Title - The Bang and the Clatter (36/36)
Rating - Teen
Characters - John, Sherlock
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. Including beta-ing while traveling around the world and having much more interesting things to worry about.
...How is this fic over? I don't understand. It seems like just the other day I was brainstorming what I could do with it, and now all of a sudden it's all done and out there in the world and it all belongs to you now. Which is actually my favorite place for a fic to be, because I love it when I'm writing it but I love most when I get to share it all with you and see it through your eyes and live it all over again, and again, and again. Because here's a little secret I'll let you in on about how I feel about being a writer: I love the act of writing, I love it more than anything else that I do, and I am happiest when I am in the middle of it. And then, when it's over and done, I'm like, "...Oh. But...But I loved them all, and now I'm done with them, and what am I going to do now?" And do you know what I get to do? I get to share it with you, and then my characters never stop living. That's the best part. You guys are the best readers in the world. Your passion and enthusiasm for words, for dialogue, for characters is so contagious. I love to see everything new through your comments, and you teach me so much about everything, and I am so incredibly grateful for each and every single one of you, more than I think a lot of you might realize. Writers talk about their characters being their kids a lot, and it is kind of, I think, like when you have a kid, and you think your kid is brilliant, and then you send him off to school, and someone says to you, "Hey, you know that kid of yours? He's brilliant!" And you know that's only partly because of you, but it doesn't matter, you're just so chuffed that someone else looked at something you love desperately and loved it just a bit, too. So thank you, to all of you who loved my baby after I sent it off into the world, especially those of you who don't at all care about baseball. It's yours now, really, and I leave it in good hands.
By design, I am wrapping up this fic just as the baseball season is ending. Today, in fact, the Boston Red Sox clinched a playoff berth and will be playing in October. There are lots of players just like John Watson full of emotion tonight over getting to live their childhood dreams, and there's a way in which this fic was for all of them. If you think of John Watson and Sherlock Holmes every time you see a baseball game now, well, enjoy that image, then. :-)
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 - Chapter Thirty-Five
They went to London, as planned. The police were convinced that John had acted in self-defense, with a little help from Mycroft and his recordings of the goings-on in the bedroom. (“I’m sorry, I know it was wrong, but I was worried about Moriarty and your safety and see it came in handy after all,” Sherlock explained in one huge rush of breath when John learned about the surveillance in the apartment.) When Sherlock asked John, in the early morning after the longest night John had ever experienced, what John wanted to do, John begged him to get on the plane with him and just go.
So Sherlock did.
John had always intended to skip the World Series parade for Sherlock’s benefit, sensing he would hate it, but it turned out that Austin decided to delay the parade indefinitely due to the scandal, so Sherlock didn’t need to convince John that they should at least go to the parade (which Sherlock had intended to do for John’s benefit, because he knew he would love the parade) and they went to London to escape all of it.
The scandal followed them to London, of course, and they spent the first few days there holed up in a hotel room with the curtains drawn against the paparazzi outside, until Sherlock said he was sick of hotel rooms and managed to get them away to an enormous manor house somewhere outside London that Sherlock called a “hunting lodge,” even though it was nothing like any hunting lodge John had ever seen. The grounds were expansive, and they were safe from paparazzi, and John uncoiled and relaxed, and if Sherlock treated him like he was a little more fragile than he normally was, John let him because he felt a little more fragile than he normally was.
They stayed at the “hunting lodge” for a week, and at the end of it, as they were lying in front of the fire one night, John sitting up and Sherlock sprawled with his head in his lap, Sherlock finally asked the question John had been waiting for, which was, “Are you all right?”
John stroked his hand through Sherlock’s thick curls, growing even more unruly now, and looked into the fire and said, “I think so.”
“You did just kill a man,” said Sherlock.
“He wasn’t a very nice man,” John pointed out.
“True.” There was a moment of silence before Sherlock ventured, “What do you want to do next year?”
