Authors Note : Thank you sooo much for all your kind reviews and alerts for this story. I am so very touched by that. And apologies for the delay in publishing the next chapter, i have just adopted a 16 month old black cat called Zilly-Joan and she is bringing me so much joy and happiness. I cant imagine not having her now !! Anyway on with the story !!
Watson's physical recovery was a slow and arduous one. Dr Anstruther had visited for two successive days, changing Watson's dressings and was satisfied that his ribs were mending well. He could not be as sure as to his frame of mind. On the final day of his house call to Dr Watson, Dr Anstruther discussed his patient's prognosis with Sherlock Holmes.
"Mr Holmes, the doctor's ribs are beginning to heal, but I am concerned about his welfare, he needs professional care and support. The effect of the drugs on him…" Anstruther was cut off in mid flow by Holmes, angrily dismissing what was being suggested
"Dr Anstruther, I will not sit here and let you insult Dr Watson any longer. I am fully aware of his medical needs, I am seeing to them. He would not want to be removed from his home and placed in a sterile hospital ward. He would do better here under the care of myself and Mrs Hudson".
"But Sir, I must protest, his needs will be immense in the following days, I-"Anstruther was silenced by Holmes raising his hand forbidding him from speaking any further.
Holmes got up and opened the door indicating that it was time for Dr Anstruther to leave. The Doctor got up and let out an exasperated sigh.
"Mr Holmes, if you need me, just call for me. I will be here in an instant..." was Anstruther parting shot which only resulted in a glacial stare from a now simmering detective.
Holmes closed the door behind him as Anstruther finally left the sitting room and walked down the seventeen steps and out of Baker Street. He closed his eyes in exhaustion and inhaled deeply.
How dare he try to suggest that I do not know how to look after my Boswell. I have studied long enough to know full well the effects of such a lethal cocktail of drugs will have on Watson
Watson slowly awoken to the sound of raised voices. He was tired and struggled to open his eyes. He had fallen back asleep after Anstruther had tendered to him. He tolerated it because he had to. But all Watson wanted was not to face anyone except for Holmes. He recoiled in horror of the memory of his enforced imprisonment. And then the swirling rush of warmth and nothingness as the drugs took over him. I feel an emptiness thought Watson as he categorised the sensations he had felt which were strangely absent now. And then rejected this thought in horror. I must not, I cannot. Watson shook his head angrily and then regretted it as it only served to antagonise his injuries and let out a soft moan. And then he remembered. It was the sound of raised voices that had woken him. He recognised them as being Holmes and Anstruther. And then smiled to himself. Only Holmes would be so determined and forceful. I must stop this from becoming a full scale riot. Slowly he got up from his bed and gripped the side of the nearby chair as steadying himself from falling down completely. Sweat broke out on his forehead. Just this small effort was causing him a lot of pain and exhaustion. He staggered toward the door and pushed it open, leaning against the door frame as he did so. And then he saw Holmes leaning against the sitting room door his eyes closed and exhaling deeply. That's not a good sign thought Watson worriedly.
"Holmes…" croaked Watson in concern.
Holmes opened his eyes and then widened in alarm as he observed a very weak doctor trying to stay upright against the doorframe. He rushed over catching his friend before his legs gave way completely and places a sinewy arm around his waist and supported him to the short journey to the couch.
"Watson what were you thinking, getting out of bed like that. You are not well enough yet to be up!" Came the concerned retort to Watson as Holmes settled him on the couch.
Watson sat back on the couch exhausted. The effort of getting up from his bed had exhausted him more than he anticipated and he closed his eyes to shut out the pain that wracked his body.
"I was concerned about you Holmes…" came the feeble reply.
Holmes sat down next to Watson and his initial anger softened as he took in what was just said. His Boswell was in pain and yet he had been concerned for him?
His Boswell broke the silence that had engulfed the room and reached out towards his friend.
"Holmes did you get them all? "
"Yes, they have all been taken into custody. It's all over now".
Watson slumped back in relief and rubbed his head, betraying the headache that was throbbing his temples.
"Good" replied Watson with a hint of anger.
They were interrupted with the sound of the door being opened and Mrs Hudson entered the room with a large tray which she placed on the dining table.
"Breakfast gentlemen" announced the Scottish landlady joyously. "And Dr Watson it is good to see you up and about at last. You had us very worried for the last few days"
She placed her hand in her pocket and brought out a telegram and handed it to Holmes.
"This arrived earlier for you Mr Holmes"
"Thank you Mrs Hudson "responded Holmes who took the telegram from his landlady with a flourish and read it.
"It is from Lestrade, Watson. He needs me to go back and add some more detail to the statement I gave him shortly after I found you. I can't put this off any longer. Will you be alright old fellow if I leave you for a few hours?"
The recovering patient smiled weakly,
"Of course, Holmes you must go and finish business with Lestrade".
Holmes looked at Watson with some concern and then collected his coat and scarf from his bedroom, throwing the coat round him.
"I won't be long my dear fellow. Please do try and eat some breakfast. I may treat my body as you have often remarked so often as a mere appendix, but I will not let you do the same". Said Holmes with concern but a twinkle in his eyes, taking over a plate of breakfast to Watson from the dining table.
With one last concerned look at his friend Holmes left albeit reluctantly. He would endeavour to get the visit to Lestrade done as quickly as possible.
Watson laughed half heartedly as Holmes left and acknowledged his friend's departure before once more finding himself alone but this time in more comfortable surroundings. He stared at the plate of bacon, sausages and fried egg that lay before him. He picked up a fork and stabbed at it. He was not hungry. He tried to eat something and did indeed have some breakfast but the majority of it laid untouched. He brushed it aside and stared at the fire for the next hour. As the flames danced in front of him, his mind wondered back inevitably toward the week of his captivity. He remembered the pain and cold. He remembered the emptiness of it all. He shivered as the memories assaulted him, one flashback after another and buried his face in his hands as if trying to block out the images from his mind. What he remembered most of all was the warm rush and oblivion that the drugs injected into his body brought him. Watson craved that feeling once more. He looked up at Holmes's desk and stared at the drawer in which he kept his syringe and velvet box in which the cocaine was kept. Watson moaned and struggled to fight back the demons in him
You know you want more, to ride the warm rush once more, to let yourself dive into that hazy whirlpool. …noo I cannot. I must not…..
Watson found himself at Holmes's desk, he had not realised he had done so. The memories of the past week had overtaken his sense of reality. He opened the drawer and found what he was looking for. Staggering back to the warmth and comfort of the nearby chair and fire, he slumped back into the chair and looked at the velvet box. The material was seductive as touched the inside of the box. Soft and soothing. And inviting. He saw the needle and the drug next to it.
Go on you want to. You miss the warmth, the rush, the blanket of comfort
Within minutes the needle was inserted in Watson's arm and then the velvet box and syringe fell to the floor. He was slumped backwards in his chair barely conscious as he succumbed to the pain of the velvet box and knew nothing more.
Hahaha ! I do love cliffhangers !!! What will happen to Watson now? Hope you enjoyed this chapter and it was worth the wait !! Next chapter comming over the next two weeks, So stay tuned, and once again all reviews and comments most welcome.