It is the last evening in Baker Street. I do not write slash, so if anything I write could be taken two ways, you know which way to take it: friendship, always.


The clock struck eleven.

"Good heavens, it's getting late," I said numbly.

"That it is." Holmes re-lit his pipe.

We sat in silence for a time.

I rose to stoke the fire.

"You're all packed, then?"

"Yes." I coaxed the embers to a glow and sat back in my chair.

The clock struck twelve.

"We really should go to bed."

"Indeed." Holmes switched to cigarettes.

I chose another novel.

He always twitted me about my reading habits.

A cab went by in the night, wheels creaking.

The clock struck one.

I got us some brandy.

"I remember the first time we drank by the fire together," he said.

"So do I."

I read the same page for the twelfth time.

Holmes must have seen it, but he was quiet.

The clock struck two.

The fire was dead.

"I'll rebuild it," said I.

"I get the next round then."

"If there is one," I grunted, on my knees with the poker.

"There will be." He poured a second glass.

He always was a slow drinker.

The fire roared back to life, and I got to my feet with a grunt.

"Watson...come sit here, please."

"Beside you on the couch?"

"Yes."

I did.

"You were always the best at that," he said, gesturing to the revived fire. "I'll miss..." he trailed off.

I looked away.

The clock struck three.

The house creaked softly, the wind picked up.

"Do you remember--"

"Yes."

We smiled, then just as quickly looked the other way.

"What...about you? Packing I mean."

"'Twill be alright. I don't leave 'til later."

"You'll be alone here then?"

"Yes." He sighed heavily.

The clock struck four.

Holmes lit another pipe. "Watson, are you cold?"

"No."

"I'll get you a blanket then."

He fetched one for me and I held my hands out to accept it.

He did not let go.

He draped it around me himself.

The fire was dying again.

"You said you wanted the next round," I reminded him.

His grey eyes were far away. He looked out the window; the sun was tingeing the curtain pink.

The clock struck five.

"There will be no next round."