A/N: Alright, thank you for tuning in one last time as well as the massive response I got from the conclusion of AiCB. You guys are just so good to me. Your reviews really do make my day and the reassurance of your continuing interest keeps me clackin' away at the 'ol keyboard.
As a sort of mass reviewer response: IT WAS SO A HAPPY ENDING! Watson may not have been fully certain, but at least he wasn't hardcore grieving like he would have in the original canon! BTW, if you still adamantly insist that it was a sad ending, blame your fellow reviewers because I remember earlier when I was receiving reviews for Ch.3 (the massive Holmes grieving chapter), a couple of people were saying that since I have the Holmes grief thing so down-pat, I should try my hand at Watson angst and I guess it just stuck with me, like a dare that kept nagging at my conscious and when I developed the epilogue, it sorta just snuck in there to prove once in for all I could do angst both ways. But seriously people, it was meant to be a happy ending…although my spectrum of emotions may be a little off.
Reviewer Responses (in order of appearance):
KylaRyan: First reviewer! Massive brownie points for you. And although you were a late-comer, your enthusiasm has been much appreciated. Since you said you couldn't wait for more of my so-called "genius" (*smugly polishes knuckles on shirt*), here's some sneak peaks at my coming works.
Eyebrows2: Thank you for commenting on the classic "drawing room scene". I wanted the ending to be as true to Sherlock Holmes as possible and whereas I blasted the more modern-esque action scene in Ch.6, I wanted Ch.7 to be the classic Sherlock Holmes sit-down explanation/monologue of how f*cked the bad guys were from the start, proving that above all else, Holmes is one smart sonuvagun. And thank you for noticing the little details. Like Holmes says, it's the little details that make the difference between theory and reality. Way to pour in the guilt by the way with the comment that it took me two changes of season before I finished this thing, BTW. Lol, at least I made it right? And yes, Moriarty deserved to get bit in the irony ass. It gave me great pleasure to write it. As stated above, the Watson grief was something of a dare and I wanted an undeniable connection and contrast with the Holmes grief I had earlier. Glad it seemed to have translated.
Blame the Cupcake: Yeah, I have a penchant for secondary characters. For some reason, I end up developing them and loving them just as much as the main characters. Forcas and the gang are definitely going to make appearances in my later fics, although they're open for public use if you or any other fanfic writer would like to use their mercenary goodness. Mercs are just cool, like Han Solo cool, the anti-heros.
XtinethePirate: EXACTLY, it's a happy ending. Watson semi-knows Holmes is alive. It's a big deal. I mean, he still faints like a big, cuddly sissy in EMPT, but still! The integration of the canon was a must for me. As a fanfic writer, it is my sworn duty to pay tribute to the original canon (in new and interesting ways that may or may not have ACD turning in his grave). I was thrilled to see your enthusiasm for my works jump from comm to comm. Makes me all happy inside, like monkeys jumping in pudding. I hope you stick around, I plan on sticking to this fandom a while yet. ^-^ Thanks for all the love!
PeanutTree: One of my newer readers, very nice to hear from you. YES! I induced tears. Mission accomplished. Admittedly, AiCB was one big undertaking in tear jerking. Glad you liked the last line (because invariably when it comes to my last line I've usually exhausted all literary creativity and just write whatever the hell comes to mind and pray it translates correctly).
SherlockHolmesqueen4ever: Moi, a talent for writing? My blushes. I hope you tune in to my various other upcoming works just to you know…um, check if the talent is still present? Haha, but seriously, thank you for the compliment.
Orria: Haha, you deserve a 'best fan ever' badge or something. I'm very glad you chose to follow along on this rollercoaster of OMG angst-fest from your very first stuttering wonder at if Watson was really dead. Lol, I remember feeling so evilly pleased at the start of this when no one was sure whether Watson was alive or not. *sighs* Oh, memories. But I do hope that your melancholy won't last very long. I've still got a lot to offer in ways of Sherlock Holmes fanfiction madness.
reflekshun: Definitely my star reviewer. I don't think there's anything I've wrote that you haven't made sure to comment on. Your steadfast loyalty has become as reliable as metronome, though no less appreciated for its frequency. Hope to see many more shining reviews from you and I do hope I continue to impress you and keep you coming back for more.
KCS: My most illustrious reviewer. I think my heart skips a beat every time I see your review pop up. Even though I still assert it was a happy ending, I'm definitely gratified to know you thought it was epic. I try. I plan to become an expert tear-jerker when I grow up and hope you stick around to enjoy the ride.