“Not commit murder at any point would be nice,” said John, dryly.
“I’ll keep that in mind,” replied Sherlock, but twisted on John’s lap to look up at him. “But I’m serious. Are you still going to retire?”
John looked down at him and pushed the tumbled curls off of his forehead. “Yes. I can’t imagine playing baseball again after the season I just had. I can’t imagine ever having a better season. I want that to be my last memory of baseball.”
“You could coach. You’d be good at it.”
John shook his head. “I don’t want us separated, and we would be, if we were on different teams, which we would probably be.”
Sherlock hesitated, and then said, “I don’t think I’m going to play next year.”
John had been looking back into the fire, but he looked down at Sherlock in surprise at that. “But you’re under contract.”
“I know, but I…I have the money to buy the contract out, and I don’t want to play anymore. I’ve done everything I meant to do with baseball, and more. I was only ever playing because I couldn’t think of anything better to do. But now I have something better to do.”
John lifted a wry eyebrow. “Me?”
“In the crude sense and the not-crude sense,” answered Sherlock. “I have you now, and I think I was only ever playing baseball in order to find you, so there’s no point to it for me now. I’ll find another hobby and follow you around next season, if you want.”
It was John’s turn to hesitate. He looked back into the fire. “I don’t know. You’d mentioned medical school, and I was thinking… Maybe it’s time for both of us to say good-bye to baseball. Maybe we can never top anything that happened this season, so maybe we shouldn’t try. Maybe we should just relegate it to games of catch when one of us is agitated. Maybe we should find a life for ourselves here.”
“At the hunting lodge?”
“For the last time, Sherlock, this is a bloody palace, not a hunting lodge. But no, not here, we’d both go mad here eventually. In London.”
“You would miss it,” said Sherlock. “It’s a part of you. You love it.”
“I love you more. I’ve always loved you more. And if I miss it, if I’m wrong, then we’ll revisit this topic at this time next year. We’ll come back here to this palace-slash-hunting-lodge and we’ll talk about all of this again. Deal?”
Sherlock considered. “Deal,” he said, and turned back into the fire and settled more comfortably. He was silent for a moment, but John could practically hear the thoughts flying through that busy head of his. “There’s a flat…” he said, finally.
Trust Sherlock to have never been entirely hypothetical in his talk about the London flat they could get. It turned out that he’d had one in mind for a while, that he’d staked it out years ago, when he’d first imagined living in London by himself, but that it was well-suited to two people, and John stood in the middle of 221B Baker Street and had to agree. It looked exactly the way he had pictured their flat to look, the way Sherlock had described it, with the busy wallpaper and the cozy fireplace and the bedroom big enough for a nice-sized bed.
“I never got you anything for your birthday,” said Sherlock, as they stood in the living room together, and he sounded almost shy.
“I told you not to worry about that,” said John.
“I know. But I could buy us this flat.”
John looked at him. “You’re going to buy us a flat as a birthday gift for me?”
“If you like it.” And then Sherlock seemed to backpedal. “Is that not right? I thought it would be… Maybe it wouldn’t… I don’t normally buy presents,” Sherlock admitted.
John felt his heart clench, the way it often did around Sherlock, the way it often did when love surged through him at too severe a rate for his system to process it. Sherlock didn’t normally buy presents, because Sherlock had never had anyone to buy presents for, and, of course, Sherlock was going to start gift-buying at the very top of the heap, with a flat. And who was John to turn him down, when all he was trying to say was I so-much-more-than-love you.
John looked around him and then turned back to Sherlock. “You know,” he smiled, “I think you’re right. I think the wallpaper’s going to grow on me.”
[ZOMG.THE. END.] <-- This was a beta comment, but I had to leave it in for you guys.
I loved this so much. I can so totally visualize John Watson as a catcher, so much so that I almost can't picture him with out the gear. And Sherlock as a pitcher is marvelous. So many wonderful things about this tale that I can't even process them all. Entertaining, thoroughly imaginative, so very creative, and so very Sherlock and John.
Thank you so much for sharing this!
Oh, man, I looked at the chapter count four chapters ago and couldn't believe this was ending. (As an aside, that's why I read your wips...)
But all good things come to and end, and they don't, too. This was brilliant. *hugs your children*
I can't wait to see what you do next. And thank you again for playing in my new fandom.
This story... okay, I still don't get the baseball, we Czechs are football nation. But you, with your marvelous storytelling, this totally caught me by my heart and I can't believe the title says 36/36 - and I'm loving the left-over beta comment, nailed my feelings exactly. Oh, and sorry for my incoherence.
Back months ago when I read the first chapter, the prologue, that you were doing a baseball fic I was kinda like hmmm, wonder If I will be able to enjoy it as much as the usual fic you write. Its baseball and Im Scottish and its not really a sport I understand. So I left it for a wee while and didnt read straight away. What a total fool I was.
I loved it! I want more.. You write so beautifully I could almost hear the crowd and smell the atmosphere around the ground!
I love how you write Sherlock and John. They are the perfect balance for each other and they love each other, oh so much. Its a beautiful thing!
So thank you for writing a baseball fic. Its been a wonderful ride. When I think of baseball now, I think I shall always think about Sherlock and his mathmatical equations and Johns poetry of the game.. As always a pleasure to read Lady xx
Edited at 2013-09-20 08:33 am (UTC)
I almost didn't read this this morning because I wasn't ready for it to be over. But I did, and it is lovely.
I'm having a stressful time at work the last few months (I'm a real estate and divorce attorney and some things at my firm have been giving me an ulcer) and I just wanted to tell you that, sometimes when I am sitting at my desk, and I can't see it because the files on it are trying to bury me...I will take ten minutes to stop hyperventilating and I revisit chapters in this story or Saving Sherlock Holmes (or What to Do When Your Flatmate is Homicidal, which isn't yours but which you absolutely have to read if you haven't, because, wow, it's insane in the most delightful way.). Anyway, normally after giving myself that ten minutes to read your stories, I can return to the serious business of attempting to practice law without hyperventilating or murdering anyone. I am so grateful for those moments of calm...so thank you. I hope you keep writing these two for a long time.
In our house we are Tigers fans (by which I mean, my husband and daughter are rabid fans, my son is a normal fan, and I watch over the top of whatever book I'm reading.). My husband is confused by how much more attention I've been paying it since I've been reading this. :-)
Edited at 2013-09-20 11:24 am (UTC)
The 36/36 gave me a pause this morning. I'm very sad to see that this has ended but it was a fantastic ride to read the installments as you posted them. Now I can read it all over again from the beginning.
This fic reminded me how much I enjoy watching and playing baseball. I haven't played or seen a game in a long time.
I whole heartedly agree with your beta's comment at the end. Thank you so very much for writing and sharing this with all of us.
I have so enjoyed this story, and I am sad that it is over, but what a beautiful way to end it! I was half-afraid that Moriarty was going to make Sherlock do something stupid (like fake his death and leave John), and I was cheering when John just shot the bastard.
As for the baseball - wow, I never would have thought that you could mix Sherlock and Baseball so successfully, but you did! I live in Atlanta and have been an avid Braves fan (even in the bad old days when you could get admission to the game by bringing two cans of fruit or veg - we were rehabbing a house nearby and would walk over when we were tired of building projects and too broke to do anything else). I was here for our miracle "worst to first" season, and this story reminded me so much of that year that I just loved it to pieces. John is the best catcher ever, and I loved how surprised he was to get MVP. And Sherlock as a pitcher - perfect! Thanks so much for creating this amazing AU world.
Edited at 2013-09-20 03:58 pm (UTC)
So sad this is over. What an incredible journey. There should be more stories about catchers. Here's some fodder for your next one:
(yep, that's one of my local boys!)
”…and I think I was only ever playing baseball in order to find you, so there’s no point to it for me now.”
