Title - The Bang and the Clatter (35/36)
Rating - Teen
Characters - John, Sherlock, Mycroft, Moriarty
Spoilers - Through "The Reichenbach Fall"
Disclaimer - I don't own them and I don't make money off of them, but I don't like to dwell on that, so let's move on.
Summary - Sherlock Holmes is a pitcher and John Watson is a catcher. No, no, no, it's a baseball AU.
Author's Notes - Many, many thanks to arctacuda, for helping with the writing and for uncomplainingly beta-ing when I whine.
This morning in the shower, it suddenly occurred to me: John and Sherlock won the All-Star Game. Which would give them home-field advantage for the World Series. Which means they should have been *away* for this chapter instead of home. Oops. I can only apologize and beg authorial prerogative or something.
Oh, also this John Watson shares a hiding place with N&N John Watson. What can I say? They are both John Watson. And both written by me. Just so you know, this John Watson had the hiding place first.
Chapter One - Chapter Two - Chapter Three - Chapter Four - Chapter Five - Chapter Six - Chapter Seven - Chapter Eight - Chapter Nine - Chapter Ten - Chapter Eleven - Chapter Twelve - Chapter Thirteen - Chapter Fourteen - Chapter Fifteen - Chapter Sixteen - Chapter Seventeen - Chapter Eighteen - Chapter Nineteen - Chapter Twenty - Chapter Twenty-One - Chapter Twenty-Two - Chapter Twenty-Three - Chapter Twenty-Four - Chapter Twenty-Five - Chapter Twenty-Six - Chapter Twenty-Seven - Chapter Twenty-Eight - Chapter Twenty-Nine - Chapter Thirty - Chapter Thirty-One - Chapter Thirty-Two - Chapter Thirty-Three - Chapter Thirty-Four
Sherlock knew they were going to win Game 4 from the very first pitch he threw. He could just tell. He could tell that he was on and that there was no way the pitcher for the other team could out-pitch him on such a night. But, for John’s peace of mind, he said nothing about it. He tried to treat the game as he would any other game, shuttering himself under a towel at the edge of the dugout during the offensive half-innings. Until he was approached by a reporter for a dugout interview, and under any other circumstances he would never have agreed, but it was Game 4, and the last game, and he said, “Yes.” The reporter blinked and fell all over herself getting him set up, clearly worried he was going to change his mind. John, noticing the commotion, frowned at him and mouthed, Jinx, across the dugout, and Sherlock shook his head at him.
The first question was, “And how are you feeling about this game so far, Sherlock?”
“If I told you, John would kill me,” Sherlock answered, and she laughed.
“Is he superstitious?”
“And are you?”
Sherlock hesitated. “I think it’s possible there’s something about the World Series that makes everyone a little bit superstitious.”
“What do you think the key to this game has been for you?”
That was an easy question, and Sherlock’s eyes sought out John, leaning against the dugout fence watching the game. “John,” said Sherlock. “The key to the entire season has been John. And not just for me, because I’m love-addled or whatever you might be thinking. Ask anyone on this team. This has been John’s season; we would not be here without John Watson. ‘Doctor’ is an inadequate nickname for him. A better one would be ‘Captain.’ Actually, both are necessary. He’s basically an army doctor.”
John seemed to sense that Sherlock was talking about him, or at least sensed Sherlock’s gaze, because he looked over his shoulder at Sherlock queryingly.
The reporter didn’t seem to know quite what to make of Sherlock’s answer to the question. “He certainly has had a career season,” she agreed, a bit awkwardly. “Is he still planning on retiring after the season?”
“As far as I know,” said Sherlock.
“Well, continued good luck in this game, Sherlock, thanks for speaking to us,” said the reporter, and Sherlock thought that had been relatively painless as things went.
“Just like any other game?” said John to him, wryly, as they walked out to the field together.
By the eighth inning his pitch count was getting up there, and there was a consultation with Lestrade and Dimmock about what to do.
