Where I’m Going Now, I Don’t Know by missparker is The Closer/Major Crimes fanfic about finding your true self after great loss.
This is a story about finding your true self in your middle 50s, amidst tragedy, depression and grief. It is one of the best pieces of fanfiction that tackles grief and recovery after losing a loved one with whom the protagonist shared a fraught and complicated relationship.
Brenda Leigh Johnson is the former Deputy Chief of LA Police and head of Major Crimes Division. At the beginning of the fic she is dealing with the death of her husband, Fritz, leaving her bereft and alone. After quitting her job and sinking into a deep depression fuelled by grief and guilt, Brenda is unable to claw her way back out of it alone.
Help arrives from the most unlikely source, in the person of her former nemesis and current head of Major Crimes, Sharon Raydor. Sharon keeps track of Brenda in the aftermath of Fritz’ death and extends the most unlikely olive branch and helping hand.
As they navigate the depths of grief and recovery, Brenda finds herself in an impossible situation of relying wholeheartedly on someone she once despised and discovering that she is desperately attracted to her former nemesis and current best friend.
Juggling friendship, need and attraction is not easy for the normally gung-ho Brenda, who is lost and confused by her nascent feelings.
Will she take the bull by the horns and tackle the situation head-on as her brash persona used to back in her Deputy Chief days or will she let Sharon remain her best friend and hide her attraction towards the very straight and very proper Major Raydor?
Oh where to begin? Missparker is a wonderful writer who handles the difficult subjects of grief and depression in a sensible and thoughtful way. She fills the story with emotions that are palpable to the reader due to the simple yet effective writing style.
The cast of secondary characters is absolutely stellar and brilliantly written. We get to know Brenda’s niece Charlie in a surprising and wonderful role and Sharon’s kids and colleagues make fun cameos.
The interactions with the secondary characters allow the reader to get to know both Brenda and Sharon better while exploring their humanity and quirks, revealed by joyful and sad situations alike.
In addition to all of the above, the author masterly handles the complex issue of coming out and exploring one’s sexuality in your 50s and 60s.
With their somewhat opposing personalities, Brenda and Sharon deal with their sexuality and the revelations about it in their own unique ways and the narrative fully explores both their journeys to self-discovery.
Having read and re-read this story a total of five times, I can absolutely and fully attest that it has no cons. None. Zero. It’s a beautifully written and wonderfully woven piece of fanfiction that has no drawbacks.
Obviously, if this was the SwanQueen fandom, Snow White would be super annoying here as well. But this isn’t OUAT and so we dodge that bullet here.
Setting aside the grief and trauma that Brenda goes through in the story, she also undergoes a beautiful transformation on the road to self-discovery and love. Brenda and Sharon’s exploration of their sexuality, their gentle and at times fumbling attempts at romance are wonderful. Two women in their 50s and 60s discovering themselves and discovering love after years of struggle is beautiful in and by itself, but to explore the issue through these two perfectly quirky and poignant and interesting characters – is truly special.
The story comes alive on the page due to author’s talent. The key to a masterful slow burn is building up the tension between the protagonists and it’s so well executed here, you don’t want to put it down. You rejoice with the characters’ triumphs (without going into spoilers – some villains get their due here) and suffer through their tribulations and setbacks (learning how grief is not linear and backsliding occurs despite the best of efforts).
Excerpt from The Closer/Major Crimes FanFic About Finding Your True Self After Great Loss
Where I’m Going Now, I Don’t Know
Brenda gets a weird, familiar ping. It has to claw its way up through the fog, through whatever has settled over her. A heavy weave of apathy and sorrow. At first she just realizes something isn’t right. It takes her a few minutes to work out that it’s because Charlie is lying.
She’s not sure about what – Brenda can see her getting the box across the room but her body language is definitely not right and she keeps looking at the door and at the computer where they ring in orders. Probably the clock.
When Charlie comes back with the box, a flimsy beige cardboard thing that is obviously made of recycled material, she slides it across the bar. She looks past Brenda once again and then, just like that, her whole body language shifts into relief.
Brenda turns, twists fast and hard on her stool and feels the twinge in her spine, but she’s gotta see what Charlie’s been hiding, what she is relieved to see now.
Not a what, but a who.
Brenda feels her chest constrict, feels heat crawl up the back of her neck and turns to look at at her niece. Her voice comes out as a furious whisper.
“Charlene, what did you do?”
Charlie looks immediately upset and unsettled. Shakes her head, says, “It’s… it’s a cop bar.”
Brenda wants to hide her face, wants to slink off the stool and slither out a back door. But there’s not time for any of it, because it’s too late.
Brenda hasn’t seen Sharon Raydor since the funeral, and before that, even longer. Since she left the force, probably. Brenda remembers the day of the funeral through a haze, but she remembers Sharon clear enough. Sharon in full uniform is hard to forget. Brenda remembers Sharon’s hand on her arm, just above her elbow. Telling her that she was sorry for her loss, for the loss of the force. And then Andy Flynn leading her away.
The Sharon Raydor walking toward her now is not in her LAPD uniform, but it’s a uniform all the same. Black pencil skirt and a pale peach silk blouse. Black high heels, sleek hair and thick lashes behind the lens of her glasses. Her purse on her shoulder.
She stops a few feet away, looks at Charlie and back to Brenda.
“You didn’t tell her I was coming?”
This is addressed directly to Charlie.
“I thought… I… she wasn’t going to…”
Someone calls her from across the bar. She nods at them.
“Sorry,” she says, and dashes away.
“Well,” Sharon says, looking at her. “How are you doing?”
“I…” Brenda feels the panic washing over her. “I have to go.”
She grabs her coat, head for the door.
Bits And Bobs
- Fandom: The Closer/Major Crimes
- Length: 104,609
- Author: missparker
- Image by: Angela George
- Rating: E
Rating Guide: G= General, T = Teen and up, M=Mature, E = explicit
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