Sherlock BBC Prompting Meme

"we get all sorts around here."

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Prompting Part XXXII
Giggles at the Palace
Please check the Sticky Post to find the newest active part and post your prompts there.

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Things which you might want to consider warning for include: Rape/Non-Con, Death, Suicidal Thoughts, Self-Harm, Underage Relationships, among others.

That being said, this is a kink meme. As such, there will be prompts that could offend you in a number of different ways. Not every prompt will have a trigger warning, and not every prompt will rub you the right way. If you have an issue with a specific prompt, feel free to bring it up in a discussion that takes place off the meme. However, flaming will not be tolerated regardless of origin.

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Depending on the rate of activity, there may or may not be a prompt freeze when a part reaches 2000 and 4500 comments. However, there will be one when it reaches 7000. After the 7000 comments freeze, a new part will be posted, and all prompting should happen on the new part.

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Pinboard Archive - Delicious Archive - Guide to the Archive
Filled Prompts Posts: Parts 1-23 - Parts 24+ - Spoiler Free
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Links to previous prompting parts

sherlock_rant: A place to rant about or discuss anything with few to no restrictions.
sherlock_rpf: This is a kinkmeme for RPF about the show.
sherlockcrit: A multi-fandom betaing/concrit community, with a focus on BBC Sherlock.
sherlockbbc: A community dedicated to the BBC adaptation of Sherlock Holmes.
Useful resources for Sherlock and LiveJournal.
Sherlock screencaps.

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Simply Broken

Sherlock is kidnapped by Moran/an associate of Moriarty's/Jim himself.
Under threat that John, Mrs. Hudson, Lestrade and Molly will all meet an awful end if he doesn't comply, Sherlock does not attempt to escape.

His captors try and force him to by treating him cruelly - trying to provoke him, sleep deprivation, humiliation, abuse whatever.

Sherlock may go a bit mad.

Bonus if he shows up on one of his friend's doorsteps three years later, completely mute and catatonic.

Bonus if someone (Mycroft, idk) pushes to have him sectioned.
I don't even know what I'm prompting, I just want a nearly beaten Sherlock that needs his friends very desperately.

Re: Simply Broken

Oh my god I am pretty sure I'm in love with you for this prompt.

Re: Simply Broken


Re: Simply Broken

Could be great!

Re: Simply Broken

Exactly how much is 'a bit'?

I just had a random plot bunny bit me in the arse, so I need that clarified before I start writing.

Re: Simply Broken


'a bit' as in conditioned to accept whatever his captors wish to dole out - but ... write whatever comes to mind. Multiple fills encouraged.

I want a fill for this so badly here *have cookies*.

Re: Simply Broken

Yes yes, love it.

I especially love the idea of John having to deal with a mute and traumatised Sherlock!

Re: Simply Broken

mute, a bit mad and a lot broken Sherlock

i might or might not be drooling at the idea of this - but i sure as hell love it

Re: Simply Broken

Anyone still watching this and interested in a fill? I might take it up but I don't want to waste time if no one's watching anymore.

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Fill 1/?: Simply Broken. TW: Memories of past violence, humiliation

"BOOOOR-INGGGG!" Jim liked the effect of that particular pitch and repeated it a few times before the distraction lost its appeal. He pushed again with his foot at the figure on its knees in the corner, this time hard enough to make it topple. He raised his voice again, this time in a whiny, "Why doesn't somebody take this to the landfill for me?"

Moran came forward and picked the figure up by the collar. Jim turned his head again at the tiny choking noise with a moment of interest and then realized the sound was purely mechanical. He waved a bored hand and Moran started dragging it to the door.

Jim sprang to his feet as a thought hit him. "No, not the landfill. Find his waggy-tailed doctor and drop that on his doorstep. Maybe he can put Humpty-Dumpty back together again and make him interesting again." He rubbed his hands. "Now, let's see what they're making of those guns in Syria. Sooo nice of me to provide them to both sides!"

John Watson knew all about how wounds heal. Possibilities of re-injury. Possibilities of infection. Possibilities of tissue death. Typical variances of rates of bones knitting, blood vessels re-establishing themselves, muscle tissue growing, nerves regenerating.

The emotional process was all too similar. Sherlock's disappearance and presumed death had left wounds that had healed according to the normal patterns. For Mrs. Hudson, the wounds healed in a way typical for an older, nurturing, rather philosophical woman. She found comfort in the occasional moment of letting her eyes fill with tears as she remembered Sherlock and in mothering John. In her memories, Sherlock's many flaws were becoming more endearing and amusing. In his own memories, those flaws were even more aggravating than before, if such a thing were even possible, but kept highlighting how remarkable a man Sherlock was. He hoped that Sherlock hadn't known that he was going to die, that it was a bullet from a distance or an explosion from a tripwire. He didn't think that Sherlock would have been pleased to be killed by a criminal. It would have been the criminal winning.

Edited at 2013-01-13 03:10 am (UTC)

Fill:2/? Simply Broken TW: Past violence

The nutters had stopped coming by only a few months after Sherlock's disappearance, but John still was the first to go to the door at any suspicious sound or sight. It was habit and it made him feel as though he were protecting Mrs. Hudson. The feeling of being part of the fight against more than infectious disease and the effects of accidents was too potent for him to give up easily, even if this was just the tiniest portion of it, a single note from a triangle blocks away compared to a whole orchestra playing at full volume. But it was what they had.

At first, he thought somebody had thrown full black refuse bags against the door. Then he saw it was a person in a dark coat, a falling-down drunk. Then the hair, then the shape of the hand that lay splayed on the pavement were familiar. His mind leapt right from that sense of familiarity to full-blown knowledge. This was Sherlock Holmes, on the doorstep of 221B.

His professional side pushed all of the other reactions aside, rather like a doctor pushing through a crowd to an injured person. He felt for a pulse. Fast and steady but shallow. Holmes' eyes were open, minor dilation. The dilation was symmetrical, so unlikely to be concussion. He reached for his mobile and called for an ambulance. Sherlock was fully dressed, even wearing his old coat, but his face and visible hand showed signs of past fractures and fading bruises.

Mrs. Hudson came down the stairs and scurried over to him. "Oh, my,'s Sherlock." He nodded, still trying to comprehend. "Oh, the poor boy..." she whispered, and brushed Sherlock's hair from his face in one of those pointless gestures that communicated so much. "Oh, poor boy."

When the ambulance came, he loudly insisted on coming to the hospital with Sherlock as they loaded him onto a gurney. Mrs. Hudson, on the other hand, simply climbed in and looked ready to scold the ambulance staff if they so much as suggested that she shouldn't be there. They both got their way.

John decided that he shouldn't have been surprised that Mycroft showed up in a matter of minutes. He'd never noticed that 221B was still under Mycroft's surviellance, but then, noticing things like that was never his strong point. John dully noted that Mycroft looked...different. Somebody like Sherlock would have described exactly how and why, but John just looked for the word. Haggard, that was it.

They hadn't seen much of one another. Mycroft had visited twice after Sherlock's death...wait, now, it was disappearance now...but while they'd understood one another's grief pretty well, neither found much comfort in the other. He knew that if he ever needed help, he could call on Mycroft and if Mycroft ever called upon him to help the nation, he'd do it, but that wasn't grounds for a rapport, let alone friendship.

Mycroft's voice and demeanor still suggested that he was well in command of events, but his eyes were worried. "I've arranged for security for you two, as well as for him," he said, gravely. "I don't know why anybody would drop him off like that, but I fear it was for no kindly purpose."

