swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Default)
[personal profile] swissmarg
Title: The Lying Detective (alternative) 
Author: 221b_hound
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, past Sherlock Holmes/John Watson/Mary Morstan
Length: 20K
Rating: Mature
Warnings: None
Verse: BBC
Author's summary: Mary was the bridge between them. Without her, is there still an 'us'? Perhaps, if John and Sherlock can survive the guilt, the grief, the game.

Reccer's comments: This is part of an AU series 3 & 4 that takes the basic plot of the episodes, adds Johnlockary, and changes a few other things, some minor and some more major. I’ve found it surprisingly engaging despite not being a Johnlockary fan and generally disparaging fics that re-hash the aired episodes in much detail. I also admit I haven’t read all of the parts, but you can dive in at any point, really, if you are familiar with the episode in question.

This one is a terrific slog through the depths of grief and despair in the wake of Mary’s death, made more painful and eviscerating by the fact that the Mary in this was genuinely likable and the three of them were involved in a loving and happy polyamoric relationship. (We only see one brief and sketchy flashback scene of the three of them in bed together, which is easily skipped if you are only here for the Johnlock.) At the same time, the Culverton Smith plot is revamped to work more authentically, a far cry from the broadcast “go to hell/save John Watson” scenario that viewers were confronted with.

The characters are all treated with respect and depth, with a marvelous ensemble cast involving several secondary characters in meaty and important roles. Harry Watson in particular is a shining star of an OC with a potty mouth and a heart of tarnished gold.

I really encourage anyone who was unhappy with series 4 – and especially the whiplash treatment of Mary’s character and gutting of John and Sherlock’s friendship – to give this series a try. It’s gutsy and bold, drawing on real emotion rather than flash and showmanship, and truly allowing the characters and their stories to touch hearts.
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!
[identity profile]
Title:Watson's Folly
Author: Diana Williams
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Warnings: AU-Historical,Alpha/Omega
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary:John Watson, the new Earl of Saughton, is madly in love with the beautiful Mary Morstan. But he has returned from the Peninsular War to find his family on the brink of ruin and his ancestral home mortgaged to the hilt. He has little choice when he is introduced to Mycroft Holmes, a civil servant of apparently unlimited wealth and no social ambitions for himself - but with his eyes firmly fixed on a suitable match for his only brother, the unorthodox and irascible Omega Sherlock Holmes. Can John forget the woman he loved and find happiness with a man so very different from his lost love?
Reccer's comments:This story was amazing from start to finish. She did a lot of research into that time period and you could tell. I found her characters engaging just brilliant. She has such a way with words...This story was a delight and such a fun ride. I will want to come back and re read this gem over again. So many lines were perfect I loved this one of so many..... Sherlock had lifted his head and there was an amused look on his face as he stared at his husband. "John, I am quite aware that you are a good and moral man, and that your words and thoughts on that matter are genuine. You are my moral compass, a fixed point in a changing age."

Her Sherlock is amazing and a little bit reckless but her John's such a gentleman and caring doctor, until the need to deliver a brutal beat down arises. :))))))))) They make the best team together as always.

Here is a link to the entire series The Watsons of Saughton
[identity profile]
Title: Wait
Author: roseselavy
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Length: 78,000 words
Rating: Mature
Warnings: drug addiction, discussion of emotionally abusive past relationship
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: Liberal arts AU. Sherlock Holmes is a reclusive literary writer in need of a flatmate after burning through his latest book advance, John Watson is midway through a PhD in art history.

Reccer's comments: This story is very dear to my heart. I am so happy to be able to recommend it here at last -- it was abandoned for several years and I honestly thought it would never be finished. But the author saw that it had a few readers who wanted to see an ending, and very kindly came back and wrote a beautiful conclusion for it.

The story starts out with a number of fairly familiar elements: intense mutual pining, hurt/comfort, and an evil ex (in this case from John's past, not Sherlock's). But for me, the internal narrative voices the author creates for John and Sherlock are so convincing that familiar story elements took on new life and reality. These are not quite the versions of Sherlock and John that we know from the series, but they are not as far removed as the story summary might imply. Sherlock still acts as a consulting detective on the side, and John still documents his work and shares his cases. But without the same history of war and depression and adrenaline addiction as BBC!canon, this John finds different ways to be a BAMF and draws clearer lines about what he will and won't stand for on the job. The communication between these characters throughout this story is difficult, but they work very hard at it and I find it compelling to see them work through their feelings and needs honestly.

