Fiction, particularly fan fiction, is a common topic of discussion amongst my friends. In particular - because, honestly, we're all sex crazed - the topic of pairings comes up with startling regularity. And while I know that my friends teasing is harmless and meant in jest (and in the cases of the boys, meant to hide their discomfort), I always find myself just a bit defensive about the whole thing.
You see, I write slash. (Or yaoi, or male-male, or whatever you want to call it.) I write stories about guys being with other guys. Mostly those stories are just that – stories. Genuine narratives, often, because this is me, ones that are highly character driven and emotive. And yeah, sometimes they are outright porn. And goodness knows I read more than my fair share of gay porn. I'm very honest about this fact. My friends all know it (and tease me for it) and I'm not ashamed.
But I'm definitely defensive.
Because I've gotten the reviews. The ones that say "john and Sherlock r not gay, if u think they r then u r gay."
Yes, thank you. I've seen the series. I know that John and Sherlock aren't gay (John's very pointed about this and Sherlock is probably asexual if anything). As for the commentary on my own sexuality all I can say is: what?
Firstly, if you actually think I'm gay than it's not much of insult. Secondly, I'm a girl and I'm bi-curious, but I think guy/guy is bloody hot and honestly that's pretty normal. Most of the guys I know think lesbians are hot too. Thirdly, has it ever occurred to you that I may have reasons for writing the pairing outside of just the sex thing?
Yeah, imagine that.
Anyone, and I mean anyone, who has seen/read any version of Sherlock Holmes can tell you that Holmes and Watson have a major bromance thing going on. The dynamic between the two of them is utterly fantastic. Theirs is a friendship so tightly woven and so natural that it stands as a brilliant literary example of what friendship is. And in the case of BBC's Sherlock, the writers have obviously gone out of their way to play up this dynamic. And they poke fun at it. Jokes about John and Sherlock's relationship are everywhere and I'm pretty sure that the writers knew what they were doing there: It's called fan service.
I love these characters. I love how they are together, the way they talk and interact and, yeah, there is a part of me that would love to see it become more, even though I know it won't. This is why I write Johnlock. To explore the outer edges of that dynamic.
I don't write Sherlolly because I honestly don't like Molly and I think the way Sherlock treats her is abhorrent and honestly, Sherlock doesn't see her that way. There is nothing there to work with. No starting ground from which I can say: yeah, that'll work. (This, incidentally is the reason I don't write Shinichi/Heiji for Detective Conan, I just don't see it working.)
I admit, A Scandal in Belgravia definitely managed to put some sexual tension between those two. It's there and it's canon. It's also something I can't ever see developing into a real relationship.
As for John... who would I pair him with? The BBC series hasn't provided a character worth talking about (okay, yes, Sarah, but she's boring and it wouldn't work and you all know it). The original has Mary Morstan, who shows up in The Sign of Four and is never mentioned by name again. To be fair to poor Mary I do actually like the concept of her and sincerely hope they end up using her character for the series, but writing for her and John is like writing for an OC, something I am neither good at nor enjoy doing.
And then there is John and Sherlock.
And it works. There is enough there between them, in the actual canon, to make a go of it in the fan fiction.
It helps, a lot, that both of them are well developed. It's hard to pair up a major character with a minor one when the minor character hasn't seen enough development (learned that lesson in the Harry Potter fandom). And, let's be honest, if BBC Sherlock is about anything it's about friendship. It's about John and Sherlock and their crazy adventures and their fantastic ever-growing dynamic. The crimes, the mysteries, are just the packaging. They are fun, they are interesting, but they aren't the point. They aren't the theme.
So, what, please tell me, is so wrong with me taking it a step further?
Irene Adler: Are you jealous?
John Watson: We're not a couple.
Irene Adler: Yes you are.
- A Scandal in Belgravia