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Holding out for a hero

BBC Sherlock

Rating: 12

Spoilers: set in the aftermath of The Great Game, spoilers for that

John had half expected a call from Lestrade soon after he finally came out of hospital, but he hadn't expected it to be a request for help. An odd, embarrassed request to come over to the Yard because they had a problem. If it was his help they needed, it couldn't be about Moriarty. Oh shit, he suddenly thought, what has Sherlock done when I haven't been keeping an eye on him?

"Whatever Sherlock's done, I'm probably not going to be able to fix it," he told Lestrade, once he'd fended off the inevitable enquiries about his current state of health. "Mycroft's a better bet."

"He's sort of involved already," said Lestrade, who was now managing to look as if he'd actually be happier doing paperwork. "It's about James Flint." John's mind reached for the name, and couldn't find it. "The hostage, the second one in the bomb jacket."

"Oh, God, yeah. What's happened? They did rescue him, didn't they? I thought it was the old lady, Eileen Scott, who was the one who died, not him?" Maybe the blast at the swimming pool had scrambled his brains more than he'd realised.

"No, he's fine. Well, except he's not, he's phoning up the police every five minutes to demand we tell him what's going on. Mycroft's lot have slapped him down for asking questions, threatened him as well, but it's not working."

"So where do I come in?"

"I want you," said Lestrade doggedly, "to go and lie to him."

"What?"

"You know we can't let the whole story about Moriarty come out, especially not about the bombs, there'd be panic. So I want you to go and talk to Flint, give him a story he'll swallow. Reassure him things are under control."

"I can't do that."

"Yes, you can. And I know I shouldn't be asking you, but if I don't Mycroft will end up making you do it anyhow."

"But I'm not in a fit state-" John protested, and then broke off, as it hit him. "Oh, that's it, is it? That I've also got to reassure Mr Flint that nearly being blown up is not too bad, once you get used to it?"

"You're the only person I can think of who might be able to get through to him, convince him that keeping quiet is the best way to get this thing sorted. One of Mycroft's lot will brief you. I'm really sorry, John, but-"

"I know. It's our best chance of not blowing the investigation sky-high..oh, shit!"

"I'm glad it wasn't me that said that," said Lestrade, smiling. "Will you do it?"

"I'll give it a go," he said wearily.

***

Mycroft's henchwoman this time answered to the name of 'Daphne', and she was a lot more friendly than Anthea, though John knew better by now than to try starting anything with her. Even if he'd really felt like it. She briefed him rapidly and effectively, and then told him that it didn't actually matter much what he said, because Flint wouldn't be in a state to take it in anyhow.

"People's memories for detail shut down under stress, so it's just the overall impression we're going for, " she said. "So no suit, but smart casual. You're ex-army, he ought to know it."

"I see," he said, cautiously.

"And if you need any extra drugs to get you through the interview, let us know. Legal or illegal, we can sort out something for you, if you need it to stay focused."

Mycroft was Her Majesty's Drug Dealer as well, was he? Interesting.

"No," he said, "I've got the dosage of painkillers about right by now. But a decent chair would help, because my back's still playing up." He didn't mention his bad leg, or his other bad leg, because it would be embarrassing for them both if she had to start pretending she actually cared about his well-being.

"We'll arrange that. Are you sure you don't want the psychiatric reports on Mr Flint?"

"I'm not meeting him to be his therapist. I'm meeting him, oh hell, I'm not sure why I'm meeting him. Except it sounds like no-one else will."

"He wants answers," she said, smiling at him. If she had a Blackberry, she had it very, very well-concealed. "You can give him some."

"But not truthful answers," he retorted. "And don't start on crap about what 'truthful' means. You want me to lie to him."

"As few lies as possible," she replied firmly, which was rich coming from someone who wouldn't even tell him her real name. "You're better evading things than lying outright."

John suddenly wasn't sure if that was just advice or also a statement about himself. He'd never envisioned that this was quite what being involved was Sherlock was going to mean.

"Am I going to be taped?" he asked, as if he didn't know the answer.

She smiled at him. "Mycroft says if the interview goes OK, he'll make sure it's wiped immediately."

He could believe her or not, it didn't make any difference.

"OK," he said. "Tell me when you've set the thing up."

***

The office he'd been told to go to was probably used for some kind of counselling normally, John thought. It had the two comfortable chairs facing one another, and the calm but unmemorable decor, and the low table with the handy box of tissues on. He looked out of place in it, and he suspected Flint would as well.

It was odd meeting someone you'd heard, but never seen, especially someone you'd only heard thinking they were going to be killed. John stood up awkwardly to shake Flint's hand when he came in: young, strong, rather heavy features, short black hair. Probably normally quite confident, rather than the man looking warily down at John now, blinking a bit too fast.  Nearly being blown up didn't do your nerves any good at all. He should know.

He sat down, trying to look as if he knew what he was doing.

"Thank you for coming, Mr Flint. I hope you find what follows useful."

"So who are you?" Flint demanded, as he sat. "Police, military, spook, who have they sent to fob me off this time?"

Good, thought John, noting the determination in his voice, I don't look threatening. It was occasionally handy that he was small, good at appearing ordinary, being ordinary.

"My name's John," he said. "I can't tell you my last name. And I used to be in the army."

"But you're not now?"

"No. And I'm not a policeman, or a civil servant. Just a private citizen."

"Right," said Flint, obviously not believing him. You let them lie to themselves, 'Daphne' had said, most people want to.

"You haven't met me or talked to me before," John went on, "but you have talked to my colleague, Simon Carter. He was the man you were forced to phone, when they took you hostage."

"I didn't know who he was, I didn't know who anyone was, what was going on." Flint's veneer of confidence peeled away. "There was a red-haired man with glasses, Scottish accent, he was the one I saw when I came to, he'd put the bomb jacket on me. He took me to where I had to stand, gun in my back. I was so scared, couldn't run."

"Of course not, not with the jacket on. You have to do whatever they say, once they've got that on you." It was almost true, he thought, unless you'd had his kind of training. "How much do you remember about it? About what they made you say?"

"Not much. The stuff on the pager, I read it, but it didn't make sense. He'd killed someone called Carl Powell, and it didn't matter that the police knew. And eight hours for another puzzle to be solved. I didn't know what was happening, just that it was going to happen, that I was standing there and my life was ticking away!"

"We've traced the red-headed man, he's in custody," John said. Underneath, he'd actually been a black-haired thug from Kent, and hadn't provided any useful intelligence. "But he wasn't the man who planned this."

"Who was?"

It was ironic that Moriarty's was the one name he was allowed to give out. Because if the Holmes brothers couldn't pull up any significant information about him, James Flint certainly wouldn't be able to.

"He called himself Jim Moriarty when I met him. Irish, mid-30s, very presentable, till he starts talking about people dying."

"You've met him?"

"Oh, I got a special treat," said John, and he let himself sink, just for a moment, into the bitterness of the memory. "He put me in my bomb jacket personally."

"He attacked you?" Flint was actually registering him now, not just seeing some generic bureaucrat.

"There were five of us he used as hostages. I can't tell you about the other three, but I was the last one. So believe me, Mr Flint, I know what you've been through, and you're a bloody brave man."

"I was petrified. I, I pissed myself. Standing there, shaking, filthy. I'd have done anything he wanted me to!"

"You can't help what your body does. I'm an ex-soldier, but I was sweating with fear when he put the jacket on me. Practically collapsed when it was taken off."

"Did you, were you hurt?" Flint asked. "You've been injured, haven't you?"

"Yes," said John, "but that wasn't then. There was...another explosion later."

"Why? Why did this Moriarty do it?"

John was silent. Because he was bored, should I tell him that? Hadn't Moriarty said that to Flint, through him? Because he wanted to play lethal games and Sherlock was intrigued? But how could you say those kind of things to someone who'd nearly got killed?

"Why does anyone do anything?" he said, despairingly, at last.

"You said Moriarty was Irish," Flint suddenly said. "Is that what it's about? But I thought the IRA had disbanded?"

Oh, good God, that angle hadn't occurred to him. But since it had to Flint...

"There are other groups out there," John said, "other men. And this, this wasn't just ordinary terrorism. This was personal, it went way back." He suddenly felt like a fake psychic, feeding Flint platitudes for him to find insight from. But it was working, he had to keep doing it.

"He said, he had me say, he killed Carl Powell because he laughed at him. Powell, that's not an Irish name, is it?"

"Carl was from Sussex. Came up to London, got involved with Moriarty. And Moriarty killed him, very nastily."

"When was this?"

"A long time ago. Sh-Simon suspected right away, he tried to get the thing investigated properly, but the police wouldn't listen. But he never forgot about it."

"So was that it?" Flint demanded, his brows furrowing. "That your colleague, Carter, got some fresh evidence and the bomb was to make him back off?"

"Something like that." It made more sense like that, John suddenly realised. That you'd threaten someone to stop them finding you're murdered someone, not to push them into proving it.

Flint was still looking confused. "But he made me say that it didn't matter about going to the police. So why, why more bombs, what was the puzzle? Or are you not going to tell me?"

There was another long silence.

"I can't tell you much," John said, trying desperately to think of something, anything that he could tell Flint. "There were other things involved. An old painting, worth millions. A man who was trying to get out of the country undetected-"

"He said, typed something about cars," Flint broke in. "Getaway cars? Was that one of Moriarty's demands? And was the puzzle how to give him stuff he wasn't allowed to have?"

A sudden inspiration struck John, and he said: "Sher-Simon brought a memory stick with top secret government plans to Moriarty when I was captured. But as I said, it was personal as well. Moriarty really wanted him, to get at him."

"Via you?"

"Yeah. It wasn't a random target that time, he picked me specially."

"But I was random...we were random?"

"I'm afraid so," said John. That was the worst bit, it had to be, that someone might kill you without you even mattering to them.

"What happened when you met Moriarty?" Thank God, Flint was focusing on that, because John had some hope of making what happened at the pool make sense.

"Simon tried to do a trade, the plans for me, and then all hell broke loose. And I wouldn't be allowed to tell you the details of what happened, even if I could remember it clearly myself. But Sh-Simon got me out of the bomb jacket and into safety. Like he'd done for you and the others, only personally this time."

"But did he get Moriarty?"

"No, but he will."

"So the guy who tried to kill me is still out there?"

"Not for long. S-Simon will catch him. Maybe no-one else can, but he will, we will."

"Just the two of you?"

"There are more people behind us. And don't be fooled by me. I'm just a bashed-up ex-soldier, but...Simon, he's something special. Most brilliant man I've ever known, fearless, unstoppable, literally. Doesn't worry about eating or sleeping when he's on a case, just as long as he can sort out the bad guys, bring them to justice."

"You make him sound like some kind of hero," Flint said.

"He's not. He, he's everything I say he is, and he's absolutely bloody impossible. To live with, to work with, you should hear the names he gets called by the rest of us. And he...even if he was allowed to come and talk to you, he wouldn't want to, and you wouldn't enjoy it. He's not interested in talking about things, just tracking down Moriarty."

"Quite a man."

"He is. Maybe he is a hero, after all. He's just not a very nice man."

"And his name's not Simon Carter, is it?" Flint said, glaring at him. "Because every time you say it, you sort of stammer it out, get it wrong. And your name isn't really John, is it?"

"Does it matter what I say it is?" John asked. "But I was strapped in that damn jacket, and if you really want, I can describe the one I got put into wire by wire. Though I'd rather not have to."

"Do you have nightmares about it too?"

"Of course. It's one thing to keep going in battle, when the adrenaline's flowing, when you can do something. Just standing there, knowing any minute you might die, that's far, far harder."

"Could your friend do it? Your friend Carter, or whatever his name is?"

"We had a conversation once about what you'd say if you knew you were just about to die, what you'd say in your last few seconds."

"And what did he reckon?"

" 'Please God, let me live.' We're all shit-scared half the time, we just have to learn to live with it."

"But how can I?" Flint's head dropped into his hands. "If he's still out there. Moriarty."

"We'll get him."

"But what if he gets me first? You said it was random, but what if he comes back for me?"

"He won't."

"You don't know that."

"He's not interested in you any more!" John yelled. "He's after Sh-Simon and he's the only one who matters to him now."

"And you."

"And me, because I'm a colleague, friend of Simon's, and he's a bloody dangerous man to know."

"But you stay with him."

"Someone has to watch his back while he takes down Moriarty. And he will."

John paused, and tried to think what to say. How to reassure without lying.

"Look, he said, at last. "I can't guarantee you're safe. But it was random that you were chosen, it really was. And, and you've lived in London for a while?"

"All my life."

"Five years ago, how many people was it died on the tube? 50, 60? And the IRA before that, and the Blitz before we were born. It's never really been safe living in London, you know that. And if you didn't run out of London when Al-Qaeda came, I don't think you need to hide away from Moriarty."

"Where would I run to, anyhow?" Flint mumbled.

"Eastbourne's pretty quiet, I believe," said John, and heard a breath of laughter, before Flint slumped again.

"I'm still scared though," he said. "All the time."

"I know. After a bit it gets easier, but it takes forever to get back to normal, not sure you ever do. You just have to keep going."

"Like you are."

"I try to," said John. "Do you have any more questions? Though I'm sorry, I can't necessarily answer them all."

"Is it, was it all just random? Is there any point to it?"

"The violence may have been random, but not what we're doing, what Simon's doing. He's there to find the patterns, put to a stop to it all. And, and there are other people out there as well. They can't give you police protection, it's too obvious, but there are always other people out there keeping an eye on you, us. I know them, they're good, don't miss anything."

"And you?"

"Like I said, my job's keeping an eye on Sherl-, on Simon." Sod it, why could he not get that bit right? And now Flint was looking up at him curiously, as if something had suddenly clicked.

"Oh, my God, I get it now!" Flint exclaimed, "You're lying about the hero bit, aren't you?"

"What do you mean?" Shit, was all this going to come unstuck?

"Not a hero, but a heroine. Shirley Carter, that's her name, isn't it? That was what I had to say, he made me say it, Moriarty, I remember it now: 'We were made for one another, Shirley.' It was a woman who answered the phone, and then it was a bloke I was talking to, but now I understand. Moriarty wouldn't talk directly to me and nor would she, didn't want to let me hear her voice. It all makes sense now."

"I, I –"

"Your brilliant colleague, the one who's going to find Moriarty, is a woman, isn't she? But she's not just a colleague, is she, that's why you look like that when you talk about her. Why you always have to look after 'Simon Carter', follow him, because he's really a her and you're in love with her?"

He didn't say anything, couldn't say anything, but it didn't matter, because he could feel himself blushing. And whatever he said would just be taken as a lie, anyhow.

"I'm sorry," Flint said abruptly, "I know I wanted answers, but I didn't mean to, I'm sorry..."

"It's OK," John forced himself to say. "But there are things...there are things I can't talk about, mustn't talk about."

"It's just..." said Flint, and remembered pain was back on his face, "There's this girl. At work. She's called Julie. And I've never said anything. And I keep on dreaming that I'm dead or she's dead, and it's too late to do anything now, to tell her."

"You're not about to die," John told him, and he put all the energy he had left into that statement. "Your dreams are wrong  about that. You're going to carry on living. You just have to work out what to do about that."

"I'm not going to die?" said Flint, and he started crying.

***

"Back at last," said Sherlock, when John dragged himself up the seventeen stairs. "Hope they're paying you overtime, at least."

"Time and a half," John replied, "Which would be great if they were paying me in the first place."

"So why on earth do you do it?" Sherlock enquired, gazing up sardonically from where he was sprawled along his couch. "Oh, I know, because they asked."

"Nothing wrong with asking, rather than telling me to do something," John muttered, and went to get himself a drink. He stayed in the kitchen till he'd finished his tea, because though he very much wanted to have a sit-down, if he went into the living room before he'd unwound a little he might just thump Sherlock. At last he went in, settled himself carefully into his favourite chair and waited for Sherlock's indignation to crash over him.

"You've just spent several hours telling tedious lies to a tedious man," Sherlock announced.

"It helped him."

"He was alive, unharmed. Why did he need help?"

"Because people are like that. People's minds, bodies, they're like that. Like mine is."

"You got hurt. He didn't."

"If we'd got away from the pool safely once you'd got the bomb jacket off me, would you have expected me to be fine, to brush it off?"

Sherlock was suddenly on his feet, coming towards John, looking down at him, concentrating.

"You, you'd been through a hell of a lot. You could have died," he said, making it sound like a personal affront.

"Mr Flint could have died too," said John, staring back up. "He had hours in that jacket, not knowing what came next, not just a short time like me."

"He was panicking."

"I'm more used to the prospect of dying than he is. I associate with you."

"But you lied to him!" Sherlock said, in a self-righteous tone.

"I was told to."

"You lied to him about us, about me, didn't you? I know what Mycroft's woman wanted you to say, painting me as some kind of vigilante hero." Sherlock spat the last word.

OK, so that's what the strop is really about, thought John. This bit he could defuse, because it wasn't important any more.

"I didn't talk about you," he said, breaking into a smile. "I talked about a man called Simon Carter who doesn't exist. And since heroes don't exist and Simon Carter doesn't exist, Simon Carter must be a hero."

"That's a defective syllogism and you know it. You told Flint about someone who wasn't me, but was a hero, and he believed it."

"Actually, no he didn't," John retorted, "but I'm sure you couldn't imagine what he did think."

Sherlock suddenly stilled, as if this was a challenge, the possibilities clicking through his mind. Oh, hell, thought John, what was going to emerge now? What had his right thumb, or possibly his left toenail, revealed? Then a triumphant smile spread over Sherlock's face.

"Oh, I see," he said, "that's quite ingenious of Mycroft. The imaginary hero isn't actually important, because he sent Mr Flint a real one. You."

"You said it yourself, heroes don't exist."

"True, but if they did, you would be one. Only just out of hospital, still not fit, and you go off to have someone cry on your shoulder for hours. Literally, given the currently deplorable state of your jacket."

"That was the easy bit," John said. "I didn't need to say anything much at that point, no more lies. Just make soothing noises. And once you've talked about something like that to someone who'll listen, it's easier to do it again, which is the start of learning to cope with it."

"You don't talk about it."

"There are different ways of coping."

"Heroes don't talk about those things."

"I'm not a hero, you know that," said John. "And besides, a real hero, OK,  a real imaginary hero, the sort that inspires people,  makes them feel safe, has to be tall, dark and handsome."

It was the phrase, the cliché, that he'd lodged in his mind in case he'd had to describe 'Simon Carter'  to Flint. No physically identifying information to be given, 'Daphne' had told him. But if he hadn't been prepared, his mouth, his mind, might have betrayed him, might have started talking about cheekbones and lips, and 'His gaze can strip you down to the bones, and it's glorious'.  And that almost certainly wasn't the way to reassure one of Moriarty's victims that Britain's finest something or others were out there keeping everyone safe. Though he did wonder whether 'Shirley Carter' looked at all like Julie.

"If you're not a hero, why do you pointlessly put yourself in danger following me?" Sherlock demanded.

"It's not pointless if I'm protecting you. Which mostly I am, when you let me."

"But if you walked away, Moriarty wouldn't kill you."

