Working desk job means exactly this: apartment, tube, workplace, tube, apartment. It’s hard to find sunlight anymore, but he doesn’t think he minds: maybe he’s already used to this. It’s been longer than he cares to remember.
He spends about two hours a day on the tube - not much compared to the amount of time he spends in his booth at work, but he doesn’t really register those eight hours. It’s like his mind switches itself off the moment he arrives to work and leaves him running on muscle memory alone. Time operates the same way when he’s at home, so by now maybe he’s only really conscious during the two hours on the tube.
Sometimes he stays back on the tube past his stop. Sometimes until it reaches the end of the line. Sometimes he takes the tube with the intention of going somewhere specific, but then just sits there as his destination flies past him into the dark tunnel he’s just passed. Sometimes he goes down into the stop, just to hear the quiet again.
Sometimes he sees maintenance doors somewhere in the tunnels, and for no reason he keeps their locations in mind.
Sometimes the tube takes a turn that he doesn’t recognize, and he feels his heart beating faster all of a sudden. He would stare at the railway through the window pane, counting the seconds, until the tube runs past a corner he knows, or until he reaches his destination. Those moments still happen to him after two years of taking the tube to go… anywhere, really. He thinks he has the whole map learned by heart by now, but the underground keeps proving him wrong.
There’s a community online for tube dwellers. He doesn’t know any of the dozen of members, online or offline, but he has come by some of them on other forums before. They don’t seem to be of any particular profile: there are men, there are women, ranged from 20 to maybe older than 50. The posts are few and far between, but some of them detail everything reachable by the tube. There are things even he doesn’t know.
He screenshots some of the posts and keeps the photos in a separate folder, for no particular reason.
The community hasn’t had a new activity for about three months by now. The members call themselves Rats. He checks through some of their personal pages on that site; the ones he checks have all been abandoned.
Maybe they’re tired of the lack of sunlight in the tube, he thinks on the way to work. The tube sways and trembles quietly, its hum fills the air. Humans aren’t made for the underground afterall.
concept of something vaguely formed in my head. I call it Rats of Spice City.
one of many reasons why “QUEER” means so much to me.
[ IMAGE: a long, white image with “QUEER” faded in rainbow gradient in the background behind text written using various fonts in various sizes, colors and line-weight reading “sometimes identity is a journey. so far mine has gone something like this – queerascat.tumblr.com – HOLY SHIT, i’m BISEXU– wait, no, i’m PANSEXUAL! oh, but demisexuality? i’m DEMI-PANSEXUAL! but wait, what if i’m a LESBIAN??? no, WAIT! i’m NOT EVEN FEMALE!!! (no shit sherlock! plus you like who you like of any gender!) oh god, not even demi, TOTALLY ACE after all… shiiiiittt… panromantic ace! biromantic ace? PANro and BIro ACE! lolol wtf was i ever even thinking??? OF COURSE i’m a BI (sans ‘romantic’) & PAN (sans ‘romantic’) ACE. but grayro? quoiro? BI-PAN-GRAY-QUOIRO?? ugh, what the fuck ever. i’ll use whichever word(s) whenever it feels right to do so, but QUEER is the one word that has ALWAYS felt right. - Vesper 09/23/2016" ]
A Note on ‘Don’t Waste Your Wishes’ and ‘I’ll Be Home for Christmas’
The Killers’ Christmas album ‘Don’t Waste Your Wishes’ is now available around the world and with it their final Christmas single, ‘I’ll Be Home for Christmas’.
Given that The Killers have compiled this album over the course of eleven Christmases and recorded songs in a variety of styles with a number of guest musicians, it may initially be somewhat difficult to place and make sense of Brandon’s intimate personal narrative and stripped down duet of ‘I’ll Be Home for Christmas’.
However, upon my first listen of ‘I’ll Be Home for Christmas’ earlier tonight, I was immediately transported back to, and reminded of, Christmas in my parents house and, in particular, of two Christmas albums that were, and still are, played frequently during the holiday season.
The first time it happens, Sherlock is
stunned. No, shocked. And that’s quite something.
He has left the wedding early.
Everybody was dancing, having a good time; even Janine had hooked up
with that geek. Mrs Hudson was getting tipsy from the champagne, Greg and
Molly had started flirting, despite… what’s his name clinging to
her like a limpet.
Sherlock had made his speech, solved a
crime, played his waltz and now wasn’t needed anymore. Especially not
by… oh, for god’s sake, don’t get melodramatic!
He had organised this whole event! He
knew how it was supposed to end. He’d prepared himself.
But still… can you really prepare to
get your heart broken? No, not broken, ripped out, tossed around a
bit, then thrown onto the dance floor, trampled on, to be finally
discarded with the rest of the waste at 3 o'clock in the morning into
a big black waste bag – not unlike a body bag.
No, you can’t prepare for that. Not
even by claiming to be a high functioning sociopath (had John ever
believed this rubbish?)
Sherlock knew what would dull the pain.
John wouldn’t like it, though. But fuck John, wasn’t it his fault
that Sherlock was in this sorry state after all?
Oh, for god’s sake – stop whining!
Who are you kidding, Sherlock? It’s your fault, yours alone. It’s
always your fault. You played the game, you knew the stakes – and
now you lost. Because some fucking psychopath was more important –
but was that Mary or Moriarty?
Sherlock got his coat and made for the
venue door. He even left his violin behind - at the moment, he wasn’t
sure if he would ever be able to play it again.
He didn’t wait to put the Belstaff
properly on, he just had to leave all this noise, these people –
who were most of them anyway? - behind. Only when he walked through
the park, the cool air bringing him back to his senses, the music
just a faint buzz in the distance, did he finally shrug the coat on.
He felt save wrapped in the heavy wool – it was like an armour,
like a cocoon, protecting him like the pillow fort he’d built when
people still called him Billy – or Master William – a lifetime
ago back at Sherrinford Hall.
No! He would seriously relapse if he
allowed this train of thought to continue.
Sherlock stopped, standing under a
weeping willow, and got his phone out to check where the hell he
might be able to get a cab that brought him to the station; and if
there would be a train back to London. He had a room reserved at the
hotel connected to the venue – but he just couldn’t face the
prospect to lie in bed under the same roof as John and Mary during
their… nuptials. Which was, of course, totally irrational. Sherlock
was well aware that John and Mary had consummated their relationship
moths ago. Mary was pregnant, after all, and despite Mycroft
suspecting otherwise, Sherlock was perfectly aware how children were
He just wasn’t very keen on imagining
So, back to Baker Street it was. Mrs
Hudson could bring his luggage back with her tomorrow. He would have
the quiet house all to himself…
What once would have been bliss now
seemed only shallow, lonely and sad.
God, you are pathetic, Sherlock. Pull
yourself together. Marriage, a family, children – that’s what
Stupid, he was always so stupid. How
could he even think for one minute that John…
“Sherlock, that you? Where do you
think you are going?”
Sherlock spun around as if caught
red-handed (well, in a way, he was, wasn’t he?).
John was jogging towards him over the
lawn – probably ruining his court shoes. He had removed his
tailcoat and was just in his waistcoat, shirtsleeves rolled up. His
cheeks were flushed from dancing, drinking and the cool night air.
Sherlock froze and blinked, his phone
in his hand, unable to move or answer as if spellbound by what could
only be his imagination playing tricks on him. This happened sometime
– increasingly often, if he was honest with himself – but this
vision seemed incredible cruel even for his hyperbolic brain.
“Hey, Sherlock, you alright? Did you
have too much to drink?” John smirked. “I do remember the stag
night, you know. Despite what you might think, you really can’t hold
your drink as fabulous as you might believe.” John swallowed as he
beamed up at Sherlock, who still stood rooted to the spot and stayed
utterly, frighteningly silent. “Sherlock…?”
John carefully thumped his shoulder –
as mates would do, Sherlock thought, and the word sloshed around like
vitriolic acid in his head until he actually felt it might ooze out
of his eye-sockets, ears, nostrils, mouth… a sharp, burning, gooey
substance damaging his skin. He had to close his eyes and take a deep
breath as not to vomit all over John in his ridiculously wedding
John shouldn’t wear those garments
anyway. John was soft jumpers and baggy cardigans, chequered shirts
and jeans; the Haversack jacket, smelling of antiseptic, coffee and
gun oil. Not this perfumed, groomed cock in a dress shirt and woollen
trousers, his left hand sporting this hateful golden band that tied
him to one Mary Morstan, a woman who seemed sassy and fun, who could
recognise a skip coat and bear children…
“My cardigans are not baggy.” John
stated very calmly. “Sherlock, are you aware that you are saying
all this out loud?” Now John’s hand was around his upper arm, the
other grabbing the sleeve of the Belstaff.
“What?” Sherlock snapped, but it
came out confused and subdued instead of fierce.
“Sherlock, calm down. Nothing will
have to change. We will still…”
“No!” Sherlock shoved John
violently away, as if suddenly waking up form hibernation. “No,
John! You chose her. Everything changed a long time ago.”
“You died!” John shouted, suddenly
exploding with pent-up rage.
“I didn’t!” Sherlock retorted,
equally angry. Suddenly, they stood at loggerheads, panting. A vein
throbbed at John’s temple; yet he still held onto Sherlock’s lapels.
Until he suddenly pulled Sherlock
close; their mouths locked. It was more biting than kissing, a messy
tangle of wet lips and sloppy tongues. Noses bumped and teeth
crushed; Sherlock tasted blood but he didn’t care, it didn’t matter
because John was kissing him, licking into his mouth, sucking on his
bottom lip, biting down, and it felt… GOD, IT FELT GLORIOUS.
Sherlock thought he was about to combust any second now and
eventually got his hands on John as well, grabbing his shoulders, his
back, his waist, holding on for dear life.
They only parted to gulp in some air,
foreheads still pressed together, unwilling to let the other go.
Sherlock panted and John’s eyes were nearly black, his pupils
dilated. He licked his lips and Sherlock’s tongue followed until they
were kissing again, a bit more coordinated this time. Their movements
became more languid, lascivious, even lewd. Sherlock flicked his
tongue inside John’s mouth and John moaned and pressed his crotch
against Sherlock’s thigh. Suddenly, they were rubbing against each
other but Sherlock withdrew when John grabbed his arse and started to
knead his buttocks.
“What?” John huffed against
Sherlock’s mouth, his voice raw and needy. “Don’t leave… stay.”
“John, this is actually a terrible
idea.” Sherlock couldn’t help himself but giggled frantically. “Of
all the chances you had with me, do you have to choose your wedding
“Seems like I have to.” John
grinned against Sherlock’s mouth. He brushed his thumb over
Sherlock’s cheekbone before giving him a chaste kiss. “Stay,
“You’ve got a room at the hotel. I
could pop over, later…”
“No, John, you can’t. And I won’t sit
there, waiting up for you, until you can sneak off for two minutes
for some stolen kisses and some guilty groping.”
“Sherlock, no, it’s not like that…”
“John, if you want to see me again,
you know where you can find me.” With that, Sherlock retreated into
the shadows, leaving the park and the venue behind. Eventually, he
caught a cab on the main road. He didn’t look back.
John will either come to him or he
won’t. Nothing to be done about this now.
At least, the need to buy supplies has waned. Sherlock’s skin is on fire; yet his mind is quite at ease.
Whatever happens next, he had this. They had this. Stolen kisses
beneath a weeping willow.
Well, better than nothing, Sherlock
He’s somehow quite sure that this isn’t over yet. In fact, it might have just begun.