Sherlock BBC Prompting Meme

"we get all sorts around here."


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Prompting Part XXXIII
Giggles at the Palace
sherlockbbc_fic

  • Anon posting is not required, but most definitely allowed. If you think you recognise an anon, keep it to yourself and don’t out them. IP tracking is off, and will remain that way.

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Please consider warning for prompts that may trigger people (and also for fills, because some people read in flat view) and phrasing prompts in a manner that strives to be respectful.

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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PROMPT FREEZES
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.

CONTACTING MODS
Your mods for this meme are ellie_hell, charname, anonspock and anonbach. If you have any questions, concerns, comments about anything at all on the meme feel free to send a PM or contact us via the Page-A-Mod post.

MEME LINKS
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

OTHER LINKS AND AFFILIATES
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.
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sherlockbbc: A community dedicated to the BBC adaptation of Sherlock Holmes.
Useful resources for Sherlock and LiveJournal.
Sherlock screencaps.

  • 1

Older!Sherlock/John

(Anonymous)
John is the nerdy, quiet, bullied gay boy at his school. He is always alone. Teacher/Teacher's assistant Sherlock/Jim find him adooooooooooooooooooooooooooooorible. He wants some of that innocent, lovely boy.

Any warnings are okay.

John can be bullied at home, too.

Someone to Notice 1/?

(Anonymous)
"And the students will turn their essays in here," Mr. Miller finished, pointing to the box for completed work. "You can go through the lot of them first, and we'll go over your notes together before deciding on their marks."

"Good," Jim noted absently, his eyes on the lone student in the room who had remained when the others in the last class had rushed off for lunch. The boy had been there the past few days as well; this was just the first time Jim had a chance to remain in the room instead of rushing off for yet another orientation meeting with the other teaching assistants.

Mr. Miller sighed. "Don't mind John; I told him long ago he's welcome to study in here when the library is closed for lunch and the other students are gone."

"John Watson, is it?" Jim made a show of peering down at his list of students.

"That's the one. Very kind boy, very sweet, and always does his work on time. He's got a great deal of potential, really; I'm encouraging him to think about science or medicine."

"Studious sort, is he?" Jim regarded the boy sitting at the back of the classroom paging through a large textbook. When the boy looked up, Jim smiled slowly. John flinched, seemingly taken aback, and looked down at his volume once more. Jim felt his smile widen. "Strange he doesn't want to eat with his mates, though."

Miller shrugged. "Troubles at home, you know. You'll see how much it can affect their social lives as you continue on with your training. In his case, his family moved here mid-year, and he hasn't made many friends."

"Too shy, I suppose?"

The other man hesitated. "That, yes." His gaze darted to John. "There are...other issues as well. Teenagers can be so cruel when they sense the slightest difference."

Jim nodded, making sure to fill his gaze full of sympathy as he affected a moue of regret.

"Right, well. I'm off to stop by the headmaster's office. Remember the period after lunch is free as well, so if you'd like to catch up on an errand or get your own work done, I don't mind so long as you've returned for sixth-form Literature."

Nodding eagerly, Jim raised a hand as the teacher left.

He glanced back at the boy seated at the rear of the room. When he again caught John's eye, he smiled and sauntered over, his valise in hand.

"Mr. Miller said it's all right," John began, blinking behind his glasses as he saw Jim approach.

"Oh, yes, that's all sorted, don't you worry. I just wondered if you might help me with a problem I have."

"Oh?" John swallowed nervously, eyes darting to the door that Mr. Miller had closed behind him.

Jim slipped into the desk attached to John's, opening his valise. "I actually packed two sandwiches today; don't know what I was thinking, except that I probably should have had my tea before making them! I have meetings after classes end, and I don't want the other to spoil. Would you?" He held out one of the wrapped sandwiches to John, smiling mildly.

"Yeah. Okay." John reached out, taking the offering with a slight flush in his cheeks.

"Thanks, you're a pal," Jim sing-songed, opening his lunch and grinning at John when he hesitantly investigated his own.

