marysutherland: (Tanya Moodie)
BBC Sherlock

Rating: 12 (non-explicit femslash)

Summary: Anthea's trip to the opera brings some strange effects

Many thanks to Kalypso for betaing

Several months ago, fengirl made some requests for the Five Acts meme. She asked for sleep and bedding themes and her pairings included Anthea/Ella or Anthea/ACD!Irene. Inspired by her Sleeping Beauty sequence, this is the result.

It feels strange to Anthea, going to the opera without Ella, but Ella’s in London and she’s in New York, so going together isn’t a realistic option. )

Part 2
marysutherland: (Sherlock and John)
BBC Sherlock fic

Rating 12 (gen, mild swearing and adult situations)

Summary: A French decathlete's had a breakdown, but Sherlock has a match-box that may explain it all.

Inspired by one of the cases mentioned in The Sign of Three.

Betaed by Small Hobbit.

The thing about Sherlock is that when he says something is "baffling" or "inexplicable," that often just means that he's already worked out 90% of what's happened, but is unduly bothered by the remaining 10% of the puzzle that still doesn't fit. )
marysutherland: (Sherlock and John)
A lot of people I follow on Tumbler, LJ etc seem to be either baffled or upset about the fact that Series 4 of Sherlock may include not only Mary but also the Watsons' baby and feel that this is somehow going to change the dynamic of the show completely, and we're going to have nothing but Parent!Lock etc. I think what Series 3 and His Last Vow in particular showed very well is that Moffat and Gatiss like taking the formal outlines of an ACD story and then twisting the meaning of it substantially by updating the background. With that and the knowledge that they've already planned both Series 4 and Series 5, this is my speculation as to what they might possibly be going to do.

I start with the assumption that they're not going to kill either Mary or the baby off in childbirth. Given how pregnant she's supposed to be by the end of His Last Vow (probably about 8 months if the wedding was in May) and even allowing for the writers' completely hopeless chronology, I don't think that leaves them sufficient time to get enough drama out of her character after the big revelations of His Last Vow. On the other hand, I'm pretty certain that Mary is eventually going to be killed off, because she is in ACD. As to what they're going to do meanwhile, I want to go back to the start of one of the lesser known ACD stories: The Boscombe Valley Mystery.

We were seated at breakfast one morning, my wife and I, when the maid brought in a telegram. It was from Sherlock Holmes and ran in this way:

Have you a couple of days to spare? Have just been wired for from the west of England in connection with Boscombe Valley tragedy. Shall be glad if you will come with me. Air and scenery perfect. Leave Paddington by the 11:15.

“What do you say, dear?” said my wife, looking across at me. “Will you go?”

“I really don’t know what to say. I have a fairly long list at present.”

“Oh, Anstruther would do your work for you. You have been looking a little pale lately. I think that the change would do you good, and you are always so interested in Mr. Sherlock Holmes’s cases.”

“I should be ungrateful if I were not, seeing what I gained through one of them,” I answered. “But if I am to go, I must pack at once, for I have only half an hour.”

There you have a picture of the ideal detective's companion's wife in Victorian times. ACD Mary not only doesn't resent Holmes' call on her husband's time, she actively supports it. The question is, how do you update such a dynamic to the twenty-first century without either making Mary look a complete doormat or John seem a negligent husband?

One ingenious answer is that you have Mary as grateful to Sherlock. What John has ended up with is a wife who, given her back story, cannot justifiably complain about anything John or Sherlock get up to henceforward. Mary also knows that John needs to run into danger periodically if he's not to start his version of "looking a little pale", but she isn't going to come along with him for his adventures now for two reasons. One is because she's given her old life up and the other is because she's got the baby to look after. Even she probably realises that storming a crack den while breastfeeding is not recommended.

I think Series 3 sets up Mrs Holmes as a possible role model for Mary: a woman who was brilliant at her original career, but who has chosen to do something different with her life and stay at home with her children. I think it's quite feasible that Mary will in fact go back to working as a nurse after the baby, especially since she's conveniently already in a part-time job. But she's through with being a spy/assassin. Will she find being a doctor's wife boring? At times, but it's a decision she's chosen to make: she can't complain about it. And what will make it easier is that John, in time, will probably manage to romanticise her past life in his own mind (as Mr Holmes does with Mrs Holmes). John will admire Mary for her bravery, resourcefulness and shooting skills and forget the murky details of her past crimes.

So I think it's quite possible that in Series 4 we will get John and Sherlock off solving crimes while Mary stays at home with Baby Watson. I think we'll also have a few scenes of hopeless/wonderful New Dad!John and Uncle!Sherlock and possibly Mary coming up with one or two useful suggestions for cases (as Sarah did in The Blind Banker). But she'll probably be mostly on the sidelines in a way that seems vaguely plausible. And then I think that she'll get killed off in Series 5, when we've got used to her, so we can have some more grieving John.

