A/N: ... I haven't read any of the Sherlock Holmes book(s) or watched the old TV Series, all characterisation is based on the 2009 film, starring Robert Downy Jr and Jude Law etc And italics represent a character's unspoken thoughts. Hope you enjoy! And thanks for the reviews! :D
Chapter 3- Is It Poisoned, Nanny?
There, that's perfect, if I do say so myself.
With a final triumphant polish, Mrs Hudson admired the shining appearance of the long dining table that she had been working on for the best part of..oh, well she'd been working on it for a considerable length of time, indeed. The table was rarely used- with the exception of an important guest arriving to the household. However, the table had not been cleaned thoughroughly for a while and she believed it was high time for the task to be done.
Mrs Hudson glanced up at the small clock on the mantelpiece fleetingly and did a double take. Good lord- is that the time already?
The smaller hand of the two was pointing proudly at the numeral "3". Gathering herself quickly, the woman made to go to her quarters. But, just as she was about to do so, Gladstone skittered into the room in a most out of character way, making a low, concerned whining noise from deep inside his throat.
"Alright, Gladstone, alright. Calm down. Has he forgotten to feed you?"
By way of replying, the dog began to pull with much force on her white pinny. "Really, Gladstone! Stop it now," she told him firmly.
He at once desisited, but ran out to the corridor, then stopped, almost as if he were expecting her to follow.
I tell you she thought as the pet lead her to their unknown destination if this is for nothing, that dog's had it.
Soon, Gladstone stopped- oh and it would be right outside Sherlock Holmes' door, wouldn't it?
"Oh, if he's playing that violin again..." She trailed off when she realised that she could hear not a whisper of the faintest music coming from the room. Hand on the door handle, Mrs Hudson montioned for Gladstone to stay by her side but the dog's ears drooped and he soon turned and walked straight back the way he had come. Probably going to sleep in the living room...
Without bothering to knock, Mrs Hudson pushed the door open and, at first, could see nothing particularly out of the ordinary in the scene she witnessed. Yes, Holmes was up at an unnatural hour, but what could you expect from someone as "busy" as him? Yes, the curtains were open and the man was staring at the unusually small sliver of the crescent moon that glowed in a weirdly dull way...But wait...
Mrs Hudson silently took a step forward and her eyes widened a little. Was he shaking? Surely not. However, it appeared as if he were suffering the effects of a nasty bout of some sort of flu, at least the symptoms of being out in the bitter cold. No, he was certainly shaking- there was no denying that. It was astounding for her to see; to see this man that was constantly full of self control.
"...Mr Holmes?" she asked worriedly, yet quietly.
The transformation in him from the point where she had spoken his name was nothing short of incredible. His shoulders straightened, his muscles relaxed and everything about him seemed to ooze something close to complete peace and perfection. He turned cleanly and effortlessly to face her and questioned her in turn calmly: "Mrs Hudson?"
Not giving up so easily, she stated clearly, "What is the matter, sir?"
The detective looked directly into her eyes and with no hint of fidegeting, replied confidently, "Why, nothing at all, my dear."
Ah, now, in normal circumstances, she would have believed the subtle lie but this time, she had seen herself the evidence that something, indeed, something was wrong. "Would you like a cup of tea?" As everyone knows, most woman strongly believe that a cup of tea cures anything.
"No, thank you. It would only keep me up for even longer."
Did he just utter the words "thank you"? Without any form of sarcasm?
"Some water, then, at least," Mrs Hudson tried and before he could refuse it, she left to get it in the kitchen.
When she returned with it, Holmes was sitting on the bottom of his bed, hands tapping on his knees in a rythmical but most uneasy manner. She handed the large glass to him and when she did, he looked up and smiled...unconvincingly.
"Is it poisoned, Nanny?" he asked her weakly. That cheeky, stereotypical "school boy" look was not smothered upon his face, making his words seem rather hesitant and reserved. She longed for the signature look to be with him again, even though she usually despised it. The look showed to her that all was well with Sherlock Holmes.
Slowly sitting down next to him, Mrs Hudson said in an "I can read you like a book" kind of tone, "You're not going to tell me what is wrong, are you?"
He shook his head without looking at her and his entire presence seemed to change instantly, like he knew there was no point in trying to hide the feelings in him. His shoulders sagged and all the energy seemed to have been sapped mercissly from him.
There was a preganant pause in which the two could hear nothing at all apart from each other's awkward breathing. Mrs Hudson thought and thought and came to the conclusion that Holmes' could only be like this because of one thing: his heart had been broken.
"I assure, sir, there's plenty more fish in the sea."
He laughed then but the sound was so much like a pain ridden whisper. "You wonderful, naiive woman," he said, though she had to strain to hear him. Then he looked at her properly. "This is not about a lover."
Unsure of how to react, Mrs Hudson wrapped one arm around him warmly. Is this how it feels to have your own child? An actual child?
They were silent for a long while, until the lady felt a weight drop unto her shoulder. She looked down and saw that Holmes' eyes were closed, he had fallen asleep quite completely.
In much the way a mother would do to her son, she guided Holmes to his bed. He followed her willingly and kept his eyes shut as he sank into the pillows.
"G'nite, Mr Holmes," she said softly, picking up the glass of water before it spilled its contents onto the poor man's bedsheets. "I pray you feel better in the morning."
She departed and the detective tried to give her some heavily slurred form of thanks but didn't know exactly how to. Sinking even more into the depths of unconsciousness, Holmes still managed to make an important mental note: To give his nanny a ruddy well deserved pay rise.