Title: Matching Wounds - Part One
Author: fanficwriter101
Pairing: gen
Fandoms: Sherlock
Disclaimer: The characters from the show aren't mine, they belong to others. No copyright infringement intended. Any characters you don't recognize are mine. Feedback would be nice, positive feedback would be nicer. Enjoy!
Category: Sherlock Holmes (2010 BBC TV version) angsty hurt/comfort fic with a tiny bit of slashy stuff here and there
Rating: R
Characters: Holmes, Watson plus supporting cast
Series: No but split into parts for easy reading
Spoilers: Episodes one and two
Summary: A modern-day Jack the Ripper is stalking the London streets. But this time, his target isn't female.
Archive: Just tell me where it's going
Additional "stuff": I made almost everything in this part up! I *think* I got the dates right-ish given Sherlock's around 33-34 in 2010. Some very adult stuff in this part, but nothing too explicit except the language.
Feedback: Constructive comments welcomed at: catrina.marlow@btinternet.com
Warning: WiP



Sherlock sat back, bored, mind wandering.

"Mr Holmes...any thoughts?"

Professor Seamus McInally's gaze settled on the unruly mop of dark brown hair.

Sherlock didn't look up. "Page 136, second paragraph."

McInally smiled, hiding his amusement quickly. "Indeed...and while your fellow students thumb frantically through their textbooks, perhaps you could help me hand out this week's assignment?"

Sherlock slid out of his seat, headed to the front of the room and caught his Criminology tutor's eye, feeling a glow of satisfaction at the man's appreciative smile and slight nod.


Three years later...

McInally heard the soft knock on his study door. "Come."

Sherlock walked in, closing the door behind him, looking down at the pile of papers, mid-term exam scripts he guessed, on the Professor's desk. "You're busy...I can come back."

McInally shook his head, gesturing at the leather chair in front of his desk. "Sit, I can mark and talk at the same time."

Sherlock dropped into the seat, limbs extending in all directions. "I don't know what I'm going to do...when I leave I mean...everyone seems to know, to have plans, a job to go to...I don't."

"Stay here, teach." McInally suggested.

Sherlock sighed, shaking his head. "They're all so...stupid."

McInally laughed softly, putting his pen down. "You could educate them."

Sherlock got to his feet, walking to the window, looking out over the various knots of students, sitting, standing, talking. "Mycroft sent someone to recruit me."

McInally knew the brothers didn't have the best relationship. He also knew, from things Sherlock had let slip, what the older brother did. "Your brother...someone from his...office?"

Sherlock nodded, turning back, leaning against the window frame. "I said no, of course, but...I need to earn money, make a living, buy things...food."

"You're going to get a first, Sherlock. You'll have your pick of jobs."

Sherlock's face showed his disquiet. "So why haven't I had any offers?"

McInally didn't offer his honest opinion - that a combination of Sherlock's abrasiveness and condescension had ruined any chances he had of being head-hunted - instead settling for: "I have a friend, at Scotland Yard. I could ask him if he has any vacancies for SOCO's or forensic analysts."

Sherlock returned to the seat, lounging restlessly. "Forensics...I think I'd like that, don't you?"

McInally nodded, amused at Sherlock's suggestion that he might know better what job his student should do than the student himself. "I do...a good mixture of science, intuition and attention to detail."

Sherlock smiled, relaxing for the first time in hours. "Do you want any help? With these?" He gestured to the unsteady pile of exam manuscripts.

McInally sighed, reminded of his workload. "Do you remember any of your first year texts?"

Sherlock frowned as if the question was a stupid one. "All of them."

McInally smiled.  "Help yourself. And be nice to them. I want at least some students to make it to their second year."

Sherlock looked around the room and his gaze settled on a small battered leather case. "I didn't know you played the violin."

McInally sighed. "I don't have much time anymore."

"May I?" Sherlock walked across and ran a hand lightly over the scratches and scrapes on the brown leather.

"Help yourself."

Sherlock opened the case and picked up the instrument and bow, tucking it under his chin, resting his fingers on the strings and drew the bow across them experimentally, checking the tuning. Finding it almost perfectly tuned, Sherlock began to play a simple melody, fingers moving without thinking after a moment or two.

McInally stopped writing and sat back, silently watching Sherlock.

After a few minutes Sherlock seemed to realize he was being stared at and he smiled softly, lowering the violin, replacing it carefully in the case. "Thank you."

McInally chuckled. "An instrument should be played regularly. It's sad if it just sits in its case, don't you think?"


A few months later...

Billy Thomas looked around the almost empty sauna, steam rising from the metal basket in the corner. There was a cute guy, skinny but do-able, sitting alone in the far corner of the room, opposite the basket heaped with steaming rocks. He walked across and sat down.

"Hi...I'm Billy."

Sherlock looked up, distracted from his thoughts. "Sherlock."

"Come here often?"

Sherlock nodded. "Yes, at least once a week."

Billy laughed, realized it seemed to annoy his new friend and fell silent. "Would you like to get some coffee?"

**Later...East London**

"I may be mistaken but I don't hear a kettle boiling." Sherlock's gaze twisted towards the kitchen.

Billy grinned. "Coffe'll keep you awake."

Sherlock frowned. "But you said...you invited me...for coffee."

Billy giggled and slid off the couch, tugging at Sherlock's zipper. "It's like Morse...there's a code, right?"

Looking down at Billy, Sherlock began to understand what was happening and struggled to extricate himself from Billy's grip. "Morse code was invented..."

Billy looked up, grinning. "Geeks...you're all the same...no time for fun."

Standing suddenly, Sherlock looked over at the door, checking his escape route. "Billy, I'm sorry if you misunderstood, but I thought we were going to have coffee."

Billy groaned. "Cock tease."

Embarrassed, Sherlock picked up his gloves scarf and coat, pulling it them on quickly.

He forced himself to calm down enough to be polite as he headed to the door. "I very much enjoyed your company, and I wish you well with your interview at the restaurant. Let me know how it goes."

Billy grunted, his back turned, as Sherlock let himself out.


The following day...West London

Sherlock paid the taxi, walked up the path and knocked on the door. He looked around while he waited, identical houses both sides of the road, neatly-kept front gardens, clean, small cars in the driveways of most.

The door opened and the gray-haired man who stood in the doorway smiled warmly. "Sherlock...it's been quite a while since I heard from you."

Sherlock nodded and walked into the house as Seamus McInally stood back and let him inside.


The retired Professor made coffee while Sherlock paced restlessly round the small kitchen.

Sensing his former student's disquiet, McInally prompted softly: "Sherlock?"

"Are you attracted to people automatically, or...is there something about them?"

McInally poured two cups, added milk and pushed a sugar bowl towards Sherlock. Cautiously, knowing the conversation could take one of a number of directions, he offered: "I suppose it depends. Sometimes you just know they're the right person, sometimes they know you are."

"What if they think you are but you're not...right...for them?"

"Sherlock, perhaps it would be simpler if you just told me what happened."

"When?" Sherlock looked up from his coffee.

McInally restrained his temper. "Whatever it was that made you pick up the phone and call me, Sherlock!"

"Um...there was this kid...at the sauna...he's a waiter and...uh...he...invited me back to his flat for coffee and..."

McInally waited patiently, sipping his coffee slowly while Sherlock stumbled through his explanation. "He was out of coffee?"

Sherlock blushed, eyes fixed on his cup.

McInally felt like he'd wandered into a minefield and no-one was offering him a map. "Sherlock, you're not married, you're not in a settled relationship, there's no harm in...having coffee..with someone, is there?" He was feeling his way very, very cautiously, certain he was going to take a fatal step at any moment.

Sherlock sighed deeply. "I didn't...I wasn't...I don't seem to be able to..."

McInally walked across and took Sherlock's cup from his shaking hands before the entire contents spilled onto his kitchen floor. "Sherlock, when you meet the right person, everything will...work...just as it's supposed to."

"You can't know that!" Sherlock protested.

McInally sighed softly, relieved to have found his way out of the minefield, just about. "Yes, Sherlock I do. Now, come and help me plant some flowers. It's been too wet to plant them since I bought them and they really need to go into the ground. How is work?"

Following McInally outside, pulling his gloves, coat and scarf back on, Sherlock's face became animated. "I'm working for Detective Sergeant Lestrade. He's been nice to me but their equipment's from the last century."

McInally smiled. "You were spoiled by the resources of the University. Welcome to the real world."

Sherlock huffed and picked up the polystyrene box of tiny plants, gloved fingertips ghosting over the flowers and leaves. "I wish I was a flower."

McInally chuckled. "Oh yes, a much easier life. Will there be enough sunshine, enough rain, not too much of either. Will there be no slugs, some bees and no cats or careless gardeners."

Sherlock pondered the Professor's comments. "Hmm...I have to move out of my flat. I told Mike and he said he'd try and find someone to share with me but I'm not hopeful. I may have to talk to Mycroft."

McInally listened, sensing the usual tension in Sherlock's voice when he mentioned his elder brother. "You could always stay here."

Sherlock smiled. "Yes...I know."

Together the two men worked in near-total silence for an hour, weeding, planting and watering the two borders which ran the length of the small, narrow garden.

Finally, McInally stood, rubbing his back. "Are you staying for dinner?"

Sherlock grinned. "Yes please."