Deliver Us from Evil is essentially one long journey of angst, tragedy, more angst, and hurt/comfort, in that order.
- In the Canon, Victor Savage only just mentioned as the murder victim of his uncle. In Mortality, however, we see him in the very first chapter, young and vibrant and hiring the Great Detective to investigate his uncle. The next time Holmes meets Victor is at his death-bed, and if Victor's death doesn't get to you, Holmes's reaction will. To top it all (and the chapter) off, Holmes has to break the news to Victor's fiancee. Tissue, anyone?
- A promise that you know won't be kept...Mary: "The only time you come here without being on a case is when we ask you specifically, and that is not a social call."
Holmes: "Very well. Next time t'will be a social call."
- While Holmes's torture can be seen as Nightmare Fuel, it can cross over into Tear Jerker territory. Especially when he "sees" his family and friends.
- Watson's Heroic BSoD when he believes Holmes to be dead (for that matter, Mycroft's, as well). More than that, though, the narrative is in Watson's POV during his Heroic BSoD, and though his body freezes somewhat, his mind does not freeze at all:This was Sherlock Holmes, and he was dead. Tortured, murdered, and then tossed aside like so much refuse. The world's brightest light, snuffed out.The genius, the talent, the authority, the passion for justice were gone. The abrupt laugh, the lightning-swift smile, the gentle touch, the bright grey eyes, the soulful musicThey all were dead.
- There's also the little boy with the broken arm. Watson is treating him and is absolutely heartbroken at the emptiness of this child and all the other children he has been treating. It's a heartbreaking scene all around, because this is Dr. Watson sliding down into despair over these people living their lives without hope - even more heartbreaking because this is no more than the reality of the time.Watson: "Dear God, give this boy hope!"
- Holmes's thoughts having descended from full sentences to broken fragments (and then the reverse as he heals). Even more, just barely remembering his own name and then disowning himself from it and thinking of himself by the name his captors give him: Little Detective.
- Holmes's rescue from his Point of View - broken and scared and so greatful to Watson and even to Scotland Yard.
- And then Lestrade's and Wiggins's reactions to seeing Holmes more than half dead. Wiggins pretty much breaks down and Lestrade nearly does so, himself. Not to mention the fact that seeing Holmes from Lestrade's POV is just as heartbreaking as seeing the scene through Holmes's eyes.
- The fact that Smith's nephew is murdered.
- Mary and baby Arthur being Killed Off for Real in "Those Dark Hours". That is all.
- In "Day 14: Bereft," Holmes is lonely, homesick, and heartsick in Tibet (the combination makes for a seriously depressed Great Detective). If that's not enough to get to you (in the seldom-used but powerful 2nd person, no less), the Christmas ending ought to.
- "Day 18: Long Time Falling". The prompt was "Nevermore, but no ravens involved." The author took the prompt and turned it into a Tear Jerker over Professor Moriarty, of all people. What's more - it works.
- "Day 29: The Warrior a Child" is all about Mrs. Hudson's recurring nightmare of Reichenbach, and her remembrance of Mr. Holmes. It quickly spirals down into Tear Jerker when you find out how much she loved him and how she never had the chance to say goodbye.In many ways, he was the son that she could never have. And, oh, how terribly she missed her boy.