Original Story Title: For Great Justice
Original Story Link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/174759
Original Story Pairings: Sherlock/ciswoman!Joanna
Original Story Rating: NC-17
Original Story Warnings: menstruation
Remix Story Title: In the Interest of the Public Good (the blood and guts remix)
Remix Author: ladyofthelog
Remix Beta: thanks to automaticdoor, greywash, innie_darling, lutamira, and noirrosaleen for all their help!
Remix Britpicker: flawedamythyst, who is excellent indeed
Remix Story Pairings: Sherlock/ciswoman!Joanna
Remix Story Rating: NC-17
Remix Story Warnings: blood, menstruation, mild injury, non-graphic mentions of surgery, vague description of violent crime scene
"In the Interest of the Public Good (the blood and guts remix)"
"Justice, sir, is the great interest of man on earth." Daniel Webster
Sherlock doesn't remember his first cut, his first scrape. It's probably lost to the hazy depths of infant memory, but he prefers to think of it as deleted. Inconsequential.
"Shouldn't you…" He waved his fingers at Joanna. "Cover that?"
She rolled her eyes at him, but raised her hand to where the knife had sliced the soft inside flesh of her arm. Her chest swelled with a quick intake of breath, her cheeks flushed with adrenaline.
"Flesh wound," she said. "Let's keep moving."
It would be untrue to say that Sherlock is uninterested in women: he views women with the same clinical curiosity with which he does men and the spectrum in between. He read Gray's Anatomy of the Body from cover to cover five times as a child. The material facts of the body are evident, its functions and movements legible; as an abstract, there are no mysteries within it for Sherlock.
Sherlock read the Kama Sutra once, as well as Jin Ping Mei and Justine. He found de Sade the most interesting, given his own interest in pathology.
Sherlock was still high, strung out, when he first met Lestrade, but that didn't stop him from calling attention to the obvious. "The blood spatter is completely wrong for a self-inflicted wound," he said, the crime scene tape fluttering in the doorway behind him. "And why would she kill herself here? She doesn't live here. She lives at home with her mother."
Lestrade looked up from where he was crouched down by the body. The lines around his eyes were fainter then, but his hair was already going grey. "Do you live here?" he asked. They were in the living room of a council flat that had seen better days and belonged to one of Sherlock's dealers. "Do you know her?"
"No," Sherlock said. "Just passing through."
“I’m not following you anywhere, you mad git,” Joanna says. “That’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever said, and I’m counting the thing about why you put those fingernails in the percolator.”
“That was a scientific necessity,” he counters. (It was. Nail fungus has come up in more than a few cases, and he nearly closed one on evidence of treatment alone.)
“And this is what, exactly?”
Sherlock looks her over again: RAMC sweatshirt, tracksuit trousers, arse planted against the headboard, legs splayed against the wall. She seems disgruntled, but intrigued. He still has thirty-seven minutes.
The waiting room at St. Mary's was cold. Joanna had been in surgery for two hours and seventeen minutes. Her sister was sleeping in the chair across from Sherlock, head lolling awkwardly against the back.
"I'm fine," Sherlock said. He was wearing a t-shirt, jogging bottoms, and ill-fitting trainers. His old clothes had been taken away somewhere. Someone had brought him a blanket; it was blue.
"Do you want some tea?" Lestrade asked. He was off duty.
Sherlock shrugged, blanket shifting on his shoulders.
Lestrade brought him tea anyway.
The first time Sherlock saw someone else's blood, it was Mycroft's. He was three and Mycroft was ten.
His mother was cleaning gravel out of Mycroft's leg, while Mycroft hissed and tried not to cry. His shin was red and his knee was skinned. He had a cut on his arm, by his elbow. Sherlock came closer.
"Some space, Sherlock," his mother said gently.
"You fell on your bicycle," Sherlock said to Mycroft, touching the arm that wasn't hurt. He could read the marks so clearly, like words on Mycroft's skin.
When Sherlock was seven, he had his tonsils out. The pain was so intense that he cried for most of the first day, which only made his throat hurt more, and filled him with futile, aching anger. He ate ice cream for days until he was sick of every flavor the housekeeper could find. The scabs came off after eleven days and the wounds bled into his mouth. They tasted disgusting.
The only consolation was that he'd convinced Mummy to put his tonsils into a jar. They were small, fleshy, and bloody. Sherlock put them on the shelf over his desk, next to the jar of his baby teeth. It was the beginning of a good collection.
“It’s curious,” Sherlock says, “the way an indirect stimulus can produce a response almost as satisfactory as direct manipulation.”
He traces the lines of Joanna's inner folds. Sherlock's studied this, done it before. He watches Joanna, feels her, gauging where to press and slide his thumb and where to curve his fingers. Joanna's blood is slick, red, oxidized.
“Fascinating. I would have expected more clotting.”
“Not generally a turn-on, Sherlock,” Joanna says.
“That doesn’t seem to be a problem.”
Joanna's heart rate is elevated, her pupils dilated, her hips shifting a little against the duvet beneath her. When he pushes two fingers inside of her, her back arches, her body curving up toward him. It's good. Not the same way it is for her. But Sherlock likes doing this. He likes sharing the pleasure that is a triple homicide with no suspect or evident motive.
He pulls the two fingers he's slid inside Joanna toward him. Later, he'll look at them carefully, red and white, as he draws hot water and then cold from the taps.
A few weeks after the explosion at the pool, further indignities were inflicted on his person: years after every other person he knew had them excised, Sherlock had to have his wisdom teeth removed.
Joanna's incision had healed, but she was still visibly in pain, limping around the flat and spending most of her time lying down, paging through medical journals and trying to take up crochet. While she ceded most of the fussing to Mrs. Hudson, Joanna was still attentive. She flushed the oxycodone prescription he came home with down the toilet, got the surgeon to give him tramadol instead, and switched out his cold packs every hour. Sherlock spent the first day in a groggy haze, trying not to weep. The feeling was familiar; whatever that was, he must have deleted it.
"I appreciate your help," he said, grudgingly, on the second day, when he could talk but was still reduced to being brought soup and large glasses of cool water while he lay on the sofa.
Joanna shook a pill from the bottle into her hand. "It’s in the interest of the public good," she said, and smiled.
It's just dawn, and they've not only solved the case, Scotland Yard has the perpetrator in custody. The whole thing is somewhat anticlimactic, and Sherlock's still jittery with adrenaline and excitement. He's sitting on the couch, tapping his foot on the floor, scrolling through the contents of his inbox. Boring, boring, boring.
"Put on the kettle, will you?" Joanna kicks off her trainers in the hall instead of sitting down in her chair to unlace them, puts a hand to her side as she straightens.
"Do you know the average volume of your menses?" he asks.
Joanna pauses at the foot of the stairs. "I don't measure it."
"You could," he says. "They make those cups. I understand they're quite comfortable."
"That's gross," she calls down from the loo. "Seriously, Sherlock."
He puts on the kettle.
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