Author's Note:

As the summary states, this is a prequel piece to "His Last Bow: The War Service of Sherlock Holmes."

I was supposed to have been working on my WIPs this weekend—that was the deal I made with the readers of A Study in Stardom. Well, this idea popped up out of nowhere, and I had so much of it worked out so quickly that I had to type it out before I lost it. So here it is! Enjoy!

==Home at Last==

He hurried out to the deck, a cool breeze brushing his face as he opened the door. There she was. London.

Grinning like a fool, he threaded his way through the press of people and reached the railing, gripping it and leaning forward. The breeze ruffled his silver-shot hair gently, and he closed his eyes and threw his head back, enraptured.

He was home.

The memories flooded waking thought like a rushing torrent, and he made no effort to stay them.

"You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive."

"I should like to see him clapped down in a third-class carriage on the Underground, and asked to give the trades of all his fellow-travelers. I would lay a thousand to one against him."

"Your merits should be publicly recognized. You should publish an account of the case. If you won't, I will for you."

"It may be that you are not yourself luminous, but you are a conductor of light. Some people without possessing genius have a remarkable power of stimulating it. I confess, my dear fellow, that I am very much in your debt."

"That is why I have chosen my own particular profession, or rather created it, for I am the only one in the world."

"Miss Morstan has done me the honor to accept me as a husband in prospective."

"I suppose that, homely as it looks, this thing has some deadly story linked on to it—that it is the clue which will guide you in the solution of some mystery and the punishment of some crime."

"You are developing a certain unexpected vein of pawky humor, Watson, against which I must learn to guard myself."

"Good heavens! to think that you—you of all men—should be standing in my study. Well, you're not a spirit, anyhow."

He opened his eyes and gazed at the city before him—his city. His realm, his domain once… so long ago, it seemed. When he had left it ten years earlier, he had never intended to return—but here he was now, as glad as he had been a good twenty years ago to see it again.

Dear, dear old London. How he had missed her.

Half an hour later, he stepped onto British soil for the first time in nearly two years, and oh, how wonderful the feeling! To be standing on good, firm British ground once more… He stood there for a while, absorbing the vitality of the place and the beautiful sense of coming home.

He had dark business still to undertake, and his work in the end would not hold back the east wind. But he was home, and for the moment, that was all that mattered.

Sherlock Holmes was home at last.


Author's Note:

Originally, this was going to be a probably-AU, and he met Watson at the boat and they had this "haven't-seen-you-in-ages-we-have-so-much-to-catch-up-on!" fluffy conversation, but in the end, that was dropped in favor of going totally canon-compatible. Maybe someday, I'll still do that AU conversation, 'cause it really was sweet.

I should note that this whole thing was inspired by the theme music of Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story. Said film is the third of the Kevin Sullivan Anne trilogy, and it is set in World War I. In the beginning of the movie, Anne is on the deck of a boat, returning to Prince Edward Island for the first time in years (sound familiar?).

"His Last Bow" is my favorite, never mind the flaws, glaring though they be. American!Holmes is just too cute an image for words.

Btw, I own none of the quoted material, but they're all in the public domain, so I'm good. =)

Please review!