swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Default)
[personal profile] swissmarg
Title: Antidote (link goes to tumblr)
Artist: anotherwellkeptsecret
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 1 mini-comic
Rating: Unrated, SFW
Warnings: None
Verse: ACD
Author's summary: None given. First line: In the dim light of a foggy November day, I chanced upon a package addressed to Mr. Sherlock Holmes.

Reccer's comments: Based on the Adventure of the Dying Detective, this is the comic equivalent of a one-shot missing scene that packs the punch of a full-blown story, and as such is an absolute delight. The facial expressions in this little comic are everything. I just love the tenderness and sweet emotion, paired with a modicum of angst and a hint of eroticism.
swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Default)
[personal profile] swissmarg
Title: S4 AU (link goes to tumblr)
Author: johnlockiseternal
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 17 tumblr posts
Rating: Not rated, contains 1 NSFW gif
Warnings: None
Verse: BBC
Author's summary: AU where S4 doesn’t happen at all, Sherlock hallucinates everything after Mary shoots him.

Reccer's comments: I'm not sure if there's a name for this kind of thing, but this is a story told through gifs of the series (plus a couple from other sources), with the author inserting their own subtitles. It's kind of a cross between a vid and a fic. It's short and sweet, but manages to pack in the full range of emotion, from the stomach swoops of flirty texting, loin-tingling teases of a consummation many years in the making, to a heart-in-throat confrontation and the heartfelt sighs of a happy ending. And all rendered in slick, high quality gifs with in-character dialogue. It's cute, sassy, sweet, and just great fun.

Editing to add: There is now a 1:25-minute fanvid version.

[identity profile]
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]
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]
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: A Study in Rehabilitation
Author: TheWhiteLily
Pairing: Gen. John Watson, Sherlock Holmes, OCs
Length: 12,500 words
Rating: G
Warnings: none
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: In a rehabilitation clinic in London, John Watson is just home from Afghanistan and having a difficult time coming to terms with the bullet in his shoulder’s devastating impact on his life. But now there’s a serial killer on the loose — and a certain consulting detective is on the trail…

Reccer's comments: This is a prequel AU to the BBC Sherlock series, answering the question: what if Sherlock and John had met just one case earlier? This is a brilliant casefic full of wonderfully smart deductions. It's also an intense and very well-researched medical drama that allows John to rise to an emergency with utterly convincing skill. Best of all, it catches the perfect chemistry of that first meeting once again, with clever allusions to certain elements of A Study in Pink but even more departures from it. I particularly loved seeing how a difference in circumstances altered what Sherlock got right and wrong in his deductions about John, and how the author created a fascinating backstory to explain the roots of John's psychosomatic limp. With the leads precisely in-character and an interesting canvas of OCs to act as suspects and victims, this fic drew me in and held me rapt from start to finish.
[identity profile]
Title: For me it isn't over (LJ | AO3)
Author: [ profile] sciosophia
Pairing: John Watson/Mary Morstan, John Watson & Sherlock Holmes
Length: 4726 words
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Major Character Death (before the fic starts)
Verse: Sherlock BBC

Author's summary: “Didn’t you consider,” John began, not quite sure where he was taking this, “that I might want to do this alone?”

Because John is lost, Mary is wise, and Sherlock wants to be a good friend.

Reccer's comments: This was one of my first introductions to Mary as a character way back when (I first read it in 2011), and I think it forever cemented her importance to John's character in my head even though she's not present in the fic itself. The quote in the summary (or rather the answer he gets) has stayed with me through the years in fandom.

It's a beautiful story of love, friendship, and grief. John's grief over loosing a spouse is raw and painful, Sherlock's grief over loosing a friend is quiet and subtle. You can feel that their relationship has grown from series 1 (even if not in the same way as in the canon, perhaps) and the characters are very true to themselves.

