Summary: Holmes's sharp tongue finally succeeds in severing his one true friendship. Can he fix the disaster? (Slash H/W)
Disclaimer: If I owned Holmes and Watson I'd lock them in a room equipped with a two-way mirror and watch with rapt joy enough to rival the most faithful soap opera addict. But I don't own them, damn the luck. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle gets that claim. However, I've asked for them for Christmas. Please, Santa?

Copying for archiving is just dandy. Just let me know where it goes and be sure to take my name along for the ride as well. I could always use another bookmark.

The original was NC-17. If you want a copy of that version, email I'll share, even if won't.

The Last Straw

By XRWolff
"God damn it! How can you not see? It's far less complicated than any false romance story you've insist on printing in the papers."

The biting words and cold tone weren't really meant for him. Holmes was just angry at the situation, not him. But god it hurt. "Holmes, calm yourself please. That is not what I meant-"

"Don't presume to tell me how to act, Watson. I'm sick of your mothering. You're constantly on about my habits. Have I eaten anything? When did I last sleep? Must I indulge in cocaine so often? Should I be handling those sorts of chemicals like that? Where am I going? When will I be back? You are twenty times worse than my mother ever was! I don't see why I even bother to put up with you!"

That went beyond his limit. Holding back tears with shear horror at the open abuse, Watson silently rose and went to his room, closing the door after himself. Enough was quite enough. He'd put up with the snide remarks, fits of temper, insults to his intelligence, outright distain and arrogant jibes for entirely too long. Not even Holmes was worth enduring such treatment. The fact that Holmes, in his off moods, was the one to inflict the torment just made it sting worse, hurting deeper for that much longer. That brilliant genius which so helped solve predicaments for others always seemed to be used maliciously against Watson.


Mind set, Watson finished buckling the last of his baggage and gave his now bare room a last look. Everything seemed to be secured accordingly. He had yet to loose his military precision when it came to packing quickly. It took less than half an hour to remove his claim to these rooms. It would be less than a day to completely end his association with Sherlock Holmes. That seemed wrong somehow. A relationship so deep it had taken years to create but could be ended so easily. Perhaps that was for the best. Quick and clean. Just like the cut of a razor and infinitely more painful.

Steeling his faltering nerves Watson picked up his medical case and the bag he'd prepared for short term survival then exited his room. Holmes was still pacing the floor angrily. He looked up as Watson entered with a vicious gleam in his eye, ready to lash out again.

"Running away, Watson? Typical. You never could keep up. About time you fled."

"I'll send for the rest tomorrow. Early." That was it. No attempt at defense. No returned anger. A horrifying statement of intent and a silent exit.


Holmes was aghast at the lack of emotion from his normally fiery friend. Shocked at the uncharacteristic response, the detective collapsed into his chair and stared longingly at the door.

He'd meant to apologize. He'd been so angry with himself for his treatment of Watson, but when his friend had again entered the sitting room obviously planning to leave Holmes had lashed out one last time. It would hurt less to throw Watson from him than to be left he'd thought. It was the same reasoning he'd used to push Watson from him of late. Better to push than be rejected. Utter stupidity. The wound from Watson's absence was soul deep and throbbing with guilt as well as abandonment now because of his actions.

Watson had long ago become a vital part of his day to day life. He needed a confidant, a companion that was trustworthy and understanding of his odd behaviorisms. Watson's care soothed him in a way not even his drugs could ever claim. Damn it all.

"Mrs. Hudson!" He quickly grasp his favorite walking stick and a hat. Bellowing instructions at the startled woman as he flew down the stairs, Holmes ordered, "Under no circumstances are you to allow the doctor's belongings to be taken from his rooms until I return and approve of the removal."

He wouldn't loose Watson. He couldn't.


It would have been so much simpler if Watson had gone to his club as Holmes had thought he would, but at times, when pushed, Watson could be entirely too formidable. Upon finding his friend he'd have to finally admit that the good doctor was quite intelligent when he chose to be.

He'd tried the pubs next. If Watson were shaken enough by this recent bout of abuse he'd want to steady his nerves with a pint or two and a bit of human companionship. No such luck. The doctor had always been well liked by those who knew him and the patrons of his usual haunts would have been aware of his presence. He hadn't been seen.

There were no real friends located in London that Holmes could recall Watson speaking of, nor was there family nearby. It was becoming bloody unlikely that he'd find his friend tonight at this rate. Finally he'd been forced to turn to outside help. His Irregulars were sent to look about and Holmes used a few of his connections with the London cabbies to see if they recalled taking Watson to whatever hideout he'd been driven off to.

In the end it was one of the street Arabs who spotted Watson. Near Piccadilly.. Damn Watson's wit and Mycroft's interference. After all where better to hide? Holmes would hardly look at the home of his own brother to find a man seeking to elude him.


"Mycroft, open the bloody door."

Not even bothering to be hurried by his younger brother's outright annoyance, Mycroft Holmes leisurely opened the door to admit Sherlock into his rooms. "I don't know why you are rushing about, Sherlock. He's already been here and gone. Your companion seems to have gotten your measure remarkably well over the years, brother. What did you do to him?"

