ancientreader: black and white pet rat (Default)
[personal profile] ancientreader
Title: Scattered, Smothered, and Covered
Author: okapi
Length: 3867 words
'Verse: BBC
Pairing: John/Sherlock
Rating: R
Author's summary: Tourists Mike Stamford and John Watson literally blow into a Southern town where the only place not ravaged by tornadoes is a diner; behind the counter is a cook who deduces how customers like their hash browns before they order.

Reccer's remarks: People, this is the Waffle House AU you didn't know you needed. There are indeed tornadoes, John is a terrible driver, Sally the waitress calls the cook a freak, Molly the other waitress takes off her hairnet to no avail, and Mike Stamford needs to go to Georgia, but not the way you think. TW for atrocious puns and general lunacy.

Excerpt:

John stared, mouth open. “That was amazing!”

“Do you think so?” asked the man.

“Of course, it was. It was extraordinary. Quite extraordinary.”

“That’s not what people normally say.”

“What do they normally say?”

The man’s voice fell to an angry drawl, “Fuck you, Pretty Boy!”

John’s eyebrows rose. “Bit rude. But you are sort of, well, um, that is to say,” he looked at Stamford and then looked down at the menu, “never mind. ..."

Read on the AO3.



ancientreader: black and white pet rat (Default)
[personal profile] ancientreader
Title: Song of a Good Man
Author: goseaward
Length: 2168 words
'Verse: BBC
Pairing: not really; could be read as pre-slash, and my goggles are firmly attached
Rating: G (author says T, but nah)
Author's summary: After a few months of living with Sherlock, John gets used to the idea that Sherlock can do magic but chooses not to. But every now and then Mycroft will stop by and John will feel the teakettle lean towards him, or Anderson will get so annoyed that little flashes spark between his fingers and his tech, and John will wonder again why he never sees Sherlock display anything but the purest disinterest. [Your reccer, who edits for a living, itches to change that "disinterest" to "indifference."]

Reccer's remarks: You might expect (John Watson might expect) that if someone with Sherlock Holmes's intelligence, passion for knowledge, and demonstrated devotion to his own brilliance had magical powers, he would use them constantly, until everyone around him was sick of the showing-off. Right? But no; Sherlock won't so much as sing a mug out of a cupboard he can't reach. 

This lovely brief story explains why, and in doing so delivers some clever and efficient world-building as well as an affecting look into how much John matters to Sherlock. Take a moment to let the title sink in after you're done reading.

"Song of a Good Man" is set in an S1/post-S1 space and alludes to the first three episodes, but you need not fear any tedious recaps.

Excerpt: Odd, to walk through the streets of London and not catch the pale blue flashes of walls going up and down as soldiers and enemies move; odd to see people walking quickly without adding an extra jolt to their speed with magic-driven boosters or jumping into fusion magic/gasoline vehicles. Odd to look at a hastily-constructed force wall surrounding a classroom in a deserted college and know, deep in one's bones, that it's not good enough to stop a bullet.

Read on the AO3.


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.
discordantwords: (Default)
[personal profile] discordantwords

Title: Aircraft Recognition
Author: mydogwatson
Pairing: Sherlock & John
Length: 1,215
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: Two little boys meet during the second World War. A different time, a different place, but the same magic.

Reccer's comments: This author writes a charming series called Postcard Tales, where they base a one-shot Sherlock fic on a postcard out of a set of vintage replicas. Their note from the very first Postcard Tale:

I have a set of postcards that are replicas of vintage Penguin book covers. Just before my recent trip to London [Hamlet!], I blindly selected one card for each day of the trip. Every morning in London I [again blindly] chose one card from the pile and then I would write a johnlock vignette based on the title that came up. I mailed each card to myself, every one covered with tiny print.

With that explanation, I've chosen a story from their third series of Postcard Tales. In the grand tradition of alternate first meetings, here we have Sherlock as an adventurous, mischievous little boy, evacuated from London during World War II. He's bored, and lonely, and takes to watching planes in the sky. One day, he's joined by a new friend. 

This story has a lovely and bittersweet direct sequel, Keeping Poultry and Rabbits on Scraps, where the boys are a little older and facing a separation, and a final story Siren Land, where they encounter each other once more as adults. The first two are John/Sherlock friendship, and the final tale is Johnlock.

swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Default)
[personal profile] swissmarg
Title: The Vampires of London
Author: consultingdetective
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 72K
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Major character death
Verse: BBC
Author's summary: Over one hundred years after the first battle, a series of murders have caught the attention of London's police force and Sherlock Holmes. While most of the city has forgotten the vampire that once walked its streets, the descendants of the Van Helsing, Harker, and Seward families have not.

Reccer's comments: Perfectly timed to coincide with the recent announcement that Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, and Sue Vertue will be teaming up again to bring Dracula to the BBC, this unites Sherlock Holmes and Bram Stoker’s Dracula in a casefic full of classic Gothic horror, secrets, ancient magic, and the past coming back – sometimes quite literally – to bite. The fic delights with twist after earth-shattering twist, simmering Johnlock UST, and John Watson as the baddest BAMF to hit the streets of London since 1897. The OCs are deliciously wicked, and in true ensemble style, secondary characters such as Mycroft, Molly, Moran, Lestrade, and even Sally Donovan all have crucial and prominent parts to play. There is a modicum of gore and major character death, but it’s not a sad ending and I mean, without spoiling… vampires. ;)
ext_1620665: knight on horseback (knight)
[identity profile] scfrankles.livejournal.com
Title: Leveling Up
Author: philalethia
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 36,961 words
Rating: Mature
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: John plays video games, Sherlock writes a guide on GameFAQs, and they get on quite well together... eventually.

Told entirely through emails, text messages, and voice chats.


Reccer's comments: This fic definitely doesn’t need a rec—it’s more an opportunity for me to talk about how much I admire it. It’s essentially to do with the tag ‘Internalized Homophobia’. I’ve seen it here and there on Sherlock fics and I’ve never been quite sure what to make of it: whether it was a warning, an explanation or simply a description. And I’ve always mentally translated it—I appreciate this is unfair—as ‘John gets a telling off from the author for not immediately jumping into bed with Sherlock’.

This is the first time though I’ve seen someone explore why a person might be experiencing internalised homophobia. To go off a tangent for a moment: I tend to prefer when reading Sherlock/John fics to have the situation John is a straight man whose sexuality has expanded to include Sherlock. Because I’ve always loved that scene in the power station between John and Irene Adler. And though you can fiddle about with the semantics of ‘I’m not actually gay’, in terms of pragmatics John clearly means ‘I’m not attracted to men at all’. To me this had to be the truth because why would a brave man like John be lying about it? And in this fic the author says: here you go then—here are some damn good reasons.

‘Homophobia’ is not generally used in this sense, but of course the point about a phobia is that, while it may be a fear that’s got out of control, it does have its basis in a rational fear. And John’s fears are rational. Coming out isn’t all smiling friends congratulating you. Sherlock has his own problems to work through in this fic but it’s John’s part of the story that moved me the most. It made me look at him in a new way.

Because the fic is told ‘entirely through emails, text messages, and voice chats’ we have no body language and no access to John and Sherlock’s internal worlds. All scenes where they’re physically together are off-stage. And John and Sherlock don’t always say what they mean: they lie to each other, they say the wrong thing, they hurt each other. It’s pleasing that the author trusts the reader to look underneath those words and try and fill in what’s going on in John and Sherlock’s minds.

This may make the fic sound rather dry. But there’s wonderful humour, there’s sex—pretty impressive on the author’s part, seeing as there’s never being a scene where John and Sherlock are physically together—and most of all, this is a touching and realistic romance. All the problems these men go through to get to a relationship, they go through them because they love each other.

What I always admire most about philalethia’s fics is their psychological depth and their originality. And I loved seeing in this fic a version of John I don’t think I’ve ever quite seen before.
[identity profile] pipmer1.livejournal.com
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: 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!
venusinthenight: a camera in a woman's hands (stock - camera in hands)
[personal profile] venusinthenight
Title: Primary Sources
Author: Circadienne
Pairing: Mary Morstan/John Watson, John Watson/OFC, Sherlock Holmes
Length: 4613 words
Rating: Teen and up
Warnings: Author chose not to use warnings
Verse: ACD Canon
Author's summary: A Watsonian little story about gender, friendship, and textual uncertainty.

Character death (and/or undeath) as you'd expect from a book-canon context. No explicit sex or violence. Demonstrative of my archives fetish.

Reccer's comments: Some time ago, I read an essay suggesting the possibility of Watson being a woman but it being covered up because of societal norms of that time. (I don't remember the name of said essay, or I would rec that as well.) A little earlier tonight, I saw a recommendation for the aforelinked fic on my Tumblr dash.

