Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Story: "What Fireworks Are Like"

The idea began with this article and video of the brain during orgasm ...

... which led to this comment from Dreamwidth user Cxcvi on 12/4/11:



"I have no idea what I'm looking at in that video, but I guess that's what they mean when they say that an orgasm is like having fireworks going off in your head..."

And just like that there was a little story sitting in the front of my mind, featuring Sherlock Holmes and John Watson from the BBC Sherlock, in which asexuality is perfectly understood and accepted within a relationship while something else is not.  So here it is.


What Fireworks Are Like

Sherlock bounced into the room like a rubber ball ejected from a particularly overcharged cannon.  "John!  It's Fireworks Night tomorrow!" he exclaimed.  "Let's break into Mycroft's office and watch the fireworks show over the Thames."

"No, thank you," John said quietly.

"No?"  Sherlock paused, and then resumed his former trajectory.  "But John, it's Fireworks Night, and everyone loves fireworks."

"No, they don't," John said.  "I don't, anyway."

"But the colors -- we could stand in the window and guess the chemical compositions of the fireworks as they go off!  And the explosions, all those lovely loud BANGS --"

"Christ, Sherlock, STOP it!" John snapped.  "I do not like fireworks.  I HATE fireworks.  Please store that data in your hard drive and never delete it."

Sherlock looked at him, so much like a kicked puppy that John felt a wave of guilt.  "You really don't ...?  But John, why?"

John sighed.  "I'm a -- was a soldier, Sherlock.  An Army doctor.  Sudden loud noises and flashing lights make me feel like someone is going to kill me, or shout for me to scrape bleeding dying boys out of the dirt."

Sherlock started to bounce again.  "Oh John, that's just post-traumatic stress syndrome, like your nightmares," Sherlock said.  "You'll get over it.  I'll help.  We can just --"

"NO, Sherlock," John said.  He rubbed a hand over his face.  Sherlock was a treasure, he really was, but once he latched onto an idea it was almost impossible to shake him loose from it.

And then John had an idea, a perfectly brilliant, almost Sherlockian idea, going off not at all like a firework in his head.  "Sherlock," he said gently, "would you like to have a two-hour-long orgasm?"

"Oh God no," Sherlock said, gazing at John with a look of pure horror on his face.  Then the horror shifted to hurt, and his face crumpled.  "You didn't have to resort to threats, John."

"I'm not threatening, I'm explaining." John shifted on the couch; his leg hurt.  "Remember when you got into that argument with Donovan about asexuality?"

"She called me a freak again."

"Well, she's a silly bint and you shouldn't listen to her."

"She was going on and on about orgasms, John.  I assure you that I turned off my hearing as much as I could."

"That's exactly my point, Sherlock," said John.  "She said that having an orgasm is like having fireworks go off in your head."

"I vaguely recall something like that."

"Well, I feel the same way about fireworks that you feel about orgasms," John said.

Sherlock flopped onto the couch, stunned.  "I never ... thought of it like that," he said.  "God, John, I'm sorry."

Apologies from Sherlock were as rare and precious as sunny days in London.  John smiled.  "It's all right, Sherlock.  You didn't understand, and now you do.  Just drop the topic and all is forgiven."

Sherlock shook his head, making the wild curls even wilder.  "No, I want to make it up to you," he said.  "I'll ask Mycroft for the key to the summer cottage.  We can spend a couple of days in the country, where it will be nice and quiet."  Sherlock gave John a pleading look and opened his arms.

John nodded and cuddled against Sherlock.  "I love you so much," he said.

Tags: fiction, gender studies, reading, weblit, writing
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