The real heart of this story, especially once John and Sherlock declare themselves to each other after the first few chapters, is relationship negotiation. Sherlock is a recovering addict, not all that far into sobriety yet. His sexual history is, for him, inextricably and miserably entwined with using, and that area of his life so repulses him that he is not sure if he will ever be able to be with John in a way that satisfies them both. This fic takes the issue of sexual incompatibility seriously, it delves into the guilt that can dog people who love each other yet worry that they are respectively asking too much or offering too little. It does not rush to resolve these problems, but rather paints a 'one step forward, two steps back' pattern that honors the complexity of the characters and the situation.

The story also deals with the effect that Sherlock's professional life has on his sobriety, and in particular considers the issue of anonymity and the way that doxxing can do terrible damage to a person whose mental health relies on having the freedom to vanish into their writing. The story allows John and Sherlock to be flawed, to handle their relationship as well as their individual personal problems imperfectly, but their love for one another is unquestionably profound. I like that they acknowledge their mistakes, and get angry, and I like that they keep trying. In the end, they haven't worked through everything that needs to be addressed, but in the midst of their problems they are able to realize that they can actually be sure of each other's commitment and trust that the rest will come with time. So, to me, this is ultimately a very happy story. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.
[identity profile]
Title: The Shawl of Sherlock Holmes
Author: [ profile] luchia13
Pairing: Gen
Length: 2,000 words
Rating: PG
Warnings: none
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: John's a Weaver, capable of channeling the abstract into fabric. After meeting Sherlock, his abilities are put to the test more than ever.

Reccer's comments: This is a beautiful and haunting magical realism fic that always carries the feeling of October for me. It's about a special kind of witchcraft woven with thread and intention, and the way John tries to heal and protect with sometimes reckless abandon. I love the way the story cleverly plays with details of the BBC series, like Sherlock's scarf and John's endless jumpers. Written in 2011 before the second series aired, it diverges quickly from what has since become canon, but it maintains a perfect, understated grasp of the main characters and the depth of their concern for each other. I love this fic for its prose, its imagination, and its delightful mixture of melancholy and warmth.
[identity profile]
Title: Public, Private, Secret
Author: 221b_careful_what_you_wish_for
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Length: 14,000 words
Rating: Mature
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock BBC

Author's summary: To the outside world, Sherlock and John are just friends. In private, they're much, much more. They've agreed to keep their relationship a secret to protect John's daughter, but it's not going to be as simple as they hoped.

(Or, bittersweet, hot, angsty, secret-relationship-while-coming-to-terms-with-emotional-baggage johnlock with parentlock as a background.)

Reccer's comments: This is a companion piece to the story Coming of Age, which is told from John's daughter's POV. In my opinion this story stands just fine on its own, although "Coming of Age" will provide additional context. In fact, if you're someone who generally doesn't care for parentlock it may be just your cup of tea, because Olivia doesn't have much of a physical presence in this one. The story's focus is on Sherlock and John, and how they navigate the minefield of a secret relationship that spans several years, and told from their points of view.

I like the sense of inevitability that we feel throughout this story. It's series 3 compliant, and at the start we find John as a single parent to six-year old Olivia. There's a lot of pining and yearning going on, and it doesn't help that John is initially firmly resistant to entering into a romantic relationship with Sherlock. But of course it happens that the two of them just can't stay away from each other for long. The angst is bumped up a notch just from the very fact they decide to keep their relationship 'private and secret'- from everybody, not just Olivia, and for a variety of reasons. Several years pass - over a decade - before a conversation happens that teaches them they had nothing to fear after all.

A lovely story that ends with Retirementlock, I hope you enjoy!
[identity profile]
Title: Dust and Ashes
Author: Atiki
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Length: 10,000 words
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Suicidal ideation, minor character deaths, pet death
Verse: Sherlock BBC

Author's summary: John becomes used to it. If he’s perfectly honest with himself, he’s become used to it a long time ago. At night, things are different. The darkness tickles his skin and the cemetery is the loudest place in the world and he tastes dust and iron on his tongue when he hears them talk. In the dark, the bones whisper.

