Disclaimer: I don't own Watson, Holmes, Irene, or even Mrs. Hudson. Or Gladstone. Can't forget him.


"Watson! Watson!"

I looked up from my paper and glared at the ceiling as for the hundredth time this morning, Holmes called for me. And it was barely past nine. However, I was inclined to finish my breakfast before going up to see what the old fool wanted. With his constant yelling, it was making it difficult.

"Watson, just answer him, I implore you," Mrs. Hudson said, setting a plate of toast on the table.

"And give him what he wants without a fight? Never! He's spoiled enough," I said.

There was a loud bang from upstairs, followed by a subsequent string of thuds. "Watson! Watson! Fire! Burglars! Murder! Suicide! Poison! I'm drowning! Watson!"

I heaved a sigh and rolled my eyes. "I'm coming, Holmes," I shouted.

"Witchcraft!"

"Yes, yes, I know."

I climbed the stairs and entered the room, and found my companion in quite a predicament. His arms were stretched above him, hands bound to a leg of the bed. The nearby table had been knocked over by his flailing legs, which he was still halfheartedly kicking. Staring forlornly out the window, he hadn't yet seen me. "Rabid dog!" he bellowed. "I need a doctor!"

"Holmes, do us all a favor and shut up," I said.

He jumped and stopped kicking. "Oh. Watson. Didn't see you there. Hello. In case you were wondering, there were seven of them."

I pulled up a three-legged stool and sat down. "Did you sleep well?"

"Dreadful. You?"

"I slept quite wonderfully, actually."

"Good. Wouldn't want you dozing off while performing any vitrectomies." He cleared his throat. "I, uh—"

"I was thinking, this morning, about going out today," I interrupted. "I would like to get another dog. Give Gladstone some companionship…and you another test subject."

"Lovely idea, Watson," Holmes said.

"Would you like a setter? Or a terrier. You seem more of a terrier man."

"I don't care, doctor, just—"

"Mrs. Hudson made some delicious eggs this morning. In fact, now that I think about it, I never finished mine." I stood up. "I would hate for them to go to waste—"

"Watson!"

I hid a smile. "Yes, Holmes? Why—look at you, Sherlock! However did you end up like that?"

"That's none of your business," he said stiffly.

I looked around. "Odd…didn't Miss Adler come to visit this morning? She seems to have disappeared."

"I don't know what you're talking about," said Holmes sullenly.

"Then you must've gotten yourself into that situation," I speculated.

He leapt at it. "Yes. Yes I did. It was all my fault."

"Well in that case, you should be able to get yourself out."

"That's just it. I can't get myself out."

"Nonsense!" I said grandly. "A brilliant mind like you, a simple pair of handcuffs should pose no challenge!"

He pouted. "Watson…help."

I knelt beside him with a bit of a smirk. "Is it just me, or does this inspire a bit of déjà vu?" Holmes grumbled. "I confess, I'm not certain, but I believe that being tied to a piece of furniture once is quite a sufficient indicator that the relationship will not work. Yet you insist on a second time. Why, Holmes?"

"I don't know," he said miserably. "She clouds my senses, Watson, even more than that infernal saline you leave lying around."

"You drank that?" I exclaimed.

"No," Holmes said quickly.

I narrowed my eyes. "I'm of half a mind to leave you here for a few good hours, old boy."

"Nonono—"

"Alright, alright." I sighed. "Where is the key?"

My friend has a certain look that tends to come over him when I have asked a question he dare not answer. This look appeared on his face now.

I raised a brow. "Holmes? Where is it?" His eyes flicked to the bull-pup curled up in the corner and I groaned. "She fed the infernal key to my dog?"

"I tried to stop her, Watson, I did, but I was rather hung up," he explained.

With a huff, I sat back. "Then I have no idea how to get you out of this. How did you even get on the floor?"

The look returned.

"Never mind, I don't want to know." I began examining the handcuffs. "I may be able to pick the lock. Do you have a pin anywhere?"

"Yes, in my pocket," Holmes said.

"I'm not going through your pockets," I said stonily.

"Watson, please," he pleaded.

I rubbed my temples. "If anything bites me…."

"Nothing will bite you, Watson. It's just a pocket."

"It's what is in the pocket that concerns me," I muttered. Gingerly I poked my fingers into his side pocket. "I found the pin—good heavens, Holmes!" I yanked my hand out, dropping the pin, and stared at the black goo now all over my fingers. "What is this?" I demanded.

"Come now, doctor, it's only a bit of pitch."

"Why is it in your pocket?"

"I was going to analyze its chemical makeup…but I forgot."

"It would appear so," I snapped. I wiped the pitch on his shirt as best as I could, picking up the pin. "Hold still."

"I must say, I—ouch! Watson, that was my flesh!"

"I know," I said savagely. Holmes fell silent and didn't move a muscle as I worked at the lock, until finally it sprang open.

"Hallelujah!" Holmes cried, springing to his feet. "Thank you, doctor!"

I grumbled. "Next time, Holmes…."

"There shan't be a next time, never fear," Holmes reassured me. "Now, I'm rather hungry. What were you saying about eggs?"


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