I love what Circadienne did here. The issue of Watson's gender identity is there, but then it isn't. Watson just is. I also love that this was presented in an archival format.
swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Molly)
[personal profile] swissmarg
Title: Point of Maximal Impulse
Author: Smirkdoctor
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 15,517 words
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: None
Verse: BBC
Author's summary: Today was the first standardized patient interaction, and John was nervous, and very nearly late. He knew it was silly, but the act of finally introducing himself as “Doctor Watson”, of laying hands on another living, breathing human aside from his learning partner for physical exam maneuvers...in a medical capacity...well, it felt huge. He took one last deep breath and rapped three times on the door of exam room 221-B, listening for acknowledgement from the patient within. “Oh, do come in,” drawled the richest baritone voice John had ever heard.

Reccer's comments: Anatomy lessons have never been put to better use. Most medical realism/kink fics I have seen are angsty and/or dark, but this is a fun romantic comedy of ophthalmoscopes, dissections, physical exams, dirty mnemonics, and more Latin terms for body parts than you can shake a stick at. A med school AU that doubles as a Six Thatchers pastiche chock full of canon references, flirting, and insane wish fulfillment.

As a side note, if you are easily grossed out, I would recommend downloading the fic to read rather than viewing it on-site, as a few of the embedded end-of-chapter images are anatomically graphic (a dissected human heart, the inside of an eyeball, and cutaway diagrams of veins and nerves).
swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Molly)
[personal profile] swissmarg
Title: The Napoleon
Author: darcylindbergh
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 24,859 words
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: None
Verse: BBC
Author's summary: Halloween, 1989: John and Sherlock both have big plans for the night, but some serial killers have the worst possible timing.

Reccer's comments: I went into this thinking, okay, a fun little Halloween story. Then BAM! i got hit hard in the feels. First off there's the case, which is a fabulous tongue-in-cheek romp through the 80s that leaves bodies galore in its wake. Then there's all the fun of dressing up for Halloween in sexy, subtext-laden costumes. But finally (most importantly), of course, there are John and Sherlock pining desperately for each other until they finally get a clue, and it’s at that point that the fic takes off from being a good-natured dashabout and becomes something of real substance and beauty. This is one of those stories that you think is just going to be a quick distraction, but ends up sneaking into your heart and settling there.
[identity profile] lijahlover.livejournal.com
Title:Keywords:Gay,Loving,Boyfriends
Author: lookupkate
Pairing: John/Sherlock
Length:17,771
Rating:Explicit
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary:John starts writing gay romance while holed up in hospital. Sherlock reads the first fic on accident, and it sticks with him for days. He can't help but read more from the unknown writer. Little does he know, the writer isn't exactly unknown to him. The writer happens to be the A&E Doctor he's feuding with.

Christ, can you imagine what he'll think once he finds out?

Reccer's comments:This was an absolute delight from start to finish. They way she wrote both John and Sherlock was just brilliant. I adore John as a Doctor that uses his free time to write slash fanfic how fun. And she wrote a Sherlock that was secure about so many things, yet so insecure about anything to do with feelings or love.

I thoroughly enjoyed this fluffy, silly, angsty, happily ending wonderful AU......His screen name, DoctorJohn, always made him cringe, but it had been all he could think of at the time. He was comfortable telling himself it was the pain medication that took away all his sense of decency, and had decided to be happy that he hadn't gone with DoctorLove. That had unfortunately been an actual option he'd filtered past.

Since he didn't have the Internet, he was able to write in the notepad app without his moniker staring down at him the whole time, which helped. He already had a premise in mind; the lonely doctor. Cliché, yes, but he'd found that in this type of writing it was less about whether something was a cliché or not, and more about whether you could make it palpable. Your character could bugger the delivery boy as long as your readers wanted to know who came first, and where.

His lonely doctor ended up sitting in a coffee shop flirting with a nurse.

At the beginning of all this, when he'd started writing his own fics, he wondered if he always fashioned the main character after himself. When he realised that, yes, he did, he wondered if that mattered. He hated wondering on that alone. He wanted to have a place other than the comments section where he could talk to other writers, a place less public.


You should read or re read this wonderful story, you will be happy you did.
[identity profile] lijahlover.livejournal.com
Title:Watson's Folly
Author: Diana Williams
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Length:299313
Rating:Mature
Warnings: AU-Historical,Alpha/Omega
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary:John Watson, the new Earl of Saughton, is madly in love with the beautiful Mary Morstan. But he has returned from the Peninsular War to find his family on the brink of ruin and his ancestral home mortgaged to the hilt. He has little choice when he is introduced to Mycroft Holmes, a civil servant of apparently unlimited wealth and no social ambitions for himself - but with his eyes firmly fixed on a suitable match for his only brother, the unorthodox and irascible Omega Sherlock Holmes. Can John forget the woman he loved and find happiness with a man so very different from his lost love?
Reccer's comments:This story was amazing from start to finish. She did a lot of research into that time period and you could tell. I found her characters engaging just brilliant. She has such a way with words...This story was a delight and such a fun ride. I will want to come back and re read this gem over again. So many lines were perfect I loved this one of so many..... Sherlock had lifted his head and there was an amused look on his face as he stared at his husband. "John, I am quite aware that you are a good and moral man, and that your words and thoughts on that matter are genuine. You are my moral compass, a fixed point in a changing age."


