A/N: More randomness from me. After the fantastic support I received/am still receiving for Post-Marital Sabotage, I thought it m' dooty to write this One-Shot. It starts off lively, turns a bit sombre in the middle, then ends lively once more. Hurrah for Holmes/Watson!

Disclaimer: I do not own, etc. etc.

By the way, these events are set before the movie – with Holmes and Watson already in an established, slashy relationship. :wink:

Please don't forget to review!

Quindecim Secundus


The morning began in the usual manner that mornings at Baker Street began: with Dr John Watson opening his closet and finding that his favourite waistcoat had gone.

Despite this rather predictable event – Watson having lived with Sherlock Holmes for almost two years, and having learnt from these almost-two-years of experience that he should really be thankful nothing had exploded in his closet – he found that he was undeniably annoyed. More than annoyed – he was bordering on furious. Holmes had a way of stealing clean clothes and returning them in a state that was anything but. Shirts, Watson could pardon – coats, jackets, and belts. Trousers, even, if Holmes was in the whim. But the waistcoat he had purchased on his first arrival in London was irreplaceable, and Watson did not care to have it returned with bloodstains or mud-stains or probably both, with an indifferent and usually inadequate explanation of "Mrs Hudson will get it out, old boy, I'm sure."

No, Mrs Hudson did not usually get it out. Mrs Hudson usually gave him a despairing look and said, "You had best get a new one instead, doctor."

Fuming silently, Watson went on to do a body count of his closet, finally straightening from the wooden racks with the grand total of no less than four missing items. A dress shirt, one he'd purchased only recently from the Strand; a leather belt; a pair of grey cotton trousers that Mrs Hudson had pressed for him but yesterday; and the waistcoat. Holmes had assembled quite a smart outfit, it seemed. Watson did not harbour any illusions as to whether they would find their way back to his closet looking anything like what they had leaving it.

"Holmes!" There was no reply, which didn't surprise Watson at all. "Holmes! Where the blasted Hell are you?"

"He is – in the sitting room, sir."

Watson turned and met Mrs Hudson's small frame in the doorway, her hands twisted together and her mouth trembling. Her faint blue eyes were wide, as a rabbit's is when a gun is pointed at its head.

Distracted from his wrath by this pitiful spectacle, Watson frowned.

"What's the matter, Mrs Hudson? Are you alright?"

"Well, it's Mr Holmes – he's – he's, uh, well – "

"What is it?"

Mrs Hudson gave an uncomfortable shuffle. "I think you had best see for yourself, doctor."


Watson's first thought as he entered the sitting room was that nothing was out of place. From the look on Mrs Hudson's face, he'd expected a small fire, or an explosion, or a dead animal of some sort; but what met his eyes was the sitting room in all its usual normalcy. (Or, at least, as normal as a dwelling Sherlock Holmes had been in could be.)

Holmes, for his part, was standing in the far corner of the room, bent over a long table inspecting something. Watson's eyes raked over his back. No waistcoat. His temper cooled a little.


"Ah, there you are, old boy. Did you call me earlier? I thought I heard my name, but I was in the middle of an experiment, and could not answer."

Watson gave a violent start as the detective turned to look at him. The latter had a jeweller's loupe screwed into his left eye, giving him the eerie, mismatched look of a giant beetle. His hair had obviously not been brushed, and new stubble was beginning to bloom onto his chin. An exultant look had perched itself onto the lean face, the grey eyes cold and glittering, and there was a fevered rush in all of his movements, a stark contrast to his usual complacency.

Suddenly suspicious at the word experiment, Watson tried to crane a look at what was on the table. "What are you doing?"

"Nothing, old boy." Holmes matched his movements perfectly to block his view. "Nothing. Have you had breakfast yet?"

"Don't change the subject," Watson said. "What are you looking at?"

"Mrs Hudson has been making fresh tea for the past half an hour, and she assures me that the crumpets are excellent."



"Has this anything to do with the Barringston case?" Watson reached out and plucked the loupe from his friend's eye, using Holmes' momentary distraction to step around him towards the table. "I had thought you – oh my God!"

Holmes cleared his throat, a little nervously. "Er, yes. Sorry about that, old boy. I had nowhere else to put him."

Watson stared. There was a dead body on the sitting room table. A dead man, thirty to thirty-five in age, his limbs stiff from rigor mortis and his flesh salmon-pink – most likely from death by drowning in cold water. There were numerous scratches on his face and hands, but what was most disturbing – to Dr Watson, at least – was not the fact that this inanimate corpse was here; not even that he was on a table Watson usually used to write letters at. No. He had lived with Holmes for many months; those incidents were quite common and, although irritating, were grudgingly pardonable by their necessity.

No, what infuriated Dr John Watson most – what caused his temper to flare up inextinguishably – was the rather morbid and disturbing fact, that –


"I think I hear Mrs Hudson approaching with the breakfast, and – "

"Holmes, what is this man doing here dressed in my clothes?"

"Er," Holmes said.

"And that is my best waistcoat! My best, Holmes! I wore that on my first day in London, and now I find it on the body of some – cadaver!"

"Lord Barringston, actually."

"I don't care who he is!"

"You should," said Holmes, snatching the loupe back from his friend. "It should console you to some extent that your best waistcoat is being worn in a rather dignified manner by an aristocrat of good reputation. You see, Watson? Your anger would be understandable if I had dressed an ordinary ruffian in your clothes – that would be an inexcusable insult. But in this case you should actually be rather flattered, I think."

"Flattered!" Watson caught Holmes' wrist as the latter made a move towards the table again. "Flattered!"

"Yes, flattered. Now, if you would excuse me, I have some important work to do."

"Holmes, you will remove my clothes immediately."

"Why, doctor, what a suggestion! This is a decent hour."

"You will remove my clothes which are currently on the body of the late Lord Barringston immediately!" Watson amended, too furious for innuendo. "You will then promise me, on your soul, Holmes, that you will never do this to my property again!"

"Certainly," said Holmes, looking rather pleasantly relieved. "I have no objection to such a promise. But the clothes, doctor, must remain on our departed aristocrat for a moment longer, unfortunately."

Remembering that Sherlock Holmes – being a very unreligious man – placed very little weighting on his own soul, Watson tried again. "Not on your soul, then, Holmes. On mine."

Holmes blinked. "Yours?"

"You would not wish to hold yourself responsible for sending me to Hell, I hope, Holmes."

"Provided there is one, which I highly doubt, doctor."

"I believe there is one."

"It is rather unwise to place your soul into the hands of a man who doesn't believe in Hell."

"Then, for my sake, you had best not break the promise, Holmes – correct?" Watson gave him an angry glare, before turning to the table on which Lord Barringston was stretched. "Now, what is all this nonsense? Didn't he come to you with clothes on?"

Holmes decided to skim over the rather distasteful ecclesiastical debate for the moment, and accepted Watson's new conversational topic with relish.

"No, he did not. He came covered in an oilcloth; rather indecorous for a man of his station, I'd imagine, but – I digress," he added hastily as Watson glared at him again. "A small private boat found him floating downstream in the Thames sometime this morning. I suppose Lady Barringston's mind may now at least have some certainty now that her husband is confirmedly dead."

"I thought we had already a suspect for his murder long before this."

"So we did, Watson, so we did," Holmes agreed. He screwed the loupe back into his eye and bent down to inspect the front of Watson's favourite waistcoat. "We have the motive; we need now only the method. Something which, provided you will be patient, I should be able to provide in under an hour."

Watson gave him a few moments, curious despite his anger at Holmes. There was something almost mesmerising in the way Sherlock Holmes broke down a case – the way he took what was seemingly a jumbled ball of yarn and wound it out, skein by skein by skein, weaving it back into a miraculous whole with such craftsmanship that no-one could deny its truth. Each thread had its own small part to play, its own segment in the view of a completed whole; and with a precision that was almost unsettling, Holmes could pick his way amongst the tangle, knowing exactly which thread to snip and when.

Watson cleared his throat. "What are you looking at?"

"The buttons." Holmes pointed with a long, lean finger. "And the fasteners on the shirt."

"My shirt."

"Yes, that is undeniable."

Watson leaned a bit closer, sneaking a peek over Holmes' shoulder. "And what are you looking for, on my waistcoat, and on my shirt?"

"I am imagining," said Holmes, finally pulling back with a sigh, "how one may remove both your waistcoat and your shirt from a dead man in the frame of fifteen seconds."

"What are you talking about? Why fifteen seconds?"

"Because that would have been the amount of time available to our man, if he had indeed committed the murder. Lord Barringston was a large man – the amount of narcotic missing from Colonel Richmond's home would not have been sufficient to knock him out easily. It would have taken – if my calculations are correct – at least ten minutes."

"But he had plenty of time to act, did he not?"

"He had around fifteen, if the evidence so far is correct. Lady Barringston saw her husband enter the hotel at eleven-twenty; she went in search of the police immediately. They arrived at approximately a quarter to twelve. Factoring in the amount of time for Lord Barringston to make his way to the appropriate room in the hotel – where our man was waiting for him, might I add – I'd put the time scale for the murder committed at fifteen, at most twenty, minutes."

Watson tapped his chin, letting his eyes wander over the embroidery of the dead man's waistcoat absently.

"He had five minutes, then. If, indeed, it took ten minutes to prostrate Lord Barringston."

"A little less than that, Watson; you must remember that one cannot coerce a man to drink something the moment he enters a room. There must be the necessary greetings beforehand, and so forth, so as not to arouse suspicion. Given the formidable abilities of our opponent, I would say he was able to convince Lord Barringston to drink the drugged whisky within two or three minutes of him stepping into the room."

"Which leaves – "

"Very little time to kill him, yes. And even less time to remove the body."

Watson bent over the body with a renewed interest, all traces of anger having already disappeared.

"Then he must have been very quick with the act."

"Yes, Watson; very, very quick."

Suddenly, before Watson had time to register what exactly had happened, Holmes had reached out, his fingers flicking busily; and in less than three seconds, all the buttons on the front of the dead man's waistcoat and shirt had been opened, baring the dead aristocrat's chest.

"Ha," he said, sounding satisfied as he leaned back.

Watson blinked, drawing in a surprised breath. "That was – fast."

"By necessity, old boy. And he would undoubtedly have practised."

"But why remove the clothes at all? The man appears to have drowned. Clothes bear no hindrance to the act of drowning."

"I think," said Holmes with a ponderous air, navigating his way around the crowded floor to the other side of the table opposite Watson, "he had not originally intended to drown Lord Barringston."

"Oh? How so, Holmes?"

"If you smell Lord Barringston's hair, you will notice that it is the scent of the Thames. Which would be natural, of course, since the hotel in question was just by the river – and that the body was discovered therein. Our man must have opened the window and tipped the body out in the hope it would be washed away and lost."

"That does appear to be what has happened, yes."

"But that is risky business. Although it was night-time, and hence very unlikely for anyone to see, the room he had booked was on the seventh floor. Quite a fall, by any standard. And quite a splash, consequently."

"And quite a risk of discovery the next morning as well," Watson added, "considering the amount of patrol on the river."

"Precisely. He must have been a desperate man."

"Well, he must have heard the police coming up, or something else or other."

Holmes' fingers flicked out again, and Watson's belt fell away from the body heavily. "I presume so."

"So he had removed the clothes, originally intending to dispose of Lord Barrington – "

"By incineration," Holmes provided seamlessly. "The hotel destroys its daily waste at ten minutes to twelve, in a destructor in the basement."

"In the basement!"

"You must remember, dear Watson, that this hotel does not have a good name. Many men have disappeared here previously. It does not have many clients – and yet, somehow, it prospers. I suspect it is involved with the narcotic trade; most likely, opium, judging by the slight haze in the basement when we visited last week."

"They said that was smoke from the destructor operations. Ash, and so forth."

"It had a faint bluish tinge – no, Watson, I am sure of what I say."

"But the destructor – "

" – was most likely used to remove the bodies of those whom took a dose much too large to handle," interrupted Holmes. Watson stared at him as he gave the immobile Lord Barringston another nonchalant glance and a shrug, before moving away towards the breakfast table. "Hmm, I appear to have mislaid my pipe. Have you seen it, Watson?"

"But that implies that the man had accomplices!" Watson cried, ignoring Holmes' digression. "He could not have thought to move a body by himself to the basement unnoticed. The hotel staff must have – "

"The hotel staff could easily be paid. Judging by the hotel's reputation, I would not be surprised if a dead body in a room were a daily occurrence for them."

Watson followed the detective with his eyes as the latter began a thorough hunt for his pipe, which – in Holmes' case – involved sitting in an armchair and closing his eyes, attempting to use his infallible memory to deduce where the item had been mislaid.


"Just a moment, Watson."

"Holmes, I think – "

"Ah, the mantelpiece, of course!"

Watson watched impatiently as Holmes started up from his armchair, smiling, and plucked the clay pipe from its perch on the mantel.

"Holmes, by rights then we should arrest the hotel owners – the entire situation is rather out of hand!"

"I think not. The owners have no bearing whatsoever on the investigation."

"But the opium, Holmes – "

"You are speaking as a medical man, and not as a detective," Holmes cut in, striking a match. "What becomes of the hotel is up to Lestrade. My foremost duty is to Lady Barringston – and she cannot have any interest in what trade, however despicable, the hotel in question engages in."

"Good God, Holmes – have you no conscience? Many more may die of opium in that hotel, and – "

"That is no concern of mine."

Watson swallowed his indignation, knowing full well it was pointless to argue. Sherlock Holmes – brilliant as he undoubtedly was – was nonetheless also as obstinate as a mule. There was no budging him on matters like these, just like he could not be prevailed upon to accept the existence of God.

"Very well then, Holmes. We shall do as you say."

"Excellent." Holmes waved his pipe happily. "Now, as I was saying – our man had intended to incinerate him. Most probably, he had intended to incinerate the clothes elsewhere, to reduce the likelihood of their being recognised in the hotel."

"So he removed them."

"It seems that way, yes."

"If he was in such a hurry, why did he not just rip the clothes? That may have been faster."

Holmes blinked at him incredulously.

"Ripped waistcoats, Watson, leave buttons on the floor. As I have told you frequently in regard to our own relationship – although you continue to blatantly disregard my advice."

"So he undid them instead," Watson said hurriedly, feeling his cheeks heat up and wishing to change the subject. "Right. Erm, so – well, all you've managed to show me is how quickly you can undo the buttons, Holmes. What about in removal of the items from the body?"

"I cannot demonstrate that to you on Lord Barringston, my good fellow. The man has been dead for hours. I should most likely snap his arm off if I embarked on such an ambitious endeavour."

"I am still a little doubtful that it could be done in fifteen seconds."

"As was I, to begin with, old boy; but experience tells me never to rule out possibilities, in the same way good sense should tell you the exact same thing."

There was a smug look on Sherlock Holmes' face, one Watson had seen too many times to count. It was a good thing, technically speaking, as it showed that Holmes had a good grasp on the situation – which was essential in terms of keeping the two of them alive – but it still, even after a good two years or so, had the undeniable side-effect of making Watson rather annoyed.

"Lestrade would not believe it either, Holmes."

"I would have thought you a little more intelligent than the Inspector – but then again, you made the comparison and not I, doctor."

"It was not a comparison, it was practicality; the arrest can't be made until Lestrade is of one mind with you."

"I suppose that is correct," Holmes admitted, thoughtfully tapping his pipe. "Hmm."

"And don't forget, Holmes, that our man would've had to remove the trousers and boots as well; the boots, especially, would have proved troublesome, what with their laces and so on."

"Troublesome, yes – but not impossible, old boy."

"You keep assuring me of such, but you have not yet proven it, Holmes! I would've thought you, of all people, would be loath to accept pure speculation in a case."

"You wish me to demonstrate it to you?"

"Of course."

"You will not blame me, Watson, for the consequences of such a demonstration, whatever they may be?"

"No, Holmes, I would not."

"Excellent!" Holmes vacated the armchair, his pipe clamped between his teeth and his eyes shining. "Truly excellent. Come here then, Watson, and I will point out the method for you."

Watson was in the process of obeying before he caught the gleam in Holmes' grey eyes. He paused, a little apprehensive. His eyes narrowed and he surveyed his friend sharply.

"What are you going to do, Holmes?"

"Demonstrate the method, old boy, as you demanded yourself."

Watson took a step back as the other took one forward. "How? And what did you mean just then by consequences?"

Holmes laughed, reaching out and placing the palm of his hand playfully against the breast of Watson's waistcoat. The latter looked down nervously, then back up again. The warmth of Holmes' touch seeped its way through the fabric and Watson, knowing full-well the amount of damage Holmes was capable of doing when he was in the mood, opened his mouth to remind him that it was a decent hour and Mrs Hudson would be coming up soon – and what did this have to do with the case, anyway?

Holmes leaned in closer. Watson stared at him openly.

"Do you have a pocket-watch on you, my dear doctor?" The item in question – fished out from Watson's waistcoat pocket – appeared in Holmes' hand. "Never mind. Here it is."

Watson's eyes widened as the proverbial penny dropped. "Holmes – "

"Fifteen seconds."


But then the quick fingers, cleverly making their way down his chest, had undone his waistcoat before he'd even had the chance to take a breath in surprise; that accomplished, they moved onto his shirt in a manner that rather betrayed the eagerness of their owner.

"Holmes," Watson hissed breathlessly, trying to catch one of the offending wrists, "what are you doing?"

"Ten seconds."

Then the belt one-handed, the other hand up to pry both the shirt and waistcoat off in one smooth motion, Watson only just managing to prevent the garments from sliding off his shoulders by locking his arms in front of his chest; Holmes gave an irritated clucking noise, but didn't pause to wrestle with him, instead letting his hands wander their fluttering way down lower.

The front of Watson's trousers came undone.

"Five seconds."

"Holmes, I demand you stop immediately – "


"Holmes, listen to me!"


"Sherlock Holmes!"

Holmes sighed, a rueful smile on his face as his hands fell away from their previous occupation of attempting to drag Watson's trousers down over his thighs against the unfaltering resistance of their embarrassed owner. "Zero. Well, at least I gave it my best, Watson. I have no doubt I would have made the time-frame had you not been so opposed to my rather legitimate experiment."

"Holmes," Watson breathed, his eyes flashing his scandalised alarm, "you were trying to undress me in the sitting room!"

"Well, only at your own insistence, Watson."

"Don't you dare try and excuse yourself in that manner!"

"It's a very valid excuse," said Holmes laughingly, still tracing his fingers over Watson's belt as the latter busied himself in jerkily undoing all of the detective's work. "And if you dislike this very necessary experiment being conducted here in the sitting room, we can reattempt it in the bedroom, if that is what you'd prefer."


"You would indeed prefer that, no doubt?"

"I would by no means prefer that!" Watson batted Holmes' hands away. "And stop that, you're making me nervous again."

"Why, my dear Watson!" Sherlock Holmes exclaimed, replacing his hands on the belt unconcernedly; "What would Lady Barringston think? How could you possibly face her in a week, knowing that you were solely responsible for preventing the arrest of her husband's murderer, simply because you refused to subject to a perfectly harmless, yet perfectly crucial, demonstration? That is not the behaviour of a gentleman, old boy."

Watson narrowed his eyes. "Don't you threaten me with that, Sherlock Holmes."

"You will allow me to reattempt the demonstration, then?"


"A pity. The case would've been closed by tonight."

Holmes pulled away with a rather exaggerated sigh, shrugging his shoulders. The low table by the fireplace creaked as he sat on it, but not before he'd casually swept whatever had been on the table previously into a disarrayed pile on the sitting room floor. Watson watched with a sense of mounting frustration as he then went on to relight his pipe with perfect indifference. Damn pipe. No, not the pipe – damn Sherlock Holmes. Damn Sherlock Holmes and his irritatingly uncanny ability to pull the strings on Dr John Watson's character to get the latter to do whatever he wanted him to do.

The words mumbled themselves unwillingly from Watson's mouth. "Surely this one aspect of the case is not as crucial as you say, Holmes."

"I assure you, it is the crux of our entire case against our man."

"How will you prove that he did, indeed, remove the clothes from Lord Barringston in such a manner – "

"You may leave that up to me, old boy." Then Holmes paused, as if he had just remembered some unfortunate fact. "But such a proof may not be necessary, however, since you will not allow me to complete the demonstration in the first place. Which is no issue with me, dear fellow, of course; provided that you be the one to explain our failure to solve the case to Lady Barringston."

"Surely we may still solve the case – "

"Not a chance, old boy."

"Why do I get the feeling that you're manipulating me, Holmes?"

Holmes widened his grey eyes deceivingly. "I have not the slightest idea of what you are talking about."

Watson scowled, staring at the floor for a few minutes longer. There was something very comforting about the snug fit of his waistcoat, the reassuring pinch of the belt around his hips. They were to Dr John Watson what Society, in all its soothingly prudish wisdom, dictated as the proper and correct way of things; and Sherlock Holmes was ever trying to peel that away, to reassert some other fragment of him there in its place. Watson had permitted it, to a certain extent – their removal during the night was allowable, because then it was dark and no-one was watching and Watson could pretend that their absence didn't matter. But during the day? With the full glare of sunlight, of scrutiny, of no shadows behind which his conscience could hide? There was something frighteningly wanton about such a gesture, of such a blatant rebellion against propriety. It felt unknown. It felt terrifyingly insecure. It felt wrong. Watson knew he could not turn his back on correctness, whether he was sleeping with Sherlock Holmes or not; but before he could make his mind up on if that was the appropriate thing to do in the first place, Holmes had tipped his chin up to look into his eyes.

"My dear fellow, I apologise if I was a bit too flippant. But you need to stop fussing over the propriety of every little thing. You'll wear yourself out."

"You're the one who's wearing me out."

"Ah, but I never said a relationship with me would be easy, old boy," and Holmes leaned forwards to kiss him gently on the mouth. "I'm difficult, but you're the only one who can handle me. Now don't get a swollen head," he added as Watson scoffed at him; "or else our rooms will be too small for the two of us, you know."

"They already are too small, on account of you."

Holmes' eyes sparkled and he gave a mischievous grin. "Our opinions differ on that point, old boy, but that is irrelevant. There is no-one to condemn you here, save yourself. And you have the fortune of being able to prevent such condemnation, if only you had the will to do so."

Watson snorted weakly. "I cannot help that you have no conscience at all, Holmes."

"I am a practical man. I have no use for fairytales of Heaven or Hell or Purgatory, just as you have no use for the precise methods of bread-making or the theories of astronomy."

Watson sighed and tried again, although he found with no small measure of alarm that his resolve was diminishing proportionately to the distance between Holmes' mouth and his.

"I've said, Holmes, that this is a decent hour; propriety or not, we cannot do what you are thinking of now. Tonight, perhaps. But definitely not now."

"But I'm not thinking of anything. I merely wish to solve a case. If there are any indecent thoughts on the matter, they originate solely from you, doctor. My interest in this demonstration is purely intellectual."

"Intellectual, indeed."

"I assure you, my dear doctor, that it is."

Watson stiffened, but did not interfere this time as Holmes' fingers found their way back to his waistcoat buttons. He did not protest when Holmes kissed his lips, then his jaw. Then his throat. Then where his collarbone met his neck. Then his lips again, and Watson found himself giving up, as he always found himself doing in these situations with Holmes, simply because once the latter wanted something (whether that something was Dr John Watson or not) there was no stopping or distracting him until it was his. Holmes didn't give half a damn whether it was proper or not to undress a man in an unlocked, open-windowed sitting room, let alone what time of day said undressing occurred. Indeed, Watson was even willing to bet that, had Inspector Lestrade suddenly managed to barge himself in, Holmes would simply wave him back out of the room and carry right on merrily in whatever it was he was doing.

(Which, incidentally, was undoing Watson's belt. Again.)

Watson sighed, suddenly finding that Holmes' disregard for propriety was infectious. At any rate, it was difficult for him to think clearly when Holmes was busy leaving a hot line all the way up his collarbone with his tongue, pausing only for a moment at the dip in his shoulder. No, not difficult – impossible. Impossible, absolutely and utterly impossible, because Holmes knew the sweet spot just under his ear and exactly how hard to breathe against his neck and –

He'd think about all this later. Perhaps, he'd even chastise Holmes about it later.

But maybe, just this once, he'd let Holmes peel this little bit more of him away; because if there was one thing John Watson was certain about, it was that he'd trust Sherlock Holmes with (almost) anything.

"You know," he said then rather breathlessly, "you were right. It is rather unwise for me to place my soul into the hands of a man who doesn't believe in Hell."

Holmes, in reply, gave him a disarming grin as if he knew exactly where Watson's words were headed.

"But for some reason," Watson found himself continuing, "I find that right now, I don't particularly care."

Holmes laughed happily and slid down into his lap. And kissed him.

"Quindecim secundus, then," Sherlock Holmes said.


The End.

A/N: Basically, a story about Holmes slowly but surely chipping away at Watson's inhibitions, post-coitally (heheh). So, nothing serious, a bit of a salad-toss of my dubious sense of humour with a few tidbits pilfered and modified from The Man with the Twisted Lip (from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes), sprinkled with a bit of morality drama from Dr John Watson. Hope I captured their characters, the natural flow of events, etc. etc. Oh, and quindecim secundus = fifteen seconds in Latin. ;)

Let me know what you thought! I have another Holmes/Watson in the works, titled Rhetoric (Holmes and Watson have a rather ill-timed discussion about the weather, clothes-bartering, and Irene Adler. Holmes/Watson, One-Shot.) – sound exciting? I hope so!

Please don't forget to review! And Part V: Epilogue of Post-Marital Sabotage will be put up tomorrow.