Jun. 5th, 2017

swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Default)
[personal profile] swissmarg
Title: He Was a Friend of Mine
Author: SinceWhenDoYouCallMe_John
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, John Watson/Alma Watson
Length: 38,387 words
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Suicidal ideation, infidelity
Verse: BBC Sherlock/Brokeback Mountain crossover
Author's summary: Sherlock presses his nose into my hair and inhales. “Told myself the whole way here we wasn’t gonna get into this again,” he says low. His breath moves soft against my scalp, and his words rumble deep into my bones. It sounds like the open sky throwing wind against the boulders up on Baker, rattling the thin walls of the tent with the rushing force of the mountain. I hum. I don’t believe him for a second – steppin’ out of his gleaming white Ford back in Signal with his best shirt on and his curls all combed lookin’ up at me like he just took a breath after five years of holding it. I know because I did the same.

Reccer's comments: Stunned silence. What. This author. What. This author writes better than Annie Proulx. I just. ??

Okay. Trying to put together words coherently here. This is a fusion with Brokeback Mountain, and the author says at the beginning that they “borrowed heavily” from Proulx’s short story and the screenplay. So when I started reading the first paragraph I thought, yeah, okay, they’ve copied all this description stuff from Proulx to set the mood. I mean because look at this:

There’s a place up round near Bighorn where the little streams all crisscross each other like a handful of grass tossed down onto hot summer pavement. You can walk alongside the water in places where boots and hooves and moccasins and bare feet and whatever other goddamn footwear there is have been trampling for hundreds of years, and nobody pays you no congratulations for finding those paths. 

Poetry, right? This author has obviously won numerous writing awards, right? But. Then there’s a link to Proulx’s story at the end and I checked and this is all this fic author. 100%. I went so far as to google those phrases because good goddamn. This fic is the only hit in the entire internet. The only hit for the handful of grass on hot summer pavement and no congratulations for finding the paths. And it just goes on like that for 38K words. Yes, there are a few lines of dialogue that are cribbed but that’s really about it as far as I can tell. So. Maybe they have won writing awards. Worth reading just for that. But then there is the story.

The plot largely follows that of the movie but there are a lot of deviations, some minor and some major, as Sherlock and John’s characters and back stories meld with those of Ennis and Jack. It was a tricky line to walk, I think, to bring Sherlock and John as we know them to the rural American west of the 1970s and 80s, including the speech patterns. But they are definitely there, with John’s anger and struggle between wanting outward normalcy while craving adventure, and Sherlock’s paramount loneliness and underappreciated brilliance seeking an appropriate outlet but getting sidetracked in violence and illicit substances.

For those who are afraid of how the movie ended, check out the “eventual happy ending” tag. ;) Eventual being the key word here because believe me, you will go through that box of tissues on the way. We are taken on a lifelong journey that hurts with every step as the two men drift between moments of happiness with each other. The characters may be fictional, but their emotions are made real through the telling, and that to me is the mark of a truly great story.

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