And sometimes John whispers back.

Reccer's comments: This is something a little different. In this AU (not series 3 compliant), John can hear the bones of dead people, and he can talk back to them as well. It makes for an intriguing, if a bit macabre, premise. What makes it truly unique, is that the most interesting character in the story is Sherlock's skull. Per the author's tag, the skull is a bit of an asshole, and yet ends up being the impetus John needs to face his fears and acknowledge his feelings.

The story follows John from childhood all the way through Sherlock's Fall and eventual Return. The language evokes within the reader all of the emotions that John is feeling as he deals with his mixed blessing/curse. A highlight for me is a scene during which John puts his unique skill to use in solving a crime before Sherlock does.

A warning: there is some suicidal ideation here, and at the very start of the story there is a pet death that may be upsetting.

A lovely story. Here is a sneak peek:

Sneak Peek )
[identity profile]
Title: The Case of the Fleeing Frenchman
Author: PenelopeWaits
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, past Sherlock Holmes/OMC
Length: 26,000 words
Rating: E
Warnings: period-typical homophobia and anti-Semitism (the story begins in 19th century France)
Verse: Sherlock BBC, crossover with the myth of the Flying Dutchman and specifically Wagner's opera on the subject
Author's summary: Captain James Watson and his son John have been protecting each other and their beloved Harriet for years. Where will true safety reside when a handsome sailing ship and her haunted captain arrive and he makes a shadowy proposal? This is a crossover with the myth of the Flying Dutchman. John is Senta.

Reccer's comments: I have no familiarity with the Flying Dutchman myth or opera, but it turned out to be a perfect fit with the Sherlock characters. Reminiscent of both Beauty and the Beast & Brigadoon, with ghostly, century-spanning piracy and self-sabotaging love thrown in, this tale is a delight! The author has done a marvelous job of capturing the feel of a small seaside town and the risky lives of fishermen, and they have drawn each of the characters with depth, mixed motives, and originality. Particularly complex is Harry, whose secrets we gradually uncover but who keeps managing to surprise. The John of this story never went to war, but he and Sherlock help each other to win their oldest battles nonetheless.

Sexy, exciting, with heart-felt pining and beautiful action sequences that capture the wonder and danger of sail, this is a gem that I hope you will enjoy as much as I did!

(Editing to add: for those worried about the warnings, or about Wagner, I should add that the author wrote this fic in critique of Wagner's racist attitudes and changed the original story in order to make the injustice of those views a central theme).
verdant_fire: (shr: if we're very very lucky)
[personal profile] verdant_fire
Title: Oxidation
Author: abbykate
Pairings: Sherlock/John, Sherlock & John, Sherlock/Victor, Moran/Moriarty, Greg/Molly
Length: 27969 words
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Major Character Death, Graphic Depictions of Violence
Verse: BBC
Author's summary: as oil paintings dry, the process is not evaporation as there is no water in the paint to disappear; instead, the oils in the paint are oxidised causing them to harden over years in a process that never really stops.

Reccer's comments: This fic is heartbreaking, and stupendous.  The premise is that Sherlock is a famous artist who's commissioned by Harry to paint a portrait of John, who in this AU didn't survive Afghanistan.  But then Sherlock starts to see and hear John, who comes alive for him like a modern Galatea and sets a seemingly inevitable series of events in motion. This story has the best tortured artist Sherlock I've read, and the sense of color and emotion and desperation, and the tragedy of Sherlock seeing John but not being able to keep him, make this something haunting and unforgettable. I hurt not only for Sherlock, but for everyone who cared about him too, including Victor, and this story has one of the best versions of him I've read. (The supporting characters in this are excellent.)  I liked, too, that the magical realism elements weren't over-explained, and that the author didn't pull punches emotionally. On that note, mind the warnings and bring a hanky; you'll need it, as this is pretty devastating, and I absolutely mean that as a compliment.  It's not an easy story, but it's a very good one, and well worth reading for the fantastic writing and the wrenching believability of this Sherlock.  It's incredibly visceral, indelible work.
[identity profile]
Title: Heroic
Author: sprl1199
Pairing: pre-slash Sherlock/John
Length: 6,000 words
Rating: Teen
Warnings: none
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: "The first time John saw the Aristotelian Avenger, the other man was in the middle of facing down the Crimson Curmudgeon." John/Sherlock pre-slash, Superhero!AU, Crack. Oh, such crack.

