I realize it’s a matter of blind faith, or perhaps I should say heedless idealism. Sometimes I can only explain what I mean about Johnlock by talking about fatedness, though I try to avoid it. I’m still thinking about Ivy’s post, and defining Sherlock and John’s relationship. And also, well, I’m trying to decide where I’m supposed to draw the line between ‘romantic love’ and ‘friendship’ or partnership, and what it means to draw that line, to differentiate these feelings.
The truth is, I don’t want to differentiate them. I don’t want to say romantic love is this, and partnership is that. I don’t want to say that their partnership isn’t romantic. I think it is. I think everything about their partnership is romantic, so logically speaking, the romance is the heart of the show. Because otherwise, well, as Ivy said, they could theoretically decide that they could be ‘just friends’ and that would be enough. Dividing these feelings isn’t going to work.
I’ve just seen that scenario in a teenlock fic (I mean, I skimmed long enough to figure this out), and it’s so impossible and unbelievable, it makes me laugh. Sherlock and John breaking up to be ‘just friends’ in college and beyond? Oh please. Even in an AU, it’s OOC. In actual canon, it’s literally laughable to imagine there’s some secret stability to their relationship if you delete all the romantic angst. On the other hand, their stable romantic relationship would’t really be ‘fluffy’ either in my mind. They’re just… not going to be fluffy (or possibly even healthy) by other people’s standards— only their own. I mean, I dunno, Sherlock Holmes and John Watson aren’t super-easy or stable people in and of themselves, but they’re happy together. Fitting them into a typical couple’s trajectory of ‘hooking up’ or ‘moving on’ always sounds odd.
And it’s not that I think Sherlock and John couldn’t break up; anyone can break up. I just don’t think they could get over each other; John certainly hadn’t gotten over Sherlock by the time S3 rolled around, and they weren’t even together yet. I also don’t think they could ever realize, ‘oh, we’re such good friends now and we have no more sexual tension at all, wow, it was just a phase’. If it was ever likely to happen, it would’ve happened in S3. I’d say at this point, canon has proven they can’t get over each other; they’re well and truly stuck. I mean, I can believe it in some adaptation that is not BBC Sherlock, but here? No. I can see how it’s ‘realistic’ for other couples, who are ‘normal people’ and/or teenagers, who are not Sherlock and John.
The only thing that makes sense in terms of Johnlock is the idea that they can only be with each other, so they have to figure out how to integrate the sexual bits because there’s no room in their hearts for anyone or anything else, not really. It’s all or nothing. It’s a similar dynamic to TOS Kirk/Spock, actually. Basically, if you think they’re going to have any stable long-term relationship at all, obviously it has to be with each other or it’s doomed to failure. No matter how much John— or Jim Kirk— may be earnest in their affections, they cannot resist the siren call. They can’t resist pursuing the thing they truly love—adventure, partnership, high romance, the thrill of the chase— with their best beloved by their side. And the Work is the true beloved, even as it’s personified by their partner, their comrade in arms and the one person who understands, who shares the passion. And this applies equally to both John and Sherlock, as to both Jim and Spock.
Like I said, maybe it’s just heedless idealism, ‘cause I am aware what I’m describing is unrealistic romanticism. At the same time, well… it’s canon. Note, romanticism isn’t fluffy; often enough romanticism is the opposite of fluffy. The feelings are too volatile to bear being ordinary and comforting or static for long; the relationship grows and develops just as the people involved do, and with movement comes tension. Essentially, it’s the heartbeat at the center of their lives. It feels absolutely intrinsic to every mundane and platonic thing they do, though it always feels extraordinary, even explosive.
In the end, one can’t reduce it to a story about ‘love’ or ‘friendship’, ‘partnership’ or ‘sex’— platonic or non-platonic— since all of these would be reductions. I can’t imagine drawing lines between them. There are simply none.
While rewatching the series 3 Sherlock trailer (x), I noticed the prominently placed coins:
"I don’t care how you faked it. I want to know why."
This taken purely at face value is great foreshadowing.
John’s location inspired me to look into analysis of coins in dreams.
"The impression of coins in your dream is generally interpreted as the overlooked opportunity that was crucial for your life." (x)
John’s dreams are often about Sherlock, and the presence of the coins is no different. John missed the opportunity to tell Sherlock about his feelings before Sherlock faked his death. The dream coins add meaning to Mary shooting the coin. Shooting the coin symbolizes an attempt to end the second chance at this missed opportunity.
I love Series 3 it’s like a terrible social experiment
John & Sherlock Separation Period: 18 hours
Sherlock: auditory hallucinations; refers to random people as “John”
John: total loss of interest in job; begins to physically assault patients
Mary: nervous gay jokes; reads John’s entire blog before leaving bed
John & Sherlock Separation Period: 1 month
Sherlock: relapses to hard drugs; begins fake relationship
John: breaks into crack den to sprain people’s wrists
Mary: starts literally shooting people