Re: Someone to Notice 1/?

(Anonymous)
Not OP, but I'm really loving this and can't wait to see where it goes!

Re: Someone to Notice 1/? (Anonymous) Expand

Re: Someone to Notice 2a/?

(Anonymous)
Only a week later -- three more shared lunches, three more sessions of John looking wary but increasingly pleased with the loveliest little hint of vulnerability whenever Jim offered him half of whatever he's brought to eat, claiming it was as easy to make for two as it was one -- Jim turned a corner a few blocks from the school and heard the dull thud of a fist connecting with someone's gut.

Hidden behind the skip at the start of the alley, he shifted his valise on its strap to rest behind his back and edged closer to view the scene undetected.

"Fucking ponce," one of four boys grunted as he pulled his arm back to land another blow to John Watson's torso. One of his mates laughed, harsh and high, as the third got John in a headlock, keeping him in place.

If Jim blinked, he could see himself in the scene -- the bullied boy, held back by cowards, beaten by his inferiors, brimming with bile and hate and seized with a need for revenge. Though small as a lad and quick on his feet, he'd never had the strength or knowledge then to fight back in the normal way. So instead he'd plotted and planned his way to settling scores -- a beloved dog found with its throat slashed at the foot of one boy's bed, another's father caught in a petty business scheme and bound for prison.

They had all gotten the message eventually.

Though hateful and tedious, he'd always reflected those horrifying moments of fear, being cornered and crushed, had been good for him in the end. They'd set Jim on the path to the man he'd become.

So as he watched John double over, he couldn't help but feel a frisson of anticipation, a spark of keenness to find exactly how John Watson reacted under such pressure.

He still slipped his mobile out of his pocket and sent the text, of course.

"Trying to go down on your fucking knees already?" the fourth boy taunted, fingers threading in John's fine light brown hair and yanking hard, pulling him back upright. "Everyone knows how much you love to suck cock. But too bad for you we're not ready for that part of the entertainment, eh?"

"Fuck you," John spat back, blood mixing with the saliva from his mouth to spray the face of the boy menacing him.

"Oh, good," Jim murmured even as John's aggressor swore and retaliated with a backhand. His phone, back in his pocket, vibrated to let him know his request had been viewed and would soon be answered (no point in looking at the screen; everyone knew he didn't tolerate excuses or regrets).

Taking a breath, Jim slouched forward, ready to call off the dogs as the teacher's assistant they knew him as. Except he hadn't counted on John Watson, smaller than all the boys surrounding and jeering at him, obviously outnumbered as he was, actually fighting back.

Re: Someone to Notice 2b/?

(Anonymous)
A sickening crack sounded as John flung his head back hard, connecting with the skull of the boy behind him who howled in pain and let John loose of his chokehold. The indignant cries of the other boys went unheeded; John drew his shirtsleeve across his nose and mouth even as he stomped hard on the right foot of the one who had smacked him.

He would lose eventually, Jim already knew, with that number of opponents. But now Jim also understood, with a surge of giddy excitement, how very much John would make his attackers regret taking on their lonely classmate even if the fight could never end in his favor.

There was a familiar crunch of footsteps against gravel, slowing and pausing on the pavement behind Jim; he didn't turn to acknowledge the new arrival, just forged ahead into the alley calling out, "All right, all right, stop that at once."

They recognized him at once, all of them scowling and taking several steps back, leaving John the center of their panting, bruised ring.

"Mr. Moriarty," one began, sullen. "We were only standing here, and all of a sudden, Watson comes up, acting mental --"

John spun on his feet, lurching forward before the other boy could finish the lie.

"I said, that's enough," Jim said sharply. John stilled, his head dipping slightly, hands curling and uncurling into fists at his sides.

"Dixon, Anderson, Smith, Platt -- all of you, report to Mr. Miller's classroom after school tomorrow for detention." He waved away the four groans and jerked a thumb over his shoulder as he nodded at John. "Watson, come with me immediately."

