mymetalphantom: (Sherlock...Mycroft Holmes...he)
[personal profile] mymetalphantom
No, I haven't died/been abducted by aliens/put into witness protection etc.. I apologise for the absence which can only be described as a complete lack of attention. Life is okay (between boredom and worrying about the economy) and I've been meaning to come on here more often, but something petty always gets in the way. Boo, I wish there were more hours in the day.

I have been flirting with other Star Trek series *gasp*. I think one day I shall totally have to do a squee post about it, but for the moment I shall just say "squee" and leave it at that.

I have been writing. Occasionally. Posted below are some snippets of some Sherlock fics that I've been idly toying with over the past few months and a completed little House of Cards ficlet that I wrote on a whim while sitting on the bus. I know only posting snippets makes me an awful tease, but I figured that it's better than nothing. I do occasionally finish stuff XD

I still have to complete my M*A*S*H fic. I'm getting so close with it now, that I'm getting impatient with myself. Anywho, I'll quit jabbering now.

Sherlock (BBC) John/Mycroft

*Snippet 1*

It was a quick dash from the cab to the door. Collar pulled up against the heavy torrent of rain pounding the streets of London, John Watson fumbled for his keys. He couldn’t wait to get in. After the heat of Afghanistan he still became annoyed and depressed by the iron grey of the British weather. As familiar and settling as it felt when he first returned home, it had gone back to being a nuisance.

Finally through the door, he hummed a song (half remembered) as he climbed the stairs. Shedding his coat. It was quiet. Either Sherlock was out or he was in a mood; stretched out on the sofa, scowling at the ceiling. He hoped it was the former. He couldn’t be arsed with a moody Sherlock today.

Humming still, he stepped over the threshold into the living room and absently threw his coat down on a chair...only to notice at the last minute that Mycroft Holmes was sat there. The last minute, before John’s coat covered him.

“Shit, sorry,” he said and made a quick grab for the coat. Mycroft beat him to it, peeled it off himself and looked at it in disgust, as if he couldn’t quite believe that a garment so common had touched him. “Sorry, I didn’t see you there.” John went on apologising for about a minute longer than was necessary. Mycroft had a knack for making him nervous.

“Quite all right, John,” he said with a grin that belied his earlier look of distaste. “I was hoping you were my brother. Of course, I gathered from your footsteps that you weren’t.”

“He’s out, then?” John asked, then immediately wished he could stuff those words back in his mouth and swallow them. Mycroft just gave him a look. “Obviously, he’s not here,” John said, answering his own stupid question. He hoped those words rectified his earlier stupidity, but he doubted they would.

“Typical of him to be out when I need to speak to him. He can be such a selfish little brat.”

John couldn’t help but smile. Hearing someone talk about the great Sherlock Holmes as if he were a naughty child was amusing.

“Would you like a drink?”

“Your landlady already asked,” Mycroft replied as he stood and cast a wary glance over at the kitchen. John felt a sudden shame about the state of their kitchen, even though it was Sherlock’s bloody fault it was in such a mess. “I’m...not thirsty.” Very diplomatic.

John flicked the kettle on and found the cleanest mug on the counter. He cautiously peeked into the fridge, wondering what horror he might find in there. His kitchen had started to resemble a Tobe Hooper movie, of late.

No dismembered body parts. All was well.

“Was it about a case?” John called out over the sound of the bubbling kettle. He looked over to see Mycroft standing just outside the kitchen, absently swinging his umbrella, but watching him in the most disconcerting way. Sherlock could look at you like that. Suddenly the family resemblance was stark (even though the brothers looked nothing alike).

“No,” he said at length. “It’s a family matter. Nothing of interest to you.”

On the contrary; the family matters of these weirdest of brothers were of great interest to him, but John knew when he was being told to mind his own business.

Mycroft risked whatever hazards he feared from their kitchen and stepped closer to him. Palm flat on the tabletop he leaned, as casually as his personality would allow, against it and smiled again. “I’m not even sure whether it’s of interest to me.”

“I see,” John said, not really seeing anything at all.

“Do you?” Mycroft asked rhetorically and gave John another long look. The gaze travelled up his body, eventually coming to rest on his eyes. John found his own gaze trapped.

“Your kettle has boiled,” Mycroft said softly, not breaking the stare.

“What? Oh...” He looked over at the kettle, the steam swirling in the air, dampening the paint work on wall. He hadn’t even realised it had clicked off.

He busied himself putting a teabag into the slightly-less-dirty-than-the-others mug and tried to ignore the small flutter of anxiety in his stomach. He hadn’t been afraid of Mycroft when he thought he’d been a ‘bad guy’, so he had no idea why he was getting twitchy now.

And Mycroft was still watching him closely as he poured the hot water.

“Are you and Sherlock lovers?” Mycroft asked, so suddenly that John spilled the water and had to twist his hips before it went all down his trousers.

“What? No!” he said, more vehemently than he ever had before. “Why does everyone keep asking that?” Mycroft didn’t answer. John shot a nervous glance back at Mycroft whilst he cautiously mopped up the spilled water with kitchen roll. “Is Sherlock gay? Is that what it is? Because he wouldn’t tell me.”

He kicked open the peddle bin and threw the soggy paper into it, belatedly realising that there was no bin liner in it. Why was he being such a fuck-up today?

Stay cool, John. Deal with that later. There was no point in making more of an idiot of himself in front of Mycroft Holmes.

“Sherlock? Gay?” Mycroft asked, as if it had never quite occurred to him before. “Now that would be very simple, wouldn’t it?”

“Are your parents as cryptic as this?” John snapped. He turned and began to root through a drawer for a teaspoon. His movements were angry and impatient and the drawer got caught on its rollers, making him have to shove hard at it to get it closed.

And Mycroft watched on.

“Is it nature or nurture, you mean?” Mycroft said, not answering the question even a little bit.

“Look,” John said, getting the conversation back on its previous, slightly less weird track. “I don’t mind if Sherlock’s gay. I couldn’t care less, but as his friend it would be nice to know...especially when everyone thinks I’m his boyfriend.”

He tossed the teabag into the bin, swearing internally when he remembered it was still not lined.

“So, you’re not gay, then?”


“No, of course not.” Mycroft’s words sounded almost sarcastic. Or maybe it was just his imagination.

“I’m not,” he insisted.

“All right.”

John poured milk into his tea. He wasn’t keen on the silence that had suddenly blanketed the room. He’d actually preferred their awkward, bizarre conversation.

*Snippet 2*

He had stormed out of their rooms. His storming was quite impressive, actually, now that his leg felt better; complete with stomping and the slamming of doors.

Yet, John Watson had a horrible feeling that all the ‘stomping and slamming and storming out’ was met with supreme apathy on Sherlock’s part. In fact, getting John to stop loitering around the house seemed to be the main aim of Sherlock’s moodiness; a ‘be an insufferable prick until the man leaves you in peace’ kind of thing.

Well fine! It’s not as if he wanted to share the house with him tonight, snarky bastard that he was being. He was sure that he could go to much better places and be called a moron.

Still, storming off was always a hell of a lot more satisfying when it caused the other person some measure of distress. As it was, when he returned home in the morning he knew he would be greeted by icy indifference, and Sherlock pretending that he hadn’t even noticed that he had gone.

At least, he hoped he was pretending. The master of deduction could be totally thick at times.

Well, the consolation was the thought of seeing Sarah...and...sleeping on her sofa. It was a nice sofa but one designed more for decoration than for comfort and if he was honest, he had counted on being a little bit further along with her by now. When she didn’t run away after nearly being killed he thought she was a sure thing. Plus, there was a genuine connection between them. Maybe tonight was the night; she had been hinting of more, recently. Yes, he had a good feeling about Sarah.

Not at that precise moment though, as he stood at her door, ringing and ringing the door bell desperately, even though she was clearly out.

Well, that was annoying. Where was she? Was she out with someone? A man?

Great, now he was being the crazy, jealous, annoyed person. Tonight wasn’t going even remotely the way he thought it would.

John sent her a text.

What you up to tonight?
John x

He hoped that it sounded casual and not at all harassing and stalker-ish. There was a fine line.

And his phone remained resolutely silent, and he ended up walking along the road, looking warily at the night sky. The pretty weather-girl had promised showers and the air did feel a little close and oppressive. He checked his pocket for some cash, to no avail. Brilliant, he was going to get wet walking back into the centre of London, or at least get wet searching for a cash machine.

Basically, he braced for a soaking.

As he began walking he noticed a black car out of the corner of his eye. It slowed as it got to him and out of sheer paranoia John strode on a little faster, eyes darting to find a good place to run to. It was becoming a thing of habit, second nature. ‘Run away from black cars and other examples of clichéd villainy.’

The car came to a halt and the back passenger side window slid down smoothly, whirring. To his relief (sort of) John saw that it was Mycroft Holmes, looking as immaculate as always.

“John Watson!” Mycroft announced. “Whatever brings you out on this dreariest of nights?”

“Out for a walk,” he answered, somewhat unconvincingly. ‘Sherlock and I had a fight’, sounded a little sad and pathetic, not to mention couple-y.

Mycroft’s brow furrowed for a second then smoothed out as he smiled. “Was my brother being a pest?”

John shoved his hands into his pockets and smiled down at his feet. “Something like that,” he said. When he looked back up into Mycroft’s face he saw a faint smile of understanding.

“It looks like it’s going to rain. Get in; I’ll give you a lift back to Baker Street.”

Well, it beat getting rained on.

Mycroft’s car was a chauffeur driven, Governmental affair, with blacked windows, comfy leather seats and a constant ‘new car’ smell. John was sat in the back seat with Mycroft, feeling strangely important as he was driven through London. The last time he had sat here, he had been too nervous to appreciate it

“You really mustn’t let Sherlock get to you,” Mycroft said at length. “He gets a perverse thrill out of being a pain.”

“Is that what it is?” John asked, peering out of the darkened windows, wondering if anyone was checking out their car. Probably not. Government cars were hardly a rare sight in London. “I just thought it was autism, or something.”

The two men looked at each other and Mycroft shot him a wide smile that seemed peculiarly unfriendly.

“Or something,” Mycroft said cryptically.

John noticed Mycroft’s briefcase between them on the backseat. He stared at it for a moment, idly contemplating the numerous Governmental secrets kept within. Defence plans? Policy papers? Strategies for the wars in the Middle East?

Sherlock was right; John loved the thrill of it. Queen and country, like in the books. He had always dreamt of writing a novel about intrigue and daring; a dashing hero taking on those who would destroy their way of life. How could someone not find that stuff exciting?

He could still remember the first time he had been in the back of this car and the warehouse where Mycroft had been standing, waiting for him. Calm, cool and collected, lit only by the glare of car headlights; otherwise in shadow.

It had been thrilling when he had thought him to be a criminal mastermind, but the real Mycroft Holmes seemed much more impressive, if he was honest. He was important, influential and apparently wielded a great deal of power. Legitimate power. The sort of man his book’s hero would take orders from, serve.

But his mind was running away with him. That happened a lot when he was around either of the Holmes brothers. He needed to calm down. He did silly things when he allowed his mind to run off with him.

“Lovers tiff, was it?”

That question abruptly drew John’s attention back to Mycroft.

“What?” he spluttered. “No! Why...we’re not. Not that there’s anything wrong with...that...” Mycroft just looked blankly at him as he stuttered his denials. “We’re not,” he said finally and pointedly.

“All right,” Mycroft said as his gaze turned inquisitive. The two brothers looked nothing like each other, but they had the same disconcerting way of looking at you. Like you were a strange insect beneath a microscope.

“It was just a...housemates’...tiff,” he stammered on, examining his nails so he could avoid Mycroft’s penetrating gaze. John felt like an idiot; another common occurrence around the Holmes brothers.

“Living with Sherlock,” Mycroft said, shuddering and shaking his head. “I can’t make up my mind whether you are very brave or very stupid.”

“Sherlock would say the latter,” John mumbled bitterly. “But he thinks everyone’s stupid.”

“Not quite everyone.” John saw Mycroft smirk for a second, before he turned back to John and smiled. “So, Sherlock was being a little brat as usual and you thought you’d stay at your girlfriend’s house.”

He was right. Of course he was right. “Yes, but she was out.”

“No, she was ignoring you,” Mycroft said and casually gazed out of the window.

“Wha...” John pulled his phone out of his pocket. The screen was dark and the phone looked almost dead in his palm. No messages or missed calls. Damn. And that had been going so well. He swore softly and checked his message inbox anyway, just in case. Technical problems occur sometimes. But no, nothing.

As he tucked his phone away again he noticed Mycroft’s shoulders shake with a short, silent laugh. “I’m sure you’ll work it out. She thinks of you as a dashing, brave hero.”

“Instead of an idiot?” John was enjoying this night less and less. He folded his arms and slumped down in his seat, petulance personified.

Mycroft’s long fingers drummed on the smooth surface of his briefcase and he released a melodramatic sigh. “Let Sherlock stew a little longer in his bad mood,” Mycroft told him. “Come back to my house. Have a drink.”

Now that was the best offer he’d had all night.

*Snippet 3*

“I told you before, John,” he said in a low voice, standing right behind him now. “We could have a lot of fun, you and I.”

Light fingers rested on his hips as he took a step closer. John could feel the heat of the other man against his back and he felt his pulse jump, making him gasp softly, almost inaudibly. One hand slid under his jumper, delicately tracing the smooth skin above the waistband of his jeans and he twitched at the feeling; cool, soft fingers skimming across sensitive, rarely-exposed flesh.

“What, what sort of fun?” he stuttered as his breath hitched at the gentle rake of short nails across his side.

He felt the breath against his ear before he heard the words. Hot, tickling breath. “Whatever you want, John,” Mycroft promised before he bent his head further to press his lips to the sensitive juncture between neck and shoulder, just barely exposed by his jumper’s neckline. The lips, soft and dry, brushed along his neck, back towards his ear, leaving a trail of goose-bumps in their wake. It made him shiver, but it felt indecently good. “No one’s going to ask you to do something you don’t want to.”

Calming words, but they were negated by the hot, wet mouth that engulfed his earlobe, and the hand (which had been constantly caressing) that began tracing his naval.

John gasped softly again and his eyelids drooped. His heart was going at a rather alarming rate now; part from nerves and part from, dare he say it, arousal. It suddenly felt far too hot in that house and the temperature rose a little higher as he felt the sharp nip of teeth against the fleshy earlobe. His knees went weak and he was forced to clutch the desk to steady himself. The movement made Mycroft chuckle and John felt the hot breath again in his ear and the rumble across his back.

He swallowed thickly as panic started to get the better of him. He was steady handed as always, and his body was more than eager. Mycroft’s hand was a mere few inches from his growing arousal, but he was still uncertain and therefore too nervous to continue.

“I, er...” The hand up his jumper moved, and the elegant index finger traced an old appendicectomy scar. “I really should be...getting home.”

“Of course,” Mycroft said, sliding the hand out from under his jumper.

He didn’t sound put-out or annoyed or even disappointed, and that made John frown. When you turned someone down you expect (even want) them to be disappointed at the very least.

*Snippet 4*

John sat in his chair reading a newspaper, one from the heap on the end table. There was nothing of any note, but he was under orders to scour the articles in the hope of finding something that might resemble and interesting case.

Sherlock was sat opposite him, paper in hand.

