Summary: When talking about the upcoming revival of Doyle's timeless mythos and the rumors circulating about Guy Ritchie's "new gay interpretation", Robert Downey Jr. was quoted saying, "We'retwo men who happen to be room-mates, wrestle a lot and share a bed. It's badass." Well, here's a few drabbles on how this all came to be and what it came to mean.
Author's Note: This can be nonslash or slash, whatever strikes your fancy, but it is predominantly nonslash. If you want to go into the specifics, it's more shounen-ai, that indefinable friendship that reaches an intimate closeness but is ultimately never consummated or outright discussed.
So far I have five set ideas for the drabble series, so there will be at least 5 chapters.
Personal Note: I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE THE NEW MOVIE.
"This is it then," Wiggins proclaimed as he delivered the couple to the doorway of 221B and the infamous offices of Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street.
"Ah, thank you lad," answered a one Mr. Harold Streep, who looked torn as to whether he should tip the little urchin or leave it be seeing as the boy would probably help himself to his pockets if he didn't so anyways.
Mrs. Streep, for her part, looked as though she was quite certain the boy had fleas.
Wiggins felt a flare of anger at the couple's less than complementary view of him. After all, he had brought them to where they desired and, as Mrs. Hudson immediately opened the door upon seeing him, audience to the exclusive consulting detective. The least they could do was express their gratitude with a few manners.
"Go on up Wiggins, I'm a little under the weather so you will have to alert the Master yourself," Mrs. Hudson said wearily.
Wiggins gave a grave solute to the woman who had often fed him and saved a tin of biscuits for when he and his friends stopped by. "Gotcha, Missus Hudson. Hope you feel betta real soon."
She patted him on the head before retiring into her rooms with a sleepy murmur of, "Good lad."
He led the couple to the second floor only dimly lit by the hearth. Wiggins was surprised to see neither the Doctor nor the enigmatic detective awake or both as Mr. Holmes' eccentricities were of the type that would keep any man up. He turned on a few of the gas lamps and directed the couple to take their seats on the settee, while he went to fetch the man they were so desperate to find. Wiggins recalled with great satisfaction, the look of confused bewilderment on their faces that this dirty street urchin had complete access to such a mysterious life.
He walked to the side room and poked his head into the room, calling softly, "Mr. 'Olmes, some clients 'ere to see you."
He knew better than to shout. That, he knew, was a very risky business. Waking a man who usually dealt with murderers and serial killers by making a racket is entirely unwise.
Through the splash of light from the sitting room, Wiggins saw the darkened shape of a man raise himself on one elbow, squinting at Wiggins as his eyes adjusted to the light.
"Wiggins? God Lord boy, what time is it?"
"Just a li'il after one in the morn, Doctor Watson. You've got clients sir, they say it's an emergency."
"I see, we will be out in a moment then."
"Aye aye sir," Wiggins trumpeted, catching a glimpse of the now fully alert army doc shaking the lump beside him, murmuring something unintelligible as Wiggins shut the door behind him.
"Right then. Donchou worry Mister and Missus Streep, Sherlock Holmes will be seein' you in just a bit and I guarantee you'll haf nothing to worry about," Wiggins assured them.
Holmes was first to emerge, not even bothering to change and only wearing his dressing gown over his disheveled night shirt. The couple, who were obviously of an affluent status, looked slightly appalled at this, but it served them right, Wiggins thought belligerently. If they were going to impose on the detective at this time of night, then they shouldn't give a hoot what he was wearing as long as he'd see them.
He just finished tying up his robe when he turned to Wiggins with his usual courtesy and deference.
"Thank you for your assistance Wiggins. What seems to be the problem?"
Wiggins flushed with pleasure and launched into the story of coming upon the young couple after they had positively fled from their hotel, deriving further pleasure from the fact the Streeps looked positively offended that the great Sherlock Holmes would totally ignore them for the word of a boy. He was about halfway through his story when Watson immerged, dressed in proper trousers and vest, attending to what his colleague had not and offering the couple some tea or a shot of brandy for their nerves as well as giving his customary apology for his friend's behavior.
The couple were too stunned to do much more than nod. After all, it took no great skills in observation to see that both men had come from the same room or to deduce that this house had too small of a design to allow for a room big enough to accommodate two beds.
However, whatever reservations they had were slowly erased as Holmes impressed them with his unparalleled talent for deduction, as was his wont to do. After he had guessed that the couple had been married for only six months, most likely during mid June judging by the tan marks around their ring fingers and they had recently been vacationing in Derbyshire due to a matchbook he noticed Mr. Streep had in his jacket pocket and all manner of other trivial and personal secrets from everything from her hair style to his coattails, the couple seemed to be more at ease.
"We of course, almost religiously follow all of your adventures in the Strand, but to see it implemented in real life! How do you do it?" Mrs. Streep gushed.
"Elementary?" Mr. Streep suggested with a knowing smile as if this were some piece of intimate knowledge.
