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fic: Kiss Chase

Title: Kiss Chase
Author: fengirl88
Fandom: BBC Sherlock
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Angst. 
Wordcount: ~ 730
Disclaimer:  They're still not mine.
Summary: In his dreams he runs after Sherlock, catches him and kisses him...
A/N: Set after the end of The Great Game. Spoilers for that and for A Study in Pink.
Written for the "type: emoticon" square on my kissbingo card.  The card is here.
Thanks to blooms84 for invaluable late-night conversation.

ETA: there is now a companion piece or sequel to this, Worse Things, and a third story in the sequence, First Light.
Kiss Chase

In his dreams he runs after Sherlock, catches him and kisses him...

They played Kiss Chase at John's primary school. Didn't play it at Sherlock's prep school, obviously. That sort of game has a whole different meaning in a single-sex educational establishment, and there would have been – to say the least – concerned and angry parents taking their sons away in droves.

John was never particularly keen on it, though he usually liked games that involved running. Chasing. Still does, or did. He'd liked chasing that taxi around London with Sherlock, liked that a lot, even if it was the most ridiculous thing he'd ever done. It was exhilarating, being high on adrenalin and risk and craziness again. Leaping across the gap between rooftops, sheer bloody madness, but worth the danger, no, the danger was the point. The danger and the chase.

The problem with Kiss Chase was what happened when you caught a girl because you'd run fast enough. Never had to worry about being caught, because none of the girls could run as fast as him. But you were supposed to want to catch them and kiss them, while they shrieked their disgust, because everyone knew kissing was sexy which meant dirty which meant bad. A girl at their school once called Harry you sexy bugger because Harry had said she was going to do a man's job when she grew up, just to show she could. Only the strong taboo against boys hitting girls had prevented John from flattening her for that insult, the worst they knew at eight years old.

He'd never felt comfortable, catching and kissing the girls, but he did what you're supposed to do, the way he went on doing for years. Went on doing till he met Sherlock and suddenly all the rules went flying through the air like a scattered pack of cards. He'd gone through the looking-glass and nothing made sense the way it used to. Whichever path he took brought him back to the same place: the madhouse that was 221b Baker Street and the self-styled high-functioning sociopath who could have him rushing across London at a moment's notice for no good reason.

When he'd kissed Sherlock, in the rubble of the swimming-pool, he hadn't known if either of them would survive. All he knew was that he couldn't die, couldn't let Sherlock die, without telling him, and there were no words left, they'd all been blown up when the bomb went off. The kiss tasted of blood and dust and chlorine; he couldn't taste anything else properly for days.

Back home in Baker Street, bodily injuries mending, they move around each other carefully, don't ask, don't tell. Don't ask about the latest nightmare or the shadows under his eyes or whether he remembers what happened in those last moments before the ambulance arrived. Don't tell him what you wanted to say right at that moment because those words are still buried in the rubble.

The pink phone sits on the coffee-table where Sherlock left it that night. They never mention it or move it. There's no way of telling whether the body at the swimming-pool was Moriarty's. If that even was Moriarty.

The voices echo in his head:

I will burn the heart out of you.
I have been reliably informed that I don't have one.
But we both know that's not quite true.

He thinks he knows what Moriarty meant, but it's safer not to find out. He seems to mind about safety now, in a way he used not to.

In his dreams he runs after Sherlock, through the alleys and back-doubles of London, catches him and kisses him, but the dream changes with the kiss, and they're back at the pool, with the snipers' red dots dancing over their bodies again.

Till the day the pink phone goes off. No pips this time, just a text:

“Why the colon and the asterisk?” Sherlock says.

“Emoticon,” John says. “It's a kiss.”

His stomach churns and he feels suddenly faint, as if he's back at the pool, knees giving way under him as he watches Sherlock pacing and shaking with John's gun in his hand.

They don't have the gun any more, but he wishes they did.

The game is on again, and this time he really doesn't want to play.


( 38 comments — Leave a comment )
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Nov. 30th, 2010 12:49 pm (UTC)
Oh, breathless... I particularly like the two Alice metaphors, and the words buried in the rubble, and the don't ask, don't tell.

I think at my primary school we called it "Catch a Girl, Kiss a Girl". It didn't seem to occur to anybody that equal opportunities were possible. Somehow I managed to transfer myself to the boys' team, which meant I didn't have to kiss or be kissed at all.
Nov. 30th, 2010 12:53 pm (UTC)
thank you very much! I could NOT think what to do with this prompt until I realized it had to be Moriarty and then I became very happy.
*admires your Alice icon*
I may have invented the equal opps version of Kiss Chase. my memories of primary school are thankfully blurred in some respects...
would not have thought of transferring myself to the boys' team - very sound idea!
re. the Alice metaphors: this poem was also in my mind though I deliberately didn't go and look it up until just now:


Edited at 2010-11-30 12:55 pm (UTC)
Nov. 30th, 2010 01:10 pm (UTC)
wow, I really love the fact that the title of your story suggests a completely different plot!

