Author's notes: Ah, the beginning of another story. There are times when I wonder why the heck I post new fics, when I know that I'll soon be freaking out about my lack of updates.
My first GMD fic, be kind…
I've always said that time can change a person, but I don't think I really ever believed that. Oh sure, Basil and I used to discuss whether people we trusted and knew would someday do something illegal and shock us all. I remember one specific conversation about the owner of the pastry shop down the street.
"Honestly, Dawson," my friend said between puffs on his pipe, "if the man wanted to, he could poison us all just by polluting the glazes he puts over his pastries! Think how many innocent Londoners stop by his shop daily for a treat. The man has power, even if he doesn't realize it."
I neglected to mention that I could recall several times when Basil himself would sprint to the doors, pointing out all of the different pastries like a child. Of course, this was confidential- if Mrs. Judson were to find out, she'd have a fit. Not that Basil ever told me not to tell her- it was just something I knew without speaking.
The master of disguise, however good of an actor he is, has a personality that dwarfs the weak ones of every person I've ever known. I'm honored to be his trusted friend and associate, and I think he would say himself that I know him better than anyone else.
At the same time, he's the most unpredictable person when it comes to his cases, and mood swings. I recall a client who once said (while Basil was preoccupied with one of his rants and not listening) that he was worse than a woman nine months pregnant. I found this comment rather hilarious, and at dinner that night I found myself laughing while Basil went over evidence on the case we were on.
"My goodness, old man," he said. Although he appeared to be calm and stoic, his eyes searched through puzzled and annoyed emotions to find the one they were looking for. "What ever has gotten in to you?"
I laughed some more, shaking my head, and finally told the fellow what I found so amusing. Expecting my laughter to be stifled at once with angry retaliation, I was shocked to see Basil himself throw his head back and laugh.
Unpredictable, intelligent, and very much his own person, Basil hadn't changed a bit in the eight years I had worked with him. He had been aging well, and he looked hardly a day older than when I met him, during the Flaversham case.
I didn't think I had changed all that much either, except maybe for a tiny increase in weight (I blamed Mrs. Judson's crumpets).
No, the experiences around me didn't show that time could change a person all that much, but I was wrong as I soon discovered. It was August 20, 1905, and after years of protest, Basil was finally allowing me to do something special to celebrate his birthday. He always was picky about the way holidays and special occasions were celebrated- the same way every time, unless he was on a case. The first year I lived on Baker Street, I didn't even know it was Basil's birthday until Mrs. Judson surprised him with a cake. He was positively annoyed when Mrs. Judson and I (after she nudged me with her elbow) started to sing.
I was shocked to find out he was only twenty-six; for he seemed much older most of the time. Then there were times when he definitely did seem that age, such as when he grinned while peddling the remnant of Ratigan's dirigible, or those times when he literally dragged me to the pastry shop. Other times, he seemed several years over- while in a depression, wearing the solemn expression on his face while playing the violin, or while he was muttering to himself about this principle or that rule of science or math, when his intelligence truly showed.
Eight years later, it was now his thirty-fourth birthday. That morning at breakfast (looking back, it seems that I can connect most conversations with Basil with a meal, snack, or some type of food), he had already been up and was reading the paper at the table. I yawned and stretched, still half-asleep.
"Don't say a word about it, Dawson!" he snapped.
Now I was awake. It took me a moment to figure out what he meant, but that was only because of my weary state.
"Now, see here, Basil- I don't understand why you always make such a fuss. Every year I tell you the same thing; just let-"
"-you take me out for dinner, or do something to acknowledge it. No! The world does not stop because it is Basil of Baker Street's birthday!" he exclaimed, without taking his eyes off the newspaper.
I've learned that there are some things that you shouldn't say while replying to Basil. For example, I was thinking about my last birthday the previous December, when I had woken up to find a wrapped book of poems and that Basil had gone off on a case without me. He didn't come back until late that night; I think his disappearing every year was to give me a break.
"Just supper, nothing else. You know, Basil, even the most famous detective in the world needs a break now and then."
He finally looked up. "You aren't going to stop until I say 'yes', are you-"
"I insist!" Mrs. Judson cut in happily as she placed my breakfast in front of me. "I refuse to cook supper this evening. Refuse."
"No, I'm not," I said with a chuckle, ignoring Mrs. Judson.
He sighed. "Oh, fine then, Dawson."
"Happy birthday, Basil."
"Oh, do shut up, old man…"
I made sure not to make a big deal out of it; I made reservations at a small restaurant nearby, so Basil could get back to Baker Street easily if there was a case (and knowing him, I knew he'd come up with some excuse to make a timely exit).
I left a little bit early; Basil remarked that he had to finish an experiment on something first before he could come to dinner, and that he wouldn't be long. Sitting down at a table, I sighed. I knew he'd have an excuse, but I thought it would be after we had eaten, or in the middle of supper.
Fortunately, my fears were for nothing, for as soon as I recognized the Deerstalker, I knew that Basil had in deed shown up for his birthday supper. As he sat across from me, he rung took off his hat, squeezing the water out of it.
"Rather nasty storm. If it had not started to rain, you might not have seen me at all. I just happened to be in front of the restaurant when it-"
I rolled my eyes.
"Dawson, you didn't really think I'd abandon you?"
I shrugged. But he was drenched; it had started to rain long before he was in front of the restaurant.
"I had my doubts, Basil, but you proved me wrong, as you always do."
Basil was about to reply to this comment when we were interrupted by a seemingly familiar female voice coming from the kitchen behind us.
"Please, don't make me wait on that table, sir. It's a matter of great importance. I simply cannot."
"Then you simply are not employed here anymore!" the manager of the restaurant replied. The restaurant was short on employees, so he was forced to seat tables.
"You must understand sir, I-"
"-will wait on that table, or this is your last night working here! Understood?"
Basil and I observed as a waitress, clad in a white blouse and a long navy skirt (the typical uniform) pushed open the swinging doors leading to the kitchen.
Although the uniform did not reveal her identity, her face did. I let out a small gasp as I realized who this argumentative waitress was.
Sighing, Olivia Flaversham picked up some menus and awkwardly made her way to our table.
Author's notes: Wow, I finished that in one sitting. I'm not sure when the next chapter will be up. Why doesn't Olivia want to see Dr. Dawson and Basil?
I know, and you don't!
Review, please, to make me eager to write more…