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Sherlock: "Greater Love Hath No Man"

Sherlock: "Greater Love Hath No Man"

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Published by M.L. Zambrana
Post-Magnussen shooting, pre-Mycroft's meeting. Mycroft visits Sherlock in prison following the shooting of Charles Augustus Magnessen. This is a work of fan fiction. All rights to "Sherlock" belong to the BBC. Not for sale or distribution.
Post-Magnussen shooting, pre-Mycroft's meeting. Mycroft visits Sherlock in prison following the shooting of Charles Augustus Magnessen. This is a work of fan fiction. All rights to "Sherlock" belong to the BBC. Not for sale or distribution.

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Published by: M.L. Zambrana on Jan 14, 2014
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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01/31/2014

 
 
“Greater Love Hath No Man”
 
“Here be dragons.”
 Mycroft Holmes froze. The steady fall of his footsteps ceased as the familiar words echoed around the jail cell, and a slight tremble went through his lean body. He  pressed his lips together and tried to ignore the unexpected brush with his feelings--which he always kept so carefully in check, tucked away like the perfectly-folded, starched handkerchief in his breast pocket--then forced his feet to move forward again. The pause in his steps did not escape the attention of Sherlock Holmes, however. Lying down, back to the door and with his face to the wall, the detective picked up his head and gave it a slight tilt.
“Is that a moment of regret that I hear?” he asked in a monotone. “Those were your exact words, brother. Were they not?”
 With some effort, Sherlock managed to turn over on the narrow bunk, lower his  bare feet over the edge and pull himself upright into a sitting position--no mean feat, given the white jacket that restrained his arms and tied at the back. His dark hair hung
 
 
over his forehead in a messy cascade of curls, and his pale skin had become somewhat
 blotchy from the lack of proper circulation. The garment‟s uncomfortable warmth had
created a thin layer of sweat across his face and neck. Dark circles of sleeplessness lay  below his heavy-lidded eyes. Mycroft stopped walking and stood several feet away from him. He blinked.
“Sherlock,” he said in a soft yet stern voice. “At no point will I tolerate the
insinuation that you killed a man on my orders, or even at my suggestion. This was by
your hand and your hand only, and I had no connection to that action. I won‟t stand for it. I will not.”
 
“Oh, come now. I didn‟t kill a
man
,” Sherlock corrected him. The energetic tone of his brother„s voice, so different than the monosyllab
ic,
empty voice which he‟d used since being taken into custody, gave Mycroft mild relief, and he let his tense facial expression relaxed a bit. By contrast, Sherlock„s face took on
an angrier, more determined look.
“I killed the lowest life form that this planet has to offer,” he corrected him. “I
took the life of a creature that used a mind greater than my own to corrupt and to kill, using nothing more than rumor and suspicion. Charles Augustus Magnussen will cause no more harm now. And yes, you are off the hook. What I did, I did of my own free
will.” Sherlock let out a slight chuckle. “There. That should be enough of a legal statement to include in my case. I do hope you write it down on my behalf.” He squirmed slightly. “I‟d do it for you, but I‟m a bit engaged at the moment.”
 
Mycroft gave a sharp shake of his head. “You have crossed a line. This is no
time to be funny. Can you, for one moment, recognize the serious consequences of your
decision?”
 
“If anything, I could use a good joke right about now.” Sherlock sighed. “You speak as if I don‟t fully understand the nature of my crime,” he admonished his brother. “I do. In fact, I have sacrificed everything that I have ever worked for, every
relationship that I have ever engaged myself in, and all that I was taught about right and wrong. All to do what had to be done, and what no one else had the reserve to do. Not
even you.” He paused, then glared at Mycroft with flat gray eyes and suddenly leaned
forward with a jerk.
“Iceman!”
he hissed in a loud, vicious manner, his mouth an ugly,
downturned slash. It took all of Mycroft‟s reserve not to flinch as Sherlock fell his knees
on the floor, narrowing the distance between the two of them. But they did not touch. The word echoed cruelly off the harsh walls of the cell, and then silence
descended on the room. Mycroft shuddered again in a delayed reaction. Sherlock‟s
face cleared, to be replaced by an expression of satisfaction as he struggled to regain his seat.
“You felt fear there, didn‟t you?” he inquired.
 
“I did,” Mycroft replied with obvious discomfort. “Perhaps you can try and stop believing the cruel rumors of others, then. You are
not without emotion. This latest event with Magnussen should have proved that quite soundly.
I would be dead now, had you not given the order not to shoot.”
 
He drew one unsteady hand across his forehead and cleared his throat. “You
 
 
should know that your blood work came back clean. No trace of narcotics. No illegal
drugs whatsoever.”
 
“As I told you it would. Of course, you doubted me. As you always doubt me.” Sherlock glanced down at himself. “So is this the only way that you can help my
situation? To have the authorities question my mental state and restrain me for
observation?” “It bought you some time and put you safely in isolation. I should think you‟d be grateful for that.”
 
He hummed. “A straight jacket. I think that next Christmas, we should get
them for the whole family. A fitting gift. Although perhaps not for Fath
er. He‟s
always been more the jumper type. Usually something of a loud color and with an
animal on it.”
 
“He was into the „ugly sweater‟ phenomenon before anyone,” Mycroft agreed.
 Sherlock released a slight chuckle, then turned earnest eyes on Mycroft.
“But you know I‟ve not gone mad
--not temporarily or in some post-traumatic breakdown. This has not been a pleasant experience on my psyche, I grant you, but it has not broken me, either. Besides, it does not take a madman to kill. Perfect, stone-cold sanity works
much better.”
 
“Ask any murderer such as yourself, eh?”
 Sherlock gave the equivalent of a shrug through the jacket and looked away.
Mycroft paused.
 Are
 
you all right?”
 
Likewise, Sherlock paused. “No, I can‟t say that I am.” He stared pas
t Mycroft at the closed cell door, then his attention riveted on the metal bars over the windows.
“Magnussen haunts me. Not his face, not his voice, but his movements. His profile in
the light of the helicopter as I put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger. The feel of the recoil. The way his head moved as the bullet hit him. The way his useless body collapsed onto the patio. Again and again, I see him fall and feel the vibration of the gun
in my hand. He died too easily.”
 
“Far too easily tha
n he deserved, perhaps? In your opinion. Not mine, of
course.”
 
Sherlock gave a desperate glance up to his brother. “Mycroft, don‟t you get it? I understand firsthand how it‟s done now. Killing. How… how effortlessly I can snuff out a man‟s life. An
d it hurts me, Mycroft. Because do you know how quickly and easily it all came together for me? You saw it. You were there, in the helicopter,
telling us to stand away from him. That was when Magnussen said to me, „No chance
for you to be a hero this t
ime, Mr. Holmes.‟ Then your voice rang in my ears again, but I didn‟t hear „stand away‟ echoing out of a speaker across the grounds. I heard you and I, out front of our parent‟s cottage, smoking and talking casually of how I think of myself
as a dragonsl
ayer. And I knew then that I could finally embrace what I am, and use it.” He paused. “I am a highly
-functioning sociopath. That is what I am, and it is what I
have always been. It is. Can‟t you see it?”
 
“I see it, Sherlock,” he whispered. “And it terrifies me. It terrifies me… for you. For what you must have to live with from this day forward.”
 

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