Sherlock walks into the sitting room and glances at John on the sofa and something buckles in his chest. John has cut his hair. The swoop is gone. His hair is short again, as short as on the day they met. Softer. Sherlock remembers that John. He watches him now. John hasn’t noticed him. He’s looking down at Rosie growing sleepy in his arms. Getting her to sleep hasn’t been easy. Sherlock is quiet. He slips over to his chair and says nothing. John notices the movement and looks up and smiles. Whatever buckled in Sherlock’s chest slips another notch. For that moment, John looks so open. He used to look at Sherlock that way. Sherlock knows John merely has Rosie on his mind, that the warmth in his eyes will fade. But maybe he’s wrong. Sherlock has had to get used to being wrong these days. He has had to get used to not expecting too much at all. He watches John, who is looking down at Rosie again, now sleeping and warm. Sherlock cannot stop looking at that short hair. His fingers twitch on the armrest. John glances up again and notices, looks down. Looks up again. Now he looks thoughtful. He eases himself off the sofa. Adjusts his back. So many years. He crosses the room and stands next to Sherlock. Turns away from him. Sherlock raises an eyebrow. John _ oh! the knees _ eases himself to sit on the floor next to Sherlock’s chair. He leans back against the armrest. The side of his head is inches from the side of Sherlock’s thigh. They almost touch as John turns to look up at Sherlock. Again that warmth in his eyes. Sherlock doesn’t understand him. This. He never does. John faces away from him again but leans his head to softly bump Sherlock’s thigh. A prompt. Sherlock’s fingers twitch again. He lifts his hand. Pauses. Lowers it to let his fingertips rest on the barest wisps of John’s hair. Pauses. His fingers start to move, softly. Rosie is still sleeping. Sherlock can hear her breathing. He can hear John’s. For a moment, John lowers his head from Sherlock’s touch, drops a kiss onto their daughter’s head. His daughter’s, Sherlock corrects himself, slightly fuzzy. John’s. John, who has lifted his head again, seeking out Sherlock’s still outstretched hand. John leans into it, just so. “That’s right, love,” John whispers. Sherlock says nothing. He is thinking of a blue-checked shirt and a suspended pipette and how quickly, so quickly, a stranger can win the trust of another. He wonders if it could ever happen again.
Well I will approach this in two ways. ACD Canon quotes and BBC Sherlock quotes.
ACD Canon :
“It may be that you are not yourself luminous, but that you are a conductor of light. Some people without possessing genius have a remarkable power of stimulating it.”
“You have a grand gift for silence, Watson. It makes you quite invaluable as a companion.”
“I know, my dear Watson, that you share my love of all that is bizarre and outside the conventions and humdrum routine of daily life.”
“You’re not hurt, Watson? For God’s sake, say that you are not hurt!“ It was worth a wound – it was worth many wounds – to know the depth of loyalty and love which lay behind that cold mask. The clear, hard eyes were dimmed for a moment, and the firm lips were shaking. For the one and only time I caught a glimpse of a great heart as well as of a great brain. All my years of humble but single-minded service culminated in that moment of revelation.”
“I have never loved, Watson, but if I did and if the woman I loved had met such an end, I might act even as our lawless lion-hunter has done. Who knows?” – The Devil’s Foot. “By the Lord, it is as well for you. If you had killed Watson, you would not have got out of this room alive. Now, sir, what have you to say for yourself?” – The Three Garridebs.
“The relations between us in those latter days were peculiar. He was a man of habits, narrow and concentrated habits, and I had become one of them…..I was a whetstone for his mind. I stimulated him.
“I am lost without my Boswell.”
“…If we could fly out of that window hand in hand, hover over this great city…. ”
“You’ve got a boyfriend then? Which is fine by the way.” “I know it’s fine.”
“I am happy to play the fool. For you.”
“You, it’s always you John Watson. You keep me right.”
“I don’t mind.” “Anytime.”
“I’m glad no one saw that.” “What?” “You, ripping my clothes off in a darkened swimming pool. People might talk.”
“Take my hand.” “Now people will definitely talk.”
“You look sad, when you think he can’t see you.”
“I have a date” “that’s what I was suggesting”
“It(Sherlock Watson) could work.”
“You are a great boyfriend. Sherlock Holmes is a very lucky man…Don’t make me compete with Sherlock Holmes.”
“I’m his doctor.” “And only a fool argues with his doctor”
“The stuff you wanted to say but never did. Say it now” “No. I can't”
“There’s something I’ve always wanted to say but never have”
“You being all mysterious with your–cheekbones. And turning your coat collar up so you look cool.”
“I’d be lost without my blogger.”
“I was so alone. And I owe you so much.”
“But look how you care about John Watson. Your damsel in distress.”
There are many. But I have a tendency to forget quotes when someone asks for it. Feel free to add more.
It’s funny and interesting how the Sherlock fandom reshuffles and reorganises every time there’s been a major upheaval, let’s say a new series, some unfortunate interviews or something else…
People step back or leave the fandom, new people come in, new fanartists, new writers, and old, familiar faces fade into the background - it’s very bittersweet
Hi Ivy, thank u for being a reasonable voice since S4. I still have a cognitive dissonance regarding your S4 reading, though. On the one hand I see it almost a 100%, on the other the creators bile towards johnlock reading creates a problem for me. Anyway, my q is related to the "almost". Why do you think John still wears his wedding ring in TFP (and in the final montage)? If they got together and now love of each other's lives, how can he wear it? Wouldn't' that go against your reading? Thanks!!
I’m not trying to convince you of my reading of Sherlock. It’s my reading and I love to share it, but I’m not here to convince you. You should have your own reading. Don’t let me, or anyone, creators included, tell you what you see.
When I was 16 I went to see Timothy Findley, Canadian author of one of my favourite books, Not Wanted on the Voyage. It’s a novel reinterpreting the story of Noah and the flood. In it, one of the characters, Japeth, is captured by cannibals and marinated in a pot. While trapped in the pot, it rains and rains and rains, and the water drips in and raises the level of the marinade in the pot to the point that he can push the lid off and escape. Once free, he discovers that the cannibals have all been struck by lightning in the storm. Japeth is blue for the rest of the story because of the marinade.
Like Japeth, Noah and his family are trapped on a boat, marinating not in a blue liquid, but in fear, faith, doubt, and each other. That experience shapes who they are ever after. It rains and rains until the world nearly comes to an end, but when the storm is over they are freed, the story suggests God has since died and there is no one dictating what happens next. Japeth’s time in the pot seemed like foreshadowing for the grander arc of the story.
So when I went to see Timothy Findley, when I was 16 years old, I brought him my book for him to sign, and I told him my theory about Japeth’s predicament being the entire story in miniature.
Timothy Findley was pleased by my interpretation and praised me for it. But then he told me, “I just wanted Japeth to be blue.”
Does it matter that Timothy Findley didn’t intend for his story to include a summary of itself in the story of one of its characters? Does it mean I was wrong? It doesn’t matter whether or not it was intended. It’s still there, and I don’t think I was wrong.
I understand that creators weighing in and tell us what we’re supposed to see in a story is upsetting. I enjoy hearing what writers and creators have to say, honestly I could listen to them all day, but in the end I’m not that interested in accepting their interpretations over my own. Creators have a chance to create the story they want to in the narrative itself. After that, it’s up to the audience to decide what it means. If the evidence for my interpretation exists, no creator has a right to tell me that I’m wrong.
Regarding wedding rings: I don’t think John is ready to remove his wedding ring, and I’d be pretty surprised if he had been ready by the end of S4. It’s too soon. I don’t expect he’lll be ready for a step like that for a while. That’s very normal for anyone who loses a spouse, particularly in the fraught and painful way that John does.
That ring honours Mary’s role in John’s life in a way that he critically fails to do while she was alive, and as we know, that’s something he struggles with. Keeping that ring on is a way to cope with that failure.
Sherlock has always been very accepting of Mary’s role in John’s life (and by extension, his own). If they had recently opted to start redefining their relationship to each other, so to speak, and I don’t think Sherlock would be offended by John continuing to wear his wedding ring. I think what happened to Mary is very much a part of what happens next between them. Her absence is part of them. I think her final message to them says exactly that.
Wearing a wedding ring would certainly put anyone else off dating John, though. Obviously he’s not on the market for a new girlfriend. But he does seem awfully happy with his life at the end of S4, doesn’t he? Particularly for someone who had been, until now, almost constantly on the hunt for something more.
He’s been at his very, very lowest in this series, and lost almost everything, but he ends it happier than we’ve ever seen him. That’s kind of interesting, isn’t it?