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Passing Thus Alone (Sherlock)

Title: Passing Thus Alone
Author: Morgan Stuart
Fandom: Sherlock
Disclaimer: This universe does not belong to me; I'm just an appreciative visitor. I make no profit from this fan work.
Description: It caught up with Sally Donovan just as late night became early morning.
Historian's Note: This character study takes place after events depicted in the second-series Sherlock episode "The Reichenbach Fall."

Passing Thus AloneCollapse )

Comments

( 68 comments — Leave a comment )
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syien_island
Jan. 22nd, 2012 06:11 pm (UTC)
Great insight into Sally's side.
morganstuart
Jan. 24th, 2012 04:23 pm (UTC)
I'm so happy you think so! Thanks so much for reading and for leaving such kind feedback. I appreciate it very much.
cookiefleck
Jan. 22nd, 2012 06:24 pm (UTC)
Oh, Sally, Sally, Sally.

She's hard to like, even if some of her rationale is understandable. (Short pause here for a hiss and a boo at your icon, LOL.) I think it's those moments on the show... for example, in RF when she says "unbelieveable" - it's the way she says it - maybe her accent? but it comes off as a snotty retort... not a considered judgment with the People's interests at heart. You did a good, difficult job here of bringing out how her emotions got the better of her, and the dire ramifications.
morganstuart
Jan. 24th, 2012 04:34 pm (UTC)
I definitely agree with you that Sally's resentment of Sherlock has been simmering for a long time. I find it tragic that her feelings and doubts put her in the perfect position to be manipulated by Moriarty. I see her moment of "no return" as moving ahead with her suspicions before learning why the children cried out when they saw Sherlock; if she'd known, it might've tipped her off how much of a setup this particular situation was. But Moriarty knew she was already primed to move ahead with little provocation, wanting to believe the lie - and Sherlock didn't do himself any favors by refusing to go in willingly and clear his name. (And, to be fair, people with far more reason to be wary - Mycroft and John, for example - were also manipulated by Moriarty, too. That's part of the chilling genius of this episode, I think.)

I've been moved by the Lestrade-Donovan relationship ever since the press conference in "ASiP," where it was so clear how Sally watched out for Lestrade and was protective of him, and how he trusted her advice when it was needed. I find this situation to be a great tragedy, how she set herself up to be manipulated as part of Moriarty's plan, and I do wonder how, if at all, they could ever work together again after this breach of trust.

Wow, how's that for rambling? All that is to say I really appreciate your kind words. I'm so glad this worked for you as a window into how her emotions got the better of her, and what the dire ramifications of her own "fall" might be.
mazaher
Jan. 22nd, 2012 08:05 pm (UTC)
I used to rather like Donovan. I'm not going to forgive her now, but you make me understand her a bit more, and it's a relief.
Thank you
morganstuart
Jan. 24th, 2012 04:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! Better people than Donovan (Mycroft, John) were also manipulated by Moriarty in this episode; I do find it tragic how complicit she was in her own manipulation here, though, as she wanted to believe the lies. But that's part of the genius of this episode, I think, that Moriarty knew exactly what button to push for each person to turn them into his pawns.

I've been fascinated by the Lestrade-Donovan relationship ever since the press conference in "ASiP," where it was so clear how Sally watched out for Lestrade, and how he trusted her advice when it was needed. I find this situation to be a great tragedy, and I do wonder how, if at all, they could ever work together again after this breach of trust. Very sad indeed.

I really appreciate your kind words, and I'm grateful that you "bought" this as a plausible look into her perspective. As always, thank you, my friend!
(no subject) - mazaher - Jan. 24th, 2012 06:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
cuddles_and_jam
Jan. 22nd, 2012 08:05 pm (UTC)
I *knew* you would write something about Sally in this episode! Thank you for this. I was absolutely squirming during those scenes and I think her second thoughts here are very believable.
morganstuart
Jan. 24th, 2012 08:05 pm (UTC)
I was squirming, too! Wasn't it painful and tragic? Like watching a train wreck.

Thank you so much for this. I'm so pleased (and relieved!) to hear that her thoughts seem believable here. I really appreciate it.
shefa
Jan. 22nd, 2012 08:32 pm (UTC)
Yes. THIS.

Her own self-awareness is going to be punishment enough, methinks. Yes, if she'd had actionable proof, going above Lestrade would have made sense. But she was ripe for manipulation, and Moriarty used her and the others well. Such agony.

Powerfully done.
morganstuart
Jan. 24th, 2012 08:14 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm so delighted that this worked for you, and that it seemed a plausible glimpse into her perspective. Thank you so much for this.

I agree that her own realization of her "fall" here will be a terrible punishment in itself.

Yes, if she'd had actionable proof, going above Lestrade would have made sense. But she was ripe for manipulation, and Moriarty used her and the others well.

Exactly! I find it chilling to think of how he knew exactly what button to push for each person in order to turn him/her into his unwitting pawn.