One of the boys let out an ugly hiss as they left.

"I wasn't," John stammered, the choke of a sob breaking his voice as the two of them rounded the corner, leaving his four assailants behind in the alley.

"Shh, I know," Jim said soothingly, gesturing to the path that would take them back to the school. Snuffling, John hung his head, seeming to come apart after the adrenaline-high of his fight. His posture let Jim nod at the man nearby taking a drag of a cigarette and leaning back with one foot braced against the brick wall.

Make it count, Jim mouthed as John hurriedly wiped at his eyes and huddled closer to him. Though he gave no visible sign of understanding, Sebastian flicked his cigarette away before turning and making his way into the alley.

"It's all right, you're all right now," Jim crooned when John stumbled and he got to clasp an arm around his shoulders in a gentle hold, supporting him as they walked toward the school buildings together. Distantly, behind them, there was a surprised shout, and then yells of pain mixed with panic. "I'll fix you right up, okay?"

Fill: Someone to Notice 3a/?

(Anonymous)
"Feel free to leave anytime you like, Mr. Moriarty," the nurse said in a brusque voice as she dabbed at the bruise on John's cheek. "I can see to Watson on my own, obviously."

He smiled, leaning against the wall and keeping his eyes on John. "I don't mind staying for a bit. I thought Watson and I might have a little chat after you've finished patching him up."

She sent Jim a sharp look, shifting slightly so that her body blocked his view of John's lovely anxious blue eyes and the purpling marks on his bared chest. She'd taken a dislike to Jim long before this encounter, despite him working at the school only a few weeks and generally managing to charm every other staff member he met.

Clever bird.

"We'll have to call your parents, of course," she muttered as she prodded John's abdomen and then his back. His unbuttoned shirt hung loosely about his slim torso, streaks of grime from the alley altercation marring it.

"Don't!"

Both Jim and the nurse paused to look at him.

"I only meant...you don't have to," John added hastily. "I'll tell them myself." He glanced at Jim as if in mute appeal.

"School policy, I'm afraid." She clucked over the bump on his head once more before fetching a small cup of water and a tiny container with paracetamol. "Someone will have to inform them you've been fighting."

"Couldn't Mr. Moriarty do it?" John asked. He swallowed the pills without a fuss.

"Unfortunately your Mr. Moriarty hasn't the authority," the nurse commented, turning a simpering smile Jim's way. When he returned it with a leer of his own, she frowned and directed her attention back to John.

John sat hunched over, looking more defeated now than he had done during the worst of the fight.

"You'll head to the A & E at once if you have any of those symptoms we talked about." She leaned down to tap at a keyboard, finishing filling in what seemed a standard form on the computer screen. "One of the senior instructors will call your parents, so they'll be well aware of the situation soon. Off you go."

John slid off the examination table, turning in a fruitless bid for modesty to button and tuck in his dirtied school shirt once more.

Before the nurse could leave the room, however, Jim closed his hand around her upper arm. "I just wanted to ensure," he said, his voice lowered decorously though certainly at a level John could still hear, "that Watson's parents are given to understand he only acted in self-defense. I feel quite certain he would never have been caught out fighting had those other boys not started trouble for him."

She stiffened in his hold. "Your remarks will be included in the report, of course. I included those notes earlier when I began the write-up."

"Thank you," he said, widening his eyes in pretense of gratefulness. "Might Watson and I use your room to have a word?" He let out a self-conscious laugh. "I wouldn't normally ask it of you, only I don't have my own office, obviously. I do think it would help the boy to have a sympathetic ear before he has to go back home and face his parents about this little dust-up."

Had John not been nearby, he had no doubt she would have refused summarily. As it was, she seemed reluctant to object outright in front of a student, saying only, "Ten minutes," before clicking the computer mouse to shift away from her report to a password-protected entry screen.

{ continued in 3b }

Fill: Someone to Notice 3b/?

(Anonymous)
Jim waited until the door clicked shut after her departure.

"You okay?" he said softly, taking a step toward John.

John shrugged, grimacing a moment later as his sensitive contusions no doubt reminded him of the pain.

"Quite a lump you got there," Jim murmured. One more step. Another. He stood quite close to John now. When he lifted a hand to trace his fingertips over the protrusion on John's head, John let out a shaky breath.

"I'll be all right once the paracetamol starts to work." John held absolutely still while Jim stroked, feather-light touches in his hair, gliding gently over his scalp around the swelling.

Jim leaned in, and John's eyes fluttered, half-closing.

"Where'd you learn to fight like that?" Jim whispered, smoothing his hand along the nape of John's neck.

John's eyes flew open as he jerked back slightly. "I didn't start it --" He'd said as much over and over while the nurse had asked her initial questions, recording his answers in her report.

"No, of course not." Jim moved back with care so it seemed a casual change instead of a rejection. "But you would have made them sorry they thought they could treat you that way, hmm? I only thought, well, if someone had a hand helping you learn to defend yourself, I'd like to tip my hat to them."

John licked his lips, looking at Jim with a wary and appraising eye. "My uncle," he said finally. "The last time I visited -- we go there, summers, my sister and me -- he noticed there were some boys who..." A flush rose to his cheeks. "Anyway, he said I should have some tricks up my sleeve."

"So you should," Jim agreed, delighted. When John smiled slightly, bashful, Jim went on, "Look into the self-defense courses they've got at the community centre -- you have good instincts, and you obviously learn quickly. Why not keep it up?" He waited a beat before adding, "Unfortunate, but some of us in particular have to make sure we can hold our own in those sorts of situations."

The boy's eyes widened; Jim had no doubt he'd drawn the conclusion Jim had led him to. Obviously determined not to seem flustered by this clue, John pressed his lips together and gave a resolute nod. "I reckon I could."

"Good lad." Jim still stood close enough to muss John's hair, so he did so, lingering in the touch for a moment before pulling away. "Off you pop," he advised, turning to take a seat in front of the nurse's computer.

John paused at the door. "Should you -- is it okay if you just use that?"

Jim spun round in his chair, giving him a wide smile. John had reacted just as Jim had thought he would; best to start small with these little transgressions. "Oh, of course. They're all networked; I'm just checking my email to see if Mr. Miller had any instructions for me."

"Okay, good." John's relief shone in his expression hefted his backpack onto his shoulder. "Still, I don't think Mrs. De Quincy would be too keen to share it with you."

"Right you are," Jim agreed. "Still, she's gone out for a cigarette and won't be back for at least five more minutes. So what she doesn't know..." He smiled mischievously, wriggling his fingers above the keyboard, and John swallowed before smiling back.

"Thanks again, Mr. Moriarty," he said softly as he slipped out the doorway. "For helping me, I mean."

"Anytime, John," Jim told him kindly.

As soon as the door snicked shut, Jim cracked his knuckles. After easily picking out the password, he clicked through a few folders before retrieving the memory stick from his pocket. Running the code and retrieving the files he wanted took mere moments.

{ end of part 3 }

Author Admin - fixing the gaps created by LJ-server-issues - reposting

(Anonymous)
Apologies in advance to anyone following this story thread for the confusion.

Because the second parts of this story (2a & 2b) disappeared during LJ's server troubles, I'm re-posting them now. Then, though 3a and 3b survived, I'm going to post them *after* 2a and 2b, just to try to keep the narrative in order before I add to it, and so anyone coming upon the story at some later date will be able to follow it.

A new installment (Part 4) will be up in a few days. Thanks so much for your patience, and let's hope this doesn't go wonky again. *crosses fingers*

Fill REPOST: Someone to Notice 2a/?

(Anonymous)
Only a week later -- three more shared lunches, three more sessions of John looking wary but increasingly pleased with the loveliest little hint of vulnerability whenever Jim offered him half of whatever he's brought to eat, claiming it was as easy to make for two as it was one -- Jim turned a corner a few blocks from the school and heard the dull thud of a fist connecting with someone's gut.