Fill: 3/? Re: Simply Broken TW: Past violence

Finally, a doctor emerged and called, "Mr. Holmes?" John and the others followed him into a small meeting room. After introductions, the doctor said, "First, the injuries." John knew this approach from field medicine and that whatever came after that would be the worst.

"There are multiple injuries in various stages of healing. Some are only days old while others may be years old, but not properly healed, such as broken bones that were either improperly set or not set at all. There are also signs of old internal injuries, but nothing life-threatening. He also shows signs of malnourishment, but enough to present any kind of danger.

"What concerns us most is his state of catatonia. He's entirely unresponsive to external stimuli. We're running tests to eliminate neurological reasons such as a stroke, adverse effects to various drugs, meningitis, encaphalitis, and so on, though judging from his injuries, it seems more likely that his condition is a result of post-traumatic stress disorder."

Mycroft was nodding gravely and Mrs Hudson leaned forward. "But will he get better?"

John hated knowing the answer to this one. "If we can find a treatable physical underlying cause, then he has every possible chance of a full recovery. However, it's also possible that the underlying condition is not treatable, or that it is primarily psychiatric. If it is primarily psychiatric, there are still treatments, but the recovery rate varies greatly." He knew that "varies greatly" masked the fact that the recovery rate for full catatonia was usually below 40 percent.

"When will you have the test results back?" Mycroft sounded almost back to business and John stared at him.

"We should have some within the hour and most of the others within 36 hours. Dealing with a case like this is a process of elimination, though, so some test results may suggest other tests to run."

"When can we see him?" John hadn't said anything yet beyond introducing himself, not wanting to tread on the other doctor's toes, as long as he sounded like he was competent.

"Ah, they might still be doing brain scans, but we've assigned him a room. You can wait there. The desk will give you the number."

As they left, Mycroft offered Mrs. Hudson his arm and she smiled tentatively as she took it. "Now, Mrs. Hudson, we have to remember that Sherlock is no ordinary individual. I'm sure that in no time at all, he'll be up on his feet, criticizing the doctors and deducing everybody in sight and generally making a nuisance of himself." John could almost imagine Sherlock's impatient reaction to this kind of reassurance, but it was such a foggy image, as if somehow the unresponsive, dulled man they had brought to the hospital were a clouded overlay to all of his images of Sherlock.

Fill: 4/? Simply Broken TW: Past Violence

Most people hate hospitals because of negative associations. John Watson, as a doctor and past patient, was more specific. He hated hospital rooms. In them, you were helpless. Waiting. It had already been four hours and there was no indication of how much longer they might be there.

This one, at least, perhaps thanks to Mycroft's influence, was better than many. It was quieter. There wasn't the usual smell of disinfectant and stale air, though for him, the smell of disinfectant sent the more reassuring message that this was someplace cleaner and safer than a field tent and that equipment was at hand and functional. Some of his field colleagues liked the adrenaline rush of improvisation. He got off on that rush, too, but all too often, as the adrenaline wore off, he was left with the knowledge that proper equipment would have saved a limb or a life.

Mycroft was using his phone, mostly texting, though occasionally answering a call, while Mrs Hudson was looking at, if not watching, the sparrows and pigeons on the opposite roof. One would occasionally land on one of the windowsills, sometimes peering in, other times turning its back.

John finally drew his own mobile out to tell Harry that Holmes was back. He couldn't think what to say, so finally settled for telling her just that. "Sherlock is back. Alive but very badly hurt. More later when I know more."

That reminded him that somebody needed to tell Molly. He was always embarrassed by her obvious and futile feelings for his friend, embarrassed for her. He'd told her that to the best that he could figure out, Sherlock was either asexual or perhaps combined an extremely low sex drive and extremely high inhibitions about intimacy, enough to make him effectively asexual. It didn't help that her crush very likely would have been partially satisfied by Sherlock showing some interest in her companionship or friendship. Perhaps the best thing to do would be to go to St. Bart's in person or to her flat to tell her.

