A few days had passed since our encounter with the terrorist at the Observatory and Holmes and I had once again fallen into our old rhythm of living. Holmes would awaken before me, and he even prodded his food at breakfast in an effort to appease me. After breakfast we would lounge about the common room doing this and that, often Holmes would insist upon me to read aloud for him, since he deemed it an unnecessary effort upon him to have to put the book down just to turn a page.
Each day, however, his hand was slowly but surely getting better, but it would still be sometime before he could attempt to start using it again. Holmes kept up his state of undress lately; opting for just his trousers with suspenders, his under shirt and occasionally his customary dressing gown. It was too difficult to aid in fully clothing the man anyway.
Today started off no different than past couple had; Holmes and I were in the common room. We where both sitting upon the settee, Holmes was leaning up against me with his feet upon the couch whilst I sat upright. I was reading aloud some logicians account of some nonsense theory, while Holmes practiced writing with his opposite hand, in order to perfect his methods.
Eventually, after a frustrated cry from Holmes he tossed aside the writing items and sunk further into the sofa leaning more upon me. I at first moved to protest, but decided to continue reading instead. After an hour or so more, if even that long, Holmes was quietly snoozing next to me. His chin upon his chest and his brow still slightly furrowed, even in sleep. I adjusted my positioning gently as not to wake him, but to allow him to purchase a more comfortable position.
His head upon my lap and my hand absently musing his dark hair; I continued reading, figuring that somehow in sleep he still absorbed the information I was relating to him. Most of the information, seemed like complete gibberish to me, but he must have some grasp upon it. After a while, though, I tired of reading and softly put the volume down and retrieved my small note pad and writing instrument from my breast pocket. Opting to revue and add to some of my notes from the previous case and wishing that I did not have to leave so much out for the publicized versions.
"Hmm...You know Watson, you have a very slumbering quality to your tone when you the subject at hand is a dry one." Holmes yawned rousing, his eyes remaining closed as he twisted in my lap to look up at me.
"My apologies, however if the subject matter was more stimulating..." said I as Holmes smirked up at me.
"I merely said it was a dry subject for you, I myself found it quite stimulating." Holmes said, swinging his legs off the settee to sit up, leaning against my shoulder.
"I was not the one who fell asleep, Sherlock." Said I.
"It was the tone in which you read, that put me to sleep not the subject matter." He replied coolly.
"Was it now, forgive me if I cannot properly inflect the tone in which..." I glanced at the cover of the book. "Sir Ruthferd-Peabody intended this nonsense to be read. As there are no characters with in, I cannot even inflect different voices whilst I read." I feigned displeasure, sarcastically.
"Now who's speaking nonsense, Watson." Holmes jostled me playfully with his shoulder. I let a small gentle laugh at the idea of Holmes choosing a book that would warrant differentiating between characters. He glanced over at me, his eyebrow quirked but a warmth about his features.
"What else have you, to entertain me with today?" Holmes asked crossing his arm like a child.
"I was going to have you do lines, but seeing as that is still out of the question." I joked, receiving a deep scowl from Sherlock. "Honestly Holmes, I am not your nursemaid. There has to be something that you can busy yourself with." I stated, returning to my own writings. I could feel his eyes upon me, even as I tried to continue working on my notes. Holmes moved twisting more toward me and resting his injured arm upon my shoulder. He angled his head as to read what I had written.
"Hmm..." Holmes said.
"Nothing, nothing," He replied. "It is just ironic that, for once, you have to take out the romanticism with in a story. That is not to say that it isn't all ready peppered with it." Holmes clarified.
"Quite," said I.
I read over another one of my passages when I felt Holmes hand prodding at the buttons of my vest.
"I swear, Holmes you can be quite an attention fiend." I shook my head at him.
"Well, there is really no need for you to be so properly dressed, or has your absence from these dwellings been that long." Holmes looked up at me, my face steeled. "Must you be proper all the time? At least relinquish your jacket and tie." Holmes wined slightly his one hand moving to my throat and undoing the knot there so my tie hung loosely about my neck. My collar now open, Holmes lightly ran his fingers over the exposed skin along my clavicle.
