Shhhhhhh… hear that? The echoing calls of carrion crows reverberate off the scorched earth left desolate by the ravages of an east wind. And look, there you are, staring blankly off into the distance as you mutter “The horror, the horror…”
…yeah that pretty much sums up the last (and apparently final) season of the BBC’s Sherlock. But don’t despair. Let yourself go through all five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
You can’t deny it anymore; it’s been over a year since the finale aired. You can’t fault yourself for feeling angry over your credulity being stretched to the max. (Redbeard was a person not a dog?! These two brain cases had a serial killing younger sister named after the east wind?!).
You can’t bargain. Series creators Steve Moffat and Mark Gatiss have implied this was the absolute finale and are now developing other projects.
So, you may be stuck in depression. That’s okay. We’ve got the Sherlock fanfics that will help you move towards acceptance. Sherlock may be dead on the BBC but he lives on in these 9 classic, and often more emotionally satisfying, Sherlock fanfictions (revised from our original list).
Enjoy! And tell us which of your favorite Sherlock fanfics help you to heal…
This is a poignant, pull-no-punches tale in which Sherlock wrestles with a terminal illness with the ever-faithful Watson by his side. It will tear your heart out in the best way possible.
It will also give you an excuse to shed those tears you’ve been holding back after watching that last BBC episode. Except this time, you’ll feel like they were honestly earned.
As an antidote to the final season’s twisted Holmes family dynamics, try Getting Better by nox_candida. This is wonderful. Told from the point of view of Sherlock’s son, Tristram, this is a Johnlock where John and Sherlock are struggling single parents who connect when their children become best friends.
Emily Watson stands up for a bullied Tristram and the kids’ friendship starts. Sherlock visits the Watson flat to pick up Tristram, meets John and the adult romance ignites. It’s a sexy romance, moving family drama, and compelling mystery all in one.
This is one of the first Sherlock fanfictions in the Sherlolly sub-genre focused on romance between Sherlock and Molly Hooper. When John’s marriage makes Molly crave a family of her own, she opts to have a baby through IVF. Sherlock throws a spanner into the works by volunteering as the donor. Things get nuttier from there.
Yet it all works. This well-balanced romance keeps Sherlock and Molly mostly in character and also depicts a fully fleshed out Holmes family including Mycroft’s wife and kids. It also has three sequels – Sustain II: Refrain, Sustain III: Obbligato, and Sustain Coda, Variation One – so satisfying you’ll be dying for a fourth.
The Season 1 animosity between Sherlock and Anderson finally boils over into assault as Anderson attacks Sherlock, raping him and leaving him to be found by John Watson. As a member of the police force, Anderson is hardly under suspicion and, with the reticence of many sexual assault survivors, Sherlock refuses to name his attacker.
All of which leads to Anderson doubling down on his hate for the consulting detective, taunting him and virtually stalking him as Sherlock, still suffering PTSD, tries to carry on. This is a grim, yet compelling tale. If you need to wallow in the darkness for a bit, this will do nicely.
Another offering from MadLori (known as Mad_Lori on Archive of Our Own), this recasting of the Holmes-Watson relationship as a tinsel town tale deserves mention as well. Sherlock is a faded Academy Award winning actor trying to regain his luster. Watson is a mid-level character actor still hunting for his big break.
They meet as leads on the set of a gay romance that threatens to become reality as they struggle to salvage their careers. With more than 6,000 bookmarks, 13,000+ kudos, and over half a million hits, this story is clearly one of the most popular and beloved in Sherlock fanfiction.
This one-shot fanfic is a witty exercise in cold smolder between a properly warm Watson and a practically hypothermic Holmes. When their building’s heat goes during a blizzard, John finds Sherlock working on cold cases and oblivious to his dangerously chilled state.
John takes the detective to bed with him and waits for the combination of blankets and body heat to return Sherlock’s body temperature to normal. Of course, other things thaw as well, as John comes to some unsettling realizations about his attraction to Sherlock.
It’s perhaps the height of a fanfic author’s achievement when a story they create is so rich and compelling that it becomes a universe of its own. This story – a gritty crime tale set against the ravages of war in Afghanistan – has garnered so much fan love that other fanfic authors have waded into this sandbox to play.
Mycroft sends Sherlock to Afghanistan to investigate a series of atypically gruesome deaths. Of course, the detective meets Royal Marines Capt. John Watson, his personal protection during the investigation. As Sherlock closes in on the killer, things heat up romantically as well as dramatically.
One of the Sherlock fanfic tropes is that of Sherlock as either a virgin or a deer in the headlights when it comes to sex. Not in this fanfic! Sherlocks knows what he wants, how he wants it and how much of it he wants, throwing John for a bit of a loop. He’s definitely no virgin in this JohnLock.
A seamless melding of character and plot, this Sherlock fanfic perfectly captures the voice and tone of the BBC series. The author actually took the time to construct an intriguing mystery that would be right at home in the episode lineup.
Moreover, the characters are richly realized in a way that drives the plot rather than making the characters mere adjuncts to it. Do yourself a favor and immerse yourself in this literary gem. It will feel like the series never left.
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