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Ariane DeVere
Sherlock fic: By any other name 
8th-Mar-2012 09:35 pm
I'm fine - fucked up, insecure ...
Author: Ariane DeVere
Word count: 221
Rating: PG
Warnings: If you’ve not seen Season 2 this won’t make much sense. That said, there are no major spoilers for Season 2

By any other name

He has always hated his name. If he didn’t have an irritating but unavoidable sense of loyalty to his parents’ memory, he would have changed it decades ago. His classmates at school always sneered at how unusual the name was, and his brother was no help at all, simply quoting that stupid Shakespearean line about a rose smelling as sweet. Idiot. You’d think that, being lumbered with the same problem, he would sympathise with him. But it makes no sense to him: he won’t ever forgive his parents for bestowing such an annoying name on him, so why couldn’t he ever bring himself to change it and feel happier with himself?

But now he has to disappear; to vanish from the world and leave no trace of himself behind. At long last he has a good reason to change his name, a reason that even his late parents and his oh-so-very-annoyingly-alive brother will understand and forgive him for.

He looks down at his hand in bemusement as he realises that it’s shaking while he dials the number.

“Hello,” he says when someone answers at the other end. “I need to speak to one of your reporters, please.”

The voice asks for his name, and an excited shudder runs through his body as he opens his mouth.

“My name ... is Richard Brook.”


Author’s Note: So this one resonates with me. I’ve despised my own name all my life – can’t explain why. It wasn’t an unusual name like Sherlock, Mycroft or Moriarty but I hated it. It didn’t feel right on me, and even as a youngster I took on the name of my favourite TV character at the time – at least inside my own head. The name changed over time but when I was eleven I read the name ‘Callie’ in a book and fell in love with it immediately. Later I decided that if I was ever going to change my name for real, I was going to change the surname as well, and at the age of fifteen – for reasons too complicated to explain – decided that my new surname would be ‘Sullivan’. And finally, at the ripe old age of thirty-five (fifteen years ago), I made the change official.

My Mum never really understood but, bless her heart, wanted me to be happy and – to my surprise – called me Callie from that day on, only occasionally and accidentally slipping into my original name. And when I started calling myself Ariane DeVere for fic-writing and macro-making purposes, she just nodded and accepted that too.

She died on the 10th of February.

This 221B Author’s Note is dedicated to the memory of my Mum, Betty.

8th-Mar-2012 09:37 pm (UTC)
Love you, sweetie, x
8th-Mar-2012 09:47 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I've suddenly realised that this is the fic that nobody's gonna remember ...
(Deleted comment)
8th-Mar-2012 09:54 pm (UTC)
Sorry, hun. Hug Lucybun for me - and have one for yourself too!
8th-Mar-2012 10:09 pm (UTC)
You've got me there. You made me remember "Empty House" and that he too has a brother. I had deleted that. Well done!

Your mom sounds like she was a great person, mine would have never accepted. She would have fought me. *sends you a hug even if we don't know each other just because*

And it is nice to see that there're other people my age around here, well nearly my age, I'm 45 :-)
10th-Mar-2012 10:08 am (UTC)
Good grief, I had totally forgotten that James Moriarty has a brother, so that was convenient to the story!

And thanks for the hug. *hugs you back*
8th-Mar-2012 10:38 pm (UTC)
I still have my mom, and I have no idea how I will take it when she goes. Yours sounds lovely, and I'm sad for you.

10th-Mar-2012 10:08 am (UTC)
Thanks for your kind words.
8th-Mar-2012 10:41 pm (UTC)
As someone with an odd Real Life (tm) name, and someone who used to want to change it LIKE WHOA, this one really hit a chord with me. Lovely and very poignant.

And condolences on the loss of your mother. I'm so sorry for your loss.
10th-Mar-2012 10:09 am (UTC)
I'm convinced that people should be given a number until they're old enough to choose their own name!

Thanks for your kind words.
(Deleted comment)
10th-Mar-2012 10:10 am (UTC)
Thanks for the hug. My condolences to you on your loss.
9th-Mar-2012 12:51 am (UTC)
*hugs you tight*
Welcome to the club no one wants to be in... The motherless. :( lost mine last June, the day after my 39th birthday.
And, for the record, I never liked my name either... Too common. But I never did get the nerve up to change it. I did draw the line at a common last name though- both my husband and I changed our last name when we got married and he added his "maiden" name as his middle name.
Ok long comment for a short and memorable story.
10th-Mar-2012 10:12 am (UTC)
My original name was a common one too but it wasn't the common-ness that bothered me. If anyone else tells that it's their name too, I don't find myself saying, "Oh, you poor thing," or anything like that. It's fine on anyone else - just felt wrong on me for reasons I'll never understand!

However, when my sister got married she decided to keep her maiden name - and her husband changed his surname to hers because he hated his own family, so the original surname still lives on in her and her daughter.
9th-Mar-2012 01:22 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry about your mum. I lost my Mom April 1, 2008. She would have been so embarrassed that she died on April Fool's Day. That kinda thing happened to her, her whole life and we would laugh about it.

I had cold chills because I am searching my heart and praying about changing my name. I'm 44 and at a cross roads, and it feels like new life, new name is in order. I've been thinking about it for a month but just told my therapist yesterday.

Glad to know somebody else went down that road. I have a novel WIP with a character called Callie.

You always have the killer 221 Bs. Nobody else has used Richard Brook as the ending. Smart girl!
10th-Mar-2012 10:16 am (UTC)
Both of my parents timed their deaths rather inconveniently, as Dad died just before Father's Day in the late 80s, and it's Mother's Day in the UK in a couple of weeks, which makes those Sundays painful each year.

Good luck in deciding whether to change your name. *hugs you* And yay for my namesake in your fic!

I have been reading every 221B that I can find over the last few weeks in a panic that someone else would think of using 'Brook' as the B-word before I got round to writing mine!
9th-Mar-2012 02:07 am (UTC)
there are times when my fav pieces are the small ones that you don't see coming. this is one of those works. ♥

my deepest condolences on the passing on of your mum. she sounds like she was amazing. i am sorry for your loss.
10th-Mar-2012 10:17 am (UTC)
Glad you liked it! And thanks for the condolences.
9th-Mar-2012 02:56 am (UTC)
Bwahahahaha. I love it when someone does that to me and you do it so well. Other than the twist this story really had impact on me because I have never liked my name, but didn't have the guts to change it because it is a combination of both my grandmother's names. That part I cherish though I don't like the name. I just love both your new names.

Condolences on losing your mother. She sounds as if she was a really lovely person. And since we are on names my mother's name is Betty too.
10th-Mar-2012 10:19 am (UTC)
My original middle name was also my grandfather's middle name, as it works for both genders, and that was the one name that I wasn't too bothered about, although I still changed that too because I wanted a complete change.

All the best girls have a mum called Betty. *nods*
9th-Mar-2012 11:54 am (UTC)
Ow, Callie. Before reading your AN I was about to write something like "Ha ha Ariane-"red herrings"-DeVere, you and your twists, you got us again, especially with the brother who has an unusual name ha ha ha" but now I don't know what to say.

Verity had mentioned you were having a hard time but I didn't want to be indiscreet. I can only imagine how you feel and I'm so sorry for you. It seems your Mum was a very loving and understanding mother ; and I remember you told us she had read some of your fics and wondered why Sherlock and John were kissing. :-)

Anyway you really have a gift for finding names, "Callie Sullivan" as well as "Ariane DeVere" sound beautiful, at least to a French ear.

Again, you have my deepest sympathy.
*sees your icon*
*hugs you*

10th-Mar-2012 10:24 am (UTC)
I'm happy that you still posted your comment on the fic itself, cos it's nice to know that it worked even though I then ruined the mood with the AN. I'd been thinking of writing a sort of 'in memoriam' 221B ever since the link between a B-word and Mum's name struck me, but I hadn't initially intended the AN here to become that 221B, but it just spilled out.

Verity said that she half expected that the AN would end with a PS saying, "Look, Mum, no men kissing in this one"!

Thanks for the hug. *hugs you back*
10th-Mar-2012 09:55 am (UTC)
Ha, clever you, you fooled me again. :)

And the AN to your mother is lovely. <3
I will always remember the story you told us about her reading one of your fics: "But why are they kissing?"
10th-Mar-2012 10:29 am (UTC)
I wonder how Mum would feel if she knew that she will always be remembered as the "But why are they kissing?" woman! I hope she'd be proud in a strange way, and she did then spawn all the "When an army doctor ..." fics and at least one glorious piece of artwork!
10th-Mar-2012 07:02 pm (UTC)
Betty must have been a fantastic woman. It's so hard to acknowledge uniqueness in one's own children. I believe you've both been lucky.
Thank you for a story which, despite your misgivings, will remain unforgettable.
10th-Mar-2012 09:08 pm (UTC)
Aww, thank you for such kind words!
13th-Mar-2012 04:00 pm (UTC)
Oh, sweetie. You wrote a 221B with your Mum's name at the end. I'm trying not to cry on the keyboard, because this laptop is out of warranty.

You know what? I despised my own name for at least 30 years. My name is a trendy, 20th-century American name commonly used by strippers. Like you, I wanted to be someone I read about in a book. Girls in books were called Margaret, or diminutives of Margaret: Meg, Maggie, Megaparsec. For a long time, I felt like a Margaret.

Oddly, discovering this fandom has brought me a lot of peace with my birth name. It feels mine now, somehow, perhaps because such delightful people call me by it.
14th-Mar-2012 03:45 pm (UTC)
You know, the strange thing was that the moment I changed my name, I made utter peace with the old one. Not enough to want to have it back, mind you; but for the first time in my life I was happy to refer to my old name without grimacing. I'm not going to reveal what it was but say, for instance, that the surname was Jones. If my mum and I, or my sister and I, did something similar while miles apart, I would have no hesitation in saying, "Ah, well, that's typical - us Jones girls always behave the same."

And when family members turned up at Mum's funeral, having not seen me in decades and some of them not even knowing that I had changed my name, I didn't cringe nearly as much as I thought I would when they called me by my old first name.

I still wouldn't change any part of the name back, mind you, but having got rid of all parts of it, I don't object to being referred to by any part any more, just as long as nobody calls me those names on a regular basis.

I'm glad you're more comfortable with your own name nowadays, but if you want us to start calling you Megaparsec, we're used to multiple names in our strange little fanfic world now!
12th-Aug-2012 07:05 pm (UTC)
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