ASiP/HLV parallels


I may be crazy, but I wanted to compare John’s expressions under two kinds of stress: his first meeting with Mycroft and his last meeting with Sherlock. Both display John’s ‘military posture’, as has been noted. But to very different effects.

So first we have John’s expression when he first meets Mycroft in ‘A Study in Pink’, when he denies he’s afraid of him (‘the bravery of the soldier’ on full display). His voice is really really mild, it’s great. He out-mild-manners Mycroft, basically. He stands at attention (as much as he can, with a cane), insisting on his own space, but the aggression is pretty mild. “The leg must be hurting you,” Mycroft says, but John isn’t about to bow to pressure, external or internal. So he wants to know what in the world Mycroft wants with Sherlock; he says he’s guessing Mycroft is a friend at this point. Mycroft smirks. ”You’ve met him. How many friends do you imagine he has?”

Now John lowers his gaze, thinking of Sherlock Holmes, who’s just left him to go who-knows-where doing who-knows-what without him:


Finally, John’s about to leave, since Sherlock’s texted him to come to Baker street “if convenient”. Once John tells him he’s “just not interested” in spying on Sherlock, Mycroft draws out his little book and accuses John of having “trust issues”.


He’d already said a very firm “no” as soon as Sherlock told him to “come anyway” even if inconvenient. Very loyal but not very trusting. (See, it’s all been there from the very beginning.) John denies trusting Sherlock (or at least, he wants wiggle-room). Then Mycroft notices John’s steady hand, and tells him that “when you walk with Sherlock Holmes, you see the battlefield.” Mycroft tells him he’s not haunted by the war, and John… this is the most stressed Mycroft’s gotten him. Still pretty in control, but a bit angry. Not really violent-angry; John just doesn’t like when people poke into his head. Hates feeling vulnerable:


And now, for comparison, we have the other meeting (also in a large empty space, though it’s outside at the tarmac), near the end (rather than the beginning) of a phase in Sherlock and John’s relationship (and they also had a meeting in ‘The Reichenbach Fall’, but nevermind that now). This time it’s John with Sherlock. The first thing John does is nod at Sherlock, hands behind his back. He’s mostly in control for now.

He is definitely not equally stressed, or in the same way; he laughs immediately and easily when Sherlock tells him “William Sherlock Scott Holmes”. So I mean, a lot of things are different. They’re both smiling, though John’s not looking at him after he laughs (it’s awkward, it’s almost like this is small-talk, and it’s Sherlock) and his hands are behind his back. But there’s a casualness to John unlike the forced mildness of that confrontation with Mycroft. Sherlock’s like *radiating*, he’s literally like, emoting all over the place, it’s embarrassing, someone stop. When John tells him “we’re pretty sure it’s a girl,” Sherlock breathes “Oh” in a frankly intimate whisper before he smiles.   


I’m here to tell you that Sherlock Holmes is an embarrassingly emotional man, okay.

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An Open Letter to Benedict Cumberbatch



We are all so very proud of you. Words cannot do justice to how overjoyed we all are. You are truly deserving of this award. Every award you receive, every nomination, every recommendation and consideration you are given is well earned. We cannot wait to see everything you have in store for us in the future and it is a privilege to watch your star rise.

Congrtulations, Benedict. You deserve this.

All our love,

Your Cumbercollective