You are really capable of surprising your reader <- me !!!!
The shift from a innocent childhood memory to MORIARTY *-* ...I love that guy!!!!!!
* many many hugs*
Thanks you for writing and sharing this wonderful story
Nov. 30th, 2010 01:14 pm (UTC)
thank you very much! *beams*

I knew this one was going to be Moriarty but didn't know it was going to be Kiss Chase till I started writing it and this came out...
Nov. 30th, 2010 01:16 pm (UTC)
Lovely and fraught. Gorgeous imagery.
Nov. 30th, 2010 01:17 pm (UTC)
thank you very much! *glows*
Nov. 30th, 2010 01:59 pm (UTC)
I really liked this.
Nov. 30th, 2010 02:03 pm (UTC)
thank you! very glad you did.
Nov. 30th, 2010 02:04 pm (UTC)
I love this! I love the way it flips half way through and goes off in a much darker direction... and kiss chase is so clearly Moriaty's game - that combination of the sexual and the sinister.

We also played equal opportunities kiss chase, although to be honest, I remember it as everyone vs everyone else rather than any organised teams. I love the parallels you draw between the ways children interpret sexual language and the way Moriarty appropriates it.

Nov. 30th, 2010 02:10 pm (UTC)
squeee!! so pleased you like it. *beams*

it was one of those crazy late-night writing sessions where you don't see all the parallels and connections clearly until later, but I was pleased with that part of it...
Nov. 30th, 2010 02:22 pm (UTC)
Oh gosh, this was an awesome cool story! Thanks for sharing it! ♥
Nov. 30th, 2010 02:23 pm (UTC)
thank you very much! very pleased you enjoyed it.
Nov. 30th, 2010 02:58 pm (UTC)
very nice! thank you!
Nov. 30th, 2010 04:22 pm (UTC)
thank you! glad you enjoyed it.
Nov. 30th, 2010 06:01 pm (UTC)
Oh this is so well written - the change from sweet and romantic to dark and sinister is just brilliant!
Nov. 30th, 2010 07:14 pm (UTC)
thank you very much!
I wanted to write a kissbingo fic that wasn't fluffy, but didn't know it was going to propel me into post-TGG territory (which I have usually avoided).
really pleased you like it. *beams*
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 1st, 2010 12:42 am (UTC)
thank you very much - I'm glad it does!
Dec. 1st, 2010 04:46 am (UTC)
Wow, just wow.
...kiss that tasted of blood and dust and chlorine...
I wish I'd written that.
Ditto the whole thing.

You are going to continue with this, please?
Dec. 1st, 2010 10:22 am (UTC)
thank you very much! *glows*

this is the first time I've gone near The Great Game apart from the irresistible Sherlock sulking scene at the beginning, and I had thought of this as a oneshot - but you never know where the plotbunnies will strike next!

ETA: there is now a sequel to this, Worse Things.

Edited at 2010-12-18 10:41 pm (UTC)
Dec. 1st, 2010 04:53 am (UTC)
I love how much you say without saying it, and the amount of sheer impact you packed into so few words. Ouch, but in a good way.
Dec. 1st, 2010 10:23 am (UTC)
thank you very much! this comment makes me very happy.
Dec. 1st, 2010 08:44 am (UTC)
*shudder* Moriarty is such a creepy sexual predator!
Dec. 1st, 2010 10:25 am (UTC)
he is, isn't he? felt somehow that the emoticon was right for him...
Dec. 1st, 2010 08:52 am (UTC)
It's just brilliant how you weave it all together: the innocent school playground games, the pool, the frightening present. Definitely felt a shiver at the end. Fantastic. :)
Dec. 1st, 2010 10:26 am (UTC)
thank you very much! *glows*
I'm pleased it made you shiver...
Dec. 1st, 2010 10:20 am (UTC)
Oh fengirl...
this was so beautiful and yet so painful.
I think I'm going to wallow in this sadness for a bit.

*a not-life-threatening kiss*
Dec. 1st, 2010 10:27 am (UTC)
thank you very much! *kisses you back*

Dec. 3rd, 2010 03:32 am (UTC)
I'm sorry I didn't comment sooner. I fell behind with both my flist and fic. However, this story was definitely worth the wait. :-) The idea of an innocent children's game being played by Moriarty is quite chilling. I found it particularly spooky when Sherlock asks John what the emoticon symbolizes. The reactions from both characters is just perfect.
Dec. 3rd, 2010 10:09 am (UTC)
thank you very much! *blushes*
I now seem to have Moriarty lurking on the sidelines of my fic-brain, which is not necessarily a good thing...
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( 38 comments — Leave a comment )


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