Sherlock is rarely hesitant and seldom tactful, but there’s a tentative quality to his tone when he says, “You’re not… falling for her are you?”
“What? No!” She’s suddenly aware of how high-pitched her voice has become and she shakes her head, annoyed at herself. “No. That’s insane.” And it is. Completely.
He continues despite her protest. “Because I’m well aware of the allure she possesses.” And here, his face takes on a wistful expression, as if recalling some memeory that Joan desperately hopes he won’t share. He doesn’t, and instead says, “But, you must remember that the pull she exerts is not unlike that of a black hole. She will suck you in, but ultimately leave you empty and decimated.”
Joan’s first instinct is to laugh at the absurdity of being “sucked in” by anyone, but then she thinks of Moriarty and her raptor sharp gaze. Cold steel through the heart. And she doesn’t laugh. Instead, a choking sound claws its way out of her throat as she struggles for words. “Sherlock, come on. I’m not falling for Moriarty. She sends me letters, which I ignore. That hardly makes for a successful… courtship or whatever.”
It goes against a personal code I have to recommend works in progress, but today I’m breaking that to bring you Of the Devil’s Party by Mermaiddrunk, a fantastic Elementary fic that I just couldn’t wait to share.
First, a confession: I’m painfully and deeply committed to the idea of bi!Joan Watson. While in-show I’m holding out hope for them to introduce a still-female Mary Morstan character for her to romance, I’m also intrigued by the potential for a relationship between her and Jamie Moriarty. Their in-show relationship has such an antagonistic dynamic, but Moriarty also clearly has a weird sociopathic ladyboner for Joan—like, can we talk about the giant painting of Joan’s face that she made while locked up in that warehouse? She’s pretty obsessed, and for a fanficcer, it’s a pretty easy jump from obsessed to smitten.
Of the Devil’s Party is set during the second season, after the incident with Moriarty’s daughter. Moriarty has been freed by the authorities, and heads off into the world to rebuild her criminal empire. However, after a few weeks, she starts reaching out to Joan, first through letters and then through phone calls. Joan is at first utterly unamused by Jamie’s attempts to reach out and befriend her, but the two of them eventually grow into friends. As of the fic’s more recent chapters, that friendship is beginning to develop into something romantic, much to Joan’s surprise and Sherlock’s unease.
I like this fic in particular because Joan starts out deeply mistrustful and resentful of Jamie. It would be out of character for her to behave any other way; not only has Moriarty hurt Sherlock and undermined Joan’s efforts with him, she also demeaned Joan herself by assuming she was Sherlock’s “mascot.” Joan constantly questions herself; why is she continuing to let such a destructive person into her life, and when did Moriarty of all people become a closer confidante than Sherlock or any of her other friends? The fic does not make Jamie out to be a suddenly perfect person either; even when she does come to Joan’s aid, it’s often as in some less-than-legal way that leaves Joan nearly regretting the help. And although Jamie’s motives for contacting Joan may be as innocent as her motives can possibly be, her dark past is beginning to catch up with her, and I’m anxious to see if the budding relationship between the two women can stand up to the explosion that will happen when it’s revealed.
The only thing that I would warn readers about is that there is one somewhat graphic/violent scene while Joan has been kidnapped by a criminal whose calling card is skinning his victims. While Joan does get away mostly unscathed, it’s pretty intense in the moment, and if that kind of thing makes you uncomfortable, you might want to give this fic (or at least that part of the chapter) a pass.
The story currently stands at around 30k, but hopefully it will be getting longer any day now (the last update was at the end of June). You can read the story so far at the AO3 here!