Reccer's comments: This is such goofy, ridiculous, light-hearted fun. It reads like a spoof of the Marvel-style superhero genre, but really it is most reminiscent of the delightful Pixar movie "The Incredibles." I love the breezy style and the unapologetic silliness of the whole thing, and the author mixes in a nice touch of sweetness and caring between Sherlock, who is ostracized from the hero community, and John, who stands alone in being willing to work with him. Sherlock's superpower is the rather Douglas Adams-esque ability to deduce poorly-functioning magics out of existence in a puff of logic. This is lucky for John, since his only weapon is a gun that will only work against "purely evil" villains, and he never seems to meet anyone quite that simple.

A joyful romp that puts a smile on my face. I hope it will brighten your day if you, like me, are currently snowed in :)
[identity profile]
Title: An Innocent Man
Author: Fangs_Fawn
Length: 183,531 words
Pairing: Gen
Rating: Teen
Warnings: Violence, attempted suicide
Verse: Sherlock BBC

Author's summary: "And what about John Watson?" Sherlock had asked. He had expected a rather dull answer...after all, he had been away. He had not expected to hear that John had spent the past two years in prison. Series 3 AU. Not slash.

Reccer's comments: If you like John whump, this is certainly the fic for you. Sherlock comes back after two years of being away, only to find out that John has spent that entire time behind bars, convicted of being an accessory to Sherlock's supposed 'crimes.' He's exonerated and released just before Sherlock's return - but not before going through some pretty traumatic experiences at the hands of certain guards and prisoners.

This is a Series 3 AU, but you will still meet some of the characters from that series, only under different circumstances. And some of the same dialogue takes place as well - only, again, in different scenarios than in canon. I particularly liked Bill Wiggins here, as he happens to meet John while they are both serving time, and ends up in a happier place than his counterpart does as a result.

I really liked Lestrade's character her as well, as he ends up being the loyal friend and champion that John needs to secure his eventual release.

A big part of the story is John coming to terms with the fact that the people who knew about Sherlock's fake death - Mycroft and Molly - never came forward with the truth so as to exonerate John before he ever went to trial. Sherlock is off the hook in this regard, at least, since he had no idea what was happening with John while he was away.

Throughout all of this, there is also an actual "Empty House" scenario unfolding through it all. We get an actual Sebastian Moran and an actual, very tense confrontation, something I really missed in the BBC's version.

And one final warning: There is mention of John having attempted suicide while in prison, although the event itself occurs offscreen. Just be aware.

[identity profile]
Title:The Measure of a Gentlemen
Author: i_ship_an_armada
Warnings: AU...That may need a warning not sure.
Verse: Sherlock BBC,
Author's summary:Summary:
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a partner.
Less universally acknowledged is that a single man in possession of very little in the way of fortune may be in want of a partner as well, but John Watson had little time or energy to devote to his own wants or needs...
Enter one Mr Holmes...

Reccer's comments: I adored this story to pieces it is brilliant. She did an amazing job with the manner of speech and such a great writing style. John and Molly are so cute as friends and the story is just charming.

I do love all the retellings of Pride and Prejudice and in this verse it's wonderful. Her fic is original and delightful. I also love how there is no period who you want and live how you want.

Sherlock and John were perfection together so sexy. The sex was on fire and it was fluffy as well. It is worth reading or re reading. :)
verdant_fire: (shr: side of the angels)
[personal profile] verdant_fire
Title: Arcana
Author: rosa_acicularis
Pairing: Sherlock/John, Sherlock/fem!John
Length: 46159 words
Rating: Mature
Verse: BBC
Author's summary: Sometimes, her grandmother has said, in the simplest, strongest of magics that’s all that’s required – a sacrifice and an intent. Her blood, and his words: I want to forget.

In which Joanna Watson is a witch, Sherlock Holmes is himself, and every spell has its price.

