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06 May 2012 @ 01:54 am
Fic: Three Candles Until Morning (The London Night Watch Remix) (1/1)  
Title: Three Candles Until Morning (The London Night Watch Remix)
Author: luminare_ardua
Fandom: Sherlock (BBC)
Pairing: John Watson/Sherlock Holmes
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Mentions of suicide, light hints at slash.
Summary: Vigils are a lonesome business. No one should have to grieve desolate in the dark.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. All rights to the named characters herein belong to the BBC, the Estate of Arthur Conan Doyle, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss.
Word Count: 1408
Notes: The narrator insisted on telling the story, in this exact way, overriding all my protests. In the end I decided that in the words of Maya Angelou: "surrender, in its place, was as honorable as resistance, especially if one had no choice." Thank you to fred_bear for the beta and taming the jungle of my sentences. Love to mandatorily for the inspiration, the handholding and for existing. You make my life brighter.
Original Story:mandatorily's Better To Light A Candle Than Curse The Darkness, available here and at AO3



Three Candles Until Morning (The London Night Watch Remix)



It's been a rum few days here in the old Place. The news has well and truly spread by now: one of the Maker-creator-beings who lives here, the madcap Bright-quick-thinking-far-seeing-one— doesn't, not any more; and the other, the One-who-is-Mender-of-Makers may soon leave too. The House is quite disconsolate over the whole affair; old as she is, I've never known her to make quite so many moans and groans in the wind. The neighbours hear the lady’s sorrow and offer their own condolences; the ones she Houses— Housed were unique. Losing them is a bitter blow.

We had known it was coming; all those nights when the Bright-one paced up and down muttering to himself, scraping on the violin and laying out his plans against the other, the Bright-one's Shadow, all while the steady Mender-of-Makers slept on. Knowledge is scant solace however.

We knew it was coming then, oh yes we did. The violin sings— sang us his thoughts, the floor and carpet sent messages running through ceilings, to the chairs, table, sofa, beds, so that every nook and cranny, every child of the Place known as 221B in Baker Street, London knows what he does— what he did.

The Makers made us, but do not know us. For beings wise enough to create us in the first place, the Makers are surprisingly deaf and blind. London is built of more sights than the Makers see, more sounds than they can hear. What one of her children knows, the rest will know, sooner or later.

We of 221B Baker Street know the foreigners who were here, watching our two cherished Makers. We know too, why they were here, and what havoc they sought to bring. There wasn't a one of us that didn't wish to drop very hard on their heads, hard enough to knock them unconscious, or kill (though killing is usually abhorrent for us, whose only purpose is to serve the Makers faithfully). There wasn't not a one of us that didn't will those two Makers to hear us screaming our warnings. But we had no chance, they couldn't hear us, the Makers have never been able to.

The streets of the City are alive and grieving-- walls rejoice as youngling Makers wield paints and draw likenesses of him, scrawling "We believe in Sherlock Holmes"— that was the name the Bright-one was given amongst his own.

We believe, indeed. His own people, save those closest to him, mock him for being a knife turned and broken in the hand; unfit for use, purpose betrayed. We know better however. Didn't we first hear it right here, we of 221B Baker Street? We know he did not reach the end of his purpose; that he continues to serve his function. We do not have to believe. We know.

We do not know, though, when he will return, or if he ever will. We know however his resolve to do so. When he does, we— and all of London will help him.

Our knowing does not aid the Mender though. He only knows the Bright-one has left him forever. We would like to tell him differently— but he can't hear us. One of the most unusual Makers London has seen in this time, like the Bright-one, but still he cannot hear us.

There's rustling sounds from outside our drawer, a soft thud and thump. The mantel's reported, as has the chair, what the Mender is doing. The dressing gown the Bright-one favours— favoured— is draped across his favourite chair. The Bright-one's things do not enjoy being moved from their regular places where they lie, patiently, awaiting his return. It’s obvious, their sorrow, their waiting, in the way the violin complains in the sound of a string carelessly struck and the skull's wordless murmurs. The nicotine patches are heedless, as usual, in their constant susurrating chatter. It always happens whenever more than one of them are together— in fact they sound much like the Bright-one in his manic moods.

The drawer opens, the box we are contained in is removed from it, and we wait to see who shall be called to service. For us, the time of our service is the first, and last, we ever see of the wider world. It is our duty, one we are proud to serve— a gift of vision, for the gift of light we make with Fire. One of my brethren is chosen, drawn from the box we lie in. Minutes later we hear the sound of a match being struck, and then the shivery sound of flame. The Great Elements have no speech of their own, they have no need of it.

We cannot see what the Mender is doing, but the chair, the ceiling and the mantel keep up a steady commentary on what he is about. He has recreated in this House one of the Makers's special Places, where they go to seek their purpose. All in the room whisper that he is kneeling in front of the Bright-one's chair, staring at the flame fed by the sacrifice of my brother.

It is hard for us who are not of the Makers to understand the things they do and why; but it seems he is perhaps contemplating the Bright-one? Maybe he remembers how he last saw the Bright-one; it can have no other explanation.
What London knows, her children all know, and we all saw the beginnings, as we have all heard the ending to this tale. First from the Place of Restoration Works, where many other Menders-of-Makers work, and then from our own Mender's recounting within these walls of the events just past. Of how the Bright-one created his deception, unknown to the Mender— and forced the Mender to witness it happen. It is hard to accept that as necessary, when it seems to be absolutely, perfectly what the Makers name cruel.

The Mender's grief, so the table says, is written on his face, as plain as the bold tracks the pens leave on paper.

And yet— we have learned how the Makers express their emotion named grief. Emotions are beyond our understanding, but we— everything that has ever known service to the Makers— have seen how these emotions are ultimately displayed. So why does this Maker not produce the fluids others would to show his grief?

The chair murmurs of how his face contorts. He does not seem to be aware and sees nothing, says the dressing gown. We in the room— and by extension all of 221B, and through her, Baker Street, and thence London hear and note the harsh, rasping breaths that are not quite what the Makers name sobs.

It goes on and on, as a second and yet a third of my brothers is called to service and an end haloed in fire and glory. Still the Mender kneels. It must be painful for him, with his old wounds which the revolver has told us of (lightbulletspainbombsblood)— does he do this to atone for some perceived fault towards the Bright-one, his friend? Surely he must understand that there is nothing to atone for?

The clock ticks away, a steady reminder that time does not wait; all life goes on; all things meet their ends. Finally, a sigh of cloth, movement at last. The chair reports that the Mender is leaning against his seat now, with the Bright-one's dressing gown clutched to the Mender's face. The chair tells us that he is extending all the support he can give the Mender in this moment of need, which pleases us. We of 221B are fond of the Mender; he sets us in order, keeps us from being damaged and sometimes even mends us, as he mends the Makers.

The sobs come now, and with them the fluids from the eyes named tears. Perhaps the Mender thinks them soundless, but we, the inanimate, unnoticed, unconsidered but never soulless objects— we can hear the wild grief his soul screams with, for any that can to hear; and it is terrible.

An errant breeze blows through the opened door of the room, and the light of my brother's gifting flickers, once, twice— and goes out.

All else is quiet, hushed, as finally, finally the weeping grows. The silence stretches, and breaks; transmuted into the sound of tears, harsh and painful, falling to the floor in the utter darkness that shrouds the house.
 
 
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