Reviews for After the Fall
Bella Duveen79 chapter 4 . 4/22
I like how you bring in the social media reaction to Sherlock's death here. I'm not that familiar with the series, but I do know that it uses a lot of these references in the show, and I can envision such things as tweets and Facebook posts being used to move the story along or show reactions.

John seems to be starting to come out of himself here, recognising that he may be viewed as some kind of victim, perhaps, equating Harry's presents of fruit with those his mother gave his grandfather, and Molly seems to be a catalyst to get him out of it if he doesn't himself.
I'm not sure how Henry fits into it yet - does he suspect that Sherlock is alive?

Nice characterisation of Sherlock saying that diamonds and glass were all the same to him, and in the way he gave them to John, as if they didn't really matter, but did so all the same. I get the feeling he would never call anyone a friend, but this was perhaps a way of showing that John was.

The scene between John and Molly drinking tea is touchingly awkward. They don't really know how to treat one another, I think. Molly's interest is apparent, but the circumstances are such that expressing it perhaps doesn't seem appropriate. Maybe it's a conversation they wouldn't have been having had Sherlock still been there, and they both feel conscious of that?
csgt chapter 2 . 4/17
I really liked Mycroft here. He being so calm with John punching him, his concern for Sherlock ("I want you to take the umbrella" - probably the umbrella has some sort of hidden weapon, a clever idea by the way!) and he mentally poking fun at Sherlock for treating everything like a potential case (the names were very funny). Also, I can really picture kid Mycroft and kid Sherlock trying to guess what's playing in each other's minds as a game. Mycroft is probably my favorite Sherlock character, and so far you're writing flawlessly.

I also liked the immersion feeling you give the reader with the small details, like old Douglas almost having a stroke in the club, or kid Sherlock linking the smell of rotten flowers with the dead.

John is a emotional trainwreck right now, and from his perspective he is right at blaming Mycroft (even though he is actually wrong, since Sherlock is not dead, but of course he doesn't know that). In the series we saw John mad at Sherlock a few times, like when he found out that Sherlock was lying to him about his death and in the most recent season about Mary, and I sense the same anger here but directed towards Mycroft, you are keeping him very in-character. I wonder how the revelation that Molly, Mycroft and Sherlock are lying to him will affect his interactions with them eventually.

Ok, one thing to nitpick about in this chapter: I liked Sherlock's debut, but I expected that he and Mycroft would discuss some details about Moriarty's network and how they are working to stop their current plans.

Again, another great chapter, congratulations.
csgt chapter 1 . 4/12
I really loved this!

All the characters read exactly like their canon selves. Mycroft apparent coldness towards everybody (deep down he cares, but he wouldn't let anyone know about this), Molly's loyalty to Sherlock and concern for John, John keeping a tough fachade but being broken on the inside with Sherlock's "death", Lestrade's being grumpy and sympathetic at the same time.

I think you choose a great angle to explore the emotions of the characters, and you did it very well.

I had forgotten that Molly also had a role in Sherlock's fake death (so much time has passed since Season 3!) When Molly told Mycroft, "we both know Sherlock isn't dead" I was genuinely surprised and thought it was a great twist. I want to know what's going to happen between Molly and John, how Molly will try to help John and John will react when he finds out Molly is keeping the truth about Sherlock from him.

My guesses: I guess Molly and John is the main pairing on this fic, but I'm not actually sure it's the case. Mycroft's mention about more people being at risk because of Moriarty's network was a nice cliffhanger, I'm hoping you will show Sherlock taking on Moriarty's network. Also, the summary mentions Lestrade facing a series of shocking murders, maybe Lestrade, John and Molly will have to solve a case without Sherlock's help? I'm just throwing out my guesses about what's going to happen, I'm very curious.

