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[personal profile] write_out
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.
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[personal profile] write_out
Title: (Never) Turn Your Back to the Sea
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] DiscordantWords 
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson 
Length: 39968
Rating: Mature
Warnings: None 
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: 

Baker Street is very much the same. Only different. 

And Sherlock is just trying not to drown.

Reccer's comments:

The smiley face was wrong.

No, not wrong exactly, it was impossible for such a thing to be wrong but—

Perhaps different was the better word.

The smiley face was different.

It had been a good effort. An excellent effort. He'd found replacement wallpaper in the same design as the original. John had even gone out and purchased a can of Michigan hardcore propellant in the proper shade. He'd gotten the placement mostly right. Sherlock had provided the bullet holes himself.

And yet it wasn't quite the same.

The differences were subtle. The yellow paint intersected with the wallpaper pattern slightly lower than it had before (likely due to John's shorter stature.) The paint had been applied with a heavier hand, a more measured, controlled spray compared to his own broad bored sweep all those years ago.

The effect was—unsettling.

Full disclosure: I bid on this author for the Fandom Trumps Hate charity auction on on Tumblr and this is the story that came out of it, so I have a very personal connection.

This amazing post-S4 story deals with the aftermath of all that has happened, particularly the events in The Final Problem, from Sherlock's perspective. To crib some of what I've said about this fic elsewhere, I love how this story ties together so many of the loose ends we were left with once the series ended. This story approaches TFP from a canon viewpoint: TFP is real and this is what happened during and after. It has some of the most chilling scenes (featuring Eurus Holmes), some of the most heartbreaking (featuring Gloria Trevor), and some of the most uplifting (featuring Sherlock and little Rosie Watson). 

This is a beautifully written story that runs an emotional gamut from anxiety and unease and fear, to healing and warmth and brotherhood and so much love. We come full circle with Sherlock as he works to heal himself and to make Baker Street truly home. Yes, it's Sherlock/John endgame, but the focus is more on Sherlock and how he deals with all that has happened. I don't hate TFP as much as some- in fact, I found much to love- but this story has given me answers I needed, the emotional closure I craved, and it has made rewatches that much more enjoyable. 
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[personal profile] write_out
Title: No Special Occasion
Author: loveandanddeathandartandtaxes, Practicefortheheart
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 560
Rating: Gen
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: The radiators have been misbehaving since October, so their chairs inch closer to each other and the fireplace.

Reccer's comments: 

"Oh, this is what I was talking about at your wedding,”

John looks down at the plate he’s handing Sherlock.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“The thing with the peas. It’s good.” He takes a large mouthful and smiles as he chews.

“Sherlock, that’s asparagus.”

“Mm.”

If you're looking for something short and sweet to take the edge off, this lovely little fic fits the bill perfectly. John and Sherlock try for a bit of honesty, with loving results.
[personal profile] rachelindeed
Title: No Strings Attached
Author: Elster
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes, John Watson
Length: 2700 words
Rating: G
Warnings: none
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: To save John from being spirited away Under the Hill, Sherlock challenges the fairy queen to a fiddle contest.

Reccer's comments: This is an elegant, lovely little story - written back in 2012 - that impresses me with its emotional heart. As is typical with this author's work, there were many small turns of phrase that quietly surprised me. Sherlock is aware that he has no chance of beating the Fairy Queen in terms of the beauty or perfection of the music, and his solution is characteristically stubborn and true.
[identity profile] write-out.livejournal.com
Title: Haircut
Author: HiddenLacuna
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Length: 3025
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: "Sherlock, you need a haircut," John says. "You're beginning to look like Jonathan Creek."

Reccer's comments: The one where John gives Sherlock a haircut and they both get off from it. Hello, hair kink! Sherlock Holmes loves his hair. I mean, he really loves it. As we discover, so does John Watson. The Jonathan Creek reference hooked me right fromt the start (google him if you're not familiar and you'll see what John means). Sherlock actually has a deeply personal reason for prizing his long curls; it's a meaningful insight into his character and gives some depth to his vanity. Allowing John to cut his hair is a big moment for Sherlock and one they ultimately don't waste.

