Sherlock Holmes and the Immortal
Disclaimer: I do not own Sherlock, the television series or the man. Sadly. And forgive my horrible grammar and punctuation. Any obvious corrections pointed out in the comments below. Yes, fanfic. I know, I know. And any “English-isms” I’ve screwed up I apologize. Watching BBC for years does not a native make. Also I am not a doctor so take the medical jargon with a grain of salt. That being said, enjoy!
The body was cold. Not frozen by any means, but close. It had an internal temperature of forty-seven degrees Fahrenheit which was odd for several reasons. One being that it was summer out; bright blue skies and highs in the mid-eighties. The body had been found outside under direct sunlight and it was near frozen. Another thing was that despite the obvious fact that it had been dead for some time (cold shortening, a phenomenon where if dead muscle is chilled immediately after death the muscle stiffens in accelerated rigor mortis, had rendered the body very rigid placing the time of shortly before its discovery) there was no livor mortis. When a body lies dead for, what he estimated to be seven hours thirty to thirty five minutes, the blood pools leaving a dark bruise-like discoloration in the heavier parts of the body facing down: buttocks, thighs or back. No bruising could imply that there was no blood but besides being dead there were no wounds or signs, at all, pointing to a cause of death let alone a full exsanguination.
Sherlock leaned over the body, his nostrils flaring indelicately over the icy blue tinged mouth. No scent of the more obvious poisons. In fact, he sniffed again more deeply, no scent at all. He pulled back sharply, the tiniest touch of confusion in his eyes. There's always some smell. Mints, the last meal they ate, a distinct lack of oral hygiene, but there was nothing.
"Milley," Sherlock said. "Molly," she corrected.
"Yes, Molly, of course," he said, completely distracted and not at all interested, "I need a few moments alone with the body."
"Five years," Molly said, her narrow lips twisting in agitation.
"What," Sherlock asked finally looking up at the flustered pathologist.
"We've worked together five years and you still can’t get my name right?"
"Oh for god's sake, Molly, I was only joking but I really do need a few moments alone. Please."
"You never joke," she said gathering up a precarious stack of paperwork, her every movement radiating hurt feelings. In other words business as usual.
Sherlock sighed quietly, the only acknowledgement that he'd noticed her frustration. The swinging door wheezed shut defying her attempts to slam it.
He wasn’t as oblivious as people believed him to be. His face was austere, his posture haughty from an upper crust upbringing that brooked no slumping. He could also be a cold unfeeling bastard especially if he thought someone believed him to be a cold unfeeling bastard. Doesn’t do to disappoint and having a reputation as a sociopath savant meant that people gave him space. Which gave him room to think. Which was all he ever wanted.
Sherlock adjusted the tight band of his surgical glove, his eyes focusing on the body’s mouth. He leaned over its face, gently prying open its lips and the cold bit through the thin latex as they moved with a soft pliancy that, due to rigor mortis, should’ve felt utterly different. Was his estimation of the time of death wrong? Unlikely. It was just one more thing to add to his mental list of idiosyncrasies. Not unique, surely. No individual body was unique. In death the body follows a certain pattern of decay. X follows Y to an inevitable conclusion excepting unexpected and exciting poisons, cleverly hidden bombs, not at all spontaneous combustion or whatever this was.
He craned his neck checking the gums which were healthy, sniffing again at the mouth which still refused to emit any smell what so ever, checked the state of the teeth which were perfect in a normal non-veneered way. They had taken care of that at least. He glimpsed down the length of the body, skimming passionlessly over her chest, the nipples a barely discernible blush shade against the paleness of her skin which was marred by the “Y” incision Molly had made and stitched up earlier. Molly’s autopsy results were the same as Sherlock’s, no known cause of death and every indication of perfect health minus the nearly frozen and dead part.
He tried to open the mouth and the jaw refused to budge. It was much more resistant than it should be; almost as though it was clenched tight against him.
Frowning Sherlock stepped back away from the body, his eyes running rapidly over her clear, cold skin. This was all wrong. Years of investigative work had honed an innate ability into razor sharpness and for him to be drawing a blank meant that something was astonishingly, fundamentally, wrong. He was becoming frustrated and when that happened normally the cadaver would be subjected to experiments that would send anyone else straight to jail or an asylum. He’d pushed his boundaries once by using a sledgehammer and drill to prove a cause of death but had been saved because, of course, he had been right. The body had been cremated. What was left anyway.
Eschewing the hammer, Sherlock reached into his pocket for his phone. Need you for cause of death ID- SH, he typed.
“Maybe just a little hammer,” he muttered, turning to walk to the cabinet holding the worst of his implements from prying eyes when, with a painful gasp from lungs long since emptied of oxygen, the body sat straight up.
“Oh no!” she gasped, her bosom suddenly heaving in reanimation. She looked down, her dark eyes panicked at the vulgar stitching across her body.
Sherlock, who hadn’t moved in the three or so seconds since she inexplicably rose from the dead, decided neither to faint nor panic. Maybe she was more unique than I had at first anticipated, he thought.
He turned towards her, hands held up in a sign of non-aggression. “Can I help you,” he said, refusing the desire to piss himself.
She seemed to notice him for the first time and tried ineffectually to cover her nudity. Bashful, apparently. Funny since she was dead. To him that would’ve been far more humiliating.
“Where am I,” she asked. Her voice was ragged, deeper probably than it would be under different circumstances he imagined. Having one's lungs removed and weighed would probably do that. A small part of his mind gibbered at this thought. All of her organs had been removed, categorized, and returned to their cavity. Her cavity. Her very dead dissected cavity. Do not faint!
He blinked slowly gathering himself and pushing away the madness of seeing what was plainly impossible. “You’re in Saint Bartholomew’s hospital.”
She looked around, dark hair sliding over her blue tinted shoulders. “This doesn’t look like a hospital,” she said. “Who are you?”
“My name is Sherlock Holmes,” his voice calm to reassure her. When he spoke it was more of a purr, baritone and utterly without his knowledge, devastating if he had any inclination to use it for seduction. He didn't, of course, but that didn’t stop it from working.
She seemed to calm as his voice had an entirely unintended effect. She looked him up and down. He looked as he always did, black slacks and dark blue button up dress shirt tailored within an inch of its life over a slender but strong body. His tousled dark brown hair appeared black under the harsh fluorescent lights. Sherlock’s pale blue green eyes were tilted, held up by cheekbones so high he looked almost alien. An overly generous mouth and nose were bordering on unattractive but taken together and with that voice he was magnetic. She would pay closer attention to all of this later when she had thawed.
“I’m in a morgue, ain’t I,” she said. “But you aren’t dressed like a lab person. Mortician? You kinda look like that.”
“There’s been an accident,” he said, one eye beginning to twitch ever so slightly. Accident my ass. She was frozen, dead, and speaking. The only accident was that he had obviously gone insane.
“What,” she said, again.
“There was an accident. You were found in Saint James’ Park. Do you recall being there? Do you know what happened?”
Her fingers started picking at the stitches over her chest. She pulled slightly, unraveling the uppermost knot. Sherlock, never one for a weak stomach, felt his gorge rise. My god she’s undoing her own stitches, he thought. I wonder if she’ll flap open like an unlaced shoe.
“I was running.”
“No running. Away. My family they…” she trailed off. The stitching had been undone to the top of her left breast. The edges touched and began to melding back into unblemished skin.
“That,” he said slowly, “that is impossible.” He rushed to her side. A deceased woman rising up to converse with him shook his resolve but somehow seeing dead flesh heal shattered his control. She still seemed confused and didn’t notice him suddenly beside her. He watched closely as she tugged another stitch free, her icy skin silently healing its wake.
Sherlock brushed her hands away and pulled at the stitches himself. They broke with a tiny popping sound as he ripped them from her skin. His face was an inch from her navel as the last stitch slithered free.
“See something you like,” she asked. Sherlock looked up. She appeared calmer now if a little bemused. Her voice had settled as well to a more normal register. Apparently those loose lungs had properly rearranged themselves.
“What the hell are you,” he asked. “You show up here half frozen and clearly dead. You have been fully autopsied and the toxicology showed that your blood, what remains, was clear of any known drug or poison but was sluggish and barely existent. If you had asked me before your sudden reanimation I’d have said that a new poison not of my knowing had been introduced to you not through a needle for there are no marks but orally, possibly rectally, but the unnatural tightening of your jaw and lack of odor point to you ingesting the poison and it causing the muscles to seize. There are no marks on your skin what so ever; no blemishes of any sort, scars, moles, bruising to say nothing of its restorative properties. You are upright and speaking though, from all of my indications, still clearly dead. You are not alive and yet here you sit. Why and how is that?”
“Good heavens,” she said calmly, “you’re a talker aren’t you?” Her eyes sparkled catching the light and in their black depths he caught a flash of blue, then green, red, orange as though holographic paper were trapped under dark ice.
He stared at her silently until she shrugged. “I’m not human, not anymore,” she said. “The why and how are a very long story and I need to get out of here. Are there any clothes I can borrow? Possibly a jacket as well, you weren’t kidding about the freezing part.”