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Title: The Thing Which I Greatly Feared Is Come Upon Me
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] ancientreader  
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, Mary Morstan/John Watson (Past)
Length: 3760
Rating: Mature
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock BBC 
Author's summary: Ella had been right about the trust issues, she had been right about the PTSD, and she had not exactly been wrong about the blog, either, had she, though John's efforts in that department hadn't worked as she might have hoped. John could write about Sherlock, he could write about their cases, he could respond lightly or sternly to comments; what the blog couldn't teach him to do was to look at a feeling and name it. 

Reccer's comments: Because I shared a post-S4 story through Sherlock's POV, I thought it would be a perfect balance to share this one through John's. While the last story focused primarily on the aftermath of The Final Problem, this time, it's John's beating of Sherlock in The Lying Detective. This story quietly and painfully gets at the heart of John Watson:
 

One day, John catches Sherlock’s expression as he, Sherlock, tucks Rosie into her yellow raincoat: it’s the careful concentrated look he might wear as he dropped reagent from a pipette, and the sight makes John laugh while, also, it squeezes his heart. Sherlock’s forty, and his unearthly beauty has worn away at the edges, but, as if in recompense, he seems at home in the world now, as John can never remember being.

For himself, he looks in the mirror and tries not to think the words “old” and “lost.”

It’s difficult to believe that Sherlock sees anything different, but Sherlock has always understood John otherwise than John understands himself. When they first met, at a time when John believed that there was only a dying ember inside him, Sherlock had breathed on the ember and brought him blazing into life. John makes a hash of their friendship, of marriage, he thinks he makes a hash of fatherhood as well, but Sherlock is steadfast. Over and over he has shown that he will stop at nothing to shield that flame. Therefore John goes on.

And: 
 

“Do you think we can take care of Rosie?” We. Hearing himself, John flinches.

“Yes,” Sherlock says, unhesitating.

They both fall quiet; John’s heart thuds. He has choices. He can remain as he has been, or he can step out of his self-protections as if to shed ill-fitting and uncomfortable garments. Perhaps he has had enough of protecting himself by inflicting injury on others.

That last line! Sherlock has forgiven John; here we see John begin to forgive himself. His recurring nightmare of the beating is terrible and powerful and yet he continues to wake up, process, and move on. This is the reconciliation the show never truly gave us. I needed to see John come to terms with his violent nature and also with Sherlock's acceptance of it (Sherlock's acceptance of his own violence as well is an added bonus). This story does it all so thoughtfully and with grace.

Date: 2017-05-29 04:19 pm (UTC)
ancientreader: black and white pet rat (Default)
From: [personal profile] ancientreader
Oh, wow! Thank you so much for the rec; I'm honored. <3

Date: 2017-05-29 05:20 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] rachelindeed
Seconding. This story manages to be clear-eyed while also treating everyone's pain gently. That's a rare thing and a hard balance. It's really powerful.

Date: 2017-06-01 11:32 pm (UTC)
discordantwords: (Default)
From: [personal profile] discordantwords
Yes, yes, yes! This has to be one of my absolute favorite fics to come out of S4. The writing is so beautiful and John's dream is haunting.

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