Unexpected Hiatus

I haven’t written anything in a while.

 

I suppose, I haven’t written anything for a while because the week before I left Canada I couldn’t think of anything nice to say.

And following the old mantra, then I should say nothing at all. Although, nice is a loose term. By nice, I mean anything that isn’t strictly bitter or heart-breaking.

A week before I left Canada, and, subsequently, my wife, the act of leaving felt so wrong that I was rendered practically speechless. I couldn’t process it. I could think of nothing to say.

I do have pieces planned. So, give me time, be patient with me, and I’ll be writing again soon.

(Not every day, because of my current workload, but hopefully often enough.)

I miss her.

 

Moll —

Not much good rose out of my choice to do drugs, not much at all.

Greg’s marriage fell apart, Mycroft no longer spoke to him and John left.

He left for Afghanistan. (Or was it Iraq?)

The only person who came through it all, who stayed in London, was Molly.

Molly thrived. Despite the unrelenting shifts at the hospital, despite the quiet, accepted undercurrent of sexism that saw her ignored, despite the impossibility of passing exams, despite everything.

She cried, and sometimes she broke down, but she picked herself back up again in the figurative sense and she was alright. In her words, she managed.

She’s one of the best in her field now.

I called her a lot. I never had any idea what time it was, only that I was between fixes, or that I needed another fix, or that I was high.

I was high a lot.

Her father died during that time, too. I don’t actually know … when. Must’ve been somewhere between the double treatment centre and the hospital.

Her father passed away. John left. Greg stopped taking calls. Mycroft stopped making calls. And I was virtually homeless, wandering in and out of shelters and chewing on morphine patches during 12-step-meetings.

But Molly was resilient. She churned through cups of coffee and boxes of latex gloves and packs of post-it notes. She fell asleep on the bus, on the tube, at her desk. And all those people milling around her on the train or the bus or in the hospital, totally unaware of the strength of her spirit.

I’m sorry, Molly. I was so unkind to you.

You deserve the best out of all of us. You deserve to be happy.

(But can you help me write a letter to John, please? I don’t know where to start.)

Yours,

Sherlock

Lost Doctor (Part Two)

(So this is part of a series and you can find part one right over here.)

“… so, hang on,” Joan starts, biscuit in her mouth and a mug in each hand. She passes one to Sherlock, and it gleams with the sugar. “Clara told me only time lords could fly the TARDIS?”

“… always 1895,” Sherlock mumbles under her breath.

“Sorry, what?” The captain asks, with a slight frown.

“Oh,” Sherlock shrugs dismissively and flicks a few switches. “Nothing.”

“… so, how come you knew all those things about the this ship before we were even in it?”

“Knew a man when I lived in Cardiff. He would keep finding things and bringing them to me. Said he would keep finding things in the rift. Talked about a little blue box that was bigger on the inside,” she looked down at Joan from underneath her lashes. “… didn’t actually believe him.”

“But you don’t know anything about space,” the soldier interjects, taking a mouthful of her tea and trying to find somewhere to sit down.

“Don’t need to. She … flies with the same direction and course as a honey bee. It seems aimless and mindless through this vast area but she’s following an instinct. A signal only she can feel because of the hormones and the chemical structure of her heart.”

“Chemical structure of her heart,” Joan echoes quietly. “Her. So it’s a girl, then.”

Obviously,” the detective says, almost rolling her eyes.

Joan squares her shoulders and casts a measured eye over everything. “So do I tell you I love you and then you say that you know?” She smiles.

“…hm?”

“Oh, nothing,” the doctor takes another mouthful of tea and finds her place beside the detective.

“… can I touch anything?”

“No,” Sherlock replies emphatically, taking large, long strides around the console.

“Not even that big friendly red button over there?” The former captain gestures to one with her mug.

Especially not that big friendly red button over there,” the taller woman replies. And then, “what happened to Clara?”

“She went to find something and I think she got a bit lost,” Joan says with a loose shrug.

“TARDIS doesn’t like her,” Sherlock explains. “She knows it doesn’t trust her. So they have arguments.”

“Who’d have arguments with a machine?”

“She’s not a machine,” the detective says, with a certain warm bluntness particular to her. It makes Joan pause.

“…right. This is us, though. Finding a doctor. All of time and space, you said.”

And then came the answer, posed as a question.

“Where would you like to start?”

 

Cold Tea

A crack of light slips through the gap in the door as Sherlock Holmes enters his flat.

He tugs at his scarf, and in a flourish of exposed neck and obscenely tight buttons, is entirely at home with his coat hung on the peg near the door. He can smell tea, strong, black, left steeping – no food. Jumper, baggy, not old, earrings left on the counter where she took them off, knee high rugby socks, Kings…This is what she wears when she feels like she’s home. Legs shaved — confidence increase, not to impress. But she’s turned her mug, pushed it away, she’s tired, restless, can’t find the right word.

He would have left her to her work, he’d already seen what was on her laptop – her password was startlingly obvious, but then he saw she was typing. His angular cheekbones slip close to hers as he reads. “Arrogant, imperious, rude? What happened to excellent, amazing, brilliant?” The question in his tone is almost playful, but his baritone is deep and thick like molasses.

Dr. Watson sits up taller when Sherlock returns, even though he brings the cold in with him. It’s an obscene hour — the sun will be up shortly, followed by the alarm set on her phone — but the last thing she feels like doing as he slips over to her is resting.

 

(So I totally forgot to add the fact that my lovely wife wrote the last paragraph here. She’s brilliant, and an excellent writer and an even better artist. You can find all of her work at artbyval.ca, or you can sift back through all of my posts and read all my stiflingly sweet comments about her. Whichever you prefer.)

Trading Cards and Midgar

You know those…trading cards they had? They would have come out about 20 years ago now. They were all the heros, of course. And then, places, cities, environments, weapons. It was all a game, just a child’s game. You used the environments, deserts, forests and weapons to empower your hero and army members – or you could just trade them.

I had the perfect pack. I hope my mum’s still got them. They would have been sent home with my personal affects after I…died. She better bloody have them. Oh god if she’s thrown them out – they’re worth a fucking mint. I miss her letters now, though. The knitted socks she used to send me. When was I ever going to wear knitted socks? To keep you warm, she used to say. To keep you warm. 

So, I had this deck of cards. I know now that they were just military propaganda, and they did their job. I had my favourite cards, and was inspired by them. I enlisted when I was 16, I skipped school, skipped one of my exams and lied about my age. I thought I was clever, covered my tracks. It didn’t actually matter, they wanted young, eager kids to train up. Didn’t matter if they weren’t legally adults. I had a dream of what it was like. And for a little while it was like that, the training was good, I was healthy, I was motivated. Long gone were the days of feeling the hot sun on the back of my neck and helping my mum with the house and clearing vines out of the windows. I was at the top of my game.

But then…it’s like when your throat fills with smoke. One minute, it’s a little tingle, a funny little feeling running up your spine and then your eyes are watering and you can’t explain what’s wrong to everyone else because you’re already choking. I went off the record for a little while, did some freelance work. I still wanted to be a hero, but I needed someone. I needed someone to lead, someone to stand next to me and keep me in check.

I needed Cloud, as it turns out.

I still have the habits, how I hold my sword, how I dress, comb my hair, shave. But that’s just from all the basic training. I could never be Cloud never be the hero ShinRa wanted, but maybe he’s what I need.

I don’t know if I can be what he needs, but I’m certain of one thing – the kid needs a stiff fucking drink.


Zack knocks on the door, but doesn’t bother waiting for permission before he enters Cloud’s room. He’s not sure if he should be relaxed, flirty, his tone full of cheeky banter. Or if he should be the trained soldier he know he can be. His tall frame fills the doorway, a hand slides up the rest of the doorway to the corner.

“Midgar or bust?”

Lost Doctor (Part One)

Sherlock stands, statuesque in the middle of her flat and watches a police box materialise before her.

Perhaps the Metropolitan Police force or Scotland Yard weren’t as useless as I thought.

Her ears grow accustomed to the singular, dissonant scrape of the little blue box come to land.

A young woman flings open the door to the TARDIS, and sticks her head out of it, dark hair swinging out underneath her earlobes.

“Hi, uh,” she steps out cautiously, wearing a fit-and-flare tartan collared dress with neatly-styled dark stockings underneath. “You haven’t seen a woman come through here have you?  Quite tall, very, uh, eccentric, wearing a suit, bow tie, big chin?”

“No,” Sherlock says, tone thick with honesty. “But I’d wager you’ll be needing my help.”

The young woman tilts her head in not-so-quiet consideration. “Uh, yeah. Help might be really good, actually. TARDIS is being a bit stubborn.”

Behind them come the steadily advancing steps of the good Doctor Watson, hauling up bags of shopping.

“Watson,” Sherlock calls over her shoulder, without removing her gaze from the little blue box. “We have a case.”

“Oh yeah?” Joan says, finally looking up, wrists red from the plastic bags.

“… bloody hell,” she breathes, setting the shopping down on the table and wandering over. “S’this, then?”

The former soldier turns her face to Sherlock, as she always does when she’s looking for answers.

“It’s a TARDIS. Stands for Time and Relative Dimension in Space. It’s one of the remaining advanced pieces of Time Lord technology and can transport pilot and passengers to any point of time and space in the universe. It has a chameleon circuit allowing it to blend in with its surroundings and a translation system based on telepathy,” Sherlock takes a few long, leggy strides and opens the door, turning her chin back over her shoulder.

“Oh there’s one more thing,” the detective says.

“It’s bigger on the inside,” the former captain remarks, smiling up at the young girl in front of her.

Hello, yes, I’m  Joan Watson and this is my terribly rude colleague Sherlock Holmes. Yeah she’s the only one in the world, yeah. Oh, reminds you a bit of her, does it? Is that…who we’re looking for, then?

“Yes, Clara, what exactly happened? You can tell us on the way. Do close the door, please, Watson.”

“Ah, well, it’s all a bit complicated, but I lost my doctor.”

“Lost your doctor?” Sherlock echoes, raising a delicate, aristocratic eyebrow. “Well, then, that is very careless of you.” The taller woman touches the ship’s controls with alarming familiarity, coat catching the wind as she spins.

 

“Is there any tea on this space ship?” Joan calls, ever hopeful. Clara, spritely as ever, leaps forward to help but isn’t sure if they won’t get lost on the way.

The question causes Sherlock to smile in the corner of her mouth, in the corner of her mind.

She settles beside the centre console, puts the TARDIS on-course, lets her fingers fall into a pyramid and waits.

 

(So this is the first part of a series of posts that I’ll be doing over the next few days. I might post something in between, but I will finish them so don’t panic. I’m not sure how long they’ll be, or how many of them there will be. But I’ll put them all together and I hope you like reading them as much as I like to write them.)

(… so part two is done, and you can find it right over here.)

 

New York Jitters

It’s kind of hard to sleep when you’ve got a glow-in-the-dark lego brick stuck in your chest, so he doesn’t. It’s hard to have sex when your partner’s face is lit up by a blueish light, but somehow covered in shadows, so he doesn’t.

All Tony Stark can do is start over, and over, and over, and feel like he’s losing traction.

“Coffee?” He holds out his hand half-expectantly to Bruce Banner, facial features slipping into something effortless and confident and practiced even though he wants to be genuine more than anything.

“You would be starting on your third litre in twenty-four hours, sir,” comes the automated response of JARVIS, followed by reluctant mechanical whirring. “It would be ill-advised.”

“You also said it would be ill-advised to add a pizza cutter to my suit,” the engineer murmurs, half to himself because he doesn’t like to admit that he’s arguing with a computer with a posh British accent. He should change that.

He winks at Bruce, and hopes it’s enough.

(JARVIS’ parts were written by my lovely wife. There are other sections, too but I might post them later and keep it short and sweet for now. Either way, I’d be totally lost without her written computerised sass. She’s a brilliant artist and you can find her work here: artbyval.ca.)