Worthy of noting is that this fic was written in May 2011, long before there was even (official) talks about bringing Mary Morstan into the show, but it's still fairly series 3 compliant.
[identity profile]
Title: at night he dreams
Artist: FerioWind
Pairing: Holmes/Watson or Holmes & Watson (not specified)
Length: 4 pages
Rating: PG
Warnings: None
Verse: Granada/Canon
Author's summary:
My take on Watson after the events at Reichenbach Falls in comic strip form. So yes, I guess this will be kinda depressing.

Reccer's comments:
A brief, but poignant view into Watson's sleeping mind after after he returns to London following the loss of Holmes. I'm going to be reccing stories told in images this month, and this particular one has only a few words, relying on visuals to convey its message. It has the feel of an old silent film, with its vignetted, black and white panels and the mysterious and dramatic figure of Holmes.

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swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Molly)
[personal profile] swissmarg
Title: The Doubtful Comforts of Human Love
Author: PoppyAlexander
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 61,500 words
Rating: Mature
Warnings: None
Verse: BBC
Author's summary: Or, The Adventure of the Red Shoes. UK Ballet principal dancer Sherlock Holmes and assistant rugby coach John Watson met and fell in love as ambitious, optimistic teenagers. Twenty years on, they are entering midlife, facing the break-down of their bodies and the ending of their careers, and contemplating what the future holds for two middle-aged men forced to start over. With a frightening crisis unfolding at the Ballet, Sherlock must balance the demands of his career, his friendships, and his marriage with his own struggle against bitterness and discontent, while John takes a long-overdue glance from the outside, in, and stutter-steps toward making a kind of peace. AU - ballet!lock/rugby!john

Reccer's comments: If the ballet!lock/rugby!john note makes you want to nope out, then you are precisely the audience for this fic. This takes all the tropes from the popular AU and blows them out of the water.

I thought this was an especially brave story to write because it doesn’t portray Sherlock and John as an ‘opposites attract’ odd couple who only find true happiness in each other, or star-crossed lovers who are destined to be together. This is a startlingly mature and stark story of two very flawed individuals who struggle with both themselves and each other, and the weight of their shared history. There are some very difficult scenes, emotionally speaking, and I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by saying that there is no fairytale ending. (But it’s hopeful! The author promises it in the tags… ;))

The dance scenes are some of the most powerful ones in the story, but it’s not a prettified, sugarplum version of ballet; it’s tough, gritty, and powerful in a very earthy way, full of sweat, anger, and blood. And speaking of blood…

On top of the frankly masterful study of Sherlock and John’s dual mid-life crises, the author has been bold enough to add a full-fledged casefic, loosely leaning on Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Red Shoes’. It’s beautifully (and creepily) done, and is definitely not for the faint of heart.

[identity profile]
Title: Order of Operations
Author: patternofdefiance
Pairing: Gen, pre-slash Sherlock/John
Length: 2,839 words
Rating: Teen
Warnings: none
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary:
Emergency lights flicker on.
Never a good sign.
John opens his eyes. Smoke, hazy air, smells sour, concrete dust. Not the desert. City. Insurgent bombings. Civilians. Casualties.

Reccer's comments: Sherlock and John are trapped in an elevator after a terrorist attack at Mycroft’s building. I don't feel like i'm giving anything away when I say they make it out, but not without some heartstopping moments. (ETA: No one dies in this!) The intensity is sky high as Sherlock and John fight to escape and the author does not hold back in showing us just how precarious their situation is, physically and emotionally. Each of them is almost primal in how they make the other's escape their main priority. It's a thrilling read with a great heaping dose of hurt/comfort in the end.

The author has tagged this both gen and pre-slash, so you could read this with either intense friendship or slash goggles on. Either way, it's not a disappointment. This is a fantastic look at Sherlock and John's deep friendship and just how much they really mean to each other. I will never get tired of coming back to this story.
[identity profile]
Title: Watershed
Author: finangler
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 40,000 words
Rating: E
Warnings: the crimes investigated include human trafficking, rape, and murder, though none are graphically portrayed; also has themes of drug use/abuse
Verse: other
Author's summary: In the year 2207, John Watson went to war. (Written in response to the shkinkmeme anon-prompt: SH in Space.)

Reccer's comments: This fic is remarkable for many reasons. It combines economical yet expansive world-building, clever plot twists which impact both the case and the relationship of the characters, a gritty futuristic setting, and a love story which does not run smoothly and is all the better for its frictions and false starts. Its happy ending, once reached, feels earned.

It is also remarkable because it presents a version of these characters which does not fit entirely within any particular established 'verse. The story was completed several months before the BBC series first aired in 2010, and this author independently undertook, not only a modernization of the Doyle characters, but a projection of them into the future. It is fascinating to see the characterization decisions here made, and to meet versions of Holmes and Watson who are in some ways quite similar to what the BBC characters became (in some instances the parallels are astonishing), but who remain in some respects unique, while at other times reminiscent of the Ritchie or Granada versions.

This fic begins as a version of Doyle's "Man with the Twisted Lip," but the case quickly takes on a life of its own. It offers a new version of Holmes and Watson's first meeting, and throughout the story Watson's issues surrounding self-perception, illness, and trust are dealt with in a complex and compelling way. I find this a rich and rewarding read.

It should be noted that the story is a complete and satisfying whole, but although it is listed as being part of a series, the sequel fic was abandoned after only one chapter so you may be happier simply stopping at the end of this story. (The sequel makes quite an interesting epilogue, though it raises important character issues which are never resolved). If you are interested in seeing more of this author's work, and in particular how they engaged with the BBC characters once that series aired, their excellent BBC adaptation of "The Devil's Foot" has already been recc'd on this comm. Authors who can skillfully entwine original mysteries with nuanced relationship and character drama are treasures, and I hope you enjoy finangler's work as much as I have.
[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.

venusinthenight: joan watson, in a designer batman t-shirt, leaning in a door frame (elementary - joan leans in doorway)
[personal profile] venusinthenight
Title: Conversations Around a Couch
Author: beanarie on AO3
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes & Joan Watson
Length: 3495 words over four chapters
Rating: Gen
Warnings: None apply (see reccer's comments)
Verse: Elementary
Author's summary: After Kitty leaves, Sherlock visits Joan to find an apartment in disarray and a friend coming undone.

Reccer's comments: Very rarely does Elementary let us see Joan as anything other than a woman who has it together. She's typically portrayed as a rock, the one who is there for everyone, especially Sherlock. She rarely lets her emotions out.

Here, we see the opposite: Joan, in a state of disarray, drunk, unburdening herself to Sherlock, with him being a listening ear for her, looking after her. And it is beautiful.

(Content notes, derived from fic tags: alcohol use, mention of drug use, PTSD)
[identity profile]
Title: Coins on my Eyes
Author: indybaggins
Pairing: Sherlock/John, Sherlock & Mycroft
Length: 35,000
Rating: M
Warnings: Graphic depictions of violence
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: 'Sherlock spent nights lying awake, listening to the rustling of John’s hands on the bedcovers. The dull thumps of John’s head against the headboard. The rhythmic grinding of his teeth. The soft, hungry sounds of his mouth and throat.'

There is an unknown infection rapidly spreading through London, fear, unspoken love, dead who cannot die... and a way for them to come back. Post-zombie AU!

Reccer's comments:

This fic was one of the highlights of my summer. The writing is stellar, the characterizations nuanced, the relationships breath-taking, the moral conundrums complex, and the setting horrifying. The story shifts perspective between its main characters as it follows the devastating progress of an incurable disease. Mycroft's perspective is insightfully rendered as he adopts ruthless measures to stem the spread of the plague while at the same time reluctantly supporting Sherlock's attempts to cure John after he seems long lost to infection.

This story portrays the deeply generous love between Sherlock and John, and Sherlock and Mycroft, without ever slipping into sentimentality. Its central characters move and breathe with extraordinary detail and emotional integrity. The intense crises they each face bring out the core qualities of their personalities. I think it's an amazing piece of work.

