Title: Prior EngagementsAuthor:
Sherlock Holmes/John WatsonLength:
Character death (offscreen)Verse:
Sherlock (BBC)Author's summary:
Years after Mary melted into the darkness, John and Sherlock are at their wits' end. Rachel Watson, aged nine, is proving harder to handle than Irene Adler and Jim Moriarty combined. John hopes that the right boarding school might give her the structure she seems to need. Not until after Rachel disappears do they discover that someone else appears to have had the same idea.
It's really difficult to give a synopsis of this story that doesn't spoil things about it. So let me just list a few of the things it contains, in no particular order: secrets, lies, double-crossing, action, adventure, explosions, fistfights, danger, intrigue, plot twists, underground lairs, sheep, character development, John and Sherlock being the most bamf! dads ever, and nearly all of Sherlock's underutilized female characters kicking a lot of ass in many different ways.
This is a sequel to "Law Like Love," but works well enough as a stand-alone story. For truly full appreciation you may want to read the earlier stories in the "Wild About Harry" series, but that's not necessary.
This is such an amazing fic and doesn't have nearly the number of hits and kudos it deserves. It has plot out the wazoo, breathtaking twists and turns, wonderful original characters, and an incredible way of incorporating canon and making it ten times more brilliant than in the series. There are creepy psychopaths, political plots, secret societies, skeletons in closets, and a sexy visit to my hometown Chicago. What more could you want?
I mentioned the original characters, first and foremost of which is Harry. Although she’s technically canon, it’s by name-drop and a couple of bare facts only. The author has taken those bare facts and run with them, creating a fantastically three-dimensional, complex, engaging personality who would have no problem carrying off the lead role. Then there is Rachel, John and Mary’s daughter, who is nine years old in the story and comes with her own set of baggage, the fact that her mother is a professional assassin only being the start. There are even more OCs I could rave about, but it would be spoiling to tell. ;) In addition to them, there is a full supporting cast of secondary canon characters, especially Molly, Janine, Anthea, and Lady Smallwood, who are brought to full, rich life in a deeply satisfying way. But don’t worry, even with all of the OC goodness, John and Sherlock are at the center of the story in all their complicated, devastatingly gorgeous glory.
This story starts out very much in media res, which at first had me wondering whether I needed to go back and re-read “Law Like Love” (the previous story in the series, and if you haven’t read it yet, do, because it is simply excellent) but it turns out it was all done on purpose. Everything will be revealed in due course, so be patient. :) And what a reveal it is! I didn’t see any of it coming, although in retrospect it was all perfectly obvious and logical, which just makes me admire the skill of the author even more.
As a side note, the story deals with the very personal, very sensitive issue of parenting a child who has an extremely difficult time conforming to mainstream schooling. As a teacher of primary school aged children myself and seeing the difficulties and helplessless on both sides, this hit me really close to my heart. I thought the author did a very good job of representing the situation, and I found it to be a very brave depiction.( Excerpt... )
There is one sex scene that would fall under the provenance of BDSM (specifically the bondage and Dom/sub aspects), but it’s not very extensive so I’m not tagging it explicitly.