I swallowed audibly, my voice trembling slightly as I spoke. "Old habits, you know." I shrugged, Holmes merely smirked as I placed my notepad down. I reached for him pulling him closer, before crushing our lips together. I leaned forward to aid Holmes one handed attempt in removing my jacket, when the faint sound of the front bell rang out and echoed throughout the house.
I froze and quickly pulled away from Holmes most abruptly, much to his protestations I might add.
"This is precisely why I maintain the proper state of dress," I hissed at him hastily fixing my collar and retying my tie.
"Hmph," Holmes pouted pulling away from me to go towards the window. "Seeing as I certainly was not expecting anyone, whom ever this is better have brought a thoroughly stimulating case."
"Did you see who it was?" I asked smoothing out my attire.
"A woman, I perceive." Holmes said flippantly, grabbing his pipe and handing it off to me to light. I lit it swiftly glancing at the door apprehensively before handing it off to Holmes. Holmes took it and then moved to his high backed chair by the fire. I could vaguely hear the voice of Mrs. Hudson, but the second voice I could not for the life of me make out. I took up my journal once again to continue my writing when the door opened to reveal, much to my surprise, Mary. My Mary. What was she doing here? It had only been a few days since last I saw her.
She stepped into the room and I rose upon her entrance unconsciously.
"I do hope I'm not intruding," She began. "I know it is a bit unorthodox to just drop by unannounced, and all. I was just hoping to surprise you." She smiled warmly.
"You certainly succeeded." Holmes replied standing. I shot him a warning glance before turning back to Mary.
"Quite, You really did not have to trouble yourself, love." I told her clasping her hands.
"Well, I just wanted to check on how Mr. Holmes here was doing." She blushed slightly. "And I brought some little cakes to jeer you up."
"That is too kind of you," Holmes said switching once again to his more charming self and escorting Mary into the chair across from the settee where I returned to sit. "Is that a lovely surprise, Watson?" Holmes asked knowingly.
"Yes, it is indeed," Said I as Holmes walked around the back of the settee dragging his hand across the back of my shoulders.
"And you have come for tea no less." He smirked noting my sharp intake of breath. The room fell silent briefly and I wondered if everyone could feel just how awkward it felt. At that moment, however, Mrs. Hudson bustled in with the tea and cakes.
"Ah, the tea. Lovely." I said rising to aid Mrs. Hudson perhaps a bit abruptly.
"How are you doing Mr. Holmes?" Mary asked. "It must be quite a bother not to be able to have full use." She smiled concerned.
"You have no idea." Holmes replied.
"At least it is only temporary." Mary added, taking her tea cup from me as I passed it to her.
"Indeed, and might I express my gratitude for affording your husband the leave to aid in my recovery." Holmes charmingly nodded to her.
"Of course, anytime. If it is in the best interest of a patient then there is no stopping John." This time Holmes flinched at the mention of my Christian name and frowned slightly.
"These cakes are perfect, Mary, really." said I changing the subject.
"Oh they where nothing really." Mary replied modestly.
"Do try one Holmes," I said turning to give him a somewhat pleading look.
"Sadly my dear, I haven't much of an appetite at present." Holmes replied puffing on his pipe and retiring to his chair sourly.
"I made more than enough, so you can partake in them at your leisure." Mary said to Holmes before turning her attentions back to me. "As you may know, I have had many a solitary hour, in your absence." She gazed at me. "You never do realize how much you miss something till it is gone." She smiled sweetly.
My heart lurched, I still loved Mary in my own way; but seeing her here, now, hit me with the harsh realization that I would once again have to return to her.
"You have no idea." I said mostly to myself, chancing a glance in Holmes' direction. I cleared my throat. "Perhaps in a couple of days, when Holmes is more up to venturing out, we can dine together." I said smiling at her somewhat forcibly.
Mary's face lit up, "Oh that would be lovely, dearest."
"What say you, Holmes?" I asked.
"I can make no promises." He replied in cold manner.
I simply just rolled my eyes and shook my head. "He seems to be in one of his moods." I mouthed to Mary. She simply nodded and placed her tea cup and saucer on the table next to her before rising from her seat.
"I shall let you boys get back to your business, then." She said and I rose to escort her to the door. "I won't detain you any longer, I'm engaged to meet Ms. Marthrope at the Library."
"Ah, ," said I. "Do send her my regards and I will send you word about dining later in the week."
"Of course, do take care." She leaned up and kissed me on the cheek. "That goes for you as well, Mr. Holmes." Mary called out to him, he merely raised his hand from the chair and gave a curt wave.
I rubbed the bridge of my nose in exasperation as Mary left. Once again, Holmes was in one of those moods which could sometimes happen at a drop of a hat and it would fall to me to have to draw him out of it.
Once I closed the door behind Mary, I turned back to the room and leaned my back on the door. I pondered my next move as I rummaged through my pocket for my cigarette case and lit one with a match. On the one hand I could get this out of the way and try to draw Holmes out again, while on the other hand I could leave him be for a while.
I decided on the latter, pushing off from the door and placing the used tea cups back on the tea tray, before I returned to my spot on the settee to continue on my notes. All the while Holmes remained stoic, half visible from his high backed chair and only a cloud of smoke ruminating from his clay pipe with the sound of the fire crackling. A moment later Mrs. Hudson returned to collect the tea.
"He did not partake in tea, again." She shook her head at the remaining goods of the tea tray. "He was in better spirits this morning, do not tell me he has fallen into one of his moods again." Mrs. Hudson said to me as she passed with the tray.
"Mhm," Was all I managed to reply before Holmes spoke.
"It is amazing," Holmes began. "That, whilst I clearly reside in this room, the two of you carry on as if I am absent. Since, again, I am clearly here. Would you two hens, please desist your idol prattle." Holmes concluded coldly with a bite to his tone.
"Why, I've never." Mrs. Hudson gasped, hastily swept from the room, with my apologies close on her heels.
"Was that strictly necessary, Holmes?" I glared at him.
"Apparently," He replied passively. "While I do not mind being conversed about behind closed doors, I will not tolerate it happening right under my nose." He sniffed.
"You have tolerated it before," said I.
"Well, that was then." Holmes simply replied. "I tend to not dwell on the past."
"No?" I questioned him, still scribbling notes. "So, Mary's appearance has nothing to do with the thoughts, that have left you such a mood, then?"
The silence that fell upon the room was all the affirmation I needed.
Mary's appearance had dropped a ripple in the pond of our time together and Holmes knew this. He still had me at his disposable for a week and half more, but seeing her slapped him with the reality of my having to leave him once again and keeping up the rouse of that life.
It would be different now, however, I would come to him at every moment that I could spare. I would not avoid him as I had done, there was no longer a need for that. I suspected, though, that Holmes was not quite so sure upon that fact. He had insufficient data regarding the situation we two now found ourselves in.
"It is a different situation, now." I cleared my throat. "It is no longer as simple as my going off to live a married life." I stated carefully.
"Is it not," Holmes spoke with his condescending air. "You will still leave," He choked a bit before quickly composing himself, still not making any move to face me. "I am no fool, Watson. I understand the gravity of the situation, that we now find ourselves in." He paused. "Sins always start with good intentions." Holmes scoffed to himself. "In our case the guise of love, adoration."
"Why do you say such things." I confronted him. "Stop dwelling on what this is, or what will become of us." I snapped. "You scoff at the mention of the past, but all you ruminate on is what has happened and what will. For once Sherlock, can you not just step out of yourself and live for the present." I half shouted. He finally turned his attention towards me, complete shock written across his face. His eyes hardened and calculating as they took me in.
"Do not look at me like that, either." I said. "Every time this happens you act as if no has ever dared to speak to you in such a manner, and it is about time you get used to it... Jesus!" I swore, stroking my brow with my hand. "You are worse than a woman sometimes, Sherlock." Holmes sneered at this.
I knew that he had never been very fond of the fairer sex, and that that remark had the expected effect, and I was glad.
"How dare you insinuate that the way I conduct myself is in anyway womanly." Holmes rouse, drawing himself up to his full height to glare at me. "How would your dear Mary, conduct herself if she was in such a situation?" He mocked. "Shall we ask her?" He paused. "Oh, silly me, she is so fragile that wife of yours." Holmes taunted.
"You and I both know that is out of the question," I spoke with a quiet force in my tone.
"Indeed," He replied. "Because you know what it would do to her." Holmes spat. "Mary, your ever doting wife who is sweet and compliant, I wonder, has she ever fought with you or questioned you?"
I could see what Holmes was insinuating and he was right. Mary was sweet and kind. Her and I never got into bouts the way Holmes and I did, before I thought we were just a happily married couple. Now, however, I realized that I enjoyed these arguments. This time my silence was all the confirmation that Holmes needed, he could see that I knew he was right, this time.
"Next time, sir." Holmes remarked sarcastically. "Do not dare to make such comparisons, when the grounds for them are quite unjustifiable." With that Holmes left the common room, slamming the door behind him.
I did not see Holmes the remainder of the day. He had taken his leave of me and the rooms of Baker Street. Hardly bothering to don his outer coat and hat in his haste, I watched him leave from the common room window, is quick long strides hinting at the current cloud the impeded his mood.
I hardly dined that night, my mind rampant with what Holmes could possibly be up to. I stayed at my perch glancing out the window until the hours grew late and sleep finally took hold of me. I awoke with a start fairly early the next day, as is customary when one does not make it into their bed for the night.
I decided to make my way to the dining room, hoping that Holmes had found a way to come round. It was never my intention to let either of us go to bed angry, as it where, but some things just cannot be helped. Mrs. Hudson was all ready preparing breakfast and I, idly read the morning news as I impatiently waited for Holmes to make an appearance.
I had quickly made a habit of checking my watch every so often, the only noise to break the morning silence being the snap of the watch opening and closing. It was almost ten when I decided that Holmes would not be making an appearance and ventured back upstairs. He was clearly back, I had no inclination of what hour Sherlock had returned in the night, but his hat and jacket where by the door a clear indication of his return.
I stood upon the first step up towards the rooms, my fingers impatiently drumming upon the banister while my mind deliberated. Would it be impertinent for me to rap upon his door, having respected his privacy before, I have never seen his personal quarters. I am a bit worried about him, I could just pop in to make sure he is alive and confirm that he has not further injured himself. Surely he would understand, I internally justified. My mind was resolute as I ascended towards his door.
Once there, I was struck with a fit of nerves, shuffling from foot to foot in front of his door further weighing my options. I shook my head and finally raised my hand to rap upon his door. There was no reply, so I waited briefly before rapping again, this time I was met with the faint sound of rustling bed sheets. Then silence again.
"Holmes, I just want to make quite sure you are alive." I coughed, with still no reply. "I'm coming in," I informed him. I cautiously placed my hand on the knob and tentatively opened the door. The room was dark, the thick velveteen curtains pulled taught against any offending light. The room was cluttered, much the same as he had kept the shared room, but with more personal effects and oddities. It was more like a storage space, with a bed in the corner. That is where I found Holmes, his back toward me as he laid partially curled, yet I knew that he was quite awake.
I took a step towards where Holmes lay, motionless save for the rise and fall of his breathing.
"Holmes?" said I barely whispering as I reached out to him.
"You have your answer, Watson." Holmes stopped me by breaking his silence. "I am quite well, thank you, good day." His voice was low, unfeeling and he remained with his back towards me.
"I'll be the judge of that." I replied a tad bit aggressively willing him to turn and face me and receiving a heavy sigh in return.
"I understand your need for confirmation, but please just let me be." Holmes voice cracked.
"I shall do no such thing," I informed him. "You have my sincerest apologies for the row yesterday, I do not know what more I can do to show you that I chose you. Everything else is merely the guise that you and I both know, with your extensive knowledge of crimes, must be maintained." Once again I was met with silence, before Holmes moved curling more into himself.
"Of course," Holmes swallowed. "Apology excepted, my dear. These things do tend to happen, now if you would be so kind." I stood there a moment almost giving into Holmes request, but in my heart I knew something was off.
"No." I stated simply, drawing up the only little chair in Holmes odd little room. "Clearly something is wrong, I am not blind Sherlock." He remained silent again, as if pondering on what to say.
