chocolamousse: (Sadyna)
[personal profile] chocolamousse
Title: Nightwatch
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Category: Romance
Rating: PG-13
Beta: The adorable [ profile] verityburns
Word count: 273
Translations: Into Chinese by Lowtension available here or here. Into Czech by miamam available here.
Summary: 221B Baker Street, a bedroom, at night. Before the Fall.

The room is quiet. I hear only John's breath. I see his chest rise and fall steadily. It’s so soothing. I watch his sleepy face in the shadowy light, endlessly, and though I know it by heart it's not boring at all. If I close my eyes I still see it.

I observe the way his eyelids and his lips sometimes quiver. Maybe he's dreaming. Happy dreams, I hope. He has no nightmares when I'm with him. Two nights ago his eyes suddenly opened, he stared at me and I stopped breathing. After a few seconds he gave me a slight smile and closed his eyes again. He hadn't really woken up.

He shifts a little in the bed and his hand settles next to my face. I fix my gaze on it, as if mesmerised. I come near, until my mouth brushes against it. I close my eyes. I can feel the warmth of his skin on my lips. Something breaks inside me. Oh God, this is enough.

I stand up slowly and, as I do every night, I smooth the blanket out to efface any trace. He wouldn't notice anyway. A last look and I leave John's room as silently as I came in, about an hour ago. I go back to my room.

I wonder what he would say if he knew. I wonder if, one day, he'll wake up and find me there, next to his bed, in my dressing gown, my legs tucked to the side, my head resting on my arms folded on the cover, watching, watching over him. I'm afraid he will.

I hope he will.

Author's note: Are you in the mood for angsting? With my customary quick-wittedness I realised after writing it that if you skip in my dressing gown and I go back to my room, lo and behold, it's now a very sad post-Reichenbach story. Sherlock comes back to 221B every night to spend some moments next to John who's sleeping. When John woke up two days ago he felt perfectly happy for a few seconds, because he remembered seeing Sherlock, then he remembered Sherlock was dead and... Right. I definitely recommend the pre-Reichenbach version.

It's my first fic and I wrote it for [ profile] verityburns' birthday, some months ago. Many, many thanks to her and to the lovely [ profile] arianedevere; without their kindness and their encouragement and their kicks in the pants I'd probably never have written, let alone posted, anything. I owe you!

There is a prequel now, The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of, and a sequel, Awakening.

There is also a podfic, by the wonderful [ profile] verityburns.

(no subject)

Date: 29 October 2012 17:05 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ben Oh my god gif
You did it you did it you did it!!! *dances around the office* Welcome, welcome, welcome to the hallowed halls of Sherlock authordom. And we’ve been waiting so long for you!!

Of course, I’ve known of this story for almost a year and have spent all that time encouraging you to publish it, and I’m going to reproduce a large proportion of the email I sent you back in January when you first let me see this amazing piece of work:

I am utterly, utterly blown away by it. I really am tempted to keep breaking off to go and do the Happy Dance every time I re-read it - and I've re-read it a lot since Verity sent it to me this morning. When you PMd me and said you had sent her something, I threw my arms up in the office, spun around in my chair and said, "Yesssss!" really loudly, and then had to explain to my colleague what I was so excited about, but I was terrified that Verity would email me later and say, "Oh dear; we never should have kept urging her to do this - it's really bad!" And Verity - the clever girl - made absolutely no comment when she forwarded it to me, leaving me to make my own decision about it.

Choco, I will never lie to you and simply be polite. I was dreading having to come up with some carefully worded comments along the lines of, "Oh. Wow. Best wishes, Ari," or "Gosh, you wrote some ... um ... words. They're in the right order and everything," or "Um, well done on writing something that had Sherlock and John in it. So, anyway ... what's the weather like out there?" But that would be no help to you at all. So I'm going to be utterly honest.

Your story is astonishingly good. It's far more than I expected from someone who kept insisting that she can't write. I actually gasped when I got to the bit that revealed that John doesn't know what Sherlock is doing - if that's not an Ariane DeVere twist, I don't know what is, and I don't mean that you're ripping off my style. It was such a beautiful and emotional moment.

And the last two sentences. I'm actually crying as I type this - I mean genuinely, I have tears in my eyes and I can't read those sentences without my eyes welling up each time. They're so gorgeous and sweet and full of love and dammit I can't see what I'm typing.

*stops to blink her eyes clear*

*breaks off to do the Happy Dance again*

In all and utter honesty, sweetie, I can't congratulate you enough - well, not without meeting you and hugging the stuffing out of you. This is a stunning first attempt, and I love you to bits for having had the courage to write it and send it to Verity, and then to allow her to let me and Anarion see it. It's absolutely worthy of the Sherlock fandom and you should be really proud of yourself.

So that’s what I wrote in January, and my opinion hasn’t changed at all since then. Every now and then I go back and read it, and the last bit still makes me cry every single time.

I know you’ve been really nervous about posting this, and am so delighted that you have finally done it, because seriously, Choco, this story is utterly awesome. I love it to pieces –and I love you to pieces for writing such a beautiful, touching and tear-inducing story in your first attempt. Keep writing, honey, because you have a natural talent and I am truly excited about your future as a writer of Sherlock fic.

Love and many many hugs

Ari xx

(no subject)

Date: 29 October 2012 17:41 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

I'm so, SO thrilled to see an entry in your lovely journal after all the kicking encouragement that we've been relentlessly devotedly lavishing upon your lovely self for all these months. Admittedly, the process did become easier once we discovered LiveJournal's 'nudge' option, but still... we're talking hours of plotting devotion here :D

This is beautiful, just really, really beautiful. So much atmosphere that the words can't contain it all - it's spilling out over your readers.

Immediately from 'The room is quiet', I am holding my breath, sucked in completely... and no one had best disturb me while I'm reading this - although, I'm not sure I'd notice even if they tried.

I adore 'He has no nightmares when I'm with him.' I love the simple fact of it - and I love Sherlock's tangible pride in the statement.

As Ari says, the last two sentences are exceptionally... I'm not sure of the word... 'tingle-inducing'? Something like that. I really like the way you've split the last one into its own paragraph. It deserves its own paragraph.

Very well done to you, my dear - both for writing something this gorgeous and for having the courage to share it. I feel like I'm having my birthday again!

(no subject)

Date: 29 October 2012 18:09 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This was absolutely lovely. Beautifully written. I love the last two sentences - they pack such a punch. Gorgeous!

(no subject)

Date: 29 October 2012 19:24 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I just got home and read it again. And still it makes me cry. You have such a gentle soft voice - the voice in my head that reads this aloud is really quiet, almost hushed, and it adds so much to the emotion of the piece. And no matter how many times I've read it since last January when I first saw it, I can never get any further than "Something breaks inside me," and something breaks inside me. That's always when the tears start, and by the time I get to the last two sentences I am literally crying.

I don't think I'll ever stop enthusing about this, Choco. And neither will I regret constantly harrassing you to get this published. It so deserves to be seen.

So when are you posting to the comms? When when when when when?

*Limbers up her right leg for more kicking in the pants if necessary*

(no subject)

Date: 29 October 2012 19:27 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This was lovely! Although I do kinda like the post-TRF variant. Now my brain is going to start spinning tales of John catching him (post-fall).

(no subject)

Date: 29 October 2012 20:30 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
My eyes are a bit wet and I don't know if it's from the angst and Sherlock's yearning heart or from the deep and strong feelings you transported direct into my cells. You captured the tender longing perfectly, really really well done!

(no subject)

Date: 29 October 2012 21:32 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Congratulations!! After all this time reading hints about the misterious fic that chocola had written it is a joy to see it posted!

And it is a beautiful, sad and tender fic. You broke my heart in a very good way.

(no subject)

Date: 30 October 2012 03:10 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
There's a very good sort of pain, an ache in the tummy, that you get when a story is perfect, sad, tender, and could be no other way.

This story gives me that lovely pain because in so few words you've told me nearly everything I need to know to care deeply, to feel Sherlock's longing, to, as Verity said, to make me hold my breath.

What's funny is just as I began to read my husband asked if the music he was about to put on would bother me, and usually the answer is yes, but the moment I began the first sentence I was deaf to everything else.

Chocola, you have a gift. Read your own story again. And again. Do you feel the mood you've made? Do you see how elegant the imagery? This is just the beginning I hope, the start of a long, long writing career.

I read your LJ bio just before this, where you basically wax rhapsodic that the reason you are here is because of Sherlock. I hope you continue to honor that and gift us with so much more fiction because if this is what you write when still full of doubt, good god what will you accomplish when you feel strong and bold and proud?

I can't wait to see.


Date: 30 October 2012 15:45 (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
So lovely! Such a beautiful characterization of Sherlock. Thank you for writing this; it was wonderful!

(no subject)

Date: 30 October 2012 17:04 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ha, welcome to this side of fan-fiction! :D

I hope he will.

Yes, we hope so too. And then he will rip open that dressing gown and they will have hot hot sex on the rumpled sheets. Um... What?

This is lovely! As are you! *hugs*

(no subject)

Date: 31 October 2012 01:37 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Lovely, lovely, like a line sketch by a master artist.

(no subject)

Date: 31 October 2012 06:54 (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
When I read something, I always ask myself afterwards how I feel. Is there a corner of my soul keening a little louder, a heartbeat skittering with joy or sorrow. In short, has the writing moved me? One word or a thousand can conjure sublimity. You have done it with 273. Do write, keep writing, and share with us please. :)

(no subject)

Date: 4 November 2012 18:13 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Small and perfect and lovely. I loved how it wasn't obvious at the beginning, that Sherlock was only visiting John's bedroom and wasn't actually an inhabitant. I'm so glad you felt brave enough to share it with us! Thank you!

(no subject)

Date: 4 November 2012 19:05 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I am so very glad you posted this. I must admit, until I got to the dressing gown and room I was thinking that I was reading a post-fall. I'm sort of impatient and don't always read the headers... (shame on me). And while I will say that you are the author and they are YOUR words and not to be interpreted differently by the likes of silly me (who can't write at all)...

I sort of liked the image of Sherlock sneaking into John's room post-fall, and John Not Having Nightmares when Sherlock is near. Because John can smell him, or just his soul recognizes Sherlock's presence. And Sherlock being proud of that, knowing that, and taking the risk to come so his John can have some peace.

Be proud of yourself. You did a brave thing. And your words are lovely, lovely, lovely.

Poor lonely, frightened Sherlock. It's sad no matter when you place it. To feel so unworthy of love that he must hide, sneak around, steal little crumbs of togetherness...

(no subject)

Date: 5 November 2012 13:37 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ohhh, my god, this is heart-wrenching. It's the little smile that John gives him without really waking up that makes this.

I'll definitely go into my cave of denial and keep the suggested "I go back to my room" part.

Really well done!

(no subject)

Date: 3 March 2013 01:48 (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I hope he will too. This is terribly heart-squeezy.