It was all Mary's idea, but I figured there would be no harm in it. After all I was pretty happy with Mary at my side and I have always wanted the same for Holmes.
"You must come for dinner tonight, old chap."
"Who will be there, Watson? I have a sneaking suspicion that you are plotting something." Holmes replied. I stared at him dumb founded for a moment, before composing myself.
"What a statement!" I replied "You know Mary will be there of course...and her sister maybe stopping by (*ahem*) no confirmation on that yet." I trailed off at the end and I knew he caught it, even one not as astute as Sherlock would have.
"Hmm..." he was thinking, I could almost see the wheels in his mind turning, as I sat there uncomfortably. "This sounds like one of those unwelcome social engagements where one has to either be bored or lie."
"Honestly, Holmes, its just dinner." I replied, but I knew he had caught everything that was unsaid.
"Quite right then, 7:30 is it?" He asked, continually tinkering with his current chemistry experiment.
" Yes, 7:30 and please make yourself somewhat respectable looking."
"I'm always respectable," he smiled mischievously. "But, it is just you and Mary so..."I gave him an exasperated and somewhat pleading look before rising to leave."I shall see you tonight then Holmes, good day."
There was never any doubt in my mind that he was only doing this to humor me. I knew he would show up, but I wasn't sure if he would show up charming or rude. I secretly wished for both. 7:30 rolled around and Mary's sister had arrived a little early in order to catch up with Mary before Holmes arrived. At 7:45 the door bell sounded and I excused myself to answer it.
"Ah, Watson nice to see you again." Holmes greeted me completely ignoring my statement.
It seemed he was going for the charming side tonight, I thought as I lead him into the parlor where the ladies where waiting.
"Mr. Holmes, how lovely to see you again." Mary greeted him.
"Mary, you get lovelier every time I see you." He returned.
"This is my sister Ann," Mary said.
Holmes took her hand in greeting.
"Obviously, the family resemblance is quite clear. From the northern heritage, I presume" He smirked then, it was just a flash, but I knew he intended it for me. This was all just another game for him.
"It's lovely to meet you, sir. I feel like I'm meeting a fictional character in person." Ann said.
"Well, I'm quite real my dear," he winked causing her to blush slightly. "Something Watson, never quite lets me forget."
"Now, Holmes." I started.
"Relax, old boy, no secrets shall be revealed here." Holmes smiled again. "Now I do believe an apology is in order, I fear I have left you all waiting some 15 minutes for me. I am sorry, but I had some pressing matters to attend to."
"Anything you could share with us common folk?" Mary asked.
"Ah, I would if I could my dear." Holmes dramatically paused, "However, it is of the up most secrecy, I'm afraid."
At that moment the maid entered and informed us that supper was ready. Mary and Ann linked arms and made their way to the dining room with Holmes and I following a bit behind them.
"A bit dramatic there, Holmes?" I whispered to him. He merely smirked at me.
"You know my methods, Watson."
The dinner continued with hardly a hitch and to my surprise Holmes actually brought something of an appetite with him. We then returned to the parlor for the customary after dinner drink and smoke. I had an uneasy feeling, however, that something wasn't quite right.
"Excellent dinner, my love." I said to Mary kissing her cheek. She blushed slightly and smiled.
"Oh, Mar. It really was lovely," Ann gushed.
Holmes, mean while, was standing by the mantel place lighting his pipe while gazing into the flames; as if they held some secret only he could know.
Ann rose from the sofa and crossed the room to Holmes.
"Mr. Holmes?" Ann said trying to rouse his attentions.
"Hmm..." he replied still gazing into the flames.
"Well, you had so astutely observed over dinner, that I am used to the warmer climates...and I was wondering how you are able to tolerate such bleak weather here in London?" She gazed at him coquettishly waiting for a response.
"Ms. Ann, as you have rakishly stirred me from my thoughts at least have the decency to comment on something less trivial than the weather." Holmes replied briskly. "However, in response I find that the weather of London allows one to get more done and learn to truly appreciate the sunny days since there are fewer of them." He finished finally looking down at her and puffing on his pipe.
Ann was blushing as read as her hair, clearly embarrassed. "Ah, yes, good point, Mr. Holmes. I'm sure the Lord, too, couldn't help but agree with you."
He scoffed at this returning his gaze to fire. "The lord, indeed. Tell me, do you believe that god created all and that I was meant to learn what I have and do what I have done?"
"Why yes, doesn't all of us God fearing people?" Ann innocently replied.
"Ah yes fear, the way a bully keeps the weak in check. Enlighten me, Ms. Ann, where does this free will the good lord gave us fit into your beliefs?" He looked up again too gage her reactions. "I take it you have read the bible, of course."
"I.." Ann began.
I quickly took this as my cue to interject and lead Ann away before Holmes could fully humiliate her. It seems he was switching back to his normal bohemian self, hardly the persona to have in polite company.
"Excuse me, Ann, but I'm afraid I'll need to steel Holmes away. Business, you know." She nodded and walked back to her sisters' side.
"What are you doing?" I quietly snapped at him. "This is Mary's sister, Holmes! Not some lady of the night that's not worth your attentions."
"What I am I doing?" He returned trying to keep his voice low. "Really, Watson, you seem to posse a similar flair for the dramatic." Holmes words cut. "I would have hardly expected this underhanded set up, from you of all people, if I hadn't been here to witness it myself."
I was shocked at his words, I was sure he knew full well what this dinner was about going into it. "I all but told you what this was Holmes. Apparently it was too much to ask for you to be civil for one evening."
"I was trying, for your sake." He began. "And after taking the necessary time, I thought I still could pull this off...it was all performed brilliantly at first, wouldn't you say?" His words where losing their edge now and he kept his eyes cast downward.
"Holmes." The realization was beginning to hit me, but still I tried not to believe it. How could he have done this to me, his greatest and only friend?
"I really should get going; I need to find another case to work on." Holmes stated; finally looking up at me and making eye contact. He looked wounded, so unlike the man he really was, that I was taken aback for a moment. However, I knew what was to blame. While I was frozen in place, my mind racing, Holmes had said his goodbyes with a quick apology and left into the night.
It was as if all I could do was stand there and wait for time to finally catch up to me. Mary and Ann had started to converse once again, but it all sounded so far away like I was on ship moving further and further from the docks.
"That was a bit odd, if I do say so." Mary said
"Oh, Mar, I feel like such a fool." Ann began. "I know you warned me that he could be a bit callous at first, but I fear I should have prepared more. The small talk of the country is nothing to the happenings of city life."
"My dearest Ann, he just has to warm up to you." Mary replied. "And if nothing comes of this perhaps it wasn't meant to be." Mary smiled softly.
Ann nodded in agreement while Mary rose and crossed the room to my side, gently grasping my arm.
"Is everything all right, dearest?" Mary quietly asked.
Finally time caught up to me and the thoughts in my mind clicked in to place. I shook my head at first, clearing the cobwebs away.
"The bloody seven-percent solution," I said under my breath before turning to face Mary. "I'm sorry love, I'm afraid my services are needed elsewhere."
Mary's brow furrowed before she nodded in understanding. "I do hope everything is all right." She said, always so caring.
"Don't fret," I said kissing her on the cheek. "Do catch up with your sister in my absents, I'd only be in the way anyways."
I moved to leave then; saying my goodbyes to Ann and letting Mary know not to wait up for I expected to be return late. I hastily donned my hat and over coat and rushed out of the house, in hopes of catching up with Holmes. Once again my mind was racing, where would he have gone: off boxing perhaps I know he's fond of that when things go awry, maybe the Diogenes club to visit his brother...no not in this state or simply back to Baker Street. Ultimately the later seemed the most likely, he'd been working on something earlier and probably wanted to finish it or start something else. Plus he could take more of that accursed solution of his, as a medical man I can see no reason to use such things, but perhaps that's the problem. I'm not as bohemian, for lack of a better word, as Holmes. He is a double edged sword, of sorts, one side is the cold calculating automaton and the other side is the artist with in him that seems to control the other side just as much. Awakening from my reverie I hailed a cab and made my way to Baker Street. On the way there I tried to mentally prepare myself for what I might find on arriving at the rooms we once shared. It's hard to foresee what will transpire when Holmes is involved, but all I could do was pray that he hadn't taken any more of that poison tonight.
