swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Default)
[personal profile] swissmarg
Title: He Was a Friend of Mine
Author: SinceWhenDoYouCallMe_John
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, John Watson/Alma Watson
Length: 38,387 words
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Suicidal ideation, infidelity
Verse: BBC Sherlock/Brokeback Mountain crossover
Author's summary: Sherlock presses his nose into my hair and inhales. “Told myself the whole way here we wasn’t gonna get into this again,” he says low. His breath moves soft against my scalp, and his words rumble deep into my bones. It sounds like the open sky throwing wind against the boulders up on Baker, rattling the thin walls of the tent with the rushing force of the mountain. I hum. I don’t believe him for a second – steppin’ out of his gleaming white Ford back in Signal with his best shirt on and his curls all combed lookin’ up at me like he just took a breath after five years of holding it. I know because I did the same.

Reccer's comments: Stunned silence. What. This author. What. This author writes better than Annie Proulx. I just. ??

Okay. Trying to put together words coherently here. This is a fusion with Brokeback Mountain, and the author says at the beginning that they “borrowed heavily” from Proulx’s short story and the screenplay. So when I started reading the first paragraph I thought, yeah, okay, they’ve copied all this description stuff from Proulx to set the mood. I mean because look at this:

There’s a place up round near Bighorn where the little streams all crisscross each other like a handful of grass tossed down onto hot summer pavement. You can walk alongside the water in places where boots and hooves and moccasins and bare feet and whatever other goddamn footwear there is have been trampling for hundreds of years, and nobody pays you no congratulations for finding those paths. 

Poetry, right? This author has obviously won numerous writing awards, right? But. Then there’s a link to Proulx’s story at the end and I checked and this is all this fic author. 100%. I went so far as to google those phrases because good goddamn. This fic is the only hit in the entire internet. The only hit for the handful of grass on hot summer pavement and no congratulations for finding the paths. And it just goes on like that for 38K words. Yes, there are a few lines of dialogue that are cribbed but that’s really about it as far as I can tell. So. Maybe they have won writing awards. Worth reading just for that. But then there is the story.

The plot largely follows that of the movie but there are a lot of deviations, some minor and some major, as Sherlock and John’s characters and back stories meld with those of Ennis and Jack. It was a tricky line to walk, I think, to bring Sherlock and John as we know them to the rural American west of the 1970s and 80s, including the speech patterns. But they are definitely there, with John’s anger and struggle between wanting outward normalcy while craving adventure, and Sherlock’s paramount loneliness and underappreciated brilliance seeking an appropriate outlet but getting sidetracked in violence and illicit substances.

For those who are afraid of how the movie ended, check out the “eventual happy ending” tag. ;) Eventual being the key word here because believe me, you will go through that box of tissues on the way. We are taken on a lifelong journey that hurts with every step as the two men drift between moments of happiness with each other. The characters may be fictional, but their emotions are made real through the telling, and that to me is the mark of a truly great story.

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

Baker Street is very much the same. Only different. 

And Sherlock is just trying not to drown.

Reccer's comments:

The smiley face was wrong.

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

Perhaps different was the better word.

The smiley face was different.

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

And yet it wasn't quite the same.

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

The effect was—unsettling.

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

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

This is a beautifully written story that runs an emotional gamut from anxiety and unease and fear, to healing and warmth and brotherhood and so much love. We come full circle with Sherlock as he works to heal himself and to make Baker Street truly home. Yes, it's Sherlock/John endgame, but the focus is more on Sherlock and how he deals with all that has happened. I don't hate TFP as much as some- in fact, I found much to love- but this story has given me answers I needed, the emotional closure I craved, and it has made rewatches that much more enjoyable. 
[identity profile] lijahlover.livejournal.com
Title:Bury The Bells
Author: unknownsister
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Length:71,673
Rating:Explicit
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary:AU set after WWI in 1922. John is adrift in a loveless marriage. He takes a holiday to the country and meets a difficult patient. The spark that ignites between them might relight John's life or burn it to the ground.
Reccer's comments:This story was stunning and brilliant through out until the ending. What a glorious time period this was and it flowed beautifully. She had such a way with words, the flow of the story was perfect. This story was exquisite and all the little details made it come to life.

This fic was a delicious slow burn and I do looooooove those. All the secondary characters were lovely. Mrs. Hudson was the sweetest.

One of my favorite moments well one of so many is the turning point in chapter 9: "They watch each other closely, the scared doctor and the quiet detective. John's hand hovers between them, paused in indecision like his brain. Sherlock, eyes still locked with John's, reaches up to encircle John's wrist, slow and careful. His fingers are warm against John's pulse point and the contact soothes him more than he thinks it has any right to. “John.” John makes a quiet noise in the back of his throat, almost a question. “Mm?” “Let's go home.”

*happy sighs* If you have never read this you should you will love it soooooooo much.
verdant_fire: (shr: it's all fine)
[personal profile] verdant_fire
Title: History, Repeating Itself
Author: gyzym
Pairing: Sherlock/John, Mycroft/Irene
Length: 45489 words
Rating: Mature
Verse: BBC
Author's summary: John Watson is a med student, a war veteran, and, by and large, a fairly sensible person. He had every chance to run.

Reccer's comments: Perhaps fittingly for Leap Day, this fic is a bit of an odd one, but I've never forgotten it.  Though it's tagged as RDJ-verse, I think it's really more of an original fic based on ACD's characters than it is any established verse, but it's fantastic writing no matter how you categorize it.  This is a sort of Unilock, with John and Sherlock meeting as post-grads and moving in together while Sherlock does a lot of chemistry and gets in over his head, both professionally and romantically.  Mycroft and Irene are also great in this, even though, again, they're not really the ACD characters but an original version of them.  John's long-suffering affection and pining over his manic, stoner, genius Sherlock is really well-written, and Sherlock is both endearing and exasperating (and also instigates one of the best Johnlock clubbing scenes I've read).  It's an engaging and unique take on them and their relationship.
verdant_fire: (shr: enough for a lifetime)
[personal profile] verdant_fire
Title: The Guarded Secret
Author: mycapeisplaid
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Length: 95184 words
Rating: Explicit
Verse: BBC
Author's summary: After his war injury, John feels broken, small, and useless. On a whim, he takes a position as a security guard of sorts at the gorgeous Holmes Hall in Yorkshire. As it turns out, he is not as broken, small, or useless as he thinks. A story of beauty and blossom, murder and mystery, loss and love.

Reccer's comments: This Secret Garden AU was one of my favorite fics of last year.  Sherlock and John's growing friendship and love for each other is beautifully done, and the garden as metaphor is just as gorgeous as it was in the original book.  This has family secrets, a case very close to Sherlock, well-drawn supporting characters, and Sherlock on a motorcycle, all wrapped up in a Johnlock bow as he and John help each other heal.  The slow unfurling of their emotions is lovely to watch, and a pleasure to read.
swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Molly)
[personal profile] swissmarg
Title: A Study in Scarlet
Author: tiger_in_the_flightdeck
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, John Watson/Stamford, Sherlock Holmes/Tobias Gregson
Length: 49,977 words
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: None
Verse: ACD Canon
Author's summary: An indiscreet photograph ends up online, forcing Watson to postpone his pursuit of a medical degree. Turning to the life of a soldier, he takes a bullet through the shoulder and is sent home to London a lost and broken man. Friendless and facing homelessness, he is introduced to an eager young man in the chemical labs at Bart's Hospital.
As a friendship begins to form between them, a murder investigation pulls Watson into Holmes' world. Between crime scenes, a killer with an eye on revenge, and frustrating police officers, their friendship grows into something neither of them had expected.

Reccer's comments: This is an independent modernization of the original canon that has nothing to do with the BBC version, recasting Conan Doyle's characters in a 21st-century setting and basically giving them free rein to live out their natural inclinations. It's an exciting, smart, raunchy adventure with lots of casual sex, dark humor, and questionable morals. The author has done a fantastic job with bringing things into the modern era, with enough tweaks and surprises that even a reader who knows STUD backwards and forwards will find plently to hold their interest. Not least of which, of course, is Holmes and Watson’s relationship, which is given a chance here to flourish naturally without any of the hangups and dancing about that is often seen in the BBC version.

