A/N: I have kept this one to myself for many weeks and finally feel ready, if still a little timid, to share it. As always, no slash from me.

On a tangent, I have been suffering from vertigo the last few days, and I am really overwhelmed to try to get all I want to get done. So please please bear with me as I try to sort all my writing out, I try to make everything as well-done as I possibly can, so it takes a while. Anyway I am trying!! And I did intentionally take down chapter 18, I have new plans for it. ^,^

In vain I piled more blankets on my bed,

Breath misty-mingled with the iced moonlight.

The dull churchbells thrice tolled with all their might;

I heard a voice, loved and distinct, it said,

"My dearest Watson, I could hear your tread--

I wanted to be sure you were allright."

"I'm freezing, Holmes," I chuckled, my voice tight.

"The same for me," he murmured, nodding head.

"That's why I brought my violin, you see.

I thought that it might while the hours away."

He raised the bow, but found his fingers numb.

With shamed and saddened eyes he looked at me.

"I'm sorry, Watson, but I cannot play."

"Talk's every bit as welcome, Holmes. Now come."