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1. [livejournal.com profile] errantcomment has just updated Sherlock Holmes' Diary. Read it. LOL at it. It is every bit as glorious as the first installment.

2. ooh look, fic! which isn't strictly new; it was originally a fill on the Sherlock fic!meme back in August, and then I all but forgot about it altogether (because vacation and England and uni and reasons). I've rediscovered it recently, and reworked it slightly. The concept of Sherlock literally stealing hearts to replace his own still makes me grin rather foolishly.

anywhere i go, you go
2148 words.
R. Warning for slight vore at the end — entirely consensual, and at least half metaphorical by this point, idk.
Sherlock belongs to the Beeb, Moffat, and Gatiss; originally ACD's; I make no money with this and mean no copyright infringement.
Written for this prompt: Sherlock doesn't have a heart of his own, so he steals others' for a while and then gives them back so the person keeps living. When John notices, he gives Sherlock his heart. And the heart grows.

notes: [livejournal.com profile] ningen_demonai is utterly insane, and has been trying to rationalize the fuck out of this universe, while I was mostly doing jazz hands and going METAPHOR at everything. Now I half want to continue this 'verse and have Sherlock&John get cardiac surgery together. Also, awake. (Fuck you, I have stuff to do!) The title is taken from e. e. cummings' poem 'i carry your heart with me', which is a stunning lack of originality on my part but just fit the prompt too well to pass.

notes2: [livejournal.com profile] quintenttsy has recorded a beautiful podfic of this. ♥

The first time Sherlock finds John's heart, it is two in the morning. It is on the kitchen table, abandoned as though John has left it there with his cuppa, left it there for a second while he went to fetch sugar for his tea, forgot it behind. John has gone to bed for three hours, creature of habits. Sherlock picks it up, cradles it in his hand: it is beating faintly, steadily, honestly. 

He's careful with it that night. He keeps it very close, close enough to touch, but he never does touch it — John is sleeping upstairs without his heart in his chest, which is fantastic. But he never touches it; it's early. It's too early to touch, he decides, looking at the strange red thing, copper-brown and delicately beating, on the table next to his laptop.

He wonders if John'll say a word about it, come morning.

Molly's is bird-like, light, and very soft; it doesn't sustain the journey well, and Sherlock must return it within two days, Molly falling upon it with a gasp, a panicked look of misunderstanding relief. He takes it again, twice. It isn't manipulation if you always give it back.

He never takes Mycroft's. He takes Lestrade's. He takes Sally's, and he enjoys it with slick, sick fascination. At uni he would keep jars, branch them out carefully, connect them together until he had a network, sixteen hearts linked together and beating. It was a magnificent friendship. Sherlock gave them back, and they never noticed.

"I fucking love you," Victor Trevor said ten days after they'd met, and Sherlock fair panicked — gave it back, take it back. You don't want it, he said, his voice rough with abruptness, when Victor demanded his in exchange.

He never took Victor's again.

John found out like this, six weeks ago: 

The latest stake-out changed into an insane race, rooftops and streetlights and rattling staircases, Sherlock's longer legs carrying him faster, further, than did John's — and when John caught up around the corner of the avenue, panting, grinning, his thigh unflinching and his shoulder thrown back and straight, Sherlock looked under the leather jacket. They'd missed their cue, let their quarry escape; it was a boy, twenty, barely, a boy who'd killed a man. Hardly worth the brainwork — hardly worth this:

John's heart was contracting and expanding inside his chest, under the leather jacket. It shook fast, beating the blood into his arteries, pounding a rapid, arrhythmic cadence. It was very red. It looked as though it'd drum its way out of John chest, and that was a temptation Sherlock didn't resist: he pushed his hand under the jacket, against the side of John's blue jumper, pushed it in. John's heart thudded fast against his palm.

"Okay," John said, very steady and very breathless, wide-eyed. He pressed his palm to the back of Sherlock's, so that Sherlock was trapped between John's heart and John's pulse; they thrummed in tandem, enclosing him in. It was delicious. He could taste it all the way up to his tongue.

John said, "It's alright," and touched his cold nose to the warm side Sherlock's neck.

John takes to leaving his heart about. It is not convenient. It is bothersome, and ridiculous, and every morning Sherlock will find it on the countertop after John's gone, very red. (John cares. He makes honest mistakes.)

Sherlock holds his heart in his hand, and. Oh, he thinks, breathless. I didn't think it went this fast.

They barter John's heart for months, sharing it, back and forth, with cups of tea and laptops and Chinese takeaway. John watches telly with socked feet curled up on the sofa. His ribcage is perfectly balanced, perfectly average; Sherlock has counted the twenty-four ribs, the cartilages, the vertebrae. He has drawn comparisons, written charts against the fridge at night, only for John to look disgusted in the morning and throw them all away.

"If you're so interested in the way my heart works, you might as well use it," he advices matter-of-factly, putting on a fresh jumper in the morning. "Sherlock, whose thumb is this, and what is it doing in the honey jar?"

Sherlock knows how hearts work. He has memorized the average heartbeat rhythm; he can dissect a human heart in thirty seconds flat, lay it bare and open for John to see. He won't, though. John likes his heart. It's a good heart, red and fist-like and clenched tight, pounding steadily. It loves well.

It makes its place in Sherlock's chest, purring loudly, very warm. Sherlock rubs his palm against it sometimes — it sits strangely there, too big and too hot for his body.

"You are completely bonkers," John tells him, affectionately. "You're a bloody fucking madman. You idiot," he says, his hand over the back of Sherlock's neck, very heavy and very warm. Sherlock, head bent over his microscope, stops breathing altogether.

"This is gorgeous," John says, meaning the chart, meaning the map, meaning the diagram Sherlock makes in red and black pen, all four chambers flung open wide, the atria firmly carved in, the ventricles delicate and rounded.

Sherlock closes his hand over the sharp, angular bones of John's left wrist, and thinks, Of course. It's yours, after all.

They touch each other easily, gradually, and soon it is all as if they had lived here for ten years instead of ten weeks. Sherlock yearns to spread his fingertips over the flat of John's chest, touch at the soft skin of his wrist, measure the pulse in his carotid artery; and John finds the tenderness in the back of his neck, presses his thumb to it in the mornings, when he's late for work and gulping down tea and his heart is very large and very enormous in their little kitchen. Sherlock watches it become great. It's a study in time that he appreciates, a delicacy he can enjoy.

I keep you here, he thinks, looking at John's heart underneath his thin t-shirt on a Sunday afternoon. It lights up John's chest like a red glow, murmuring under the skin. It keeps me.

John shakes the newspaper open and grins at him slightly over the edges of it. They sprawl contentedly on a Sunday evening, ten borrowed hearts on Sherlock's shelf, and John drinks a little tea, watches the evening news. Sherlock looks at him, never stops, and thinks, fondly, I'm never going to get over you. After. When you leave.

London is a gigantic ribcage. Sherlock taught himself to shut out the red — the hearts of London made constellations, tight thin networks interlocked. He taught himself the streets and boulevards and avenues, the map of London. He learnt the shape of the Thames, the main arteries, the passing cabs. He learnt about the gaping breach inside his chest, and how long he could survive it; he tamed his hands into stealing hearts effectively, easily, without pain. As an adolescent, he picked chests as swiftly as he picked pockets.

Astronomy and the solar system he never saw much use for, or much good. He had his own stars, red and spangled, between the streets of London.

Jim Moriarty wears a sharp, smart Westwood suit, and dusts his heart off his sleeve with a mindless gesture. He says, "But we both know that's not quite true," and Sherlock shuts his eyes for a moment, conscious of John's heart pounding inside his chest. It feels unmoored, brought fast against the sides of his ribcage, beating beautifully. 

And later, when Sherlock tears the bomb off John's chest and shoulders, mouthing mindless frantic pleading, he forces it back inside of John's ribcage, hard enough that it will stay. John's legs buckle under the weight of it, the sudden rapid — loud — beating drumming startlingly close to his wounded shoulder.

"Glad no one saw that," he mutters, as Sherlock paces, his brain on fire, his chest throbbing where John's heart no longer is. Which means: normal people don't share hearts. But John cracks a stupid joke, and Sherlock laughs shakily, watching John's pulse murmur against the side of his throat.

Then there are flimsy red laser dots scattering about John's chest. John's heart jumps into his mouth, and it stains the insides of Sherlock's eyelids red, that last look. He aims a gun at a bomb. The world explodes, but blue.

The days after Moriarty are long, swamped in the stark gold of summer. Sherlock draws all the blinds down and curls on the couch like a child, ignoring John's attempts at tea or talking or sharing back his heart — every time he looks at it inside John's chest, something warm and liquid happens in his own. John's alive, though a bit singed around the edges, his right hand in a cast. Sherlock thinks he could live on this: on John's heart beating still, staggeringly.

John — moves around, changes clothes, makes tea, updates his blog. Sherlock is dormant, burrows himself down on the sofa sleepily; Lestrade doesn't call, and the days blur together in slanted light. It draws dusty lines into the darkened wallpaper; it outlines John's features in sharp contrast, making his eyelashes very thin and very dark against his cheeks when he blinks.

John's heart stays on the counter. John sleeps badly without it, nightmares marring his lined face in the evening, as he plucks it out with a grimace. 

Summer in London is sluggish, tainted red. John wears thin frayed t-shirts and washed out jeans when he is in the flat, seeking the cool in the kitchen and against windowpanes. The blue shirt he wears often is old, faded and very soft, carrying memories of med school, parties in pubs, early mornings after sleepless nights of cramming for an exam. It makes his face fall along different lines, smoothes over the wrinkles at the corners of his eyes and his mouth.

The heat is near unbearable, August breaking against their windows in great slamming surges. John opens them all early, shuts them when the morning is halfway through; he opens them again in the evening, when the air cracks into something cooler and bluer. 

Sherlock gathers data. He observes John's movements around the kitchen, his sure, capable surgeon's hands deftly maneuvering around Sherlock's own experiments, his pipettes and microscopes. He analyses the heat, the measure of sunlight. He makes calculations for John's heart, how long it will go on, how much longer John will stay.

"Alright," John says, one afternoon, and Sherlock finds himself straddled, saddled with a lapful of ex-army surgeon, sitting heavily atop his hips and thighs. It crashes the air out of his lungs, stuns him slightly, makes his ears ring. John has been so careful. John has not touched him in a fortnight. The overwhelming casualness of this moment — John's strong legs enclosed in his old jeans and John's hands on each side of his head — upsets Sherlock's assessments, sends him reeling, sets his brain loose altogether.

"Hi," John says, a little forcefully, snapping his hips up to gather Sherlock's attention. "No losing yourself in your head, look at me. Sherlock. Yeah. Yeah, alright. This is stopping here, Sherlock, I mean this. You haven't left the flat in a month."

"I like the flat."

"I do too. It's a very nice flat. But here — Sherlock, that shelf there. It wasn't empty, six weeks ago. You were always stealing hearts to put there, and you weren't even doing anything with them at all, just borrowing, you always gave them back. Now you won't even take mine."

"I don't need it," Sherlock gasps, meaning, it'll burn in there. He said so, I won't have it, I won't have it. Something around John's eyes softens and widens, and he smooths one hand over Sherlock's throat, Sherlock's neck and jaw, the carotid artery where by all accounts there ought to be a pulse beating.

"It's too big for me now," says John.

Sherlock squeezes his eyes shut for a second, tightens his hands like clamps on John's thighs. John's fingers skitter upwards, touch his cheekbones, his eyebrows, the slant of his nose. "I'm not going," John says. "Push me away all you want, I'm not leaving."

"I don't want you to leave," Sherlock says.

"Good." And because John is utterly mad — insane enough to live here — he takes a bite into his own heart and pushes it into Sherlock's mouth. Flicks his tongue in, cool and red and very very wet. Sherlock swallows him in completely.

They take their time, biting and sucking and sharing morsels, teeth catching onto the other's mouth, until they each have a half, red all the way down their throats and inside their ribcages. John sprawls atop him afterward; they let the red spread between their chests, pounding quietly, until Sherlock no longer is certain whose, between them, the heartbeat is.

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