Marill: Wow! Sorry it's been so long. I have had things…but on with the final chapter! ^.^


I entered the sitting room, morning's paper in hand. I shed my coat, scarf and hat, and crossed to Holmes, who lay across our couch, grumbling. He was fussing with three pillows, unable to find a comfortable position in his convalescent state.

After two unsteady days in which I hardly left his side for a minute, Holmes was at last improving, and quite well. He was not pleased with my orders to stay in bed, and considered my permitting him to spend his days on the couch a great victory. Even so, he was longing to get out of the apartment and involve himself in the profusion of cultist arrests in which Lestrade was reveling.

"Confound it, Watson!" he exclaimed, snatching the newspaper from me. "How am I to assist in identifying cult members if I'm trapped in this drafty apartment?" He scanned the paper for a moment before looking up at me again. "I don't suppose they've found my shoes…"

I sighed. During his abduction, the cult had done something with his shoes and most of his clothes. I had yet to see him awake when he wasn't complaining about the fact. "You have other shoes, Holmes," I reminded him.

"I need those shoes. I like them," he snapped.

As abrasive and, quite honestly, annoying Holmes was being, I knew that I had better treasure the time before he could put weight on his leg and I had to hold him down to be sure he stayed indoors. "I will buy you a new pair myself," I offered.

"Bah," he mumbled, allowing the paper to drop to his lap. His gaze drifted to the window. "They're never going to find him on their own, you know. Surely by now he's fled the country anyway."

"Who are you talking about, Holmes?" I asked.

"The cult's master, Watson," he said. "I have an inkling but I shall have to look around that church some more before I can be certain…" He gained a deeply introspective look.

I was about to warn him about the dangers of seeking out such a man when Mrs. Hudson knocked and entered the room.

"Excuse me sirs, but Mr. Holmes has a visitor—a young lady," she said.

"Well, I don't know if he's up to receiving company—" I began.

"Nonsense," interjected Holmes. "Send her in."

As Mrs. Hudson went to do just that, Holmes struggled to gain a sitting position. I aided him, noting that he clenched his teeth in pain throughout the process.

Another knock and our door opened on a beautiful young woman dressed in the very strangest attire—a patchwork dress, a dozen odd necklaces, large circular earrings and brown sandals, despite the snow outside. She had dark hair and an olive complexion, likely a Mediterranean. She smiled brightly when she spotted Holmes, who had a completely opposite affect upon recognizing her.

"Oh no," my companion moaned.

"Inspector Sherlock, I heard about your misfortunes and I wanted to bring you some of my natural remedies," said the woman. She hefted a large black bag, which was full to bursting, a few feathers and herbs poking through the top of the bag. "Hello, I'm Rose," she said to me.

"Oh, very nice to meet you," I said. "I'm Dr. Watson. Are you a friend of Holmes?"

"She is not," Holmes growled. "Watson, keep her away from me. I do not wish to be assisted by superstitious flotsam."

"Oh, don't be ridiculous Inspector! I'm going to make you a nice pot of bancha twig tea and give you a hot stone massage. But first," she set down her bag and closed the distance between herself and my grimacing friend, "I need to clear your presence of negative emotion." To Holmes' great protest, she then started to press her hand against his forehead and chant.

"Watson! Watson!!" he cried. He tried fighting off the gypsy with his good arm while I sat back, chuckling. Maybe Holmes would benefit from some "natural remedies."


Marill: Yes, that is the end! It makes me kind of sad; it was a lot of fun to write. Soooo, here's what I'm thinking! I'm going to do a sequel: either a humorous tale of Holmes trying to recover his shoes, or a longer and more serious story of Holmes and Watson tracking down the cult mastermind. What do you think?