Hidden behind the skip at the opening of the alley, he shifted his valise on its strap to rest behind his back and edged closer to view the scene undetected.

"Fucking ponce," one of four boys grunted as he pulled his arm back to land another blow to John Watson's torso. One of his mates laughed, harsh and high, as the third got John in a headlock, keeping him in place.

If Jim blinked, he could see himself in the scene -- the bullied boy, held back by cowards, beaten by his inferiors, brimming with bile and hate and seized with a need for revenge. Though small as a lad and quick on his feet, he'd never had the strength or knowledge then to fight back in the normal way. So instead he'd plotted and planned his way to settling scores -- a beloved dog found with its throat slashed at the foot of one boy's bed, another's father caught in a petty business scheme and bound for prison.

They had all gotten the message eventually.

Though hateful and tedious, he'd always reflected those horrifying moments of fear, being cornered and crushed, had been good for him in the end. They'd set Jim on the path to the man he'd become.

So as he watched John double over in pain, he couldn't help but feel a frisson of anticipation, a spark of keenness to find exactly how John Watson reacted under such pressure.

He still slipped his mobile out of his pocket and sent the text, of course.

"Trying to go down on your fucking knees already?" the fourth boy taunted, fingers threading in John's fine light brown hair and yanking hard, pulling him back upright. "Everyone knows how much you love to suck cock. But too bad for you we're not ready for that part of the entertainment, eh?"

"Fuck you," John spat back, blood mixing with the saliva from his mouth to spray the face of the boy menacing him.

"Oh, good," Jim murmured even as John's aggressor swore and retaliated with a backhand.

His phone, back in his pocket, vibrated to let him know his request had been viewed and would soon be answered. No point in looking at the screen; everyone knew he didn't tolerate excuses or regrets.

Taking a breath, Jim slouched forward, ready to call off the dogs in his role as the teacher's assistant they knew him as. Except he hadn't counted on John Watson, smaller than all the boys surrounding and jeering at him, obviously outnumbered as he was, actually fighting back.

Fill REPOST: Someone to Notice 2b/?

(Anonymous)
A sickening crack sounded as John flung his head back hard, connecting with the skull of the boy behind him who howled in pain and let John loose of his chokehold. The indignant cries of the other boys went unheeded; John drew his shirtsleeve across his nose and mouth even as he stomped hard on the right foot of the one who had smacked him.

He would lose eventually, Jim already knew, with that number of opponents. But Jim could tell, with a surge of giddy excitement, how very much John would make his attackers regret taking on their lonely classmate even if the fight could never end in his favor.

There was a familiar crunch of footsteps against gravel, slowing and pausing on the pavement behind Jim. He didn't turn to acknowledge the new arrival, just forged ahead into the alley calling out, "All right, all right, stop that at once."

They recognized him at once, all of them scowling and taking several steps back, leaving John the bruised and bleeding center of their panting ring.

"Mr. Moriarty," one began, sullen. "We were only standing here, and all of a sudden, Watson comes round, acting mental --"

John spun on his feet, lurching forward before the other boy could finish the lie.

"I said, that's enough," Jim said sharply. John stilled, his head dipping slightly, hands curling and uncurling into fists at his sides.

"Dixon, Anderson, Smith, Platt -- all of you, report to Mr. Miller's classroom after school tomorrow for detention." He waved away the four groans and jerked a thumb over his shoulder as he nodded at John. "Watson, come with me immediately."

One of the boys let out an ugly hiss as they left.

"I wasn't," John stammered, the choke of a sob breaking his voice as the two of them rounded the corner, leaving his four assailants behind in the alley.

"Shh, I know," Jim said soothingly, gesturing to the path that would take them back to the school.

Snuffling, John hung his head, seeming to come apart after the adrenaline-high of his fight. His posture let Jim nod undetected to the nearby man taking a drag of a cigarette as he leaned back with one foot braced against the brick wall.

