Disclaimer – I don't own them, except for Sweetie

Author notes – this is the third in the 'Observations' series, which was entirely unintentional and seems to have taken on a life of its own! (Help! How do I stop this thing?????) It's a bit angst ridden at times and carries on from things mentioned in 'Boswell'.

PS – If you want to see exactly what Sweetie looks like, google 'Harlequin Dane' and click on images…

Observations of a Yarder

I had not expected anger. Our relations had sometimes been prickly at best, my impatience with those that didn't think as swiftly, observe as keenly or act as rapidly as I saw to that. In fact I sometimes felt that if not for my Watson's generous, calming influence, our relationship would have dissolved long ago.

At the most I had expected annoyance. No one likes to be deceived, but I had expected that once the details of the matter were laid clear to the interested parties only a mild sense of annoyance would prevail.

Of course, I had not anticipated Mycroft's wilful dismissal of my wishes. When I had realised the true magnitude of my brothers' calumny I had expected righteous fury, bitter recrimination and possible repudiation… on Watson's side. That had not, to my everlasting relief, happened. I had found my Boswell in a very sorry state indeed, but the dreaded rift in our relationship had not occurred. It was the Yard that surprised me with its anger and irrational sense of betrayal. It was a blow to my pride to admit it, but I took two entire days, days spent accompanying my Watson to his duties to the Yard, or meeting him there once those duties had finished, to realise that the anger was not directed at me for the sake of the men in the Metropolitan force, but rather for the sake of my dear Boswell.

Once that was understood, unexpected though it was, I could tolerate it easily. I certainly never alluded to it in any way in Watson's presence. It would not do to place him in the position of mediator so soon after my return. I had no doubt that he would need to resume that role once I again resumed my active practice, but as I was rather more concerned with affecting a change for the better in his health and spirits I deemed it best not to strain him so soon after my return.

I certainly hadn't expected anger on my brothers' part. He appeared to think that the three years of exile I had suffered should be treated as a golden opportunity to 'purge undesirable acquaintances from my social circle' was the exact quote I believe he tossed at me in the Strangers Room of his club. My dearest friend was attending a social engagement that had been arranged some months prior to my return and I had seen him off in good spirits, satisfied that those in his acquaintance had not forgotten him in his mourning. Watson was an excellent chap: it pleased me that others recognised his worth. I had then hied myself off to the Diogenes Club to see my brother and discuss several matters with him.

It appeared he had also wished to have a discussion, though truthfully the volume of our voices sometimes put that label in clear jeopardy. I was somewhat astonished as he abused my good Watson's qualities to my face and then deplored the time I had spent in his sorely missed company this last week. It was enough to very nearly allow me to forget my manners and lay hands on him. The doorman appeared very relieved when I left without resorting to any form of physical violence.

Mrs Hudson had also expressed her displeasure at my deception in what could only be termed the most strident of tones, threatening several highly unpleasant consequences if I were to ever attempt a similar deception again. Her threats ranged from the ludicrous to quite frightening, and I made a note to refrain from any of the former behaviours that had so irked her in the past for at least a month to ensure that her temperament settled to its accustomed level once more. As she was also incensed on my dear friends' behalf, some of her rhetoric was forgivable.

Additionally, the day following the arrest of Colonel Moran saw an unwelcome blaze of publicity regarding my return 'from the dead'. The post was full of requests from simpering idiots that wished to know if I had encountered deceased loved ones in my 'travels on the other side'. Watson found this hilarious, which was the only reason I forbore from an ungentlemanly correspondence with said idiots. His amusement, even at my cost, gave his countenance a welcome air of good humour, which was my ultimate goal.

Suffice it to say that all this unexpected, and completely uncalled for in my opinion, anger and superstition made me wonder if I should return to my exile and take my Boswell with me!