Chapter 1: Chapter 1
"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.
Chapter 2: The Beautiful Boy
“Even his iron constitution had broken down under the strain of an investigation which had extended over two months, during which period he had never worked less than fifteen hours a day and had more than once, as he assured me, kept to his task for five days at a stretch…at a time when his room was literally ankle-deep with congratulatory telegrams I found him a prey to the blackest depression.” --The Reigate Puzzle
“’But consider!’ I said earnestly. ‘Count the cost! Your brain may, as you say, be roused and excited, but it is a pathological and morbid process which involves increased tissue-change and may at least leave a permanent weakness. You know, too, what a black reaction comes on you.”—Watson to Holmes on his drug use, in “The Sign of Four”
Please keep in mind that this is a time travel story, and unfortunate occurrences are not necessarily permanent. If you would prefer a more specific warning (with spoilers!), check the end notes to Chapter 2 on the fic itself here.
Chapter 2 - The Beautiful Boy: listen or download here.
Chapter 3: The Ghost: Part One
Again - please check the tags before continuing. This section is definitely one of the more emotionally fraught ones. I will post clearer warnings where it becomes necessary.
Chapter 3 - The Ghost: Part One. Listen or download here.
Chapter 4: The Ghost: Part Two
Sherlock embarks on a dangerous situation - no other particular warnings for this chapter, though.
Posting will now be three times a week, as editing is almost complete.
Chapter 4 - The Ghost: Part Two. Listen or download here.
Chapter 5: The Ghost: Part Three
WARNING. This chapter is where all the really horrible stuff happens. Trigger warning for extreme physical violence and rape.
Chapter 5 - The Ghost: Part Three. Listen or download here.
Chapter 6: The Ghost: Part Four
Author's note: This chapter is loooong, but it's the last one in this section, and did anyone really want me to draw it out? Didn't think so.
WARNINGS for...well, if it's tagged and it didn't happen in the last chapter, it's probably in here. (Except the happy ending: not yet.) Also warnings for the previously mentioned pregnant-woman-targeting serial killer.
Again, I promise the next section goes to a much happier place!
Podficcer's note: This is a tough one, folks. I'm sorry. I can only urge you to stick with me because it DOES get better and the happy ending (keep holding on to that) is as happy as you could ever wish for. I promise.
Chapter 6 - The Ghost: Part Four. Listen or download here.
Chapter 7: The Blue-Eyed Stranger: Part One
Author's note: This section doesn't have the unambiguous happy ending, but, as promised, it's a nice little break from all the angst.
Podficcer's note: Take a breath, people. This one is a bit less heavy on those poor heartstrings.
Chapter 7 - The Blue-Eyed Stranger: Part One. Listen or download here.
Chapter 8: The Blue-Eyed Stranger: Part Two
Author's note: A.E. Housman (1859-1936) was a poet whose life had some astonishing parallels with Sherlock Holmes’. Housman saw himself foremost as a classical scholar rather than a poet, and was considered not only the leading classicist of his day but one of the greatest Latin scholars to have ever lived (an opinion he clearly shared). Housman was famously dismissive of lesser minds in his field and is legendary for saying of his colleagues: "Knowledge is good, method is good, but one thing beyond all others is necessary; and that is to have a head, not a pumpkin, on your shoulders, and brains, not pudding, in your head." He was equally tactful with his students, whose names he refused to remember (a colleague recalled him saying that "had he burdened his memory by the distinction between Miss Jones and Miss Robinson, he might have forgotten that between the second and fourth declension.")
When he was quite young, Housman fell so passionately in love with his (straight) roommate that he failed his exams. He remained devoted to this friend, Moses Jackson, for the rest of his life, rushing publication of his second volume of poetry so that Jackson could read it before his death. He even wrote a poem for Jackson’s wedding (to which he was not invited) that echoes Sherlock’s toast in TSOT, describing himself as the friend who yields “you o’er/To her that hardly loves you more”.
Happily for Housman, he did not spend his whole life pining and bashing his colleagues. I’m forever indebted to RosiePaw for filling me in on Housman’s summer holiday adventures: apparently he went off to Europe every summer and had flings with “young French traveling companions” and my personal favorite, a Venetian gondolier named Andrea. I like to think Andrea was a lover of prodigious skill and had an enormous…gondola pole.
