John Watson: I knew it was dangerous getting you into crap telly.
—The Great Game
Proof that the remaining 10% is worth putting up with Sherlock's living habits for here:
These are recommendations made by Tropers for Sherlock, all of which have been signed.
After a few samples, you will be able to judge whether you might be interested in the fic, based on who recommended it. No-name recommendations will be zapped. Nobody would back up the rec. Discussion of the recommendation is welcome on the discussion page. As such discussion is important, do remember to add the discussion page to the watch-list, if need be.
Warn for sexually explicit or non-canon territory. Some people don't like it, and Shipping is serious business.
Comments: This author has written over twenty-five Sherlock pieces, mostly character studies and one-shot explorations of scenes in the show. Everything I've read by her has been fantastic, in-character, and touching. Her representation of John and Sherlock's canon relationship is stunningly accurate (no shipping, in any of her work). Need To Know is a personal favorite of mine.
Comments: Read absolutely everything Sherlock on this journal, that's my advice. It's mostly John/Sherlock slash, but there are also a handful of impressive character-driven short pieces and crossovers (with Good Omens and Hot Fuzz). You'll find fantastic characterization and spare, yet elegant prose with genuine emotional insight.
Comments: Brilliant, in-character Moriarty-centred fics, though most of them are Moriarty/OC in that they pair him up with this author's (awesome) vision of Sebastian Moran. Warning for smut, creepiness and general Moriarty-ness.
Comments: Wonderful set of stories focusing on Sherlock, John and Lestrade, their friendship and relationship. A must-read.
Morgan has a surprising range of writing. She does crossovers, fusions, kidfic, and angst (and occasionally, blends all of them) but never once does she lose sight of the canon material. Her "Sofie" series in particular will make you fall in love with Sofie Lestrade just as quickly as John and Sherlock do, and it'll make you laugh and cry in equal measures.
Completely, utterly seconded. Morgan does a beautiful job of portraying these characters as a close-knit family. Everything is simply gorgeous, especially the relationships everyone has with each other.
Morgan's "Four at the Thousand Faces" is a classic which deserves to be better known and more widely praised.
Comments: Like most kink memes, contains plenty of gen and non-kinky romance, although there's definitely kinky shenanigans going on. There's high-quality fic here, and it's still going strong. The Delicious archive is here, for easier navigation.
Comments: This author seems to burrow right into Sherlock's head and just live there. Several great characterization pieces, and a 60K+ word epic that is worth more than one read-through. Amazing writing style too, very formal but cutting and witty at the same time. Check it out!
Comments: This author is fantastic. She's canonical without being hidebound and has her finger on the pulse of every character, slipping into Moriarty's, Sherlock's, John's, Mycroft's, even Sally's head with aplomb. Transfigured Night especially is well worth the read.
Comments: This author is truly one of the best in the Sherlock fandom. Her main work is the Sugarverse, a series chronicling John and Sherlock's lives and relationship from thirty-odd years pre-canon to forty-odd years post. The honesty and complexity in all of her works is nothing short of mind-blowing. All her characters are completely spot-on and some of her case fics are so intricately plotted they wouldn't seem out of place in the actual show. Overall, everything written by this author has my whole hearted recommendation.
Comments: A number of original stories as well as a hefty pile of crossovers; arresting plots, hilarious jokes, serious fights, twisted mysteries, wonderfully acidic sarcasm and witty dialogue...AJHall's fics have got 'em all. Anyone who appreciates plot, intelligence, and acumen in their fanfic should just go read everything she's written, no exceptions. Not to mention, her Sherlock is one of the most amazing depictions of the consulting detective I've seen in this fandom, and I've read way more than can be considered sane.
Warnings: Her Queen of Gondal 'verse pairs both Sherlock and John with original female characters (and, as Crown Prince, Sherlock is duty-bound to marry and produce heirs); this results in adulterous relations between Sherlock and John while the former is married to said OFC. Those who dislike infidelity, OCs, and/or pairings with the same — consider yourselves warned.
Yes, there is adultery, but only in 2 instalments of the series (which is currently at 14 instalments and ongoing), and except in one instance which is easily avoidable, it's more emotional infidelity than physical. Really not a reason to spurn the series as a whole; Queen of Gondal is most excellently plotted and never focuses on the romance/sex to the detriment of the plot.
Comments: Jim is this woman's gem, and damn can she get into his head and his voice. Her diction for him is absolutely cutting, managing to be gut-wrenchingly hilarious at one moment and then snap into something deliciously deranged the next (Though she has dabbled in the minds of almost all of the main cast, Jim is easily the one that she voices best.) Really, she's taken Jim's established personality and run a marathon with it, fleshing it out gloriously. She has pieces ranging in length from one-shots (of every varying genre) to a 130k epic. She also keeps an incredibly fast pace while updating, putting up a chapter of whatever new piece she's working on every few days.
Warnings: If you plan on reading her work, it would be best to start at the very beginning. Some of the pieces are unrelated one-shots, but most of them tie at least loosely into a larger picture that fleshes out a little more of Moriarty's web. She's added a few OCs, mostly as Jim's underlings and cohorts (Her origin story for Moran is quite easily the most interesting that I've read, creating him as an actual character and not just as Jim's inexplicable lackey,) that she'll use on a fairly regular basis, and most of her longer fics will utilize them to their fullest extent— but they fit seamlessly into the story, propelling it forward without upstaging any of the canon characters.
Comments: Most of her work is Hurt/ComfortJohnlock friendship, though she has some humorous fics as well. Her collection is filled with well researched disability fic. I especially love her Carpe Diem series, which I have recced further down on this page.
Hooooooly cow. Atlin can write basically anything: sexy and adorable and cute and crazy and so-sweet-it-melts-you-into-goo and heart-wrenching like nobody's business. Notable works include: Minutiae (Or 156 Things I Know About You), Long Time Coming and This Time No (Forgiveness).
Warning: Graphic depictions of violence. Amnesia. Brain damage.
Good god. This troper bawled thanks to the sheer horrificness that are Helicidae's fics.
Exhibit A: Oneirology, in which John wakes up remembering absolutely zilch about himself. Luckily Sherlock is there to help him. Or is he?
Exhibit B: Two Things. Our beloved doctor has been tortured after the Fall. He now remembers nothing but two facts: His name is John Watson. And he believes in Sherlock Holmes. ( Walled Garden]] by Cactus Wren is a beautiful bittersweet ending for this fic.)
Comments: Hug Monster 341's fics are a large collection of various genres, varying from Tear Jerker to Fluff and everything in between.
Warnings: There is a female OC, who is related to Sherlock. However, she is so brilliantly written that you probably won't mind. Some of these have blood and gore, and "The Russian Ballerina" features a girl who was used as a sex slave. "The Ghost of Covent Garden" mentions PTSD. Actually let's just rate the entire thing PG-13. Don't let this discourage you though.
Synopsis: Mummy thinks that John Watson is so good for Sherlock that she must make sure he stays with her son. If that means she has to force-adopt the man, then so be it. Mycroft is smug. Sherlock is horrified. John goes BAMF on everyone.
Comments: A crack-filled concept made wholly believable by the author's excellent characterizations. Shipping (John/Sherlock) if you squint, but nothing in-your-face explicit. Worth a read just for Sherlock's mum, who really needs to become a canon character.
Recommended by Hekateras, Ainyre, M_S5973, Blac Kat, Zephyr7 and Meandering River
Synopsis: As a serial killer hits the headlines, the police are out of their depth and the next victim is out of time. With faith in Sherlock Holmes at an all-time low, this is a case which will push loyalties to the limit...
Comments: Set after Season 1. Amazing dialogue and characterisation, so very natural. Great feeling of suspense and a brilliant and cleverly written casefic in its own right.
Absolutely brilliantly written both in terms of character interaction, and in terms of plot. Originally written in English, it has been translated into Chinese, French, and Russian
This piece is very nice. The characterization stays incredibly solid and true to form, and the dialogue felt very natural, easily meandering to where it needed to go. The diction was perfect and not OOC. The plot is fast and relevant. In all— I'd like to see more of this author's work, it was delightful.
One of my favourite fics in the Sherlock fandom. The plot is intelligent and deliciously convoluted, dialogue, grammar and vocabulary are all flawless, there are occasional bouts of the humour we so know and love in canon, the mysteries are thrilling, and the will-they-be-destroyed-or-will-they-pull-through tension is exceedingly well-done. If I wanted to nitpick, I'd say its one 'fault' is that it's rather indulgent with the bromance between Sherlock and John; they're much closer friends (but this is NOT pre-slash/slash, just to be clear) here than they were, or ever will be, in canon. But, really, does it matter? The Green Blade is still an absolutely excellent fic, and highly recommended.
Synopsis: An AU in which Sherlock is an artist rather than a scientist, though he helps solve crimes all the same.
Comments: Brilliant. Artist!Sherlock is an interpretation that just clicks and fits in far too well with the canon. It isn't a casefic — the cases he solves are mentioned only in passing — but a character exploration; an intentionally disjointed biography of sorts detailing what Sherlock's life would've been like had he developed a fascination for expressing his perception of the world through art. Highly recommended, even to those who don't fancy AUs.
The writing is gorgeous, and Sherlock's personality really matches the crazy artist persona well. The ending is a little abrupt, however, but still satisfying.
As a rule, I tend to shy away from AU fics. The characters become fundamentally different. They are in the world in which they've been set for a reason. But I gave this one a shot... and I'll admit that afterwards, I forgot for a moment that Sherlock doesn't actually have a visually artistic bone in his body. The character is exactly the same, the outlet is just minimally different. It's quite brilliant. And the way that the author describes his observations through the window of color palettes is gorgeous. Read this, it's totally worth the time.
Synopsis: Post Reichenbach. John is going through the classic phases of grief ... badly. Divided into four parts, this fic chronicles his progress week by week, the reconstruction of life without Sherlock. Can John possibly find a happy ending? Warning: BIG angst, little bit of John/Sherlock by the end.
Comments: Beautifully, heartbreakingly written. Warning: This is not a happy fic.
Jesus. Forget Alone On The Water and read this. Brilliantly written and alarmingly heartbreaking. Bring tissues. And alcohol.
Synopsis: The bomber's gone silent, the Bruce-Partington plans have been recovered, and John Watson wants to get out of the flat for a night. However, he doesn't know that somebody else has their own plans concerning the night's entertainment. No Ep. 3 Spoilers!
Comments: Basically explores the events leading up to John getting kidnapped in The Great Game. The author writes a damn fine Moriarty. *shiver*
Synopsis: Sherlock and Moriarty are dead. In an attempt to cope, Watson has returned to the front in Afghanistan as a sniper at Mycroft's insistence. His spotter and comrade-in-arms is an experienced veteran by the name of Sebastian Moran.
Comments: Touching, emotional, in-character. Wonderful characterisation. The author's other stories are likewise well worth the read.
Synopsis: Danger is Sherlock's life, but this game of Moriarty's pushes it beyond anything else Sherlock and John have ever known. When the game is this deadly, there can only be one winner. And when you're playing for your life, you need something to live for.
Comments: This is effectively a re-write of the whole Moriarty plot thread - an amazing one. Seriously, it's just brilliant. Warning: Eventually Sherlock/John. And what tweests!
Comments: Undoubtedly seconded. It's a fantastic piece of work by a young but very talented writer. Read!
Synopsis: Sherlock is in it for the hunt. John is in it for the action. Even so, the events at the Pool leave a mark on both, unwilling as they are to admit it.
