A/N I got this idea after watching the film music prom and listening to far too much soundtrack music. It begged to be written. Again, I own nothing and earn no profit beyond writing experience. Rating T to be safe.
Sherlock had few things in his life that he considered permanent. Over years of family turmoil and psychiatrists nearly every certainty in his young life had been tested, mused over and taken away. He was an anomaly.
The first time Sherlock heard the song of a violin he was eight years old and already he was alone in the world. Dusk was settling over another of his father's parties at the mansion where lords and ladies liked to pretend they still lived in times of aristocracy gone by. Mycroft was mingling, as expected of the prodigal son; Sherlock was staying out of sight as was expected of him. Jazz music floated up from the floor beneath as the aristocrats in attendance began another series of effortless and ultimately unimportant talks about the state of the country, but beneath the chaotic noise Sherlock heard something that would change his life.
Moving to the window he could see the source. Across the street from his father's London house stood a homeless girl, ragged clothes designed for warmth instead of appearance, her one treasured possession placed protectively under her chin as she played for anyone who might care. Tonight, Sherlock knew, he was the only one.
Slipping out was easy, the servants' entrance was not watched, and the servants themselves were all waiting at the party. The street was silent, away from the noise of the house the music became even more alluring and Sherlock moved closer, sticking to the shadows and he watched a women with nothing pour out her soul.
The notes climbed higher and higher, the bow moving so fast, her hand a blur on the strings and with a sudden crescendo the piece reached its finale. The girl paused, drawing out the moment of harmony and order in the chord before lowering the bow and slowly moving to pick up her meagre earnings for the night.
Sherlock moved closer, standing directly across the street from the girl, illuminated by the street light. They were alone, two singing souls searching for a melody that fit in the endless throbbing beat of society and drawn to each other like moths to a flame.
"Here." Sherlock barely even realised that he had crossed the road; all he knew was that he couldn't let the girl leave without something for the music of her soul. Startled, she glanced around, and then down, her face softening when she saw a little boy holding out his scarf to her.
"Thank you, but shouldn't you be at home?" Her voice was melodic, her words a song.
"The music was beautiful, as though I could see your soul." Sherlock could think of no other way to describe it, "may I see your violin? I've never seen one up close before." The girl hesitated, looking him up and down before her face abruptly shifted into an expression Sherlock couldn't read. She reached down and removing the instrument from its case and did something unexpected. She handed the wooden vessel to him along with the bow and helped him position them correctly.
As he drew the bow across the strings for the first time and saw the notes flow, his face came to life.
"What is your name?" The girl asked, dropping her hand from his upon the neck of the violin.
"Sherlock Holmes." He replied softly, "What is yours?"
"Lucy." The woman smiled sadly, taking a couple of deep breaths as though preparing herself for something, then turned abruptly and began to walk away, leaving a stunned eight year old boy holding her most prized, and likely only, possession.
"Wait!" Sherlock cried once he had shaken himself out of the shocked daze, chasing after her, "your violin!" She turned, hesitated, knelt before him and gazed into his wide eyes.
"But, how will you…" She stopped him and placed her hands upon his shoulders, his scarf around her neck.
"Shh," Lucy interrupted, laying a calloused finger against his lip to quiet any further protest, "you gave me a gift tonight Sherlock," a pause, considering,"Your soul sings so beautifully, but so confined, do not let it be. Life is a concerto Sherlock, everybody has their part in the song, some collide and become dissonant, and some lose the notes entirely. But all over the world people are finding a soul that matched theirs so perfectly you cannot imagine your melody without their harmony."
Lucy paused, lifting his chin with a soft smile at his shy demeanour. "I am giving you the gift of music tonight Sherlock so you don't have to be the soloist to the final movement." Then, just as a ghost, she was gone.
Sherlock stayed rooted to the spot, violin cradled in his grasp until long after his fathers party had ended.
Sherlock knew he could easily be a concert violinist. Lucy's gift to him had been the single greatest and most precious gift he had ever received; he had practiced the violin every day, diligently trying to replicate the music she had so stunningly played. He learned to make the violin sing, had callouses on his fingers as he worked on difficult pieces. He became very accomplished very quickly, but he felt like he was missing something.
His mind palace had forever stored her words. In his youth he had not completely understood her meaning. He was twenty now and his eyes had been opened once more.
Sherlock's mind was brilliant, just as brilliant as Mycroft's but in a different way. Already he had earned his degree with a BA in music and as although orchestra jobs had been hard to find he was glad for the income. Although he missed his chemistry lessons, the only other subject he had truly enjoyed, Sherlock felt himself continually drawn to his violin instead of his microscope, as though some lesson was still hiding, elusive, in the vanished wood.
The revelation came smoothly and gently in the middle of a final rehearsal, as though it had been biding its time and his hands faltered and stopped, the conductor glared at him.
"Sherlock, you cannot afford to mess this up tomorrow." Sherlock ignored him and closed his eyes, realisation rocking through him.
Life is a concerto…you cannot imagine your melody…
The missing piece of the puzzle.
Sherlock raised the bow back to the strings, and deliberately stopped thinking.
The conductor kicked him out that night but Sherlock didn't care. Several members of the choir had tears in their eyes. Sherlock hadn't played the piece, he had poured out his soul into the music, improvised with his emotions, let his fingers move without direct command and played his music, so haunting and deep.