(Possible warnings: this fic deals with end of life issues and caregiving for debilitated loved ones; it portrays suicidal ideation and mentions suicide and euthanasia; it also contains some imagery that is reminiscent of the Holocaust.)
[identity profile]
Title: The Vermilion Problem (series of 4 short fics)
Author: gardnerhill
Pairing: none
Length: 3,968 for the entire series
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: blood, mentions of killing/ dying
Verse: ACD (AU)
Author's summary: Vampire!Holmes.
Reccer's comments: I first discovered gardnerhill through July Writing Prompts, and happily made my way through a number of the their fics on AO3. This series, though, really stood out to me; I generally prefer my ACD fics to remain free of supernatural / mythological elements, but gardnerhill blends vampires and the classic Holmes personality brilliantly. They also include great details - like a morroco case of holy water and garlic instead of cocaine - that make the stories more real for the reader. The series is a lovely little collection of drabbles/ one shots, and left me feeling both very satisfied and wanting more.
[identity profile]
Title: Love Letters
Author: helicidae
Pairing: Jim Moriarty/John Watson, John Watson & Sherlock Holmes
Length: 39,260 words
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Everything. All of it. There is not a thing that should not be warned for.
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: Dearest John... Moriarty sends love letters. When it's over you'll have your own blood and my come in your mouth and on your lips, John, and that'll be the most beautiful sight in the world.

Reccer's comments: Horror. Horrific horrible horror.

Here is the full list of author tags: Mind Games, Bloodplay, Cannibalism, Child Death, Child Torture, Forced Self-harm, Minor Character Death, Necrophilia, Non-con, Body Modification, Rape, Torture, Sadism, Sexual Violence, Starvation, Extreme Underage, Horror, One-Sided Relationship

Moriarty is John's stalker. Almost every horrible thing is an exercise in imagination. Somehow, that makes it worse - there are places people can go in their heads that it might be hard to sell them going in a fic that stayed in character.

There are not enough capital "D"s and colons in the world to express my reaction to this as I read it. Well-regarded published horror does go this dark, but somehow it was just not something I was prepared for in fan writing.

The development of John and Sherlock's relationship throughout is a marvel of authorial ... something. Deftness? Delicacy? John is trying to keep a secret, and Sherlock is trying to uncover it, and it's never entirely certain how their friendship will survive the onslaught of Moriarty's obsession. (This is an S2 canon divergence, and takes Reichenbach a different direction.)

This story was written for the kink meme; the AO3 version is somewhat amended. The effect in the end is a little different, but probably not enough to worry about. Read it twice! But really, not if any of the tags tweak you too hard, because the author does not pull punches.
[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: Light Our Own Fires
Author: BlackEyedGirl
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Length: 7,800 words
Rating: M
Warnings: none
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: Sherlock won't give up looking for Moriarty; John is losing patience. Neither of them are coping as well as they would like. (Post episode 1.03, The Great Game)

Reccer's comments: This is another of the first stories I read in the BBC fandom, and I still find it wonderfully emotionally complex and intriguing. Like many authors in the hiatus between S1 and S2, BlackEyedGirl imagined a scenario in which the bomb at the end of The Great Game did explode -- Sherlock and John each emerge alive and to some degree traumatized, but the fact that they shared the same inciting experience does not mean that they understand one another's reactions to it. They are each aware that the other is hurting, but they don't know how to talk about it and they misread one another repeatedly while still doing their best to protect each other.

John, in particular, is very worried about Sherlock's seeming obsession with catching Moriarty, and he thinks it is a sign that Sherlock is captivated by the challenge he represents even though it is likely to get both John and Sherlock killed. The truth, of course, proves to be more complex than that.

This is an insightful character study, an ambiguous but beautiful romance, a journey through the aftermath of trauma and a story that kept surprising me the further I read. There were a few lines and turns of phrase that felt like they swept a rug out from under me.

