Back to work for me tomorrow. This is never a recipe for positivity. Just as well my job isn’t horrible.
I ought to be able to take refuge in fandom but for a few months I’ve been less and less able to. There’s an internal reason for that in that I’m in a better state myself these days so diversions look less urgently shiny, but while on holiday I figured out the external reason, which is in addition to the continuing shift away from LJ.
I took some of the widely recced recent long fics away with me to read and while often very good they were almost without exception post-Reichenbach reunion relationship-kindlers in which Sherlock gets better at dealing with his emotions while repeatedly having vanilla sex. I wish people joy of these fics, and I can see their strengths… but they are not really for me. (That said, I betaed one from this genre, but it had the interesting feature of being an OT3 fic.)
I fell in love with BBC Sherlock in part because he is emphatically not normal and seemed to have no interest in becoming so. There are many canon-compatible ways for him to be non-standard – dark Sherlock, insane Sherlock, sociopath Sherlock, Asberger’s Sherlock, kinky Sherlock, perfectly amoral calculating Sherlock – and I can buy any of them, but to find them I had to go back to some of my early reading (Autopsis
, Examination/In Depth
, The Pleasure Dome Hotel
and of course I never stop re-dipping into Cold Song
). And it reminded me of the joy of finding all this thinky strangeness initially, a joy which has rather dissipated.
In part this is just what happens to everyone a year or so into fandom, but I think there’s also been a change in the kind of fic being produced. The reason of course is TRF, which gave us canon weepy!Sherlock, thus making it harder for people to write him as really dark/fucked up. And if you want to write a post-S2 fic, there are particular honking great issues you have to deal with, whereas post-S1, if you wanted, you could just say ‘OK, they escaped the pool and then… whatever’.
On the other hand, there is scope for weirdness if you want it – in my own current series
the stress of being on the run and killing people coupled with his existing instability is sending Sherlock insane – but it seems that less people do want to write this sort of thing. Or is there actually lots of this stuff out there and the fandom is just so big and diffuse that I can’t find it?
But while away I realised that repeatedly reading accounts of Sherlock becoming gradually more normal/functional is depressing me. It’s silly, and overinvested of me, but what I want most of all from canon, fandom and fan creations is a sense that slightly weird people (or extremely weird people) can be valued. I’m losing that lately. Whether or not this is the intention behind any given fic, I’m instead getting the subtly different message that we can adapt to fit in better. Except I can’t.
I want an utterly extraordinary, perfectly maladjusted, genius Sherlock back, to help me plough my furrow of being a rather unusual, spiky, brainy Penny.
Who’s got him?