1st Place Winner
Echoes by queenchaos
Summary: Sherlock. Do you remember the first time we met?
Rating: Teen and Up
Graphics by Grace (jim-moriarty-in-your-flesh.tumblr.com)
“It’s our first gig, John, I told you a week ago! I helped the owner of The Criterion Bar with some problems with their sound system, and they agreed to let us play.”
“…Sherlock. Are you sure I was even in the flat when you told me that? I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have forgotten your first live gig.”
“Well, it isn’t my fault you don’t listen. Are you coming?”
Of course I was coming. Silly Sherlock.
Because how could I miss this? Sherlock, singing his heart out, the epicentre of an earthquake, everyone drawn in his orbit, his beat. All around me people were bouncing and dancing in sync, taken by his energy and voice. Yet I myself couldn’t move, could only stand stock still in the mayhem, could do nothing but stare as Sherlock sang the song he’d written that night he and Greg and Sally had jammed in the flat and almost gotten kicked out by Mrs. Hudson.
Originality – 7/10 - There were certain elements of this story that were original enough for me to not see them coming: John and Sherlock meeting on the train, for example, or John being forced to join the army (and everything he does after). John’s experiences in the army were clever without being overdone, and the ending was so different from what I had expected that I have to give it props. Nice use of the punklock theme as well!
Strength of Writing – 8/10. What this story might lack in “beautiful” language it makes up for with its clear, strong writing and ability to pack a punch. It’s not necessarily the most poetic of pieces, but it doesn’t need to be. The writing progresses the story in a way that is both efficient and satisfying, and the grammar and variety is all-in-all sound.
Plot – 9/10 - Much of my enjoyment of the plot came from the structure. The story comes from a first person John POV, but is broken up by bits of internal reflective dialogue from John (comments that he makes while he is telling the story, many of which are responses to a Sherlock who never enters as an actual narrator). As a plot device it’s quite effective – despite the uncertainty and tension that’s built up through the story, we’re reassured that things work out well in the end. I loved the way John and Sherlock met, the inclusion of Molly, and ultimately how John and Sherlock were reunited.
Characterization – 9/10 — Oh gosh, what can I say about John? As a first person narrator, John is well-characterized as determined but young (and a little clueless). We glean a lot from his reflective passages, and his development from hapless dependent teen to strong (if not still soft-hearted) adult is really lovely. Sherlock’s character is developed more through telling than showing, but I think is really accurate to how Sherlock might have been as a teen/young adult. He is caustic and narcissistic, but also sexy and subtly sentimental (mostly when it comes to John). He’s definitely more open than his older canon counterpart, but in a good way.
Personal Reaction – 8/10. Dat ending. And the development!
Originality - 7/10 - Fics about sexy band members are nothing new (and in fact we received them in spades this contest), but this one brought enough new to the table to keep my interest.
Writing - 9.5/10 - This fic just… I don’t even know if I can articulate it properly. It grips you, and I thought it did such a good job if having beautiful images without overloading the writing or making it seem like the author was trying to sound esoteric.
Plot - 9/10 - The story threw me not once but twice as I was reading. I have to say, the ending gave me actual heart palpitations. I actually covered my mouth with my hand as I was reading, it was so intense.
Characterisation - 9/10 - I thought both Sherlock and John were done extremely well. Sherlock’s attitude and arrogance was perfect, and then his intensity as he rose to fame was oh-so-believable. John was hardly overshadowed, though, with his goodness and willingness to sacrifice.
Personal Reaction - 9/10 - I don’t know what to say about this other than it was worth having this contest just so this fic was written. I’m adding it to my favourites.
Read it here.