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[personal profile] impulsereader
So September reached new levels of potential slashiness, as pointed out by [livejournal.com profile] azriona in her lovely comment, and I was aware of this when I was writing it. I left all the potential in there. I didn't censor it even though I have no intention of following through.

My own personal view of J&S’s relationship is that they do love one another. I just don’t need them to have sex as a result. My post-Reichenbach John had a panic attack because Sherlock popped onto a roof without giving him any warning. Clearly this man cares about his friend and partner to the point of loving him. So I’m writing a love story minus the sex. They are brothers. They have chosen one another. Society doesn’t really have a category for this outside marriage – hence all the slash fic. As I believe I recall [livejournal.com profile] pargoletta pointing out in her review of Belgravia, they are in a relationship and the closest equivalent is probably Anne Shirley's concept of 'bosom friends' or 'kindred spirits'.

So here’s the thing: I believe John as a character when he says he’s not gay. I think he can be in love with Sherlock (and the adrenaline rush which comes with life at Sherlock's side) without wanting to shag him. I guess (though I haven’t really thought of it as such until recently) I subscribe to the view of Sherlock being asexual because I don’t really see him needing or even wanting to shag anyone. Though if he did want to I think he would want to shag John or Greg (or possibly Molly post-Fall) rather than Irene because, gender preference aside, I think he’d want to shag someone he trusted [unless it was for a case ;-)] because if Sherlock is having sex he’s having it because he wants an emotional connection. Sex simply isn’t necessary. It is, unbelievably, even less necessary than food. So he ignores it unless it’s relevant in the moment. If he wants to have an orgasm he’s perfectly capable of taking care of that himself. Leading from that, Sherlock doesn’t have to give John an orgasm in order to show him how he feels. If Sherlock were to clean out the fridge, for example, (snerk – yeah, right) that would speak volumes because John knows Sherlock. In this scenario Sherlock would basically be giving John an emotional orgasm. (I can’t quite believe I just typed that.)

What I think it boils down to is that I don’t see the characters on screen eventually having sex. So while I’ll happily read the stellar stories which include this, I consider that I’m writing canonically without adding in the sex. What I really enjoy doing, though, is playing with the perception of them the way the show does in passing. Because, yeah, if John and Sherlock were real people living the way these two do on the show we would all assume they were having sex as well. And after a while John, being a pragmatist, no longer wastes his time correcting people. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about them because they aren’t the sort of people who give a toss what other people think.

If Random Dude (or Chick, I suppose) came at John and wanted to harass him verbally and/or physically because he perceived him to be gay, would John punch him in the nose on principle? Maybe. It probably depends what mood he’s in and what sort of time he has available. But John’s sense of self doesn’t demand he punch Random Dude in the nose because it matters not a jot if Random Dude thinks John is sleeping with Sherlock. He may find it satisfying to punch Random Dude though, because Random Dude is a serious jackass. Someone assuming they’ll want one room rather than two causes not a ripple of concern, though in my ‘verse it would require a correction (unless there weren’t any other rooms available, in which case the lads would share with a minimum of eye-rolling).

So, ultimately, in response to [livejournal.com profile] azriona's wondering if they'll talk about 'The Impending Kiss' which will be required for Shakespearean purposes I said: ...yeah, there is going to be that moment when the director says, 'And now you kiss.' and their eyes will meet and they'll probably break the first rule and giggle a lot. And then they'll kiss. But Sherlock came back from the dead. So a couple of kisses really aren't going to change anything.

Date: 2013-02-12 06:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] azriona.livejournal.com
For what it's worth, I don't think we'll ever see anything on the show other than the innuendo we've already been given (and more of the same). For one thing, Gatiss and Moffat are having way too much fun with the will-they-or-won't-they aspect. For another, why bother? Who sleeps where and in what company isn't the point of the show.

(I also hope we never actually see Mycroft and Lestrade in the same scene, but that's only because it's so frickin' much fun to pair them together in fandom, and that would be ruined by whatever happened if they were on screen at the same time, no matter how that scene went.)

I think that's what makes your "you can imagine" verse so very canon, and so aptly named. Canon in that there's the hints of slashiness, particularly in the September story, confronted and accepted and moving on now. Just as with the show, it's easy enough to read the stories as either epic bros, or as pre-slash.

(And I mean that dichotomy as a compliment; I tend to think a really well-written story is one in which the reader takes away something the writer didn't quite intend. Those are the reviews I tend to like the best, where a reader spots something I didn't quite mean, and I look back and go OMG YOU'RE RIGHT.)

Aptly named for that very reason, which you've already probably guessed. The way you've written the story, we can pretty much imagine any relationship between John and Sherlock that we want. We don't need it spelled out, you trust us to go whichever way suits our fancy.

Aaaaaand, that's all I've got for now, I'm going to go watch Benedict Cumberbatch on a boat in 1812 for a bit. :)

Date: 2013-02-12 07:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] impulsereader.livejournal.com
You're absolutely right. That, as well as all those words I just typed in the entry, having been said: wouldn't it be fabulous if they ultimately ended the show with a kiss? They'll never in a million years do it, but it would be amazing. I think the internet really would collapse under its own weight.

Yea for 1812 BC on a boat!

Date: 2013-02-12 07:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nuranar.livejournal.com
I'm not wanting to get involved, but I just had to say: It's unfortunate that English has only one word for love. Ancient Greek had two, plus a third from the New Testament. It seems that our culture is so obsessed with romantic love (eros) that the idea of brotherly love (phileo), bosom friends, is just gone. There's no longer any concept of love without romance.

Date: 2013-02-12 07:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] impulsereader.livejournal.com
You've hit the matter bang on the head. Those lucky enough to have such a friendship are certainly (or hopefully) aware of their own luck, but our culture doesn't really take notice of that aspect of 'love' anymore. It's a shame, because those relationships are the most interesting to read and write about. Relationships which defy reduction to the physical. We see them in literature but on the screen they tend to inevitably turn romantic.

I'm pretty sure I'm not high-profile enough to attract the ire of any mad slashers in my little corner of the Sherlock fandom. :-)

Date: 2013-02-12 08:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] litlover12.livejournal.com
C. S. Lewis was prophetic on this subject in "The Four Loves."

Date: 2013-02-12 08:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 221b-hound.livejournal.com
You and I are in complete concert with this. I enjoy slash and have written it but I've always felt that these two men loved each other, soul deep, without that necessarily being manifested as sexual desire. That's a perfectly valid interpretation of course. It's just not my primary one, personally speaking. I suppose I see them as soulmates rather than lovemates, in that sense.

I loved the lines scene with that vulnerability and the two of them casting a slightly different context on Beatrice and Benedick's confessions of love to be an acknowledgement of their own deep bond.

This kiss scene will be entertaining. If there's no secret desire lurking under it to make it revelatory of sexual attraction, I'm pretty sure they will just both find it funny. (That's what I wrote anyway in a recent fic.)

Date: 2013-02-13 01:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] impulsereader.livejournal.com
I loved your kiss story! I need to hop over and catch up on your Greg and Molly anniversary installments.

I'm so pleased you liked the interlude. I think it turned out to represent a very nice blend of Sherlock and Shakespeare. I had to indulge my hurt/comfort tendency here since I won't be able to seriously rough up either of them during the Much Ado section.

Soulmates is a very good word to use. And yes, there will be lots and lots of giggling over that kiss. Also critiquing I think - you know, once the first wave of giggling has passed. Then there will likely be more giggling. I can already predict that Grandmother will NOT be amused at the equivalent of giggling in class.

Date: 2013-02-14 08:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 221b-hound.livejournal.com
Perhaps they'll get their shit together by then and be all professional and stuff, and then just complain to each other about damned well using breath mints before the Big Scene.

Date: 2013-02-12 08:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pargoletta.livejournal.com
It's also very likely that, given his inexperience, Sherlock would turn out to be spectacularly bad at sex should he be inclined to try it. And he doesn't strike me as the sort of person who would look at that sort of botched experience and say, "let's do it again!" He'd much more likely be of the "Well, that clearly didn't work, back to the old drawing board" school of thought.

All this to say, of course, that kissing in the play may require its own little rehearsal, and possibly a workaround. Which would be enormously entertaining to see.

Date: 2013-02-13 08:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] impulsereader.livejournal.com
Yeah, Sherlock and sex don't really mix in my head. To my mind he has absolutely no motivation to engage in it.

I don't think a workaround will be necessary, but I'll definitely keep the possibility in mind for comedic purposes.

Date: 2013-02-14 03:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chloris.livejournal.com
Wait a second. Are you saying that by NOT writing them in a sexual relationship your fic would be considered non-canon? I thought that canon a deep, intense, but non sexual, bond between them, and non-canon was all that and sex?

Date: 2013-02-14 06:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] impulsereader.livejournal.com
No. Not precisely. I don't believe a reasonable person would read any of my stories which don't include sex and send me a note expressing a sentiment either mild or passionate intending to inform me I've got it all wrong canon-wise.

But the fandom and the fic which is currently surrounding us is overwhelmingly slashy. There really aren't a lot of writers who are producing anything aside from:
1. Flat-out J/S in a relationship
2. Some other combination of The Men of Sherlock having sex in various combinations
3. An AU (they're actors, tennis players, on a reality show etc.) which involves J/s falling in love under different circumstances.
4. Really kinky stuff which may or may not be AU and I'm sure is fabulous but I'm not terribly interested in exploring.

This extends beyond the BBC version. Victorian era fic is similarly focused in an accordingly civilized tone. I cannot swear to the movie-verse because I don't read it and haven't seen any of it but due to the - ahem - sexiness of both the actors involved I am tending to believe the trend is the same.

Basically, being someone who writes them not having sex occasionally (and sometimes quite often) feels non-canonical if I'm browsing fandom at all. And I'm not even on tumblr! I think if I were I'd be typing this while under my bed with the lights off.

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