The sound of a gurney approaching interruped his thoughts and he was the first out of the room. Sherlock lay just as unmoving and unresponsive as before, his face pasty against the white pillow.

A different doctor, a petite Pakistani woman, introduced herself as Adiba Batool, saying that his condition hadn't changed but at least the brain scans did not show any sign of lesions, cancer, or inflammation and there was no indication that he had had a stroke. "Of course, we're waiting for more results. We'll want to keep him for at least three more days, both for more testing and observation and to help his general condition."

"What responses have you tested for?"

"He responds to a limited extent to visual, auditory, and noxious stimuli, so we know he can sense some things around him. Whether he's able to process them, we don't know."

"Is there any form of posturing?"

She raised her eyebrows, but her expression and voice weren't challenging. "You've some experience?"

"I was an Army doctor."

"Oh, I see. Some decorticate posturing." At least he was responding physically, even if it was mostly instinctive.

"I don't want to promise any false hope, but your partner is in very good hands here. We have some of the best neurologists in the UK here."

He still found himself making the usual response. "He's not my partner."

"Oh. Oh, well in that case, your friend is in good hands. A technician will be by with rather a lot of paperwork, I'm afraid." She smiled at them and he was fairly certain that her smile lingered with him for a moment. Unfortunately, he couldn't feel anything about that now, not even a moment of gratification at her interest.

Mycroft was standing at the head of the bed, looking down at his brother with an unreadable expression. It was only his hand, resting lightly on Sherlock's shoulder, that gave any indication. He raised his head after a few moments and his eyes cleared, then focused on Mrs. Hudson.

"Shall we go find a more palatable cup of tea than what they've been bringing us? At least we can find something fresher downstairs." She looked ready to protest but then she nodded in realization that Mycroft was giving John some time alone, and nodded. "It really is rather nasty tea, isn't it?"

Fill Re: Simply Broken TW: Past violence

It was only ten minutes later that a tall woman with all-too-familiar light grey eyes, cloud-like dark hair, and pale skin entered the room. Somehow she managed both to waft in and to hurry.

She put a long-fingered hand on Sherlock's cheek. "Sherlock, love, it's me, Mummy's here." Her tone became even more earnest as he remained unresponding. "My darling boy, everything's safe now, you can come out, it's quiet now." Her gaze at her son was deeply intense, but her hand on his cheek was gentle, her thumb moving in tiny caressing circles. Finally, she looked up, met her other son's eyes, and sighed, "Oh, Mycroft..."

He came around the bed and kissed her on the cheek. "I assume Father couldn't?"

"No, he was having one of his bad days. Last week he was doing so well for your visit, but today...I couldn't imagine his coming would be good for him or for Sherlock."

John's confusion must have shown on his face, as when Mycroft looked up again and met his eyes, he explained, very simply. "Father has early onset Alzheimer's. At times, he's quite himself, but at other times, well, it's quite a different matter."

John nodded slowly. That would explain so much about Sherlock, his absolute dread of his mind no longer being reliable, his insistence on organizing his memory palace, even his belief in deleting memories completely. "I'm so sorry," he said, knowing how important it was to be able to say something and yet again, as every doctor and bearer of bad news knows, all too aware of what a futile expression it was.

Sherlock's mother smiled ruefully. "At least, poor dear, he's happy most of the time now." John could guess what kind of suffering they had endured as a family between the diagnosis and now, when presumably the disease was so far progressed that Sherlock's father was no longer aware of being ill. And this, too, would explain why Sherlock had so seldom spoken of his parents, let alone ever suggested that they meet.

Perhaps that thought somehow carried to her, because she turned to him, holding out her hand. "You must be John. Sherlock told us so much about you, and of course I followed your blog religiously. I'm Pauline." She turned next to Mrs Hudson. "Mrs. Hudson? It's a pleasure finally to meet you, though I'm so sorry it's like this. Sherlock probably forgot to tell you, but I know how often he appreciated your renting to him and being so patient with his ways."

