Story Notes: This is the Watson's Woes 250 member celebration fic I wrote off of this request.

random_nexus (rabidsamfan likes this too): I would enjoy seeing a tough, dangerous military Watson having to defend, help a temporarily incapacitated or otherwise engaged Holmes (wounded, unconscious, defusing a bomb, idk whatevertheheck) and doing an admirable job of it, perhaps with appropriate grats from Mr. Holmes or something like at the end.

The idea I had was from my Police Surgeon Universe, as you know my Watson is a rather lethally competent sort of chap, with a penchant for deception, so the plot bunny I came up with was when did Holmes realize he had more than just a companion? Under what circumstances?

The result was this fic which I feel is a sequel to To Be Valuable...

This story was received so well over at W'sW that I felt I should post it here for the fans on this website.

thanks for reading!

Bart


Boswell

Holmes cursed himself once again.

It was damned irresponsible to bring Watson into this line of work, he was not ready, and anyone could see it. Was I so eager for a companion that I doomed us both?

He once again eyed the dim warehouse office for something to cut his bonds, the chair he was tied to, far too heavy to shift without making a lot of noise. He struggled against the bonds and found them as tight as they had been for the last half hour. The man who tied the knots knew about the structure of the craft, possibly a sailor…oh what did it matter…he would be dead soon regardless, it bothered him deeply that his flat mate would share his fate.

I'm sorry old boy, you made it all the way back to England with very little but your life to show, and now because you followed a damned fool into the jaws of uncertainty, you may just lose that as well.

He looked across the dim room to Watson's slumped form, their assailants had tied him up and left him in a more comfortable chair when they saw the man's limp and weak condition. He had not heard from Watson for some time.

"Watson?"

No answer.

Holmes had a sudden surge of fear, when William Gibson and his gang had caught them snooping around the warehouse, they had gotten rather rough with them both, Holmes was surprised by the former soldier across from him and the initial trouble he gave their captors, but after a particularly hard back-handed slap that left a bruise on Watson's left cheek, he had given up the struggle. Holmes a taken a bit of a knock himself when he took after the man that had struck Watson and was clubbed for his efforts, but even with the knock on his head he was in far better shape than the man he had callously drug into danger.

"Watson? Are you well?"

Suddenly Holmes heard what sounded suspiciously like…SNORING?

"WATSON!"

There was a snort and startled sound of a man waking up suddenly. "Holmes! Don't frighten me like that, nearly did me in, my poor heart is racing!" Watson called his tone indignant.

"What is the meaning of you sleeping when we are in mortal peril?" Holmes demanded. "I've not been able to make headway with these knots, and as soon as they dispose of us there will be no evidence that they were smuggling from this warehouse, I've no doubt about their intent when they return."

Watson infuriated him further by yawning.

"Watson! Have you gone mad, or do you truly not understand our situation?" Holmes bellowed appalled by his companion's insouciance.

"And my whimpering like some maiden in distress is going to change our fate?" Watson remarked stifling another yawn.

Holmes was taken aback. "Well no, but it would be the normal reaction."

Watson tone was suspiciously jovial in the dim light Holmes could nearly pick out that he was smiling under his moustache, "Normal for whom, dear Holmes? Have you ever attempted to sleep while ten thousand Ghazi mullahs chanted and prayed for strength to kill you? Or attempted to rest not knowing if Thugee assassins were at that very moment crawling through the underbrush with a knife for your throat? After long nights such as those, I find our current peril almost…soothing."

Holmes did not know how to respond to that. So he changed the subject. "Have you tested your knots?"

Watson shrugged. "Oh those, yes I have."

He said no more so Holmes exasperated followed up, asking, "And?"

"I think the bloke that tied me used a double fisherman, can't be sure, I have not see one in a few years now," Watson responded in a tone which caused Holmes to think that he was teasing.

"I mean, can you get free?" Holmes blurted in his exasperation.

"Someone's coming, do try to be quiet," Watson responded with an annoyed hiss.

Holmes shot him a glower in the dim light as the door was unlocked and three men came in. The man in the lead instructed the other two. "Don't leave bruises, it's gotta look like they drowned."

He bent to untie Watson, while one of the other men came for Holmes, while the third stepped back waving a gun.

Suddenly there was the sound of a fist striking a jaw, for someone that had Holmes's boxing experience he recognized the tenor of a blow well struck. The man with the gun turned as did the man attending to Holmes, a shot rang out and the one with the gun fell clutching his shoulder, the other man blocking Holmes's line of sight promptly raised his hands. The gunman on the floor lunged for his dropped weapon when another explosion rang out and the floor boards just beyond his reaching fingers splintered. The accuracy was unnerving.

"Leave it were it lays, there's a lad, you, get over there with your mate," came Watson's voice in a calm emotionless tone that caused Holmes's hairs to stand on end. The man blocking his line of sight moved and Holmes saw Watson still in the chair with an unconscious man at his feet, ropes hanging off his wrists and a pistol clutched expertly in his hand. He looked in far better shape than Holmes had thought.

"To answer your earlier query, before we were rudely interrupted, I was able to get a finger into the bottom of the knot and wiggle it loose enough to get my hands free, I think the man tying the knots took it a bit easier on me for some reason, guess he thought I was too weak to do very much," Watson informed in a conversational tone.

Holmes gaped at his partner, and then remarked, "It appears he was mistaken."

---

They made their way tiredly up the seventeen steps. Mrs. Hudson had fussed over Watson, and given Holmes what fore for his flatmate's weakened condition and was bringing up coffee and a snack, though it was the middle of the night. Gibson and his gang was in jail, Lestrade had taken the credit for the bust as usual, and Watson was limping a bit more than Holmes liked to see.

They settled in by the grate, Watson sighing with a small pained groan, but Holmes knew better than to remark upon it. He had other matters to discuss.

"You never mentioned being a crack shot," He wheedled.

Watson smirked. "Oh by the way, Holmes, I was the best shot in my division...satisfied?"

"Boxing?"

Watson shrugged. "First runner up."

Holmes chose a pipe and packed it, he eyed his smiling counterpart suspiciously. "Any other hidden talents you care to mention?"

Watson yawned again. "Tell Mrs. Hudson I decided to go on to bed, my earlier nap was disturbed by someone being rather impertinent. Good night Holmes."

He pulled himself to his feet and made his way to the stairs up to his quarters.

Holmes called after him. "Goodnight, Watson."

Holmes watched the man until he shut the door behind him, he sat in quiet contemplation. Here we was supposed to be the foremost master of observation in the world, and he had sat across from what may just turn out to be one of the more dangerous men he had ever met for nearly a year and underestimated the man badly.

He took a pull on his pipe as he lit it. He quietly puffed as he mused; this mystery is one I may never solve to my satisfaction.

He found himself smiling.

I can live with that.


End Notes: I know that last line is a terrible pun but I like it.

I think that after having to sleep for years under threat and constant peril, that being safe would play with a man's head. It's possible that our dear Doctor just needed a persistent threat so he could finally get some rest LOL! A special forces friend of mine had this same problem.

thanks for reading!

Bart