A happy ending. *happy sigh*
”If you think of John Watson and Sherlock Holmes every time you see a baseball game now, well, enjoy that image, then.”
It may not be baseball, but I do find myself thinking of this story at football (soccer) matches sometimes, so your “sport” story really has had benefits for me!
I know what you mean about ” Oh. But...But I loved them all, and now I'm done with them, and what am I going to do now?” - I always feel that way after reading a good story. I really want to know “what happened next” and carry on reading about the characters and their lives, but I know that in your case, there’s bound to be another good story just around the corner.
Thank you so much for your dedication to writing this; it’s a hugely enjoyable story – and as I’ve said in comments before, not understanding much about baseball really didn’t matter; the characterisation and plot lines were . . . well, brilliant.
Thank you so much.
Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful story! And though the ending was lovely, I am sad that it is over. Still, as you said- now it is out in the world and we can come back and enjoy it whenever we want (I have the entire Chaosverse on my Kindle and have re-read those stories many times). Thank you for another great story!
Nooooooo! It can't be over!
You know, you're one of the ONLY authors whose WIPs I will read; usually I wait until the entire story is posted (because I've been burned so often by WIPs that are never finished). But with you I *know* you'll finish what you start and anyway, your stuff is so good, who can wait!
Thanks for another terrific ride!
And you know that's only partly because of you, but it doesn't matter, you're just so chuffed that someone else looked at something you love desperately and loved it just a bit, too.
I hate to contradict you but you're wrong. That's entirely because of you and we love your fic so much more than just a bit. :-)
If you think of John Watson and Sherlock Holmes every time you see a baseball game now
I will, you can be sure! And your fic will be the only reason why, if I come across a baseball game on the TV, I'll watch it and try to understand what's going on a bit. (At least who is the pitcher and who is the catcher! :D) I read an article about the Library of Congress in a magazine yesterday, and they talked about the pictures of collections of baseball cards; your fic is the only reason why I took a look at the website. (I was very disappointed, there are no photos of Sherlock or John. :D)
John had always intended to skip the World Series parade for Sherlock’s benefit, sensing he would hate it [...] so Sherlock didn’t need to convince John that they should at least go to the parade (which Sherlock had intended to do for John’s benefit, because he knew he would love the parade)
That seems so natural from John, who's always altruistic, but it's so telling from Sherlock.
and if Sherlock treated him like he was a little more fragile than he normally was, John let him because he felt a little more fragile than he normally was.
I love that Sherlock feels what John needs and gives it to him, and that John is not afraid to admit his vulnerability and just takes it. And all that without a word.
Sherlock’s thick curls, growing even more unruly now
The advantage of giving up baseball: no more flattening cap. Hooray! :D
I think I was only ever playing baseball in order to find you
You've just justified the existence of all the Sherlock Aus. :D
I’ll find another hobby and follow you around next season, if you want.
Sherlock following instead of leading. Wow. That's love.
I love you more. I’ve always loved you more.
This is the last time I say that in this fic (unfortunately) so bear with me: awww...
We’ll come back here to this palace-slash-hunting-lodge and we’ll talk about all of this again. Deal?
Of course you'll need to tell us about that if that happens. A coda or something. Deal? ;-)
“There’s a flat…” he said, finally.
Aaaaaah, I love that. First because the flat becomes "real" at last, and also because it looks like the first sentence of a tale, of a new life. It's almost a kind of, "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit." (I said "almost", okay? :D) It could be a terrific last sentence for the fic, except of course we WANT to see them in the flat!
it was well-suited to two people
It's fate. ;-)
and John stood in the middle of 221B Baker Street
Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! AT LAST! :D
It looked exactly the way he had pictured their flat to look, the way Sherlock had described it, with the busy wallpaper and the cozy fireplace and the bedroom big enough for a nice-sized bed.