The author has also continued the story as an RP on tumblr, although I admit I have not gone through those blogs thoroughly. If you're interested, though:
Holmes can be found here: http://bakerstreetbranch.tumblr.com/
While Watson is here: http://medschoolandmysteries.tumblr.com/
[identity profile] rachelindeed.livejournal.com
Title: Beneath These Skies
Author: bendingsignpost
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes, John Watson, Molly Hooper, Bill Murray, Mike Stamford; gen
Length: 37,000 words
Rating: M (for violence and themes)
Warnings: references to past rape, trafficking, and torture, depictions of attempted genocide
Verse: Sherlock BBC, fusion with Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance/Radiant Dawn
Author's summary: An ex-soldier-turned-healer, a priest, and an unhorsed knight flee for their lives after the invasion of their homeland. John didn't expect the road to safety to be easy, but the addition of a petite mage and a scowling former prisoner to their small band opens his eyes to horrors beyond imagining.

Reccer's comments: Bendingsignpost is one of my favorite BBC Sherlock authors. He excels at layered world-building, subtle characterization, well-paced reveals, and powerful prose. His John POV is among the best in the fandom, in my opinion, and I particularly appreciate the way he keeps the characters' emotional expressions trimmed down and indirect without reducing their profundity.

Though basically all his stories are widely read, in comparison to his other works this one has been relatively overlooked. I imagine there may be several reasons for this. It is gen. It is a fusion with a video game universe. And it has some serious warnings attached. But, although it is at times a grim story that deals with very dark subjects, pretty much all of the most disturbing themes are dealt with indirectly through implication and we only glimpse the aftermath. I found it much less harrowing to read than I had initially feared. The elements taken from the video game are a constellation of magical creatures and a political setup for war; to me it simply read like magical realism and my unfamiliarity with "Fire Emblem" was no obstacle at all to my immersion into the story, the political, natural, and supernatural contours of which Ben sketches with great skill.

A romance in the context of this story would have been inappropriate given the level of trauma Sherlock is dealing with, but the power of the relationship he forms with John is striking -- their mutual trust grows quickly, they work well improvising together in the midst of danger, and they wind up protecting each other and making sacrifices to save each other in ways that pay tribute to the depth of their connection. In addition to the lovely character work done on its two protagonists, this story reaches further to examine the ambiguities of warfare, where basically decent people can find themselves in the ranks of an army bent on atrocity, and where even justified battles for self-defense can descend into indiscriminate slaughter. A compelling, imaginative, well-grounded story that leavens its sadness with touches of humor and the healing that comes through friendship and loyalty.
[identity profile] rachelindeed.livejournal.com
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] pipmer1.livejournal.com
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.

Enjoy!
[identity profile] pipmer1.livejournal.com
Title: A River Without Banks
Author: Chryse
Pairing: Sherlock/John, John/Mary
Length: 203,286 words
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Violence, rape/non-con, character death (Please keep in mind that this is a time travel story, and unfortunate occurrences are not necessarily permanent)

Verse: Sherlock BBC

Author's summary: "You love this, being Sherlock Holmes." He had once. When had it all gone so wrong?

Reccer's comments: First of all, I will directly quote the author from their beginning notes: "I assure you that there WILL be a happy ending, by which I mean John and Sherlock, together exclusively and forever, world without end, amen. (Just so we’re clear.)" So if the warnings scare you, know that EVERYTHING IS TEMPORARY AND IT WILL BE FINE. But the bad stuff still happens, so if it's triggery be aware that parts of this fic get very intense. The first half has a lot of angst, but never fear; there are also happy, romantic times as well.


This story is by the same writer who gave us "The Frost is All Over". The fic begins right where HLV left off, with Moriarty supposedly returning from the dead. In essence, it is a time-travel fic, with Sherlock going back in time in an attempt to put the universe back on its correct course after being shifted out of alignment by Moriarty's actions on the rooftop of Bart's. I am a *sucker* for time travel stories, with all of the paradoxes and twists and turns that that genre entails. And boy, does Chryse deliver in spades. Because not just one journey back in time is required; each failed attempt ends with Sherlock's death in that timeline kicking him back into his own (hence the character death warning). And every time Sherlock makes another attempt, his memory of all the previous timelines is erased, making each journey back its own self-contained story with its own adventure and ending, some happier than others. There's also a case that keeps showing up in subsequent timelines, just biding its time until the 'correct' version of Sherlock Holmes shows up to solve it.


My heart ached for Sherlock during a large portion of this fic, as I watched him struggle, literally time and time again, with the emotional fallout of each and every timeline. The storytelling is vivid and layered, with each timeline building on the previous ones and moving the story forward in Sherlock's search for the 'true' timeline that will set everything to rights. The perfect 'fix-it' fic for Series 3, in my opinion.


Read Excerpt )
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] rachelindeed.livejournal.com
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] dioscureantwins.livejournal.com
Title: Impossible to Feign
Author: [livejournal.com profile] achray
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Length: approx. 49,200 words
Rating: mature
Warnings:none
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: Sherlock leant forward, his long fingers curving round to grip John’s.
“I won’t let him win,” he said, eyes hard. “I will do whatever it takes to get you out.”

Reccer's comments: This story is a very clever twist on TRF, every bit as fast-paced and thrilling as that glorious episode. After a gruelling intro it all begins innocently enough with Sherlock whisking off to Las Vegas where Mrs Hudson has been arrested for murder. It’s the first loose brick and in no time at all the whole life Sherlock has so carefully built for himself comes crashing down around him, with Lestrade suspended, John dead and Mycroft as usual being no help at all.

I really can’t tell you any more for that would reveal too much of the incredibly crafty and clever plot. This fic is part casefic, part thriller and part psychological character study, brimming with angst and emotions and agonising choices and decisions. It will have you biting your nails and desperately reading on even though there are probably a thousand other things you should be doing. Should be, yes… but reading this is so much more rewarding.
swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Molly)
[personal profile] swissmarg
Title: Four Corners of the Western World
Author: faviconpennypaperbrain
Pairing: John/Sherlock
Length: 100,480 words
Rating: Mature to Explicit
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: None provided for the series. Summary for part 2: Four months after his best friend and unrequited crush apparently committed suicide in front of him, John’s life has been turned upside down again by a voicemail from Sherlock in the US, saying he is covertly tracking down the remains of Moriarty’s network, and asking John to join him. Two days on, John is on his way to meet Sherlock in Malta. Everything seems to have changed between them: not only is Sherlock being overtly affectionate in his texts, but he quite explicitly wants sex. But there’s just one problem (apart from the small matter of the international assassins etc): Sherlock’s behaviour is getting steadily stranger, even by his standards. John starts to worry his friend may be on drugs again…

Reccer's comments: This is a raw, intimate look at bipolar disorder (manic depression) in the context of the aftermath of The Reichenbach Fall. The insights to Sherlock's thought processes and states of mind as he see-saws between highs and lows are in turns fascinating, exhilarating, and devastating.

Excerpt from part 1... )

When Sherlock realizes he needs John's help - both to complete his quest and to get a handle on what is happening to his brain - we get to see the other side of the picture, with John struggling to deal with everything Sherlock is throwing at him. Not only his illness and the mortal danger they find themselves in, but the new aspect of a sexual relationship - and one shaped by BDSM practices at that.

The series is a whirlwind of sex, danger, murder, mistakes, and through it all, unwavering love and devotion. One of my favorites.
swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Molly)
[personal profile] swissmarg
Title: Fly Very High
Author: faviconyalublyutebya
Pairing: John/Sherlock
Length: 46,533 words
Rating: Explicit
Warnings:
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: John Watson was born to be a racing driver, and even a crash isn't enough to keep him out of a car for long. But coming back is not that easy, especially when he meets his new teammate, Sherlock Holmes.

Reccer's comments: In the honored tradition of sports AU's, this one shines right up there with the best of them. In this incarnation, John and Sherlock are Formula 1 racers, competing both with and against each other in a high-powered season that takes them around the world.

Part of the fun of this story is the introduction to F1 racing, from the technology to the strategy to exotic venues including Melbourne, Malaysia, Monaco, Bahrain, Shanghai, Barcelona, and Sochi (where Putin is in for quite a shock!). The fic is also peppered with real people from the racing world like Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel, and Lewis Hamilton, giving it an extra layer of authenticity.

The author is a self-proclaimed fan of Formula 1, and that enthusiasm comes through in the emotional investment of the characters as well as every exciting race commentary. Don't be put off, though, if you don't particularly like racing or cars; the technical stuff isn't overdone and never detracts from the insanely intense relationship between John and Sherlock as their on-track rivalry spills over into some of the hottest sex this side of Silverstone:

Excerpt... )

What starts out as just a bit of fun eventually turns into something much more complicated, as these things tend to, and the path to victory is fraught with more than a few pitfalls. Reading this fic is like watching a race, in fact, from the nervous anticipation at the start to the nail-biting moments when things get shaky in the middle to the fist-pumping celebration at the finish line, complete with champagne showers.
swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Molly)
[personal profile] swissmarg
Title: In War
Author: faviconceywoozle
Pairing: John/Sherlock
Length: 32,010 words
Rating: Mature
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: Two weeks before Christmas, Sherlock is back from the hospital and John is there to take care of him. John is always there to take care of him. What Sherlock forgets sometimes is that occasionally, John needs to be taken care of, too.

Reccer's comments: This is a duet of two views of the same night at Baker Street, when John brings Sherlock home from the hospital after being shot. Either part would already be strong on its own, as is exemplified by the beauty of prose such as this:


They are a warm bay of heartbeats, pulsing at the shore. Capillaries and veins of currents that suck at their feet and drag them deeper. Deeper. John would stay here forever, waiting for the hurricane to descend. He thinks of Mary and remembers that storms used to be named after women. There was a reason for that, he thinks, but knows that's unfair. Thinks of the tsunami that is Sherlock, the long string of his disasters. John floating face down in his wake.


Taken together, though, the mini-series attains an extra dimension of depth and emotion. Especially fascinating is how each man appears so distant and controlled to the other, but when we see their point of view, we realize what an absolute mess each of them is. It packs a tough emotional punch, but the resolution makes it all worth it.

Contains infidelity and nonconsensual drug use.
[identity profile] dioscureantwins.livejournal.com
Title: Nothing Else Matters also here at AO3
Author: [livejournal.com profile] achray
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Length: approx. 19,100 words
Rating: mature
Warnings:none
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: Caution seemed characteristic of Sherlock now, along with the kind of careful thought about John’s likely reaction that he’d so completely failed to apply the one time it had really mattered.

Reccer's comments: Heroes don’t exist and neither do saints and if they did John Watson wouldn’t be one of them. That, I think, sums up the content of this fic in a nutshell.

This fic is a study in anger and the self-justification of that anger. Written before S3 the writer shows us a John who’s built himself a new life after Sherlock threw himself from a rooftop and who, when confronted with a suddenly very alive Sherlock, reacts with anger. Fully justified anger, at least in his opinion.

Of course Sherlock ignores the fact that John might have had a difficult time, having to come to terms with the death of his best friend and how John was unable to prevent it. No, the insufferable selfish git asks him to return to Baker Street and continue as if nothing ever happened. How dare he?

As the writer keeps us continuously locked in John’s head she very cleverly has us sympathise with John’s grievances, even though we know Sherlock actually did it because he had no choice and in order to protect his friends. He could explain it, after all, couldn’t he? But no, he goes chasing after criminals again, together with Lestrade, and he expects John to bloody well join them.

Anger can be such a convenient excuse not to look at what is actually right in front of your eyes. For of course the red veil gets ripped away, and John finds he may have even more to regret.
The ending however, is waveringly hopeful.

