Thank you for the comments. Here's part 3 of Miles of Sea. I'm thinking there might be 2 or 3 parts left before the story comes to a close. Please note I'm twisting canon to fit my own devious purposes. My apologies if I murder the plot. Oh, and no song this time. There might be one next time.


Part III.

When he sees her next, she is not wearing white. Instead, she is draped in plum velvet and her skin is shiny with sweat though she smiles faintly at him. She holds out her hand and he kisses it, taking a fraction of a second longer than he usually does. When he looks up at her, he notices the blood in her cheeks and the slight trembling of her lips.

"Congratulations, Madame," he says.

Her eyes widen for a moment and he nods, confirming the fact and taking the seat across from her.

"I will trust your discretion, Mr. Holmes," she says coolly.

He praises her control but notices the unconscious movement of her hands which settle on her stomach. "Of course." He lowers his voice, his own hands betraying his pain though he tucks them in the pockets of his dinner jacket. "You are well?"

"Yes." But there is a slight hesitation.

He opens his mouth to say more but feels the slight warmth of another presence and opts for what he hopes is his trademark joviality. "Watson, old boy. Nice of you to join us."

The doctor shows no surprise at being detected and squeezes his shoulder before pecking his wife on the cheek and taking his seat between them. The smell of rubbing alcohol still lingers as they begin their meal.

Holmes feels like someone's cut out his heart and served it as the main course. But his heart is still in his chest, hammering like a woodpecker.

"Something wrong with the meat, Holmes?" Watson inquires, dabbing a napkin at the corner of his lips.

Holmes swallows, thinking of where those lips have been on his body – and hers – and shakes his head. He forces his hands to stop trembling and makes a show of chewing.

Satisfied, the doctor returns to his potatoes.

The evening goes slower than it has any right to and before they start on the dessert, Holmes excuses himself, mumbling something about his housekeeper coming home earlier than he thought. He stumbles outside before Watson can stop him and his feet carry him home.

Nanny opens the door and he lets her scold him. Her calloused hands take his coat and push him into the bed. She pulls the blanket over him and makes to leave but feels his hand grab hers in his feverish haze.

She sighs noisily but pulls a chair beside the bed and watches him fall asleep. She knows he thinks of her as dull but she wiped the blood from the chaise and picked up the buttons from the floor. It makes her cringe – it isn't right, it is a carnal sin – but she can't help but cringe further at the thought of the great detective's heart being torn right out his chest.

So when she hears the bell and then the knocking on the front door, she ignores it in favour of making the soup Holmes won't admit he likes.

Please review – your comments, as always, are appreciated.