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.
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.

swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Default)
[personal profile] swissmarg

Title: Oh, What A Night Series (AO3Tumblr)
Artist: penumbra/anotherwellkeptsecret
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 3 multi-panel comics
Rating: Mature to Explicit
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: Part 1 "Oh, What A Night": John and Sherlock go on a date. Hilarity, kissing, and egregious amounts of fluff ensue.
Part 2 "The Losing Side": Sherlock wants to marry John, but he's not sure of the best way to propose. Who better to run ideas by than, well...John?
Part 3: "Points of Interest": Sherlock and John's wedding night.
Reccer's comments: This is a set of 3 complete comics with over 100 panels telling the story of Sherlock and John’s courtship. Sweet, funny, awkward, cute, and a little bit sexy, and of course it wouldn’t be Johnlock without at least a smidgen of angst, a case, an interfering brother and well-meaning friends to spice things up. The judicious use of small amounts of animation add to the charm in part 1, and in part 3 things get very hot yet very tasteful with an intimate glimpse John and Sherlock’s lovey times as husbands. Seriously heart-melting adult fare.
[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 )
verdant_fire: (shr: the head and the heart)
[personal profile] verdant_fire
Title: Someone at the Scent of Orange Blossom
Author: [ 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.
[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
swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Molly)
[personal profile] swissmarg
Title: Emperor Tales of the Frozen South
Author: cwb
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, others which would be spoilers
Length: 153,593 words
Rating: Mature
Warnings: None
Verse: BBC
Author's summary: At the bottom of the world, two intrepid explorers make their way in the harshest of environments. An important journey must be taken, and prophecies fulfilled, but not before family meddling, political interference, and self-doubt threaten to alter the future of an entire species.

If you know me at all, you know that this had to be done.

Reccer's comments:

 photo 587f4d9a-7b64-4893-ae0a-12a0a6e9c8f4_zpstyqszm3d.jpg

Look at that face! How could you say no to this little guy? You couldn't, and that's why you won't want to miss this unusual and breathtaking adventure of a penguin AU. It's not crack, far from it. Instead, it is an endearing, heartfelt, fluffy yet earnest coming-of-age-stroke-salvation-and-redemption story set in a colony of Emperor penguins in Antarctica. The story focuses on Sherlock and John from the moment they hatch onward, through their chickhood, adolescence, and into maturity, as they try to find their place in society in this exotic, icy wasteland.

The author has interwoven many fascinating aspects of Emperor biology and behavior with Polynesian mythology and language to create a unique Penglock world of complex politics, societal structures, beliefs, and rituals. The real draw for me, though, is the beautifully depicted relationship between Sherlock and John, as they evolve seamlessly from "best pengs" to "ipo" and "tahu". As if those fuzzy little grey balls of poofiness weren't cute enough, just imagine them cuddling.

I'll be honest, the character of Sherlock is not the rude, easily bored, addictive personality whose main goal in life is to play "the game"; the misunderstood, abused and abusive genius loner we are introduced to in the BBC series. Instead, this is more a vision of what Sherlock might have been if he'd grown up with a true friend, caring mentors, and a supportive community behind him, where his quirks and talents were nurtured and promoted, and where he received personal and public affirmation, appreciation, and recognition. Although there are some moments of angst, the story is very positive and uplifting throughout. Really, the prophecy made at Sherlock's birth says it all: You will love, you will suffer, you will prevail.

[identity profile]
Title: If you'll have us
Author: fifthnorthumberland
Pairing: John Watson/Sherlock Holmes/Mary Morstan
Length: 1349 words
Rating: Gen
Warnings: No warnings apply
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: Three weeks after their wedding, they give Sherlock a ring.

Reccer's comments: Written between The Sign of Three and His Last Vow this short fic is an amazing description of how John and Mary include Sherlock in their marriage and how Sherlock becomes a natural part of their family and gets more and more comfortable with giving and receiving physical affection.

