Chapter 1 - Listen or download here.
"You love this, being Sherlock Holmes."
He had once. When had it all gone so wrong?
I don't really know where to begin in discussing/ introducing this fic. I didn't start reading it as a WIP because I avoid them (for a number of reasons) so I sat down to read what was essentially a completed novel by a writer whose work I already fervently admired, expecting a story of great quality, with excellent characterisation, interesting plot lines and a happy ending.
Did I get that? Well - yes and no. Oh, it was all of the things listed above, but that barely describes the experience of reading this extraordinarily powerful story. You hear of people saying that a fic left them breathless, that it played with their emotions, that the sex was hot and the characters beautifully drawn but that STILL doesn't adequately describe how I felt when in the grip of this fic. There were times when I was choked with sadness, breaking with the strength of my empathy for Sherlock's pain, filled with anger at John's behaviour and moved beyond measure by their eventual connection, so hard-won. There was a moment part-way through the narrative when, at 2am and with the alarm set for 6am, I had to read another chapter, the one that promised the beginning of the redemption, because I knew I would not be able to sleep in the emotional state I had been left in by the previous section.
I have read many fics now in the Sherlock fandom - a fandom that is one of the most creative and most intelligent that I have ever come across - but rarely has one stuck with me like this one has. I hummed and hawed about podficcing it because, frankly, I wasn't sure if I could cope with the emotions it would raise in me to read some of this aloud. I finally decided that, actually, I NEEDED to do this. And I think I was right.
So, for those of you that have already read this fic - you know what's coming. You know that parts of this are difficult to hear but that it all pays off in the end. I hope that my reading adds to your experience of this exceptional work.
For those of you who have not read this fic before - PLEASE read the warning tags. In the first half of this story there are some sections that contain major triggering issues, such as depression, suicide and rape. All I can say is that there is, absolutely and unequivocally, a HAPPY ENDING. That promise, made by Chryse at the very beginning, is something I held on to through the really tough parts. Stick with it - I promise it is worth the journey.
All chapters have been recorded and I have almost half of them edited and ready to go. My intention is to post twice a week until I have completed all editing, then speed it up from there until it is all posted. I have used some music in places - hopefully you don't find it too intrusive. You will find it at the very beginning and end of the podfic, and at the end of each section, rather than at the end of each chapter. Fistbumps to anyone who can identify the music AND why I have used this particular piece!
Thanks go out to the lovely consulting_smartass who did some very useful beta listening for me. She made some really helpful suggestions that I have taken on board as well as helping me with some technical issues (because I am still a technical dunderhead). She is a star. If you haven't listened to her podfics then 1. what rock have you been hiding under(!) and 2. run, don't walk. I am gifting this fic to her as well, because her support and encouragement keep me going and because she is exceptional in her own right.
My everlasting thanks to Chryse for permission to podfic this fic. It may be an extraordinary, exceptional and powerful story but it was all brought to life through her amazing talent and creativity. I can only hope that she continues to grace this fandom with her work for a long time to come.
"You name it, the world is aflame. We always have a mix of complicated interests. That's not unusual. What's unusual is there's this outbreak of violence and instability everywhere."--Gary Samore, former national-security aide in the Obama administration, to the New York Times, July 22, 2014
Life, to be sure, is nothing much to lose
But young men think it is, and we were young.
--A. E. Housman
Check out this gorgeous cover art that was done for me by kriskenshin. Do go and check out the art on their tumblr. Thank you also to consulting_smartass who commissioned it for me.
Chapter 1 - Listen or download here.
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