When I arrived at 221B, I rushed up the steps and through the front door. I knew Mrs. Hudson wouldn't mind, she said I was always welcome and I knew that she secretly missed my presence here as much as Holmes did. I tried to be quieter once I was inside. I removed my hat and jacket before making my way stealthily up the stairs towards the door that led to the common room. I took a deep breath and opened the door.
Upon entering my worst fears were confirmed. There where papers and books strewn about everywhere, making even more disorganized then it usually was, and some forgotten experiment was left bubbling off in the corner. It was dark as well the only light was coming from the small fire in the hearth. Trying to make my way towards the fireplace was like walking through a land mine.
At first it appeared that Holmes wasn't even in the room, but I knew better. There, crouched with his knees to his chest, he sat in his favorite high backed chair; once again gazing into the flames. He was in his shirt sleeves now with the arms rolled up past his elbows. This alone told me that he had taken more upon returning, but I had also noticed the infamous Moroccan case by his side which only confirmed it.
"Holmes," I started, not realizing how quietly I was speaking or how cautiously I approached his perch, as if trying not to startle a bird on a branch. His eyes flickered at the sound of my words breaking his silence, but he remained still. It seemed like an eternity before he finally spoke.
"As you are quite, aware of my methods, Watson. You of all people should know that I'm not inclined to receive visitors at present, please leave." His words had that bite again, but I steady myself so as not to physically flinch at the way he spoke to me. I stood there for a moment before slowly sitting in the chair across from him, showing him that he wasn't getting rid of me that easily.
"I thought you were passed all this nonsense, Holmes. We worked so hard to free you and this is how you repay me."
"That was a different time." Holmes stated. "What is it to you any way, what I do with my free time is my own business and no longer concerns you."
I sighed, "You cannot rid me from your life that easily, Sherlock." I saw him wince slightly, I knew he was not fond of hearing his Christian name and I hoped I was gaining the upper hand.
"I suppose not... Not like how you rid me from yours, eh ole chap." He looked up then, his dark eyes piercing through me. "I have said on numerous occasions, that I shall never marry and still you subject me to nights like this." His anger was slowly mounting and I couldn't recall when I had seen him so worked up before. "Where I have to be charming and witty and live up to the persona you have painted and romanticized for the masses, all the while feeding into the portrait of your 'blissful' proper life." He arose from his chair and searched through the pockets of his dressing gown to find his pipe, before donning the worn-torn garment.
His words hurt, but I knew it was true, I rarely see him anymore, "Holmes, I..." He faced me then his eyes cast down studying his trusty clay pipe as he walked towards where I sat.
"No worries, Watson, I know you are always the good little soldier." He mocked clasping his hand on my shoulder while facing away from me to look out the window.
Holmes hand remained on my shoulder a bit longer before he moved slowly drawing his hand away. He picked up his violin and started slowly plucking away at it, as if trying to draw out a new fangled use for an old object. While I never quite cared for his own, shall we say, compositions; I found the sound he plucked from the instrument, haunting. It almost matched the general demeanor of the night.
I knew from years of experience that one of the only ways to deal with Holmes when he was in such a black mood was to humor as you would a child. "There is a new opera in town, shall we go this Friday?" He merely blinked at me as if I hadn't said a word. I decided to change tactics. "You are right, Holmes, I do tend to do what is expected of me. However, as I recall it has saved many a life including your own."
"Hmm..." Holmes stated still plucking away. I could see his mind was racing the insufferable drug magnifying the light speed genius within, but at what cost. "Yes, but how many countless lives have been lost in your absence." Holmes was trying to play the guilt card. "I am but one man and things don't always tend to go right when I no longer have a trusted colleague to thoroughly rely."
I tried to interject then, defend myself against these allegations, but he quickly cut me off.
"It is my own fault I'm afraid, I am weaker then I had originally perceived. I should have never became so codependent, I was so self sufficient in my youth..." He tossed his violin aside and rose walking to his desk leaning on it with his back towards me. "Yes that's all this is just another weakness, but I shall soon remedy this."
"You are only human Holmes." I said, brow furrowed. His words worried me; I know had been out on fewer excursions with him, but ... "Is this really what all this is about, my having other duties and not being able to go out with you at the drop of a hat?" I heard him scoff at this but I continued he had to hear what I had to say. "You pretend to be this cold calculating machine, the only consulting detective of your time, but as much as it may sicken you to hear this you are also creative and ripe with emotions." I rouse crossing the room to stand by him my voice raising. "As much as you might try to fight this; it is these moods of yours, that only I get to see, that really worries you. These little depressions occur because your strong hold has a crack and you need something to blame it on. So, you blame this!" I said grabbing the syringe from the Moroccan case and throwing it at the wall with a satisfying crack as the glass broke.
"I blame you!" He shouted back finally facing me.
I was calm now, the adrenaline was still coursing through me, but I knew what had to be done. "If I have learned one thing from you, my dear Holmes, it is that you will do as you please." I put my hands on the sides of his face and kissed his forehead. "But I will never blame you." With that I left leaving Holmes standing there.
"That's it go on, why change your habits now, eh, doctor!" I heard Holmes shout after me as I made my way down the stairs to the landing, but I just shook my head. He always had to have the last word did he not.
As I placed my hat back upon my head Mrs. Hudson bustled pass me up the stairs towards her quarters, "Worse than a married couple, you two are." She shook her head. "How am I to get any sleep now, knowing you to are at odds..." She sighed continuing up to bed still mumbling her disapproval of the situation.
I couldn't help but sort of smile at this as I stepped out into the brisk night air, before the door slammed behind me I heard Holmes voice bellow throughout the house and into the quiet night street, "That is Quite Enough, Mrs. Hudson!"
I did not go straight home after leaving Baker Street. My mind would not be still and I knew I would find no comfort in the confides of my home with Mary. My feet took me to a bench near the river. A place I used to frequent when I first arrived in London, practically penniless and totally devoid of friendships. I recalled how it was sheer luck that brought Holmes into my life, or perhaps it was destiny. Holmes would argue that it was organized chaos, or some such nonsense that led to that point.
Was this really it? He did seem so final with all he said and while I do know him very well, I fear there maybe sides of him that I do not know at all. Holmes would surely survive, aside from the cases he does tend to be somewhat of a hermit...Not to the extent of his brother Mycroft, mind you, but. I shook my head. How would it look for a doctor, known for his geniality and wonderful bedside manner, to have no friends. It would be gossiped about for sure, I could not do that to poor Mary. However, the task of finding new friends is quite tedious and Holmes... I thought for a second. Holmes. Friend seemed almost inadequate of a word for my relationship with that man. Even if it was over. This thought pained me. Yes I have been keeping him at an arm's length since my marriage, but there was so much to do to set up my new life. I guess from his perspective I had sort of replaced him with Mary, but that was never my intentions.
I care about him deeply; I would think that a man as astute as Sherlock Holmes could see that. I have risked life and limb for that man. Does he think that I am so comfortable with others that I too would kiss them in the same manner that I did with Holmes this very night! That is when it all, in a way, dawned on me. I did kiss him... on the forehead of course, but still. I knew deep in my mind that little voice that sometimes pops up speaking the craziest, but true things said it all... You want more of him.
I was unsure of what my next move should be... should I get up and return to Baker street ignoring all points I had previously made or wait? Was Holmes currently stewing in the same thoughts as I have, or at the the very least taking in what I had said to him? Did he need time? Tons of questions raced through my mind as I took out my silver cigarette case and lit up. Maybe he was self destructing, I knew suicide was NOT in Holmes repertoire; however, these moods are very unpredictable. And his little boxing excursions could be seen as self inflicting pain. I shook this from my mind, they were always controlled matches anyway... it is not like he picks fights with ruffians off the street, unless it is for a case, but even then.
I am not entirely sure how long I sat on the bench; my mind racked with every kind of thought that could prelude the outcome of this and the number of cigarettes in my case dwindling, but after a while I felt a presence next to me on the bench. Had I really not noticed someone walking up and sitting next to me, especially at such a quite part of town. Holmes would be very displeased with me, if he still cared that is. At this point I got indignant, how dare this intruder interrupt my thoughts. I am not an angry man, by any means, but I can have a temper when the mood is right. Taking another puff of my cigarette and keeping my gaze forward I spoke, "I do not know who you are sir, or what you hope to gain, but you should know that you will not solicit anything out of me and I am armed." I gripped my cane a bit tighter, readying myself in case actions must be taken. The stranger did not reply. "Now, please be gentlemen and toddle off." I concluded, but was only answered with the sound of a match being stuck on the arm of the bench and the somewhat familiar sound of a pipe being lit. A thought crossed my mind of who that person could be, but I thought it pure fancy. Just my mind playing tricks, however I was still upset at this stranger's blatant disregard of me. "Now see here!" I said standing and turning to look at the man sitting next to me.
I froze for a moment my jaw slack in shock; I really should start trusting some of these instincts I have. There, languidly sitting on the bench was Holmes.
"Don't look so surprised," he began. "It's quite unbecoming on you." He winced slightly unstretching his legs to sit up properly. "You know it is bloody hard to light a pipe one handed."
"Holmes," I sputtered before I composed myself and sat down next to him again. "Did I not just leave you?" I asked checking how long I had actually sat there.
"It has been three hours." He stated simply.
"I take it this is some form of an apology, then?" I asked still staring off into the water.
"Hmm..." he mused puffing on his pipe. I sat, straight, waiting for his affirmation. "I suppose, if we must color this with titles and such." Holmes began. "Then it is indeed." He placed his hand on my knee his eyes cast down with his pipe between his teeth. "I do not blame you, as you know I am not accustomed to being wrong, but sometimes it is hard to see one's self."
I said nothing taking in what he was saying. "It is hard to see but for the fog, isn't that what they say." Holmes quoted loosely breathing heavily.
"I do not know if that is enough, Holmes." I said turning to face him. His face was pained, which at first glance would have been mistaken for the sincerity of his words. "Holmes, what have you done now?" I asked wearily.
He stood, then, holding his one arm close to his body. I rose with him searching his face for an answer as he gripped my shoulder and I steadied him with a hand at his elbow.
"I believe I'm in need of a doctor," he jested his eyes twinkling briefly before he wavered, he was clearly in shock
"If it is any consolation to you, Watson, I have proved that walls are not adequate sparing partners."
I had somehow, comically, gotten Holmes back to the safety of Baker Street. He was unconscious throughout and this worried me, at first inspection I notice that his hand was bruised and bleeding at the knuckles, possibly broken which would explain his current state. There was no telling however if the drugs had anything further to do with this.
Waking Mrs. Hudson upon my entrance she helped me distribute his weight more evenly between us, one of his arms on each of our shoulders as we proceeded up the stairs. We deposited him on the sofa in the common room.
"What has he done now?" Mrs. Hudson sighed her face racked with worry.
"I'm not entirely sure at present, Mrs. Hudson." I told her honestly. "He is breaking a fever at present, however, if you'd be so kind as to fetch some water and rags." I took off my overcoat and jacket and proceeded to roll up my sleeves. I gingerly removed Holmes own jacket as not to jostle his injured arm, which upon closer inspection was actually one of my jackets. I shook my head and proceed with the inspection. His sleeves where still rolled up revealing the ghastly track marks that marred his pale forearms, the freshest ones looked the worst. I gently passed my thumb over the older marks and moved down to his wounded hand. At this point Mrs. Hudson returned placing the items next to me, "Thank you Mrs. Hudson."
"Let me know if there is anything else I can do," She said before leaving, gently closing the door behind her.
I started to clean the abrasions on his hand and noticed that these where quite similar to the ones he received while fighting. I was puzzled at first, but with a quick glance around the room I discovered a hole in the wall about shoulder height for Holmes.
"What have you done to yourself," I mused quietly. His hand was infinitely worse and if he hadn't fractured his hand he certainly bruised the bone. I knew I needed to rouse him; he had fainted because the drugs wore off and all the pain from striking the wall became real, all too quickly for him. I was somewhat dreading this, however.
"Holmes?" I began, dabbing the cool rag on his brow. "Holmes...Sherlock!" Still nothing, I did not have my full medical bag with me, but I knew that certain smells could rouse someone from such a state. I dashed over to his chemistry set a quickly mixed something up before bringing it up to his face. "Holmes, come on old boy. You are no good to me unconscious or dead for that matter." He groaned slightly at this, his eyes fluttering before hazily looking up to me.
"I would much rather be unconscious at present," he whispered hoarsely trying to close his eyes again.
"Oh, no you don't." I said shaking him to sit up more. "I dare say, you have been through worse than a fractured knuckle and withdrawal." I gently smiled at him.
"It is much worse than that," He stated.
"Are you arguing over my medical expertise?" I asked mockingly taken aback.
"You quite, sure I'm not dead, then." He said the twinkle briefly returning to his eye.
"That was one time!" I started, before realizing that Holmes was probably feeling better to be jesting like this.
"Tell me Doctor, will I ever be able to play the Violin again?" He pouted dramatically lying back again closing his eyes.
"Not if you keep this up," I said forcing him to open his eyes. "Now we will have to wrap up your hand and it must remain quite immobile, for...I'd say a fortnight." At this Holmes grumbled sitting up once again to glare at me as I started bandaging his hand.
"How can this be, I have always prided myself on having quite strong muscles in my hands and now I won't be able to get anything done." Holmes complained.
"Well, before you go blaming me," I stated coldly, seeing where he might be going with this. "Might I remind you, that you where foolish enough to strike a wall. Which, as you have probably now learned, are not meant to be struck upon in such a manner and poor Mrs. Hudson..."
"Will know nothing of it once a cleverly placed frame is over it." Holmes said. We sat in silence for a moment before he spoke again.
"I admit it was irrational, but YOU left." Holmes said simply inspecting his freshly bandaged hand.
"And I shall leave again once we are through here." I stated frankly. "That does not rationalize your point."
"I all ready apologized to you, Watson." Holmes spoke softly looking at the ground.
"Yes, you did." I agreed. "However, I told you before that this time it may not be enough." Once again I was gaining momentum with my words. "You all but cast me out of your life; I know things said in anger are not always meant, but honestly Holmes! Do you really think that some half-assed apology is going to suffice? How do I not know that this supposed injury is not some brilliant ruse of yours, all made in the hopes that I would forget all the anger and come running back to you." Holmes blinked at me his eyes narrowed. "I am not your dog, I have put up with this for quite some time and either you remedy this properly or I will leave you alone forever." I knew this was harsh, but it was necessary. Holmes eyes where shut tight, but I could not quite make out his emotions. It was if he was angry and yet fighting back tears, but the latter seemed quite preposterous for Holmes. I sat back on the floor then, praying for him to respond.
"You're breaking my heart, Homes." I whispered somewhat defeated.
Holmes sat there for a moment that felt like eternity, swallowing down whatever emotion he was fighting to hide before he spoke. His words where soft, cautious, as if he did not want to completely break the silence.
"I suppose," He began, pausing in earnest for once. "That to you, I must not possess a heart; let alone, one that can break."
"Holmes, I..." I began, but he silenced me with a raise of his slender fingers.
"Please, Watson...Let me finish." He closed his eyes again before moving to join me on the floor, wincing slightly remembering his new found injury. "I.." He paused again, pursing his lips as if trying to organize his thoughts. "I must admit that I have been quite selfish in all this. As you may recall, that is my nature. I am not accustomed to being second in anything or not getting my way." His eyes where down cast, looking up only briefly as if making sure I was in fact still there. "Being in the profession that I am, it is always useful to get all the facts and every side of the story. However, I realize I did not do that with you." Holmes swallowed, looking up once again. "I have done you a great injustice by doing this, I'm afraid. All I knew was what I perceived, I had now come in second in your life and, it may please you to hear this, my judgment was clouded by...my..." He cleared his throat. "Emotions."
I looked up at him, my brow knit, trying to discern if I was hearing him properly.
"Now, know this." Holmes said keeping eye contact with me. "I only tried to cast you from my life, because I thought it would cure all this." He scratched the back of his neck with his good hand while keeping the other close to his chest and looking down again as if studying the pattern in the rug. "But if that causes you any disagreement; then I would rather be second in your life, then not in it at all."
I could not believe what I was hearing; where all the feelings and secret wishes that I had for this man, actually valid and reciprocated.
"It probably does not mean much to you," Holmes started. "Since you are really the only one in my life."
I sat there a moment, taking in all that he had said to me. "No one really can see themselves the way others do, eh, old boy." I shook my head realizing that I too needed to take in account what he saw with my own actions. "You where right you know," I stated. Holmes looked up at me his dark eyes questioning. "My marriage was expected of me, it was the proper thing to do by society's standards." He looked somewhat down trodden again his shoulders slumped over, but I knew his mind was quite at word. "However, being with you here," I sighed. "Well, it is amazing how little the proper things matter in the great scheme of things." I was trying to keep my thoughts organized, but all this seemed a lot harder then I originally thought it would be.
"It was never my intention to hurt you, which with your behaviors as of late I realize that I had done. Part of my reasoning was that I have seen where the bachelor's life can lead and my family being as it is, someone needed to carry on the name. What I had not realized at the time, and hindsight being what it is, what really worried me were my feelings for you." Holmes looked up at me with piercing eyes, guarding himself.
"I cannot fully say that if I had known my own feelings, or yours, at the time that I would not have gone with Mary; but, now..." I could not very well finish this statement, as I did not know what was to become of us now. As I had mentioned before, when Sherlock Holmes is involved there is no way to predict an outcome.
Once again, we sat there, Holmes by my side sitting up straight, legs crossed and still holding his injured arm close to his bosom. I felt utterly defeated in all this, I cannot say for sure if it was the fact that all this was coming out finally or if it was the silence of waiting. I could not move nor did I intend to until Holmes made his peace; so I just waited my legs bent with my arms resting on my knees as my eyes too studied the pattern woven in to the carpet.
"You do realize," Holmes began once again cutting through the insufferable silence. "That those are terrible reasons." I was taken aback at his words. "Needing someone to pass along your blood-line, worrying about what it is like to be an eternal bachelor. This is how you justify what you have done." His words where frigid and harsh and I worried that I had indeed hurt him more then I could ever realize. "Those are small minded excuses, can you not divulge what you really mean, Doctor." He scoffed at me rising from the floor to stand. "You where afraid, forgive me, you ARE afraid of what that bloody world out there will think!" He motioned wildly toward the window with his good hand. "My inaction was based solely on the fact that I was under the impression that you had made your choice." I felt small like a child being scolded. "And, you have the nerve to tell me that you would probably make it again!" He spat at me.
"I only did what I thought was best!" I shouted back standing to meet him, my eyes stung, but I knew better then to show such weakness to Holmes when he was like this. He did not need more fuel to berate me with.
"Oh? And whom would it be best for?" Holmes asked standing behind the sofa and gripping the back of it. "Clearly not I," He breathed. "You see how quickly I ran back to that vice, in your absence, Doctor. Are you going to add that to your ever growing list of failures? Do tell me what will be at the top? Hmm..." He mock thought. "Destroying the happiness of a man you clam to love! Or perhaps aiding in the preservation and destruction of the most brilliant investigatory detective of our time! Do take your pick." Holmes smirked angrily.
"Are you quite through?" I asked him quietly my head bowed, this whole thing was getting very tiring. Holmes knew that this was wearing on me, I felt utterly brow-beaten.
"I have had quite enough, of being attacked in such a manner." I sated simply.
"I am not finished with you, Doctor!" He shouted at me again. One thing that can be said about Sherlock Holmes is that he never quite knows when to stop; this usually is left to me to do, so I obliged him by striking him across the face. He stumbled back, utter shock evident.
"Norbury." I stated to him, recalling upon the time he asked me to say this if he was becoming in any way over confident or giving less pains to something then he should.
"This is hardly a situation for that," He began. "You hit me!" Holmes stated dumbly, I could not help the slight smile that crept on my face at the fact that I had render Sherlock Holmes dumb-struck, quite literally I might add.
"I..." Holmes started before plopping in to his arm chair complete disbelief written all over his face.
"Really, Holmes. This is not the first time, nor the last I imagine. Now, compose yourself. You have said your peace, and I hope that this little tirade of yours got out all your feelings upon the subject at hand. I understand that the tables have turned and you now have my sincerest apologies, do what you will with them." I stated standing in front of him.
"What I will, indeed." Holmes said. Standing whilst he slid his hand off his face where I had struck him just moments ago. He had a dark, heady look in his eye and before I could register what was happening, Holmes had closed the distance between us.
Using his uninjured hand he wrapped his fingers around the side of my face and pulled me in, crushing his lips to mine. The whole thing was a bit strange at first, yet oh so familiar as he held onto me tightly, afraid I might vanish into a dream or perhaps a nightmare.
I stumbled back slightly at first just from the sheer force in which he forced himself upon me, but I was never one to miss an opportunity. It was quite different from my experience with Mary, she was so soft and delicate that I am afraid a kiss such as this would break her. With her everything was so sweet and chaste; but here, now, this was raw, real, if you will. I am not entirely clear if it is lust or passion, but I prefer to think it was the latter of the two.
It was Holmes who ended it, but I am not sure how long we had stayed like that. He pulled back, resting his forehead upon mine with his eyes cast downward and not moving his hand. My breathing was somewhat erratic as I closely studied every line upon his face.
"John," Holmes began, but I didn't let him finish before I brought his lips back to mine; with just as much ferocity, forcing him against the wall. I had only vaguely registered that he had used my Christian name, it was always Watson unless he was cross then he would call me Doctor in his condescending tone.
I'm not sure who broke the kiss this time, yet when it was through we were both left breathing heavily. I brought my hand up and ran my thumb over his cheek as his piercing eyes bore through me.
Holmes leaned into me like a cat, languidly closing his eyes with a slight smile gracing his lips. How different all this would be if I had stayed, breaking the law with more frequency, with Holmes. I knew in my heart that it was always meant to be this way, but now I feared an even more dangerous game was afoot for us.
I kissed him again to banish these thoughts for the resent, it was quick, but far from chaste and when I pulled back Holmes was still leaning towards me, looking for more.
"Hmph," He grumbled indignantly. Holmes slid his hand down my neck resting it upon my chest, his long fingers prodding at me. "I never make it a practice to assume even the smallest of details, as you know. But, tell me, my dear, am I safe in assuming that all is forgiven?" He gazed up at me with the mischievous twinkle returning to his eye.
"And quite forgotten." I finished my voice low. Leaning back towards him I slid my hand down his good arm and laced our fingers before bringing his arm up pinning him to the wall. Our faces where inches apart and a small smirk was creeping up onto my features, "For now."