It was only when instinct told John that he was being watched that he looked up and noticed that Sherlock was peering over the paper at him. The look on his face was one of intense concentration.

“What?” John asked, alarmed at the force behind the gaze.

“Nothing,” Sherlock answered and looked back down at his newspaper.

John went back to his own reading, then looked back again after a few minutes, only to find that Sherlock was staring at him once more.

“What?” More insistently this time.

“Nothing,” came the reply again.

Weirdo, John thought and brought the newspaper right up to cover his face, leaving Sherlock to stare at the sports news.

“Have fun last night?” Sherlock asked after a few minutes of silence. John dropped the paper back onto his lap and sighed.

“What are you talking about?”

“Last night? Did you have fun?” Sherlock managed to pour an unhealthy amount of disdain into the word ‘fun’.

John rubbed his tired eyes. He didn’t want to talk about that, and even if he did, he definitely didn’t want to talk about it with Sherlock. It wasn’t just the fact that it involved his brother; it was also because he knew Sherlock wouldn’t understand. Wouldn’t understand why he was so confused by the whole affair.

Affair? John cringed at his own choice of word.

He shrugged, feigning a casual attitude. “It was okay. Good booze.” It wasn’t a lie; the booze had been good.

“What did you talk about?”

Another shrug. “You know, stuff.”

“Just stuff?” The heavy contempt in his tone weighed his words down.

“Yes, stuff,” John replied impatiently, skimming his eyes over the paper and resolutely ignoring Sherlock’s pointed gaze. “Stuff, as in ‘nothing of any consequence’.

“You know, there’s nothing at all in these,” he continued, changing the subject quickly, and waving the newspaper.

He threw the newspaper onto the pile with the others. Sherlock sighed and followed suit.

“I know. The world is dull at the moment.”

John sighed too. He had hoped they would find something in them to bring Sherlock out of his mood. It was annoying, yes, but he also felt sorry for his friend, as he watched him slump down into his seat and rub at his temples. It must be truly frustrating to have such a demanding mind, which grew bored so quickly.

It was also the curse of a man whose hobby was also his profession. When one ran out, so did the other.

Sherlock (BBC) Sherlock/Lestrade

He looked up at the ceiling, staring at the faint, off-white patch that marred the paintwork. What caused that? Something wet, dripping down from above most probably. That was the most likely conclusion. Of course, one should never rule out all other possibilities. Something could have come from below; something could have been thrown up there. The ceiling was high and it would have to be thrown with a good deal of deliberate force. Why would someone do that?

His thoughts bounced aimlessly for a few moments before he gave up with a huff and covered his face, blocking his view of the ceiling. He dug the heels of his hands into his eyes making his vision go completely black. He wanted to reset his thoughts.

He shifted uncomfortable on a sofa too small to contain his height.

After a few moments of flailing about, he sat up and swung his legs over to rest his feet on the floor. The feeling of the mat beneath his bare feet gave him a few seconds of pleasure, before that too became old and boring. Just like everything else.

There was an itch on his chest that he idly scratched, only to feel it spread to his shoulder, then down his arms and to his hands. He chased the phantom tickle with too-short nails, knowing full well that it was all in his imagination. The mind was a powerful thing, and his in particular was a force to be reckoned with.

God, he wanted a cigarette. A cigarette or twenty.

A whole pack of Marlboro or Benson & Hedges; none of that low tar ‘Silk Cut purple’ crap he had smoked just prior to quitting. It was like smoking air. Smoking London air, which was probably just as bad for your health.

He wanted more than that. He wanted the strong stuff that sat heavy in his lungs and burned his throat; the first drag like a shot of pure joy to the brain.

Sherlock stood with a sudden purpose. It could no longer be denied and he no longer wanted to deny it. He had denied it too long and now he was paying for it. Why shouldn’t he smoke? He liked it. He loved it. It was like a friend to him, and it would definitely make him feel better, visiting this old friend of his.

He would brave the London drizzle and head to the newsagents.