Everything made sense. He could hear how his music clashed so horribly with those surrounding him and knew he would not find his place there.
He would not fit in as a soloist.
For a brief moment he thought he had found his duet in Gregory Lestrade.
Ever since leaving the orchestra Sherlock had been adrift in the world. The understanding of Lucy's words had prompted him to give away most of his possessions to the homeless network he had formed during his brief time as one of them, in the hopes that maybe he would find her, or something would reach her. He kept the treasured violin, its importance in his life now doubled following its clean up and sudden discovery as a Stradivarius, his last act as a moderately well-off man.
Sometimes he wondered as he lovingly packed the violin into its case or removed it to play, would Lucy have been homeless had she known its value. Had she known its value? Had she knowingly passed on this precious thing to a lost boy whose soul cried out for harmony as much as hers?
His flat was bare; his pockets empty, Mycroft saw his fit of generosity as unsettling and refused to help, believing that Sherlock would give away anything received. His mind ravaged against its confines. His soul cried out for a puzzle to solve, a problem for his intellect to sink its teeth into.
The problem came as a drug dealer across the corridor and unfortunately his intellect bit off more than it could chew. Sherlock had always had an obsessive personality, addiction came easily to him. He hid the violin away so he would never be tempted to part from it.
The solution was surprising. Sherlock had collected the evidence necessary to arrest his dealer in his more lucid moments and one night called 999 and calmly explained. In his drug-addled state several hours following the beginning of his new career the soothing voice of Sergeant Lestrade as he arrested him jarred against him, shifted and settled.
"Your song is pretty." He slurred as the police officer softly steered him out of his poor excuse of a flat.
"I'm sorry?" The hand on Sherlock's shoulder tensed slightly in confusion.
"Your song," Sherlock repeated, twisting so that he could see the Sergeant's eyes, "It fits." Lestrade paused, torn between wanting to class the man as so high that anything he said should be discounted as delirious rambling and considering his somewhat philosophical words seriously.
"You're a musician then?" He risked, the man looked sober enough at the moment, certainly far closer to reality than he had been a minute ago.
"Violinist, or I used to be. What about you?" The man's head fell against his shoulder, tiredness creeping in before the crash.
"I played the piano for a bit."
"Piano," Sherlock murmured as darkness began to claim him, "perfect."
By the time he had crashed, suffered through withdrawal and finally been released on bail Sherlock had learned the name of the officer that had arrested him, solved three cold cases and voluntarily signed up for rehab. In return Gregory Lestrade allowed Sherlock, now clean, onto crime scenes.
Perhaps, Sherlock mused, had they not begun their relationship on opposite sides of a cell door, they might have created a harmony to each other. Instead, Lestrade stood firm where his father should have done as a calm counterpoint to Sherlock's violent sonata.
Synesthesia, Sherlock's mind informed him as he listened to Molly's scattered, timid music as she pottered around the lab. The term did not alarm him, he was aware that he had been seeing people's personalities as music for a long time now, it helped him understand, it helped him deduce. He had spent long enough as other people's lab rat in his youth, he knew that difference did not mean disadvantage.
His ability also told him who to avoid and who to stick by. Slowly, he was building his orchestra. Mrs Hudson's gentle caring lilting descant, Mycroft's solid base, Lestrade's firm but flexible counterpoint, Molly's scattered backing, he was finding his feet and consequently his place.
The violin acted as his channel now, a vital tool. He recognised that his song was modulating, shifting, searching waiting.
What he did not know was that in a battlefield in Afghanistan a doctor, hand to his blooded shoulder. was fighting for not only his life but the lives of his friends. Bullets whistled, men shouted and screamed, the desert wind stirred and moaned.
Yet over the top of it all played the haunting song of a soloist.
The corpse was fresh, it would serve its purpose and prove an alibi. Normally death did not affect Sherlock, he couldn't let it in his occupation. But when Molly left to fetch his riding crop he couldn't help the sudden wave of loneliness. He could deduce that the man on the slab had never found someone that fit with him. Sherlock didn't want to be like him. Sherlock feared he would. A mixture of his intellect and stunted social growth had made sure of that possibilty.
Sherlock didn't want to reach the final movement alone.
Sherlock's song was distracting. Finished in the morgue he sat in the lab trying to force his mind to focus, but the music, affected by the near emotional breakdown of the morning pulsed loud, broadcasting its melody, frantic for a response. This had happened before, with no results so Sherlock expected none but still, today felt different.
Behind him the door unexpectedly opened. Sherlock turned and froze. Melodies combined, twisted and harmonised.
"Bit different from my day." Sherlock's soul sang.
He barely recalled the intervening moments when he took the time to review every moment spent in the presence of the doctor returned from Afghanistan. A hand rested on the smooth wooden of the violin, the instrument preserved Lucy's soul as it had sustained his.
"The name's Sherlock Holmes and the address is 221B Baker Street."
The sonata was complete. Sherlock had left knowing that without a doubt when he arrived at his new flat the next day the doctor would be waiting for him. It was time for a new movement to begin.
Twenty four hours later Sherlock's soul started a duet.
Twenty four hours and two minutes later, John Watson's joined in.
A/N I hope you enjoyed, I know I did writing it, but really, who can resist Sherlock and his violin? :) Reviews welcomed.