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London meet-up metafic: Death of a fanatic

BBC Sherlock

Rating: 12 (implicit slash, explicit weirdness)

Summary: Lots of people have been posting about what happened at the recent London Sherlock meetup. This is what didn't happen. Another metafic in sequel to warriorbot's Going Down With the Ship and my Captain of the Ship. This is crackier. It may even be meta-metafic, I've lost track.

Another shitty day in paradise, Lestrade was thinking that afternoon. Cold enough outside to freeze the balls off a brass monkey, but Saturday, so it was demonstration day: NUS, Iranian communists, anti-Mubarak lot and who knew who else? The Met were stretched so tight the rubber bands were snapping. And, worst of all, it was the bloody 29th of January, and if he didn't have the monthly returns in by 5 pm, Human Resources were coming round to confiscate his warrant card. Or possibly break his fingers. They seemed to have it in for him at the moment, for some reason.

So when the call came about a body found by the Thames, he sent Donovan out to deal with it, rather than go himself, because if Sally was left alone to do the paperwork she'd end up on a written warning yet again: she needed someone on hand to tippex out her obscene comments on the monthly Customer Satisfaction Survey.

"I thought I'd seen everything," she radioed back half an hour later, "but this is beyond weird. You know the beach down by the Oxo Tower where we found the body of that museum guard last spring? The bloke who'd been killed by Gollum, or whatever that Czech assassin was called?"

"Oh, you mean the one Moriarty had killed because of the fake painting? It was another bloody freezing day, and Sherlock was being a pain. OK, you could probably describe half my life like that, but yeah, I remember the spot."

"That's where the body is, right in the same place."

"Are you saying that it's some kind of copy-cat crime?"

"It's far weirder than that. The Freak solved the case, didn't he, worked out about the forgery? And you know the Freak has that bunch of women who are keen on him, who write stories about him?"

"Oh, God, yes. The fanfic lot." He blamed John bloody Watson for that. Sherlock had got along fine with minimal publicity for five years, and then John had turned up, and got himself photographed with Sherlock at the end of the Tilly Briggs case. And suddenly hundreds of previously sane women were swooning over the pair of them, and writing thousands of words imagining their sex life together. Didn't women have socks to knit or international smuggling rings to organise anymore? And the next thing you knew, the pair of them actually had a sex life together, which was even more irritating in some ways.

And then, in the midst of one of Sherlock and John's interminable rows on John's blogs – why couldn't two men who lived together just argue in private? – John had made some obscure remark about 'foxycop' and left a link. Lestrade had clicked on the link, not realising, and there was some story about Sherlock and dog collars, and someone who was supposed to be him. If his hair hadn't been grey already, that would have been enough to make it so. And given that everyone in the Met read John's blog, the fangirls were notorious now. The Holmes Bodies, they tended to get called. (Well, that was the publishable version).

"Yes, Sally," he said. "I do know all about the fanficcers. But I didn't know they were allowed away from their computers except under strict supervision. What's happened?"

"A whole gang of them got together for a trip round London, and they decided they wanted to see the site where the body was found. True crime stuff, I suppose, they're not the only ones to do it. But then some bright spark got the idea of reconstructing the crime."

"That's sick, you know? So what, they battered someone to death with a mouse? Or just read out their fics till some passer-by died of boredom?"

"No, one of them went and lay down on the beach, and the others took photos."


"And, after they'd finished the photos, the woman didn't get up again. They presumed she was playing a game, then it finally dawned on them she was dead."

"What the fuck? How?"

"I don't know, sir. I'll get the scene of crime guys down shortly, but I thought I ought to let you know first."

"I've almost finished here, I can be along in a few minutes."

"Don't, Greg! Whatever you do, don't come here," Sally yelled. "I told you, there's a whole  bunch of them, thirty, forty maybe. They're bad enough with me, keep on asking me to pose with them and call them freak. But if you come down, they're going to tear you to shreds. Or ask you about Mycroft Holmes."

"Mycroft? I've only met the guy about three times," said Lestrade. "And I'm not sure anyone's supposed to know he even exists."

"Some of them somehow know about him, and they seem to think you and him are...close."

 "That is insane. OK, I know, they're all insane. But you're still going to need someone down there. You can't handle it all on your own."

"I've worked that out, sir. Send along Dimmock and Anderson. I'm pretty sure even the maddest fangirls can't get thrilled about them."


He should have known Dimmock and Anderson could fuck it up between them, Lestrade thought. Why had they not yet learnt about securing evidence properly? The woman had had a belt bag on her, and it had somehow gone astray, and her rucksack didn't have any identifying evidence. An A to Z, a couple of articles on medieval history, and a notepad containing a half written story about Jennifer Wilson, from that serial suicide case. For God's sake, did these people not have any idea of the difference between real life and fiction?

Clearly not. Because what was even more fucking unbelievable was that this woman had been going round in this huge group and they didn't know her name.  She'd gone off to wander round London with this group of people she didn't know, and they didn't ask who she was?

"They knew her by her alias," Sally said. "And that was apparently enough."

"But that's definitely not her real name?"

"No, it's after someone from one of the Freak's previous cases. Don't ask me why. You know what, I think we really ought to get him involved at that point."

"You want to ask him in?"

"Give the fangirls a thrill, wouldn't it? Probably be the highlight of their trip. And, I bet he can work out who she is. He...I heard this rumour that he hangs out on his own fan sites, correcting their grammar. I even heard he wrote stuff about himself and posted it there under an alias."

"Not even Sherlock is deranged enough to write fiction about himself, is he?" Lestrade replied. "But yeah, you're right. The victim's got a wedding ring on, probably only come up to London for the day given the rucksack, someone will miss her soon. But I'd rather not have some poor sod hanging around worrying what's happened to his wife if we can speed it up.  OK, I'll give him a call."


"I am not meeting any of those women," said Sherlock. "I would rather strip naked in Pall Mall and have Mycroft sodomise me than meet them. Oh God, there's not one called Warriorbot there, is there?"

Lestrade looked through the list of names and aliases from the witnesses. "She was leading them."

"She would be. OK, cancel my previous remark. She'd enjoy it if Mycroft sodomised me in public. So who's the one who's dead? Tell me it's someone called 'foxycop'."

"No, her alias was 'Mary Sutherland'."

"Well, that's almost as good. No loss to the creative writing community there: prolific, but deeply unobservant. Visual memory probably 26%, if that. But you're in luck, Lestrade. She was a tiny bit better at concealing her identity than some of them, but she still left enough clues in the comments for me to be able to work out who she was."


The name Sherlock gave him meant nothing to Lestrade, but when he found the woman's website and had a look at her fanfic, it all fitted together very neatly.  And no wonder Sherlock didn't mind her being dead, he thought. She clearly didn't have much time for him, she made him out to be an idiot half the time. She was obviously one of the Watson worshippers. And thank God she hadn't wanted to want to write RPF about him. OK, now he'd have to find where she lived from her workplace and phone the family. This was the bit he didn't enjoy, the bit that writers always chose to skip over.


As soon as the autopsy report came in, he phoned Sherlock.

"The Mary Sutherland case is closed," he said. "She died of natural causes."

"Which Anderson was too incompetent to spot?"

"They had to open her up to confirm it. She had an aneurysm in her brain, could have burst at any time, happened to be then. Stop laughing, Sherlock,  the poor woman's dead!"


( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 31st, 2011 05:09 pm (UTC)
Laughing uncontrollably, but a jolly good thing it didn't happen, as it would have been a shame to have missed you in the pub.

So do we have actual illustrations for this one?
Jan. 31st, 2011 10:14 pm (UTC)
EmmyAngua has a pic of that bit and so does Lei che sogna. I don't know if anyone else was taking photos at that point (for obvious reasons).
Jan. 31st, 2011 10:25 pm (UTC)
glorfinniel has one showing the fangirls milling about your body here.
Jan. 31st, 2011 05:13 pm (UTC)

Dear God but this is good! And yes, it describes _exactly_ what happened on Saturday - trufax!

