sherlock acknowledging that it is not as easy as saying no more drugs for me

The 'Why Omegaverse' Question

I’m a very self-indulgent person, and so I like analyzing why I like the self-indulgent things I like to read almost as much as reading them. And well, currently I’m reading a Johnlock Omegaverse fic and it made me wonder why I almost always enjoy it so much.

Usually when the subject comes up, I’ve seen things like people enjoy the world-building, the gender dynamics exploration or the porn (usually that bit’s implied). To be honest, I’ve never actually seen people talk about it much. Not that people in fandom are all that shy about our porn, but wank happens just with the top/bottom discussions, forget Alpha/Omega discourse (not that I’ve actually ever seen that). It doesn’t completely translate. Like, I think people usually write Omega!John and bottom!John differently, although there’s more overlap in Omega!Sherlock and bottomlock. The storyline about how both Omega John and Sherlock resist their secondary gender’s stereotypes to be BAMFy fits both of them in different ways, just as the whole Alpha strut and self-confidence can be spun to fit them both. I think in my case, I find both options more pleasant in Omegaverse ‘cause often there’s more explicit characterization work to justify the differences in the fic’s John or Sherlock. Like, I’m a very picky reader that’s super sensitized to OOCness, and I think Omegaverse helps me 'cause the characterization divergence is there but is more consciously constructed as an AU. So I’m like, okay this is a bottomlock universe or a toplock universe, and I can go with it 'cause it’s never presented as the 'natural order of things’, so to speak. Of course, this is ironic 'cause the mainstream concept of the gender dynamic in-universe is usually all about the 'natural order of things’ being Alpha/Omega pairings. It’s just that you’re still dealing with these implicit or symbolic issues (feminization, projection, etc) a lot in regular fics, but I feel like it’s defanged if it’s directly acknowledged by the narrative.

This might be why it’s awkward to talk about enjoying Omegaverse porn, in a way. At least speaking for myself, there’s an underlying sense of discomfort in 'un-queering’ the pairing, even if you keep the characters’ equipment. At least if you’re not reading Alpha/Alpha or Omega/Omega fics (which are rare and I myself usually don’t read). I think for me, there’s an appeal in the absolute normalization of it, sort of the same way I enjoy 18-19th century novel Sherlock fusion fics with no homophobia. Like, you could say it’s erasing the queerness of the characters by making them play essentially heteronormative roles in the society (especially when one of the characters was literally male and one female in the original novel). Or you could say it’s simply that the fic’s erasing the other people’s problem, which is external to the actual relationship dynamics between the characters. In the case of Omegaverse, you’re still usually problematizing the gendered aspects of the relationship (ie, it’s not usually portrayed as absolute smooth sailing, ala a fluffy het romance), but you’re not coming at it from the same angle so it’s still refreshing. Is that what *I* like about it, though?

It’s a bonus, certainly. In the end, I do like the thinky world-building and the gender exploration stuff, but it’s not enough by itself. What makes Omegaverse a true guilty pleasure is usually the trope aspect: the chance to enjoy a classic iteration of the fuck-or-die trope combined with a soulmate trope. If you look at the usual fuck-or-die fics these days, they’re not generally romantic. They tend to be more straightforwardly dealing with issues of consent and trauma if they’re not pure rapefic PWP, whereas a lot of Omegaverse fic still allows you to have consent in-universe along with a focus on characterization and romance; PWPs are relatively rare. My point is, the trope’s original conceit was that both people secretly want it, and may be wary but interested and compatible (and at least initially/partly capable of consent, though you could have angst about the subject in many fics). It’s obviously problematic rather than romantic in a more realistic context, but this is why I enjoy the sci-fi premise of the Omegaverse. It’s quite possible to create these results using a different sci-fi/fantasy scenario (certain magical artifacts, alien spores, sometimes Sentinel/Guide, etc), but Omegaverse provides a ready template, whereas everything else requires constructing a complex plot from scratch. Of course, this is partly why I enjoyed them back in the day, but most fics I’ve seen lately just go with drugs and/or a villain as the immediate cause. Both of these are traumatic, being sort of the antithesis of a happy ending scenario. So… me no likey.

With the seemingly romantic soulmate trope taken alone in fics, most of what I see is also less than romantic, with the usual point being to problematize the soulmate bond scenario somehow. Otherwise it’s considered 'boring’. I just like my bond fics being about a happy, even joyous union, with the drama coming from the difficulty getting together or some other external source. Omegaverse fics generally use this type of approach. Call me old-fashioned. I know I am.

I think rather than the porn (which is really hit-or-miss in terms of how well even a good writer does with it), I’m into the soul-bonding and pheromonal attraction aspect of the trope. This might also be another reason why I don’t really care much who’s the Alpha or Omega: usually the desperation (another favorite trope!) goes both ways emotionally. The whole nature of the Omegaverse is about breaking down personal boundaries and forming a more perfect union, both physically and emotionally. I mean, usually this is a theme in most romantic pairings, but here it’s being made both emotionally explicit and natural (in-universe), whereas I tend to view super-fluffy fics (especially involving long-term commitment themes) with suspicion. This probably has something to do with me being a 'cold-prickly type’ reader. Normally, reading about marriage (essentially) would seem OOC or over-the-top to me somehow, whereas if you’re soul-bonded as an Alpha/Omega couple, well, you can’t really avoid it. There’s usually no (easy) divorce and/or polyamory option, etc. You’re just kinda stuck being in fluffy love forever, haha. I know a lot of people would find that stifling or even less romantic, but it suits me just fine. Though I could do without the babies, generally, in the end I even make the baby exception for Omega Sherlock (poor boy, haha). ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

2

Christmas

Christmas had never been Sherlock’s favorite time of the year. Growing up with a brother like Mycroft and parents as intolerable as theirs made for endless, horrifically boring Christmas dinners which were torturous affairs for everyone but their mother, who insisted on all but glueing her husband and sons to a seat on the table for a civilized family meal. 

As an overcompensation of sorts, he had taken to treating Christmas as just another perfectly ordinary day. Things changed slightly to accommodate Mrs. Hudson, then John, but all in all, Sherlock viewed Christmas as an occasion that warranted no celebration or acknowledgment.

So the first time he had woken up on midnight of Christmas Eve to the sound of his bathroom window opening, the last thing he expected to see in the meager living room of the SRO he was renting while hiding from Moriarty’s network was The Woman. Not that her appearance in itself warranted any celebration or acknowledgement (or so he told himself), but he had to admit, it was a surprise. 

She was dressed in one of his shirts – what was her fascination with his clothes, anyway? – and sitting on the worn couch, her knees drawn up to her chest. Sitting on the table in front of her was one of the candles he had been saving for an experiment under the sink. She barely looked up at him when he entered the room, instead she addressed the candle’s flickering light.

“It’s Christmas.”

Sherlock’s eyes narrowed. “I’m aware.”

She still didn’t look at him. She seemed mesmerized by the candle’s flame. “I died for the first time last year. Remember?”

Remember? How could he forget?

When he woke up on Christmas Day, she was gone. He would think it was a dream, some kind of hallucination his half-drugged brain had created, except… except the candle was burnt down to a small waxy stub, and his shirt and his sheets smelled of Her.

And then there was nothing.

No sign of her, no news of her whereabouts. He didn’t actively seek her out, because he had no reason to, and also for fear of what would happen if he were to do so. What could they say to each other that wouldn’t make the situation worse between them?

He did keep an ear out for whispers from Moriarty’s slowly dwindling network… any rumours of a Woman arising from the bottomless pit that was the criminal underworld. 

But there was nothing.

Twelve months later, in a hotel in Montenegro – exactly a week before he had to leave for Serbia, and a month before his return to London – his window opened again.

This time, she wasn’t alone. 

The infant in her arms stirred and opened its blue eyes, which were the exact replica of his own.

“It’s Christmas,” she said, by way of explanation. And nothing else was said for the remainder of the night.

He held the baby – his baby, his brain automatically supplied, even if he was still having trouble processing it – once. Only once, while its mother was asleep. 

It was tiny… so tiny… and fragile. Why were human beings so easy to break? There were so many things that could break this impossibly tiny thing… Himself, included.

He wasn’t surprised to find both Woman and infant missing the next day.

It was for the best, he told himself as he eased awkwardly back into his old life in London. He could barely take care of himself, much less an infant. Such a thing would only weigh him down, would be another vulnerability. 

He didn’t know what had made the Woman bring it to term and actually keep it. Sentiment, perhaps… a chemical defect that had the audacity to grow into an actual human being.

Though he would admit, he did think about it sometimes. 

When the Woman appeared in his mind palace, she was still as unspoiled as ever… but this time, she would sometimes be accompanied by a baby’s thin cry, or the smell of the infant’s soft head trailing after her perfume.

Three weeks before Christmas, he and John passed by a certain store, and he spied it. 

He didn’t know what possessed him, but he returned to the shop later without his friend, made sure it was appropriate, and brought it home. His illicit purchase was hidden in 221C where he was sure neither John nor Mary would find it.

When the window opened this time, there was a bassinet waiting in the living room of 221B. And the Woman smiled at him knowingly before placing the sleeping baby – who was no longer an infant, but a year-old Child; no longer an it but another she – inside.

He shrugged. “It’s Christmas.”

Christmas Day found the bassinet empty except for the blanket the Child had been wrapped in. The soft, clearly expensive material carried the scent of the Woman’s perfume and strawberry-scented baby shampoo.

The bassinet would later make its way to the pile of baby shower gifts for Mary after he had deduced her pregnancy, but the blanket remained in his possession.

Mary… whose bullet had nearly killed him.

There was a rose at the foot of his hospital bed when he awoke, but there were no unexpected-yet-expected visitors the next Christmas.

This Christmas, he found himself standing beside his best friend with Magnussen’s lifeless body at his feet and his hands in the air, having just done what he had sworn he would never, ever do.

“Jesus, Sherlock…!”

“Give my love to Mary,” He turned to John. “… She’s safe now.”

Which she had he been referring to – Mary? The Woman? Or the Child? Did he even know…?

But the moment Magnussen had detected the scent of the Woman on his hand, he had known. From that moment on, he’d known exactly what had to be done.

And if it led to his exile or his certain death… well, wasn’t that a small price to pay?

He knelt on the floor and thought of John and Mary, who were safe now from the threat that had been Magnussen. He thought of The Woman, wherever she was, whose death would remain permanent in the eyes of the world. He thought of the Child, whose existence would remain a secret. She whom he had never known, had only held once – an experience that would never be repeated again.

“Oh, Sherlock… what have you done…?”

The game is never over, John

Did you miss me?

Sherlock, promise me?


Moriarty is dead. No question… more importantly, I know exactly what he’s going to do next…

It was New Year’s Eve. Exactly a week after Magnussen’s murder. Three days after his overdose on the plane.

The book had been waiting on the mantelpiece for exactly a week, but the window remained resolutely shut.

He had been doing his best to hide the residual effects of the overdose from John and Mary, and he had been doing a good job of it. Good enough that he had been allowed his first moment of privacy since the plane, while the good doctor tended to his pregnant wife.

But in his solitude, there was no denying that the effects of the drugs still lingered, and it was this residual toxicity that made him think he imagined the small, high laugh from the living room of 221B.

But when the laugh – a child’s laugh, he now registered – was followed by a familiar voice, he shot up immediately out of bed and lurched into the living room.

The Woman was sitting on John’s chair in front of the fire, with the Child in her lap. The Child was reading the book he had left for her, and she was pointing out something in the book for her mother to see.

He released the breath he hadn’t known he’d been holding for a whole week.

The Woman looked up at the sound of his shaky exhale. They looked at each other silently for a long time.

“It’s Christmas.”

His voice was hoarse from disuse and it rasped out of his throat with unexpected relief and anguish at the same time. The dim light softened the Woman’s features and reflected the unexpected moisture in her eyes. It cast a soft light on the Child sitting quietly in her lap.

“Christmas was a week ago.”

Her words were meant to be teasing – she loved to be contrary– but her voice was quiet. The Child stirred, her blue gaze moving from her mother to this stranger she only saw once a year.

“No, it wasn’t.” He dragged himself onto his chair opposite her. For a moment, he watched them both. Then he smiled, and it coaxed one out of her as well when she realized what he meant.

“It’s Christmas.”

____________

By SorrowsFlower

Sorry for the long post. Christmas is my favorite time of the year, and it’s almost here, so… suffer my Christmas Adlock feels. Ugh, I shouldn’t be allowed to write fluff at 1AM.

The John Watson problem: It’s not just John, it’s the imbalance in the relationship, and it’s the writers fault

So, I’ve slept on the TLD John issue.  I’m still heartbroken.  But I want to clear a few things up, firstly about my view of John as a character (because I’ve been accused repeatedly of idealising John Watson, and have been told that the reason I’m upset now is because I was ignoring his flaws, his darkness up until now), and also about my views on the writing, and the imbalance it’s starting to cause in the johnlock dynamic. 

Let’s start with my understanding of John…

I came to this fandom after Season 3.  I had no real attachment or understanding of the fandom John characterisation as some sweet-hearted, slightly grumpy, but generally level-headed and selfless carer.  I started reading fic, and engaging on tumblr after the days of ‘hedgehog john’, ‘jawwwn’, and ‘jumpers, jam and rage’.  So, for starters that has never been the John I saw in the show.  That’s never been the John I embraced in fandom.  And that’s never been the John I fleshed out and explored through fan fic.  Mine has always been a John deeply coloured by the events of Season 3, and the fandom focus that arose after it.

The John I know:

The John I know and love has always been deeply flawed.  He’s always had anger issues.  I headcanon him coming from a profoundly broken and emotionally and physically abusive home life.  He has always had an attraction to violence and adrenaline-fuelled activities, while also somewhere, deep down, being slightly unsettled by that part of himself.  He has always been passive-aggressive, always struggled with a drinking problem that could, at any moment, snowball into something serious.  I think he knows that.  Look at Harry.  He knows.  I’ve always seen him as someone who projects his issues with himself onto others (again look at his relationship with Harry and her drinking).  I’ve always seen him as someone who turns to casual sex for comfort and to distract himself from uncomfortable feelings and attractions he doesn’t want to think about (hence the string of girlfriends in ASiB after the pool thing happened).  I wasn’t surprised in the least about the affair with the woman on the bus.  I also wasn’t surprised in the least about his guilt over it, while still battling with wanting it to continue.  I’ve never been surprised by how deeply John keeps himself rammed in the closet, how much he keeps inside, how little he is willing to open up and make himself vulnerable.  None of these things has ever been a deal breaker for me.  I understand them, and they are a part of what makes John flawed, and horribly, beautifully human.

John Watson is a loyal, loving man, but he is also deeply flawed.  He is also a bad man.  And there are aspects of that that Sherlock loves and craves, yes.  Sherlock isn’t an easy man himself.  There aren’t many people who would be able to live with him.  He knows that.  Part of what makes him and John sort of ‘fit’ is John’s complexity, his flaws, his brokenness, his difference from the rest of society.  

Sherlock sort of flaunts and celebrates his own difference and exceptionalities, while deep down still feeling like a freak, unlovable, something to be put up with and tolerated.  While John does everything within his power to hide his difference, to celebrate his ‘normalcy’ while deep down feeling terrified that the real him will someday fight it’s way to the fore, and that he will be revealed to be the monster he secretly worries he is.  But because they both know they are different, they fit, and they have, perhaps, more tolerance and empathy for the difference in the other.

So, I don’t think I’ve idealised John Watson, or his relationship to Sherlock.  I think I’ve always had a pretty realistic, balanced view of John, one that accepted both his darkness and his light, and of his relationship with Sherlock.

Keep reading

“The Abominable Bride” meta - Part 6 - the Reichenbach Falls and a theory

Alternative title 1: Why Moftiss were honest when they said it is an one-off but it still proceeds some things
Alternative title 2: Why I still leave a small room in the hopes Moriarty isn’t literally dead yet.

Alternative title 3: Why perhaps there aren’t as many layers - levels as you think!


All TAB metas can be found in this link.

So, I took a break before going on with last three scenes which basically are the terror of this episode.

Let’s start with the most important one: The Reichenbach Falls. 

As I’ve already said many times, all the victorian scenes we had seen so far were nothing more than the actual modern show transferred in the victorian era. (See part 1, part 2 and part 5 if you want all the parallels.) The modern scenes were the ones which brought the element of the new by giving us more information about what happens inside Sherlock’s mind and heart. The modern scenes so far were dreamy sequences of the Victorian Holmes. We will need to get to the end of the episode to see whether this fact changes.  I’ve also stated my firm belief that there is an over-analyzing going around - there are not 7,8 or 9 mind palace drug levels in TAB. There are 3 or 4 at the maximum, it depends on the viewpoint. In my opinion, the Victorian scenes so far were level 1, the modern ones were level 2. Sherlock doesn’t go deeper and deeper every time - he goes in and out of his stupor. So this makes for two levels so far.

After the corpse falls all over Sherlock (which is the ultimate proof the modern scenes are fake), Holmes wakes in the Reichenbach Falls, Moriarty watching him. 

Now, BEHOLD THE PROBLEM:

Keep reading

Here’s my Abominable Bride theory.

This episode was wild, and I mean wild, but the ending does not sit right with me.

The parallels drawn in this episode are almost too many to count, and definitely too many to go into detail with for the sake of this theory. But ultimately, the entire Bride case was so similar to Moriarty’s, that the ending is just too glaringly obvious.

The point of the mind palace in this episode was for Sherlock to figure out how Moriarty did it in Reichenbach, and to figure out how Moriarty is back. And by the end of Abominable Bride, we think we have the answer. There is a cult of followers keeping Moriarty ‘alive’, even in death.

But that’s just too obvious.

The secret to what really happened, I believe, lies in the subtle clues strewn throughout the episode; even some clues that we thought were just humorous one-liners. The secret comes from the original Holmes stories.

(Now, I can’t take 100% credit for this theory, because this story research was done by a fellow fan, but I am going to use what they discovered to fuel my theory.)

In the original stories, Professor Jim Moriarty had a younger brother, Colonel James Moriarty and Professor was much smarter than Colonel. Where else have we recently heard one brother referenced as smarter than the other? Throughout the show, it was offhandedly suggested that Mycroft is the smarter brother, despite Sherlock’s dazzling intellect. If the entire episode was one giant parallel, those little clues, combined with the original existence of a second Moriarty, is enough reason to legitimately believe that there is a Moriarty duo here as well.

In the show, Sherlock repeatedly (and heatedly) refused to acknowledge the possibility of twins, lookalikes, or siblings in general. While this is a quick and easy rebuttal to my theory, I don’t think it’s legitimate enough. Back to the mind palace. Every time Sherlock denies those possibilities, it is within his drug-induced mind palace, where everything has a Sherlock bias on it. If Sherlock doesn’t want to believe that there could be a second Moriarty, it stands to reason that he would deny it so vehemently inside of his mind. When John suggests twins, Sherlock dismisses this as a foolish explanation, but at several other points during the episode, Sherlock applauds John for being much more brilliant than he is ever given credit for. I believe that John is right, and Sherlock knows it, but his unwillingness to accept that answer keeps him from acknowledging its credibility until the very end of the special.

That being said, I believe that Colonel Moriarty was the one that died on the roof of St Bart’s, and the real Professor Jim Moriarty is very much alive and well. Moriarty is, indeed, dead, as Moffat has announced in interviews and as Sherlock announces at the end of Abominable Bride. But Moriarty, a second one, is still out there. Sherlock rightly says at the end of this special, “Moriarty is dead, no question. More importantly, I know exactly what he’s gonna do next.” Moriarty is dead. And the other Moriarty is about to do something.

Did you miss me?

POSTSCRIPT:

There’s one little thing that needs to be addressed, one little connection to Reichenbach that can not be a coincidence, especially with all the other connections to the Reichenbach episode that were either hinted at or explored during Abominable Bride. One of Sherlock’s cases, after his Reichenbach case success, centered on a criminal named Peter Ricoletti. That’s not a coincidence, especially now, especially when you have Moffat and Gatiss in charge of all this.

I’ll let another fan figure out what’s up with that. Reference at 2.28 in this video: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xnqbah_the-reichenbach-fall-part1_shortfilms