This is one of my absolute favourite John/Sherlock/Mary fics. It shows the relationship as organic, communicative (sort of, at least), respectful, and loving, but still hints at insecurities they have about the relationship. It also give hints about Sherlock's asexuality without stating it or making an issue out of it.

It's a really fluffy, feel-good fic that will leave you all warm inside!

Extra note: This fic has (since I read it last) become part of a series, which was a happy surprise when I went back to find the link for this rec.
[identity profile]
Title: The Case of the Green Gown
Author: [ profile] splix
Pairing: Sherlock/John, John/Mary
Length: about 209,000 words
Rating: explicit
Warnings: graphic depictions of violence, torture
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: ...Watson had at that time deserted me for a wife, the only selfish action which I can recall in our association. I was alone.
---Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier

Reccer's comments: Wow, [ profile] splix has done it again! Enriched the Sherlock fandom with a marvellously clever story, literally hefty in almost every sense of the word.

Make sure you’ll have nothing important on for the next few days when you start reading this for you’ll be hooked and oblivious to the demands of reality. You’ll find yourself laughing and cheering, and grappling with the most horrendous angst, swearing and recovering from punches that go straight for the solar plexus and sobbing. Oh, there’s so much delicious bittersweet sobbing in this fic.

Then there’s the great characterisation throughout. All the well-known players completely IC there’s a whole array of fascinating OC’s. As usual everything is written in that exquisite language that’s this author’s special trademark.

Apart from an incredibly tightly plotted casefic that contains more than enough intrigue to fill at least two seasons of Sherlock this is a wonderfully crafted psychological study of the human condition and all those feelings that shape us into what we are: love, friendship, grief, greed, jealousy. Greatness and despicable flaws, both are shown in every character. And throughout it all both Holmes brothers suffer so nobly. After all, no one is better aware than they are that caring isn’t an advantage.

After the havoc Moftiss wreaked with S3 this fic helped me to recover my love for Sherlock the series, even long before Moftiss made it all better again with TAB. Everyone who has got huge problems with Mary should read this fic just to admire the nuanced approach to her personage. In this fic I often loathed her, despised her and really, really didn’t like her but throughout [ profile] splix managed to make me sympathise with her plight. After all, Sherlock returning from the dead wasn’t exactly what she had bargained for.

But what’s the fic about? That I’m not going to tell for I don’t want to spoil your fun. Just start reading like I did and be mesmerised and enchanted like I was. You won’t be disappointed.

Highly, highly recommended!
[identity profile]
Title: Save The Last Dance for Me
Author: Lilith
Pairing: Sherlock/Mrs Hudson
Length: approx. 52,000 words
Rating: explicit
Warnings: major character death
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: Sherlock Holmes and Martha Hudson, friendship, love and romance:
He kissed her cheek again and his lips lingered for a fraction of a second longer than normal. “Good-night, Mrs Hudson.”
She sat back on the sofa when he’d gone and touched her hand to her cheek, just like a giddy girl.
There are things that you don’t wish for, things that you don’t ever let yourself think about. Not even when you’re dying, least of all then when the cruel mirror shows you how old and ill you are. Youth is just an illusion, a flutter of butterfly wings in your soul, and there’s no point crying for the moon.

Reccer's comments: Yes, this is the fic where Sherlock and Mrs Hudson become lovers and even end up marrying each other. Sherlock may be a virgin at the beginning of the fic but yet it is he who seduces Martha, and remains the driving force behind the whole madcap enterprise.

Told from Mrs Hudson’s POV the writer captures her voice perfectly from first to last. The spot on language, full of lovely Briticisms turns reading this fic into a wonderful experience. But once you’ve accepted the premise this fic has so much more to give for Martha Hudson's portrayal feels a 100% IC throughout. It begins with her reaction to the bad news she's received and her musings over what she wants to do with the rest of her life. She doesn't want to see the midnight sun or go swimming with dolphins. Reading that put a smile on my face for that's so like the Mrs Hudson we meet in the series. She may like to present a dotty exterior but there's also a side to her that's as tough as nails.

Both sides of her are wonderfully maintained throughout the fic as it slowly unfolds from one unlikely scenario to the next in such a way it's highly believable. Her reactions to each of the other characters ring true throughout the story. Scenes that especially stood out to me where the row between Sherlock and John when John discovers Sherlock and Mrs Hudson have started an affair and Martha’s misery when Sherlock goes missing. Even at the end of her tether she can still spare a thought for the unhappiness of others, and then she decides that this time she doesn't really want to care, even though that makes her miserable as well.

And of course Mrs Hudson is the one to bring John back into the fold. Mycroft's attitude throughout had me dancing with happiness. Yes, that's my Mycroft. Anything to make his little brother happy. He'll stand by his brother, no matter what. And more than anyone else he realises why his brother would choose Martha Hudson.

Unavoidably Mrs Hudson does die in the end but before that this fic takes you on several turns around the room, from the lowest low to the highest high of a tumultuous and true love affair.

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: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. :)
swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Molly)
[personal profile] swissmarg
Title: The Baker Street Correspondence
Author: Ray (zooeyscigar) and Mixy (mxci)
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: See below
Rating: Unrated
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: A correspondence-based RP between Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. Letters are written and actually posted between the authors (one based in the US and one in Canada).

Reccer's comments: This is a sprawling, post-Reichenbach story told almost entirely through letters between John and Sherlock, but also other correspondents including Mycroft, Molly, Greg, Victor, and various fans. It is rendered in realia, with typed and handwritten messages on a variety of stationery, Post-Its, envelopes, telegrams, text messages, and emails, each tailor-made to reflect the personality and circumstances of the writer. There are also several images, culminating with a cosplay. This makes it difficult to judge the length, but there are over 240 entries, each ranging from a few words to a couple hundred. An overview of the entire opus can be viewed here.

The authors have invested an incredible amount of thought and care in the project over more than two years, with painstaking attention to detail. Beyond admiring the scope and execution of the project, however, I was absolutely swept away by the slow-burn, achingly hot romance portrayed through the narrative. There's a bit of angst here and there, but it's mostly an affirmation of the love, devotion, and connection between the two protagonists. It's open-ended as to how much further the authors are going to take this, but as of June 18, 2015, the story has come to a satisfying culmination so there is no need to worry about being left hanging.
swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Molly)
[personal profile] swissmarg
Title: The Gilded Cage
Author: BeautifulFiction
Pairing: John/Sherlock, Sherlock/OMC
Length: 326,9077 words
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock (BBC)
Author's summary: In a world where Omegas are the property of the elite Alphas, locked away and treasured by those wealthy enough to buy them, John never questioned his flatmate's secondary gender. Sherlock Holmes was an Alpha through-and through. Wasn't he? A chance discovery turns the world on its head, and John is left grappling to come to terms with Sherlock's past as events conspire to threaten their future.

Reccer's comments: This is an epic. Not just because of the length but because of the intricacy and the multiple layers. First and foremost, this is a story about Omegaverse, but a very, very smart Omegaverse. There are many iterations of the Alpha/Beta/Omega alternative biology AU, and this author has taken it in a political direction. The worldbuilding is both sprawling and in-depth, encompassing legislation, the economy, social stratification, mores, education, and medicine, among other aspects. It tackles issues that resound in the real world like human rights, domestic violence, gender roles, contraceptive rights, and self-determination, and all that without ever becoming dry or getting distracted from the plot engine, which is the case.

The case, involving a serial killer, is deliciously complex in its unravelling, with unique and engaging original characters and a constant ramping up of tension. What I liked the best about it was that it’s not just something that was added to make this into a casefic; it is intrinsically linked both to the world which the author has created and to the life and situation of Sherlock and John personally, which means that as the case unfolds we get more insights into how the society works (and doesn’t work) as well as character development and progression in John and Sherlock’s relationship.

And oh boy, what a relationship! The pining and UST is fantastically rendered and at the same time devastating to wait through. Both Sherlock and John come into the story with a ton of emotional, physical, and psychological baggage that they need to sort through as they try to grapple with their undeniable attraction which is, for various reasons, impossible to consummate at first.

Beyond all that, this is just an absolute pleasure to read. The imagery is poetic yet vivid, the language erudite yet accessible. The 300k+ words go down like water, and the only thing stopping me from reading this in one sitting was the occasional need for sleep. It did take me a few days, but that just means more pleasure to be gotten out of it.

There are some passages which may be sensitive for some readers, especially the ones involving domestic violence (not between John and Sherlock) but overall this does one of the best jobs I’ve seen of discussing consent issues in an Omegaverse fic.

Excerpt... )
swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Molly)
[personal profile] swissmarg
Title: Mary
Author: kinklock
Pairing: John/Sherlock, past John/Mary
Length: 132,827 words
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Canon character death
Verse: Sherlock (BBC)
Author's summary:

Last night he dreamt he went to Manderley again...

Monte Carlo, 1937. While working as the companion to Sebastian Wilkes, a young man becomes acquainted with a wealthy Englishman, John Watson. Rumour has it that Watson, owner of the grand country estate Manderley, is still haunted by the sudden death of his late wife. But as the young man soon learns, not all is as it seems.

Reccer's comments: This is a fusion with Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, and while it’s quite faithful to that narrative, it’s done in an exceedingly clever way that smoothly integrates characters such as Moriarty, Magnussen, and Murray as well as events and bits of dialogue from both ACD and BBC canon. All of the M’s, for example, work superbly to add another layer of potential plot and subterfuge to the already twisted and inscrutable mystery of Mary Watson.

The romance between John and Sherlock is of the slow burn variety, with tons of UST, misunderstandings, and pining, but also epic fluff and tenderness when the time finally comes.

The one paradigm adjustment I had to make when reading this is that it’s set in an alternate reality in which homosexuality is treated as completely natural. That doesn’t mean that Sherlock and John’s relationship is approved of or welcomed by everyone, though…

A delicious gaslight scenario with plenty of creepiness, excitement, and sexytimes that hits all the sweet spots.

Excerpt )
swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Molly)
[personal profile] swissmarg
Title: The Waiting Isn't the Hardest Part (locked on AO3, message the author on tumblr if you need an invite)
Author: starrysummernights
Pairing: John/Sherlock
Length: 56,723 words
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock (BBC)
Author's summary: Expecting a baby should be a joyous event in an Omega’s life. It’s what all the books, websites, and talk shows bleat about. It’s the crowning moment of glory in any Omega’s life. John’s just ready for it to be fucking over.

Reccer's comments: At first glance, this looks like a pretty standard Omegaverse mpreg fic, but it's much more complex and thought-provoking than that, and manages to put itself a cut above in several ways.

First off is the exploration of gender roles and something approaching genderqueerness in the Alpha-Omega-Beta 'secondary gender'. There are plenty of fics that depict Sherlock (or John) as a strong, independent-minded Omega unwilling to submit to Alpha rule, or one of them as a restrained, enlightened Alpha who sees their partner as a person and an individual first and foremost, rather than a fucktoy. But this fic goes a step beyond that, I think, in depicting John as truly conflicted over his gender and not just trying to assert himself or redefine his role in society. He is deeply unhappy with being an Omega, to the point of self-hatred. Through the course of the story, he discovers that he is much more comfortable when he acts as an Alpha, which I found to be a fresh and intriguing perspective.

Of course, trying to deal with Omega biology is doubly hard when his body is undergoing all the changes wrought by pregnancy, and that's the second thing that I thought set this fic apart: John's attitude toward his pregnancy. He is deeply ambivalent, not necessarily to the point of seriously considering an abortion, but he basically throws up a mental block toward the pregnancy, ignoring it as much as possible. I thought that was an interesting choice, as John is usually depicted as the caring, nurturing one. It was so hard seeing Sherlock want to support John and participate in the pregnancy, and for John to completely shut him out.

