A knock on the door woke me. Ughhh, morning already? I lifted my head. Mrs. Hudson came in with a tray.
"Good morning, Mrs. Hudson."
"It's two in the afternoon Doctor." Had I really slept that long?
"Here is something to eat, and your paper," she said as she set the tray on a little table by my chair.
Then she opened the curtains, letting in a flood of blinding sunlight.
I pulled myself up to sitting with a sigh. It had been four weeks since the shooting and still the slightest movements were painful. Why hadn't Holmes been up to see me yet? By now he would have been upstairs to check on me at least three times.
Of course, it was Tuesday, the day of the inquest. It had been delayed until I was able to give a coherent statement of the incident.
"What time did Holmes head out?"
"About nine o'clock. Are you getting up today?"
"Oh yes, I want to get downstairs to the sitting room." She furrowed her brow.
"Don't worry Mrs. Hudson. I'll wait until after Holmes gets back of course."
"Alright," she said, "I'll leave this here then."
After she left, I got out of bed and slowly stepped over to my chair by the window. While I ate, I sat looking out onto Baker Street. Pedestrians were taking advantage of the sunshine; carriages and cabs filled the street. I saw one little cab pull up in front of our door. Moments later I heard the sound of the door downstairs. Holmes was back.
He practically ran up the stairs, throwing the door open.
"Watson, you're up!" he smiled. Was he cheerful because he was cheerful, or because he wanted me to be? He sat down on the bed. "How are you feeling today?"
"Fine, but…well, tell me about the inquest! How did it go?
"Well as I still have my liberty, I'd say it went rather well."
He smirked, lit a cigarette, and began a very long, very detailed story which boiled down to him being found not guilty of any wrong doing in the matter.
"…so all that remains is for you to be well." He looked at me with searching grey eyes. "Are you sure you want to go downstairs today? The doctor said you needed to rest."
"I'll rest downstairs. I need to get moving again."
A few moments later, we were on the staircase, with Holmes in front of me in case I fell.
I gritted my teeth and started down. Each step was a searing pain. Holmes walked backwards, not taking his eyes off of me. He counted the steps all the way down.
"…9, 10, 11, almost done, Here we are, last one."
That last step was much farther down than the others. I let out a groan. He came forward and grabbed my arm.
"I'm alright!" I said irritably. He frowned.
"I'm just trying to help!" I sighed.
"But I'm alright. I just need to sit down."
I made my way into the sitting room and sat down. Holmes sat by the fireplace and lit his pipe. He sat smoking silently for some time.
"Wonderful weather outside. I can't wait until I'm well enough for a walk," I began.
"You would be out there now if it weren't for my stupid blunder."
"If I recall correctly, you weren't the one who shot me."
"Yes, but you…well either of us really, shouldn't have gone there in the first place. I knew the danger, and I put you in it anyway."
"No it isn't." I sighed.
"Look, if you want me to blame you, fine. I blame you. I also forgive you. You can make it up to me by coming for a stroll in the park as soon as I can make it out."
Holmes glanced at me, startled for a moment. Then he smiled.