Author Note: Just a random bit of prose I thought up after watching the film. Reviews are always welcome. Holmes/Watson if you squint, or could just be a friendship fic.

Summary: They were men of lost character and if given the chance, together they could have set the world on fire. Pre Holmes/Watson


Holmes and Watson were members of a dying breed, torchbearers of an old age that was fading with every year to a bare memory in the face of industrialisation, an era where money and profit were the new monarchy. They were men of passion and loyalty, driven by justice and logic, the old rulers of the land they loved regardless of its' change . Progress it was called. The two men were so different, yet shared the same thoughts; the same ideals, the same hopes for the present and for the future, for what was to come around the corner. Neither liked to dwell on the past, for it was done and gone, and bitter things lay back along the road like dogs to try and hound them further along to feel regret and anger.

The Rationalist; with his medicine and desire to heal, to learn and to record, and the Dreamer; with the rhythm in his soul that connected his disjointed thoughts; the Knave of Hearts and the Ace of Spades in the draw of their lives.

They were flawed at times, cracked from wear and tear, the horrors of life weakening them, but also making them stronger, more determined. They may have been flawed but each propped the other up, the safety net each could always rely on for the other to catch them with if they fell.

Those men with their vices; the Soldier who dreamt of war and death and who gambled away his earnings because it made the pain a less obvious, and the Thinker who lost himself in the induced clouds of back alley opium dens. Yet it was the Thinker who woke the soldier from his nightmares, calming him, bring him back to his own reality, the Thinker who held his money because the solider knew not to trust himself with it. And it was the Solider, the doctor, who was there to catch the Thinker, the dreamer, when he awoke from his illusions in strange rooms he couldn't recall, his thoughts frantic like eddying waves but the doctors presence calming them, setting his fears to rest. It was the doctor who patched up his wounds after a fight , trapped in a ring surrounded by men with vicious faces and anger in their eyes, the doctor not admonishing because he knew the little good it would do, but helping him heal regardless, wincing in pain every time the other took a blow, because each hurt was a hit to him too.

Each man was wound so intrinsically to the others life that neither now could free themselves from the spiders' web of finely connecting lines that now bound them, holding each other as the only constants in a world of change. They were as close as brother, not in blood but in bond, and could have been so much more if the time wasn't wrong, the society's prejudices not so ingrained that even they denied it; what they felt, who they were. They could have set the world alight, and they both did in their own little ways, but there was always a feeling of something lost, hidden from sight that if found would change them both forever.

But sometimes Holmes looked at Watson, the other man looking back, and the look that passed between them was intimate, close, the potential they had so tangible.

And maybe there was just some hope yet for the future.