The X-Files: My First Love Story

I was eleven years old when the first episode of The X-Files premiered. I wish I remember how I found out about the show and how I knew to watch it when I was just a kid. Granted, I was already creepy and weird and loved Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark—but how did I know about Mulder and Scully?

Once I started watching, I became a rabid fan. I owned all the behind-the-scenes books, episode guides, and posters. I knew all the trivia and fell desperately in teenage love with David Duchovny. I wanted to be Scully, albeit in a better suit. With the full approval of my paranormal-infatuated father, I researched UFOs, Bigfoot, ghosts, and even serial killers. If there had been government watch lists in the mid-1990s, I would have been on all the watch lists.

I’ve now made it through all ten seasons, two movies, and am thoroughly enjoying the new revamp. Have I always loved the twisted comedy? For sure. The jumps and screams? Totally. But last week’s episode, “Plus One,” made me realize that, at its most basic, The X-Files is a love story. My very first love story.

For so many years, we watched Fox Mulder and Dana Scully dance around each other. Maybe they were a little heavy handed in the series pilot when Scully panicked about a bug bite and ran into Mulder’s hotel room in her bra and undies, but things stayed platonic. Ever since then, Chris Carter and the rest of his team made these two mismatched FBI agents not only a great duo but also madly in love.

Spoiler: When they had sex in recent episode “Plus One,” I was like YES! Mulder and Scully deserve all the sex! They belong together always and forever!

Do I have this cheerleader mentality because of the character chemistry or because I spent so much of my childhood watching these two characters adore each other?

The X-Files taught me, at a very young age, that men and women could be just friends. They could work together, and the woman could even be tougher and smarter than the man. Perhaps most importantly, though, The X-Files taught me how crucial it is to be best friends with the person you love.

Mulder and Scully were best buddies long before sex got involved. They had fun together, respected each other, and protected each other way before the nookie. What an amazing example for a lonely, young goth girl.

Sure, in my youth, I still wanted to date a dude that looked like David Duchovny, and yeah, I totally wanted to hunt monsters. But the takeaway that has stuck with me to this day? Laugh with the person you love. Take care of them. Be best friends, first and foremost.

The X-Files was my first love story, and I waited a long time for Mulder and Scully to finally get laid. It was worth the wait. Next episode airs Wednesday at 8 PM EST on Fox, and it looks like it’s gonna be a classic.

Sherlock and Our Final Problem

SPOILER ALERT. SPOILER ALERT. If you have not watched all of BBC Sherlock’s season 4, stop reading immediately. SPOILER ALERT. SPOILER ALERT.

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As of last night, we’ve come to the end of an era. Although some reviewers have been saying things like “this certainly can’t be the last season” of Sherlock, I disagree. Last night’s episode, “The Final Problem,” was indeed the final episode—and the show’s creators, Gatiss and Moffat, had been preparing us all season long.

Well. I say “all season,” but it’s not like we had ten episodes. No, as Sherlock fans, we always only get three, but, in the case of this final season, the three episodes were really just one long episode that culminated in fully developed characters and plot lines decisively closed.

I won’t get into the nitty-gritty. If you watched all of season four, you know what happened (good and bad). After last night’s episode, my husband expected me to be sobbing. I wasn’t. In fact, I was grinning like a goose, possibly relieved that everyone important lived, possibly because the final montage was just so damn cheerful. It took hours for me to wind down from my Sherlock high.

This morning, I reassess as I take a look back at season four in its entirety.

The first episode, “The Six Thatchers,” was brilliantly acted, had a kick ass Cumberbatch fight scene, and killed off one of the show’s lead characters. The second episode, “The Lying Detective,” was arguably the best of the entire series (despite poor Sherlock looking like a beat up drug addict for its duration). “The Lying Detective” is the episode that will win this show awards. Awards should, in fact, be thrown at Cumberbatch and Freeman’s feet for that episode and no one could tell me otherwise.

sherl4Then, “The Final Problem” premiered. I loved the casting of Sian Brooke (I adored her as Ophelia in Cumberbatch’s Hamlet and really enjoy seeing them work together). The revelation of a secret psychotic sister was brilliant. Despite the amazing, again, emotional performances from not only Cumberbatch and Freeman but also Gatiss and Brooke, the episode took suspension of disbelief to a whole new level with its escape room tactics and melodrama.

