A/N: "If Not For You" is just a bunch of drabbles that have sprung themselves upon me, usually in math class. I've written most of the entire fiction already; I just need to find the missing pieces. It's like a puzzle, and I'm determined to do it right. I'll be posting them in pairs, so that there's some sort of substance here. The whole idea here is to show a series of pivotal firsts in Holmes and Watson's relationship. Enough from me, then. Carry on!
The First Time Holmes Spoke of Suicide (pt. 1 & 2)
"I've deduced, my dear Watson, that I will be," he paused. Smoke drifted up to the ceiling. "That I will be the death of myself."
Watson murmured back, fully absorbed in the paper. "What's that?"
"I said, Watson, I'll be the death of myself."
"Of course you will, old chap. You'll someday be the death of us all." He turned a page. Holmes patted down the tobacco in his pipe and continued as if Watson hadn't spoken at all.
"Strictly speaking, it's suicide."
Watson grunted softly. "Suicide, Holmes? That's a bit dramatic, even for you."
"Oh, no," said Holmes conversationally. "I may have no other choice. Drug overdose, perhaps. Very likely, in fact. Or a calculated slip off the windowsill. An experiment gone awry. The possibilities are endless, you know; especially when you consider the fact that I do, in fact, possess the most resourceful brain in all of London." A strange gleam appeared in his eyes. John didn't notice it.
"Why would that be your only choice, Holmes?" He turned another page, head swiveling, mustache momentarily bristling.
Holmes shook his head slightly, seriously. "If only you knew."
Startled by the sincerity of his tone, Watson looked up at him for the first time. Holmes sat with one hand gripping the armchair so hard his knuckles were white, his other hand clutching his pipe in the same death grip. His eyes were wide and surprisingly emotional. Suddenly he cleared his throat. "Must be off, old boy. I've got to..." he stood abruptly. "Deduce things."
The door slammed. Footsteps sounded on the stairs. Watson stared after him for a moment, and then returned to his paper.
Later, when Holmes got home, the stench of sweat and alcohol clinging to him, it was as if nothing had happened. Watson sat by the fire and wordlessly rose to take care of Holmes. He changed his clothes and led him to his bedroom.
He smiled wryly at Holmes' drunken "What if you found me, Watshon?" as he tucked him in. The heavy sheets pressed down on Holmes comfortingly.
"I've already found you, Holmes. You're here, with me, and you're very drunk, and you're in your bed in need of sleep." Watson pressed a glass of water to Holmes' lips. He managed to swallow most of it, although the duvet got a nice soaking too.
Holmes waved his hand in circles. "No, no, no. You know what I mean! I mean, found me." He drew his 'found' out immensely, somehow making it several syllables. Watson snorted.
"You're drunk. Go to sleep, Holmes."
Holmes grew aggravated. "No, John-- it is imperative that you understand what I'm trying to tell you. What if you found me dead?"
Watson froze for a moment, his heart suddenly seizing. Then he moved, continuing his actions: smoothing the sheets, adjusting the pillows. "I don't know, Holmes."
He burrowed under the blankets. His voice issued out, muffled and slurred. "What would you do without me?"
Watson stood in the doorway, staring at the man illuminated by the light shining through the doorway. Finally he replied softly. "I don't know, Holmes."
He shut the door, leaving him alone in the darkness.