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Title: Pursuit of Closure
Recipient: ancientreader
Author:
redacted
Verse: BBC; compliant (mostly) with Series 1 and 2
Characters: Dr John Watson, several BBC Canon characters, and some original ones
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 5100
Warnings: Canon events; some spoilerage
Summary: John Watson has a hard time accepting Sherlock's death
Author's Note:  Liberties have been taken. Meta has been meddled with.
Beta: redacted
 

One more miracle, Sherlock, for me. Don't be... dead. Would you, just for me, just stop it? Stop this.
 
If waking up in a hospital was a bad sign, John Watson was not sure he wanted to know what this was. The sounds were wrong. The smell was wrong. It was not Afghanistan. Sherlock? No, Sherlock was gone. Suicide. Leapt from the rooftop of St Bart's. John's eyes could not focus so he let the fog roll back in.  Consciousness was over-rated.
 
Eventually he floated to the surface. Hospital sounds. Hospital smells. And pain. Everything hurt. John opened his eyes, trying to figure out what had happened. His voice was a mere croak when he tried to ask where he was. The uniformed police officer, seeing he was awake, shot him a look of contempt and spoke into his microphone. “He’s awake”.
 
The door opened and two plainclothes detectives entered.
 
“Should we let the nurse know he’s awake?” asked the constable.
 
“Not just yet.” There was menace in that reply. “I want to interrogate him before they put him on painkillers.”
 
John’s perception increased. The examination room lights were turned to their fullest brightness and John’s eyes adjusted slowly. Reeking of stale tobacco, the larger of the detectives knelt in and filled John’s field of view. John turned away and found that his wrist was handcuffed to the bedrail.
 
“Lucky for you the police showed up when they did. Those boys were really working you over. If it was me, I would have let them continue. Serves you right for attacking that girl.”
 
What girl? John struggled to remember.
 
“What’s going on here?” a new voice demanded. A woman’s voice; possibly a doctor, but with such authority, more likely a nurse.
 
The stinking detective backed off.
 
“John Watson, you’re under arrest for the assault and attempted sexual assault on Katherine Winter. You do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence."
 
Katherine Winter? Oh. Kitty Winter, the reporter. The one who started it all. That b***h!
 
John tried to sit up and started to black out. As if far away, he could hear the nurse calling for a doctor and ordering the police from the room.

 
You're formulating a question. It's physically painful watching you think.
 
Even months after Sherlock’s death the media refused to give up on the story. If anything, it grew more sensational as every idler and lounger thought to share their opinion on the matter.
 
John realised that Kitty Winter had been following him again.  Psychopaths were the new sexy and Richard Brook’s murder and Sherlock’s subsequent suicide were tabloid gold. Her articles on Sherlock had been picked up by multiple news agencies and her social media status kept increasing exponentially. With Sherlock’s confession and suicide mined out, her attention turned to John, and she was determined to stay on top of any developments. Kitty’s new angle: John Watson, complicit criminal or unknowing stooge?
 
He had tried to ditch her in the underground but she was tenacious. She refused to leave him alone. She put her mobile right in his face to get another picture and he snapped. He grabbed the camera and instead of smashing it like he first intended, he tossed it down a storm drain. She was furious and raked his face with her nails. He pushed her away. She stumbled and fell. He left, walking quickly and deliberately towards the Underground.
 
“RAPE!”
 
“What the...?” John turned
 
“He attacked me!” Kitty shrieked for the benefit of crowd lounging and smoking outside the nearby pub. Several would-be knights came to her aid. John never got a chance to explain. They were on him like a pack of hyenas.
 
Kitty watched with satisfaction as the mob vented their drunken fury out on John. She had loved that phone. It was a shame the police arrived so soon.

 
Most people blunder around this city and all they see are streets and shops and cars.
When you walk with Sherlock Holmes, you see the battlefield
.
 
The hospital room was quiet and the lights were dimmed. John raised his less-painful arm and realised that his handcuffs were gone.
 
“Your surgery went well,” said a familiar yet disturbing voice. “No need to thank me.”
 
“For what, Mycroft?” John croaked.

“Three things. The first being the CCTV coverage which cleared you of assaulting Kitty Winter. The second being an injunction keeping her away from you.”
 
“And the third?”
 
“Advice: My brother is dead. You need to get on with your life.”


Still has trust issues
 
With his release forms all in order, John was gingerly putting his jacket on when Detective Sergeant Sally Donovan entered the room.
 
“Hello, John. It’s good to see you back on your feet,” she said.
 
“Enjoying your promotion, Donovan?” he replied without any acknowledgement of courtesy. Detective Inspector Lestrade had been suspended and refused to even talk to John. That was unforgivable.
 
“What else could I do?” she sighed. “All the cases Greg worked on with Sherlock Holmes have to be reviewed. If he hadn’t relied so much on the outside consultant, he would not have been suspended. Do you know how many appeals have been launched? Dozens of convictions will be overturned. The worst of the worst criminals will be set free. Greg will be lucky if he gets to keep his job at all.”
 
“You didn’t like Sherlock but you knew him. You knew him long before I ever met him. How can you believe he could do such things?”
 
“That’s the problem: Sherlock could have done all of this and more if he put his mind to it.”
 
“But he didn’t. Sherlock Holmes was a good man, and there is nothing that will convince me otherwise.”
 
She felt sorry for John: so foolishly deluded, yet she hoped he could come to terms with all that had happened some day. She followed him out of the hospital.
 
“Is there anything I can help you with?”
 
“Take me home.”
 
“I can’t. Your flat is still sealed for police investigation.”
 
“Right then. Goodbye.”
 
“Where will you go?”
 
Not feeling the need to reply, John turned his back, walked away, and descended the steps into the Underground.


I have my eye on a suite in Baker Street

When your home has been declared a crime scene, you have to find another place to stay. Barred from his flat, John spent his first night walking the streets of London in a daze. Dawn found him standing in front of one of those coffee shops that cater to early birds. The dark roast helped focus his thoughts. He must have walked over 40 kilometres but he was damned if he could remember his actual route and that was a concern. London was a war zone and he needed to be aware of his surroundings at all times. Even if Kitty Winter obeyed her restraining order, there were plenty of her ilk still out there. John looked around. Two other customers were reading tabloids. The headlines were still about Sherlock and were now calling for the blood of the police. He needed a plan. And another cup of coffee.
 
Fortunately the weather forecast was clear. If he could stay awake, John could walk around until check in time at the hotels then take a room and finally get some sleep. He was fully aware that while the caffeine was kicking his brain into overdrive, the rest of his body was already exhausted. Footsore and aching from his recent injuries, John stepped out into the now bustling street.


You're not haunted by the war, Dr. Watson. You miss it.
 
The quiet. That was what John liked about Dr Thompson’s office. Its windows looked out over the green space and not the busy street where the entrance was. On a good day, Ella would give John time to watch the leaves swaying with the breeze. She thought she was giving him what he needed. He thought if that is all he needed, he was over-paying for her services.
 
Her suggestion that he start blogging had been a good one, and he had to admit that he often felt better after their sessions.
 
John had been furious that his diagnosis and notes about their sessions had made their way into the hands of Mycroft Holmes. Ella sat listening to John’s tirade, her expression hardening as she began to realise these were not the ravings of a paranoiac with trust issues, but that she had indeed had a security breach. She let him know in no uncertain terms that her patients were always her top priority and if he did not believe that, he could bl**dy well go and f**k himself. Why his file had been compromised was a mystery to her and of greater concern was the question of how many other patients’ data had been stolen.
 
...We can’t giggle. It’s a crime scene...
 
“This is no laughing matter!”
 
“Sorry, I tend to giggle at inappropriate moments.”
 