Make it count, Jim mouthed as John hurriedly wiped at his eyes and huddled closer to him. Though he gave no visible sign of understanding, Sebastian flicked his cigarette away before turning and making his way into the alley.

"It's all right, you're all right now," Jim crooned when John stumbled and he got to clasp an arm around those shaking shoulders in a gentle hold, supporting him as they walked toward the school buildings together. Distantly, behind them, there was a surprised shout, and then yells of pain mixed with panic. "I'll fix you right up, okay?"

{ end of part 2 }

Fill REPOST: Someone to Notice 3a/?

(Anonymous)
"Feel free to leave anytime you like, Mr. Moriarty," the nurse said in a brusque voice as she dabbed at the bruise on John's cheek. "I can see to Watson on my own, obviously."

He smiled, leaning against the wall and keeping his eyes on John. "I don't mind staying for a bit. I thought Watson and I might have a little chat after you've finished patching him up."

She sent Jim a sharp look, shifting slightly so that her body blocked his view of John's lovely anxious blue eyes and the purpling marks on his bared chest. She'd taken a dislike to Jim long before this encounter, despite him working at the school only a few weeks and generally managing to charm every other staff member he met.

Clever bird.

"We'll have to call your parents, of course," she muttered as she prodded John's abdomen and then his back. His unbuttoned shirt hung loosely about his slim torso, streaks of grime from the alley altercation marring it.

"Don't!"

Both Jim and the nurse paused to look at him.

"I only meant...you don't have to," John added hastily. "I'll tell them myself." He glanced at Jim as if in mute appeal.

"School policy, I'm afraid." She clucked over the bump on his head once more before fetching a small cup of water and a tiny container with paracetamol. "Someone will have to inform them you've been fighting."

"Couldn't Mr. Moriarty do it?" John asked. He swallowed the pills without a fuss.

"Unfortunately your Mr. Moriarty hasn't the authority," the nurse commented, turning a simpering smile Jim's way. When he returned it with a leer of his own, she frowned and directed her attention back to John.

John sat hunched over, looking more defeated now than he had done during the worst of the fight.

"You'll head to the A & E at once if you have any of those symptoms we talked about." She leaned down to tap at a keyboard, finishing filling in what seemed a standard form on the computer screen. "One of the senior instructors will call your parents, so they'll be well aware of the situation soon. Off you go."

John slid off the examination table, turning in a fruitless bid for modesty to button and tuck in his dirtied school shirt once more.

Before the nurse could leave the room, however, Jim closed his hand around her upper arm. "I just wanted to ensure," he said, his voice lowered decorously though certainly at a level John could still hear, "that Watson's parents are given to understand he only acted in self-defense. I feel quite certain he would never have been caught out fighting had those other boys not started trouble for him."

She stiffened in his hold. "Your remarks will be included in the report, of course. I included those notes earlier when I began the write-up."

"Thank you," he said, widening his eyes in pretense of gratefulness. "Might Watson and I use your room to have a word?" He let out a self-conscious laugh. "I wouldn't normally ask it of you, only I don't have my own office, obviously. I do think it would help the boy to have a sympathetic ear before he has to go back home and face his parents about this little dust-up."

Had John not been nearby, he had no doubt she would have refused summarily. As it was, she seemed reluctant to object outright in front of a student, saying only, "Ten minutes," before clicking the computer mouse to shift away from her report to a password-protected entry screen.

{ continued in 3b }

Fill REPOST: Someone to Notice 3b/?

(Anonymous)
Jim waited until the door clicked shut after her departure.

"You okay?" he said softly, taking a step toward John.

John shrugged, grimacing a moment later as his sensitive contusions no doubt reminded him of the pain.

"Quite a lump you got there," Jim murmured. One more step. Another. He stood quite close to John now. When he lifted a hand to trace his fingertips over the protrusion on John's head, John let out a shaky breath.

"I'll be all right once the paracetamol starts to work." John held absolutely still while Jim stroked, feather-light touches in his hair, gliding gently over his scalp around the swelling.

