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Title: Piano Lessons from the Jungle
Fandom: BBC Sherlock
Characters: John Watson, Sebastian Moran
Length: 225 (This would absolutely be a 221b if I had time today, but I don't!)
Alternate Link: AO3
Author's Notes: Written for the watsons_woes JWP Picture Prompt #5: Makes the Music Mute. Unbeta'd.
Summary: Some things just don't fit.

I was a good boy, growing up. Did my homework, ate my vegetables, went to church, dated a nice girl. Then I went off to war and … it's different over there.

They say war is hell, and it is. Mines and IEDs, men gut-shot, kids blowing themselves up, snipers picking off anyone they can. Leading a patrol into a friendly local village, mid-summer, and the ripe charnel house stench letting you know the Taliban are long-gone.

When you're in the middle of that, all those rules you learnt as a boy don't make sense any more. They're about as useful as a piano in the middle of the jungle. Worse – the piano won't get you killed.

So I made my own rules. Became my own man. Did whatever I had to, to get myself and my men out alive. And it was hell, yes, but Christ, I knew I was alive.

Then one mistake, and they shipped me back to England. I tried, you know? I tried to fit myself back into that little box, but I couldn't. You can't.

I probably would have topped myself if a madman hadn't come along and made me a better offer.

John put down the copy of Moran's signed confession and rubbed his eyes, wondering who he'd be now if he'd found himself a different madman.

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
capt_facepalm
Jul. 6th, 2014 12:34 am (UTC)
John put down the copy of Moran's signed confession and rubbed his eyes, wondering who he'd be now if he'd found himself a different madman.
Very good! This line packs a wallop!
keerawa
Jul. 6th, 2014 07:01 am (UTC)
Thank you, Captain, I'm glad it made an impression.
rojo3131
Jul. 6th, 2014 03:43 am (UTC)
Good both for John and the world that they save one another. Really good fill!
keerawa
Jul. 6th, 2014 07:02 am (UTC)
I agree! Thank you for the comment, roj.
gardnerhill
Jul. 6th, 2014 06:20 am (UTC)
Wow. Great use of the Hero/Villain Mirror.
keerawa
Jul. 6th, 2014 07:04 am (UTC)
Thank you. I disagree with John, to some extent. He has a very strong (if atypical) moral code. And that's where the title comes from.
bghost
Jul. 6th, 2014 09:17 am (UTC)
Ow. This is very good. Of course I thought the first person narrator was John himself until that last wonderful line. Deftly done.
keerawa
Jul. 6th, 2014 06:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you, I'd wondered if I'd pulled that switch off.
pompey01
Jul. 6th, 2014 09:02 pm (UTC)
*nods* Too true. All too true.
keerawa
Jul. 7th, 2014 04:51 am (UTC)
Thank you for the comment, pompey01.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )