Friend of My Heart

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Zine
Title: Friend of My Heart
Publisher: P.P. Press
Editor(s): Boswell and Bradstreet
Date(s): 1993-1994
Series?:
Medium: print
Size:
Genre: slash
Fandom: Sherlock Holmes
Language: English
External Links: Zine review issue #1 & Zine Review issue #2 (excluded from the Wayback Machine)
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.
cover of issue #1 by Sidney Carton

Friend of My Heart is a slash Sherlock Holmes anthology.

A fan described its contents as "quite honeyed characterizations." [1]

Age Statement

"This zine contains explicit same-sex scenes and will not knowingly be sold to anyone under the age of eighteen. An age statement is required with all orders/inquiries. Please do not order if you object to the premise."

Issue 1

Friend of My Heart 1 was published in 1993 and has 130 pages.

[From the editorial page]: As you will see from the Contents pages, we have divided the zine into two parts, the first of which contains various versions of our heroes' 'first time' together; part two concentrates on the charms and vagaries of an established, loving partnership.

Part One

  • Capitulation by Escott (1)
  • Where the Heart Is by Boswell (11)
  • A Study in Restraint by One of the Particularly Warm Lot (22)
  • Summerhouse Blues by Boswell ("'Merely that this person who." he consulted the card again, "cares only for you' must be prepared to weather your whims, and humour your moods; indulge your spells of laziness as well as your great energy; they must understand your need to pursue your interests passionately, and sometimes to excess, they must be forgiving when you disappear totally for days on end, or fail to utter a civil word for a week or more." "Well, of course!" Holmes cut in sharply.") (24)
  • A Tale of Christmas Past by U.L. Tied ("Wherein Stiff Upper Lips. War Wounds. Spate Chests. Repression. Restraint and Cold Baths suffer very short shrift...!") (33)
  • Presenses (i) by Chronicler (34) (poem)
  • The Nature of Love -- A Trilogy by Buggles (""You must not love me. Watson." he asserted, trying to recapture his command of the situation. "I cannot be fettered by it. Emotion clouds logic, and I must be clear, nothing must interfere with my deductive reasoning. You understand that, don't you. Watson?" There was a curious note to his voice, one that took me a few moments to recognise. He was pleading with mt. Pleading....!") (35)
  • The Strange Adventures of the Mickledown Silver by Escott (51)
  • A Cornish Interlude by Natasha ("'All this time I had remained silent; I had kept my true feelings for him firmly buried and continued in my role as trusted friend and biographer. Now. however, with the events of the afternoon still fresh in my mind. I felt the time had come to break that silence, to reveal my true feelings for this man before it was too late") (55)
  • Precipice by Chronicler (59) (poem)
  • New Horizons by Natasha ("'He had never felt as close as this to anyone before - not even his brother. Mycroft - and Watson inspired in him feelings which he never thought he would experience. The previous evening, it had been Watson who had opened hish eart to Holmes: perhaps now was the time for Holmes to do likewise.") (60)
flyer, page two, click to read summaries
flyer, page one, click to read summaries

Part Two

  • A Study in Private by Boswell (68)
  • Dirty Ditty by The Victorians (75)
  • The Case of the Dedicated Craftsman by Ophelia (set during "Charles Augustus Milverton") (""Evening, sir. I's come to take a look at your pipes." Holmes spoke with a soft West Country drawl and Watson could not help bursting out laughing... "Well then, my good man, pray don't let me stop you." He continued to watch Holmes as the latter came forward to kneel by the bath and rested his arms on the edge.") (76)
  • Bestowal by Vernet (84) (poem)
  • The Strange Case of the Visitor in the Night by Chronicler (85)
  • Lullaby by Ophelia (88)
  • Revelation by Chronicler (90) (poem)
  • Denouement by Escott (After "The Sign of Four") ("Watson was sure he fully understood the reason for the often thinly veiled cruelty of Holmes observations. He was sure he understood all too well the almost unfathomable complexities of the two sides of Holmes' warring nature, for Holmes spent his life battling against his emotions, and it was inevitable Watson should fall victim along the way ...'") (91)
  • An Ordinary Man by Chronicler (97) (poem)
  • Private Practice by Lestrade ("'Upstairs in my bedroom I steadied myself by trying to recall the rules we had made for that first encounter of 'Doctor and Patient', but my mind kept sliding away to the object of my desire, who was divesting himself of his clothing in the small dressing room next door ...") (98)
  • Bah! Humbug! by Ophelia ("'I tried hard to remain calm but my heartbeat was already quickening. But then I felt his lips on my cheek, kissing and caressing. Suddenly his hand came up and turned my face towards his and my lips parted involuntarily, in readiness for him. He paused then, his mouth mere inches from mine. Ah, sweetheart, you would not deny me little treat would you? Holmes' smile was mischievous and his tone teasing.") (103)
  • Worth Many Wounds by Chronicler ("(After "The Adventure of the Three Garridebs") 'Watson could well understand Holmes' reaction after today's events. They had come under fire before, but a bullet finding its target was not a common occurrence. He himself could recall no moments in his life more terrible than those at the Reichenbach Falls when he first believed Holmes was dead ... !") (111)
  • Career Choice by Chronicler (115) (poem)
  • High Hopes by Escott ("I must confess straightaway that Holmes' nature is in fact not entirely as I have portrayed it in my memoirs. He is neither quite so unemotional nor so austere as I have painted him in my accounts of his cases. But for delicacy's sake, and in order to protect our privacy, it would be indiscreet to do otherwise. And how gratifying to know that here I can be totally free, and say what I will how I will, without inhibition!") (117)
  • Last Prelude by Chronicler (""Because honour and duty demand... And of course you know that I will do it. I sometimes think that I would have fared better if 1 had been a little less honourable and a little more selfish!" "Then you might not be the man that you are. And I might not have loved you so deeply as I have done...as I do...Which is why I know I can make such a request of you ..."") (125)
  • Presences (ii) by Chronicler (126) (poem)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

If you want cuddlefic, this is the place to get it. The dearth of H/W in general makes a 'zine this large a rare and happy surprise. The WAFFish, sex-focused style is also different from what you will find in most online fic. This unity of style can make it seem a little bit repetitive after a while, but better that than leaving us unsatisfied! In terms of structure, this 'zine is laid out in two roughly equal parts: the "first time" fics are all in part 1, while the relationship fics are in part 2. There really aren't any significant hurt/comforts, angsts, or even mysteries in this edition. However, this lack of variety is more than made up for by the wonderful visual layout. I have rarely seen a 'zine so well designed; it is positively full of delightful little pictures filling up the whitespace and lending a period feel to the whole collection. Speaking of period, the fics themselves do a fairly good job of sticking to their time (always important in a historical). They tend to use the Granada canon instead of the written one, probably for better visualization, but several of them do make reference to Mary or in some other way blend the two storylines in a way that is not offensive even to my rigid sensibilities. [2]

Issue 2

cover of issue #2, Sydney Carton

Friend of My Heart 2 contains 130 pages and was published in 1994. Cover by Sydney Carton.

  • Cape Noctem by J.H. Watson ("My heart was beating like a trip hammer as I led the way upstairs, nor would it return to normal until we had gained the safety of my room. I now brought into play my experience, gathered over three Continents. It was invaluable.") (1)
  • Communication by Chronicler (7)
  • A Chance for Love by Mary Rose Watson (8)
  • Monologue by Ophelia (20)
  • Echoes of Your Heart by Natasha (23)
  • The Progress of Love by Mary Rose Watson (missing scenes from "The Musgrave Ritual", ""Why ever should you be concerned about me, Watson?" interrupted Holmes with somewhat forced brightness, "as you can see, I am perfectly well." Watson sighed deeply. "Please Holmes, please don't pretend, not with me Surely you must know you need hide nothing from me, my friend."") (26)
  • The Resident Doctor by J.H. Watson ("He turned to face me for the first time and there was no disguising a curious bruise on his left cheek. 'You should treat the ladies with greater respect. I looks as if one of them has at last hit back.' To my astonishment, Holmes coloured and winced.") (32)
  • The Glory of Love by Ophelia (""Where are you going, Watson" he asked quietly, his voice expressing neither curiosity or irritation. "Out for a walk and a breath of air," I replied evenly "Will you not even sit with me today."") (41)
  • Stay With Me 'Til Morn by Natasha ("Some how tonight was different, and Watson had the distinct impression that on several had been going to say something and then had changed his mind Watson had waited, and his patience had been rewarded, for Holmes had made the first move after all occasions Holmes.") (46)
  • A Better Restorative by Escott (""I confess I had not expected quite such an enthusiastic response to my, suggestion," Watson's muffled, uneven voice murmured at last from Holmes' shoulder, where he lay comfortably cushioned, breathing in the sweet, uniquely scent that was Holmes.") (52)
  • Captivity and Freedom by Chronicler (60)
  • A Time to Heal by Natasha (76)
  • Valediction by Gloria Lancaster (80)
  • Losses by Mary Rose Watson (81)
  • What the Landlady Saw by Sydney Carton (""Ever since they first took up lodgings here they have been a strange pair - nothing I don't object to, mind you - it is mainly them keeping so irregular hours, Mr Holmes' cases always called them away at strange times of the day and night, and Dr Watson being called out by his practice. But of late things have been different..."" (89)
  • The Evening of a Long Day by Gloria Lancaster ("That very first time, so long ago now. I knew even then that I was in danger from this. I had deceived myself then, and for quite a long while afterwards; no deceit so great as the one we practice upon ourselves But that first time I had blinded myself wilfully, so that I experienced only joy.") (92)
  • Lyonnesse by Gloria Lancaster ("Before I could frame a sentence, he came and stood right before me and, quite casually lputting his hand against my cheek, he drew my face up so my eyes met his. He looked pale, as always, and determined somehow, patient; worse than all this, he looked kind.") (97)
  • A Cause for Rejoicing by Escott (""Their love is outwardly acceptable - a cause for rejoicing, as ours can never be," I elaborated. "But this is unlike you, John!" he protested softly, "you are plagued by demons tonight. What has brought it about?") (103)
  • Turkish Delight by Ophelia ("Holmes gazed thoughtfully at it a few moments before turning to face Watson, his eyes sparkling he drew his companion towards him, and with gentle but insistent hands lugged off his towel") (106)
  • Changes by Natasha ("It was with a very heavy heart that I folded up my newspaper and rose slowly to my feet. "I love you, Holmes - I always will, and above all else I want our relationship to work: I believe you do, too. All I ask is that you think about what I have said ..."") (110)
  • Out of Step by Escott ("Our relationship was certainly a strange one, and ifwe had not been so discreet, one which society would have condemned. And, characteristically, like so much about Holmes, it seemed to me an erratic and unstable affair.") (115)
  • Chess-mate by Sydney Carton ("When the dark head lifted there was a hard glint in Holmes eye and he pounced on the board with a vengeance, making a swift kill of one of Watson's Rooks and smiling in delight at the shocked expression on the doctor's face.") (120)
  • Someone to Watch Over Me by Chronicler ("All the colour drained from Holmes' face. When he spoke, it was in a tight whisper "I explained the reasons for those actions. I thought you understood them." "The only thing that is clear to me," Watson said, the emotions within him warring but the sense of grievance still proving the victor, "is that today you have seen fit to disregard my support, my advice, my feelings ..."") (124)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 2

Like its predecessor, FoMH2 is a large, well-designed 'zine centered on WAFF and sex. It differs from the original in two key aspects: first, that the fics tend to be less purely WAFF and more often contain plot, angst, or humor; and second, that there is less of an emphasis on or division by "first time" and "not first time" fics. Therefore, fewer of the fics can be easily divided into these categories. It also contains a bit more poetry, including at least one epic on Reichenbach. Granada is again the emphasis, but not all fics are recognizably settled in one canon versus the other - they discuss issues or incidents that are extra-canonical and could fit into either one. Otherwise, this is a very reasonable sequel to the first, and as long as you didn't think the first was too angsty (and I'm not sure how you could), you will probably enjoy this one to the same degree or even more so. [3]

References

  1. HOLMES/WATSON SLASH LINKS
  2. from Harpers Penny.net (originally publicly available, now excluded from the Wayback Machine)
  3. from Harpers Penny.net (originally publicly available, now excluded from the Wayback Machine)