Warnings: Contrived scenario, bomb, typing, tension, a few rude words, overall a bit silly.
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership of the world or characters, or the online writing tool (Google writeordie to find it) that inspired this nonsense.
A/N:Well, after nearly three months of dead flat nothing, it's not much, but it's a fic. Posted on LJ a few days ago, mirroring here now. And I would be very shocked if some variation on this scenario had not been done before in some fandom or other. :-P
Write or Die, Moriarty Mode.
"We'd be less likely to die if you typed with more than two fingers, John."
"Just shut up." John snapped, not stopping his slow and steady typing, not looking up from the keyboard, definitely not looking at the wires connecting the computer and effectively himself to the twenty or thirty pounds of Semtex fifteen feet away from the small desk. A large numeric display showing a glowing red 18 "It's got a thing, like spell-check. Typos and the delete key make the bloody thing tick down."
The cable-ties restraining Sherlock's hands scraped against the basement standpipe as he struggled to release himself at the far end of the long room. "Then keep typing 'a' over and over! It's a word, you can't misspell it, and it's easy to do with two fingers indefinitely."
"'Course I tried that, didn't I? I tried 'I' too." John hit the space bar with vehemence. "Four repeats of a letter or a word, spaces between or no, ticks down the same as for a typo."
"Alternate 'a' and 'I'."
"Tried, missed the shift key twice running, lost two counts."
"I tried! It counted down anyway after a few seconds, I don't even know why!"
"Probably the repeat trigger again," murmured Sherlock, bound hands steepling in consideration.
John emitted a frustrated huff. "Whatever you're going to suggest, take it as read I've tried it! Not typing makes it tick down, not typing fast enough makes it tick down, pausing for more than a second makes it tick down-"
"You are absolutely certain you don't have a clasp knife."
"I don't. And my mobile won't work inside this building, god only knows where yours is, and by the time I got back outside to call 999 or over there to help you get loose, the bomb would go off." He poked out mobile god outside bomb on the keyboard, trying to keep his focus on the typing by transcribing some of his own spoken words. "I just have to keep typing."
"Ah," sighed Sherlock.
"We are not doomed!" doomed, John typed, gritting his teeth.
"I didn't say that, I'd never say something so melodramatic."
John snorted. "Didn't have to. Your 'Ah' was very- Bugger!"
The computer bleeped and the large numbers on the bomb's display ticked down from 18 to 17.
He swatted in Sherlock's direction while pecking at the keyboard with the other. "Too slow, I can't, Sherlock- I-"
"Don't talk, just concentrate on what you're doing, buy us whatever time you can." Sherlock turned his attention to his restraints.
John swore under his breath, eyes on the monitor and index fingers poking the keyboard. He typed out his racing thoughts at a far slower pace, painstakingly focused on not making errors.
It's a bloody good thing it isn't giving me words to type and match or we'd be blown to kingdom come five minutes ago. Just free-writing, which is hard enough. Nothing like the pressure of a bomb in the room to set off a bout of writer's block. What to write what to write random, doesn't matter, don't think, just type. AAAH!
Bollocks that's not a word, stupid thing thinks it's a typo, type in words you idiot, moron, fool, wanker, stupid bloody git. Two fingers is good enough for anyone, I said. If I learned to type faster I'd be putting a medical transcriptionist
(THAT IS A REAL SODDING WORD YOU TWAT) I'd be putting one of those out of a job. HOW THE BLOODY HELL WAS I SUPPOSED TO KNOW I WAS GOIUNG
bollocks bollocks bollocks GOING TO HAVE TO TYPE TO KEEP A BOMB FROM EXPLODING? Not something you get a lot of in medical school. Or the military. No typing-triggered IED's
*bleep* 13. "Christ!"
"Shut it!" John growled. "Just get free!"
FINE, IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICES sodding thing doesn't like acronyms either. Never had to type to stop a bomb exploding in Afghanistan.
John glanced over to the other end of the long room at Sherlock who was focusing intently on the cable ties binding his hands to the pipes. He kept typing.
Bloody hope he gets his hands free soon, he can type fast enough to keep this thing happy for hours and I can get out to where my mobile will work and ring the police and then then, what? Try to diffuse the bomb? Defuse! Defuse! Good job this thing doesn't require perfect grammar or punctuation a right mess this is. Maybe I could defuse the bomb, if it's simple, but it being hooked up to a keyboarding exam nightmare doesn't really make it likely to be simple. I should leave it alone.
Between keystrokes, John flexed his aching index fingers.
I should have rung Lestrade before I came here. I wasn't sure I'd found the right place, and when I came down and saw him he started in shouting about typing to slow down the bomb and there wasn't time. Probably his nibs in the fancy suit doing this, he likes bombs and stupid tricks like making a person type endlessly to keep a bloody bomb from exploding. Is there anyone but us in this building? I didn't check, what if there's someone inside, or in the building next door, take out half the street that bloody great lot of semtex
John's eyes snapped up to the display on the bomb then back to the screen for the error, sure he'd used 'Semtex' before.