Chapter 8 - The Blue-Eyed Stranger: Part Two. Listen or download here.
Chapter 9: The Blue-Eyed Stranger: Part Three
Author's note: Okay, so things get a LITTLE angsty in this chapter (no happy ending yet), but by my usual standard it's still practically rainbows and puppies.
Podficcer's note: This chapter marks the end of this particular section. Chapter 10 will post on Monday.
Chapter 9 - The Blue-Eyed Stranger: Part Three. Listen or download here.
Chapter 10: The Lad That Loved You: Part One
Author's note: Warnings for the next three chapters for S3-style John being...even more S3 than he was in S3. Sorry!
Podficcer's note: Strap in for the ride on this one. Heartbreak ahead.
I am away for a few days. Next chapter will post on Friday.
Chapter 10 - The Lad That Loved You: Part One. Listen or download here.
Chapter 11: The Lad That Loved You: Part Two
Author's note: Warnings for serial killer nastiness.
Podficcer's note: Sorry this is later than promised. I got back from London last night a lot later than anticipated. I will post chapter 12 tomorrow to make up for it! Thanks so much to all of you who have left kudos and comments so far - your encouragement and support are hugely appreciated
Chapter 11 - The Lad That Loved You: Part Two. Listen or download here.
Chapter 12: The Lad That Loved You: Part Three
Author's note: The good news: This marks the last appearance of S3 John, and after that it's rainbows and puppies and warm woollen mittens. The bad news: The S3 John/Angst Alert Level currently stands at red. Please proceed with caution.
Podficcer's note: When Chryse posted Chapter 12, she posted Chapter 13 immediately afterwards, for reasons that become clear very quickly when you reach the end of this chapter. I fully agree with her decision; as a result, I have decided that I will post Chapter 13 tomorrow, rather than ask you to wait until Tuesday, which would have been my usual posting day.
Chapter 12 - The Lad That Loved You: Part Three. Listen or download here.
Chapter 13: The Man At The Falls: Part One
Ok - that's the bad stuff done. Here comes the promised happy story...and don't we all feel like we have earned it after that last section?!
Chapter 14 will post on Wednesday.
Chapter 13 - The Man At The Falls: Part One. Listen or download here.
Chapter 14: The Man At The Falls: Part Two
Chapter 14 - The Man At The Falls: Part Two. Listen or download here.
Chapter 15: The Man At The Falls: Part Three
Method 2 of 3: Live a More Fulfilling Life
Learn to like being alone. Many clingy people prefer to spend 99% of their time with other people. Wanting to always hang out with other people will make it particularly hard for you to be alone. Enjoying your "me time" is an important way to build confidence, find what makes you happy, and just to decompress and spend time away from other people. Here are some ways to like being alone:
Go for long walks. This is not only healthy but will help you get in touch with your thoughts.
Find a love for reading. Reading is not only entertaining and educational, but a book can be a perfect companion.
Redecorate. Redecorating your own space can make you more in touch with what appeals to you and can make you more excited to spend time in your space.
Chapter 15 - The Man At The Falls: Part Three. Listen or download here.
Chapter 16: The Man At The Falls: Part Four
Chapter 16 - The Man At The Falls: Part Four. Listen or download here.
Chapter 17: The Man At The Falls: Part Five
“Nothing could exceed his energy when the working fit was upon him, but now and again a reaction would seize him, and for days on end he would lie on the sofa, hardly uttering a word or moving a muscle from morning to night.”--A Study in Scarlet
Author's note: Warnings for mentions of suicide, major depressive episode, and a whopper of a fight that crosses the line of acceptable behaviour.
Chapter 17 - The Man At The Falls: Part Five. Listen or download here.
Chapter 18: The Man At The Falls: Part Six
Author's note: "The Adventure of the Second Stain" is an actual ACD story involving stolen government secrets. ACD loved stolen government secrets and used it at least three times, and apparently Moffat and Gatiss do too--they've already used "Naval Treaty" and "Bruce-Partington Plans", so this was the only one left!
Chapter 18 - The Man At The Falls: Part Six. Listen or download here.
Chapter 19: The Man At The Falls: Part Seven
Author's note: This thing is getting a little long and complicated, so:
The owner of Kensington FC paid for Sherlock and John's dinner in Florence
Michael Christopher Phillip Bruce III was the bully at Eton who tormented Sherlock in "The Blue-Eyed Stranger"
The scene in John's bedroom = Sherlock's dream at the end of Chapter 6.
Chapter 19 - The Man At The Falls: Part Seven. Listen or download here.
Chapter 20: The Man At The Falls: Part Eight
Author's note: Some time after this story wraps up, Sally Donovan is going to marry Darren the giant investigator, and Roz will come to London for the wedding. Roz will reluctantly dress up but refuse to wear a hat (“I hate them and I’m too tall anyway”) and will be seated at the reception with John, Sherlock, and Lestrade. By the end of the evening all four of them will be uproariously drunk—even Sherlock—and will laugh so hard that at one point John will be seriously concerned that Lestrade is actually suffering a heart attack. (He isn’t.)
Ryan will eventually be promoted and become quite a big deal in the FBI, and she and Sherlock will maintain a mutually beneficial acquaintance, although they never communicate except about cases.
If you've been lulled into domestic complacency...the action picks back up in the next chapter.
Chapter 20 - The Man At The Falls: Part Eight. Listen or download here.
Chapter 21: The Man At The Falls: Part Nine
Author's note: “The Adventure of the Copper Beeches” is another of those ACD canon stories that are just crying to be updated…although if the show can work out a believable way to stash someone in the attic these days I’ll be beyond impressed.
Felix Fowler’s email to Sherlock was the one John found in his inbox in “The Ghost”.
Chapter 21 - The Man At The Falls: Part 9. Listen or download here.
Chapter 22: The Man At The Falls: Part Ten
"The first thing is to exaggerate my injuries. They'll come to you for news. Put it on thick, Watson. Lucky if I live the week out--concussion--delirium--what you like! You can't overdo it." Holmes to Watson, in The Adventure of the Illustrious Client
Author's notes: The counterfeit ring in Thamesmead is the one where Sherlock was shot in “The Lad That Loved You.”
The music Sherlock hears in John’s heartbeat: "Arcangelo Corelli: Christmas Concerto, Adagio"
The exaggerating of Sherlock’s injuries comes from the vastly entertaining ACD story “The Adventure of the Illustrious Client”. Holmes was trying to convince the evil Baron Gruner he was out of the picture, so that Watson could distract Gruner by posing as a Chinese porcelain collector while Holmes broke into his house and stole his “lust diary”. That’s a direct quote, by the way.
The “real” timeline in this fic was meant to parallel ACD canon, so John and Sherlock would be together for years before Sherlock gradually closed the net around Moriarty, and they would then meet at the Reichenbach Falls. In the universe of this fic Moriarty realized the trap he was in at the same point as Moriarty in ACD canon, and he went back in time using Trevor’s device to the moment at which he felt Sherlock had really become a problem for him: the three cases at the start of TRF (the painting, the banker, and Peter Ricoletti). But being at least three-fourths crazy anyway, the temporal displacement effect undid him completely, so he killed himself, and the universe promptly went to hell in a handbasket.
Podficcer's note: Please do go and check out the lovely cover art for this podfic - it's on the page for Chapter 1.
Chapter 22 - The Man At The Falls: Part Ten. Listen or download here.
Chapter 23: The River
"Time is a River Without Banks" - Marc Chagall
Here it is: the final installment. I will be posting a full podbook immediately after the posting of this chapter, for those who have been patiently waiting for the whole podfic to be posted.
Thank you, so much, to all of those who have cheered me along the way on this, my most challenging project yet. I will not pretend that this was an easy podfic to do, but it has been a real learning experience for me on just how far I can push myself. I intend to keep on doing that.
My humble and grateful thanks to the amazing Chryse, whose work of creative genius this story is. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing this with us. I hope you feel I have done you and your work justice.
I have many projects in the pipeline but, up next - 221b_hound's Star-Crossed series. I will start posting on that next week.
Chapter 23 - The River. Listen or download here.
Chapter 24: Podbook
Here is the full podbook for A River Without Banks, including kriskenshin's lovely artwork. It had to be split into two parts because of its size (it's ginormous!) but I hope it is still ok for you.
Once again - thank you to everyone who has left comments and kudos. You are all wonderful.