Satin and Twine

Venom in the Air

When I woke up the flat was quiet. The sun was just barely above the horizon as its light trickled through the window. I blinked as I looked around, the room I slept in still new to me. It was a fair sized room, though it felt small thanks to the great mass of things that had been stuffed into it. I wondered for a moment if it had been Sherlock’s room but then sighed at the thought. Of course it was Sherlock’s room. John would have taken all his things when he moved out and there was already a sizable storage room the floor below that Mrs. Hudson used to put her things into.

“His room,” I muttered as I stood up. “Another thing I took from him.” But it wasn’t really my fault, was it? I didn’t know he faked his death and would be coming back. I didn’t know…. I shook my head as I approached the window. No, that was wrong. I didn’t know all those things, obviously. I couldn’t have. But that didn’t matter, this was no one fault and there was no one to blame.

I walked into the kitchen and put the pot on for tea before I heard something coming from the living room. It was faint, the slow, gentle, sound of someone breathing. Peaking around the corner I saw Sherlock curled up on the couch. He looked so small, which was really quite amazing for someone of his height, so small and so vulnerable. Almost like a child who stayed up too late trying to catch Santa.

“You’ll only catch a cold like this…” I sighed heavily as I reached for one of my throw blankets. It was a good thing I thought to grab them from my old flat when I was moving some of my things the day before. I draped the warm fabric across his body noting the way it seemed to relax from his tense position. “You really can’t take care of yourself, can you?” I whispered with a small smile flickering across my face as I remembered John’s stories. Sherlock Holmes, the genius detective who faked his death and fooled millions, could he even make food for himself?

“Probably not,” I murmured, a chuckle escaping my lips as I sat on the floor in front of the couch. I leaned against the cushion, pulling my knees up to my chest as I looked around the flat. “You are probably the world’s tallest child but… you’re important to John, so I suppose I can forgive you for being a tad territorial. After all… I can understand why.”

This flat, I thought as my eyes fallowed the flow of the room, it was more than just a place to live; it was a think tank. Sherlock had put everything in such a way as to stimulate his mind so he could solve problems that would leave the rest of us baffled. I could see that now, and I could see how my few things that I had brought over disrupted his process. Even the throw blankest, which proved to be useful, were an obstruction in the current. A rock in a shallow stream.

Sherlock wasn’t going to leave, that much was obvious. So if I really wanted to stay, and god did I want to stay, then I needed to find a way to remove the rock. “I suppose the blankest can be tucked under the couch. My pictures can be hung in my room- oh, the room….” I trailed off thinking about the bedroom. A lot of my things were already unpacked in there- but that didn’t matter, I told myself. Coexisting means compromising.

“You’ll probably hate whatever I change,” I sighed, looking down at my knees, “John told me about how stubborn you could be. But you’ll just have to make do; if I'm changing to accommodate you then you can change for me. That’s how being a flat mate works and… I think we can figure this out.”

“Oh you do, do you?” his deep voice made me jump as I turned to see him looking at me.

“Oh- you’re awake,” I blushed, not moving from my place on the floor in front of him. “Good morning.”

His silver eyes didn’t leave mine, “Is it?”

“Not really,” I shrugged, “The news called for rain.”

His chin tipped up, “Ah.”

“I work this morning,” I said turning my gaze back to the room around us, “Would you like breakfast before I go?”

“I never eat while I work,” he said simply. “Digestion slows me down.”


“Where do you work?”

“You don’t know?”

“The London Library at Saint James Square,” he rattled off the information like it was nothing and I glanced over my shoulder at him in shock, “I was only asking to be polite. I deduced most of your basic information last night. The rest I found out from Mrs. Hudson. She does love to gossip.”

“Okay…” I trailed off, turning around to face him on the couch, “what do you know?”

And eyebrow twitched up as he, slowly, shifted into a sitting position. “You’re name is Freya Crawford. Twenty five years old, a hundred and sixty five centimeter tall, a hundred and forty pounds heavy. You work for the London Library because of deep passion for you possess for literature, not the most useless hobby I’ve heard of but still a waste of time considering the types of novels you choose to pick up. You’re previous living situation was as Mrs. Hudson put it ‘bloody awful’ and you’ve been looking for a new residence for the better part of two months.”

I blinked at him, unsure of what to say except, “You’re right, about almost everything.”

His left eye twitched, “Almost?”

“Literature is not a waste of time.”

“Flights of fancy, such as you read, are,” he said with a challenging look.

I laughed, “Clearly you don’t understand the value of a good story.”

He rolled his eyes but it was different now. Before he regarded me only coldly and his words now still reflected that hostility but it didn’t feel that way. It didn’t feel like last night when he demanded I leave simply because he didn’t want me here. This felt… familiar? Like I’d, had this conversation before…

“Okay,” I smiled, waving away those thoughts as I refocused on the man in front of me, “what else?”

His gaze turned questioning, “Pardon?”

“What more do you know about me?”

His confusion remained, “More? There’s more?”

My smile faltered, “Well… Yeah, of course there is. I’m not saying what you said wasn’t impressive, it was, but it’s also all things a stranger I spent five minutes talking to on the tube could figure out. I don’t know I guess I was just kind of expecting something… more. You’re Sherlock Holmes, aren’t you? Say something that will blow me away.”

He was quiet for a moment, the narrow angle in his eyes shifting from puzzlement to something much more… deterring. “I’m afraid you’ve misunderstood, Miss. Crawford.”


“Yes,” he stood up and I did too. “I deduce only the most important information and if I have inferred nothing more of you it is because there is nothing else of interest to uncover. You are insignificant, unimportant. A nameless background character of whom no one thinks about because there is nothing to know. Don’t inflate your own importance and certainly don’t expect me to.”

The room grew cold around me as he spoke. His words piercing through me like a knife as his silver eyes stared me down. I don’t know how long we stood like that. The two of us, less than a foot apart, in our pajamas, our gaze locked as his venom hung in the air. I wanted to say something, anything to erase the echoing sound of his voice in my ears but the words wouldn’t come.

So I walked away from him. I left Sherlock and his cruel words behind as I went back to the room where I had slept and closed the door. I slowly sank down onto the bed, letting out a long breath as I did. He didn’t mean it, I thought to myself. John said he started insulting people when he got frustrated and I knew I would be picked apart the moment he stepped foot back in this flat. So why was I so surprised by his outburst? Why did I feel like someone had taken hold of my heart and was squeezing it- freezing it until it stopped-

I woke up with a jump, my hand flying to my heart in an attempt to check my pulse.

“Freya?” I turned to see Sherlock sitting in a lounge chair in the corner of his bedroom. He face betrayed no emotion as he watched me carefully, closing the book in his hand. “You had a nightmare.”

It wasn’t a question but I answered him anyway, “Something like that.” I murmured turning on the bed so my feet were resting firmly on the floor. My hand fell into my lap as I turned a cautious glance his way, “How long have you been there?”

“Mary requested I stay close,” he said simply, “in case you went into another one of your fits.”

I flinched, “Right.”

He cocked his head to the side, “You’re wary of me, why?”

“It’s nothing,” I waved off his question as I stood up and reached for the door, “Are you hungry? I'm famish-” the handle slipped from my grasp as the door was slammed back shut in front of me. Long piano fingers against the pail paint of the wood were all I could see. All I could feel was the warmth that radiated from his body and the little hairs on the back of my neck stir with his every breath.

“Freya,” his voice was deep and smooth, like silk being draped across my shoulders. “Look at me.”

My voice caught in my throat as I stood, frozen, between him and the door.

“Freya,” he spoke again, his voice growing more annoyed.

I can’t, I thought squeezing my eyes shut.


Just let me go.

“Dyre-” my head shot up as something inside me snapped back into place and I fell back against the warm body behind me. Strong arms wrapped around my limp form, protecting me from the fall as he lifted me effortlessly into the air. Don’t let go, I heard someone murmur. Their voice was so soft, like a whisper from far away- below… from far below. And I was rising, my fingers slipping from the satin they clung to. Don’t let go, Dyre. Don’t.

I can’t hold on, I thought- tears falling down my cheeks. It hurts too much- I'm not strong enough.


I'm so sorry…

No! Help her-

“Freya?!” I heard Mary’s panicked voice echo in the room as I felt my body being set down on the soft bed. “What happened?”

“How should I know?” Sherlock’s strained voice growled above me. “I’m not the one with a medical license.”

“You were supposed to watch her,” she hissed as fingers probe my neck and an intense wave of exhaustion washed over my body. “This is not how it was supposed to go!”

“I’m doing my best but the girl is slipping,” he mumbled as the edges of my consciousness grew fuzzy and I began to slip into a deep sleep. “A little help would be appreciated.”

“I’ll stabilize her for now but she cannot take much more of this and you know it,” she hissed, but from far away now. Her voice vanishing into the background. “You’re taking too long; a decision needs to be made. Soon.”

“I am aware,” he responded, a hand running softly through my hair as everything faded too black, “But she has to remember first…”
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So yeah, it's been a while... Sorry about that. Life for me got hectic and I lost my will to write. I do plan on finishing this story because I just love it so much but I don't have a time table because I'm just not sure about anything any more. What's always helped in the past and encouraged me to write more has been reviews and feed back telling me what you think about the story and the writing. So please, if you like the story and want me to finish let me know in the review section. I hope to hear from you!