Literatech: Man, you've been in from the start. I'm glad to have lived up to expectations and that all my "touching moments" were duly noted by you and kept you loyal reader and reviewer. Delighted to have you and hope you check in to my other upcoming works (which I promise will contain even more "touching moments"). ^-^
Miss Fenway: My most dedicated reviewer. Haha, still get a kick out of your re-reviewing stunt and still very much flattered. Yes, despite statutes against allowing men to marry their cars, I give you full license to marry this story. Heh, don't feel shamed. I'm insane and spend waaayyyy too much time writing fanfic, you should be glad you don't write like me. And IT WAS A HAPPY ENDING! Watson semi-knows. That counts for something, right? But yeah, sorry if it came out a little sad. I have a thing for bittersweet endings. Next time, full happy ending, I swear.
lemonpiefirefly: Hell yes! That totally rocks that I got to be your secondary introduction into the Sherlock Holmes fanfiction community. SCORE! Although I will go out an recommend KCS and pretty much every story or author on her favorites list. Anyhoo, it was a very great pleasure to break your SH fanfic virginity. ACD may have made the legend, but it's a fanfic writer's job to write all the emotion he was missing. Hope you stick around the fanfic comm because we've all got a lot to offer.
Savethellamas: Another reviewer from the very start all of the fic—damn, was it that long?—six months ago. Massive Kutos, my friend. Short and late is waaayyyy better than never and well worth the reassurance that I wrote something that people were willing to follow despite my sin of extremely late updates. Very glad the ending met your approval and hope to see you on later projects.
medcat: I was wondering where you had gone off to after you reviewed a while ago, but very glad you went ahead and review spammed me to make up for lost time. Holmes' reaming of Mr. Ellis was indeed quite the pleasure to write. I'm very glad so many things turned out "great". ^-^ I sincerely hope I can keep up the "great" work.
~*AND NOW, ONTO THE LITERARY EQUIVALENT TO A TEASER TRAILER*~
(All works that follow sometime during and after the completion of Infinite Universes)
Title: No Fortress So Strong
Genre: AU – alternate universe
Summary: A spin-off/continuation of let-the-eli-in's AU, To the Inevitable Dusk. Brotherhood endures the rigors and strife of adulthood, wounded, but always emerging stronger for it.
A/N: All credit to the original concept goes to let-the-eli-in, who has graciously allowed me to continue on what she started, although my focus is primarily on the impact of their sibling relationship as adults rather than children. Dusk is pretty much required reading (it's on my fav stories list for easy finding). Will consist primarily of two main stories which will then dissolve into a drabble series.
"When brothers agree, no fortress is so strong as their common life." –Antisthenes
Story 1- Sherlock learns the price of arrogance when his first venture into London crime solving leads to devastating results.
Story 2- The Holmes brothers' reaction to John joining the army.
Title: Of Mice and Men
Genre: Crossover with Basil of Baker Street by Eve Titus (the inspiration for The Great Mouse Detective)
Summary: In which the adventures and tails of Holmes, Watson, and their two familiars Basil and Dawson, are recorded.
A/N: A spin-off series continuing from Ch.18 of my Infinite Universes story, originally a GMD crossover. I have planned for a collection of four one-shots, although when I do post the story it will be with the first chapter being what I had from Ch.18 of Infinite Universes.
(An older work I had in mind, but which I mainly abandoned after writing my Infinite Universes piece. I was planning on writing both a slash and non-slash version, though I may write only one of those, not sure. Definitely something on the backburners.)
Title: The Guardian (Who will Guard the Gaurdians?)
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? -Plato
Genre: Supernatural AU (and slash, if the case may be)
Summary: Watson is a Guardian. Holmes is his charge. Together they overcome many dangers in this world, but the one thing that could destroy him resides in both their hearts and the undeniable pull between them.
A/N: What I wanted to do with this was to, simply put, create an alternate universe, meaning I wanted to tell the exact same ACD story with one simple little twist that changes the face, but not the core of the entire mythos.
Side note: If you don't like slash, don't worry, the differences between the slash and non-slash versions are monumental. In fact, they have almost entirely different storylines, only sharing the same AU aspect, which is actually different conceptually as well…so yeah.
