Author: 7PercentSolution, J_Baillier
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 286,966 words
Author's summary: The sequel to The Breaking Wheel, in which Sherlock goes to rehab (of the other sort), starts scraping his life back together, attempts to solve a case, and tries to make sense of what it actually means to be in a relationship.
Reccer's comments: This is the second part of a series, and although I would recommend reading the first part for best understanding (and because it’s an awesome fic), all of the most important points are explained within this installment so it could also be read as a standalone.
This is quite simply an incredible journey into the mind and body of Sherlock Holmes, charting the physical and emotional journey of the aftermath of Sherlock being stricken by Guillain-Barré syndrome, an autoimmune disorder of the nervous system. We really get a vivid picture of Sherlock’s frustration and fear over the weeks and months, not just at his physical and mental condition but also at his fledgling romantic relationship with John. To add to the angst-mix, Sherlock is depicted as neurodivergent, bringing a lifetime’s worth of baggage and mishandling that needs to be dealt with before any of the hated “Progress” can be made.
What I really liked is that this fic tackled the problem from several angles, involving athletics, music, chemistry, and a new case. I thought at first that the title referenced a torture rack (which it might also do) but there is also a beautiful metaphor that’s developed through the course of the story which I didn’t pick up on until quite near the end, adding another layer of brilliance to an already masterful piece of writing. Sherlock’s past, especially relating to his brother, is also given a particularly good exploration. With obscure poisons, flashback nightmares, a twice-murdered corpse, drug dealing, and fresh medical drama to twist the knife just a little more.