Hello everyone! There was an issue here that I did that caused my chapter content to be replaced with that of another story I did. I don't even know if this is properly beta-read but it is the only copy I have of this chapter. Grrrr, I'm so sorry! Here's the proper first chapter, second will be uploaded shortly, and the third is being written and will be done within the next few days! Thank you!
By the way, I'm expecting this story to be done in six chapters. Just so you know :)
I put my pen down onto my desk—which was one beautiful and clean, now with many unfortunate chemical burns amongst other discrepancies no doubt caused by my dearest friend, Sherlock Holmes.
I considered the two places in the house that were truly my own my bedroom and that desk. While I still had my bedroom to myself, the desk has become not entirely mine. The surface of it was not only covered with my rough drafts, pens, dictionaries, books, et cetera—it also had various knickknacks that were definitely Holmes'. I'm fairly sure that he's conducted many an experiment on my desk when I've been out, and I would rather not ask about it.
The detective was currently sitting on his preferred armchair by the fireplace, smoking his pipe. The dressing gown he donned was loose around him, revealing his dirty white shirt, unbuttoned twice. He smiled warmly at me. "Finished for the night, old boy?" he asked, tenor voice ringing out amongst the smoke and previous silence.
"With any luck, yes. You're quite hard to write, I'll have you know." My friend seemed to shrug, taking another drag on his tobacco and exhaling.
It was nearing six o'clock in the evening, the sun on the way to its descent. I stood up and walked to the door taking my good jacket off the coat rack, straightening my collar. Holmes glanced up in my direction and spoke with mild surprise. "Where are you going?"
Since it was Sherlock, I have no doubt that he knew exactly where I was going.
"Mary and I are going out tonight." No use lying. Besides, there wasn't anything I had to hide.
"Excellent," said he. "I'll be ready in a few moments." He stood and put out his pipe.
I sighed rather exasperatedly, pinching the bridge of my nose with two fingers. "Holmes, you are not attending my date." He simply smirked at me. "But I have nowhere to go, and I am rather famished. Dinner it is, then?"
He must take pleasure in my discomfort, for I swear that a vein burst in my temple and all Holmes did was borrow my only other good jacket. Without asking, I might add.
"You're ridiculous." I muttered darkly. Flinging his arm around my shoulders, he chuckled as the pair of us departed Baker Street. "This I know, my dear Watson."
I had to bite back my smile. I do not know why he's so easy to forgive. There was something about Holmes that drew me to his friendship, even though it could be said that I would live better without him being around. God knows I need less near-death situations to put myself in. The problem really was I love the thrill. I love serving justice. I'd sooner shave off my moustache before I would admit to this.
His arm had not left my shoulders, and it would seem that he pressed his side into my side, a refusal to let go, if I were going to bother telling him off, and I didn't.
We hailed a cab at the first sight of one. It was slightly cramped, and our legs were brushed together the entire silent ride to Mary's house.
We turned into the road where my dear Mary lived. I knocked on the door while Holmes seemed to petulantly wait by the cab. A nursemaid answered, and greeted me with an apology that Mary has fallen moderately ill. As a doctor, my interest piqued, but before I could even say so much as a word, Holmes was at my side, clearing his throat. "Yes, well, wouldn't want to delay her healing, now let's be on our way, dear boy."
He led—dragged—me away from the door. "The Royale is on the way—"
"Holmes, I have a feeling that you knew Mary was sick." I interrupted. "And that dinner with the two of us was merely a cover for you to have me on your own."
"Your skills of deduction increase daily." He replied lightly, not denying that in the very least. "I did in fact know she was sick considering the condition she was in the last time she visited Baker Street. I'm surprised you didn't catch onto that, Doctor."
I sighed once again. "I'm marrying her, Holmes. There is nothing you can do or say that can change the fact that I will be leaving you."
Perhaps I should have said it with more grace, but I know that Holmes needs to understand, rather sooner than later, that I am not going to always be his partner, his physician or his 'mother hen'. Perhaps he can see for himself as he and I are now. I certainly cannot. A life of danger and threat certainly satisfies me, but it can't for long. After all, I have a woman, a practice. I want a family, one that doesn't involve Holmes.
"Don't be stingy. Besides, you do not have a ring as of yet. The engagement you speak of is not official."
"The point is; it will be." I interrupted again.
"But as of today, you remain my bachelor."
I had to grin. "Indeed, your bachelor until merely months from now, where I will instead be Mary's husband, and your ex-flatmate."
Under his breath, I could have sworn that Holmes muttered something along the lines of 'that doesn't seem fair', but I probably imagined it.
When we were seated at the Royale, Holmes started conversation. "What appeals to you about being a husband of any variety?"
"You're not seriously asking me this question, are you?" I replied, a hint of distain in my tone. Holmes smirked amiably. "Is it perhaps her womanliness?" he teased.
As usual, I couldn't help grinning at him. "You tell me, oh genius detective." I looked at him expectantly as I raised my wineglass to my lips.
Holmes seemed to hesitate for a moment. "Why bother telling you what you already know? That would be counterproductive."
"I do not see how!" I exclaimed genially. "It would be the equivalent of me asking you about your infatuation with Miss Adler."
Holmes seemed to cringe. "Oh dear man, no need to bring her into our decent conversation! Let me make this clear, I have no feelings harbored towards Irene in any form, save perhaps animosity." He added as an afterthought.
I shot him a smirk and a knowing look. "I can clearly see that this is not the case."
"You can even ask the woman, she would agree with me."
"Right. So Holmes—"
"So Watson," he cut across my speech. "I do believe that you are making a mistake in your marriage prospects."
"You've objected to every woman I've courted since I met you, and I am never given any sufficient reasons for your distaste." My eyes were alight with amusement.
"That's because I haven't given you the pleasure of naming any."
"I wonder why?" I challenged.
"Do you." He murmured offhandedly, refusing to take my bait.
"As my dearest friend, aren't you inclined to tell me?"
"Perhaps." He said, petulantly. I snapped my fingers. "I know why."
Holmes took a sip of his own wine. "Oh, do you?"
"You just don't like the thought of having me gone. I'm sure the mere thought drives you mad, and you take your need of a parenting and friend figure and somehow turn it into distaste to whoever comes close to me. How's that for deduction, Holmes?" I asked, satisfied.
"Almost correct. Nearly, for you are only a little bit off, and I am not going to correct you."
"You're being childish. Now humor me—what will you do without me, old cock?"
"Well, mother hen, there is many 'a thing that I can do, being alone. I wouldn't want a tragedy to occur because of my, ah, rather self-destructive habits—"
"You aren't threatening to over dose yourself on your damn seven-percent cocaine solution, are you?"
Holmes sighed melodramatically. "Without a doctor in the vicinity, who knows what could happen to me? I fear just thinking about it!"
"You and I both know that you are much too fond of yourself for such an inane act as suicide."
"Too right you are." He smirked. "Shall we head back to Baker Street, dear Watson?"
"I believe so." The both of us stood up and took our leave. "Si seulement vous savies c'est toi que j'implore." Holmes spoke, wistfully.
"You know I can't stand when you do that." I replied, smirking nonetheless. "Teach me some basic French sometime, Holmes, I implore it."
"Only if you prolong the engagement."
"I didn't think it would be," he said sadly.
Upon arriving back in Baker Street, I waited patiently until Holmes had removed my coat and shoes. I grabbed my medical bag, and my friend looked at me. "What do you think you're doing?"
"I have a sick soon-to-be-fiancé who needs tending to. Be sure not to commit suicide while I'm away, is that fair?" I grinned at him and tipped my hat. "Until later tonight, my good man."
Holmes' eyes narrowed, but he waved me off. "Indeed, tonight." When I shut the door behind me, I knew of two things. First, Holmes was going to be intoxicated with whatever substance when I returned, and that I would thoroughly enjoy being my Mary's dear presense.