Comments: A short, sweet and slightly angsty take on the aftermath of The Great Game. Sherlock and John are worried and go about it in the least possible constructive way. Brilliant characterisation - this could easily be a deleted scene from the show.
Synopsis: Sherlock Holmes is dead, but his heart never stopped beating, his lungs never stopped pumping air, and his mind has been so very busy. By every reasonable practical, medical definition, he is still alive. And he wants to see John.
Comments: A post-Reichenbach one-shot. A character study of sorts, with some viscerally emotional imagery.
Synopsis: Post-Reichenbach: John has disabled all comments, but that doesn't prevent a certain someone from hacking into his blog. Again. Moriarty is alive, and is desperate for Sherlock's attention.
Comments: Written in comment form, and absolutely hilarious. A relatively light-hearted fic for something involving Moriarty (though you won't be allowed to forget how much of a creep he is, don't worry). Lots of humour, much of it subtle - especially once you remember that he's posting all those things on John's blog where anyone can see them. Cleverly, beautifully written, and the ending rocks. Go read it. Now.
Synopsis: The zombie apocalypse arrives. Mycroft wants tea, Stephen Fry wants protection, Sherlock wants to work and John wants a katana.
Comments: It's a witty, fresh take on Z-Day, told through text messages, emails and Mycroft's personal notes. And it's hilarious.
Mem., move Govt. Cannot have repeat of Prime Minister's Questions. Lucky nobody watches BBC News Channel and thus country is secure in ignorance regarding the fact that Deputy PM attempted to kill and eat PM literally rather than figuratively.
While not the most in-character thing you'll ever read, this story is funny without being jarring or trite, and overall a wonderful Sherlock fix that won't make you any more depressed over the RBF.
Synopsis: A Study In Emerald AU. Some realities are more hideous than any possibility.
Comments: This is absolutely gorgeous in the way it combines Neil Gaiman's AU oneshot 'A Study in Emerald'and BBC's Sherlock. Reading A Study in Emerald first is highly recommended for better understanding of this fic, though not absolutely necessary.
Recommended by persephonethinx, The Corsair 20, The Deviations, Numbuh9494 and Blac Kat
Synopsis: The aftermath of Sherlock trying to investigate the deaths and disappearances tied to The Slender Man Mythos.
Comments: Presented in the form of interview transcripts of Sherlock's stay in a mental hospital, this is definitely not something to read while alone at night. Nightmare Fuel doesn't even come close. (Oh NOW he fucking tells me!!!) And no, knowledge of the Mythos is not needed to appreciate the terror and paranoia caused by this fic. Seriously well-written horror.
This trouper decided to be a twit and read it at 2:08 AM in a pitch-black room. Alone. Well, it's not like I needed sleep anyway or
Wonderfully creepy. The disjointed nature of the narrative makes it even scarier, if that's possible. But yeah... DON'T read in the middle of the night.
Synopsis: In which there are country-house visits, Sherlock's shampoo, the Macarena and past relationship trauma. Bonus John-badassery, fake sex and dreadful Welsh.
Comments: I wish there was more detective work in this fic, but it makes a wonderful palate-cleanser after heavy-duty Sherlock/John slash. The two are presented as brothers-in-arms here, and it is delightful.
Synopsis: Sherlock's up to his eyeballs in a new case, but this time he has to solve it without Watson. Instead, he has to deal with a stubborn yet clever new sidekick whose name he can't seem to figure out...
Comments: I've seen a lot of OC's in my time as a bored internet surfer. Many do not work. This does. Both the writer's OC and Sherlock are realistic, and the case is intriguing (for example: it involves a code that I just spent the past hour trying to break, with no success).
Synopsis: Sherlock has never learned to swim. This is why.
Comments: Heartbreaking and beautiful character study on Sherlock, Mycroft, John, and Harry. It's told a bit out of order, but that just makes the reveals at the end all the more gut-wrenching. If you do not want to build a time machine and travel back in time to hug young!Sherlock by the end of this, then you have no soul.
Sweet, cute, wonderful character study on both of the boys. This is now my head-canon it is just that good.
This fic is devastatingly moving. Knife-sharp characterization, beautifully rendered.
Synopsis: John wakes up from the explosion by the pool to discover that he can see wings on the backs of people who were previously without them. These wings are apparently magical enough to not be bothered by clothing and chairs, and real enough to block the telly.
Comments: Takes the usually crack-y concept of wing!fic and somehow makes it beautiful. Not heartwrenchingly so; this isn't the kind of fic that will have you in tears with its majesty. But it's quiet, and yet it's emotionally engaging, and it works.
This fic is so beautiful that it kinda ruined reality for me. (Not saying it is a bad thing, tho.)
Definitely a fic to leave you a tad bit breathless; while the POV is John's, Mrs. Hudson is written in such a way that makes your remember her long after you've finished reading.
Really didn't expect to like this one after reading the premise, but this is a beautiful little fic. Now I keep imagining the characters with wings in my daydreams...
Makes a crack concept into something delightful. Props for the amazing characterization of Ms. Hudson.
Synopsis: Several weeks after the explosion at the pool following "The Great Game" episode, Lestrade visits the recuperating Sherlock and John at 221B Baker Street. He brings case files and food... and a visitor in tow.
Comments: One of the things that's so interesting about this show is how deeply the characters matter to each other and yet the limited number of ways in which it is in-character to show that. This is one of those ways. Great Lestrade/Sherlock/John friendship, and there are several sequel one-shots.
Seconded. This is quite an interesting and very sweet look at the relationships between the main characters by introducing a new person into the mix. Quite adorable. :)
Recommended by Aromli, darknesshiddeninlight, Zephyr7
Synopsis: John and Sherlock got a flat share because they needed to split the rent. But when John comes into money, people wonder 'why hasn't he found a place of his own'
Comments: John finally has the possibility of moving out... and the thought never crosses his mind, much to others' increasing incredulity. Hilarious, sweet, and in-character. This is what it means to be Heterosexual Life Partners.
Synopsis: Sherlock, John, and Lestrade go on a road trip, and are stuck in the same car for hours.
Comments: In a word, hilarious. The writing is sharp, witty, and in character. Sherlock is obsessed with sheep, John and Lestrade bond over 80s glam rock, and they all play the Roadkill Game. The best part? There are three sequels.
Synopsis: "You’re not the only one to enjoy a good murder. There’s others out there just like you – except you’re just a man. And they’re so much more than that." What if Molly was Moriarty's twin sister?
Comments: A really clever, dark, and wonderfully creepy glimpse into the relationship between the two throughout the years and the sort of background that could have spawned them, finishing spectacularly with an alternate ending to season one's finale. Moriarty is wholly in character, striking the perfect chord between the over-the-top, unpredictable supervillain, the chilling, calculating sociopath and the ruthless business man; but as seen through the very intimate lens of the story, he displays very dangerous kind of fragility and brittleness that we don't necessarily see elsewhere, and that in some ways predicts season 2's snap-decision suicide. Even so, Molly Hooper remains the star here; after reading this fic, you can't help but look at her in a different light. Disturbing, sharp, and a flawlessly brilliant take on an AU concept.
Synopsis: In the aftermath of their faux-double-suicide, Jim's a wreck. His will to live, his zest for his work, even his enthusiasm for a really good suit, all gone on holiday. But somebody's had enough of all this wallowing. Time to get out of bed, Jim.
Comments: Written from Moriarty's POV, this fic will make you tremble in fear and laughter at the same time. Likely the best capture of Moriarty's voice you will ever read. Be sure to check out the author's other Sherlock fics as well, which take place in the same timeline. In fact, it might be best to read Are You Sitting Comfortably first, but by god do read these.
Synopsis: Post-RBF. He writes one sentence, and while it's not enough, it starts something. A movement.
Comments: A detailed and in-depth take on Post Reichenbach, up to the reunion, that focuses on the people Sherlock has left behind trying to clear his name. This one delves particularly deeply into the issue with the tabloids by introducing a sympathetic journalist and goes into the work of the street artists with uncommon and intriguing depth. Stay tuned for a sequel!
Synopsis: Sherlock might have been the one to jump but John fell, too. Now Sherlock isn't the only one who's lost.
Comments: A take on John's life post-Reichenbach which while it draws influences from Memento, I wouldn't call it a cross-over. Such a heart-breaking story. The author beautifully winds together the disparate shreds of John's life and the real events into a complex, tragic storyline. And reading it a second time is definitely recommended; reading it while already knowing the true significance of each event is crushing.
Synopsis: First words. First steps. Tiny things like first smile, first laugh, the first time he reaches out and grabs Sally's finger. Sherlock misses everything. The real reason Sally Donovan hates Sherlock so much? They have a child he never sees.
Comments: Beautiful; though the premise is somewhat off-putting, the author manages to take the slightly unfeasible and almost cliché ex-lovers explanation to Sally's particular blend of hostility and transform it into something really quite lovely that slots surprisingly well into the season one canon. Deeply painful, thoughtful, and written with a rare deftness of touch, this fic gives the oft neglected Sally Donovan some stunningly perfect and much-needed characterisation, and definitely isn't to be missed.
Recommended by Star Bright, Zephyr7, piratemonkey06, Edhla
Synopsis: Study in Pink remix, where John is the one to confront the killer.
Comments: You really have to feel sort of sorry for the murderer, because clearly he never stood a chance against the awesome that is John Watson.
Seriously, I wish they had filmed this for DVD extras. It's scarily plausible and John is very much in character; in fact I feel he handles the situation about three hundred times better than Sherlock did. I often forget John is likely one of the most intellectually and physically capable individuals in any room he deigns to walk into, it's just that nowadays he is accompanied by a certain genius detective.
Wonderful characterisation, and frighteningly plausible.
Synopsis: At age nineteen, Sherlock Holmes dropped out of university to become a drug addict.
Comments: (WARNING for implied dubcon and non-explicit sex.) Great look into a possible beginning to the drugs history hinted at in the series. The effects of cocaine and withdrawal are described brilliantly, it almost sounds like the author has some first-hand experience so the whole addiction process is really believable. Definitely worth a read if you're interested in prequel stories and/or drugs!Sherlock.
Synopsis: When Sherlock announces the arrival of a friend, John's more surprised that Sherlock has friends than anything else. But then he meets Rachel.
Comments: In which Sherlock Holmes was university friends with none other than Rachel Maddow. Yes, thatRachel Maddow. Awesome ensues. Listed under gen, because this is far more a wonderful friendship fic than anything else - Sherlock and Rachel's friendship makes perfect sense.
Synopsis: "You don't write love songs" John says. "You write about other things and people misinterpret them, because in the right lighting they look like love songs. But they’re not." This is a band AU, in which Sherlock is the composer and violinist, John is on bass, Molly plays the drums, Lestrade is the manager + guitarist, and Moriarty the vocalist for a Rock band fraught with (non-sexual) tension and dysfunctional relationships the way only a group lead by Sherlock Holmes can be.
Comments: Recommended even to those who aren't into band AUs or music-related fics in general. The writing style is perfect — evocative and to-the-point; the mood is harsh and tough — the kind of atmosphere you'd expect in an actual Rock band; the characterization is singularly brilliant. There are vague mentions of Sherlock/Irene, but it's done very subtly and realistically.
