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fic: Love Letters

Title: Love Letters
Author: fengirl88
Fandom: BBC Sherlock
Pairings/Characters: Anthea, Lestrade/Mycroft, John, Sherlock, OCs.
Rating: PG
Warnings: none
Wordcount: ~660
Disclaimer: They're still not mine.
Summary: They're not always on paper and some of them aren't even in words. But they're love letters just the same.
A/N: written for the love_bingo prompt square "love letter". Thanks to blooms84 for the beta.

Love Letters

1.

Anthea chooses the biggest Jiffy bag she can find, but she still has to cram everything in. Letters, cards, dozens of postcards with pictures of familiar places they'd visited together; the sum of two and a half years. She doesn't let herself read them, knows too many of them by heart. Passionate declarations, bitter reproaches, desperate apologies and pleas for forgiveness, promises of amendment.

It all comes to the same in the end. The skill of words used to seduce, to hurt, to bind. Enough now. Return to sender. She writes a short sentence on a slip of paper, shoves it in and seals the envelope. Takes it to the post, her heart hammering.

Later he'll say it was all just so much waste paper, it could have gone in the bin, what was the point in sending it back? She'll know then that her aim was true, feel a weary satisfaction in another job well done.

When she goes into the office the next day, Mycroft raises an eyebrow and she nods: case closed. No need for further action.

She's finally free of the man, and she'll cherish her freedom from now on, deflecting unsuitable advances with a vague smile.

Not so easily tempted any more. One crazy writer is enough to last anyone a lifetime.


***

2.

“Found these when I was clearing out my mum's house,” Lestrade says, holding out the sheaf of flower collages.

Mycroft puts on his specs for a proper look.

“Pretty,” he says. “Did she do them herself?”

“I think my dad must have done them,” Lestrade says.

The inscription on the back of each sheet says “ML from GS”. He doesn't know what the S stands for, but he assumes the G is the same as his own first name. The writing's a big scrawl, looks like someone who doesn't write much, maybe isn't too comfortable with writing. She'd never told him who his dad was, said they didn't need him and he was better off not knowing.

“Intricate,” Mycroft says. “It must have taken a long time to do all these.”

“There's supposed to be a language of flowers, isn't there?” Lestrade says. “It's all Greek to me.”

Mycroft goes over to the low bookcase by the window and pulls out a little hardback, red cloth binding, nice bit of gilding on the spine.

“This was my grandmother's,” he says.

“Keen on flowers?” Lestrade asks.

“Flowers, and codes,” Mycroft says, and there's a warmth in his voice Lestrade never hears when he's talking about his family.

They sit quietly together on the sofa, looking from the collages to the book and back again, reading a history that's only partly visible, as the afternoon turns into evening.


***

3.

In Afghanistan you longed for letters, longed for them and dreaded them, in case the next one would be the one that said it's all over, I can't wait any longer for you, I've met someone else. John saw what those did to the men who got them, how the fight went out of them for a while, how dangerous that could be.

His own letters home were stiff and uncommunicative, little more than going through the motions. But there was no way to write what it was like out there, and even if you could you wouldn't want to. Didn't want his parents or Harry to be exposed to that. He didn't have anyone else to write to, which he'd thought at the time was probably just as well. Nobody wants to be tied to a partner who's a wreck, after all; and he wouldn't have been much good to anyone, the shape he was in when he first came home.

People think it's all e-mails now, or texts: that nobody writes letters any more. But that's just a myth.

He stands on the Underground platform at Liverpool Street, waiting for a Circle Line train, with a letter to Sherlock burning a hole in his pocket.


This entry was originally posted at http://fengirl88.dreamwidth.org/41755.html where there are comment count unavailable comments.

Comments

( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
fengirl88
Apr. 24th, 2011 03:57 pm (UTC)
thank you very much! very glad you liked it.
darthhellokitty
Apr. 24th, 2011 04:04 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is very good. One negative, one positive, one...
fengirl88
Apr. 24th, 2011 04:11 pm (UTC)
thank you very much! I liked the idea of this trio and I'm glad you thought it worked.
shefa
Apr. 24th, 2011 04:11 pm (UTC)
*cries

You have such a gentle hand with these (as always). So delicate and beautifully crafted... all the meaning and emotion layered in like intricate paper cuts.

Words on paper. Paper shaped into emotion... Paper burning a hole in his pocket b/c of the emotion it conveys. GUH. Beautiful, beautiful work. Again. :)
fengirl88
Apr. 24th, 2011 04:30 pm (UTC)
thank you so much! *hugs you*

I'm very glad you liked this - the ending was almost the first thing I thought of.

kalypso_v
Apr. 24th, 2011 04:25 pm (UTC)
Ooh. Is John on the way back from Aldeburgh, by any chance? [Checks] Saxmundham to Liverpool Street?

Enjoyed Anthea disposing of that painful weight by post, too.
fengirl88
Apr. 24th, 2011 04:31 pm (UTC)
well spotted! yes, that's the journey he's on.

very glad you liked this - thank you.

Edited at 2011-04-24 04:50 pm (UTC)
madder_badder
Apr. 24th, 2011 05:36 pm (UTC)
Oh. This is so lovely. I just wanted to cry through the whole thing.
fengirl88
Apr. 24th, 2011 09:28 pm (UTC)
thank you very much - I'm very glad you liked it!
morganstuart
Apr. 24th, 2011 06:02 pm (UTC)
Fantastic. I especially loved the insights of the second one. Beautifully crafted, all the way through.
fengirl88
Apr. 24th, 2011 09:29 pm (UTC)
thank you very much! *beams* so glad you liked it and the second one in particular.
r34dinglight
Apr. 24th, 2011 06:28 pm (UTC)
had a moment so decided to take a quick peek as, well, love letters ... not really my area.

and then this.

wow!!! one after another, knocking the breath out of me.

fengirl88
Apr. 24th, 2011 09:30 pm (UTC)
thank you - I'm very pleased you liked this, especially as it's not really your area! *grins*
ginbitch
Apr. 24th, 2011 08:45 pm (UTC)
*GAH*

Utter bliss! Each one of these is so perfectly observed. And that last line, which takes a phrase that is almost a cliche and somehow turns it into a perfect moment in time. Beautifully understated!

<3 <3 <3
fengirl88
Apr. 24th, 2011 09:31 pm (UTC)
thank you very much! so glad you like these. *hugs*
ginbitch
Apr. 24th, 2011 08:46 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, and memming hard... sorry, forgot to say.
fengirl88
Apr. 24th, 2011 09:31 pm (UTC)
thank you! *beams*
shouldboverthis
Apr. 24th, 2011 11:09 pm (UTC)
oh, so lighthanded and lovely--all three.

And nice to take everyone outside of the circle that they are normally in (Anthea and someone else), Mycroft's grandmother, Lestrade's parents. So nice.

Edited at 2011-04-24 11:11 pm (UTC)
fengirl88
Apr. 24th, 2011 11:28 pm (UTC)
thank you very much - I'm glad you liked them and particularly that you liked the connections outside the usual circles! I enjoyed writing those.
archea2
Apr. 25th, 2011 08:17 am (UTC)
Oh this is both poignant (the hints at Lestrade's childhood) and sweet. I loved Mycroft's flicker of warmth when speaking of his grandmother - that the Holmes children got along with the elder generation better than with their own parents is close to my own headcanon.
fengirl88
Apr. 25th, 2011 10:08 am (UTC)
thank you very much - I'm glad you liked it, and those bits in particular. I enjoyed the idea of the two pasts coming together in the act of deciphering the flower collages.
weefreethings
Apr. 26th, 2011 03:02 am (UTC)
Fabulous stuff!
Brilliant & powerful little vignettes. Interesting that Anthea and Lestrade both have someone they can talk to about these personal dilemmas, and in both cases, that person is Mycroft. Poor John, on his own. :(
fengirl88
Apr. 26th, 2011 08:09 am (UTC)
Re: Fabulous stuff!
thank you very much! very glad you liked this. I think John will be all right eventually, although he's on his own at the moment...
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

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