“This is ridiculous,” Sherlock told them. “I feel absolutely fine, and this is the last game of the year. What are we saving pitches for?”
“Jinxing, jinxing, jinxing,” John accused, and covered his ears with his hands dramatically.
Sherlock rolled his eyes, and Lestrade nodded at him, and he headed out to pitch the ninth.
John met him on the pitcher’s mound before going to home plate, and Sherlock said, “If this is about how I’m jinxing this by pitching this inning—”
“No,” said John, solemnly. “This is about the fact that…I know why I never made it to a World Series before now. And it’s because it wouldn’t have meant anything, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it half so much, without you. So the baseball gods got that right, making me wait this long, making me wait for you. I wouldn’t have ever wanted to do this without you. And I just wanted to say…thank you.” John held out his hand.
Sherlock stared at him, wanting nothing more than to kiss him and kiss him and kiss him and to forget about the rest of the game, and then looked down at the hand he was extending. “Are you serious?” he said.
“Shake my hand now; you can kiss me later when we’re alone.”
“Ridiculous,” Sherlock muttered, but he shook John’s hand and John walked to home plate and later the third out was a strikeout, and in the midst of all the raucous celebrating, John stood off to the side and just watched, drinking it all in, until Sherlock could resist him no longer and split off from the celebrations to suddenly tackle him into a breathless kiss against the backstop.
“You were supposed to wait until we weren’t being filmed anymore for that,” John told him, gasping for breath.
“Oh, who cares? It’s all over now, and you told me I could tell everyone to go to hell once the season was over.”
John shook his head, looking fondly exasperated and not really very disgruntled, and Sherlock straightened and let him go and said, looking out over the crowd, “Come on, let’s go find your…” He trailed off, staring at Mycroft in the stands, looking very out of place. Standing next to their mother, who looked even more out of place. Standing next to their father, who looked the most out of place. He stood and stared and remembered only eventually to blink. And then he said to John, dazedly, “I’ll be right back,” and walked over to the side of the stands, where his family was standing. His family. He looked at them in amazement. “What are you doing here?”
It was his father who answered, gruffly, and Sherlock tried to remember the last time his father had actually spoken to him. “Mycroft claimed it was important,” he said, sounding dubious about it.
In baseball terms, there was nothing more important, but to Holmeses it was nothing at all. Sherlock looked at Mycroft in astonishment.
“Oh, it was John, of course,” inserted his mother, impatiently. “He rang Mycroft and managed to convince him that you would actually care whether or not we came. And so here we are.” She looked annoyed at the effort it had taken.
But she had also come. To his baseball game. And she had stood there and watched it even though she didn’t understand and didn’t care about it. She had come and Sherlock had no idea what to say or how to feel and he was luckily saved by Matt and Sophie running over to him and shouting, “You won, you won!” and throwing water at him from their water bottles, and Sherlock wrinkled his nose in displeasure and tried to dodge every insane thing that was going on around him and took the opportunity to avoid thinking too much about the unfamiliar press of warmth in his chest because his family had come to see his baseball game.
And later, much later, after John had been named MVP to his great surprise and the surprise of absolutely no one else, after John had managed somehow to convince the Holmeses that they ought to join the Watsons for celebratory drinks, after the celebratory drinks managed to be just as awkward as Sherlock had thought they would be but not quite as painful as Sherlock had feared, when he stopped the Aston Martin in Mrs. Hudson’s drive and turned it off, he looked over at John and said, “That was quite enough for me. I am never winning the World Series for you again.”
John grinned at him and said, “That’s okay. You did it once. And now we are done. I have a surprise for you.”
“The surprise wasn’t ringing my family?”
“Well, no, that was a surprise, too. Are you angry about that?”
Sherlock considered then shook his head. “No. I’m not. But I can’t imagine what you said to convince them to come.”
“What can I say? I’m impossible to say no to.”