But is there fog outside? There’s another bedroom upstairs of course, even if they won't be needing two bedrooms. No, wait, it's for Mrs Hudson when she comes and visits them. (Are you sure she can't be their landlady? *sighs* All right, then.) Or for Greg, who is going to miss Sherlock horribly, and Mycroft will show him around London, and... ;-)
“If you like it.” And then Sherlock seemed to backpedal. “Is that not right? I thought it would be… Maybe it wouldn’t… I don’t normally buy presents,” Sherlock admitted.
Adorably insecure until the last lines.
And who was John to turn him down, when all he was trying to say was I so-much-more-than-love you.
You know, when I said it was the last time I said "aww" in the fic? I mean the last aww but one of course, because this sentence... Awwww... I feel my heart clench, the way it often does around this fic, the way it often does when my love for it surges through me at too severe a rate for my system to process it. :-)
Only the end of the AU, but a wonderful beginning for them, almost the canon one. And what a wonderful ending for a wonderful story. I'm so glad I didn't let my "But I don't care about baseball at all and I know nothing about it and a baseball Sherlock can't work anyway" first reaction prevent me from reading it, because it worked, oh yes, and I've loved it from the beginning to the end. It was enthralling and funny and moving and hot and romantic and I fell in love with your interpretation of the characters and did I ever tell you how much I love your writing? (This is a rhetorical question. :D) Baseball was only the background of the love story anyway. I'm going to really miss this fic and I'm SO happy we still have the apparently never-ending (wishful thinking) Nature and Nurture. It was a great journey, thank you very much! :-)
On September 23rd, 2013 05:46 am (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
Daaawwww... I can't believe it's over...
I love the things these boys do for each other. John would have skipped the parade, Sherlock would have done the parade, Sherlock gave John plenty of time to work through things and then asked him if he was alright, and they decided what to do TOGETHER and then Sherlock bought 221 B for John as a birthday present and I just... there's so many beautiful feels here.
Thank you for this. You are such a wonderful writer. Your fics have so much life to them, and it was a joy to read this. I fell into this world that you created and didn't want to leave. Now, of course, the story is over, but it is just beginning for Sherlock and John, and that's good--to have a beginning for an ending. I really don't know what else to say besides thank you, again, for gifting us readers with such a marvelous story.
Oh, this was so utterly delightful and wonderful and breathtaking and intriguing and fascinating and...! *catches breath*
I must admit I've never seen a baseball game in my life, but now your fic kinda made me feel like I want to, though I'm not into sports at all. And despite your lovely explanations, I still haven't quite worked out the rules and inner workings of this confusing game. But that didn't take anything away from the fic, which was a wonderful, relieving surprise, because you certainly managed to convey the significance and the mathematical poetry of it. And it was fabulous.
You are an immensely talented writer, I think I especially liked the glimpses into Sherlock's head and his POV. But it was all so good. Thank you for this amazing read, and I can't wait to indulge in more of your fics!
I saw a story on the news tonight about a little girl who survived the Boston bombings singing the National Anthem at a Red Sox game, and the first thing I thought about was this fic.
And the fact that I was two chapters behind. The last two chapters.
So, I finally came back to finish it, and it was lovely! I very thoroughly enjoyed this fic, much more than I thought I would ever enjoy a fic about baseball.
Anyway, thanks so much for sharing your baby with us! I'm off to go catch up with N&N :)
This was great! Most of what I know about baseball comes simply from living in North America, but you made it easy to get into the flow of the game as well as the motivations and reactions of the players. Watching John and Sherlock's relationship develop was very interesting, especially since you used both of them as narrators. I especially enjoyed seeing Sherlock's feelings change, although it was tragic to see how much he thought that he was more invested in their relationship than John. I'm glad that the both of them were on the same page by the end. John with an American accent is something of an odd thought, but I'm sure he'll settle with a lovely accent somewhere between the two now that he's going to be living in London.
Also, yay for the end of Moriarty! If anyone deserves a bullet through the brain, it's him.