Reccer's comments: I really have never read another fic like this one.  The descriptions of magic and the feel of it in this fic are truly astonishing; it's one of the best magical stories I've read anywhere, published or not.  The language is frequently so beautiful that it stole my breath (as did the UST!), the razored loveliness of the emotions and relationships cuts like mirror-glass, and the worldbuilding is indelible.  It makes my mouth fall open in wonder every time.  It's a stunningly beautiful piece of storytelling, and I remain a bit gratefully in awe of it.

Warning: this is a WIP and hasn't been updated since June 2013.  [ profile] rosa_acicularis hasn't forgotten about it, but please don't let its status put you off; the current chapters stop at a natural pausing point, and while there's no true resolution yet, there's no cliffhanger either.
verdant_fire: (shr: bleed through)
[personal profile] verdant_fire
Title: The Deepest Secret Nobody Knows
Author: raina_at
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Length: about 5000 words
Rating: NC-17
Verse: BBC
Author's summary: Sherlock has been gone from Baker Street for exactly 388 days. When he returns, nothing is quite the way he expected it to be.

Reccer's comments: This is a lovely post-Reichenbach fic featuring pining Sherlock, broken noses, John in glasses, Sherlock's matchmaking mother, and some very emotional and hot elevator sex.  I love the way the author captures how lonely both of them are without the other, but doesn't gloss over the hurt and the difficulties involved in John forgiving Sherlock.  It's memorable and skillful work.
swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Molly)
[personal profile] swissmarg
Title: Prior Engagements
Author: PlaidAdder
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 125,527 words
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Character death (offscreen)
Verse: Sherlock (BBC)
Author's summary:

Years after Mary melted into the darkness, John and Sherlock are at their wits' end. Rachel Watson, aged nine, is proving harder to handle than Irene Adler and Jim Moriarty combined. John hopes that the right boarding school might give her the structure she seems to need. Not until after Rachel disappears do they discover that someone else appears to have had the same idea.

It's really difficult to give a synopsis of this story that doesn't spoil things about it. So let me just list a few of the things it contains, in no particular order: secrets, lies, double-crossing, action, adventure, explosions, fistfights, danger, intrigue, plot twists, underground lairs, sheep, character development, John and Sherlock being the most bamf! dads ever, and nearly all of Sherlock's underutilized female characters kicking a lot of ass in many different ways.

This is a sequel to "Law Like Love," but works well enough as a stand-alone story. For truly full appreciation you may want to read the earlier stories in the "Wild About Harry" series, but that's not necessary.

Reccer's comments:

This is such an amazing fic and doesn't have nearly the number of hits and kudos it deserves. It has plot out the wazoo, breathtaking twists and turns, wonderful original characters, and an incredible way of incorporating canon and making it ten times more brilliant than in the series. There are creepy psychopaths, political plots, secret societies, skeletons in closets, and a sexy visit to my hometown Chicago. What more could you want?

I mentioned the original characters, first and foremost of which is Harry. Although she’s technically canon, it’s by name-drop and a couple of bare facts only. The author has taken those bare facts and run with them, creating a fantastically three-dimensional, complex, engaging personality who would have no problem carrying off the lead role. Then there is Rachel, John and Mary’s daughter, who is nine years old in the story and comes with her own set of baggage, the fact that her mother is a professional assassin only being the start. There are even more OCs I could rave about, but it would be spoiling to tell. ;) In addition to them, there is a full supporting cast of secondary canon characters, especially Molly, Janine, Anthea, and Lady Smallwood, who are brought to full, rich life in a deeply satisfying way. But don’t worry, even with all of the OC goodness, John and Sherlock are at the center of the story in all their complicated, devastatingly gorgeous glory.

This story starts out very much in media res, which at first had me wondering whether I needed to go back and re-read “Law Like Love” (the previous story in the series, and if you haven’t read it yet, do, because it is simply excellent) but it turns out it was all done on purpose. Everything will be revealed in due course, so be patient. :) And what a reveal it is! I didn’t see any of it coming, although in retrospect it was all perfectly obvious and logical, which just makes me admire the skill of the author even more.

As a side note, the story deals with the very personal, very sensitive issue of parenting a child who has an extremely difficult time conforming to mainstream schooling. As a teacher of primary school aged children myself and seeing the difficulties and helplessless on both sides, this hit me really close to my heart. I thought the author did a very good job of representing the situation, and I found it to be a very brave depiction.

There is one sex scene that would fall under the provenance of BDSM (specifically the bondage and Dom/sub aspects), but it’s not very extensive so I’m not tagging it explicitly.

Excerpt... )

[identity profile]
Title: Into the Dark Stream
Author: [ profile] lbmisscharlie On Ao3
Pairing: John/Sherlock, OFC/OFC are the main pairings
Length: 119,503
Rating: E
Warnings: Graphic Depictions of Violence, Minor Character Deaths (including children, as happened during the war)
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: Ireland, 1920. There's a war on, but no one seems to be playing by the rules. John Watson, injured and unemployed after his time at the Front, joins up with the special forces sent over to keep the peace, but when he meets Sherlock Holmes, the second son of the local lord, he begins to lose track of which side he is on.

Reccer's comments: True history AUs are rare indeed in any fandom, primarily because it takes so much research and practice to richly communicate a complex foreign culture and tell a good fictional story. Most history AUs require years of research to get to the point where the author can adroitly share the cultural and social realities of the peoples living in the past. Therefore, it's no surprise that most authors find it already challenge enough to skillfully create a genre AU like a Western. It's frankly a miracle that this fandom has been blessed with more than one history AU, let alone more than one that is as beautifully wrought as this one.

That lbmisscharlie loves 20th-century Irish and British history is made abundantly clear from the first chapter. John Watson, soldier of King and Country, is not patrolling Afghanistan, but another restive part of the British Empire, Ireland, just as England's grip is slipping. Although BBC!John never has reservations about his deployment to Afghanistan or what he did there, the John of this story will grow to question what he does in Ireland. Without slipping into overt preachiness, the author makes vivid the cultural clashes and how the characters choose to navigate them. Both sides commit atrocities, leaving one wondering who really is in the right.

John and the other canonical characters like Sherlock and Molly are deftly smoothed into their AU roles. For the most part, the political, social, and cultural beliefs and values they express and act on as English and Irish of the 1920s are blended skillfully with the traits of the BBC characters. Alterations to characters are made purposefully. For example, John is a not an officer or doctor in this fic, something that allows the author to play with class differences in England and in Ireland. Him not being a doctor is, more than once, subtly presented as a lack; something John could be, but never had the opportunity given his social class (several rungs below ACD's Watson for sure and maybe below BBC!John as well).

Of the many OCs, Eva stands out. Both Eva and Molly demonstrate the challenges of women living in Ireland during the troubles of the 1920s. They might support Irish independence, but the violence is personally painful, compelling them to look or hope for alternatives to the high costs of war. These women might risk themselves for Sherlock at different moments of the plot, but it is clear they have lives and concerns outside of Sherlock's Work.

Apart from the layered portrayals of major and minor characters, there is the vibrant sense of place throughout. From the bloody fields of the Continent near the end of WWI, to London and many locations in Ireland (primarily in and around Macroom), the scenery is beautifully rendered, often amplifying the mood of a particular scene. One of many examples is a cinematic rendering of the interior of the Honan Chapel on the grounds of University College in Cork, a setting that conveys the menace and mystery of what is facing John, before suddenly inspiring a brief moment of wonder and nostalgia:

Scrubbing his hands through his hair, John looks around the small chapel once more. The weak candlelight barely penetrates the dark corners, its flickering light producing strange, monstrous shadows in the lurking depths. Bracing one hand on the pew, John hauls himself to his feet and makes his way to the wall. Thrusting the taper in front of him, he traces the walls with his hand as he surveys the perimeter, noting anything that could be used as a weapon: this heavy candelabra, that bible stand, the blunt granite edge of the font. The altar is bare but for an embroidered altar cloth; underneath is empty.

From the altar, John walks down the steps back into the nave, testing the stability of the pews as he passes down the centre aisle. Dead ahead, St Patrick in his emerald robes offers a benediction, while down each side of the nave saints less familiar pass judgement. Pausing in the middle of the aisle, his eye is captured by a brilliant column of blue, its deep tones blending to amethyst in the fading light, which leads to an imperious face with a sharp, beaked nose. But for the long mass of crimson curls, the face, with the haughty set of its eyes and the thrusting, stubborn chin, could be familiar. Some forgotten ancestor of Sherlock’s, perhaps? Amused, John steps closer, craning his neck to examine the details, when his eye focuses and he frowns.

