They sat there, just like that (well, not just like that, since at some point Holmes squirmed into a more comfortable position with his feet atop the bed), for what seemed like hours, and probably was.

What had started as a half-hesitant exchange of information (and apologies) turned into some heavy soul-searching, the likes of which they had never been forced to address in the six years of their awkwardly-begun friendship.

So distraught was Holmes, that he did not even care that his voice trembled as he told Watson of the constable's rash declaration about a body, of the numbing terror that had punctured his heart with ice when they'd heard gunfire from the warehouse. And in return for that confidence, his friend admitted freely to giving up hope of rescue near the end, and of awakening that first morning and utterly panicking upon finding he'd been injured and chained up like a dog.

But even awkward reassurances and a firm sustaining hand could do much to comfort; and so Mrs. Hudson discovered next morning after bringing up a coffee-tray.

If they could both be sleeping quietly after all that had happened, with a faint smile relaxing the Doctor's face and his hand gripped reassuringly in Mr. Holmes's…yes, they would be fine, she mused with maternal fondness, and always would be.