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Fan Fic Rec: Nature and Nurture

For those of you who know me, you know I don't really "do" WIPs. I don't do stories longer than about 10,000 words, either, unless a summary really "pops" and makes me need to at least give it a try. This isn't a critique of those things, but just experience with my own preferences and reading habits. I read slowly, and I like short fic that speaks to a larger whole. So believe me when I say my clicking on "Chapter One" when the latest installment advertises chapter fifty-one out of fifty-seven is a mark of extreme confidence in the author. Doubly so when said fic has a summary including statements like "Which brings a baby to 221B Baker Street." I mean, I love me some Sherlock domesticity as much as the next girl, but 186k words of it? I loved wee Boromir and Faramir, too, but I could only handle it in very low doses.


Suffice it to say I'm four chapters into earlgreytea64's "Nature and Nurture" and... right, I'm doing Sherlock's eye blinky thing when the sheer wonderfulness of something simply doesn't compute. Because, just... wow.

This is not your normal domesticity. Not that there's anything wrong with that, even if it probably wouldn't hold my attention. This is Sherlock's DNA accidentally being turned into a clone that actually survives. This is John - not romantically involved, at least in the first four chapters - realizing he's about to be getting not only another flatmate but another Sherlock and loving Oliver just as much. This is about bachelors and closer-than-friends crash-landing into having to take care of someone other than themselves, and Mrs. Hudson being wonderful and Mycroft offering H20 plushies and baby clothes not marred by cartoon dinosaurs on baby clothes and the baby being as much John's as Sherlock's, legally and otherwise, and...

Yeah. The eye blinky thing. Here we go again.

Honestly, I haven't been this taken by a story since dwimordene_2011's Lie Down in Darkness. I finally had to put my phone away because I was flat-out giggling in public, to the point that the person next to me noticed and asked what the good news was. So I've only read the first four chapters and have no idea how well it will hold up over time. Based on what I've read so far it's really, really quite wonderful. A sample:

The most ridiculous thing was that the child looked like Sherlock.

He was so tiny that he was still flailing around, not in control of any of his limbs, barely able to hold up his head on his own, and yet he looked like Sherlock, his hair in dark swirls on his skull and his eyes the pale blue-green-gray that John had almost grown immune to. And, when he screwed up his face and wailed his displeasure with the universe, John had to admit that the resemblance was complete.

Sherlock was staring at the small bundle of irritation in their sitting room with what was obviously shock, and John would have relished the unusualness of that look on Sherlock’s face, except that he was busy being shocked, too.

Mycroft held the baby away from him, distaste on his face, and the baby cried and cried and beat his fists and kicked his legs, and Mycroft said, “He never stops with this,” and Sherlock said, “Oh, my God, Mycroft, it’s obvious he doesn’t like you,” and reached for the baby and snatched him from Mycroft’s grip.

“Careful,” John started to say, except that as soon as Sherlock took hold of the baby, he stopped crying. Sherlock held him at arms-length and studied him, and the baby studied him right back, and the expressions were mirror images of each other.

Mycroft looked even more displeased at the quiet baby than he had when the baby had been wailing at him.

“Explain,” commanded Sherlock, in clipped tones, not taking his eyes off of the baby.

That's the very beginning of chapter one, and the precise moment I fell simultaneously in love with this fic and became very, very jealous because I wanted to just be able to write like that. I think about things for a month and it comes out deep and layered but just the sheer ... joy of this, it swept me away.

As a bonus, for those of you less than thrilled with series three, this is set well post Reichenbach but the author began writing it last March so it's set in the Sherlock universe of the first two seasons. Which can be a bit disorienting at times, but is also a breath of fresh air at the same time. Do check it out.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 28th, 2014 12:55 am (UTC)
Oh, what a lovely rec. I am so excited to read this. Everything this author touches is pure gold, seriously.
Mar. 28th, 2014 01:20 am (UTC)
Thank you! I always love introducing friends to new fanfic and hearing about it. And this story has brought me such joy already. I managed another two chapters between students coming in to office hours today and really enjoyed them too.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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