The further revelations into Sherlock’s childhood were heart-wrenching (as was that tragic “I love you” moment between Sherlock and Molly). Yet, in the end, everything was all right. Sherlock even managed to save his crazy sister via the medium of music. They could finally “play” together.

“The Final Problem” wasn’t my favorite episode. I haven’t read many reviews yet today, and I don’t plan to. I don’t need to. I also haven’t perused Tumblr, because I know the Johnlock hordes are going to be up in arms over the fact that John and Sherlock never kissed and the series is over. Resolutely, the series is over, although for the Johnlock shippers, it could be argued that John and Sherlock are some sort of couple—platonic—as they are back living together and raising a child while Sherlock apparently balances the women who try to love him: Molly and Irene Adler. More importantly, they’re back to being the crime fighters of Arthur Conan Doyle canon.

What mattered most to me in season four was the character of Sherlock and not only because I’m singularly obsessed with Cumberbatch. The show is called Sherlock, after all. The show is about the man, his friends background noise to the great detective’s struggles.

As a writer, I was impressed with what Gatiss and Moffat achieved with Sherlock’s character development. We all remember the coarse man of season one, blind to social graces. In season four, we find a man who has learned to love his friends, protect his friends. He was so soft, even giving a comforting hug to John Watson after the loss of his wife. He saved John. He saved his sister. He even saved his imperious elder brother.

The moment that resounded most was in “The Lying Detective,” after Sherlock’s pained pronouncement of “I don’t want to die” in the hospital bed. It happened while sitting in the quiet warmth of 221B, chatting with John. Sherlock suggested he might come and see John’s daughter, and that moment—that single look—showed how vulnerable our coarse, biting detective had become.

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I realize the famed stories of Sherlock Holmes are thrilling mysteries, and from my time spent reading Conan Doyle, he wasn’t huge on character development, which is where Gatiss and Moffat surpass him. This show wasn’t about a calculating, brilliant man solving mysteries; it was about a calculating, brilliant man becoming weak, human, and ultimately, loved despite his flaws—by his fellow characters and by us, the fans.

People are going to complain today that they didn’t get everything they wanted from Sherlock’s final season. I get that. (For instance, I would have liked the reappearance of Irene Adler in the flesh, as opposed to just on Sherlock’s phone, since she is arguably the love of his life.) Despite complaints, we will all remember this show fondly for not only introducing many of us to Benedict Cumberbatch but for introducing us to a new Sherlock Holmes: a man riddled with demons and yet fighting to keep them at bay for the sake of the people who love him.

As Sherlock perceptively said, “Taking your own life. Interesting expression. Taking it from whom? Once it’s over it’s not you who will miss it. Your own death is something that happens to everybody else. Your life is not your own, keep your hands off it.” Thanks for sharing your “life” with us, Sherlock. It was one hell of a ride, and we will indeed miss you an awful lot, you beautiful bastard.

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Why write Sherlock fan fiction?

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Most people don’t know there’s a community of writers out there who pen what’s known as “fan fiction.” Fan fiction is when you take your favorite show (in my case, BBC’s Sherlock), steal the ready-made characters, and put them in whatever situations and scenarios you can imagine.

As devout fans, we know our shows and their characters, so we’re best suited for writing fan fiction. For instance, I know literally everything about Sherlock. I’ve watched every episode a million times. I can practically think like the lead characters, which is why I gave Sherlock fan fiction a try. That and, oh, I GET REALLY FREAKING TIRED OF WAITING A YEAR FOR A NEW EPISODE!

Ahem.

Excuse my outburst, but see, this is part of the draw of writing fan fiction: During the off time between seasons, we as a community band together and keep each other warm and fed via the medium of the written word. My favorite community is called Archive of Our Own (or AO3), where my work is not only read but applauded, championed, and followed by other Sherlock nerds like me. (But don’t feel left out. There’s fan fiction for Supernatural, The X-Files, Harry Potter, the list goes on, too.)

It’s amazing, really. An example: I saw a picture on Tumblr last week that inspired a quick, little thousand word one-shot called “Making History.” I typed up the story, posted it on AO3, and congratulated myself on a job well done.

The next morning, though, I received reviews. Here’s a taste:
Oh my god you have to continue that was so great.
You’re doing the Lord’s work here. You’re a hero.
WORDS NOT WORKING. FIC TOO AMAZING.
I didn’t know I needed this until now. Oh God, yes, this was wonderful.
You are so amazzzing. It’s so beautiful I can’t even …

I had never planned on writing a chapter two, but I couldn’t just let my fellow Sherlockians stew. I posted chapter four yesterday, and the dialogue between writer and reader continues, because that’s a big part of writing fan fiction: the reviews and conversation between fans.

Fan fiction is an outlet for fan imaginations, and it feeds our addiction (especially us poor, desperate Sherlock fans). In our case, fan fiction also allows us to entertain the infamous idea of Johnlock: that Sherlock and John are actually romantically interested in each other. Trust me: this craze is devouring Tumblr–and, honestly, it’s practically written into the actual TV show …

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For the curious reader, you’ll find names, synopses, and links to my fan fiction on AO3 below. Most of it is for mature audiences only, because another thing about Sherlock: the sexual tension is everywhere and yet it seems no one is getting laid. We fan fiction authors make damn sure everyone gets laid.

If you have a fandom you follow, I suggest searching A03 and finding your niche. I will warn you, though: it’s a dangerous game, as fan fiction is terribly addicting.

Making History
Sherlock Holmes lay unconscious and handcuffed to John’s bed. John had been waiting for this day ever since he’d first met the consulting detective. He’d been waiting for centuries really. (John/Sherlock. Vampire John. Things get dark.)

This is Not a Safe House, Part I
Sherlock is shot while rescuing Irene Adler in Karachi. Fighting to stay alive, they seek shelter in a safe house, and Irene must help the consulting detective who needs help from no one. (Irene/Sherlock. First of a popular series of three.)

You Were Wrong About Him
An aging John Watson looks back on how he fell in love with his husband—and how it was all due to a nightmare. (John/Sherlock. A real tear-jerker.)

Promise
Sherlock takes a bullet for John, and John forces him to make a promise he can’t possibly keep. (John/Sherlock just friends.)

Mating Habits
At twenty, Sherlock Holmes was already handsome. Luella suspected he would one day be decadent. He would one day be very bad for someone. (Fictional female character/Sherlock. Angst!)

Mine
Having only lived in 221B for a month, John Watson is still learning the ways of his bizarre yet entrancing flat mate. However, one night, when he finds Sherlock Holmes being kissed by a married man, John realizes he doesn’t want to share his brilliant consulting detective with anyone. (John/Sherlock. Lestrade/Sherlock.)

Catching His Scent
After the fall, Molly Hooper is alone in the morgue when she catches Sherlock’s scent. (Molly/Sherlock.)

Hidden in Plain Sight
What if Sherlock Holmes isn’t as asexual as John Watson thinks? Following a near death experience, John’s anger at his flat mate leads to an admission, followed by a slight sexual identity crisis. (John/Sherlock.)

Touch
Sherlock notices how much John likes to touch him. Nothing deviant or anything; there’s just a gentle intimacy between them. Men have always liked touching Sherlock—touching and tasting—but not like this. Not like John Watson. (John/Sherlock.)

That’s a smattering of my stuff. To see the full list of my fan fiction works, go HERE. See what I mean? Writing and reading this stuff is addicting, but it is a nice break from real life and work, isn’t it?

This Rocky Horror remake really pisses me off

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No. Just no. I watched the teaser for Fox’s Rocky Horror Picture Show remake, to air in October, and just … no. Look, I’m happy that maybe this remake will introduce a whole new generation of viewers to the glory that is Dr. Frank N. Furter, but …

No, I’m lying.

Tim Curry is and forever will be Dr. Frank N. Furter. I mean no disrespect to Laverne Cox, who I’m sure will do a good job, but from what the teaser showed me, she’s just doing a Tim Curry impersonation. AND why is a woman playing this part? I know, some chicks are going to be all up in my grill over this, but “Sweet Transvestite” doesn’t have the same ring when it’s a woman singing about dressing up like a woman!

GAH! I can’t ….

Even …

Type ….

Dfkjhvpiouzxjcvkmasndijhasjmjndvcxkzmncviuyerhf!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’ve observed Hollywood is going through this phase where they’re just making the same movie over and over again, but you can’t remake a cult classic. Cult classics become classics by accident. When they were first making the low budget B-film that is Rocky Horror Picture Show, nobody knew it was going to become the salvation of teenage freaks everywhere. They didn’t know it would become the perpetual, immortal midnight show. They didn’t know suicidal goth kids like me would consider the film to be Practically Perfect in Every Way.

The beauty of the original Rocky Horror Picture Show is that it isn’t beautiful. It’s a hysterical mess of cheap costuming, campy music, and the glorious thing that is Tim Curry in tights. Without Tim Curry, the movie would have sucked. He MADE that movie. Now, they’re making it without him (although I think he has a cameo), and they’re expecting it to be as magical as it was in 1975?

Rocky Horror Picture Show saved my life.
When I used to dye my hair black and write “you’re ugly” on mirrors …
When I used to hide beneath clothes three sizes too big …
When I used to smoke cigarettes and cut myself with my own fingernails …
Rocky Horror Picture Show was there, telling me, “Don’t dream it, be it.”

So maybe the remake will save some other troubled kids … but not if it sucks! If they actually give the movie a respectable budget, feature famous people, and just try to imitate the original, the remake is going to flop and troubled kids will miss the point. The biggest flaw, truly, is casting a female as Dr. Frank N. Furter, because part of embracing the freak in me was seeing a man in drag and realizing my freakiness was okay. Not only okay but pretty damn cool.

Ripper Street: A perfect ending … or not?

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Let us not call this a rant. Let us call this a confused, mystified, 600-word bitch fest wherein which I try to make sense of someone else’s terrible decision. Since its inception in 2012, I have been a fervent fan of the BBC television show Ripper Street. The setting is Whitechapel, London, in the days directly following Jack the Ripper’s bloody rampage.

Three men are drawn into the fray: brilliant Detective Inspector Edmund Reid (Matthew Macfayden), brawler Sergeant Bennet Drake (Jerome Flynn), and cocky American doctor Homer Jackson (Adam Rothenberg). I love a good mystery, but I also love intelligent British dialogue, pithy retorts, and characters who evolve and change.

The show lasted three seasons … I thought. Jake and I just finished season three, and we knew it was over, not only because leading man Macfayden asked for his character to be “killed off” (or some other plot device) because he wanted to spend more time with his family. No, we knew it was over because after years of violence, horror, and heartbreak, the final episode of season three gave us one of the best series closers I’ve ever seen.

I won’t give you exact details, but let me put it this way: everyone got what they deserved. The season three finale was so strong, I cried and knew there could be no way to top “The Peace of Edmund Reid,” the glorious coup de gras. All loose ends: tied up. All masterful monologues: delivered. A final laugh? Yes, even that.

It was decided in my household: Ripper Street had come to a brilliant end. Then, I find out they’re making season four, and I’m like “WTF, Gary?”

As it turns out, Ripper Street was supposed to be canceled after season two, but Amazon Prime picked it up from the BBC. Macfayden made his plea: “Get me off the show.” Yet, as an already released trailer for season four depicts, Macfayden is back, as is the rest of the cast who damn well should have ridden off into the sunset.

I understand it’s about money and possibly fans, but I’m a fan and I cannot understand what in the name of Whitechapel they’re thinking keeping this show going. It’s over! It’s done! The ending was perfect. Everything was okay! Catharsis achieved!

Season four of Ripper Street is coming January 15th to Amazon Prime, and I want to say I won’t watch it (because the show is OVER), but I might be lying. I love the dour Reid, the redeemed Drake, and the sexy, hilarious Jackson. I love the costumes and the setting, and the writing is akin to poetry, despite all the gruesome slicing and dicing.

However, I suspect season four will suck, because (one more time for the folks in the back) the show is OVER. It ended. It had a perfect ending, and there is no reason to drag this out any longer. You remember that show Lost? It was great for a couple years, and then, it seemed like the writers even confused themselves. By the final season, I dunno how many viewers they’d lost (ha), but no one knew what the hell was going on or why the show was still happening. I don’t want this for Ripper Street. Go out in a blaze of glory, guys, not a dying spark.

Entertainers (directors, writers, and actors) need to know when to say enough is enough. If they had even an inkling there would be a season four, Ripper Street shouldn’t have made season three a masterpiece. I recommend everyone watch the first three seasons of this marvelous show, but watching season four is defiantly not on my bucket list, because, like shoulder pads, it just shouldn’t exist.

Justified, season six: Saying goodbye to Raylan Givens

JUSTIFIED: Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens. CR: Frank Ockenfels III / FX

Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens.

Something horrible happened to me this weekend. Truly horrible. I lost two of the most important men in my life: Raylan Givens and Boyd Crowder. I’m obviously talking about the TV show Justified.

Justified was a cop drama—sort of. It was an FX gem about bad boy US Marshall Raylan Givens and his ongoing battle with his hometown of Harlan, Kentucky, and the villains therein. It ran for six seasons, based on a short story by Elmore Leonard, “Fire in the Hole.”

Jake and I were in love with the program immediately (and not only because Timothy Olyphant is exceptionally gorgeous and wears really tight pants).

The hero, Raylan Givens, was not a good man. He killed people with a smirk and tip of his exceptionally beautiful cowboy hat. He was the damn king of one-liners. Think Dirty Harry mixed with just about any Sam Elliot Wild West character (minus the enormous moustache).

His nemesis for all six seasons was Boyd Crowder—a childhood friend of Raylan’s, with whom he once “dug coal.” Crowder (played by Walton Goggins) was the odious villain you loved. His monologues were precise and brilliant. When he shot a man right through the eyeball, we cheered, which should probably be disconcerting but wasn’t, because Boyd was just that charismatic.

Justified was riddled with award-worthy dialogue and bad guys you almost rooted for. The Raylan / Boyd relationship was as strong of that as Spock and Captain Kirk, although begrudgingly so, for both men involved. Usually, in our house, an episode would end with hysterical laughter, applause, or total horror at the most recent plot twist.

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Walton Goggins as Boyd Crowder.

During this final season, season six, I had to pull the reins on my husband because he would constantly want to watch “just one more,” but I knew, in the back of my head, that eventually “one more” would be the series finale—and I wasn’t ready.

The emotions involved here were a lot like those I stumbled over when the final Harry Potter movie was released and I realized … there was no more Harry Potter. Now, there is no more Raylan Givens or Boyd Crowder, and Jake and I just aren’t coping.

Justified’s final season was immaculate. All plot lines were tied up in pretty (bloody) bows, and Sam Elliot even played the big, bad villain! Talk about full circle, considering Olyphant admits to having ripped off Elliot’s mannerisms from the start.

Jake and I continually argued over who was going to end up dead, and we were wrong, of course, because that’s what good writing is: it keeps you guessing. But as the final scene unfolded, I was wholly unprepared for the copious tears. The credits rolled, Jake looked at me, and I just kept crying. Although Jake isn’t a crier, the next morning, he admitted he felt like he was grieving something. We were. I mean, shit, we named our dog Raylan Givens Bauer!

