Fanfic Wednesday: “Performance in a Leading Role”

Title: Performance in a Leading Role

Author: MadLori

Word Count: 166,487

Warning: NSFW

Read it here.

So, I’ve circled back to my Johnlock ship, and incidentally, the first author that I recced for Fanfic Wednesday. MadLori’s Alone on the Water took me to new realms of angst and emotional turmoil; I felt sadness that I never expected to be brought on by a work of fanfiction. But this piece, this piece made me laugh, made me cry, and made me smile far more often than I’m used to.

The Premise

It’s a sort-of AU where Sherlock Holmes and John Watson are A-list Hollywood actors. (That look you have right now–the one with your eyebrow arched or your upper lip slightly curled in disdain–I had it too). I’ve seen this one mentioned often enough on Tumblr, but the premise was enough to keep me away. Maybe it’s because I’m Southern Californian and inherently jaded, but celebrity lives just don’t interest me that much. And fictional ones interest me even less, but I digress.

Somehow, someway, “Performance in a Leading Role” ended up on my iBooks app and I read it. Actually, more like devoured it. What I expected to be a fluffy daydream of a prepubescent girl (I mean, really, two A-list actors meeting on set and falling in love? Totally a tween dream) turned out to be a nuanced and carefully-built relationship between two men. With just the right amount of fluff and smut. MadLori demonstrates her writing prowess by building a ‘what if’ universe around one single choice made by Sherlock (and it’s so subtle; it’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it). The strength of this piece relies on its subtlety; the author doesn’t tell you that no matter what their circumstances, John and Sherlock will be drawn together, she shows you. I almost assume that MadLori was sitting around one day and thought to herself, “I’m going to put John and Sherlock in a world that’s the exact fucking opposite of canon, and I’m going to prove that they’re destined to be together, no matter what.” And that’s what we love about Sherlock, isnt’ it? We love it because Sherlock and John are so very, very different, and they shouldn’t work, but they do.

In fact, MadLori says it best:

They’d fit together like it was someone’s idea of a cosmic joke to take two men, so different in so many ways, chisel out a piece of each one’s heart and hide it inside the other, so that when they met, they’d be stuck without knowing why.

My Rating: A-

I love the dialogue, love the build up to their relationship, and I LOVE how she handled the theoreticals of an A-list gay couple in Hollywood (happily ever after isn’t so easy). But it did get a little heavy handed with the sap towards the end; I love sweets, but you can only have so much before you get a cavity.

Really, though, go read it.