Sherlock BBC Prompting Meme

"we get all sorts around here."

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


  • 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.

  • Multiple fills are encouraged, and all kinds of fills are accepted! Fic, art, vids, cosplay, interpretive dance — whatever. Go wild! :D

  • Don’t reprompt until TWO parts after the last posting of the prompt.

  • RPF (real person fic, i.e. fic involving the actors themselves) is not supported at this meme.

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When you fill a prompt, please use the appropriate Filled Prompts Post to archive your fill (there are instructions on the actual post).

If the part you wanted isn't up yet, just wait and one of the archivists will get to it, but please, once it is up, make sure you post your fills there according to the guidelines. DO NOT skip out on doing this because it seems like too much effort. If you want your fill to make it to the Delicious archive, that’s the way to do it.

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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
The Glorious FAQ - Page-A-Mod

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Love Post - Chatter Post - Searching Post
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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.

Series 3 Spoiler Policy

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Anterograde amnesia: the loss of the ability to create new memories. According to Wikipedia (yes, I know, not a reliable source) this leads to a partial or complete inability to recall the recent past, while long-term memories from before the event remain intact. It has several causes, including traumatic brain injury, certain types of drugs known to have powerful amnesic effects, shock, and emotional disorder.

So, I want one of the series' characters to suffer from this. Maybe John, who couldn't cope with watching his best friend commit suicide, maybe Sherlock somehow gets it via an accident/while chasing criminals/Reichenbach. Just make it hurt.

Bonus: if doing Sherlock or John, say they were in a relationship before one of them suffered this type of amnesia. Does the relationship continue after? How? Through diaries? Especially if this relationship is still rather new, what would it be like not to remember your firsts with your partner?

Yes, I know, extremely angsty prompt.


The room was spare, as John's bedroom at 221b had been. A single narrow bed, a desk, a couple of chairs. A small refrigerator, an electric kettle on the sideboard. A laptop computer, but no television. A small stereo and a stack of CDs. A dozen or so books, mostly illustrated. A stack of worn magazines.

(“Cerebral accident,” Mycroft had said. “Intracranial bleeding, subsequent to head trauma.”

(“What trauma?” Sherlock demanded. “What happened to him?”

(And Mycroft had spoken bluntly. “It happened on the way back from your grave. But the original injury was when he was struck by a bicycle.”)

There were a few pictures. One wall was empty, and directly on the wallpaper was scrawled, large and prominent, in John's own hand:

You had a head injury.
You have memory issues.
Staying here until they clear up.
Mycroft is your host.
Be POLITE to him.

John was seated at the table, chuckling at something in a magazine, with his back to the door. He wasn't aware of Sherlock's presence, until Sherlock murmured his name.

He started violently, rising and turning to the door in a single move. His chair clattered to the floor. “What the hell – ” he began, and then, quickly, even before he'd seen who was there, “ – Sorry. Sorry. You startled me, you sounded like someone I – ” His eyes met Sherlock's face.

He froze.

“John,” Sherlock said again.

“N-no.” John squeezed his eyes shut, then opened them. “No. No. This isn't – ” He glanced back and forth rapidly, over and over, between Sherlock's face and the inscription on the wall. “Oh, god. Don't. You – you died. Don't be here, you're not here, I'm, you're a lie, you're not – ”

He closed his eyes again, took a shaking breath. “Right.” When he opened them again, he didn't look at Sherlock. He turned away, hurrying towards the ensuite bathroom.

He picked up the glass tumbler from the sink and methodically smashed it on the floor. With care, he selected the largest shard from the scatter of broken glass. As Sherlock watched in horror, he raised it to his wrist.

“John – no!” Sherlock lunged forward, seized John's hands. He felt the glass slice into his fingers as he wrenched the shard away. He dropped it into the sink. “Don't, John, you don't have to do that – ”

“I do.” John's voice was unnaturally calm. “I've got a brain injury, you see, and now I've gone mad. You're here, but you're dead. I'm crazy, and I can't live that way. It's all right. Just let me.” He bent to pick up another fragment of glass.