Synopsis: John returns from Afghanistan later than he did in canon, and rents a long-vacant flat on Baker Street. But he soon discovers a few problems, such as the ghost of Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock throws books about, plays the violin at all hours, and leaves ominous messages on the bathroom mirror. John settles in regardless, determined not to let a haunted flat get the best of him. Though he does wish Sherlock would stop hiding his cane. Sherlock’s not an ordinary ghost, but then again...most ghosts are idiots.
Comments: Incredibly adorable friendship between everyone's favourite Army Doctor and his flatmate, the (ghostly) ex-Consulting Detective. The ending, especially, was very touching.
Synopsis: Gregory Lestrade is extremely good at his job. The last thing he needs is a ridiculous civil servant berk in a three-piece-suit telling him what he should and should not be doing. A Lestrade-centric fic that details the author's take on the Detective Inspector's first meeting with Sherlock — and by extension, Mycroft — and how Sherlock came to work with New Scotland Yard.
Comments: Without a doubt one of the best-written versions of this particular scenario I've seen so far. The dialogue is witty, the story is alternately hilarious and touching, everyone is perfectly in-character, and the author has a great flair for making conversations and events flow smoothly. Highly recommended to those who're interested in pre-canon stories...and even to those who're not.
Synopsis: A child psychologist is asked to sit in on the questioning of her client, a nine-year old boy, traumatized by finding his father stabbed to death. The child's mother is being held for the murder and the case against her looks water-tight, unless her son can be persuaded to tell what he knows. But the only way to communicate with the traumatised child is through his great obsession, chess, and only one detective speaks chess fluently enough to understand what he has to say.
Comments: A lovely little casefic that manages, in a little over 3000 words, to achieve something most attempts at casefic fail to even with tens of thousands. Sherlock's character is perfectly done, and the revelation at the end is brilliant.
Synopsis: Before going to medical college or joining the army, John played guitar as part of a short-lived band that nonetheless gained a small but devoted cult following. Cue this fact being outed during a case, Sherlock listening to all their old tracks, and becoming a John!groupie. A series of John-centric one-shots — both long and short — as well as a couple of multi-chaptered fics.
Background Pairings: John/Mary Morstan (a highly modernized incarnation of John Watson's wife from ACD canon); Molly Hooper/Greg Lestrade, and a few other couples that are only mentioned in passing.
Comments: Nice writing; sometimes funny, sometimes touching, occasionally profound. There are some actual songs interspersed throughout, composed by the author with the help of her niece, a musician. The author herself is a professional writer of both fiction and non-fiction who pens fanfic as a hobby, so there need be no doubt about her skills. The Sherlock-John bromance in these stories is a beauty to behold, and never becomes ridiculous, sappy or borderline romantic the way it's often wont to do.
Synopsis: A seemingly straightforward case has Lestrade calling for Sherlock's help. Written from John's POV, this story takes place two months after the events in "The Great Game" and follows the investigation of the murder of Veronica Havisham: seventeen, popular—and murdered in Hainault Forrest on a Friday night in June.
Comments: Excellent casefic, almost on par with The Green Blade in my list of Sherlock fic favourites. Nicely plotted, with a smattering of OCs who give the story the ambience of a 1920s whodunnit; it's a novel experience, and one I highly recommend trying out. If casefic is your thing, then you can't go wrong with The Poster Girl.
Synopsis: John and Sherlock are off to Surrey to solve the mystery of Alexander Holder's death. The Holders are apparently 'old friends' of the Holmeses, and John finds himself having to deal with Mummy, suit-shopping at Harrods, a luxury fitness centre, and a Christmas Ball... among other things.
Comments: Alternately humorous and suspenseful, this casefic is quite the fun read. Truth be told, the identity of the murderer came as no great surprise — but the motives involved are somewhat less easy to figure out and give the story an interesting flavour. And Mrs. Holmes is such a character that I dare anyone who reads this to not be utterly awed by her.
Synopsis: A mysterious group called the Red-Headed League with seemingly anti-capitalist motivations - robbing from the wealthy and giving to the poor - has the police chasing its own tail. Can Sherlock uncover the League's real agenda and the identity of its leader before it's too late?
Comments: Interesting casefic; perhaps a tad inclined towards Bond-esqueness (it's even mentioned in-series), but well-written and considerably suspenseful regardless.
synopsis: A study in Sherlock's mind. He's a sociopath, and then there's John. A study in John's heart. He's a wreck, and then there's Sherlock. They're two marvels and two monsters, and they know it.
Comments: The imagery and language in this is vivid and brilliant. This fic delves deep into the minds of two men who don't function quite correctly, but who complete each other perfectly and love each other immensely for fixing the other. (Not a slash fic, though.) The juxtaposition of their experiences (especially in the dream scenes with Sherlock's mind-palace and John's heart-desert) is beautifully done. The entire thing is dense, and a little daunting if all you're looking for is fluff and fun, but it's probably one of the best navel-gazing pieces I've ever read.
Synopsis: Sherlock knew that he could thoroughly rely upon John Watson's moral sense. And that's why he knew that Lestrade was wrong, wrong, wrong. "An hour's history of two minds is well told in a game of chess." - José Raúl Capablanca
Comments: Intelligent plot, great characterization, and almost completely season 2-compliant despite being written well before it was aired. Elaborating further will give the plot away, so if you're the sort who can appreciate plot in your fanfic, definitely give this one a go.
Synopsis: A pregnant woman comes to Sherlock Holmes for help finding her missing employers and goes missing herself. Sherlock may be able to solve the puzzle, but he might never be able to make it right. This takes place in the early days S1, canon compliant as much as possible.
Comments: Nice casefic. Characterization is 100% canon-compliant, the plot is interesting and well fleshed out and there are the occasional bouts of dry humour we so know and love canon for. But the best thing? A fun, strong-willed OFC who was not created for the express purpose of acting as an author surrogate who ends up in a romantic relationship with the author's favourite canon character/s.
Synopsis: Queen is back with a new show to review...amusingly : Enter for brilliant deductions, wonderful subtext, creepy side characters and shameless gushing praise of just about everything. A hilariously satirical review of all three episodes of Sherlock Season 1.
Comments: Funny, witty in a very caustic sort of way, smart and appropriate commentary. Save for the not-all-that-frequent fangirling parts, I get the feeling this is how John would critique the series if he were a member of the audience and not part of the cast.
Obviously this isn't a fanfic, but this was so hilarious. Brace yourself.
Synopsis: A short fic speculating on the nature of the relationship between Jim Moriarty and his chief sniper/right-hand man, Sebastian Moran (borrowed from ACD canon and transplanted into the BBC 'verse). Can be seen as pre-slash if one so wishes, but will just as easily pass for gen.
Comments: The most believable exploration of Moriarty and Moran's relationships I've seen so far; good enough to become my new head-canon.
Recommended by Blac Kat, Sylverfairi, and GhostOfAGeek
Synopsis: Sherlock Holmes: highly innovative and eccentric ice-cream chef. John Watson: sous-chef who is currently unemployed as a result of a refrigerator incident that left him with a permanent limp. Mike Stamford: one of John's former co-workers who informs him about an odd, temperamental ice cream inventor who doesn't have enough money to set up his own store and is looking to partner up with someone.
Comments: Sherlock making ice cream would never fit in with his character, you say? Hah, think again. This is almost inexplicably canon-compliant despite the AU setting. Very lovely little gen fic full of innocent fun and oddly amusing situations; recommended to anyone who's tired of angst, romance, smut and violence, and would like to read something nice and relaxing for a change.
This fic is just so...adorable. By the time I finished reading, I had the overwhelming urge to hug my laptop, and was grinning so widely my cheeks actually hurt. Really very, very nice.
Synopsis: It was only when people actually saw John working as a physician that they began to understand: that it wasn’t just about bullets and IE Ds and trauma care under fire. That “doctor” actually covered a pretty wide field. And that John was bloody good at covering ground. 5 times Dr. Watson treated others and 1 time he treated himself.
Comments: John is usually seen as a soldier first and a doctor second, both in-universe and in the fandom. stillwaters01 turns this view on its head by writing a brilliant, well-rounded BAMF!Doctor!John. The author is also a nurse and uses medical terminology to really bring John to life without drowning the reader in technobabble. They also capture the tone of John and Sherlock's friendship perfectly.
For more of stillwaters01's BAMF!Doctor!John, check out Assessments and Very Good Indeed.
Synopsis: Dr. John Watson is turned into an eight year old child, dealing with Sherlock who doesn't know him in a world where he was never born. He's a little stressed out, but he's got his priorities straight.
Comments: Quite possibly the greatest alternate reality fic to come out of the Sherlock fandom. Wee Doctor starts off as an essentially crack!fic, but quickly dives into an unbelievably complicated and intricate plot spanning 2 sequels Small Families and Bantam Wars.
Synopsis: A massive storm keeps John trapped in Baker Street with a half-blind (for science!), very bored Sherlock Holmes.
Comments: If you ever wondered what would possess John into playing Cluedo with Sherlock in the first place or how that particular game would when playing with the Consulting Detective, look no further. This is a very entertaining one-shot, especially when Sherlock starts explaining how the only "logical" solution to the board game is that the victim is the killer.
In a way, this one is epic in just how in-character everyone is. It feels like canon. All of it. I doubt the whole Cluedo ordeal went any other way.
Synopsis: Everyone said Sherlock Holmes was the cold, unfeeling bastard, but sometimes John wondered if he wasn't the cold one.
Comments: The author's unique take on facets of Sherlock's and John's personalities that's hardly ever explored in canon or fanfic; very introspective, realistic, and will definitely make you see both main characters in a new light.
Pairings: Sherlock/John (implied, requited), Sherlock/Victor Trevor (implied, one-sided on Victor's part). This is not a shipping/slash fic: the story focuses on Victor (Sherlock's only friend from university, transitioned from ACD canon) and his thoughts about Sherlock, pre- and post-John.
Synopsis: The real problem is that Victor Trevor does not like tea.
Comments: A very different kind of post-Fall, pre-Return fic; saying anything more will give the plot away. An example of surprisingly-perceptive-outsider POV done right.
Pairing: Sherlock/John. This is not actually slash: only sort-of pre-slash in a sweet, delicate way. The rating is for violent imagery.
Synopsis: Sherlock returns: whole-but-battered — and not just on the outside. There are things he's done, things he's discovered that he can't tell John. But the signs are there and it's only a matter of time before those secrets come out. Deals with Sherlock and what happened in those three years and how he copes with it now (mainly the latter), and how John copes with him.
Comments: Finally! A fic that focuses on post-Return Sherlock and how three years away from home pursuing - and being pursued by - an evil multi-national criminal organisation can change a man in the subtlest but most heart-rending ways. It's very rare to see a fic of this sort, since most post-Fall/post-Return stories obsess over John and completely ignore Sherlock.
Synopsis: A month after Sherlock's fall, John is coming apart at the seams. His sister Harry puts her law practice on hold and comes out to help John through the worst. When Harry reluctantly agrees to go out to Clara's house in Norwood to make out Clara's will, she becomes the prime suspect in Clara's murder. With Lestrade now his bitter enemy, John has to solve the case on his own...or does he?
Comments: I won't call Empty Houses 'a plausible post-TRF fic,' because it most definitely is not, but the plot really is quite interesting, as a result of fusing a number of ACD canon cases to make up a surprisingly coherent and original story. This author's version of Harry Watson is a wonderful character whom I warmed up to in a way I rarely do with OC's.
