Sherlock Holmes: The Dying Days
From the final pages of the diary of Dr. John Watson
It was two weeks ago, I'll never forget it now, when my friend Sherlock Holmes finally passed away.
The date was 1934; it was winter when it happened. I had come to visit my friend for what I did not know at the time, would be the final hours we would ever spend together. Once I had arrived, I was asked by a maid if I required anything, "Tea would be fine.", I said to her.
Once I had been given my tea, my chair was wheeled towards Holmes' room. My own health had, by now, deteriorated as well, although not as seriously as Holmes'. All those years of drugs had finally taken their toll on my friend.
As I entered Holmes' room, I instantly saw him. What a state he was in. Holmes was in his early seventies, but looked like a man of twenty years more.
The deathly pallor on his face let me know that he was in a serious state, but I could not know that he had merely hours left. He smiled when he saw me. "Watson! Why you've come to visit me in my final hours.", He said with a tint of humor in his voice. "It's good to see you too, Holmes.", I said with a chuckle.
"Watson, come a little closer if you do not mind.", He said. The maid pushed my chair closer towards his bedside, so that the space of only three feet separated us. "Thank you, Susan, you may leave us now.", Holmes said to the twenty three year old maid, which had wheeled my chair into my friends room.
After the maid had left, Holmes looked at me with curiosity. "How are the grandchildren?" He asked. "They are doing fine, Holmes.", I said. My son had moved to the states about eight years ago, and was now with a family of his own.
A small period of silence, lasting about thirty five seconds, carried through the tobacco smoke ridden air before I broke it. "Really, now, Holmes!", I exclaimed. "What?", He asked innocently. "You're violently ill, and you're still smoking.", I said, with concern in my voice. "Watson, I'm in my final hours. It won't matter whether I smoke or not, I'm doomed already.", He said, with little care for his own health. Another thirty five, quiet, seconds passed, before we both burst out laughing. "Oh, Watson. I really do think that this is the end.", He said, with all humor and cheer instantly disappearing. "Don't talk like that, old man. You've survived so many things, you can beat this.", I said, my voice tinged with emotion.
Two hours later, after we had eaten a small meal, Holmes looked at me and said, with exhaustion, "Watson, I've lived a life that not many others have. I've faked my death, I've proven that almost nothing is impossible, but there is one thing that pains me.". "And what might that be?", I asked. "I've never married, never loved. If it was not for my distrust of women, I may have a wife and children of my own.", He said. "Holmes, you're forgetting someone.", I said. "Who?", He asked. "Why, Miss Adler of course.", I answered. "My dear friend, I have not forgotten about "The Woman", I shall never forget her. But she was merely someone who outwitted me, a crush if you will.", He said with a hint of regret. "But, Watson, I truly wish that I could have found someone to love, and who would've loved me in return.", He continued.
Ten minutes later, we both sat reminiscing about our adventures, when Holmes began to cough violently. To be seeing him in this mess, it was almost too much for me to handle. I handed him a glass of water, and watched as he gulped it down with understandable speed. "Thank you, Watson. Thank you.", He said between gulps. It was again that I realized what a state he was in. The mighty detective, who had survived a vicious hand-to-hand battle at Reichenbach Falls, was reduced to a bed-ridden, feeble old man, but he had not lost any of his spirit.
My ailing friend then looked at me. "Watson, I am so very tired.", He said. Part of me knew what he meant, but that part refused to accept it. "I'm tired too. Don't forget, I traveled quite a distance to get here.", I said. "I shan't forget it, Watson.", He replied, with another vicious cough following shortly after. "Do you need more water?", I asked. "Yes, thank you.", He said eagerly. After pouring him another glass and handing it to him, I watched as he gulped it down with even more speed.
"Do you remember our case of "The Giant Rat of Sumatra"?", Holmes asked me. "Oh, do I!", I exclaimed. "I trust that you have not published it?", He questioned. "Oh, no. By your instructions, all those years ago, I have locked the journal of it in a safe box.", I replied. "Good. The world would never be ready for that case.", He said, with a pained chuckle.
Five minutes later, and I had fallen asleep. In my dreams, I thought that I could hear Holmes say, "Goodbye, Watson.". When I awoke, to me it looked as if Holmes was asleep, but it very soon dawned on me, that he was in fact dead. I rested my right hand on his left, and tears began to form in my eyes. My friend Sherlock Holmes was dead. "Goodbye, my friend.", I said, sadly.
Two weeks and one day later, Dr. Jonathan Watson passed away. Warm in his bed, and with his family around him.
So? Did you like it? Just so you know, my inspiration for Holmes came from the Jeremy Brett portrayal, and Watson from David Burke & Edward Hardwicke. Jeremy Brett played Holmes from 1984 till 1994 in the Granada TV series. David Burke played Watson for the first two series, and then Edward Hardwicke played Watson for the remainder of the series.
Note: I may publish an alternate version at a later date. As this story was mean as the first chapter in a crossover fic.