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I am invisible like a ninja! But less cool, and technically just absent. - growling at the edges
I am invisible like a ninja! But less cool, and technically just absent.
I know, i'm horribly non-existent these days years (it took me four tries to remember my password and i actually just had to go check the code for Lj cuts, that's just saddening), and that likely won't change (despite missing you guys like blazing heck), but i'm currently besotted enough with the new BBC three-part series 'Sherlock' that i actually wrote something ::falls screaming off chair::

I felt I wanted to share it with some of the Sherlock lj communities that have sprung up, because i'll certainly be reading the fic others are writing, and even if mine is very rusty and not really very good, i thought people might want to read.

Interesting thing update: I have a motorbike finally, which has been both terrifying and awesome, luckily more awesome now than terrifying. I'm on twitter at http://twitter.com/mypheralside with a private account if anyone on my flist wants to talk life and whump and fandoms, come find me.

I really hope you guys are all doing great and carrying the fandom whump torch on lj, give me a life update in a comment if you're not too annoyed by my inability to keep up with Lj!

Title: A Better War
Author: pheral
Genre: Missing scene for The Blind Banker.
Rating: PG
Pairing: None
Warnings: None. Just a little whump and comfort (sort of).
Authors Comments: I read this and became happy happy:

"A wide array of complications may occur in survivors of strangulations and near-hangings, including muscle spasms, transient hemiplegia, central cord syndrome, and seizures."

Although i realised that after not writing for years i didn't think i'd be able to sustain more than a quick missing scene or tag, so i went with a missing scene and one small side-effect. Plus i'm not really sure i can do justice to Sherlock's voice, so best to have him talking as little as possible.
This takes place after Sherlock is attacked in Soo Lin's apartment, picking up from where they walk down the street.


"I'm fine," Sherlock replied, coughing and tugging at his shirt collar as if he needed it loostened. He darted suddenly to the left and shot his and up for a taxi, almost taking John out in the process.

"Taxi!" he called, or rather tried to call, emitting nothing but a pathetic croak. Luckily the passing cab didn't care and pulled in, and Sherlock dived for the door, scooting over to make space for John and creasing into a small coughing fit. John eased the door shut and, with his eyes cast sideways at his coughing flatmate, gave the driver their destination.

The taxi pulled gently into the traffic, the sounds of the surrounding vehicles muffled. Sherlock's coughs subsided to the odd huff as his throat caught, and he turned his head towards the traffic, closing his eyes briefly. John tried surreptitiously to watch him, never quite sure whether Sherlock was paying attention or not. He wasn't yet used to the way the man seemed to be completely oblivious one second and then hyper-aware the next, and how both states seemed to look frustratingly identical. He was pale, but that really wasn't saying much, and John gave up all pretense and turned his head to look as Sherlock removed his scarf far too carefully, his eyes still closed.

If he was honest with himself, Sherlock's erratic nature was exactly what made him such an appealing companion, although even that word sounded too chummy... just 'company' perhaps. His frenzied behaviour and the floods of thought he frequently spoke out loud filled a hollow gap in John's stomach that had been eating him up since he had returned from the war and found normal life to be a million shades of grey.

Sherlock was a black and a white all at once, changing so fast that it brought John to life just being around him. He was merciless like the war, one second he made you feel worthless with his careless derision and the next he seemed to have targeted you specifically with his insults. John remembered thinking the same of the fighting in Afghanistan - one day the battle seemed oblivious to you as it destroyed anything within its reach, making you feel tiny and meaningless - the next it would seem that a bullet was made specifically for you, and all the world was out to get you.

Mycroft was right, he found, he missed the war. And Sherlock was his replacement. Sherlock was his war.

A noise made John jump and Sherlock jerked beside him, grasping for his neck and letting out a strangled choke as he pitched forward, his mouth open and gasping for air.

"Woah!" John reached out and copped a flailing hand in the face for his trouble as Sherlock tried to push him away. He raised his hands placatingly and leant back as the man gripped the taxi seat beneath him and heaved for breath, leaning forward, his throat only letting in small whining snatches of air. John watched, wincing, keeping a keen eye in case he needed to intervene, but after a few seconds of desperate gasping Sherlock suddenly got a full breath of air and collapsed somewhat, curling down to allow his head to rest on his knees, breathing hard.

John realised distractedly that the taxi was pulling over, the driver no doubt worried about the commotion. He put a cautious hand on Sherlock's shoulder, strengthening his grip when the man didn't try to throw him off.


"Do you want me to drive you to the hospital?" the driver called out from the front of the cab.

"No!" Sherlock croaked, jerking up quickly, "no I'm fine." Coughing followed and John gently pushed his friend's shoulder until he leant back against the taxi seat.

"I'm not that much of an idiot," John answered, concern etched on his face. "I know you said breathing was dull but i didn't think you were quite this serious."

He frowned as Sherlock calmed his coughs and leant back a bit, "Your neck's red... something did happen in that flat didn't it?" He reached for the detective's neck and pushed his collar back, peering a little closer at the pink band around his neck. "These are like strangulation marks, were you fighting with someone??" John couldn't keep the incredulation from his voice.

"They fought, I asphyxiated." Sherlock answered, his voice sore and catching, his breathing still fast and deep, trying to make up for lost oxygen.

"You passed out??" John asked, his voice rising a pitch as his eyebrows look a similar climb skyward. "Yes, the hospital please," he said, turning to the driver.

"No!" said Sherlock again, a little more forcefully this time. "I'm fine, to the Museum, go. Go!" His last command was issued loud enough to convince the driver, who turned back to the wheel with a shrug.

"Sorry..." John trailed off, unsure if the cabbie has heard him and feeling a little stupid saying it at the same time. The taxi moved back into the traffic and he looked back at the detective, his eyes now closed and head tipped back to lean on the top of the seat.

"Losing consciousness and strangulation are not everyday occurances you know," John said in frustration. "There can be complications, that was probably a muscle spasm due to the pressure applied to the muscle - it might happen again, worse might happen."

Sherlock opened his eyes and lifted his head. "Well then," he said, his voice a little steadier and a collected smile adorning his lips, "you'll just have to keep an eye on me won't you, you are a doctor."

"I.. you can't... me being a doctor isn't going to help a whole lot if your throat closes over in a taxi!" John spared an apologetic glance at the driver who appeared to be getting concerned again, and lowered his voice, "We need to get you looked over at a hospital."

Sherlock exuded condescension, apparently regaining much of his composure, "You're rather exaggerating the potential neurologic sequelae of strangulation and momentary loss of consciousness, and the last thing I want to do is go to a hospital where hordes of imbiciles will make me sit in a waiting room for hours and then exaggerate at me in the same way."

The detective turned decisively towards the window, staring out at the passing streets.

John stared angrily at the man for a few seconds, before sitting back firmly with his lips pursed in annoyance. The taxi banked left and he watched pedestrians and shop-fronts flash by in a wash of colours, distant cars honking and people teetering on the road edge, looking for gaps to dart out and cross. He heard an awkward grunt from beside him as Sherlock delicately cleared his throat.

"Your concern is appreciated, however." The detective said, as if he were addressing some foreign dignitary he had just met and with whom he had been instructed to be civil.

John smiled and decided Sherlock was not just a replacement, but a better battle than the one he had left in Afghanistan.


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53 yelled so scream rabidly at me
evil_little_dog From: evil_little_dog Date: August 3rd, 2010 01:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oooo, I likes the drabble.

And Pheral! yay, Pheral! *bounces with joy and doggish delight*
pheral From: pheral Date: August 3rd, 2010 03:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
::pounces:: My little doggy!! ::slurps:: Thanks, glad you liked, hope you're doing good? Still martial-arting?? :D
becky_black From: becky_black Date: August 3rd, 2010 01:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have to catch up on this episode (Dim bulb me thought it started at 21:00 not 20:30.) But I think I'll get it soon and then read your fic. I love Sherlock.

I've found another new target for my whumping too. Archie Kennedy from Hornblower. Talk about King of the Woobies. No character ever carried a bigger "hurt me" sign. :D

I'll follow you later on Twitter. I'm always messing about on there. Can't get at Twitter right now, at work. (Spoilsports.)

Life update: I'm not only still whumping I'm whumping professionally now. ;-) I've sold a m/m romance to Loose Id - to be released January. And along with the sexxin' there's whumping for both the leads. My new draft in progress has some too. It's a dangerous business being one of my characters.
pheral From: pheral Date: August 3rd, 2010 03:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's a great ep, not as good as first but that would be quite difficult to achieve anyway.

Always happy to hear about new whump-targets, does Archie get much comfort? That'd be a great bonus... i might check him out, can you rec some whump episodes to check out first?

I have your request on twitter, will logon later... and omg congratulations on the novel!! I'm so not surprised you managed to get published. Will it be on amazon? You have to share a link on twitter come the time so i can buy a copy and then show everyone i know and be proud that a friend wrote it (plus, it will squick the guys at work, mwahahaha).
pinigir From: pinigir Date: August 3rd, 2010 02:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Great fic! Loved reading it!
pheral From: pheral Date: August 3rd, 2010 03:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah thank you very much, really glad you enjoyed! :D
warriorbot From: warriorbot Date: August 3rd, 2010 02:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
oh - I *love* that take on their relationship. That his war is with Sherlock in the sense of "against him," rather than with him in the sense of "alongside him."

Awesomesauce all over this one!
pheral From: pheral Date: August 3rd, 2010 03:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow thank you!! I'm so glad that perspective works, it seemed to fit in my head, but i did struggle to get it across eloquently in writing. Really glad you liked! :D
littlemissstars From: littlemissstars Date: August 3rd, 2010 03:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Love it! I'm convvinced a scene like this happened, John is a doctor after all!
pheral From: pheral Date: August 3rd, 2010 03:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much! And yes, i can't imagine him letting it go, no matter how difficult and stubborn Sherlock could be. Glad you loved. :D
seramercury From: seramercury Date: August 3rd, 2010 03:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh I absolutely loved this! I am always one for whump on my favorite characters. We needed this missing scene. LOL! ;)
pheral From: pheral Date: August 3rd, 2010 03:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh yaaaay thank you! Yes, i must admit, there was no way i could avoid writing it, i was busting to get it on paper from the second that scene passed! I would love to whump Sherlock more if only i could get more of a handle on how he would behave... i'm going to work on it. Really glad you enjoyed, thanks! :D
vintagememories From: vintagememories Date: August 3rd, 2010 03:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
absolutely brilliant great writing
pheral From: pheral Date: August 3rd, 2010 03:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much, really glad you liked! :D
shootingstars88 From: shootingstars88 Date: August 3rd, 2010 07:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh I love this so much :) Lovely writing and nice see some friendship!fic is out there. I loved Holmes/Watson but I don't ship it and I'm desperately lacking in gen fic at the moment.
pheral From: pheral Date: August 3rd, 2010 08:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh yaaay, thank you, really glad you enjoyed! And yes, totally, friendship!fic is my love too - it's comforting. I mean, I'll read and enjoy slash from time to time, but it doesn't really push my buttons. I love strong brotherly affection, and comfort. And WHUUUMPP!! Ahem. :P
(Deleted comment)
pheral From: pheral Date: August 4th, 2010 11:37 am (UTC) (Link)
God i've misesd you toooooo! ::squeezes:: I followed your journal for quite a long time but haven't been very good over the last few months, i try to check in every now and then, i wish i was able to do more. You okay at the moment? Short question and probably a long answer, i know, but i just wanted to ask. ::hugs::
You watching Sherlock?? If not, you need to be. Seriously. Squee-fest.
knights_13 From: knights_13 Date: August 4th, 2010 05:00 am (UTC) (Link)
DUDE!!! This was ace! It fits the scene perfectly and I can easily see it happening. You captured Sherlock's voice well I thought, I could hear him in your quotes and I can see John acting in the way that he did. Well done!

You know that means I want more now right?! :D

YAYAY for whump comfort fic!!!

*hugs you tight*
pheral From: pheral Date: August 4th, 2010 11:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much!! Really pleased it rang true - i wrote it and then watched the scene again and decided it was all wrong, lol, but i think my judgement can be really easily thrown so it's good to know people can recognise their voices.

I'd love to write more... i need practice writing his voice i think... you wanna give me few prompts to get me inspired? I work better with restraints (i say) so a specific injury or method of injury might get me started on something (plus anything else you wanna specify)

redwolf From: redwolf Date: August 5th, 2010 09:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Sherlock hasn't aired here yet, still waiting to see it.

Have glommed onto you via Twitter though.

Great to see you back. And yay! bike!
pheral From: pheral Date: August 6th, 2010 10:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Hope it gets to you soon, think you'll like it.

Bike is awesomely exciting! Yamaha SR125 while i practice for my test. Then, an upgrade to something with a beautifully dark engine and shiny pipes. :D
natika From: natika Date: August 5th, 2010 11:12 am (UTC) (Link)
"I know you said breathing was dull but i didn't think you were quite this serious."

Love that line. Loved this fic!

(And I'm glad I'm not the only one who spent a while trying to break back into my LJ just because of Sherlock! Very glad you did remember your password though!)
pheral From: pheral Date: August 6th, 2010 10:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh thank you! Really glad you enjoyed. :D
Isn't it funny - this is the only fandom i've seen where every ten posts or so you get someone who hasn't been on Lj for years but just HAD to come back to share in this because they'll explode otherwise. Kinda awesome! :D
siluria From: siluria Date: August 8th, 2010 04:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yays!!!!!!!!!!!! Welcome back to LJ-land :) And a lovely way to pop back in too! Love the fic - whumping and friendship is perfect measures :)

You stay safe with that bike, hun! xx
pheral From: pheral Date: September 7th, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've missed you!! :D

I shall stay safe, safe is my middle name... well, 'incredibly nervous' is my middle name, but it's just as good because i don't take stupid risks and it took me ages to even get to the stage where i could go past the entrance to my own drive, lmao!

Glad you enjoyed the fic, thanks!! Hope you're well and happy (and sorry for the slow reply but i think you're used to it now so probably no need for me to excuse myself, lol!). xoxo
baranyandi From: baranyandi Date: August 17th, 2010 01:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's all been said before me - all I can add is MORE LIKE THIS PLEASE!!! :)))

Sherlock-whump is deliciously addictive.
baranyandi From: baranyandi Date: August 19th, 2010 08:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Replying to my own post here, now with a shiny brand new Sherlock icon :)

I've reread your fic several times and it really works as a nice, concise piece of fiction. Reads very well too.

If you're considering writing more Sherlock h/c (because seriously, WHERE is the whump??), I'd love to read sick!Sherlock, exhausted!Sherlock, something of how he must feel after several days of not sleeping/eating, and after spending so much time outside in freezing weather... Does he become angry with himself for showing vulnerability? Does he fight it? Does he become a big baby? And how does John handle all this? Is he startled by the vulnerabilty of this stoic man who has never even *slept* for all he knows? Or does Sherlock sleep? Does he just fall over when a case is done? ...You see where I'm going with this? *g* :))
fantasysci5 From: fantasysci5 Date: February 18th, 2011 02:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Aww, Sherlock making nice at the end at recognising John cares was sweet. And the line about how impersonal Sherlock and the war are, and then how personal they can become was really original and thought-provoking. Thanks so much for an awesome read! (And I, too, thought John would notice Sherlock got strangled. :P)
pheral From: pheral Date: February 18th, 2011 08:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh thank you! 'Original and thought-provoking' is rather a wonderful thing to hear about one's writing, and i'm really glad you enjoyed. Thanks for taking the time say so. :D Hopefully it won't be long until we get more eps of our dysfunctional buddies. :P
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 16th, 2011 03:23 pm (UTC) (Link)

I like

pheral From: pheral Date: July 16th, 2011 03:33 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I like

Well, er, thanks! :D
white_fox From: white_fox Date: September 17th, 2011 08:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Finally somebody wrote it! I searched for this part so long becouse c'mon Sherlock get strangulated and nobody write a drabble about it? Can´t be! Thank you dear for it. Now I´m satisfied.
pheral From: pheral Date: October 8th, 2011 07:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh hooray! Very glad to satisfy the need for a missing scene, i felt the same way, it had to be written. They didn't give us tons of h/c in the show so i needed to expand on at least one thing that might actually be canon! Glad you enjoyed, thanks for letting me know, here's to an excellent second season. :)
53 yelled so scream rabidly at me