The next morning I wrote a quick note to Mary, letting her know that my services maybe required for longer than expected and that I will be home in the evening for dinner, but will have to leave once again. I then joined Holmes for breakfast in the dining room, I knew that I would only be able to stay for the time that his hand healed before having to return to that life, not fully of course, but we would cross that bridge when we came to it.
Holes was sitting at the head of the table his arm now in a sling to properly immobilize it and starring out of the window pensively. Naturally, his usual appetite returned so his food remained quite untouched.
"You know, Holmes, if you want to quicken your recovery, you must keep your strength up by eating something."
"Honestly, Watson, that rouse hardly works on children or dogs for that matter." He replied still gazing out the window.
"Indeed," said I. "I must inform you, though, that you are going against doctor's orders." I sat down placing my napkin in my lap, glancing at the daily paper as I dug into breakfast.
"Well, that being the case, do enlighten me." He began a small grin bringing light to his face. "Was it the doctor's orders that kept me up all night?" I choked a little on my toast coughing to Holmes amusement. "If it never heals, it will be your reputation." Holmes stated while I regained my composure.
"Would you like a matching pair of hands?" I stated still browsing over the news. "Because I would more than happy to oblige you." I smiled.
"You wouldn't." Holmes glared at me incredulously.
"Stranger things have happened." Said I simply. We sat in the comfortable and familiar silence of the morning as I hate and Holmes watched the goings on of Baker Street.
"It should please you to know that I am staying till you are fully healed." I folded up the newspaper and turned my attentions to him.
"Hmm..." Holmes said, clearly he was deep in thought about something. I knew he had heard me and that some part of his mind registered it and that is all that mattered. "I have to stop by my practice for a while and take care of a few things; will you be able to manage here?" Holmes didn't reply and just waved me off staying turned slightly away from me and towards the window. I stood from my chair and leaned over his shoulder, my mouth close to his ear, "Try not to miss me too terribly." I jested my breath causing
Holmes to straighten up in his chair his head turning as he inhaled deeply.
I was gone longer then I had originally planed and when I returned to Baker Street. I was reading the note I had received in reply from Mary, when I heard a clatter coming from above and the familiar sound of Holmes' cursing. Mrs. Hudson was rushing down the stairs, "Oh doctor, I am at my wits end." She said throwing her hands into the air. "I tried to assist him, but he is being as petulant as a child."
"I will see what I can do," I said.
"I am so glad you are back, even if it is only temporary." She smiled rested her hand on her chest and briskly went off to the kitchen.
I made my way up the stairs and into the common room. I was quite shocked at eh mess I found upon entering. Holmes was standing there his robe slightly singed and smeared with what I could only assume was pipe soot and there where papers crumpled and strewn about, his left sleeve was irrevocably stained with ink and there where fresh chemical stains on the table.
"Holmes!" I stated slightly aghast at all that had transpired in my absence. He looked me with a pained and somewhat angry look, his left fist clutched tightly. "I leave you for only a few hours and this is what I come back to? What is the matter!"
Holmes unclenched his fist briefly and then re clenched it. "I am useless at present. My mind will surely rack itself to pieces if this must continue." He was beginning to rant and pacing across the floor. "As you by now can see, I cannot properly perform my experiments, light any of my pipes and I have come to discover that I am not quite as ambidextrous as I had originally perceived. And to make it worse I cannot even partake in my other activities because not only could I not do it alone, you would not allow it. I will not partake in this bloody stagnation!"
"It has only been one day." I state somewhat simply.
"And the pain is as great as a hundred!" He shouted back at me, and then let out a frustrated cry knocking a stack of books off a side table.
"It is all in your mind, Holmes." I said taking hold of him and forcing him to sit down before he injured himself again. I picked up his pipe, his eyes never leaving me, and proceeded to pack it fully with the tobacco from his slipper and brought it to my mouth lighting it, watching him glare from the corner of my eye. I handed it off to him like a lolli for a child, then proceeded to somewhat remedy his mess.
After somewhat straightening, or at least returning everything to it usual state, I sat down across from Holmes. As I settled in to do some writing Holmes was starring off once again enthralled by the flames of the fire place. I hope that he would remain placated for the time being and for the time I had to leave him. I had totally forgotten that I promised Mary I would dine with her tonight. I checked my pocket watch and thankfully had not missed it; however I was a bit worried about leaving Holmes unattended again. He seemed to be quite placid at the moment, perhaps he will drift off to sleep I thought.
"I must be off again, I'm afraid." Said I rising from the chair as Holmes turned his gaze toward me.
"Do tell that wife of yours I say hello," Holmes said condescendingly.
"Misery loves company, eh. You know I shall return within an hour or so."
"I'd prefer if you just left me to my misery. Thank you very much." Holmes stated haughtily.
I sighed, "Is there any... whim, of yours that I can fulfill before I leave."
"I think I can manage for an hour, doctor." He replied upon standing to leave the room as I held the door for him.
"Sleep is always good." I suggested kissing his forehead as he passed me. He just grumbled and realizing he could not, at present, clasp his hands behind his back waved me off instead before retiring to his room.
I was gone from 221 B for precisely an hour and a half, having a very uneventful dinner with Mary. I told her, vaguely, what the situation was and the kind naive woman that she was asked if she could help in any had packed a small bag for me with a couple fresh shirts along with my doctors bag. She will probably make some crumpets or such to send over, that will be picked at and scoffed by one Sherlock Holmes. It was a sweet gesture though.
I returned to find the house quiet, Mrs. Hudson must have retired early for the evening as I had thought Holmes had. Having decided that I really needed to catch up my writings I went into the common room. I was quite surprised to find Holmes dozing upon the floor with his feet up on the settee and a cup of tea next to him. I smiled to myself. That man could lounge anywhere, no matter how cramped or awkward it was. I did not want to wake him so I just tip toed around him and picked up the cup and saucer. I was happy to notice that he had fully drank it, at least something was getting into his system. However, upon the saucer was a small vile. Morphine. I should have guessed, at least he was not feeling pain...yet.
I placed the saucer upon the side table before unbuttoning my jacket to sit down next to his feet. Using my foot, I ever so gently nudged Holmes, causing his feet to shift off the settee.
"What the, Watson!" Holmes shouted groggily.
"Oh, I'm sorry did I wake you." I spoke, sarcasm dripping my every word. Holmes sat up on his knees rubbing his eyes. "How is your old friend Morpheus, by the way."
"Now see here," Holmes began coming slightly out of his fog. "I could not sleep, and you being a doctor, would have, should have prescribed it for the pain." He stated with a superior air.
"Not for one with your history, I'm afraid." I shook my head. "Why do you not leave the role of doctor to the one who is most qualified here, Sherlock." He suppressed his flinch and just glared up at me from his spot on the floor.
"Does it please you to see me like this?" His tone accusatory and defeated.
"I prefer seeing you at work." I replied. "That is when you are truly on form."
"I cannot last a fort night like this." Holmes said his eyes cast down while he ran his good hand through his unkempt hair. "If I receive a case, I do not know if my services will sufficient if I cannot use my physical resources to utilize my other resources." It was clear that this was becoming a darker mood then I had previously experienced. Without the next injection of that horrible drug and perhaps a bit of the current ones effects his brilliant mind was over processing the smallest of details.
"What a mind you must possess," I spoke softly. "Does it not give you any rest from the world."
"When nothing stirs it the mundane nuances of the world must service." His shoulders where slumped again. I moved to join him on the floor.
"Whatever you have perceived before, you must know that I hate seeing you like this." I said placing my hand on his upper arm. Holmes shut his eyes tightly and leaned towards me, resting his head on my chest before my arms embraced him.
I'm not sure if he cried. I do not think that is in his repertoire, or nature for that matter. Though, I am almost positive it has happened. I myself do so from time to time and there is no shame in that. Yet I feel certain he did not do so this time, in front of me. Holmes just kept his head buried into my chest and I did my best to comfort him.
It was quite odd. He has had many an injury before, but this one is a bit worse I suppose. Still, I cannot help but feel that there is something more at work here. After staying like that for a while I felt it was time to break the silence.
"Holmes," said I, he tilted his head up to look at me. "You do know you can tell me anything." He slightly smiled at this looking down.
"Watson, you know all my secrets," Holmes sighed.
"That maybe the case," I began cautiously not wanting to provoke anything. "However, I feel like there is more to this mood of yours." His mouth became a thin line as he placed his hand upon my shoulder and looked into my eyes.
"It is pure nonsense," Holmes stated squeezing my shoulder. "I have you here now, yet all I think of is the future, for once I need to live in the present and not dwell on what was or will become." He was looking down again, hiding behind the mess of his unkempt hair.
"Hmm," was all I could say. I knew these revelations over the past few days had changed things, but I too would be lying if I said I was not contemplating the future of us. He slid his hand up to the side of my face, his thumb resting upon my cheek. His dark eyes boring through me, as they tend to do.
"Quite right," he agreed and moved up to kiss me. It was just a peck, making sure that I was real, that I was there. Holmes seemed to need a lot of confirmations lately, but I suppose it is hard to trust your senses when you have been clouding them of late.
"Have you eaten anything today, Holmes?" I inquired lightening the mood.
"I have had my tea," Holmes smiled briefly, rising up from the floor his hand back on my shoulder. I moved to join him and he aided me through the use of his good hand. "How is your leg?" Holmes inquired
"Same old, same old." Said I. Holmes tsked at this.
"It is clearly bothering you, doctor." Holmes spoke a slight jesting tone in his voice. "It appears you cannot be on your knees too often...what a pity." He smirked languidly sitting on the settee. I shook my head walking over to the brandy on the sideboard to pour myself a glass. When I turned around to join Holmes back on the settee, he was stretched out with his his eyes closed. I sat next to him and lit a cigarette before returning to the drink in my hand.
"The pain is never that bad," I smirked.
"My apologies," Holmes said. "I seem to forget that I am not a doctor." He smiled again trying get the glass of bandy from me, but settled for my cigarette instead. "Not that I could not have been a doctor." Holmes said between puffs of the now shared cigarette.
"Oh, of course not." I began. "Though it would have required you to finish your studies." I placed my brandy down on the side table and reached back for the cigarette, before having it snatched away as soon as I inhaled.
"I have nothing against higher education, just the fact that a man with access to a library can gain either the same or more knowledge the professors teaching it. And experience is the greatest teacher of all."
"I cannot help but agree with the latter." Said I. "You do know you are hogging my last cigarette." I informed him, getting more and more frustrated having to watch him smoke it with such impertinence.
"I will repay you with more." Holmes said flippantly. Taking full advantage of his injury I leaned toward him to grab it from his fingers, but he leaned away and I missed.
"It is almost gone anyway." he said. I narrowed my eyes at him.
"Let me finish it then." I spoke swallowing down my frustration.
"Fine." Holmes stated inhaling the last available smoke from the cigarette and motioning me towards him.
I awoke to find myself still on the settee from the night before, having fallen asleep whilst keeping Holmes mind off things and possibly visa-versa. Holmes was on the floor reading the morning paper, his back leaning against his chair and his legs sprawled out by the dying fire.
"Morning." Holmes stated
"Did you sleep at all?" I asked, all ready knowing the answer. Holmes just glanced up at me over the news paper with a quirked brow. I shifted to sit up rubbing the sleep from my tired eyes. "When did I nod off, then?" I asked vaguely worried that I may have offended him.
