The canon Johnlock arc (in a fic)
I know I complain a lot about Johnlock fanfic. I have a lot of ifs, ands and buts about writing and characterization, but the truth is, I’m just insatiable, because there’s actually a lot of great fic still out there. I’m sure there’s authors I haven’t even started reading yet (’cause I haven’t found them– I’m always up for recs if you share my tastes, by the way!) Yes, this means I’ve found a tiny trove of new TJLC-friendly Johnlock fics. They’re both quite enjoyable, in rather different ways.
- For All Intents and Purposes, by ggggnashville: This is just a sweet and innocent bit of post-S3 get-together fluff, but I love these. You could almost say it’s a genre, of sorts, imagining John and Sherlock’s conversation where they finally tell each other those words neither one can bring themselves to say. Here, it’s surprisingly simple. Why does it have to be complicated? The truth is a powerful thing, and John isn’t particularly good at talking about these things. This is just a few moments out of time, once the current plot arc is over, where we’re back to domesticity, movies and take-out and general domesticity at Baker Street. This fic is a little bonbon, just enough to wet your palate and make you think about what John and Sherlock’s actual conversation will be like.
While I do enjoy this mini-genre, I still yearn for beefier, broader-based fics, particularly ones that don’t start their emotional arcs after HLV already resolves. Essentially, nothing matters to me as much as seeing the continuity when it comes to characterization in any fic that’s not an AU, these days in Sherlock fandom, in any case. That’s where the other fic comes in.
- Long Division, by AuthorGod: this is the one I didn’t know I was waiting for. Longish, angsty but really just intense, this fic is grounded in a believable John backstory and hits all the right highlights and lowlights from the three series (including TAB). John feels so real, and it all hangs together! There’s little missing scene details from several of the eps, which really do feel like they could be missing scenes, because John and Sherlock are so in character– including the stuff from the months-long hiatus in HLV, about which I’ve always wondered. Mary and Mycroft don’t have a large role, but what is there seems spot-on, not overstated and nothing too easy. One of the things that I’ve found to be a pitfall of fics that focus on TJLC-friendly Johnlock post-S3 is that things feel too easy, because all of them that I’ve seen so far skip actually doing the whole plot resolution thing, so it’s like skipping to the end of the book. With ‘Long Division’, we get an overview of the whole arc, so the resolution feels well deserved, and we see much-needed details about John’s real thoughts the whole time. Moreover, I was delighted to see that Sherlock’s responses in HLV weren’t romanticized or made overly fluffy: he’s still a prickly, painfully awkward and immature man who really likes to shoot himself in the foot. He just wouldn’t be Sherlock if he was too earnest, just as he wouldn’t be himself if he didn’t explode into vulnerability, too. So basically I feel this fic addressed all my needs and desires, smothered me in meaty angst and a wonderful, in-character John POV, and then offered a smoothly satisfying resolution.