Sara Dobie Bauer · Television

New Sherlock BBC Fan Fiction: “Promise”

I’m not one for Johnlock. (I’m an Irene Adler/Sherlock Holmes sort of girl. As Benedict Cumberbatch would say, “I like to be the dominant one.”) That said, I think the Sherlock/John Watson friendship is incredible. Here’s a short little ditty about what happens when Sherlock takes a bullet for John and John demands Sherlock make a promise he can never keep.

Promise
by Sara Dobie Bauer

I race around a back alley corner, Sherlock behind me. It’s rare that he’s behind me, but Lestrade held him back to shout a warning as I took off running after our man. The suspect may have murdered two women. He got away from us once; he will not get away again.

I feel my gun in the pocket of my coat, but I don’t take it out—not yet. Having something in my hand will only slow me down, and I like being in front for once. I can hear Sherlock behind me, the tap of his dress shoes on pavement. I’ve often wondered how the man runs with such speed in dress shoes. Then again, he does everything like a cat: jump, perch, sprint. He’s the human equivalent of a cheetah.

The sun has almost set, but my eyes are quick to adjust to dim light. I acquired quite a few things in the war, the least of which was a bullet wound. My reflexes are faster, my vision, keener. I hear things other people don’t—like the sound of fumbling footsteps ahead, for instance.

We’ve got him. He won’t shoot another woman dead. As I rush past a dumpster, only now do I pull my weapon. Best to be careful. We know the suspect is armed.

I round another corner. There is a dark shape ten feet ahead of me, frozen in place, blocked by a tall chain link fence. I move to aim, but the suspect already has me in his sights. The world slows.

In Afghanistan, I had no time to prepare for being shot. The bullet hit me in the shoulder like a heavy raindrop. There was no pain, only a dull knowledge that something was wrong. I have time now to prepare. I have time to wince at the sound of the gun going off. I have time to pull my own trigger, but I’m seconds too late. I know that.

Instead of the expected thud and ache of a bullet wound, I see black. I wonder if I’ve been killed. Is this death? No, I don’t suppose death has weight, but there is a weight against me: a heavy, long-limbed weight in a black coat. Only when I hear him moan, softly, do I realize I have Sherlock pressed against me. He slouches until my arms hold him around the chest.

“Sherlock.”

“Nice shot.”

I take steps back until I have Sherlock on the ground. He’s talking about my shot. The suspect is dead, ten feet in front of us. Sherlock’s eyes stare at the sky. His breath puffs out in labored wheezes, and this is not due to our chase. I have a horrible fear that Sherlock Holmes just took a bullet for me.

Read the rest at FanFiction.net.

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(Amazing fan art credit: sheWolf294)

Entertainment in AZ · Television

How Benedict Cumberbatch helped my career

1469a00fa4b6e1cc37e6620e88533c1fBenedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch is a thirty-seven-year-old British actor who closely resembles either an otter or space alien. I’m really not sure if he was even considered mildly good-looking until 2010, when he premiered as title character Sherlock in the BBC’s modern adaptation.

Co-creators of the show Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat have famously been interviewed as saying the BBC didn’t think Cumberbatch was sexy enough to play Sherlock. Now, oddly enough, he’s considered one of the sexiest men on Earth, with a trove of maniac fans known as “Cumberbitches.”

Empire Magazine listed him number one in their list of 100 sexiest movie stars. He made Glamour Magazine’s list, too. Oh, and number one in the British Sun (two years in a row). In response to this, Cumberbatch says, “I enjoy being considered handsome, even though I think it’s hysterical.”

Do I think he’s good-looking? Yes. God, yes. (See obsessive Pinterest board.) That’s right, folks. Embarrassing as it is, I’m a member of Benedict’s maniac fanbase. And it is kind of embarrassing. When I was a kid, I had this thing for Brad Pitt (posters on the wall, signing my name “Sara Pitt”). I haven’t had that kind of obsession again until now, and I’m thirty-two and married.

What does this have to do with my career? Since getting to know Mr. Cumberbatch via BBC’s Sherlock, he has inspired countless fictional characters in my work, most notably in “Don’t Ball the Boss,” soon to be published by Stoneslide Corrective.

