‘Why did you fall for him?’
I’ve never been able to answer this question and I wonder if I ever will be. The only thing I know is that I spent years not knowing him and one day he just was there.
I still remember him, just sitting there on a wooden picnic table, I still remember him looking up at me, I still remember the look in his eyes, I still remember the feeling I had. Both were pure, clean because nothing had happened yet.
There we were on that chilly spring morning, not yet knowing how we would change each other’s lives.
'Why do you still love him?’
How will I ever be able to answer? I just do. He’s such a big part of my life, I can’t imagine it without him. No, there hasn’t been an easy moment ever since I met him and yes, at times it hurts, a lot.
But I guess I just live for him, for the signature grins I get from him, for the way he calls my name, for the sparkle in his eyes when I make him laugh. For the way he can still make me stutter after 5 years and for the princess-like feeling he can give me.
I know everyone tells me to let him go. And I get why. Perhaps I could let him go if I only met him a few months ago, but he has marked too many memories, predominated too many years. He’s the only thing in my life that never changes.
It’s a common saying among Stiles’ friends that he doesn’t have a lot of
dignity. To be perfectly honest, Stiles agrees with them (as much as he argues
against the point whenever they bring it up).
But this is probably a new low.
Well, not new-new, because this is into the fourth week of the habit
and if he was a better person, he’d have stopped by now. He’s not a better
person in this instance, but he’s made peace with it.
‘It’ being watching his stubbled neighbour jog past his place every morning
in sweatpants and obviously non-supportive underwear. There’s a lot of movement
down there. A lot.
“I mean, with that much jiggle, he’s gotta know, right?” Stiles asks his
window pane, behind which he’s fake writing on his laptop.
They’re not quite neighbours, there’s about half a block between them for
which Stiles’ sanity is thankful. Otherwise who knows what ludicrous amateur
spying would have occurred.
As it is, he is very thankful he accidentally set his alarm for five am two
(it was four) mornings in a row, because now he knows that this is a morning
ritual for his neighbour.
Today hot neighbour is wearing the cut off, grey sweats. They’re a personal
favourite of Stiles’ (better than the dark blue ones, which make it harder to
see) because it means not only can he get a clear view of his neighbour’s dick
as it swings forward against the fabric, but also his sweaty, perfectly muscled
Stiles sighs out and bangs his head once against the window pane, a small
punishment that is also part of the routine.
What is not part of the routine, is hot neighbour looking into Stiles’
window, and seeing Stiles’ face smooshed against the glass, after which he
trips, possibly in disgust, or just simple distraction.
Stiles’ first reaction is to panic. He pushes his chair back from the desk and
slams his laptop closed.
His second reaction is that he should call someone to come help.
His third reaction is to realise that, hold on, he can go and help.
Stiles rushes out his front door and into the chilly morning air.
It is a chilly November morning at 9 am, and we are on our way to Datia. The entire drive had very limited visibility and it felt like the fog had developed its own character overnight and started travelling with us like an old companion. Little did I know, this was probably the best preface for the place I was about to visit shortly. Around mid-day, the fog started clearing up to reveal some friendly jaggery hawkers.
I looked around, and find myself surrounded by sugarcane fields! That is when I learnt that the periphery of this district is famous for jaggery factories.
Biting on a few delicious pieces, I moved towards Tourist Motel in Datia where I got a glimpse of the main attraction - the marvellous Bir Singh Palace, also known as Datia Palace and locally referred to as the Purana Mahal. I sat on a bench, looking at the breathtaking view of this overwhelmingly stunning palace!
This palace is famous as a testimony to friendship. As I wondered the story behind the palace, my guide narrated one of the most unique stories I have heard in a long time. Centuries ago, when Bundela Raja Bir Singh and Akbar entered into an alliance at Orchha, it marked the beginning of a friendship with the Mughal ruler’s son Jahangir. Bir Singh built the Jahangir Mahal at Orchha to welcome him on his first visit to the city. But the Raja was not too impressed by the Orchha Mahal and so went on to build this majestic maze of a palace in Datia.
Up close, Bir Singh Palace was more than just a spectacle. So much so that I was awe struck by the entrance gate itself. Each of the tiles, carvings, colours, motifs had a tale about a great friendship. The figures in yellow represent Bir Singh and the one in green depict Jahangir placed in numerous frames made to look like almirahs. The main arch has carvings of them catching deers, a dragon like figure as well as motifs of the sun and the moon.
Sadly, a lot of the enamel work had withered away with time but it still does not need a lot of imagination to guess how breathtaking it must have been when it was built. I spent a good amount of time gazing at the gate and figuring out these stories that were the inspiration for this wall.
Built entirely of brick and stone with no cement or iron to hold it together, this palace is one of the finest examples of the blend of Indo-Islamic architecture. Designed in the form of a Swastik, it is a great balance of classical and symmetrical. No wonder Sir Edward Lutyens, the renowned British architect was awestruck by this palace. He was so overwhelmed by Datia Mahal that he chose to visit other edifices in India before he embarked on designing New Delhi.
The palace stands on a square base with octagonal towers on each of its corners. Some of the ceilings have beautifully carved islamic patterns that looked like the night sky filled with stars. Some of them have naqqashi work. The chhatris are in the shape of a lotus petal, whereas arches and doorways are clearly inspired my islamic architecture. Every wall spoke to me about the beautiful aesthetics and whispered poems of friendship. Although the rooms with stucco work were shut, I managed to get a peek of a few figures - trees, birds, vases - simply stunning. This wonderful fusion of two worlds made it even more interesting to spend more time around this place.
In the 17th century, the cost of building this palace was about a whopping 35 lakhs but the heartbreaking part is that no one actually ended up living in it.
And the biggest irony - even Jahangir himself was never able to visit it.
About the artist
Neethi Goldhawk is an independent illustrator and textile print designer who loves drawing all things dreamy, inspired by nature and life. She has illustrated for platforms like Redbull Amaphiko and Launchora. Her pen name (Goldhawk) was concocted in the crowded space of her mind full of absurd characters, who are but little children at heart. She is an avid Tumblr blogger and can be found here
australiaThere’s nothing quite like breakfast in bed on a chilly winter’s morning ☕ Tilly the baby yellow-footed rock wallaby certainly agrees! Tilly lives at the @australianreptilepark in @visitnsw, and at five months old she weighs in at just 430 grams. The team here is providing Tilly with round-the-clock care, feeding her with bottles of specially formulated milk every five hours and ensuring she is kept toasty warm in her knitted pouch. Video: The Australian Reptile Park
Adding a little magic to my porridge on chilly mornings💫 my current favourite breakfast is definitely this creamy vanilla brown rice porridge (recipe is up on my blog!) ~ so nourishing, warming and satisfying🙏🏼 Most days I prepare it the night before, pack it in a jar with some fresh or frozen fruit and take it to Uni to eat, so it definitely looks no where near as pretty as this ~ but on my days off I like to get a little fancy with my toppings🤗🌟 What are your favourite porridge toppings?
The Incident In The Room With The Red Curtain,
9k, teen. Friends to lovers. “Holmes investigates the mysterious
disappearance of Francis Colleton, a
case that requires some of Watson’s specialist knowledge.” Absolutely
one of my favorite fics of all time. They are so gentle with each other.
The Adventure of the Doctor’s Heart,
12k, E. Friends to lovers. “Holmes has observed much of Watson’s habits
and tastes over time, which
is why it surprises him when his friend objects strangely to a folk song
sung at the conclusion of a case. Disturbed by the Doctor’s unexpected
display of emotion, Holmes becomes determined to lift his spirits by any
means necessary, with mixed results.” This was one of the first
Doyle-style fics I read. Holmes’ quiet adoration of John is so good.
Grit, 5k, M. Friends to lovers. “Watson, still bruised and damaged from the Afghan War, decides to
hide his inversion so Holmes will remain his friend and
flatmate. He thinks the trade-off won’t be difficult, but in a moment of
weakness he goes to an underground club with an erstwhile lover. What
he discovers there is more than he’d bargained for.” Funny and sad and sweet, with a beautiful ending.
A Man Of Great Character And Better Humor, 2k, gen. Established relationship. Retirement. “When a bit of bad news threatens to crush Watson’s spirit, Holmes knows just the solution.” Absolutely the loveliest little sketch of two old men in love.
Five Times Sherlock Holmes Lied, 5k, gen. Friends to lovers. TAB verse. “Something in Wilde’s persecution has touched a nerve in Sherlock –
snapped that tenuous thread of hope holding him upright – and it feels
as if he has taken to bleeding internally.” This one’s hard, but gorgeous.
The Ill-Tempered Patient, 1k, gen. Pre-slash. “Holmes has a cold and is being disagreeable, but Watson is used to indulging his moods.” A funny glimpse into their affection for each other.
Mon Couer, 1k, teen. Established relationship. “Holmes tries out a new endearment in the midst of pillow talk.” Holmes gets insecure, and Watson comforts him. The two of them trying to figure out how to be sweet with each other–and flustering themselves–is too lovely.
A Taste of Honey, 3k, teen. Pre-slash. Sickfic. “A failure to observe leads to a successful deduction.” Watson becomes deathly ill while Holmes is away, and Holmes is forced to confront how badly he needs him.
The Incident With The Bicycle, 2k, gen. Established relationship. “We know Holmes can ride a bicycle, but when exactly did he learn?” A bit of a wobble in the early days of their love. I adore Watson’s kindness in this.
Wintry Morning, Victoria Station, 1k, teen. Established relationship. “Watson had come to see me off at the station, that chilly morning in
November when a quiet yet momentous shift took place in that strange
thing that existed between us.” Watson and Holmes find words for something deeper than anyone around them could imagine.
The Tempest, 3k, teen. Friends to lovers. “Now that Holmes had come back from the dead, things could return to how they were before.” Aftermath of Reichenbach–Watson is so brave.
As Yes To If, 3k, gen. Friends to lovers. Granada. “Leave for your own sake if you must, but on no account shall you
leave for mine. I can imagine no sadder outcome of the insight you have
gained tonight.” Watson lets slip more of his heart than he realizes, after they nearly lose their lives.
Winter In London, 45k, NR. Friends to lovers. CW: rape. “The last stages of a case go dangerously wrong. Afterwards, Watson tries
to live with the memory of a terrible bargain in secrecy.” This is heartbreaking, and deep, and beautiful. Be careful of the content; but if you can manage it, it’s worth it.
I May Be Speaking To Closed Doors, 2k, teen. Established relationship. “Watson makes a Valentine, and then isn’t sure what to do with it.” Poor Watson, a romantic in a relationship with the world’s most unromantic man–so it seems.
Invasion, 2k, gen. Established relationship. Watson can’t bear mice. Holmes thinks it’s rather silly, but humors him, until he understands. This starts off a bit cracky and then ends so sweetly.
Tea From Terai, 700w, gen. Established relationship. “Sherlock Holmes gets a letter from Terai, and remembers that he does know someone in Terai. Or, knew.” Watson learns a little something about his love’s past.
What Is Right, And What Is Easy, 600w, NR. Established relationship. “There’s a reason that Article 28 (which criminalized homosexuality) was called the Blackmailer’s Charter.” This cuts deep for how brief it is.
The Red Notebook, 10k, teen. Post-Reichenbach. I hesitated to include this because it’s a bit too much heartbreak for me–I can’t believe that they would ever willingly give each other up, after love. But this story’s Mycroft is so good, his relationship with Watson so bittersweet, I had to. And it ends joyously, as it must.
Masked Ball, 30k, teen. Friends to lovers. “Six months after Holmes’ return from the dead, the delicate equilibrium
in Baker Street is disturbed when a stranger walks out of the London
fog with a case–for Watson. Holmes is wary, Watson is fascinated. But
who is the man calling himself Álvaro de León? And what does he really
want?” I love, love, love this story. I love Alvaro, I love the way Holmes deduces Watson’s bisexuality, I love the mystery and the sweep and the humor of it. It’s wonderful.
Text Omitted, 1k, teen. Established relationship. CW: child abuse. “Watson learns something disconcerting about Holmes’ past.” This makes me cry, and smile: the courage with which they love each other.
The Bee Grove, 14k, teen. Friends to lovers. CW: suicide. “Watson travels to Kent to attend the funeral of an estranged friend from
his past who committed suicide. Certain things transpire to make Watson
wonder if his inappropriate love for Holmes could possibly be requited.” Beautiful.
Idée Fixe, 1k, teen. Friends to lovers. Granada. “He does not know what to begin with it. It is too grave a thing to be
treated as a mere distraction, too tenacious to be dissolved in tobacco
smoke. What does one begin with an idée fixe? With a mind bent towards
one single thing.” This is almost infuriating in its restraint, but fascinating, too.
The Thieves’ Den, 6k, teen. “The discovery of a large cache of stolen goods ends badly.” Words cannot express how I love this fic–particularly the meddling Mycroft, and the protectiveness of both of them, in spite of each other.
Since I First Saw Your Face, 70k, M. Developing relationship. “During the Great Hiatus, Holmes, studying in Tibet, reflects on his first meeting with Dr John Watson.” The only WIP I’ll rec, or read, because the wealth of historical detail and depth of their intimacy is such that I’d be immensely thankful to have read this even if it never ended. The author can be found on tumblr at @artemisastarte.
When You Know Something’s Wrong, 1k, M. Established relationship. Sickfic. “Holmes gets it wrong.” This is just 1k of lovely Watson gently forcing his medical attention on a truculent Holmes.
Pilgrims Of A Sort, 12k, teen. Friends to lovers to retirement. Absolute classic. “A pair of young travelers turn up at the Sussex cottage of an aging
Holmes and Watson, searching for proof that love like theirs can last a
lifetime. Watson tells them the story of himself and Holmes–which also
happens to be the story of Mary Morstan, and her own unconventional love
affair.” Featuring a fantastic old married Holmes and Watson and TWO pairs of happy lesbians.
A Matter of Integrity, 3k, gen. Established relationship. “It is a curious thing when a celebrity whom you’ve never truly met is
widely considered your most prominent suitor. Irene Norton sets out in
search of some answers, and discovers that sometimes the truth is a
delicate matter.” Irene is wonderful, Holmes is careful, and this is good.
Cameo, 8k, teen. Friends to lovers. “Holmes and Watson become embroiled in a case Scotland Yard refuses to acknowledge. A soulmate AU.” One wouldn’t think a magical AU in Victorian times could be very delicately done, or mesmerizing. One would be wrong.
Chimera, 800w, gen. Pre-slash. Post-Reichenbach. “My dear Watson, It is with reluctance that I begin this letter
to you, for there can be no doubt regarding its fate. It will follow
into oblivion all the other letters I have written to you over the past
two years, the only difference between them their means of demise.” Poor Holmes.
Something To Retire To, 9k, teen. Friends to partners. Asexual Holmes, miscommunication, jealousy. “Watson contemplates the future while he and Holmes investigate the three Garridebs.” This fic will break your heart into a hundred pieces and put it together again.
Hallowed Be Thy Name, 40k, E. Established relationship. “A word must be said upon the subject of witticisms first, within the
the manuscripts which have begun littering our rooms. My
Doctor’s sense of humour exists in direct correlation to his state of
well-being, and the more active a man he becomes–a felicity for which
grateful as much to his ferocious tenacity as to any higher power–the
grow the invariably poetical descriptors applied to my
person.” Holmes’ past, Watson’s love, and an epic poem of a story. This fic changed me.
Of course, look up each author’s full body of work if you want more. Mistyzeo is on tumblr at @mistyzeo and posts recs frequently. I write Doyle-style here. @granada-brett-crumbs has another magnificently expansive canon fic rec here. @knightfury1895 and @jeremyholmes post canon-style ficlets on tumblr. Basically, there’s a wealth of wonderful fic out there!
was a chilly winter morning in Colorado Springs, Colorado. As women were
nervously sitting in the Planned Parenthood clinic, they started to hear a loud
“pop pop pop” coming from outside. Staff inside the clinic rushed those in the
waiting room into a different room with a lock on the door and called police.
As police arrived they were met with gunfire by Robert Lewis Dear, who was now inside the clinic.
police fired back and a five hour standoff ensued. Dear was armed with a
semi-automatic rifle and by the end of the standoff, three people were dead:
police officer, Garrett Swasey and two passerbys, Ke’Arre M. Stewart and
Jennifer Markovsky were shot numerous times and succumbed to their wounds. Beside
Dear’s car, police discovered several propane tanks. It’s believed that he had
intended to open fire on the tanks and cause an explosion.
his apprehension, Dear expressed the belief that he would be met in Heaven by aborted
fetuses who would thank him for his murderous deed. None of the people he
killed worked in Planned Parenthood and none of them were planning on having an
abortion, but he had intended on killing those inside the building. Thankfully,
they were quick on their feet and managed to get themselves to safety before he
entered. In 2016, he was deemed incompetent to stand trial.