“I'm not.” Sherlock held John's hands in his own bleeding ones. “I didn't die, John, I faked it. I lied. Perhaps you'll forgive me, or not. But it's true. I didn't die. I'm here and I'm alive.”

“But … how?” John demanded. “How? You … faked it? I just came from your grave, just a little while ago, and your hair's all grey – ”

“I'll tell you.” He led John to sit at the desk, took another chair himself. Quickly he explained about the gunmen, about Moriarty's threats, about the rubber ball in his armpit so no pulse could be felt. “It was a lie. I'm sorry.”

John took a slow breath, let it out. “But now what? It's been, what, a week? The grey suits you, by the way. Makes you look like an actual adult. I've got this – memory issue,” he glanced at the words on the wall, “but as soon as that clears up – we go after Moriarty's circle? Together.”

He looked down at Sherlock's bleeding hands. “Oh, hell, what did you do? Shit. That might need stitches. Just wait right here, I've got some first-aid supplies – ”

He hurried to the bathroom, but looked down in surprise as his shoes crunched on the floor. “What the hell? Who broke glass in here?” He returned to Sherlock's side, bearing antiseptic and gauze and tape. “Here, give me your hands.”

Sherlock was looking at the magazine on the desk. It was nearly two years old, worn and ragged, but John had been reading it with as much enjoyment as if it were tomorrow's issue.

“Hold still.” With precision and a doctor's certainty, John dabbed antiseptic on the cuts, pressed gauze onto them. Wrapped tape around Sherlock's fingers and palm. “There, that should hold you for a bit. But … this is – ” His mouth tightened. “This isn't right. You're here, and we're talking, but you died, how can you be here? I was just at your grave an hour ago, you're dead! You're acting like you should be here, you threw yourself off a goddamned roof – ”

Sherlock fled.

* * * * *

“Few people visit him any more,” Mycroft said. “His therapist. His sister every month or so, very briefly. Detective Inspector Lestrade. But probably his most frequent visitors are Mrs Hudson and a Doctor Mike Stamford. He's … not unhappy, Sherlock.”

Sherlock stared at the image on the screen. John was pacing frantically across the room, occasionally making tiny furious noises. “What's he doing?”

Mycroft stood behind him. “The memories go, but the emotions remain. He's still upset, but he doesn't know why. It'll end in ten or fifteen minutes.”

Sherlock pressed his eyes shut, felt tears squeeze through his lashes. “And you can say he's happy, living like that?”

Mycroft's voice was quiet. “I didn't say he was happy.”


Edited at 2013-10-08 08:09 pm (UTC)

This was lovely, in a sad, oh-the-feels way. Thank you.

Thank you -- I'm so glad you enjoyed (?) it. There's always a particular thrill in getting positive feedback from the OP.

Edited at 2013-10-21 07:43 am (UTC)

Oh my gosh, can't believe I didn't make this obvious. Of course I enjoyed it-after a good long session of sniffling.

So very sad. Sherlock's reaction at first and then with Mycroft left me feeling quite lonely. This story left my heart raw.

I tried not to pull punches, and did quite a bit of research into what anterograde amnesia really involves, so I'm glad if it worked.

Re: 2/2

This was great. I love how you write brain-injured!John. It hits my emotional kinks really, really well. I never actually commented on it, but Walled Garden is also great. I've read it about five times. I would be extremely happy if you ever wrote a multi-chaptered fic where John has a brain injury. (... I'm an awful person, I know.)

"I love how you write brain-injured John" may be the most disturbing compliment I've ever received. B-) But thank you! I don't know whether I could be cruel enough to John to write a longer story, but then I never suspected I could be cruel enough to write Walled Garden either, so one never knows what the future might hold.

I'm going to go crawl into a ball and cry now, thanks.

*pat* *pat* *pat* <-- comforting shoulder-pats

Re: 2/2

Damn. I'm going to go cry.

What Mycroft said at the end hit my hard.

I tried not to pull punches -- I wanted to get across that this, this endless few minutes of right now, is all there's going to be for John, so I hope that worked.

Re: Anterograde amnesia

Well, total self promotion, but I totally wrote something else like this, so... LINK.

Hope you like. :)
(Oh, but it's extremely angsty, which does work with the prompt, so whatever.)

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