"If I could walk away, Moriarty wouldn't have thought it was worth trying to kill me. Moriarty matters to you, you matter to me, hence Moriarty matters to me. Is that OK as a syllogism?" At some point, he had to say more, but as usual, now wasn't the right time.

Sherlock stared unhappily down at him, as if he was a piece of indictor paper that had just turned the wrong colour. "You want to be a hero, which is stupid."

"I want to be a live hero, which is eminently sensible. So you need to tell me how we're going to stop Moriarty, because we have to, and I don't want to be left in the dark again when you try."

"Why do we have to?" Sherlock asked abruptly. "We could back off, as he told us to. Warned us to."

John hadn't seen that one coming, but he knew the answer immediately now. "It wouldn't work any more. Moriarty's met you, he's fascinated by you, wants your attention. If you did back off, I'd give it a month at most before he got bored without you chasing him, and started strapping more people into bomb jackets. And then you'd have to waste time saving them, and I'd have to waste time and jackets making them feel better. So we might as well get on with it."

"Not tonight," said Sherlock. "You're worn out, you'd better have a shower and go to bed. You're no good to me till you're fully fit again." He hesitated for a moment, biting his lip.

"Do you mean it about going after Moriarty?" he asked at last. "Are you serious?"

"Definitely," John smiled at Sherlock, as he hauled himself up out of the chair. " 'Surely you can't be serious' . 'I am serious, and don't call me Shirley'. Oh. never mind. Good night, Sherlock."

Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
fengirl88
Nov. 22nd, 2010 11:34 pm (UTC)
continuing to love John in all your fics - enjoyed this one very much.

a friend of mine once created a fictitious philosophy student called Shirley O'Socrates, so I should have been prepared for the punchline, but it still came as a pleasant surprise!
marysutherland
Nov. 27th, 2010 07:25 pm (UTC)
I've come to the conclusion that John in my fics tends to serve the same purpose that Lestrade does in yours: the outwardly ordinary man possessed of extraordinary tenacity. John and Lestrade know that the universe won't arrange itself to their satisfaction (as it does for the Holmes brothers), and that instead they will get mucked about with by the Holmes, and kicked in the teeth by fate on a regular basis (whether via supermarket scanners or Daily Mail reporters at press conferences). And yet they still keep going, and mostly don't go off and sulk. (Well, I do have one fic in draft where John is fuming so much that Sherlock worries mugs will start exploding spontaneously from his glare, but it is entirely justified fuming).

What is interesting is that I'm actually trying to do a Lestrade POV fic now (don't know if I can bring it off or not) and instinctively find myself making John less of a steady adult, because you can't have too many competent and rock-like people in a Sherlock fic or it wouldn't work properly.
fengirl88
Nov. 27th, 2010 08:37 pm (UTC)
I like that idea - makes a lot of sense to me though I hadn't thought of them in that way. I can see that you probably can't have more than one of that sort of person in a Sherlock fic! will look forward to seeing your Lestrade POV.
2ndskin
Nov. 23rd, 2010 03:36 pm (UTC)
Oh, the old "don't call me Shirley!!" joke. I was not expecting that little cuteness at the end! What a nice meditation on John's inner life during and after Great Game. And on ordinary heroes--and I really loved the little ode to London's history as a home to ordinary heroes. And to bring in James Flint as the foil--and make him such a believable character--wonderful idea! You have John's voice and struggles down perfectly, imho. I really enjoyed this.
marysutherland
Nov. 27th, 2010 07:29 pm (UTC)
I've only ever lived briefly in London, but I've studied and worked there enough to be aware of the special kind of resilience that Londoners have. And, of course, old jokes are what Englishmen have instead of speeches expressing their emotions.
ungalad
Nov. 27th, 2010 06:51 pm (UTC)
Aw, this was actually kind of cute. I laughed so much when the boy said all that about Sherlock being a woman and John being in love with her. xD Oh John, he couldn't have made it out of the interview without harm.
ginbitch
Dec. 1st, 2010 12:10 am (UTC)
I love your John so much and here is no exception. You capture perfectly for me that quality which Gatiss described on the DVD commentaries as "the poetry of the ordinary man". Which is not to say that John isn't remarkable but that his qualities - kindness, responsibility, solicitude - are qualities which are rarely percieved as heroic. They come to the fore here, making this a wonderful charcter study into John. And yet by putting him next to someone who _is_ ordinary, in the sense of being minor to the stories, John's extraordinariness shines all the mote brightly. In short, loved this piece - and loved the insights it offered!

Oh, and _perfect_ use of the shirley joke! The set up was just wonderfully controlled!

<3

Edited at 2010-12-01 12:12 am (UTC)
marysutherland
Dec. 2nd, 2010 07:45 am (UTC)
I think the writers of BBC Sherlock have done a very clever job of making John both an action hero and an ordinary, even comic figure, which why I love him. He's the one who actually saves the day in both a Study in Pink and Blind Banker (and nearly does so in the Great Game), and yet Sherlock is the one who gets treated as heroic, because he has the cheekbones and the coat. Heroes aren't supposed to be short and wear parkas, even parkas with bombs attached. And the writers also use John's compassion as a useful foil for Sherlock's detachment.

But I find it easy when writing Sherlock fic to start taking bravery for granted, and have my characters cool and competent in dangers that would have me crumble. So I thought it would be useful to write something that reminded myself that actually it's normal to be terrified in some of these situations.



aelfgyfu_mead
Dec. 29th, 2010 01:29 am (UTC)
Wonderful John voice here, both in dialogue and thoughts, and then that bit with Sherlock at the end!

Bonus points for "don't call me Shirley" (which I think nearly every time someone says anything like "Surely you can't" and will no doubt do for the rest of my life).
marysutherland
Dec. 29th, 2010 09:36 pm (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed it. I'm afraid the history in these stories is mostly early modern rather than medieval (ever since Harry reinvented herself as London's most hapless history lecturer), but at some far distant point there is going to be crackfic which includes Sherlock attempting to rescue Anglo-Saxon manuscripts.
lastscorpion.insanejournal.com
Mar. 19th, 2011 06:14 am (UTC)
Terrific story! I enjoyed reading it. I love your John.
marysutherland
Mar. 19th, 2011 07:31 am (UTC)
I'm always very fond of doing John as this quiet, understated hero, who cares for people, and who is able to cope not just with danger, but with clearing up the mess afterwards.
zevbaldwin
Aug. 7th, 2011 07:57 am (UTC)
Wonderful story! John is perfect, like always.
zevbaldwin
Aug. 7th, 2011 08:43 am (UTC)
P.S. After reading the comments.
I believe that John was born a hero. A real hero, not the one in the comics or movies. He has a weakness, as any man, but he can do things that others can not. For example, to be a friend of Sherlock Holmes.
saathi1013
Aug. 15th, 2011 06:37 am (UTC)
Oh, I love this. Just... dense, and believable, and satisfying in a way the show, by necessity, cannot be.
marysutherland
Aug. 18th, 2011 08:25 am (UTC)
I think fanfic is very good for aftermaths and for occasions where nothing much happens, whereas TV by its nature demands action and finds ordinary life hard to convey. Particularly the part of ordinary life that is picking up the pieces and going on, which isn't spectacular. That was one of the things I liked in Lorem Ipsum, the sense of Sarah's heroism expressed in simply waiting around, enduring things she couldn't change.
saathi1013
Sep. 10th, 2011 05:35 pm (UTC)
Hadn't thought about it quite like that, but you're absolutely right. Internal growth and narrative is almost always the strength of literature v. film/tv/etc...

(and that aspect of LI was probably the trickiest part of the series - how to write the situation so that it was not a cliched adventure/casefic about the two men rescuing the 'damsel in distress' plagued me until I wrote the Sarah scenes and decided to let the men's side of the narrative be more broken up...)
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