I’m engaged in pitched battle with Jim Moriarty in scene 4 out of 4 of Chapter 15. It’s my birthday this weekend, and I’m taking a long weekend to celebrate and also to recover from my job’s recent attempts to burn me out (big event coming up, and we’re shorthanded all around). So hell. Have an except, to commemorate all these things and Archia’s incredible new art.
“I’ve already said I’m not with the police, if you’ll recall. And you’re forgetting something. Four things, to be precise. Top drawer, left compartment.”
Maybe he’s not above shaking John up a bit. Why not? Impress him, make him wonder.
It works. John stares at him with the steadiness of a man absolutely refusing to let on how startled he is. Like almost every other medical professional, he takes his watch and wedding rings off at work to avoid contamination, snagged gloves and patients gawking. It’s the simplest thing in the world to deduce from his left-handedness and the heavier wear on the brass handle that John defaults toward the left-side set of drawers, and a reasonable guess that he uses the top one for things he wants to be able to grab easily, because everyone does. But he looks impressed, and wary.
It strokes Sherlock’s pride. He’s as much a force to reckon with as Moriarty, and he’ll prove it.
“You know the most interesting thing about you?” Sherlock asks, letting the words roll out as he savours them. “I didn’t truly believe in you until I saw you. The word from certain quarters is that Mister Moriarty is not only blissfully married, but working on breeding up an heir.” He watches as John slowly bends and retrieves his jewellery to begin sliding it back on, moving as cautiously as an animal looking for traps. “I think you’ll understand that I found it laughable. He hardly comes off as the family type, does he? But here you are—entirely clueless, harmless, and fertile.”
John jerks at the last word, a reaction so sharp and hidden so quickly that Sherlock doesn’t even have time to begin to analyze it before the phone rings with a thought-shatteringly piercing tone.
OMGOMGOMG!! I love that story :3, but it stops at chapter 14 :,(. N it’s been like that for a really, really really long time! It it posted more somewhere else??
For a quick rundown of my recent battles with it: What happens when you switch a chapter’s POV
I haven’t worked on it this past week because work is insane and I’m mostly hitting my sofa and becoming a vegetable once I get home.
Anonymous said: pardon me if its mentioned before, realize in HLV John kicks down wiggins and kicked chair in 221b after SH reappearance with his psychosomatic limp. I can't help but feel that theres a deeper significance to the limp than his adrenaline/ risk addictn (or dependence) He was limp bec of meaningless existence; SH came so he feels hes doing something/ can move on- no longer limp; then emotional rush/ tension that gives him impulse to use leg to do somethin like how someone want to stomp when mad
Oh yeah. No, people don’t develop psychosomatic injuries over adrenaline addiction. I think it’s pretty obviously tied to John’s feelings of uselessness. It’s a physical manifestation of his sense that there’s no purpose or place for him, and nothing for him to contribute.
John’s clearly a man who needs to feel like he’s needed. Not just useful—because John is a doctor, he’s always got something valuable he can contribute to society, and furthermore he clearly doesn’t suffer from fundamental self-esteem issues. He needs to feel like he’s doing something that requires him,something that not just anybody can do. Any doctor can treat hemorrhoids and strep throat. But when he was in Afghanistan, with a team, he wasn’t interchangeable with just anybody else.
And when he’s with Sherlock, there’s no one else who could be there, who could fill the role in Sherlock’s life that John does.
I think this tells us something about why and how John grieved. Because when he lost Sherlock, he didn’t only lose a friend. He lost his place in life. This has a similarity with losing a spouse, or a parent when you’re a child, in that the person you’ve lost isn’t only someone you care for, but someone who forms an important foundation in your life. In a very practical, real sense, their loss leaves you struggling to find your bearings and rebuild your entire life around yourself.
(Sherlock really has no conception of what he did to John with that stunt. I don’t think he can; I don’t think he’s got the experience or background to have any idea how extensively he shook up John’s life.)
It’s worth noting that John is still limping in TEH, even though he’s met Mary and is meaning to propose. He loves her, and she brings much-needed stability back into his life, but this indicates that he isn’t finding his purpose with her. He doesn’t feel like this relationship with her is the thing he’s needed for.
And I like the fact that Sherlock didn’t reallycure John’s limp. He made it go away because he gave John a purpose; he didn’t fix whatever it is in John’s head that makes him need to be needed so badly that he’d develop a psychosomatic limp over it in the first place.
That limp represents John’s sub-conscious (or maybe not so sub-conscious; if you asked him he might well tell you this to your face) equating of uselessness and brokenness. He sees himself as having been discarded by the Army due to no longer being able to do the job; ergo, he’s a cripple, he’s broken, he’s refuse.
My apologies to people with disabilities in the audience; I don’t mean that this is true, because it’s so very not. What is true is the frustration that can arise from feeling like you’re less than fully functional. For a lot of us, even a weekend of flu-ridden sofa-coma is enough to leave us feeling like a lump or a burden on the people taking care of us. For John, clearly he’s turned that frustration in upon himself.
