Author's note: And here, strangely enough, is where this collection comes to an end. Somehow what started as a few little scenes written for fun has developed into a fifty-eight chapter story that isn't just a study on Watson, or about his relationship with Holmes, but about a relationship that seems to be slowly developing between Watson and the Inspector. I didn't plan it this way, just as I didn't originally intend for this to lead so well into the stories dealing with Watson's joining Scotland Yard as a Police Surgeon. But it's been fun, and educational, and this just seemed the proper place to stop.

Thanks for reading, and reviewing, and coming back for more.

I hit the floor, hard, and lay blinking in the light. "What?" I asked; I knew I was home, just as I knew my wife was the only person on earth who would shove me out of bed if I didn't wake up quickly enough.

"Gregson is here. He says it's important." Lizzie informed me, her eyes worried.

"It's always important." I rolled over onto my stomach so I could push myself up off the ground. "How long was I asleep?"

"Two hours." I groaned.

At least I hadn't bothered to change last night. For once in my life I didn't care that I was wearing the same clothes I'd been wearing the previous day. I didn't even care that Gregson would certainly have something to say about it. I was too tired.

Gregson didn't say anything about the fact that I was wearing a shirt that sported both bloodstains and a tear in the arm, and I was far too tired to recognize the expression on his face.

"Come on." Was the only thing he said.

"What?" I asked as I lurched after him.

"You haven't heard?"

"What?" I repeated myself blearily.

"You haven't heard."

I managed a half-hearted growl. "I've been busy." I reminded him. "I haven't heard anything these past three days. I haven't slept either." I added.

"You know about the epidemic that's been going around." Gregson ventured as I tried to figure out where we were going.


"Watson's wife caught it. The son too."

I stopped in my tracks, my exhausted brain trying desperately to come to a conclusion that should have been obvious. For once, Gregson didn't comment on my slowness.

"Where are we going?" I finally asked. I knew I wasn't going to like what I heard.

I was right.

"To the funeral." Gregson said grimly.

"The wife or the son?" I asked, when I had recovered.


"Mercy…" I breathed.

Disclaimer: Sherlock and the boys do not belong to me.