Title: Impure Genius
Author: Mary Sutherland
Fandom: Sherlock Holmes BBC
Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Summary: Being recognized as a detective genius was everything Sherlock had ever wanted, and he’d had no idea how awful it would be.
Warnings: non-graphic self harm (cutting)/suicide attempts. Please beware of triggers.
Why You Should Read This: This is a fascinating character study of Sherlock. His entire life is constrained by the crushing fear that he is not and never will be good enough, a fear reinforced at University where he discovers how far short he falls of true genius. This is a very different Sherlock from most fanfics as his arrogance is only a thin cover for his fear of possible failure and an endless cycle of self-dissection. Sherlock’s scathing wit is completely in character, as is John’s pragmatism. Sutherland does a brilliant job of portraying Sherlock’s fall and recovery with John’s help and love. Despite the serious issues, this story ultimately has a happy ending and the developing romance between John and Sherlock is both romantic and satisfying. This is a wonderful story and highly recommended.