Which brings me to what really drew me in, and that was the completely messed up, dysfunctional, codependent relationship between John and Sherlock. They both struggle so hard against their respective instincts - both physical and emotional - thinking they are doing what's right, but they only end up hurting each other more and more. It's one of those where you just want to grab them both by the collar and mash their heads together and say, “Now kiss!” For example, the scenes where John has to force himself to do things in order to act like he thinks a good partner should for Sherlock are masterful, striking a delicate balance between pain and hope.

Excerpt... )

This is part of a longer series, The Illusion of Control, although I don't think it's absolutely necessary to read the earlier parts. The salient points are reiterated in this story so you shouldn't feel lost.
[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.
swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Molly)
[personal profile] swissmarg
Title: Murder in the Family
Author: faviconOTB221B
Pairing: John/Sherlock, John/Mary
Length: 50,374 words
Rating: Mature
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: Post Season 3, Mary Watson goes missing, and John has been keeping secrets from Sherlock.

Reccer's comments: This is a post-series 3 fic in which Mary's past catches up to her and everyone associated with her when John sets out on a one-man mission to eliminate everyone who poses a threat to his family. One thing I particularly liked about this was that so often in fics, John has a reactive role, but in this, he actually goes out and gets in trouble without Sherlock and that ends up being the catalyst for everything that follows.

The fic is also full of awesome things like Sherlock getting Valentine's Day right, a badass clown/bodyguard, John using his gun the way it was meant to, a mid-story twist that takes us down a completely unforeseen path, Sherlock taking heinous advantage of the situation, and lots and lots of love. The unvarnished kind you see here:

Excerpt... )

Despite all of that good stuff, it's really quite angsty and involves child endangerment. This fic also contains infidelity, but I thought it treated Mary fairly and redeems her by the end. Although, it's a bittersweet ending. Tissues might be good to have at hand. (No character death.)
swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Molly)
[personal profile] swissmarg
Title: HOT DOLPHIN SEX, Series
Author: faviconcwb
Pairing: John/Sherlock
Length: 47,493 words in 2 parts
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Character death (not John or Sherlock)
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: None provided for the series. Summary for part 1:

What's next on the sex holiday agenda? Bingo or shuffleboard? SH

You don't want to know.

Now you have to tell me. SH

Reccer's comments: This fic hits so many of my buttons: series 3 fix-it, travel, casefic, misunderstandings leading to realizations and declarations, first time, unexperienced!Sherlock, BAMF!John, humor mixed with feels, lists, and hot sex.

I especially love passages like this, where things start bordering on the ridiculous only to make an abrupt about-face into tenderness:

Excerpt... )

Sherlock's musings on John's 'aggressive cock' alone are worth a rec. Fair warning, the fic isn't precisely kind to Mary and treats her as an expendable.
[identity profile]
Title: Practical Johnkeeping
Author: what_alchemy
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Length: 4,300 words
Rating: M
Warnings: none
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: Sherlock predicts nectar flow the same way he deduces a murder, but he harvests the honey like John coddles the dog.

Reccer's comments: My favorite retirement fic, although it's definitely not smooth sailing. Sherlock is going through a difficult time, struggling with deep-seated fears about John's health, powerful insecurities about John's faithfulness, and magnificent irritation about John's bloody bulldog. (I thought it was inspired to pick up that throw-away line from A Study in Scarlet about Watson's "bull pup" and make it into an ongoing source of conflict at the other end of their lives). Sherlock in this story is, by turns, stroppy, frantic, achingly tender, painfully vulnerable and at a loss, but ultimately this is the story of a love that stands the test of time. No relationship, no matter how long established, is easy, but it doesn't have to be easy to be beautiful.


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