?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
10 September 2013 @ 01:05 am
FIC: Human Nature (10/11)  
Title: Human Nature (10/11)
Author: joonscribble
Fandom: Good Omens & Sherlock (BBC)
Rating: R for language
Timeline: Set 20 years after the events of Good Omens. Set two months after "The Great Game."
Spoilers: All of Good Omens. Spoilers for only season 1 of Sherlock.
Disclaimer: See the first chapter for it.
Summary: The world was saved back in 1990. It all went downhill from there
Author's Note: Damn this thing. So one more chapter that will get an epilogue tagged on at its end. This story started with a prologue so I guess it's symmetry.


It seemed all Mr. Young could remember was a meeting in Dorset. By his calculation, John had gone back almost three months and for every Monday in London, Mr. Young recalled a rainy day where he went to a meeting in Dorset.

“Do you remember the last time you went to London and there wasn’t a meeting to Dorset?”

Mr. Young thought it over. “Well,” he began. The blank look from earlier started to creep upon his features again. “I have an office London. So I must work there some of the time, mustn’t I?” He smiled at John, looking pleased. “That makes sense, doesn’t it?”

Sitting there with his gardening gloves, dirt-smudged cardigan and beatific smile, Mr. Young was a picture of English countryside contentment. John half expected to be annoyed by the sight but instead he felt an overwhelming sense of security. Worlds might fall but men like Mr. Young would always be in his garden, smoking his pipe and chatting about the latest cricket scores. When you looked at Mr. Young in his element, you felt safe.

“Yeah,” John agreed. “It does make sense.”

**

Adam ran.

Behind him he could hear another man’s voice joining that of already the young man and the older woman who were screaming at him. Not being able to even hear each other, they were allowing their words to mesh and garble together until all Adam could decipher was lots of swear words and all the awful things they wanted to do to him.

Because everything that was going wrong was his fault.

He ran toward his house but already waiting outside were three other souls, peering into windows.  From where he was, he could see the face of John Watson looking out of one of them. Redirecting his sprint, Adam ran toward the wooded area that lined the border of Lower Tadfield. He ran faster than he ever had before, the slow but steady fading of the voices made it an incentive to keep running.

Eventually the woods swallowed him up and Adam continued to run, not breaking his pace until he reached the familiar old tree. His knees were aching and his shirt stuck to his back, but he forced himself to climb up and up until he was in his usual spot. The rough bark of the tree comfortably curved around his back like always. Pulling his legs up to his chest, Adam pressed his forehead against his bony knees and wrapped his arms around is head. All he could hear was the rapid beating of his own heart.

It had all gone wrong. He had only ever wanted one thing and it had all gone wrong.

So clean the slate and try again.

“Leave me alone,” Adam whispered.

Try again.

He hunched further into himself, determined to ignore the voice he knew he couldn’t run away from.

**

Of course Mr. Young had said ‘big tree’ but he hadn’t exactly specified which big tree.

John had followed Adam with his eyes as far as he had been able but had lost him to the woods. Still, Mr. Young had said that Adam often went into the woods to play with friends and climb his favorite tree.

“A big tree,” John repeated for himself, taking in the several big trees to choose from.

If Sherlock were here he would probably be able to deduce which tree by fallen leaf patterns of some sort. As John debated if he himself could even attempt something like that, a crabapple fell from somewhere above him, rolling through his foot as it hit the ground. John looked up in time to see a small trainer disappear into the leaves of a pretty big tree standing on his right.

“Adam?” he called. “Are you up there?”

Nothing.

John placed himself directly under the tree and looked up. The leaves offered up a pretty good cover and it was hard to tell if the rustling was the wind or a small boy trying to shove himself closer under the branches.

“Your dad told me where to find you,” John continued. He walked along the circumference of the tree trunk, trying to catch a glimpse. “He’s nice, your dad.”

“Go away,” a thin voice finally responded. “I told you I can bring you back to life. I can’t offer that to all the others. Just take it and go away.”

John looked around. “The others?”

“They’re everywhere,” Adam hissed from above. “The other souls. They’ll find me and start screaming at me again. They won’t go away and neither will you!”

Another crabapple fell and would have beamed John in the face except it went cleanly through him.

“I don’t see anyone.”

“You all can’t see each other. I’m the only one.”

“And your dad,” John added.

The only sound was that of rustling leaves again.

“Adam, how come your dad can see me?” John asked.

“I told you to nevermind about him.”

“He can’t remember anything outside of this village,” said John. “The village and going to a business meeting in Dorset.”

Even the rustling stopped for a long while. John approximated sitting down by the roots of the tree.

“You wouldn’t understand,” Adam finally said from above him. “You didn’t like your dad. I can tell.”

There was that feeling again, the tension running down John’s back. “No, you’re right,” John agreed carefully. “My dad wasn’t like yours. He wasn’t…” There were a lot of things John’s father hadn’t been. “He wasn’t dependable.”

“So you don’t miss him.” That was a statement. “It’s not right,” muttered Adam. “I was only eleven. That’s too little. You got yours until you were older and you didn’t even like him.”

“What happened in Dorset?”

“I didn’t want things to be different,” said Adam. “My dad…my dad is steady. He’s steady. A stupid car crash can’t just change that. He always has to be there.”

Oh. Oh.

“You brought him back,” John said.

“I made it so it never happened. And never will. What’s the point of being able to do stuff if you can’t keep the people you care about?” Adam demanded. “I only wanted to keep my dad. I didn’t mean to get everything wrong.”

It was mixed with the sound of the branches scraping against each other, but John could hear it all the same. Adam was crying. Not the silent tears of an adult in moderate control of himself but a child who was crying unabashedly because he was frightened. It had been over thirty years since John had felt that kind of helplessness. The despair one felt when as a kid too young you assigned yourself a role you couldn’t possibly play. But you tried anyway because you were so desperate to help those who mattered most.

“I do miss him,” said John. “My dad. Sometimes. I don’t miss the things he used to do or didn’t do, actually. But after he was gone, things made less sense.”

“If he goes away I won’t know what to do,” Adam cried.

“For a little bit, yeah,” said John. “But you figure it out.”

“No.”

“Adam-“

“No!”

It then became obvious that Adam wasn’t addressing him but something or someone John couldn’t see. There was a heavy thump as Adam suddenly dropped to the ground on the other side of the tree from where John sat and sprinted off like all of hell was chasing after him.

“Adam!” John shouted.

“Go away!” Adam screamed as he tore through the trees. “Leave me alone, all of you!”

John ran after the small bright figure as he raced through the woods at near inhuman speed. After awhile, the woods broke away to a huge clearing that separated the trees from a large empty road. He could see Adam bolting across the grass, somehow several yards ahead of him.

“Adam!”

“No!” Adam clamped his hands over his ears as he ran. “Dad! Dad!”

And just as if he’d conjured him, there in the clearing stood Mr. Young.

John abruptly stopped in his steps as Adam collided into his father who caught him in his arms.

“What’s wrong?” asked Mr. Young, worried. “Adam?”

Adam clutched at his father’s cardigan, burying his face in it. “I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” he sobbed. “I did something really, really bad and now I don’t know what to do!”

Mr. Young let Adam cry a little more before gently pulling back to get a look at his son properly. “Adam, are you alright? Are you hurt anywhere?” he asked.

Adam shook his head.

Sighing, Mr. Young nodded with a smile. “Good. First things first. Now, this bad thing that you did. It can’t be too awful.”

“It is. Really bad.”

“Nonsense. You’re my son and no son of mine can do anything too terrible,” Mr. Young said, seriously. “Come on. We’ll fix it.”

Adam looked tearfully up at the smiling, reassuring face of his father. “But if I fix it, you’ll go away.”

“Nonsense again. I’ll always be here.”

“No, you won’t. You’ll go away.”

“Adam. Even if I go away one day, I’m still here. Remember what I said about nuns and Salvation Armies?”

“Some things never change,” Adam recalled, sniffling.

Mr. Young nodded. “Yes. Some things never change. And some people never leave you. Do you understand?”

Adam gazed up at his father’s face that hadn’t aged a minute since that day. Behind him Adam could hear the souls advancing through the clearing, still shouting. If his father could see them, he paid them little attention as he kept his focus on making sure his son was alright.

“Yes, I understand.”

A black car was streaking down the road just ahead of them. It stopped abruptly by the sign that cheerfully read, “Welcome to Tadfield.” It was in seeing that that Adam realized that he and his father were standing just outside of Lower Tadfield’s borders. He looked back to the man who hadn’t been his actual father but had been someone so much better than that.

“Promise, dad?” asked Adam. “Even if you go, you’ll stay with me?”

Mr. Young ruffled his son’s curls with a gentle hand. “Promise.”

There was nothing in existence more solid than a promise from Mr. Young.

**

Sherlock exited the Bentley just barely before it had come to a full stop. In the clearing far in front of him were Adam Young and his father. Behind them Sherlock could see a massive crowd of what looked like people descending upon them. But just on the edges of the huge throng, he saw John. Even from that distance, he could see John spotting him as well.

Sherlock took one step toward him and was hit by a blast of hot air. It was akin to walking into a well-heated room from the cold outdoors. It cut through his coat momentarily before settling down again, the temperature leveling off to a chillier climate as befitting English winters.

The clearing was completely empty.

“Where did they go?” Sherlock demanded. “Where are they?”

When no answer came, he turned back to Aziraphale and Crowley who were staring at the sign which now read, “Welcome to New Warwick!”

“He did it,” said Aziraphale in awe.

The mobile in Crowley’s pocket pinged, helpfully telling him that Location Services could pinpoint their location.

Time had finally caught up to Lower Tadfield.

NEXT

 
 
 
aelfgyfu_meadaelfgyfu_mead on September 10th, 2013 11:38 am (UTC)
I didn't expect to feel so sorry for Adam! Poor kid!
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on September 11th, 2013 12:54 am (UTC)
I'm glad that despite nearly breaking the world, he can still be sympathetic!
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on September 10th, 2013 01:36 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is very sad. Poor Adam! It really must be hard to have all that power at a young age. You can do whatever you want, but not what you need. I like him ignoring the 'bad' voice and, of course, poor Mr Young is so sweet. Ugh, you write so well, I can see it all in my head,

I hope John will be okay! Let's hope there's a loophole to get him back to life!
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on September 11th, 2013 12:55 am (UTC)
Yeah, poor kid has all the powers of the universe and is still powerless.

Ugh, you write so well, I can see it all in my head,

Thank you!

Let's hope there's a loophole to get him back to life!

Fingers crossed!
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on September 11th, 2013 01:35 am (UTC)
I don't trust you, so my fingers are very crossed.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on September 11th, 2013 01:38 am (UTC)
Your penchant for fluffy fics has definitely had an influence on me at this point.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on September 11th, 2013 01:48 am (UTC)
\o/

Success! Come to the light side, we have hugs and puppies.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on September 11th, 2013 01:50 am (UTC)
Come to the light side, we have hugs and puppies.

Yay!

Although I'm wildly skeptical about my abilities to write fluff. Maybe I should go slowly. I can start by not killing off John permanently.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on September 11th, 2013 01:55 am (UTC)
Baby steps.

Fluff isn't that hard, you just have to think what the sad thing is to do and not do it. I think I might have reached the fluffy pinnacle with my Alec story. I'm not sure if I can go fluffier. I may have to work in the other direction now.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on September 11th, 2013 02:01 am (UTC)
Perhaps we can swap writing staples for a day.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on September 11th, 2013 02:15 am (UTC)
Would that mean I'd have to kill someone?
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on September 11th, 2013 02:25 am (UTC)
We'll start slow for you as well. Although you did stab Mycroft so you're getting there.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on September 11th, 2013 02:51 am (UTC)
I've also got Harry Watson in the DTs as well! Although, just as an excuse for Sherlock and Mycroft to babysit Abby (someone asked for it, so I thought I'd give it a go). Oh, and Bond is shot with a broken leg, in an unrelated incident.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on September 11th, 2013 03:03 am (UTC)
Before you know it you'll be killing characters in no time!

After this fic is finally over, I fully intend on sticking with oneshots only for awhile. I'll try to build my fluff muscles through those. To be fair, I should give John first crack at a fluff story. He really does deserve it.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on September 11th, 2013 03:39 am (UTC)
Yay! Wait...

Yeah, John definitely deserves a nice holiday or something. I'm sure he'd just be happy to be alive for awhile, though.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on September 11th, 2013 03:43 am (UTC)
I had this oneshot idea of John and Q being kidnapped and having to work out how to escape.

But then I thought I should at least give John ONE story where the most strenuous thing he does is perhaps read a book or something.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on September 11th, 2013 04:03 am (UTC)
Oh, that sounds fun! To read, anyway.

You could always fluffify it by having the kidnapping leading to something good, like meeting a nice lady-friend or...having Sherlock be nice to him, or something.

I keep wanting Molly and Q to meet, but I don't have an excuse. I also think Molly and Bond in a scene together would be hilarious. Basically I just want everyone to meet everyone else. Maybe I'll throw a birthday party or something.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on September 11th, 2013 04:07 am (UTC)
I also think Molly and Bond in a scene together would be hilarious.

Best combo ever! Molly would be half scared and half excited by the sight of him. And possibly enjoy the conflicting feelings.

You could always fluffify it by having the kidnapping leading to something good, like meeting a nice lady-friend or...having Sherlock be nice to him, or something.

It takes place post-Reichenbach. Perhaps I'll have Q hack into some emails and work it so that John and Sarah end up back together again.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on September 11th, 2013 04:14 am (UTC)
Best combo ever! Molly would be half scared and half excited by the sight of him. And possibly enjoy the conflicting feelings.

Hehe! And Bond would be charming and flirty and lovely, and Q would be telling him to dial it back a little, for God's sake, 007.

I am all for John/Sarah as you well know.

I've been thinking about folding Alec into the Abby 'verse. Yes/no? He seems like he would fit there. It's basically a babies ever after verse already.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on September 11th, 2013 04:17 am (UTC)
I've been thinking about folding Alec into the Abby 'verse. Yes/no?

This is not a question. Of course Alec should meet Abby!!

I am all for John/Sarah as you well know.

Guess I better hurry up with this one before series 3 airs.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on September 11th, 2013 04:23 am (UTC)
Sounds like Abby is in for a night of child minding by godmother Molly, and Uncle Alec.

Guess I better hurry up with this one before series 3 airs.

I'm actually quite looking forward to writing some canon fluff. Hopefully Mary will be as awesome as Sarah, and not just used as a wedge to separate Sherlock and John.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on September 11th, 2013 04:25 am (UTC)
I just...really worry that Mary will be a Mary Sue. Like she's so awesome and cool about Sherlock that they'll all be a perfect trio forever and always. I just fear that scenario so much because it makes even less sense than anything else this show has done.

And yet Moffat would do something like that.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on September 11th, 2013 04:32 am (UTC)
I actually fight against that with Sarah a lot. I feel like her complaining just perpetuates the myth that John cannot sustain a relationship while working with Sherlock, but then I don't want her to be too okay because that seems unrealistic. I try to go for resigned, and doing her best, but occasionally losing her patience,

Canon!Mary practically shoves Watson out the door in the books, so she does have a basis for being cool. What I don't want is a third wheel. Let her have her adventure for her canon story, and then keep her separate from cases. It looks like she's in the first episode, while Sign is the second, so I'm guessing we're getting more of a lead up to the marriage than the books gave us, which is good.

I just don't want a Doctor/Rory/Amy with John being Amy.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on September 11th, 2013 04:34 am (UTC)
I just don't want a Doctor/Rory/Amy with John being Amy.

This made me laugh a lot harder than was probably appropriate.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on September 11th, 2013 04:39 am (UTC)
Well, with that I will be off to bed, then. Best to leave 'em laughing.

G' night! Thanks for all the inevitable fic ideas!