“I’ve experienced that myself,” Sherlock agreed, dryly.
“Come on,” said John, opening his door. “The surprise is inside.”
“How do you manage to surprise me?” Sherlock asked, following John into the flat. “It’s normally very difficult to do.”
“You just don’t seem to acknowledge how very brilliant I am,” John replied.
“Oh, no,” Sherlock responded, gravely, “I am well aware of how brilliant you are.”
John grinned and opened the cupboard and pulled out the tin of green tea and pulled out an envelope, handing it across to Sherlock. “I knew that was the last place you would look.”
Sherlock’s mobile was vibrating distractedly in his pocket, next to the Game 4 baseball that he’d also kept for John’s sake. He pulled the mobile out, leaving the baseball in place until he got it out to the mantelpiece next to the perfect game baseball, and glanced at the name blinking at him. Mycroft. Not interesting. Not as interesting as John’s gift. So he opened the envelope.
“Plane tickets,” he realized. “To London.”
“Exactly.” John looked pleased with himself.
“The flight leaves tomorrow,” said Sherlock, looking up at him.
“How long ago did you buy these?” asked Sherlock, incredulously.
“October 3,” said John. “The first day of the rest of our lives.”
“You bought these tickets for us to fly to London on the day after Game 4 of the World Series on October 3?” Sherlock repeated. “And then you spent the entirety of the month quarrelling with me over how I was jinxing things?”
“I really was worried about jinxing things. And at the same time I thought… I thought to myself… Every day this season, or almost every day, I woke up and you were there, in our bed, or in our flat, or somewhere near. Every day. And you never got bored, you never stopped looking at me like I amazed you, you never… You were just there, always, gorgeous and clever and incredible and you loved me, and I thought to myself…I thought, John Watson, you have already won life’s lottery. How can anything go wrong for you this year? How can you lose?”
Sherlock’s mobile vibrated again. He frowned at it and turned his attention back to John. “You have that so very backward,” he said. “How can you doubt that I would be here every day? Where else would I be but with you?”
John reached for him and pulled him in and kissed him, not hard, not passionately, but relentlessly, desperate little sips of kisses, and in between he whispered, “Thank you thank you thank you thank you,” an endless stream, Sherlock was uncertain what he was being thanked for, when the gratitude should have been running in the other direction, but he tried to kiss back as well as he could, until John seemed to run out of the desperation and tucked his head into Sherlock’s neck and breathed.
Sherlock swept his hand down John’s back and closed his eyes and listened to the mobile vibrating again on the table.
“Someone wants to get in touch with you very badly,” John mumbled.
“It’s Mycroft,” said Sherlock, testily. “Being an annoying prat as usual.”
“You should talk to him. And while you do that, I’ll go wait for you in bed.”
“Or we could just go to bed together,” suggested Sherlock.
“Talk to your brother,” said John, and gave him a small shove away from him. “I went to all the effort of orchestrating a family reconciliation.”
“John, we are never going to be inviting Mycroft over for coffee, I hope you understand that.”
“Somehow, I will cope,” said John, and was halfway out of the kitchen before he turned back. Sherlock, who had been reaching for the mobile, looked up at him expectantly, and John grinned at him. “Sherlock Holmes. We just won the World Series.”
Sherlock smiled back at him. “Yes, we did. Just tell me one thing: Did you have fun doing it?”
“I had a blast,” said John, indeed looking giddy.
“Good,” said Sherlock, pleased.
“Baseball isn’t fun, you know. Baseball is equations and algorithms.”
“You had the time of your life this season,” said John, confidently.
“Go get naked,” said Sherlock, waving him away and picking up his phone with a smile on his face.
One of the vibrations had been a text, and he read that first before ringing Mycroft back, and the text read, M fallen off surveillance; in Austin area, and the smile faded off Sherlock’s face, and he looked up toward the silent bedroom with dread, already knowing. He didn’t even need to read the next test. Get out now.
Sherlock texted back, quickly, blindly, two words. Send help. And then, swallowing thickly, he walked slowly over to the bedroom and through the door.
John was standing still as a statue in the middle of the room, his hands slightly raised, and Moriarty was standing against the opposite wall, with a gun very casually trained on John. John looked at Sherlock, and he didn’t really look terrified, he looked furious. Sherlock looked at Moriarty, who smiled at him in welcome.
“Sherlock. Darling. Hi. I was wondering when you’d join the party. Took forever for the two of you to get here, and then I had to listen to all that tedious flirtation in the kitchen, which I really could have done without, I have to say. But, ah well, here we all are now, am I right?” Moriarty smiled brightly at them both.
“What are you doing?” Sherlock asked.
Moriarty looked surprised. “My, my, the great Sherlock Holmes asking such a simple question. How much does it hurt you to admit that you don’t know?”
Sherlock considered. “But I do know.”
“Oh, do you?”
“Yes. You’ve conspired to burn the heart out of me, hence the gun trained on John. And you’re doing it in the stupidest manner possible, because there’s no way you’re going to get away with it.”
Moriarty’s smile never wavered. “Why would I want to get away with it? What would that matter? I have no career left, you saw to that. So I’ll take the thing that’s most important to you, the way you took the thing that’s most important to me, and our game will be a draw. What do you say, Sherlock?” Moriarty corrected his aim a bit.
Sherlock looked at the gun. The safety was already off. Moriarty only had to pull the trigger. Sherlock thought of his gun, the one he used for target practice, in the drawer of the bedside table where it was useless.
“I destroyed your career,” Sherlock said, “it’s true. But that also means I could give it back to you. Take the blame for the gambling scandal.” Sherlock was inching closer to John, hoping he’d be able to push John out of the way.
“That blame should be yours anyway,” Moriarty snapped at him.
“Well, that’s a matter of opinion, but I suppose I’m willing to concede that under these circumstances,” said Sherlock and stuck his hands in his pockets.
The gun swept away from John, in Sherlock’s direction, and Sherlock breathed a small sigh of relief.
“Hands up,” said Moriarty, icily. “Now.”
And Sherlock closed his hand around the baseball in his pocket and pulled it out and threw.
His aim was as true as it ever was and it would have hit Moriarty full-on in the face except that Moriarty ducked, the gun going off as he did so, but Sherlock had also ducked and John had dove dramatically to the side, behind the bed, which was a good place for him, there was cover for him there. It left Sherlock out in the open, but Sherlock was okay with that trade-off.
“What a stupid, stupid thing for you to do,” Moriarty shouted at him, gun trained firmly on him.
Sherlock said, “I’ll admit it wasn’t the best fastball I’ve ever thrown, but—”
The gunshot made Sherlock flinch, and for a second he thought he must have been hit, that he wasn’t feeling anything because of the shock. And then blood trickled from the perfect round hole in Moriarty’s forehead and Moriarty staggered backward against the wall and down to the floor, his gun dropping uselessly to the side, his eyes staring unseeingly. Sherlock, breathing hard with shock, looked wide-eyed at John, who was lowering the gun he’d pulled from their bedside table.
“Good shot,” he gasped.
“People always underestimate catchers’ aims,” John replied, shakily, and then abruptly sat down with his back against the bed and closed his eyes and mumbled, “Bloody hell.”
On September 17th, 2013 05:21 am (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
I was all "Awwww" and "YAY" for their world series win and tickets to London and then Mycroft texted and I actually cursed, profusely and out loud, because HOW DARE Moriarty ruin this for them!
Of course, then Sherlock was BLOODY BRILLIANT and John was fast and smart to make up for Sherlock putting himself in harm's way and so it seems everything's turned out (mostly) fine.
Wonder what Mycroft's going to think when his "help" arrives...
Um, WOW. Holy crap, did NOT see that coming!
