In the back alley, leading to 4th Street and Main, a man cowering on gravel, groveling in the rain. Someone towers over him holding rusted chains.
“Have you known not any pain? What says to you, what is to gain!?” He shrieks.
The figure speaks. “Ahhh… Another man who is weak. Those that won’t stand, surely weep. May death come quick, you’ll be in peace. This is a gift, my friend, I offer release.”
The figure raises chains above his head. Martin, our protagonist, believes he is dead and spends his last moments wondering instead, what could have been different had he just stayed in bed.
This thought holds as light flashes in Martin’s eye. Piercing the veil of the figure’s disguise. Revealing a look of genuine surprise…
“Your life has been spared, this is goodbye.”
The figure leaps to amazing heights, fleeing into the cover of night. Martin is left pale and white, shocked at the encounter that almost ended his life.
The car door slams. “Martin, Jesus… Are you okay?” Stepping out of the car, Martin’s co-worker, Alexa Rae. Martin nods, though still afraid. She hands him a dry coat, “Let’s get you out of this place.”
I had never thought of this before, but now I can’t stop thinking about it. I saw myself in the forbidden closet. This closet, you see is forbidden in my house we can neither touch it, use it, go near it nor can we throw it away, I thought it had something to do with my family ancestors and never bothered about it but this once when I was left home alone, I had invited some friends over and we decided to check the closet. I saw myself in there. At first we thought it was a mirror but even my friends saw me in the closet. We fled the basement and never went back down. I have been thinking about it ever since, what could it be?
Right now I am outside with my mom, buying clothes. It is still stuck in my mind the person, the mirror and the closet I can’t get over it. I can’t. I know I am not supposed to ask my mother about it but I can’t resist it anymore.
We reached home and I asked my mom “what’s about the closet in the basement?” My mom looked at me with a frown, she sighed and started telling me the whole story.. “Darling, you weren’t born as an only child” she took a pause “you had a twin an identical twin I might say..” I interrupted her “So are you saying it’s my twin sister’s ghost?” She nodded her head saying “No it’s her, she’s alive and never comes out of the closet. She tried eating human flesh so we didn’t let anyone go near her. We tried the best doctors for her, we tried to get the best help we could but we could only try… I’m still trying how can I not?! That’s my daughter even if she’s not the one to be kept and taken care of she’s still my daughter.” I was beyond scared, knowing that you’re living under the same roof as a cannibalist is terrifying. I went on and asked mom “Has she actually ate someone?” Fear visible in my eyes. Mom looked down and said “The only person she didn’t try to eat is me, why else do you think your dad isn’t alive anymore?” “But why didn’t she eat you?” Mother smiled “Maybe because I’m like her”
Luna did eventually go to sleep, waking up in the late morning out of the habit of being a maid. She would’ve gone back to sleep after she remembered she didn’t have to work that day, but just as she was rolling over to snuggle back into her plush pillow she remembered where she was, and that Nico couldn’t be trusted to keep to himself if she wasn’t around to be his filter. So, begrudgingly, she threw open her canopy and scanned over her room with her tired green eyes. It still looked like a lifeless display room, generalized pictures on the walls, impeccably cleaned without even Luna’s clothes on the floor from her changing into pajamas, because she hadn’t, and little to no other sign of life, not even a blonde hare with an attitude sitting in the chair that was pushed into one of the corners of the room. That earned a relieved sigh as the ravenette got up and straightened her clothes and hair before heading out to get breakfast. When she got down to the kitchen, Nico was already at the table, chatting with a woman dressed in an elegant gown of red with hair of a darker, slightly browner crimson. "Uhhh, hey Nico? Who’s that?“ she asked, watching her brother turn to her and smile brilliantly, "Oh cool! you’re up at last, Luna, this is Queenie, she’s my Guardian!” he explained, making the elegant woman scoff airily, "I’m a Guardian, not yours.“ she corrected with a sniff, but Nico ignored that, just smiling and gesturing for his sister to say hi, and knowing he wouldn’t leave her alone about if she didn’t, Luna greeted Queenie with a small wave and a hello. she got a disdainful look and a huffy wave in response. She sensed the pompous Guardian and her would not get along. Despite that, Luna sat by her brother and did try to be at least polite to the woman while she ate the food some servants gave her. Meanwhile, Bacchus sat nearby, chatting animatedly with Lucy about his own things, which Luna didn’t listen to, she had already pushed some of his buttons the night before, she didn’t want to aggravate him more by eavesdropping. All during breakfast Luna talked to her twin and the pompous Guardian, Queenie. When the meal was over, Nico smiled, "Hey Luna, how about you come outside and we can see what Queenie can do?” her twin suggested, but Luna decided against it, needing a break from the snooty woman who did not seem to like her at all. Instead, while Nico and Bacchus headed outside, Luna went over to Lucy, the red haired girl being a more veteran Call member who she hadn’t aggravated the night before. Lucy had gone to one of the many sitting rooms or lounges the mega mansion they stayed in had once she was done eating, so Luna followed, "Um excuse me? Can we talk, because I’ve got a few questions.“ She said, a bit awkward under the pressure of Lucy’s intimidating air. The girl wasn’t much older than 13 maybe, but where Bacchus was an expressive, happy dude with a bit of a dark humor, the girl didn’t seem to be very open with her emotions, "Oh? Regretting your choice to join The Call?” she guessed, and sheepishly, Luna nodded, "I know it’s stupid to suddenly be wary after going through the whole initiation, but…I dunno I just feel like I should at least start asking questions, it’d be better than not doing so.“ she babbled, the younger girl just looking at her calmly until she took a breath. "It’s good to start asking about stuff, even if it might be seen as late.” she confirmed, “what do you want to know about?” With that awkward part out of the way, Luna let out a small breath, "Well, first I want to know why The Call was created. I don’t know a whole lot about the group,“ she admitted, feeling more stupid for joining after she’d said that, but Lucy just nodded, "The Call was formed after the Harding family vanished after a destructive blast wrecked their estate. People were aware that magical beings existed, angels, demons, other little creatures, they were all known about, but we didn’t know of anything that could cause so much damage. So, The Call was created to investigate the odd occurance.” she explained. Luna sat for a moment and let this information settle in. Than, she offered up her next question, "and…what about this Ink stuff? And the dimension it opens?“ "Ink was found, not created. The blue-black substance began seemingly leaking up in random places. Sometimes in the roads, sometimes in bathtubs and sinks, we just collected it and now use it to help in our investigation into the world we call Wonderland.” “why do you call it Wonderland?” "Because when our first team went into the dimension the survivor described it as very childish, debris, toys, stuff like that was floating around. At the core of it was a pieced together mish-mash of a child’s decor and pieces of the Harding home. Since the Harding family had a young daughter named Alice, we sort of just began calling the place Wonderland.“ she said with a shrug, and Luna nodded, that was sort of understandable, "you said ‘the survivor,’ singular, did no one else come back?” she asked after a moment, her stomach tying itself into knots as she debated with whether she really wanted to know, "Yeah, only one came back. He’s the one who told us of the first possible Guardian we’ve met. He said he met the 'author of our story’ or something like that, so he called the creature 'the narrator’. We still aren’t sure whether or not he was hallucinating or something, but since he was the only one who returned, we took his word.“ she explained, "Of course, that’s a very shortened version of what happened, Henry or Bacchus can tell you more.” she added, "Have you ever met The narrator?“ Luna asked, but Lucy shook her head, "I assume we have, but there is no way to confirm because if we have met him, no one has survived to tell of it.” That left a cold pit in Luna’s stomach. "D-did this survivor describe The narrator?“ she asked, some part of her already knowing what The narrator looked like. "Narrator is described as a bipedal black cat in a purple tail coat with a bowtie of the same color. Why do you ask?” The way Lucy looked at the ravenette didn’t ease the pit of unease in her gut. It was bad enough that her dream now seemed a bit too real to be a dream, meaning she’d barely escaped without dying, she didn’t need Lucy prying into her and making that worse. So, she laughed it off, "Was just curious, I’m gonna go talk with Henry,“ she said quickly, getting up and scurrying out of the room before Lucy could stop her. Instead, she went upstairs and went into her room. Luna was never a super social person, she was always more focused on helping her family than talking to others and making a bunch of friends. The thought made her sigh, her stomach twisting like a bundle of snakes of regret fighting in her gut, but she tried to ignore it.
A prompt popped into my head while at work and I had to write it down before I forgot, so sorry if it sucks.
“Oh great. Now you choose to get all powerful on me? We’re trapped.”
“I didn’t choose to do this! You were yelling at me and I just-”
“Decided to collapse the cave? If you had been concentrating like I told you to this wouldn’t have happened.”
“How can I possibly concentrate with you yelling at me? Maybe if you did a little less criticizing and a little more mentoring we wouldn’t be in this mess.”
“I mentor just fine, it’s your listening skills that need work!”
“Stop yelling at me!”
“You want me to stop yelling? Then lift those stones and get us out of here!”
“Yes you can!”
“You could if you tried! If you even wanted to try!”
“Well you know what? I don’t! I never wanted any of this! Everyone’s always talking about how great and powerful I’m supposed to be, how my destiny is written in the stars and I have to go out and achieve what I was born to do-”
“Well I don’t want to! I hate it out here! I hate this journey, I hate being outdoors, I hate that everyone expects so god damn much of me-”
“And you know what else? I HATE BEING MENTORED BY SUCH AN ARROGANT, SELF ABSORBED, PRETTY BOY NARCISSIST.”
“I told you you could do it.”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
“Turn around, dumbass.”
“Well come along then, oh great and mighty chosen one.”
“Why do my powers only work when you’re pissing me off?”
“I tend to make people feel passionately, all though it’s usually passionately in love.”
“Riiight. Well, I can say I passionately hate you.”
“Hate is very close to love, you know. Perhaps you’re just confused.”
Olivia stirred at the inhuman sound rising from her empty stomach. Lazily, she glanced at the clock to see just how much time she had left before she HAD to roll out of bed. It was 9:30am. She bolted upright, cursing herself for forgetting to set her alarm last night. She had only been working at the newspaper for two weeks and being late is no way to make a name for yourself. Kicking her legs over the side of the bed, Olivia threw on the jeans she wore yesterday to dinner with her father and yanked a blouse off its hanger. God, what she’d do to be a kid again with zero responsibilities. Anything to forget how much she pays a month for her 150sqft. studio apartment in New York City.
Staring at her own disheveled image in the cracked, toothpaste freckled mirror, Olivia wondered if now would be a good time to light a candle. She had been holding off as a celebration for making it on her own in the big city. Chalking it up to “self-care”, Olivia decided to call in to work. The hardwood floors creaked as she walked over to the smaller of the two closets. She retrieved the key from the locket around her neck and unlocked the door. Olivia closed her eyes before the tears could form. “I need this.” She said to herself, letting the air out of her lungs in a sigh.
“Which one do I choose?” She asked herself, opening the door to over 37 different candles. Each one a different scent from the 25 years of her life. Her eyes fell on the one she knew would make her feel better. Reaching for the candle, her stomach grumbled incessantly. Deaf to the groaning of the floor underneath her socked feet, her mind began to spiral to that place. She set the candle on the small stool she used as a table and sunk deep into her over-sized bean bag chair. Carefully grabbing the lighter, she flicked it three times until it finally lit. The heavily used wick sucked up the flame as soon as she introduced the lighter. Closing her eyes, she leaned back allowing the chair to absorb her entire body. The scent of orange rolls cascaded over her, filling her nostrils with the sweet smell of home.
June 15th, 1995
The bustling New York din faded in her ears and was replaced with the tinkling of dishes and the warmth of her grandmother’s kitchen. Her mother was hunched over the sink, scrubbing at a particularly stubborn sauce pan.
“Mommy?” A mere squeak, escaped her lips. She instinctively swung her legs back and forth on the too big kitchen chair while she finished coloring the side of a barn purple. “When’s breakfast gonna be ready?” She gazed up at her mothers soft brown hair, glowing in the morning sunlight peeking through the curtains.
“Just a few minutes left, sweetheart.” Her mother said, glancing at the egg-shaped timer next to the stove. “Go wash up and see where grandma has gotten to so we can eat.”
Vibrating with excitement, Olivia hopped from the chair and sped away. Her arms floated up into a “T” shape as she mimicked the jets of an airplane speeding down a runway. “GRANDMA!!” She bellowed, her voice bouncing off the china that was permanently set out on the dining table. “Breakfast is ready, Grammy!!!” Excitement hung on every syllable as she said it. Turning the corner into the half bath, she hopped onto her stool and flipped the sink on, squirting too much soap into her small hands. As she lathered them up, her grandmother poked her head around the corner.
“Don’t forget to scrub the webbies and use the nail brush, Livie-Bean.” She said, patting her on the rear and shuffling her way into the kitchen.
“I won’t!” Olivia called after her grandmother as she hastily scrubbed under her fingernails. She dried her hands, throwing the towel back onto the sink, taking off just as quickly as she landed. Running through the kitchen doorway she yelled, “Coming in for a landing!” as her grandmother turned just in time to catch her in the air. Olivia wrapped her legs around her grandmother’s waist and giggled as she tickled her sides.
The kitchen timer went off at an ear-piercing decibel and Olivia wailed “Abort! Abort!” while struggling to free herself from her grandmother’s arms. She plopped herself back into her too big chair, eyes glazing over at the sight of the fresh-baked orange rolls her mother put in the middle of the table. The steam rolling off the top of the generously glazed peaks flirted their way into her nostrils. The smell enveloped her tiny body, comforting her. Today, her five year old self thought, is the best day EVER!
Grinning from ear to ear with orange glaze plastered to the side of her face and all down her shirt, Olivia gazed at her mother and grandmother and knew this was what home felt like. It had been first time she had felt it since daddy left them a little over a year ago and would be the one of the last before her mother succumbed to lung cancer
October 25th, 2015
Olivia opened her eyes, as if waking from a restful midday nap. She could hear the traffic and the not so nice retorts of the drivers slicing through the crisp fall air. A gentle rap echoed its way into her ears from the front door.
“Olivia? It’s Karina, I heard you weren’t feeling well so I brought you some soup from RedFarm..It’s your faaaavoriiiite.” She said in a singsong voice. “I’m just going to leave it out here for you okay?” A gentle thud and the fading sound of her boots signaled her descent to the first floor and out into the chilly October morning.
Extinguishing the flame of one of her favorite memories, Olivia stood from her nest in the bean bag chair, tip-toed over to the peephole and looked out. Nothing but a mini scarecrow plastered to a decorative fall wreath on the door of 3B staring back at her. She unlocked her door and grabbed the to-go bag, the familiar pang of hunger echoing in her empty stomach. The light in the dinky kitchenette flickered to life as she unwrapped her lunch, making a mental note to call Karina and thank her after she was done eating. Maybe I can do this, she thought to herself, I just need to surround myself with the right people.
Tipping what was left of the near empty bowl into her mouth and feeling satiated, both physically and mentally, Olivia picked up her cell phone and dialed Karina’s number. She listened to the dull tone as it rang and made her way back to the candle. Feeling its warmth, regardless of the solidified wax, she gently placed it back into its spot on the closet shelf. Despite all efforts, her eyes wandered over to the side of the closet she refused to revisit. Snapping them shut, she closed the door and replaced the key to its spot in her necklace.
“Hey, this is Karina! Sorry I missed your call but if you leave me a message with your name and number, I’ll get back to you as soon as I can! Ciao!” *Beep*
“Karina, it’s Olivia, thank you so much for the soup! I feel better already! Speaking of, RedFarm has THE BEST mimosas. I’m thinking brunch date soon, okay? Call me when you can, bye girl.” Olivia hung up and locked her phone with a click. Wanting to feel as refreshed on the outside as she did on the inside, she headed to the bathroom and started the shower.
“Breathe in, I send myself love.” She repeated her mantra, lighting a scentless candle and smiling, waiting for the water to heat up.
It is said that RiverClan’s deputy, Brindletuft, lost her tail in a scuffle caused by growing unrest in the clan. During this scuffle, a cat named Otterskip managed to bite down too hard on Brindletuft’s tail, severing it. The tail sat in the clearing for a number of days, being ignored, before a RiverClan kit, Pinekit, decided to hide it in the fresh-kill pile as a prank. Brindletuft was the one to discover her rotting tail sitting amongst the clans food. She then ordered for Otterskip to bury the tail, which he did. At least… He thinks he did, but, sometimes when the moon is up he swears that he can see it’s outline sitting back in the clearing.
“Everything has gone to shit and you’re still insisting on a
party! What the hell is wrong with you?!”
“If we’re all gonna die, then we should at least have fun
His sister shook her head in response to that, but her face
didn’t show the anger he expected, instead she just looked tired- exhausted
“Fine,” she said, “throw your party.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah. You’re right.”
He stepped towards her, carefully, “Are you sure, I don’t
want to burden you more.”
She smiled at him, probably the first time she had smiled
since the first evacuation order was given, “I’m sure,”
He smiled back, carefully, wondering if he had finally
pushed her over the edge to unhappy insanity.
“They want us to be sad,” she told him, and she did suddenly
look so much lighter than she had for a while, “if we’re sad and stressed, we
aren’t going to plan effectively.”
“So, a party?”
“A party,” she nodded, and then, more emphatically, “you’re
He thought about her anger in earlier months, the one time
she had told him that she wished their other brother had survived instead of
him, the fact that she had told him he was just hindering them with his
inability to take anything seriously, and he wondered if this was her way of
trying to apologise.
“I’ll get right on that, then.”
“It’s going to be the best party in the world.”
“And probably the only one.”
She laughed at that, smiling at him like he was genuinely
funny- she had never thought he was funny in the world before, he had been
annoying, a drag, someone she was stuck with. He shouldn’t be thankful for the
apocalypse, he shouldn’t be grateful that this had happened, but without it…
Without it, would he have ever been noticed by anyone? Would
he have had an actual relationship with his elder sister? Would he have even
been alive at seventeen years?
He didn’t tell her that. She didn’t need the extra stress,
the anger that would bring. But looking at her soft smile, feeling her ruffle
his hair as he walked past, the guilt grew in his stomach.
On the wall outside of the laundromat there’s a wall full of graffiti. The city stopped trying to get rid of it a while ago, opting to spend money on something more important. This wall of graffiti is known in my town as watercolor wall.
The first time I visited there I was with my friends, and they just wanted to go to make fun of all the kids hanging out there. Of course, I agreed, not wanting to cause any problems. We got there right as the sun was slipping behind the highway. I still get blown away by its combination of beauty and wrongness. It’s beauty came from the thousands of strokes made by hundreds of searching souls. and the wrongness that no one’s art would last on it.