I don’t know that Olyphant or Goggins will ever be better. These were career-defining roles, both men perfect in their places. Our only option, as fans, is to re-watch the entire series, but still, it’s not the same, because we already know the one-liners and surprise action scenes. We know what becomes of Raylan Givens and Boyd Crowder, and we can’t go back in time, forget, or start over.

Justified was a show of unbelievable brilliance and deep, dirty character development. Mostly, it was a story of two men who were too similar for their own good—one, on the side of the law; the other, not so much. What I loved so much about Raylan and Boyd: they both could have been criminals, and they both could have been good men. I wasn’t sure which way it would go until those final credits rolled.

Jake has been reading obsessively about the show to fill the aching void in his chest, and apparently during that final scene of season six, all the actors’ tears were real. The cast, the crew—everyone just fell apart because Justified was over. That’s what good entertainment does: it makes you want to sit down and have a drink with the lead characters and shoot that whiskey until the end of time.

Well, the end is now, and as I lavish attention on little Raylan Givens Bauer, I hope he feels the weight of his name, the responsibility to carry on the legacy of one of TV’s best characters. If only I can get him to wear the cowboy hat.

One last look at Raylan and Boyd at their best together:

12 Tumblr moments that make me love life

Now that I’m living life without antidepressants, I’ve learned ways to cope with creeping sadness. I’ve learned you gotta kick that sadness right in the ass, and there’s no better place to be surrounded by beauty and laughter … than Tumblr.

There, I said it. Make fun of me all you want, but the following round-up will remind you: life is tough but it’s funny and beautiful, too. I present my 12 favorite Tumblr moments.

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1. When David Tennant made this face on Doctor Who.
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2. When Mulder made this face on The X-Files to scare Scully.

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3. When Harry Potter pretended to be a spider with fangs while high on Liquid Luck.

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4. When this dog took a second to enjoy the sun.

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5. When Bill Murray pet Benedict Cumberbatch like a dog.

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6. When Jerry wore glasses on Seinfeld.

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7. When Chandler told a secret on Friends.

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8. When I thought a shark was beautiful.

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9. When a strange little picture made me slow down.

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10. When the ocean looked like a mountain.

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11. When this dog had a very bad day.

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12. When the Sirens boys had an even worse day.

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If you need more funny, beautiful things, join me on Tumblr. Be sure to find what it is that brightens YOUR day, whether it be silly pictures, a cuddle with your pup, BBC murder mysteries, or singing Total Eclipse of the Heart at full volume.

New Sherlock fan fiction: You Were Wrong About Him

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You thought my husband was cruel. He said horrible things to you—biting, personal things. He brought out your worst and made you monstrous. You hated him for it, and for his brilliance, his need for blood and murder and work (always the work) with no pay because he didn’t need the money.

You hated him for that, too, his bottomless bank account and the way he wore expensive clothes and that coat. The damn coat. The way he walked with purpose, or rather strutted. You hated my husband because you didn’t know him, not at all. No one did. But me.

I didn’t always. I once called him a machine, before he died and came back, before my divorce from Mary and before Moriarty almost took him away a second time.

That was when it began, when Sherlock Holmes began to show himself to me, and he didn’t mean to. It was all an accident, the way we really got to know each other—the way I got to know myself.

I was beginning to feel my age by then. My war injuries ached when the weather was bad and the weather was often bad in London. I carried lines around my eyes that hadn’t been there when we first met, not when I first set eyes on him in the St. Bart’s laboratory and had no idea my life was about to change forever.

Or maybe I did. How could I not? I was drawn to him as soon as he spoke. Magnetized. I trusted him, God knew why. I killed for him, to protect him. I only realized later that was what we did for each other, always: we protected each other.

John Watson and Sherlock Holmes.

