swissmarg: Mrs Hudson (Molly)
[personal profile] swissmarg
2016 may go down as a terrible year by many counts, but in terms of fics it was terrific. It was seriously hard to narrow it down but I've compiled my 50 favorites that completed posting in 2016. (Previous years' lists are here: 2013 / 2014 / 2015)

AUs tend to dominate this year's picks, but there's a strong secondary showing of post-series 3 fics. Overall, lots of angst and cases, historical fiction, science fiction and magic, a bit of humor, a smattering of fluff, and even a couple of genfics this time round, but by and large it's Johnlock front and center.

With what has become my standard disclaimer: There are plenty of other fics that I loved, and even more that I simply didn't get around to reading (yet), so it's not a judgment if your favorite (or one you wrote) isn't on here. Think of this as a sampling rather than a definitive list. I hope this will help you to re-acquaint yourself with fics you loved, give a chance to others you may have skipped the first time round, and possibly discover something entirely new and astonishing.

And now, in descending order of length:

Watson's Folly (299313 words) by dkwilliams, Diana Williams
Rating: Mature
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, Mycroft Holmes/Greg Lestrade, Sebastian Moran/James Moriarty
Summary: John Watson, the new Earl of Saughton, is madly in love with the beautiful Mary Morstan. But he has returned from the Peninsular War to find his family on the brink of ruin and his ancestral home mortgaged to the hilt. He has little choice when he is introduced to Mycroft Holmes, a civil servant of apparently unlimited wealth and no social ambitions for himself - but with his eyes firmly fixed on a suitable match for his only brother, the unorthodox and irascible Omega Sherlock Holmes. Can John forget the woman he loved and find happiness with a man so very different from his lost love?

The Omega Sutra (275366 words) by Ghislainem70
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, Mycroft Holmes/Greg Lestrade, Sherlock Holmes/Original Male Character
Summary: In an Omegaverse/Angels & Demons AU, Sherlock Holmes has a secret life. John Watson shouldn't want to be part of it. But they'll go through heaven and hell to keep each other. Johnlock and Mystrade caught up in the eternal battle of angels and demons for supremacy.

The Case of the Green Gown (209247 words) by splix
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, Mary Morstan/John Watson
Summary: ...Watson had at that time deserted me for a wife, the only selfish action which I can recall in our association. I was alone. ---Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier

At Night In The Floating World (207101 words) by PoppyAlexander
Rating: Mature
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, Sherlock Holmes/Jim Moriarty, Molly Hooper/Greg Lestrade
Summary: "Xie [...] had invented an entire pleasure-industry by combining superior visual aesthetics with impeccable personal attention. Drasha salons were by that time a feature of any even half-decent house of repose in every pleasure district in the British Isles, but once upon a time, when Xie debuted, there had been only one, and Xie had named it: the Icehouse." * Deep-cover Unity operative, the Face, finds himself drawn into the orbit of the otherworldly Xie, a world-famous "drasha" (drag+geisha) artist in a London house of repose. As a resistance plot unfolds, the secrets each of them keeps will draw them together even as they threaten to drive them apart. Modern-day dystopian/one-world government/espionage/geisha!lock AU

All the Best and Brightest Creatures (188426 words) by wordstrings
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Summary: Sherlock sent Jim Moriarty to prison for killing Carl Powers at age ten. This is the story of the consequences.

Emperor Tales of the Frozen South (153593 words) by cwb
Rating: Mature
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Summary: At the bottom of the world, two intrepid explorers make their way in the harshest of environments. An important journey must be taken, and prophecies fulfilled, but not before family meddling, political interference, and self-doubt threaten to alter the future of an entire species. If you know me at all, you know that this had to be done.

A Fold in the Universe (152811 words) by darkest_bird
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, Greg Lestrade/Molly Hooper, Mycroft Holmes/Anthea
Summary: Alpha Sherlock and Omega John are in a relationship. Prime Sherlock and Prime John are not. So what happens when a freak fold in the universe switches one John for the other?

The Horse and his Doctor (128999 words) by khorazir
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Summary: Invalided after a run in with a poacher in Siberia, veterinary surgeon John Watson finds it difficult to acclimatise to the mundanity of London life. Things change when a friend invites him along to a local animal shelter and he meets their latest acquisition, a trouble-making Frisian with the strangest eyes and even stranger quirks John has ever encountered in a horse.

October to Hogmanay (127318 words) by snorklepie
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, Mycroft Holmes/Original Character
Summary: “What are we, now?” John mused aloud, once they were in a cab heading back to Baker street. It was a cool, damp afternoon and Sherlock was studying the passers-by with detached interest. He glanced over at John with a raised eyebrow, his fingers idly worrying at one of the buttons on his coat. “Nothing seems quite right. What would you call me, if somebody asked?” John waved a hand vaguely at the space between them. “What do we call… this?” Sherlock stared at him for quite a while, his brow furrowed. John began to feel a little self conscious. The taxi lurched as they turned a sharp corner, and he flung out his arm to steady himself. Sherlock caught his wrist, and held tight. “Everything.” Sherlock said quietly, and after a moment he let go and resumed his study of the streets outside. John barely even heard the words, he said them so softly. “Everything. That’s what you are.” John stared at Sherlock’s profile against the cab window and exhaled slowly. After a long moment, he reached out and touched Sherlock’s long fingers where they were fiddling with the button on his coat. The tall man didn’t look around again, but his fingers slowly unfurled before curling deliberately around John’s hand.

Against All Odds (125971 words) by ravenscar
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Summary: When a Crusader crosses paths with an enigmatic young Briton in the Holy Land, their lives are changed forever.

A Further Sea (125518 words) by i_ship_an_armada, ShinySherlock
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, Molly Hooper/Janine
Summary: Here be a tale of adventure for both body and soul, but beware if ye be not of stout heart, for this be piratelock, ya savvy? Luckless ship's surgeon John Watson takes a chance, and finds himself eye to eye with The Ghost, the scourge of the seven seas and a definite thorn in the side of the blaggard, James Moriarty. But when John finds there's more to this most cunning pirate than be meetin' the eye, he has to choose--is it a pirate's life for him?

Two Halves Make the Whole (117450 words) by alexxphoenix42
Rating: Mature
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, Sherlock Holmes/OC, John Watson/OC, Mycroft Holmes/Greg Lestrade
Summary: Only a few months after John and Sherlock became a "we," there's Sherlock's graduation, a short summer together, then a whole year apart with John still at Hogwarts. Why is life so damn unfair?

The Beginning of Knowledge (106422 words) by ancientreader
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, minor Bill Murray/John Watson, past Sherlock Holmes/Jim Moriarty
Summary: Jim's lessons are hard to unlearn.

A Ritual to Read to Each Other (101463 words) by weeesi
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, Mary Morstan/John Watson
Summary: After Mycroft terminated his exile but before Sherlock could escape from the infuriating plane, John and Mary were whisked away by car to an unknown location. Sherlock hasn't seen them for an entire year. He doesn't know when he'll see John again -- until one day, he does. But, of course, nothing is simple.

The Breaking Wheel (93259 words) by J_Baillier
Rating: Mature
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Summary: His immune system is decimating his nervous system - a civil war raging inside of him. Is there a reaction he's supposed to be having to this news, now? Something normal: cry, scream, pound the wall? Shake his fist at the uncaring universe? John can't stop this. An uncomfortable bed at some hospital ward isn't going to stop this. They keep telling him that this will most likely pass, but no one is answering the most important question: how will he be able to endure the uncertainty and the long wait?

The Desire and Pursuit of the Whole (90997 words) by Holly Sykes
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Summary: Britain, 1925. Sherlock Holmes – young detective, violin player and virtual misanthrope – has been hired by a mysterious and immensely wealthy man to find the missing manuscript of a contentious novel. John Watson - doctor, ex soldier and widower - is older and disillusioned. They meet on a rainy night in Sussex and from then on both their lives are changed forever. As their tentative friendship turns into a more intense relationship, Sherlock and John’s big adventure sees them end up in Venice, where the mystery is finally solved.

Not Broken, Just Bent (87585 words) by Schmiezi
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, Mary Morstan/John Watson
Summary: "For a second, I allow myself to remember teaching John how to waltz. There is a special room in my mind palace for it. A big one, with a proper parquet dance floor. For a second, I go there. I remember holding him, closer than the World Dance Council asks for, excusing it with the fact that we are training for a wedding, not for a competition. For a second, I feel his hand on mine again, smell his sweat, hear the song we used. For a second, I allow myself to love him deeply. For a second, only a second, that love reflects on my face." Fix-it for S3, starting at the end of TSoT. Written from Sherlock's POV. If you like to see Mary as one of the good guys, you might want to stop reading right here.

Sherlock, P.I. (83235 words) by Callie4180
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, Mary Morstan/John Watson
Summary: For the Fall TV Sherlock fusion project. Sherlock, P.I. is an American television show that follows the exciting adventures of genius private investigator Sherlock Homes and his friends as they live their lives on the beautiful island of Oahu in Hawaii. Sherlock is a British expatriate, US citizen, and former agent for the US Naval Investigative Agency. His friends include Greg Lestrade, an ex-Navy Investigator and helicopter pilot; Molly Hooper, a former Navy Medical Examiner turned private beach club manager; and Sherlock's brother Mycroft Holmes, majordomo of the Masters Estate and well connected political and social figure. Sherlock solves crimes as he wrestles with the ghosts and demons of his past.

The Song Nobody Knows (78669 words) by Laur
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, Irene Adler/Harry Watson
Summary: If Sherlock could take John Watson back to his cave, he would keep him alive as long as possible. He would collect rain water and sea weed and fish to feed him, and he would keep him warm with his soft feathers. In return John Watson would answer all of Sherlock’s questions. Yes, Sherlock would keep him, his own little mystery to unravel. Eventually, though, the human would die, as they always did, and Sherlock would have to eat him, like he always did. This was much more interesting.

Underneath The Veil (73469 words) by Holly Sykes
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, John Watson/OMC (past)
Summary: Lord Sherlock Holmes is a wealthy aristocrat who lives almost like a hermit and indulges in opium-eating and sporadic crime solving. One evening, in the throes of a drug-caused hallucination, he stumbles upon Doctor John Watson. It’s love at first sight for the still-virgin Sherlock, but he’s convinced the other man could never feel the same. When a renowned painter is killed, Sherlock convinces John to help him with the investigation and their friendship takes an unexpected turn.

The Ground Beneath Your Feet (68803 words) by Chryse
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Summary: Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.

Another Country (67415 words) by Chryse
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Summary: "In your case, solitary confinement is locking you up with your worst enemy." One month and three days, and what came after.

The Doubtful Comforts of Human Love (61500 words) by PoppyAlexander
Rating: Mature
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Summary: or, The Adventure of the Red Shoes. UK Ballet principal dancer Sherlock Holmes and assistant rugby coach John Watson met and fell in love as ambitious, optimistic teenagers. Twenty years on, they are entering midlife, facing the break-down of their bodies and the ending of their careers, and contemplating what the future holds for two middle-aged men forced to start over. With a frightening crisis unfolding at the Ballet, Sherlock must balance the demands of his career, his friendships, and his marriage with his own struggle against bitterness and discontent, while John takes a long-overdue glance from the outside, in, and stutter-steps toward making a kind of peace. AU - ballet!lock/rugby!john

A Very Long Acquaintance (60313 words) by Kate_Lear
Rating: Mature
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Summary: The story of a meeting, a separation, and a reunion.

A Study in Spherification (58569 words) by mistyzeo
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Summary: John Watson has been out of work for eighteen months after his last restaurant, Fifth Northumberland, burned to the ground in a kitchen accident. He's more than ready for a new project, but who wants to open a restaurant with a washed up celebrity chef who can't even hold a knife anymore?

Lunar Landscapes (57045 words) by J_Baillier
Rating: Mature
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, Mary Morstan/John Watson
Summary: An accident forces John to face the fact that Sherlock's downward spiral had started long before his flight to exile even left the tarmac.

Wars We Fought, Things We're Not (55064 words) by blueink3
Rating: Mature
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Summary: “Oh come, John. Could be fun,” Mycroft taunts, accompanied by an eyebrow arch he’s gotten far too good at. “Besides, it’s not as if it’s your first time pretending to be a couple.” Five months after John's world has fallen apart, Mycroft sends the consulting detective and his doctor on a case that neither is prepared for.

Tarmac (54858 words) by whatdoyoumeanionlygetoneotp
Rating: Mature
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, John Watson/Mary Morstan
Summary: That's the thing about secrets, they tend to weigh an awful lot. Little secrets and little lies are nothing we can't carry, a few extra quid in your pocket. But big secrets, real secrets, the things that prey on you – those turn you into Atlas. He feels those three little words like bile at the back of his throat, corrosive. He doesn't say them. A fix-it starting from the end of hlv and ending up with a johnlock/parentlock situation. A whole lot of angst and pining in between.

First-order Idiots (54565 words) by weweretold
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, Molly Hooper/Greg Lestrade, James Sholto/John Watson
Summary: At a conference, Sherlock Holmes, researcher in deductive reasoning at St. Bartholomew College of Engineering, meets John Watson, military robotics researcher at Polytechnical University of Kabul. "We’ve only just met and we’re going to work on a research grant proposal together?” “Problem?”

Anchor Point (49841 words) by trickybonmot
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Summary: The world tunes in nightly for Sherlock, the ultimate in reality TV: Sherlock Holmes, a real person with a legendary name, unknowingly lives out his life in a staged setting contrived by his brother. Things get complicated when a retired army doctor joins the show to play the part of Sherlock's closest friend. This fic borrows its concept from the 1998 film, the Truman Show. However, you don't need to have any knowledge of the movie to enjoy this story.

Inscrutable to the Last (48843 words) by DiscordantWords
Rating: Mature
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, Mary Morstan/John Watson
Summary: He wasn't Sherlock, he couldn't work miracles. All he'd ever been able to do was write about them.

Giving All (46410 words) by BakerTumblings
Rating: Mature
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Summary: Not that long ago, Sherlock had said, "Mary and John: whatever it takes, whatever happens, from now on I swear I will always be there, always, for all three of you." He is keeping his vow. Following a catastrophic auto accident, John has been holding vigil at the hospital, where Mary is comatose in the ICU, and his premature daughter lies in the NICU. Sherlock is a constant presence at his side as John navigates a difficult situation and finds support in their friendship in solid, dependable ways. Out of great difficulties can bloom tiny wildflowers of hope. The hard situations in life can show the true strength of a person, and of a friendship. Sometimes, great loss is necessary before true love can emerge to be fully appreciated.

Your Perfect Offering (44551 words) by CaitlinFairchild
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Summary: “Sherlock,” John continues, careful and quiet. “I’ve seen your back. I know you were hurt. I don’t want to pry, I don’t want to cause you discomfort but...I’m starting to think something else happened there. In Serbia.” Sherlock rolls away and sits up on the edge of the bed, his back to John. “A great many things happened in Serbia,” he says, flat and remote. “None of them were pleasant.”

The Seafarer; or, A Question of Time (40573 words) by DoubleNegative
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Summary: “Put two ships in the open sea, without wind or tide, and, at last, they will come together. Throw two planets into space, and they will fall one on the other. Place two enemies in the midst of a crowd, and they will inevitably meet; it is a fatality, a question of time, that is all.” - Jules Verne
The Indian Ocean, 1880: John H. Watson, MD, meets Sherlock Holmes and is deduced.

Smile Like A Paper Cut (37708 words) by J_Baillier
Rating: Mature
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes & John Watson
Summary: Many serial killers are capable of leading outwardly normal lives, hiding in plain sight as husbands, wives, scout leaders, doctors, policemen, soldiers and employers. What if Sherlock is one of them? And what if John discovers his secret?

Captains of Industry (37135 words) by 221b_hound
Rating: Mature
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, Mycroft Holmes/Greg Lestrade, Sally Donovan/Molly Hooper
Summary: Captains of Industry is the most hipster of Melbourne hipster cafes. It's bespoke suits, artisan shoes, sculpted facial hair and the most exquisite food and coffee all the way. Sherlock Holmes, Digital Security Consultant, has become a regular patron. And one day, perhaps one day soon, he will work out how to successfully flirt with the hot barista, John Watson.

Leveling Up (36961 words) by philalethia
Rating: Mature
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Summary: John plays video games, Sherlock writes a guide on GameFAQs, and they get on quite well together... eventually. Told entirely through emails, text messages, and voice chats.

The Boy Who Drank Stars (36191 words) by kinklock
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Summary: “I’m looking for a castle,” John informed the scarecrow. “A moving one.” Except that, as it turned out, it was not a moving one at all

The Missing Piece (35769 words) by suitesamba
Rating: Mature
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, John Watson/Mary Morstan
Summary: After Sherlock’s suicide, John struggles to understand exactly what Sherlock was to him, and why he is mourning so deeply and wholly. He accepts help from an unwanted source, and in time is able to reconcile his feelings and move on to love again - just in time for Sherlock to reappear, awakening in John all the old feelings, but this time, the missing piece of the puzzle as well, the one he’d been unconsciously suppressing before the fall. To complicate matters, he’s got a relationship that’s actually working, a wedding to plan, a bright future ahead of him rather like the one he dreamed of before Afghanistan. Before Sherlock. John has learned a lot about love in the years Sherlock’s been gone. The question is - how much has Sherlock learned?

The Blue Light (31381 words) by Lorelei_Lee
Rating: Mature
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes & John Watson, Sherlock Holmes & Jim Moriarty, Sebastian Moran & Jim Moriarty
Summary: Moriarty abducts Sherlock several times in a row, bringing him to a secret location where his victim is at his mercy. Thanks to a special drug cocktail, Sherlock has no memory of the abductions. But he begins acting strangely back home. So strangely that John finally notices...

Heartaches By The Number - Compilation (30651 words) by iriswallpaper
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, Mary Morstan/John Watson
Summary: The London Sherlock returns to after his ‘resurrection’ is vastly different than what he’d expected. But he isn’t going to let that stop him from pursuing his old life, including John Watson. John’s engaged to a lovely nurse and has everything he thought he ever wanted. Then why can’t he stay out of his best friend’s bed?

Mountebank (26514 words) by Odamaki
Rating: Mature
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Summary: “I am calm,” John snaps, leaning on the door to glare out at the dark streets around them. Sherlock’s not said where they’re going; all he knows is they came off the ring road to the west of London and have vanished somewhere into the depths of Berkshire. All he knows is that he’s been trussed up in a suit that wasn’t hired from anywhere and if brought new would edge up into the triple figure margins. “Be calmer,” Sherlock advises, with a trace of irony. “We’re going to a party.”

Building Jerusalem (26426 words) by ampersand_ch
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Summary: John finds out that Sherlock has more secrets from him than he ever imagined. The discovery threatens to destroy their relationship.

the napoleon (24859 words) by darcylindbergh
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Summary: Halloween, 1989: John and Sherlock both have big plans for the night, but some serial killers have the worst possible timing.

Prince with a Thousand Enemies (21088 words) by DiscordantWords
Rating: Mature
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, Mary Morstan/John Watson
Summary: There's a rabbit in the nursery. John isn't getting any texts.

The Holiday (18962 words) by Scriblit
Rating: Mature
Characters: Sherlock Holmes, John Watson, Mycroft Holmes, Mrs. Hudson, Greg Lestrade, Molly Hooper, Mary Morstan, ACD Canon Characters
Summary: A month following an horrific, sadistic attack during a case, Sherlock is still physically incapacitated and emotionally damaged. A holiday is suggested, but even stuck out in the middle of nowhere, he and John happen upon a case that could make Sherlock begin to feel like his old self again - or could kill him. BBC Sherlock Reworking of ACD's Devil's Foot, with Illustrious Client in flashbacks. Scenes of violence and implied "off screen" sexual violence/sexual assault.

In Need of Quiet Affection and Gentle Words (16972 words) by kinklock
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Summary: After John's girlfriend (of sorts) sends him an online sex guide, John finds himself more intrigued by the guide's author than anything his girlfriend might have had in mind.

The Last Case of Dr. John Watson (14468 words) by Susan
Rating: Explicit
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Summary: If he really had less than twenty-four hours to live, was it too much to ask that it be sunny? Being poisoned and soaked to the skin on the same day seemed to John a bit of cosmic overkill. Sherlock's only hope of saving John is finding the antidote before it's too late. But where does he start?

Coming of Age (13313 words) by 221b_careful_what_you_wish_for
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Summary: It’s not easy growing up when your father is best friends with Sherlock Holmes. It’s even harder when you stumble across their secret.

Oh, What a Night (Comic) by penumbra
Rating: Mature
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Summary: John and Sherlock go on a date. Hilarity, kissing, and egregious amounts of fluff ensue.
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