Death Before Dusk

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Fanfiction
Title: Death Before Dusk
Author(s): Yahtzee
Date(s): 29 July 2013
Length: 15,816 words
Genre: AU, Apocafic, Casefic, Het
Fandom: Elementary
External Links: Fic on AO3

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Death Before Dusk is an apocafic in the Elementary fandom by Yahtzee. It's a Sherlock Holmes/Joan Watson fic, though as Yahtzee notes in the tags, "there's love and there's sex but it's not about romance." It is (somewhat obliquely) inspired by the novel The Last Detective.

Summary

The bad news: In 111 days, an asteroid will strike the Earth in a cataclysm that promises to destroy human civilization as we know it.

The good news: There's been a murder.

Recs and Reviews

I almost didn't read this, because I generally don't do well with apocalypses, and also because I read "The Last Policeman", and the creeping horror of imminent and unavoidable ending sank into my *bones*. But you've done something very marvelous here, in that Holmes and Watson together are still so very themselves (the voices are perfect)--are what Terry Pratchett calls "a tiny 'yes' in the night", even such an oncoming night as as asteroid might cause. There is no hope in "The Last Policeman", but you've written hope here...[1] (Lara's review)
This was riveting and gorgeous. You have the tone of the show down pat and then you mixed it beautifully with end-of-the-world jitters. I'll probably never ship Joan/Sherlock, but the way you wrote the friendship evolving from platonic to romantic was delightful.

I enjoyed this tremendously.[2] (noisette's review)

This was absolutely awesome. Impeccable. And the feels it filled me with actually had me clapping a hand over my mouth theatrically a few times. Only it wasn't theatre. I was experiencing those emotions. His speech to try to woo her to South America was so perfect, so beautiful, and the amazing thing is that it was absolutely in character. That is the beauty of this show and in this story. The characterizations were perfection. The storyline was very compelling.[3] (Forensiphile's review)
I stayed up until ridiculous o'clock to read this as soon as I got the notification last night, and I don't regret one second of it. Your world-building was inspiring and heart-breaking (the part about no one wanting to look at kids, Joan realizing she doesn't need to learn things anymore, oh my God). And your take on their relationship feels completely IC. Thank you for ending this brilliant story with a tiny shred of hope. I will grasp that straw until the end of forever.[4] (beanarie's review)
This is, without a doubt, the best longfic I have read in the Elementary fandom. It's a story about things on the cusp, the world on the verge of annihilation and Sherlock & Joan balanced precariously between simple friendship and something more. At the start of it they have been separated, each dealing with the impending apocalypse alone. As they investigate one last case Yahtzee digs in to their characters, getting to the core of Sherlock's reasons for investigating murders and what Sherlock gives to Joan. Yahtzee has captured Sherlock's and Joan's voices from the show exactly, but at the end of the world it's also crystal clear that these modern adaptations are, always and forever, no matter the trappings, Holmes and Watson.

This is a fic of high emotion rendered in a gorgeously understated way. The case is involving in itself in addition to the way it brings clarity to the characters; Bell, Gregson, Ms. Hudson, and Moriarty all appear, each dealing with the end of the world in perfectly characteristic and heartbreaking ways. There is a great deal of anguish here, imbuing virtually every scene, and yet ultimately the story is incredibly hopeful.

If you are only ever going to read one Elementary fic, I beg that you make it this one.[5] (PhoenixFalls' rec at 221b_recs)

References

  1. Comment, accessed 13 June 2014.
  2. Comment, accessed 13 June 2014.
  3. Comment, accessed 13 June 2014.
  4. Comment, accessed 13 June 2014.
  5. Rec Post, accessed 13 June 2014.