Loved Sherlock in this chapter- his comments about John, his shock and disbelief at seeing his family, and especially this: “That was quite enough for me. I am never winning the World Series for you again.” *giggles*
And good for John for taunting fate and buying those plane tickets! Awesome!
"So the baseball gods got that right, making me wait this long, making me wait for you. I wouldn’t have ever wanted to do this without you."
Between that and the airline tickets, I'm convinced John is an incurable romantic!!
But Sherlock's a crack shot with a baseball and John with a gun so . . . goodnight
I'm so glad Sherlock accepted his family being there, too. Perhaps we might see them again . . . you know, when you write the story of their move to the flat in London? *giggle / wink*
Anyway, I wouldn't have known about the thing with the away game, so your secret's safe with me!
Only one chapter left? How has the time gone so quickly?
Oh, John *is* definitely an incurable romantic! Definitely!
And luckily John and Sherlock pool their talents together to take Moriarty down and save their future.
I can't believe how quickly this posting went, either!! :-)
AH! BZUH! WHA?! AH!
But how did? ... But you... And Sherlock... Then John... WOW! I was NOT exptecting THAT to happen. At all. Ever.
My apologies for the lack of constructive criticsm but, WOW, what a great twist right at the end. I can't believe there is only one more chapter left. D:
Which means they should have been *away* for this chapter instead of home. Oops.
Yes. This illogicality spoiled the whole chapter for me. I kept on reading only because I'm a very polite person. *lies through her teeth* *knows nothing about baseball rules*
But, for John’s peace of mind, he said nothing about it.
Otherwise John would blame him for jinxing things and they should have jinx-fixing sex in the field and it would be awkward.
The key to the entire season has been John.
Aww. Not only to the season.
‘Doctor’ is an inadequate nickname for him. A better one would be ‘Captain.’ Actually, both are necessary. He’s basically an army doctor.
Clever nod to the canon! I love that!
So the baseball gods got that right, making me wait this long, making me wait for you. I wouldn’t have ever wanted to do this without you.
Awwww! *grins in a pathetically mushy way*
Mycroft in the stands, looking very out of place.
*giggles* I can picture him in his immaculate three-piece. (And with his umbrella, just in case.)
Mycroft claimed it was important
Ah, he understood that finally.
“Oh, it was John, of course,” inserted his mother, impatiently. “He rang Mycroft and managed to convince him that you would actually care whether or not we came. And so here we are.”
So much for John's wish to keep it a secret.
And so here we are.
Hmm. Okay, maybe, maybe she's not completely bad. Or Mycroft blackmailed her. :D
And she had stood there and watched it even though she didn’t understand and didn’t care about it.
Me and this fic in a nutshell. :D Except for the fact that I didn't only stand there and watch, I also whistled and cheered and stamped my feet and basically flailed madly in enthusiasm. (End of the metaphor.)
the unfamiliar press of warmth in his chest because his family had come to see his baseball game
In a few words you really make us feel how sensitive Sherlock is behind his mask and how much he suffered from his family's indifference.
“Oh, no,” Sherlock responded, gravely, “I am well aware of how brilliant you are.
John should make him write it down and sign it. :D
leaving the baseball in place until he got it out to the mantelpiece next to the perfect game baseball
The skull will be overjoyed. Two mates at one go!
I thought, John Watson, you have already won life’s lottery. How can anything go wrong for you this year? How can you lose?
I'd like to say “Awww” here but I know when I need to restraint myself.
“Go get naked,” said Sherlock, waving him away and picking up his phone with a smile on his face.
Brilliant reply at two levels. First it cuts short a embarrassing conversation and second it leads to a naked John. Excellent. :D
he looked up toward the silent bedroom with dread, already knowing.
John looked at Sherlock, and he didn’t really look terrified, he looked furious.
Because he's supremely BAMF.