The jokes about us being a couple stopped when I turned fifty and Sherlock, damn him, still looked twenty-five. On the night I began to know the real Sherlock Holmes (and the real John Watson), we were simply confirmed bachelors who solved cases together and lived in the same flat: 221B Baker Street.

It had been days without a case, wherein which I found time to catch up on reading and trash telly.

For a while, Sherlock bemoaned his state of boredom. He flapped around like a limp fish on the couch and sighed dramatically until I turned up the volume to ignore the muffled obscenities he’d picked up at The Yard. He obsessively checked his cellular, but Lestrade, who refused to retire, had nothing to offer.

As the days stretched into a week, we settled into our natural rhythm. I took a few shifts at hospital and tried to make Sherlock eat. Always a battle. I stayed out late one night, consuming perhaps a pint too many with Stamford for old time’s sake and came home to a silent flat.

“Sherlock?”

I wobbled a bit on my feet as I locked the front door behind me. Yes, definitely one pint too many.

“Sherlock? Are you home?”

I wondered if he’d been called onto a case. I was used to him running off without me, although I never liked it. Never.

I searched through a few cupboards for chips, thankful to find no fingers or heads. Some things never changed.

Of course I found nothing to eat. I considered a cup of tea, but as I moved to put the kettle on, I noticed Sherlock’s bedroom door was open. The dim light on his bedside table threw shadows on the hall floor.

“Sherlock?”

I took a few heavy steps toward his door and, well, was shocked to find him … asleep? The door creaked as I looked inside, but he didn’t move so I stood and watched. No matter how many times I’d caught him snoozing at the microscope or taking short blinks in the back of cabs, I still found it strangely miraculous to see the great Sherlock Holmes actually taking a proper rest.

His back was turned to me, but his still shaggy curls stuck up like thick ferns sprouted beneath the soil of a moonlit forest floor. One of his long-fingered hands clutched to the blanket that covered him. I saw one pointed edge of a pale cheekbone. Then, I backed away, tried to leave before he woke. He always woke when I watched him sleep, like he could feel me in his dreams.

Then he whimpered and I froze. He whimpered again, mouthed incoherent words. His fingers closed tightly to the blanket above him. He said, “No, stop, don’t …”

Intellect does not dissuade nightmares.

I moved to the bed and put one hand on his shoulder. “Sherlock.” I said his name again, louder. And again.

He sat up suddenly. “John.”

“Sherlock. You all right, mate?”

“Of course.” He pushed out of bed and past me. I listened to his bare feet patter into the bathroom. The door closed behind him.

When I reached down to touch his mattress, I found it soaked with sweat.

I returned to the kitchen. After over fifteen years of friendship, one learned not to ask questions of Mr. Sherlock Holmes. But just as I put the kettle back on the stove, his voice poured over my shoulder.

“I need you to stay with me tonight,” he said.

Read the rest at Archive of Our Own.

(Be warned. One reviewer said, “You made me cry a river.”)

Image credit: br0-Harry at DeviantArt

Norwegian Sherlock parodies: Not to be missed

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It’s no surprise to all of you that I love the BBC’s reincarnation of Sherlock Holmes. This is due in part to my obsession with British actor Benedict Cumberbatch, but the show really is brilliant. I’m shite at writing mysteries, but I love (love) watching them, so the brilliance of writers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss is beyond me. It doesn’t hurt the show’s appeal when both leading men, Benedict and Martin Freeman, garner Emmys for their performances as the immortal Sherlock and Dr. Watson.

Okay, that said, there are so many jokes about how Sherlock and Watson are totally gay for each other. Although Watson just got married in season three, the show doesn’t do itself any favors. There are some pretty long, lingering stares shared between the leading men. Sherlock has no respect for personal space, so it occasionally looks like he’s about to kiss his best mate. And there was that whole awkward “boyfriend” conversation in episode one.

