oh no.." he groaned, suddenly standing up and stretching out his arms. "There's been a horrible accident up on-" He sighed again and he continued to read his newest text, letting his eyes flicker across the tiny, white screen, squinting them against the light. "Apparently they're calling the extra on-call staff in." He turned his eyes regretfully to Sarah, whom looked up with a look of equal disappointment
"I'm so sorry Sarah. I've got to leave, and I doubt I'll be back till the morning, from the sounds of it all." Sarah quickly stood, and hugged John again. Sherlock suppressed a scoff and scowled in the darkness, looking away.
"It's quite alright," Sarah replied calmly. "It happens."
To Sherlock's utter delight, she began to reach for her purse when suddenly, John said the most damning words Sherlock had ever heard him utter: "No, no, you can't leave! Not this late in this weather!"
Sherlock's had to force his jaw into a locked position to stop it from hanging open, as he watched John make a rather ridiculous gesture towards the door. "No, please, it's the least we can do." Sherlock nearly growled at the term 'we'. "You've allowed me to stay over, please, will you stay?"
Sarah looked nervous for a minute, and then strangely guilty. Was it only Sherlock seeing that she obviously didn't want to stay?
"Sure." She finally answered. No! Sherlock yelled in his head, his long, pale fingers gripping the arms of the chair in strictly contained rage.
John smiled widely, his eyes light. "Wonderful! You can have my room, if you like. I won't be back till morning. Er, if that's-"
"It's fine." Sarah finished awkwardly.
Great. Sherlock thought, watching the flat's door close softly shut after John and Sarah had said goodbye for the nauseatingly hundredth time. Not only was Sherlock being forced to watch another horrible movie—but now he was stuck awkwardly with John's annoying girlfriend.
After a moment, an uncomfortable silence settled across the sitting room. Sarah however, tried to break the ice by turning and asking merrily of Sherlock:
"D'you want to keep watching the movie?" Her lips were held in a light smile and her eyes bright and cheerful. Sherlock only stared coldly back, wondering how much of his IQ was dropping just by listening to her talk. Sherlock merely blinked slowly, and gave a long, drawn out sigh.
"No?" Sarah looked taken aback, and her lips formed into a pout which undoubtedly made John lose some kind of his dignity and give into her. For Sherlock however, it only made him want to do horrible violent actions to small adolescent dogs. "Why not? I think it's really great!"
Sherlock fought the urge to inform Sarah that her definition of 'Great' must be confused with the actual definition of 'Morbidly stupid'. But then again, in his opinion, Sarah didn't even know what a dictionary was. He settled with saying "because I'd only be wasting my time by watching this movie a mere minute longer."
In only the first three minutes into the film, he had already figured out whom the murder was, how the hero, and all his friends, would presumably die—and that was with Sherlock not even trying to watch the blasted thing! Not to mention he had already concluded the very split second associated with all monotone horror movies where the said actor would save his love interest at the very last moment, and in that same second, stop the killer for good. Thus would ensure the soul-crushingly gooey, lovesick ending. Sherlock internally shuddered at the 'love interest' bit. Why did every damn film hero require a 'love interest'? Couldn't they just be bloody happy with their huge success of watching the mass murderer conveniently fall down the stairs to his doom, and be done with it?
"Well, for one, it's painstakingly obvious that the killer is—" Sherlock paused. "What…are you doing?" He curiously looked on as Sarah placed a palm over each ear and pressed in hard.
"I'm making sure you don't ruin the plot of the movie for me." Sarah replied, her voice rising a few decibels higher than normal speaking required. Sherlock rolled his eyes in the darkness.
"Ruin?" He gasped from his spot. "This movie should be in ruins! Cut to ragged little bits! All the actors fired and the director seriously dealt with and forced out of film industry all together!" Sherlock huffed, before reaching for a random book within grasp of the armchair and flipping it open. "Ruin the movie," he muttered. "As if I could hurt it further."
Sarah simply slowly pulled down her hands. "So then I may still watch it?"
Sherlock refused to tear his eyes away from the pages long enough to respond to her. Sarah quickly tapped the 'play' button again on the DVD controller, and the movie played on.
Surely, I am going insane. Fascinating, Sherlock thought to himself after an entire hour had gone by. In those 60 minutes, all of the books he had picked up had seemed to repeat the word 'bored' in long lines of typed print. He flipped through a few pages—bored, bored, bored, bored—and then ultimately turned the book upside down. Oh clever; now it's read as 'boring'. But even if he was dreadfully bored, at least inside his own mind, things were quiet. Outside, however, was a different story.
Sherlock was sure the noise had started at exactly 12:38 am, and it was now 1:05. It was an obnoxious noise. A huff, sniff, sniffle, sniiiiffle, huff, huff. The sound of abnormal breathing, mixed with the pressure to stay quiet. Sherlock inclined his head to Sarah, as if to say 'I've heard you this entire time, you know', but the words never left his lips. So he waited impatiently in the darkness once more.
Sniff. Sniff. Huuuff.
Hufff. Sniff, snifffff.
Huff, huff, huuffff, sniff.
Sherlock's left eyebrow was twitching now. He didn't particularly care if indeed Sarah was 'all right', but the noise had to stop. Slowly he turned his head in her shadowed direction on the couch.
"Are you…all right?" The question felt as foreign to his lips as the very phrase was to say.
"F-fine." Sarah stuttered out a little too quickly, her breathing hitching once more.
Sherlock ran through the movie scenes that he could recall—nearly the whole movie—as it played from the corner of his peripheral vision, while he had been reading. He quickly recalled the time of 12:38, and played the scene back to himself.
It was dark—thunder rumbled from the outside—and slowly the white masked killer moved towards the girl, rope in hand. The one-dimensional teenaged idiot hero jumped stupidly to defend her, but was stuck down by the killer, leading to that utterly unremarkable unconsciousness that every male lead seems to suffer from when they are hit in the head but any force more than a tap. Terrified, the girl tried to run, but she tripped on an unnoticed floorboard, and breathing heavily, the killer stalked towards her. The rope clenched in his hands was slimy; sickeningly glittering with fresh blood in the moonlight. He quickly gripped the girl's ankle, and snapped it like a twig, breaking her foot. He then began wrapping her with the rope—
Sherlock stopped. The stupid noises had begun there. So the main heroine was being kidnapped, so what? It didn't seem particularly frightening to Sherlock. The villain hadn't even properly killed anyone yet. Sherlock shrugged, trying to his best to further ignore the noises now. He'd lost interest in the matter. A few minutes later, however, Sarah asked in a very small voice, "Sherlock?"
Sherlock didn't respond. His eyes simply froze in place in annoyance. He stiffed, and awaited whatever Sarah was asking of him.
"Sherlock…?" Her voice wavered again on his name. Sherlock still didn't move. He listened carefully however, and realized that he could practically hear Sarah's heart beating madly in her chest. How… curious. He closed his eyes, and listened further.
"Sherlock..?" Sherlock's nails dug into the book's cover. He now heard her breathing picking up. She was twitching, her blood pressure raising, her chest muscles tightening, along with her neck; Constricting her vocal cords, suffocating the proper air supply to her brain which leads to illogical thinking and—
"S-Sherlock…?" Sarah's voice piped up to a high octave, and Sherlock's brows furrowed. Panic.
"I heard you the first time." Sherlock answered slowly. "I was simply waiting for whatever it was you were planning to ask."
"Oh," came the stunned reply.
"Well?" Sherlock growled.
"Could you turn off the movie…please?" Came the whisper from the couch.
"I'm sorry?" Sherlock questioned cruelly. Was it considered…'not good' for him to be doing this to her? Damn. If only John was here to ask. Oh. Sherlock quickly found that a disapproving look from John had already manifest it's self in his mind's eye. Argh! But he just couldn't stop! She was so infuriating—and besides, he left her here!
"Turn it off." Sarah tried leveling her voice, taking an awkward breath. "Please."
Sherlock slowly met her wide-eyed glance. Oh God, is she…crying? Suddenly the bored perspective flipped around entirely for the detective. Now, he was strangely intrigued.
"I thought you said you liked this movie." Sherlock smirked in the shadows.
"Well, I was wrong." She laughed a strange, breathless laugh.
"Alright." Sherlock said nonchalantly, and he slowly rose from his spot. He carefully walked to the telly, his finger just above the 'Off' button on its player.
"Yes!" Sarah squeaked. Sherlock couldn't help but smile. No John to burrow into now, eh?
Suddenly, just as Sherlock had set his finger on the button, a huge crash of lighting shook the sky, and the power went completely off in a blinding flash. In the dead of the dark, Sarah let out a long, completely terrified shrill scream, and Sherlock dropped to his knees, taken completely off guard, his hands clamped over his ears.
"Was that completely necessary?" He yelled through Sarah's cry. It was like some horrid cat was scraping its claws right into his ear canal. Women! Sherlock cursed in his mind, the hairs on the back of his neck bristling.
"I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" Sarah replied breathlessly from the couch, her back arching and digging as hard as she could into its cushions for protection. "I just—I just didn't expect that."
Sherlock rose from knees, twisting a finger into his ear to inspect the damage. Sadly it was much too dark in the room now to properly see if there was any blood when he tried to study his index finger. He then turned his full attention back to Sarah.
"You didn't expect for there for to be lighting during a storm?" His voice rose from his pure exasperation of her statement. The two couldn't see any feature of one another in the darkness, but Sarah's watery eyes were glaring in defiance.
"I meant that I didn't expect for the power to go down! This unnatural darkness... I'm..I'm scared of the dark, okay? Happy?"
Sherlock was no where near the 'neutral' in his limited emotional spectrum- let alone 'happy'. "This darkness isn't unnatural." He drawled, his eyebrows furrowing in annoyance at Sarah's ignorant fear.
"If anything," he continued, "it's how it's intended to be. Lightning discharges an excess of positive and negative charge within clouds, between clouds, or between clouds and the ground. Often lightning striking between two clouds is occurring as rapidly as lightening strikes between clouds and the ground. It's scientifically natural in cases of lighting striking and frying the back up generator causing—"
"I know what it is." Sarah replied hastily from the couch, reaching up to wrap her arms tighter around herself. "But that doesn't make it any less scary—to me," she quickly added. Sherlock simply pulled himself back into the armchair, closing his eyes and listening to the clashing thunder outside. There was an awkward pause in Sarah's breathing, Sherlock noticed, as she opened her mouth to speak, and then closed it again. A minute of soft popping sounds indicated that she was really going to use her vocal cords this time.
"Um…Sherlock? Do…you happen to know where the candles are?" Her voice trembled.
Oh. Oh, yes. Sherlock's eyes suddenly opened up a bit wider in foreign realization. That's what you're supposed to do for people in this situation. Give them—Sherlock internally cringed—comfort.
Sherlock sighed into his palm, feeling it warm up in the coolness of the room. "I usually make a mark of not buying matches and candles—it only adds to the encouragement of smoking. But, ah, I'll see what I can find."
And with that, Sherlock sprang from his chair and into the kitchen.