A/N: Hi everyone! After recently watching the Sherlock Holmes film (which was absolutely brilliant!), I decided to dip into its fanfiction area and started to write something. I'm not sure how long it'll take me to finish it as my main priorities are my Lion King fanfictions but I will complete it. And to be clear, all characterisation etc is based on the 2009 film, not the book(s)/TV series. I hope you enjoy!
Prologue- Cleaning Up The Mess
"Holmes, you have got to be kidding me."
Dr Watson and the infamous Sherlock Holmes stood in an exceedingly cluttered room (actually, it rather resembled something that had bared the brunt of numerous, gigantic bombs) filled with the endless "experiments" and random devices that the detective used when having no case to solve. The man seemed quite amused at his good friend's frustrated outburst, that small, unique smirk of his playing delicately on his thin lips, much to the Doctor's increasing annoyance.
"Oh, come now, my dear Watson," Holmes replied good naturedly, taking an elegant drag on his overly used pipe. "All it needs is a little...elbow grease."
An indignant laugh escaped Watson as he slammed his suitcase onto an oak wooden table placed hastily into the centre of the small room. A year ago, he had been married to his loving wife Mary and soon after, they bought a quaint house far from London's hustle and bustle, in the pleasant English countryside. Now, the Doctor decided it was high time to visit his friend properly, not just a fleeting chat, after arguing quite insistently with Mary on the matter. She still did not quite approve of his association with the man but she soon agreed that as long as he didn't have to go with him, his departure wouldn't be frowned upon.
"One week, no more," she told him almost grimly after kissing Watson affectionately on the cheek.
"I didn't realise you had enough useless stuff to fill yet another room," he said to Holmes, rolling his eyes.
His friend crossed his arms defiantly in much the same fashion of a young school boy who couldn't get his own way. "Not so, Watson, not so!" he protested, half running towards a discarded bundle of peculiar metal looking contraptions. He picked up one, which looked exactly like a compass, expect it was a touch bigger and instead of a sharp metal point finishing the small instrument, it was rounded off into a smooth circle. "Why, this little device I discovered by accident only just this morning; when placed between a door frame and a door it allows one to listen to a conversation between such a door silently, without the said persons knowing or hearing the door being being pushed slightly ajar! And here, we've got-"
"Alright, Holmes, alright," Watson half sighed, holding his hand up in the way a policeman would to stop traffic, "I'll take your word for it." Still, he couldn't help smiling at the little sparkle that appeared on the detective's dark eyes which only made itself known when he was extremely excited or pleased about his work. Holmes seemed rather reluctant to stop his extravagant descriptions of his inventions but he obliged, taking off his black waistcoat with a flourish and then rolling the sleeves of his (well, it actually was one of Watson's "borrowed" items of clothing) shirt back.
"We'd best get started sprucing your place up a bit. Shall we?"
Pleasantly surprised, Watson replied amiably, "You still think of it as my old room, then?"
To that, Sherlock Holmes clapped him happily on the shoulder. "Now, old chap, you know it as well as I: this will always be your room."
Watson carefully dislodged another bulging drawer, stuffed with old and decaying scribbles, which were all quick sketches and deductions from Holmes own hand. Before the afternoon was up, he had managed to persuade his reluctant friend to discard of materials such as these; they were going to be no good for him in future cases. He finally agreed- sort of: "Have it your way Watson- but if you see anything that you think might be of use- anything- you keep it, okay?"
Stifling a yawn, Watson tipped the contents of the drawer into the roaring fire, watching with satisfaction as the flames greedily licked and devoured the mess. The "sprucing up" of his old room had gone well into the evening and he near groaned when he heard the small, golden clock on the mantelpiece strike eleven. Getting ready to shove the drawer back into it's proper place, Watson lifted the slightly heavy object up only to drop it again as a small, discarded piece of paper fluttered out.
The man paused as he watched it fall lightly onto the wooden floorboards and he had half a mind to chuck the blasted thing into the fire where everything else had went, but for some inexplainable reason, he didn't. Instead, he turned it over and noticed it seemed to be an old, extremely grimy photograph. It was so dirty, in fact, that the doctor could only just make out the outline of a head, and that was all.
Glad of the distraction from cleaning, Watson tried to get into the mind of his friend and figure out what the item meant. Hmm- crumpled up- obviously quite old, frayed at the edges...which meant it hadn't been handled with much care, it wasn't of importance...the dirt covering it added to it's age...but it had been hidden in the very back of a drawer which meant...which meant...
Damn. Holmes was so much better at it than he was, despite the advice the detective always readily gave him about fathoming even the most complicated of events. Ah, well, Watson thought, probably better just to ask him; he can't be too busy-
Oh, wait. The noise of that infernal violin reached his tired ears. And Holmes hated to be interuppted while playing it, he would probably be more angry if you stopped him mid flow in music rather than stopping him mid flow in solving a gruesome murder. And the most infuriating thing was that Watson could only complain about Sherlock's playing the instrument at night, not the noise that came out of it. Whatever Holmes knew about violins, he could not say, but the sound that he managed to coax out of it really was lovely- he couldn't argue about that.
Well, Holmes would just have to deal with being forced to stop playing his violin. This photograph was in Watson's way of having a good night's sleep. With that, he stood up and briskly walked down the corridor, nearly colliding with Mrs Hudson.
"Oh, I'm so sorry," he apologised quickly, dodging out of the way.
"No need," she replied kindly, smoothing out her apron. "Are you going to see Mr Holmes, though? 'Just, you know how he loathes it when-"
"I think he'll survive," Watson laughed quietly. "I know him well."
The lady smiled. "We both think that but I think the only living thing on this earth who really knows him is that dog of his."
Watson laughed properly then, and excused himself, but he still couldn't help wondering if perhaps Mrs Hudson was right...No matter, he was at Holmes' bedroom door and without knocking, he entered.
The man was facing the window, the heavy curtains open, letting the heavenly glow of the moonlight wash over the room. Those long, clever fingers of his moved expertly up and down the strings of the violin and the phrases of some sort of slow, almost like a love song but not quite, did not falter. He didn't turn round to acknowladge his comrade.
"Not now, Watson," he said firmly but not nastily, "This piece requires immense concentration..." The violin was silent for a few brief seconds as Holmes swore mildly. "Where was I? Ah, yes..."
"It won't take long, I was only wondering what this wa-"
"Can't it wait 'till morning?"
"Well...yes, I suppose but-"
"Splendid!" Holmes exclaimed and Watson was sure that he was grinning, despite him only being able to view the back of his head. "Good night, Watson!"
The doctor sighed but wasn't that angry at all. He closed the door gently and slipped the photograph into his trouser pocket. Perhaps it could wait until the morning.