pipmer1: (Default)
[personal profile] pipmer1
Title: Sacre Coeur
Author: Mamaorion
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Length: 127158 words (including appendices; actual story is around 95,000 words)
Rating: Mature
Verse: Sherlock BBC

Author's summary: Memories return. Old secrets are unearthed. Seven years of hidden love ignite. Who is behind the mind control, and how far back does it reach into Sherlock's past?

This multi-chapter patchwork fixit fic diverts from the path at season three and turns season 4 into a collage. This was the Johnlock I wanted. May it be healing for you, too.

Reccer's comments: This is marvelous storytelling, with twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It re-imagines Season 3 in a whole new light, and therefore Season 4 -- well. I don't want to give away too much. But the tale involves memory loss, secret organizations, and a backstory that includes Sherrinford as the third Holmes sibling (and what a delightful, if flawed, character he is.) Mary is a marvelous villain here, done in a way that I wish the show would have done. There are flashbacks to Sherlock's teenage years, where *everything* begins, and connects neatly with all the events in canon up to, and partially inclusive of, Series 3.

And of course, at the heart of it all is the love between Sherlock and John.
vulgarweed: (cock-by-magnavox-23)
[personal profile] vulgarweed
Title: Piecroft Chronicles (Locked to AO3 users)
Author: iwantthatcoat
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, Sherlock Holmes/Sherlock Holmes
Length: A Practical Affair, 19,114 words; Flowers and a Fruitbasket, 5,339 words.
Rating: Explicit
Verse: Sherlock BBC

A Practical Affair (aka Piecroft Won’t Let Me Bring the Lottery Tickets: A Tale of Self-Love)
Author's summary: Sherlock has the same ridiculously high standards for himself in his new sex life with John as he does elsewhere in his personal and professional life. He lacks experience, and though he knows John won't care one bit, Sherlock still does. Fortunately, there is someone who understands exactly what he needs to do and why...and he won't even have to explain himself. Which is a good thing, because Mycroft won't let him. It would break timetravel regulations, after all. A Timetravel Selfcest Fic.

Reccer's comments: This story’s premise could have been just a simple ground for hot PWP (Sherlock is insecure about his lack of sexual experience now that he’s got together with John, so he goes back in time to meet his younger self and get sexual experience with his preself) and that would have been more than fine. But the author digs in to really explore the feelings and ethical challenges, and it turns into a deeply emotional story about memory, lack of memory, self-love, self-knowledge, and hard choices.

Bratty, desperate, lonely, honest university-age preself!Sherlock is so compelling here, as an amoral moral center. The interrogation he does of the older Sherlock is absolutely gripping. The prolonged sexual explorations between older Sherlock and his younger self are intensely erotic, made all the more so by their sharp, clear-eyed analytical edge - and by the unexpected emotional vulnerability both versions find themselves feeling. The relationship between the Sherlocks takes full control of the story, and it’s an amazingly skillful dance of arousal and gut-punch.

Flowers and a Fruitbasket

Author's Summary: From A Practical Affair: "If it were the following year, I just might have deleted this information, but for now, you can thank the good folk at the College of Medicine for not noticing the non-medical student sitting in on their Thursday morning lectures on body systems."

"God yes, thank you," he stammered. "I'll send them flowers."

Sherlock, true to his word, has sent the Department Chair some flowers upon his return to the present-- a reward for allowing his past self to have audited some very helpful anatomy lessons. Imagine his surprise to see an email from his preself requesting he head back in time yet again, and to bring that doctor he wasn't allowed to so much as hint at the existance of with him. (What beats timetravel selfcest? A timetravel selfcest threesome! Coming soon in the third instalment of the Piecroft Chronicles ) But first things first... what does he tell John? Part Two of the trilogy.

Reccer's comments: The extremely hot and satisfying second tale brings John and Sherlock together at last. Bit-not-good Sherlock hadn’t been planning to tell John what he’s done - but telling a selectively edited and artfully embellished version of the truth turns out to be better than letting John think Sherlock had practiced on someone else. It’s hot, it’s complex, and it’s a little bit bittersweet as these two awkward, damaged men still fall short of perfect bliss - it’s good to see John being able to see through Sherlock’s deflections, in a loving way. Did I mention it’s hot?

***

MODS may I have a tag for pairing: sherlock holmes/sherlock holmes?
dogandmonkeyshow: (Default)
[personal profile] dogandmonkeyshow
Title: Green Grow the Rushes, O!
Author: AJHall
Length: 11,901 words
Rating: T and up
Relationship(s): John Watson/Sarah Sawyer
CharactersAuthor's summary: "The people asserting loudest that a marriage must be about to happen are the ones who’d be personally devastated if it did."

John and Sarah travel to North Yorkshire to attend Sarah’s nephew’s christening, and discover Sarah’s family seem to think this family celebration is only the precursor to another one. It’s not only Sarah’s family who may be harbouring strange ideas; Sherlock has gone incommunicado in Oxford, a city with which he has had a love/hate relationship since he was sent down from the University in his second year.

Universe: BBC Sherlock

Reccer's comments below the cut )
vulgarweed: (OK by london_fan)
[personal profile] vulgarweed
Title: The Magnificent Division
Author: gardnerhill
Pairing: Mycroft Holmes/Greg Lestrade
Length: 9,186
Rating: Teen
Verse: BBC + Elementary, also crossover with Cabin Pressure and a stealth Doctor Who nod
Author's summary:If you want something talked about, get a man. If you want something done, get a woman.

Reccer's comments: Lestrade doesn’t know where to turn when his partner Mycroft Holmes is kidnapped and Sherlock is under house arrest - until a very steely and competent Mrs. Hudson hooks him up with well, a monstrous regiment of women, all with terrifying personal skill sets (and who have a special and hilarious method of subduing male opponents). Well, females: not all the members of this brilliant strike team are human, technically. There’s an American doctor, a charter plane owner, a team leader who drives like James Bond, a tough police officer who works for a mysterious black-ops agency, a cadaver expert, a ruler among her own species (and her followers too),and a not-really-dead assassin and mom.

This is a cracking good adventure tale, fast-paced and thrilling and very funny, and with a lot of wise things to say about women, emotional labor, and ways of devaluing and underestimating women’s strengths both subtle and obvious.

Lestrade gets his Mycroft back alive and he also learns some valuable lessons from his experience as the secondary character in someone else’s action story.

The story focuses mostly on the rescue mission and the teamwork - but the little emotional sting between two women and a child at the end still burns a bit when the tale is done.

Excerpt: Martha Hudson hugged Greg as he got up to go. “He’s a reptile. But he’s your reptile. We’ll find him.”

Mycroft had once called him a goldfish. Goldfish, reptile – they were a proper menagerie weren’t they?

Greg realised that he was actually exhausted enough to sleep properly now. He pondered the whirl the night had been as he gave the cabbie the address and sat back. Six of them all together – seven if you counted the Queen. And his job in the team of commandos was to make the sandwiches and worry about his missing lover.

He smiled a little. So this is what it feels like to be The Girl in an action film.
vulgarweed: (real-by-magnavox-23)
[personal profile] vulgarweed
Title: A Gift for Rosie
Author: redbuttonhole
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/Eurus Holmes, Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, Mummy Holmes/Uncle Rudy
Length: 3,652
Rating: Mature
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author Summary: Mycroft, by the way, advised me not to tell you anything of this affair beyond the bare minimum. He seems to think you'll react badly, and I can't help but grant that he is probably correct... But you're family now, John. It's time you learned exactly what that means.

Content Warning: Infidelity, Incest (off-stage, between consenting adult siblings. Not involving Rosie!)

Reccer's comments: Eurus Holmes is a divisive character for sure - but she presents a lot of great opportunities for fic writers. And as soon as we saw Musgrave Hall in all its Gothic glory, stories that play on Gothic literature tropes started to seem natural - even in the supernatural or unnatural.

(This story also fills in some major gaps in various characters' motivations from the series, IMO.)

This is an epistolary fic, Sherlock writing a letter to his partner John, letting him in on all the family secrets - as so often in Gothic lit, that family secret happens to be a history of incest: consensual incest between adult siblings, often with the intention of producing a super-super genius instead of just a regular run-of-the-mill genius. Eurus is the product of such a union.

The letter proceeds with such straightforward, elegantly written logic and subtle appeals to emotion that the slowly dawning horrific conclusion the reader is coming to about Sherlock’s special project almost seems perfectly fine. Sherlock’s matter-of-fact emotional honesty is touching and kept me so riveted I welcomed the slow derailment of reason.

And the denouement reminded me of a certain pivotal, shattering line of dialogue from the climax of Watchmen.


MODS: May I have a tag for pairing: sherlock holmes/eurus holmes and pairing: mummy holmes/uncle rudy
vulgarweed: (OK by london_fan)
[personal profile] vulgarweed
Title: Curse of the Were-Tuna
Author: WhoGroovesOn
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Length: 46,916
Rating: Explicit
Verse: Sherlock BBC
Author's summary: John couldn’t help but feel as though the large tuna beyond the glass was staring at him, which was weird because it’s not like fish had eyelids, they always seemed to be staring at things.


Reccer's comments: The author says this isn't crack, but I think it's a shining gem of the crackfic genre - a premise that seems ridiculous on the surface treated with absolute commitment, until it becomes vivid and real. Take the plunge into this splashy tale of piscine lycanthropy and you'll never see a fishtank quite the same way again.

When wounded army vet John Watson applies for a job as an aquarium security guard, he has no idea what’s about to happen after dark.

This underrated author has a spectacular sense of worldbuilding, and this fic is suspenseful, sexy, vivid, hilarious and surprisingly touching. The plot twists come fast and furious, and I especially love this very inventive version of Moriarty and Moran (who are both female in this story). Fishnappings! Sushi-related threats! Weird and eldritch magic!

Also, it’s set in the London Aquarium and was written long before any pivotal scenes occurred there on the show.

Excerpt: Mycroft was the one who became the killjoy for the tuna pair. A few days after the discovery of their morse code capabilities Mycroft appeared at the window of their tank. Dressed formally as usual, umbrella and all, he sat down facing the glass and proceeded to unfold the paper under his arm.

After floating by a few times trying to read the news, Sherlock darted to John, fin flicking a short message, S - T - O - P / C - O - D - E.

The urgent message made John want to see what Sherlock had read on the paper and managed to catch Mycroft before he folded it away. There on the offered page was a small article questioning “Are Sea Life’s Fish Intelligent?” Below was a little black and white picture of their tank and, sure enough, the black shapes of John and Sherlock within. The paper itself was one of those silly “Are aliens cavorting amongst my sheep?!” types, but still, the fact that someone had written in to say they’d seen the fish at the aquarium doing code and talking to each other in an intelligent manner was unsettling. And who knew who else would see it and start watching a little closer.


MODS: may I have tags for fem!moriarty and fem!sebastian moran, please?
dogandmonkeyshow: (Default)
[personal profile] dogandmonkeyshow
Title: London Incarnate
Author: silverpard
Length: 3368 words
Rating: G
Author's summary: There is London the City, and there is London Incarnate. Sherlock Holmes is important to both.

Reccer's comments below the cut )
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.

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