"It is merely one of those moods, I fall into. Do not worry yourself, it will pass." He sniffed.
It fell on me to be silent this time. I knew that he was victim to such bouts, but I was not entirely sure that this was all it was.
"Is there nothing I could do?" I asked all ready knowing the answer. "At least permit me to inspect the state of your hand, make sure that it is still healing properly." I cleared my throat.
Holmes shifted slightly and raised his injured arm up for me. I rose from my chair, tentatively and placed my knee upon the bed to better inspect the his hand. I chanced a glance down to see if I could better glimpse what more might be bothering him or at least his current state. His dark hair was mused, falling into his eyes, which were somewhat reddened his face impassive and blank starring at the wallpaper ahead of him. I continued to inspect his hand, it was mending on schedule as was expected. The state of Holmes himself, however, was a different story. I could not recall when I saw him in such a state, before.
I decided to try and draw Holmes out with some idol prattle as I finished the inspection of his hand and re applied the bandages.
"I waited for you last night, where did you jaunt off to?" Said I as Holmes remained motionless before me.
"Clear my head." He replied simply, as I relinquished his arm allowing him to talk it back into himself. Unconsciously reached my hand out to him, cupping the side of his face and gently stroking it with my thumb. Holmes crushed his eyes closed tightly a pained wounded look plagued his features.
"Sherlock." I whispered.
"Please, Watson." Holmes breathed, his lips hardly moving. He blinked briefly his eyes watering, before shutting them again.
It was at this point that I realized that I had stumbled upon another one of Holmes' habits, as it where. He tried so hard to keep the lid on the percolator that houses ones emotions, that eventually it would have to overflow or explode. It was hard to say if this was brought on by the fight yesterday, but I was torn as what I should do. I one hand I could leave him be, respecting his wishes and let him take care of it alone, or stay.
I shrugged off my jacket and tossed it gently on the small chair before lying down next to him and wrapping my arm around his slight form. At first he instinctively jolted away from me before he realized that I was not going to leave him. Holmes turned into me, burring his face into my chest, his form shaking in my embrace.
We laid there the rest of the day, Holmes clinging to me as I comforted him in silence. I am not sure how many hours passed with us like that, before I nodded off. The previous nights fit full sleep catching up to me. When I finally roused, stretching my arm out onto the bed, I found myself quite alone in Holmes chamber. I bolted up a bit more quickly then was strictly necessary, my vision blurring briefly as the blood rushed to my head.
Once I had composed myself, I glanced around the room with no sign of Holmes. I gingerly moved from the bed and made my way out, to the hall way where I was met with the familiar sounds of Holmes and Mrs. Hudson's voices.
"All right, I will drink your tea, devil woman, now let me be." Holmes said.
"Now was that so hard?" Mrs. Hudson replied.
"I can only hope that you have, in fact poisoned it this time, as you are so insistent upon my partaking in it." I had stopped outside the door smiling at their banter, a sure sign that Holmes was most likely feeling better.
"I would not admit it, even if I had, but really Mr. Holmes, some tea will do you good." She said in her motherly tone.
I opened the door then stepping into the room joining their conversation. "I can't help but agree," I gently smiled. "Strictly from a medical stand point, of course."
"Oh, of course." Holmes scoffed.
"There. Doctors orders." Mrs. Hudson said, before sweeping from the room.
Holmes stood by his desk, in his worn dressing gown tea cup in hand observing the components on the tea tray. His injured hand hovering over it before landing on one of the small cakes Mary had made and popping it into his mouth.
"You really should not use that hand yet," I informed him.
"Old habits, you know." He said sipping his tea, his eyes cast down as I leaned against the door.
"I am glad to see you are doing better, though." I told him hinting at the what happened earlier.
"Well, it is always good to have a doctor around." He smiled briefly.
A quick understanding passed between us, some things where better left unsaid, we paid mention to it confirming that it did in fact happen, but that was all. I knew that this was likely to happen again, but it was the silent understanding that I would be there for him just as he was there for me, that made further mention of it unnecessary. At present I was just glad that it had passed, I knew more about Holmes then anyone in the world, yet there was still so much that I knew I would never learn.
We spent the rest of the evening just whiling the hours away, in our normal manner. Till finally the hours had grown late, and I decided to retire for the evening.
"I suppose it is time for this old dog, to jaunt off to bed." I yawned rising from my chair. "Care to retire as well?" I asked.
"Hmm." Holmes responded his chin resting upon his chest. "No, no, I believe I will stay up a while longer." He said.
"Right, good night then." I said rustling Holmes hair and stroking the side of his face before turning to leave. As I turned the grabbed my hand, a small smile briefly gracing his features.
"Goodnight, my dear Watson." He said, his hand falling from mine as I retired for the evening.
I awoke the next morning a bit later then I had originally planned, and was not surprised to find that Holmes was nowhere in sight. I dressed for the day and made my way toward the common room, for whatever reason I had a sneaking suspicion that Holmes remained where I had left him the night before.
I turned the knob to find that in the darkened room lay Holmes propped up by pillows on the oriental rug by the hearth and the dying embers of the fire. His chin once again resting on his chest and the pads of his fingers pressed together. His eyes were closed, but I knew he was quite awake.
"I thought you would sleep the day away." Holmes jested, unmoving.
"I..." I stuttered slightly baffled that he had known of my entrance into the room.
"Please, Watson, you cannot think that you moved so stealthily as to not be noticed." Holmes scoffed.
"I suppose not." I said.
"I hope you do not mind," Holmes began. "But I took the liberty of securing a dinner reservation for the evening."
"Not at all," said I. "An evening out would be quite welcome." I sat in the chair next to Holmes spot on the floor, taking up the morning post.
"Then it is settled, then." He replied simply.
"You have been quite busy this morning," Said I.
"Ah, you have no idea, Watson." Holmes smirked. "And it is hardly morning now. I almost feared the sandman had stolen you in the night."
"Hmm, well it must not have roused your interest enough to cause you worry." I replied knowingly.
"Hardly, I would imagine there would be quite a clatter if anyone tried to spirit you away. Even if you where unconscious."
"A clatter indeed, considering the state in which you keep your rooms." Said I. "They would hardly set foot through the window without knocking some item about."
"See," Holmes began. "It is quite fortuitous for things to retain a dual purpose."
"That hardly justifies the mess here." I mocked.
"One man's mess," Holmes loosely quoted. I shook my head smiling slightly.
The rest of the day past by fairly quickly for us and before I knew it, it was time to get ready for our dinner engagement.
"I suppose you will be requiring my services in dressing." Said I.
"Only if you do not mind, ole chap." Holmes replied rising to his feet.
"Come on then," I sighed rising as well to make our way out.
We were standing it what used to be my quarters, clothing strewn about in every which way, thanks to Holmes insensate prodding.
"I am quite fond of this jacket of yours." Holmes said, his hand appraisingly moving over the steel gray material laid upon the bed. I knew what he was insinuating, but it was one of my favorites and I would not relinquish it to man.
"I thought we agreed that the color does not suite you." I stated, pulling on my navy blue vest.
"Fine," Holmes replied, steeling a way one of my burgundy neckties and throwing it around his neck and standing before me.
I sighed and began tying it about his neck. "I will want this back," I informed him.
"Of course." Holmes smirked, reaching down to grab his embroidered waist coat. He gingerly slipped his arms through it and again waited for me to see to the buttons. Finally, the two of us where dressed in our dinner finery. Holmes wearing a smattering of his and my articles, yet looking very well put together.
"I say, you do clean up nice when you want to." I informed him.
"Shall we, then?" Holmes said flipping his hat upon his head as he walked out the front door I held for him. We grabbed a handsome, with relative ease considering the hour, and where on our way to the Royal.
Upon entering the grand dining room, we were greeted by the barrage of chatter and the smell of food. Holmes made his way up to the matre'de.
"Sherlock Holmes," he said.
"Oh, Mr. Holmes, of course right this way." The matre'de said leading us through the throng of diners towards the table.
That is when I noticed that the table we were being led to was not a vacant one and I stopped, grabbing Holmes by his upper arm. "Holmes, you failed to inform me that Mary would be joining us this evening." I hissed at him.
"Did I not mention it?" He smirked sliding from my grasp and heading to the table. "Ah, hello my dear." Holmes said to her kissing her cheek as I sat beside her.
"I must admit I was quite surprised that you where up to dine so soon after our last meeting." Mary said.
"Yes, well, the healing process is a strange, fickle creature. Would you not agree, Watson." Holmes smiled.
"Quite." said I. "I hope you where not waiting long."
"Not at all," she beamed at me. "I only just arrived.
At that moment the waiter came and we ordered, Holmes the beef wellington and I the Yorkshire pudding.
"It is not too dreadful, my absences, I trust." I looked at Mary.
"I have been keeping fairly busy," Mary said. "In a way it is good for me to keep up my appearances with my dear friends. Just yesterday I had a lovely luncheon with Lady Daschnal." She turned to Holmes, then. "You really should meet her Mr. Homes, she is quite the woman, if I do say. A widow, but as lively as ever."
"How long ago was her husbands, untimely death?" Holmes asked and I glared at him from across the table.
"Almost a year now," Mary replied. "How did you know it was so untimely?"
"Well, I know that you my dear, being so sweet in your intentions try tirelessly to find me a wife." He smiled genuinely at her. "I know that I am no spring chicken, but I am also hardly old and gray, therefore the lady in question cannot be more than say five and twenty. If I died right this very moment it would be quite untimely, thus was her husband's." Holmes concluded. "As to the Lady Cadasch, I believe you said." he knowingly misquoted. "She does not shine as a wife, she had let the word of her stable hand dissuade her, from her husband's side." He calmly revealed. "Should I ever marry, I should hope to inspire my wife with some feeling which would prevent her from being walked off by a housekeeper when my corpse was lying within a few yards of her." Holmes took a sip of his wine. "I mean, it has only been a year since, twelve months in hardly enough time to overcome such a blow."
"Holmes, you cannot be insinuating that the dear lady had a hand in her husband's end." I said shocked.
"Of course, not. I am merely giving you the facts based on the data I have been given, of course to be completely sold on that outcome, a bit more leg work would be needed." Holmes concluded, Mary's sat there complete shock upon her features.
"Do not fret, Mary." I comforted her. "Lady Dashnal, is still a fine woman." I shot a look at Holmes, who had all ready began eating his dinner.
"If it is any consolation," Holmes said placing his hand upon hers. "Your friend is in no way a threat, she herself did not actually kill her husband." He said. "Though she did have a hand in it, I dare say." Holmes concluded aside between bites and I just stared at him.
I could not believe how cavalier Holmes was being, right now, so I ever so gently nudged his leg under the table; effectively startling him. I shot him a warning look, and he glared at me from across the table.
What Holmes did next, however, was quite unexpected. He held my gaze a little bit longer before turning to Mary, who had finally recomposed herself and was trying to enjoy her meal.
"All things considered," Holmes said. "This friend of yours, does sound quite intriguing, perhaps an introduction should be made." He finished looking at me his eyes narrowed.
I knew what he was trying to do, just as I knew he had no intention of meeting Lady Daschnal; and I dare say, it was working. I just steeled myself and glared back at him, reaching for Mary's hand and squeezing it gently. If Holmes wanted to make me jealous, then I too could play that game.
"I will see what I can arrange." Mary smiled at him, the meal drawing to an end.
"Lovely," Holmes smiled. "Well, I dare say it has been a pleasure, as always my dear." He said escorting Mary from her chair.
"Oh, yes Mr. Holmes and perhaps next time I can introduce you to my friend." Mary smiled.
"And dearest," said I placing my hand on the small of her back. "Perhaps one of these evenings you and I can dine together." I leaned down to her, chancing a glance at Holmes as she kissed me on the cheek.
"Oh, Johnny! That would be lovely!" She beamed at me as we made our way out of the restaurant. Holmes stood off to the side shuffling his feet, looking away as he cleared his throat.
"Goodnight, you two." Mary said as we saw her safely into the four wheeler, saying our goodbyes.
As her carriage pulled away, Holmes started off on foot toward Baker street.
"What was that about, Holmes." I inquired upon him, forcibly.
"I could ask you the same question." Holmes replied affronted, stopping on the cobblestone.
