May. 20th, 2014

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Title: Telling the Bees
Author: [ profile] sanguinity
Pairing: Gen
Length: 882 words
Rating: G
Warnings: Major Character Death
Verse: Elementary
Author's summary: "It fell to me to tell the bees, though I had wanted another duty..."

Sherlock returns from Switzerland, but Watson does not.

Reccer's comments:
Reichenbach, Elementary-style. Which is to say: Reichenbach inverted, Joan the one who takes the fall and Sherlock the one who has to hold himself and his world together in the wake of her death.

A vignette more than a full fic, it’s built around an old English beekeeping tradition that Ms. Hudson encourages Sherlock to maintain. Sherlock’s head is filled with bee-related lore and he focuses on it because falling apart is not an option. The way he's holding on to his control by the skin of his teeth is palpable, as is the weight of Ms. Hudson’s own grief.

There’s a whole fandom conversation surrounding the fic as well: sanguinity uses the bee nomenclature from language_escapes's fic “La Chanson des Vieux Amants” instead of the one put forward on the show; hophophop wrote a prequel fic (that must be read after the main fic as it’s a spoiler), “The Steep Part of the Wind,” which shows Sherlock notifying Mary Watson (Joan’s mother); sanguinity even posted an extensive and fascinating set of endnotes on tumblr going into a lot of the literature and lore referenced in the fic. The entirety of that conversation is worth reading and I am recommending it here too.

But “Telling the Bees” is perfect at just 882 words, absolutely heartbreaking, and even though I love the conversation that surrounds it I also recommend reading it just by itself, because its very brevity lends it incredible power.


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