discordantwords: (Default)
[personal profile] discordantwords
Title: Kitty Kisses
Author: TheWhiteLily
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes & Molly Hooper (gen or more if you squint)
Length: 3,075
Rating: Teen
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: Molly Hooper has one bad day that gets worse, and one that gets better.

Reccer's comments: The note I made when I bookmarked this story was "absolutely perfect apology-to-Molly fic." This fills in the gap between the wrenching phone call sequence in TFP and the final scene where Molly is smiling and all seems forgiven, and it does so beautifully. Molly's voice shines here: awkward, sweet, and, yes, practical about death.

She realised he was frowning at the disturbed soil as he did so with a disturbingly familiar focus.

“You’re not to come back and dig him up to observe the decomposition process,” said Molly firmly.

“Never even crossed my mind,” Sherlock said, avoiding her eye.

She glared at him for a long moment, and then at the carefully smoothed-down dirt at the base of the hydrangeas.

“Once,” she conceded. “Twice maximum, and don’t let me notice you’ve been.”

This story does a wonderful job of getting to the emotional core of both of these characters, highlighting the strange and lovely ways that they truly do complement and understand one another. There is love there, yes, but whether it is romantic or just a deep friendship built on mutual understanding is up to the reader, I think.

Be advised that this story does deal with animal death, if that's a sensitive issue for you.
write_out: (Default)
[personal profile] write_out
Title: The Thing Which I Greatly Feared Is Come Upon Me
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] ancientreader  
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, Mary Morstan/John Watson (Past)
Length: 3760
Rating: Mature
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock BBC 
Author's summary: Ella had been right about the trust issues, she had been right about the PTSD, and she had not exactly been wrong about the blog, either, had she, though John's efforts in that department hadn't worked as she might have hoped. John could write about Sherlock, he could write about their cases, he could respond lightly or sternly to comments; what the blog couldn't teach him to do was to look at a feeling and name it. 

Reccer's comments: Because I shared a post-S4 story through Sherlock's POV, I thought it would be a perfect balance to share this one through John's. While the last story focused primarily on the aftermath of The Final Problem, this time, it's John's beating of Sherlock in The Lying Detective. This story quietly and painfully gets at the heart of John Watson:
 

One day, John catches Sherlock’s expression as he, Sherlock, tucks Rosie into her yellow raincoat: it’s the careful concentrated look he might wear as he dropped reagent from a pipette, and the sight makes John laugh while, also, it squeezes his heart. Sherlock’s forty, and his unearthly beauty has worn away at the edges, but, as if in recompense, he seems at home in the world now, as John can never remember being.

For himself, he looks in the mirror and tries not to think the words “old” and “lost.”

It’s difficult to believe that Sherlock sees anything different, but Sherlock has always understood John otherwise than John understands himself. When they first met, at a time when John believed that there was only a dying ember inside him, Sherlock had breathed on the ember and brought him blazing into life. John makes a hash of their friendship, of marriage, he thinks he makes a hash of fatherhood as well, but Sherlock is steadfast. Over and over he has shown that he will stop at nothing to shield that flame. Therefore John goes on.

And: 
 

“Do you think we can take care of Rosie?” We. Hearing himself, John flinches.

“Yes,” Sherlock says, unhesitating.

They both fall quiet; John’s heart thuds. He has choices. He can remain as he has been, or he can step out of his self-protections as if to shed ill-fitting and uncomfortable garments. Perhaps he has had enough of protecting himself by inflicting injury on others.

That last line! Sherlock has forgiven John; here we see John begin to forgive himself. His recurring nightmare of the beating is terrible and powerful and yet he continues to wake up, process, and move on. This is the reconciliation the show never truly gave us. I needed to see John come to terms with his violent nature and also with Sherlock's acceptance of it (Sherlock's acceptance of his own violence as well is an added bonus). This story does it all so thoughtfully and with grace.
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] bowl-of-glow.livejournal.com
Title: A Dangerous Love
Author: redbuttonhole (AO3)
Pairings: Sherlock/John/Mary
Length: 10631 words
Rating: PG
Verse: BBC Sherlock
Author's summary: In His Last Vow, seven months between the Watson Family Domestic and Christmas at the Holmes’ pass unseen. Here’ one version of what might have happened during that gap. John and Sherlock and Mary all love each other. And it’s tearing them apart.

Reccer's comments: After Mary shoots Sherlock, John moves back to 221B. Sherlock attempts to bring John and Mary back together, and ends up growing rather close to Mary himself.

