Do you have any acd fic recs?
Hoooo boyyyy do I ever. In no particular order:
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 context of the manuscripts which have begun littering our rooms. My friend the Doctor’s sense of humour exists in direct correlation to his state of physical well-being, and the more active a man he becomes–a felicity for which I am grateful as much to his ferocious tenacity as to any higher power–the more wry 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!