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Title: See and Observe
Author: Rainy
Characters/Pairings: Sherlock Holmes & Professor Moriarty (And possibly appearances from the rest of the AGoS cast, if I decide to add more)
Rating: R
Challenge/Prompt: A prompt from the shkinkmeme. The full prompt can be found here. But here's a short snippet that's the gist of it:
"...it seems to me that when a bad guy has helpless in his power someone who "sees everything", there's only one thing to do, and that is to take his eyes.

In essence, a different take on the torture scene from "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows".
Wordcount: 1,445
A/N: This is a dark fic. It is not light-hearted, it is not fluff. I wrote this for the sheer psychological thrill of getting into Holmes' head, should he have lost his sight. After all, he sees "everything," that's his "curse." Well, he has been relieved of his curse for now. Please read on with all due discretion. I rated it what it is simply for the violence and general mind-screwery.
EDIT(01/05/2012):Went through and cleaned it up a bit, made it flow a little better.


Right. Still here? Lovely. On with the story...

Holmes’ dark brown eyes tracked every smooth, dangerous movement that Moriarty made as the professor traversed across the room in the watch tower. The man was danger encapsulated, and Holmes could not look away, much like a small piece of prey held entranced by a dancing cobra, his vision never faltering, never wavering.

“Oh what to do with you Holmes?” he all but purred, his hand creating some overly-complicated movement in the air. Holmes saw, observed, and categorized the data as he stored it away, nearly as quickly as his ever-faithful eyes took it in.

Just as Watson did, Moriarty knew his methods and he followed Holmes’ eyes as they traversed the eerily-lit surgery. “Take every detail in, Mr. Holmes, it will not help you. You,” he drew closer to the bound detective, “are helpless,” he whispered into Holmes’ ear.

Holmes ignored the glib monologue as best as he could. His eyes continuing to rove over every aspect of the room. Exits: Conventional: 1—Door; Unconventional: 1—Window. Possibility for escape from either, at this juncture, highly unlikely. His eyes skipped to the instruments hanging around the room. Typical surgical instruments. Potential for damage: high. In the hands of a man suffering from extreme psychosis: astronomically high. His mind began to categorize each instrument as his eyes came across it. More than that, he took in the specifications of the room, Moriarty’s stace, his proximity...everything. Holmes took every aspect in.

The good professor didn’t miss a thing. “Ah...Constantly seeing Mr. Holmes, constantly observing...isn’t that how it goes?” he smiled with a predatory gleam and a hand suddenly reached out to run a finger across Holmes’ face, directly beneathe his eye.
Holmes instinctively flinched back from the personal contact, pulling against his bonds. Moriarty smiled the same crocodilian smile once more and chuckled. “Oh Holmes. It seems I had it wrong, something that doesn’t happen to me very often, you understand,” he locked eyes with Holmes. “I thought the best way to injure you was through the, ehm, removal of the good doctor, but perhaps, there is a servant that you value even more highly...” he cocked his head to the side slightly as he trailed off.

Holmes kept his expression carefully schooled, for once keeping his mouth shut, unwillingly to further antagonize his captor, and not attempting to decipher the mad ramblings of the professor. Surely John couldn’t be too far away? And besides, he only needed Moriarty to get just close enough and to get his own hands free and he could switch out those ledgers. It was only a matter of time and a matter of how he played his hand, and it all had to be done very carefully. He knew there would more than likely be a certain amount of pain involved, but, he could, and would, take that in stride. After all, pain could be compartmentalized away, it could be ignored, if one only possessed the mental faculties to do. Which he, of course, did.

During his mental tangent, Moriarty had turned around, his back to Holmes and the detective attempted to appear disinterested. That was, until he faced Holmes once more and in his hands was something akin to an ice pick, something which Holmes had noticed earlier and had made mental note as being incongruous but had moved past it. He twirled the metal instrument around in his hands, the moonlight glinting off of it eerily and holding Holmes’ gaze like a moth to an incandescent flame. He opened his mouth as if to speak and closed it just as quickly. His mind all-too-quickly catching up with what his eyes and ears had taken in. Fear set in quick and fast, like a cold, dead weight in his chest, and his heart felt like it was in the same vice that had suddenly constricted his breathing.

“Ah, so you’ve finally caught up Mr. Holmes,” he murmured, eyes glinting in the ethereal light, and a small smirk settling upon his lips. He took slow measured steps towards his captive, his eyes flicking between the device in his hands and Holmes’ stony, unblinking expression. When he was only a half step away from his captive, he slid his free hand around the back of Holmes’ head, his fingers entwining in the dark locks of his hair, almost like the caress of a lover. Holmes’ attention still never wavered from Moriarty’s face, and his mind registered the movement right before there was the most tremendous pain he had ever felt in his entire life.

Moriarty pulled the pick back, a fine crimson coating covering the entire end, dripping in thick beads off the silver-now-stained-red tool.

Holmes’ scream still echoed around the stone room.

Moriarty smiled a nearly sad smile. “Mr. Holmes, you see, but you do not observe,” he murmured before everything went dark. Everything was gone and everything was pain. Holmes continued to scream out his anguish, his bound hands pulling as hard as they could against their ties.

Then at once, his hands were free, cut by a cruel blade to be allowed to discover what his mind already knew. Without a second thought, his hands flew to his face, feeling his eyes and feeling the blood that streamed down his cheek bones in raging red rivulets. “No...” he whispered, his voice broken. He absolutely refused to believe it to be true.

He swung his head around as he heard movement behind him. “Mr. Holmes, when you have eliminated every possibility, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth. And, what does your vast intelligence tell you ‘must be the truth’? Hmm?” he asked, and Holmes could hear him coming closer.

Holmes settled back on his haunches and skittered backwards as quickly as possible, his back hitting the surgical table and the tray that was used to hold the instruments, the latter clattering to the floor, bringing with it, all of the objects residing on it. The cacophony of sound so close and so unexplainable...without his sight...caused Holmes to shout out in fear and quickly change his course, still moving backwards as quickly as possible.

Eventually his back hit cold stone and his hands found his now-useless eyes again, blood still streaming over the patterns that had already dried on his face and had begun to flake off. “No..no..no, no, no NO!” His voice rose in pitch until he was nearly shrieking, his normally stoic exterior fissuring before finally shattering. Tears began to stream down his face, looking odd coming from his ruined eyes, and the salty rivulets mingled with the crimson until both were pooling on the stony ground beside him.

“Ah, but the answer is ‘yes’, Mr. Holmes. You can no longer see..you can no longer observe... Tell me, Mr. Holmes, what is it like? To be stripped of so vital a part of you? Hmm?” Moriarty asked, voice soft, genuinely curious even, as if Holmes was nothing but a creature in one of his experiments.

Holmes raised his face to Moriarty’s, staring without sight at his adversary. “..Why?” he whispered, voice completely shot-though, shattered, hands still trembling over his face. Never in his life had he felt more terrified. He was so vulnerable..so...exposed. He could hardly even string one thought to another, he was no longer anchored to his body, but instead of a blissful high from his 7% solution, his mind was fracturing, terror instead snaking through, creating fissures as it went, until it felt as if his brain was going to shake apart.

Moriarty shrugged, but then remembered with a cruel, sick smile, that Holmes wouldn’t be able to tell, and a cool bolt of twisted pleasure shot through him. “Why indeed...I told you that I would take everything from you in this game, and it seems I have. Now, tell me, who did the dear doctor send that telegram to?” he asked, cool and collected as ever.

The rest of Holmes began to match his raised hands and his body started to tremble. “My brother..M-Mycroft, at his country home,” he whispered, horror having stolen his voice.

“What was that?” Moriarty purred, suddenly very close to Holmes, causing the detective to jump, and his breath caught in his throat. The professor moved so that his ear was next to Holmes’ lips, and he was veritably crowded into the detective’s space, his chest pressed almost against Holmes. The detective repeated his earlier phrase, completing his plan much like an automaton—with no real thought, and Moriarty nodded in response.

The professor’s weight was suddenly removed and then the world went up in sound and rubble and dust. Holmes fell into a blissful darkness, this time, one that he recognized fully, not some type of caustic, forced shadow that terrified him beyond even his considerable senses.

~Fin...For Now~
I may add more, but right now I'm unsure.
Please leave me some feedback, if you don't mind. I would really appreciate it.
Thank you for reading!


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 2nd, 2012 10:13 pm (UTC)
Wow...you weren't kidding when you said dark. This is pitch black. But strangely captivating as well. I won't say nice, because it isn't nice in the conventional sense, but it is well written and gorgeously descriptive.

Hope to read more.
Jan. 5th, 2012 06:41 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for your lovely response! I'm actually quite thrilled that you enjoyed the descriptiveness. I was intent on being as descriptive as possible, so that way, when the sudden factor of visual description was gone, it would be noticed(and subsequently replaced by the other senses).
..I'm not sure that made much sense, but I hope you understood what I meant!

Regardless, thank you for the feedback, it made me smile when I read it. <3

(And hopefully there will be more, RL permitting! ;))
Jan. 2nd, 2012 11:35 pm (UTC)
I think I love you. That was beautiful. Horrible, gruesome, disturbing, yes, but beautiful too. I was totally going to fill this prompt for the simple reason I could not get it out of my head, but now I don't need to, because you've done it for me. Please, please continue, this is perfect <3
Jan. 5th, 2012 06:45 am (UTC)
Oh I think I love you too! You and your wonderful comment that kept me smiling!!

I adored that you thought it horrible, gruesome, and disturbing. I was honestly afraid it wasn't graphic enough for what the OP had wanted, so I was so worried, but if the response it has garnered is anything to go on, I guess I was more on point than I thought! ;)
And I'm so touched that you also still thought it beautiful :')

OH! But if you want to fill it still, please do!! Honestly, I was just like you, the prompt poked at my brain until I just wrote /something/. :P

(Hopefully there will be more, depending on what RL decides to do!)

Edited at 2012-01-05 06:46 am (UTC)
Jan. 5th, 2012 09:36 pm (UTC)
Aww *blushes* you deserved it for this glorious fic :)

Indeed it was beautiful, and my very favourite part is this; “What was that?” Moriarty purred, suddenly very close to Holmes, causing the detective to jump. Just the inclusion of "suddenly" shows how utterly broken he is, because Holmes is always aware of changes in his surroundings. Gah, it kills me in the best possible way. <3

I might still try a fill, but I'd be hard pushed to match yours, so I think I'll just marvel over it instead ;) And if you write more it would make my day. :D
Jan. 3rd, 2012 05:10 pm (UTC)
Dark? I've seen worse. (No, seriously, I have. Much worse. Don't ask; BAD memories, and I'm doing my best to repress them.)

That aside, I noted what appears to be an error in your formatting, because everything's in italics. Also, in some instances I feel it would have been better to start a new sentence after the quote. For example:

**"...you understand," he locked eyes with Holmes.**

As locking eyes isn't a speech action, I believe "understand" should have been followed by a period, ending the sentence, and "he" should have been capitalized; the same would go for the other instances following that pattern. However, this is minor stuff that I only caught on my third reading.

Because, I did give it three readings, because I utterly LOVED it. I would have to add my voice to the others in requesting continuation. I'm intrigued as to how it would carry out further on; would it more-or-less follow the plot of the movie, or would it go completely different? Either way, I hope to find out first-hand.

It's probably just my dark sense of humour, but I found the "potential for damage in the hands of a man suffering from extreme psychosis" bit incredibly amusing.

I'm rather confused as to what you meant by "general mind-screwery" in the AN. I didn't see anything that could be described as such; or maybe we're just using different definitions of the term.
Feb. 6th, 2012 01:55 am (UTC)
I have actually never thought of that before. You're probably quite right, as sometimes my grammar lessons escape me with things such as that. I'll keep it in mind for future fics, thank you!

And thank you again! I am attempting to continue, as the inspiration is there, but the time to actually write it out is not. :(

I'm glad you found it amusing! It was supposed to be a sort of dark humour injected to the dismal setting of the story. ;)

Well, I guess since it was just such a psychological story, and one in which the terror is purely in the victim's mental state(at least that was my intention) it's mentally "screwing" in that sense. And it's the darkest I've written, so I suppose I was just using it to warn my normal readers, to get across how very different it was from the rest of my writings.

Thank you so much for such a well-rounded comment!
(And I'm sorry for the delay in response!)

Edited at 2012-02-06 01:56 am (UTC)
Feb. 6th, 2012 03:58 am (UTC)
In the context I'm used to seeing it, "mind-screw" means something like "you will have no idea what just happened, and no matter how much you think about it, it will never quite make sense". In that sense, the term means "screwing with the audience's mind". I guess you meant it as "screwing with the character's mind", which is also a valid reading of the phrase.

Time to write? It's simple: skip meals, skip sleep, write fanfic. Or on a more reasonable level, carry around a pad of paper, and jot down sentences in your free minutes? It works for me when I actually hold onto an idea long enough; but more often, I get too easily distracted to write anything.
Jan. 5th, 2012 05:59 am (UTC)
I cannot stop shaking in my seat. This was horribly descriptive, terribly graphic, and yet..somehow strangely entrancing, and -very- well done. The idea of Holmes having to lose his sight should be worthy of nightmares, but oddly enough, I don't think I'll be having any. If you added more to this, I would be more than open to reading the rest. I'm quite curious to see where you take this train of thought.
Feb. 6th, 2012 02:00 am (UTC)
Thank you so very much for your lovely comment!
Is it odd that I'm glad I succeeded in scaring you? :P Though I'm quite glad you won't be having nightmares because of it, nightmares are no fun thing at all.

Hopefully I'll have time to write out some more, if RL lets up it's load a bit!
Thank you again! (And sorry for the late response)
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )