I’m having a bit of a tumultuous relationship with this fic, Learning Curve, which was recommended by…Quesarasara, I think. Well, I liked some of her other recommendations, and this one sounded cute and harmless, soooo…
One of those things is true.
I don’t know if I should blame Chuck Palahniuk’s writing advice, or my own discriminating tastes for picking up on the poor, poor authorship behind this story. (Which was apparently nominated for some kind of award at FanFiction.Net? I guess it was posted there first, but it’s not there now. Anyway.)
I mean like…
Henry’s eyes were wide with uncertainty and fright. John knew that sensation well. His father had not been a nice man, and John had listened to his mother cry more times than he cared to count. It was terrifying when your parent was crying and you were too young to know how to help.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with that passage, I guess, but it just reads so dull. The whole thing is like that, spelling shit out without really demonstrating it, and a lot of it assumes that the reader is familiar with Sherlock and the common fanfiction tropes (which I am, but I shouldn’t have to be). There’s a kind of sex scene that isn’t (it sort of jumps from the lead-in to the pillow talk with a weird description of the moment of climax in the middle), and I wasn’t aware their relationship had gotten to quite that point, and then Molly shows up despite never having textually met John before, and then John and Sherlock have to break up temporarily so John suddenly has a limp? I mean I know where the limp is coming from, and why being around Sherlock cures it, and I know who Molly is and her relationship to Sherlock and John, but I watch the show and read enough fics to know how people tend to write those things in non-canonical settings. (And that obviously tacked-on romance between Mycroft and Lestrade? Like, I’m a fan too, but a little context, please! Just a bit!) (Oh, and then here’s Moriarty all of a sudden out of nowhere because we need some conflict in this blossoming relationship! I… What?)
Oh, and I forgot, she misquotes The Lion King:
“He’s your son before sunrise,” John mumbled as he rubbed a hand over his face.
“What?” Sherlock asked, quirking his only visible eyebrow.
“Lion King quote. Don’t tell me you haven’t seen it,” John replied, rolling to face Sherlock.
Nope nope nope. “Your son is awake.” “Before sunrise, he’s your son.”
And John’s “really good present” from Sherlock and Henry is…a complete collection of M*A*S*H DVDs? That’s a little…impersonal, don’t you think?
Basically I guess my summary is that the premise is cute enough, but even taking it at face value, I have a lot of trouble imagining Sherlock 1. sleeping around, 2. impregnating a woman, 3. taking custody of the child, 4. being a responsible single father. That’s just not plausible. So I’m blazing through this story to the end, but I’m decidedly not impressed. Not even enough for a worthless little kudos.
(Honestly, The Sexual Awakening of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson was pretty stupid too, but at least it was written well and genuinely fun. Like a chocolate bar, or a piece of cake, whereas the other was more of…bubble gum? Briefly satisfying but then you just have a big wad of it in your mouth until you bother spitting it out.)