Think I'd given up on the fic-reading challenge? Nope! Still at it!
Starting to feel like I was force-feeding fic to myself a little hard, I stepped back tonight and counted fics, counted days, and made myself a calendar to pace myself for the long haul. My "Three Patch Podcast December Fic Challenge" finishes on New Year's Eve, and if you're going to wind up the year with something, you want to do it right.
What started out as a whimsy has become a plan.
"Picnic," part one of the What Did You Think About series by Chryse, spends an appropriate amount of romancing and foreplay before getting to the . . . hmm, with what's gone down over at Tumblr, I almost hate to even use the word p-o-r-n these days as the platform censorship spreads. Fear is very infectious these days, and I'm hating it. A local church, a very welcoming and friendly sort of church, starting locking its doors when services start blaming the temple shooting in another state. Boy, that's a dark turn in a log-post about a romantic picnic story. Sorry. The folks responsible for recent turns in our society cannot do enough jail time. But, onward.
"The Adventure of the Missing Tale" by Paul Thomas Miller was not on my Three Patch list, but I read it anyway tonight. The adventure of Sherlock Pooh was a nice little palate-cleanser after that lusty romp in the pasture preceding it. (And ensuing micro-rant about fear.)
"Middle Ground," the first part of Triptych, by strangegibbon, TSylvestris is a Sherlock, John, and Greg Lestrade three-way. Makes me wonder what take-out curry must be like, as I'm not even sure we have that in Peoria. And there seems to be a bit going on with male nipples that I don't remember being a thing, but, hey, no three-ways with an ex-army doctor and two detectives on my resume either. One thing fic writers do tend to get, more often than not, is the voices. Yes, they're saying a few things we never heard on Sherlock, but the way they say it sounds right if you listen.
"A Carriage Full Of Secrets" by faerymorstan in the Biscuitverse series. Text message during the events of "His Last Vow." Molly Hooper gets a much bigger part this time around, I like that. Somebody has to be the voice outside the Sherlock/John/Mary marriage in all these texts. Texts read quickly and I'm up to chapter five before I have to stop for now.
"An Act of Charity" by wordstrings, start of The Paradox Series. Lovely think-y inner-Sherlock piece. Such a good attempt at inner Sherlock that I'm surprised when the inevitable Johnlock turn comes along . . . my brain just doesn't feature that as an automatic, and it's a bit like discovering someone is attending a function for completely different reasons than you thought they were there for. Taking the night off last night was definitely a reset.
A holiday month is definitely not the time to undertake a time-consuming challenge, I now realize. Thought the whole holiday bit might buy me some extra time, but no, Christmas is a time-vampire, always has been, always will be, disrupting our happy normal schedules with don't-be-a-Scrooge demands and offers pinpoint targeted to take as much money from us in this season as possible. (And even my movie-loving soul is a bit pissy about the holiday movie dump after a few weeks of scant choices.) Grrr.
"Unkissed," part one of the Unkissed series by 221b_hound. Remember how I was a little grumpy in the previous paragraph? Well, bear that in mind . . . I came grumpy. This bit of fic is a comfortably domestic Baker Street life, featuring that one thing that many a husband dreads: time to talk of the relationship. As a long-time husband myself, it's like reading a long, detailed fic about doing the dishes -- one of those recurring duties you don't enjoy, but must be done. And that reaction of mine is not fair to the piece at all. It's well written, if it resonates with the reader in a positive, want-to-see-that fashion. But me, now? "You're a mean one, Mister Grinch . . ."
This might be a bad fic day. Onward.
And my next fic tumble is straight into the opposite of Sherlock and John trying to get past first base -- it's Janine and Molly heading straight for a home run without much hesitation at all: "everything you had and what was left after that too" by IamJohnLocked4Life. Oh, that Janine, the fabulous X-factor that the BBC Sherlock crew added to the Baker Street mythos. She's the perfect character for bringing any new element into the relationships of her time, even a side of Molly we hadn't seen.
I have to wonder if there could have been a Victorian Janine retrofitted into the Doyle Canon, given the times. Surely someone out in fic-world has accepted that challenge.
John and Sherlock's Kinky First Times is a series by wendymarlowe that is a bit like a box of variety chocolates. If you can stop at one, you just don't like chocolates, or don't have the burning curiosity to see what the next one contains. I cut myself off at five on this series of short, sweet, and funny little first encounters that are exactly what the name says.
"The Blog of Eugenia Watson" by Mad_Lori reads like world-building to me, except until Omegaverse, the world is that of one teenage girl. Intriguing first chapter. Curious about the mom.
In the Space Beneath Our Clothes by kingaofthewoods does what fanfic is primarily there to do: fill in the gaps between the official canon bits we are handed. Even when the goal is Mollcroft, moving the two protagonists from when we last saw them in the series to their own combined story takes some real thought and skill to move us from one place to the next, and it's good fun to watch someone pull off that transition, bringing back the joy of the series itself with new content that surely might have been what came next.
This has been an interesting run, and I'm starting to see patterns in the fic and in myself. Looking forward to month-end and the after-action analysis of this challenge.