"Spare me, Holmes, you started it and you know it." Said I. "And you and I both know that you have no intentions of ever meeting any more of Mary's matches for you."
"I would not say that, I may very well fancy taking a wife." Holmes replied, looking at his finger nails. "Since you and Mary are the picture of wedded bliss, I could not help but be persuaded to marry, myself." He spoke in his sarcastic manner.
"Well, I cannot say that anyone would be very surprised if you married yourself." I stated back, deadpan. "We all know how very fond you are of yourself, but how you would be as a wife is a different story."
"I have never heard you complaining," Holmes stated. "I would make myself an excellent wife, in fact that would solve all my problems."
"How could you surprise me like that?" I asked, switching gears.
"I thought I owed it to you, or at least Mary, for the way I had behaved."
"That is a first, I dare say. But you could have told me."
"Where is the thrill of that?" Holmes replied turning to walk again. "We are men of action, my dear, and when we cannot find it we must create it."
"That is hardly a justifiable reason, Holmes!" I snapped at him.
"Since when have I needed to justify any of my reasoning, especially to you." Holmes asked picking up a brisk pace.
"Since, always." said I, limping a bit trying to keep up with him. "Not like you do, unless it tickles your fancy, but I should know when my own wife is involved."
"Watson, really." Holmes began. "We were having such a pleasant evening, must you ruin it with insignificant twattel?"
"I would agree the evening started pleasantly, until we arrived at dinner, that is."
"Now, Watson." he said. "Get a hold of yourself, you are acting as if you are a married man who's wife just met his mistress." Holmes looked at me out the corner of his eye. "I am not this, therefore don't you dare treat me as such."
"I have not." I said, affronted. "But really, Holmes, should we not call it what it is. Aside from the normalcy, or lack thereof, in our situation. Those are the roles in which we find ourselves, it is very black and white." I stopped, thankful for the lack of pedestrians tonight.
"I prefer to live in shades of gray," He said. Even so, this is entirely different." Holmes sated turning towards me. "If we hope to keep anything we have built, normalcy is the key. Or else it is all for not, and the hang mans noose is all that awaits us."
I sighed knowing that what he said was true, yet regretted how the conversation had turned. "Ever the optimist, Holmes." I jested nudging him gently, receiving a tenant smile in return.
"Optimism only colors the black and white nature of the facts." Holmes said.
"I thought you preferred the grayer areas," I smirked.
"That, dear Johnny boy, depends entirely upon the situation." Holmes smirked mocking Mary's nickname for me and leaned against the brick wall of the alley way lighting a match for the cigarette he somehow procured from me.
"Indeed," said I. "Oh, and Holmes?" I questioned gaining his attention and placing my hand against the wall to lean toward him. "If you ever call me that again, I cannot be held accountable for my actions." I pleasantly threatened him.
Holmes quirked an eyebrow, "Why my dear, is that a threat?" He said, his eyes twinkling with mirth.
"Ah, Sherlock." I smirked. "It is a quite the promise." I stated patting the side of Holmes face before turning back to the street to continue on our way. This action was quickly interrupted, when Holmes grabbed me by the button hole of my overcoat and pulled me back towards him.
"I am not quite finished with you my dear." He stated.
"Oh, really." said I smiling again, seeing where he was going with his statement and freeing Holmes hand from my garments to pin it against the wall. "Sherlock, do you really think you hold all the power in this relationship."
Holmes moved in to bring our lips together, but I stopped him with a hand upon his chest and gently pushed him back against the wall. "Ah ah ah," I tisked holding up my finger to him like you would stop a sneaking child. Holmes narrowed his eyes at me, he had the look of both predator and prey. I tilted my head moving in to kiss him, but stopping just short of his lips. My body keeping him from coming off the wall to meet me, though I could feel his body tensing with the urge to try.
"Now Holmes," I began. "Your behavior tonight hardly warrants, such pleasantries." I whispered still hovering close over him. Holmes swallowed audibly his dark eyes fluttering. "For once," I spoke gently my lips inches from his ear. "Let someone else control a situation."
"Watson," Holmes spoke with warning in his tone, trying to relinquish my hold on him.