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fic: Invasion

Title: Invasion
Author: fengirl88
Fandom: BBC Sherlock
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Rating: R for themes
Warnings: implied past sexual abuse, implied incest, traumatic memory
Disclaimer: They're still not mine.
Summary: John accidentally triggers a traumatic memory for Sherlock.
A/N: This is the first fic I've written that I felt really needed warnings; please read them.
Written for the prompt square "body: belly" on my kissbingo card; the card is here.
Profound thanks to kalypso_v , ginbitch and blooms84 for their willingness to read and comment on this one.


They're in bed when it happens, which makes it worse. This is the private place, the place where they show each other the faces nobody else sees. The vulnerable ones. The unabashedly silly ones. The ones that look as if they've been painted by Picasso because they're lying too close to each other to focus. The ones that go beyond even Sherlock's ecstasy at the moment of deduction. Familiar and astonishing; completely known and transformed almost beyond recognition.

It could easily have happened somewhere else. God knows they've spent enough time playing and teasing and fucking on the sofa, for a start, and it wouldn't have felt like such an invasion there, because the sitting-room isn't the same.

Not that he really knows how it would have felt there.

All he knows is that it's happening here. The space that's just theirs has been ripped apart by something Sherlock can't control and John can't understand.

“Sherlock,” he says urgently, “Sherlock.”

But Sherlock doesn't seem to hear him. He's still lying there frozen and blank-faced, staring at the ceiling.

It had started off light-hearted and playful, one of those times when sex can be strung out for hours and there's no hurry. John loves these leisurely sessions almost more than the can't-wait-any-longer wild fucking the minute they're through the front door.

Right now he can't imagine how they're going to have either of those things again.

It began with him tracing slow circles on Sherlock's belly, first with his fingers and then with his tongue, Sherlock making little noises of pleasure in the back of his throat, his hips bucking up towards John's mouth. John pressing his lips repeatedly against Sherlock's ridiculously flat stomach, kissing and sucking him till he groaned and then pulling away again. Sherlock cursing, tugging at his hair and pulling him down again. John laughing with his mouth on Sherlock's belly as the kiss turned into blowing a raspberry against Sherlock's skin.

He'd expected Sherlock to laugh but instead he'd gone rigid, hardly even seeming to breathe. John raised his head, surprised. One look at Sherlock's face was enough.

“What is it, Sherlock?” John asked. “What's wrong?”

I don't want to.”

The voice made John's skin crawl, because it wasn't Sherlock's. Or wasn't Sherlock's now: this was a higher voice, and a much younger one. Something both frightened and insistent in the tone.

“Sherlock, you know we don't – you don't – have to do anything you don't want to,” John said, trying not to panic.

“I don't want to,” Sherlock said again, as if John hadn't spoken. “Leave me alone or I'll tell.”

“Sherlock,” John said, louder than before. “Sherlock, look at me.”

But Sherlock said nothing.

And nothing.

Staring blankly at the ceiling. Lying completely still.

The voice is an adolescent's, at most, John thinks. Might even be younger. The words are a child's.

John's mind can scarcely hold the images forcing their way into it. He tells himself there are other possibilities, plenty of them. But he's pretty sure that only applies to who, not what. The what is – inescapably, isn't it? – something sexual. Sexual and unwanted, done to Sherlock. And that action, the one he'd unwittingly repeated, was part of it. Or a prelude to it.

As for who... He tells himself again that there are plenty of other possibilities. And God knows he doesn't want to believe this one. But he can't get that other voice out of his head, the one that says He's always been so resentful. The one that talks about the feud between them as simply childish.

He really hopes he's got this wrong, because otherwise he's not sure what he's going to do to Mycroft Holmes.

But that's not the most important thing right now. Sherlock is.

Whatever it is that's happened, he will find a way to reach Sherlock somehow.

“Sherlock,” he says again, desperately. “Sherlock, it's John.”