And Sherlock closed his hand around the baseball in his pocket and pulled it out and threw.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Since I read your Tumblr post about the deadly powers of a baseball I've been hoping for that! :D I suspected there was something going on when I read, He pulled the mobile out, leaving the baseball in place until he got it out to the mantelpiece next to the perfect game baseball, I wondered why you gave us this detail. What do you mean, “slightly paranoiac”?
it would have hit Moriarty full-on in the face except that Moriarty ducked
Er, what... Damn. Okay, I must admit Sherlock's movement couldn't be wide enough to kill Moriarty. Oh well. So much for my kill-him-with-your-baseball obsession. :D
Sherlock, breathing hard with shock, looked wide-eyed at John, who was lowering the gun he’d pulled from their bedside table.
Perfect. That's even better than baseball-induced death. It's canon and BAMF!John saves Sherlock's life. *is pleased* Poor John, though. Now he will be remembered as the Gay Player and the Man Who Won The World Series And Shot Down His Lover's Arch-enemy In The Same Evening. What a godsend for the tabloids! :D
I'm going to quote John to summarise my thoughts about this chapter: Bloody hell! What an emotional big dipper! Romance, happiness, angst... Brilliant! They won the World Series, the baddie is dead... Will there be London and the cosy flat and busy wallpaper and fog in the last chapter? Whether there is London or not, I'm sure it will be a perfect happy ending, with fluff galore and... WAIT. WHERE IS MORANE? Please tell me Mycroft threw him in the depths of a dungeon! *wants her perfect happy ending*
I think you mean He didn’t even need to read the next text, no test. :-).
Hee! I had to work that detail in there somehow. ;-)
Ha! You're totally right about poor John's career legacy being a little bit mangled here. But I really wanted the canon of John *literally* saves Sherlock's life. By killing someone.
I had such a great time stuffing EVERYTHING into this chapter. And as for Moran, I promise he's not an issue. :-)
Darn my typos! ;-)
John is just Sherlock's key. Period. :-)
I love to write AUs. I love having to work the canon in!!
Poor Mycroft. He narrowly avoided having to wear a baseball cap!
I think John was never going to succeed in keeping that a secret, alas.
I couldn't make the Holmeses all bad. I just couldn't!
Awww, you are like Sherlock's mum coming to see my baseball game! Or something!
And yes, Sherlock is actually tremendously sensitive and he really wants his family to be proud of him and he's refused to let himself think about how hurt he's been by their refusal to be proud of him.
I love that you were so surprised by the twist!
And John is AWESOME. I always write him AWESOME. :-)
Okay, that came totally out of left field.
*does double take at own completely unintentional baseball metaphor*
Seriously, I sort of expected Moriarty to show up somehow, since this is the penultimate chapter and all, but I did NOT expect this at all!
*heads off to re-read*
Yeah, but the final World Series game should be won at home. I mean, I understand that they don't, always, but...in a perfect world, you want to be at home, with the home-town crowd and the familiarity of your own park and your own locker room and your own commute home afterwards. So I totally get why you set the game at home, because that's where it ought to be. And had you not said anything, I doubt many of us would have noticed the discrepancy (I didn't, and I actually do know that rule about the All Star Game).
I almost, almost feel sorry for Moriarty. How desperate he must have been, to sneak into their apartment, because he had to know that it wouldn't have ended well for him, no matter what happened. And to be that low, that this was the only option he felt available to him...okay, he's evil and he tried to ruin both John and Sherlock and clearly he deserved to die etc and so forth...but still. Maybe I'm hormonal or something.
Excellent chapter. I have trouble believing there's only one left; it seems like only yesterday you were talking about this fic as you were writing it, ad now it's nearly done being posted.
I totally agree with you, winning at home is the ideal and I was writing them a fairy tale so they ended up at home.
I think Moriarty knew he was making his last play here. He was either going to be arrested or dead, he was just hoping to take one of them with him. But he painted himself into that corner with his actions, I think. I don't know, it could be I am just not an empathetic person!
I can't believe it's almost over, either! Where does the time go???