UNEARTHED FROM THE URBAN MEADOW
WRITTEN BY ZARIUS
(Contains spoilers for “The Lying Detective”)
Sherlock’s hands gripped John’s head tightly as the good doctor, qualified to deal with so much in life, came to grips at last with the imposing vacancy provided by loss.
Mary was gone, that reality had finally sunk in as John confessed to her lingering ghost of his interest in another, a woman on a bus, a pretty little flower that had unearthed itself from the urban meadow and, in a casual manner, had spurred John on to embrace her fragrance.
It always starts so casually, and from there the complications grow. The risk, the danger, all the addictive elements that make up the psyche of John Watson.
The elements that had led him so easily to Mary, a moth to flame, a flame now extinguished. He felt almost akin to a puppet, his strings cut, nothing holding him up.
He had to turn and face the strange, but to do so in the arms of a stranger would bring him no peace. It is only fitting then, that he find solace in Mary’s legacy.
The two of them together, Holmes and Watson, together again, each the strongest part of the other, built to last for as long as the grief and pressure shall burden them.
The tight embrace of the two men, however, could not endure the repetitive joyful moans of a sexually perverse ring tone on the table next to Sherlock’s chair.
“Oh will you bloody answer that already?” John asked of his dear friend, releasing his grip from Sherlock and tending to his wet and weary eyes beset by tears.
“That’s not how she plays the game” Sherlock replied.
“She lost her game years ago, this is life we’re dealing with” John replied.
“She said it wasn’t a game” Sherlock muttered.
“Who did?” John asked
“Last person to cross my mind…” Sherlock mumbled.
“Molly?” John said, probing further.
“When she examined me for the medical, she said the drugs in my body were steadily killing me, that she’d seen healthier bodies on the slab”
“You looked like utter shit and you acted like one” remarked John.
Sherlock picked up the phone to read the messages left to him by Irene Adler, John now aware of her persistent existence, and not being overly fond of Sherlock having to prioritise her now at such crucial a juncture.
“Well, spit it out, anything other than birthday wishes?”
“She just says ‘had lunch?” Sherlock replied.
“…Doesn’t she always want dinner?” asked John.
“This isn’t a want on her part John, it’s an ask. A ‘how are you doing?‘ My god, she’s at that phase of her private life where she wants some reassurance there’s a voice out there that isn’t too busy”
“Well you kind of are…busy” said John, urging Sherlock to put the phone away and continue to provide him some measure of solace.
“I could try to give her some clarity, but that would only serve to form a connection…”
“What exactly do you think we were just doing there?” John said, trying to keep his frustrations in slightly. But only slightly.
“You’re different, you’re within reach” Sherlock replied, “And you have a fresh wound, hers is but a lingering scar, I’m the scab she likes to prick at on the skin, hoping I’ll turn blood red and pour myself out to her”
“And are you? Remember what I said Sherlock” said John.
“About not letting people like that out of my sight? Must you be reminded of the connections she has to the web of Moriarty? I haven’t spared him a thought the last three weeks, but rest assured, I have made plans to appoint fresh concerns for his posthumous game for the next week…who knows, perhaps this is a part of it”
“So answer it, and get your assurances out of my way so you can continue to help those within reach”
“It would be so easy, but as I’ve learned John, the urban jungle flourishes through hardship and an instinctive desire to put up with so many above the individual. I have committed to that cause, as have you. I cannot permit myself to play a game when the players around me are too much sane, in mind or heart, to play with either me or the one I concern myself with”
“Right, well then, guess she isn’t that kind of person then?” John replied, a slight look of assurance on his face.
“Last person you think of, but her words are never the last thing you think of”
“Oh don’t start that again” Sherlock replied
“She is though Sherlock. Without a moment’s hesitation, she’s there; you just push her to the back benches like some unwanted MP, when she has been to hell and back for you as long as I have”
“She’s seen more men than me in a state of undesired undress, none of them as capable of satisfying her needs as I, and they happen to be deceased. I think that’s the minimal amount of hell she’s permitted” Sherlock replied.
“Then give her a slice of heaven Sherlock, let her see with her own two eyes how you rebuilt this bridge between us, show her that you don’t just set things on fire because you enjoy the world more when it’s alight, invite her over for lunch, you, me, her, Rosie, all together, we’ll go and have chips…”
“Oh no, I mustn’t think of chips” said Sherlock, reflecting on his troubled evening spent with Faith, a figment of his imagination that had almost trodden his reality underfoot and compromised his investigation into Culverton Smith.
“Cake then. A place with cake” John suggested.
“Is that the drug that makes you think you have about a month to cross the street?” Sherlock asked.
“A place with cake Sherlock, the usual sort, we’re going to all have that. Cake and coffee, and chit-chat”
“Will there be cream?” asked Sherlock.
“Are you saying that to entice you further into going along with this, or are you just glad you got a text from Adler?” asked John
“Last thing to cross my mind John, I assure you” Sherlock replied.
“There, see, you’re learning, push Molly slightly upwards, leave the pawn behind and give your all to the players” said John.
Sherlock pondered John’s words; he admired greatly how quick he was to turn from the temper brought on by the grief, and to put forward to him the reminders he needed. To elevate those important to him.
To give their words to him even greater meaning in micro-managing his own path through the streets of London.
But, perhaps more tellingly, to unearth his own flower from the urban meadow.