Sherlock shudders violently and then is still again. He goes on staring at the ceiling but there's a flicker of something in his eyes, just a faint one.

John wants so much to believe that it's a sign of recognition. He can't be sure, though. And touching Sherlock really doesn't seem like a good idea, not just now.

He's a stubborn man, and a patient one. He doesn't know how long this state will last. But he'll go on trying to get through to Sherlock, for as long as it takes. He won't let anyone or anything, past, present or future, take Sherlock away from him.

ETA: this is now the first part of a complete series  (Invasion; Reconnaissance; Reveille Ambush; Intelligence; Mosaic; Minefield; Incendiary; Ceasefire)


( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 21st, 2011 10:02 pm (UTC)
thank you very much for commenting - there will be more stories in this sequence (one is complete and another nearly so).

I don't know what to say about Mycroft at this point, except that this story obviously takes place in a different fictional universe from the world of the Mystrade stories. I can't imagine that Mycroft as an abuser, and I don't think John would either.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 21st, 2011 10:03 pm (UTC)
thank you very much. I have never had such trepidation about posting a fic, so I'm very grateful that you responded to it in this way.
Jan. 21st, 2011 10:16 pm (UTC)
Oh this is chilling. Beautifully written, but so fucking chilling.

Will you be writing more of this? I want to know how and why and who... because the things my mind is coming up with are not happy things.
Jan. 21st, 2011 10:43 pm (UTC)
thank you very much for this. I have finished a sequel and am working on a third story in this sequence. I think the things my mind is coming up with are not happy things either, and I was very uncertain about posting this at all, so I'm really grateful for your comment.
Jan. 21st, 2011 10:59 pm (UTC)
I find stories like this very hard to comment on, because my initial response is to tell the author how much I enjoyed reading the story. I think that would be wrong with a piece like this. Enjoyment is totally the wrong word. It was very well written and it touched my emotions deeply, and because of that it was hard to read. A beautiful bit of literature, but very hard to read.

Thank you for posting it. I am very grateful.
Jan. 21st, 2011 11:11 pm (UTC)
thank you so much - I don't know what to say except that I really appreciate your comment.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 21st, 2011 10:48 pm (UTC)
thank you so much for this wonderful response - and thank you again for all your encouragement and support in continuing with this.

*hugs you gratefully*
Jan. 22nd, 2011 03:29 am (UTC)
I agree with crocodile_eat_u about this fic being chilling. I think part of the reason is that it starts off being so happy and light-hearted. Even the incident that triggers it is something innocent -- the kind of gesture a parent might make to a child. Sherlock's flashback is frightening and totally believable, while John's feeling of helplessness is almost tangible.
Jan. 22nd, 2011 11:18 am (UTC)
thank you very much - this comment pleases me a lot. I wasn't sure how people would feel about the light-heartedness in this context, but what you say about the innocent gesture is spot on. I found it disturbing when the idea came to me, and the contrast between the playfulness and the horror was an important part of that. I wasn't sure if I would write this fic at all, but it refused to go away once I'd thought of it.
Jan. 22nd, 2011 05:31 am (UTC)
“I don't want to.”
Goosebumps just flooded over me at that.
If the intended molester (hate to use this word but can't think of another one) weren't Mycroft I'd be much more ready to sympathize and feel protective.
But I understand that this is a different universe just like you've explained.
Jan. 22nd, 2011 11:22 am (UTC)
thank you for this - I'm grateful to you for commenting.

I have worried a lot about reactions to this fic from people who love Mycroft. I never expected to get as fond of him as I have from reading so many lovely Mystrade fics, or from marysutherland's Mycroft/John pairing. so I've felt uncomfortable about putting him in this role, even though I tell myself firmly that this is a completely different Mycroft from that one.
Jan. 22nd, 2011 02:48 pm (UTC)
Chilling... a bit heartbreaking, and with all my heart I wish it wasn't Mycroft... for his sake, or John's, because I cannot think of what would happen then.
A truly captivating story, and if there's more, I'll be here to read them. (With chocolate for immediate cheering up to share)
Jan. 22nd, 2011 02:54 pm (UTC)
thank you very much - there should be more at some point (a second one before the end of this month at any rate). it's going to be hard to work this through, but I'm very grateful for your encouragement.