I like fics that explore the possibilities of a relationship between Sherlock, Mary and John; I very much like fics in which Sherlock is attracted to Mary independently of his relationship with John, and not just because he’s in love with John and she happens to be part of the package. I like Sherlock’s and Mary’s characterization here; they get each other because they are remarkably similar – which, as John points out, isn’t always a good thing. Contains infidelity, some angst, and three kind of messed up people trying to figure out what they are to one another and how they can possibly fit all together.
Excerpt )
[identity profile] bowl-of-glow.livejournal.com
Title: Cigarettes and Splinters
Author: Flaignhan (fanfiction.net)
Pairings: Sherlock/Molly
Length: 3122 words
Rating: G
Verse: BBC Sherlock
Author's note: Big spoilers for The Final Problem.

Reccer's comments: After his ordeal, Sherlock goes check on Molly and explains her the reason of his phone call. An intimate and tender fic which provides some of the emotional closure that I think was missing in TFP.

Excerpt )
verdant_fire: (shr: sternocleidomastoid)
[personal profile] verdant_fire
Title: The Pillar Upon Which England Rests
Author: DiscordantWords
Pairings: Sherlock & Mrs Hudson, Sherlock/John
Length: 27038 words
Rating: Mature
Verse: BBC
Author's summary: They have all saved him, at one time or another, in different ways, these people Sherlock Holmes has come to call friends. But she was the first.

Reccer's comments: Happy Valentine's Day!  In honor of the holiday, here's a different sort of love story: this wonderful fic about Mrs Hudson's love for her boy, Sherlock.  The present-day framework of this fic takes place directly after Reichenbach, with Mrs Hudson trying to comfort a grieving John by telling him the story of how she met Sherlock.  This fic became my head canon as soon as I read it.  Its compassionate depiction of a younger Mrs Hudson and a barely-grown Sherlock, and the backstory of how Mrs Hudson got out of Florida and Sherlock got her husband convicted, are masterfully done, and the characterization is fantastic.  DiscordantWords is new to the fandom, and we're lucky to have their lovely writing.  :)
verdant_fire: (shr: lost without my blogger)
[personal profile] verdant_fire
Title: Cocoon
Author: holyfant
Pairing: Sherlock/John, Sherlock & John, John/Mary
Length: 3143 words
Rating: Gen
Verse: BBC
Author's summary: At least shut the curtains, then.

Reccer's comments: This missing scene fic for TSoT is keenly observed and beautifully written and quietly tragic. Sherlock teaching John to dance is certainly ripe ground for fic, but [livejournal.com profile] holyfant puts her own delicate spin on it. The attention to detail and the weight of what's left unsaid make this as intimate and careful as a held breath, and Sherlock's belated self-awareness of his own desires is heartbreaking.  There's so much story and knowledge of the characters packed into just a few thousand words.  It's phenomenal work.
[identity profile] pipmer1.livejournal.com
Title: Everybody Knows
Author: Susan
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Length: 44488 words
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock BBC

Author's summary: As if John and Sherlock don't have enough problems already (that whole Sherlock getting shot by Mary thing), now there's a cold case detective from Canada snooping around asking questions about Moriarty.

Kate took her time, wanting to give him time to get settled. When she returned, John had cleared away the tea and Sherlock was sitting in the leather chair wearing sweat pants and a faded white t-shirt under a blue silk bathrobe.

She didn’t know men still wore silk bathrobes.

Thinner than his pictures, paler too. All cheekbones and unruly dark hair. Blue eyes dulled by the pain meds. Needs to shave. Bare feet. Holds one arm against his chest. Like he’s literally trying to hold himself together. Is he aware that he’s doing that?




Reccer's comments: Apologies for my absence this month, time has gotten away from me! I offer up this story by the same author who gave us the brilliant Skip Code. It takes place during HLV and beyond, mostly during that missing gap between Sherlock being shot and Christmas at the Holmes's. It manages to be a Series 3 fix-it fic while also remaining completely canon compliant. It's a testament to the author's skill that they manage to do this in a believable and satisfying manner.

This story is set apart from other fix-it fics by the inclusion of a fascinating female OC, Kate, a character who has her own relationship issues that she's juggling as she gets caught up in a cold case that somehow has to do with Moriarty. We mostly see the Sherlock and John relationship through her eyes, when she shows up at 221B to interview Sherlock - who is still recovering from the gunshot wound that Mary gave him.