"Anyone can be an angel." -Author Unknown
Watson revealed his true form to Holmes only three times. Once to save his life. The second time because he asked. The third, because it was the last.
Holmes was only surprised during that pivotal first occasion.
(My next—incredibly ambitious—full scale project…I hope)
Title: The Princeling Apprentice
Genre: AU – alternate universe
Timeline: Nine years after the three year Hiatus.
Summary: Almost ten years ago, Sherlock Holmes returned from the grave only to disappear once more following the tragic death of his friend and colleague, Dr. John Watson (who succeeded his wife by only two years). When, haunted and weary, the great detective is forced to turn his focus to London once again, it is with even greater difficulty than he anticipated. Watson's memory wasn't the only thing he left behind, but his son and Holmes' legal ward.
A/N: Anyone else read The Beekeeper's Apprentice and felt the need to vomit? Yeah, I did because I just COULD NOT STAND the main character and was freaked out by the absence of Watson from Holmes' life during his retirement and within this dual amount of disgust my mind was sent a-whirring and came up with this new insanity as a kind of solution.
Baker Street was the same as he remembered.
Just as he feared it would.
His brother was explaining something, something monumentally important, but he couldn't focus, couldn't think while awash with the imperative compulsion to specify the minute differences in the strikingly present though minute traces of his own strong shag and Watson's ship's tobacco. It was the small details that allowed him to ignore the much bigger one, the most glaring detail of all.
"Sherlock, have you been listening to a word I just said?"
Holmes swung his head to lay his piercing stare upon his brother. "Yes, due to the intrinsic properties of sound waves, I did indeed hear all."
Mycroft, unfazed by the glare his brother had been cultivating since the tender age of six, raised his brow. "But the question is, did you comprehend any of it?"
"Of course I did, I'm Sherlock Holmes," he said, raising his hands with a slight flourish and a wide smile. It would have merely been humorous if his tone hadn't been laced with a certain bitterness.
Mycroft awarded his brother's performance with a stony silence.
Holmes immediately dropped his affected smile and momentary bravado, his features settling back into the drawn and serious expression he had adopted for the last ten years, turning his face once more towards the window while he spoke. "I will consider the case, but as for the other matter—"
"He isn't as naturally talented as you and I were, but he is bright and at an early enough age that we can take advantage of that in the following years and condition him into becoming a formidable investigator."
"The last time I checked, children were not dogs to be trained or pawns to be manipulated, even by your meticulous planning, brother mine," Holmes replied, a hint of steel in his voice.
Mycroft's brows arched once more, this time in faint amusement. "Even I am subjected to the universe's machinations, Sherlock. The boy has been expelled from his current school and as it is barely a month before the summer holiday, it is unlikely he can be admitted anywhere else. He needs somewhere to stay until the start of the new term and tutored." Mycroft Holmes with his all-seeing eyes and his decided ignorance of scruples that normally plagued the average person, allowed him to easily select and jab at the chink in his younger brother's armor. "If you will not do it for me or for yourself, then do it for Watson. He named you as the boy's legal guardian."
Holmes kept his face resolutely turned towards the sitting room windows, though he closed them briefly as he gathered his thoughts.
"What's the boy's name?"
"Thaddeus, named for the chivalrous actions of the more honorable one of the infamous Sholto's. You are aware of that particular case, I assume. It also happens to be the name of his maternal great-grandfather. Your first act as legal guardian will invariably be to locate your errant ward. When I went to pick him up from school, he and his things, what little he does own, were gone. He left me this."
Holmes finally redirected his attention back to his brother and the note he held. Holmes took it, glancing over the lines, though his face, or at least the intimate knowledge between siblings, betrayed his shock.
Mycroft smiled as he lit his cigar. "Yes, the boy possesses a rather considerable talent for forgery, which incidentally has led to his current predicament."
"'Uncle Mycroft,'" Holmes read, attempting to mask his initial shock with the obvious look of disdain he shot towards his brother.
Mycroft merely shrugged and replied, "You were absent. It was my duty to make appearances."
"'This school was becoming dull anyways. Cheers,'" Holmes paused, perhaps a heartbeat longer than necessary, "signed, J.H.W."
"Well you didn't expect a boy of eleven to keep a name like Thaddeus, did you?"
"Jude," Holmes breathed, the deduction coming nearly instantaneously. "Jude Holmes Watson."
Very small note: Jude and Thaddeus are apparently equivalent names. Anyone excited yet?