He had. Capitalized. It was a trade-name. He'd forgotten to capitalize the trade-name.
Too long between keystrokes. The strained breath that escaped John was almost a sob.
I can't do this I can't do this my typing is absolute cobblers I'm going to get us both killed us and half the streeet
*bleep* 10. "Sherlock!"
"Just relax, John, you're doing fine," called Sherlock from the other end of the room.
John squared his shoulders and clenched his jaw, attacking the keyboard with his index fingers.
Doesn't matter, don't think about it, doesn't matter whether there are people in this building or just us it doesn't matter I'll sit here typing my fingers to the nub if I have to to keep this bomb from exploding. Bloody Moriarty
*bleep* 9. John slapped the desk and snarled.
Of course it doesn't have his NAME idiot idiot idiot
John's hands froze as he thought of something, then quickly resumed typing.
He would also be just the sort to watch. Could be he's got a live feed of exactly what I'm typing right now scrolling on his screen for him to laugh at.
John felt a vulpine grin spread across his face as he typed.
Well if so, since I have your attention MISTER psychopathic bomb-fetishist, let me tell you! You are a worthless maggot, and I'd call you a son of a bitch but your Mum has already had the insult of you as offspring so I won't profane her further.
John grinned. This he could do. Fired now by the intense frustration of finding himself in essence tethered to a bomb, again, by a deranged lunatic, again, he set to work.
More than fifteen minutes later John was still typing. Hammering at the keyboard two-fingered, he pounded out invective like long-range pokes in the eye. He didn't dare look at the bomb or the room or Sherlock anymore, he just glared at the screen, trying to think of the worst and most specifically hurtful things he could type at Moriarty.
He'd run the gamut of traditional profanity before it got tiring and he turned to more inventive insults. The computer had only bleeped twice when he'd slipped and used words the spell-check had no hope of approving: one word picked up from an Afghani dialect and the other a concise and esoteric medical term for an infectious anal pustule. He'd found a source of typing material and motivation that was showing little sign of deserting him.
sideways with a steel-bristled gun bore brush. You've got the brains of a drying rack AND that ridiculous suit of yours would look better hanging out to dry on one than it ever could on you. Hit you where it hurts you preposterous homicidal clothes-horse. You have all the grace and manners of a a a
John shook his hands out one at a time, growling in frustration. "Word, need a word."
bollocks, animal. used camel already. dung-beetle dog toad rat something just type must keep typing
"I think Mustela kathiah might suit," offered Sherlock as John typed random words, "except you'll want to use the vernacular to avoid that idiotic check function. Yellow-Bellied Weasel. Or would that be too subtle?"
"No, no, that's good," said John, "Yell...ow...bell...ied... Hang on." He glanced over his shoulder.
Behind him, completely disconnected from the plumbing on the other side of the room, Sherlock smirked.
"Stunning grasp of the obvious, John. Keep typing!"
"The bomb!" John looked, fingers poking at the keyboard. The display on the lumpy mass of Semtex and wires was dark.
"Oh, it's disarmed." Sherlock waved a hand at it. "Far too simple to be a challenge, really."
"You mean just pulling all the wires out might have worked?"
"No. That would have only removed the sole method of slowing down the count. Keep typing, keep typing! Say nothing about the bomb being disarmed."
John carefully poked out, giant bloody gitover and over while talking. "When? How "
Sherlock leaned in and peered at the monitor. "Around 'pustulant capering toad' I believe. Which is indeed a word, pustulant, even though it penalized you for using it. Very limited vocabulary, that spell-check."
"Two minutes ago?" John glanced up to meet Sherlock's smug gaze. "You didn't think I'd want to know we weren't in danger of blowing up?"
"You were, as they say, 'on a roll' and I didn't want to disturb your 'flow'. You do focus quite thoroughly when you get going. Keep typing."
"And why am I still typing if we aren't in danger of exploding?" exasperating prat
"Because I suspect you're right about Moriarty watching the typing feed, so by keeping his attention we may be able to trace the signal. Your mobile, which pocket?"
"Erm." John frowned. "Left. Jacket."
Dipping into John's pocket, Sherlock retrieved the device and headed for the door. "Keep typing, John! He mustn't suspect it's disarmed."
"Where are you going?"
Sherlock rolled his eyes. "I'm going outside where there is a signal so I can use your mobile to ring up Lestrade, and also get a trace started. Unless you'd prefer to just walk away and leave approximately twenty-four pounds of Semtex unattended, or pack it out ourselves rather than getting in a bomb disposal team?"
"No, no. Of course not."
"I'll be back in a moment. Keep typing. Oh and John?"
Sherlock smirked from the doorway. "You have quite the command of insults. Remind me to consult with you regarding Mycroft's next birthday card."
John smirked and typed out wanker.
(that's it. not much, but it's something.)