Sooo…. I just ran rabid through this story and wrote a total manic brain-dump of a comment. It’s shatteringly good.
Oxidation by abbykate
Rated Explicit; features John/Sherlock, Sherlock/Victor, vague sideline Molly/Lestrade and Mormor
Summary: as oil paintings dry, the process is not evaporation as there is no water in the paint to disappear; instead, the oils in the paint are oxidised causing them to harden over years in a process that never really stops.
Holy Jesus, you guys. This is a heartwrenching and beautiful journey. It pulls you along incessantly, making you ache for more. The writing is gorgeous, the scenes dreamy and imaginative and gutting (and HOTohmygod the sex is amazing).
Sherlock is a famous painter, and his latest project is painting one John Watson. I will warn you that it’s not fluffy, and while there’s a fantastic resolution, it’s not a happy one. If you’re not into that, you probably shouldn’t read it - but I will say you’re seriously missing out if you skip it. It’s gorgeous. It hit me somewhere deep.
The three finished pieces — a profile of his face in candlelight, a full-frontal nude that made Sherlock inexplicably blush, and an intense study of his left eye that’s drying darker and bluer the longer it sits — lean against the far wall of the flat surveying the progress of his work like guards along a watchtower.
Sherlock hears that voice over the bubbling din of the Vivaldi and Strauss (Strauss, for god’s sake) he blares — the one telling him he’s amazing, that people don’t have arch enemies, that he’s not afraid of him — and even though he knows it isn’t his real voice (it can’t be), he smiles. Sherlock is ridiculous.
No, sleep won’t take long to find him, not tonight, not when he grinds himself this close to the quick. Sherlock strips bare and slides beneath the dark duvet. Measuring his breaths, it’s his mind that takes a bit to press the brakes. He remembers: He’s sitting there in the sunrise after another long day at hospital, he probably saw a lot of blood last night, his eyes sparkle a bit more 116 blanc de titane, titanium white, it excites him but it wears him and he wears it, little flecks of blood on his gingham collar someone moved when they weren’t supposed to he got most of it off his neck, his neck, sturdy caramel column, seven cervical vertebrae articulating moving column, darker skin than his chest his hips his thighs, exposed and delicate, more reactive melanin here blend blend and he’s a natural blonde all the way down all the way down, gradient gets darker on the way down, focus! bright open palms, he’s showing me, what are you showing me, John? why are you smiling at me? what have I done now? He breathes slow and deep, his spine crackling in grateful release, and he sinks and sinks.