Title: Mini-Fics (1)

Author: starjenni

Disclaimer: Not mine! I got the table of prompts from here: http:/ . com/ 692. html

Pairings/Characters: Sherlock/John slash, Sherlock/John friendship, dark!Sherlock, dark!John.

Warnings: Swearing. Character death. Creepy manipulations. Murderous tendencies.

Rating: T

Spoilers: The usual.

Summary: Mini-Fics so I can play around with some ideas - better than drabbles and creepier too! This time:

1. Mistakes (Sherlock/John friendship)

2. Heartfelt (dark!Sherlock)

3. Fading Away (dark!John)

4. Spirit (Sherlock/John friendship)

5. Choose (Sherlock/John)

001. Mistakes. (Sherlock/John friendship)

Sherlock wakes one night a little after that little 'Study in Pink' affair and realises that, of all the mistakes he has made in his life, this one is the worst.

He has taken someone else on, someone who is not like him, who is nothing like him really, but nevertheless is somehow essential. He has taken on another person without even thinking about it, without really considering it properly. And now this other person will always be at risk, they will live in the danger that Sherlock himself constantly lives in, but without Sherlock's abilities, without his foresight.

He might as well have condemned John Watson to death.

The air is suddenly stale; he takes in a quick breath. He is all too aware that this thought wouldn't have caused him any panic if he did not care for the person in question.

But he cares about John.

He wonders if this is what a conscience feels like.

He is almost on the verge of running downstairs and throwing John Watson unceremoniously out of the house - better gone than dead - when he stops and thinks again.

It occurs to him that without his sudden emergence into John's life, John might well be dead by now anyway. He was certainly dying from boredom and stagnation when Sherlock came along, and with no one to care about him he most likely would have just faded into a shadow while no one noticed, or minded, or worried. Maybe John Watson was a doomed case either way you look at it. And maybe Sherlock has helped him to live a little longer, a life more extraordinary than anything he has previously lived. Maybe a few months, or perhaps years, of this sort of life would have been better for him than anything else.

Maybe, maybe, maybe.

Sherlock returns to sleep, still thinking on maybe.

002. Heartfelt (dark!Sherlock)

It's all a matter of flattery.

Sherlock knows how susceptible people are to it, because he himself is receptive to such techniques. He's learnt to deal with it though; true enough, Trial Watson's words of praise and astonishment threw him at first, but now he has mastered it - it wouldn't do to actually feel anything for an experiment after all. Now, when he responds to Watson's compliments, it's a faked, but entirely well faked, reaction.

What is more fun - and advantageous in terms of the aims of the experiment - is to compliment Watson himself. He shapes the phrases and phases beautifully - it's not too often and it's not too much, but each word always sounds genuine, spontaneous and utterly, utterly heartfelt.

It works every time. Every single compliment brings Watson a little closer to him, tugs a little more warmth out of Watson. Now Watson's footsteps chime in with his own like the echoes of a bell after its great peals of sound. Soon Watson will be so attached to him that when Sherlock turns around and kills him, he will smile at the great detective as he dies. The last thing he will say, before Sherlock shatters him at last, will be thank you.

It's always been a game. The last one lasted two months - the landlord of Montague Street if you must know. Trial Watson has lasted longer than anyone else, but everyone has a breaking point.

Mycroft has predicted a ridiculous two years. Sherlock has predicted a year and a half, but then he was always more confident of his abilities.

When, after forty years, Watson is still alive - and not simply still alive, but is now John - Sherlock is the first to accept that maybe that truly heartfelt flattery of Watson was actually more effective than anyone ever could have imagined.

003. Fading Away. (dark!John)

It's one of those days.

It is, in fact, one of those weeks. The house reeks of silence, hangs heavy with dusty depression, and Sherlock lies in the middle of it, a black hole around which the despair revolves, and sighs the day away.

There is no case. There is stagnation.

The first time it happened, John was so terrified by Sherlock's lethargy that he almost went crazy, and that one only lasted two weeks.

He now has a strategy lined up. Week One: Don't Panic. Week Two: Panic Inwardly. Week Three: Panic Outwardly. Week Four: Do Anything. Week Five: DO ANYTHING.

And now it is week six, and Moriarty is gone and dead, only existing in John's blog and between the pages of Sherlock's case notes, and John is at the end of his tether.

He sits upstairs in his room for a long time, and lets himself think about what he has been trying to avoid. He remembers Sherlock's face at that time in the pool, where they first met Moriarty - oh, years ago. He remembers the look in Sherlock's eyes when he thought - for a brief moment - that John really was Moriarty. There was terror there, yes, but there was something stronger within that, and that was fascination.

Slowly, John packs his bags and sneaks out of the house. He's not stupid, no matter what Sherlock says, and he's practical. He could be through the third corpse before they found the first one, and he could probably lead Sherlock a halfway decent chase before he was caught. Especially because it is him, and so Sherlock is emotionally involved.

Anything, he thinks. Anything to save him. Anything to stop the great detective, the great Sherlock Holmes himself, fading away forever.

Anything, he knows, looking around as he walks and idly choosing his first victim.

Anything for Sherlock.

004. Spirit. (Sherlock/John friendship)

When Sherlock walks into the flat, John instantly knows there is something wrong. Sherlock seems smaller somehow, thinner, as if he is all hunched up on himself when he is, in actuality, standing tall and erect. His scarf is gone and the shocking white of his neck is stark against the dark material of his coat.

"John," he says, and his voice sounds stranger too, as if he is talking from far away, and as if it is effort.

John is in the middle of typing up his blog and isn't really in the mood for Sherlock's dramatics, especially as he got left out of this particular case that Sherlock has been involved in, on the grounds that he was 'useless in all aspects of this investigation'.

"Evening, Sherlock," he says, adding, a little snidely, "Solved the case, did you?"

Sherlock blinks. He is standing in the middle of the room, not touching anything, as if he doesn't quite dare to. "The case…" he says softly. "Yes. No…"

"Hmm." John can't be bothered to comment, instead clicks on his blog to save it, and glances up to find Sherlock staring at him with wide eyes, as clear as glass. "What?" he snaps.

"There was something I was going to say," Sherlock murmurs, looking lost.

John shrugs, sits back and waits for it. Sherlock winces suddenly, puts a hand to his side, then brightens as if suddenly remembering something.

"Oh, yes," he says cheerfully. "That's it. It wasn't your fault."

John frowns, because this a bit weird even for Sherlock, and starts out of his chair. "What wasn't? Sherlock, are you okay?"

"Fine," says Sherlock, waving him away but not moving himself. "Fine - but it wasn't your fault. You have to remember that, okay? I kept you out of the case because it was dangerous, not because you're useless. You were never useless. You were always - " He winces again, grabbing his side, and John starts forward properly. "Let me look at - " he says, but his phone rings, halting him. He glances at the screen; it's Mycroft.

"Why is your brother ringing me?" he asks, frowning at the screen.

"I'm sorry," Sherlock whispers.

"Yeah, you should be Sherlock, I'm not going to be your PA much longer, you've got to start talking to your brother no matter how obnoxious he is - Hello?" he answers the phone.

"John," says Mycroft on the other line, sounding more rattled than John has ever heard him. "I need - "

"If you need Sherlock, he's here, he's just got in," snaps John. "Though he's being difficult as usual…"

There is a long pause on the other end of the phone.

"John," says Mycroft finally. "My brother is dead. He died just now, in the hospital."

John starts, and stares at Sherlock, the phone still pressed numbly to his ear. Sherlock, who is standing so removed from everything in the flat, so strange and oddly insubstantial. Sherlock, who is behaving so dreamily. His eyes are bright, like crystal, like diamond, and they are staring into John, and the rest of him is fading away, like smoke, like mist, all coiling around his bright, bright eyes.

"I'm so sorry, John," whispers Sherlock, and then he vanishes completely, his eyes twinkling once, like stars, and then dissolving into nothing, into empty 221b Baker Street space.

John is left - abruptly now and eternally now - alone.

005. Choose. (Sherlock/John)

Sherlock aims the gun at his brother before he really knows what he's doing. Because John is on the other side of him, and anything could be happening, he could be dying, and Sherlock should be there and the only thing - the only thing - in his way is Mycroft, and if getting to John means getting rid of him then so be it, so be it, so be it.

"Step aside," he says, in a voice so cold that he barely recognises it. "Or I will shoot."

Mycroft has never been visibly shocked by anything Sherlock does, and this is no exception. The only motion he makes is to raise an eyebrow. "Would you now?" he asks mildly, as if he is posing some light question to Sherlock on a pleasant Sunday afternoon. "Would you shoot me, Sherlock? To get to John? Will you shoot your brother to get to your lover?"

Sherlock feels the gun shake in his hand.

Mycroft's eyes are full of an expectation of darkness. "Choose, Sherlock," he says simply.

There is a moment where Sherlock almost does it.

And then he drops the gun into the puddle and then follows it, curling into himself, and after a minute he hears Mycroft bend down and feels his arms around him.

"Moriarty - " he hears himself choke, hears the words crackle and groan up from great depths inside him.

"Has John, I know, Sherlock, I know. We'll get him back."

"You s-stopped me."

"I had to. You know I had to."

Sherlock knows. He thinks of bait and of running headlong into traps, he thinks that was what Moriarty wanted, he knows all the logical arguments, he knows them all, and usually logic is so important to him, it is everything to him, but here it is barely anything, it is almost nothing and he can't bear it, can't bear that he should have run to John, that he should always run to John, always, always, but that this time he couldn't -

He sobs great tears of anger into his brother's shoulder, and Mycroft sits and holds him and watches the sun rise over the roofs of London and surreptitiously wipes his brow free of fear.