When he got his Emmy nomination.
When he got his Emmy nomination.
The TV show inspired me to write fan fiction, as well. I’ve written five pieces of Sherlock fan fiction and have been shocked by the overwhelming response.

I’ve had women and men send me emails requesting more, more! They shout to the rafters that I should be published immediately. My Twitter following has possibly doubled. In fact, I once found my name mentioned in a Twitter conversation involving no less than six Cumberbitches. When I chimed in, one of them tweeted, “It’s her! It’s HER!” as if I were a celebrity.

My stories get upwards of two hundred hits per day. As writers, we very rarely get such immediate praise and develop such a fast following. Benedict Cumberbatch has unknowingly made me famous.

But the actor is more than creative inspiration. This is going to sound sappy, but he’s a life inspiration, as well. He was almost killed after being kidnapped in South Africa, but due to this terrifying experience, he just says he learned “not to sweat the small stuff. And just enjoy the ride of being alive.”

Apparently, he’s impossible to interview, because he’s like a fish with a shiny object. He’s easily distracted, due to his overwhelming enthusiasm. According to GQ writer Stuart McGurk, “I feel, compared with Cumberbatch, like someone going through existence with the contrast dial turned down. To him, it seems, everything is neon bright. The barbs may sting more sharply, but his sun must shine that much brighter.”

Taking pictures with fans.
Taking pictures with fans.
Sherlock co-star Martin Freeman said, “He’s sweet and generous in an almost childlike way. I could take advantage of him playing cards.” Other male co-stars seem to have developed complete bromances with Benedict (Michael Fassbender and Zach Quinto, for example).

Cumberbatch admitted recently that he’s seeing a therapist to deal with his new fame, and he admitted this with no shame, saying mental health should be more openly discussed.

In everything he does, he seems exuberant, fun loving (see U2 photo bomb), and incredibly polite. He worships his fans, and he says “thank you” every five minutes, even in the middle of the Oscar’s red carpet. When I said earlier he looks like an alien, he might really be an alien, because no human being can possibly be so damn sweet!

This is what I mean when I say life inspiration.

The man’s behavior, even as he has become a superstar, is jaw dropping. He has yet to go the way of Bieber or Lohan—stars who got famous and lost their shit. Instead, Cumberbatch has become more gracious, and according to Steven Moffat, “better looking the more famous he gets.”

Today, I say thank you to someone I’ve never met and will probably never meet, because unknowingly (and over and over), he has inspired me, made me laugh, and made me want to be a better person. He has improved my career (something even I never saw coming). And it all started while watching PBS, when I thought, “Wow, that man has great hair.”

Bromance dancing with Fassbender.
Bromance dancing with Fassbender.
Television · Writing

Mating Habits: A Sherlock BBC Fan Fiction

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He was tall with gangly limbs and a graceful walk. Too-bright eyes darted with too much energy. Maniacal black hair and pale skin. Obscenely full mouth. But too skinny. Tired. Exhausted. Starving for information and wanted for different reasons by every woman at the London Library.

There were the older women in their sixties, who wanted to take the young man home and feed him, give him a bed for sleeping. There were the women closer to his own age who wanted to take him to bed and do no sleeping at all. And there was Luella, who at age thirty-five, fell somewhere in between.

She only knew how old he was because she’d seen his license when he applied for his library card. Twenty. He was only twenty, and his name was Sherlock Holmes.

Walking toward her desk, he could be awkward. His feet were too big, but he was already handsome. Luella suspected he would one day be decadent. He would one day be very bad for someone.

“Mating cycle of African locusts.”

He often spouted sentence fragments at her. Whenever he spoke, addressed her that way, she ignored him for thirty seconds on purpose.

Luella’s co-worker Amanda—a lovely redhead right out of university—once said she wanted to “bang his voice,” if that was possible, and his voice was a very nice part of the overall package.

But it was his eyes—his freakish, cold, ice-like eyes—that made Luella’s stomach quake. Sometimes, Luella woke up at night, and her mind flowed over with images of avalanches and icebergs.

39dc3122697495d4fc6c3eea24b12180“Luella.” Hers was the only name he knew, because she was the one he used—had apparently chosen from all the other librarians as his slave.

“Mating cycle of African locusts, yes.” She adjusted a stack of leather bound books on her desk. “Amanda is not busy at the moment.” She gestured to the nearby redhead who leaned on a desk and looked to be imagining how to most efficiently remove Sherlock’s jeans.

“No,” he huffed.

“Why not?”

“Mating cycle of African locusts. Please.” He tapped long fingers on the top of her desk until she stood up.

Her high, black, patent leather heels made no sound on the red carpet. Then, she clunked up the well-lit stairs of the library with him right behind her. He was always close. He sometimes felt like a shadow. There was nothing sexual about it. Factually, there was nothing sexual about Sherlock at all. He did not strut or wink or flirt. He barely smiled, and he was terse, rude.

Despite this, or perhaps because of it, he was the epitome of sensuality. The sound of his voice, the way he caressed book covers, how he looked not like a man but like a painting … he was unlike anyone Luella had ever seen.

She walked past stacks of biology books. “Why on Earth must you know about African locusts?” She paused and poked at book bindings.

“I just need to know.” He batted her hand away and found the book she was looking for. He pulled the book free from the shelf and turned away. He disappeared behind another row of books, but she heard the low rumble of his voice as he whispered to himself.

The lingering scent of stale cigarette was his “thank you.”

***

1b1b605d4d9190a1021d1d41626af9c7She overheard other women talking. Luella knew they resented her for being Sherlock’s worker bee, so they never talked to her about him; they talked about him when they thought she wasn’t listening.

“I’m going to ask him out. Do you suppose he knows what he looks like?” Amanda whispered, but whispers tended to carry in libraries.

“Absolutely. Not,” Terry said—a woman with a Master’s degree who always brought much younger men to holiday parties.

“How? How can he not know he’s beautiful?”

Luella wanted to speak up and tell them, “Because he’s too smart to care.” She didn’t. She went online and ordered a new book about Chinese death rituals instead—for Sherlock.

“Wouldn’t you love to peel off all those layers and bang him against a bookshelf?”

Luella winced.

“Pull on that glorious hair …”

Amanda giggled. “Suck that bottom lip for days.”

“Luella.”

She cussed, loudly, when she realized he was standing above her desk, wearing all those layers her co-workers talked about. He always over-dressed, even in the summer—coats, scarves, like he was hiding something. She wondered if he was just a skeleton below the neck.

“You scared me,” she said.

“Insomnia.”

“What?”

He blinked at her. “In-som-nia.”

She stood up slowly and rounded the desk. She paused next to him, thinking.

“Are you all right?” he asked.

Luella looked up and noticed his eyes were bloodshot. Dark circles sat like tiny, purple pillows under his eyes, and his hair was wrapped in knots on his head. “Are you all right?” she replied.

(Read the rest of Luella’s experience with the young and very dangerous Mr. Sherlock Holmes HERE at FanFiction.net.)

Television

New BBC Sherlock Fan Fiction: “This is Not a Safe House, Part III”

The producers of BBC’s Sherlock did something really mean this week. They released a shot from a cut scene in the final episode of season three, “His Last Vow,” in which Irene Adler leaves Sherlock a single red rose in the hospital.

I’ve been writing a series about these two for over a year now, because I love them together. After the completion of “This is Not a Safe House, Part II,” I received several emails requesting a part III. But I had nothing else to say … until the aforementioned photo was released. Now, I have plenty to say.

Just for you, the beginning of “This is Not a Safe House, Part III.” For the story in its entirety, follow the link provided at the end. It’s Christmas!

This is Not a Safe House, Part III
by Sara Dobie Bauer

Sherlock Holmes in a hospital bed looked unreal, so in the darkness of night, she reached out her fingers and touched the skin around his white bandage. He was real. And warm. He was alive, breathing, asleep, and probably high on morphine. Comforted by the quiet sound of beeping machines that monitored his heart rate, Irene Adler was finally able to set the small vase and red rose on the table at the foot of his bed.

e927b4a9edd265687de481d554971a22-2Should she wake him? If she did, she knew she would have to answer for herself—her absence. Perhaps if she woke him, he would think it but a dream and forget her by morning. But no, the rose would give her away. He would know it was from her, so maybe she should leave, just turn around and go, before those piercing blue eyes could stab her in the heart.

One more touch; she’d never been good at denying herself anything. She hoped the drugs were strong in his system as she leaned over and kissed his forehead.

His voice rumbled beneath her: “I was wondering if you were going to cut and run.”

She lingered with her mouth against his skin and then pulled back slowly. “So was I.” Irene looked down at the man she loved and hadn’t seen in over two years. He had aged some, filled out. Not so skinny anymore, and his features, more rugged. She knew she had changed, too.

“You didn’t answer me.” He sounded furious.

She stepped to the bottom of his hospital bed and smiled. “Did you ask a question?”

“When I came back to London, I sent for you. You didn’t answer.”

“No.”

He tried to sit up, but his face melted into pained wrinkles.

She ran to him, her weakness showing. She put her hands on his chest and pushed him back against the bed. “Don’t,” she said.

She watched him take a few deep breaths, his eyes closed.

“You look different,” she whispered.

“I look different? You were blond last I saw you.”

She nodded, remembering their time in California. He’d talked as if they had a future then. He’d talked about her coming to hide at Baker Street when he came back to life in London—talked as if they might end up happy. Together.

He looked up at her, and she withered under his gaze. “Why didn’t you come back?”

“Who shot you?”

He chuckled, bit at his bottom lip. “Planning a vendetta?”

“Mr. Holmes—”

“Don’t call me that.”

Irene tried to hide behind her long hair, loose around her shoulders. Quietly, she asked again, “Who shot you?”

(Read the full story HERE.)

Television

Sherlock Season 3 Recap and Review

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THERE BE SPOILERS HERE! IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED ALL OF SHERLOCK SEASON THREE, DO NOT READ. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Episode One: The Empty Hearse

We all wanted to know how Sherlock survived the dive from St. Bart’s. Within the first three minutes of season three, we get an idea via an action-movie style montage including a bungee chord, a hair ruffle, and a sexy smooch. I loved this opening. Completely unbelievable and hilarious, and of course, it was a mere flight of fancy from Anderson.

Sherlock-Molly kiss. And tumblr EXPLODES!
Sherlock-Molly kiss. And tumblr EXPLODES!
The tempo of this episode was a little off, but I forgive, especially because of Martin Freeman’s face when he realizes Sherlock is alive and standing at his dinner table. Priceless, followed by several punches to the face. We also get to meet Sherlock’s parents, played by Cumberbatch’s real mum and dad. Adorable. We meet Mary, Watson’s soon to be wife. There was even a Sherlock and Moriarty almost-kiss—which begs the question, what the hell really happened on that roof at the end of season two?

I don’t think the truth was made clear, but I do think this was done on purpose. Co-creators Moffat and Gatiss knew how many theories there were, so they gave us three, the third of which being the most likely—but nothing is for sure. Did I feel a little cheated by this hedging? Perhaps, but this episode felt more about character than plot. They made Sherlock softer, almost a real human being, and this theme of Sherlock’s sentimentality stretched the whole third season.

Episode Two: The Sign of Three

An episode about a wedding but not necessarily a detective. I call this episode “odd,” but I enjoyed it because I like odd things (like Benedict Cumberbatch’s face, for instance).

Highlights included John asking Sherlock to be his best man, after which, Sherlock resembles a frozen computer screen; comedy gold. Speaking of, the stag night within which the boys get horribly drunk and try to solve a case. Instead, Sherlock passes out on a floor, vomits, and they both end up in jail. Finally, dear Janine the bridesmaid falls for Sherlock. (Janine: “Do you always carry handcuffs?” Sherlock: “Down girl.”)

So Mary and John are married, and the grand finale: they’re expecting a baby! I really enjoyed the dialogue and back and forth. True, not too much of a mystery here, but one hell of an adorable best man speech from Sherlock and lots of laughs. Which prepared us for …

Episode Three: His Last Vow

Oh, dear.

Mary is a bad, bad girl.
Mary is a bad, bad girl.
Well, this one wasn’t very funny at all, was it? And yet it’s one of my favorite episodes of the series. We meet the odious Charles Augustus Magnussen (CAM), who actually accomplishes a face lick without being silly. He is the man Sherlock hates the most and must bring tumbling down.

First off, Sherlock has a girlfriend in this episode—Janine, of course, from the wedding, which is just so, so awkward. I knew something wasn’t right; we all did. We soon find out he’s only dating her to get to CAM. He even proposes to her to get into CAM’s office, which is when …

MARY SHOOTS HIM! MARY! Yeah, John’s wife is some sort of super killer assassin person. That was shocking, yes, but I must say, the entire sequence inside Sherlock’s mind as he fights to stay alive was fan-freaking-tastic. It even featured Moriarty, who I love, but really, amazing, amazing sequence. Gorgeous. So well done.

In the end, Sherlock survives the bullet wound and John forgives his wife. The coup de gras: Sherlock murders CAM, and there’s a sweet goodbye between John and Sherlock as Sherlock goes off to die in East Europe on some undercover assignment. But then … but then …

MORIARTY IS ALIVE!!!!!! Sherlock gets called back to London!! Closing credits!!!

My brain exploded—almost. Would have been a hell of a mess. But this whole Moriarty thing raises so many questions. For instance, what about the body on the roof from season two? Someone must have known Moriarty was not dead, and my money is on Mycroft. Maybe Mycroft was hiding Moriarty (God knows why), and with Sherlock’s life in peril, he brought Moriarty back to life?

Well, the speculation now begins, as we are on hiatus—again. Weren’t we just on hiatus? Yes. Yes, we were, and we’re back, and who knows when we’ll get season four? But I’m sated, for now, and it’s a good thing; I’ve been Sherlock-obsessed for months. Time to get back to real life. But take heart: Moriarty lives.

YES!! YES, WE MISSED YOU!!!
YES!! YES, WE MISSED YOU!!!
Television

Sherlock Season 3 … Or Why I’m Angry at England and On Hiatus From Social Media

The moment it all began ...
The moment it all began …

The day of my fangirl birth stands out in infamy. I was minding my own business, and my husband was scanning Netflix. From my office, I heard snippets in the background: British snippets. Next thing I know: “Babe, come watch this scene.”

“What is it?”

“The BBC’s Sherlock. You gotta watch this part.”

It was the scene where Watson and Sherlock first meet in the lab at St. Bart’s and Sherlock tells Watson his whole life based on nothing but observations. I remember thinking, “Well, this Sherlock guy is cute, isn’t he?”

I sat down and watched the first episode with my husband. Soon after, we finished season one. Then, season two. By that time, I was enamored with the show and the odd fellow with the odd name: Benedict Cumberbatch. And … oh, right, Sherlock had apparently jumped off a building to his death.

sherlock.2x03.the_reichenbach_fall.hdtv_xvid-fov 421What follows is what can only be compared to mourning a lost relative because I realized there were no more episodes and there would be no more episodes for a very, very long time.

I sated my addiction by following the hype. I became a Pinterest addict and a dedicated (obsessive?) Cumberbitch. I read fan fiction (I don’t read fan fiction). I found out everything I could about the show and the forthcoming third season.

Finally, the release date reached American shores: January 19, 2014.

And disaster struck.

The BBC followed up on the American release date by announcing Sherlock’s much-awaited premiere would play in England on January 1, 2014.

There were fountains of cuss words, threats of flights to England, and then, the only reasonable conclusion hit me like a London black cab: a total avoidance of Sara’s social media. That’s right: no more Twitter, very little Facebook, and a complete blind eye to my beloved Pinterest.

I see no alternative, because I will not have some crazy Brit telling me how Sherlock survived the fall from St. Bart’s. The only way I want to hear about Sherlock’s survival is from Sherlock’s cupid’s bow lips. Got it?

Do I feel punished for being American? Do I want to ring Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss and ask them what the hell they’re thinking, doing this to us poor, sad little Americans? Yes! And yes!

On January 1, 2014, the geeky underworld of England will erupt in cheers. I will be silent, stewing, mourning the loss of my favorite internet addictions. My silence will continue until January 19, when I will finally sit in front of a television, geek out, and swoon because Sherlock has come back to life.

Image from season three. My guess? Watson's going to punch him out.
Image from season three. My guess? Watson’s going to punch him out.
Entertainment in AZ · Television · Uncategorized

Giffing Out

Kmart recently launched a new ad campaign for Christmas that features two happy shoppers “giffing out.” I know what you’re thinking: Kmart still exists? If you’re not thinking that, you’re thinking: What the hell is a gif? Well. Let me introduce you to one of my favorite time wasters.

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A “gif” is an image format. Unlike the boring “jpeg,” a gif format supports animation. Basically, you can turn any video into a repeating image that repeats and repeats and honestly grows funnier the more it repeats.

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Who has time to turn videos into gif files? I have no idea, although I often wonder because they show up so fast. You see something funny on the news? It’s probably a gif before the show even reaches your TV. I mean, these people are fast—like, faster than a Cumberbitch with a camera at The Hobbit premiere.

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For me, gifs exist to make me laugh—and they do, often. And who doesn’t need a laugh, right? I’m not a computer nerd, but I did laugh at the new Kmart commercials. I say bravo to them for being hip with computer folk.

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True, there are those who think the “giffing out” commercials are immature–but laughing at gifs is immature, so the advertising makes perfect sense.

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Thanks honestly to all the insane fangirls, comics, and internet-obsessed who give me the gift of gif. Merry Christmas to me!

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Entertainment in AZ · Film · Television

I’m Shallow

Brad vs. Brad.
Brad vs. Brad.

My father has always considered me shallow. (Like he can talk; he used to judge college girls’ outfits from my apartment window in Athens, Ohio.) Daddy’s right, though; I am shallow. Look at my husband. However, I would like to point out to my father and to all of you … I’m not the only one.

This came to my attention most recently thanks to a box office flop.

The Fifth Estate is the fictional-based-on-fact account of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s rise and fall as conspiracy theorist and (arguably) American terrorist. According to the Huffington Post, this film, released October 31st, is “the biggest wide-release flop of 2013.” The director blames Assange and his underlying omnipresence in the media.

I blame a blond wig, brown contacts, and a funky accent.

The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch—my current Hollywood crush. (I like to keep one around; gives a girl something to look forward to in movie theaters.) Cumberbatch—or “Benny,” as I call him—is best known for the BBC’s Sherlock and his role as Khan in Star Trek: Into Darkness. He’s also best known for black hair, icy blue eyes, and a voice that Britain’s Times likens to “a jaguar hiding in a cello.”

Now. Take these things away from Benny, and what do you have? A lanky, odd-looking, British nerd who can act.

How is this even possibly the same dude?
How is this even possibly the same dude?

This was The Fifth Estate’s mistake. To play Julian Assange, Benny had to look like the guy—and he did! In spades! But as Cumberbitches (Benny fans), we don’t want to see him looking like Julian Assange. We want to see him looking HOT. Ergo film floppage.

Now, let’s discuss Little Favour.

Little Favour is a short film, released today on iTunes, starring dear Benny. In the film, Cumberbatch has:

  1. Shaggy, black hair.
  2. Bright blue eyeballs.
  3. A DEEP … BRITISH … VOICE!

So far, word of the short firm has spread like a computer virus on all forms of social media. According to Empire Online, it is the highest selling short in iTunes history, even before its release!

Every Cumberbitch the world over probably has a copy already, and he/she has watched the short film a dozen times. (Well, er, I have, at least.) Anyway, Little Favour made me realize how shallow I/we really are! I mean, we say we love this guy, but we won’t go see him in a blond wig, will we?

This isn’t the first time I’ve had to admit to prodigious superficiality. Additional examples:

  1. Brad Pitt: Saw him immediately in Seven; skipped Twelve Monkeys.
  2. Val Kilmer: worshipped him in Tombstone; had no interest once he got fat.
  3. Ryan Reynolds: will watch even bad, bad movies just because he’s in them.

SHALLOW!!!!!!!!!

I don’t want you to think I feel bad about this. I don’t. I’m very proud that my husband has earned the nickname “Hottie McHotterson” amidst my girlfriends. I acknowledge my Benedict board on Pinterest almost solely includes pictures of him with black hair (he’s actually a ginger). I am shallow, and well … I’m okay with it. But I’m not alone.

Why, Val? WHY???!
Why, Val? WHY???!

Television

By Popular Demand … Sherlock Fan Fic, Part II

I’m as surprised as anyone by the positive responses I received from my first Sherlock BBC Fan Fiction, “This is Not a Safe House.” Wrote a sequel over the weekend. Hope you enjoy. (Also rated M for sexual content.)

This is Not a Safe House, Part II

She wept when she heard he was dead.

She almost cried over him once before, in the safe house in Pakistan when he’d been shot while saving her life. She never thought he would die, though—not that night, not ever. Sherlock Holmes seemed a legend in her eyes, and legends never died. Then, he did, by his own hand, which was the most shocking part of the nightmare. How could he do it? How could he splatter that beautiful brain on pavement? How could he leave John? How could he leave her?

sherlock-roofHe left her in Paris a year before, but he didn’t say goodbye. She realized they never said goodbye. How disrespectful to go and kill himself without at least a friendly text, which was exactly what she did when she heard the news—stumbled upon it on the BBC website. Irene Adler sent Sherlock Holmes a text: “Tell me you’re not dead.”

Then, she waited, in her shiny new flat in San Francisco. Paris was too close to London, too close to him. California was better, safer: a sunny place to start a new business. The day she heard the news, she texted him from her flat, and he never responded, so she wept for what seemed like days.

She cancelled with clients. She didn’t eat. She didn’t sleep. She sat and stared at her cellular phone, willing it to make a sound until the silence threatened to crush her eardrums—until she turned on loud, American rock music to cover the sound of his absence. Forever. The only man she loved, gone forever.

When the weeping stopped, when the clients returned, she still jumped at every text. When she closed her eyes at night, she dreamt of his hands on her flesh and remembered the way his mouth felt in the safe house in Karachi. When she woke in the morning, she sometimes even felt his warm body next to her, only to reach out and find cold, tangled sheets. She didn’t cry then, not anymore. She subdued all sentiment, buried alongside her dead consulting detective.

* * *

That afternoon, she awaited a client. One of her favorites: a pretty, young actress who always stopped by when visiting from LA.

Irene sat in a chair made of worn leather, purchased at an antique shop when she’d first moved to San Fran. The chair was her first piece of furniture, in fact, because she liked sitting in it, liked looking out the window over the harbor as the mist rose every day. She extended her slim legs and rested her red stiletto pumps on the windowpane.

Her style had changed drastically in California. In an effort to remain incognito, she chopped her long, brown hair into a short, blond bob. She replaced her usual black negligee with gaudy shades of red and gold—very Hollywood. She kept the accent, didn’t try to assimilate, because clients seemed to like a dirty girl from Britain. Her posh voice acted as a stimulus as she whipped them, chained them, and tied them to bedposts.

On the arm of the chair, she spun her cellular phone. She always kept it close, although if asked, she would have denied she kept it close because of him. Irene no longer even allowed herself to think his name.

door-opening-300x300A quiet knock on her apartment door sent a sigh from her lips. Her job was all she had to keep her distracted. She had no friends in California—too dangerous to make connections. Her “connections” were now only sexual and on a paid basis. Such connections kept her safe, safe from the way he once made her feel.

Irene stood and adjusted her floor-length, red lace robe. She glanced in the mirror to the left of her front door and admired the way her bleached blond hair made her light eyes glow. She winked at herself, struck her most seductive pose, and opened the front door.

A man stood before her—tall and slim, in a gray suit and light blue shirt. Blond hair was styled back over his high forehead, but even with the assistance of product, Irene could see the hair wanted to curl. For a moment, she didn’t recognize him, not until his eyes finally lifted from her robe and found her face. Those eyes: the cold, blue eyes that lingered on the edge of nightmares.

“Your client has decided to cancel,” he said.

(Read the rest at http://www.fanfiction.net/s/9379897/1/This-is-Not-a-Safe-House-Part-II. Rated MATURE.)

Television

Sherlock BBC Fan Fiction? I’m Officially a Nerd

We’re back from our cross-country road trip, and I figured out what to do between writing novels. You guessed it: Sherlock BBC Fan Fiction. I’m officially a nerd. (Rated M for some sexual content.)

This is Not a Safe House

Beneath the black fabric that smelled of blood and gunpowder, sweat dripped between her breasts, yet she felt frozen. She was afraid but safe, because of him, the stupid, stupid man. She felt safe, even though they were in a stolen vehicle—even though they drove through the backstreets of Karachi, Pakistan, unable to seek shelter at the British Embassy, because she was supposed to be dead and he was in the country with a fake ID.

She screamed when he almost hit a pedestrian, but he turned the wheel just in time. Under normal circumstances, Irene Adler would not scream. However, these were not normal circumstances. Ten minutes earlier, she was prepared to die. Then, the sound of his voice. How many men had he killed for her? Five? Six? With nothing more than a machete and well-handled gun—which made her wonder if Sherlock Holmes had killed before.

Perhaps that was why she did not reach for him. Not only would he pull away from her caress, but she was, for the first time since they met, scared of the consulting detective.

He, too, wore a black robe, his hair covered by a heavy hood. She could see only his eyes from beneath the fabric that covered his face, and his eyes were not amused. His look was not playful or mischievous. His eyes were like steel, so she stared out the window and watched dark buildings pass like shadowed mausoleums.

“Where are we going?” She sounded forceful, strong, unwilling to reveal her weakness.

“A safe house.”

“Why are you doing this?”

“Don’t ask stupid questions, or I’ll regret my decision.”

She wished he would remove the fabric from his face. She needed to see his mouth. Did he smirk, at least, with that last comment, or was he serious? She did not take her eyes off him, which was perhaps why she noticed his breath shake on a rather loud exhale.

“Mr. Holmes …”

“Please refrain from speaking until we reach our destination. You’re only acting as a distraction, and I have no time for distractions right now.”

180Usually, she would have snapped at him, made a joke about how distracting she could be—how men usually enjoyed her distractions. She didn’t feel up to it.

When he turned suddenly left, her hip jammed against the car door. She winced, but she knew the bruise would only add to all the others accumulated during her time of imprisonment. Then, Sherlock put the car in park and jumped out. She assumed she was to follow.

“Here?” She looked up at a stacked tenement building with laundry hanging from balconies and the sound of a radio playing the Beach Boys.

“No. A block up.” He nodded and started walking. She had to practically run to keep up. “If they find the car …”

“They’ll think we’re hiding with someone in the apartments.”

“Hopefully. Try to cover your face.”

“There’s no one—”

“Cover your face, Ms. Adler.”

She pulled fabric over her mouth and continued to run alongside her protector, who she was still surprised to see. Irene had never hurt someone as much as she hurt Sherlock Holmes; yet, he issued her death warrant, didn’t he? Perhaps they were equal in their betrayals. And although she did not hate him—she couldn’t hate him—she wondered if he hated her. Yet, if so, why was he there? Why did he save her life?

He rushed down an alley the size of a broom closet. She heard the metallic sound of keys and smelled rotting garbage. Then, the door opened, and she felt his hand in the darkness, pushing her inside. It wasn’t much: a bed with the approximation of clean sheets; a desk, covered in Sherlock’s belongings; a duffel bag on the floor; and a darkened bathroom to her right.

“Cozy,” she joked.

He stepped past her and removed the hood and fabric from his face. Finally, she could see him, and she was surprised to find him sweating and paler than usual. His tall form leaned against the wall, and she noticed blood on his neck—probably nothing more than spatter from earlier.

“Whiskey,” he said.

“What?”

“There’s whiskey in my bag.” He nodded at the black duffel on the floor.

Irene had never once seen Sherlock drink, so she stepped toward him. “Mr. Holmes.” The closer she got, the better she could hear his breath—labored, strained. She put her hand on his cheek and found him cold. “What’s wrong?”

“The whiskey …” His upper torso tilted forward. She caught him with her hands on his shoulders, which made him shout.

She noticed her left hand felt wet, and when he found the strength to stand straight again, her palm was covered in blood. She looked up at him, terrified.

“Hazard of the job,” he whispered.

“Oh, my God.” She put her arm around him and easily pushed him onto the bed. She straddled his waist and untied the black cloak he wore as a disguise. Beneath, he wore a white dress shirt. However, Irene felt light-headed when she saw the amount of red that now stained his entire shoulder and chest. She untucked his shirt from his black pants and tore the fabric; buttons flew. Finally, after a year of fantasy, Irene Adler touched the bare skin of Mr. Sherlock Holmes, and yet, there was nothing sexual about it. She pushed the fabric away from his shoulder wound and recognized, as she expected, a bullet hole in his faultless flesh.

(Read the rest at http://www.fanfiction.net/s/9315455/1/This-is-Not-A-Safe-House. As I said, it gets kind of steamy from here …)