machshefa: (Sherlock)
[personal profile] machshefa
Written for  [livejournal.com profile] thegameison_sh (my first challenge round!). The challenge was: Undercover

Title: (un) Masked
Author: [livejournal.com profile] machshefa
Rating: PG
Pairing: John/Sherlock
Verse: BBC
Word count: 543
Warnings: None

He leaves his fingerprints everywhere. Unwittingly. A trail of crumbs to show you where he’s been; proof of what he would hide even from you.

“People see but they don’t observe,” he tells you, as if you, too, notice only what he deigns to show. You hide a smile, but he’s already moved on, a blur of words and waving arms. All bluff and bluster and sharp edges honed to a shine.

“Come on, John,” he insists, and you follow him out into the night, the sound of his voice as he thinks out loud like water flowing over you, pounding its rhythms into your skin. Sometimes, you want to spread your arms wide and soak it all in. Yours. The sound of his voice, resonant and sure, demanding entrance. His words, his need pressing against you like the tide.

Like rain. Sometimes, a storm.

He doesn’t even bother to hide it when the work dries up and his mind spins and spins, seeking purchase anywhere—anything to distract from the cacophony beneath. You can hear the storm’s echo in the rustle of the robe he wears on his worst days and see it in the way his movements grow choppy, unsure of themselves in the absence of a goal.

It’s there that you find him. Finally. Young and needy and painfully hopeful beneath the sharp tongue and disdainful glare. Bravado, familiar, painfully like the type you, yourself, once brandished (Queen and Country, Dr Watson?); a flag to hide your own unspoken need.

You know what it is to need, to hide, and so you watch even more closely: for the way his eyes skitter to yours, shoulders hunched, each time Donovan sneers and whenever Anderson hisses; for the ghost of the smile he flashes for you (only for you) when you wake (empty; uselessness clinging to you from the brushfire of your dreams), his imperious voice demanding tea (and bring me my phone, John); for the brush of his hand in the dark against your skin after you’ve run the length of London together, breathless, spent.

A whisper where there can be no words.

And in that room teeming with echoes and memory, with envy and vengeance, the blood rushes through your veins, pounding out all other sound. It’s only in the way his eyes shine when they look at you and the flush in his cheeks because for once, he can’t find the words. It’s his hands on you, (Near you, John, not on you. Not really. Not yet) shaking as he rips the bomb from your body.

You can almost hear him now if you listen closely. If you close your eyes. His breath, ragged, his footsteps pounding the tile as he paces, unmoored because of what you did, what you offered.

For him. Only for him.

And when you open your eyes, the laser beam’s edge red against your heart, he finds you, at last. (You are as skilled at hiding as he. But there’s no time for that anymore. Not now.)

No words to clutter the space between you.

His eyes. A question.

The question, really, when it comes down to it.

There is only one answer.

A nod, your eyes locked on his.

Truth, only in silence.

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machshefa

January 2012

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