Jim leaned in, and John's eyes fluttered, half-closing.

"Where'd you learn to fight like that?" Jim whispered, smoothing his hand along the nape of John's neck.

John's eyes flew open as he jerked back slightly. "I didn't start it --" He'd said as much over and over while the nurse had asked her initial questions, recording his answers in her report.

"No, of course not." Jim moved back with care so it seemed a casual change instead of a rejection. "But you would have made them sorry they thought they could treat you that way, hmm? I only thought, well, if someone had a hand helping you learn to defend yourself, I'd like to tip my hat to them."

John licked his lips, looking at Jim with a wary and appraising eye. "My uncle," he said finally. "The last time I visited -- we go there, summers, my sister and me -- he noticed there were some boys who..." A flush rose to his cheeks. "Anyway, he said I should have some tricks up my sleeve."

"So you should," Jim agreed, delighted. When John smiled slightly, bashful, Jim went on, "Look into the self-defense courses they've got at the community centre -- you have good instincts, and you obviously learn quickly. Why not keep it up?" He waited a beat before adding, "Unfortunate, but some of us in particular have to make sure we can hold our own in those sorts of situations."

The boy's eyes widened; Jim had no doubt he'd drawn the conclusion Jim had led him to. Obviously determined not to seem flustered by this clue, John pressed his lips together and gave a resolute nod. "I reckon I could."

"Good lad." Jim still stood close enough to muss John's hair, so he did so, lingering in the touch for a moment before pulling away. "Off you pop," he advised, turning to take a seat in front of the nurse's computer.

John paused at the door. "Should you -- is it okay if you just use that?"

Jim spun round in his chair, giving him a wide smile. John had reacted just as Jim had thought he would; best to start small with these little transgressions. "Oh, of course. They're all networked; I'm just checking my email to see if Mr. Miller had any instructions for me."

"Okay, good." John's relief shone in his expression hefted his backpack onto his shoulder. "Still, I don't think Mrs. De Quincy would be too keen to share it with you."

"Right you are," Jim agreed. "Still, she's gone out for a cigarette and won't be back for at least five more minutes. So what she doesn't know..." He smiled mischievously, wriggling his fingers above the keyboard, and John swallowed before smiling back.

"Thanks again, Mr. Moriarty," he said softly as he slipped out the doorway. "For helping me, I mean."

"Anytime, John," Jim told him kindly.

As soon as the door snicked shut, Jim cracked his knuckles. After easily picking out the password, he clicked through a few folders before retrieving the memory stick from his pocket. Running the code and retrieving the files he wanted took mere moments.

{ end of part 3 }

Fill: Someone to Notice 4a/?

(Anonymous)
The next morning, Jim spotted three of John's attackers shuffling between classes. The lot of them were bruised and swollen all over. One glared out of two black eyes, another winced with a gasp when his mate nudged at his ribs, and the last kept touching the hard cast encasing his lower right arm. Whenever Jim caught sight of them throughout the day, he saw they kept their eyes downcast, muttering sullenly when their peers prodded them for details.

The fourth stayed away from school two days before Miller handed Jim a note as an afterthought to explain the absences. The boy had withdrawn, a vague medical excuse serving as the rationale on the official form.

Jim would have felt utterly delighted by the results had not John Watson also turned up that first morning with bruises around his wrists that hadn't been there the afternoon before. As John reached up to his locker in the corridor, the sleeve of his shirt slipped down to expose finger-shaped discolorations. Even as Jim passed by quickly he could see a few of the dark blotches were capped by half-moon scabs of fingernail markings.

Later, when Jim slipped into John's chemistry class to deliver a memo (he found the bureaucratic disorganization of the school such a boon; passing meaningless messages between instructors, many he'd fabricated completely, provided him with ample excuses to go wherever he pleased), he saw John holding himself gingerly, and biting his lip in pain when his back touched the chair where he sat. Belt marks as well, most likely.

"All right?" Jim asked in a low voice during John's afternoon class with Mr. Miller.