What I loved about this fic is John’s portrayal as a very human human being. Too often he’s written as the essence of patience and goodness, silently suffering next to a stroppy Sherlock. Here we’re shown he actually has less admirable character traits. I find that touch of human frailty and pettiness just adds to the appeal of his character.
frozen_delight: (sharp)
[personal profile] frozen_delight
Title: Adequacies
Author: AJHall
Pairing: None
Length: 2,500 words
Rating: Teen and Up Audiences
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock BBC

Author's summary: Nightmares, dilemmas and an invisible leopard in the house.

Reccer's comments: This is another amazing post-pool story which beautifully highlights Sherlock and John's friendship through the lens of John's PTSD. It's told from Sherlock's POV and AJHall does a really superb job with conveying Sherlock's frayed, scared and confused state of mind as he's trying to help John while at the same time presenting us with lots of observations and deductions the way Sherlock would obviously make them all the time, no matter what state he's in. It's a brilliant mixture of a Sherlock who can be both clever and emotional, both a caring friend and a small, helpless child.

However, if that were even possible, John's characterisation is even better. Naturally, he's struggling a lot with himself, but at the same time he's still this one solid entity in the universe that Sherlock can always hold on to. He's humorous, definitely not stupid, infinitely kind and full of surprises - exactly the sort of man who passes for ordinary at first glance, but who seems extraordinary to Sherlock and rightly so. Accordingly, in this story we don't just see Sherlock trying to save John, we also see John saving Sherlock. There's a mutual give-and-take and understanding to their relationship which makes it immensely moving to read.

Furthermore, the metaphor of the leopard in the house which pervades the entire story is one of the most memorable ideas I've ever come across in Sherlock fanfic. And if that isn't already enough reason for you to give it a try, then there's still this small, sweet fact which will invariably melt your heart: John gives Sherlock his jumper.
frozen_delight: (sharp)
[personal profile] frozen_delight
Title: Lashkar Gah (also on AO3)
Author: [livejournal.com profile] sjames_centre (Susan on AO3)
Pairing: None
Length: 4,600 words
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock BBC

Author's summary: The dream is back. It’s a nightmare that’s been following him since Afghanistan, crossing countries and time zones with him. It will go away for months, and then every night for three weeks straight, it'll shock him awake with a gasp and a jolt. Sometimes a hollow scream.

Reccer's comments: This fabulous story is set post The Great Game and explores how John is fighting with his PTSD after being wrapped up in Semtex and how Sherlock helps him deal with it. It's perfect in so many ways that I don't even know where to start praising it properly. Here's just a couple of things:

- The topic of John's PTSD is handled beautifully. The way we're shown how he slowly gets better is absolutely convincing without ever reading like a psychologist's dissertation on the subject.

- The characterisations of both Sherlock and John are marvellously in character. Even though we're shown a John who is at his lowest, he's still undeniably John. The same thing goes for Sherlock: He takes care of John in his own unique fashion because he sincerely cares for his friend, but at the same time there's also a slightly experimental approach to his treatment of John, because naturally he finds him an intriguing object of study. Accordingly, the friendship between Sherlock and John rings true too with all of its complications and contradictions, brilliantly reminiscent of the whole first season and the delicate way it was handled there.

- The dialogue is simply spot on and often manages to be incredibly witty despite the serious themes the story deals with. Again, this is beautifully in line with the first series of Sherlock I think.

In sum: A must-read for all those who love to read a good gen fic with a strong focus on Sherlock and John's friendship as well as for those who miss the good old days of Season 1.
venusinthenight: joan watson, in a designer batman t-shirt, leaning in a door frame (elementary - joan leans in doorway)
[personal profile] venusinthenight
Title: Tea and Sympathy
Author: Tea_Logic on AO3
Pairing: none
Word Count: 2,971
Rating: Teen
Warnings: Author chose not to use warnings
Verse: Elementary

Author's summary: Post 2x22 oneshot. Joan looks for comfort but can only find new horrors.

Reccer's comments: This post-"Paint It Black" fic deals with Joan experiencing flashbacks to her experiences in captivity and with nothing held back. It's a smorgasboard of hurt/comfort and angst.

Excerpt:
Behind the cut! )

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