morganstuart: (The Soul in Deep)
[personal profile] morganstuart
Apologies for my long silence! RL became very, very busy all of a sudden. \o/


Title: The Soul in Deep Distress
Author: Morgan Stuart
Fandom: Sherlock
Disclaimer: This universe does not belong to me; I'm just an appreciative visitor. I make no profit from this fan work.
Description: John Watson knows who is the true soldier of Baker Street.
Historian's Note: This takes place after events depicted in the second-series Sherlock episode "The Reichenbach Fall."
Author's Note: This is a 221b ficlet (221 words, the last beginning with "b").
Acknowledgment: This is for the wonderful [livejournal.com profile] freya_fsc, who asked if I might try another 221b story.
Warnings (Highlight to Read): Spoilers for "The Reichenbach Fall"



The therapy session proved even more useless than John had expected.

He climbed the stairs to his flat with leaden steps, like a man marching to his own execution and lacking the strength to care.

From his chair he gazed alternately inward and outward. Both views revealed a yawning chasm no act of will could possibly bridge or fill. A man might lose himself in that cold void. He could fall.

When she appeared in the doorway he started, wondering that he hadn’t heard her halting ascent. Her hip troubled her this time of day.

“I made scones.” She raised the tray like an offering. Her eyes reflected familiar grief, but the set of her lips was stubborn.

Not for the first time, he reminded himself who was the true soldier of Baker Street, who was the heroic old campaigner. He knew damn well it wasn’t Captain John Watson.

“Tea, Mrs Hudson?” He forced himself to rise and move without the tell-tale limp.

“That’s my job, dear.”

Relieving her of her burden, he said what they both knew: “No. Actually, it isn’t.”

He settled the tray on the table, pulled out a chair for her. “Please.”

Please.

Ignoring the chair, she opened her arms.

He leaned into her warmth with the trust of a child, pressing his cheek against her brow.


THE END

Vital Stats: Originally written in March 2012.

The title was inspired by the following verse:

"The soul perishes not of dark
But of cold.
The soul in deep distress
Seeks not light but warmth,
Not counsel but understanding."
-Author Unknown
Page 1 of 2 << [1] [2] >>

Date: 2012-03-13 05:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] litlover12.livejournal.com
Awwww. Lovely.

Date: 2012-03-14 12:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Oh, thank you so much!

Date: 2012-03-13 05:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] impishtubist.livejournal.com
Very sweet. Lovely.

Date: 2012-03-14 12:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
I'm so glad you liked this! Thank you so much, my dear.

Date: 2012-03-13 05:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maggie-conagher.livejournal.com
OH, I have missed you. I bookmarked you on AO3 last night and MISSED your writing, seeing it all laid out there.

I'm going to wear this 221B today like a vest.

Welcome back!

Date: 2012-03-14 12:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Oh, I've missed you, too! Thanks so much for your lovely and heartening words. I appreciate your kindness so much, my friend! Hugs to you!

Date: 2012-03-13 05:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sc010f.livejournal.com
Oh, oh... this is gorgeous!

And so absolutely true!

Missed you! Hope everything's ok...

Date: 2012-03-14 12:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Oh, thank you so much my friend! *hugs you* I really appreciate it! I've missed you, and I plan to catch up ASAP...

All's well, just ridiculously busy at the moment. I do see the light at the end of the tunnel, though.

Thanks again for your kind and supportive words!

Date: 2012-03-13 05:29 pm (UTC)
ext_28802: (Default)
From: [identity profile] belleferret.livejournal.com
Oh this makes me weep. John, ever the healer, rouses himself from his grief only to tend to another similarly grief-stricken.

Date: 2012-03-14 12:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Oh, my dear! *hugs you* I'm so glad you found this to be moving. Thanks as always for your beautiful and kind words. You're the best!

Date: 2012-03-13 05:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cookiefleck.livejournal.com
I like the idea of John and Mrs. Hudson pulling together. There's nothing like the warmth of an understanding friend, my friend.

Date: 2012-03-14 12:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
I'm so glad you like the idea of them being there for each other.

There's nothing like the warmth of an understanding friend, my friend.

Isn't that the truth! *hugs you* I'm grateful for you, my dear.

Date: 2012-03-13 05:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thesmallhobbit.livejournal.com
This is so lovely. You paint a great picture of Mrs Hudson comforting John.

Date: 2012-03-14 12:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Oh, thank you so much! I'm so pleased that you liked the idea of Mrs Hudson being there for John this way. I really appreciate your kind words.

