Games We Don't Play

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Title: Games We Don't Play
Author(s): igrockspock
Date(s): 30 April 2013
Length: 3,374 words
Genre: Het
Fandom: Elementary
External Links: Fic on AO3

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Games We Don't Play is a fanfic in the Elementary fandom. It was written by igrockspock for kateandbarrel as a part of the Rare Women 2013 fanfic exchange. The main pairing is Marcus Bell/Joan Watson.


In which Joan solves a murder, goes on an unexpected date, outwits Sherlock, and survives his highly questionable attempts at emotional support.

Recs and Reviews

Great fic! It feels very much like an episode (well, one with an unusually straightforward case). I like how Watson turns the tables on Sherlock in the beginning and how she explains to him why she doesn't like it when he does things like that and he understands and apologizes (both in the beginning with Sherlock hiding in the house and at the end with setting her up with Bell). That's the kind of mature characterization I like from the show! The line about horses, not zebras and referencing her medical past was a nice touch too.[1] (Comment by wei.)
I admire you for tackling this fandom! Joan and Sherlock do not seem like easy characters to write, but you've captured their dynamic very well, particularly in the concluding scene. It was definitely my favorite--I like how important their friendship is. How, even though Joan is very well put together, she still sometimes needs a friend like Sherlock to help her figure out why she's feeling like garbage. Your love of strong ladies with vulnerabilities comes through here very well. :)[2] (Comment by downjune.)
The way igrockspock writes Joan & Marcus at the very start of a relationship, mutually attracted but still feeling things out, is adorable. However, the real core of this story is Joan & Sherlock's friendship, and just Joan Watson character development in general. It's all about how Joan and Sherlock negotiate Joan's boundaries, the liberties she's comfortable with Sherlock taking and those that go too far. They're both so in-character it hurts, Sherlock trying to be a good friend in the most ridiculously roundabout ways possible, and Joan cutting through his obfuscations to explain both why some things are over the line and why others are redeemable by his good intentions. There's a case, as alluded to in the summary, but it's not the focus; the emotional lives of these characters when not on a case is, and igrockspock captures those dynamics with a beautiful delicacy, the way the best episodes of the show do.[3] (Rec posted by PhoenixFalls and 221b_recs.)


  1. ^ AO3 Comment, accessed 14 June 2014.
  2. ^ AO3 Comment, accessed 14 June 2014.
  3. ^ Rec Post, accessed 14 June 2014.