trillsabells: (Slash)
[personal profile] trillsabells
Title:The Prize
Author: [livejournal.com profile] trillsabells
Beta: [livejournal.com profile] jupiter_ash
Rating: This Chapter R, NC17 overall
Length: This Chapter 6000, overall nearly 100k
Summary: On 29 January 2010 an unknown Event wiped out 98% of the population. This is the story of the survivors, four months on. Based on this prompt here
Warnings (for entire fic): Starts with the death of over 6 billion people and goes downhill from there. Death, destruction, disease, violence, fire, plane crashes, slavery, graphic sex and serious consent issues
Author's Note: Hope to get the next part up Tuesday.

Chapter 1 : Chapter 2 : Chapter 3 : Chapter 4 : Chapter 5





Time was supposed to slow down in moments like this, wasn’t it? All lies. Nothing slowed down but it did all become very focused. All extra thoughts of wondering what Sherlock was doing, exactly how much petrol Sherlock had consumed, staying out of sight of the house, getting Sherlock to safety, working out how quickly they could slink back to the scooter, all fled under the one overarching instinct; turn, raise arm, adjust feet, aim, fire.

The first man through the flung open door dropped like a sack of potatoes, a neat hole in his forehead.

Sudden shock and panic scrambled for his attention but were squashed down when five more men, armed with various weapons, plunged through the doorway. He picked the one with the biggest gun, turned his aim towards him and pulled the trigger.

Next target, turn, aim, fire.

Out of the corner of his eye he could see Sherlock crouched next to him, staring at him with wide eyes and a peculiar expression on his face.

Turn, aim, fire.

Bullets hit the bonnet of the car in front of him. He ducked down, breathing hard, and then aimed upwards toward the window where the gunfire was coming from. Two shots stopped it.

Two men were still in the courtyard but he could only see one. He shot the one he could see then, crouching down for maximum cover, scanned the area for the last.

Feet below the other car, coming towards them. Protect Sherlock!

He took a few steps forward and pulled the trigger again, stopping the last man in his tracks.

It had all taken under a minute.

He could feel the adrenaline pumping through his veins, the loud drumming of his heart almost drowning out the sound of angry shouting from the house. There were more to come. He turned back to the building and raised his gun again, fully prepared to stay there and keep shooting for as long as it took.

Thankfully, Sherlock grabbed his free arm and pulled him back towards the ditch where they had left the scooter. They both ran, pebbles scattering under their feet, John looking over his shoulder to check what was going on at the house.

When they stopped he forced the gun into Sherlock’s hands, curling the other man’s fingers around the trigger and pointing his arm in the direction of the building. He didn’t want to leave it uncovered for a moment. By the time he had dragged the scooter out from the undergrowth and pulled his helmet on, Sherlock was stood straight as a board, glaring at the building as if it had challenged him to a fight. He practically threw Sherlock’s helmet at him then started up the bike. As soon as he felt Sherlock slide on behind him he accelerated as fast as possible. When Sherlock let off a few gunshots he wanted to scold the other man for wasted ammo, especially when a quick glance in his mirror showed they hadn’t hit anything. It also showed a new group of men getting into the Land Rovers. Dammit, there was no way a one hundred and fifty cc scooter could out run a car.

He barely let up on the accelerator as they went into the corner that took them back onto the main road, he was so determined to make the most of the lead they had been given.

“Head lamp’s a bad idea,” Sherlock muttered in his ear.

“Crashing is a worse one,” John replied in a sing song voice as he weaved between crashed cars to prove his point.

He could see headlights in the mirror, clear in the darkness. Shit, how were they going to get out of this?

“Take the junction up onto the roundabout,” Sherlock said.

Was he a mind reader? For lack of any better ideas, and because it was really hard to argue with someone who could suggest an escape route while they were being chased by heavily armed angry men whose colleagues they had just shot in the same tone of voice someone might use if they were proposing a nice scenic path, he took the junction.

“Second exit,” Sherlock said as they hurtled up to the roundabout and John was internally scowling at the voice that reminded him he was going the wrong way round.