Synopsis: As the title suggests, the aftermath of Sherlock's fall. The action picks up something like three months later. John has fallen off the social radar and Molly and Lestrade are desperately trying to hold him together. Sherlock is livin' la vida vigilante.
Synopsis: That one where John is the premiere fan blogger for the Masked Detective. Loosely inspired by Sailor Moon and several other mid-90s magical girl anime, and vaguely brought about by night blogging, staying up entirely too late with a crowd of incredible people, and a pinch of just plain wanting to watch the world burn.
Synopsis: "Seriously guys. You think Sherlock can last more than two weeks without his John? Lestrade is lazy, Mycroft is vindictive, and Sherlock is plotting to kill his best friend for looking...so...happy! He just died for god's sake!" Or "John isn't an idiot and can actually observe on occasion." A different sort of Post-Reichenback story.
His life is slotting back together again. He still misses Sherlock (Jesus Christ does he miss Sherlock), but it's like living without his right arm. He can still function and if he works hard, can function well.
Comments: Intending no disrespect to the multitudinous writers who've elected to show John as completely falling apart after losing Sherlock ... um, no. Mourning someone you've lost, someone you love, doesn't necessarily mean you cease to function — and going on functioning doesn't mean you've ceased to mourn. Taking quite seriously the words in Sherlock's will, in which Sherlock leaves him "... everything I own. EVERYTHING. Take care of my city John", John does what a soldier and a doctor would do: moves into Sherlock's old flat in Montague Street, starts work at a surgery in a rough part of London, and in his own way, takes up the Work.
Synopsis: The story of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson told from a unique point of view: John's newly recruited guardian angel. Meet the guardians of Scotland Yard, the demon behind Moriarty, and the angel responsible for the World's Greatest Detective.
Recommended by Hekateras, Freya Crescent, fannish, Hot Cholula
Synopsis: A post-Reichenbach John-centric lengthy fic showcasing his psychological development mostly in the form of inner monologues as he comes to realise just how much Sherlock had really meant to him and struggles in equal parts to hold on to him and to let him go.
Pairings: John/Mary Morstan, Sherlock/John
Comments: Beautiful fic. This one is not to be missed. It's one of the most subtle and knowledgeable depictions of human psyche this troper has ever seen in fiction.
Lovely. This took me a few days to read but it was well worth the time. I wish I had never read it just so I could experience it for the first time again.
Synopsis: "Serial Killer AU. Sherlock has never just played on the legal side of the law, and murder is just as fascinating however you approach it. But now he has John Watson to contend with. Still, he is a soldier. He has potential."
Comments: One of the darkest, most beautiful fanfictions I've ever read, for any fandom. A gorgeous mixture of blood, murder, and taboo, with a good dollop of Sherlock/John - slash-haters be warned! Don't read it if you're sensitive to violence, sex, murder, or anything of the sort, really.
Synopsis: Violin music, 19th-century poets, and a string of puzzles presented to Sherlock by an enigmatic client (or adversary?), who prefers to stay in the shadows
Comments: A heartwarming story, a clever case fic and rich in culture. Beautifully written.
While the case itself is rather brilliant and masterfully crafted, Sherlock and especially John are painfully OOC. Specifically John thinks like a teenager and is somewhat bumbling and rather useless. If you can skip the paragraphs of John musing on all things Sherlock, the plot is worth a read through. - Meandering River
Synopsis: Girl!Sherlock/John. When John Watson moved into 221B, it wasn't just with a mad detective. It was with a mad detective and her baby. What on earth was he thinking?
Comments: A genderbent Sherlock as an irresponsible mother and John just back from the war barge a pram through the events of A Study In Pink. It's credible, interesting and we get to see a side to John which many fanfics choose to ignore. A sequel and a bunch of tie-ins accessible through the Author's profile flesh out the story a lot more and really allow readers to get into the character's heads. The romance, while there, is subtle and slow, just beginning.
Synopsis: "Sherlock is a well-known fanartist whose online antics always land him on fandom_wank. John's a beloved BNF fanfiction author. They meet at a convention; geeky love ensues." And thus, a beautiful metafic is born.
Comments: Possibly the best-written piece of metafic this troper's yet seen. Reading almost like a love letter to fandom, jumperfucker and consulting_detective are fully fledged characters in their own right. Almost every character is included - Mrs. Hudson running the kinkmeme! - and the entire piece is impeccably written. It's even formatted appropriately.
In an additional level of meta, there are now LJ accounts for almost all the characters in the fic, who are the characters in the show. There is also the comm mentioned in the fic. And there is mention of attempting to make all the links go live. How. Awesome. Is. That.
Seconded. So hard. OH MY GOD WHY IS THIS SO MARVELOUS?! Why are you still reading this comment? Go read the story.
OH MY GOD. I just finished reading this, and I am without words. This was not just a fanfic, it was...a mystical experience. At least. I am pretty sure I have now been ruined for all other fanfictions, ever. Everyone needs to read this. Like, NOW.
Synopsis: Sherlock doesn't believe in second chances, but a last one will suffice.
Warning: Major character death(s)
Comments: Although I've said that everything Sherlock on this writer's journal is worth reading, if I had to single out one piece of work that's completely unmissable, it's this sequence. The first piece was written in response to this heartbreaking kink meme request, and I can't think of anyone better to have taken it on. You'll need tissues, but the ending's somehow as happy as you could ask for. Strangely hopeful and handled with deft sensitivity, this is death-fic for those who do their best to avoid it. Almost every key character makes an appearance.
Pairing: Eventual Sherlock/John, and implied Sherlock/Moriarty if you read upside down and squint.
Synopsis: Sherlock has not backed off. Moriarty follows through on his threat.
Comments: Wait, don't run away, it's a really good fic, despite the fact that the title lacks originality. Her Moriarty is absolutely spot-on in terms of character, and absolutely terrifying. It's very much Darker and Edgier, but in a manner that feels thoroughly believable. And the writing is absolutely beautiful.
"Sherlock's finger cuts off the connection before his brain can catch up with him. His heart is pounding again, and the phone is clutched tight to his ear, and in front of him the world he loves burns and falls into ash, and his mind is whirling, and it is awful, it is magnificent, it is awful."
Synopsis: Sherlock doesn't call or text John when there is an explosion at Baker Street and he finds out while watching TV. The good doctor is understandably upset. Sexytiems ensue.
Comments: It's a sweet fic with minor hurt/comfort and major hotness. Sherlock and John are pretty in-character the whole time and the sex is well-written. Contains very minor spoilers for the beginning of "The Great Game".
Synopsis: John dies in Afghanistan and returns to 221 B Baker Street as a ghost. Then Sherlock moves in.
Comments: This fic takes a novelty premise and turns it into something genuinely beautiful. Sherlock and John are perfectly in character, and it's amazing to watch as their relationship progresses. This story will leave you with a melancholy ache in your chest and tears threatening your eyes, but also with a firm sense of optimism and a genuinely good feeling. Required reading for anyone with taste.
The Lizzyverse by Anonymous (Link is to the Kink Meme thread containing all stories.)
Recommended by The Blood Sharpie, chibiaries, kph2pt0
Pairing: John/Sherlock, but it's kept PG; they kiss about once and the most obvious way you can tell they love each other is by how they react when the other's in danger. This is because the story is mainly told from Lizzy's perspective (3rd person lmtd), and, seeing as she grew up with these two, she mainly dismisses it as "normal and therefore unimportant."
Synopsis: The best synopsis for this would be the prompt from the Kink Meme that inspired it: "Teenage daughter of Sherlock and John dealing with her parents' shenanigans or her interaction or views of them."
Comments: The fact that this troper loathes children but loves this 'verse should tell you something about the strength of the narrative itself. It's written in a non-linear point of view, but far from being confusing, it has the effect of being put together like a jigsaw puzzle, because that it exactly what's happening. That single prompt from the synopsis up there ballooned into 8-and-running stories in what's become known as the Lizzyverse - Lizzy being the name of John and Sherlock's daughter by adoption. Her age is mutable, and is the timeline for the stories; such-and-such a thing happens at five, or seven, or eighteen, or three. Sherlock has a rather... unorthodox method of parenting, which John finds exasperating and expected at once, but it works, and it's adorable, and because of it, Lizzy is not a child. Innocent, sure, naive and unknowing at times, yes, but not a child. She knows too much about how the world works to be considered a child.
Synopsis: Lestrade and the police department meet once a week at a pub to rant about Holmes.
Comments: Absolutely hilarious in terms of everybody's speculations on Holmes and Watson's relationship. Lestrade and Donovan and the rest of the cast become unintentionally obsessed with Holmes's love life.
Synopsis: How a Sherlock/John relationship might play out.
Comments: This relationship is deeply, DEEPLY messed up. This troper is in no way pushing it as a model. But the writing is erudite and very funny, and this troper loves the intoxicating madman who is Sherlock, and the competent, moral John.
While I very much enjoyed the fic based on this recommendation it was hardly as dark as the previous made it out to be, while the relationship presented is hardly 'ideal' it is easily one of the more believable and in character fics I've read. [[ymmv]]
One of the best fics in this fandom, very well written and completely IC. A must read.
It is without any doubt one of the most beautfiul things this troper has ever read. The writing is breathtaking. There are some really creative ideas as well. And the Sherlock/John relationship, however codependent, insane and at times downright dangerous it might be, is so intense it will make a complete emotional mess out of you, too. Totally not recommended for the faint-hearted, but if you happen to be a Nightmare Fetishist and/or just really like almost digustingly codependent relationships, chances are you'll love this.
Now available on AO3 for easy reading! Also check out Wordstring's new story, All the Best and Brightest Creatures that details what happens when a young Sherlock catches Carl Powers' murderer, and meets an extraordinary ex-army doctor shortly before Jim Moriarty is due to be released from prison.
The Paradox series shows how someone like Sherlock might actually think. The whiteness of boredom, the Not Fine list, the blood exchange . . .
Synopsis: Death changes people. After John's wife, Mary, dies suddenly, change becomes all too clear. Mild slash.
Comments: No, it's not a hurt comfort fic where John dives into Sherlocks arms right after the funeral. It shows the death and aftermath, and shows John healing in a natural, normal way. The feelings don't come out of nowhere and Sherlock is completely in-character and noticeably affected by John. There's also a gorgeous passage on the Power of Love. Manzy's other oneshot, John's Tea is worth a look too.
Synopsis: Original prompt: "Sherlock. Moriarty. Lobster Knife Fight." John/Sherlock
Comments: 1,555 words of "lobster slash", pure unadulterated crack of the highest calibre. Not only is the fill a thing of crustacean beauty, there are pictures. Bonus points for creative renaming of characters. Sherlobster, anyone? Also available on AO3 now.
Synopsis: "Your hair is weighed down with product, and you have slathered an unseemly amount of cosmetics on your face. You're wearing an evening gown more risque than I could previously imagine you even glancing at. By my deductions, Miss Hooper, you are most certainly here on a date."
Comments: Everyone is in-character and the prose is simply elegant. Mira-Jade handles the Molly/Moriarty dynamic in a very subtle and beautiful way.
Pairing: Sherlock/John; pre-slash moving into explicit slash
Synopsis: Events after The Great Game leave Sherlock dependent on his best friend and colleague. But John has a secret of his own...
Comments: This is a really touching exploration of Sherlock and John working together to cope with an injury that might just take away what makes Sherlock himself, while also tying that together with Sherlock and John having to admit their feelings for each other. It's very well-paced, nothing too rushed, and has some of the best and most believable characterizations of Sherlock and John that I've read.
