caersidydd: (Complete)
[personal profile] caersidydd
Title: Chiaroscuro
Fandom: Sherlock
Genre: General
Word Count: 2,038
Rating: K
Summary: Sherlock draws crime scenes to relieve his boredom and practice his visual recall. He always draws himself into his pictures. One day he doodles in another figure and decides he likes it.

From this prompt on [ profile] sherlockbbc_fic the sherlock kinkmeme.

Sherlock looked at his latest drawing with a slightly sour expression. He drew to alleviate his boredom when he had nothing better to do, but lately it hadn’t been as effective. He wasn’t certain why exactly. There was nothing different about the style he had cultivated. The charcoal drawing in front of him was up to his usual standards: spatially and technically correct down to the last detail he could recall. He was in this drawing as well, he put himself in all his drawings, but there was still something completely unsatisfying about it.

Annoyed, he stuffed the drawing into his portfolio without applying any fixative. He didn’t feel at all partial to this one and didn’t care if it smudged. He stood and picked up his violin from its case. He would just have to distract himself through other means today.


A week later and another case closed, Sherlock sat on the floor with his back against the sofa. His knees were drawn up slightly and his heavy drawing pad was lying against his thighs. He stared at the stark white paper as his mind raced through the details of the crime scene he had initially been called to.

He touched the tips of his fingers to the paper and drew them down its length. The texture was rough under his skin, but familiar and encouraging. Sherlock looked up and reached forward, his fingers ghosting over the assortment of charcoal, carbon, and graphite pencils on the coffee table before him. He plucked up the graphite pencil and began his preliminary sketch. Nothing too complicated, just lines of gesture and contour to set the scene down on paper before he began the task of detailing it in carbon and charcoal. The body was the focal point of the sketch of course, and he was there knelt next to it, examining the evidence.

Sherlock sat back to regard his sketch. A displeased frown tugged at the corners of his lips. This sketch felt just as incomplete as all of his sketches had been lately. Speaking from his recollection, there was nothing wrong with the scene. He had drawn it out just as he remembered it.

There was a bit of negative space on the left side of the page (to the right of the Sherlock in the picture). It made the composition feel unbalanced. Perhaps he ought to add something, but what? He did not add things as a general rule. He stuck to the true details as actually as he could recall them.

He tapped the butt of his pencil against the paper and sighed. This entire exercise was becoming tedious. He began doodling in the negative space, not really caring anymore about the picture. Maybe he would give up the whole ‘drawing to stave off boredom’ idea and return to more tried and true methods.

With a sigh he tossed the pencil onto the coffee table. It clattered against the charcoal pencils and rolled away to settle against his teacup with a clink. He took one last look down at his drawing before pushing himself up, but paused mid motion. He settled down again and tilted his head a bit to one side.

He had been doodling in Lestrade, just for the hell of it, but Lestrade wasn’t the person looking down at the body with his sketch drawing counterpart. The face was too round, and the proportions were all wrong. Sherlock settled back down and grabbed a carbon pencil from the table to begin detailing the picture.

Some time later the picture was finished and Sherlock was smiling. It was rare that he added anyone else to his pictures. Sometimes he would add Lestrade, but never any of the other members of the New Scotland Yard. They were all hostile toward him and weren’t worth the effort. Even Lestrade was generally reluctant and only accepted Sherlock’s aid, and by proxy Sherlock himself, as a final alternative. It was nice then, the idea that this picture now presented him with, of having a colleague at a crime scene instead bunch of resentful, ignorant, halfwits.

He signed his name at the bottom of the image and stood up. One long arm reached out and snatched up the can of fixative from the far edge of the coffee table. He uncapped the can and propped the pad up against the sofa before beginning to spray. This was a drawing he was definitely keeping.


After his next case was closed, Sherlock found himself drawing his new crime solving colleague into the drawing of the initial crime scene. As he drew he thought to himself. Who was his friend exactly? What did he do for a living, other than help Sherlock solve crimes. That was his main job of course but that could not be the beginning and end of his identity. Sherlock had no delusions about himself, he was well aware that he was a ridiculously self-centered person. But Sherlock didn’t suffer fools, and any friend of his would not be so dull as to bend to Sherlock’s every whim and make Sherlock the center of their world. That would just be boring. So what did his friend do?

His friend would have to be at least somewhat clever. Not as clever as himself of course, no one was as clever as he was except Mycroft, but Mycroft was lazy and that made him dull. So his friend would be clever for a normal sort of person, and very active to keep up with Sherlock. He would also have to be useful. What sort of person was clever and useful?

Of course! A doctor. His friend was a doctor.


Another week, another case, and Sherlock was sketching again. It hadn’t been a murder this time. This time it had been counterfeiters. Counterfeiters were always fun because they were usually quite clever and they got very agitated when you set fire to their fake money. Sherlock had gotten into quite the tussle. That was what he was drawing now, because staring at fake money was ridiculously tedious, thus drawing people staring at fake money could only be even more tedious.

So how would his friend fight, he wondered. Sherlock himself preferred to fight in close quarters. He was quite good at bare knuckle boxing. Would his friend be the same? Perhaps he would be, but he needed a skill that would complement Sherlock’s. So if Sherlock fought bare handed, perhaps his friend used a weapon. A knife was far too plebian, a sword was too archaic. A gun then, that would allow his friend to have an advantage at long ranges, which was always a good idea, and it would let him have something in his hands to use as a blunt object in melee situations. And of course a gun is no use unless you are good with it, so his friend would be very good. A crack shot. But how would he have gotten his hands on a gun in Great Britain and where would he learn to shoot?

He couldn’t be a policeman, he was already a doctor and the police were idiots. His doctor was no idiot. So where could one be a doctor while simultaneously being a crack shot and learning to fight without any qualms?

Military service. His doctor was an army docor.


Sherlock had been days without a case and he was starting to grow agitated. There was an abyss inside of him. It was gaping and greedy and fathomless. He tried to keep it at bay as best he could. He did this by building walls. He built walls out of mysteries, and science, and music; he built them out of sprints across London, out of cases from Scotland Yard, out of fights with Mycroft, but no matter how much he built them up they always, eventually, came crashing down. In those few moments that his body had to stand still, his mind raced forward, a freight train unable to stop, doomed by its own momentum. It tore down the walls he had so carefully erected, leaving him exposed to face that yawning chasm. And it would consume him.

Sherlock had nothing to draw, but he drew anyway. He drew himself with his friend. His friend could distract him from that abyss. How? What would he say? What would he do?

He was not a stupid man and he was a well-trained soldier. So he had little concern for his own personal safety. He was an upstanding, moral man. So he had no reverence for people who were criminals. He would make snarky, clever quips about suspects. Sherlock loved snark and he loved clever.

What else?

He was an honest person, a kind person. He could see the pathos in people that Sherlock could not properly fathom. He could see the humour in something Sherlock had said in perfect seriousness. He could see through Sherlock’s tantrums. He could laugh at himself. He could make Sherlock laugh at himself.

Yes that was how. His army doctor could make him laugh.


Sherlock sat hugging his knees to his chest. He had a potential case but god did it sound boring! So he was putting it off in favor of looking at his pictures. They were spread out around him, propped up against the table and in the chair opposite him. He had more pictures than he’d had cases to draw which resulted in a lot of the pictures just being himself and his friend. He let himself become even more distracted from the fact that he had something to be doing by letting his mind wander.

His friend. What would he look like in color? Sherlock drew in carbon and charcoal so he’d never thought about it before. But it struck him now. Maybe he should start. What color were his eyes? Perhaps grey, like Sherlock’s but not like Sherlock’s, darker. Dark grey. What about his hair? He always drew his friend’s hair a bit dark. It was too light to be brown though, and not light enough to be blond. It was more a sort of in between color, ash blond. He would prefer neutral and earthy tones, colors he could feel comfortable in. Never anything too flashy, he wasn’t a flashy person.

Sherlock picked up the nearest drawing and smiled faintly. The picture was protected by cellophane and so he did not hesitate when the urge to touch the picture took him. He ran his fingers over the figure in the image beside him.

What was his doctor’s name? Not something outlandish like his own name, that would never do. For all that this man was an extraordinary person; there was nothing boastful about him. He didn’t need to stand out to be happy.

“John,” Sherlock says with a smile. “Doctor John Watson.”

“You’ve gotten awfully good, Sherlock.”

Sherlock started, his gaze snapping to his right. Deep grey blue eyes set into a round face framed by ash blond hair gazed back at him. There was a gentle crinkle at the corners of his eyes and a small smile on his lips. He leaned heavily against the back of Sherlock’s chair. Sherlock stared at him, speechless. The man, John, only smiled wider. Finally he clapped Sherlock heavily on the shoulder.

“What are you sitting here for you great prat? Don’t we have job to be doing?”

He moved to stand in front of Sherlock, his hand held out in offering. The left side of Sherlock’s mouth curled up and he grasped John’s hand. The shorter man pulled the taller to his feet and they grinned at each other.

“Right you are, John.”


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