Date: 2012-03-13 07:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kiharukitty.livejournal.com
Tender care for the broken hearted. How can grief be so sweet?

Lovely.

Date: 2012-03-14 12:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Aw, thank you so much! What a lovely thing to say. I appreciate it!

Date: 2012-03-13 07:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] med-cat.livejournal.com
Very well done :)

Date: 2012-03-14 12:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! I'm so happy you think so. I appreciate it.

Date: 2012-03-13 07:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mazaher.livejournal.com
(((sighs)))
Thank you.

Date: 2012-03-14 12:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Oh, thank you, my friend!

Date: 2012-03-13 07:49 pm (UTC)
keladry_lupin: (Sad (Little Amelie))
From: [personal profile] keladry_lupin
*sniffle* Gorgeous.

Date: 2012-03-14 12:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
I'm so happy you think so! Thank you so much.

Date: 2012-03-13 07:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] missyvortexdv.livejournal.com
I do enjoy seeing Mrs Hudson in fic and glad to see John appreciate her too.

Date: 2012-03-14 12:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
I'm so glad to hear this! Thank you so much for your kind words. Like you, I love Mrs Hudson, and I love seeing John appreciate her.

Date: 2012-03-13 08:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fitofpique.livejournal.com
Awww, so lovely!

Date: 2012-03-14 12:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
I'm so pleased that you think so! Thanks very much for this.

Date: 2012-03-13 09:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] marysutherland.livejournal.com
Really beautiful in its restraint; I love a reminder of Mrs Hudson's gentle toughness, and the contrast of cold and warmth.

Date: 2012-03-14 02:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Oh, thank you for this! I'm so glad Mrs Hudson's characterisation works here, and I'm really pleased the cold/warmth contract comes through and makes sense. I really appreciate your kind words.

Date: 2012-03-13 10:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] archea2.livejournal.com
"Old campaigner" is one of the best definitions I've read yet for Mrs H.!

Date: 2012-03-14 02:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Oh yay! I'm so glad this worked for you. :D

Date: 2012-03-13 11:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ascendant-angel.livejournal.com
That's lovely in a sad kind of way.

Date: 2012-03-14 02:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Oh, thank you so much!

Date: 2012-03-14 12:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] freya-fsc.livejournal.com
Oh! This is beautiful!
She claims all the time that she is not the housekeeper. Well, no, she isn't. She does way more than that. She takes care of the boys, and she protects them not by fighting but tea and scones.
I was reading another story about Mr. Hudson welcomed John home. Although in the end of The Fall he said that he couldn't go back to the flat at the moment, I would like to think that he eventually did. It's heartwarming to just think about the two of them comforting each other.
Sherlock, next Christmas, you should wear the antlers just to make her happy...

Date: 2012-03-14 02:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! I'm so tickled that you liked it.

You've put your finger on why I love Mrs Hudson so much. And I agree: John has to return to Baker Street sometime, and I love the idea of the two of them drawing strength from each other.

LOL, now I am picturing Sherlock in the antlers... :D

Thanks again for your kind words, my friend - and for your encouragement about writing another 221b story.
Edited Date: 2012-03-14 02:14 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-03-14 12:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cuddles-and-jam.livejournal.com
Oh, Mrs. Hudson. ♥

Date: 2012-03-14 02:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
She's an amazing one, isn't she? I do love her.

Thanks so much for reading.


Date: 2012-03-14 02:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] holyfant.livejournal.com
Sniff. Lovely.

Date: 2012-03-14 02:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Oh, I'm so happy you think so! Thank you.

Date: 2012-03-14 02:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladymac111.livejournal.com
How beautiful is this?? It's a lovely glimmer of hope in a Sherlock-less Baker Street that John and Mrs Hudson still have one another.

Date: 2012-03-14 02:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Aw, thank you so much! I'm delighted that you liked this and very pleased that it felt like hope. I really appreciate your kind words.

Date: 2012-03-14 07:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pipmer1.livejournal.com
Beautifully understated. I've been waiting for more from you. Thank you.

Date: 2012-03-14 02:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Oh, thank you! I really appreciate your kind and heartening feedback. It means a lot to me.

Date: 2012-03-14 02:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
:D Thank you!

Date: 2012-03-14 11:34 am (UTC)
ext_442363: (sherlock)
From: [identity profile] belphegor1982.livejournal.com
Are you British? I know it sounds a silly question, but in all your drabbles and stories you handle the emotional parts with a self-restraint and a minimalistic approach in both narration and dialogue that works quite well and is all the more striking for it. So I wonder if you naturally come by examples of the Stiff Upper Lip syndrome in your everyday life, or if you're just naturally talented at it :o]

Seriously, this was short, painful, lovely, and quite heart-warming in all senses of the word. The verse you use at the end to illustrate the story really underline the emotional core of the story, those two lonely souls who seek warmth and (thankfully) draw it form each other. Grief does feel cold, doesn't it? It leaves you shivering and feeling like you're standing on an empty, lonely plain, and it's raining, and the others seem very far away. Thank goodness for Mrs Hudson, tea, and the giving of comfort when you're in need of it :o)

P.S.: I find this poem as intriguing as profound. Where did you come across it?

Date: 2012-03-14 02:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
First of all, I take the fact you asked if I'm British as quite a compliment, so thank you! I've spent some time in England, especially London, but I'm not British. I am, however, both ethnically and (more to the point) culturally, on both sides of my family, what I call "CheroCelt" - that is, a regional American blend of Cherokee and Scottish heritages. I mention this because I often get the impression that Cherokee culture, in particular, shares a kind of formal restraint with the Stiff Upper Lip phenomenon among the British, a keen sense of erring on the side of brevity and privacy, of keeping internal monologues... well, decidedly internal. ;) So it may be that there's a resonance there.

At any rate, I'm delighted by your kind words about my minimalistic approach, and I'm thrilled that my portrayal of emotional sequences feels authentic to you. It means a great deal to me, and I'm most grateful to you for this feedback.

I'm so tickled that this worked for you and seemed properly moving.

Grief does feel cold, doesn't it? It leaves you shivering and feeling like you're standing on an empty, lonely plain, and it's raining, and the others seem very far away. Thank goodness for Mrs Hudson, tea, and the giving of comfort when you're in need of it :o)

Yes! Oh, well said, indeed.

As for the poem, I found it in an old hard-copy Star Trek fanzine years ago (Tantalus, and the story was "Not Light But Warmth" by Mary Rottler and Lynn Syck), and I jotted it down in order to remember it. I, too, find it to be intriguing and profound. It was attributed to "Author Unknown" in the 'zine, and I haven't found the quote online (except in a fanfic context) in previous searches. I wish I knew more about it!

Thanks again for your lovely comments. I appreciate them very much!
Edited Date: 2012-03-14 04:55 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-03-16 06:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] amedia.livejournal.com
*wibbles*

I finally finished watching "The Reichenbach Fall" this morning because I'm going to be on a Sherlock panel at REVELcon--I don't know when the panel is but the con begins tomorrow and I actually left to drive here this afternoon!

It wasn't until I was casually glancing through my flist and saw this story that I suddenly realized This means I can read Morgan Stuart's fic again!!!! I'd been avoiding all Season 2 fic until I finished watching all three episodes. Getting a complete copy of the third ep had been such a carnival of errors (on my part) that I had forgotten all the loveliness that would result from getting done!!! *happy dance*

This line: He could fall. was such an excellent reminder of the episode, and the metaphorical and literals way in which it used the idea of falling.

And then the wonderfulness of the character-revealing details! Mrs. Hudson's hip, for examples, and her stubbornness in offering comfort whether John admits to needing it or not the scones. And this line: Ignoring the chair, she opened her arms. just made me wibble uncontrollably.

For a moment, I was afraid John would turn her down, but it's a victory to Mrs. Hudson that he doesn't, and an entirely plausible one for her to win.

Date: 2012-03-21 03:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Oh, you're so kind! :D Thank you! While I've posted more substantive "replies" of sorts to "The Reichenbach Fall" (and the second series as a whole) than this, I'm really thrilled that you enjoyed this wee tiny ficlet, despite its brevity.

(Wasn't that episode incredible? I think I forgot to breathe several times.)

Your encouraging words have put a huge grin on my face. I'm really tickled that the "He could fall" worked properly as an allusion to the episode, and I'm delighted that you liked Mrs Hudson in all of her stubbornness. I'm so pleased that you think it's plausible she'd win this round, and John would accept her comfort.

Thank you, my friend. You're the best! And welcome back from convention-land! :D

Date: 2012-03-17 11:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lefaym.livejournal.com
Oh! Lovely!

Date: 2012-03-21 03:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! I really appreciate it.
Edited Date: 2012-03-21 03:29 pm (UTC)
Page 1 of 2 << [1] [2] >>

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morganstuart
"To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty."
- H.P. Lovecraft, 1921

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