Definitely seconding. This is one of the best Sherlock fics I've read. The plot is intriguing, and you become completely invested in the characters. It has nothing explicit for a long while, yet still manages to be absolutely scorching- and it has some of the best characterizations of our duo I've seen. I can't recommend this enough; the superlatives in here are not used lightly.
Synopsis: Sherlock is given one month to live with a brain tumor; he makes the decision to end it early, and spends his last day alone with John.
Warning: Major character death
Comments: Extremely, extremely sad; yet still manages to be in-character on all parts. Extra props for including Sarah in a slashfic without turning her into a huge bitch. Bring tissues.
Seconded so hard through a veil of tears still streaming down my face. In character, and John being the protagonist manages to show the story beautifully through his eyes. The ending, and especially the final line, will break you.
Thirded. This is a must-read for anyone in the Sherlock fandom. SO GOOD AND SO SAD.
Fourthded. I actually had to take a shower afterwords to hide the fact there were tears everywhere, not just my face. This is coming from a troper who usually despises slash.
Fifthed. This fic has become a fandom classic, and not for no good reason. You will cry. It will break you.
Sixthed? I do not ship, and I do not read slash. I also generally dislike anything AU or non-canon. And despite all of that: this is just brilliant and heartbreaking.
Must I go so far as to say seventhed? This troper loves slash, but hates character death with a passion. Still, this is the saddest fanfiction I have ever read. Tears were everywhere. Everywhere I say. Your heart will be shattered.
Eighthed? This troper absolutely lost it while reading this. It is written perfectly and heart-achingly.
Ninthed. Ninthed so hard it hurts
While this troper would like to say she has the honour of being "tenthed", she would like to say how nothing will compare to this fanfic. It's just so human, it's painful. Absolutely beautiful. Tears, man. Tears...
Eleventhed. There's nothing I can say about this fic that hasn't already been said, but even if it's been recc'd by everyone and their brother, it's perfect. It's for good reason that it's likely the most famous of all Sherlock fanfictions, and if you have any trace of happiness left in you after reading it, watch this incredible fanvid set to Christina Perri's 'A Thousand Years'.
Twelthed It is so well written and hurts me so much, but somehow, in a good way.
Synopsis: Sherlock discovers John's secret: he's writing a roman a clef novel about their adventures. A very bad one.
Comments: Laugh-out-loud, gutbustingly hilarious. Do not drink anything while reading; it will wind up decorating your monitor.
A rare humour fic that manages to characterise nicely outside the cracky premise, the inserts you read of John's novel (the main characters being Sherwood Stone and Jake Weston) are not only brilliantly awful, but Sherlock's reactions to reading them (along with his inner Grammar Nazi tendencies) are liable to have you doubled over with laughter.
Watching the tall, dark man vanish into his bedroom, the shorter man heard the rustle of clothes being dressed, and felt a stirring in his lions, and wanted–
"LOINS, John, LOINS. Most people don't keep the world's second-largest living cat down their trousers."
I was hesitant because I don't usually go for cracky fics that make fun of people, but this is honestly pretty good. It gets a bit confusing, and for some reason every character is an alcoholic (and someone please explain to me who Amanda is?) but it's really worth a read.
Synopsis: Sherlock and John investigate the gang-hit of the leader of global drug-trafficking network The Syndicate. Sherlock taps an old rival, Syndicate gang lawyer Irene Adler, for information, but eventually finds himself in a very compromising position.
Comments: Written from before the second series, so obviously now an AU. Written from the PO Vs of both John and Sherlock (via blog and personal journal), this story is very well researched, eloquent and keeps everyone in-character. The writer correctly estimates that Sherlock's relationship with Irene would be a damaged one of backstabbing and manipulation rather than true romantic love. Filled with moments of hilarious dry wit from both John and Sherlock, and Irene's interpretation presents a definite challenge for Holmes. Rated M for a very good reason.
Synopsis: "Lestrade and Donovan make a bet regarding Sherlock and John. It doesn't take long for the majority of the Yard to get involved."
Comments: Funny, well-written from the point of view of those around John and Sherlock (with some nice nods to canon characters with Gregson and John Rance), and with the interesting format of being entirely composed of emails and messages sent to members of the Yard.
This troper is quite hard to please (especially where comedy is concerned) and couldn't stop laughing from beginning to end. Very cleverly written. Also recommended from this author: His Last Bow, a beautifully rendered imagining of the end of Sherlock and John's life together, missing punctuation aside.
Synopsis: A novel length case-fic AU, in which Sherlock and John meet ten months and three-and-a-half thousand miles earlier.
Comments: Fairly explicit. The story opens when Mycroft convinces Sherlock to go to Afghanistan to solve a case. John Watson's unit is assigned to protect him. The case itself is passably intriguing. The sex is hot. Homigod. The sex is so hot. The sheer badassery of John Watson and Sherlock Holmes is also very hot.
While yes, the sex is superhot, this story shouldn't be sold as a PWP alone. The worldbuilding abundantlyqueer has done is impeccable, giving a perfect look into Royal Marines in Afghanistan and creating characters wholesale that the audience comes to love (McMath and Hesse will get you). Our canon characters are also developed in such a way that Sherlock Holmes, soldier, isn't quite that far a stretch, and the scenes with Sherlock and Mycroft ring with a perfect familial begrudging affection.
Synopsis: A fairly short glimpse into the life of Holmes and Watson as a married couple.
Comments: When is a Slash Fic not a Slash Fic? When there's marriage and a long-term relationship without sex or any orientation issues. It's heartwarming and follows the couple over years of marriage with the normal events of death, retirement, and negotiation of their roles as each other's literal Heterosexual Life-Partners.
Synopsis: Lestrade and Mycroft meet while getting John and Sherlock out of the blown-up swimming pool.
Comments: WIP, but every part of the series is a finished story arch in and of itself.
The characterization is brilliant. Not only does the story give a fully-rounded look into Greg Lestrade (as well as his awesome nieces), and Mycroft Holmes, but it also fleshes out Anthea into a wonderful supporting character and support for Mycroft.
The best Mystrade in the fandom, easily. Mycroft's characterization is spot-on, and Lestrade gains Hidden Depths that make perfect sense. 100% worth a read. While John/Sherlock don't appear often, when they do their relationship is handled with wonderful dexterity and skill, and Lestrade's family is practically worth the price of admission alone.
Literally the best Mystrade. I've never read anything better for this ship. Lestrade is characterized perfectly — I love the past that the author gave him. Mycroft's characterization is also perfect. And I love how the author included Anthea. The O Cs are pleasant and well-rounded, lending themselves perfectly to the fic. And it's a love story. It's a really, really, good love story — it progresses wonderfully. Lestrade and Mycroft's journey from friends to something more is really well handled. And there's even a bit of Johnlock. Literally perfect.
Synopsis: Sherlock Holmes is an Oscar winner in the midst of a career slump. John Watson is an Everyman actor trapped in the rom-com ghetto. When they are cast as a gay couple in a new indie drama, will they surprise each other? Will their on-screen romance make its way into the real world?
Comments: It will make you laugh. It will make you weep. It will make your heart thrill in ways you didn't know your heart could thrill. All I can coherently say about this story is that if there were Oscars for fanfiction, this story should win every goddamn one of them.
Seconded. This story is simply amazing. It is touching without being cheesy, provides a real conflict without becoming too angsty, the relationship between Sherlock and John works out beautifully and realistically, the author has really done her research, the subtle meta and inside jokes are brilliant and even the sex is steamy. This is a must-read for every Sherlock/John shipper who is looking for a really good AU.
Everything a good AU should be. The premise sounds like nonsense, but is handled with perfect skill.
Synopsis: In the wake of John and Sarah's marriage, Molly decides to make some changes to her life. Sherlock, naturally, has something to say (and do) about it.
Comments: Though now Jossed by series 2, this trilogy of fics captures Molly, Sherlock, John, Sarah, and the rests' personalities, voices, loves, fears, and desires perfectly (as of The Great Game). Impeccably detailed, beautifully written, and thoroughly engaging (not to mention heartbreaking and eucatastrophic).
Warnings: As the authors put it, "Blatant acts of heterosexuality, wanton acts of procreation, gratuitous in-jokes, boxing, deep fried foods (wholesome and less so), swearing, good biscuits, very bad tea, mention of past drug use and past sexual exploits." I can't put it better than that. Also, tears of pain and happiness. And AU from the end of series 1, natch.
Synopsis: REICHENBACH SPOILERS NEAR THE END. "Regular people, normal people, people like good, warm, tea-making, hair-stroking John, they have visible pulses, pulses that slow and quicken, pulses tied to their emotions and their brains and their life forces. Pulses attached to whatever animates them. Sherlock has no such time-keeping."
Comments: A beautiful story with a twist of magical realism. -cinnathepoet
Pairing: Sherlock/John, other pairings implied and otherwise
Synopsis: Sherlock and John, post-Reichenbach, but so very real. They're both looking for revenge, unaware of the other. Consequences, near-misses, plot twists, this one has it all.
Comments: SO well written. Also, it's rated NC-17 for a good reason. Sex scenes are amazingly well done and very in-character. Now finished and a first chapter of the sequel has just been posted - it's 12000 words of the hottest, most intense PWP ever.
Seconded with all my heart. This is so far the best post-Reichenbach fic out there and fast becoming a fandom classic. The rest of author's works are very much worth a read as well; Immortal Beloved and its sequel (both can be found at the author's profile on AO 3) are amazing.
"I have a job for you," Mycroft interrupts, and John flinches, because he's heard that before, he's heard that so many damn times, but it's the first time he's ever heard it directed at him.
"And what sort of job," he says, low, "could you possibly have for me to do?"
"Moriarty," Mycroft tells him, and John stills. Mycroft smiles, a little tight, and says, "I want him dead, don't you?"
Synopsis: For Queen and Country: Of first meetings. My first feeble attempt at Mystrade!
The Spy Who Came In From The Rain: Sequel to 'For Queen and Country'. The immediate threat on Mycroft's life has been temporarily terminated, but the case isn't over yet. Now Lestrade is in danger. With Sherlock and John safe outside of the country, how will Mycroft handle the situation?
Comments: Though I still find the Mystrade pairing quite far fetched due to canon, these two fictions make a great read and make this troper a slight fan of the pairing outside of canon. The writing is quite fantastic, the characters are bound to their canon characterizations like iron (though I feel Sherlock and John need a bit of work), and the Mystrade pairing itself, surprisingly, is not overdone. The writer does well to steer clear of all of the typical cliches usually found in shonen-ai and yaoi fanfiction thus far. Angst does not drive the plot nor does the pairing drive it, making the moments between Mycroft and Lestrade even more enjoyable to read. Highly recommended for those who would like some plot and other characters along with their OTP.
Synopsis: It all started with a night at the pub...
Comments: This troper usually loathes fanfics that get the characters drunk because more often than not, it's just a poor excuse to make them act out of character. The Last Drop is nothing like that. It uses the drinking as a subtle plot device while keeping the characterisation spot on with a lot of dry humour and clever banter. It is intelligent,(bitter)sweet, funny, mildly slashy and just will make you smile from ear to ear while reading. The writing is absolutely gorgeous as well.
The sequels, The Temper Between and The First Trip, are more explicit, but still maintains the witty banter and general hilarity of the prequel.
Synopsis: "In which Molly Hooper gets a job, gets a degree, breaks a heart, has her heart broken, falls in love, keeps a secret, saves a life, runs a morgue, falls apart, pulls it together, and finds exactly what she didn't know she was looking for—not necessarily in that order."
Comments: This is basically the only Molly/Greg story you will ever need to read to be happy. This 56,000 word work gives us Molly's story from pre-canon to post-Reichenbach, and always keeps to the basic timeline. Molly and Greg's relationship builds slowly and incredibly realistically, and her crush on Sherlock and brief relationship with Moriarty are handled with respect and care. Everything about her interactions with Mycroft just about killed me, I was laughing so hard. Basically, why haven't you read this yet?
Oh my god this story is incredibly good. Absolutely amazing. Molly is a wonderful character in the canon and this story fills in so much backstory that fits perfectly with Molly's actions in the series and makes her, if possible, an even more amazing character. Plus the writing is just spectacular. My complete and total headcanon for Molly now.
Thirded, thirded, thirded, not enough "thirded"s in the world. Absolutely headcanon, oh my God, yes, just - oh God, what are you still doing here? Go read this piece of unbelievable brilliance. Do it now.
Fourthed. Within seconds of finishing this fic, I wanted to reread it. For those of you who don't know me very well, which I hope is all of you, that NEVER happens
This is 100% the best Molly fic I have ever or will ever read. Everything works in-universe, the characterization is spot on, and the story is beautifully rendered. Read this for your own sake. Fifthed.
Summary: "When in 1910 the Holmes Corporation found itself without an obvious male heir ready to take over, the Holmes family did the only thing they could: offer their youngest son, Sherlock, for marriage. In accordance with the times, they had to send him through a rigorous and demeaning process called feminization, to make it socially acceptable for him to marry a man. It was in hopes that Sherlock’s husband could take over the company while their eldest son, Mycroft, was groomed into something resembling a decent CEO. Who they found was James Moriarty, youngest son of a firearms manufacturer and certainly qualified to take the Holmes Corporation under his wing. While on a steamship taking him and his fiancé to America to be married, Sherlock met a man named John Watson. Over the period of five days, their lives were irreversibly entangled. But this was not the typical love story; the ship they were on was the RMS Titanic. From the moment it set off from Southampton on April 10th, 1912, the great ship was fated for destruction. Eighty-five years later, an elderly and dying Sherlock Holmes tells his story to a research and salvage team recovering artifacts from the wreck of the ship upon which his life changed."
Comments: This is not your ordinary Titanic AU. Only the first chapter has been posted so far, but already it is evident that Ironic Narwhal is truly avoiding sacrificing characterization for the storyline, and doing it brilliantly.
Summary: John and Sherlock are professional tennis players and it’s Wimbledon. One is a broken almost was at the end of his career, the other an arrogant rising star tipped for greatness. It should have been a straightforward tournament. It really should have been. How were they to know that a chance encounter would change everything?
Comments: This. Yes. Just... this. This 100k+ novel traces John and Sherlock's unexpected romance over the course of two weeks that will change both their lives. It started on the kink meme, and is being reformatted, cleaned up, and posted on LJ and AO 3. Read it. Just... read it. If you're a lifelong tennis fan or you don't know a thing about the sport - read it. The sex is blazing and the love story will melt your heart. Draws heavily from the 2004 film Wimbledon, but a unique Sherlock spin is obvious. (Also, there's a sequel in progress called A Study in Doubles.)
Summary: John and Sherlock, before, during, and after Mary.
Comments: A stream of consciousness story from Sherlock's point of view that is brilliant in how it manages to capture his voice. Mary is a deliciously flawed character who is beautifully developed in all her compulsive lying and oddly touching care for John. And of course, after all this great story building, there is awesome steamy smut.
Summary: They'd never talked about sex in the year they'd known each other. Well, that wasn't quite correct: Sherlock had never said a word about sex; John had bemoaned his personal dearth of it on many occasions. (NSFW)
Comments: Oh my, this fic is HOT. Sherlock is hilarious with his sexual misunderstandings, and John blindly follows him while he delves into a sex club for self-discovery... Only to be manipulated by Sherlock again and again. It's pretty long (this troper spent an entire day reading it) but it's definitely worth it. Sherlock and John are remarkably in character, and you can feel John's confusion and inner conflicts throughout the whole experience. It covers many kinks, such as threesomes, voyeurism, and light bondage. All in all, an exceptional read.
This fic is literally the queen of all Sherlock smut. It's definitely worth a read.
Amazing. Emmagrant01 writes really, REALLY good porn, and has an incredible ear for character voices. She not only has the main 8-part story written from John's perspective, but when the story ends she has "missing scenes" for most of the episodes, many of which retell it from Sherlock's. Seriously, if you like John/Sherlock smut, you MUST read this fic.
Summary: Everyone had a gift. Some could run exceptionally fast or kick a football incredibly well. Some could paint or dance or sing. Others still had brilliant minds that cut through the mundane of everyday life to expose the wonder underneath. John Watson could wake the dead.
Comments: One of the best Sherlock fics I've read in a long time. There is a subtle sort of quirkiness and whimsy mixed in with the rather dark theme of the story, and the lightheartedness is balanced with the macabre in an expert fashion. A beautiful, touching read that tugs on your heartstrings but ultimately leaves you in an uplifted mood. Highly recommended.
Summary: Arranged marriage AU. The first time John and Sherlock meet is on their wedding day.
Comments: No, wait, come back! This is one of the best Sherlock fics I've ever read. The world-building is amazing—the author somehow manages to make this AU make perfect sense. On top of that, the voices of John and Sherlock are spot-on (and often hilarious), there is awesome character development, the writing is beautiful, and the ever-so-slowly-resolving UST is really fricking hot.
Summary: "I like to think of this not so much as a blog but as the first draft of my inevitably best-selling memoirs. My Life In an Unconventional Family. How unconventional? Well, I live with my divorced parents and my dad's husband. How's that for starters? Trust me, it gets weirder. My name is Eugenia Watson, but you can call me Genie. I'm sixteen. This is my life."
Comments: This incredible, novel-length fic takes a not-remotely-promising premise (kidfic told from the first person POV of a teenaged OC) and turns it into utter brilliance. The fact that it's written by the same author as 'Alone on the Water' and 'Performance in a Leading Role' should tell you all you need to know. The characterisation is incredible, both with the canon characters and the fully three-dimensional OCs. Guaranteed to provoke laughter and tears in almost equal measure. Just read it, ok. What are you waiting for?
Majorly, majorly seconded. I absolutely adore Genie's voice, and that's not something I can say about most teenaged characters, from any source. And there is just so much fluffy, amazing goodness here, everyone should have the chance to experience it. I had a smile on my face a mile wide by the end.
Summary: Missing scenes from the end of A Si B, which unfold over the span of about 48 hours. How does Sherlock actually escape from the Karachi insurgents himself, and what happens when an adrenaline-filled Sherlock finds Irene waiting for him in his hotel room right after his audacious rescue?
Comments: Written from Sherlock's point of view, this fic explores the relationship between Irene and Sherlock and what happens to them after he saves her. The characterisation of both Irene and Sherlock and the dialogue between the two is spot on, exactly like it was in the episode. There are some pretty thrilling and exciting plot twists, as well as some laughs and tears. And some sex, but not too much.
Synopsis: John's on crutches and off the rugby team. Loner Sherlock is friendless and self-destructive. When John saves Sherlock from getting beaten up by his team mates, it's the start of a long — and complicated — friendship. High-school AU; pre-slash.
Comments: Nicely written, fairly satisfactory characterisation given the changes to the universe, and above all — very mild and controlled in the romance department, with absolutely no sudden, jarring sexual encounters.
Admittedly, the story is not without inexplicable — and oftentimes slightly illogical — plot twists, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
Pairing: Sherlock/John, a side story devoted to Irene/Jim, vaguely hints at Mycroft/Lestrade
Synopsis: A series of fics; three with approximately 20 000 words each and a shorter side story with promise of another side story to come. The 'verse explores what might have happened if John and Sherlock met when they were 15 and 14, respectively. However, this is most definitely AU for reasons that would spoil the suspense if explained but will become immediately apparent upon reading.
Comments: There's a good deal of plot here, and some fairly nice romance. Passing mentions of sex, but nothing graphic at all. Granted, the plot-line of a paper house could have stood to be more gritty, realistic, and somewhat better fleshed out, but the series as a whole is still quite the gem among the plethora of mindless smut that is the slash fanfic genre.
Synopsis: Horse!AU. Sherlock and Mycroft are proud racehorses on unbeatable winning streaks; Molly is Sebastian's childhood friend who helps him tend his family's stable following his discharge from the British army; Lestrade is a former steeplechase champion whose injured leg has caused him to lose any chance of racing again. When Sherlock's unruly behaviour becomes too much for any but his jockey, James Moriarty, to handle, the Morans bring John, an ageing police horse from New York's mounted force, to keep their errant stallion company and in check.
Comments: First, to clarify — there is no bestiality in this fic. All pairings are either horse/horse or human/human. An interesting take on animal!fic, and the author has managed to characterize them well despite most of the major characters no longer being human. Obviously, a lot of artistic license has been taken with regards to horse racing, stable keeping, and all associated procedures thereof for the sake of dramatic effect, but you can read through this without having to suspend disbelief too much. And the romance is very light — no actual physical intimacy on the part of the horses or the humans — instead being a story that focuses more on dialogue as a means of conveying emotion.
Summary: John meets a chrash-landed alien in Afghanistan and everything changes.
Comments: This is still the rough version of this fic and it will be posted in edited form later, but I feel that it one of the bestfics in the fandom and should be read, even in rough form. This fic started from a kink prompt with a tentacled alien and with this author it grew into a huge epic. Sherlock is great as a shapeshifting alien who learns everything fast and who does become the detective we all now, you know, except for the alien pacifist part. John emotionally seems like an insecure teenager, but the author explains that this was caused by isolation, PTSD and being away from Sherlock. There's lots of Mycroft and Anthea and Mrs Hudson, too. Even Arsene Lupin appears. The romance is very well developed and appears very late in the story.
Synopsis: Darkfic, serial killer AU. Sherlock Holmes is a serial killer, cocaine addict, part-time assassin for his government official brother, part-time consulting detective for New Scotland Yard. John Watson is jobless and depressed after his stint in Afghanistan and is sinking into the soporific comfort of prescription painkillers, alcohol, and gambling. He also happens to be Sherlock's current target.
Comments: This series is gritty, insane, sadistic, morally bankrupt...and yet it's almost frightening how it's not all that difficult to imagine any of the characters here doing what they do.
Warnings: About what you'd expect from a story featuring an arrogant psychopath and his morally indeterminate partner. Substance abuse, major and minor character death, sexual encounters, general cruelty, extreme lack of empathy, and a very harsh, unhappy ending for most of those involved. And though poetic justice is served in the end, the conclusion is far from being 'satisfactory' in the conventional sense of the word — perfect closure though it does provide.
Synopsis: It probably wasn't the smartest idea to let Sherlock choose the costumes for Halloween, but John never considered himself the smartest man in the room, anyway.
Comments: The witty back-and-forth between Sherlock and John — not to mention the hilarious dialogues involving the supporting cast — in this story is simply ingenious. The first five chapters in particular are a must-read for any fan of snappy humour.
Synopsis: Ten years after meeting Sherlock Holmes, John Watson has successfully kept only one secret from the world's only consulting detective; the most important secret he's ever had. Now, drawn into an impossible web of murders at Latham Hall, John learns the terrible price a man must pay for keeping certain things secret.
Comments: Quite nice as far as romance fics go, and the accompanying ghost story / murder investigation is quite the treat.
Synopsis: When Sherlock hears that “love is an endless mystery”, he concludes that falling in love would mean he'll never be bored again, and begins an internet dating mission to find his One True Love. As John follows him from date to date, he hopes Sherlock will realise that the perfect man might be a little closer to home.
Comments: It's in-character and utterly hilarious!
Synopsis: Sherlock navigates John and a case with his usual tact and social grace.
Comments: The pros: If you ever find yourself in need of Sherlock!POV, and utterly tired of endless relationship angst, this is your go-to fic. Remarkably in-character and funny in a rather morbid - and very Sherlockian - fashion. Petulant!Incapacitated!Violent-in-his-head-but-not-outside-it!Sherlock is - for lack of a more refined term - a total riot, and the fic's a real treat for those of us who'd like to now and again read a BBC Sherlock fic that provides us with Sherlock's view of things.
The cons: While the case is good, it's a bit rough around the edges and not entirely well-thought-out in some places, and the SPAG and vocabulary could do with a bit of polishing. (Though it's worth noting that I'm a grammar Nazi, so the fact that I read this fic through to the end at all means that the vocabulary was never "bad" to begin with.)
Synopsis: John knows he has an unusual relationship with his flatmate. He knows their friendship is complicated. And yes, he knows everyone assumes he's in a relationship with Sherlock Holmes. But he's not. Obviously. It's not like that. John would know. Right?
Comments: Very in-character and quite a fun read, especially how the later chapters refer back to earlier ones at unexpected times.
Synopsis: Sherlock Holmes, a very unusual sort of pirate, needs help from a famous physician named Dr. Hooper. Adventure and romance follow, and lots of familiar faces.
Comments: An early 19th Century Romance Novel pirate AU that manages to keep all of the characters, even Sherlock (actually 'especially' Sherlock) in character. The relationship between Sherlock and Molly is built up slowly and realistically. It's full of action, fantastic love scenes and is wonderfully researched for the period.
Synopsis: Love, John muses, is sort of like a Quentin Tarantino film. Except not really.
Comments: Think marriage proposal fics are stupid? So do I. But this particular take on that done-to-death cliché is very different: in-character, logical, funny as hell, and not even technically slash — you really have to read it to see what makes it so good.
Pairings: John/Original Female Character (past, mentioned), Sherlock/John (pre-slash, does not lead onto slash)
Synopsis: In the end, John knew exactly where things had started to go wrong. This is a deathfic so angst is a given, though the ending can be construed as happy — to a point.
Comments: One of the more plausible versions of the aftermath of John's marrying and moving out of 221B for good. Blessedly, it doesn't try to over-dramatise the situation or force undue angst onto the readers.
Synopsis: "Did you feel it?" "Feel what?" "Me stabbing you with an extendible pencil in the neck."
Comments: A fascinating spin on the old "kissing for a case" trope; the case is quite intelligent considering the word count (1 000-odd), and characterisation is very good - especially where Sherlock is concerned.
Synopsis: Sherlock straightens a poker. Something in John's mind snaps. Based on the ACD story, The Speckled Band, this fic nonetheless holds its own and doesn't borrow anything more than the basic premise from the source; the method of killing and the finer details of the case are of the author's own invention.
Comments: A good case fic, great characterisation, and wonderful married-couple-esque wordless communication between Sherlock and John that later becomes imperative for catching the criminal.
Synopsis: When Hamish is diagnosed with cancer, his parents have two entirely separate ways of coping.
Comments: “Hamish, please. You are six years old and dying and it is just … cruel and unfair that I love you so much and yet you are going precisely where I cannot find you.” This fic was suggested to this troper after reading Alone on the Water, and I believed that there couldn't possibly be a fic sadder than that one. I was wrong. Beautiful, incredibly written, and every single characterization in their grief is absolutely perfect. The saddest Parent!lock and one of the best Sherlock fics I've ever come across. Bring tissues, you'll need them.
Recommended by: Star Valkyrie and Blac Kat, Ramber
Synopsis: First, he is shot in Afghanistan. Second, he wakes to a phone call in Chelmsford, Essex. Third is pain, fourth is normalcy, fifth is agony and sixth is confusion. By the eighth, he's lost track.
Comments: This is the first instalment of an ongoing series, Watches 'Verse, and has a sequel: Elsewhere Come Morning.
Synopsis: A series of five Johncroft stories. The first, "Unconventional Medicine", involves Mycroft coming to John's surgery with a rather delicate problem, getting his first prostate exam, and enjoying it rather more than is usual. Things proceed from there involving, in the various stories, scrambled eggs at 221b, possibly custom-made antique furniture at the Holmeses' family pile, unbridled post-Reichenbach ragesex at the Diogenes Club, and a blindfold.
Not nearly as cracky as it sounds; by turns moving, arousing, and hilarious.
Well that appeared conclusive. Mycroft Holmes, British Government when he wasn’t busy being the Secret Service or the CIA, apparently had an intensely erotic response to prostate stimulation.
Now what would a good Doctor do about that?
Well that was easy. A good Doctor would make some light comment, finish up the examination as quickly as possible and possibly make a cryptic note on the patient’s file.
A very good Doctor would make a light comment, carry out the full examination as sensitively as possible and perhaps have a little chat afterwards about how, properly administered, certain forms of internal massage could enhance patient well-being and how tailor made devices widely available on the internet were almost always preferable to homemade solutions as long as a proper sanitisation regime was followed.
Proceeding with the examination in a way which would deliberately stimulate the patient further would, on the other hand, be the response of a very bad Doctor. Or, possibly, of an excellent one. Mycroft was clearly under a lot of pressure, being stimulated to a peak of intense sexual pleasure might be just the kind of stress relief he needed. Treat the whole man, as John's patient care lecturer had used to say. Although this was probably wasn't what she'd had in mind.
Cautions: Quite extraordinarily explicit. Do not read at work. Even if you're in a closed cubicle, do not read at work: there are visual images here that will draw an audible reaction.
Synopsis: Sherlock Holmes is a pitcher and John Watson is a catcher. No, no, no, it's a baseball AU.
Comments: This fic does for baseball what A Study in Winning did for tennis. Only it is, by the slimmest of margins, better. You do not have to like baseball. You don't even have to know what baseball is. Just go read the story.
Synopsis: Molly Hooper has been a constant in Jim Moriarty’s life for a long time. She thinks it’s probably the reason why he hates Sherlock Holmes so much.
Pairings: Sherlock/Molly, Moriarty/Molly
Comments: AU where Molly and Jim knew each other as children and were involved with each other long before the events of the series. Very well written and thought out which makes it all the more believable. Somewhat explicit throughout.
It was windy every day, here. The shrubs bent sadly, lopsided with the prevailing salt-thick wind. The far side of the island was nothing but rock. Less salty, though, rinsed clean with rain. Sherlock had tasted every area, and the saltiest was obviously the rocks at the shore. The smooth, sedimentary protrusions on the far side had a somewhat chalky flavor, higher calcium content, while the camp side leaned more towards iron. Sherlock wanted desperately to return to London. He longed for it viscerally in a way that clutched in his chest, burning his lungs, searing the length of his arms until his fingers closed protectively around his palms. Sherlock ducked against the rocks, head bowed and arms wrapped tightly around himself. Tears stung hotly at his eyes and cooled immediately against his cheeks. He hated it here so much. A sob wrenched itself free of his throat, and then another, each carried off and lost on the ceaseless wind.
Pairing: Sherlock/John (The Consulting God/Prince Iaon Dasosarchëidês)
Synopsis: In the post-Trojan War Bronze Age of ancient Greek myth, an enigmatic new God with a gift for deduction is sent to put a stop to the lifesaving ways of a warrior-prince with healing hands. But suddenly Prince Iaon's moved in with the Consulting God and they've started solving crimes together. And what follows after that is... most unexpected.
Comments: An extremely well-researched and accurate Bronze Age story, melded rather beautifully with the myth of Eros and Psyche. Character counterparts are clever, and cleverly named, and most of the chapters contain links to historical explanations. The cases they take involve figures of myth and often incorporate completely new elements, from the reason Bellerophon was bucked from Pegasus' back to Pyramus and Thisbe being murdered to cover up a political crime. Also a plus: this is long. Nearly 300,000 words and counting.
Synopsis: Sherlock Holmes and Harry Potter are both starting their first year in Hogwarts, and a chance meeting aboard the Hogwarts Express forever changes the wizarding world in the most curious fashion.
Comments: The author writes a pretty interesting story that replaces Ron Weasley with eleven year old Sherlock. It is pretty interesting and shows Harry and 11!Year Old Sherlock becoming good friends, while Harry tries to keep up with Sherlock's insanity. Harry eventually decides to throw away his common sense to remain both sane and friends with Sherlock, becoming very much like John.
Synopsis: Spock summons Data, Artemis Fowl, Eleven, and Sherlock to discuss how to defeat their worst enemy: fangirls.
Comments: Funny, with in-character dialogue and good commentary on unrestrained shipping impulses. Sherlock makes enough contributions to the council (read: shows off non-stop) that the fic is linked here despite all the crossovers.
Synopsis: John Watson was seven years and three months old when he first met His Raggedy Detective. He wasn’t expecting the bright red telephone box to crash land in his back garden in the middle of the night, but then, who ever expected such a silly thing to happen in the first place?
Comments: Some great Wholock from a great author. While this is very obviously The Eleventh Hour in disguise, Sherlock - whoops, I mean The Detective - and John do put their own spin on things. There are two other fics in this series, both of which strike out on their own paths and are the better for it. Either way, if you've got a bit of a Wholock craving, this should scratch that itch for a bit. (Do be warned, though, that there is some light Johnlock shipping in the third fic, and that no Doctor Who characters actually make an appearance. The Doctor is mentioned, but doesn't meet up with the Detective and John.)
Synopsis: Sherlock receives a wedding invitation from his least un-favourite relative, and John finds himself learning things about Sherlock's family he'd never have expected.
Comments: Hilarious, and full of delightfully-plausible details and connections. (Favourite moment: John learning that his earlier crack about Sherlock treating housework and shopping as things that magically do themselves is, basically, true.)
Read this fic, if only for the conversation between grown-up!Luna and John. It is marvelous.
Synopsis: John and his dæmon, Amarisa, have never quite fit in, largely because she settled as a wolfdog. Sherlock and Raniel are similarly isolated, mostly because the woman they call Mummy is a witch. These two men and their dæmons end up sharing a flat together and the rest, as they say, is history. And with a witch-clan out for John's blood and a man known as Moriarty emerging from the shadows, they're certainly not going to be bored.
Comments: Not yet complete, I believe, but so far a wonderfully detailed retelling of series one, its prelude and aftermath, with useful daemon input and clever references to HDM canon. Probably best to have read HDM in full for absolute effect. Some lovely sex scenes and well-crafted storytelling throughout.
Recommendation seconded. The use of daemons allows for some interesting character study, especially with Sherlock and John, and doubly especially because most people John meets since his introduction to Sherlock are unaware that Amarisa is a wolfdog. There is a truly brilliant moment where Amarisa growls and everyone but Sherlock is shocked that John has a large predator for a daemon. Sherlock is just confused at why anyone thought John wasn't dangerous. That chapter alone is worth reading the entire fic for.
