[personal profile] rachelindeed
Title: BBC Sherlock - Rubiks Cube
Music Title & Artist: "Rubik's Cube" by Athlete
Vidder: Loony Lovegood
Pairing or Character: Sherlock/John
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Link: This is a YouTube link: Rubiks Cube vid

Reccer's Comments: This vid kind of leaves me speechless. The song is so painfully perfect, the sound of it a gentle mix of hope and melancholy.  The vidder has found images and visual parallels that really touch my heart. The vid builds up to the Reichenbach climax with all the emotional weight the story deserves. This is a vid about both Sherlock and John chasing the solutions to their cases while a more important mystery builds silently between the two of them. They each search their own feelings, trying to understand themselves, but they run out of time before they get to share any sort of answer.

It's a beautiful, beautiful summation of the first two series of this show, and only has about 50 views! I hope you will give this vid a try, it deserves more attention and I believe you won't regret it.

Excerpt of the song's lyrics:

The world is too heavy
Too big for my shoulders
Come take this weight off me now

Thousands of answers
To one simple question
Come take this weight off me now

Oh I'm like a kid who just won't let it go
Twisting and turning the colors in rows
I'm so intent to find out what it is
This is my Rubik's cube
I know I will figure it out.


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

Reccer's comments: This fantastic X-Files fusion made me giddy with fannish glee.  I was wary at first, since I love both fandoms and wasn't sure if a mashup would work, but it actually works incredibly well, not least because DiscordantWords is such a skillful writer.  Seeing the way the two universes were mapped onto each other with creativity and confidence was immensely fun, and Sherlock and John and their relationship are the stars here.  Watching their growing trust in and necessity to each other is just as compelling as Mulder/Scully was back in the day, and I was rooting for them every step of the way.  It's an immensely entertaining, engrossing, and well-executed fic.  Happy new year, and happy reading!
[identity profile] lijahlover.livejournal.com
Hello everyone I am one of the reccers for November with my first must read story.

Title:Till death Do Us Part
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Warnings: None
Verse: [e.g. Sherlock BBC
Author's summary:When Sherlock links a recent spree of murder-suicides to a psychologist who specializes in marriage counseling, there's really only one thing to do: Go undercover as a couple in hopes of drawing the killer out. Faking a relationship seems easy enough, but things take a turn when their real issues start to creep into the sessions, and, all the while, a killer is watching, waiting in the shadows for their chance to strike.
Reccer's comments:Ohhhhhhh I do adore fake relationship troupes sooooooo much and this is wonderful. Boy do these two need counseling and in this story it works for the best. Make those two idiots talk to each other with nice results. :)))))))

This author was brilliant with how well she wrote their longing with a build up of emotions that you know will have to blow up sometime. Then add in all the tension and action *swoons*

This line here was one of many I adored...."Only once he was kissing Sherlock Holmes did he realize how many times he’d imagined it, and, though it was unlike every hypothetical scenario he’d concocted, it was also exactly what it should have been." We are alike John, I always looooove to imagine you two kissing and it is always as it should be ;))))))))

You should check out this gem of a story, you won't be sorry. :)
[identity profile] rachelindeed.livejournal.com
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] solrosan.livejournal.com
Title: The Youth of the Heart
Author: [livejournal.com profile] persiflager
Pairing: John Watson/Mike Stamford
Length: 2852 words
Rating: Teen
Warnings: No warnings apply
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: Written for a prompt on the kinkmeme: Sherlock "helps" John go through his boxes of stuff and comes across a photo album from his uni days. Mike's in a few of the photos.

"He was in love with you."

Reccer's comments: This one is just so precious and adorable. There are far too few fics about Mike Stamford, even fewer that shows him as anything other than Cupid(TM). In this short fic he gets substance, a past, and his own life, even though very little is set from his POV. It also gives background to Mike's smile when John comments "Who’d want me for a flatmate?" since we get to see small tidbits from John and Mike's relationship from their first meeting to after John has moved in with Sherlock.

On top of that, Sherlock shows great understanding and insight about both love and relationships, which is always refreshing to read!
[identity profile] dioscureantwins.livejournal.com
Title: The Case of the Green Gown
Author: [livejournal.com 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, [livejournal.com 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 [livejournal.com 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] pipmer1.livejournal.com
Title: Public, Private, Secret
Author: 221b_careful_what_you_wish_for
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Length: 14,000 words
Rating: Mature
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock BBC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Editing to add: for those worried about the warnings, or about Wagner, I should add that the author wrote this fic in critique of Wagner's racist attitudes and changed the original story in order to make the injustice of those views a central theme).
[identity profile] rachelindeed.livejournal.com
Title: Cameo
Author: what_alchemy
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 8,300 words
Rating: T
Warnings: period-typical homophobia, some of which is internalized
Verse: ACD
Author's summary: Holmes and Watson become embroiled in a case Scotland Yard refuses to acknowledge. A soulmate AU.

Reccer's comments: I adore magical realism fics set in the ACD universe. Rare though they are, this story shows just how poignant and lovely they can be. It offers an inventive and particularly Victorian variation on the soulmate trope, with the silhouette of one's beloved appearing in a cameo frame imprinted on the skin. This makes it more difficult to hide one's orientation from the prejudices of society, and a violent criminal is taking advantage of that. Holmes and Watson are on the case. But, at its heart, this fic is about years of devoted pining at last finding their tender reward.
[identity profile] theanglophile.livejournal.com
Title: Dr. Watson's Inner Monologue
Artist & Author: HarrietKaarre & Elina-elsu
Pairing: Holmes/Watson
Length: 24 pages
Rating: R (language, drug use, nudity)
Warnings: none
Verse: Canon
Author's summary:
Me and my sister's Sherlock Holmes fanart series: Dr. Watson's inner monologue.
Plot written by my dear sis. Art by me.

Reccer's comments:
Here is a comic series which forms a coherent narrative if read in order, though each strip can also be enjoyed individually. One thing to be aware of about this series is that it is absolutely hilarious, so you might want to read it in a location where loud laughter would not be a problem! Dr. Watson's Inner Monologue is based on the premise that both Watson and Holmes are longing for each other, but neither is aware of the other's feelings. Angst and hilarity ensues! Highlights include Holmes's drugged fever-dream of Watson in a bathing suit, among other delights. Lots of sexually-frustrated Watson!rage and sighing, gooey-eyed Holmes.

The drawings have an almost art nouveau feel to them, with their swirling, stylised flourishes and harmonious limited palettes, and the writing is just as effective as in any professional comic strip.

Here are a few choice strips from the collection:
Page 3    Page 5    Page 10    Page 19    Page 20

And you can read the whole series here!
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.
[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] rachelindeed.livejournal.com
Title: Bound to You
Music Title & Artist: "Bound to You" by Christina Aguilera
Vidder: duchesscloverly
Pairing or Character: Mystrade, Johnlock
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Rating: NOTE: although I would not call this vid anything above PG13/T at most, it does contain footage of bedroom kisses and implied sex which makes it NSFW
Link: Bound to You vid

Reccer's Comments: One last 11th-hour rec! I am in awe of fanvids that combine footage from multiple sources to create their own stories, I just can't imagine how time consuming it must be to find disparate shots and clips of dialogue that can be edited together holistically to create new scenes and plots. This vid is a beautifully organized and triumphant piece of magical realism. Here is the author's summary of the story which the vid tells:

"Mycroft and Sherlock were cursed to live forever. If they fall in love the curse will be broken. If their feelings are not returned they will die. Unable to cope with the idea of living forever alone they try to dissuade the other from forming attachments to John Watson and Greg Lestrade. Unfortunately they can’t help themselves and when the curse starts to weaken them they have no choice but to admit their secret."

Not only does this vid succeed in intelligibly unfolding the brothers' long history of emotionally barren immortality and their tentative blossoming romances, it manages to incorporate and build upon the lyrics of the underlying song to help tell the story ("How do you know that you can trust him?" Sherlock asks, just as the music affirms "I've found a man I can trust." The 1973 section is particularly unexpected and clever, in my opinion.) As the story plays out, when Lestrade and John prove unwilling to believe that the Holmes brothers are immortal, they decide to prove it by dying and returning to life. The panic and abandonment which result are painful to watch, but the story ends on a lovely note of hope, love, and anticipation.

This whole thing is just tremendously creative and meticulously crafted. Bravo!
[identity profile] dioscureantwins.livejournal.com
Title: Compromising Positions
Author: [livejournal.com profile] daasgrrl
Pairing: Mycroft/OMC, Mycroft/Sherlock
Length: approx. 3,600 words
Rating: explicit
Warnings: none
Verse: BBC Sherlock
Author's summary: Mycroft makes do.

Reccer's comments: I’ll continue to lament the relative lack of Holmescest fics when compared to the ocean of Johnlock fics spanning the Sherlock fandom. Thank god for dependable authors like the excellent [livejournal.com profile] daasgrrl for providing those with Holmescestian needs with a safe harbour regularly replenished with excellent stuff.

This is her newest and the summary perfectly sums up the fic’s contents… for the first half. Then, in an excellent move that took my breath away a new player crops up. With this move all the reader’s assumptions and… for the soppy romantics like yours truly, hopes of a happy ending are razed to the ground, turning a story that was already brimming with angst into a veritable angst fest.

This story left me almost crying over all the misguided pride and achingly deep longing. In short, it accomplished everything one could want from this particular pairing. In just 3,600 words. Wow!

Mods. Could we have a tag for Mycroft/omc please?
verdant_fire: (shr: side of the angels)
[personal profile] verdant_fire
Title: Arcana
Author: rosa_acicularis
Pairing: Sherlock/John, Sherlock/fem!John
Length: 46159 words
Rating: Mature
Verse: BBC
Author's summary: Sometimes, her grandmother has said, in the simplest, strongest of magics that’s all that’s required – a sacrifice and an intent. Her blood, and his words: I want to forget.

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

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

Warning: this is a WIP and hasn't been updated since June 2013.  [livejournal.com profile] rosa_acicularis hasn't forgotten about it, but please don't let its status put you off; the current chapters stop at a natural pausing point, and while there's no true resolution yet, there's no cliffhanger either.
verdant_fire: (shr: lost without my blogger)
[personal profile] verdant_fire
Title: Swoon
Author: cathedral_carver
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Length: 3482 words
Rating: Teen
Warnings: N/A
Verse: BBC
Author's summary: Sherlock keeps fainting. There are approximately five different reasons why this might be happening. Possibly six.

Reccer's comments: This is another gorgeous fic from [livejournal.com profile] cathedralcarver. Sherlock is endearingly terrible at knowing what to do about his Feelings for John, and John is warm and wry and steady and a bit bewildered. I loved the way Sherlock sees John in this fic; it says so much about Sherlock's state of mind without being obvious. The writing is so quiet, and there's so much feeling in so few words. The imagery and structure in this are excellent--the former is arresting and emotionally raw, and the way the story comes full circle and uses definitions as section headings only adds to the effect. It's sweet and sad and funny, all rolled into one.
swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Molly)
[personal profile] swissmarg
Title: The Printer Is Jammed
Author: startrekto221b
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 40,336 words
Rating: General
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: John is a disgruntled customer who just wants his money back for a shoddy printer Harry ordered for him off of a catalogue. Sherlock is a bored customer service rep working the summer he has off from Oxford. They are both about to get more than they bargained for.

Reccer's comments: This fic is like one of those recursive images, only in written form. The author has written about John and Sherlock writing about William Scott and Arthur Conan (who are really just avatars for themselves) having adventures from the BBC series while they (John and Sherlock) have adventures from the BBC series and are in turn written about by fans who ship ‘Willthur’ as well as Johnlock. Or in other words, life imitates art imitates life imitates art imitates life. There is also a RPF layer, with Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, and even mention of "some Barneyflump Curlyflap guy” and “that guy from The Office”, although if you aren’t into RPF don’t worry, it’s little more than name-dropping.

It’s very slow-burn with a great mix of humor, angst, fluff, and mystery, although I was good and frustrated by the time John and Sherlock finally got together! The story is told exclusively in an epistolary format, but the author has mixed it up with emails, online chats, text messages, surveillance reports, interview transcripts, and blog posts to keep things lively. The whole thing is highly entertaining and creative, with twists and tweaks that kept me unsure how things would turn out right up to the end.

As a side note, the fic is posted on AO3 with a General rating, but there is a bit of smut and discussion of dubcon and drug abuse which may be sensitive for some readers.
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 )
[identity profile] cherrytide.livejournal.com
Title: Balance
Author: [livejournal.com profile] tiltedsyllogism
Pairing: Mary Morstan/John Watson, Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 1970 words
Rating:General Audiences
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary:"It’s not so bad, actually, this,” John says, in a slow cautious cadence that will not disturb the measure of their matched steps. “I’m not worried about falling, with you here.”

“That’s the idea,” Sherlock replies, also matching his words to the rhythm of their footfalls.

Reccer's comments: It's the missing scene from TSOT that many of us most wanted to see - Sherlock teaching John to waltz. This author does a wonderful job of capturing the unspoken undercurrents of their relationship, Sherlock struggling silently with his feelings for John and John's somewhat ambivalent response to Sherlock, meanwhile keeping their surface level of affectionate snark at one another as they dance.

It's a lovely melancholy but hopeful piece.


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