Sherlock BBC Prompting Meme

"we get all sorts around here."

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Prompting: Part XI
Giggles at the Palace
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The Road To Inlé [1/3]

A quick note about names:

Eleerhay means ‘winter watch(ing)’. IDEK, Gregory means ‘watchful’ and Lestrade seems the pessimistic sort? It totally makes sense in my head.

Hrarailinlé is means ‘chase moon’, but taking into context of the mythology it could also be considered equivalent to ‘chase devil’, which is another name for St John’s Wort. And is there anyone more likely to chase the devil than John?

Hythlay means ‘shine-fur’; one of the accepted meanings of Sherlock is ‘fair or bright haired’. Which actually makes me think of Sherwood and the Fair Folk and the idea that green is an unlucky colour because the fairies might take a liking to the one wearing it and - that has nothing to do with this fic so I’ll shut up now.

...there is a line, and I’ve crossed it. There is such a thing as too much geekery.

The Road To Inlé

The first time:

Winter hadn’t been a member of the Owsla long and it was his first raid. It could also have been his last, and nearly was.

He cowered in the thin bramble hedge, barely two rabbit-lengths wide, his back pressed against a wire fence, watching the dog snarling and snapping and forcing its gigantic muzzle through the bramble towards him, ignoring the thorns.

“Quite the situation,” the Black Rabbit said softly in his ear.

Winter shuddered and almost bolted, never mind that it would be impossible to escape either the dog or the Black Rabbit.

“Not yet, I think,” the Black Rabbit decided after a moment, finally looking sway from Winter’s stupefied gaze. “There’s still a use for you.”

Just as the dog was about to force its way in enough to catch Winter in its jaws, its master whistled sharply, and whining, it was forced to retreat.

Winter stayed in the hedge until he could no longer taste the nothingness of the Black Rabbit on his tongue, and then made his way back to the warren. It took him until Frith rise to notice the grey fur at the base of his left ear, the spot the Black Rabbit had pressed his muzzle to whisper into his ear.


The second time:

He hadn’t thought he’d been that ill, but when he opened his eyes and saw the Black Rabbit, he realised he was obviously mistaken.

“This won’t do at all,” the Black Rabbit said, unexpectedly fussy, like a mother doe irritated with her kits, and Winter giggled.

“Get up,” the Black Rabbit snapped. “I know where some comfrey can be found.”

“Want to sleep,” Winter mumbled.

“You will have nothing but sleep in the end, Eleerhay. Get up now.”

Nobody ever used his full name. Winter got up, and made his way, staggering, up the burrow. “What won’t do?” he said, dazedly. Fever robbed the Black Rabbit of his terror, it seemed, for the mere sight of his fur didn’t make Winter shudder, and the nothingness of his scent didn’t make him bolt.

“Take care, Eleerhay, though of course we will meet again.”

A short time after, Winter met the most irritating yearling ever born in the warren, a buck by the name of Hythlay, who thought he could do Winter’s job better than he could.


The third time:

“If we’re going to make a habit of this,” the Black Rabbit said, “you can call me Mycroft. For all farms are mine, and I wait for rabbits there more often than not.”

“I’d rather not,” Winter said. His heart raced in his chest even as the cat caught sight of something and darted away, leaving its prey behind. “I can’t leave yet,” he said, as if it was a matter of choice. “Hythlay still needs guidance, and watching,” he said. Funny, what the Black Rabbit’s presence brought to mind.

I watch everyone,” the Black Rabbit said.

The Road To Inlé [2/3]


The fourth time:

He was captain of the Owsla, leading a patrol, when he caught sight of the Black Rabbit once more. He slipped into the corner of Winter’s vision and waited until he stopped and followed. There was an injured hlessi in the nettles, his shoulder torn open above old scar tissue, lying as if he meant to die.

The Black Rabbit looked up as he licked the hlessi’s shoulder clean of blood. “Eleerhay,” he said. “This is Hrarailinlé. Apt, don’t you think? Come help him.”

When the Black Rabbit calls your name, you’ve got to answer.


Hrarailinlé settled in well in the warren. Well. He settled in. It was matter of opinion whether or not it was well.

There was frost on the ground every morning, and many rabbits took to sharing burrows to keep themselves warm. Hythlay was the exception of course, so stiff and proud he drove away any rabbit willing to share with him.

But Hrarailinlé - Johnswort - was still healing, and Hythlay’s burrow was the perfect location and really, Hythlay had to learn to share sometime.

All right, to be honest, Winter had just wanted the both of them out of his fur.

He didn’t expect it to actually work out.


The fifth time:

“This is a dream,” Winter said.

Hythlay looked at him, unimpressed. “I had no idea you were the expert,” he said.

Winter cuffed at him, but Hythlay slipped away like a fog. Sleek and quick, he settled next to the gaping hole in the earth where the warren used to be. “Something is playing with us,” he said.

Zorn, the Black Rabbit said softly in his ear. O Zorn.

“Not going to happen,” Winter snapped back.

“Then keep your guard up beyond Marlao,” said the Black Rabbit.

“I see,” Hythlay said.

“Well, someone’s got to help me,” Winter said.

“Oh, you know the saying, I’m sure,” Hythlay said. “Just take it a little more literally.”

The Black Rabbit pressed his paw against Winter’s flank. It was colder than snow. “Remember,” he said. “I am always watching.”

It was even less comforting than the first time he said it.


Hythlay had noticed, of course. He’d looked at the tiny patch of silver fur where the Black Rabbit had touched and shaken his head. “They’ll call you Silver by the end,” he said.

He was a little better since Johnswort had started sharing his burrow, but that didn’t say much.

“It’s nothing,” Winter insisted. “I’m getting old, that’s all.”

Hythlay wrinkled his nose at him as if he’d caught the scent of a fox. “Blind is what you are,” he sniffed. “Frith only knows what your mother was thinking, naming you anything to do with seeing.”

“It’s nothing,” Winter repeated.

The Hlessi - it was Johnswort, Winter remembered, except Hythlay always shortened it and he couldn’t really blame him, Hrarailinlé was something of a mouthful - entered the burrow and stopped short.

“Hello,” he said warily.

Johnswort had been in the Owsla of another warren, Winter was pretty sure. He had that look about him, knew how things worked. Sometimes Winter thought he regretted the mass of scar tissue on Johnswort’s shoulder more than Johnswort did - he would have loved to patrol with Johnswort; he would have been able to trust him to watch his back, not like with the young bucks he was always pulling out of trouble.

Then he remembered that if Johnswort had never been shot, he would never have become a Hlessil, or found their warren, and anyway, he couldn’t take from Hythlay the one thing that made him halfway bearable.

The Road To Inlé [3/3]

What Hythlay’s mother had been thinking, naming him anything other than ‘thorn’ or ‘thistle’ was beyond Winter. Shining fur. What hraka.

“Hello,” Winter said.

“John, come here. Have a look at the good captain and tell me what you see.”

“One of those days, is it?” Johnswort sighed, rolling his eyes as he limped past and sat next to Hythlay.

“I don’t see anything different,” he said after a long moment.

It was Hythlay’s turn to roll his eyes. “Blind, the lot of you. Look at his flank, John. There, you see?”

Johnswort gave Winter an apologetic look and peered closely at the fur. “Oh,” he said after a moment. He sat back on his haunches and favoured Hythlay with an unimpressed look. “So his fur’s going grey, what of it?”

“I am surround by idiots,” Hythlay growled. “The shape, John!”

“It looks like a paw print. So?”

“Oh, never mind! Tharn, the lot of you. I’m going to silflay.”

They watched him go for a moment, before Winter turned to Johnswort and said “Does it really look like a paw print?”

“Yes,” Johnswort said, turning awkwardly to try and tend his shoulder. “It’s rather interesting.”

“Interesting,” Winter said. “Yes.”

They’ll call you Silver by the end.

He combed his ears and tried to pretend Hythlay’s certainty didn’t unsettle him.


The sixth time:

A hare laughed out in the field.

“That was close, wasn’t it.” It wasn’t a question.

Winter nodded, heart still thudding.

“Why, if the hrududu hadn’t slowed for the deer earlier, you’d be quite the smear.”

“Well, I’m not,” Winter said.

The Black Rabbit cuffed the side of his head, as if he were still a kitten, running too far from the burrow. “Mind yourself,” he said sharply, turning and bounding away.


“I’ve seen rabbits go grey,” Johnswort said, “But never so fast or in such odd patterns.” He looked at Winter seriously. “You should stop.”

“Stop what?”

“I’m sure you know.”

“I’d have thought you--” Winter began, and stopped. Johnswort was not the only translation of Hrarailinlé’s name.

“It’s you that chases the Black Rabbit, not I,” Johnswort said.


The seventh time:

Only Hythlay could make an enemy of a hare, for Frith’s sake.

Winter darted a quick glance to John, crouched low, eyes fixed on Hythlay. Against the bulk of the hare, he looked even smaller than normal.

“I’ll burn you,” the hare said, in the sing-song tone hares took in their marlao, though it was half a year past.

“I’d like to see you try,” Hythlay snapped.

“No sense of self-preservation at all,” the Black Rabbit said. “You’d think he’d be the one chasing my shadow, not you.”

There was something very different about the Black Rabbit this time, something terrible in him that took Winter back all those seasons to their first meeting in the brambles.

“Eleerhay,” the Black Rabbit said.

Winter squared his shoulders and lunged for the hare.

When the Black Rabbit says your name, you’ve got to answer.

Re: The Road To Inlé [3/3]

...Holy crap. This is my face right now: =O

That was absolutely, fantastically brilliant. Just the names themselves would have had me running in circles in glee, but the entire fic was just wonderful. All the little details, John the hlessil and Lestrade who could see Mycroft - you are brilliant, author!anon.

Re: The Road To Inlé [3/3]

That was awesome.

Re: The Road To Inlé [3/3]

Holy crud, that was amazing!

Re: The Road To Inlé [3/3]

Fantastic. I just wished I remembered my Watership down better to catch all the references. But still, just wonderful. And you could use Mycroft's name!

Re: The Road To Inlé [3/3]

Oh the level of detail to this story, the characterisations! So wonderful and well ploted. :D

Re: The Road To Inlé [3/3]

OOOH! Fantastic! i read that book back in the day this did perfect justice.

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