Surrounding the figure, at feet and head, are sparkling, crimson bees, their wingspan the breadth of a man’s spread palm. In one hand, the figure holds a miniature of the chapel, formed from golden beeswax, and John is startlingly thrown back to the summer. To Sherlock’s outstretched thumb, coated in honey, to his caring hands on the hives. John’s laugh, when it breaks the silence, is hoarse, peculiar and cracked. Beekeepers, watching him.

I could go on and on about the many virtues of this lovingly crafted fic, but I urge you to see for yourself!
[identity profile]
Title: All Our Gifts At Once, or, the Young Sea-man
Author: [ profile] tiltedsyllogism
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Length: approx. 47,500 words
Rating: teen
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: John Watson, storyteller and shipwright's son, walks way from his entire life in Portsmouth to follow the mysterious Sherlock Holmes to London.
a realistic retelling of The Little Mermaid. Victorian AU.

Reccer's comments: The author’s summary pretty much sums up the essence of the story. But in transporting the tale to reality, although a historic reality, she’s given the tragic tale a wonderful twist. She’s really been incredibly creative in translating the magical world of the fairy tale to a world better known to us. In doing so she’s met many challenges, obviously, but these she’s all resolved with great inventiveness. Meanwhile the characters remain perfectly IC throughout. And there’s a starring role for Harry, who doesn’t understand her brother, but is determined to help him, against all the odds.

To add to the pleasure the story is filled with many details that perfectly help recreate Victorian times, or perhaps I should say, what we think that period in history was like. The language, a tad old-fashioned, yet flowing easily, greatly helps with that.

If you love the story of The Little Mermaid and the series as much as I do, I’m sure you’ll be as delighted with this story as I am.
verdant_fire: (shr: enough for a lifetime)
[personal profile] verdant_fire
Title: Comme des Enfants
Author: Eliane
Pairings: John/Sherlock, Mary/John, Sholto/John, John & Harry
Length: 7287 words
Rating: Mature
Warnings: none
Verse: BBC
Author's summary: Harry comes out when John is nineteen. It takes John twenty more years to do the same.

Reccer's comments: This fic is an excellent character study of two things: John's relationship with Harry, and his sexual identity as a closeted, homoromantic bisexual.  Both of those things are treated with empathy and honesty, and it's easy to imagine this John and Harry fitting into canon.  This story is a lovely, closely observed look at John's past and the personal growth that allows him to move on from it.
verdant_fire: (shr: side of the angels)
[personal profile] verdant_fire
Title: Names for the Galaxy
Author: evadne
Pairings: John/Sherlock, background Anthea/Mycroft
Length: 191102 words
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: N/A
Verse: BBC
Author's summary: Sci-fi AU. Sherlock Holmes is a recent arrival to 22nd century earth, and determined to find out who he is and where he comes from. John Watson has the unenviable task of teaching him how to be a normal human being.

Reccer's comments: I haven't read anything else quite like this story, fic or otherwise. The worldbuilding is phenomenal, and the treatment of the characters is so empathetic that I really felt what they were feeling as I read this. It also has some of the best plotting I've seen. The foreshadowing was very skillful; I went back and read through again after I got to the big reveal, and details that I didn't make much of at the time suddenly stood out in retrospect. I adore this version of Mary, and Mycroft and Anthea are quietly badass together. And of course, the Johnlock is excellent, both very hot and very moving.  I don't understand why this fic isn't better known in fandom, but it certainly ought to be.  (One reading note: one of the characters starts off the story mixing up their gendered pronouns, but it's not a typo; there's an in-universe reason for it and it only lasts a few chapters.)
[identity profile]
Title: The Replacements
Author: takethesky87
Pairing: Gen
Length: 5000
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: NA
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: After a day solving crimes with Molly, Sherlock tries out a few more candidates.
Reccer's comments: This is a great TEH missing scene that focuses on Sherlock's post hiatus relationships with some of the show's minor characters. Mrs Hudson, Angelo, Mike Stamford and Harry Watson each get a moment in the sun but Sherlock's loneliness and his broken friendship with John is always in the background.


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