A Life Well-LivedPart OnePart TwoPart ThreeAuthor's info:
~20 000 words
Summary: Written for this prompt
on the sherlockbbc_fic
kinkmeme: ‘John got scared off men by an abusive past relationship. Sherlock has to try and woo him while not scaring him off with protective possessive rage.’
Warnings: Mentions of a past relationship which, while not explicitly abusive, definitely skirts close to it. Please don’t read if this will upset you.My ramblings:
Warnings: This is one of the few cases where I would use the label dub-con*
You know me, I don't read abusive relationship fics most of the time. I have in the past and they almost invariably piss me off. This, however, is masterful
. The summary intrigued me because it shows an awareness of the complicated nature of the beast, and I peeked in. The story is beautifully told, John having had an abusive relationship that put him off men and Sherlock helping him back on track and showing him how tender a relationship like that can be. But it's much better than it sounds! I know if I were reading this summary I'd think "great, dramatic flashback sequences and a wonderous night of magic sex." kate_lear absolutely does not do that. The story is slow and gentle, taking place over months not weeks, a lovely slow burn of healing and a very brave resolve not to be black and white, not to have big dramatic conversations with weeping and chivalrous posing from the healer; just a very quiet, understated, real life understanding that healing takes years, and understanding, ten, fifteen, twenty years down the line, may still not come. But you can live, and love, regardless of that.**
In short, you know I'd never rec a dub- or non-con fic unless I thought it was That Damn Good. This is.
You know those times when a fic just gets it right? This is one of those.
*Anyone unlucky enough to have got into the discussion with me on the use of dub-con and non-con (and vs. other terms) in fic warnings knows how black and white my views of consent issues can be and my opinion that lots of people who say dub just use it because they don't want to shut people out by saying non. This fic really is a genuine case as the only information we have is recollections from the character who is not the POV focus for the story, and you end up weighing their perception with their reactions - you genuinely can't know. So I'm not breaking my rule by using it! :p
**This para is very rambly - the gin is purpling my prose slightly. But my points stand.