[Fic] An Apple A Day Keeps the Limping Doctor Away: The Yellow Farce (Dal Segno)

Series Title: An Apple A Day Keeps the Limping Doctor Away
Title: The Yellow Farce: Dal Segno
Status: 3/7
Fandom: Sherlock/A Study in Emerald
Word Count: 3420ish
Characters: John Watson, Sherlock Holmes
Warnings: A bit of Lovecraftian horror and a spot of murder.
Chapter Summary: John has wondered, and now he asks.

Dal Segno

"Why, Sherlock?" John finally asks. This is their third job together now, and yet Sherlock has said nothing about his motives for treason, even though he had long deduced John's. "Why are you doing this? Why do you do this?" he asks, gesturing around at the entirety of the flat, surfaces covered with items that would get them in the worst kind of trouble were anyone to see it.  "And don't say 'the Work'.  That's not what got you started, not with this. Even I can see outsmarting everyone and risking your neck isn't what got you started down this path. There are a lot of ways to be smarter than everyone and chase death to prove it. So why?"

It's never made sense to John. Sherlock has never given any indication he cares at all about other people's suffering or human rights or even basic politics, all the things that normally drive members of the Resistance. And there are so many puzzles in the world (even if it's dangerous to be seen as smart enough to solve them sometimes, and really, John thinks the danger alone would be enough to lure Sherlock over to even the side of the Royals - match wits against them that way and see how long until someone wins, a game he wonders if Mycroft plays); he can't see how this is the only one that Sherlock deigns to solve.

There's fire, yes, but nothing noble in how Sherlock sees this, and that's normally what drives the cerebral revolutionaries. It doesn't make any sense.

Sherlock is quiet for a long moment before he finally speaks, his words short and clipped.  "I had a brother."

had? I know you and Mycroft don't--" John begins, and Sherlock cuts him off.

"Wrong. I had another brother. Sherrinford," he says, then snaps his mouth shut tightly closed before he continues. "He was three years older than Mycroft, and smarter than us both, and one day when he was in uni, he caught a Royal's eye."

A bitter look crosses Sherlock's face, just for a moment, just long enough to mark his bored tone a lie. "People always said Sherrinford was too smart by half and too pretty by a third. And seeing as what happened to him, I would say they were perhaps right on both counts. Both Mycroft and I learnt a very valuable lesson from that...event."

"I'm sorry," John begins, and Sherlock again cuts him off.

"Please. It is not
sentiment," Sherlock says, snarling the word as if disgusted, "that motivates me. What happened to my brother only set me on the path of the Work. That kind of sentiment does not define it."

"Unlike me," John says flatly, and Sherlock startles.

"That's not--" Sherlock starts, tripping over his words in the way he does on the rare occasions when he finds himself wrong-footed. "You're--"

"Driven by sentiment," John finishes, but there is no reproach in his voice.  "By
revenge. Because that's what I need for what I do," he says, and he lays his hand over the soft leather rolled case that contains his tools. What John does...it is not like Sherlock, laying his elegant traps with his elegant mind for Royals to walk into. John's Work is messy; it is bloody, and it is a catharsis every time, a cleansing and purging of the taint left within him. And without that... "And not what you need for what you do."

Sherlock nods, once, uncertainly, before he looks away. "And that is the long and the short of it, really."

They fall silent, and Sherlock goes back to his computer while John flips on the telly.
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