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Sherlock RPF: Coming together

Rating: 12 (language)

Note: I haven't posted RPF before (well, unless you count a cameo by Samuel Taylor Coleridge), but a while ago ariadnes_string had "voice kink" and Benedict Cumberbatch/Martin Freeman among her Five Acts meme, and this is the result.

Disclaimer: This didn't happen. It wouldn't happen, not even in a parallel universe. This is not true.

It's the night before the read-throughs of the second series start, and Martin is feeling amazing. Because tomorrow he doesn't just get to be John Watson, he gets to see Ben become Sherlock again. Which is still one of the most staggering things he's seen.

Playing John feels easy, right, like slipping on a comfortable pair of jeans. From the moment Martin read that line in the first script, 'Nothing ever happens to me', and then looked at his own slightly worn face in the mirror saying it, there John Watson was. An ordinary, unremarkable man, the kind of unshowy hero Martin would really like to be, whom people overlook till he saves their lives for the third time. As easy as breathing, sometimes, being John. Or at least as easy as dreaming.

But Sherlock – Sherlock's lightning-fast abrasiveness - isn't easy for anyone to take on. Particularly not sweetly amiable Ben. But then that's Ben's speciality, the extremes. Not just Frankenstein, but the Creature as well, throwing himself into the parts till he half destroys himself. Martin hopes he's recovered from that stint - he's heard all about him injuring himself, and losing his voice. Ben needs to look after himself a bit better. Still, his voice sounded OK when they spoke last, and tonight they can have a nice sedate night in the pub and not do anything stupid, like have Ben get pneumonia. Take things easy before the big day.


They end up back at Ben's, because it turns out to be the only way they can get some privacy. What must it be like for him being so famous now, Martin wonders. And then somehow they're falling into being Sherlock and John already – or at least Martin's falling into being John Watson. That's the way it's worked from the beginning. Reaction before action. As soon as Martin started saying John's lines, easing into John, Ben had something to work off, a hard core of reality around which Sherlock's brilliant lunacy could then play.

"It's the Hound first, isn't it?" says Ben, grinning. "What on earth is Mark going to do with that?"

"Beats me," Martin says, smiling up at him, "but I hope John gets to shoot it. Preferably just as it's about to rip Sherlock's throat out."

"Maybe I should save John this time."

"Doesn't work like that. Because you are an idiot, and I have to come along and save your sorry arse for you."

"My beautiful and very talented arse." The grin is widening.

"Yes, well, moving right along," Martin says. "Just because I don't have half of London swooning over me naked on stage...Anyhow, we'll be on Dartmoor. You can't go ripping people's clothes off on Dartmoor, you'd get gorse in embarrassing places."

"Do you reckon Mark'll try something like that again?" Ben asks, still in his ordinary Ben voice.

"I have no fucking idea what goes on in Mark's brain," he replies, and then remembers. "I'm sorry. John doesn't swear, I need to cut that out."

"You've disappointed me, John." Suddenly Sherlock is there, not Ben. Let's see how long we can keep him, Martin thinks.

"Ordinary people swear." He grins disarmingly. "Ordinary people do lots of ordinary things, because they are...ordinary."

"Ordinary people are boring." Sherlock retorts, staring at Martin – and Martin knows it's Sherlock, because only Sherlock's gaze can pierce through you as if he's cataloguing every thought you've ever had.

"You think everything's boring. People, food...breathing."

"Bodies are just transport, a support system for the brain. That's all that really matters."

"Seems a waste. Cutting yourself off so much from life. How can you know about people if you don't know what they feel?"

"Oh, but I understand people," Sherlock says, and the smile on his face is glorious and terrifying, as he suddenly leans in, six inches from Martin's – John's – face. "I understand all about you, John Watson. You'll do whatever I say, won't you?" His voice is intimate, the purr of a lion that wants to seduce you into stepping into its jaws voluntarily.

"There are limits," John says firmly.

"Are you sure? I told you to get my phone once, when it was in my pocket. And you did it. So where are the limits? Suppose I told you to unzip my trousers, pull them down round my ankles, so I was standing there just in my underpants, would you do that?"

"No, of course not. That would be ridiculous." There's a knot of tension building in John's stomach.

"Are you sure, John? I think you would if I asked you to. And suppose I asked you then to take my underpants off? Wouldn't you put your fingers onto my skin, feel its warmth as you start to drag the fabric down..." Sherlock pauses, and the silence strings out between them. Impossible to break it, to say anything. He can't think straight with those words in his head.

"You're blushing, John." A hint of glee in Sherlock's voice – no, Ben's voice. Time for a quick exit, Martin thinks.

"And why the fuck can't Sherlock take his own trousers off?" he demands. "Even Mark can't come up with an excuse for that one."

"Moriarty," says Ben cheerfully, "He's moved onto explosive underwear now. Stop giggling, Martin, we're serious actors."

And Martin knows, with sudden awful certainty, that at some point in tomorrow's read-through, Ben is going to mutter 'underpants' in a voice so low that only Martin can hear, and he will crack up, and look a complete idiot. But he smiles at Ben all the same, because what else are friends for, but to drive you mad in every conceivable way?


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 26th, 2012 09:42 am (UTC)
Awww, Martin's POV. Looking in the mirror at his worn face and seeing John. I like that the part is easy and comfortable for him.

I hadn't thought about how Martin would see Ben go away and Sherlock appear. I have a friend who does voices and it's quite disconcerting. Fortunately, he has never talked to me about underwear.

Here Martin appears to be the lodestone, the North star. I love your surprising POVs. You could write from the outlook for Extra in a Crowd and I would read every word.
Aug. 11th, 2012 01:31 am (UTC)
Yes, well. Thank you!
Aug. 17th, 2012 08:45 am (UTC)
Glad to be of service!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )