tip: "sherlock (tv)" m/m NOT "sherlock holmes/john watson"
I'm sorry I took so long to comment, but I really wanted to wait to read this until I had time to appreciate it properly. And I'm (rather selfishly) glad I did, because it would have been sad to rush through it the first time, and probably miss all sorts of lovely things. I really love the whole world you've created (like the Maiden of Many Waters, I wish I could explore further, and see even more of the wonderful things to be found down other roads), and I really like how seamlessly you've woven so many different sources together. (I've always had a particular soft spot for the master cat, so I was delighted to see him here, but quite apart from any one particular story, it's the way you've brought so many influences together, and made them all fit perfectly and naturally with each other.) And you've given a lovely fairytale tone to it all, especially the start ("sing for her with a voice clear as birdsong, and bring her sweet persimmons and figs, and threads of golden reeds, and many such things found beyond the water’s edge") and the end (that final paragraph!). I can't believe you wrote me such a long and intricately crafted story - I'm already looking forward to rereading it.
I'm glad you enjoyed it, and am relieved to hear that it felt like all the elements came together. All of your art prompts really spoke to me and I was excited to get the chance to try and recreate the headspace they put me in in writing. Happy yuletide!