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fic: Absinthe

Title: Absinthe
Author: fengirl88
Fandom: BBC Sherlock
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Rating: R
Warnings/Contains: alcohol, violence, UST
Wordcount: 1111
Disclaimer: They're still not mine.
Summary: “You do know absinthism's a myth, don't you?” John says, though Sherlock's not listening. “Just common-or-garden alcoholism with a fancy name. Nothing romantic about that.”
A/N: Written for misanthropyray 's request for dark!Sherlock/John at my writing meme.  This is not what she means by dark!Sherlock, as anyone who has read her exceptionally dark fic (NB her Warnings and Author's Notes for that one) will know. 


The present is typical of Harry. Not just alcohol, which would be bad enough, God knows, but this. He looks at the label – 65% alcohol, for fuck's sake – and blinks in disbelief. Just his luck that he was out when Harry came round, and that Sherlock is fascinated.

“You do know absinthism's a myth, don't you?” John says, though Sherlock's not listening. “Just common-or-garden alcoholism with a fancy name. Nothing romantic about that.”

He can understand the appeal of this stuff in theory: he's read about the link to Baudelaire, Verlaine and Rimbaud, Wilde, Van Gogh, Crowley, seen those nineteenth-century French paintings of absinthe drinkers who'd pawn their souls if anyone would buy them, just to go on being drunk beyond their wildest imaginings or hopes, the misery of ordinary life blotted out for a few short hours. Read about the ban, too, and its supposed origins in that multiple murder and suicide case. Of course Sherlock's going to love it.

And then there's the chemistry of it, the transformation: clear green liquid clouding slowly as ice-water drips through the sugar cube on top of the absinthe spoon. (Yes, there's a special spoon for it and now they have one: Harry's presents are nothing if not complete.) It's called the louche, Sherlock told him. Well, that figures. The line of clear green at the top of the swirling cloudy liquid: la fée verte, the green fairy.

He glares at the two glasses. “I'm not drinking that.”

Sherlock raises his eyebrows.

“No, I suppose it is a bit too adventurous for you,” he says nastily.

Fucking hell, he hasn't even tasted it yet and already he's gone toxic. It's that mood John's coming to dread, where Sherlock lashes out for no apparent reason. Happening a lot recently.

“You tell yourself that, if it makes you feel better,” John says. “Oddly enough, I'm quite attached to my liver, not to mention my brain.”

Sherlock smirks unpleasantly.

“Don't bother,” John says. “I know what you're going to say before you start. But it's my brain, and I'm allowed to mind about it.”

Sherlock mutters something that sounds like fucking killjoy. He holds his glass up to the light, squinting at John through the cloudy liquid. Then he takes a drink and promptly chokes.

John tries not to laugh, but doesn't quite manage it.

“If you're not going to join me,” Sherlock says, “could you kindly piss off and leave me in peace?”

Fine,” John says, losing his temper. “Good. Drink yourself to death, you bloody idiot. See if I care.”

He knows he's making a fool of himself but he can't stay and watch this. He's seen Harry get viciously tight too often. He slams out of the flat and goes for a very long walk.

Sherlock is obviously drunk when he gets back. His eyes are glittering, cheekbones flushed. He's sprawled on the sofa playing with a cigarette lighter. No cigarettes in evidence but that's a very small mercy right now. His dressing-gown's gaping open and he's not wearing anything underneath.

“Cover yourself up, for God's sake,” John says, flushing at the sight of Sherlock's half-hard cock.

“Oh, don't be such a boring little prude,” Sherlock says lazily. “If you don't like what you see, look the other way. You're good at that.”

John's stomach knots; he's not sure what Sherlock means but he doesn't like the sound of it.

“And anyway,” Sherlock says, “you do like it, don't you? For all you pretend to be so upright and moral. I've seen the way you stare when you think I'm not looking.”

It's not true. It absolutely is not true. John opens his mouth to say so but nothing comes out. Oh great, Watson, just stand there gaping, why don't you?

“No wonder you couldn't make it work with Sarah,” Sherlock says. “Kinder to tell her, don't you think? She's probably agonizing about being rubbish in bed, when all the time – ”

“Stand up!” John snaps.

“Oh, really,” Sherlock says, bored. “What, you're not going to hit me when I'm lying down?”

John breathes hard, clenching his fists, and waits for his vision to clear.

Sherlock gets up off the sofa and leans close to him, almost touching. John can feel the heat coming off him.

“You don't know what you want, do you?” Sherlock murmurs. “Don't know whether you want to beat the shit out of me or fuck me senseless. Maybe it's both, have you thought of that, I bet you have, bet you think about it at night when you touch yourself, don't you?”

John grabs him and drags him into the kitchen, so furious he doesn't think what it's doing to the muscles in his bad shoulder. He'll feel it later all right.

Sherlock's laughing, taunting him, something about fucking on the kitchen table or up against the fridge, life with you is just one long cliché, isn't it?, and John can feel his scalp crawling. He slams Sherlock back against the sink and kisses him, a hard bruising kiss that tastes of rage and metal and absinthe. There's a heat in his belly and his groin and he wants this, wants to fuck Sherlock hard, hurt him, do bad things to him. He's this close, and then he sees the bottle and he's suddenly frozen, never understood so clearly before why they call it stone cold sober.

He grabs Sherlock by the hair, twists him round and pushes his head under the cold tap, turning the water full on. Sherlock yells and struggles and kicks but John is relentless, holding him there till the dark curls are sodden and the blue silk blotched and spattered with water stains. He's choking, cursing, uttering threats of dire revenge, and John's under no illusions: Sherlock will make him regret this. But right now the tension's broken and John's laughing with the relief of it.

“You're going to have to come up with something better than that if you want to get me into bed, you tosser,” he says.

“I hate you,” Sherlock mutters.

“No, you don't,” John says. That would be much too straightforward.

He'll give it a week, two at the most, and then he'll start looking for somewhere else to live. Can't be doing with this.

“I'm going to bed,” he says.

“Better lock your door,” Sherlock says, contemptuously. “Protect your maidenly virtue from intruders.”

“Don't worry about me,” John says. “I can take care of myself.”

He thinks it's true, too.

When he wakes up tied to the bed at 3 a.m. to find Sherlock standing over him, thoughtfully fingering that bloody riding crop, he's not so sure.


( 46 comments — Leave a comment )
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Mar. 27th, 2011 04:18 pm (UTC)
Sherlock really is a tosser... and who's he calling a cliché? Whereas John remains a wonder, and pushing Sherlock under the cold tap is a stroke of brilliance. I've no idea how he's going to win the next round, but I'm perfectly confident that he will.
Mar. 27th, 2011 04:35 pm (UTC)
thank you - yes, he knows no shame, does he? I hope you are right about the next round...
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 27th, 2011 04:48 pm (UTC)
thank you very much - nasty!drunk!Sherlock seems to be the closest I can get to dark!Sherlock at the moment (maybe because of making him suffer too much in my WIP). very glad you enjoyed it.

Edited at 2011-03-27 04:48 pm (UTC)
Mar. 27th, 2011 05:04 pm (UTC)
Aaaaahhhhh the end! The end!

I love rude Sherlock. He's the Sherlock that everyone loves to hate and hates to love.
Thank you <3
Mar. 27th, 2011 05:15 pm (UTC)
thank you! I'm very pleased you liked it. *beams*
Mar. 27th, 2011 05:07 pm (UTC)
Ha! You've packed SO much in such a short piece--I was getting cross-eyed with all the delicious tension, and the filthy mouth on that man, and John's thought process, and the kiss, and the cold water...Blimey. Well done!
My favourite line here is: “If you don't like what you see, look the other way. You're good at that.”
Mar. 27th, 2011 05:16 pm (UTC)
thank you very much - and for letting me know what you enjoyed particularly. very pleased that you did!
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 27th, 2011 05:17 pm (UTC)
thank you - very glad you liked it. and thank you for the correction about the alcohol, which I'll fix now. as you may have guessed, my knowledge of such things is sketchy...
Mar. 27th, 2011 05:20 pm (UTC)
I LOVE John in this. LOVE. “You're going to have to come up with something better than that if you want to get me into bed, you tosser,” he says.

Oh, brilliant John. Your description of absinthe is lovely, too. And of course Sherlock is fascinated... and a lousy drunk.
Mar. 27th, 2011 05:53 pm (UTC)
thank you very much! *beams*
I love your fics, so I'm very pleased you liked this.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 27th, 2011 06:03 pm (UTC)
thank you very much - glad you enjoyed it!
Mar. 27th, 2011 06:42 pm (UTC)
wow. Nastydrunk Sherlock. Cool-headed John. and the last image you left. Can not wait for the NEXT round.
mush ha ha ha ha!!
5 stars.
Mar. 27th, 2011 07:27 pm (UTC)
thank you very much! *beams* very glad you enjoyed it.
(no subject) - sabrinaphynn - Mar. 27th, 2011 10:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 27th, 2011 07:17 pm (UTC)
This. Right here. This is exactly why the Sherlock in my headcanon doesn't drink -- he strikes me as the sort to be a very mean drunk.

I always enjoy a bit of dark!Sherlock, though. This was lovely.
Mar. 27th, 2011 07:28 pm (UTC)
thank you - I think he would be as well! very glad you enjoyed it.
Mar. 27th, 2011 07:30 pm (UTC)
Sherlock being a bad/mad drunk so works, doesn't it? Love how it makes for such good snarky UST.Love that John was up for the challenge.

oh.my.yes.round two should be even more fun :)
Mar. 27th, 2011 07:53 pm (UTC)
thank you very much - glad you enjoyed it! I feel that is the sort of drunk he'd be, but also that John would find a way to deal with him. *grins*
Mar. 27th, 2011 07:53 pm (UTC)
YAY! Sherlock, John, absinthe, and darkness: four of my favorite things!

(Too bad this fic didn't exist a few nights ago, when I was reading fic as I had pancakes and absinthe for dinner.)

Mar. 27th, 2011 07:55 pm (UTC)
thank you very much! *beams*

I'm very glad to have combined four of your favourite things in one fic.

pancakes and absinthe? interesting...
Mar. 27th, 2011 08:19 pm (UTC)
It was...delicious. You know how when you're a kid you're like, *when I grow up and live on my own, I can have Lucky Charms and chocolate bars for dinner and no one can stop me*?

And then you grow up and live on your own, and you're like, *crap, I have to pay all these bills, and mop my own floors, and buy my own groceries*

But then you decide to have pancakes and absinthe for dinner, and you're like, *Heck yeah, I'm an adult!*
Mar. 27th, 2011 08:43 pm (UTC)
I like this definition of adulthood. *grins* not sure what my equivalent of pancakes and absinthe would be but I'll give it some thought...
Mar. 27th, 2011 08:38 pm (UTC)
Your Sherlock is a perfect bastard, of course John is more amazing to make up for it.
Thanks. ^_^
Mar. 27th, 2011 08:42 pm (UTC)
thank you very much - I'm glad you thought so! *grins*
Mar. 27th, 2011 09:04 pm (UTC)
Delicious, I love the Myths of Absinthe. From New Orleans, and all, where the mythology still thrives in the touristy parts. :D
Mar. 27th, 2011 09:36 pm (UTC)
thank you - very glad you enjoyed it! I imagine New Orleans has its own variations on the myths...
Mar. 27th, 2011 09:21 pm (UTC)
Nasty drunk Sherlock is nasty! I love it. :) Great tension, great fic!
Mar. 27th, 2011 09:38 pm (UTC)
thank you - I'm very glad you liked it! and yes, given how nasty he can be when he's sober, I think he'd make a pretty unpleasant drunk...
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( 46 comments — Leave a comment )


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