(and the promise of chocolate...)
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 22nd, 2011 03:36 pm (UTC)
I am more grateful than I can say for this response - thank you so much. knowing there are people who read my work who have had this sort of experience is one of the things that made me really hesitant about posting this at all. so to get this from you is just amazing - I would say it's a great relief but it feels a lot stronger than that.

thank you again for being willing to read it and for saying what you said; it means a lot to me.
Jan. 24th, 2011 01:52 am (UTC)
This is heartbreaking, and very emotional. I am not a survivor, so I can't speak to what a survivor goes through, but I have worked with survivors in a professional setting, and I have seen that our bodies (humans in general) have memories and reactions that we aren't always aware of, and as John notes, we have no control over. I am glad that Sherlock has John, who obviously wants the best for him. <3

Jan. 24th, 2011 02:37 am (UTC)
thank you so much for this. I am not a survivor either, and I have been very uncertain about this fic, so I'm very grateful for your comment.
Feb. 27th, 2011 09:54 am (UTC)
My heart is literally breaking right now.

*runs to read sequel*
Feb. 27th, 2011 12:58 pm (UTC)
thank you very much for commenting - I'm really grateful for the encouragement.
Mar. 28th, 2011 03:48 am (UTC)
I was looking through your LJ this afternoon to see if you'd written anything lately that I missed - to my astonishment, I think I missed a SERIES. I'd have remembered this one...

Amazing, heartbreaking, intriguing - going on to the next part IMMEDIATELY.
Mar. 28th, 2011 09:43 am (UTC)
thank you very much - I never posted this to the comms because I felt so uncertain about it, and because it was being so hard to see the shape of the work in progress. I think I will post it more widely when it's complete, which I hope it will be soon, but for now I'm keeping it to the journal.
Mar. 29th, 2011 02:31 am (UTC)
I've added you to my flist so I don't miss anything else!
Mar. 29th, 2011 02:41 am (UTC)
thank you! I have reciprocated...
Apr. 2nd, 2011 03:16 am (UTC)
I actually came to find your fic from AO3. I really do love this story and this series. That may sound a bit odd, given the subject matter. I was a bit hesitant about reading it, because I don't like seeing authors treat this subject lightly, when I know it isn't ever light or easy. But your handling of it is beautiful and honest. Thank you for sharing this, and for having the courage to attempt such a difficult subject.
Apr. 2nd, 2011 11:07 am (UTC)
thank you very much - this comment pleases me enormously. I was very taken aback when the thought of this came to me, and I resisted writing it at first, but I couldn't get the idea out of my head. I assumed this would be a oneshot, but found myself continuing it.

it has been a difficult story and series to write, because of the subject matter, but I'm very grateful for the responses I've had. the penultimate part should be up soon, and I'm currently wrestling with what should be the final story.
Jun. 8th, 2011 12:00 am (UTC)
Hi there, I am also here from AO3, where you beta-ed some really great stories, and so I became curious and found you here. I clicked on this story more or less randomly and decided to give it a go, despite of the warnings, prepared to close the tab immediately if I did not like it. But as far as this, you have not only handled this topic appropriately, but, in want for a better word, beautifully. Please do not get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing beautiful about child abuse (I think we all agree on that), but the text reached out to me and touched me, so the beauty lies in the connection, or in the resonance it creates. Thanks for posting.
Jun. 8th, 2011 09:37 am (UTC)
thank you so much - I am really touched and pleased by this comment. I'm very glad you decided to give the story a go, and that you wanted to stay with it.
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )


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