Slamming his fist into the nearest wall in frustration, Holmes refused to look at his brother. So damn close. If only he had reacted faster.. "How could you not alert me to his presence? Damn it all, Mycroft, I must talk to him!"

"Alert you? I think not. You've hurt him deeply. this time. Oh, don't look so surprised. I too know you, Sherlock. You have a terrible ability to wound, but Dr. Watson is not the fragile sort to leave at the very first insult. Could such a gentle hearted man really deserve whatever it is you've done to harm him, Sherlock? I really didn't believe so when I chose not to contact you."

"Damn you, Mycroft. Don't you dare stand between Watson and I again." He entirely meant the threat. The pain was growing the longer his dearest friend fled from him. Nothing could be allowed to stand in the way. "Where has he gone?"

"He didn't choose to tell me, Sherlock. Now get out."

"Gladly!" Sherlock clearly remembered why it was he never sought out his brother now. The man was insufferably cold hearted when it came to helping anyone but himself in any but the most analytical of fashions.


The street Arabs were sitting at the curb just outside Mycroft's building when Sherlock stormed out. "What on earth do you think you're doing here? You were to find Watson, not sit about!"

A nervous spokes person stood up to face Holmes. It took several glances to his comrades to gather the necessary courage for his message. "The doc came by when you were gone. He says you shouldn't use boys to try to fix your mistakes. He never hurt us, sir. In fact he's patched a few of the boys together whens they got hurt. If'en he don't want us following him, we ain't going to."

"Bloody hell! Then leave you ungrateful, brats!" Please, no. Would no one help him? He had to find Watson. Had to apologize. Had to.


Hours of solitary searching on foot later Holmes finally stumbled upon his goal sipping at cheap but strong alcohol in a little known pub he'd never before known Watson to frequent. Silent as a stalking predator he slipped in behind the doctor and waited. Wouldn't do to make a scene. It was comforting just to know where Watson was, he could wait happily now for a chance to be alone with his friend.

He watched with half closed eyelids as Watson sipped from the frothy mug. Full lips parted to accept the smooth glass against their velveteen skin. The tender flesh of the doctor's throat bobbed with every swallow. A film of moisture glistened invitingly on Watson's lips as his strong hand lowered the mug once more. God, how he had missed just watching unbeknownst to his dearest friend. He'd done so in their rooms more times than he could count. Every day in fact. Watching and wanting but careful to conceal his observations in case Watson took offense and left. Why had he bothered just to force Watson from him with his own bedeviled tongue?


Hours passed in the dim comfort of the pub before Watson paid for his last drink and exited into the still dark streets. Holmes followed silently and waited just long enough for Watson to enter a people barren street before grasping his friend's shoulders and spinning him against a wall so he couldn't flee.

"Just leave me alone, Holmes. Haven't you had enough of playing with me?"

Guilt welled up again, the sweet comfort of his watching leaving as he realized just how shattered his friend currently was. Sighing with longing, he pressed his forehead to Watson's and whispered softly to his gentle companion. "I'm sorry. I meant none of it. Please, come back with me, Watson."

With a spiritless turn of his head Watson withdrew from Holmes' contact and muttered, "Why, Holmes? So you can repeat this all tomorrow or whenever it strikes your fancy? Was it entertaining enough for you? Did you enjoy hunting me down as much as you did using me as some sort of target for your brutally sharp tongue?"

A slow trickle of tears leaked helplessly from Watson's pained eyes. It wretched at Holmes' heart to watch them fall. Watson was right, painfully so in fact. He had become heartless in his attempt to hide his true emotions from the doctor. Not a moment longer. It was hurting Watson far more than it was protecting him.

Steeling himself for the final rejection, Holmes leaned further forward and tenderly kissed at Watson's flowing tears. "Never again, John, I swear. Please, come home." Another tender kiss was given to steal the salty tear so near Watson's full lips that Holmes was sorely tempted to plunder that sweet mouth.

Finally Watson was able to completely collapse. All the pain escaped in great sobs muffled by Holmes' shoulder. Thin arms grasp him about his middle and attempted to comfort him to no avail. There had been too much pain held back for far too long just to be comforted away so easily.


Somehow Holmes managed to find a hansom and bundle Watson into it. The doctor was drained. He put up no struggle as Holmes pulled him near and settled Watson's head against his chest so he could mummer comforting words into his companion's ear. "Never again, John. Never. I won't hurt you anymore. I'm so sorry, Watson."

Mrs. Hudson was thankfully absent when the cab finally arrived on Baker Street. Holmes paid silently, his arm never leaving Watson's waist, then he gently guided his exhausted friend to his rooms.

The detective frowned upon entering Watson's bedroom. This would never do. The doctor had stripped the room of his possessions. It was a glaringly impersonal and unfriendly room without those knick-knacks.

Knowing the boldness of his decision, Holmes lead Watson to his own room, stripped most of the doctor's rumpled clothing away and settled the drowsy, half-clad man between his own sheets. God, Holmes was tempted to join Watson in the downy warmth of that bed. He'd dreamt so long of pressing Watson to those pillows. No. It wouldn't do to take advantage. He had to show Watson how much he was respected, not plunder him when he was vulnerable. The sheets slipped softly over Watson's bare skin as Holmes tucked his beloved in before settling on the floor to watch over the doctor as he slept.


Watson napped well into the afternoon but still managed to wake before Holmes. It was oddly comforting to sit up and find his tall companion so protectively nearby. He'd nearly forgiven Holmes already. He'd known he would. That's what had really prompted Watson to flee. Forgiveness always came so easily when one loved the abuser. The only possible chance was to flee before forgiveness could be granted. Holmes had been very wise to follow. If he hadn't Watson might have succeeded in staying away.

But Holmes had shown how deeply he cared last night.He'd shown all too clearly just what form that care had taken as well. There had always been this vague suspicion in the back of Watson's mind, growing slowly each time he caught Holmes watching with stricken features or dilated pupils and labored breathing. Last night the suspicion had finally been confirmed. Holmes had kissed him. It was doubtful that the detective would admit to the action in the light of day however. If he denied last night or tried to ignore it, Watson swore, he would leave and go so far that not even Holmes could follow.


It was an uncertain call. He wondered if he should simply ignore it and leave now. Yes, that would be wise. Leave before the harsh words began again.

He managed to stand and reach for his pants before Holmes was upon him. Amazingly strong fingers clasp around his wrist, nearly bruising, and pulled his hand from his clothing. "No. I won't loose you again, John."

So denial wasn't to be the game.

"Let me go, Holmes."

The harsh grip softened and drew him close, settling him against Holmes's lean chest once more so soft words could be purred into his ear. "I won't hurt you, John. Never again, I swear." His chin was tilted back so he could see the sincerity in Holmes' eyes. As if he could have missed it in the detective's tone.

"Why, Holmes? Why did you hurt me if you want me to stay so badly? You're just playing with me again-"

"Shhh, John." The blankets were still warm he discovered as he was gently settled back on Holmes' bed. "I want you so badly," long fingers curled over his cheek and a kiss was slowly stolen, "It would have killed me to be rejected. I had to push you away before you could.But that hurt too. Please, John, don't go."

So tempting to trust.Just lay back and let Holmes do as he liked. Entirely too easy to do exactly that.

"You're magnificent." Accepting what was presented supine before him, Holmes began his seduction. "Cunning of you to go to Mycroft, my dearest companion. I shall never forgive him."

Watson chuckled softly at that. So he'd finally managed to prove his intelligence to Holmes.

The chuckle was reduced to a soft whimper as Holmes latched onto one of his tender nipples and began to suckle until the flesh became unbearably hard and aroused. His other nipple was teased mercilessly between two of the detective's slender fingers at the same time. It was paradise.

The pleasure continued until Watson was writhing and whimpering continuously beneath Holmes' ministrations. "So beautiful, John. I've wanted to see you spread upon my bed for so very long." The words were no more than a sigh of air teasing his quivering flesh.

Before he could reply or even gasp, Watson found his mouth suddenly full of Holmes' plundering tongue. He moaned into the invasion and was rewarded with a deeper, more thorough kiss. And another. And another until he arched up to seek contact with Holmes' lithe body, grinding against it needily.


It was so unbelievably arousing to cause Watson such pleasure. Dreams come to throbbing, achingly hard reality beneath him. With a touch and a kiss he had Watson pressing against him. Perfection.

He let his hands trail down his beloved's hard, broad chest to gorgeously narrow hips. He moved his hands down further, drawing off the remainder of Watson's clothing before returning to the doctor's beautifully muscled thighs. The grinding grew more frantic now, hungrier, less inhibited.


His name was a hiss of desire from Watson's lips. Nearly a plea.

His reply was just as needy. "Give yourself to me, let me take you, and I'll keep you forever, John."

The words served their intended purpose and inflamed Watson further. The doctor began to mewl with desire, offering himself up for a more intimate joining. It was entirely too much of a temptation to oppose for long. Holmes didn't even attempt to resist.

Once again he found himself kissing away John's tears, but this, he decided, was much more enjoyable than the last time. He knew what his gentle companion needed most of all now and was glad to give it. Tenderly making love to his magnificent companion, Holmes leaned over to kiss away the last tear before whispering sweetly into John's ear the words he could no longer keep inside, the words John needed to hear most.

"I love you."

With a cry, Watson arched up against him obtaining nirvana and pulling Holmes along with him into the bliss.

Once his breath returned to him, Watson curled tighter against Holmes' heated body and purred contentedly, "I love you too, Holmes."
A/N: This was meant as a stand alone, however, I'm not above changing such decisions upon demand.

Also, just so you know, the original was significantly better.

Shameless Beseeching: Anyone seen a bored beta reader in need of something to do?