The art that’s on the wall changed regularly, people painting over and adding to the original pictures, but there’s one thing that stays the same. A few simple words, reflecting in the tears eyes of those who went there. “I was here.”
I’ve heard that it was the first thing that was ever on the wall. My friend Max thinks that it was out there by some i forseen power of the higher being. Personally, I don’t really care where it came from. What if we find out and are disappointed by who it was? What if the person who did it was just doing with no deeper meaning? Regardless, it’s better not to know. It doesn’t matter who started it, it matters what it means to other people.
There are a lot of stories around town about people who will go to Watercolor Wall just so they remember that they matter. People who, before they went to the wall, didn’t know if they wanted to keep going. I don’t think any of them are true, but it’s a nice thought. Sometimes it’s hard to have nice thoughts, so anything helps.
I don’t know when exactly the last time I went there was. I don’t live in that town anymore. I moved to a bigger city, new people and a different Watercolor Wall. I’m sure every town has one, but I don’t know where it is. Only people who need it are able to find it, and I’m older now. I have a son, who knows where the Watercolor wall is. I’ve seen the look in his eyes that I used to get when I came home from visiting the wall. The look in his eyes means he knows that’s he’s more than just alive. A look that means he knows what it’s like to exist.
I used to need to go to Watercolor Wall because I was scared I was scared of losing control of my life. People go there for a lot of reasons, but once you’ve found the answers you never go back for the same reason. It would be sad, but over the years I’ve lost the urge to go there. . I don’t have everything figured out, far from it in fact, but I know what I’m supposed to be doing. I won’t go back until it’s not enough anymore and I have new problems or old ones return, and not the kind of problem you talk to anyone about. The kind that’s so deep within you that there are no words. Then I guess I’ll move to a new town, with a new Watercolor wall. I might even paint on the words that got me so far. Or I could write new ones, something entirely my own to give. Something like “End poetically, but live life like a quote.” But no matter what I wrote on the wall, people will know I lived, and I fought, and I laughed, and I sobbed.
“If you ever remember what this means to you, then you will be allowed beyond.” The voice was gentle, like it was reading from a children’s book. It was the only voice I’d heard since I’d woken up in the forest. The pay phone began beeping a tone reserved for when the call was over, and I hung it up in place. The street light greeted me as I stepped outside.
Holding up my right hand, I stared at the little six-spoked wooden wheel resting in my palm. I turned it around, where it was a little convex on one face, and the part now resting on my palm was flat.
“Where have I seen you before?” I asked no one in particular, and no one in particular replied to me.
The road that skirted around the woods had barely any traffic. Each time I heard the rumble of a truck or the gurgling of a car, I lifted up my thumb, hoping to catch a ride. They kept passing by, though. A few hours later, I gave up. I just walked.
Surprisingly, it was after I gave up that a car slowed down next to me, and the drive rolled down the window.
“You’re dead, aren’t you?” she asked, squinting at me in the dark.
“I think so.”
At my response, her face lit up with a smile, and she beckoned me into the car. “Hop on in, son, we’re going on a ride.”
Inside the car, I smelt an obnoxious lemon-flavoured air freshener, and a pair of fuzzy dice hung above the dash. I held up my little wheel again, and it caught the woman’s eye.
“That’s what they gave you, huh?” she asked.
I shrugged. “I’ve never seen it before. I don’t know what it means to me.”
The woman laughed, excitedly gripping the wheel as if trying to pull it out of the car. “Don’t worry, that’s how it is for everyone. I’ve seen tons of dead folk wondering what the hell their souvenir means to them.”
“You’re dead too, I’m guessing?”
She nodded. “Yeah, I’m dead. Probably got the best souvenir of them all: this car.” She slapped the dashboard.
“Have you figured out what it means to you?” I asked.
“Hell no!” She laughed again. “If I did, I wouldn’t be here. I’d be in the ‘beyond’, as they call it. Hell, I’m not complaining, am I? It’s a fine ride, never runs out of gas, never bumps into living folks’ traffic. It’s a dream.”
“A dream.” I closed my eyes.
“Oh don’t get dramatic on me.” She nudged me.
“Maybe you owned this car, and you don’t remember it?” I checked the empty back seat.
“Doubt it,” she said. “And even if that was the case, then remembering it would be the challenge I’ve been saddled with. Can’t do a thing either way.”
“Do you think it’s a practical joke?” I asked. “Maybe whoever is in charge of the afterlife just does this… practical joke ritual on us when we die.”
She snickered and glanced at me. “Welcome to death.”
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes x Original Female Character, (a tiny bit at the end) Sherlock Holmes x John Watson
Warnings: Character Death, Mention of self harm
Summary: in which sherlock learns what faith is. or rather who.
A/N: So this is a weird little AU that I wrote when season 4 first came out. I kinda shipped Sherlock and “Faith” a little. I can’t really tell you why, I just felt like they had a cool connection (I mean we all now know where that came from haha). Anyway, what you need to know before you start reading is this: Sherlock has rented Backer Street on his own and is busy taking cases when Faith suddenly stumbles into his life. She really is Faith, not Eurus, and she has a weirdly good effect on Sherlock. Enjoy!
“I’m Faith Smith,” she said.
Sherlock didn’t hear her. He was too busy staring at her. Looking at her without looking through her.
There was something about her. Sherlock couldn’t quite say what it was (and he was incredibly annoyed by that), but she drew his interest. She seemed so lonely, and yet so at peace with it.
Some time later the detective realized that Faith reminded him of himself. But he needed a while to get there.
“I like stars,” Faiths blue-green eyes were fixated on the shining dots in the sky.
Sherlock huffed disdainfully and rolled his eyes. “Why are humans always so fascinated by such primitive things? Stars are just balls of gas in the sky”
Faith smiled. Sherlock blinked in confusion - he had expected her to be hurt by his words. Finally, Faith took her eyes from the stars and looked at him. “Those primitive things you talk about have the ability, to give us hope, Sherlock. Confidence. Faith”
The detective with the dark curls blinked in bewilderment. “And how does that work? How can a shining dot in the sky give you the illusion of hope?”
Faith took his hand and forced him to sit beside her on the bench. “Look at them. Don’t think”
“I don’t think–”
“You aren’t supposed to. Just look. Let your eyes do the work, Sherlock. Let the rest of you be relaxed”
With a deep, dramatic sigh, like only Sherlock Holmes could manage, he did as he was told and tried to look at the balls of gas without a second thought.
It was silent.
Some time later, Sherlock felt he had lost track of time. Hours could have passed (though the sun wasn’t- dammit, no thinking) when Sherlock started smiling. Maybe the stars weren’t so bad. They seemed nice.
Faith smiled as she looked at the detective.
Nobody was sure where Faith had come from. Mrs Hudson just shrugged when Sherlock asked and she told him, that Faith was suddenly standing in the door frame one afternoon. Sherlock could find neither reason nor proof for a lie.
Molly seemed to know her (Faith sometimes visited him when he was inspecting bodies - whenever she did, the women exchanged meaningful looks), but no matter how many times he asked, Molly wouldn’t tell him how. It drove him mad. But he needed the two of them - Mollys help and friendship and Faiths company, which he was too used to by now - and so he didn’t even have the option to be angry at them for not telling him.
For some reason, Lestrade refused to give out any information about Faith. Though, Sherlock doubted he even had any to begin with. It was really frustrating. In the end, Sherlock gave up.
Faith always said that some mysteries better stayed unsolved. Apparently, that included her.
“Give me the weapon”
A pair of blue-green eyes blinked with little surprise. “I don’t think so, Sherlock”
“Don’t think. Just give me the gun”
A slim smile appeared on Faiths lips as she recognized her own words. She almost refused to hand out the weapon.
But then Sherlock whispered, “Please”, in the softest voice he could manage. She looked into his eyes. It was only a short moment of weakness, but the detective’s blue eyes were filled with panic and plea. Her heart skipped a painfully long beat.
Faith opened her bag, took out a small gun and handed it to Sherlock. He stood up and threw it into the River Thames. The two of them sat on the bench in silence, after that, and looked at the stars. Sherlock took Faith’s hand. Faith smiled quietly to herself.
They didn’t talk about it again.
One day, a man showed up in the laboratory of the hospital while Sherlock was analyzing samples with the microscope. He asked for Faith. Sherlock shot him only a short glance before going back to his analysis.
It wasn’t hard to see that he was an ex-boyfriend of some sort. He was tall, in his mid-thirties, had blond hair and blue eyes and a cool, slow voice.
He didn’t know who Sherlock was, or that he had any connection to Faith, or he wouldn’t have acted as calm as he did. He was an aggressive person - his eyes flickered back and fourth in an unsettled manner, he bit his lower lip nervously and the shadow of an angry frown never left his forehead. His knuckles were wounded, most likely from a confrontation with another person or from punching something out of anger. The surface of the skin was damaged, almost like it had burst, which made Sherlock guess it had been a wall.
“I don’t know anyone named Faith,” he lied, without even batting as much as an eyelash, not looking up from his microscope while doing so.
“But I was told that she came here often,” the man stepped closer.
“Who said you could come in?,” finally, Sherlock looked at the man. He huffed and flushed - a mix of anger and embarrassment.
“Your information must be wrong. As long as she doesn’t work here, she can’t come in here. Does she work here?”
The man shook his head silently.
“Then you can go now,” Sherlock had to bite back a spiteful grin as he turned back to his microscope on the table behind him.
His head as red as a tomato, the man left the lab. He didn’t come back.
“Did somebody ask for me in the lab?”
“Why?,” Sherlock took his eyes from the stars slowly and instead looked at the petite woman beside him.
“It’s just… Molly… Molly mentioned something,” Faith shrugged and left her sentence to linger in the air, almost like a dark shadow.
“A man showed up. Asked for you. Thought he could just come into the lab. I sent him away, told him that no one can come in if they don’t work there, including you, and I also said that I didn’t know you,” Sherlock paused for a short moment and felt concern rise within him, “or should I not have done that?”
“No. I mean, yes. It was good that you did that. Thanks”
Faith smiled. She took his hand. He looked at the stars.
They didn’t talk about it again.
One evening, Sherlock took longer for one of his consulting cases with the police than he had thought he would (it wasn’t his fault - he couldn’t have counted in the possibility of the supposed victim showing up alive and well).
Faith waited patiently for the detective; she sat in the kitchen, drank warm tea from a carefully inspected and as not harmful determined cup and hummed to herself quietly.
When the door opened, her face lightened up notably; then Mrs Hudson entered the room and Faiths smile faded just the slightest bit.
“Oh, I’m sorry, dear. Sherlock isn’t there yet,” Mrs Hudson smiled warmly and looked at the seat in front of Faith with questioning eyes. She nodded, blinking softly and nipping at her tea.
“You know,” Mrs Hudson smiled, “I don’t know where you came from, Faith, or who sent you, but you’re a blessing. You saved him. I’ve known Sherlock from a long, long time. And the past few weeks, he had been looking very lost to me”
Faith blinked curiously and sat up a bit straighter. “Lost?”
“Lost. As if he didn’t know where he started and certainly not where he had to go,” Mrs Hudson smiled; she seemed sad. “Since you’re here he isn’t like that anymore. He found his way. He just doesn’t quite know it yet”
Faith wanted to ask; she wanted to ask where Sherlock’s way led and how he found it, because in this moment the landlady seemed omniscient. But the detective with the dark curls entered the room right then, blinking and looking almost perplexed
“Hello, Sherlock” Faith stood up to greet him.
“Hello Faith,” his deep voice was warm and his eyes gleamed sharply as he took her hand and squeezed it. They remained like that for a moment. When they let go of each other, Mrs Hudson was gone.
Faith only understood that she was Sherlock’s way when it was already too late.
And it wasn’t until she left him that Sherlock understood - he had also lost his way.
“Faith,” the petite woman looked at detective with surprise. His usually so confident voice had lost every last bit of its steadiness.
Sherlock refused to take his glance from the stars. He knew that Faith was looking at him, but he couldn’t look into her eyes.
“You have to stop”
“Faith,” Sherlocks voice had a warning undertone. They both knew what he meant. Faith bit her lower lip anxiously. “Sherlock… that’s… difficult”
“No. Faith. Stop hurting yourself. It’s easy”
As the tiny petite woman looked at him, she could see the whole universe in Sherlock’s eyes. There was only infinity. And Faith started crying, because she was so awfully lost in his infinity.
She cried, because she didn’t understand that she was the only constant in his infinity.
But Sherlock wrapped his arms around her, stroking her back, and his hug gave Faith a little support. A little safety. A little… faith.
Faiths blue-green eyes widened with excitement as they discovered the snowflakes.
“It’s snowing!,” she shouted and jumped to her feet dizzily. Sherlock blinked in confusion, but Faith was too busy laughing to notice it.
“It’s snowing, Sherlock!,” the excitement didn’t leave her voice as she turned around to the detective.
He nodded slowly.
“It’s snowing, Sherlock. It’s snowing,” she repeated. By now she was whispering, soft and delighted and hopeful.
“My way,” Sherlock muttered and blinked, because finally, he understood.
“What?,” Faith looked at him with childish confusion, her forehead slightly wrinkled, her lips still pulled into a warm smile.
The detective shook his head and returned her smile. He stood, took Faiths hand and pulled her into a tight hug as their lean bodies shivered against each other.
“My way,” Sherlock mumbled to himself. He had understood.
Sherlock Holmes was excited. Normally, Sherlock Holmes was never excited.
But normally, Sherlock Holmes didn’t care about stars or snowflakes either. Or about women (or men, for that matter).
Faith had changed him a lot, and that was okay.
And now he was excited: not the “oh-this-case-is-gonna-be-good-one” kind of excited, but the anxious, shaky, nervous kind of excited.
Whether one wants to believe it or not, it was probably the first time since his childhood that he felt this very human emotion. And the cause was, once again Faith.
The two of them spent almost every night together on the bench in front of the Thames. Mostly silent, but sometimes filled with quiet whispers about their day, or about how bright the stars were shining that particular night.
Sometimes Faith visited him in the lab or waited for him in his flat, so that they could start off their late night excursion together; but they never had a… date.
Molly helped him realize that it was important. He still didn’t quite understand why, and he didn’t quite understand how Faiths mind worked, either, but by now, he knew her. Which was why he understood that Faith probably wanted to go on a date. A real one.
And even if he didn’t want to admit it - he wanted a real date, too.
When Faith didn’t show up that evening and didn’t cancel either, Sherlock knew that something was wrong.
He texted her and he called, but there was no answer from Faith. For inexplicable reasons, Sherlock couldn’t be as calm and productive as he usually was. His normally so clear thoughts were disturbed by sheer panic.
As Sherlock exited the cab, his heart stopped for one moment. The all too well known police tape cut off the house Faith lived in from the other ones.
Sherlock Holmes ran. He ran and ran and he felt like with every second passing, he was being carried away from Faith a little more.
Faith Smith was a special child. Her mind, so delicate and fragile, couldn’t bear all that it was exposed to. She took pills, and a whole, colorful mix of them.
Those pills, that reassured her accountability and kept her alive, it was them, that in the end, took her life. A miscalculation, a slight overdose and a little wine were enough to kill her.
Faith Smith died on a cold winter evening in her flat. In her last moments, her blue-grey eyes grasped the falling snow through a window.
“His way,” Faith mumbled to herself. She finally understood.
Sherlock Holmes didn’t cry. Not until the day he thought his faith lost, and never again after that.
He couldn’t bear to look at the stars anymore, because how could they give him hope, when Faith was missing?
He couldn’t go out when it snowed anymore, because how could he be happy about the snow when Faith’s big, child-like eyes were missing to admire it?
The worst thing was that Sherlock could never be sure.
Did she want to die?
The question didn’t leave him, ever. He hated himself for that, day for day, that he couldn’t be sure - that apparently, he didn’t know Faith, after all. Or at least not well enough.
Sherlock Holmes lost his faith, and with it, everything about him that was still human.
Faith Smith left behind a heap of shards. She had never wanted to leave. She just wished Sherlock knew that.
Many months passed. Sherlock Holmes never left his flat anymore when it was snowing.
But one day, when he was sitting at the window, he could watch a small, limping man fight his way through another snowstorm. The door bell rang.
Heavily, the detective rose to his feet and opened it. The man he had just watched from the window was now smiling, full of uncertainty and holding out his hand.
“I’m John Watson,” he said.
Sherlock didn’t hear him. He was too busy staring at him.
The rogue placed his drink down on the table, observing patrons from the corner of the dimly-lit tavern. He tugged the hood of his cloak up and glanced over at the bar, where his target was seated.
He shifted his eyes back down to his frothing drink and considered his options.
He wasn’t charismatic enough to charm her.
He wasn’t small enough to walk up to her unnoticed either, so pickpocketing was out of the question.
His best bet would be to catch her alone outside as soon as she left. Then what? He couldn’t be certain yet that she even had the gemstone. Trying to make any kind of physical contact with her could start a fight, which would attract attention.
Although she was slight and much shorter than him, the rogue was sure she was no stranger to physical confrontations. The way she carried herself was quiet and graceful. Deadly.
The gears in his brain turned. He didn’t want to slip something in her drink like some sort of creep either. The thought alone made him shudder. Besides, he’d refused to take the little vial the witch had offered him before coming here, so that wasn’t an option anyways.
The witch hadn’t even been of any help. He wasn’t sure why the Fair Lady had sent him to her. The only thing the witch had done was aggravate him, instructing him on spells he didn’t want or need and being far too chatty for his liking.
Following the target, keeping tabs on her, discerning where she might be keeping the gemstone…yes, the slow game might be best.
His eyes travelled up from his drink. She was gone.
Unleashing a flurry of silent curse words in his head, the rogue made to stand up.
“Looking for someone?”
He froze, the voice in his right ear sending a shiver down his spine. Warm breath curled around his skin.
She was standing right next to him, leaning down to murmur in his ears.
“You know, for a rogue, you’re pretty obvious about it.” Her voice is smooth and dripping with false flirtation.
He felt a flush of embarrassment spread across his cheeks. “I didn’t think I was.”
“I know what you’re looking for. And you’re not getting it.” She’d gone all sing-songy, and it irked him.
“And why is that, girl?”
“I don’t have it.”
“The hell you don’t.” He stood up from the table, looming over her.
Her face turned pink and she took a hurried step backwards. So much for flirting. “If you don’t believe me, I’ll show you.”
The rogue was ashamed to admit he pictured her stripping as proof she didn’t have the gem. He swallowed. How hadn’t he noticed how attractive she was before? Her long dark curls and intelligent brown eyes were enticing.
No, he had to focus on the mission. Lives were at stake.
“The Fair Lady sent you, didn’t she?” The girl asked, crossing her arms.
“That’s none of your business.”
“Okay, so she did. What if I told you she’s lying to you? Lying to everyone?”
“I’m sure she has good reason.” He knew he didn’t exactly sound convincing.
“And that she needs the gemstone to cover up what she’s done?”
“Do you even know what the gemstone does?”
When he didn’t reply, she huffed in irritation. “It seems there’s a lot you don’t know. Corruption and scheming runs amok in the High Council. This gemstone…it can’t fall into their hands.”
The rogue struggled to comprehend this new information. Corruption? Scheming? His curiosity overwhelmed him. Sure, he hadn’t exactly liked the Fair Lady much. She was cold and unforgiving, quite the opposite of fair. But her attitude didn’t mean much to him at the end of the day. Not when that gemstone could save the lands from poverty and disease.
The girl continued. “I spoke to the witch. She said you refused any harmful magic she offered. Reckons you’re one of the good ones. Tell me, is she right?”
He met her gaze evenly. “I want to do the right thing.”
She hummed thoughtfully. “Well, you’ve got two options. Either we go outside and fight - where I’ll most likely kill you, just saying - or you follow me and we figure out how to stop all of this.”
He looked past her at the tavern door, where an ominous dark figure entered. She turned to see what he was looking at and gasped, pulling him into the kitchens where they couldn’t be seen.
She was far too close to him, her lithe body pressed up against him in the corner. She looked up at him, then seemed to notice their proximity and blushed, carefully stepping away.
“Ahem. Three options. The third is you let that thing out there kill us both.” She motioned towards the bar. “If we’re going to escape, we’ve got to do it now.”
He’d already made up his mind. “Lead the way, girl.”
Summary: ❝i will always believe in you. love, river❞
draco malfoy was never evil. only too blind to see that he was so much better than what he was taught.but river… river opened his eyes. or so he thought.
❝fate could never bear her smile, for it was happier than anything else in the world❞
Draco Malfoy grew up in a mansion, with only his parents and one house elf.
He had a giant room that never quite felt like his own and meals with people he sometimes couldn’t recognize as his parents.
They were often gone, and whenever they were, Dobby would hide, unless Draco called for him.
It’s easy to feel lonely growing up with so much space and so little company.
That’s why Draco loved Hogwarts. He would never admit it (it didn’t fit the picture that had been painted of him), but the castle was more his home than Malfoy Manor ever was.
He loved the loud chatter and the warmth and the laughter that echoed through the halls.
But even in Hogwarts things weren’t perfect. They couldn’t be - Draco never had really friends. All he had were friends of his name, and their company hollowed him out, left him with a broken spirit and a lost, wandering mind.
There was one girl, though.
Her eyes were the deep colour of the sea, and they were always wide with wonder; her voice was soft, like a flowing river or the wind and there was a spark inside her that caught everyone around.
Not Draco, though. Never Draco.
Or so he thought.
But no one could escape River, not her, in her weird beauty and her warmth and her silent smiles - not even Draco. Actually: especially not Draco.
He didn’t want to admit it at first, but he slowly lost himself in her.
He stared at her whenever he got the chance. River always noticed, but never said anything. She was good at observing - she knew exactly who Draco was, and who he could be. But she always knew that it wasn’t the time. Not just yet.
It was a stormy evening in October when they first spoke. It was raining and the wind was tearing and pulling at Dracos cloak as he made his way back up to the castle.
There she was, standing in the rain, her head pulled back, doing absolutely nothing.
She must have been there for a while already, because she was soaking wet. But she wasn’t moving; she just stared at the sky with her stormy, blue eyes and a smile, and she looked like she was where she belonged, and yet so lost at the same time.
Draco’s breath was taken away.
Soon though, he found himself shaking his head, and he walked towards her.
“You’re gonna catch a cold if you keep standing here!”, he screamed through the rain.
It took a few seconds, and at first he thought she hadn’t heard him, but then, finally, River looked at him.
She smiled; it was the softest smile Draco had ever seen, and he thought he would die of it, before she spoke. “That’s okay,” she assured. Her voice was warm and soft, like a pillow one wanted to cuddle and never let go of.
Draco sighed deeply and looked at her for a moment. He considered just leaving, but no thought in his entire life had felt so wrong to him. “Cmon, let’s go inside,” he offered her his hand.
River looked at him for a long moment, then at his hand. Her smile widened and then she took it. “Okay,” she said, really quietly.
Draco blushed, and they just walked towards the entrance, River following close behind him. The big doors of the castle weren’t far, and soon they fell into their locks behind the teenagers, and they were left with an almost eerie silence.
River slowly let go of Dracos hand and smiled again. “I’m River,” she introduced herself.
Draco wanted to huff, and say ‘As if I didn’t know’. But he could imagine that River wouldn’t want to talk to the mean, evil Slytherin guy. So he smiled as well.
She made him whole - filled his hollow heart up, with wonder for the world and happiness and maybe even a little love.
River was everything Draco never had.
They spent more and more time together, and the boy started questioning everything he had grown up with.
River was muggleborn. And strangely enough, Draco had absolutely no problem with that.
It was warm outside; warm enough for River to wear a long, flowing dress. It made her eyes shine even brighter, and her laugh sound even lighter.
Draco acted like he didn’t want to, but when she asked to go to the lake, he immediatley agreed. And for whatever reason he didn’t care that everyone could see.
“It’s not about who you’re born as, you know? It’s about who you aspire to be”, Rivers voice sounded absent, as she suddenly stopped reading the book in her hands. Her eyes darted towards the sky.
Draco blinked. “No,” he said, “I didn’t know”
River smelled like all the best things Draco could imagine. A little like books and a little like fresh air and a lot like a flowing river.
He realised this first when they sat up on the platform of the astronomy tower, and she sat close beside him because she was cold. They were staring at the stars, and it was silent. Up there, no talking was needed. The universe was smiling at the two of them, and that was enough.
But then, suddenly, River was standing, and she smiled down at Draco. “Sing something”, she said, and even though Draco hated his voice, he could never say no to her hopeful, bright, blue eyes.
“Your’s is the first face that I saw,” Draco started singing, slowly and a little quiet. He had a little trouble remembering the words, but he did his best. “I think I was blind before I met you”
Rivers eyes widened and she chuckled when she realised Draco was singing one of her favourite songs - one from a muggle band, in fact. “Now I don’t know where I am, don’t know where I’ve been, but I know where I want to go”
And then she was dancing. Draco forget to sing for a little moment, and she chuckled at that again. She was a little clumsy, and she tripped every once in a while, but all that did was make Draco laugh a little louder.
“And so I thought I’d let you know, that these things take forever. I especially am slow,” by now, the boys voice was a little lighter with happiness and no restraint. He allowed River to pull him up, and they were close once again.
He could breath her in as he continued his singing a little quieter. “But I realized that I need you”
Draco stopped singing. He was awfully aware of how close she was, and how her scent was everywhere.
“You do?”, she asked, and it was a honest question.
River smiled, and her blue eyes sparkled with happiness.
Before Draco knew they were kissing, and it felt like a whole new world.
The universe was smiling down at them, though it knew fate wasn’t with them.
As the days and weeks and months passed, Draco realised that he hated growing older. He could see it in his face, how it changed. But he wanted to stay young, to just keep living like this, reckless and happy, with River by his side.
It reminded him of the story River had once told him. About Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up. But Draco was no Peter Pan, and he could never be.
During the holidays, when he had to leave his little dream bubble, he realised this with a painful force. For his parents reminded him that he wasn’t going to stay a little boy forever.
They made him go back to being the mean person they had raised; full of hate and anger.
On these days, he couldn’t recognize himself.
Where was the boy that fell in love with River? Where was the best possible version of himself, that was almost worthy of being loved back by her?
He couldn’t fight them. He wasn’t strong enough, and their words confused him, made his mind wander to places it hadn’t been in a long time.
Draco hated going back to Malfoy Manor.
He hated the person he was there, and he hated not being strong enough to fight.
Draco hated growing up. He hated that this meant making choices, deciding and living with those decisions.
There was one thing Draco hated the most: that he could never truly be the person River had fallen in love with.
And, that this meant he was going to lose her, eventually.
A long, long time ago, before any humans walked the earth, the universe fell in love with fate.
Both knew that this was unfortunate, because they could never be.
Fate wanted to love the universe back, it really did, but fate couldn’t love, for it was destined to control the way things went one day.
Though the universe was never loved back, its feelings made it happier than anyone or anything ever before, or ever after. And so the universe made good things happen to good people, and it created happiness wherever it could.
Fate, in its anger for never being able to love , destoyed this happiness whenever it had the chance, unable to see people smile when it itself had no reason to do so.
And so, universe and fate never stopped destroying what the other had created, and their back and forth went on for milleniums.
For the universe was good enough to love when no one loved it back, but fate was too angry with itself to ever feel happiness.
Keep in mind, my children, that the universe will always try to help you. But fate can’t let anything good be.
That’s the way things have always been.
All that is left for us to do, is hope, that one day, fate might find love, deep somewhere within itself, and that finally, it can be happy.
And by that, allow us to be happy.
It was when they were up on the astronomy tower once again, that Dracos worst nightmare came true.
“I can’t believe this,” she mumbled and looked at the mark on his arm. She backed away from him, and her beautiful eyes were filled with pain, and anger, and something that looked like hatred. Draco’s heart felt heavy, and he reached out for her.
“Don’t touch me!” She screamed.
“River… River, don’t do this, please,” Draco slowly lowered his hand.
“You did this” She was crying, and so was he.
There was rage filling him; it was anger at himself, for losing her, for not being strong enough. But he tried to blame it on her. “I was never the person you fell in love with!”, he cried out, “that was an idea, and you created it. Could you not see my weakness?”
“I believed in you, Draco! Do not dare blaming me for believing in you” River sounded betrayed, and they both knew that she was right.
His anger slowly faded, and he went back to begging her to stay, to forgive him. But when he took a step in her direction and reached out for her once again, River closed her eyes and winced.
“No,” Draco sobbed. He couldn’t say another word, because knowing that she was scared of him was worse than anything that could ever have happened.
River’s eyes were wide again; Draco couldn’t read them, but suddenly, she turned around, and she ran. He watched her disappear, and then he broke down.
“But I realized that I need you, and I wondered if I could come home”
Draco couldn’t find River anywhere the next day. He knew that talking to her wouldn’t make sense, for she had fallen out of love with him, and words would just cause him more pain. But he wanted to look at her. Even if it was to make sure that she didn’t need him to live a happy life.
Days passed, but River was nowhere to be seen. Draco started getting worried; at first he had thought she was just avoiding him, but after talking to a few other students it was clear that she had disappeared.
There were whispers about her leaving Hogwarts, and some rumours about her death. Draco chose to believe that she had left the school, for it was so much easier to think that she had found a new live, a new beginning somewhere else.
Draco did what was asked of him, and he hated himself a little more with every moment. River never left his mind, nor his heart, and he broke a little whenever he remembered their fight. Their end.
He was so hopeless, and not one thing in the world could make him smile.
Draco hated himself, because he was a coward and an idiot, and he had hurt his one love and broken her trust. She had believed in him, and in all that was good about him, but in the end, it was all the same.
That was what hurt the most; knowing that loving someone as good as River had made no difference at all.
Many years later, after the war had ended, Draco learned that the rumours were true.
River had died, only a day after their fight.
The boy allowed himself to grief; not for his sake, but for hers.
Her grave was just like her; it was special and tragically, it was also beautiful, and it made you wonder what was within it.
River Dawn, the gravestone said, Dreamer, daughter and beloved friend.
Draco cried, and as his tears met her gravestone, he thought he could smell her once again.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered, and it was almost like the wind answered in her sweet voice. I forgive you.
It was a little comforting to know that she lived on, in the hearts of the people that loved her, and in the world around them. The universe liked her a little too much, and so her spirit was allowed to wander the earth.
Draco tried to be a good person, to help where ever he could, for her sake. It was a letter that made him believe that was what she would’ve wanted.
It came on a sunny day in May, and it was dated the night of their break up.
❝i will always believe in you. love, river❞
Were the only words it contained, and there was no explanation as to why he received it only now.
Maybe it was the universe, doing it’s last good deed for her, who should’ve been.
River was everything Draco never had, and everything he lost. Fate could never bear her smile, for it was happier than anything else in the world, and so she had to leave.
All that is left for us to do, is hope, that one day, fate might find love, deep somewhere within itself, and that finally, it can be happy.