A quick search of the flat produced seven pounds. Granted, that had included raiding John’s so-called-secret stash of change (secret, ha!), which he promised himself he would remember to pay back, even though he realised that he probably wouldn’t. And John would never ask for it anyway. Wonderful, necessary John. He had put up with so much these past few days.

It had been tempting to just put his thick overcoat over his pyjamas but he dutifully dressed and then strode out of 221b with his ‘man-on-a-mission’ face on.

At the counter he found himself torn between Richmonds and Marlboros. Both would probably do nicely, although the Marlboros were more expensive. Decisions, decisions.

“Don’t do it,” came the calm, fairly mocking voice of DI Lestrade. Sherlock looked round and gave him a look that clearly said ‘mind your own business’, but Lestrade was stubborn and on many occasions, really not very bright. “You’ll regret it when you’re coughing your lungs up tonight.”

“Lestrade, shouldn’t you be at work?” Sherlock said, changing the subject. He turned back to the newsagent and bought a pack of twenty Richmonds.

“Even DIs have the occasional day off, you know,” Lestrade answered before paying for his newspaper.

“You’re on holiday?” Sherlock said whilst he ripped the film of the cigarette packet with more vehemence than was required. “No wonder the crime rate has fallen.”

Lestrade laughed. “Good one,” he replied. “Let me guess. There’s no case for you, you’re bored and you were about ready to rip off your own skin if you didn’t have a cigarette immediately.”

“Very good, you should try being a detective more often, Lestrade.”

Lestrade was not put off by Sherlock’s snarking. He never was, which was both a delight and a pain for Sherlock. He clapped him on the shoulder, breaking the ‘don’t touch me’ rule that Sherlock had made when they began working together; for some reason, it was a rule that Lestrade broke often.

“Come on, put those away and I’ll buy you a drink instead.”

It was only because he was bored that Sherlock accepted his offer. Why else would he accept it? Certainly not because he would enjoy spending more time with DI Lestrade than was strictly necessary. No.

They sat, Lestrade with a pint of lager, Sherlock with a coke and there was a moment of weighty silence between them until Lestrade finally cracked under the strain of it.

“So there’s really no case for you then?”

“Obviously,” Sherlock answered and sat back in his seat, arms folded across his chest.

“You should try getting a hobby.”

“I have a hobby.”

“I meant a hobby that isn’t also your job.”

Lestrade might have a point. Not that Sherlock was going to let him know that.

“You could try having a social life,” Lestrade suggested. Sherlock just looked at him blankly. “You know, meet people, have friends, maybe find girlfriend.”

“Women aren’t really my area.”

There was a strange look in Lestrade’s dark eyes that Sherlock really couldn’t place. It appeared to be a strange mix between amusement and apprehension.

“Well...a boyfriend, then.”

“And why would I do that?” The look of disbelief on Lestrade’s face showed him that the question had been a silly one, but really, Sherlock had no idea what was so silly about it.

“To have a life, to have some companionship, to have sex.” Lestrade’s tone reminded Sherlock of the one you would speak to a particularly stupid child in. “Maybe you wouldn’t get like this if you did.”

“If I had sex?”

“Yes...well, not just sex.”

“Is sex known to relieve boredom?”

Lestrade paused and took a very large drink from his pint. “Among other things,” he said at length.

Sherlock watched Lestrade shift uncomfortably in his chair. What a bizarre turn this conversation had taken.

And finally, a fully completed (OMG) tiny, little, mini ficlet.

House of Cards

“O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me?”

It isn’t the ‘done’ thing, drinking malt whiskey at three in the morning, but it must be done. Sleep was a long time in coming, and when it came it brought no rest or respite. But the burn of scotch and the soft haze it built around him was calming. It was an easy remedy and a pleasurable one, too.

The thudding of his heart was slowing now, after a second glass, and the light sheen of sweat on his brow was drying in the warm air. Nearly the summer, the recess, and he could leave London for a while, get away from the ghosts that seemed to skulk around every corner. Get away from the nightmares that only came to him here.