I really appreciate your lovely feedback. Thanks, my friend!
dimity_blue
Jan. 22nd, 2012 09:32 pm (UTC)
Wow. Okay, *this* makes me feel a little sorry for Sally. I really like that she recognises she was played, used, and that she's screwed up and done far more damage to Lestrade than Sherlock did.

And it's totally in character. Well done.

Thanks for sharing.
morganstuart
Jan. 24th, 2012 08:18 pm (UTC)
I'm so pleased that this felt in character to you! It seems like such a tragedy to me, from every possible angle.

I really like that she recognises she was played, used, and that she's screwed up and done far more damage to Lestrade than Sherlock did.

Thank you for this! I've really liked the Lestrade-Donovan dynamic, and it made me ache to imagine how this would undo the trust between them - and how alone Lestrade would be before this was all over. I can't imagine that she thought this through at the time. But after the fact... ouch.

Thank you so much for your lovely comments. They're most appreciated!
capt_facepalm
Jan. 22nd, 2012 11:50 pm (UTC)
As always, I enjoy reading your interpretation of Lestrade and his team. Poor Sally. This should be the end of Lestrade's career.
morganstuart
Jan. 24th, 2012 08:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I just ache for everyone in this tragedy. Lestrade, most of all.

I really appreciate your reading. It means a lot to me.
cordeliadelayne
Jan. 22nd, 2012 11:56 pm (UTC)
Oh, that's a great look at Sally.
morganstuart
Jan. 24th, 2012 08:19 pm (UTC)
I'm so happy you think so! Thank you so much for this. I appreciate it.
ascendant_angel
Jan. 22nd, 2012 11:58 pm (UTC)
I really like the angel you've taken this and how it remains true to character.
morganstuart
Jan. 24th, 2012 08:20 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much! I'm so pleased this worked for you, and that you felt it was true to character. I really appreciate your kind words.
beledibabe
Jan. 23rd, 2012 01:17 am (UTC)
A lesson to all of us, ne? ::shamefaced blush::
morganstuart
Jan. 24th, 2012 08:20 pm (UTC)
Augh, so true! There but for the grace of God go I...

Thank you so much, my friend, for reading and commenting!
mariole
Jan. 23rd, 2012 06:33 am (UTC)
I wondered how you would handle this-- you've done such lovely Lestrade & Sally pieces before.

Sad and unsettling, as it has to be. The grief felt anew, late, sharp. Lovely.
morganstuart
Jan. 24th, 2012 08:22 pm (UTC)
Oh, that's so kind of you! Thank you so much.

I'm so glad this worked for you. I ached as I watched the tragedy unfold in the episode, and I ached as I imagined the consequences here. "Grief" is a good word for it.

I really appreciate your supportive and encouraging words. Many thanks!
lastwordy_mcgee
Jan. 23rd, 2012 04:28 pm (UTC)
Very well done. I feel like I get her a little more now, though honestly, it doesn't make me dislike her any less ;)
morganstuart
Jan. 24th, 2012 08:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for reading! I'm so glad you "bought" this as a glimpse into her viewpoint.

I find it tragic that her feelings and doubts put her in the perfect position to be manipulated by Moriarty. I see her moment of "no return" as moving ahead with her suspicions before learning why the children cried out when they saw Sherlock; if she'd known, it might've tipped her off how much of a setup this particular situation was. But Moriarty knew she was already primed to move ahead with little provocation, wanting to believe the lie - and Sherlock didn't do himself any favors by refusing to go in willingly and clear his name. (And, to be fair, people with far more reason to be wary - Mycroft and John, for example - were also manipulated by Moriarty, too. That's part of the chilling genius of this episode, I think.)

I've been fascinated by the Lestrade-Donovan dynamic ever since the press conference in "ASiP" showed how well they worked together - how protective she was of him, and how he respected her advice and took it when needed. This betrayal will change that forever, I fear, and that's quite a sad consequence of Moriarty's game.

At any rate, I'm grateful for your kind words. Thanks so much, my friend!
rusty_armour
Jan. 23rd, 2012 05:58 pm (UTC)
It's great to get Donovan's perspective on the events of "The Reichenbach Fall" and what will likely be the subsequent aftermath at Scotland Yard. You examine her thoughts and motivations in a thorough but sympathetic manner. Donovan's reasons for what she did are all too human and pretty understandable given what she and the rest of the team have put up with over the years with Sherlock. However, it takes true courage to be able to face yourself in the cold light of reality and admit that you crossed the line. I really like the fact that Donovan realizes she's been manipulated and has hurt Lestrade more than helped him. The last three lines of the story sum up Donovan's situation so well:

But it did make her something she'd never before been: a rubbish detective sergeant.

And that was a fall of its own, wasn't it?

God help her.
morganstuart
Jan. 24th, 2012 08:59 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm so happy this worked for you! Thanks so much for your lovely comments. I agree that her actions make her quite human here, and they're somewhat understandable given what she and her colleagues have seen from Sherlock over the years from their limited perspective. (He didn't do himself any favors with them, I suspect, by failing to come in willingly to try to clear his name when they gave him the chance.)

