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Ariane DeVere
Sherlock fic - Human Error 
26th-Mar-2014 12:08 pm
Sherlock - Janine
Title: Human Error
: Ariane DeVere
Word count: 862
Rating: PG

Summary: Nobody has yet broken it to Janine that Sherlock doesn’t really want to marry her. A missing scene from His Last Vow.

Human Error

My heart sank when I walked into the hospital canteen and saw the familiar figure sitting alone at a table. Oh my God. Janine. After the shooting last night I had ensured that the paramedics knew about her and the unconscious security man downstairs, but since then my concentration had been totally focussed on Sherlock and I had forgotten all about her.

She looked up as I approached the table. “Hi,” she said, sounding worried. “How is Sherl?”

“He’s doing a bit better,” I said, sitting down opposite her. “There’s still a danger of infection but he’s through the worst, and he’s conscious and complaining, which is a good sign.”

“They won’t let me in to see him,” Janine said in frustration. “I told them I’m his fiancée, but they’re only allowing family in ... and you, of course.” She sounded bitter.

Oh God. She didn’t know.

I unsuccessfully tried to hide my grimace. I didn’t need this right now. I had only come to the canteen to grab a quick cup of coffee and a roll and I wanted to get back to Sherlock’s bedside as soon as possible. He still hadn’t said anything about who had shot him, and I wanted to be there if he did.

“Janine,” I said carefully. “Look, I don’t really know how to tell you, but the thing is, Sherlock needed someone who worked at CAM Global News so that he could get more information about Magnussen. When he realised that you were his personal assistant ...”

I trailed off, closely watching her face. She didn’t look upset yet, but I wasn’t sure whether it simply hadn’t sunk in. “Magnussen’s not a good man,” I continued. “You must know that – you’ve worked for him for long enough. He’s got a lot of gossip and secrets about a lot of people; and someone hired Sherlock to get back the information that he’s holding on her. It was going to cause a lot of unnecessary harm and Sherlock was really angry about it. He needed to get into Magnussen’s office and ... I’m sorry, but Sherlock’s been using you.”

She nodded, still not looking as upset as I had imagined. “Typical,” she said. “But I suppose I should have expected it. It was always too good to be true.”

She sighed. “He really is gorgeous,” she said, “and I was flattered when he got in touch a couple of days after your wedding. It seemed a bit weird when he started chatting me up, but he was so friendly and interested in me. I knew all the rumours about him, of course – especially the gossip about ...”

She stopped and looked pointedly at me. I shrugged. Of course I knew all the press speculation about Sherlock. I was used to it by now, and even though almost every newspaper article about him since his return from the dead had speculated about his sexuality, I had stopped taking any notice.

“He said he hadn’t dated anyone for ages and wanted to take it slow,” Janine continued. She grimaced. “It got a bit frustrating after a while, especially when he started wandering around half-dressed, and then we started sleeping together – just sleeping – but I figured we’d get there in the end.” She smiled. “He’d have been worth the wait.”

Her smile faded and she shook her head as she looked down. “Ooh, that lying bastard,” she said quietly. She stood up. “It’s a shame I didn’t get the ring off him. Actually, right now it’s a good job he’s so unwell, or I’d probably kill him myself.”

She gave me a reassuring smile when she saw my startled look. “I’m just kidding. I don’t wish him any harm. But he shouldn’t have used me like that. That was unkind. I really liked him, and I thought we were friends.”

She looked up resolutely. “I have some people I need to talk to. I think the press might be interested in my story.”

“Janine ...” I began, but she interrupted.

“Don’t worry,” she said. “I’m not gonna do him any lasting harm, and I’m not going to say anything about what happened last night or anything about Global News or Mr Magnussen.” She quirked a small smile. “Actually, with what I’m thinking of saying, it might even do Sherl’s reputation a bit of good. But if a girl can’t get some sort of payback after she’s been used, what can she do?”

She looked down at me. “By the way,” she added. “I know who knocked me out last night.”

“Really?” I asked, surprised. “Have you told the police?”

“No,” she said. “I saw a reflection in the window just before I fell, but I kind of want to stay alive a bit longer, so I reckon I should keep my mouth firmly shut. So no, I’m not saying a word to the police or the press.”

She grinned at me. “Plus, you’ll owe me, big time. Like I said, a girl deserves payback when she’s been used.”

I smiled up at her. “Janine,” I told her, “I knew there was a reason I picked you as my chief bridesmaid.”

Author’s Note:

I saw someone wondering when and how Janine found out that Sherlock had been faking wanting to marry her, and this is the result.

I tried to make this into an almost-obligatory 221B story but it wouldn’t fit, so I ended up padding it out instead. Hopefully it’s not too rambly. Still, at least I managed to keep the also-almost-obligatory ‘b’ word at the end!

26th-Mar-2014 01:57 pm (UTC)
Woah, that ending! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.

"By the way, I don't want to die, so I'll keep my mouth shut, you don't even have to threaten me first." "That's my girl!"

Although, I guess that means Janine also knows who shot Sherlock, and...doesn't really care?

Very cleverly written. I assumed it was John's POV.
26th-Mar-2014 02:11 pm (UTC)
Either she doesn't care, or she knows that there's nothing she can do about it, because Mary will kill her if she tries.

I'm relieved that the misdirection worked!
26th-Mar-2014 03:14 pm (UTC)
I love gapfic and this is a scrumptious example. You've captured their voices perfectly - Janine's tolerant resignation, Mary's slightly clinical sympathy. And the ending is lovely. I'm still smiling away!

(Actually, are there any scenes in BBC Sherlock canon of 2 female characters speaking together without a man present? I'm drawing a blank!)
26th-Mar-2014 03:32 pm (UTC)
So happy that you liked it!

Well, there's a brief phone conversation between Molly and Mrs H in Sign of Three, and a brief scene in their house between Irene and Kate in Scandal, but off the top of my head I don't think there's been a proper conversation between two women alone. But then it's rare to have a scene that doesn't feature either John or Sherlock.
26th-Mar-2014 05:03 pm (UTC)
If I didn't know I'd have thought it was John until the very last lines. But I know you, and therefore I thought, "Oooh, Ariane wrote a new story. Let's read it with a suspicious eye, it would be nice not to be fooled, just once. Ooooh, first person POV. Let's be SUPER-SUSPICIOUS." And I read each line twice, interpreting them from John's POV then from Mary's one. And of course it was horribly frustrating because both worked perfectly. Gaaah, Ariane, I've already said that and I'll say it again but damn, that was clever.

I especially like I had only come to the canteen to grab a quick cup of coffee and a roll and I wanted to get back to Sherlock’s bedside as soon as possible. He still hadn’t said anything about who had shot him, and I wanted to be there if he did, both Mary and John have so strong reasons to think that, and so different reasons too, and the lines have so different meanings according to who pronounce them. Same thing with, "Actually, right now it’s a good job he’s so unwell, or I’d probably kill him myself.” She gave me a reassuring smile when she saw my startled look. I can imagine Mary's thoughts here: "Oh yes please, do that, you have an excellent motive, wait, here's my pistol."

Brilliant fic, bravo!
27th-Mar-2014 10:47 am (UTC)
Oh, honey, have you ever considered just reading the fic and going with the flow instead of trying to work out the sneakiness?! Who d'you think you are, Sherlock Holmes? You're as bad as a spoiler-phile looking at all the Setlock pictures and trying to work out in advance what's going to happen in the episodes!

I am definitely going to try and write a twist-free fic one of these days, and then will smugly sit back and watch everyone's heads explode.

Thank you anyway for your lovely comments.
27th-Mar-2014 05:49 pm (UTC)
Oh, honey, have you ever considered just reading the fic and going with the flow instead of trying to work out the sneakiness?!
No. *nods wisely* Because when you write a short fic like this it's all about the twist, and I like trying to guess where you're going to lead us. I enjoy the anticipation of the "Wait, WHAT?" moment as much as the moment itself. And yes, I'm a horrible setlock-phile who loves speculating and going all, "What if...?" and it doesn't spoil anything when I watch the show, on the contrary. SUE ME. :D
26th-Mar-2014 07:39 pm (UTC)
Delightful! Always the twist in the tale with you, but oh, so inventive!!

27th-Mar-2014 10:48 am (UTC)
Thanks! Glad you liked it!
27th-Mar-2014 04:37 am (UTC)
Whoa, ending!! X-) See, that right there is one if the main reasons why I love your writing so much... there's always some little something to throw your brain for a loop. :-) Interestingly, I wrote a meta on Tumblr about the situation between Sherlock and Janine a couple of days after that episode aired, and I also called it "Human Error." :-) It's here, if you're bored and want something to read with lots of pictures. :-) http://chitarra10.tumblr.com/post/73477791593/human-error
27th-Mar-2014 10:50 am (UTC)
Thanks! I do enjoy making my readers go, "Wait, what?" at the end!
31st-Mar-2014 11:18 am (UTC)
I read your Tumblr post, and it is utterly fascinating. It's given such a different perspective on the Sherlock/Janine relationship. Thanks so much for writing it.
31st-Mar-2014 10:32 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I'm glad you liked it. :-) That truly makes me happy to hear it was appreciated. :-) It came about because of something interesting that happened while watching that episode for the first time... I caught that happening, but my Neurotypical friend watching with me disagreed, and it turned out that I was right. After the episode was over... and we were both breathing again after that insane ending X-)... my friend asked me about it, "Ok, how did you even figure that out?" A discussion ensued about that stuff I wrote, and she said, "I'm so glad you told me all that because I honestly didn't know any of that, but now a lot of stuff about you suddenly makes sense." That sort of threw me for a second because I honestly didn't know that no one knew that... to me, that's just how it is, but according to her, that isn't how it is. X-) So later on, I was still wondering, "People really don't know this stuff about us?" and I thought, "I should write this. Then maybe people will see it and get where we're coming from, and hopefully not think we're so weird anymore." X-)
28th-Mar-2014 09:54 am (UTC)
Gaaah!! This is so perfect!
28th-Mar-2014 09:58 am (UTC)
Aw, bless you, honey!
3rd-Apr-2014 07:18 pm (UTC)
I read this on a day when I was nursing a headcold, so perhaps I'm a bit slow on the uptake, but that was impressive! I assumed it was John all throughout and now want to reread it knowing the true identity of the other person. It changes everything - and nothing, somehow. Really well done, in any case.
4th-Apr-2014 02:16 pm (UTC)
I'd like to hope that you would have been equally misdirected even if you hadn't had a cold! Thank you for your comments!
4th-Apr-2014 02:26 pm (UTC)
Didn't mean to say it was only good because I was sick! I think it would have been a fun reveal in any case - I was really taken by surprise.
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