Voices…what were those voices? Not familiar. I wanted to open my eyes to see who was speaking, but I didn't seem to have that power anymore. I tried to move, and was aware that I was in bed. But this bed wasn't familiar. I could sense that it wasn't mine.
What were those voices saying? That they had done everything? There was nothing they could do? It reminded me of myself, when I used to tell a poor unfortunate family that they're about to lose a loved one…
Everything felt heavy. So heavy…and I couldn't move. I wasn't sure that I wanted to. My head was throbbing and no doubt any motion would make it worse. I was swimming in darkness. Oh and the pain! I just wanted to sleep forever. It would be so easy…to sleep forever……
But…there was something calling me back. Another voice, this one familiar…pleading, and calling my name. I tried to focus on it, but it was so hard…
I forced myself through the fog and there was suddenly a grey light before my eyes. I still could not open them…but I had escaped the darkness. And I could hear the voice.
"Watson? Watson? You've got to come back to me. Watson, wherever you are, listen to me… Watson…John, you're the truest friend I've ever had. Can you hear me? In the depths of your soul, Watson, can you hear me? Watson—"
The tone of the words changed suddenly and I strained to listen through the haze.
"I...oh God, help me. My friend is dying and I am powerless. Please…if You exist, spare his life. I don't understand friendship. I don't understand this feeling, but I know only You could have placed it within me. I've spent my life avoiding emotion and here is this…love, growing in my spirit…"
The voice broke then, and I heard what sounded like a muffled sob. I wanted to console the person, but I could not open my eyes let alone lift a hand.
"God…I have been arrogant, stupid, and cocky. I've had no respect for Your creations, and now I see that I am as helpless as other men. I…am sorry. I'm so sorry…forgive me please. Watson, forgive me…it's my fault. I'm sorry…"
The voice went silent. The voice of Sherlock Holmes. My friend. It was he who had called me back. He who needed me. And it was my life that was despaired of.
I could not remember what had happened. All I knew, was that I needed to open my eyes. I suddenly could feel the warmth of the blankets, the weight of my eyelids. And my hands. I could feel them secure under the blankets, and I worked one slowly out into the cold air of the room. And I forced open my eyes. the light was blinding…
Sherlock Holmes was sitting in a chair, leaning forward with his elbows on his knees and his face buried in his hands. He was as still as a statue, but his rumpled clothing betrayed his recent activity. Sleepless nights no doubt, and many of them judging by the stubble on his chin.
I stretched my arm out and gripped his wrist as strongly as I could manage. He nearly jumped out of the chair when I did, but the light that came to his eyes when they locked with mine…
"Watson!" I had never heard such joy.
"Holmes…" I said weakly.
"I…are you…?" he stammered, too shocked for words for the first time since I had known him.
"What happened?" I asked, ending what would no doubt be an embarrassing situation for him.
"You don't remember?"
"No…" I coughed, and looked around the room. A hospital room. What had happened? I wasn't in pain…except for something of a headache.
He removed my hand from his wrist and placed it on the covers. "Do you remember when we caught Evans last week?"
"Evans…" The drama at Nathan Garrideb's house suddenly returned to me. "But that wound…was just a scratch?" His eyes fell then, and I suddenly remembered. The wound had become infected, I had treated it myself, but it had not healed. And now I was in hospital, apparently with low prospects for survival.
Holmes must have seen the question in my eyes, for he then detailed the events between my last memory and the present, how the infection had spread and my fever rose to the point where the doctors declared me lost.
And yet now, I lived. And my friend abruptly ended his uncomfortable speech and dropped his eyes again to the floor.
"Well," I finally choked out, "it appears they were wrong." My friend only nodded, so I tried again. "I don't suppose you have a mirror? I am willing to bet I don't look half as dead as you do."
He cringed, and I realized my feeble attempts at humor were not going to fix this situation. Whatever it was exactly… I wasn't sure if this was a time when I should keep silent, or try to work the problem out of him.
I tried to roll over to look at him, but that only caused me pain and unfortunately I couldn't withhold a slight outcry, which caused my friend to jerk upward in alarm.
"I'm fine," I lied, and focused my attention on his worry-lined face. "Are you?" I challenged him, and forced him to hold my gaze. After what felt like an eternity, he released a shaky breath and dropped his eyes, but only for a moment.
"I must apologize to you Watson. I was terribly cocky going into that situation."
"It wasn't your fault. You had no power over Evans's actions."
He clenched his fists. "That's the—" He stopped suddenly and looked away fiercely and let out a low hiss. "I have no power, over anything at all. And because of my miscalculation you could have lost your life."
I looked at the weary slump of his shoulders, the dejected look on his face and my heart went out to him. Control was something he valued very highly. But in this case, he was devaluing himself.
He didn't respond.
"Holmes," I said more insistently. He looked up. "Why do you think I am able to talk with you right now?"
He looked at me questioningly.
"If I understand it correctly, I was not expected to live." His frame grew rigid. "If that is so, how am I talking to you right now?" His confusion was evident, so I continued. "I wanted to die. I could feel myself dying."
"Your point, Doctor?" he said harshly.
"My point…is that I may have died, if not for a voice calling me back."
"I might have given in, but for a voice drawing me back. It was...magnetic. Impossible to resist." He looked at me as if he didn't believe me, and my headache was getting worse. "You are powerful Holmes. Powerful enough to draw me back from the grave," I said impatiently.
I stared him down with as much energy as I could muster, though I could not truly lift my head from the pillow. My head still throbbed, but I was not letting him sink into a depression over nothing at all. Especially when I wasn't in a position to fix it if he did.
He was still looking at me as if I was at death's door, and a thought occurred to me. I smiled at him. Just a reassuring look that I hoped would calm him. His eyes were searching my face, but what for I did not know. I just continued to try to convince him of my confidence in him.
He finally relaxed under my warm look, and I sighed with relief.
"It would seem then, that I have some powers I am not aware of," he said nonchalantly. I grinned. He was certainly aware. I wouldn't allow him to forget it. But Sherlock Holmes would never admit to having any command of the power of love.
Author's notes: Okay, I know it's uber-fluffy, but that's me. And any resemblance to a certain novel by Catherine Marshall is totally intentional XD *runs away*
Hope you enjoyed :)