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Greek love (221B)

BBC Sherlock

Rating: PG (preslash)

Summary:  A prequel to David with a snippet of back story. Inspired by the translation class scene in Maurice, so thanks to Fengirl for introducing me to that film.

 

David had spent seventeen years feeling alone. The subtle disappointment of his parents that their son might be precocious, but was also awkward, timid. Melissa was a wonderful big sister, but she didn't see the point of writing poetry. Even the others doing classics at school couldn't understand why he was so obsessed with the Greeks.

People understood obsession at Oxford. At the Principal's sherry party, he'd met a tall, solid boy, with a fancy waistcoat and an odd name: Mycroft.

"I'm doing PPE," Mycroft said. "Mainly for the politics. The economics is straightforward, but tedious, and I've never really seen the point of philosophy."

"To show you how to lead a good life," he'd replied, all his diffidence vanishing. "How can you achieve anything in politics unless you know what's ultimately important?"

"Greatest good of the greatest number."

"That presumes you know what 'good' means."

They'd spent most of the afternoon arguing in David's tiny room, with the small wall heater that could barely heat a small wall. It didn't matter, in their absorption with ideas they struggled clumsily to express:  the social contract, truth and beauty, democracy, what happiness really was.

"Friendship," said David. "The meeting of minds, souls. It's all in Plato." And wondered, daringly, whether some day he could tell Mycroft what Plato said about the beloved.

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
fengirl88
Mar. 8th, 2011 09:26 am (UTC)
I may actually have shrieked a bit when I saw this one. ahem.

*loves*
kalypso_v
Mar. 8th, 2011 12:07 pm (UTC)
What do they teach them at these schools?
marysutherland
Mar. 9th, 2011 09:55 pm (UTC)
My husband (between Lestrade and Mycroft in age) much preferred Greek to French at school, because while the French classes involved stories about boring families in Paris, the Greek classes had Herodotus discussing crocodiles and mummies and other things appealing to 13 year old boys.

And Mycroft keeps on ending up as a utilitarian in my fics - I even have a 'Blame Jeremy Bentham' tag specially for him.
kalypso_v
Mar. 10th, 2011 09:50 pm (UTC)
Our Greek teacher used to read us the improper bits of Herodotus (years before The English Patient caught up with them), to the intense embarrassment of my classmate (there were only three of us doing Greek at O-level, and there were only two present the day she told us about Gyges in the queen's bedroom).
2ndskin
Mar. 8th, 2011 04:53 pm (UTC)
This is beyond gorgeous. I love every single word, especially the last. And . . . Gatiss always calls his husband "beloved." *awestruck*
2ndskin
Mar. 9th, 2011 04:11 pm (UTC)
just speaking for Mycroft fans: consider putting this on brother_mine?
marysutherland
Mar. 9th, 2011 09:57 pm (UTC)
I didn't know about the Gatiss connection for 'beloved' - that was just a straight steal from the scene in Maurice. And I have now listed both 'David' and 'Greek Love' on Brother Mine - thanks for reminding me.
2ndskin
Mar. 9th, 2011 10:01 pm (UTC)
YAYS! the brother_mine crowd will be thrilled! (I kinda think Mycroft fans are the most fanatical)
have myself decided today there needs to be Dr. Seuss Sherlock crack, so that's going to cause me major brain convulsions for awhile.
<3 Hope all is well!
rusty_armour
Mar. 9th, 2011 04:31 pm (UTC)
This reminds me very much of some of the Cambridge scenes in Maurice. While I haven't read David yet (but I'll be getting to it soon), I think this piece really demonstrates what kind of man David is -- that it's the ideals that attact him so strongly to the Greeks. I love the way he explains to Mycroft that he needs philosophy to determine the definition of "good". This is a great description of Mycroft's introduction to David. I can easily understand why both of these young men might have been attracted to each other on a cerebral level alone. ;-)
marysutherland
Mar. 11th, 2011 07:39 pm (UTC)
I've written fics before where I have Mycroft as a utilitarian, so it seemed a nice way to have him and David get talking. And, yes, I imagine David/Mycroft as partly being one of those relationships where you fall in love with someone's mind, which can be staggeringly attractive if you're young and intelligent and lonely.
bwblack
Mar. 9th, 2011 10:53 pm (UTC)
They'd spent most of the afternoon arguing in David's tiny room, with the small wall heater that could barely heat a small wall. It didn't matter, in their absorption with ideas they struggled clumsily to express: the social contract, truth and beauty, democracy, what happiness really was.

that's pretty much how every date I had in college went. READ major dork.
marysutherland
Mar. 11th, 2011 07:41 pm (UTC)
My emotional life at college wasn't quite so relentlessly cerebral, but I did also have an awful lot of earnest conversations in inadequately heated rooms.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )