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Sherlock BBC Prompting Meme

"we get all sorts around here."

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

Prompts from this post can be filled on the Overflow Post

+Anon posting is most definitely allowed, but not required.
+All kinds of fills are accepted! Fic, art, vids, cosplay, interpretive dance--whatever. Go wild! :D
+Keep things neat! Read prompts before you post to see if something similar has already been done, and while you are encouraged to prompt as much as you like, try to fill as well.
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+RPF (real person fic, i.e. fic involving the actors themselves) is not supported at this meme.
+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. Also at 7000, after the freeze a new part will be posted, and all prompting should happen on the new part.
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There's a link to this at the bottom of the post. I ask that 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, please 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.
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Please consider warning for triggery prompts (and also for fills, because some people read in flat view) and phrasing prompts in a manner that strives to be respectful.

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This has nothing to do with the Rapture That Wasn't.

I'd like a prompt about a character- doesn't matter which- being Christian.

Micro-Fill: For because he himself has suffered

This is very, very American. My apologies.

- - -

In Afghanistan, there had been an unwritten rule amongst the soldiers in John's unit. By this rule, one did not pray.

"You don't pray," his Sargent had explained, "because the preachers pray over the dead."

"You don't pray," his LT had insisted, "because praying distracts you from aiming."

"You don't pray," Bill had murdered in his year, "Because God ain't listening."

But John hadn't followed their rule.

He prayed each morning when he woke, whole and alive.

He prayed each mealtime, when was given the shitastic crap that the army called food.

He prayed each night, for the souls of the patients who'd died and the lives of the ones still struggling to live.

If Afghanistan, John Watson had prayed.

In a cold, gray, lonely little flat in London, John Watson wondered why God had ever bothered to listen.

Re: Micro-Fill: For because he himself has suffered

OP is American.

And... this was amazing. Thank you very much for writing this.

Re: Micro-Fill: For because he himself has suffered

Aw. I can relate, John...

Micro-Fill: God loves in him. And he in God.

"John - John, I - I don't know if you can hear me. The Doctors say you can't but I - well, it's not like they have any empirical evidence so I think I'm within my rights to presume that they're wrong. You'll have to tell me which of us is right when you wake up. I'm sure you'll simply confirm - confirm -."

There's a sound like a sob, buried by the life support machines.

"Sorry, spring outside - I always get these terrible allergies every year and - and - and it's not like you'd know because it's not as if we've ever spent a spring together is it? And my allergies are entirely beside the point. Except - except that - except -. What am I saying? John, get up! You need to wake up because it's Spring outside and my allergies are terrible and I think you ought to go make me some tea.

"... or, I suppose I could make you tea? I make rubbish tea - Mycroft always complained that it was too bitter and Mummy said it was too sweet. Mycroft takes even more sugar in his than I do. You should - that is, we should have him over for tea some time and make him taste test different cups to determine how much sugar you need to cover the taste of cyanide or -. Or... no. You wouldn't like that very much would you?

"Look, John, please just get up now? You've made your point. Really. I - I won't go running off like that again. I'll sear it - on - on whatever you'd like. Your bible maybe? Does it count if you're the only one who believes? I don't - I mean I -. Look, there's no evidence of God, John! I can't - I mean, not even you can -"

The sound of a hand, slamming down on a bed. Another sob

"If there's a God, he'd let you live."

The softer sound, of one hand taking another.

"Please, God, let him live."

In the infinite silence comes the passage of hours. In the wake of the hours, comes dawn.

Fruedian Slip....

The verse was 1 John 4:15 and it was supposed to say God LIVES in him -_-

Re: Fruedian Slip....

OP here. It doesn't matter, I loved the fill all the same. It was heartrending.

Re: Micro-Fill: God loves in him. And he in God.


Sanctification, Part 1

Comment boxed. And I thought I'd do one that wasn't John.

Some of the changes were immediate and John didn't expect them to last. The Bible that had been sitting on Sherlock's bookshelf collecting dust was suddenly being taken out and read at least once a day, turning up all over the flat. Amusingly, it once turned up opened to Psalm 23, right next to one of Sherlock's more horrifically gory experiments involving a large intestine and several live leeches. John never asked for the full story on that one.

And Sherlock started disappearing for about two hours every Sunday morning. It was December and and utterly horrid outside, so he'd return to the flat all windblown and red-cheeked and sniffly from the cold, but he kept at it, week after week.

For about two months, anyway. After that the old King James went back to its place on the shelf and Sherlock would occasionally sleep in on Sundays again, though he still vanished more often than not. John wasn't sure what had brought on that experiment, but he was fairly sure it was over now. It wasn't as if they'd stopped working on cases, or that Sherlock had suddenly turned into a different person, but he'd never expected Sherlock Holmes, of all people, to start concerning himself with...well...that!

And that's when he started noticing the smaller changes. Or at least they started small. Like when they ran low on milk and he made a mental note to buy some the next day. Only to come back from work and discover that somebody had already bought new. And while some of Sherlock's horror film reject props still turned up in the fridge, they began to be labeled, or set apart from the food. Or sometimes even covered up. And Sherlock still stole his laptop on occasion, but the frequency seemed to have gone down a little. At least, he put it back where he found it.

The real surprise, though, was when they were at a crime scene and Anderson made a particularly blockheaded observation. Even John could enumerate at least six different ways it was ridiculous. Sherlock looked up, with a sneer on his face, opened his mouth and...then closed it. Then he took a breath and explained, brusquely but otherwise entirely politely, why Anderson was wrong and how this victim had been injured from a beating rather than a fall.

When they'd left, John said, "You were quite patient with Anderson, then?"

Sherlock had simply rolled his eyes and said, "I've heard there are laws against strangling people, even when they are painfully stupid."

Re: Sanctification, Part 2

Which was essentially how this worked. He was still the same Sherlock, when you got right down to it. Still snappish and brilliant and utterly oblivious to how people felt. He still talked Molly into bending the rules in St. Bart's morgue for him (although he wasn't cruel about it anymore). But he was more careful about who he snapped at and more generous with his insights and...well, the obliviousness was just the same as it had always been, even if he occasionally seemed to try harder. In fact, some days, John had the odd notion that he was more like himself now than he ever had been.

The King James still hadn't moved. But Sherlock still disappeared on Sunday mornings, unless they had a case, so John finally came out and asked Sherlock why that old Bible just sat there and Sherlock looked up from the crime scene photos he was poring over and smiled and said, "I bought a different version that I use more often. I know King James is really popular in some circles, but...well, I won't go into it. It's good to have different versions to compare anyway. Since I can't read Ancient Hebrew or Greek--yet--then comparing across versions can give me a fuller sense of the original meanings in the text."

And finally, John asked the question that had been burning in his mind since the whole thing began. "Why? What changed? Why did you change?"

And Sherlock said, "It was when you ended up with that broken rib. You weren't in any danger, they said, but you looked a fright. And a family came into the A&E just as you were put into a room. Auto accident. Mother and son were the worst off, with a father and daughter who watched. And they died. And when the doctor told those two, the girl turned to her father and asked what they would do. And he said, 'We pray.'

"I couldn't imagine how someone could still believe in anything in the middle of that much pain so I started going to church to find out. I kept going because...because one morning I went thinking it would be my last time and as I was leaving I realized that I couldn't possibly walk away from something I believed too. Which was a huge, shock, let me tell you." He laughed.

"So...just like that, then?"

"Just like that."

"But you like for things to be provable," John protested.

"I like mysteries," Sherlock countered. "And I'm going to spend forever trying to solve some of these." He sighed. "In any case, I may not be able to prove God to you, but I have no doubts about Him. I really don't." He hesitated and then said, "You're...always welcome to join me of a Sunday...if you want?"

John grinned. "I knew the invitational was coming."

They both laughed and Sherlock said, "Well, if you ever change your mind, consider it a standing invitational." He took a breath and said, "You once told me that...'it's all fine.' Is it still?"

John blinked. "What? Of course it is. Why wouldn't it be?"

Sherlock shook his head. "No reason, I suppose. But when you took so long to ask, I wasn't sure what to make of it."

"I thought you didn't think I'd noticed," John said.

"You don't think Psalm 23 turned up next to that mess by mistake, did you?" Sherlock shot back. "You don't give yourself enough credit, John. Speaking of which, what do you think about that scar beneath the victim's earlobe?"

"His what?" John demanded, moving in for a better look, but inwardly concluding that whatever was different about Sherlock, he really was becoming more and more essentially himself with every day that passed. So whatever he was on to, he wasn't going to worry anymore.


Re: Sanctification, Part 2

Beautiful. Thanks.

Re: Sanctification, Part 2

I haven't willingly been to a church since I was twelve, and I thought this was beautiful. Nicely understated.

Re: Sanctification, Part 2

I love this, so much. It was all so very real, the struggles sometimes and the heart change, and how sometimes it's really just not easy being a Christian and a different person.

This right here was my favourite of all:
"I like mysteries," Sherlock countered. "And I'm going to spend forever trying to solve some of these." He sighed. "In any case, I may not be able to prove God to you, but I have no doubts about Him. I really don't." He hesitated and then said, "You're...always welcome to join me of a Sunday...if you want?"

Absolutely fantastic.

FILL: All is safely gathered in (1/2)

When John Watson doesn't make it to Sunday services because he's running around on a case with Sherlock -- or because he's having a lie-in after running around on a case with Sherlock -- he makes sure to go to Morning Prayer some other day that week, or at least Evensong; it's been his practice since he was a small boy to give time at least one day out of the seven to... well, "higher things" sounds ridiculous, but any synonym he's come up with just seems more ridiculous, and. Well. It's just a thing you do, that he's done whenever he isn't in a hospital bed or run entirely off his feet with combat and surgery; even on the grey days when he'd just got back to London, he went. Sometimes twice or three times a week, even if afterwards he'd slink out of the church without more than an obligatory response to anyone who greeted him (often enough, the sermon was the only time he could doze off without nightmares, long practice enabling him to jerk awake just before the prayer). John always makes sure to have at least a little something to put in the offering plate, because he has a morbid revulsion for letting it pass unincreased.

Sometimes in addition, these days, he'll listen to Evensong on the BBC; usually in his room, now and again with Mrs Hudson, and once in a long while he'll put it on in the sitting room while Sherlock bustles about with one of his experiments or lies quietly on the sofa (a particularly good piece of music will have his flatmate sit bolt upright or otherwise freeze, swaying slightly and now and then conducting along). Unless a life was at stake, John's always made sure to go to the services for Christmas, Good Friday, and Easter, and he expects to do so in the future.

He also prays at other times, but save for obvious moments ("thought I was going to die," "thought my [whatever] was going to die"), he doesn't talk about that. It isn't decent.


Annabelle Hudson attends Chapel, as she still calls it, (religiously, if the word weren't almost too pert in this context) every Sunday in one of her best dresses and a nice hat.

She also belongs to several of its committees and organizations, the meetings of which she attends in one of her more ordinary dresses, with or without a hat. On these boards and circles, she brings the drive and good nature that get her called (as she was in Florida) a "pillar" and a "guiding light," and many people who otherwise would hurry home after Sunday service pause to go over and greet her. Mrs Hudson stays to greet everybody, now that there's no longer anyone who would complain if she started cooking later on Sundays; she belongs to more groups now than she did, for the same reason. Every year she looks over her budget and pledges what alms she will give to the church, working out with a calculator the size of the cheques she writes each week (it's so comforting to know that she will redeem her pledge, even should John and Sherlock be late with the rent again; they're good boys, for all that. John will walk her to the Tube station on those Sundays when he's up, and more rarely, Sherlock will put her in a taxi).

Annabelle's always known that some people feel Presence in contemplation, but the closest she's ever come to feeling a part of something greater, or that everything will come out all right, has been when she's been working with one of her committees or societies, getting things done, making a difference. (And if these days she finds herself telling stories about her lodgers to her sewing circle, or to whomever's on the roster to help her with the flowers -- well, many hands may make light work but entertaining stories make work quick, and most of the stories are too good not to share, and it is really for a very good cause.)

All is safely gathered in (2/2)

Sherlock Holmes' interaction with organized religion might best be described as "sporadic." There are times when he's dashing about seemingly trying to sample the services of every church, not only in Westminster but over half of London (sometimes two or three in the same day) -- to say nothing of that of temples of various faiths, a mosque or two, and several rites taking places in somebody's parlor or garden -- leaving those who know him uncertain whether he's comparing the music, or the sermon, or the acoustics of the place, or what; at other times, he won't go near anything resembling a church or chapel (save for a case) for weeks on end.

He certainly can't be arsed to put anything in the collection plate in the general way of things, but whenever he receives a fee, he will dutifully write a cheque for ten percent of his payment and give it to whichever accredited house of worship he next enters (except for that time [and that other time] when he gave half the ten percent to the Red Cross).

Several of those who've known him have said that he clearly finds good music or even art more of a religious experience than anything that happens in a church: Sherlock generally comments on their faulty logic, as any Venn diagram of "great art (including music)" and "things found in churches" would show considerable overlap.

But sometimes, when music has been particularly fine, or the setting sun is lighting up the towering clouds, or he has at last seen the solution to a puzzle and it's more wonderfully intricate than he would have guessed, or the roses are in bloom, or he's just been given something he never knew he always wanted, (once, when the best flatmate he could have hoped for was still laughing with the reek of Chinese food on his breath as he went up the stairs to his new room,) Sherlock will say to the One Who hears, "Oh, well done."

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