But it was laughable. Over time, as John came to understand the true nature of Mycroft Holmes, he realised that there could be no secrets from him. John was now on Mycroft’s radar, as were all those who had entered the periphery of Sherlock’s life. He resumed his therapy.
 
Grieving for Sherlock was hard enough without the sensational media coverage and the invasive police investigations. John’s mental health was slipping as well as his physical health.
 
“You are not responsible for Sherlock’s suicide.”
 
“Yeah, I know. And yet, I still can’t believe it. I never saw it coming. I must have missed the signs; something. Now I don’t know what to think.”
 
“Do you believe in Sherlock Holmes? Do you believe that Moriarty was real?”
 
“Yes.”
 
“Can you prove it?”
 
John looked at her thoughtfully but did not reply.
 
“Anyway, you need to take better care of yourself,” said Ella, handing him a list of to do items with checkboxes. “It’s just short-term. You need structure like you had in the army. Eating at designated times, taking your meds, completing assigned tasks, following enforced bedtimes, and taking regular exercise.”
 
“Join a gym?” he looked up incredulously from the list.
 
“Is hiding from the public working?” she anticipated his fears.
 
“No,” he admitted.
 
“Then fix your body and your mind will be better able to cope.”
 
“I’ll consider it,” he said, folding the list and tucking it into his pocket.
 
“Forgiveness, John. You need to forgive Sherlock but more importantly, you need to forgive yourself.”


...So, Big Brother IS watching you...
...What?...
...You know Nineteen Eighty-Four, the dystopian imaginings of George Orwell?...
...Irrelevant...
 
...John spent the evening, with help from the internet, explaining the novel to him...
 
 
Mycroft Holmes loved a good kidnapping, so it was little surprise to see the dark sedan with the tinted windows waiting for him outside of Ella’s office. Accepting the inevitable, John climbed into the backseat to find the man himself waiting for him.
 
“I thought I told you to fire her,” said Mycroft, referring to Dr Thompson.
 
“I don’t take orders from you. What do you want this time?”
 
“No doubt you are wondering why I am not defending my brother.”

“Yeah, exactly why is that?”

“I am not at liberty to say.”

“But you know this is wrong. You could at least clear his name. Sherlock did not commit any crimes.”

“How can you be so sure? You barely knew him.”

“I knew him well enough.”

Mycroft let out a cynical snort. “Stay out of trouble, John. Don’t do anything stupid.”

John was left on the pavement, wishing he could have come up with a snappy retort as the sedan pulled out into traffic.


People have already warned you to stay away from him,
but I can see from your left hand that's not going to happen.

How would Sherlock Holmes solve this? Sherlock would have applied an extra nicotine patch or two, then lie down on the sofa with his eyes closed. The eureka moment would occur and then he would insult John or anyone else in the vicinity and, and... and that was not the way John worked. Sherlock never understood that normal people’s minds were not so nimble, so if John could not apply Sherlock’s methods, he would have to resort to his own.
 
Start with first principles. What do I know for sure? I believe in Sherlock Holmes. If so, then Jim Moriarty was real and Richard Brook was a lie. Disprove Richard Brook and see where that leads. It was not much to go on with, but one had to start somewhere.
 

...something nutritious at Angelo's would not be out of place...

John’s wanderings took him to Northumberland Street. He had not intentionally sought out the restaurateur, but Angelo had spotted him and was gesturing a warm welcome. John stepped inside.
 
“You know, John, my gratitude to Sherlock extends to you.”
 
“He’s dead now, you know.”
 
“Yeah, but you’re not, and he would have wanted me to help you if I could.”
 
“Nobody can help me.”
 
Angelo shrugged. “I you say so, but I can feed you. Come, eat lunch.”
 
“Okay, but only something small, yeah?”
 
“Sure. Sure.”
 
Angelo returned a little while later.
 
“I didn’t order this,” said John
 
“No, this is what you need,” said Angelo placing down a fresh greens salad and a bowl of creamy pasta.
 
It did smell delicious.
 
“You know, there is someone following you.”
 
“Someone is always following me. It could be the police or the paparazzi.” Or The British Government, John did not add.
 
Angelo looked around and placed a reassuring hand on John’s shoulder. “I might be able to help you after all. Come back to the kitchen when you’re done.”
 
John thought Angelo was going to let him use the back emergency exit but instead, Angelo took his picture and told him to come back in two days.

 
I don't have "friends"
 
“I told you I could help. Here’s a going-away present. You need to get out of London for a while,” said Angelo, handing John a the plain white envelope
 
John rifled through the contents. “What’s this?”
 
“It’s the new you,” Angelo replied.
 
It was John’s face on the driving licence, but the name on it and the other documents and credit card read John Ormond-Sacker.
 
“These look real.”
 
“They aren’t. They’re very good though. Don’t try to use them internationally and you’ll be fine. If you want the real bonafides, give me another month.”
 
“I won’t ask how...”
 
“It’s very easy, actually. I know some people. They started with the name of someone born around the same year as you who either died as an infant or a young child. John Ormond-Sacker, may he rest in peace, was just such a case. I don’t know the details, they only looked for someone around your age. The bank card was easy. Banks these days are so eager for customers they don’t do serious records checks. There’s a thousand pound balance on that card. I can add more if you need it.”
 
“I will pay you back.”
 
Angelo shrugged. “If you insist. Now return to your table. We mustn’t let your stalker get suspicious.”
 
“You’re just trying to feed me up.”
 
“Perhaps,” Angelo grinned.
 
The souvlaki was delicious.
 

When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life
 
In the days that followed, John moved hotels twice, joined a fitness club and rented a locker. There he kept a pair of trainers, some toiletries, and a towel. Four evenings a week he would spend two hours there and at every visit, John would add another piece of clothing or gear to his kit; a shirt here or a pair of socks there.
 
During business hours John would take refuge in the Wellcome Library on Euston Road. Reporters tried to follow him in but were denied entry. When a couple of them applied for day visitor passes or even full membership reader cards, the Library Reception staff refused to issue them.
 
John used his own credit cards for his usual purchases and cash for those transactions he did not want traced. A nylon tarpaulin and lightweight sleeping bag in case he had to sleep rough, his camouflage army backpack, and raingear. He paid cash for a disposable mobile phone. All these items were moved in stages to his locker at the fitness club.
 
And one rainy night, John Watson entered the gym, and John Ormond-Sacker left. He started with the bus to Oxford and from there took the next bus leading him further away from London. Two more buses and a train and a ten kilometre hike and fourteen hours later John found himself near Port Auld, Cornwall. He set up a cold bivouac just off the path in a wooded ravine that led down to the sea. Tomorrow, he would go into the village, but for now he needed to rest.

 
where the cottages of a couple of hundred inhabitants clustered round an ancient, moss-grown church
 
Cornwall would be wonderful under sunny summer skies, John imagined as he tightened the drawstrings of his mac tight against the late October wind and rain. The two kilometres’ walk in the bitter elements only to find a “Closed on Sundays and Mondays” notice in the library’s window did little to improve John’s mood. The rain falling from his coat slowly soaked his trousers adding to his misery. John stood in the doorway’s shallow alcove.
 
“You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.”
 
“What?!?” John spun, his heart pounding.
 
“I said, you look like you’ve been through the wars, old boy.” The speaker was an older man, one hand clamping his flat cap to his thinning grey hair, the other gripping a heavy wooden cane. Soldiers possess a certain something; a look, or attitude that is barely tangible to most people but is immediately perceptible by their fellows. The man’s lapel poppy was unnecessary to mark him as a veteran. Not a local, though, or he would have known the library would be closed today, thought John.
 
“The bakery makes a good cup of coffee,” the older man gestured to a storefront a little way up the street. “And it’s a damn sight drier than this place. Suit yourself.”
 
Hot coffee would be nice and perhaps a sarnie too. John hurried to catch up.
 
The weather, as though conspiring to keep folks indoors, grew worse.
 
“Henry Wood, call me Harry,” said the old man, extending his hand.
 
“John Ormond-Sacker,” John replied.
 
“What brings you to Port Auld, other than the fine weather, I mean?”
 
“Birding,” John replied.
 
The old veteran just looked at John and set his coffee down. Fabricated stories would not get past him.
 
“Actually,” said John. “A mate of mine, a good friend, topped himself. I didn’t see it coming. I needed to leave the city, to get away for a while and try to make sense of it. What about you?”
 
“Just securing my caravan. The missus got sick this summer and we had to go home early.  She’s fine now, but we left in a hurry and I needed to come back and set things aright for the winter. Sorry about your friend, though. It happens. Some of my pals could not adjust to peacetime either.”
 
John did not correct him. How could he explain that Sherlock had been driven to suicide by an unhinged psychopath and a threat to his reputation? It still made no sense to John.
 
“Here’s the keys and my home address. Stay as long as you want; just keep her clean and tidy, and mail them to me when you leave.”
 
“But I’m a stranger. You don’t even know me.”
 
“Well, dear boy, you were headed for the library. That alone is an indication of good character. Also I have learned that harbouring a suspicious outlook only withers one’s soul.


There's always something

Genius requires an audience but the mundane can get by if they work hard enough at it. The police are well-meaning but rarely do they have the time and resources to do their job properly; damage control was the best they could hope for. No wonder Sherlock had been able to solve so many of their cold cases; he had had the luxury of time and such exquisite focus. Now John had carved out what he hoped would amount to enough time to try his hand at detective work.

Even so, John could not get over the feeling that he was being observed. Of course he was. All newcomers to Port Auld were. That is the way of villages. John tried his best to be inconspicuously inconspicuous.
 
It was Wednesday when John entered the Port Auld Library. It consisted of two large rooms. The main room dated back to the 1800’s and contained the reference desk, several shelves of books, and a large table with four computer terminals. The other room, according to a ceremonial plaque, had been added in 1972. This room housed the main collection of books. Several comfortable chairs were situated among the magazines and other periodicals, and the children’s section had a low table housing bins of toys.
 
The nameplate at the main desk said Max Lo, Librarian. John observed him for several minutes. Max was of Asian descent, wore contact lenses, and had excellent taste when it came to jumpers. He looked up as John approached.
 
“Good morning. Can I help you?”
 
“Would it be possible to access the internet?” asked John, indicating the computers.
 
“Absolutely. You could use a guest pass, or register for a reader’s card if you are staying locally. The guest pass kicks you off the system after thirty minutes so most of the summer people opt for the card. It’s free and will only take a minute.”
 
John thought it was strange that he was not asked for official identification. All he gave was his name and Harry’s caravan park address.
 
“You’re welcome to use any computer but after 3:30 these four are reserved for the after-school programme. There is not likely to be much demand otherwise. Most people bring their own devices these days.”
 
John settled in and began his search. Three hours later he had reached an impasse and pushed back from the monitor in frustration. Time for a break. John needed coffee and something to eat so he went to the bakery.
 
Once back at the library, John resumed his research and again hit another dead end.
 
“Do you need some help?” asked Max.
 
“I’m looking for records of births and deaths in the 1970’s. I’ve tried all the official agencies and departments. Do you know where else I can try?”
 
Max shook his head. “I refer questions like these to our local genealogy expert, Agnes. I’ll see what she’s up to.”
 
Before John could stop him, Max pulled out his phone and sent a text. A reply bleep followed within seconds.
 
“Can you come back tomorrow?” asked Max. “Agnes has a driving lesson today.”
 
“Yes,” John replied.
 
Another text was fired off and a meeting was set for the next morning.
 
John decided to take advantage of the sunny weather and spend the rest of day clearing the weeds from Harry’s caravan lot.


Work is the best antidote to sorrow
 
Agnes Fields met John at the library the next day. Agnes was not what John had expected. An active pensioner, she was a mother, a grandmother, a driving instructor, currently volunteered with the Lifeboats, and ran the after-school program on Friday afternoons.
 
“We know who you are, Dr Watson,” she said. John blanched. “Both Max and I followed your blog with great interest and we will help you any way we can.”
 
Max nodded. “We believe in Sherlock Holmes.”
 
Within an hour, Agnes had compiled a list of nearly fifty Richard Brooks born in the United Kingdom within John’s optimum timeframe. Dividing the list in three, each of them set about the more involved process of eliminating names using death certificates and school enrollments. Agnes finished first, reducing her list to one possibility. Max, who also had his regular responsibilities of running the library to contend with, finished next, eliminating all of his. Both of them helped John complete his list and he too only had one outstanding possible entrant. Two in total.
 
“Now what?” asked John.
 
“We’re down to two. That’s extremely good,” replied Agnes. “We may still have more if we widen your time frame.”
 
“Would it help if I got the actual birth date and registration numbers Moriarty was using?” asked John.
 
“Yes, but wouldn’t you need to contact the police for that? They would trace you back to here.”
 
“I won’t contact them directly, besides, if we succeed, all of this will be given to them anyhow.”
 
John texted Molly Hooper’s personal phone. If she was at work, she might have records of Richard Brook's/Jim Moriarty’s personal effects. Her reply came a minute later. She could access the required records and send them later in the afternoon. John gave Max’s email as the receiving address.
 
“This one,” said John, looking up from the scans Molly had sent. “The NHS number matches. He must have built up all the other documents based on that.”
 
“Now the fun begins,” replied Agnes. “We have to trace the family. If we can find them, we have to tell them that their dead child is a victim of identity theft.”
 

The game is on

Richard Brook had been born in South London and birth certificate named his parents as Alveena (née Morris) and Darcy Brook. Of greater interest was that Alveena had been born in Jamaica.
 
“You don’t suppose...” Max began.
 
“Geniuses can be lazy...” John nodded enthusiastically.
 
“It’s almost too good to be true!” Agnes exclaimed. “Moriarty never checked Richard Brook's race!
 
“Let’s not jump to conclusions. Just because you are born in Jamaica, doesn’t mean that you are black,” said Max. “I was born in Sandford, Gloucestershire, and I’m not a ginger.”
 
“Alveena is not a common name. Perhaps she is active in social media.”
 
And that’s where they found her. Alveena and Darcy Brook of Newton-Haven. Both active on FaceChat. She worked in mental health advocacy and had received commendations for her achievements in grief counselling. He had recently retired from Qew where he been a horticulturalist for thirty years. They had other children and many grandchildren, and all of them were dark-skinned.

"Should we contact them?" asked Max.

"Yeah... I want to talk with them," said John. "Meet them in person if I can. Let me call them. I'd rather it was me than the press. It's going to be a circus when the story breaks and they need to be ready."
 
 
Yeah, but that was ages ago. Why would she still be upset?
 
The next day, John packed his meagre belongings and travelled to Newton Haven by bus and rail. Agnes drove him to the station and Max had said his goodbyes in the village. Before departing John called Henry Wood and thanked him for his generosity, and sent the caravan keys by courier.
 
At their home in Newton Haven, Alveena and Darcy were just as nervous about meeting John as he was. His call from yesterday had hit like a bombshell. They invited him into their home. John gratefully accepted the offer of tea. Two of Alveena’s and Darcy’s grown children, Thomas and Alicia, had come as well to support their parents. Alicia was the only one in the family who had taken an interest in the Sherlock media hype, so she knew what the paparazzi were like.
 
“It could get ugly. The details of your son’s death will be dredged up and I don’t know what angle the press will take,” warned John, as he compared the evidence collected in Port Auld with the documents the Brooks had saved.
 
“Richard was born nine weeks premature. He was placed in an incubator. Tubes everywhere. He was so tiny; so weak. We never got to bring him home.” Alveena’s eyes glistened with grief. Darcy, too, was not unaffected. He wrapped his arm round his wife’s shoulders. It was going to be tough, but if their testimony was required, they would do all that they could.
 
 
Don't make people into heroes, John.
Heroes don't exist, and if they did, I wouldn't be one of them.
 
John was tired. He could go home. Now that Sherlock had been vindicated John felt he had the strength to face London again. Sherlock may be dead, and knowing something about grief, John knew that time would soothe the pain and guilt. He had to forgive Sherlock for killing himself before he could begin to forgive himself. And he would try. 

John added the finishing touches to his report and sent it and copies of all his documents to Greg Lestrade-- after all, forgiveness had to start somewhere.
 

That great cesspool into which all the loungers and idlers of the world are irresistibly drained

Travelling publically had surely blown John’s cover and, truth be told, he missed the chaos of the big city. It was time to stop hiding. He approached the cashpoint and spotted its security camera. Slowly and deliberately he removed his raincoat hood, exposing his features to the inevitable facial recognition algorithms, and giving whomever must be watching two fingers worth of contempt, knowing that somewhere, likely closer than expected, a dark sedan had been dispatched in his direction.
 
 
You've got a fan

And the stalker, watching this, smiled to himself, knowing that his job was done and that John would be okay now.

Date: 2017-06-16 08:45 pm (UTC)
gardnerhill: (Default)
From: [personal profile] gardnerhill
I couldn't read past the scene of Kitty screaming "rape" to get Watson in trouble.

Date: 2017-06-16 10:14 pm (UTC)
ancientreader: black and white pet rat (Default)
From: [personal profile] ancientreader
I'm always interested in seeing John post-Reichenbach, and I especially like it when "ordinary" people turn out to have strengths that a Holmes might not have been expecting. Given John's trust issues, it's especially nice to see him being the recipient of help from Angelo, his fellow veteran, and the library staff. Thank you for all those aspects of the story, Author Anon.

I have debated with myself whether to remark on Kitty's false accusation of rape, but it troubled me greatly, since women are so often accused of lying about sexual assault. So I would like to ask you about it. Maybe there's another way to show Kitty's bad character causing damage to John?

Date: 2017-06-19 01:02 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] rachelindeed
Oh, I really enjoyed this! I loved all the subtle call-backs to the Doyle stories that you worked in, from the "Ormond-Sacker" alias to Henry Wood, and the quotations sprinkled throughout the story seemed to echo not only Sherlock's death but also a sense of history and parallels and possibilities. I think the quotation from The Empty House - "Work is the best antidote to sorrow" - really summed up the theme of your story beautifully. I always like watching John fight through his grief enough to do something proactive, and his work here in proving Sherlock's innocence was appropriately unglamorous, devoted, and important. Angelo as his not-entirely-legal assistant was inspired! Probably my favorite part of the story, though, was the way that you made the local library of Cornwall into the hero. I have benefited so much from the libraries in my life, and people like that committed librarian and that local genealogist really are the unsung heroes of their communities. I loved the way they turned their research skills to the service of justice and quietly saved the day, all with their eyes wide open and knowing just who John was and what he was trying to accomplish. Also, thanks for recognizing Britain as a multicultural society, it was nice to see people of color going about their lives along with everyone else. Thanks for this story, it did make me feel that John had taken those first steps toward rising above his grief.

Date: 2017-06-21 01:23 am (UTC)
pipmer1: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pipmer1
I will never get tired of post-reichenbach fic, not even this late in the game. Thank you for writing one showing John getting on with his life.

Date: 2017-06-21 03:53 am (UTC)
starfishstar: (Default)
From: [personal profile] starfishstar
What an intriguing look at John's experience post-Reichenbach, not just processing his grief but getting to go on a mission of his own. It was really good to see him get to be the protagonist of his own story, going out and getting on with the work. "Work is the best antidote to sorrow" indeed.

And oh, that's who the "stalker" was!! What a sweet little reveal right at the end.

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