If I have to nitpick about something, I can only mention one thing: The chapter starts from Lestrade point of view and the shifts to Molly's. Shifting POV is not a bad thing, sometimes you have to show things from multiple characters' viewpoints in a single chapter, but I thought Molly had a lot of interesting things going on for her (her concern for John, her dialogue with Mycroft, ...) and I didn't see anything especially important happening with Lestrade here, so I thought you could have done the entire chapter in Molly's POV instead. But it's just a minor detail and it in no way detracts from the story.

nightgigjo chapter 1 . 3/7
First off, can I just say that I am a 100% bona fide horrible person for never commenting on any of your fics? I went back and checked my history, and never once had I left a review before that one on Letters From Hell.

I mean, yes, of course, all of your fics are so bloody addictive that I, greedy reader that I am, simply tromp off to the next chapter without so much as a thank-you-ma'am, but really? Your work is PHENOMENAL, and if I can't write out at least an 'ooooh, great chapter', I'm a horrible ingrate.

Okay, enough of that. On to the real comment!

This, the first chapter of the first fic in this series, accomplishes so much beautiful characterization in such compact forms, I am AMAZED. The introduction of Lestrade via his relationships - both canon and your own innovations - was a very effective and seamless way to integrate the two.

The litany of Molly's daily visit status makes it sound like a very small by-the-way act of kindness, as well as illustrates her gentle persistence. She's not pushy, but neither will she be deterred.

The highly-controlled nature of John's depression I found particularly moving. While some people let everything fall where it may when their lives spin out of control, he marshals every small thing he can in his environment, and looks at everything but himself and his well-being. It seems precisely the sort of stiff-upper-lip tactics that John would take.

Mycroft through Molly's eyes: perfect. She's a little bit Everyone here, and completely wary of him, but not willing to simply melt away at his least disapproval. Little mousy Molly Hooper has a considerable backbone, when it's important, and I love this characterization of her.

Anyway, I've finished the entirety of this fic in the last week or so (listening via text reader), and am now committed to reviewing every chapter. I only hope this can make up for my horrible laziness about reviewing every other time I've read/listened to your fics.
twinbuster2 chapter 2 . 1/11

"Mycroft! What the hell do you think you're doing?" Great opening! There is no doubt about who says it and the clear imagery it invokes along with the direct foray into conflict is skilful. The direct connection to the previous chapter serves in providing a small refresh as well without the reader having to go back. Hands down, my favourite sentence in this chapter.

I like the interaction between Lestrade and John. Lestrade is portrayed well; he lets John go even though he shouldn't. It's why he's called corrupt/lenient, but he has a well defined moral compass and he doesn't hesitate to lecture John on the hazards of feeling justified to throw a punch or tow. He hands out advice only he can give, having witnessed such behaviour from civilians as a cop.

The interplay between Sherlock and Mycroft is well done and mimics the bantering from the show. Mycroft’s greater intelligence, seen in his offhand deduction of his brother, and his over-protective tendencies, witnessed from his offering of his umbrella, is captured effortlessly.

The conflict is heartfelt and interesting, and it’s hard not to feel sympathy for John and his predicament. He’s living in self-inflicted misery out of despair of losing his best friend. The reminder a few lines down that Sherlock was only a room away makes it that much more heart breaking. His message ‘I miss you’ only serves to drive home how melancholy John really is and inspires indignation on his behalf regarding Sherlock’s deceit.

Descriptive language is expertly done, dialogue is seamless and plot progression is intriguing. Your characterisations are deep and considerate, giving well thought out reasons for the actions that they do without losing the essence of who they are in canon.

Personally, I can’t wait to find out how John reacts upon finding the truth (Non-canon reaction to John’s reaction hopefully). Angst be waitin’!
twinbuster2 chapter 1 . 12/6/2016

This was a great beginning, starting with the solemn mood after the "fall".
The chapter is full of vivid imagery and well rounded descriptions. The descriptions of John's flat and his very thin veneer of 'normal' existence is transparent in your writing.
I loved your characterisation of Molly, better put the RIGHT characterisation of Molly in this chapter. Her plain Jane-ness along with the exasperated behaviour of all her so-called friend, the pure compassion of Molly along with her (very rare) spine when it matters, I think you've really captured it all.

You've done a great job in dialogue as well. Unlike most fics, your dialogue drives your story forward and tells the story rather than long convoluted narrative. Really, well done.

1. he might grudge you - he might begrudge you
2. It was a chill night - was a chilly night

I can't wait to continue!
Bella Duveen79 chapter 3 . 10/10/2016
Great description of the crime scene here, building it up with the sense of the cold mornings sliding into Autumn, and a nice hint to the obscure power of Mycroft Holmes. I also liked the boots "glistening like slugs in the dewy grass" - I can just see that.

Everything seems stacked up against Lestrade at this point - he's stuck with people he doesn't particularly get on with, and senses this is likely to drag on for months. It was a good title for this chapter too, by the way, very fitting for the violent act, although the policemen are as clinical and detatched as they should be.

Harry is interesting - I didn't know Watson had a sister, and she seems likely to be struggling with her own demons while trying to help him. I didn't know about her, but the description of her gave the impression of a brilliant, but ultimately flawed woman doing her best to help a grieving man.
Bella Duveen79 chapter 2 . 10/2/2016
Love the image of the old boys in the Club here - "old Douglas...looked like he was going to go ahead and have that stroke he'd been threatening for the past twenty years"! I can just imagine that, as John crashes into that stuffy atmosphere like an avenging angel, and of the "slumberous old gentlemen more scandalised than they had been since 1972" - great stuff!

It was sad when Lestrade asked John just how close he was to being on the streets though. He's in this desperate position, but there's clearly far too much resentment towards Mycroft to accept anything from him.

The chaos of the situation in the Club was a sharp contrast to the quiet melancholy of both John's flat and the conversation between Mycroft and Sherlock, and the exasperation felt by Mycroft in dealing with Sherlock, saying that everything was a case to him, really came across.

Great description of the graveyard too, with Sherlock reminded of a powerful, rather disconcerting, childhood memory, and the final line said everything - they miss each other, I think.
Bella Duveen79 chapter 1 . 10/1/2016
Great opening to the story here. The tense atmosphere in the Station is perfectly conveyed by the conversation between Lestrade and Molly, and I loved the description of the dreadful bedsit that John has found himself in. The dilapidated state of the furnishings seem to sum up John's state of mind, even if outwardly he seems OK.

Mycroft is a strange character, as I understand him. I get the feeling that Molly doesn't want to rely him, but she has to. Everything about that conversation, and even the descriptions of the Club, is intimidating, and it sounds like Molly is in far deeper than she thinks.
Malebron chapter 9 . 8/27/2016
It is a testament to the quality of your writing that I can jump back into this after several weeks and immrdiately I'm engaged with it again.

I like John here; that tiny, angry little 'try getting shot sometime' internal complaint and his very understandable impatience with his sister' self-pity. Alcoholism like mental illness is a terribly selfish disease.

And the mysterious text message. Ah, funny that even though we know who that message is from, it still gives a little frisson of unease.
elbafo chapter 3 . 8/20/2016
Ah, another thing I'm relieved to find in your story—a change in the weather! The show almost always ignores the changing seasons (except when it's a bit nippy out, thanks Mrs H!) and Sherlock is doomed to forever wearing his coat, even in summer!

I'm glad John is receiving visitors. He appears slightly less of a pitiable figure as a result. It remains tragic that nobody can talk to anybody else about Sherlock Holmes, though. Well, Molly and Mycroft sort of can, but they're not exactly close confidantes. Early days yet.

Good pickup with Lestrade's previous cases being investigated and the comment about John not getting arrested for his assault on the Chief Super. The problem with the show is that they seem to plough on, season after season, with no consequences for some really serious shit that had gone down the previous season. Although, perhaps that's what series four is all about?

I like these extra bits you add around Lestrade: wife's name, a child, in the first chapter, and here, "not a morning person." He's such a well-loved character from the show, but they don't have the capacity to provide back stories and such. I'm looking forward to reading all you have to offer up about our favourite DI.

But, ah, a case we can get stuck into. Very nicely detailed crime scene with intriguing elements. Have you based it on a real case you've read about? The conversation between Lestrade and both Miles and Anderson sounded genuine for the police procedural stuff. Had a bit of a chuckle with Miles speaking "cheerfully" about the additional injuries on the victim's back. A bit not good with Lestrade intermittently thinking about Sherlock. Well, why wouldn't he, since this is his first homicide after the Fall. It's still so sad, really. I liked the reflection on the routine he'd once shared with John, post-cases, over a pint. And now he has Anderson, and "Sherlock Holmes was dead." A heart-aching and powerful statement to end Lestrade's section there, summing up his thoughts and the feelings he had throughout the morning's session.

Is the case of the body in Hyde Park something that John knows about since this chapter is from his perspective and you've used it as a marker of the passage of time at the beginning of his section? Or is it not strictly his POV? (I know I'm not the one to talk about POVs, but you're far more consistent with them than I have been).

As soon as I read the name "Harry Watson" I eagerly anticipated what personality you would give her. By the end of it, I had in mind a fully-formed character. Well done on creating a three dimensional character based on only a couple of passing references in canon. She doesn't sound like someone who's backwards in coming forwards. And she knows Mycroft? Or of Mycroft? Have they ever met? I'd love to be a fly on the wall during that encounter!

I like the rules Harry has imposed on John. Although, he probably thought he'd only just endured Molly's concern and needed a bit of a break before contacting his sister. If he just sat on his bed doing nothing, the passage of time must of flown by him, unnoticed. But, like Harry, are we the reader meant to infer anything by John and Molly sharing an outing? So they've progressed from her faithful visits (as of two weeks ago) and bringing groceries to now venturing outside together. Sounds promising! Although, a walk may have been suggested by one or the other as an antidote to the stifling confines of the bedsit. I won't get too excited yet.

John and Harry's banter had all the hallmarks of a close sibling relationship; I really enjoyed reading it. I even found myself concerned for Harry's drinking problem. She's sounding so hopeful, but there's the underlying tone that she's been down this road many times before.

I loved the use of "barrelling" to describe Harry's ageing process.

Is John still in the same place, ie. the bedsit? I'm confused as to why you state, "the flat had officially been in ridiculous territory..." This current flat? Or the one he shared with Sherlock? Or some other one? —a flat being vastly different to a bedsit.

I'm wondering if Harry wants John to live with her for her own sake as well as John's. It seemed she was only half-joking with the "messed up individuals together" comment. I look forward to future chapters featuring sibling interaction, and also Harry interacting with the other characters in the show.

A lovely chapter showing John's slow climb out of his emotional quagmire, and a great introduction to an intriguing case!
elbafo chapter 2 . 8/4/2016
I loved this whole first section. John Watson just bristles with anger. At first I thought it was Sherlock who was addressing Mycroft until your next paragraph put the outburst into context. The Diogenes Club is such an antiquated establishment and its pompous traditions are laughable. Insert a furious ex-army captain interacting with stroke-impending 'old Douglas' and you have a very comedic scene.

I liked the visuals you describe here: John threatening Douglas without making eye contact, and Mycroft carefully folding up his newspaper AND taking a sip of tea before rising. Both men's composure (or lack thereof!) and attitude just drips off the page here without you needing to tell us.

John's succinct, "Shut up" reminds me of the way he spoke to Sherlock in HLV after the latter's escape from hospital and they argue in 221B ("Shut up. And stay shut up.") The barely contained fury that I imagine exudes from every pore made it seem strange that John would then sit down in an armchair. I envisaged that he would still be standing, muscles too tense to relax into a seat, over the next exchange of dialogue. But that's the only bit I found odd.

This scene was a great way to reveal Mycroft's efforts to help John, thus fulfilling Molly's request earlier. It's a pity the reveal only serves to infuriate John further. It's heart-wrenching to hear him wanting to cut off the conversation when Mycroft brings up Sherlock. He is so broken.

Nice cutting away to the next scene where Lestrade is dealing with the fallout. This story edit is reminiscent of John's arrest after decking the Chief Superintendant in TRF. That first paragraph describes it all quite humouressly, allowing us to easily piece together what went down. I chuckled at the "slumberous old gentlemen [who were] more scandalised than they had been since 1972"—a nice nod there to Mycroft's comment in TRF not wanting "a repeat of 1972" in the confines of the club.

I found "a bloodied tartan handkerchief" a laughable visual. Why tartan? In England? Used by an Englishman :) Although ACD was Scottish, so I assume the Holmeses have a Scottish heritage. I don't know why I find that funny. Ignore me. I find anything in tartan that's not a kilt hilarious. We have a towel that looks like a kilt. We bought it in Scotland :D ... Although, wiping his nose on tartan may be a way to thumb his nose at the Scots. Not very diplomatic, Mycroft.

I enjoyed reading this from Lestrade's POV. You give him such funny observations about people—in the last chapter, it was his thoughts on Molly, and in this one, his animosity showing through regarding Mycroft in all his pomp and ceremony.

I'm glad he has this private chat with John in John's bedsit. Again, excellent descriptions of the residence with Lestrade noticing the ambient sounds, leading him to realise that John doesn't have any entertainment. John's petulant attitude continues to permeate the scene. I hope some of what Lestrade said sinks in.

But, ah, Sherlock, finally!

I always enjoy a well-written exchange between the Holmes brothers, as yours clearly is. I love that Sherlock's way of greeting is via deduction. The names of Sherlock's trivial 'cases' are laughable. Better than him being bored, I suppose!

"Your brotherly compassion overwhelms me." —delivered by the man who can only close his eyes and bow his head when he's /really/ concerned for Sherlock.

Only the Holmes brothers could concoct such an intellectually superior game. Was Mycroft correct, I wonder?

This last section, I assume is from Sherlock's POV, so should you have written, "Jean-Baptiste Bedárd," Mycroft's spoken words, if Sherlock didn't hear it? You could possibly leave out that entire line, going from Sherlock plopping himself into his chair, then several seconds elapsing before realising Mycroft had said something. Mycroft repeats the name anyway.

I love love love the idea that Mycroft's umbrella is some sort of Q-designed secret weapon. Of course! That makes so much sense!

It was very clever of Sherlock to realise that John would've tried to give the money back, symbolic in his own way, via his gravestone. Loved the visual of Sherlock scaling the fence like a cat. Yes, he's very cat-like. He only rubs up against people when he wants something from them :D.

But that last line with the note: straight to the heart! Prickly tears to my eyes! Well done!

Another fantastic chapter, with energised dialogue, comical action (implied violence!), emotions bubbling to the surface, and cleverness all around. Cheers!
elbafo chapter 1 . 8/1/2016
-Apologies for the delay. I've had a horrid mid-winter flu for the last couple of days!-

I loved that this was a Molly-centric chapter, but you were able to show us how various characters, as well as herself, were coping in the early days after Sherlock's 'fall'—firstly from Lestrade's POV, then John and Mycroft, the last two through Molly's eyes.

Fantastic continuation straight up from your story's title, "After the Fall," with the 'after' theme, into what happened next—after the: death, funeral, inquest and suspension. You don't keep us guessing for long, with who had been suspended, having the reader guess what may have occurred on Lestrade's part to have resulted in his suspension.

I love real life details; that you've given Lestrade a middle name, a child and named his wife, appeals to me.

Because you'd already told me your pairing, I had a very 'Aha!' moment when I read that Molly's name is actually Mary. A masterstroke! A very original way of bringing a non-canon character into ACD canon using a very popular TV OC. That's just brilliant!

The sentence, "She was waiting for him..." is followed by "up from Barts" after a semi-colon. I've always understood that semi-colons joined two related independent clauses (correct me if I'm wrong), but your second ("up from Barts on her lunch break") is a sentence fragment, not an independent clause. I know it's fine to use fragments in narrative writing, but a semi-colon seems to formalise the text at that point, so I expected to read another sentence. On looking back, I see you've also written "It was after the death; after the funeral," which could probably be separated by an em-dash or a comma.

Your description of Molly as seen through Lestrade's eyes is both humorous and original, from her tornado-battered hair to her pathetic sandwich. I loved it! And you've caught the cadence of Lestrade's speech perfectly, through the subtle placement of punctuation to indicate those tiny pauses, separating "Molly" from "What can I do for you?" and later, "Molly... Listen..." as well as the use of his customary, "Right."

I feel for the guy, being placed in such an awkward position, but it's nothing compared to what Molly would be feeling with the information she has about Sherlock's suicide pantomime.

Which leads me to your rendition of Molly: perfectly done with her mismatched knits, stammering out of short phrases, then gushing after gaining confidence. I like this Molly; she is so obviously out of her comfort zone, but she is committed to keeping her promise to Sherlock to look out for John.

I enjoyed her observations of John's bedsit: the damp carpet, the moldy shower curtain—I know such places intimately! And the /awkwardness/ of the whole scene was skillfully written, from that pause when John initially greeted Molly ("...Molly") to his "Fine. Just fine." The one chair, the one cup of tea, and the smile that didn't quite make it, all added to the feeling of being uninvited.

Her observations about John seem to echo those of his accommodation: neat and tidy on the outside, but no amount of scrubbing would remove the rot on the inside. And four decades (a bedsit from the seventies): is it a coincidence that his residence is as old as he is? Maybe I'm reading too much into this comparison, LOL!

Molly has more courage than most people give her credit for. To show up at the most stuffy of Gentleman's Clubs takes a lot of guts! I love the subtle ways you show that Mycroft is getting uncomfortable with the subject matter: examining his umbrella, then his shirt sleeve. He does have these micro-gestures that tell volumes about what he's thinking. Molly's careful observations about Mycroft calling her 'Miss Hooper' and how he looks at her as if he can read her, reflect as much about her lack of self-confidence as they do about Myke living in a world full of goldfish.

I always note if authors use chapter titles or not. I love chapter titles, especially if more than one meaning can be gleaned from them aside from the obvious. Is this what you've done here with 'Security Chain?' The one on John's door, clearly, but also the chain of people keeping Sherlock's secret?

This was a fantastic first chapter, full of realistic, in-character dialogue and awkward interactions and gestures showing us how those close to Sherlock were coping through the common thread of Molly interacting with them. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of your take on this world post-Reichenbach.
Malebron chapter 8 . 6/25/2016
“This one had no eyes. They found it in Highgate Cemetery.” Such a good hook. Such. A. good. Hook. How could you not read on after that?
I enjoyed the switch from a gentle, domestic ‘curtain’ story to this gritty murder mystery. I really like the variation in pace; you make it work very well. The intriguing half-stories about John’s traumatic experiences in Afghanistan were neatly done too.

I’m delighted at the way Molly so admires John in her diffident way. No let’s be clear, she is in love with him isn’t she? Even if she hasn’t quite admitted it to herself. Lovely

A few observations:
And now half the Met [were] traipsing all over
“… what was going on on the home front.” I know this is grammatically correct, but I might say, ‘what was happening …’ so as to avoid that repetition.
“… so I want you to comb it over.” Now this sound a bit like combing hair. Maybe “… go over it with a fine-tooth comb.”
I might hyphenate “get together”
Otaku and Proud chapter 1 . 6/23/2016
I always love to see Molly with some backbone! Not just anyone could confront Mycroft like that and I'm glad she did.
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