ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This story fills a square on my card for the [community profile] hc_bingo fest. This fest encourages the creation of boundary-pushing material that explores what happens when things go horribly wrong and people actually care about each other. I'm hoping to attract some new readers for my writing.

The following story belongs to Schrodinger's Heroes, featuring an apocryphal television show supported by an imaginary fandom. It's science fiction about quantum physics and saving the world from alternate dimensions. It features a very mixed cast in terms of ethnicity and sexual orientation. This project developed with input from multiple people, and it's open for everyone to play in. You can read more about the background, the characters, and a bunch of assorted content on the menu page.

Begin with Part 1, Part 2.  Skip ahead to Part 5, Part 6.  This is a crossover with BBC Sherlock. You can read how these characters found each other in "THE Woman," and the beginning of the morning after in "Texas Sunrise."  Additional inspiration came from a thread with [personal profile] siliconshaman[personal profile] jeshyr, and [personal profile] thnidu.

Fandoms: BBC Sherlock / Original: Schrodinger's Heroes
H/C: Panic attacks
Medium: Fiction
Summary/Preview: Sherlock, who does not deal well with bizarre surprises, has moved into a place where those are ubiquitous. Also he is hungover. Won't this be fun?
Content Notes: Spoilers for BBC Sherlock Season 2. Home cooking. Friendship. Tentacles. Happy ending.

"Seeing Things" Part 3

"Ah, John," Sherlock said, "please tell me you can see that ... thing ... as well?"

"What thing?" John said. He looked around and found Sherlock staring at the newcomer. "Oh, you mean Tim. Tim, meet Sherlock; Sherlock, this is Tim."

"John, you're introducing me to a tentacle monster,"  Sherlock said, his voice scaling up. He blinked, then blinked again, hard and much too fast. "I am  hallucinating after all."

The shortening of breath caught John's ear, too, as Sherlock started to hyperventilate. Bit not good, that. "You are not   hallucinating," John said firmly. "Tim is quite real; he just happens not to be human." He reached for Sherlock, hoping to refocus his attention.

It didn't work. "Look at me. I'm shaking," Sherlock said, and he was, a nervous tremble jittering against John's leg where they pressed together under the table. He stared at his own hands instead of Tim now. "Body's betraying me, again. Can't trust my body, can't trust my senses, can't even trust my brain --" A hiccup cut off his tirade. Sherlock put his face in his hands, rubbing his eyes.

Bloody hell, not again, John thought. Sherlock never had dealt well with truly bizarre things, the inexplicable, anything that went contrary to what he thought he knew. It had gotten worse after the Baskerville case, then even more so after Reichenbach. John had little idea what had happened to Sherlock during their separation, but he suspected that something else had reinforced the tendency toward panic attacks.

"Sherlock, take some deep breaths," John said. He caught Sherlock's hands in his own, trying to soothe the tremors. "You need to calm down."

"Perhaps I should withdraw," Tim said in his mellow voice.

"No, stay here, Tim. You can help." That was Quinn, moving through the room with confident grace. He settled on the other side of Sherlock.

"God, my brain must be rotting in my skull,"  Sherlock said. "Without it I'm useless --"

"Your brain is fine. Use it to work the problem," Quinn said in a calm, firm tone. "Sherlock, focus on the shadows and the light."

"What?" Sherlock said. He looked up, blinking owlishly.

Well, at least Quinn had gotten Sherlock's attention. John wondered what he was about with that angle of approach.

"Look at the shadows cast by Tim. Compare them to ours," Quinn instructed. Sherlock flicked his gaze back to Tim. "Look at the way light shines over Tim, and compare that with how it shines on the table. Now check the overhead light and the sunbeam coming in the window."

Again Sherlock followed suit. Something seemed to get through to him, as he began to settle down. He gazed around the room, more intently now, searching for clues.

* * * 


Some of Sherlock's panic dialogue is borrowed from "The Hounds of Baskerville."  It sounded like part of Sherlock's headtape that he would play over and over in certain types of situation, trying to push himself back to the behavior he expects of himself.

[To be continued in Part 4 ...]

(no subject)

Date: 2012-11-15 09:06 am (UTC)
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)
From: [personal profile] siliconshaman
Sherlock was having a kernel panic?! I.e an unexpected out-of-parameter error caused his processor to 'thrash' as it tried to fit the input [Tim] into his mental model of the world.

Figures, in a way it says more of him, most people would just subconsciously reject perceived erroneous data and thus not panic. I like the way Quinn calms him down though, focus on the details and supporting evidence that yes, indeed, it's a tentacle monster and he's real. Speaking as a psychologist, that actually works.

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2012-11-15 10:16 am (UTC)
siliconshaman: black cat against the moon (Default)
From: [personal profile] siliconshaman
Well, it's a technique that's more useful with people on the further end of the autistic spectrum, for what should be obvious reasons. But I can see how it would be helpful for those times when the walls appear to be melting and funny purple mice are running everywhere, so to speak.

And yeah, Sherlock observes and analyses everything, and about 90% of it gets classified as irrelevant. So anything that gets stuck in the logic filters is going to just choke him mentally, and he'll flail. Hmm.. not so much high functioning sociopath, as he called himself, as aspergers bordering on high-functioning autistic savant. Or you know, both, I suppose.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-11-16 01:38 am (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
I like the kernel panic analogy... to extend it... his visual hash function returned something out of range... Sherlock doesn't have a bucket for Tim.

Waiting with 'bated breath for Part 4... I *really* want to see where Quinn is going...OH.

*big smile* I did ask for that, didn't I? Thank you [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith, in advance....

I have to admit, intellectually, this is a little weird for me. I'm not usually a designer; I'm usually a put-the-pieces-together kind of guy... but there's a deeper part of me that's very comfortable and satisfied.... it's a lot of fun to see my little tidbits being scooped up and run with, even farther than I expected... :)

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2012-11-16 05:10 am (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
*hugs* Thank you. It's fun seeing what you do with the various scraps of things... it's sort of quilting, and sort of spinning/knitting, what you do when you talk story...

And, yeah, that's what I was getting at; Tim is so far outside any human's experience that he has to go in the "other" bucket, but poor Sherlock doesn't have one; either he drops it on the floor as irrelevant, or his internal TILT switch goes off and someone has to reset him.

I suspect John will be taking careful mental notes...


ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

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