Seriously, though, you are the most accomodating corpse it's ever been my honour to meet! Not only do you obligingly lie down on the frickin' freezin ground for photoshoots but you then immortalise your demise in works of glory! And the line about 'Bot's shameful holmescest...! Just perfect!

Absolute joy from start to finish. Rather like the meet-up!

<3 <3 <3
Jan. 31st, 2011 10:18 pm (UTC)
What we don't yet know is if Mycroft knows about Bot's Holmes/Holmes stuff - he knows she writes RPF because he was leaving messages on the Study in Pink LJ community, and I can't believe he isn't still tracking in her in some way...
Jan. 31st, 2011 06:40 pm (UTC)
I don't use this icon very often, and when I do, I damn well mean it.
Thank you so much for this LOL-inducing sparklefic!
Jan. 31st, 2011 10:23 pm (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed it - but I think it may have fried my brain completely trying to work out who's who in this AU.
Jan. 31st, 2011 07:34 pm (UTC)
I hurt from laughing. This is utterly brilliant. Thank you!

Jan. 31st, 2011 10:29 pm (UTC)
I think at some early point in the day that someone was going to have to RPF the meet-up, but I didn't think the plot bunnies were going to ambush me in particular.
Jan. 31st, 2011 07:45 pm (UTC)
this was very cheering to come home to after a tiring day at the Factory...

particularly loved the Mystrade reference and Sherlock's horror at the thought of warriorbot!

seldom can a corpse have been so eloquent.
Jan. 31st, 2011 10:38 pm (UTC)
I read some piece ages ago about which queried the idea of Mystrade since we've never seen Mycroft and Lestrade meet canonically - even at the end of Pink, although they're at the same location, they don't necessarily meet. (Of course, some of us know better about how they did meet).

As for the eloquent corpse, ACD turns out to have been right about spiritualism after all, so I'm dictating all this by automatic writing, via a very nice medium called Miss Climpson.
Jan. 31st, 2011 11:24 pm (UTC)
glad to see that Miss Climpson's old cunning has not deserted her...

well, ACD knows a thing or two about Mystrade as well, doesn't he? I hadn't realized this till someone - I think randomly_rusted - pointed it out.
Feb. 1st, 2011 09:51 pm (UTC)
I had to look that one up, but yes, in ACD's The Bruce-Partington Plans Mycroft and Lestrade turn up at 221B together. (Lestrade gets called 'thin and austere', by Watson in this one, which is an advance on 'rat-faced'). Mark Gatiss copies quite a lot of the scene in The Great Game, but presumably decided that if you got Sherlock, John, Mycroft and Lestrade all in the same room, the UST would blow up the half of Baker Street that the bomb hadn't.
Feb. 1st, 2011 09:58 pm (UTC)
oh dear, that is a very fine thought! and true.

*collapses snorting and giggling*
Feb. 1st, 2011 10:38 am (UTC)
Feb. 1st, 2011 10:29 pm (UTC)
Laughed so much...

...Although am glad you didn't actually die. Even if it meant we did all get to meet Sherlock and Lestrade.

Warriorbot bit had me in hysterics.

Feb. 3rd, 2011 04:17 pm (UTC)
From an interested party
Highly amusing. Clearly, your aneurysm was not entirely fatal, as I believe you have subsequently written more of this type of literature. I believe "fanfiction" is by far the kindest word for libelous smut, don't you?

I wonder if after this little lark, Ms. Sutherland, you plan to continue your association with this dangerous group of radicals who flaunt their disdain for social and sexual norms from the safety of their little online enclaves?