Synopsis: Mycroft Holmes and Bernard Black have an Epic Bromance, which involves a great deal of expensive wine.
Comments: This is complete and utter crack, but it's hilarious crack. It's only a short story, but it's well-executed and the fact that the reader is left to fill in the gaps with their own speculation and imagination is far funnier, I think, than if the author had actually written out how Mycroft and Bernard ended up where (and how) they do. There are a number of places where the punctuation and so on could be improved (the author needs to fix the typos), but generally the fic is quite readable despite that.
Synopsis: John Watson spends seven years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he meets the boy who will become the greatest man he'll ever know. Eventual Sherlock/John.
Comments: An absolutely brilliant look at the way the story would play out if all the characters lived in the Harry Potter universe. It is hilarious, heart-breaking and all around fantastic. The characters are perfect and the relationship between the two boys is exactly how it would play out if they were to meet as children and grow up together. Highly recommended.
I've never actually recommended a fic before, but this was just amazing. Fair warning, though, I started it at about midnight on a school night and ended up barely sleeping. I simply could not stop reading. Is amazingly true to the characters and has an excellent plot. Cannot recommend this enough.
On the other hand, this Troper decided to read it at 4AM, and read it non-stop through the rest of the night. This was a really interesting read for this troper, whose only recently taken in a look at the crossovers. Occaisonally, the situation will mirror one had in cannon (E.g. Sherlock and John's "Hero" conversation from The Great Game, The misunderstandings at Angelos in A Study in Pink) The third chapter is also pretty much floods of heartwarming as the boys get to know each other properly, so there's that. Very funny and I highly recommend it.
Synopsis: He doesn't remember his name. He doesn't remember anything. Sherlock has never had to deduce a live one before. Sherlock/John.
Comments: Normally crossover fics don't do a thing for me, but this author manages to be true to the spirit of both Bourne and Sherlock. A must-read for those who enjoy John bad-assery. The love scenes aren't bad either - in fact, they're quite good. I also recommend taking a look at the author's other Sherlock fic. Very well-done.
Synopsis: What with bombs going off and the potential to be sent into a coma, Sherlock wanders into CID demanding his blogger back. Sherlock/John if you squint, Gene/Alex if you really squint.
Comments: For something that could easily turn soppy or cracky, this fic manages to remain in the same profound, bittersweet vein that Ashes to Ashes achieved. Great banter between Gene and Sherlock, and they both know where they stand; this isn't a buddy-cop story, yet they respect each other. And Sherlock is as bad a DI as you'd expect. Set post-series for both, so major spoilers.
"There was something perversely pleasing in knowing that the man who was going to take him down didn’t do it because of hatred, or love, or despair; but out of chilly logic. Because it was something that needed to be done. Gene always appreciated a person who was as much of a magnificent bastard as he was."
Synopsis: Moments of Lestrade's life where he's crossed paths with the Black Rabbit and survived.
Comments: The level of geekery in this is amazing, right down to the character's names, which have been translated to fit the rabbit language. There's a nice nod to the novel when Sherlock says that soon Lestrade will be called Silver due to his greying fur. A great example of a crossover that shouldn't work, but does.
I was on the brink of nerdgasm the entire time I was reading this. Everyone, EVERYONE, who has read Watership Down should check this fic out.
Synopsis: Everything started with a stumble - his new life in a new world as well as his surprisingly successful career as a medium. Harry/Mycroft eventual slash. Takes place after The Great Game and after a AUish ending of the Harry Potter books.
Comments: Complete. Post Reichenbach Fall. It's an interesting take on what Harry would do if stranded in a different world and a bit more realistic (character building wise) than many other fics because esama doesn't just conveniently 'forget' real life issues like money.
The author has deleted all of her accounts, so this and other stories are no longer available unless you find someone who has it saved. (She is posting edited versions on AO 3, keep an eye on her account)
Synopsis: Another example of a super-random crossover that actually works, funnily enough. The fic is taken from the end of The Great Game and splashes down, literally, in a HTTYD Alternate Universe.
Comments: Relatively well-written, and fairly amusing as well, the author really manages to turn this crossover into something extremely entertaining. A WIP, but it's updated fairly quickly. A must-read if you like both Sherlock and How To Train Your Dragon.
Synopsis: The Dursley's are found to be unsuitable guardians so Harry is taken to live with his cousin... Sherlock Holmes. John finds himself making lists of 'Things Not Allowed with Four Year Olds’. Rule 1. Four year olds are not to have access to chemicals, body parts, glass, or flames.note No, not even if you are present and it is a good learning experience.
Synopsis: Sherlock Holmes keeps a diary. No one is supposed to know about it. He's pretty sure Mycroft does though, the fat nosy git.
Pairing(s): Unrequited Sherlock/John
Comments: Though sometimes pretty wildly out of character as Sherlock and Bridget Jones meld together to become a bizarre epistolic hybrid, this is always laugh-out-loud, ribs-achingly hilarious; a wonderful, funny, brilliant crack fic that just completely works. Still in progress, the author has covered up until the March of the year of season one – in which time Molly is Sherlock's custard cream dispenser and shoulder-to-cry-on, Mycroft is eyebrow deep in trifle (probably), John thinks Sherlock is extraordinary and Mrs. Mike Stamford has many an apoplexy. Really, this one is much, much better than it sounds.
Synopsis: "Ten years after Harry Potter defeats Lord Voldemort, Hogwarts faces a new threat to its students. Luckily, first year Sherlock Holmes and his friend John Watson are on the case."
Pairing(s): Just a mention of Donovan/Anderson and a bit of John/Sarah.
Comments: Features Gryffindor!Quidditch Captain!Lestrade, Hufflepuff!John, Ravenclaw!Sherlock, and Slytherin!Irene, among others. Practically everyone from canon is there. The mystery is engaging, the character interactions feel simultaneously true-to-canon and adjusted just right for students at Hogwarts, and Professor Longbottom is awesome. Also features: Harry Potter and Ron Weasley, Famous Aurors investigating at Hogwarts!
Synopsis: The birth of the Ministry of Magic and his relationship with the British Government.
Pairing(s): Mycroft Holmes and Harry Potter
Comments: Oneshot. This fic singlehandedly raised my love of BBC Mycroft and caused my squeals every time I hear the phrase "Mycroft is the British Government". It's a slight AU based on the notion that all governments (and ministries) are embodied and run by previously normal people... normal being a relative term.
Synopsis: John is missing. When Sherlock receives a text summoning him to Silent Hill, he's intent on reclaiming his friend...but the town has other ideas. Our detective must battle through a world shaped by his own troubled psyche as he uncovers the town's secrets, attempts to find John, and hunts down Jim Moriarty. AU after The Great Game, written in first-person — mainly Sherlock's POV, though John and another character also narrate certain chapters.
Pairing: Sherlock/John. But as psychological horror is the name of the game, things are not always as they seem — human emotions not excluded.
Comments: Really well-done piece of psycho-thriller, and Sherlock is the perfect man to ensure that a truly twisted world manifests itself just to torment him and bring him to the the brink — both physically and mentally — more times than you can bear to count. Definitely merits a read even by people who've never played, or even heard of, Silent Hill. This is one of those few-and-far-between stories where Sherlock (as opposed to John) is the main character, and he's actually in the thick of war instead of leaving John to handle all the physical aspects of battle for him. In a word: unique. Welcome to Silent Hill is a sheer adrenaline trip for the first 35 chapters, so if you're in the mood for relaxing fluff, you'd better look elsewhere. This is just intense excitement and chilling angst from the first paragraph onwards — no peace at all to be had here!
Warnings: Torture (both physical and psychological), extreme angst, murder, mutilation, dismemberment, non-graphic references to sex (very brief)...the usual warnings that are to be expected given the theme, but no rape or dub-con (or, for that matter, sexual content) at all.
Synopsis: John is an unregistered Stitch working as a medic for the British army in Afghanistan; Sherlock is a brilliant Sniff rumoured to be the best in his field; Mycroft is a genius Pusher who strives to gain complete control of the British Division as means of retaliation against the oppressive environment he and Sherlock were raised in. The meeting between these three and subsequent events throw John's life completely off-kilter.
Comments: Very nicely done fusion; the author has picked psychic powers that are a perfect fit for their respective wielders considering their personalities and abilities as seen in BBC canon. A suspenseful and action-packed story that had me on the edge of my seat more than once.
Warnings: Sadly, the series grinds to an abrupt halt after 6 instalments, with no continuation in sight. Still well worth the read, though.
Synopsis: Some sort of combination between a crossover and an AU. Sherlock and John marry, have twin daughters then divorce, each of them taking one of the girls. The twins then meet accidentally at summer camp and decide to switch places.
Comments: Much, much better than it sounds. Sherlock and John are perfectly in-character and the two daughters manage to be obviously related to both Sherlock and John while still being very much their own characters. The plot starts off very similar to that of the original movie, but morphs into its own story partway through to accomodate for the personalities of the characters. It's nothing short of incredible that the author made a story as touching and heartwarming as this out of a very cracky premise.
Synopsis: When Martin, Warrior of Redwall, is killed mysteriously, Abbess Tansy sends for the only creatures in Mossflower who might be able to solve the case: the otter detective, Sherlock Holmes, and his friend, ex-Long Patrol hedgehog John Watson. Needless to say, there are some artistic differences. Set between Pearls of Lutra and The Long Patrol in the Redwall chronology.
Comments: A fairly clever mystery, and nice characterisation, too.
Pairings: John/Sherlock, Tony/Pepper, Bruce/Betty, Thor/Jane, mentions of Natasha/Matt (Daredevil) and probably mentions of Clint/Coulson if you squint really, really hard.
Synopsis: ... and John sort of joins the Avengers. While Coulson's recovering from being stabbed in the chest by a magical spear, Fury is rapidly running out of Agents willing to play babysitter for the newly founded Avengers. So he calls in Captain John Watson, late of the British Royal Army, and blogger and best friend to the infamously antisocial presumably deceased Sherlock Holmes.
Set after "The Avengers" and "Reichenbach Falls." Because even a team of dysfunctional superheroes can't faze that man after being a roommate to Sherlock Holmes and John needs something to occupy his time with.
Synopsis: In which John Watson is a war sorcerer recently invalided home from Afghanistan. In London he meets Sherlock Holmes, the world’s most irritating urban sorcerer and only consulting detective. There, John finds himself and Sherlock suddenly under attack by a mysterious and malevolent power — and drawn into a battle to save London. A fusion with the Matthew Swift novels, but no prior knowledge is needed.
Pairings: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson/Sherlock Holmes, Irene Adler/Kate, Irene Adler/Sherlock Holmes
Synopsis: After years of waiting for wealthy patrons to faint, Dr John Watson discovers a far more interesting patient in the opera house basement.
I know this sounds like a completely bizarre crossover, but Bendingsignpost makes it seem completely meant to be. The plot makes perfect sense for both canons, and the BBC characters fit perfectly into the 1800s. The prose itself is especially beautiful. I read this right after assigned reading for English, and I wanted to underline some of the passages the way I had in my assigned reading. The plot draws you in once you start, and you won't be able to look up until the end.
Synopsis: After he gets shot, John gets flashbacks to another life - that of Bilbo Baggins of the Shire. And, of course, it's just his luck that he ends up shacking up with an ex-Dark Lord. Reincarnation fic with mild Johnlock