John nearly laughed at the calm way Sherlock said it, reminding him of the driving test jokes they had made at the beginning of the outing just a few- was it really only a few hours ago? It felt like days…

He yanked the handlebars sharply as they turned off at the second exit and back down onto the main road, this time on the other carriageway.

“Turn onto the footpath.”

The one where they had parked the scooter when they first arrived, was he mad? At this speed? Again he couldn’t come up with any better ideas and… well he trusted Sherlock, didn’t he?

They launched off the edge of the main road, disconnecting with the ground completely as they went over the sharp bank. But John had still been a daredevil student the last time he had had a scooter and he had practiced this trick before. Okay, so he had broken a couple of scooters this way as well – not all of them his, his mate Russell had been furious – but most of the time he had managed it and you just didn’t forget those kinds of skills. Hopefully.

They landed with a jolt but kept upright and going despite the rough terrain. John resisted whooping but a relieved laugh escaped him unbidden.

“Knew you could do it,” Sherlock’s low voice said in his ear.

Warmth flooded his chest. He forced it back down and concentrated back on what was going on.

Any hope that their detour would be enough to shake off the cars was lost when, just as they got to the road at the other end of the footpath, the Land Rovers crashed down after them. The four by fours weren’t even slowed down by the off road diversion and were hot on their heels.

Sherlock ordered him to take the first right. Then turn left, then right, then left; all the while the cars were gaining, only kept behind by the blockages caused by the stalled cars in the middle of the road and even that didn’t slow them down for long. Any minute someone was going to have the idea to not wait until they had caught up with them before shooting and then they were going to be goners.

“Turn left onto the next road and switch off the headlight.”

“What-“

“John!”

It was the first time Sherlock’s tone had turned urgent throughout the whole night so John quickly obeyed, trying to drown out the mantra of, “We’re gonna crash, we’re gonna crash,” circling through his brain.

Except it was soon replaced by Sherlock’s constant instructions in his ear.

“Veer left. Veer right. Don’t slow down. Veer right. Not too close to the pavement. Veer Left.”

John obeyed every direction realising that Sherlock was successfully manoeuvring them around all the obstacles in the road. How was he managing that? Had the other man seriously memorised the layout from the tiny glimpse they had seen before John had turned the light off?

“Quick, John! Right. Left. Stop! Turn it off!”

John hit the breaks hard and switched off the engine. Sherlock immediately jumped off and started pushing the scooter along at a run, not bothering to take off his helmet. John helped, still following Sherlock’s lead, while at the same time looking around for their pursuers. Sherlock grabbed his arm and pulled until they were both flattened behind a low brick wall.

This was never going to hide them. They were going to get caught. They were going to get shot. Or worse put in chains like those poor people at the farm. Oh god, he’d rather die.

All three cars sailed straight past.

Before he could overcome his shock Sherlock’s hand was on his arm, pulling him upwards again.

“We need to get under better cover before they realise they’ve lost us.”

Sherlock briefly turned on his hand torch, swung it around to look at the street where they had stopped, and then started pushing the scooter towards a house. They managed to break open a side gate and get into the back garden before the Land Rovers swung back round again.

John leaned against the wall, feeling out of breath and out of adrenaline. He heard a low thunk which he took to be Sherlock placing his helmet on the ground. He allowed himself to slip down the wall until he was sat on the ground and took off his helmet as well. The slight scrape of cloth on brick told him Sherlock had sat next to him.

“That,” John said, “was the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever done.”

“And you invaded Afghanistan.”

“How do you know that?”

“I read it in your file when I was sorting out your room allocation. Did you really have a psychosomatic limp?”

John scratched at his right leg automatically. It hadn’t hurt for months.

“Yeah,” he said, feeling uncomfortable. “Disappeared the day of the Event, though.”

Sherlock didn’t say anything. John wished he could see the other man’s expression.

“If we’re staying put,” John said, to break the awkward silence, “we might as well break in and sit on furniture instead of ground.”

Sherlock grabbed his arm. “Not yet and not here. Wait a bit.”

John sat still for… he wasn’t sure how long. Enough for the adrenaline to fully leave his system and the chilly night’s air to hit hard. He started to shiver. Sherlock’s shoulder pressed in to his and he leaned into it, grateful for the body heat.

Eventually Sherlock seemed satisfied that the vehicles weren’t coming back and turned his torch on again, nearly blinding John in the process. Sherlock stood up then helped John to his feet. Together they pushed the scooter out of the garden and back on to the street. They walked along, Sherlock shining the torch ahead and leading the way back along the streets they had previously ridden down. Every now and then Sherlock would shine the torch up at a house, make a noise of disapproval and move on. John was just about to ask what one earth they were supposed to be looking for when Sherlock suddenly stopped in his tracks. When the other man started to move again it was to stride with great purpose towards one house, which to John looked no different to any of the other houses they had passed, leaving John to follow him with the scooter.

The door had once had glass panels and so Sherlock was able to easily reach through and unlock it. He charged through leaving John to manoeuvre the scooter through the door. John leaned it against the wall in the hallway and followed through to a back room.

It was clearly the dining room, dominated by a large wooden table with elaborate looking chairs. Thick curtains blocked the windows and boring looking landscapes lined the walls. Sherlock had left his torch on the table and was rummaging through the drawers of an old bureau on the corner of the room

“What’s so special about this house then?” he asked.

Sherlock didn’t answer the question but instead grinned and raised a box of matches triumphantly.

“Candles,” he declared, lighting one of the matches.

Sherlock used the flame to light two small scented candles which were also on top of the bureau, instantly filling the air with the slightly sickly scent of lavender. Picking them both up he turned to the dining table. Placing them carefully in the middle of the table he sat down on one of the chairs and looked at John expectantly. John obediently pulled out one of the chairs and sat down as well.

“So,” he said. “Are you going to tell me what you found out, then?”

Sherlock jumped to his feet and started talking at a mile a minute. “I’m certain the men from the hotel were the same group who ambushed the team. The track marks match up, and the damage to the Land Rovers was caused by the same type of guns the team were carrying. Once the mud samples I took have been properly analysed they will support that as well. However, they are a completely separate group from the collectors at South Weald, the petrol didn’t match up. Now the collectors from-“

“Wait, you could tell that by tasting the petrol?”

Sherlock stopped mid flow and turned on his heel to face him. “Petrol differs between suppliers and batches, the quality, the purity, the content.”

“And you can detect them all by taste?

Sherlock scowled. “No, my research on the matter has never been that extensive but even an idiot could taste that they were different.” He started to pace again. “The South Weald collectors had a different type of petrol in each of their cars, most likely a mixed quality taken from whatever supplies they came across including siphoning from other cars. All the vehicles at the hotel had exactly the same type of petrol from exactly the same source. They’re clearly not from the same group.”

“That’s brilliant.” The words escaped his mouth before he could think.

Sherlock paused then pivoted back towards him as if mildly thrown by the compliment. After a moment he resumed his pacing and talking with the same fervour as before.

“The collectors from Dartford would have no reason to intervene with matters so close to the territory of the South Weald collectors, so who is this new group? And what are they up to?”

Sherlock seemed to be directing the questions at himself, shaking his hands on either side of his head as if to will the answers in.

“So they’re not collectors?” John asked, feeling a bit like a spectator at a tennis match as he followed Sherlock’s movements.

“Oh, I think they are,” Sherlock said sounding oddly pleased. “But they’re not based here. They were obviously only at that hotel last night and tonight.” There was more hand waving as Sherlock continued in an earnest tone. “Notice how much easier it was for us to get into their courtyard than it was to get into the South Weald base? No barbed wire, no guards, the cars weren’t even alarmed. It is not their intention to be there for a lengthy period but they did come fully prepared to spend at least a couple of nights; they had powerful lights not candles like us. So not just passing through. They deliberately came here, now, for a reason and it would be a large coincidence if that reason had nothing to do with our team. I’ve never believed in coincidences.”

“They deliberately came here to ambush the team,” John sounded out the words, trying to get it straight in his head. “As a way of attacking the Enclave? To target someone specifically? Why?”

This was like a war. Well he knew whose side he was on.

“If it was for either of those reasons they were vastly ill-equipped,” Sherlock said. “That is, they had perfectly adequate equipment, military issue in fact, but the personnel were incompetent. Even you managed to take out seven of them.” John’s mouth fell open. “Oh don’t look offended you know what I mean. You were one man with one small handgun and they didn’t even clip you. At the junction they had the strategic position and the element of surprise and yet our team suffered only non-fatal injuries and killed at least two of their group. It was a shambles.”

“Couldn’t they just have been idiots?”

“Or they were never supposed to be too great a threat. They were intended to catch our attention but not cause too much damage. Straightaway everyone jumped to the conclusion that there was another group of collectors in this area which is exactly what they wanted us to think.”

“But why would anyone want that?”

“To distract from somewhere else. To make us think there’s been a build-up this side of London instead of where they really are.”

“Which is,” he said, “where?”

Sherlock stopped in his pacing then threw himself down on the closest dining chair to hand which just happened to be the one next to John.

“West, most likely,” he said, heaving a huge sigh. “Possibly south. The samples I took from the tyres might be able to tell me more. Depends on whether whoever’s orchestrating this is clever enough to do more than just draw a straight line across London and pick a spot on the opposite side. Or maybe they just took the first opportunity they could get to a reconnaissance team. Depends on who their inside man is.”

Definitely a war. “Their inside man?”

Sherlock waved a hand dismissively. “Well, they have to have an inside man, obviously.”

“Obviously,” John said, rolling his eyes.

Sherlock turned to look John straight in the eye, bringing their heads only a few inches away from each other. “How else did they find out the exact time the team would reach the junction? That hotel was far too close to the scene of the ambush for them to have gotten enough advanced warning to have met them there. They have to have an inside man.”

Sherlock sounded almost bored by the prospect, as if getting information through espionage was lacking imagination.

“So you need to find out who it is then,” said John.

Sherlock made a non-committal humming noise. He seemed a little distracted. Tired maybe? It was only at that point John realised quite how late it was. The moon had long since risen and light was peeking through the edges of the thick curtains.

“You should get some sleep,” John said. “There’ll be a bed upstairs. I’ll stand watch.”

Sherlock narrowed his eyes. “You should rest,” he sounded disappointed for some reason.

John shook his head. He knew he should be exhausted after everything they had just been through but for some reason he felt twitchy and restless.

“I had a nap this afternoon, I won’t sleep tonight.”

Especially after seeing that girl shot and that burnt out building. The nightmares were waiting for him, he could feel it. The exhilarating ride for their lives through the streets had put them out of his mind temporarily but he knew they would come back if he closed his eyes. He wasn’t about to have another nightmare, not with Sherlock so close.

He wasn’t sure whether it was because he didn’t want to hurt Sherlock or because he didn’t want Sherlock to see him act like an animal.

“Besides, you need to rest your brain a bit and someone should keep an eye out.”

Sherlock looked thoughtful for a moment then got to his feet.

“See you in the morning,” John said.

“It’s past midnight,” Sherlock pointed out.

“In a few hours then.”

Sherlock nodded, picked up the torch and slowly walked out the room. After a short while John heard the other man gradually ascend the stairs. He let out a long breath, slouched back in his chair and tried not to think.

A few hours and then they could go back to the Enclave. He would be able to settle down, check on his patients, get something to eat and then maybe he and Sherlock could sit down and try and figure out this inside man thing. Or rather he could sit and watch Sherlock figure it out because it was obvious the other man’s brain worked at a level and a speed that would make his brain explode. Still, it was fascinating just to watch, let alone be part of the process. In a few hours he wouldn’t have to sit in the dark and look over his shoulder all the time. In a few hours they would be home.

A few hours.

What was he supposed to do with a few hours?

He jumped to his feet and stood still, gazing around the room for something to do. He had always hated waiting. When he had been in the army there had been times when they all knew something was going to happen and there was only so much they could do to get ready for it and then they would have to sit and wait. The other doctors would try to rest, prepare themselves for the trials ahead. He never could. He would find himself buoyed up by the anticipation of excitement. He had to do something.

After getting shot, London had been like that in the worst possible way. Months of waiting and waiting except without even the promise of excitement at the end of it all. Afghanistan had been bloody and terrible and frightening but it had been exciting. London had been… nothing. He had gone for walks, cleaned his gun, written his blog, gone to every single one of his useless therapy sessions just for something to do. Just to fill up the time while he waited for something to happen. Then something had happened. And it had been horrible and terrifying and catastrophic. But surviving every day after that had been something to do.

Now he had a few hours to kill; what a luxury.

He took the torch and went through the hallway, past their scooter, and into the front room.

It was neat to an almost ridiculous degree, with not a cushion out of place. There was a sofa and a couple of arm chairs gathered around the empty shell of what had been a glass coffee table and angled slightly towards the large fireplace which dominated one wall. There were no papers littered about anywhere and even the remote controls were lined up neatly on the mantelpiece underneath where the remains of a large flat screen television hung. He got the impression that whoever had worked so hard to keep it this way would have been disappointed by the layer of dust that had settled over everything.

There was an old carriage clock in the middle mantelpiece that had stopped at one o’clock precisely. On either side of it, distanced out from it at precise intervals, were four photos.

John had been in other people’s flats before in London. He had usually tried not to think about the people who had lived there, after all what was the point? But now he felt himself drawn towards the pictures and the remains of the lives they contained.

One was a wedding photo of a young couple who looked more relieved than happy. Another was of an older couple, clearly the same, in what looked to be the basket of a hot air balloon. The man was grinning widely and had his arm around his wife’s waist. The woman was facing the camera but her eyes were angled down towards her husband’s hand. There was a slight, almost surprised, smile on her face. The third photo was a formal school picture of a girl about six or seven years old with a forced smile on her face and uncertainty in her eyes. Her mother’s eyes. The fourth was another wedding photo but more recent. The bride looked a bit like the wife from the other photos. Amongst her bridesmaids was the little girl who was wearing a frilly red dress, had flowers in her hair and looked much happier than in her school picture.

Mistake. He shouldn’t have let his curiosity take over. Just because he was bored.

He pulled himself quickly away and left the room before he started thinking of Harry’s wedding photos. Or his parents’. Or the formal school pictures that he had hated but his mum had always insisted on buying until there was one from every single year of his and Harry’s school life lining the hallway. All except year seven as he had accidentally ripped that one when carrying his clarinet case down the stairs one time. His mum had always left the gap empty as if mourning the loss of continuity.

No, not thinking.

He hovered at the foot of the stairs, wondering whether there might be some books or something up there that might distract him. He didn’t want to wake Sherlock though.

Thinking of Sherlock made him suddenly wish the other man hadn’t gone to bed. He almost wished they had stayed up, talking into the night about… anything really.

Stupid. Pointless. Could he really not keep a grip on himself for a few hours?

He pulled himself together and went to investigate the kitchen.


~


Sherlock was woken shortly before dawn by an alarm going off.

He crawled out from underneath the bedcovers and retrieved his shoes, jacket and coat from the chair he had dropped them on a few hours before. Only once properly attired did he quickly make his way down the stairs and to the very back of the house where the noise was coming from. As he approached he heard the sound of swearing and scraping as well as the constant beeping.

As he entered the kitchen he found John, standing on one of the dining room chairs, muttering to himself as he unsuccessfully attempted to remove the cover of the fire alarm.

The kitchen was a large room which had obviously at one point been a very small room. An extension had been built – judging by the brickwork and styling – approximately four years previously. The walls were lined with counters on which sat not just the two ghastly scented candles from the dining room but twenty-four other candles of various shapes sizes and indeed scents. The whole room was bathed in light. Sherlock took a moment to congratulate himself on recognising that this would be a house belonging to exactly the sort of people to own lots of candles.

There was a great deal of empty space in the middle of the room. In the very centre of that space, in a tin can, John had built the small fire that was currently setting off the smoke alarm. Various cooking implements and food were lined up next to it.

With a joyous “Ha!” John managed to finally work the lid of the smoke alarm off its base and tugged the battery away so hard the wire snapped.

The other man didn’t immediately get down off the chair but closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Letting it out he opened his eyes and gave Sherlock an apologetic smile. Leaning against the doorway, Sherlock found a returning smile cross his lips without his permission.

“I didn’t mean to wake you,” John said, climbing off the chair. “I found this tin of coconut milk in the cupboards and,” he pushed the chair to one side. “You don’t have to have anything. We can wait until we get back if you like. But just in case you wanted to drag us both somewhere else first I thought I would make something.”

He sounded a touch embarrassed to be caught out but not at all uncertain, merely practical. There was no hidden motive, just exactly what he had said. Sherlock liked that.

He walked into the kitchen and took hold of the chair from the corner where John had pushed it. He turned it around and sat on it backwards so he could lean on the back and watch John.

John nodded briskly and sat down to attend to the fire. It was made up of twigs, which the doctor must have gone out to collect, and an empty tin can with holes round the bottom and the top. There was a saucepan rested on it covering the open top.

As Sherlock watched John worked in efficient silence; frying the tuna, throwing in dried onion, garlic, ginger, chilli pepper powder and what seemed to be any other ingredient that struck his fancy until he finally poured in the tin of coconut milk. John stirred until the mixture bubbled then, frowning at it, started throwing in more ingredients or more of the previous ones.

Sherlock was quite capable of cooking and tended to approach it with chemical efficiency, measuring out exact amounts, heating to precise temperatures and following cooking times to the letter. He would have expected John, as a medical man, to be the same. Instead the doctor seemed almost random in his approach. John had obviously gone through the kitchen cupboards and taken out a range of herbs and spices which had been lined up next to him as he worked. His selection of them had clearly been as haphazard as his use of them as some of them he didn’t even use at all. It was chaotic. And yet it was so obviously giving John pleasure to do it. Sherlock could see the pride building up across John’s face as the other man’s creation was built up in front of him. The expression started to spread across the doctor’s face, shooing away the usual mask of control. He watched with fascination as John took up a spoon of the… substance and blew gently over it before tasting tentatively. The doctor looked thoughtful and added more salt. This was better than the slideshows. It was as if John was relaxing for the first time since he had met the other man and it was strangely marvellous. He wanted to file the picture away somewhere in a special part of his hard drive labelled with ‘DO NOT DELETE’ in a large letters.

Eventually John seemed satisfied with his concoction and served it up onto two plates. He handed one plate of vaguely pink gloop towards Sherlock.

Sherlock hesitated then was delighted when John wasn’t offended by the apparent lack of trust in his cooking skills but laughed instead.

“It’s not poisoned. See?”

John picked up a fork and scooped some of the… stuff up and into his mouth. He licked the traces off of his lips with a content, “Mmm.”

Sherlock got up off of the chair, kicked it aside, then sat cross-legged on the floor. John was watching carefully so he pulled one of the plates close, took up a forkful and, without faltering, ate it. It was… edible. Quite good, surprisingly. It was spicy, but not too much. The texture was… interesting. He had had better but at the same time far, far worse. For something made out of the dried and canned contents of a kitchen cupboard and cooked up on an old tin can it was practically gourmet cooking.

John was still watching, looking curious. Sherlock turned to tell him that it was okay he supposed but John nodded with an expression of pure satisfaction across his face before Sherlock could open his mouth. Sherlock blinked at being read so easily then found himself oddly pleased by it.

“I found some brandy,” John said, getting to his feet and walking over to one of the cupboards. “Some whisky and some lemonade. What do you fancy?”

“What would you recommend to go with…” Sherlock faltered, looking dubiously at the plate in front of him.

“Tequila,” John replied promptly without turning around. “That’s what we had last time. But I can’t find any of that. Tell you what, take some candles through to the dining room, I’ll bring them all and we’ll just have what we fancy.”

Sherlock took two of the brighter candles through to the other room then came back for the plates of… the stuff while John put the fire out. Soon they were sat opposite each other at the ridiculously large dining room table and John was serving him a wine glass of whisky and lemonade.

“Well, this is romantic,” John said with a smile.

“You don’t cook often,” Sherlock said directly. “But you’ve made this dish before. Or something similar.”

John shrugged. “You know how it is when your student grant is running low and you’ve got barely any food in the house except half a tin of coconut milk your flatmate left in the fridge.” There was a faraway look in John’s eyes as the other man reminisced. “And it needs to be used up before it stinks up the place. And it doesn’t matter what it tastes like anyway because you’ve just finished your exams and have a heck of a lot of alcohol to get through that night which is the main reason you’re low on money in the first place. And everyone keeps barging in and having a taste and giving their opinion on whether you’ve added too much curry powder or enough salt until half of it’s been eaten by people having a taste. And you have to send people out for more tuna and more coconut milk than you actually wanted in the first place just to feed everyone when it was meant to be a quick snack for yourself. You just end up with this mad mish mash dish that everyone claims they made taste so good and it actually does taste quite nice.” There was a dreamy smile on his face. “And no one’s poisoned and somehow that evening just sticks with you as one of the most fun nights of university. Better even than the rugby trip to Norway. Well I say rugby trip… Anyway years later you’ve just had the worst A and E night shift of your life and you’re in a twenty-four hour corner shop staring miserably at the ready meals that look like they’d eat your stomach out from the inside and you spot a tin of coconut milk and you remember you’ve got some tuna back at the flat and you just… remember it.” His eyes suddenly met Sherlock’s again and he looked a bit embarrassed. “I guess you wouldn’t know how it is.”

“No.”

John laughed a little brokenly. “Well they didn’t die from the food so you might as well eat up.

John swallowed heavily and lowered his head to look at his plate. He poked at it a little with his fork.

Sherlock kept his eyes on the other man as he used his own fork to take another bite. “Could use more salt,” he said.

John closed his eyes, dropped his chin the final few inches till it touched his chest and burst out laughing. Sherlock found himself joining in as John’s shoulders shook uncontrollably. As soon as the doctor got his breath back he looked back up at Sherlock and, grinning, said,

“You’re brilliant, you know that?”

Sherlock smiled in response. He was never going to get used to that sort of flattery but he would love to give it a try.

They finished eating in comfortable silence and when John got up to gather up their empty plates and glasses it was almost domestic.

“Nice not to have to worry about washing up for a change,” John said genially as he took them out into the kitchen.

It was different, Sherlock thought. John Watson had been the most stimulating thing to happen to him for an age when they had met. He had wanted the man to stay wild and exciting. These quiet moments should infuriate him. He should be longing for the John Watson who can take out seven men in under a minute without blinking. Who races scooters, shouts at his brother and encourages his thinking. He should be bored. Yet somehow, as John came back in empty handed and graced him with another one of those smiles, he wasn’t.

“So what’s the plan for today?” John asked.

Sherlock got up. “There are a few stops I need to make but after that we can head back.”

John nodded. “More collector spots?”

“No, a few due payments.”

“What?”


Chapter 7




Date: 2011-12-15 08:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] togsos.livejournal.com
what can i say BAMF!John is bamfy! This is really shaping up to be a fandom classic.

Date: 2011-12-15 08:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trillsabells.livejournal.com
This is really shaping up to be a fandom classic.

*floats away on cloud of happy*

Date: 2011-12-15 08:22 pm (UTC)
ext_613151: (Sparkly eyes)
From: [identity profile] pillow-face.livejournal.com
Oh yay unexpectedly BAMF!John right at the start of the chap then ending with domestic!John *-*
Love Sherlock trying to work out John and how he feels about the man.

Date: 2011-12-21 09:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trillsabells.livejournal.com
Sherlock and feelings aren't the best of friends. It's going to take a while to sort things in his head and he's going to make a few mistakes. Things will... well... develop.

Also didn't I promise you a candle lit dinner?

Date: 2011-12-15 08:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thesmallhobbit.livejournal.com
I love the way John continues to surprise Sherlock, both BAMF and with his cooking.

Looking forward to the next few stops before they head back.

Date: 2011-12-21 09:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trillsabells.livejournal.com
John is a BAMF!cook for definite.

Next stops now up including my favourite line in the entire fic (psst, no one else has mentioned it yet, if you do I will be happy all day *nudges you in direction of next chapter*)

Date: 2011-12-15 09:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] madrona-8.livejournal.com
BAMF!John is domestic as well.
This really is very good and I always get excited when I see an update.

Date: 2011-12-21 09:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trillsabells.livejournal.com
Thanks! Glad you like it!

Date: 2011-12-15 11:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alina-kotik.livejournal.com
I agree, it's going to top the "recommended BAMF!John lists". Well-written, excellently balanced, in character in the midst of AU, more, please!

Date: 2011-12-21 09:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trillsabells.livejournal.com
You have no idea how wide my grin is right now. Thank you!

Date: 2011-12-16 02:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kholly.livejournal.com
BAMF and domestic all seamlessly in the same chapter. Brilliant.

Date: 2011-12-21 09:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trillsabells.livejournal.com
Thanks! Glad you're enjoying it.

Date: 2011-12-16 02:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rox712.livejournal.com
Just read three chapters in a row and I just love the way this is going.

Date: 2011-12-21 09:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trillsabells.livejournal.com
Let's hope I can keep that up then!

Thanks for commenting, glad you like it.

Date: 2011-12-17 02:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rte-175.livejournal.com
Love BAMF John! Any time he gets a gun in his hand and shoots out all of the bad guys almost machine-like, my heart goes pitter-pat. :-) Really loving how this is developing. The post-apocalyptic mystery is engaging and I love how their relationship is growing. More, please!

Date: 2011-12-21 09:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trillsabells.livejournal.com
I adore BAMF!John. He just got in the zone and let loose with a certain amount of repressed anger.

Glad you like it! More up now.

Date: 2011-12-18 12:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sffan.livejournal.com
I honestly can't remember if I've told you this series is brilliant yet, so I'm going to do it (again?) now:

BRILLIANT.

Date: 2011-12-21 09:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trillsabells.livejournal.com
Aww, thank you!

Date: 2011-12-18 03:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rotaryphones.livejournal.com
I was staying away from this story because of the warnings, and because AU is not always my favorite thing. And then I (stupidly) remembered how much I FREAKING LOVE dystopia, duh, and now here I am!

I adore what you're doing with it so far. The details are fantastic and believable, I love the slight references to the episodes (it's as though they'd have the exact same conversations no matter how they met), and the mystery is shaping up to be something I'm genuinely invested in. Best of all, Sherlock is wonderfully written, and John is just wonderful. You've struck a wonderful balance with John being damaged by the Event, but not broken. I can't wait for more!

Friending so I don't miss updates. :)

Date: 2011-12-21 10:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trillsabells.livejournal.com
Welcome to the AU darkside. We have tuna stuff!

Date: 2011-12-19 05:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] neonbiscuits.livejournal.com
please good madam/sir, may i have some more? *big eyes*

Date: 2011-12-21 10:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trillsabells.livejournal.com
MORE????!!!

Oh alright then. More up now ;)

Date: 2011-12-19 02:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sursum-ursa.livejournal.com
I...this...it...I mean...I...

You. Are just...

*flails*

Sorry, this is too brilliant for proper words. :D:D:D:D:D:D

Date: 2011-12-21 10:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trillsabells.livejournal.com
So glad you like it! Seriously want to hug you now...

Date: 2011-12-19 06:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mushroom18.livejournal.com
You have John shooting all the bad guys (well most) at the start, then ending with a John who can cook rather well, and takes pleasure in it. I AM SLAYED

Sherlock you lucky bastard

I was afraid that they would be caught. They're still out there and vulnerable though! :o

Date: 2011-12-21 10:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trillsabells.livejournal.com
Sherlock you lucky bastard

I KNOW! Isn't he? I wish I had John of my own. You really can't blame Sherlock for being possessive.

Thanks for commenting!

Date: 2011-12-21 04:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lenap-trap.livejournal.com
aaaaaa.. i almost missed it!! how could i!!!!aaa))
it's brilliant))) and lovely)))
this scenen in the house is sooo romantic and wondeful)) great))

Date: 2011-12-21 10:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trillsabells.livejournal.com
How could I resist a candle lit dinner? Especially when there's no electricity.

Glad you're enjoying it! Thanks for your comments!

Date: 2012-01-15 12:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] missilemuse.livejournal.com
And now you have John Watson cooking! What are you trying to do to me? This felt very much like a first date! Can’t wait for them to get together properly!
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