John continued to watch her as the resemblances to both her sons became clearer. She had Mycroft's savoir-faire but with a naturalness and directness that was far more reminiscent of Sherlock. He could easily imagine her as the mother of the son who was dressed perfectly at any moment for Buckingham Palace and of the one who dressed only in a sheet. But he could also sense that her charm could cover a lack of thought about the effect of her words or actions on others, or that her sons might feel driven to become the British Government or the greatest master detective, to understand and use all their motivations and secrets for his own purposes.

Author's note:Getting into Sherlock's head in the next chapters. Wish me luck!

Fill 6/?: Simply Broken. TW: Memories of past violence, humiliation

Sounds again. New sounds. New sounds, then nothing. Nothing happens to nothing. Nothing nonexists. Nothing is better.

Self-contained nothing. A vacuum. Solids in a vacuum. Outer space. Ridiculous name for it. Nothing to save about it. Delete corrupted files. Delete empty files. Keep some. But which some? Which, which, which? Put content to be protected in empty files. More corrupted than empty. More empty. Empty is nothing. Nothing is best.

Files should stack neatly. Like bricks. But file contents refuse. File contents bounce and tear down the hallways. Encounter corruption. Data from outside corrupting the files. Files not impermeable. Unacceptable. Entirely unacceptable. No file is write protected. No file is safe. Nothing is safe. Safe is nothing. Nothing is safe. Safe is nothing.

Airtight like vacuum sealed. Vacuum again. Nothing exists in a vacuum. Definition ambiguous. Ambiguous means multiples. Ones and zeros and zeros and ones. But they don't fit the way they should. Like trying to catch air bubbles. Standing in the palace watching everything crumble. Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Stupid belief. Cold, calculating, cruel, insane emperor. Hearing the laughter of Rome. Laughter and fires. Rome, where is your glory? Your science and your art, your command and your power? Fallen away to memories and bricks that don't fit as they should.

Memories as bricks and fallen stones, light and heavy, falling and bouncing and changing. Fleeing as you grasp it, turning a face back to you that changes. A smile is a grimace is a sigh is a sob is a snake. A snake exposing fangs that smile and smile and smile again. Smile and smile and be a villain. Another brick that floats. Data should not float. Data should do nothing until called upon. Nothing. Data should do nothing. Nothing.


"I got this last night," Pauline said, pulling a small Harrod's bag out of her large purse. She held up a dark blue scarf that John immediately recognized, and smiled reminiscently. "When he was just a little boy, he always wanted me to put his scarf on when he went out. So independent in some of his little ways, but with some things, he always wanted me or dear Peter or Mycroft to do it." She gently wrapped it around Sherlock's neck. "I thougt this might help him remember."

John nodded. They had been able to rouse Sherlock temporarily by administering clonazepam, but the effect only lasted a few hours, during which he was so groggy and unresponsive that it was a response only technically. Since the effects were supposed to last between 20 and 30 hours, that short a response period was another indication it would not be effective. They had to wait 120 hours further to be sure that it had passed from his system before attempting any other medications.

He knew that there were several other options for treating Sherlock's catatonia, at least five other drugs and even unilateral electro-convulsive therapy, and repeated this to himself again and again. Many of them had high success rates, even in cases that appeared to be induced solely by PTSD rather than having an identifiable organic cause. However, somehow its being Sherlock, resilient, vibrant, frustrating, brilliant, demanding, generous, arrogant, independent Sherlock somehow made a recovery seem less likely, rather than more.

Harry had once dragged him along to help her shop for an engagement ring. While one jeweler had helped her, John had listened to another jeweler explain to a woman who had brought in a ring for repairs that diamonds are hard but brittled and they can even shatter if you drop it on a suspectible stress point. Now Sherlock's condition reminded him of that moment. Moriarty had had years to find that stress point. And how do you repair a diamond?

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