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Apr 04, 2010 19:34

Title: ‘Weeds’
Author: Tweedisgood tweedisgood - first fic in this fandom
Rating: PGish
Pairing: Holmes/Watson implied, Mary/Watson implied
Disclaimer: SH&JHW belong to the world. The slash belongs only to the select few.
Warning: reference to self-harm
Summary: What custom allows.

Beta thanks to mad_with_july

“Mourning garments have this use, that they are a shield to the real mourner” Harper’s Bazaar, 17 April, 1886

Today will be the last that I am permitted this. So, I dress with care. Mary’s eyes follow every step, her loving gaze an astringent on my wound, though she means it for balm. She has bought me a new cravat, in grey silk not near enough the exact colour of his eyes, so that we may present ourselves back in polite society - a party at Mrs Fosdyck’s on Saturday. Mary is looking forward to it, and it is time. She scolds me gently: I have obligations to the living, as to the dead.

Six months’ mourning is allowed for a brother; a year for a spouse. And for him who is...was both and neither, and cannot be acknowledged?

A white shirt, white and cold as the ashes in the grate at Baker Street that last morning; white as his long hands moving over my back that last night: years ago, and only yesterday. The linen twists, catching and grasping my upper arm from behind: that entreaty he was too proud, too wise to make in words that day before dawn; for the net was closing in and we told ourselves it must be so, must end thus. I struggle and wrench the cloth to free myself from mindfulness of that crooked day, straighten and reach for my trousers, the chiding rasp of fine worsted as I step into respectability.

But mindfulness will have its say. The coarse hairs raised up on my thighs, his dry mouth dragging over my skin, the sigh of fabric a yearning ghost of hot breath. On his knees at worship, kiss by kiss, his lips followed this path at my crux; button by button, I close the sanctuary once open only to him.

This collar is missing its starch as I am missing mine. I am wrung soft and worn, tumbled amongst the stones at the foot of a great waterfall and shall not stand tall again. His fingers trembled thus at my collar studs and the tie at my throat, not only the first but the last time of all. Not three days later, I stood in church between Holmes and Mary to lie before God and the world, and for what? This well-cut waistcoat; the straight-jacket of society’s blessing; the safety of this covering coat; a blackened sepulchre.

Tonight, when I put off these weeds and slight this grief, I will drive, unseen, the shaft of the tiepin into the heel of my hand, making shallow tracks. Let purple roses bloom, stretch out this mourning beyond its allotted span and mark truer time in my flesh.

Let it remember him by outward signs, when I may not.


sherlock holmes, fic

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