IF ONLY I COULD TALK...

So this is the end, then. I know where they're taking me. I've heard the parents talk about it yesterday evening. Oh, I'm not afraid to die. I am ill. I am old. My hour has come and I regret nothing. I've had a happy life and I know my luck. It's the boys I worry about... If it wasn't for them, I'm so tired I would have let myself die in my sleep a long time ago. But I couldn't bring myself to leave them...

The little one with the dark locks. I adore this one. I remember the day he was born. They all went to hospital and when Mrs Holmes came back home a few days later, she was holding in her arms what looked like a very fragile packet. "Come here, my boy!" She had told me, "Say Hello to Sherlock!" He was small. So small. It had never occurred to me that humans could look so small, so helpless... And when he opened his eyes to look at me, I knew. I knew I would gladly give my life to protect his. We became great friends through the years and I owe him my name. Yes, because Redbeard hasn't always been my name.

The parents had named me Durward. They do have a thing for odd names, those two. Apparently, it means 'gatekeeper', which is actually quite suitable for a dog. But not for a pirate's dog, according to Sherlock. So he started calling me Redbeard, and the whole family ended up calling me like this. Little Sherlock and his pirate dreams... Oh, the memories! Our boat was a huge cardboard box and our spyglass, a kitchen towel roll, and together we would sail the seas in quest of the Treasure Island until Mycroft would yell at us for being too noisy.

Ah Mycroft, the one with the nose. My favourite. He doesn't know that, of course. And he will never know. The two of us have known each other for longer but we've never been as close as Sherlock and I are. He would always ignore me and would even complain about me to the parents, saying that I was a nuisance or that I was losing my hair on the sofa.

It's not always been like that, though. I remember very well the day everything changed. He could not have been more than thirteen or fourteen. I came into his room and found him crying, his head buried in his pillow. I put my head on his shoulder and he turned to face me and stroked my ears.

"It's ok, Redbeard. It's nothing... Nothing, really... It's just... There's that boy, at school. Andrew. I've already told you about him. Well, I thought he was... Quite nice... I thought he was different... I liked him very much and I told him so but... He made fun of me. Said he only pretended to be my friend so that I helped him with his homework. He told the whole school about this. They called me a freak. A poofter. He doesn't even talk to me anymore. No one does. And it hurts, Redbeard. It hurts so much. But I won't let that happen, ever again." He said firmly, wiping his tears away with the back of his hand. "From now on, I will never get involved again. Because caring is not an advantage."

If only I could talk...

I would have told him he was wrong. I would have told him that a heart that's locked up in a fortress becomes a heart of stone. That he would end up all alone and I knew that deep inside, he hated to be lonely. He hated to be different. Misunderstood. But he didn't want to be hurt anymore, so he became the Mycroft we all know today. That cold and unlikeable boy. Well, that's what he wants the world to think of him, anyway.

But whenever we were alone together, whenever he was sure nobody could see him, he would cuddle me, and he would tell me all the things he kept to himself. He would open the door of his fortress and let me in.

And there's one thing I got wrong. His heart never turned into stone. It turned into ice, and I saw it melt so many times for Sherlock. He hides behind a cold mask and would never admit how much he cares about Sherlock, but there's nothing he wouldn't do for his little brother. The only person he actually feels close to. His only friend.

He's leaving for University soon and he keeps telling Sherlock how nice it's gonna be not having him around anymore. But again, it's just a fa├žade. The truth is that he'll miss his little brother because he needs Sherlock even more than Sherlock needs him. Sherlock is everything he has, and he is scared. Mycroft Holmes is scared to be lonely.

Oh. This is it. A man in a white coat looks at them with compassion and speaks to me in a very kind voice. They put me on a table. It's cold and uncomfortable. But I don't mind. I know it won't be long.

Mr Holmes doesn't say a word but the twinkle in his eyes is gone and he squeezes his wife's hand so tightly it must hurt. Mrs Holmes doesn't seem to notice though. She's too busy trying to hold back her tears, mopping her silk handkerchief on her eyes.

If only I could talk...

I'd tell them how grateful I am to them for choosing me in that rescue centre. I was a baby, I had been left to die in a dust bag with my siblings, we had been rescued and I was the last one left for adoption. I was losing hope and I was letting myself waste away. Until that cold winter day when a woman stopped in front of my cage and exclaimed "Oh, look at that sweetie, George! Isn't he lovely? I'm sure Mycroft will love him too!" And that's how I ended up in the Holmes family. Oh, Mr and Mrs Holmes, don't be sad. You saved my life and there is nothing sad about this.

Little Sherlock throws his arms around me and I can feel something hot and wet in my neck. He is crying. His whole body is shaking as he whispers my name, again, and again. And it breaks my heart.

If only I could talk...

I'd tell him to wipe his tears away. I'd tell him that I'm not afraid to go. I'd tell him that I'll always live in that little corner of his mind, and that whenever he needs comfort, all he'll have to do is think of me, and I'll run towards him and we'll be together again. Captain Sherlock and his loyal right-hand-dog. Sailing on an ocean of sweet memories.

I look at Mycroft. His eyes are blank. His face is emotionless. You would probably think he doesn't give a damn about me. But I'm no sucker. He'll cry tonight. He'll cry tonight, alone in his room, when no one can see him. It's about him I worry the most. If I'm not there anymore to listen to his secrets, then who will?

If only I could talk...

I'd tell him that unfortunately, there are a lot of 'Andrews' in this world. That yes, people can be very cruel, but not all of them are, if he would care to find them out. I'd tell him that alone doesn't protect him. It only makes him more vulnerable, he just doesn't realise this yet. I'd tell him that if he never ventures out of his fortress, then he'll miss out on life.

I'd tell him that when you want to pick up a beautiful rose, you have to take the risk to be pricked by its thorns.

"Are you ready?" The man in white asks hesitantly and I know too well what it means.

Mr and Mrs Holmes give a nod and Mr Holmes avoids my eyes.

If only I could talk...

I'd tell them there is no reason to feel guilty. I know they're doing this for me. Because they don't want me to suffer. I'd tell them I don't want to either. I'd tell them I'm actually glad that they have enough respect for me to do this.

The needle doesn't hurt. I only feel a small sting and my body relaxes. I give the boys a last glance.

If only I could talk...

The only thing that appeases me is that deep in my heart, I know the Holmes brothers will never be alone. No matter what, they'll always have each other.

If only I could talk...

But I'm just a dog. Dogs can't talk. And the Holmes will never know how much I loved them all. They soon become a blurry picture and I don't have the strength to keep my eyes open anymore.

Goodbye, my dear friends...


Well, that's it. I quite enjoyed writing through Redbeard's POV and I might write Kid!Lock stories through his POV too in the future. Anyway, thanks for reading! Reviews are always welcome! :)

Published on February 23.2014