(That being said, the story is unbetaed and there are a few SPAG errors, if that kind of thing bothers you. But it really is cleanly and cleverly written, and I encourage you to give it a try.)

I hope you'll enjoy it.
[identity profile]
Title: SPQR
Author: [ profile] hoc_voluerunt
Pairing: Sherlock/John, or rather Celatus/Vannus
Length: approx. 118,500 words
Rating: explicit
Warnings: none
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: Sollemnis Populusque Romanus
The year is AD 68. Emperor Nero is on the throne, the Jewish Revolt is nearing its end under the firm hands of Vespasian and his son Titus, and Marcus Caelius Piso Vannus, son of a British freedman and former surgeon to the Fifteenth Apollonian Legion, has just returned from the provinces with an injured shoulder and no veteran's benefits to rent a shabby room in the shadow of the city wall. Thrust into his life, however, comes Amulius Cornelius Celatus -- a noble man from an ancient family, with good hair, a better toga, and the biggest ego this side of the Tiber. You wouldn't think they'd end up living together, let alone fighting crime; but then, neither would you think that one shadowy criminal figure orchestrated the fire of 64...
(ancient Rome!AU of Sherlock)

Reccer's comments: An enormously fun and clever AU that transports the whole Sherlock BBC cast to ancient Rome, right around the time the Empire was shaking on its very foundations. The series consists of a retelling/recreation of the series’ episodes, with lots of little winks to the original ACD stories and a very ingenious use of both the setting of Rome and the materials provided at that time which are of course no match for the scientific equipment the Sherlock in the series gets to work with. But the setting gives the author the chance to have Vannus appear as a gladiator and recreate Irene Adler as a vestal virgin, which had me bouncing with glee in my chair.
Celatus is every way as brilliant and haughty as his twenty-first century counterpart and Vannus just as loyal, trustworthy and devoted to his friend as John Watson is.

The author makes frequent use of Latin. This might put people off from reading, but I think it actually heightens the atmosphere the author creates and thus adds to the stories. She’s very thoughtfully provided a translation so this really shouldn’t be a reason not to read.
Anyone who is at least a little bit familiar with the history of Rome and the lay-out of the city around the time will be delighted with the use the author has made of these in the stories. Anyone who isn’t will still get to enjoy herself and learn a lot besides.
The motto of the series for instance had me giggling like mad once I encountered the personage it refers to, Sollemnis Populusque Romanus, such a clever variation - totally befitting of the Sherlock BBC series - on Senatus Populusque Romanus, or was it Sono Pazzi Questi Romani?
[identity profile]
Title: The Ties That Bleed
Author: [ profile] luchia13
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Length: 11,700 words
Rating: R
Warnings: I think the "R" rating is for the difficult themes, including suicidal thoughts and mental illness; there's also some description of violence though not graphic, and dub-con soul-bondings
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: John Watson has been bonded by blood to Sherlock Holmes. Until the day Sherlock dies, they will be tied together. Until the day Sherlock dies, John can't.

Reccer's comments: This is a soul-bonded Reichenbach AU. I adore well-done magical realism, and in this story I find the world-building both economical and compelling, surpassed only by the incisive characterizations. John, especially, is a beautiful trainwreck. The story delves into his intensely fluctuating mental and emotional states without ever losing touch with that part of John Watson that disdains his own drama. The story combines deep angst and conflicted romance with sharp and satisfying humor.

Essentially, this is the story of a haunting, and the way that Sherlock's shade within John's shared soul creates temptations, doubts, beliefs, and ultimately revelations during a truly agonizing hiatus.

Beautifully written and richly imagined, this story is a favorite of mine, although I should say in advance that it ends abruptly and does not really resolve the complex emotional tangle that it has built up. The author has said, though, that their goal was to tell the story of John's mental journey rather than to resolve his relationship with Sherlock, and in that the story succeeds brilliantly. Where he and Sherlock go from there is up to us.


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