"Lock's locks," John mutters to himself, and immediately cringes. Oh Christ, that was out loud. He freezes and braces for the inevitable onslaught of vitriol and an exhortation not to use such stupid things as nicknames when referring to the great and terrible Sherlock Holmes.

It doesn't come.


I remember reading this years ago (it's a post-S2 story) and was so happy to come across it again recently. This is an incredibly hot, funny, and even a little sweet first time for our boys. 
[identity profile] bowl-of-glow.livejournal.com
Title: Breakable
Author: MissDavis on AO3
Pairings: Sherlock/John (established)
Length: 117627 words
Rating: Explicit
Verse: BBC Sherlock
Author's summary: After John is seriously injured, Sherlock struggles to figure out how to help him, keep himself sane, and maybe, just maybe, get their life back to the way it's supposed to be.

Reccer's comments: John gets injured during a case, remaining paralyzed from the waist down. Both he and Sherlock have to come to terms with their new situation – as John learns how to live with his disability, Sherlock tries to cope with the guilt that is eating away at him.
I loved the way this fic portrayed Sherlock’s and John’s emotional journey, going through grief, anger, sadness, and ultimately acceptance. I also loved that there were moments of tension between Sherlock and John even when it was clear how much the two loved each other and how determined they were to stay together. I found the portrayal of emotions realistic, sometimes even raw, and definitely touching.

Excerpt )
[identity profile] bowl-of-glow.livejournal.com
Title: A Dangerous Love
Author: redbuttonhole (AO3)
Pairings: Sherlock/John/Mary
Length: 10631 words
Rating: PG
Verse: BBC Sherlock
Author's summary: In His Last Vow, seven months between the Watson Family Domestic and Christmas at the Holmes’ pass unseen. Here’ one version of what might have happened during that gap. John and Sherlock and Mary all love each other. And it’s tearing them apart.

Reccer's comments: After Mary shoots Sherlock, John moves back to 221B. Sherlock attempts to bring John and Mary back together, and ends up growing rather close to Mary himself.

I like fics that explore the possibilities of a relationship between Sherlock, Mary and John; I very much like fics in which Sherlock is attracted to Mary independently of his relationship with John, and not just because he’s in love with John and she happens to be part of the package. I like Sherlock’s and Mary’s characterization here; they get each other because they are remarkably similar – which, as John points out, isn’t always a good thing. Contains infidelity, some angst, and three kind of messed up people trying to figure out what they are to one another and how they can possibly fit all together.
Excerpt )
[identity profile] bowl-of-glow.livejournal.com
Title: The Case of the Unexpected Guest
Author: codswallop (AO3)
Characters: Lestrade, Sherlock & John
Length: 5615 words
Rating: Gen
Verse: BBC Sherlock
Author's summary: Written for the kinkmeme prompt "Lestrade finds a pet bird at a crime scene, but he likes birds, so he delivers it to Sherlock and John rather than having it euthanized. Sherlock is fascinated."

Reccer's comments: As a favour to Lestrade, Sherlock agrees to take care of a peculiar piece of evidence – a little pet bird. Sherlock takes a liking to it, though he pretends otherwise.
If you’re looking for something amusing and sweet, this is the fic for you.

Excerpt )
[identity profile] bowl-of-glow.livejournal.com
Title: Untitled
Artist: nitefise-art
Verse: Russian Sherlock Holmes series (2013)

Author's summary: A load of Panin sketches because his expressions are the best. And this is just the first two episodes.
Reccer's comments: It always makes me happy to see fanworks for this (underrated) series! These lovely sketches capture some of Watson's expressions perfectly. The fact that they are on a notebook also reminds me of Watson's own drawings from the series' opening credits, which I think is a nice touch.
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...
ext_1620665: knight on horseback (knight)
[identity profile] scfrankles.livejournal.com
Title: Promises
Author: language_escapes
Pairing: Gen (background Watson/Mrs. Hudson)
Length: 21,770 words
Rating: Mature
Warnings: None
Verse: Шерлок Холмс | Sherlock Holmes (TV 2013) [AKA New Russian Holmes]
Author's summary: Just weeks after they foil Moriarty’s plot against the queen, another case comes to Holmes and Watson, this time in the form of a dead girl found along the banks of the Thames. Case fic.

Reccer's comments: This was one of the stand-out fics from the Winter ‘16 [livejournal.com profile] holmestice exchange for me, but it didn’t seem to get the attention it deserved. It’s understandable in a way—it’s a rare ‘verse, and the content warnings may have put some people off too. To begin with the warnings—the author states: nonexplicit, background dubcon; PTSD flashbacks; adaptation-typical gore. If it helps, the gore refers to descriptions of bodies after death, and the dub-con is talked about as having happened but there are no specifics and no descriptions.

Regarding the ‘verse itself: I think as long as you’re prepared to just go with it and accept the differences from the ACD original, you won’t find anything confusing. (I myself had only seen a clip of the series before reading the fic.) The concept of this ‘verse is that these are the real people and the real world behind Watson’s stories. So it may seem bizarre at first that Watson has married Mrs. Hudson, but she isn’t the elderly, motherly Mrs. Hudson we traditionally think of. And Holmes is not an idealised hero. People don’t automatically defer to him simply because he’s Sherlock Holmes; he isn’t in charge of justice the way the ACD Holmes is. We are used on the whole to seeing the ACD Holmes handing criminals over to the police, or giving them a second chance and choosing to let them go. But this Holmes doesn’t have control over either of these situations.

The plot concerns Holmes and Watson trying to bring to justice a man who has been sexually abusing women and then going on to murder some of them. The case isn’t a mystery: the name of the criminal is given to Holmes fairly early on by one of the victims, Kitty Winter. And if it weren’t for all the damage he’s done to so many people, I would describe the murderer as an incidental character—he takes no active part in this fic. This is the point of the story I suppose: it isn’t something that glamorises murder and its perpetrator—the focus is on the victims, both living and dead.

Admittedly this is a bleak story. However, that is balanced by the sheer quality of the writing, how well-drawn the characters are, and how engaging the story is. I always think the hardest thing for a writer is to remove themself entirely from their work and leave the reader alone with the characters. And this writing is so unobtrusive. There is no barrier between the reader and the story—you’re right there in the middle of it.

And even though there is no happy ending, I don’t think the story is entirely without hope. Watson is more pessimistic than Holmes, but we come away knowing both men will always carry on doing the best they can in a highly imperfect world.
ext_1620665: knight on horseback (knight)
[identity profile] scfrankles.livejournal.com
Title: Deathfic 1899
Author: Haldane
Pairing: Various, but all one-sided.
Length: 1,493 words
Rating: Teen and Up
Warnings: Major character death
Verse: ACD, Granada
Author's summary: Death. Fic. 1899. What it says on the tin.

Reccer's comments: Well. You may be looking at that warning and that summary and thinking, ‘This really isn’t for me.’ But this is death played firmly for laughs. The story begins with what seems to be a retelling of The Blue Carbuncle. However, things quickly take a very different path…

This is so well-structured—the joke builds and builds. There are so many wonderful lines, and the story is laugh out loud funny. Just perfect.
[identity profile] pipmer1.livejournal.com
Title: Albion and the Woodsman
Author: Glenmore
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Length: 54,437 words
Rating: Not Rated (I would rate it Mature)
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock BBC

Author's summary: Post Series 3. Sherlock and John are devastated after Mary Morstan makes her final moves. Sherlock relapses at the crack house, John walks around the world ...and a lot happens in between. Parentlock, in the good way.

Reccer's comments: If you are the type of reader who, like me, generally avoids first-person storytelling, then do yourself a favor and make an exception for this one. It's one of those rare fics that successfully paints Sherlock Holmes as a devoted single parent. The story is in turns funny, heartbreaking, and heartwarming.

It is told from Sherlock's POV, and begins post-series 3. It starts out after Sherlock has been shot for a second time by Mary Watson, an event that leads to her arrest and to John needing to disappear for awhile in order to get his head together. He leaves for a year-long walkabout around the world, leaving Sherlock devastated and returning to drugs. Of course he cleans himself up, only to be confronted several months later by a pregnant stranger claiming that Sherlock is the father.

We get to watch Sherlock fall immediately in love with his son Albion, and then take to single fatherhood like a duck takes to water. As Sherlock grows into his new role, he continues to pine for John and wait for his eventual return. The way Sherlock refers to John in his absence by different epithets such as 'eleven jumpers Watson' and 'Three pairs of brogues Watson' kept me delighted and laughing throughout.

We are introduced to several OC’s, not the least of which is Albion himself. His nanny gives soldier!John a run for his money (once he returns), and even the mother who abandoned him manages to turn her life around and gain at least a smidgen of our respect.

There are struggles and lessons to be learned, not the least of which that 'happily ever after' does not mean what all the fairy-tales claim. Reality is much more complicated, but all the more rewarding because of it.


sneak preview )
[identity profile] pipmer1.livejournal.com
Title: I Need You To See Me
Author: Mssmithlove
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Length: 12,625 words
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock BBC

Author's summary: After going back to war, John is yet again invalided home, this time with a broken ankle and a chunk of his memory missing, unable to recall the last five years he's spent being Sherlock Holmes' partner and husband.

Reccer's comments: Amnesia fic is one of my favorite tropes, and this one hit me right in the feels. So angsty and beautifully written, I felt Sherlock's pain so viscerally. It does have a happy ending, but *god* the journey towards it is so painful. Totally worth it, though.

From the beginning of John's diagnosis, Sherlock is convinced that the situation is hopeless, that John could never fall for him twice. Even when John starts to rejoin Sherlock on cases and expresses his happiness to do so, Sherlock cannot allow himself to hope that *his* John is not irretrievably lost.

And just when Sherlock has come to terms with the possibility that his John Watson is gone forever - then we get a beautiful resolution that both makes sense within the narrative and is emotionally satisfying.


sneak preview )
[identity profile] pipmer1.livejournal.com
Title: The Walking Man
Author: suitesamba
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Length: 2200 words
Rating: Teen
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: When it was all over, when the east wind had blown through and they picked themselves off the pavement, Sherlock said enough.

Eighteen years later, the real journey begins.

Reccer's comments: So we'll start things off with a Series 4 fic already! If you don't want any spoilers for series 4, best to stop now.


Even though this one was written before The Final Problem aired, it still fits in very well with the canon we ended up with. It's a quietly lyrical piece, more of a character study than anything else, that takes a quote from The Lying Detective and shows how Sherlock puts it into practice. Your life is not your own.

In only 2200 words, the author shows how Sherlock and John remake themselves into the men they need to be so that after eighteen years, they can finally come together as they were always meant to. Told from Sherlock's point of view, we get a sense of how he has made fruitful use of this long period of waiting, and how it all pays off in the end.


A little preview )
verdant_fire: (shr: I've just got one)
[personal profile] verdant_fire
Title: Out There
Author: DiscordantWords
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Length: 131695 words
Rating: Teen
Verse: BBC
Author's summary: FBI Special Agent John Watson, medical doctor and army veteran, is assigned to assist eccentric genius Sherlock Holmes with paranormal investigations on the X Files project.

Reccer's comments: This fantastic X-Files fusion made me giddy with fannish glee.  I was wary at first, since I love both fandoms and wasn't sure if a mashup would work, but it actually works incredibly well, not least because DiscordantWords is such a skillful writer.  Seeing the way the two universes were mapped onto each other with creativity and confidence was immensely fun, and Sherlock and John and their relationship are the stars here.  Watching their growing trust in and necessity to each other is just as compelling as Mulder/Scully was back in the day, and I was rooting for them every step of the way.  It's an immensely entertaining, engrossing, and well-executed fic.  Happy new year, and happy reading!
verdant_fire: (shr: it's all fine)
[personal profile] verdant_fire
Title: Happy Christmas, You Arse
Author: 1electricpirate
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Length: 4766 words
Rating: Teen
Verse: BBC
Author's summary: “Ah yes. Christmas isn’t Christmas until you’ve called someone a — how does it go? Scumbag, you maggot, you cheap lousy faggot?”

“My thoughts precisely, John,” Sherlock says.


In which evidence is presented that disqualifies Sherlock from being the Grinch, and everyone's shoes fit them perfectly well, thank you.

Reccer's comments: I come back and re-read this charming Christmas fic every year, and it never disappoints.  It boasts a Scotland Yard Christmas party, overplayed Christmas music, mistletoe, and our heroes renegotiating their relationship.  It's also single-handedly responsible for convincing me to accept "Fairytale of New York" as a Christmas song.  It's a sweet and spicy dose of holiday cheer.
verdant_fire: (shr: I've just got one)
[personal profile] verdant_fire
Title: All the Best and Brightest Creatures
Author: wordstrings
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Length: 188426 words
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Graphic Depictions of Violence
Verse: BBC
Author's summary: Sherlock sent Jim Moriarty to prison for killing Carl Powers at age ten. This is the story of the consequences.

Reccer's comments: Quite simply, one of the most beautiful stories I've ever had the privilege of reading, in any medium. The prose is gorgeous, the emotions are heart-stopping, and the love is transcendent. Sherlock's character arc is stupendously well-written, as are his alternate history with a terrifying Moriarty and his growing relationship with John, and the OCs and secondary characters are vibrant and fully fleshed-out. It's a living, breathing world of its own, and a pretty astonishing feat of storytelling. It's hard to properly praise this story without sounding hyperbolic, but if you've never read it, or have been waiting for it to be completed, now's your chance. It deserves every bit of its fandom fame.
venusinthenight: a camera in a woman's hands (stock - camera in hands)
[personal profile] venusinthenight
Title: Primary Sources
Author: Circadienne
Pairing: Mary Morstan/John Watson, John Watson/OFC, Sherlock Holmes
Length: 4613 words
Rating: Teen and up
Warnings: Author chose not to use warnings
Verse: ACD Canon
Author's summary: A Watsonian little story about gender, friendship, and textual uncertainty.

Character death (and/or undeath) as you'd expect from a book-canon context. No explicit sex or violence. Demonstrative of my archives fetish.

Reccer's comments: Some time ago, I read an essay suggesting the possibility of Watson being a woman but it being covered up because of societal norms of that time. (I don't remember the name of said essay, or I would rec that as well.) A little earlier tonight, I saw a recommendation for the aforelinked fic on my Tumblr dash.

I love what Circadienne did here. The issue of Watson's gender identity is there, but then it isn't. Watson just is. I also love that this was presented in an archival format.
verdant_fire: (shr: the head and the heart)
[personal profile] verdant_fire
Title: Someone at the Scent of Orange Blossom
Author: [livejournal.com profile] rachelindeed
Pairing: Sherlock/John, past John/Mary
Length: 3433 words
Rating: Teen
Verse: ACD
Author's summary: During the years of Holmes’s absence, Watson’s hands had changed.

Reccer's comments: This lovely fic was a standout two Holmestices ago, and I've remembered it ever since.  It's beautifully written and very touching, with great clarity of emotion and character and an excellent Holmes POV.  The themes and symbolism are handled with subtlety and skill, and both Watson's grief for Mary and Holmes' silent devotion to him are treated with respect and tenderness.  The way all of those branches twine together and come to fruition in the ending is memorable and moving, and makes for a welcoming warm hearth of a story every time I read it.

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