It wasn’t quiet. It was never quiet in London. There was a rumble of traffic even at this early hour, a heavier rumble of Lorries on their delivery rounds, rushing up and down the country whilst everyone slept on oblivious and uncaring. Everything arrives on time and nobody cares how it happened. Everything ticks over, just as it should and nobody bothers to ask questions.

That is the way of it. The world is run in the dark, in secret and as long as nothing goes wrong, no one ever really asks any questions. And perhaps it’s for the best, that the well meaning people in this world never really know what is going on. Complicity would only cause guilt and nobody wants to feel guilty.

And they just wouldn’t understand, anyway.

No, he doesn’t fear his naive electorate.

He was always tempted to wake his wife when the shadows from the past lurked over his bed. She was always a reasonable, supportive voice. But recently she had begun to look upon him with suspicion, as though, for the first time ever, she doubted him and his abilities, suspected maybe that he was not quite man enough for the task. He couldn’t bear that look and the cooing sound of false pity. She wanted him to be a man, strong and undaunted, and she would brook no less. Neither would he.

He wasn’t weak by any leap of the imagination and he knew that it was all for the best. That everything he had done, the sacrifices he had made, where all for a greater good. He knew that, and she knew that he knew that and occasionally she would kiss him with such fervent sincerity that he overflowed with love for her.

He wasn’t afraid of his loyal, adoring wife.

Who was he afraid of?

He saw the ghosts in the darkness, but they could not harm him. He heard screaming in his head, ringing out in the gentle London rumble.

He drains another glass of whiskey and knows that he shouldn’t drink anymore; not if he wants to sleep. Yet a few more could make him forget completely; a brief interlude. Such decisions.

He sits at the dining table and feels small; a solitary person at such a vast table. Through the window before him was the darkened view of St James’ Park and the Horseguard’s Parade. Through the window to the right of him was the back of the Westminster Offices that joined onto Downing Street.

After all these years he knew every part of Westminster. Every backstreet and every thoroughfare. He knows it just as well as he had known every inch of the Perthshire moors he walked as a child. There, a man could be alone with nature. Here, in the centre of London, he was just alone. Amidst the anonymous, a veritable ocean of faceless bureaucrats that bustle and toil and never see past their own petty pace.

Day to day.

Tomorrow and tomorrow.

‘Tomorrow’ doesn’t scare Francis Urquhart. The future is a challenge to be faced, to be taken by the balls. Our futures are not predestined; he believes that absolutely. Let the ill-informed, the Daily Mail readers, the hopelessly superstitious, worry about their horoscopes. Men of power make their own luck.

Another drink and then another. He’s had too much to sleep now; a few more and he’ll simply pass out cold. It wouldn’t do for the Prime Minister to pass out at his dining table, but he risks another anyway, because while his ears are ringing, he can’t hear her screaming.

What has he to fear? He doesn’t believe in ghosts, even though he could swear he has seen her with his own eyes. And Sarah. And Tim, God bless his dark soul.

Nothing from the future frightens him.

The past is another matter.

What does he fear? Many things; most of which he would never admit to anyone, not even Elizabeth. He fears the night and the silence. He fears Westminster. What Prime Minister fears Westminster? He has begun, slowly, to hate the hundred and one memories that each part of the city reminds him of. But he couldn’t ever let go of it now, because the smell and the feel of the place gets under your skin and makes you hopelessly addicted. They would have to drag his cold dead body from this house now that he has finally taken possession of it. He is prepared to do anything to stay Prime Minister.

And that is what he fears the most.

When he is sat by himself in the silence and the dark, there is only one murderer in the room. And he can hear her scream.

In the night, when he is alone, there is only one man left to fear.

“Then fly. What, from myself? Great reason why,
Lest I revenge? What, myself upon myself?” (Richard III, Act 5, Scene 3)

So, how has everyone been? :D
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