A/N: I think it is Proverbs that says, "I am the most ignorant of men; I do not have a man's understanding." Well, I am the most ignorant of Sherlockians! I have very sketchy knowledge of timelines, and am definitely no expert on the Victorian era. So it is with a rather faint heart I follow KCS's 221 challenge, to write 221 stories, each 221 words in length and all ending with a word that starts with "b." I will see how it goes...this first one is set after "The Dying Detective" and I make a small reference to KCS's awesome story, "Love Covers All Wrongs."

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"That was a fine dinner," I remarked.

"Well, it was Simpson's after all," Holmes said lightly, shedding his sopping wet coat and hat and dropping them on the floor without a care. He looked at me for a reply, but nothing came to mind to say.

The conversation died right there in the sitting room and we eyed each other uneasily. Our rift had been repaired, but—we were not as easy as usual. The normal pace and instinct of our interactions had been thrown off, and we were having trouble regaining our stride.

Then I noticed Holmes weaving almost imperceptibly. "Off your feet, now," the doctor in me instructed firmly.

Grumbling under his breath, he crossed through the sitting room, swiping his pipe on the way despite my protestations.

"Three days without tobacco, man, have a pity." He tumbled into bed and leaned against his pillows, lighting his pipe. As he took the first pull, he glanced over at me and saw me eyeing the crumpled and disarrayed bedclothes with uncertainty. He smiled and removed the pipe from his mouth. "Yes Watson, if you would."

I carefully pulled the blankets up over him. "You do know it is my greatest honor to look after you, Holmes?"

He sighed. "You say that, but sometimes I fear I am your secret bane."