Hi, Nonny, I am sorry but somehow I lost your question, the gist of which was: What led me to Johnlock and Freebatch in particular, it’s weird to ship real people.
I got into reading Sherlock when I was 12. The local librarian introduced me to it, along with the wonderful world of Sir Terry Pratchett. She said that Pratchett would appeal to my particular sense of humour while ACD would appeal to my love of crime, mystery, and adventure.
Even to my 12 yr old sexually naive brain, the signs were there and I already started shipping Johnlock. Of course, I grew up in a very patriarchal society and anything that wasn’t straight was taboo and/or derided so it wasn’t something I could talk about to anyone. Every story I read, I read with the hope that something definitive would happen between Holmes and Watson but of course, it never did so I got into reading up about history which brought me to Oscar Wilde (the librarian would not let my 14 yr old self read those). Nevertheless, I came to understand why Holmes and Watson could never be together in the way my heart desired and that I myself did not identify as straight (I had started dating a really cute (hot) boy but I also had a mad crush on one of my classmates, a girl with long black hair and deep blue eyes, not unlike those of Martin Freeman). I digress. To get back to your question.
I became an instant Benedict Cumberbatch fan when I went to watch Amazing Grace in 2006. The first time I saw him, I had this visceral reaction somewhat like when Ram sees Chandini for the first time in Main Hoon Na, like the world tilted on it’s axis :D. I’ve never looked back.
Ben and Martin became my OTP at the premiere of Creation on my dad’s birthday in 2009. You’ve no doubt seen those pics.
By then, of course, I knew everything there was to find about Ben but nothing about Martin, except that he was in Love Actually. Something about them together though, sparked in my gut and a titanic of a ship set sail.
Imagine my surprise and utter delight when a year later we got BBC Sherlock! And it was so f*ing gay. Suddenly I had two ships in one!
Now BBC Sherlock turned out to be a bit of a disappointment in the end, but if you squint… and even though we’ve had some pretty shippy moments along the way, Ben and Martin may never actually be together, but I will never abandon ships.