“We hated him.”
Sherlock flinches, eyes sliding down and away, instinctively recoiling from Sebastian’s casual cruelty.
“You’d come down to breakfast in the formal hall, and this freak would know you’d been shagging the previous night.”
Sebastian lounges behind his desk, all braying arrogance, and John waits for Sherlock to retaliate. To cut him down and put him in his place. But he doesn’t. He sits mute, bullied into silence by Sebastian’s overbearing scorn.
And in that silence John sees another Sherlock. Ten years younger, navigating Oxford’s hallowed halls with coltish brilliance and a fragile ego, struggling to find his place among the sons of men like Sebastian. But the careless rich, with the world prostrate at their feet, have no time for exceptional minds. They demand conformity and punish anyone who dares to be more.
“Go on, enlighten me…”
It hurts to imagine Sherlock performing party tricks for Sebastian and his ilk, mistaking their laughter for friendship and not understanding the difference between the two.
But then Sherlock strikes, sharp as a blade. “I was just chatting with your secretary outside. She told me.”
Sebastian laughs, not getting the joke.
John smiles at the insolent lie, at Sherlock’s refusal to perform on demand – and at the dignity of his defiance.
He sort of feels like cheering because, frankly, it’s brilliant.
Thanks so much for reading, I hope you liked it! :)