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17 August 2012 @ 02:36 pm
FIC: Human Nature (6/11)  
Title: Human Nature (6/11)
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: It's been so embarrassingly long, I really have my fingers crossed that I'll be able to finish this before the fall semester starts. This installment finally moves the plot forward.


“Head trauma caused by a fall from a not insignificant height,” Sherlock listed as he craned up to gauge the height of the building he’d just taken a flying leap off of. “3 out of 5 such cases resulting in a subdural hematoma,” he continued to rattle on as Crowley and Aziraphale stared at him with twin looks of amazement. “Resulting pressure in the cranium has been listed as a cause for hallucinatory dreaming-“

“No, no,” John interrupted or rather would have if he hadn’t been invisible and inaudible to the appropriate party. “That’s a 15 story building! You wouldn’t get a subdural hematoma from such a massive-“

“With the mind drawing from the victim’s memory and the more immediate topics of preoccupation which in this example would be my case,” Sherlock barreled on as if John hadn’t spoken at all which for once wasn’t due to rudeness.

Regardless, the doctor pinched the bridge of his nose in frustration. “No, Sherlock, you are absolutely not going to ignore a miracle this big through logic!” he exclaimed.

The volume and frustration in John’s tone only increased as Sherlock began to speak now mostly to himself about his chances of survival given the severity of his accident. Crowley felt a headache building.

“ If I could interrupt you two gentlemen a moment,” Aziraphale placated. “Mr. Holmes, I know this is difficult to accept given your exemplary logistical mind.”

Sherlock waved a hand with a nearly theatrical air. “Be quiet,” he ordered, blithely. “As a product of my own mind, I command it. It’s my dream.”

“Hear that, Aziraphale?” said Crowley, thick with sarcasm. “We’re products of his mind. For whatever reason, atheist Sherlock here has decided to conjure up an angel and a demon.” At that, even Sherlock grimaced slightly as if mortified by his own brain for such a pedestrian post-trauma imagery. “Not to mention he decided it’d be great if his old flatmate were here but, you know, invisible to him. Just for a laugh.”

For the first time, the detective looked over at the space that Aziraphale had indicated before as where John was standing. By either chance or repeated practice, Sherlock stared directly at the correct height, meeting John’s eyes. The other man frowned at the sudden, unblinking scrutiny as Sherlock’s pale eyes nearly squinted in silent concentration that stretched on.

“Is he…? Sherlock, can you see me?” John waved a hand in front of the detective’s face.

“He’s trying to make you visible to him,” supplied Aziraphale with a somber if sympathetic smile.

“Which he can’t because we aren’t inside his head!” Crowley added, irritably. “Look, we don’t have all day to play-“

Whatever the demon was about to say was cut off by the sound of a man screaming. The noise started faintly as if far off and increased in volume before being sharply cut off with a very wet sounding crunch.

**

The man who’d managed to knock Sherlock off the roof not a few minutes before now lay dead at the detective’s feet. The victim of a nasty fall, judging by the bits of cement around the body and the dirt caking Marcus’ broken fingernails where the man had attempted to clutch the lip of the roof before plummeting. Sherlock’s lips twisted into a humorless smile. His own mind would pick something like this to render poetic justice on the delivery man. A shame it was merely a dream.

The detective looked up from his study of the body to the local PC who stood a few feet away, speaking into her radio to report the incident. The cool night air picked up briefly and despite the coat, Sherlock felt it cut through his body. For a moment, he marveled at the fine details his mind was supplying into the dream from the weather to the distinct smell of old curry still clinging to his clothes. He supposed it made sense since most likely his actual physical body was no doubt lying in a heap near the filled bin liners he’d seen as he was falling.

What made a little less sense was the presence of an angel and demon in his dream. As well as the fact that his mind had gone so far as to assign them names. Names and faces that he didn’t recognize off hand, though Sherlock supposed he’d made the association of the demon to the occultist Alastair Crowley. Had the fall somehow allowed for the deleted portions of his memory to unwillingly reboot and contaminate his more immediate unconsciousness? It was possible. The jumper the angel was wearing looked like something that could have come from Mycroft’s old wardrobe when they’d been boys.

Sherlock gazed at the two figures conversing with each other off to the side. Periodically, the two quieted and stared at a bit of space between them, clearly listening to something. Or someone. The taunt Crowley had made earlier about Sherlock purposefully rendering John invisible floated back to the detective. Scowling, Sherlock looked back down at Marcus’ cooled corpse as a traitorous explanation for that part of his dream came to mind. Instead, he focused on the body to take in the remaining details. If his mind was going to persist with the case, despite his physical body slowly dying in an alley somewhere, Sherlock was going to make the best of it.

Appraising the jacket Marcus was wearing, Sherlock stuck a hand in the front pocket and located the man’s wallet.

“Sir, please don’t touch the body,” the PC ordered quickly. “You can’t disturb the scene.” Ignoring her, he rifled through the wallet’s contents. “Sir, put the wallet down.”

Two credit cards, 35 pounds in cash, and one tattered, coffee stained business card from some sort of accounting firm, though the name of the card owner was scratched off from age.

“Excuse me!” The PC was now reaching down to grab Sherlock by the shoulder when a much more well manicured one grabbed hers. The slightly murderous look on the young PC’s face quickly vanished as Aziraphale gave her a warm smile.

“I think a nice hot cup of tea would do you wonders,” the angel suggested. “Perfect on a night like this.” The PC nodded vaguely, a somewhat blissed out expression on her face. “There’s a cozy little café not too far from here. I’m sure if you go now you’ll walk through the door just as they open up a new tin of biscuits to have with your tea,” Aziraphale added. It was less an optimistic thought and more of a stated fact. “And then after you’re sufficiently warmed up, you’ll go home and have a lovely bath. After which you’ll no doubt finish that book-“

Crowley gave a loud, pointed cough.

“Err, yes. And have a good night’s sleep,” finished Aziraphale, hastily.

John stared after the PC who wandered off, dead body and all completely forgotten. “How did he…?”

Crowley wiggled his fingers by his head. “Powers of angelic suggestion.”

“Is that safe?” John asked, worriedly.

“Aziraphale is solidly anal retentive about this sort of thing,” Crowley assured. “I once forgot to unsuggest a guy that he would enjoy some dessert with his dinner. Now that got messy.”

Having finished with the wallet, Sherlock now crouched back down toward the body. After a brief moment, he gestured toward Crowley. “You, help me turn him over,” he ordered.

“Just give yourself super strength and do it yourself,” Crowley suggested. However he caught the frown on Aziraphale’s face and the longwinded reprimand no doubt building. With an aggrieved sigh, he joined the detective and grabbed what was left of Marcus’ shoulders.

The delivery man had landed on his back and there was an unpleasant squelch as the two flipped him over. Still mostly attached to his back was the flat parcel he’d been carrying. The brown paper that had contained the parcel was now half torn, thanks to the blood and recent rough treatment. Peeking out between the shredded paper was a painting. Judging from the bits exposed, it was a landscape comprised of bright greens and sweeping yellows. Suspiciously familiar bright greens and sweeping yellows. Crowley ripped away the rest of the packaging to see the painting in full.

It had been 20 years since he’d been there but Crowley had nothing if not a good memory. Before him was the late Graham Foster’s accurately bucolic rendering of Lower Tadfield.

“Oh, that can’t be a coincidence,” the demon murmured.

**

“I, the 8th Henry, do proclaim that forthwith England will now be a Protestant church.”

“That doesn’t sound right,” Brian commented from his execution stand.

“It is,” Wensleydale insisted. “A Protestant church is right.” He pushed up the sleeves of his mother’s peach flower pattered dressing gown they were currently using as his kingly robe. “Now I can get divorced and Pepper and me can married.”

“You mean Henry and Anne Boleyn,” corrected Adam.

Wensleydale seemed to cough and gulp at the same time. “Yeah, s’what I said. Meant.” He pulled the silk robe tighter across his flat chest.

“Let’s do something else,” Pepper complained. “I’m bored.” Dramatically, she flopped down onto the ground next to Adam, crushing the high grass with her small body.

“But I haven’t been executed yet!” protested Brian. He’d only learned Cromwell’s speech because Adam had told him of Cromwell’s ultimate fate.

Splaying her limbs out, Pepper scowled up at the bright blue skies. It was a beautiful day as always. “It’s not fair! Just because I’m the only girl I always get the stupid parts.”

“Anne Boleyn gets executed too,” Adam said.

Pepper brightened at that. “Really?”

Adam nodded and rolled over onto his stomach, his hands landing in the swatches of Pepper’s spread ginger hair. “Henry lops her head off for witchcraft and not having his son.”

“Can we do that bit now?” she asked, eagerly.

As Adam considered it, both Brian and Wensleydale howled their protests at getting shortchanged a death and a proclamation. Ignoring the noise, Adam lazily plucked up some grass.

“It’s time for tea, anyway,” he announced.