But think about this one for a moment. Lots of us want or need to be needed. But for that urge to be rooted so bone-deep that John is in physical pain, his body actually physically twisted from the deprivation when he can’t fulfill it… He seems to have picked that limp up subsequent to being invalided out of the Army, and it’s understandable if that gave him a sense of being kicked to the curb. But even before that, he must have had a deep sense that being useful to other people is an overriding priority. How does a person learn that the most important thing in their life is that they need to be useful to someone else? Where could he have come by this sense of needing a One True Place in life?
There’s not a single possible answer. Some people suffer abuse that teaches them that if they’re not being useful, they’re being a waste of space. Other people grow up being told that they’re meant for Great Things, that they’re bound to do something Important, until they feel like they’re a failure if they’re not. But I think we can be sure that there’s something fractured in John’s psychology, and it goes way deeper than John simply having a high tolerance for risk.
You might also ask yourselves, what kind of history could a person come from to leave them blase enough with being called stupid’ or ‘an idiot’ on a daily basis to live with Sherlock without ever getting riled or taking those words to heart? What happens in a person’s life to give them a ‘love for danger’ that in fact flirts with emotional masochism? Watson canonically has a gambling problem. In the show, John gambles, too. He gambles with trusting Sherlock to keep him safe no matter what kind of hair-raising insanity Sherlock pulls them into, and he gambles with whether the people he’s chosen to love will cut him too deep for him to bear.
It’s not news that the characters on this show are all, um, questionable in their various ways (let’s be honest, it’s modern noir, they were never meant to be upstanding ethical icons of good behavior). But whereas Sherlock is batshit but not especially broken, John is really, truly a fucked up mess underneath all that cuteness and stoicism and friendly demeanor.
Yeah, I definitely think John’s need to be needed verges on a serious problem (though in some ways it empowers him and motivates him to become a doctor and a soldier, so he is constructive about it). It’s hard to tell definitively *exactly* what John was like during Sherlock’s absence, and how the early relationship with Mary played out, but clearly (as John says) she changed his whole world in a good way. When you can say that about any relationship, but especially a relatively short one, it’s obvious that there’s a great lack of something in your life. I dunno if Mary needed him, so I’m guessing he needed her more. She fulfilled some needs but not others; rather the way Sherlock also fulfilled some needs but not others. It’s just that, I think, the stuff Sherlock couldn’t give him was ultimately minor. John doesn’t need to be in a relationship if he can have the kind of life he wants (which is surely why he was single and in the army for so long).
Can I just mention how good it is to see teabeforewar on my dash and activity feed again?
We have missed you, lovely person! I am so glad you’re doing better.
someone sent me an ask asking me about my opinion on jealous John, and jealously in johnlock. it was a private message so i sent my answer back to them. the one you see below. they liked my answer so much they asked me to post it so other people could read it. this is all my opinion and the only reason i am calling it a meta is because it’s my opinion on what i’ve observed in the show. you can disagree if you want.
now i’m all for a possessive jealous fanfic every now and then as long as it stays within certain lines. there’s kinky (just happening in this fic and not ever in the show) and then there’s scary.
i thought a lot about this before i answered it because i realized i have a very different look at John’s jealousy. i don’t see John as the uber masculine dominating man who would get violent with someone he loved (even in a sexy way) other people do. i see John’s jealousy as something much more fragile and being based on self loathing.
remember in ASIB when John thought Sherlock and Irene were flirting in front of him? he looked like a kicked dog pinning away for attention. the only thing he could say to get there attention was his name. to remind them he was in the room.
at his own wedding when he see’s Janine and Sherlock alone chatting he goes over and puts his hand on Sherlock but isn’t violent. it’s more, hello remember me. when John see’s Sherlock with Janine again he looks wounded and defeated. when ever Sherlock flirts with someone they are John’s exact opposite. tall, brunet, female, a kind of female Sherlock.
i feel like John’s jealousy is also coupled with the idea that he is seeing that Sherlock is someone who can have romantic possible sexual relationships but not with him and it is killing him. i see doubt and humiliation. John doesn’t looks so much angry as he looks depressed. it’s his worst fear come to life. Sherlock can have a normal, healthy relationship, just not with him, never with him.
Sherlock on the other hand preens himself with he’s jealous. he’s very jealous of Henry Knight if for no other reason then he’s wealthy. Sherlock often has to take on cases he hates for the cash because he doesn’t want John to seek work else where. Henry is attractive and wealthy. so Sherlock preens, puffing his coat up like John likes.
in ASIB at christmas Sherlock pretends to not know John’s girlfriend’s name and describe her as “the boring teacher”. he knows who she is, he knows what he’s doing. he even plays his violin that night does his best to distract John to pay attention to him.
so i don’t see either of there jealousy being violent. I see John’s making him sad with a side of self loathing and Sherlock seeing it as a challenge. he sees the person John’s dating and will chuckle. thinking oh John thats a swallow, I’m a peacock. you would much rather be with a peacock see me strut.