"I've always trusted your intuition." "Then trust this: no matter how far and how long we are separated, we shall always come back to each other. That is more than an intuition, my dear fellow — that is a promise."
Deliver Us from Evil is a Sherlockian fanfic series-in-progress by Aleine Skyfire, a.k.a. Gwendolyn Frame. The projected five-book series is based on the events of Sherlock Holmes short stories "The Adventure of the Dying Detective", "The Final Problem" and "The Adventure of the Empty House". Essentially, the series revolves around the peak of Sherlock Holmes's conflict with Professor Moriarty and his criminal empire. The novels with their working titles and taglines are as follows (and will be updated as needed):
Mortality: Scotland Yard and Dr. John Watson struggle to prevent the goal of London’s greatest crime lord: the destruction of Sherlock Holmes.
The Road to Reichenbach: Caught in a terrible war, Sherlock Holmes finds that the choices he makes will have far-reaching consequences.
To Take Up the Pen: With Holmes gone and his reputation maligned, Dr. Watson sets out to honor his memory in The Strand Magazine.
Those Dark Hours: As Holmes and Watson approach a final confrontation, they must wonder when the cost will become too high.
Dawn's First Light: When Holmes and Watson reunite, they set out to defeat their one great enemy left: Colonel John Moriarty.
Ascended Extra: Patterson is actually the biggest, going from one mention in "The Final Problem" to full supporting character status here. Wiggins's rise is just as spectacular, from two brief scenes in the first two Sherlock Holmes novels to one of the starring supporting characters of Mortality. Lestrade also goes from recurring character to star (one of the leading points-of-view in the novel). Mary Watson and Mrs. Hudson go from recurring extras to supporting characters. Moriarty also gets more "screentime"... heck, we'll just say that there are a LOT of canonical characters that get far more development in this series than they did in the Canon.
Last Name Basis: The narrative calls Holmes, Watson, Wiggins, and Lestrade by their surnames until featuring a scene with a family member who naturally calls them by their given names. Subverted a few times with Holmes and Watson, who sometimes slip into "Sherlock" and "John" in each other's point-of-view.
Action Duo: Holmes and Watson, natch, but only in the second-to-last chapter.
Adult Fear: Touched upon twice by Lestrade in regards to the Irregulars - considering that he's friends with at least one, has another among his constables, and has a nephew in their ranks, he has every right to feel a parental horror at the boys putting themselves in danger.
Watson: If your master’s actions destroy him whom I regard as — as the best and wisest man I have ever known… make no mistake that I shall hunt down, to a man, everyone who played a part in his destruction.
Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Rather chillingly averted by Moriarty, who makes it clear that Moran is not indispensable. If you wonder, then, why Moran is still around, it's probably simply because his usefulness outweighs his disobedience - and Moriarty just maybe likes having him around.
Cliff Hanger: With a Wham Line (see below). We find out that Moriarty is speaking with Mycroft... in the last line of the chapter.
Clothing Damage: When Lestrade gets his first glimpse of Holmes during the rescue, the narration calls him "half-clothed". The clothes are mentioned again a paragraph later: The ragged shirt that must have once been white was filthy, blackened, and blood-soaked all over, hanging in tatters on Holmes's truly emaciated frame.
Cold-Blooded Torture: Holmes is tortured literally within an inch of his life. Moriarty and Moran each have their own reasons for ordering his torture, but the men doing it make it very clear that it's pretty much all fun for them.
James sighed. He had no patience for his brother's pettiness. It was no fault of his own that he'd inherited all the brain and John all the brawn in their proud military and intellectual family. A bit too independent for his own health Moran might be, but it was infinitely preferable to a younger brother's interminable envy.
Even Evil Has Standards: Moran shows himself to have some respect for Watson as a soldier and for the sacredness of Christmas.
Fate Worse than Death: Discussed and invoked by Sherlock in two different scenes of the same chapter. The former pertains to his imprisonment, straying toward And I Must Scream; the latter is in a note to Mycroft.
Word of God: I think that by Patterson living the image Holmes attempts to project, it makes Holmes that much more human.
Foreshadowing: Mary and Watson each seeing Holmes for the last time before his kidnapping.
A further-reaching foreshadowing occurs when Moran is scoping out 221B from Camden House.
Also, Holmes's premonition that this Christmas is the last the "family" will spend together for a long time. It will actually be the last they'll all spend together, because by the next Christmas, Holmes will be Faking the Dead and Mary herself will die before he returns.
Yet another from the same chapter: one of Moriarty's mooks tries to burn down 221B. Call-forward to "The Final Problem".
Friendly Rival: Obviously, dynamics have changed between Gregson and Lestrade sine A Study in Scarlet...
Second example: The name switch on the protagonist from Sherlock to Holmes in mid-conversation. After the man has been going by "Sherlock" in the narrative for the past few chapters, while being seriously incapacitated.
Holmes's captivity comes close to invoking a Twisted Christmas, simply because he's held in captivity for that long. Strays towards Fridge Horror when you realize that Moran might have actually re-initiated Holmes's torture on Christmas Day, simply because Holmes would have been too weak beforehand to safely interrogate. ...then again, maybe not.
Improbable Aiming Skills: Played with. Lestrade and Wiggins shoot at a man across the street, but the narrative says that "at this distance, accuracy was a joke." Then Wiggins, up close, shoots the gun out of the man's hand, they struggle for Wiggins's revolver, and the man ends up with a bullet in his head. Wiggins lampshades that bit by saying that it was a lucky shot. "The forehead? Cor."
Light Is Not Good: Twice, light is referenced rather symbolically when Moriarty makes an appearance.
Loads and Loads of Characters: A few Baker Street Irregulars and several Scotland Yarders feature quite prominently, aside from Sherlock, Watson, Mary, Mrs. Hudson, and Mycroft. And that's just the good guys! See Ascended Extra above.
Police Are Useless: Played with. Lestrade, Gregson, and Patterson are all portrayed as competent (in Patterson's case, hyper-competent) detectives, but it's through the efforts of Watson and the Irregulars that Holmes's location is discovered. Patterson actually hires Wiggins privately to throw off Moriarty.
Power Trio: Lestrade, Gregson, and Patterson as The Kirk, The McCoy, and The Spock, respectively, though one scene makes it clear that Lestrade and Gregson switch roles at times as needed.
Holmes: I wished not to have anyone come to harm on my account. Lestrade: Do you know how many people didcome to harm on your account?" (sees the ashen look on Holmes's face) "Never mind. It couldn't be helped. Holmes: How many? Lestrade: Mr. Holmes, I— Holmes:Geoffrey. How.Many."
Tall, Dark and Snarky: Patterson. Surprisingly, Holmes himself doesn't snark enough in this story to warrant the title.
Tranquil Fury: Mycroft when speaking with Moriarty. One might expect him to blow his top, considering his rather violent wishes. He doesn't, but it sure does sound as if he's doing the Kubrick Stare at the end of the scene (definitely a Death Glare).
Trauma Conga Line: Hooo boy, lessee. Right from the prologue, we know that Holmes is in major trouble, then we go back in time two months to find out how he gets to this point. Starts out by getting infected with a mutation of a deadly Asian diseason, which is only cured just in time (though not before putting him through a stomach-churning conversation with a Serial Killer and getting himself in trouble with Watson). Less than a week later, he's kidnapped (quite brutally) and Locked In The Dungeon, therefore being subjected to all manner of Cold-Blooded Torture. He almost hits the Despair Event Horizon but wills himself away from it. Even after being rescued (while half-dead), Holmes deals with fever, frailty, Flashback Nightmares, andSurvivor Guilt. He ends up with a Result A, although his actions in the sequel do beg the question of just how well he learned his lessons.
Left to himself, he likely would have gone for Result C and then died.
If Moriarty had had his way, Holmes would have experienced Result B.
It's a pretty much a miracle that he gets Result A.
True Companions: The Holmes brothers, the Watsons, Wiggins, and the Lestrades.
True Meaning Of Christmas: Invoked by the lyrics of these carols, presented in full: "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and "Silent Night".
Twisted Christmas: Attempted by Moriarty's men and thwarted by the actions of Watson, Holmes, and Moran, of all people.
Wise Beyond Their Years: Davy and Peter Wiggins are both shown as this, the elder being only 22 and the younger being 20 - though they have a mother and a home, they worked as beggars and pickpockets before being hired by Holmes.
Reconstruction: Another part of the whole Fix Fic thing is that it fleshes out the original story that has so often been labeled "unrealistic" and "full of plotholes", keeping all the elements of "The Final Problem" and building them back up into something believable.
Xanatos Speed Chess: In full play, with no fewer than fourChessmasters. It's notable that while Mycroft, Sherlock, and Patterson are three Chessmasters for the good guys, Moriarty is the sole evilChessmaster - and his defeat is not as total as "The Final Problem" would have you think.
Aloof Big Brother: Inverted in "Together" - Mycroft steps down from his pedestal long enough to help Sherlock over to his armchair.
Twisted Christmas: Well, the criminals try this, anyway, in "Together"... Didn't quite work, and that Christmas ended up being a nostalgic memory in years to come.
Younger than They Look: In "The Warrior a Child", Holmes appears "gray and drawn and aged beyond his years" in Mrs. Hudson's nightmare. This is a complete inversion of the author's usual portrayal of Sherlock Holmes, generally as boyish and older than he looks.
"Our Father… Who art in Heaven… hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy… will be done, in Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us… this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts… as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but… deli — oh, dear God, deliver us from evil! For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen."