otter_nanowrimo: (Babbling)
Happy Halloween, everybody! ^_^

787 words between midnight and about 2AM, which isn't bad. This beginning is gonna be the hardest, I think; as much as I'd like to turn off the inner editor entirely, if I don't think at least some about the way I'm reframing the canon, this whole section (which will likely be about a third of the book) will be totally useless to me.

Once I get past the Fall into the new stuff, it should flow a little better. God, I'm so excited for this fic. BTW, I'm not gonna cite quotes and such when I'm posting here; I'll cite it all in the finished version that gets posted publicly. For now, assume any clever turn of phrase is John Green's ^-^;;

Here are the words so far:

The way I figure it, everyone gets a miracle. Like, I will probably never be struck by lightning, or win a Nobel Prize, or become the dictator of a small nation in the Pacific Islands, or contract terminal ear cancer, or spontaneously combust. But if you consider all of the unlikely things together, at least one of them will probably happen to each of us. I could have seen it rain frogs. I could have stepped foot on Mars. I could have been eaten by a whale. I could have married the Queen or survived months at sea. But my miracle was different. My miracle was this: out of all the flats in all the streets in all of London, I ended up living with Sherlock Holmes.

After my "honorable discharge" from the RAMC, I was bleeding my pension into the hotel room I was staying in and seeing a government-appointed therapist for PTSD and "trust issues," writing nothing into my pointless blog and enduring, but barely, the pointlessness of my existence.

My evening ritual helped, bizarrely. I sat at the desk and meticulously clean my stolen Army-issue gun--not my own, of course, that would've been stupid. I'd taken it from a squadmate, an arse called Richardson, and filed off the serial numbers. Each night, I took the gun apart, cleaned each already-clean piece, put it back together, loaded it, and touched the muzzle to my temple, or my forehead, or my lips. I closed my eyes and wait to pull the trigger, or sometimes I stared at the gun. I thought about Harry, and Mum, and I thought about the day I'd just lived, and I thought about the day I might live tomorrow.

I still don't know why I never did pull that trigger.

I met Sherlock Holmes by chance on a day six weeks after my discharge. I woke that morning from another nightmare (though in truth, it was never the dreams I minded; in the dreams I had a purpose, and things were happening. It was the waking up that hurt), showered, and stared at my blog for ten minutes without writing anything. There was nothing to write about.

I went for a walk that day. I usually did, until the aching of my leg forced me back to the hotel. I couldn't afford cabs, so I always ended up walking to the Tube, and then standing more often than not, despite the cane.

It didn't matter where I walked. Today it was Russell Square Park, and later I would look back on that decision, made without knowing why, and thank whatever subconscious force was bringing me to Sherlock.

Because in Russell Square Park that day, I bumped into Mike Stamford, who stuck his foot in his mouth, bought me a coffee, and then suggested I find a flatshare.

"Who'd want me as a flatmate?" I asked, thinking of my nightly gun cleaning ritual and my screaming nightmares.

Mike laughed.

"What?" I demanded.

He just smiled. "Well, you're the second person to say that to me today."

It took me a second to process his meaning--that someone else needed somewhere to live. Christ, they couldn't be worse to live with than I would be. "Who's the first?"

The hallways at Barts were the same as always. Mike led me through the halls to the chemical laboratory, and as I limped into the room I took in how much it had changed. There was only one other person in the room.

"Bit different from my day," I commented, trying not to stare at the stranger but keeping him, out of habit, in my peripheral vision. He was tall, and slim almost to the point of gangliness but for the incredible grace and self-possession he carried himself with. Dark hair in curls that were either carelessly left to their own devices, or else fussed over for hours to achieve the perfect state of mussed nonchalance.

"You've no idea," Mike answered.

"Mike, can I borrow your phone?" the stranger cut in, not even looking up. His voice was low and flat, and I disliked him immediately. "There's no signal on mine."

"And what's wrong with the land line?" Mike asked, even though he was already patting his pockets.

"I prefer to text," he said, still not looking up.

"Sorry," Mike said. "It's in my coat."

"Er, here," I said, because I felt invisible enough without the two of them talking like I wasn't even there. "Use mine."

He looked up at me then, surprised, and said, "Oh. Thank you." His eyes were incredibly pale, almost alien in their colorlessness. He was gorgeous, otherworldly, and I almost missed it when he asked, "Afghanistan or Iraq?"


Yeah, I know, you've already seen A Study in Pink, you know how this goes. It'll get better!... or at least newer. ...yeah, I'm excited, but scared too.

ETA: Made this section public. May make other sections public if I'm particularly proud of them. Figure, bits and pieces here and there can't hurt. If anyone wants to see the rest, just leave a non-anon comment and I'll add you to the access list ^-^


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The Lap Otter

November 2013

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