Feb. 28th, 2017

ext_1620665: knight on horseback (knight)
[identity profile] scfrankles.livejournal.com
Title: Leveling Up
Author: philalethia
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 36,961 words
Rating: Mature
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: John plays video games, Sherlock writes a guide on GameFAQs, and they get on quite well together... eventually.

Told entirely through emails, text messages, and voice chats.


Reccer's comments: This fic definitely doesn’t need a rec—it’s more an opportunity for me to talk about how much I admire it. It’s essentially to do with the tag ‘Internalized Homophobia’. I’ve seen it here and there on Sherlock fics and I’ve never been quite sure what to make of it: whether it was a warning, an explanation or simply a description. And I’ve always mentally translated it—I appreciate this is unfair—as ‘John gets a telling off from the author for not immediately jumping into bed with Sherlock’.

This is the first time though I’ve seen someone explore why a person might be experiencing internalised homophobia. To go off a tangent for a moment: I tend to prefer when reading Sherlock/John fics to have the situation John is a straight man whose sexuality has expanded to include Sherlock. Because I’ve always loved that scene in the power station between John and Irene Adler. And though you can fiddle about with the semantics of ‘I’m not actually gay’, in terms of pragmatics John clearly means ‘I’m not attracted to men at all’. To me this had to be the truth because why would a brave man like John be lying about it? And in this fic the author says: here you go then—here are some damn good reasons.

‘Homophobia’ is not generally used in this sense, but of course the point about a phobia is that, while it may be a fear that’s got out of control, it does have its basis in a rational fear. And John’s fears are rational. Coming out isn’t all smiling friends congratulating you. Sherlock has his own problems to work through in this fic but it’s John’s part of the story that moved me the most. It made me look at him in a new way.

Because the fic is told ‘entirely through emails, text messages, and voice chats’ we have no body language and no access to John and Sherlock’s internal worlds. All scenes where they’re physically together are off-stage. And John and Sherlock don’t always say what they mean: they lie to each other, they say the wrong thing, they hurt each other. It’s pleasing that the author trusts the reader to look underneath those words and try and fill in what’s going on in John and Sherlock’s minds.

This may make the fic sound rather dry. But there’s wonderful humour, there’s sex—pretty impressive on the author’s part, seeing as there’s never being a scene where John and Sherlock are physically together—and most of all, this is a touching and realistic romance. All the problems these men go through to get to a relationship, they go through them because they love each other.

What I always admire most about philalethia’s fics is their psychological depth and their originality. And I loved seeing in this fic a version of John I don’t think I’ve ever quite seen before.
ext_1620665: knight on horseback (knight)
[identity profile] scfrankles.livejournal.com
Title: My Best Friend Margaret
Author: bubblesbythebeach
Pairing: Mrs. Hudson/Margaret
Length: 1,200 words
Rating: G
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: Cigarette ash falling on the window sill. Toes curling on the upholstery, a knee drawn up next to an ear, vee of legs stretched open. The lining of her dress falling between, and hot sunlight on the back of her neck.

Maggie’s wrist rolls away from her mouth, dropping the cigarette into a glass.

“I’ll do your lips,” she says.


Reccer's comments: At time of posting it’s the last day of Femslash February 2017. So I thought I’d rec a fic that’s stayed with me from last February. If you recall, Mrs. Hudson mentions her best friend and bridesmaid Margaret to Sherlock on the morning of John and Mary’s wedding. And here the author takes that parallel and that lightly-sketched character, and produces a beautifully-written portrait of Margaret—and the young Mrs. Hudson too. As well as the well-rounded characters, I so admire the use of description in this fic—how visual the story is. You feel you’re right there in the room with the characters.

The fic takes place just immediately before Mrs. Hudson’s wedding—when she’s still Martha Sissons. Margaret is helping Martha to get ready and we see the physical and emotional closeness between the two women. We also get to dip into what they're feeling. Martha is nervous but excited, and sure about getting married. But deep inside her, Margaret’s heart is breaking. On the outside she seems a brash, confident, outspoken young woman—Martha thinks of her as a ‘haughty know-it-all’—but in three years she hasn’t managed to tell her friend how she feels and she's aware now it’s almost too late.

The story ends at a point where Margaret might be about to speak up. We know how things end for Mrs. Hudson and her friend, but you can’t help but hope that this time the story might just take a different route.
ext_1620665: knight on horseback (knight)
[identity profile] scfrankles.livejournal.com
Title: Everything is Watson
Author: gardnerhill
Pairing: Gen
Length: 2,897 words
Rating: G
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskervilles [AKA LEGO Hound of the Baskervilles (Tuzarfilms)] / The LEGO Movie (2014)
Author's summary: Watson is still recuperating from his last adventure – he’s not so sure he wants to be The Special.

Reccer's comments: I was introduced to Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskervilles, AKA LEGO Hound, last autumn and I loved it. (It’s a delightful little film on YouTube—only 42 minutes long. There’s a link in the author’s notes if you want to take a look.) And when I signed up for Holmestice the following month, more in hope than expectation I added it to my list of wants.

So I was thrilled when my assigned author chose to write something in this ‘verse. The film is deliberately cracky but the makers clearly love Holmes and Watson and their relationship, and have huge respect for their source material. In her fic [livejournal.com profile] gardnerhill keeps that delicate balance so well. And her idea of doing a crossover with the official LEGO Movie was inspired. I must admit I still haven’t seen that but I found a quick look at the trailers and other info on IMDB got me caught up enough. And you really don’t need to have seen either film to enjoy this story.

The fic begins just after Holmes and Watson have returned back to London from Dartmoor. They are confronted by a strange young woman who—somewhat to Holmes’ chagrin—seems to think Watson is the special one. And so a very funny adventure begins, filled with wonderful characters and brilliant lines—and Watson remaining resolutely and amusingly unimpressed throughout by The Prophecy that says only he can bring down the villain...

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