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Varnished Silver

Title: Varnished Silver
Fandom: Sherlock
Characters: Sherlock, John
Rating:  PG
Length: 456 words
Spoilers:  All episodes of Sherlock
Disclaimer: I own not the characters, nor the world. Not beta'd  
Summary: "Warped mirrors are fascinating"

If you carve enough lines into the back of a mirror you will crack your reflection like an oil painting, flaking away what isn’t relevant.

He doesn’t have much use for mirrors as reflections go. Granted, he is vain enough to like certain clothing and how it appears, but preening for hours at a stretch, useless. There are better things to do with his time.

Warped mirrors are fascinating. Antique imperfection, grey shadows, and the bubbles hovering in the glass. If you place a light behind one, the patterns on the wall waver like the aura from an oceanic trench. The content of lead and mercury in the glass has to be tested thoroughly of course, but the results on the wall are almost fractal.

This is his second violin. The first, a Stradivarius, a present from Mycroft (in the hopes of curtailing some of his more destructive hobbies), was demolished in an effort to discover the makeup of the varnish in the wood. Modern creators still had not discovered the composition of the varnish—but he could tell them if he wished.  He remembers peeling the layers of wood away with a scalpel he nicked from Mycroft’s room. The red/gold glow from the surface of the violin almost gives him pause, but doesn't stop him. His hands smell like amber and pine for a week after. It takes three days for the splinters to work their way out, but he doesn't tell anyone.

He finds the iron content in the wood is very high, and mixed with the madder root, pine, and amber give it a tone that none today could reproduce. There is one other component, but Sherlock suspects no one would believe that particular element. He does miss the instrument once it was in pieces on the floor, but it is a mystery solved. Mummy gives him the Guarnari as a replacement, and since he doesn’t need to repeat the experiment it survives to this day. The tone is not the same, but its differences are elegant.

John asks him about the lack of mirrors in the flat, with the exception of the small one in the bathroom, and he can’t bring himself to answer. It is odd that he doesn’t want to tell him about the experiments, since he loves John’s indulgent smile.

He can feel John looking at him when he doesn’t answer. He stares at the wood grain of his violin, and smells the faint iron tang in the wood—some of it his. Occasionally he enters a fugue and plays so much that his blisters break, leaving traces of blood on the neck and strings.

Sherlock wonders how much of himself he can shear away before John notices him thinning.



( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 6th, 2011 01:59 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed this. It's very Sherlock and it's very elegant and sophisticated- so, a nice fit!:) Thanks for sharing.
Feb. 6th, 2011 09:31 pm (UTC)
*blushes* I..thanks.
Jun. 4th, 2011 03:22 am (UTC)
Jun. 4th, 2011 04:49 am (UTC)
I am glad you liked it:)
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 6th, 2011 09:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much:)
Feb. 11th, 2011 06:05 pm (UTC)

another awesome one that I'm not sure I know what to think about....which is good :D

(though I would like to smack Sherlock for that violin. sheesh!)
Feb. 11th, 2011 06:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks:) I am still trying to process the lovely comments on this one, but that is normal isn't it?;) Hopefully I am not disturbing you too much with these things..lol
Feb. 11th, 2011 06:53 pm (UTC)
Oh and yes, Sherlock should be soundly whacked for the destruction of a beautiful instrument.
Feb. 12th, 2011 10:03 pm (UTC)
So obviously I missed reading this when it was posted. I love the deeper meanings you have layered into all of this regarding Sherlock's character. Its a ficlet that really needs to be closely read to get the full brilliance of it.

I'm reccing this story in my recs post this week, BTW. ;-)
Feb. 12th, 2011 10:26 pm (UTC)
I ummm..errr.. I have been sitting here trying to think how to respond to your comment. I just had the reaction I was worried I gave people like wordstrings when I comment..lol

I am so glad you enjoyed it, and understood what was beneath.

Oh my..thanks:)
Apr. 20th, 2011 04:03 am (UTC)
Apr. 20th, 2011 04:59 am (UTC)
I hope you enjoyed it.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )