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Does anyone remember the DS9 episode "The Visitor"? The basic premise is that Sisko apparently dies but the accident actualy traps him in subspace and "tethers" him to his son Jake. Meaning he occasionally resurfaces in Jake's vicinity and has a short window of time to live a lie with his son. The problem is, Jake becomes so obsessed with rescuing his dad properly, he gives up on his writing, ends up divorced and with no family. The ep ends with Jake given a chance to "die" in a way that lets him and his dad avoid the accident.

Laid out like that, it seems rather dry, but it's one of the tenderest, most interesting and moving episodes I think I ever saw in that universe. It just has this sense of longing to it.

Anyway In my current status of "just because you can't actually write doesn't mean you can't dream up plot bunnies, I can't help imagining a Johnlock version of this. What if, instead of Sherlock actually coming back after his "death," John goes for decades of struggling against the shape his life takes in the absence of Sherlock I can imagine some sort of magic realism working well - Sherlock making a mephistophelean bargain where he actually died, or at least is forced out of the narrative as it were, and only gets bursts of life with John, becoming fewer and further between as John's life becomes less imprinted with Sherlock's spirit, as it were - as he builds a life that's premised on Sherlock not being there, I guess.

Which sounds rather more like "A Christmas Story" than what I was imagining. Maybe if it was twisted around so John made the deal - Sherlock's survival at the pool in exchange for not being in his life, then it going increasingly pear-shaped for both of them until finally John has to "die," snap back to the crisis point, and get them out of their stand-off in a different way.

I don't plan to write it, or work it out in any great detail. But somehow the possibility is a really nice one to sit with for a while.

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