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Not Alone

Not Alone

This Merlin (BBC) fanfiction was submitted by Maggie.

“MERLIN!”
A boot flew from the other side of the room and hit Merlin upside the head, sending him and the armor he was polishing crashing to the ground. He lifted his head from the floor, his mouth open in shock.
“What was that for?”
“It’s for not doing your work, that’s what it’s for!” Prince Arthur yelled. “You’re just staring into space! Like you’ve been doing for the past week.”
Merlin rose slowly from the ground and picked up the armor. “Sorry sire,” he mumbled. “It won’t happen again.” He sat back down on his chair and began scrubbing away at a particularly stubborn spot.
Arthur’s face took on a look of disbelief.
“No sarcastic remarks? No insulting names?”
He paused, waiting expectantly for a reply. He was met with nothing but the sound of Merlin’s rag rubbing against his armor. “Not even an eye roll?”
“I guess not,” Merlin replied markedly, tightening his jaw and tilting his head to the side a bit. He scrubbed harder.
Arthur huffed in surprise.
“You know, Merlin, this depression is really starting to irritate me. I have even been considering getting a new servant. One that isn’t so gloomy all the time.”
Merlin jerkily shrugged his shoulders. “It certainly wouldn’t bother me if you did.” Sarcasm filled his voice.
Arthur threw his hands in the air and raised his eyes upward.
“You’re impossible Merlin! You’ve been like this ever since the dragon attacked.” He stared intently at Merlin, whose scrubbing had intensified. “Is that what’s bothering you? Everyone’s safe now that the dragons’ dead, and Camelot is being rebuilt. There’s nothing to worry about now.”
“That’s not what’s bothering me.”
“Then what is?”
Suddenly, it was if a light flickered to life in Arthur’s eyes. He shook his head.
“Merlin, please don’t tell me this is about that Dragonlord.”
Merlin gripped the armor tightly and fought to control his emotions. He couldn’t have Arthur guessing about who Balinor really was. As much as he wanted to tell him, he knew he couldn’t. He swallowed his tears and shook his head. “No, of course it’s not.”
As hard as he tried to control it, his voice shook a little as he spoke.
“Why is that still bothering you?” Arthur questioned.
“It’s not!” Merlin snapped.
“Well, obviously not!” Arthur growled, angrily gripping the back of the chair he was standing behind.
Merlin doggedly kept on scrubbing. Arthur heaved a sigh. Slowly, he walked over to Merlin and sat on the bench next to him.
“Stop,” he said, gesturing with his chin toward Merlin’s furious scrubbing. Merlin kept at it though, afraid that he wouldn’t be able to control himself if he stopped.
“Merlin,” Arthur warned, but he didn’t let up.
“Merlin, I said stop!” Arthur grabbed the rag from Merlin’s hand and stuffed it in his pocket before Merlin could take it back.
Silence filled the room.
Merlin stared fixedly at the armor, unwilling to look Arthur in the eyes. Arthur kept his gaze on the floor, thinking of what to say.
“Do you remember what I told you that day we came back to Camelot, after the Dragonlord died?”
Merlin nodded quickly, his lips pressed together.
“I meant it, and it’s true. No man is worth your tears. In times of war, men are going to die. It can’t be stopped. And your tears aren’t going to help anything. Merlin, I understand that you have had very little experience with battle and bloodshed. But it’s time you start getting used to the reality of it, harsh as it may be. So, stand up tall and be strong. That’s what my father has always told me, and it’s what I’m telling you now. Alright?”
Merlin nodded silently again. His heart felt like it was being ripped in two. And Arthur didn’t even care.
Against his will, a single tear slipped from his eye. He tried to turn his head before Arthur could see it, but he was too slow.
“Are you serious Merlin?” Arthur’s voice had an edge of frustration to it.
Merlin could feel Arthur glaring at the back of his head in a way that was very unnerving. He jumped up and strode to the window.
“Why can’t you just get over this?” Arthur asked. “You barely even knew the Dragonlord.”
Merlin gritted his teeth against the tears that threatened to spill over. He barely even knew Balinor, his own father, before he died. Arthur had no idea, the big, fat, clotpole of a simpleton. But of course he couldn’t know. He would tell his father, Uther would kill Merlin, and Arthur would never fulfill his destiny, or Merlin his. So Merlin wouldn’t say anything. Swiftly wiping the tears from his eyes, he turned to face Arthur.
“You’re right Arthur. It’s not a big deal.” It almost killed him to say it, but he had no choice.
Arthur pondered over Merlin for a moment, looking for sincerity. Merlin managed a convincing smile.
“Alright. That’s more like it,” the prince said, smiling back. “Now, I think you’ve done a good enough job on that armor, so why don’t you go muck out the horses stalls?”
It’s just one chore after another, isn’t it? Merlin bowed mockingly. “Whatever you say, Prince Prat.”
He marched out of the room, closing the doors to Arthur’s frustrated cry of “MERLIN!”

*     *     *

Merlin dragged his tired feet down the hall to his and Gaius’ chambers. Carefully and quietly, he opened the door and slipped inside.
“Are you here Gaius?” He called. No reply.
He leaned against the closed door and sighed in relief. He hadn’t had a moment’s peace all day. After his near breakdown in Arthur’s chambers, he had been bogged down with chores and errands for both the prince and Gaius. Not to mention the things nearly everyone else in the castle had asked him to do.
But now Arthur had had enough of him, Gaius was helping a patient, and Merlin was finally alone. Though he wasn’t sure he wanted to be.
He had purposely kept himself thoroughly busy over the last week. He didn’t want to think about the dragon’s attack, or anything else that happened. It felt like it was too much for him to handle. And he’d done well not thinking about it until Arthur said something to him this morning. All that day, it had been nagging at the back of his mind. Every little thing reminded him of it. But he had to admit it didn’t feel totally bad to think about.
Hesitatingly, he stepped over to the windowsill where he had left the dragon his father had carved for him. He picked it up and let his fingers run over its lines and curves. Memories of the short but precious time he had spent with his father went through his mind. Learning his father was alive. Meeting him and introducing himself to him. Learning he was a Dragonlord. The carving. Then the attack. The sword. All the blood. His father saying he was proud of him. Then breathing his last.
Merlin shook his head, trying to get rid of the images, but he couldn’t. His father was actually dead and he couldn’t get away from that.
Anger flared suddenly inside of him. Why had he been taken from him so quickly? Was it so wrong for Merlin to finally meet his father? Clutching the dragon in one hand, he paced across the floor, telling himself to calm down. That just made the anger burn hotter, and with it the power inside him rose. Furiously, he slammed his hand against the wall, his magic flashing out of him. The room shuddered beneath it.
He stood there, his hand against the wall, his gasps for air the only noise to speak of. He didn’t feel angry anymore. Just a horrible, deep grief. He blinked and a tear ran down his cheek. Couldn’t he have had just a little more time? Another tear followed the first. A shuddering sigh that was closer to a sob escaped his mouth. He backed up to the nearest chair and sunk into it. Grasping the dragon with both hands he looked at it through his tears. It was all he had left of his father. But it was better than nothing.
A knock sounded from the door, interrupting his thoughts. Though it was quiet, Merlin jumped at the unexpected noise. He didn’t do anything, unsure if he should ask who it was, or just ignore them. But before he could make up his mind, the door opened. Gwen poked her head in through the crack and spotted Merlin. She smiled.
“Hello Merlin. Is Gaius here?”
Merlin leaped out of his chair, hiding the dragon behind his back so Gwen couldn’t see it. He shook his head.
“No, he’s out with a patient. Can, can I get you something?” He stammered. His voice was thick from crying, and tears still blurred his vision. Maybe she won’t notice, he thought.
“Arthur asked me to get the king his medicine.” Concern furrowed her brow. “Is everything alright Merlin?”
Of course she noticed. Nothing ever got past Gwen. He nodded and summoned up a weak smile.
“Everything’s fine. Um, I think Gaius has it prepared. It should be over here somewhere…” He swiveled around, shoving the dragon as gently as he could into his pocket, and walked over to the table where Gaius had put Uther’s medicine.
He wiped the tears from his eyes and rummaged around the bottles, his emotions making his hands shake. He had to get control of himself. Gwen couldn’t know anything about… He knocked one of the glass bottles off the table and onto the stone floor, instantly shattering it. He grunted in frustration and bent down to clean it up.
A hand touched his shoulder. “Let me get it Merlin.”
He looked up into Gwen’s face. Her kind smile pulled at her lips and lightened her eyes. He rose up and stepped aside, nodding his thanks. He couldn’t look at her any longer, so he turned back to the table and searched through the bottles with more careful hands. Gwen’s very presence made his emotions harder to control. There was something about her that made him want to tell her everything. But he wouldn’t tell her. He couldn’t.
Finally, he found the right bottle. “Here it is,” he said, handing it over to Gwen, who had finished cleaning up his mess.
“Thank you,” she said. She looked at Merlin for a moment, studying his red-rimmed eyes and tear stained cheeks. “What’s wrong Merlin?”
Her gentle voice picked at his resolve and brought the tears back to his eyes. “It’s nothing Gwen,” he mumbled, dropping his eyes to the floor.
“Merlin, I know something’s wrong. You haven’t been yourself lately. You can tell me, you know.”
He struggled with what to do for a moment. He was so tired of keeping secrets from everyone. He could tell Gwen, couldn’t he? She would never tell Uther. He looked back up at her caring face, opening his mouth to speak. Then closed it again. If he told her, it would put her in danger. If Uther somehow ever found out because of it, Merlin would surely be put to death, and Gwen with him.
“It’s nothing.” He said it with conviction this time.
Gwen knew he wasn’t going to say more, so she nodded her consent.
“Alright Merlin,” she said quietly.
A real smile lifted the corners of his mouth. He was glad she understood. She smiled back, but her face quickly grew serious again as she looked at him.
“Merlin, I understand that you feel like you can’t tell me this. But I want you to know that I am more than willing to listen to you. Whatever your problem is. And I speak for Arthur too, even though he doesn’t act like it. We’re your friends, Merlin. And as long as you have us, you’re never alone.”
She reached over, and gently grasped his hand.
Tears pricked at his eyes as he listened to her. It took him a moment to regain control, but a smile finally broke through.
“Thanks Gwen,” he whispered.
She smiled back at him again. Giving his hand a last comforting squeeze, she turned and left the chambers, closing the door carefully behind her.

*     *     *
After a hard day’s work, Gaius and Merlin were eating their supper. The silence that permeated the room had only been broken by the muffled sound of chewing and the occasional request for something to be passed over.
Merlin kept his gaze firmly fixed on his food. He just wanted to finish his meal, and go to bed. The day had been long and trying, and he was ready for it to end.
Gaius had kept looking up at Merlin, studying his somber face. He had wanted to speak to him all evening, but was waiting for the right time. But now was as good a time as any.
“Merlin,” he began.
For the first time that evening, Merlin glanced up at him.
“Yes Gaius?” he asked, trying to sound as nonchalant as possible. He felt rather ashamed at the lack of self control he had shown that day. He knew that’s what Gaius was going to talk about. He’d say no one could ever know about his father, or who he was, or who Merlin was. So he looked back down at this food, unwilling to look him in the eyes.
Gaius took a moment to think of the right words.
“I spoke to Gwen today. She knew something was bothering you, but said you were unwilling to talk about it. Did she speak to you sometime today?”
Merlin nodded. Seeing that he wouldn’t get anything else out of him, Gaius continued.
“I told her that you’ve been going through some difficult times lately. She wanted me to remind you that she was there for you. Arthur said something similar to me as well. He said that you were a good friend, and that he didn’t want you to feel that you were alone.”
Merlin smiled through his tears. “Arthur said that?”
Gaius nodded gravely. “He meant it too. Even though you cannot tell Gwen and Arthur exactly what’s wrong, you can let them be there for you.” Gaius smiled a bit, and put his hand on Merlin’s. “Just as I am here for you.”
Merlin showed his thanks through a crooked grin. A tear slid from his eye as he looked at Gaius, struggling to find the words.
“I know they’re there for me. And I know you are too Gaius. Just as you’ve always been.” He swallowed, trying to bring his emotions in check. “It really means a lot to me.” More gratitude than he could put into words shown in his eyes.
“And I always will be there, no matter what.”
Gaius gave Merlin’s hand an affectionate pat. “You’d better finish your supper. It’s getting late, and you’ve got a lot to do tomorrow.”
Gaius rose from his chair and began preparing for bed. Merlin was left sitting alone at the table, but not feeling alone at all.

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2014 in *Le Submissions

 

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Alternate Ending to Birth by Sleep

Alternate Ending to Birth by Sleep

This Kingdom Hearts fanfiction was submitted by Miranda Atlas.

Aqua stared horrified at the face of one of her closest friends as he smiled up at her, his once blue eyes a shining gold. She had promised to look after Terra and Ventus, yet here they all were– in the Keyblade Graveyard, their master gone, their inseparable friendship so delicately hung in the balance. In the end, Aqua hadn’t been able to protect them; Terra had fallen to darkness and battled Xehanort out of her reach, and Ventus… it wasn’t him in front of her, Ven was beyond her reach as well. She could not protect them now, but Aqua knew she had to stop Vanitas at all costs. Her friend’s heart, and so much more, hung in the balance. He smirked at her, wearing Ven’s face, and Aqua’s anger and shock flickered silently under a wave of dread.
Glaring at Vanitas disdainfully, she gripped her Keyblade. “Ven, if you can hear me, you have to fight!”
Vanitas sneered. “He can’t hear you where he is. And his fight will not end in his victory” He brandished the unfinished X-blade. “Ventus will play his role. The Keyblade War will begin anew!”
Aqua straightened and raised her Keyblade. “Give back Ven’s heart!” she yelled, charging towards him.
• • •
Ventus breathed heavily as he focused on destroying Vanitas. He would not let Vanitas hurt his friends, and Ven would never agree to forge the X-blade: he had to stop Vanitas from beginning a new Keyblade War, even if it meant his own heart wouldn’t survive the process. He would not let Vanitas win.
His heart filled with the sound of clashing Keyblades as they rolled, struck, and parried one another’s blows. “For Terra and Aqua,” Ven thought as saw Vanitas stumble. He raised his Keyblade for the final strike. “For Terra and Aqua!”
Vanitas staggered back. “But… why…” he gasped, desperately clutching the unfinished X-blade.
Ven watched him coldly as Vanitas kneeled. “Now I’m in control,” he said evenly.
Vanitas laughed bitterly. “You’re not going to finish me off just yet? You… Coward…” he spat, panting.
Ven glared down at him icily. “Not until I know that Aqua is safe. I’ll deal with you soon enough.” Ven looked up. “I’m taking my body back first.”
• • •
Aqua and Vanitas danced around one another, evading and striking. Aqua cartwheeled out of the way as Vanitas swung dangerously close — they were both tiring. “I have to finish this quickly,” Aqua thought. She blocked and countered an attack, and in the opening charged for the last blow. She let her Keyblade fall with all her strength–
When he looked up. Ven’s blue eyes found Aqua’s, and shock and horror flashed across both their faces. “Ven!” Aqua cried, but it was too late to stop her Keyblade in its course, and Aqua watched her friend fall. She rushed forward to catch him as his own Keyblade clattered to the ground, disappearing into light.
He barely reached her arms as he, too, dissolved into a shimmering mist. As he fell, his Wayfinder slipped and shattered onto the stone as Ven shattered into light in Aqua’s embrace.
Aqua gasped in shock and grief as Ven slipped through her hands — Ven. It was Ven, she had met his eyes and seen his terror. “Ventus…” Aqua whispered softly, sinking to her knees. Her breaths shook, and a broken cry escaped her throat. “Ventus, no… what have I done?” Her voice wavered as she knelt, holding the shards of the fractured Wayfinder to her chest. “What have I done…”

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2014 in *Le Submissions

 

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Kingdom Come, Chapter One

Kingdom Come, Chapter One

This Norse Myth/Marvel/Star Trek Into Darkness AU crossover was created and co-written by HikikomoriTale, aka Kendra N., and Angela Watts. Kendra can be found at http://kingdomcomeknaw.wordpress.com.

Khan bolted across the covered bridge, over the creek, and on down the stone path towards the stables.

“LOKI!” He called, breathing hard.

He ran into the stables, looking around wildly for any sign of the king. He checked each stall, running a hand over each horse’s nose as he passed.  Sigyn’s black mare with white mane and tail, Nightkill, Khan’s own coal black stallion, and the other horses he didn’t know as well. Neither Snow or Sleipnir were in their stables. Khan heaved in a great breath, vaulting over the fence and into the pasture. He knew exactly where Loki would be if not the stables.

Khan finally reached the gigantic apple tree that sat upon the top of the hill, its leaves swaying in the summer breeze, apples glinting red and gold.  He panted heavily, putting his hands on his knees, bangs falling over his face. Loki stared down at him from the branches, munching an apple. The unusual eight-legged horse, Sleipnir, trotted up to Khan and dropped an apple on his head. Khan shooed the horse away.

“Loki! It’s the girls.” He panted, still out of breath.

Loki dropped from his perch and onto the ground, his greasy black hair tucked behind his ears.
“What about them? Is something wrong?” He said, patting Sleipnir’s back.

“They’re gone, Loki!” Khan hissed, standing up straight.

“What?” Loki said, face blank. “Gone? What happened?!”

“I went to take Angela home, but when I got there, the place was a mess! Picnic basket and blankets strewn all over, marks in the ground, branches torn from trees! Blood, little drops everywhere, blue blood, cold blood.” Khan said heavily, sweat pouring down his face.

Loki’s face went white. He stood glued to the spot, mouth gaping. The half-eaten apple slipped from his hand and hit the ground, Sleipnir gobbling it up the moment he saw it.
“Kidnapped?” His words rang hollow, face blank.

“Yes, Loki. They’re gone.” Khan sighed, frowning.
For a moment he thought Loki was going to throw up he looked so pale.

He swayed on the spot, before snapping back into focus and swinging himself up onto Sleipnir.
“Get on!” Loki snapped, eyes flashing furiously.

Khan did so and clambered up onto the stallion’s bare back.
Loki shouted, grabbing hold of Sleipnir’s black mane.
Khan grabbed onto Loki as eight legs sprang into action. He had never ridden on this horse before, let alone bareback. It was amazingly smooth as Sleipnir raced along. It reminded him of cheetahs, fast and springy. Loki leaned low against his horse’s neck, teeth clenched, all the rage in his heart screaming to get out. Khan’s heart had jumped into his throat.

They thundered towards the fence, easily jumping it, continuing on over the bridge. They took the lower path that led away from the castle and villages, and went down towards a smaller bridge that arched over the creek. Sleipnir leaped over it all together, landing with a thud on the other side. Loki kicked his steed in the sides, urging him to go faster. Sleipnir snorted, but galloped harder. They soon reached a small cove nestled in the side of a hill, a forest atop it. There stood several shady apple trees beside the water’s edge, swaying in the breeze.

Loki swung off Sleipnir’s back and ran towards the water, Khan following. Bits of blanket lay here and there, what was once a picnic basket floated on the water, its contents scattered about. The tree closest to the water was mutilated, branches ripped from it and crushed apples around its trunk. The air was silent, no sounds of birdsong or the chomping of horse’s teeth. Loki dropped to the ground, pressing his fingers into a pool of blue. He rubbed the substance between them, face sullen and determined.

“Frost giants… In Asgard?” Loki growled, jumping up and pacing the water’s edge. “When I find the portal they have come through, I swear I will slaughter them all,” he hissed, fists clenched.

“I would love nothing more than to do the same, but we have to find them first. We must get Angela and Sigyn back before we do anything else,” Khan said firmly, looking over the scene.

“Of course we must find them. It is likely the giants have taken them back to Jotunheim. I know of many portals there, including the Bifrost, but there is only one that can be traversed on foot.”

Khan nodded curtly, a glint of gold catching his eye. He reached down and picked it up, a thin golden headband with shiny wings sticking out on either side.
“Sigyn’s tiara,” he said, holding it out to Loki.

Loki snatched it from him, his expression of utmost hatred and fury. He threw himself onto Sleipnir, who was eating more apples, and took hold of his mane.
“Come on. We can’t find them if we’re not equipped to do so.”

Khan climbed up, careful not to get caught in one of four back legs of Sleipnir’s white body. They launched into a gallop, back towards the castle. Underneath all the fury and hatred Loki felt, he was terrified. He couldn’t bear to think of his beloved Sigyn hurt, or worse. He knew Khan felt equally scared, but perhaps not as angry. They would return to the castle and get all they needed for a long and dangerous journey, for Loki knew that was in store for them if they ever hoped to reunite with their lovers.

~~~

The rocking motion woke her, and the sounds of a horse in pain. Sigyn opened her eyes, mind blank. Her vision blurred, she could see nothing but dark trees, a sense of foreboding in the air. She lifted her head to see Angela, cream cloak laced up, hood down. Auburn locks falling around her shoulders, a scratch over her cheek and one on her lip. Other than that, she was perfectly fine, bound to her limping horse by rope. Sigyn, on the other hand, was slung over a huge shoulder, and her mind suddenly snapped awake.

Frost giants had kidnapped Angela and her, and she had the horrible feeling she knew why. She knew not to bother with screaming and flailing about, as that was both foolish and potentially lethal in the monster’s hands. Angela coughed to announce her desire for attention.

“I would appreciate it if you put my friend on my horse with me.” Angela said, glaring at one of four frost giants.

He turned his ugly blue head, twisted dull spikes jutting out around his jawline.
“Ye want yer elvish friend ridin’ on yer whimpering horse with ye?” He said, voice stupid and thuggish.

“Why yes I do.” Angela said, scooting forwards.

“Have er’ then.”

The frost giant stopped and dropped Sigyn onto the mare, glowering at them before yanking on the rope, tugging them along. Snow, the mare, whinnied painfully as she was forced to carry two passengers.

“You alright?” Angela asked, turning to look at Sigyn.

“Fine.” She sighed.

Sigyn’s black cloak had a tear near the bottom where a frost giant ripped her from a tree. Her bow was long gone, lost in the fight. Captured by these oafs and bound with ropes, she had a burning desire to free herself and Angela. But logic and the stupidity of frost giants told her it would be best to wait. Her only hope now was that Loki had found out and was on his way, fighting for her.

~~~

It was the dawn after Sigyn had been taken from him. Loki and Khan rode their horses, Sleipnir and Nightkill, laden with satchels of food and weapons. They reached the first foot-portal to Alfheim, which looked like an ordinary cave inhabited by cobwebs.

“We will come out at the entrance to a forest,” Loki said. “And we will have to go straight through it. The next foot-portal isn’t for miles.”

“Where exactly are we going? I thought you said the giants were in Jotunheim.” Khan frowned, patting Nightkill’s head.

“Oh, they will be. But since they can only travel on foot, they will have to travel through two realms to get there.” Loki replied coolly.

“Why not take the Bifrost and beat them back?”

“Because frost giants are idiotic brutes who will kill us on sight unless we’re careful.”

Khan frowned, nudging Nightkill towards the cave.

“I’m right behind you.” Loki said. “I promise you that they will pay dearly for what they took.” He added darkly.

The two stallions, their rider’s minds set, stepped into the shadows of the cave, all light and sound dying away like the summer breeze. Their long and dangerous journey to rescue beloved Sigyn and lovely Angela began, neither knowing if they would succeed, but determined to do so, even if it meant their death.

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2014 in *Le Submissions

 

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I’m Not Dead, Brother Mine

I’m Not Dead, Brother Mine

This Sherlock (BBC) fanfiction is a submission by Otter.

The ruffling of papers was all that was heard in the silent room. The sound echoed around where no words were allowed. Papers and magazines clashed against one another as their reader set them gently down on his lap. A sharp intake of air came next from the man as he stared blankly at the front page.
“Suicide of Fake Genius” was in big bold letters upon the front page.
This is how he got the news.
The news of his brother’s death.
He brought his hands to his face, his mouth gaping and his eyes wide in shock.
He didn’t mean for this to happen. This wasn’t supposed to be the outcome.
He was supposed to protect his brother, keep him from harm. Keep him safe. But instead he got him killed.
Guilt, pain, and utter sadness welled in the man’s throat, as he struggled to breath. It hit like a ton of bricks, crushing him, breaking him down, shattering his insides.
Once he had finally caught his breath he ran his thin fingers through his balding hair.
After what felt like hours of silence, the papers began to rustle again as the man gathered his things, deciding it was time to leave.
He slipped the papers into his briefcase and slid his umbrella gently under his arm.
He stood up shakily, repeating over and over again, “What have I done?” in his head.
He left with a heavy sigh and approached the sleek black car waiting for him in the driveway.
The driver climbed out as he saw the man strolling up. He then opened the door for him, where his assistant was waiting, sitting silently, completely absorbed in her phone.
The man sat down, and a feeling of melancholy filled the car.
The woman stole a glance at the man, who had his head in his hands.
“Are you alright sir?” She asked, only looking up from her mobile for a quick second.
“Yes. Fine,” the man lied, plastering a fake smile on his face “Just… Family matters.”
The assistant knew this was code for “My brother is up to his shenanigans and I must intervene… again,” and she thought nothing more of the matter. She must not have heard the news yet, which was nearly impossible. The event was circling the news, a huge scandal. The world’s smartest person, the hero to all policemen, was proved to be nothing more than a fake, and then decided to end it all with a topple off a building.
The ride to the man’s house was almost completely silent, except for the on-going tapping of the assistant’s fingers keyboard and a quiet ping from the man’s own phone.
The man’s pocket vibrated and he slipped his phone out of it.
With sad eyes and a long drawn out breath, he read the message.
Guilt seemed to build up inside his throat and his hands shook.
With wet eyes, he reread the message
“How could you?” The message read. The raging anger and pain couldn’t be more clear. It was like the writer was there, his anger and depression filling the room.
“He trusted you. His own brother and you got him killed! You said you said you were worried! You said you would protect him! And he wasn’t just your brother, he was my best friend too! It’s your fault he’s gone. YOUR FAULT he’s gone. You let Moriarty out, you decided that Moriarty was a lesser threat to the government than your own brother. You chose the government’s safety over his. No wonder he wanted nothing to do with you.
-JW”
Remorse shot at his insides, constricting his breath. His face became ghastly white, and his hands shook slightly.
He didn’t blame him for being angry, he did just kill his best friend.
As the car came to a stop, the man’s stomach lurched. He wanted to sit there, locking himself away from humanity. Punishing himself for not caring as much as he should.
But as the driver opened the door he quickly threw on a fake smile. Muttering a thanks, he quickly tried to speed into the house before anything else could be said. But that plan was shot down as soon as the assistant opened the car door and stepped out.
“Sir, are you sure you’re alright?” She looked up at him through her thin rimmed spectacles, setting her phone in her pocket.

“Give it back Mycroft!” his brother would scream, chasing after him.
“NEVER!” Mycroft  would scream, holding his brothers most prized possession over his head.
He tried to get as far as possible, but always ended being caught by their mum at the end of the hall. He would always have to give it back, because she would threaten him with a beating.

The man wandered through the halls, peeking into his brother’s old room. Like a movie playing over and over, he watched as he remembered his brother playing pirates in his room, Mycroft joining along every once in awhile.
“SHIVER ME TIMBERS! YOU LANDLUBBER!” he would yell.
They would play for hours, Mycroft and his brother, hitting one another with broken, plastic swords. Even with wimpy swords, they would both emerge from battle bashed and bruised. No matter how hard they tried to hide it, mummy would always find out.
“Boys! What have I told you about beating each other with those plastic death sticks!?” she would lecture, cleaning their cuts and scrapes.
“To not to,” they would both answer, putting their heads down in shame. With an apology, and a spanking, they would be dismissed, just to go and do it again.
Touring farther into the house, Mycroft walked into the parlor.
“Don’t touch the floor! It’s lava!” a younger Mycroft would call. He and his brother would climb over the chairs, hop on the cleverly placed cushions, and walk over the coffee tables.

Mycroft smiled, reminiscing the old times with his brother. Not a fake smile like the last time. A real, genuine smile. His tour brought him to the foyer and to the stairs leading from the base of the house to the third floor. A balcony overlooked the layout of the room, standing tall upon white marble pillars.
“Come on you filthy sea rat!” would call Mycroft’s younger brother, a crooked tri-cornered hat sitting cock-eyed on his mop of raven, curly hair. He had managed to climb the balcony, and placed himself on the other side of the white railing.
“Get down from there!” Mycroft called, worried about the stupid stunt his brother was about to pull.
“look Captain Skully!” the little pirate wanna-be said to the inanimate skull sitting carefully on the banisher. “My’s a scaredy sea rat!”
“Am not! I just don’t want you hurt!” Mycroft retorted, crossing his arms.
“It’s safe! I piled pillows at per… per-cise-ly where I wanted them,” the little boy said, making sure he pronounced the word correctly
“That doesn’t mean anything!”
Before Mycroft could stop him, the brave little pirate boy took a step off the railing, falling quickly into the pillows. Everything seemed alright, like he was going to hit his mark, until there was a large Ther-Wack! and a sharp, painful cry.
“SHERLY!” Mycroft called as he ran over to his brother, who was curled into a tight little ball, buried amongst the bed of pillows.
He rolled him over, revealing a disfigured arm, and a waterfall of hot tears
“I-I dunno what happened!” He cried, bawling as he clenched his arm, which had begun to turn purple, and swell.
“You forgot to move the table. I was going to tell you that, but you wouldn’t listen to me!” Mycroft answered his brother, sitting him up.
After hours of excessive pain, a fractured radius, a shattered olna, and a trip to the emergency room, the little pirate emerged, with a newly casted arm, and his hat still firmly on his head

As Mycroft reminisced about this, he began to think of how ironic it was. That this is how he perished.
A long drop, and a quite sudden stop.

Mycroft pushed tears from his eyes, remembering the incident. He forced himself to move forward, with one last stop on his journey. He shuffled his feet as he came across a door. The door had been shut for many years. Ever since their father died.
Being a young man, of the age of 17 at the time, he remembered it well. Almost too well.
“My boy,” his father said weakly, grasping Mycroft’s small hand. His face was cadaverous , his eyes glazed over just slightly. “You’ve always been so good. Listening to what I say, obeying everything,” he smiled as he spoke softly. Mycroft began to tear up at his father’s words.
“Take care of your brother, he’s always getting into things, always in trouble. Protect him. I won’t be able to do that, so do it for me. If that’s all you ever do, do it well.” His father’s words were quiet, and faded in volume as he spoke.
With his mother waiting in the corner of the room, her face swollen from crying and her eyes red with tears, Mycroft looked at his father, and with a strong nod of his head said “Of course I’ll protect him. Make sure he’s ok.”
“That’s a good boy.” And that was the last thing he said to Mycroft before he passed.
Mycroft walked out of the big, solid oak doors, over to his brother, to tell him it was his turn to get his last moment with his father.

At this memory, Mycroft was undone. He sat at the edge if the unused bed, guilt, pain, remorse, and any other possible feeling welled inside him.
“I’m so sorry,” he sobbed. He sat, his head in his hands, and cried. That was all he could do. Nothing could bring his brother back.
A light echo of footsteps was faintly heard over the uncontrollable sobs of Mycroft Holmes.
The door opened, but Mycroft didn’t seem to notice until a familiar voice was heard.
“Mycroft…” the figure spoke. As he did, his deep voice rang, quieting the sobs, as he placed his gentle hand on Mycroft’s shoulder.
He gasped in utter shock at the figured clad in a black coat. His mop of raven hair, free of any pirate hat, his thin figure pale and stick like, same as it was when Mycroft last saw him in the morgue, on a slab.
“S…S-Sherlock?” Mycroft started.
The figure nodded, his curly locks bouncing in sync with his movements.
Without hesitation, Mycroft nearly tackled the man in a hug.
“I am so sorry,” Mycroft repeated as the man soothed him.
“You said yourself, caring is not an advantage,” he said, his voice flat and calm.
“Nor is it optional sometimes.” Mycroft repeated.
“It’s alright,” he said, in a calming manner. “I’m not dead.”

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2014 in *Le Submissions

 

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Big News

Submission by Prajina, who can be found on Pinterest, and on her own blog, Marchaelary .

The light glared through the window. Anna squinted and closed the blinds. She wondered why it was so sunny today. The week had been a gloomy one, full of rain and overhead clouds.
“Never mind,” she thought, and went back to preparing breakfast for Kristoff and her. Today she was excited. And it was not because of pancakes.
“Kristoff?” she quietly called through the hallway. “Kristoff? Breakfast is ready! Hurry up, or you’re going to be late!”
“Late for what?” he grunted, obviously still half-asleep in the room.
Oh. Anna realized that today was Saturday. Oops. But she was excited, and she was so full of energy, she was about to burst. “Well, Kristoff, just hurry up, okay? The pancakes are going to get cold and I know you hate that.” She smiled and then frowned. Kristoff really was particular about his pancakes.
Finally Kristoff appeared in the kitchen doorway, leaning his heavy back against the frame. He grunted. He saw the pancakes on a plate and sat down at the kitchen table. He poured blueberry syrup, Arendelle’s specialty, onto them and started eating.
Within two minutes he had finished a whole stack without a word. The large man grunted, and started to get up.
“Can I-I tell you something Kristoff?” Anna said, first a bit nervously, then a bit more assertively. He grunted again. When would she tell him to stop with the grunting?
But she realized. She realized that you can’t just tell someone something like this out of the blue! It has to be planned; you have to set the mood. She turned off the stove and sat next to Kristoff.
Leaning her head against Kristoff’s shoulder, she nervously toyed with her hair. That was one thing she knew that Kristoff found cute. And if she knew that, she would do it. “Kristoff?”
This time he didn’t grunt. Success! Instead, he motioned for her to continue. Anna would have preferred him to have said something, anything, but that was too much to ask this morning.
“Well, I want to tell you something.”
“You said that already.” His first words this morning.
“I-I think I’m, I mean, I know I’m,”
He cocked his head and raised an eyebrow.
She sighed. Might as well put it plainly.
“Kristoff, I’m pregnant!” she squealed. There. She said it. Now the reaction.
Kristoff’s eyes widened. He had finally woken up. He smiled, scooping Anna up and spinning her around. Just like that day Arendelle unfroze.
“Be careful Kristoff!” Anna whispered, motioning towards her belly.
He sheepishly put her down. “Sorry.”
“But, are you serious?” he whispered, after putting Anna down.
Anna nodded, for once, speechless.

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2014 in *Le Submissions

 

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