Nowhere without you

Please wake up.

I sat at the edge of the bed, stroking my friend's hand. This is all my fault. I have done this. What kind of friend am I?

Dawson is currently fighting for his life. I shudder at the thought that he might not make it. Memories ran through my logical mind….

I staggered from the burning house, coughing. My left ear had been badly burned, and I was limping ever so slightly.

"Well that was not what I expected." I said, turning round to my associate.

Only he wasn't there.

I froze.

He wasn't talking with Lawless. In fact, lawless was shouting something at his men, but I couldn't hear anything he said.

Next thing I remember Officer Thrick had reappeared. He was covered in soot and burns, which I deduced he went back into the fire. And at his feet lay-

Dawson.

I ran over and examined my friend. He was barely breathing.

"No, no, no Dawson no."I murmured trying to awaken him.

"I'm sorry Basil, but it appears he is in a coma."

I fainted then.

Now here I am. Sitting on a hospital bed, while my associate fought for his life. Dawson could actually die. Why him? That should have been me! I had messed up an important case and if the good doctor doesn't live, I will be responsible for his death, too.

I shook myself and focused. Dawson will live. He had to. Or I will not.

"Hello Dawson it's me. Your old friend, Basil. I just want to say… I'm sorry- for everything. Allowing this to happen."

Tears soaked his cheeks, and I wished then they weren't mine.

But not for the sake of pride.

As a last farewell, I grabbed his hand and squeezed it.
"Goodbye my dear, sweet friend."

Trembling I pressed a small but gentle kiss on his brow and sniffing, I start to leave.

And yet, a strong pull stops me.

Fighting my emotions (and tears), I turned round and saw Dawson looking at me. Was I hallucinating?

"Hello Basil."

Hm. Guess not.

"Hello Dawson." I say moving across to the bed and sitting down.

"Nice to see you are unscathed."

"What?! Don't you dare tell me that! I got burns on my left ear!"

"Oh so you have."

"That's it? No 'mother- henning' from you?"

"I do apologise Basil. I am dreadfully tired."

"Oh so you are."

We both shared a laugh. Then as silence settled over us, I ask

"Dawson, old bean?"

"Yes Basil"

"Listen I never had the chance to tell you this before, but I will do it now. You…mean a lot to me. You changed my whole life forever."

"Because I helped you defeat Ratigan?"

I ended up laughing at this.

"Well yes, but that's not what I mean. You were the only person who would tolerate my moods and other eccentric habits. Not many people do that. I thought I could only consider that kind of person to be my friend. But, I was wrong.

You made me happy. Genuinely happy. Whenever I was lonely or in pain, you provided company and comfort. You are more than my physician Dawson. You healed my emotions. You are not just my friend Dawson. You are my best friend, and my brother in bond. That you are alive right now means more to me than anything!"

His hazel brown eyes gazed fondly at me as tears started streaming down his cheeks.

"Oh Basil." he whispered.

Suddenly he remembered something.

"Basil, the girl! Did she make it?

"You mean Emma, our client's niece? I'm sorry Dawson, she passed away."

His face crumpled into tears when I mentioned this.

"Oh the poor soul! If only I had watched her more closely, she might never have-"

I had forgotten about Emma. I had failed our client, and I had failed Dawson too.

"Come here." I whisper, shuffling up so I could allow Dawson to let out his emotions without having him aggravate injuries further.

"There, there Dawson. Have a wee cry." I murmur.

Sniffing, all he could do was bury his face into my shoulder and begin sobbing quietly.

At last, after half an hour, Dawson withdrew from my embrace.

"Feel any better, Doctor?" I ask.

He nods, sniffling.

I hand him my handkerchief.

"Thank you." he said and blew his nose. Never had his voice sounded so dull, nor had his eyes lacked their usual warmth and light in them.

"Dawson in spite of what you think, you are not a failure. She was still at risk of dying anyway, so do not be hard on yourself. I -and I alone- will have to take the blame."

"For I am nowhere without you, my dear Dawson."