Author's Note: Aha, a short break before I head off for a reading, so I thought I would go ahead and post the conclusion of this story. Yes I said conclusion!

Until part two of course. ;)

It ends with a cliffhanger, but this story was getting rather long so I thought I'd do the second half in a different story so this isn't too long. Thanks for reading this you guys, I really appreciate it.

BTW, I hate to bribe you, (wink) but the more reviews I read when I get back home from school the faster I'll recover from the trip and update... ;)

As always, thanks a ton for your support and reading this.

Oh, a question. Assuming Samira survives, would you guys like to see more of her?

Thanks all! (falls over in tiredness) Must...get..energy...for...school... xD Remember to review... (wink wink nudge nudge) lol

Oh, PS, I have a NEW poll up on my profile. Different from the last one.


Holmes

Ten days. 240 hours. 14,400 minutes. 864,000 seconds. Certainly not a sufficient amount of time for Watson to become fully recovered. Better, yes; up and around for certain; but ready for a direct assault? No. No matter what he may claim.

I take a long drag on my pipe and continue pacing the length of the sitting room. I cannot, as I often do, count on my Boswell's back up this time—I shall have to protect him myself.

And there is also Miss Samira to think of; she is a problem. I wish I could send her and Mrs. Hudson somewhere out of the way, but I think it best for me to keep her and Watson together so that I may watch out for both of them. As for Mrs. Hudson, she very probably will not leave without Samira, either, so I shall have an injured doctor—who is always a wretched invalid—a stubborn housekeeper, and a half-starved, mistreated young woman to take into account. And Watson expects me to sleep tonight!

As if I could.

I pause for a moment and listen at my bedroom's door—I hear the faint murmuring of talking. Good. If anyone can comfort Miss Samira, he shall, and I daresay she will be more comfortable with me out of the room. It seems the only man she trusts is Dr. Watson—she's an intelligent woman; he is the only man I completely trust as well! Not counting Mycroft; naturally I trust my older brother. For the most part.

Watson's voice, though I cannot make out the words, sounds weaker than before—he's tiring himself out. Perhaps he will take the morphine soon… He attempted to hide his physical and emotional pain while Miss Samira recounted her life, but I can nearly always tell when he is suffering. Unless, of course, I am too involved in a case or do not even realize he is missing until I am handed his bloody watch! I need to be more careful in the future.

I believe I shall stay in the sitting room tonight if he shoos me out of my bedroom—it is not hard to deduce that Samira's heart-wrenching, graphic story has stirred some of Watson's own demons and that he will probably be plagued with nightmares. Another reason I shan't sleep tonight; I have a feeling I would merely dream about Watson's sufferings…

Dash it all, I'm not concentrating on the problem before me! Most probably this is because I did not truly come out here to think so much as I wished to escape Miss Samira's uncomfortable grief and the pain I myself felt while watching the sorrow flash across Watson's face. It would be much better for the world if the past did not become an almost physical entity and haunt us…

Fanciful thoughts. If I continue in this inept, emotional matter I won't be any use when Crawford's partner returns.

I wish Watson could remember precisely why he had been down by the docks and whether or not there was a message, but I am grateful that his amnesia seems to be limited to that—I would much rather have him whole and well than recall a clue, no matter its importance.

I wish that Miss Samira's narrative would have done more than evoke my almost unheard of sympathy—she gave very few clues. Still, her recounting of the tale was not entirely a waste and I have several suspects in mind. Tomorrow, I think, if Watson is well enough, I shall leave to question that fishwife again…

She knew of Crawford and may very well be able to tell me who he works with. In the meantime, I shall peruse my lists and books of criminals that work down in the dock area and attempt to narrow down the possibilities.

I hear Watson cough harshly in the next room and I furrow my brows. I shall look through my records later—now I'll wait for Miss Samira to leave and plot out a course of action in the meantime. After she's left—the good doctor is perhaps the only person who could comfort the poor girl—Watson will need my undivided attention if he is to regain his strength.

Ten days. We have only ten days.


Samira

You cannot remember crying like this since the night of Lian's death. It is as if your tears, after such a deep, terrible grief, dried up within you until now.

Lian, oh, Lian, I so sorry…

You sob—face red, blowing your nose, shoulders shaking—for your little sister… And you see her, you can still see her so clearly it as if only a window separates you from where she is…

You see her deep brown , kind eyes, and the way her crooked nose would crinkle up when she smiled; her round face shape, her full lips, the way she gnawed on the lower one when she thought; the way her fawn colored skin would turn white whenever a man came into the room to buy you; her delight in dancing, the easy grace that was unusual for her plump form; her once easy laugh that became rare, so rare you worked and worked to coax it out, always becoming delighted when you succeeded in enticing that deep, throaty, loud burst of joy from her; young, tiny Lian at the side of Mother's sick bed crying for her to get up; the gentle way she would tend to your hurts and hold on to you, pressing her body into yours; the innocent, lilting way her voice would turn up when she asked a question. Samira? Why Ba-Ba sell us?...What job you do?...You all right?...Why you no tell me things? Do you think I do no notice?...Will we be together always?; the body on the floor, unrecognizable except for a ribbon…

You gasp at the image and tense, relaxing only when the doctor holds you closer. He is a good man—Lian would love him.

Perhaps it is his presence, his gentle soul that has unleashed your tears. You cry until you think you must be empty. You cry for Lian, for Dr. Wat-son, for your mother, for Bao Yu, for Miss Fairchild, for your failure, and for the kindness you have recently been shown.

"Let it out, Samira, there is no shame in crying," Dr. Wat-son is murmuring. "You're all right now. You're not alone."

He continues holding you until, worried that you are hurting his ribs; you pull away, wiping your eyes and blowing your nose with the handkerchief.

"I am sorry," you whisper, eyes red.

"There is no need to apologize," he says softly. "Feel a little better now?"

You nod. "Thank you."

He nods, still looking at you with concerned, serious eyes.

"Doctor?"

"Yes?"

"Does Mr. Holmes have gun?"

He looks a little taken aback by your sudden deviation from the topic, but he nods. "Yes and so do I."

"Good. I…I could no live if I cause you, Mr. Holmes, or Mrs. Hud-son hurt."

"Samira," he says softly. "You must stop blaming yourself." Dr. Wat-son's words are fainter than before. He has exhausted himself with the effort it took to stay awake, let alone comfort you and maintain conversation so he leans further back against the pillows.

"I just worry that his partner will come…"

"We'll be here with you. Every thing will be all right, in the end." He presses your hand, which is still holding his. "And if that man tries to come near you," he adds darkly. "I'll hurt him."

You smile a little at the sincerity and conviction in his voice. He is like Lian—a gentle spirit but a tiger if roused!

He stifles a yawn and you bend down to gently hug him. "I tired, too. We should rest."

"If you ever need to talk again, Samira," he says softly. "I'll be here." He smiles a little ruefully at the last remark because he is bed ridden.

You nod appreciatively. "Same for you."

You walk out of the bedroom, turning to see him already closing his eyes.

For ten days, you could have a home here with Dr. Wat-son, Mrs. Hud-son, and Mr. Holmes. When you look at the doctor or Mrs. Hud-son, or the way Mr. Holmes' heart shows when he looks at his friend, you think, if only for a moment, maybe things could be all right...

You must make certain they are not hurt—you cannot fail them like you failed your sister. Lian, help me do right for once, help me no make mistake.

There is ten days left. A little less than a week for you to decide what to do, for Mr. Holmes to investigate, for Dr. Wat-son to get well.

Ten days of comfort before the next trial begins.