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

Here is a link to the entire series The Watsons of Saughton
[identity profile] 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.
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] rachelindeed.livejournal.com
Title: Look west from London
Author: fahye
Pairing: Molly Hooper, Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 4500 words
Rating: Teen
Warnings: none
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: There are almost no lies in the way that Molly presents herself, only omissions.

Reccer's comments: *deep breath* Okay. This is the most quietly horrifying and heartbreaking story in this fandom that I have ever managed to read and admire. I am generally a wimp, but this story is so perfectly crafted that I was willing to let it haunt me. A supernatural variation on the Reichenbach Fall in which Molly remains the key to arranging Sherlock's resurrection, though at a terrible price. Written with complexity, clarity, and stark emotion, this fic hits hard. The ending hurts, but the whole is darkly beautiful.
[identity profile] rachelindeed.livejournal.com
Title: The Serpent's Gift
Author: [livejournal.com profile] snarryfool / ancientreader
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 5,300 words
Rating: T
Warnings: none
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: A wounded soldier dreams of the Wild Hunt. Written for the 2016 Spook Me! ficathon, for the creature prompt "beast."

Reccer's comments: Ancientreader writes such beautiful, polished prose that her works are always stunning compositions. This most recent fairy tale taps into old European legends to weave a series of lyrical, dream-like encounters that hold onto their atmosphere of mystery even while gradually escalating toward emotional clarity. John, wounded and feverish, finds himself at the border of an unknown road in a foreign reality, watching a demon hunt of hellhounds and dark riders as they pursue both beast and man. Being John, he instinctively and fearlessly intercedes. But what will it really take to save Sherlock from the hunt? A spell-binding Halloween fable.
[identity profile] rachelindeed.livejournal.com
Title: A Just Sense of Proportion
Author: plumedy
Pairing: Gen. Sherlock Holmes, John Watson
Length: 5,400 words
Rating: G
Warnings: none
Verse: ACD canon
Author's summary: Some facts should be suppressed, or at least, a just sense of proportion should be observed in treating them. In a world where illusions are an accepted part of culture and social etiquette, Sherlock Holmes is the great unmasker. And John Watson is, as ever, a hopeless romantic.

Reccer's comments: Hello, friends -- I am going to share a small collection of Halloween recommendations here in the last few hours of the day :) My fellow recc'ers have shared wonderfully unsettling and warm-hearted holiday stories respectively, and this one falls somewhere in between. It is a magical realism Victorian AU set in a world in which ordinary people shape the reality around them by creating visual illusions of varying complexities. This is all well and good until a terrifyingly elaborate false image takes over a London neighborhood and lives are suddenly at stake. I admire the imaginative world-building that went into this tale, and I appreciate many of the moments within that highlight Watson's fundamental decency and Holmes's willingness to forget his own pride when it comes to securing his friend's safety. Although a short story, it took several turns that I, for one, didn't expect. It's an unusual and gently romantic glimpse at two men who manage to be extraordinary even in a world of magic.
[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] rachelindeed.livejournal.com
Title: A Study in Rehabilitation
Author: TheWhiteLily
Pairing: Gen. John Watson, Sherlock Holmes, OCs
Length: 12,500 words
Rating: G
Warnings: none
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: In a rehabilitation clinic in London, John Watson is just home from Afghanistan and having a difficult time coming to terms with the bullet in his shoulder’s devastating impact on his life. But now there’s a serial killer on the loose — and a certain consulting detective is on the trail…

Reccer's comments: This is a prequel AU to the BBC Sherlock series, answering the question: what if Sherlock and John had met just one case earlier? This is a brilliant casefic full of wonderfully smart deductions. It's also an intense and very well-researched medical drama that allows John to rise to an emergency with utterly convincing skill. Best of all, it catches the perfect chemistry of that first meeting once again, with clever allusions to certain elements of A Study in Pink but even more departures from it. I particularly loved seeing how a difference in circumstances altered what Sherlock got right and wrong in his deductions about John, and how the author created a fascinating backstory to explain the roots of John's psychosomatic limp. With the leads precisely in-character and an interesting canvas of OCs to act as suspects and victims, this fic drew me in and held me rapt from start to finish.

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