The fans have noticed, and Johnlock (the official term for Watson-Sherlock romance) is rampant in fan fiction and fan art … and most of it is definitely rated R with Watson almost always playing the top, which I guess makes sense since Benedict’s Sherlock is super pretty.

Enter Norway. Two comedic actors, Vidar Magnussen and Bjarte Tjøstheim, have caused quite the internet sensation with their take on the BBC series, and well, I’m enamored. From cell phone auto correct mistakes to “jump-and-kiss” moments, these guys have done their research, and their parodies are not to be missed. (They even mastered the BBC camera angles.)

I present, for your viewing pleasure, episode one, “Oklahomo.”

In case that wasn’t enough, “Mind Phallus.” (Not for underage consumption.)

And for one more laugh, “Missing Shoulder.” (My favorite one, with a shout out to Jude Law and Robert Downey, Jr.)

Thank goodness someone spotted these actors’ resemblances to the real thing, because they certainly know how to make a girl laugh. Happy clueing for looks!

9 Best shows on Netflix right now

Funny: when you fall ill with some mystery virus that keeps you restrained to the couch (or even the floor, depending on how far I have to walk), you find time to watch some TV. When I say TV, I mean Netflix. I’m not suggesting the following nine programs are critically acclaimed or that they’ll soon be winning Golden Globes, but shut up, these are my favorites and NEVER QUESTION A SICK PERSON.

1. Salem


Witches! Sexy witches!! Takes place in the heat of the Salem witch trials, and it’s one of those shows where you’re not sure if you like the good guys or bad guys more. And who is a good guy / bad guy anyway? There’s only one season out right now, but that means you can finish it fast and be prepared for season two.

2. Ripper Street


Dark. British. Takes place just after Jack the Ripper finished terrorizing London. The three lead actors are charismatic, sexy, and comical in their own sick, twisted ways. I’m particularly fond of the American, Jackson (yum). Each episode is another mystery, but don’t skip around, as character development is really just as intriguing as the murders themselves.

3. Twin Peaks


I realize I’m horribly late to the game. This show (a cult classic) only had two seasons back in the early nineties. It’s quirky, scary, and rank with melodrama and bad 90s music. I adore wacko FBI agent Dale Cooper, and you even get to see David Duchovny in drag. Who killed Laura Palmer?

4. Archer


Reprehensible, inappropriate, and politically incorrect: all things I strive to be in life. An animated gem, this FX original will keep you laughing … and laughing … and quoting lines until your stomach hurts. Plus, the super sexy voice of H. Jon Benjamin fits super sleuth Archer perfectly.

5. Sirens


Follow a ragtag brigade of EMTs around Chicago. Really, it’s the dialogue that makes this show, as well as the super gay sidekick. Jake and I binge-watched this beauty, because laughter is the best medicine.

6. Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries


A friend of mine said Miss Fisher reminded her of me, which is a huge compliment, considering this roaring 20s female PI is hot, fashionable, fiery, and irresistible. Follow her as she solves crimes and slowly falls in love with gorgeous Aussie detective Jack Robinson. Love the clothes!

7. Doctor Who


I’m talking mostly about the Matt Smith years. Doctor Who is a consummate sci-fi classic, but Matt Smith nails the character of the doctor. It doesn’t hurt that he’s handsome and funny. As The Doctor travels through time and space, he always has a grin and a quippy comment. He’s fascinated by all things new and dangerous; I’d like to be more like him.

8. Sherlock


Benedict Cumberbatch. Benedict Cumberbatch. Cumberbatch in a tight purple button-down. Cumberbatch with black, curly hair. Mmmm, yeah, I’m shallow, but really this revamp of the Sherlock Holmes story is modern and well-written … although you might need subtitles, because Sherlock talks fast, like a giraffe on cocaine.

9. The IT Crowd


I’m not a computer nerd, and yet, I love this show about computer nerds. It’s the British humor: over the top, physical, but never gross or crude. The three lead actors make the show. Think Seinfeld on a different continent and with accents. I almost cried when I watched the last episode, simply because there were no more.