ancientreader: black and white pet rat (Default)
[personal profile] ancientreader
Title: A Symphony of Chemical Reactions (link to fic)
Author: what_alchemy
Reader: cellar_door
Podfic: http://www.audiofic.jinjurly.com/symphony-of-chemical-reactions
Pairing: John/Sherlock
Length and File Size: 22:28, 21.6MB, mp3

Reccer's Remarks: So, I am not in general a fan of audiobooks, and therefore not of podfics, either, but cellar_door does full justice to the voice of this fic and adds some lovely touches of their own. (The music!) I promise you have never laughed so hard at hearing someone say "fire extinguisher."

AO3 link here.
Direct download here.


Fic rec:

Jul. 27th, 2017 04:08 pm
ancientreader: black and white pet rat (Default)
[personal profile] ancientreader
Title: A Symphony of Chemical Reactions
Author: what_alchemy
Length: 2351 words
'Verse: BBC
Pairing: John/Sherlock
Rating: G
Author's summary: Cooking’s just chemistry and time management.

Reccer's remarks: Oh hey! Another one from the "How on earth has this never been recced before?" department. And it was a Holmestice present for our very own [personal profile] unovis . Sherlock prepares supper for John, with attendant research and predictable results. Empty bladder before reading. Do not attempt to consume anything, whether solid or liquid. Note this was posted in 2012, so considerable water has passed under the bridge, but I submit that anyone incapable of being delighted by this story is incapable of being delighted, full stop.

Excerpt:
In the cupboards: half a loaf of brown bread gone stale, tins of beans and sponge and soup, taxidermy owl, millet flour, melted sweets, mousetraps, desiccated clementines.

Fridge contents: snout of wild boar, aloe plant, blackcurrant preserves, empty milk carton, thin-sliced roast beef (by smell, too old for consumption; not too old to repurpose into mould cultures), apple juice, HP sauce, leftover beans, squirrel scalp ...

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.


ancientreader: black and white pet rat (Default)
[personal profile] ancientreader
Title: The Giant Rat of Sumatra, for Which the World Is Not Yet Prepared
Author:  tibididim
Length: ~2300 words
'Verse: BBC
Pairing: John/Sherlock
Rating: R (the author says T, but I say the brief sex scene is a bit more explicit than that)
Author's summary: "I don't think you should write about this one," said Sherlock.

Reccer's remarks: Oh, gosh. Remember the dear dead days when you could write comedy BBC John Watson/Sherlock Holmes without ignoring canon? *sighs wistfully*

This gem dates from the 2010 (inaugural!) Holmestice exchange, and I present it as an amuse-bouche for the beginning of this month's reccing stint. How shall I describe it? Once upon a time there was a coypu, that is to say an animal of the species otherwise known as a nutria. Never you mind how it got to Sumatra, or exactly by what means it then traveled to London; but, naturally, having arrived in London, it went on to a rendezvous with Sherlock and John. As fans of Arthur Conan Doyle will already suspect, the story is TOO HORRIBLE TO TELL, except to a certain select audience. Spoiler: the coypu has gone to join the choir invisible.
 

Excerpt:

"People like this sort of thing,” John said, studiously tapping out three more words. “Slight urban legend element, bit of disgustingness, happy ending - a man facing down a coypu -”

“They’re also known as nutria,” Sherlock said.

“Armed with nothing but a vastly superior intellect, man versus beast,” John continued.

“You’re starting to convince me, John,” said Sherlock, thoughtfully, “It seems much more dramatic now.”

swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Default)
[personal profile] swissmarg
Title: The Lying Detective (alternative) 
Author: 221b_hound
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, past Sherlock Holmes/John Watson/Mary Morstan
Length: 20K
Rating: Mature
Warnings: None
Verse: BBC
Author's summary: Mary was the bridge between them. Without her, is there still an 'us'? Perhaps, if John and Sherlock can survive the guilt, the grief, the game.

Reccer's comments: This is part of an AU series 3 & 4 that takes the basic plot of the episodes, adds Johnlockary, and changes a few other things, some minor and some more major. I’ve found it surprisingly engaging despite not being a Johnlockary fan and generally disparaging fics that re-hash the aired episodes in much detail. I also admit I haven’t read all of the parts, but you can dive in at any point, really, if you are familiar with the episode in question.

This one is a terrific slog through the depths of grief and despair in the wake of Mary’s death, made more painful and eviscerating by the fact that the Mary in this was genuinely likable and the three of them were involved in a loving and happy polyamoric relationship. (We only see one brief and sketchy flashback scene of the three of them in bed together, which is easily skipped if you are only here for the Johnlock.) At the same time, the Culverton Smith plot is revamped to work more authentically, a far cry from the broadcast “go to hell/save John Watson” scenario that viewers were confronted with.

The characters are all treated with respect and depth, with a marvelous ensemble cast involving several secondary characters in meaty and important roles. Harry Watson in particular is a shining star of an OC with a potty mouth and a heart of tarnished gold.

I really encourage anyone who was unhappy with series 4 – and especially the whiplash treatment of Mary’s character and gutting of John and Sherlock’s friendship – to give this series a try. It’s gutsy and bold, drawing on real emotion rather than flash and showmanship, and truly allowing the characters and their stories to touch hearts.
swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Default)
[personal profile] swissmarg
Title: Before I Come Home
Author: TooSelin
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 36K
Rating: Mature
Warnings: None
Verse: BBC
Author's summary: Sometimes you need to reopen old wounds before they can heal. Sometimes you need to get away before you can come home.

Reccer's comments: I raced through this breathlessly, both eager to see what would happen next and wanting it to be much longer. The most recent addition to the “couples therapy” trope, this is one of the very few that doesn’t involve a fake relationship. Instead, John and Sherlock attend the sessions with the specific intent of recovering from the events in series 3 and 4 (disregarding TFP and Eurus) and strengthening their relationship. I especially liked that there are no easy answers, but that both Sherlock and John are committed to each other from the get-go, regardless of whether they remain platonic best friends or allow the love they both feel to find its expression through romance and physical intimacy. (Check the tags to see which route they go…) This is also a Parentlock fic, with Rosie an integral part of the story and the family unit. With lots of delicious UST, quiet domesticity, heart-wrenching confessions, a day at the beach, a wise old woman, and all the time in the world to get things right.
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. ;)
swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Default)
[personal profile] swissmarg
Title: A Real Deal
Author: toyhto
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 10K
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Major character death
Verse: BBC
Author's summary: Please be real, he thought and pulled Sherlock closer.

Reccer's comments:  I’m honestly not sure whether I’m more horrified or comforted by the direction this fic went. It takes a huge detour off the beaten path and tries to answer the question: Is it better to have loved and lost, or never to have loved at all… or maybe there is a third option? One that will get under your skin and stick with you.
discordantwords: (Default)
[personal profile] discordantwords

Title: Venezuela
Author: Fillyjonk
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Length: 1,312
Rating: Not Rated (I'd say suitable for general audiences or teen)
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: I imagine the purloined kidney of Sherlock Holmes: iced, in a rusting cooler, dangling from a long stick slung over the bare shoulders of two native men, transported through the Amazon rain forest to the hidey-hole of a drug runner. Demoted. Destined to filter less rarified blood.

Reccer's comments: This underappreciated little gem is a beautifully executed slice-of-life. Sherlock is immersed in his work. John is, in turn, frustrated, amused and bemused. The story unfolds largely through dialogue, John's words intruding on Sherlock's thoughts (often mid-thought) and vice versa. There is a comfortable, quiet domesticity to their interactions, and it's easy to imagine many a day in Baker Street passing by in exactly this fashion.

"Between Mary and the clinic and your ridiculous pollen obsession, I sometimes think I'd do well to... disappear. Go where no one knows me or Mary. Start fresh. I could do it, you know. I've got money. Pack a bag and go to Venezuela. British Columbia. Tahiti."

He stops talking. He seems to be done.

"If you go to Tahiti," I say, "Would you visit Samuel Wheaton and ask him to respond to my texts? He's assisting at the Harrison Smith Botanical Gardens. A murder investigation hinges on it."

There are no sweeping statements of love or devotion to be found here, just a slow, understated affection that permeates each and every spoken (and unspoken) word.

swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Default)
[personal profile] swissmarg
Title: S4 AU (link goes to tumblr)
Author: johnlockiseternal
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 17 tumblr posts
Rating: Not rated, contains 1 NSFW gif
Warnings: None
Verse: BBC
Author's summary: AU where S4 doesn’t happen at all, Sherlock hallucinates everything after Mary shoots him.

Reccer's comments: I'm not sure if there's a name for this kind of thing, but this is a story told through gifs of the series (plus a couple from other sources), with the author inserting their own subtitles. It's kind of a cross between a vid and a fic. It's short and sweet, but manages to pack in the full range of emotion, from the stomach swoops of flirty texting, loin-tingling teases of a consummation many years in the making, to a heart-in-throat confrontation and the heartfelt sighs of a happy ending. And all rendered in slick, high quality gifs with in-character dialogue. It's cute, sassy, sweet, and just great fun.

Editing to add: There is now a 1:25-minute fanvid version.

swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Default)
[personal profile] swissmarg
Title: On the Rack
Author: 7PercentSolution, J_Baillier
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 286,966 words
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: None
Verse: BBC
Author's summary: The sequel to The Breaking Wheel, in which Sherlock goes to rehab (of the other sort), starts scraping his life back together, attempts to solve a case, and tries to make sense of what it actually means to be in a relationship.

Reccer's comments: This is the second part of a series, and although I would recommend reading the first part for best understanding (and because it’s an awesome fic), all of the most important points are explained within this installment so it could also be read as a standalone.

This is quite simply an incredible journey into the mind and body of Sherlock Holmes, charting the physical and emotional journey of the aftermath of Sherlock being stricken by Guillain-Barré syndrome, an autoimmune disorder of the nervous system. We really get a vivid picture of Sherlock’s frustration and fear over the weeks and months, not just at his physical and mental condition but also at his fledgling romantic relationship with John. To add to the angst-mix, Sherlock is depicted as neurodivergent, bringing a lifetime’s worth of baggage and mishandling that needs to be dealt with before any of the hated “Progress” can be made.

What I really liked is that this fic tackled the problem from several angles, involving athletics, music, chemistry, and a new case. I thought at first that the title referenced a torture rack (which it might also do) but there is also a beautiful metaphor that’s developed through the course of the story which I didn’t pick up on until quite near the end, adding another layer of brilliance to an already masterful piece of writing. Sherlock’s past, especially relating to his brother, is also given a particularly good exploration. With obscure poisons, flashback nightmares, a twice-murdered corpse, drug dealing, and fresh medical drama to twist the knife just a little more.


discordantwords: (Default)
[personal profile] discordantwords

Title: The Illustrious Client
Author: Arabella Strange
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Length: 113,288
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Violence, case-related references to human trafficking/sexual abuse
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: ‘We’re a couple!' John burst out, bluntly. His face was nearly twitching with rage. He hadn’t even meant to say anything, to anybody, because he wanted what they had for himself just a bit longer, for a million reasons half-romantic and half-defensive, and yet here he was, gripping Chez Francine’s thick cream tablecloth with enough force to tear it in half, suddenly wanting nothing more than to tell everyone within earshot that Sherlock was absolutely infuriating, surprisingly good at blowjobs, and probably in love with him.

Reccer's comments:  Where do I start? This incredible case fic is the third in a series (Ode to Broken Things.) It's not strictly necessary to read the first two stories in order to appreciate this one, although doing so provides a richer context and background for the state of John and Sherlock's relationship. Also, they're excellent, and well worth the read!

The universe this story is set in diverges from canon prior to the start of Series 3, though it remains very much informed by canon events—picking and choosing from the established storyline to weave an entirely different tale. Essentially: John broke things off with Mary prior to Sherlock's return, and he and Sherlock have subsequently fallen into a sexual relationship. John is in love with Sherlock, Sherlock is in love with John—should be simple, right? Instead, our heroes struggle under the weight of their own insecurities and worries, navigating a relationship fraught with miscommunications and misinterpreted intentions, with neither one quite willing to show his hand. This alone would make for a compelling read, but there's also a case that needs solving and a truly heinous villain to be vanquished.

And yet John had marched unevenly into a lab in Bart’s Hospital and Sherlock had, within seconds, begun devising the plan to rid of him that abhorrent cane. Not only because it was unseemly (though it did nothing to flatter the too-young man who had no sound need for it), but because John — clearly — hated it. And John had loved the run from Angelo’s after the cab, even the wrong cab; had laughed against the wall until Angelo himself had appeared and delivered the punchline to the night’s best joke.

In spite of all subsequent efforts of Sherlock’s to undo this one shining act of generosity, John stood here, on two healthy feet, breathing like a bull facing off against a red flag (and the moron who was waving it), hating to the depths of his being the person who had relished, even for a moment, the opportunity to take the wind out of Sherlock’s insensitive, selfish ego.

‘Many would disagree with you,’ Sherlock muttered.

‘Yeah, well, sod them, all right, because —’

‘I love you,’ said Sherlock.

Had he said it purely to watch the incredibly plasticity of John’s face change arrangements at the speed of lightning, he would not have been in the least disappointed; equally, had he blurted it out in order to test the fortitude of his still-recovering bowels, it would have been a compelling experiment.

John was still standing there, watching him, stranded amidst a sea of tile and sterilised furniture, but some of the warmth in his expression seemed to be receding.

‘Is that meant to be a joke?’ John began, stiffly, eyes scanning Sherlock’s face. 

There was no clear grammatical way to refute what John said whilst reasserting Sherlock’s statement, but nor was there any plausibility to blaming the thudding in his chest on his recent cardiac history.


I could go on forever about how much I love this story. It's long, intricately plotted and well researched, sprinkled with loving references to canon events. The character voices are spot on, for John and Sherlock both. The dialogue is snappy, witty, and at times heartbreaking. And perhaps my favorite thing is that it has a wonderful happy ending that feels earned, true to the characters and their circumstances. I can't help but feel that it's tragically underappreciated (not even 200 kudos as of the time of this post!), and that it deserves mention right alongside many of the other beloved casefics in the fandom. 

Do be sure to read the author's tags. The villain is, as I mentioned, heinous, and descriptions of his crimes could be potentially upsetting or triggering. Nothing is shown explicitly in the story itself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Title: Oh, What A Night Series (AO3Tumblr)
Artist: penumbra/anotherwellkeptsecret
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 3 multi-panel comics
Rating: Mature to Explicit
Warnings: None
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: Part 1 "Oh, What A Night": John and Sherlock go on a date. Hilarity, kissing, and egregious amounts of fluff ensue.
Part 2 "The Losing Side": Sherlock wants to marry John, but he's not sure of the best way to propose. Who better to run ideas by than, well...John?
Part 3: "Points of Interest": Sherlock and John's wedding night.
Reccer's comments: This is a set of 3 complete comics with over 100 panels telling the story of Sherlock and John’s courtship. Sweet, funny, awkward, cute, and a little bit sexy, and of course it wouldn’t be Johnlock without at least a smidgen of angst, a case, an interfering brother and well-meaning friends to spice things up. The judicious use of small amounts of animation add to the charm in part 1, and in part 3 things get very hot yet very tasteful with an intimate glimpse John and Sherlock’s lovey times as husbands. Seriously heart-melting adult fare.
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.
[personal profile] rachelindeed
Title: The Camford Dares
Author: writerfan2013
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 17,000 words
Rating: T
Warnings: none
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: Sherlock is being mysterious and secretive and John is being particularly stubborn and their annoying case in a well-known university town is not helping anything. Casefic! Mystery and infuriation but ultimately Johnlock.

Reccer's comments: This is a really well-done combination of casefic and relationship fic. Full of many beloved tropes: mutual pining, UST, working undercover, bed-sharing, and more, plus some midlife not-really-crises-but-definitely-annoyances as John is forced to run around a college campus after Sherlock and attempt to blend in with undergrads. The mystery is interesting and clever, and the writing is sharp enough to refresh familiar tropes and make them feel memorable and unique. Best of all, John and Sherlock's relationship is suffused with both infuriation and affection -- the author catches its difficulty and its sweetness at the same time, which is hard to do. I enjoy and admire this fic very much.
[personal profile] rachelindeed
Title: Orange Doesn't Suit Me
Author: jazzmilla
Pairing: gen; John Watson, Sherlock Holmes
Length: 1800 words
Rating: T
Warnings: none
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: Where John has a plan and never meets a risk he doesn't take.

Reccer's comments: This was one of the first fics I remember reading in this fandom. Written in the hiatus between Series 1 and Series 2, this striking little vignette focuses on John's heroics and, more subtly, on his adrenaline addiction. It's interesting to see how this aspect of his character was handled based only on the first three episodes of the series. And in a post-Reichenbach fandom, this particular scenario takes on new resonance (in this story, Sherlock is forced to watch John jump).
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.
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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. 

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