There are so many twists and turns in this story; every time clues seem to point in a certain direction, new evidence pops up that indicates something else entirely. How Moriarty and Mary are linked, if there even is a link... if Mary's baby is John's or someone else's... and Kate has her own personal mystery she's trying to solve at the same time. And through it all, John's love for Sherlock is obvious and yet he's still emotionally tied to the idea of wife/marriage/baby.

A brilliant read!
verdant_fire: (shr: lost without my blogger)
[personal profile] verdant_fire
Title: Seven Times a Night in Baker Street
Author: achray
Pairing: Sherlock/John, Sherlock/Janine
Length: 4176 words
Rating: Explicit
Verse: BBC
Author's summary: “What if we experimented? Kept count? Would you be…amenable?”

“Oh my God,” said Janine. “I’m never letting you go.”

Reccer's comments: As soon as I read this, it became my head canon.  It fills in the gaps in Sherlock and Janine's relationship (and does a much better job with it than the show did, imo), and deals believably and respectfully with Sherlock's sexuality and everyone's agency, while still being a Johnlock fic at heart.  Its Sherlock POV is excellent, and Janine is nobody's fool.  It takes the mess of Series 3 and makes something intriguing and incisive and poignant from it.

(Mods, could we get tags for Sherlock/Janine and for Series 3 fics?)
[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
Warnings:n/a
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.
[identity profile] obscuriglobus.livejournal.com
Title: The Replacements
Author: takethesky87
Pairing: Gen
Length: 5000
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: NA
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: After a day solving crimes with Molly, Sherlock tries out a few more candidates.
Reccer's comments: This is a great TEH missing scene that focuses on Sherlock's post hiatus relationships with some of the show's minor characters. Mrs Hudson, Angelo, Mike Stamford and Harry Watson each get a moment in the sun but Sherlock's loneliness and his broken friendship with John is always in the background.
[identity profile] marta-bee.livejournal.com
Title: A Yellow Wood (AO3)
Author: [livejournal.com profile] pipmer1
Pairing: John/Mary, John/Sherlock
Length: 3,674 words
Rating: Teen
Warnings: none, really
Verse: BBC Sherlock
Author's summary: She had heard stories from those who knew them best, tales about an epic friendship rarely found anywhere other than literature and cinema. Surely that was all she was seeing, evidence of what had been described to her ad nauseam. It couldn’t be anything more than that….could it?

Reccer's comments:

Some days, in the aftermath of HLV, it seems like the BBC corner of the fandom is rather preoccupied with the big questions of that fandom. Not unreasonably so -- those are some big questions! -- but what I love so much about this story is the way it looks at the way Sherlock and Mary each present a challenge to the other's relationship to John, even before we get into questions of dark pasts and secrets. It's a compelling story that gives everyone a bit of dignity and shows quite nicely how much of a monkeywrench Sherlock's "death" was for everyone involved. It was quite refreshing to see everyone behaving like adults suffering from a really unapologetically bad situation where no one was completely wrong and no one completely right.
frozen_delight: (sharp)
[personal profile] frozen_delight
Title: The trouble it took to find you (also on AO3)
Author: [livejournal.com profile] solrosan
Pairing: None
Length: 1,100 words
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock BBC

Author's summary: It was nine weeks since Sherlock last contacted his brother and it is time to start tracking him down.

Reccer's comments: This is a gorgeous missing scene set before the events of The Empty Hearse which explains in a very sweet and sassy way how Mycroft ended up saving Sherlock in Serbia. It also answers the question as to why the main plot of the episode has been written and acted out so anticlimactically in a most satisfying manner. The explanation involves Mycroft and Anthea plotting together like two criminal masterminds - and since I love nothing so much as the thought of Mycroft and Anthea scheming and ruling the country together, I absolutely adore this fic.

[livejournal.com profile] solrosan always writes the best Anthea and that's true for this story, too. Anthea is shown to be a competent, independent, witty woman who can think for herself and who's very fond of both Holmes brothers, which makes it seem very natural that she's constantly helping them - and that she's now also playing such a vital part in Sherlock's rescue. The way Mycroft is characterised, clearly worried about his brother, but voicing that worry in his typical understated, distanced manner and trying to retain his composure as though nothing had happened, is also a true joy to read.

In short: This is a sweet, diverting and surprisingly insightful read, full of beautiful little additions to the new canon.
[identity profile] rachelindeed.livejournal.com
Title: Tick Tock
Author: Provocatrixxx
Pairing: Gen
Length: 4,000 words
Rating: T
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: I re-wrote the Tube Carriage scene to take John's Afghanistan tours into account. I also modified the bomb to take reality into account. And I added some context, for fun. And sadness, for impact. And confusion, because I can.

Reccer's comments: This story rewrites the Train Scene from The Empty Hearse with realism and intensity, cutting back and forth between a more realistic version of the bomb and new scenes about John's memories of Afghanistan and the people he knew and lost there. It plays out John's climactic scene with Sherlock in a situation where their shared danger, fear and uncertainty are real. They face death together with 100% less emotional manipulation than the canon version, which for this reader made for a very satisfying fix-it. For those who love the train scene as is, I think you can still enjoy this version as an interesting alternative!
swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Molly)
[personal profile] swissmarg
Title: Law Like Love
Author: faviconPlaidAdder / [livejournal.com profile] idairsauthor
Pairing: John/Sherlock, John/Mary, Harry/Janine
Length: 50K
Rating: Teen
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: Six months after Sherlock didn't go off on that mission to eastern Europe after all, all is well at 221B Baker Street. Little Rachel is just beginning to sleep through the night. John and Sherlock are sleeping with each other. Charles Augustus Magnussen is alive and unwell and just about bankrupt. And Mary is nowhere in sight. Obviously the events of "His Last Vow" were not what they seemed. What really happened? How did we get here from there? Well, we're going to find out. Backwards.

Reccer's comments: "Dear Moftiss: I used your underutilized female characters for you. They were awesome. It wasn't that hard. Love, me." This is one of the author's end notes, and it's so true. Janine and Harry in particular are fantastic, but Lady Smallwood and Mrs Holmes have important parts to play as well. It's very much an ensemble piece as everyone works together like cogs in a clockwork machine to bring the plan to fruition that is at the heart of this fic: getting Baby Watson to Baker Street with John and Sherlock, and taking care of Magnussen - who just won't stay dead - once and for all.

As we know how it 'ends' - we're shown in the first chapter and it tells us in the summary anyway - and we know most of what came before from HLV, you'd think there wasn't going to be much in the way of suspense, but you'd be dead wrong. The fun - and it is a great deal of fun - is in the systematic reveal of how the plan came about, who contributed what, who was faking it and who was being genuine, and, finally, why it had to be done this way. (Spoiler: love. It was for love.)

At the same time as the machinations are gearing up, we follow back the thread of the main characters' relationships. (There is vaguely referenced infidelity but nothing is made explicit.) Janine/Harry was a delightful surprise to me, and I really liked the fact that John struggled with his feelings throughout. It is never easy for him to make a break, even when he finds out … what he finds out about Mary.

One of the most powerful aspects of this story for me, though, was the exploration of Magnussen's and Mary's characters, just what a psychopath is, what they feel (or don't feel), how they see others, and what, in the end, they actually want. Fair warning: Mary doesn't come off well in this story.

Excerpt... )
hardboiledbaby: (watsonwoes ch20 1st)
[personal profile] hardboiledbaby

Title: Home
Author: [livejournal.com profile] spacemutineer
Pairing: Holmes/Watson UST, past Watson/Morstan
Length: 2,437
Rating: Teen and up
Warnings: none
Verse: ACD books

Author's summary:
Just after the events of "The Adventure of the Empty House," Sherlock Holmes looks to return his life to the way he left it.

Reccer's comments:
Three years after the events at Reichenbach, Holmes makes his extraordinary reappearance, reveals himself to Watson, and together they capture Colonel Sebastian Moran. Shortly thereafter, Watson is back sharing digs with Holmes, a fait accompli.

This much, canon gives us. A bit... sparse, yes? [livejournal.com profile] spacemutineer gives us what's missing. And I don't mean strictly in the "missing scene" sense. This fic fills in the gaps, shows us Holmes' thoughts and feelings, makes this more than just Holmes' return—it is his homecoming. Another wonderful story to come out of the [livejournal.com profile] acd_holmesfest fanworks exchange.

Written from Holmes' POV, we see how profoundly moved he is to be back in his beloved London and reunited with his dearest friend. But it's not enough, not nearly. There's a huge, gaping Watson-shaped hole in 221B:

Stupidly I had entertained the fantasy that returning to London would reset the clock for my life, for both of our lives. I thought somehow that we would simply slip back into our old ways, into our old home as if nothing had changed....

It was nonsense to imagine the doctor, a gentleman, would give up his comfortable, familiar lifestyle to rejoin an eccentric friend of long ago at the drop of an old bookseller's hat.
Written with obvious love and respect for the canon and the characters, Spacemutineer fills this story with many such beautiful, heart-tugging lines. The word that best describes this fic for me is satisfying, and when you get to the end, I think you will see why.


TL;DR: [livejournal.com profile] spacemutineer's "Home" = THE WAY "EMPTY HOUSE" SHOULD HAVE ENDED


[In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that this fic was gifted to me. Everything I said applies, regardless *g*]

[identity profile] blissthisway.livejournal.com
Title: Common Language Infrastructure
Author: methylviolet10
Pairing: Gen
Length: 1796 words
Rating: Teen
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: If you listened to their conversations, you'd never know what they were really saying.


Reccer's comments: The first thing that drew me to this fic was the structure - it's based on the structure of an ISO information standard, and I am always interested in fics that use really non-fandom formats as a framework. As a librarian, the fact that it was information related was icing on the cake. I was equally delighted by the conceit of the plot and the entirely probable solution to the problem of Moriarty and the fall that methylviolet10b proposes. I'm not sure if this is where I first heard this idea (I first read this fic a while ago), but I've never seen it presented in quite this way. It includes spoilers for all the episodes through Series 2. Enjoy!

[identity profile] hajimebassaidai.livejournal.com
Title: Drizzle
Author: Edhla
Pairing: Gen
Length: 1670 words approx
Rating: Teen and up/PG-13
Verse: Sherlock BBC

Author's summary: Sherlock and John are on the run somewhere- but Lestrade's not too worried. They'll turn up somewhere, and then they can get this whole "kidnapping" business sorted out.
A Reichenbach one-shot.

Reccer's comments: This is set very just post-Fall. Greg Lestrade is going about mostly business as usual. As much as he can when he isn't quite doing his job properly. He's "forgotten" to send any Yarders to Barts and totally "forgotten" about asking Molly about Sherlock. Everything smacks of a degree of normality though, the day-to-day functioning of Lestrade's world until Sally walks in and says John Watson has handed himself in.

Anything more would be spoilers but this is a story that manages to convey an utter, shocking silence. That quiet when a bomb is dropped just before all hell breaks loose.

A great character study of Greg Lestrade.
[identity profile] mainecoon76.livejournal.com
Title: Doors
Author: [livejournal.com profile] methylviolet10b
Pairing: Holmes/Watson
Length: around 3600
Rating: R
Warnings: none
Verse: ACD Canon
Author's summary: Two unpublished cases not only stand as memorials to significant changes in the relationship between Holmes and Watson, but they also both involve closets.

Reccer's comments: I’m not doing this wonderful fic any justice at all by giving it a hasty last-minute rec, but I just can’t leave without mentioning it. It’s one of those creative, intense, exceptionally well-written fics that leave me moved and satisfied and generally very happy to be part of this fandom. The author takes, as stated in the summary, two of those notorious “unpublished cases” every author loves to write about, and uses them as anchors to develop a bittersweet love story between Holmes and Watson; it is the same kind of bittersweet that we know so well from their relationship in canon. The style and characterizations are spot-on, Mary Watson is treated with all the respect she deserves, and… well, it’s rated R for a reason. *g*
Besides, there’s a Roman orgy, folks.
[identity profile] falling-voices.livejournal.com
Title: Changing Illusions
Author: melandria
Pairing: Sherlock/John, Sherlock/Irene, Sherlock/Irene/John
Length: 1466 words.
Rating: PG.
Warnings: None.
Verse: BBC Sherlock.
Author's summary: A deleted scene from 'A Scandal In Belgravia' in which Irene and John discuss Sherlock, hearts and minds. Irene finds that John Watson's existence might just be more remarkable than that of Sherlock Holmes.

Reccer's comments: Spoilers for 2.01. Thing is, I came out of ASiB feeling more interested in Irene and John's dynamics than in Irene and Sherlock's. This picks up on a single line in the episode — Irene's casual remark that John has warned her Sherlock sometimes talks to him when he isn't there — and spins it into a thoughtful little study of their relationships, of the ways they all see one another. It's told from Irene's POV, and the perspective it gives us of John is really interesting: there's a focus on his being a man of emotion, while jealous of her mind, but it's the little details, the pauses when he talks, the small movements he makes, the unsaid words, that Irene remarks upon in her careful assessment of him. They keep misunderstanding and misleading one another, and the result is a very delicate, very intelligently written scene.

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