Cratchit

Eddie Redmayne’s Oscar whirlwind

Three weeks into shooting for The Danish Girl, Redmayne flew to L.A. from London. The next evening, around 5:00 a.m. British time, he clambered onto the stage of the Dolby Theater in a midnight-blue Alexander McQueen tuxedo to accept the Oscar for Best Actor from Cate Blanchett. “I will promise you I will look after him!” he said of the trophy in a breathless baritone, half Alec Guinness, half Bob Cratchit. On Monday, he touched down back in London and went directly from the airport to the studio. “We had some decorations on his trailer,” Vikander says. “He went straight to the set and just did this killer scene. I was so amazed about how he was able to close everything off and get tunnel vision and go right back to his part in the way he did. He’s all about the work, that guy.”

Vogue, October 2015 (x) — Eddie dressed as Einar Wegener with Oscar in his trailer

Please paint Kevin McCallister, George Bailey, Bob Cratchit (Kermit version), Buddy the Elf and The Snowman having a lovely Christmas dinner together while a shivering John McClane solemnly watches from outside the dining room window.

Benjamin Allen

8

(Click on the pic for captions!)
A fun little seasonal AU me and @louisianartz​ come up with around christmas. Ladies and gentlemen, let us present to you A Caroltale AU, In which:
Mettaton: Ebenezer Scrooge 
Sans: Mr. Cratchit.
Burgerpants: Jacob Marley
Napstablook: Mettaton’s one and only family who is still there waiting.
Toriel and Pap: The Cratchit family.  
Frisk: Tiny Tim.
Grillby: Ghost of Christmas past.
Asgore: Ghost of Christmas present.
W.D Gaster: Ghost of Christmas yet to come.

Story: In a jolly christmas night, with the visit of 3 ghosts of christmas, Mettaton the fame lusting scourge, rediscovered the true meaning of christmas and a life of happiness. 

Had a lot of fun working on this with the very talented @louisianartz. Check her out if you have not!

anonymous asked:

What would you say are your top 10 (or 5 if that's easier) Spuffy fics?

Mmmm okay so these are based solely on personal preference, not on quality (not that they’re not high-quality, but there are so many HQ Spuffy fics out there). Also, these are…not in order, I can’t rank them. These are just the ones I’ve read and reread the most.

Awake by Betty Cratchit - vague S4 setting, no Riley, softer side of Spike, denial!Buffy. 12k.

Le Belle Dame Sans Merci by Sigyn - Buffy interacting with Buffybot, S5 “Intervention”. 6k. Mild angst. Also part of a oneshot series - I can recommend all of them but this is definitely the one I read the most.

Skin on Skin by Nautibitz - Smutty and fun, S5 post-Riley. 10k.

Ahead of Her Time by haleycc - Can’t say much without spoiling the “twist” in the first few chapters, but time travel and denial make everything better. S5. 40k.

Five Words or Less by AGriffinWriter - Another long but goodie. S5 AU, which is my weakness, and this is a perfect one. 289k.

Incandescence by Annie Sewell-Jennings - S7, Buffy realizing her love, absolutely beautiful. Prequel “Illumination” is also well worth your time! 10k.

Forward to Time Past by Unbridled Brunette - S5 epic time travel fic featuring Spike and William. 270k.

Late Night Phone Call by dampersandspoons - S5 smutty phone sex with some hurt/comfort. Oneshot.

A Little Gratitude by coalitiongirl - Sweet late S5 goodness. Oneshot.

Rotting Corpse by slaymesoftly - Even more S5, 1k goodness. Also has a similar-sized sequel, highly rec’d.

Also, everyone will recommend you Barbverse (A Raising in the Sun and many others by the amazing Barb C/Rahirah), West of the Moon, East of the Sun by KnifeEdge, and Legions of True Hearts by Eurydice. They’re right. Those are essential reading!

anonymous asked:

wolfstar + "you forgot a book on the subway (or somewhere) but you also used your driver’s license as a bookmark so I tracked you down" au