"4 a.m. I believe, I do applaud your efforts as I know how much you tend to cherish your sleep." Holmes replied smiling while still reading the paper. I arose re-buttoning my waistcoat and headed over to the breakfast Mrs. Hudson and laid out. Pouring myself some tea and a piece of toast I headed over to where Holmes was. I gently nudged him forward, musing his hair, so I could sit in the chair behind him. Once again we had slipped into our comfortable silence and I read the paper over his shoulder as I sipped on my tea. Holmes turned the page when something caught my eye and a brilliant idea flashed into my mind.
"Any plans today, Holmes?" I said trying to sound nonchalant. Holmes turned and looked up at me with a quizzical look on his sharp features.
"Not at present," he stated, turning back to the paper and folding it before tossing it aside.
"Good, good. Fancy a jaunt out, perchance?" I smirked gaining his full attention.
"There is nothing of interest for me, out there, at all." He stated.
"Yes, I have heard you say that before and fresh air will do you good." said I
"Doctor's orders?" He scoffed.
"Indeed, I would be with you... Does that mean I am of no interest to you then?" I feigned hurt and received once again a dumbfounded Sherlock.
"I...um..." Holmes stumbled upon his words not sure how to remedy the situation. I merely chuckled.
"Relax, old boy. Apparently you are not the only one who posses skills in the art of acting." I smiled as his indignant expression looked back at me. "Well, then." I began checking the time on my pocket watch. "It is nearly 11, you have precisely one hour to get somewhat presentable to venture out." I stood, "I as well must do the same, I'm afraid." I stated scratching the back of my head. Holmes was looking down again as if trying to divine the right words from the pattern in the carpet. I crouched down slightly and moved his head up to look at me by his chin. "I will be back shortly, to help you if you require it, that is." I knew that was what he was struggling with, he never was one to ask for help unless strictly necessary. I stood again moving to leave the room before he called after me.
"Are you to not tell me where we are going, then?"
"I shall give you a clue, Sherlock." I said. "All you will need is your eyes and it is something you know practically nothing about." With that I slipped from the room to change for the day.
Holmes and I left Baker street a bit later then planed. It apparently took longer than I thought to help Holmes change, especially when he seemed bent on distracting me from the task. I practically had to tie his good arm down in order to finish buttoning his shirt.
Finally we were on our way. I hailed a four wheeler while Holmes finished off the rest of what began as my cigarette, and we made our way to Greenwich. I once again saw the wheels in his mind turning as he worked at deciphering the place in which we were on our way towards.
"Really." Holmes stated. "I postponed revealing my deduction, in hopes that it was mere theory, however our location and the facts at hand prove other wise." Holmes face was stoic and displeased and I just smirked at him.
"Ah, I had hoped you would remain in the dark, but alas..." I said as we pulled up to our location.
"What is it to me that every night there are stars in the sky or weather the sun moves around the earth?" Holmes asked getting out of the four wheeler and looking disdainfully up at the building. I would be lying if I said that some part of me was not raveling in his discomfort about this.
"I am not a poet or some charlatan who predicts the future with it." Holmes dithered on.
"Come Holmes, the least you could do is humor me." Said I. Holmes lips where again drawn in a thin line, his face resolved.
"As you wish." He stated briskly moving to clasp his hands behind his back before remembering his hand, then jogged up the main steps of the Observatory. I just watched him for a moment before shaking my head and followed up the steps a trifle more slowly cane in tow. Upon entering I found Holmes studying some shiny object on display. I took one of the maps offered to me and made my way over to him.
"They waist such metals for such silly instrumentation as this." Holmes scoffed. I read through the map as he continued puzzling over it and checked the time upon my pocket watch.
"Ah, Holmes!" I started. "We are just in time for the lecture." I was a bit excited and perhaps that was the reason that Holmes, only semi reluctant, accompanied me.
We found seats up in the front and sat as the slight man in the tartan suite began his lecture in this great room with large windows. The man continued on with his lecture when I heard the faint noise of snoring and elbowed Holmes to rouse him. He would feign interest for a minute or two before dropping off to sleep again. I suppose I should have been glad that he was getting some sleep, but it is hard to go unnoticed when you are sitting in the front row. The lecturer kept throwing angry glances at Holmes and me, but I just apologetically smiled and shrugged before rousing Holmes again. When it finally drew to an end, I rose and politely thanked him for his interesting lecture. Holmes stretched a bit before standing and we were left to roam the halls of the observatory.
"Really, Holmes you never sleep and now..." I scolded him a bit.
"I slept, did I not." Holmes stated simply moving to read the next bit of information, or at least pretend to. "It is no fault of mine," he added. "That nothing he could say, would possibly spark even the tiniest bit of interest with in me."
"That might be the case, but you could have at least pretended out of common decency." I informed him.
"And let him continue conducting his lectures in such a manner, it would be common decency to prevent him from doing such lectures to begin with."
"Now, Holmes, that is a bit harsh..." I began, before realizing that my words where falling upon deaf ears since Holmes was no longer standing by my side.
"Holmes, Holmes?" I said looking about for him before turning the corner and finding him watching someone from askance and staying close to the wall.
"Holmes! What is the meaning of your slinking off, if..." Before I could finish Holmes was upon me his good hand now clasped over my mouth. He brought one of his slender fingers to his lips to signal me to be silent. I nodded, but his hand remained.
"Watson, I have reason to suspect that that fellow is up to something quite unthinkable." Holmes informed me in all sincerity.
I tried to respond but my words where muffled under his hand and Holmes realizing this let his hand off my mouth.
"He seems quite an average gentlemen," I whispered.
"Indeed," Holmes replied. "Look closely, my dear. The chemical stains upon his hands and garments, the peculiar parcel he is holding."
"I admit it is a bit of an odd parcel, and why take such a package to a place like this." Said I.
"Exactly," He exclaimed that gleam he got when on a case quite apparent in his eyes. "I do not wish to alarm you, but I have deduced that he is currently in procession of a bomb."
"All right, Watson." Holmes whispered to me. "Keep an eye on him, I will return momentarily." He reached into my breast pocket and retrieved my writing implement and pad of paper. He took the cap off my pen with his teeth and hastily, with some difficulty jotted a note, for whom I could only guess would be inspector Lestrade. I simply nodded as he quickly jogged off towards the front desk.
As I waited for Holmes to return I watched as the gentlemen before me pretended to observe the different objects on display. I kept my distance and tried to stay as hidden as possible as the man looked about every so often, most likely looking for a place to conceal his weapon. That is when I felt a hand upon my shoulder startling me slightly, only to discover Holmes.
"Holmes," said I.
"No time for that now," he simply waved me off. "I informed the clerk at the entrance to evacuate the museum and Lestrade should be on his way in about..." He quickly checked his pocket watch and snapped it shut. "Fifteen minutes or so, I'd say."
"That is all well and good, Holmes, but what are we to do in the mean time? Do you have an inclination what he is planning? This whole place, along with us, could explode in fifteen minutes time!" I seethed, trying to maintain a whisper.
"Calm yourself," Holmes replied nonchalantly. "I have a plan, as I trust you have your old service revolver." He peaked around the corner making sure the gentlemen was still in eye shot and motioned me forward as I reluctantly reached for my revolver. Holmes was about to step round the corner when I, for going my revolver, grabbed him by the shoulder and drew him back.
"I will not blindly follow you into this, Holmes." I stated. "The magnitude of this situation, which I am not quite sure you are grasping at present, warrants some
explanation. And I dare say, I am entitled to it."
"You astound me," he replied flippantly. "Of all times to question my methods, you choose now." He shook his head and reached into my pocket and retrieved my revolver.
"You can stay here if you choose to." He stated, his face a mask. "If there is something I have learned in your absence is that I am more than capable of doing things myself." With that he slipped round the corner, leaving me stand there.
My mind was torn from the moment that Holmes darted around that corner. On one hand I could stick to my guns and leave him to fend for himself against the criminal; while on the other I could follow as I have done on numerous occasions. I decided to follow, at a distance, my mind resolute on the fact that I would only step in if strictly necessary. After all, Holmes would be less imposing in his current injured state.
I peaked around the corner watching as Sherlock followed the assailant down the hall and out of sight before emerging to follow suit. Once again I remained out of sight as I peered around the next corner to see Holmes talking with the, for lack of a better term, terrorist.
"Excuse me, sir." Holmes began coolly. "But I'm afraid I cannot let you continue any further here." The man was a little taken aback before trying to compose himself.
"I am sure I do not know what you mean." The man replied the perspiration all ready forming on his brow.
"Perhaps an introduction is in order." Holmes stated. "I am one Sherlock Holmes." He paused waiting momentarily for his words to sink in, sometimes being the only of your kind warranted a bit of ego.
"What is that to me?" The man replied, Holmes quirked an eyebrow.
"Well, I can see you have been plotting this little act of destruction for quite some time; and since I have, practically indisputable, evidence that you are currently in possession of a bomb of some sort I must kindly ask you to remain where you are until the proper authorities arrive." Holmes good hand was in his pocket his slender fingers no doubt grasping the butt of my revolver.
"And you are to stop me?" The man scoffed chuckling slightly. "A one handed, myth of a man."
"I am quite real," Holmes stated. "As I assure you is this." He calmly brandished the weapon.
"I have no doubt that you are as corporeal as I am, where I find fault, sir, is in the fact that you claim to be one Sherlock Holmes." He chuckled slightly placing his lethal parcel on the floor. "I also find it hard to believe that you have any intentions of firing that weapon."
"You must not be a gambling man or perhaps just one who is not particularly deft at it." Holmes retorted his hand gripping the weapon tensely. "Though, you are partially right in one respect." He began. "I do not have any intentions of firing this revolver...unless it becomes necessary." His eyes where steeled. "That sir, is entirely up to you."
The terrorist glared at Holmes, before moving to escape.
Within a blink of my eye the man rushed forward towards Holmes and I, instinctively braced myself for action. As is customary while around Holmes, something quite unexpected happened. I watched, ready to step in as the two men scuffled over the gun and I took that as my cue to discreetly remove the destructive object from the assailants vicinity.
When I returned behind the wall, I was shocked to find that the man had knocked Holmes to the ground and was no in possession of my revolver, my heart stuttered briefly with unnecessary worry. The man returned to where his parcel had been laid on the ground and looked around in a panic, before I, feigning calm, stepped out from behind the wall.
"Is this what you are looking for," said I. The man glared at me.
"You, sir, are treading dangerously." He warned. I simply smirked at him as he aimed the gun in my direction.
"Am, I." I simply stated, before he crumpled to the ground at my feet, revealing Holmes lean figure brandishing one of the shiny golden sextons from the display.
"I have proved you wrong, old boy." I stated relief washing over me. "Astronomy can be quite useful." I chuckled softly.
"Indeed." Holmes replied flatly, rigid. A small abrasion evident upon his brow from the prior scuffle. "What were you thinking?" He asked. "Did you have any type of plan to escape! He could have killed you!" He remained cool his voice low, I would have much preferred him shouting then this tone.
"I could ask you the same thing." Said I, instinctively going on the defensive. "Slipping off to confront a terrorist, alone. Especially in your current state."
"At least my mind is fully functional, even if my arm is momentarily useless." He replied.
"Come, Holmes." I began rolling my eyes. "You cannot possibly have planned this."
"Not all of it. I knew I could count on the fact that you would follow and seize the opportunity when it presented itself. However, as you never cease to amaze me." Holmes said. "I did not count on your sheer wanton disregard for your person."
"Oh, how hypocritical is that." I retorted. "You try on, countless occasions, to instill your methods upon me; but when I take an action that you your self would take you scold me, so." Holmes was a bit taken aback.
"That is entirely different." he said trying to sound convincing while knowing he was wrong.
"Ahm I interrupting something?" Lestrade cut in coming around the corner. "This is here the bloke then?" Holmes physically winced.
"Just in time, Lestrade." Holmes replied his tone and demeanor changing, ever the actor. "And as observant as ever." He quickly crossed the floor to me and while I held the parcel in my arms like a make-shift table, Holmes deftly defused the bomb before taking the parcel and tossing it to Clarkey.
"Well, it seem you and the yards finest have it under control here." Holmes smirked. "Ado." He said turning abruptly his coat flourishing with the movement, and I just stood there in his wake.
I said my goodbyes to the inspector and left the conservatory to find that Holmes was nowhere to be found. It was now my turn to delve into my resources and figure out where Holmes would have gone to. His favorite place, if you will, or at least one of them. I racked my brain as I walked in no particular direction, ending up in a park of some sort.
I pondered whether or not anything of German origins was currently on the bill for opera, or if he was indeed daft enough to try his hand at one armed boxing, when I stumbled upon Holmes. He was reclined upon the bench that was next to a homeless gentleman who was playing the violin, not very well by any means. His legs outstretched as was his customary manner. His injured hand once again across his chest and the good one holding his elbow. His brow was creased deep in thought and his eyes transfixed on the space before him.
Had things changed so drastically between us that we could no longer act in the devil may care manner, as before without repercussions. Perhaps these out bursts about our own safety, correction my safety, only came out now because they where repressed for so many years. I moved towards Holmes perch, limping a bit more than usual, "It's going to rain." I stated gingerly, rubbing my leg whilst taking up the spot next to Holmes.
"It always rains." Holmes replied monotone without moving.
"Really Sherlock, pouting is quite unbecoming on you." I informed him. He shut his eyes tight and inhaled sharply.
"Pouting... I can assure you that is far from what I am doing." Holmes stated incredulously.
"Sulking then, is that a better term?"
"I do not sulk, Watson." Holmes replied dangerously.
"What do you call this, then? What could one Sherlock Holmes possibly be doing? Please enlighten me." I mocked.
He paused for a moment before replying simply. "Ruminating."
"Hmm," I scoffed.
"Really, Holmes," I shook my head choosing my words carefully. "This can not be the first time the reality of harm befalling me, or you for that matter, has crossed your mind."
"Of course not." He blinked. "I admit that there have been countless times that I have pondered the lethality of our actions...It is just," He paused. His lips forming a thin line audibly releasing a breath. "Hmm."
It was here that I realized that something had changed. Holmes, ever the automaton, was struggling with the realization that he was not as unclouded by emotions as he thought. His outburst at the museum had proved that to him even if our previous conversations had not. Not fully any way, until now that is. It is interesting how even someone as astute as Sherlock Holmes, can need time to process even the simplest of information.
"Ironic is it not." I stated, foreseeing what his thoughts where.
"Quite." Holmes agreed. "Here it is then, Watson. I believe an I told you so is in order, let me have it then."
"Funny," I began staring straight ahead. "I haven't the heart to say it." I swallowed. "Though I do like hearing that I was right." I smirked. Holmes turned toward me slightly then, his eyes twinkling gently with mirth, but his features still darkened.
"I know that I am not always easy," he paused taking his time with his words. "Nor am I particularly demonstrative with my affections. You understand this better than anyone, even my own blood does not fully see my true workings." Holmes paused. "Therefore, I wish to apologize ahead of time."
"Whatever for?" I asked taken aback slightly.
"If I ever keep you at arm's length or slight your input or become irrational, which as we both know is bound to happen and has happened. Just know that it is merely because that is how I am. It is not a very good explanation, but that is all I can offer you."
It had started to rain then, the two of us remaining stoic and unmoving on the park bench as the drizzle of London cascaded over us. I let the honesty of his words sink in, for a moment. I knew that this admittance was difficult for Holmes. I had always suspected that he himself did not fully understand the inner workings that made the great Sherlock Holmes tick, or at least never took the time to think about it. He, like any man, has his quirks and lives with them. Exploration of such idiosyncrasies is totally optional. However it is somewhat amusing to think that I may know more about the man that is Sherlock Holmes then he himself knows or realizes.
"I would believe that it is quite apparent that I have come to terms with most of your habits." Said I as Holmes turned forward again. "However, if you think it is necessary, to hear it stated. Then know this, I have long ago accepted the way in which you conduct yourself and I appreciate your admissions along with the apology, however unnecessary it is."
"Right then," Holmes said clearing his throat. He rose, his demeanor changing again to more of his normal self and moving to help me up from the bench, guiding me with his hand on my elbow.
"This gentleman's playing," Holmes shook his head and reaching into his pocket produced a two pence and turned to the man. "This sir, is for you to purchase yourself some lessons. However unlikely that maybe." Holmes spoke in his politely condescending manner as he tossed the coins into the mans case. "I perceive, though, that this is obviously some sort of passion of yours since you could obtain a pretty penny for such an instrument." The man stared quizzically at him as I stood a bit behind Holmes. "It is the drink, however, that prevents any furthering in his musical career." Holmes added to me aside. "And please, sir, keep in mind it is E to C sharp not flat, when you play Mahler." He clapped the man on the shoulder. "Good day."
I smiled to myself as Holmes slowed his pace to walk beside me. "We had a whole conversation and you still heard every mistake that poor man played."
"Always be aware of your surroundings." Holmes stated. "And really, I could not let that man continue to butcher such a composition as Mahler's first symphony. If that man has any talent, that remains to be seen." Holmes mind once again baffled me. He switched gears so quickly it could break your neck if you weren't prepared. He linked his arm with mine as we made our way through the park, as the rain continued to fall straight down on us.
"We really must get you out of this rain, my dear." Holmes spoke concerned. "This cannot be helping your leg."
"It is not that bad, Holmes." said I. He just looked at me with that knowing look and I sighed.
"You ever tire of being an insufferable know it all?" I jokingly asked.
"If I knew all, I would be omnipresent and could prevent such things as crimes, before they occurred." Holmes said his eyes narrowing in thought. "Now that would be quite the skill to posses."
I allowed Holmes some silence as he ruminated over such possibilities that a world like that would be like. We were making our way to the busier streets, away from the park and towards the sea of black umbrellas.
I was too busy dodging the passersby and the points on their umbrella's to notice where Holmes was leading me. That is until, unannounced to me, he had slipped around the corner into a dark alley and reached out with one slender arm to pull me along by the lapel of my overcoat.
"I say," I gasped startled by my mid step interruption. I was quickly dragged into the darker recesses of the alley way and before I could protest further Holmes had me against the inlaid bricks and covering the side of our faces with his hat he brushed his lips against mine. I tentatively returned the kiss briefly, then abruptly pulled away.
"Holmes, this is hardly the place," I began before he cut me off again with a semi rough kiss. I placed my hand on his chest and pushed him back slightly to stop him. "Have you gone mad, what if someone sees. I know you have a general lack of regard for such things but you know the ramifications."
"There is no one but the rats, here, I assure you." He replied making to move in again stopping inches away from my face. "Besides, that is half the fun," Holmes eyes twinkled mischievously, but I did not allow him to however, and I quickly slipped from under his arm.
"Come Holmes, let us continue back to Baker St." said I glancing around to remember the way in which I was dragged out of the street.
"Honestly, Watson. I never thought, with my limited experience in such matters, that I would have to corrupt you." He smirked.
"There is quite a difference between experience and decency, I assure you." I stated, straightening my attire.
"Hmm," Holmes quirked an eyebrow appraising me. "My mistake then." He seemingly conceded. "Shall we," Holmes motioned toward the path out. I started to walk out of the darkened alley, Holmes close on my heals clapping his hand upon my shoulder before letting it fall to down my back and gently guiding me back to the street and towards 221 B.