Disclaimer: Not mine.
Watson's engagement to Mary Morstan brings about an inevitable rift between him and Holmes, but why, exactly, is the good doctor so very eager to leave? Amicus is set seven months before movie-verse, and explores the events leading up to Watson's sudden departure. Eventual Holmes/Watson slash (first several chapters are strictly platonic), but don't let that deter you. I try never to sacrifice characterization for the sake of a desired pairing -- when they get together, it will, hopefully, make sense. Chapters are short for the sake of timely updates.
"I have been reviewing my notes of our exploits over the last seven months. Would you like to known my conclusion?"
"I am psychologically disturbed!"
Sherlock Holmes 2009 (paraphrased)
Practice Makes Perfect
Between the hours of one and four in the morning, there is a certain stillness to the air that gives the appearance of peace. During the day, everything and everyone is often too occupied with the hustle and bustle of everyday life to notice how they so thoroughly shatter the brief chance at escape the very wind breathes into the open sky. Scents mingle with aromas, touch blends with the need to feel, and taste becomes a single point of blissful light in a world of bland substance. Night, too, is filled with drunkards and party-goers; gentlemen filtering out from the last act of an opera, seedy escorts seducing bits of gold and silver straight from a man's pockets, gambling houses ablaze with raucous noise and rowdy laughter.
But the early morning, between the hours of one and four, was meant for calm and quiet.
It was a truly unjust crime for one to be disturbed during these hours of peace, and were the event to occur, it was then justifiably reasonable for a quick temper and a swift bout of frustration to act as a perfectly acceptable reaction. Sometimes it was the bang of a door, or the unexpected thump of an item being dropped on the cold wooden floor. Sometimes it was a shout or, more rarely nowadays, a scream from the street below.
And sometimes -- sometimes -- it was the thin sound of a bow running expertly over a used violin string.
It was this latter noise that made Watson turn on his side with a huff of frustration escaping his parted lips. The thin tuft of hair below his nose was disturbed, if but briefly. He, on the other hand, had been disturbed for nigh an hour, and still the discordant melody would not stop.
Holmes was oblivious to modern conventions, and if a fancy struck him, he was oftentimes quite adamant in his pursuit of a poorly timed whim.
At first, Watson had considered this persistence admirable. Who wouldn't look up to someone incapable of sating a passing inclination to pursue further knowledge on any manner of information thrown (sometimes violently) his way? He had stood the odd hours when Holmes had paid his half of the rent on time, had suffered silently through the ill-advised gunshots when the detective had proven the worth of his experimentation, and had even reasoned away the early morning rants when Holmes had, in the end, brought a smile to his tired face.
But when the sounds of Schubert drifted almost seamlessly into Beethoven and, from there, creaked through the cracks in the walls to invade a sleeping man's senses in a shocking revelation of consciousness, Watson couldn't help but be a little miffed.
Awareness was for the rested, and sleep deprivation was for the dead.
Watson was neither.
He groaned, turned in his bed once more, then, when the act of giving his blank wall the cold shoulder did nothing to dissipate the sound, planted a pillow atop his head in the false hope that it would in some way give him the quiet he needed to sleep.
When it came to Holmes, there was no such thing as hope. One had only logic and reasoning, and the ability to manipulate another's actions with nothing more than clever words and strategically contrived situations. Hope was a preordained plan.
If he had known his roommate was incapable of upholding a regular sleeping schedule, Watson would have perhaps continued his search for a less expensive residence with a less troublesome comrade.
Rolling onto his back, the doctor clapped his hands over his ears and hummed a little war jig to himself.
Ignorant, as it were, that this was only the beginning.