  • there’s a forgotten book on the metro when sirius hops on for his morning commute
  • it’s a translation of the illiad 
  • sirius sits down on the seat it was forgotten at and thumbs through the well-worn copy
  • inside, near the back, is someone’s license tucked in between the pages as a bookmark
  • if sirius ever thought he was dumb, he doesn’t then. someone has obviously gotten him beat.
  • so he decides that on his way home from work he’ll drop off the book (and the id) since the owner lives a few blocks away from his flat
  • speaking of the owner: he’s fit. at least, from his picture. timothy cratchit has tawny curls that flop over his forehead. and he’s just a year older than sirius is himself
  • timothy cratchit is even fitter in real life. and sirius doesn’t even have to figure out which flat the bloke lives in, because sirius catches him when he’s leaving his building
  • “tim!” sirius calls from behind. timothy stops for a second, pauses, and then turns on his heels. “i have your book!”
  • timothy is surprised, to say the least. and his cheekbones are even more prominent than in his sodding id photo. he makes sirius feel all warm inside, the way james said he felt when he was around lily
  • he hands tim the book, but tim is standing in front of him with a perplexed expression
  • “my name’s not tim. it’s a nickname,” he says, running his hands over the cover. “how the hell did you–” his fingers find where his bookmark is. “oh.”
  • sirius has never thought before he spoke. he doesn’t now, either. “you know, you’re the only person who actually looks somewhat attractive in their license photo. by the way, what the fuck were you thinking?? leaving your id in a book. especially if you’re prone to losing it. you do realize identity theft is a thing, right”
  • Not-Timothy’s ear’s light up red. his free hand runs up to push his hair back, out of his eyes. “It’s a fake. I didn’t have anything around when I was reading so I just grabbed this. My name’s actually Remus.”
  • “So you’re not Tim? Not even your middle name?”
  • “Timothy Cratchit is the name of the little boy in A Christmas Carol.”
  • Sirius has the urge to laugh uncontrollably. Instead, he kicks a pebble on the ground and says, “don’t loose your book next time.”
  • he’s about to walk away when Remus says, “Would you want to grab lunch with me sometime?”
  • Sirius fights the urge to smirk. “I’d rather have a meal with Tim, but I suppose you’ll do.”
  • They get sandwiches and coffee two days later.
  • Eventually, they fall into the habit of buying cheap wine with the fake id. They get dizzyingly drink while listening to symphonies on Sirius’s beat up record player.

send me hc prompts || read my other hcs

can you just imagine how personally attacked Quark would feel by a staged production of A Christmas Carol

like, Rom lands the part of Bob Cratchit (naturally w/ Leeta as Mrs. Cratchit and Nog as Tiny Tim)… and after the play is over he’s got permagrumpface and must be coddled and apologized to a hundred times before he begins to lighten up

never fully accepts that it wasn’t an intentional slight to him; brings it up every single holiday season for the rest of time

4

Life Study by Annie Leibovitz
In the couple’s Copenhagen studio, the artist Einar Wegener (Eddie Redmayne) poses for his wife, Gerda (Alicia Vikander). The actress describes the film as “a love story about learning to love yourself.”

Eddie Redmayne on Transforming into The Danish Girl 

The transformation starts with changes in the skin tone, soft pink on the upper cheeks, lipstick. The nose is a small challenge, but the peachy coloring is helpful, and the freckles are, too. Casual observers might see overpainting, or illusionism, or embellishment. To both the artist and the subject, though, the work is more akin to sculpture by relief: a technique of wearing away the well-known features of the male face to reveal the contours of a female countenance beneath.

It’s early Tuesday afternoon at London’s Elstree Studios, and, in a little dressing room just off the soundstage, Jan Sewell, a makeup artist with a chic white bob, is putting the final touches on Eddie Redmayne’s face. Redmayne and Sewell have worked together closely over the past few years—she exacted the slow, progressive changes that advanced Stephen Hawking’s ALS in The Theory of Everything, which earned Redmayne his first Academy, BAFTA, SAG, and Golden Globe awards this year—and they’ve developed what she calls “a complete shorthand.” Is the person who emerges from that wig too self-aware? Does this color distract from a delicate expression? The goal is to create a body that, working between the actual and the imagined, joins the actor’s form to a physique the character would know to be her own.

A few days earlier, in London, Redmayne finished shooting his last scenes for The Danish Girl, based on the 2000 historical novel by David Ebershoff. The movie was directed by Tom Hooper (Les Misérables, The King’s Speech), and it follows the real-life transition of Lili Elbe, born as Einar Wegener in late–nineteenth century Denmark, as she undergoes some of the very first sex-reassignment surgeries. The stages of Lili’s transformation, though, were more than a performance alone could convey, so Sewell helped define them, with a light touch. “If I put a lot of makeup on, he would look like a man with makeup,” she says. “I reshaped his mouth by taking away the corners and giving him more of a feminine pout.”

Now, in the makeup room, Sewell is brushing out a bold red wig. Many transgender women have said they experienced a period of hyperfeminization when they first appeared publicly as female—“It’s your first moment to express yourself,” Redmayne says—and Sewell decided that Lili would wear the loud wig at first. (Later, as the character settles into womanhood, Redmayne’s wigs grow more naturalistic.) Now he wears a tomato-red lip, though that, too, will be subdued as Lili finds herself.

“Can I drink, Jan? Can I have a coffee?” Redmayne asks, staring at his reflection. He looks vacant and empty: This body-between-bodies is not his, and he has not yet entered into character.

“Yes, I’ll redo the lips, don’t worry—we can’t have you fainting.” She smiles wryly, then steps back for a moment, as if scrutinizing a canvas. Fussily, she works over the edges of the wig. “Just a little powder, and then you’re good.”

Ebershoff’s novel concerns art as much as gender: Both Einar and his wife, Gerda (Alicia Vikander), were accomplished painters. He had found early success with his haunting, refined landscapes, and she, a portraitist, had studied under him at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Near the start of the movie, we see them working in their studio, she on her big, vivacious canvases and he on his small, controlled ones. Hurrying to finish a portrait of a young woman, Gerda asks Einar to pose as her female subject.

“Will you try on the stockings and shoes?”

“You will not tell anyone about this.”

The experience is, for Einar, more than a bizarre artistic task. He begins dressing as a woman often: first apparently in the spirit of creative support (Gerda’s portraits of Lili are her first great commercial success, allowing the couple to move to Paris) and later for self-realization. “What I read was an incredibly passionate love story about two artists,” Redmayne says; Vikander describes the film as “a love story about learning to love yourself.”

In France, Gerda is celebrated as a fashionable Art Nouveau painter. (In real life, she contributed work to early issues of Vogue.) Lili, now living as herself, abandons painting. In the film, she begins chastely courting a young man (played by Ben Whishaw); Gerda, for her part, grows close to one of Einar’s friends (Matthias Schoenaerts). Trying to realize her female body, Lili undergoes risky constructive surgeries without antibiotics. “She talks about her transition in terms of these two versions of herself—she needed to find a language at the time to say what it felt like,” Hooper says. In real life, Lili died, in her late 40s, of complications from her final operation.

Ebershoff, the author of two other acclaimed historical novels, is vice president and executive editor at Random House; he stumbled on Lili’s story while paging through a book on gender theory. “I remember thinking, Wait a minute—Lili Elbe is a pioneer, but I’ve never heard of her,” he says. “She was a woman who did something profoundly courageous and important, and yet when I first encountered her name, history had mostly forgotten her.”

The movie arrives in theaters this November, and the timing couldn’t be better. At a moment when the trans experience has its own powerful voices—Caitlyn Jenner,Laverne Cox, Transparent, Tangerine, About Ray—the movie begins the long project of historicizing trans life, tracing the roots of its cultural heritage and celebrating its complexities. “I think it’s wonderful that, through her, there’s been a spotlight on a civil rights movement,” Redmayne says of Jenner. “But her story is a very specific one, and there are many trans women, particularly women of color, who have seen other extremes.”

Rising from the makeup chair now, Redmayne heads into the studio, where he is to be photographed as Lili. The hardest moment in the course of shooting The Danish Girl, he says, was stepping onto the set in female form and sensing the eyes of gaffers and electricians gauging the persuasiveness of his appearance. “It was a feeling that, apparently, women are substantially more used to,” he says. “That was incredibly nerve-racking, and yet it must be nothing like what it’s like for a trans woman the first time she goes out.”

On the soundstage, someone has put on a recording of Chopin to set the haute bohème mood. Big, umbrellaed photography lamps are sounding their two-tone report—bang-squeak! bang-squeak!—and the soundstage flashes with each crack. Hooper is standing by, an observer in jeans and a tidy oxford shirt; Redmayne is costumed in a lush green-velvet dress.

“For the character of Einar, we had to make an Edwardian, very austere and severe, person trapped in his body,” Paco Delgado, the film’s costume designer, explains. “Then, when Lili was coming to life, we had to start opening up the palette—it became warmer. We were very lucky because the twenties offered a very good shape if you had an androgynous body.” Using period fabrics, Delgado, the designer for Pedro Almodóvar’s The Skin I Live In, created some loose, questingly epicene suits to help define the phases of Lili’s transition.

Redmayne is tall, but as a woman in heels, he is even taller. For a moment, with the lights on him and the lens gaping, he looks uncertain. Sewell rushes forward and makes a small adjustment: She lets loose a couple of curls of the wig, so they descend onto his face. As she darts back out of view, Redmayne alights on the edge of the couch, brings a hand up to his ear, and gazes searchingly toward the camera. He is no longer recognizable as a 33-year-old man; suddenly, the flash strikes his face and the transformation is complete.

Three weeks into shooting for The Danish Girl, Redmayne flew to L.A. from London. The next evening, around 5:00 a.m. British time, he clambered onto the stage of the Dolby Theater in a midnight-blue Alexander McQueen tuxedo to accept the Oscar for Best Actor from Cate Blanchett. “I will promise you I will look after him!” he said of the trophy in a breathless baritone, half Alec Guinness, half Bob Cratchit. On Monday, he touched down back in London and went directly from the airport to the studio. “We had some decorations on his trailer,” Vikander says. “He went straight to the set and just did this killer scene. I was so amazed about how he was able to close everything off and get tunnel vision and go right back to his part in the way he did. He’s all about the work, that guy.”

Given the accolades that flowed from Redmayne’s metamorphosis as Stephen Hawking, it’s tempting to see Lili as a role seeking to follow on that success. And yet his involvement in The Danish Girl long predated his Hawking performance. Hooper had thought of Redmayne from the start—“There’s a certain gender fluidity about Eddie,” he says; “he has this extraordinary translucency, this way his emotion can come through”—and passed him the screenplay when they worked together on Les Misérables.

“I read it while I was busy singing Marius, trying to get a note out of my poky vocal cords,” Redmayne explains over coffee one morning. We are sitting at a table by the window in Terry’s Cafe, a small, old-style luncheonette—red-checkered oilcloth, Cumberland sausage and eggs—in London’s Southwark district, where Redmayne has lived for nine years. He’s a loyal customer, friendly with Terry’s son, Austin, who has quietly upscaled his father’s menu to keep pace with the area’s development. Even in person, Redmayne is boyish. His chestnut hair is tousled upward, and he’s dressed in a black denim jacket, ecru T-shirt, slip-on sneakers. He speaks not in a stream of thought but in braids, dropping one idea mid-sentence to begin another, twisting that around a third, then taking up the first strand once more.

Lili is not the first woman Redmayne has played. He went from female roles at Eton to his big break on the professional London stage, as Viola in Twelfth Night, in 2002: “a cis­gender male playing a cis­gender female playing a cis­gender male!” But he found playing a trans woman in transition “completely different” than the cross-dressing of a Shakespeare comedy. “I was sort of astounded by my own ignorance,” he says. He undertook, along with the rest of the cast, a careful course of reading, starting from Man into Woman, a 1933 account of Lili’s life drawn from her papers (though it’s thought that Niels Hoyer, the editor, touched up the material). They read Jan Morris’s landmark memoir of transitioning, Conundrum(“a brilliant piece of writing—to my mind, it should be part of the established canon of great literature,” Hooper says), and works on gender theory. Redmayne made a special point of seeking the experiences of living trans people, too. “Across the board, all of the people from the trans community I’ve met have been so open with the idea that any question is a good one,” he says. “That sense of education is also what’s going on in the world at this moment.”

The research filtered up onto the screen. The changing chemistry between Lili and Gerda is the main delight of Hooper’s film, as Redmayne manages to go from an awkward, goose-necked man to a swanlike woman who is, at last, comfortable in her skin: “Tom allowed me freedom, so I could work out what angles worked, what angles didn’t. You’re not shooting chronologically. It’s a delicate thing.” Vikander, in perhaps her most astonishingly frank and intimate performance, makes Gerda as arresting a figure as Lili, and as brave a character, too. “I was sort of worried about finding someone who could match Eddie,” Hooper says. “Alicia was that person.”

After ordering our second coffees in paper cups (“Austin, can I borrow a spoon, mate?”), Redmayne and I set out along the gentle bend of Great Suffolk Street. “What I like about this neighborhood is that it’s so central—I can cycle into the West End when I’m doing theater—while at the same time it’s this extraordinary Dickensian part of London that had a lot of serious hits in the Blitz,” Redmayne says. “It has this strange mixture of old and new.”

Up Toulmin Street, he pauses to point out a brick primary school that’s in fact named after Charles Dickens. Nearby is the apartment where Redmayne was based throughout the early years of his career—a precocious stage ascent that carried him from The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?, in 2004, to Richard II, even as he earned attention on the international screen for My Week with Marilyn. Today, Redmayne is near the front of a bevy of young British leading men (Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston, Tom Sturridge, Ben Whishaw, and on) captivating Hollywood and shining onstage. Redmayne is currently preparing to play “a magic zoologist” in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a screenplay by J. K. Rowling set in New York in the twenties—“I can’t really say anything about it,” he says archly as we round a corner—but he’s had a welcome respite since The Danish Girl wrapped, and time to spend with his wife, Hannah Bagshawe. It’s his first real experience of married home life since their wedding last December. “She’s amazing, Hannah, and has this wonderful mind,” he says. “She reads a lot of the work I’m doing and has a lot of insight into it.”

When he’s not savoring nuptial bliss, he paints, a hobby that recalls his time at Cambridge, where he read the history of art, writing his thesis on Yves Klein. “As you get older, you assume you get better, even though you don’t do it anymore,” he says. “So maybe twice a year, when I’m on holiday, I’ll sit and paint, and I think, I’ve definitely got better! When, in fact, no, I’ve got substantially worse.”

Yet visual art has never drifted far from his actor’s work. One of his favorite stage experiences, he says, was playing Mark Rothko’s assistant in Red, the 2009 play by John Logan for which Redmayne won a Tony. Lili and Gerda’s artistic relationship, in turn, accounted for a large part of his interest in The Danish Girl; the work of one of Redmayne’s favorite painters, the Danish artist Vilhelm Hammershøi, was hugely influential on Ebershoff as he was writing and, later, on Hooper and his production designer, Eve Stewart, as they worked out the austere blue-gray aesthetic of Einar and Gerda’s Danish apartment. But it was a photographic clue that unlocked the character. “The work of Lili when she was living as Einar was not particularly groundbreaking,” Redmayne says. “There’s this amazing photo of Einar wearing this really high starched collar. That was a sort of key for me. It was this exoskeleton.”

We’re wandering now through the Southwark streets, lined with brick flats and sleek office buildings. “Everything is under construction and looking so shit!” he says, sounding not entirely displeased. “What I love about this area is that it’s not an area that presents itself. It doesn’t thrust out of a facade. You sort of find it, slowly.”

Lili’s efforts to find herself carried her to consultations with the health professionals of the day, who diagnosed her as, variously, homosexual, schizophrenic, and confused. Today, as trans has become its own proud identity, we like to think that we were always so enlightened, but progress is new. When Ebershoff’s novel appeared, fifteen years ago, it was shelved, in one place, in the “erotica” section: A carefully researched account of one woman’s transition by an esteemed editor was thought too deviant for the literary-fiction shelves. “One of the things that’s helping change the culture are stories. Caitlyn Jenner’s story, Jennifer Finney Boylan’s story, Laverne Cox’s story, Renée Richards’s story, Chaz Bono’s story … the list grows almost every day,” Ebershoff says. “We cannot fully comprehend the positive influence of these stories. They land in the minds of people we will never know and touch them in ways we can never be made aware of.”

“People talk as if The Danish Girl is now an obvious film to make, which makes me laugh,” Hooper says. The screenplay, by Lucinda Coxon, circulated for years. (At various points, the adaptation was to star Marion Cotillard, Nicole Kidman,Gwyneth Paltrow, and Charlize Theron.) In the early stages of Hooper’s involvement, studios were so squeamish about the movie that it was hard to secure any funding. “It began as a small passion project,” he says.For him, though, as for his cast, the changing climate hasn’t meant the end of a cause. In the U.S., you can be fired in 31 states for being trans, Redmayne points out. “Through this film—through one life learned, and through this position of privilege in being able to talk to all these people—I hope I can be an advocate for trans issues, and an ally, in some way.” The Danish Girl is not a work of activism. But he hopes that it will offer a window onto the complex trans experience.

“In acting you have very little control or capacity for choice,” Redmayne says. “The only choice that I have had in this past couple of years—and really, it’s just happened—is ‘Is this a story that you’d like to be a part of?’ ” He pauses for a moment and then smiles. “Yeah.”

I want a Les Mis version of Scrooge’s introductory theme song from the Muppets Christmas Carol with Javert as Scrooge.

Javert: *walks by vegetable stand, glaring at the vendor*

*lettuce wilts*

Street Vendor: Even the vegetables don’t like him!

Javert: *continues walking*

Lovely Ladies: He must be so lonely! He must be so sad! He goes to extremes to convince us he’s bad. He’s really a victim of fear and of pride. Look close and there must be a sweet man inside….

….NAH!!!

…Uh-uh!


Also starring…
Valjean as Bob Cratchit
Young Cosette as Tiny Tim
The Thenardiers as Marley & Marley
Fantine (or Simplice) as the Ghost of Christmas Past
The Bishop as the Ghost of Christmas Present
Fauchelevent and his gravedigger buddy as The Ghost(s) of Christmas Yet to Come
Gavroche, Enjolras, and the Amis as Master Fred & Family

anonymous asked:

STEREK - A CHRISTMAS CAROL AU

Okay, but what about this: everyone’s an elementary school teacher, and the staff decides to put on a performance of A Christmas Carol for the kids.

Naturally Derek gets cast as Scrooge, which everyone finds hilarious, and Scott is Bob Cratchit, his underpaid employee. And someone else gets the bright idea to make Stiles play Tiny Tim.

Anyway, so Derek and Stiles both absolutely loathe the play, but Scott badgers them into participating, because who can resist such an earnest puppydog face? And they don’t want to disappoint the kids either, do they?

Then comes the performance.

Only, they have to stop partway through, because one of Derek’s kindergarten students starts crying, because “Why is Mr. Derek being so mean??? Mr. Derek’s always nice and gives us lollipops and gold stars and he never gets angry at anyone - even when Jane had a stomachache and threw up on his shirt!”

Naturally, this starts a chain reaction of crying kindergartners and they have to stop the play. Then again, it’s probably good that this happened early on. God knows how the students would have reacted when Stiles - or, rather, Tiny Tim - “died.” It would have been mass pandemonium.

Derek and Stiles spend the entirety of the next staff meeting telling Scott, “I told you so.” Needless to say, they do not attempt another play the next year.

Read yesterday’s installment, “Making a Christmas List,” or start at the beginning! 



The bell at the front of the shop rings at the exact moment Sherlock scrawls his signature over the receipt.  The shop owner, a soft-spoken elderly gentleman in a bow tie, looks to the door, but Sherlock catches his eye and shakes his head before Mr Callahan can go over. Sherlock knows who it is. Of course he does.

It’s Mycroft, silhouetted against the grey window of the door in perfect profile as he looks over the quiet old shop with something that might be disdain. His abnormally large nose tilts up as it prepares to make the dive down into Sherlock’s business.

A crack of thunder would’ve been just perfect, Sherlock thinks, but the weather only drips on undramatically.

Sherlock turns back to the shopkeep. “Thank you Mr Callahan,” he says, shaking his hand with a genuine smile. “I’ll look forward to seeing the final product.” He nods, as obviously as possible, toward the back room, and Mr Callahan takes the hint and ambles off.  

“I could have arranged for something from my personal jeweler,” Mycroft says as the door to the back room closes. The way he says personal is loaded with judgment, no doubt popping out of his mouth forceful enough to disturb several weeks of dust. Mr Callahan is, after all, getting on in years.

“If I’d wanted something that reeked of excess and made John uncomfortable, I’d have let you know,” Sherlock says tightly. He gathers up his things, slipping his credit card back into his wallet and folding up the receipt with neat lines and filing it behind a few things so John won’t be likely to find it.

Of course, Sherlock had known that he wouldn’t be able to go through all of this without Mycroft finding out, but he had hoped that he might be able to at least let Sherlock get on with it without any interference. Too much to hope, apparently.

Behind him, Mycroft wanders further into the shop, drawing his fingertip over a cherry display cabinet with sets of antique pearl jewelry laid out on royal blue velvet. The rain is muffled and quiet, and the shop is filled instead with the ticking of the mahogany grandfather clock in the corner as it counts down to Mycroft’s inevitable disapproval.

Sherlock isn’t sure what to say. He knows he’s taking a risk. He knows there’s a chance, a pretty big chance, that John will say no, or laugh him off, or even look up at him in alarm, oh Sherlock, it’s too soon, I’m not–I’m so sorry. Sherlock knows any of these things are possible, and might even be more possible than yes.

He doesn’t need to be told.

When he turns back, though, hands shoved deep into his pockets, Mycroft smiles the closest thing he’s ever managed to a real smile, and says, “Congratulations.”

Sherlock is so surprised he takes a full step back and almost falls over a stool that’s been set out for people to sit on as they look at the displays. “What?”

Now Mycroft’s smile looks like he’s been force-fed a brick. “I’m not the Scrooge to your Mr Cratchit, Sherlock. I’m not trying to rob you of your happiness. My motivations have always only been to protect you from harm.”

“You’ve had a funny way of showing it,” Sherlock says.

“I’ve not always been successful, no. But I did try.”

There’s a brief pause as they stand facing each other, in a tiny cluttered jeweler’s that smells both like dust and cleaning polish where Sherlock just bought a wedding ring, and all at once, Sherlock thinks he understands Mycroft better in this moment than he has done his entire life. Sherlock has hated and resented Mycroft’s interferences, but he sees now the anxiety and the fear, alongside a deep-rooted sense of failure that originated probably sometime in their childhood, that compelled Mycroft to keep trying.

And now, Mycroft has not come to congratulate Sherlock so much as he has come to relinquish that fear. He is, for all intents and purposes, giving over the job of protecting Sherlock to John. As much as it makes Sherlock’s hackles want to rise in indignant fury, he forces himself to swallow down the impulse and take it for what it’s worth.

“You don’t think John is a threat to me, then,” Sherlock concludes. Mycroft shakes his head. The grip he has on his brolly shifts and changes, then shifts back. “You don’t think John will.” Sherlock clears his throat. It’s harder than he expected it to be, to give voice to this particular fear. “You don’t think he’ll refuse me.”

“No,” Mycroft says. “On the basis of the facts that are available to me at present, no. I don’t think he will refuse you.”

“You have to promise not to come for him if he does.”

“I don’t believe I’d have to,” Mycroft says, very seriously. “After all, Martha Hudson will be just downstairs, won’t she?”

Sherlock snorts, and doesn’t know what else to say, but Mycroft is still looking at him curiously from across the shop. Then Mycroft’s gaze drops down to the display case to Sherlock’s right, and he understands. He wouldn’t have expected Mycroft to care, but–“Mr Callahan was a client, couple of months ago. His apprentice was nicking some of the antiques and claiming he must’ve misremembered where he’d laid them when Mr Callahan couldn’t find them. John liked him, said he reminded him of his granddad. It’s fairly plain, obviously, but well made. Palladium alloy. It’ll suit him.”

“Yes, I imagine it will,” Mycroft agrees quietly, and he holds the door open for Sherlock as they leave. “Remember to call Mummy on Christmas, will you?”

“Oh, I’ve got her penciled in right before the Queen,” Sherlock assures, only half-joking, and he watches Mycroft as he gets back into the black town car before he turns north toward Baker Street, suddenly anxious for John’s arms around him, for that dark warm comfort and that solid protectiveness that even Mycroft trusts will last forever. 


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Flare 6

Spoiler: nobody benches anybody in this part. Second spoiler: but you get both Dickens AND Amanda. And things are considered, and actions are taken, and we will just see how it all shakes out. Earlier things and actions: amatterofcomplication’s masterpost, as always, plus part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, and part 5.

Flare 6

Helena has had the note from Artie near her, at the bookstore till, on her desk in the apartment, on the long table in the restoration room, for almost a week. It is an extremely sweet note, very similar in the meticulousness of its wording to the one he sent her, after. She had never thought of Artie as a person of great tact, but he surprised her then, and he has surprised her, now, again, by inviting her so delicately to his wedding to Vanessa Calder. He says that he will completely understand if she would prefer not to be reminded of that part of her life, but he has such fond memories of their time working together. And Vanessa does as well, of course, and would so love to see Helena again, on such a happy occasion, one that he has been so foolish to delay for so long because of doubts and uncertainties.

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