However, it takes true courage to be able to face yourself in the cold light of reality and admit that you crossed the line.

I love what you've said here! So very true.

I really like the fact that Donovan realizes she's been manipulated and has hurt Lestrade more than helped him.

I'm so glad this seems fitting. It amazes me, how much tragedy Moriarty has left in his wake. I wonder how, if at all, this Lestrade-Donovan relationship can be repaired, as it has to be based on trust.

It does my heart good to know those final lines felt right. I really appreciate your feedback here; it's so helpful to know what works! Thanks for your kindness, my friend!
methylviolet10b
Feb. 1st, 2012 08:33 pm (UTC)
GAH!!!

THIS. This exactly. You do a wonderful job here getting inside Sally's head, giving her plausible motivations and depth of character that she was frankly denied in TRF. It's all very inline with the potential I saw in her character in Series 1, and it irks me no end that the DS who had Lestrade's back and was a trusted member of his team, all the *potential* of that character, was used (squandered?) in this way in Series 2. And yes, it's not that her actions were so unbelievable in TRF; they were very human, very believable (although I remain irked to no end that the apparently bright, apparently loyal DS Donovan was so apparently CLUELESS about the fairly-obvious potential political consequences to Lestrade of what she did and how she did it). It's that I want Sally to be more than a simple dupe/villain. You give her that, and thank you a zillion times over.

But it did make her something she'd never before been: a rubbish detective sergeant.

EXACTLY this. I don't see a way back for Donovan in Series 3, not without a whole lot of story and character work that I don't think the series-writers are interested in doing. It is a show about John and Sherlock first and foremost, after all - but darn it, Lestrade's important too, and subsequently so is his team. Or so I wish. And darn it...well. Yeah.

Well done, you. I don't suppose there's any chance you're going to hire on as one of the writers or consultants for Series 3? Because that would be fantastic. The characters are *always* in good hands when you write them.


Edited at 2012-02-01 08:33 pm (UTC)
morganstuart
Feb. 11th, 2012 09:49 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much for this! I'm so glad her motivations feel plausible here. I'm with you 100%; I want her to be more than a simple dupe/villain. I'm so pleased that you think this helps in that regard.

I also agree that it's going to be very, very difficult -- and quite possibly more work that the writers are willing to devote to it -- to bring her back to the "side of the angels" in the next series. If that's the case, I'll really miss her, as well as that dynamic she shared with Lestrade. I'm most concerned about what the fallout will be for him after all of this. He needs all the allies he can get.

Your kind words have thrilled my heart. I can't thank you enough!
starcat_jewel
Feb. 7th, 2012 08:41 am (UTC)
This is outstanding. I'm always suspicious of the "Why can't anyone but ME see this?" character; they like to imagine themselves as Cassandra, but more often than not the answer is "because it doesn't exist except in your head". This is a much better outcome for her than being formally disciplined, because nothing sinks in like recognizing your own mistakes, your own delusions. She still doesn't like Sherlock, but there's a huge difference between "I don't like this guy" and "this guy is a criminal", and that's what she lost track of -- much like what's happened to the legal system in the USA over the last decade or so.

There are 2 ways this could play out IMO. Either she takes the lesson to heart and learns to be less easily seduced by her own personal prejudices in the future... or that recognition becomes intolerable, so she rationalizes it away, and hence becomes more vulnerable to it happening again.

Side thought... is Anderson ambitious for Lestrade's position? If so, she may have been played by more than Moriarty; played for a fool by an untrustworthy lover. This is why you don't fuck co-workers.

morganstuart
Feb. 11th, 2012 09:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for these lovely comments! You've thrilled my heart.

This is a much better outcome for her than being formally disciplined, because nothing sinks in like recognizing your own mistakes, your own delusions.

I'm so glad you think so! That's exactly how I feel.

There are 2 ways this could play out IMO. Either she takes the lesson to heart and learns to be less easily seduced by her own personal prejudices in the future... or that recognition becomes intolerable, so she rationalizes it away, and hence becomes more vulnerable to it happening again.

I couldn't agree more. For everyone's sake, I hope she learns from this. I really hate the thought of the schism this will create between Sally and Lestrade. I was fascinated by their professional dynamic, which seemed to be one of genuine respect, and I don't know how the breach of trust between them can ever be healed.

Good question about Anderson! I may be wrong (wouldn't be the first time!), but I was under the impression he's not a policeman per se, but rather a special forensics expert, which would mean he's not in line for Lestrade's job in the way that Donovan, as a DS, would be qualified to become a DI. That said, I have no doubt that he wanted Sherlock (who was, in a sense, a rival) out of the way, and he wouldn't be above manipulating Sally to obtain his goal. An unworthy lover, indeed!

I really appreciate your reading and taking the time to leave such great comments. Many thanks!
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