Dutifully, the Them nodded, though with small sighs of displeasure. Still, they cheerfully rolled down the hill back toward the cluster of cottages that held promises of Victoria sponge. Watching them go, Adam didn’t bother to call after them to be back tomorrow. He knew it’ll be the same tomorrow. And the day after that. As it should.

NEXT
 
 
 
The Writer They Call Tay: SHERLOCK: Watson giggleawanderingbard on August 17th, 2012 09:54 pm (UTC)
I can't tell you how very pleased I am to see this on my flist again! Yay! I'm so glad to have you writing.

And it's really good! You have Sherlock's logic perfectly here. He would absolutely be that stubborn about the situation and manage to just keep logicing everything away. I'll be interested to see what, if anything, finally tips him over the edge into believing.

Also yay for the Them! I wasn't expecting to see them and I'm very happy they're here. It all seems very ominous.

I'm going to send good writing vibes your way.
formerly lifeinsomniac: LestradeCocktailjoonscribble on August 21st, 2012 07:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad Sherlock's logic works. It's fairly airtight which probably annoys Crowley no end.

It all seems very ominous.

Ha, good!
aelfgyfu_mead: Watson plotaelfgyfu_mead on August 18th, 2012 12:56 am (UTC)
I would suggest "logical mind" instead of "logistical."

Now, of course, I'm wondering how long Sherlock will go and whether he'd rather believe that he has simply lost his mind than accept that an angel, a demon, and dead John are talking to him. Poor man! I'm thinking I need to reread bits of Good Omens to get parts to make full sense, but I don't know if I'll get around to that.

And of course poor John!

I'm very glad to see you picking up this story again!
formerly lifeinsomniac: WatsonCocktailjoonscribble on August 21st, 2012 07:36 pm (UTC)
I'm thinking I need to reread bits of Good Omens to get parts to make full sense, but I don't know if I'll get around to that.

You might need to for the plot as most likely Crowley and Aziraphale will have to fill in some blanks for John.

I'm very glad to see you picking up this story again!

Thanks! Yeah, it's been nagging at me to just finish already.
Astoundingly fond of avocados and rainy weather.: Sherlock_Heart+Mindguardian_chaos on August 19th, 2012 02:38 am (UTC)
Sherlock really must stop jumping off buildings. Generally speaking, it's just not a healthy pastime! I find it hysterical that his first impulse upon falling from such a great height is to start rambling uncontrollably to himself. It's like, this man is obviously great at analysis, but at the same time, he's so awkward.

Anyway, eee! So awesome to see an update for this! It's like Christmas came early this year, or maybe Halloween since that holiday is so much cooler.

“Hear that, Aziraphale?” said Crowley, thick with sarcasm. “We’re products of his mind. For whatever reason, atheist Sherlock here has decided to conjure up an angel and a demon.” At that, even Sherlock grimaced slightly as if mortified by his own brain for such a pedestrian post-trauma imagery.

PERFECT LINE. Holy crap, that's a story I want to read right there...Hmm...to get Sherlock ther, perhaps a drug-induced state...NO, I CANNOT LET MYSELF PURSUE THIS TRAIN OF THOUGHT FURTHER.

“Aziraphale is solidly anal retentive about this sort of thing,” Crowley assured. “I once forgot to unsuggest a guy that he would enjoy some dessert with his dinner. Now that got messy.”

Oh ho, another interesting story, I'm sure. I like your Aziraphale most of all in this chapter, I believe. There's an almost intimidating warmth about him, with his capabilities being a very solid undercurrent of power, particularly in how easily he can dislodge a very angry person from her target and move her away almost against her will. I liked that, since it helps show that he can hold his own. It's a good thing Aziraphale's not prone to violent acts, since that could quickly become problematic.

Crowley's sarcastic approach to Sherlock's denial was also great, as was Sherlock's momentary catching of John's gaze. Also, your Pepper was very sweet and very darkly inclined, just like in the book.

A fine update! Looking forward to John's resurrection (I hope!) and to more in general!

formerly lifeinsomniac: SherlockChaseScenejoonscribble on August 21st, 2012 07:40 pm (UTC)
Sherlock really must stop jumping off buildings. Generally speaking, it's just not a healthy pastime!

To be fair to Sherlock, in this instance he was pushed off the building. Not that he didn't put himself in that situation.

It's a good thing Aziraphale's not prone to violent acts, since that could quickly become problematic.

Then he'd just be like Hastur or Ligur. Are demons just really pissed off, violent angels, I wonder?