What about Baby Watson at that point, or rather toddler/young child Watson, if they're keeping very roughly to real-time chronology? A lot of fanfics seem to assume that John Watson would be the world's most devoted dad, but I see absolutely no sign of that in canon. BBC!Watson is a man who, when Sherlock has just drugged his pregnant wife, doesn't feel he has to stay with her to ensure their unborn child's OK. Instead, he chooses to go off with Sherlock on a mission that may end up with them both dead or in prison. In other words, John's priorities are still massively skewed towards adventure and away from domesticity.

So what I think will happen is that if Mary dies, those around John will realise that he's just not single parent material. There's no obvious family to take over. Mary is an "orphan"; one or both of John's parents are presumably alive but he's not close to them (and they may be elderly). Harry isn't suitable to rear a child. What I think might therefore plausibly happen in such a situation is that one of John's friends will make an informal offer to bring up/be the main caregiver for Miss Watson. The obvious person to do this would be Molly (with or without Greg's assistance). That would allow John to move back into Baker Street, but still see his daughter frequently, without having to worry about childcare if he needs to rush off with Sherlock to the West Country to help find a stolen racehorse. It also allows the writers to have some comic John and Sherlock plus adorable child scenes without either making John and Sherlock into an official couple or showing them as hopelessly negligent.

Anyhow, those are my guesses and I'm sticking to them – until someone comes up with a better hypothesis in the comments. Fire away!
marysutherland: (Sherlock and John)

BBC Sherlock

Rating 12 (major character death)

Spoilers for His Last Vow

It's obvious to DI Dimmock what's happened. )
marysutherland: (Mary Sutherland)
Since there have been lots of suggestions about what might happen in the last episode of Sherlock tomorrow, here are mine, based on nothing more than a brief re-reading of "Charles Augustus Milverton", rather too much time on Tumblr in the last few days seeing other people's theories, and then mixing them up together in my head to produce shiny new patterns.

In ACD's Sign of Four, when Dr Watson is rhapsodizing about Mary Morstan, Holmes scolds him for his biased judgement, and says:

"I assure you that the most winning woman I ever knew was hanged for poisoning three little children for their insurance-money, and the most repellent man of my acquaintance is a philanthropist who has spent nearly a quarter of a million upon the London poor. "

Meanwhile, at the end of "Charles Augustus Milverton", Milverton being shot by a woman whom he has ruined after a failed blackmail attempt (a killing which takes place while Holmes and Watson have broken into his house to try and help another of Milverton's victims). The unnamed woman is a widow, whose husband has died of grief after hearing about his wife's past.

Several people have pointed out that one of the things Sherlock sees when looking at Mary is the word "liar". We also know that she's an orphan. My wild guess therefore is that Mary is a repentant and reformed criminal, who was in some way culpable for the death of her parents. Sherlock, who can consider a garrotter to be the best man he knows, wouldn't have a problem with that if he found out, and I suspect John would be prepared to forgive her past in practice.

But Mary isn't necessarily going to realise quite what unusual moral standards the two men have, and if it leaked to the papers that John Watson was married to a criminal it'd make a devastating scandal. Mary also strikes me as a woman with enough nerve to kill someone if she was desperate enough, and she's also potentially got access to John's gun. So I think a possible plot is that Mary kills Milverton while Sherlock and John are trying to retrieve blackmail material on someone else and that they then have to help her escape, possibly taking the blame themselves.  (This being Sherlock, there will probably be another three twists in the last five minutes, but it might be one of the plot points).

What I don't believe, meanwhile, is that Mycroft is going to get killed, as some of my friends are worrying. One, because Stephen Moffat is notoriously averse to killing off any of the heroes, as Doctor Who fans have been known to complain. And secondly, because Mark Gatiss is obviously enjoying playing Mycroft and presumably gets a say in the matter.
marysutherland: (Mark Gatiss)

This has been lurking for ages, and I thought I ought to post it at last.

ACD Sherlock/Parade's End

Rating: 12

Diogenes Club, May 1920

My dear Sherlock,

Please excuse me breaking in on your retirement, but I have had a request from my previous Department which seems to require the sort of legwork that has always been more your forte than my own. My friends are interested in re-employing a former government official, but they need to be assured first of his soundness.

Getting down to business: the fellow's name is Christopher Tietjens, once the bright hope of the Department of Imperial Statistics. He left there under a cloud at the start of the War, and after a chequered army career, is now living in your neck of the woods down in Sussex, engaged in the second-hand furniture trade. He's of decent Yorkshire stock, but according to some of the gossip going round, he's a pimp, a wastrel, and possibly even a traitor. I need you to investigate and find out the truth about him. I'm not expecting him to be a saint, but I don't want any more boodlers in the Service. I rely on you to find out the truth about the matter.

your affectionate brother,


PS: By soundness, I mean of course financial and political. Provided Tietjens can keep his mouth shut, I see no need to worry about his current possession of a mistress and bastard.  

marysutherland: (Rupert)
BBC Sherlock

Rating: 12 (het)

Summary: DI Lestrade has a new case. How baffling will it be?

Note: I was re-reading ACD's The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor recently and Inspector Lestrade seemed particularly clueless in that case. I decided to make amends to his modern version.

When Lestrade heard that an American heiress had disappeared during her wedding reception in London, his first thought was a publicity stunt. Once he'd met Lord St. Simon, though, he was pretty certain that Hatty Doran had got cold feet just too late. Easier ways of picking up a title nowadays than marrying a moralising twerp.

He had to have the Serpentine dragged, of course, once they found the wedding dress, even though it was probably a decoy. If you wanted to drown someone in London, everyone knew that you used the Thames. Nothing conclusive in the text message left on Hatty's phone from "FHM". Hatty would surely know all about Flora Millar from the tabloids; unlikely she'd go off to meet St. Simon's former mistress only after she'd married him.

Next stop was tracing where the text had come from: mobile last used in a posh hotel in Northumberland Avenue. Bit more digging and Lestrade was playing a call on Francis H. Moulton. Only surprise was that he was Hatty's first husband, who'd supposedly been killed by guerrillas while mining gold in Colombia.

"Get back to the States as quick as you can," he told the pair, "before I have to arrest you for something. I can hold St. Simon for a few days, tell him Scotland Yard are baffled."

marysutherland: (Mary Sutherland)
ACD Sherlock/Dr Who crossover

Rating: U

Spoilers: for Series 7 of Dr Who

I still remember the one time I disconcerted both Holmes and his brother. They were sitting in the Diogenes Club studying mankind as usual, when a sunbaked man with greying hair strode past the window, laden with packages.

"Recently returned from South Africa," Sherlock announced. "Reunited with his lady love and buying her jewellery to make up for his absence."

"For his wife," Mycroft retorted. "A man of his looks wouldn't need something so expensive for a mere mistress. And the fellow's not being fighting Boers; his tread is that of a hunter, not a soldier."

"But his complexion–"

"East Indies rather than South Africa, I'd say. Note the curious tooth he wears as a talisman round his neck: no ordinary crocodile that, but an Oriental monster, surely."

"You're both wrong," I interjected. "The man's from East Africa and the jewellery boxes he carries contain riches intended for a foreign queen."

"How can you–" Mycroft began, but Sherlock interrupted.

"My friend has inside knowledge, I suspect. You know the gentleman, Watson?"

"I met him at the Travellers Club two nights ago," I said cheerfully. "His name is John Riddell and he had a yarn to tell rivalling the wildest tales of Professor Challenger. Indeed, of all the stories I have heard in my time, his is certainly the hardest to believe..."  

marysutherland: (Default)

BBC Sherlock

Rating 15 (swearing, implicit slash)

Summary: Greg's off to the house of a suspected spy with Sherlock and Mycroft. The consequences are unexpected.

This was inspired by Second Skin's Persuasion, and started off as a prequel and remix of that. It has ended up much, much longer...

Note: The chronology of Series 2 is notoriously dodgy. This fic assumes that Scandal takes place in April 2010-Summer 2011, Hounds in Summer 2011 and Fall in Spring-Summer 2012.

Betaed by the wonderful Small Hobbit.

Part 1

Mycroft's car dropped them off a couple of streets away from Caulfield Gardens )
marysutherland: (Rupert)

BBC Sherlock

Rating 15 (swearing, implicit slash)

Summary: Greg Lestrade is a very patient man. Just as well, when it's so hard to get together with Mycroft Holmes.

This was inspired by Second Skin's Persuasion, and started off as a prequel and remix of that. It has ended up much, much longer...

Note: The chronology of Series 2 is notoriously dodgy. This fic assumes that Scandal takes place in April 2010-Summer 2011, Hounds in Summer 2011 and Fall in Spring-Summer 2012.

Betaed by the wonderful Small Hobbit.

"You can't help who you fall for," Greg's Nan told him when he was sixteen. "You can help what you do about it." )
Part 2
marysutherland: (Tanya Moodie)

BBC Sherlock/ACD Sherlock crossover

Rating 12 (implicit femslash and het)

Spoilers: for A Scandal in Belgravia

Summary: Anthea and Ella do a bit of literary detective work.

A couple of months ago, fengirl88 had a five acts meme asking for writing and Anthea/Ella or Anthea/ACD!Irene. That prompt somehow turned into this.

Many thanks to the Small Hobbit for betaing

"I found something curious on Ms Adler's phone, Anthea," Mycroft announces, and she freezes, wondering if any of her friends might have been involved with Irene. )

marysutherland: (Rupert)

BBC Sherlock

Rating 15 (swearing, violence)

Summary: Mycroft's officially dead. Reactions to this fact vary.

Betaed by the amazing Second Skin.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

It hurt to move. It hurt to breathe. He should just lie here, wherever he was, and never stir again. )
marysutherland: (Mark Gatiss)

BBC Sherlock

Rating 15 (swearing, violence)

Summary: Moriarty's lying dead at Barts. Is Mycroft about to join him?

Betaed by the amazing Second Skin.

Part 1, Part 2

The first thing Mycroft remembered after the shot was being on his knees, deafened and shaking and vomiting out his coffee.  )

Part 4

marysutherland: (Mark Gatiss)

BBC Sherlock

Rating 15 (swearing, violence)

Summary:  An AU version of The Reichenbach Fall. Mycroft has made a terrible mistake and someone's going to have to pay for it.

Betaed by the amazing Second Skin.

It wasn't the first death threat Mycroft had received. It wasn't even the first death threat he'd received from his brother. )

Part 2
marysutherland: (Mark Gatiss)
BBC Sherlock

Rating: 12 (passing references to femslash and violence)

Spoilers: for Scandal in Belgravia

Summary: Mycroft and Irene have a little discussion after Sherlock has left.

Betaed by the extremely precise Kalypso_V

AZ to MH: Transcript as requested: one hard copy, no other files or tapes remaining. )

marysutherland: (Rupert)

BBC Sherlock

Rating: PG (preslash?)

Spoilers: for Hounds of Baskerville.

Inspired by a post by flawedamythyst complaining about the multiple guns turning up in Hounds.

Greg's voice on the phone had the no-nonsense toughness that Mycroft was coming to adore.

"Your operation's still leaky, Mycroft. Sherlock knew I was armed."

"A deduction rather than a leak."

"I wasn't carrying the gun when I met him."

"Sherlock is aware that on occasion, for his own protection, I have his colleagues, friends, carry weapons. Anything rather than letting him near a gun."

"Right. But what about the third pistol? Mr Knight's? Did someone nick that from Baskerville? I hear the security's not much cop."

"No. Even a thief or a black-market arms dealer might think twice about letting an unstable young man like Henry Knight near a handgun. Only one person would think that a good idea." Mycroft waited, wondering if Lestrade would be able to follow his reasoning.

"Oh, you mean Dr Frankland gave it to him? In the hope he might shoot someone and end up in Broadmoor, or kill himself?"

"Exactly," Mycroft replied with pleasure. "Frankland picked up more than sloppy speech habits in the US, it would appear. I thought he might have more of his arsenal still on him, which was why I wanted you armed. I don't approve of guns, but they are sometimes necessary. If left in the capable hands of a man who doesn't secretly long to be James Bond."

marysutherland: (Wallpaper)

BBC Sherlock

Rating: 12 (sexism and implicit violence)

Spoilers for Scandal in Belgravia

The secret to defeating men is letting them think they're winning. Irene's known that since she was twelve, rewarding the boy who did her French homework with French kisses. She's given a lot of men a lot of pleasure since. And extracted an excessively high price in return.

Her safe comes with two combinations: originally, one would open it safely, the other would set off an alarm. Now, thanks to a gun expert who enjoyed Irene's version of Russian Roulette, the person who opens Irene's safe with the wrong combination will be shot.

No, the man who does. A woman might well be suspicious about Irene's combination supposedly being her vital statistics. Realise that there are days when even the most attractive woman doesn't want to be reminded that her body's not the perfect shape.

On the other hand, the two men who have forced her to reveal that her key-code is 32-24-34 have thought it funny and plausible that a woman – a sex worker – would be so vain. Though Irene had the last laugh, naturally, over their lifeless bodies.

For a clever man like Sherlock, there's the extra twist: letting him deduce the wrong combination himself. Though she does tip him the wink just before he opens the safe; she might yet want to make further use of that brain.

marysutherland: (Wallpaper)

BBC Sherlock

Rating: 12

Spoilers: major for Scandal in Belgravia

Summary: for those of this who didn't like the ending of Scandal, the full story can now be revealed...

Special thanks for spontaneous betaing by Blooms84 and late-night discussions with Fengirl.

Sherlock still wasn't certain who the British Prime Minister was, but he was now much better informed about Pakistani politics, thanks to Ali Khan of Baker Street Balti.  )


marysutherland: (Default)

February 2017

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