Holmes looked positively taken aback. "What? No, it is logical, my good fellow. Where would you—? I've never said that in my life. Did you write that Watson?"
"Then why the deuce—"
Watson cleared his throat in the hopes of silencing his friend. "At any rate, Mr. and Mrs. Streep I can say with all confidence that Mr. Holmes is everything if not more than the man and detective you have read about and promise that we will be on the case and will most probably inform you of our findings by noon tomorrow."
The two nodded dumbly as they were ushered out of the room. Dr. Watson asked me to see them out as he and Mr. Holmes took their usual seats by the fire to discuss the delicate nuances of this new case.
I led them down the stairs and out, all the while having to listen to their infernal whisperings.
"I don't know Elizabeth, should we stake our names and reputations on such men?"
"It is mighty queer that two men…but it's not unheard of, although that doesn't make it any less distasteful."
"They didn't even seek to hide it. That's what's truly disgusting. Like they were proud of it."
Wiggins burned inwardly at the impertinence of these people. What right had they to judge anybody? To say that he was just a worthless pickpocket, like he was just one of the things dirtying the London streets like mud or lazily discarded newspaper or that the two people most willing to help them were disgusting, sinful vermin.
"Now you look here," Wiggins demanded sharply, feeling suddenly very imposing as he stood at the top of the steps as they stood flummoxed on the sidewalk outside of 221B, "I won't have you sayin' nothing bad 'bout Mr. Holmes and Dr. Watson. They are the best sort of men, a fair lot better than your 'usabnd 'ere," he added sneeringly, "And just 'cause they share a bed. I sleep with my mate David all the time."
"That's different, you're only children," Mrs. Streep simpered, like he was far too slow to understand the concept.
But Wiggins kept on. "It's just practical, is what it is. What if there were a fire? Mind as well not waste time going after your buddy if he's right there next to ya. And fer Mr. Holmes and Dr. Watson, it's even worse. They got plenty of people who'd like to see 'em dead. They're willin' to put anyone to justice even if they're the most dangerous criminals in London. They've got'ta protect each other and the reason they take that risk are for slobs like you. The least you could do is to keep your mean thoughts in those stupid heads of yers and be grateful there're people who give a damn!" Wiggins finished vehemently.
Just then a cab came round where then the wide-eyed Mr. and Mrs. Streep quickly crawled into like whipped dogs. As for Wiggins, he walked home feeling as if he won the battle of Trafalgar himself.
Later that night in the rooms of Sherlock Holmes in 221B, Baker's street…
"Could you get me some water, old chap?"
Watson stumbled out of bed in order to pour a glass for his companion and pushed the glass quickly into his hand as he dropped back into the bed. He felt the other man's soft laughter vibrate through the bed.
"And pray tell what is so funny about this night? We have stolen jewels and finance papers and three suspects, but no motives and only potentially three more hours of sleep before we have to investigate this whole mess."
"I was only thinking how convenient this set up is. You are better than even Mrs. Hudson."
"I am glad to be of service," Watson grumbled.
There was a moment of silence and then Holmes spoke again, more seriously this time, "Have you your revolver close at hand Watson?"
There was another pregnant silence where Watson could just hear the controlled exhale of his bedmate. "Good. I postulated that my solution to those threatening letters we had been receiving should have been implemented by now, but whether it has reached its full effect I am not certain. The propensity towards human error makes it damn near impossible to predict times even if I am certain of its effectiveness."
"It's enough Holmes," Watson replied, voicing the unspoken fear in both their minds, but felt Holmes tense nonetheless.
Watson sighed and in a decisive movement, brought himself closer to Holmes so that they were touching back to front.
"Watson!" Holmes practically choked.
"It is more convenient this way," Watson retorted, stressing the word so that the verbal irony was not lost, "You steal the blankets. I can at least benefit from the body heat you are garnering from all the stolen sheets. I daresay you are better than retrieving a substitute."
Holmes was swift in his retaliation. "Shall I wake you in the morning?"
Watson groaned. Holmes may be fine with only a few hours sleep as truthfully, he was also, but it didn't mean he was happy about it. Deciding he should get whatever sleep he could since Holmes would do whatever he pleased anyways, Watson ignored him and immediately fell into slumber beside his friend, who placed his now empty glass on the bedside table.
That was the way things were after all. Holmes, the early riser would wake Watson up in the mornings and Watson, the light sleeper that harked to his army days would wake Holmes in the nights and each took care of things in their own separate ways in their rather unorthodox and wholly interconnected lives.
It was convenient and practical.
Author's Note: The word 'buddy', a reduced form of the word 'brother' originated in the 1840s-50s, well within the Sherlockian time range. Although it was an American phrase…but give me some creative liberty here.
Review. Just a simple word or two to prove that you read it and hopefully enjoyed it. Like Holmes (or any writer for that matter), I thrive on getting brownie points.