draloreshimare: (sherlock watson silhouettes)
[personal profile] draloreshimare
Post-Reichenbach, needs beta.

Less than twenty four hours after his death and he’s cropped his hair. At the end of it, he looks into the mirror, seeing his face. And it’s alien. He’s never really noticed his face, (“it’s just my face, John”) but now his hair is buzzed short, the length bristling upwards, no longer weighed down by his curls. He strokes one long-fingered hand over his head, loose bits falling down into the sink before him, onto his shoulders. For the first time in a long time he stares into the mirror and really sees himself, as outsiders see him. He’s never cared before, not really, (“what do I care what people think, John?”) but suddenly, just for a moment, he does.

And he sees his high, sharp cheekbones and his full lips and the piercing eyes, now grey, now blue, and now green. How strange he appears, how surreal…he wonders if his features are what attracted all the stares he’s ignored over the years. Or was it his dark curls? (“I put product in my hair.” “You wash your hair.”) He’s always been a little vain about those, and feels a twinge of regret now that his head is nearly bare, the black loops scattered into and around the bathroom bin. Still, there’s not much he can do about it now. He’d needed a quick disguise. Ridding himself of his curly mane was simple, low budget, easy. Just like contacting the homeless network for information or deducing the pattern of a serial killer.

Sherlock quits the bathroom, striding to the bed of his hotel room. The establishment is just this side of sleazy, with faded floral wallpaper, the sheets going threadbare; the bedside table supported on one side by a yellowed paperback book used so long for the purpose that the cover is dented and unreadable.

On the skinny mattress there’s a pile of clothes, the homeless network is just as good at gathering disguises as information, and he pulls the pair of jeans from the pile, slipping them onto his thin frame. The thick material hangs off his hips, pools around his legs, and he snatches at the belt left in the pile (plain and well-worn but serviceable), and hitches them up around his waist. The shirt is a better fit, but still baggy, as is the jacket. Where did they get these clothes? But he’d asked for clothes to disguise his build, and that’s just what they’ve delivered. He misses his tailored suits, strangely easy to run around London in, but he’s left all of those in his closet at 221B, remnants of a life before he died.
He’ll make do with what he has.

He’s throwing his sparse toiletries into a camouflage duffle (he’ll have to become accustomed to hauling life around on his back now), when he realizes Mycroft left him his coat and scarf; they’ve been shoved into the bottom, clean. Much good they’ll do him, he thinks. The both are just extra weight to carry around on his extended vacation.

But then he runs his hand over the thick wool of the coat, slim fingers lingering on the red button hole, and he remembers. Remembers John, and slipping down alleyways and turning up his coat collar (“being all mysterious, with your cheekbones”), and how it pools on the ground when he kneels next to a body and John is there kneeling next to him to give his expert medical opinion. Suddenly, he can’t bear to leave it behind, despite how it will be deadweight, too recognizable to wear out of doors. He swallows, folds it carefully, arms back, shoulder seams together, just so - preserving it.
Just in case there is life after death.


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Dralore Shimare

January 2015

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