We’ve talked a little about Sense8 on this blog before, and although we haven’t reviewed the entire show, I can say it was certainly a show that took enormous risks—some of which paid off and some of which, well, didn’t. However, one of my favorite tropes is the found family trope, and Sense8 fulfilled this one to a T. Our eight protagonists discover that they’re sensates, and that they’re bound together in a cluster until death do them part. With Season 2 of Sense8 around the corner, I went looking for fics about the found family part of the show—and found a great fic rec for you guys today.
At the end of Season 1, we left off with Sun Bak wrongly imprisoned for her incompetent brother’s crimes. The prison she’s in boasts abusive guards and bullying inmates, and Sun, more often than not, finds herself in solitary confinement after beating up inmates (and her brother, after he comes for a visit). Fortunately, when you’re a sensate, you can never really be in “solitary” confinement, and the author of here comes the fighter shows us how Sun’s sensate family keeps her company in prison.
By the end of the week, even with visits from the other sensates, Sun wants nothing more than to rip off her bandages and bloody the wall. She knows it would be stupid, that it would bring nothing but punishment down on her; she knows it would only serve to prolong her stay. But at the same time, despite knowing all of this, she wants to. Suddenly, on the fourth day, she can’t stand it: her fingers stray to her bandages, finding the places where they’ve already worn out from the pressure of her nails, the rough concrete of the floor. It would be so easy, she thinks, staring at her hands. It would be so easy, too easy—
And then there are hands on her own, gently prying them apart. “No,” Kala says, firmly, gently, and Sun blinks dazedly at her until another voice tells her, “Let me.”
She blinks away the tears blurring her eyes—she hadn’t even noticed them—and her vision clears enough for her to see a gym, people milling around, a punching bag positioned in front of her. She looks to the side and sees Wolfgang, the German, in a tank top and shorts. “Go on,” he tells her, a smirk pulling at his lips, and Sun blinks, focuses: raises her fists (his fists) and opens her mouth (his mouth) and then rears back and punches the bag with everything she has.
She feels the yell. It reverberates, startling even herself, but she’s busy slamming the punching bag from side to side with all the fury, all the restlessness and sleeplessness of the past week, the unadulterated, futile rage of the grieving. Her father is dead and her brother walks free; her mother is dead and she’s in prison, in prison, doing time for a crime she didn’t even commit, for something that her fucking monster of a brother did. She twists her body around, reveling savagely in the burn of her muscles, the sting of her knuckles, and kicks out to catch the punching bag in the side: once on the right, then again, and again, and then she twists the other way and smashes her leg into the left side. The stand that the bag is balanced on wobbles dangerously. Panting, her shoulders hunched and her eyes embarrassingly damp, Sun watches it fall with a clang that rings startlingly loud.
Wolfgang reaches out and hauls the stand back up, grinning. “You fight well,” he says.
This little fic is almost exactly what I wanted from Sense8 the show. Yes, it focused on characters more than plot, but it really focused on character relationships (and all the drama that comes with) more than plot; I really wanted more character moments. Less soap operas and orgies and wild graphic depictions of birth, more Kala and Capheus watching TV together and more of the gang hanging out on a boat, please. I’d be surprised if something like this fic doesn’t happen in Season 2—I can’t see the sensates not trying to help out Sun—but I certainly hope we get more of it. You can check out here comes the fighter here on AO3.