John gave him a jerky nod and tried a smile even though his eyes shone with unshed tears. Brave little thing. Jim let his hand rest lightly on John's right shoulder for a moment, allowing a worried look to pass over his face before he moved away.

* * *

"Will Watson's parents come in for a meeting?"

A high-pitched giggle sounded from the corridor outside, muffled by the closed classroom door.

At Jim's question, Miller looked up from the stack of essays he was sorting before heaving a sigh. "No, the phone call alone should suffice this time. At any rate, they haven't requested a meeting with anyone from the school." His gaze flickered over Jim. "While we're on the subject, thanks again for your help with the incident. I don't like to think how far it might have gone had you not chanced upon that little scene."

"Sorry to make more work for you, by the way," Jim told him, shifting from foot to foot in a nervous fashion.

"The detentions, you mean?" Miller took off his glasses and pinched the bridge of his nose. "Oh, don't concern yourself there. That lot are in for detentions often enough as it is. And it was certainly the appropriate response to what they'd done."

"They won't be suspended, then?"

Miller frowned. "Not this time. I have extended their detentions to last all next week, though."

"That's something, I suppose."

Miller gave him a shrewd look. "I spoke to Watson about what happened during his lunch, to hear his side of the story."


{ continued in 4b }

Fill: Someone to Notice 4b/?

(Anonymous)
Jim nodded, his eyes wide. "Wasn't that in the report?"

The teacher huffed. "You'd be surprised at what does and doesn't make it into those little write-ups. You've gained yourself an admirer, incidentally; it seems Watson feels he has quite the champion in you."

"Oh. Well." Jim shrugged, conveying a shade of pleased embarrassment.

Miller hesitated before speaking again. "Only -- and this is something I hate to bring up, particularly when you've obviously been kind to the boy -- but do have a care."

Jim bit the inside of his mouth to hide his smile, instead looking up sharply with an air of confusion. "But shouldn't I step in when I come upon a situation like Watson's?"

"No, no, you were absolutely right in that case." Miller swallowed, apparently choosing his words with care. "Believe me, I have all the confidence in the world in you based on your training and our interactions. I trust you've behaved appropriately at every step. And to be fair, a boy like Watson could use a champion or two." He flashed a smile before growing somber. "But there are reactions, sometimes, to instructors behaving familiarly with students. Now, I've noticed the two of you have shared lunch a time or two --"

Jim parted his lips slightly as if in surprise. "Oh, that?"

"Harmless, I'm certain. But please understand, you are at the start of your career, and haven't yet seen how sometimes even the smallest of friendly gestures can be misinterpreted, either by the student or by observers. Either sort of misunderstanding might bring complications that can throw your authority into question. Though I commend your thoughtfulness, I wouldn't want for anyone to cast suspicion on you."

"I hadn't thought of it that way," Jim admitted, casting his eyes down for a moment.

Miller's smile was full of sympathy. "You shouldn't have to, really. But the world being what it is, I do hope you'll keep what I've said in mind."

"Yes, of course. Thank you. For telling me."

"Do encourage students like Watson, obviously. I appreciate how the lines can seem confusing sometimes."

"No, I understand." Jim gave him a sheepish grin. "I wouldn't want anyone to perceive anything inappropriate. Besides, if people might talk about something so minor, I wouldn't want my girlfriend to have to hear about it."

"Oh." Miller's entire expression changed. "You -- I didn't realize, not that it's any of my business."

"One of the other assistants," Jim said. "We hadn't wanted to tell anyone, only because we've just begun --"

"I see."

"You may have met her," Jim said, giving a grin that he knew looked both bashful and proud. "The chemistry teaching assistant, Molly Hooper?"


{ end of part 4 }

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Re: Older!Sherlock/John

(Anonymous)
and I just realized -- did you want Sherlock as the teacher, Jim as the teacher's assistant? I took it as an either/or for Sherlock OR Jim and just went with Jim. Apologies if that's not what you wanted; I noticed your Sherlock/John when I tracked the post.

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