As you know, Sherlock Holmes himself does relish the dramatic, so finds these sorts of escapades diverting, and will not take it upon himself to combat the scourge of fanatical fiction. However, there are those who might step in to make things very . . . unpleasant, shall we say . . . for you and your gaggle of pseudonymed playmates, should you continue to besmirch the Holmes name. The absurd sexual practices of Sherlock and his petite companion, Dr. Watson, are obviously in the public domain, given Sherlock's own lack of discretion in various public alleyways, restaurants, and crime scenes. So I regret to say that little can be done to stop the ceaseless flood of Sherlock/John pornographic fairy tales. One can only thank Providence that Mummy Holmes's country home lacks broadband Internet service.

However, further slanderous references to so-called "Holmescest" or comical treatment of a romance between the devastatingly handsome Detective Inspector Lestrade and a slim, distinguished, dapper and entirely fictional older brother of Sherlock may result in rather dramatic non-fiction accidents for the authors. I hope I have made myself clear.

p.s.: I enjoy your femslash very much. Please feel free to carry on with that.
Feb. 3rd, 2011 04:36 pm (UTC)
Re: From an interested party
Dear Interested Party,

What can I say, except that your relevation that Dr Watson is a 'petite' rather than 'petit' companion of Sherlock offers up even more interesting forms of speculation for future fictions? I should also add that I am happy to leave DI Lestrade in your capable hands (or in any other position in which he might accidentally happen to find himself).

best wishes,

Mary Sutherland (Deceased)

PS: Is it OK if I slash 'Anthea' (in a purely metaphorical sense)?

Feb. 3rd, 2011 06:02 pm (UTC)
Re: From an interested party
Madam Corpse,
Yes--a bit of a Freudian slip, I'm afraid, but of course you will milk it for every deviant erotic and humourous implication, as usual.

And I assure you I have no claim on or interest in either the virile D.I. or this "Anthea" you mention. Although I am reliably informed that "Anthea" herself would be amenable to a shocking variety of slashy episodes.

As an interested party and reluctant poster to this "community" (what an innocuous term for such a noxious group), I simply must insist that references to the entirely fictional older brother (including your own rather heart-wrenching and affecting coupling of the NON-EXISTENT brother with wee but brave John Watson) be avoided in future.

All best wishes,
Feb. 4th, 2011 01:56 pm (UTC)
Re: From an interested party
Dear I.P.

I’m terribly sorry, I appear to have been under a serious misapprehension. I am happy to confirm that the ‘Mycroft Holmes’ appearing in my stories is a completely fictional character, who exists only in the peculiar realm know as ‘fanon’. He bears no resemblance to anyone living. (This, incidentally, means that what I wrote is not libelous. You can’t libel people who don’t exist).

As I remember, now I think about it more clearly, when a group of us started writing RPF, one of us got stuck with a story, couldn’t work out how to get Sherlock out of a dangerous situation. And someone – it was probably Warriorbot, because she always comes up with the wackiest ideas – suggested we should have the Secret Service rescue him. And we were arguing about why the Secret Service might help Sherlock, and she – I’m sure it was ‘Bot, well, mostly sure – said it was because Sherlock’s brother was in charge of the Secret Service. So that’s how Sherlock having a brother was invented, which I suppose makes it not strictly RPF after all. (These things are hard to keep clear-cut).

Once we had this hypothetical brother – because Sherlock is clearly an only child, from his attitude – we had to imagine what he was like. I came up with ‘Mycroft’ for his first name, which I know is ridiculously implausible. I think it was some kind of obscure reference to ‘Microsoft’, on the grounds that he was everywhere, controlling all our computers.

And between us, as we wrote our stories, we worked out that ‘Mycroft’ must be older than Sherlock, so he’d have time to become so important. And that he’d be superficially like Sherlock: tall, dark, upper-class, well-dressed, charming, manipulative and terrifyingly intelligent. But we didn’t want to make him just Sherlock Mark II, so we agreed that, for example, since he’s a civil servant, he’d have a much more polished manner than Sherlock, and that he’d be a behind the scenes man, not rushing around having adventures. We gave him a few weaknesses as well – someone, perhaps it was Blooms84 - suggested we should imagine him as someone keen on food, as a nice contrast to Sherlock, who we read somewhere, doesn’t eat much.

So we had this handy character now, ‘Mycroft Holmes’ as a deus ex machine, a plot device, and most of the fanficcers left him at that, as someone to stick in for convenience into Sherlock/John or Sherlock/Lestrade RPFs. But some of us aren’t such fans of Sherlock himself,.even though we really go for Dr Watson or DI Lestrade. Maybe we’re a bit older, or keener on responsibility, or just not so hypnotised by good cheekbones. So we got to pretending: what if there was a real Mycroft Holmes, like the one we’d invented? Someone with Sherlock’s brilliance, but not his sociopathy? Someone who could actually behave, suffer, love like an adult, not the sulky child that Sherlock seems to be? (BTW, does he really behave like that all the time, do you happen to know? I ask since you seem to know the Holmes family a bit).

As I said, some of us ended up writing stories focused on ‘Mycroft Holmes’, making him the hero, not his brother. Because he came to seem more interesting, more appealing, more real even than Sherlock’s flashiness. But if you don’t think I should write that kind of story, well, I can always stop. Go back to writing jokey stuff about John and Sherlock and forget about ‘Mycroft’. If that’s what you really want.

Best wishes (I’d say ‘love’, but I don’t want any more misunderstandings)


PS: Do you think you could please get my library cards working again? All my library cards? If I’m tucked up in the library doing my own research I won’t have time to write so much fanfic, which I’m sure will be best for us all. Please. PLEASE!
Feb. 4th, 2011 03:40 pm (UTC)
Re: From an interested party
I salute your good taste and maturity in not being hypnotised by showy cheekbones, absurdly theatrical apparel, and irresponsible, childish behavior. I also suspect you have had some training in the law or politics--or logged many hours watching courtroom dramas--as you have crafted a subtle, yet powerful argument that has persuaded me that this "terrifyingly intelligent" and powerful brother is a useful character for your little stories. And certain members of the Holmes family (not named Mycroft, of course) need not worry about public or even friends-locked embarrassment in future.

Indeed, it seems your "Mycroft" can lend a certain gravitas and wisdom--as well as bringing a more mature, but no less magnetic charisma to the proceedings. Perhaps the "Mycroft" character may be seen as lifting these fictions from the realm of vulgar sex and violence to something of more redeeming social value. Although the occasional story featuring a--I believe the term is BAMF?-- incarnation of "Mycroft" wielding a sword and smiting enemies of the commonwealth might be interesting. Or perhaps fictional "Mycroft" occasionally engaging in tasteful sexual congress with the real-life Watson or Lestrade character (preferably not at the same time and with minimal moaning and profanity) could be intriguing.

Very best wishes to you as well, my dear. And warm regards,
Rest assured that I have made inquiries and appropriate threats to press the case for mending your library card situation. Let us admit, however, that librarians are a stubborn and surly lot--more intransigent than the Soviets in their heyday--so I am less optimistic about restoring your library privileges than I am about restoring order in Egypt right now. I have also dispatched a team to repair an imminent plumbing leak in your home. That should be taken care of before the day is done.

Feb. 3rd, 2011 08:23 pm (UTC)
I am SO FULL OF HAPPY about this fic. I can't even begin to count the ways.

(Apart, as I said before, for the you being dead bit!)

The references to the current affairs of the day, the metafic references, the character reactions - they make my heart sing. Most of all, the thought that foxycop lives on gives me a warm and happy feeling.

Thank you so much.

Jun. 11th, 2011 09:34 pm (UTC)
I just came across the link for this in fengirl88's latest post and was curious enough to check it out. I'm really happy I did because this is absolutely hilarious! What a wonderfully creative and entertaining way to commerate that day! :-)
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 3rd, 2014 07:31 am (UTC)
I had a great time writing this, and I liked being able to thank the people who'd organised it all in my own peculiar way. And thanks to the ingenious comments of my readers, even more people who weren't there still got to share in the fun.
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )