Title: The Art of Introspection from a Selfish Man

Rating: K (no swear words, no allusions to sex/smut of any kind, hints of implied male/male unexplored romance)

Genre: Romance

Word Count: 1,073

Warnings: More of a character/relationship study than an actual story. I will continue it if I get positive feedback.

Summary: Sherlock Holmes takes a look at himself and at John Watson and realises that he is indeed a selfish man.

A/N: First Sherlock Holmes story. Be kind, but all feedback is accepted with grace =) This could lead to bigger things if I get three or more requests for a follow up. Any suggestions for the maybe continuation are appreciated =) Enough rambling. Read, enjoy, review.

Sherlock Holmes was, admittedly, a self concerned individual. Everything he did he did for his own pleasure - because he wanted to do it and no one could rightly stop him. No one could change his self satisfying habits...at least, that's what he had thought. That's what he believed. Mycroft, his parents, several now distant, unimportant 'friends' and even Inspector Lestrade had tried and failed. He was, quite simply, unconcerned with what other people thought, even what they thought about him. It was unnecessary and illogical to put so much stock in what people thought about what you did with your body and your time. He was unaffected by outside wants and needs.

Until he met Dr. John Watson; an army surgeon with a leg and shoulder* injury, gambling problem, poor health initially and an awed fascination with what Holmes did, both professionally and privately.

Being a doctor, Holmes understood Watson's malcontent with some of Holmes's habits. A student of the human body couldn't very well sit at ease while Holmes brutalised himself using other people's fists, injecting himself with cocaine or did not eat or sleep for days on end. Holmes was...not so much appreciative of the intrusion into his personal life by a person he considered only his fellow lodger, but it did surprise him pleasantly.

Their involvement grew - Watson was a much more important person in his life - and he began to take notice of what the doctor said more often. He frequently tried to comply, but it wasn't always possible given the erratic shifts in his moods.

One day he realised that he cared about what Watson thought of him, and that was a more unnerving surprise. However, he reasoned that due to the man's continued presence in his life - the fact that he was under no familial or financial obligation Holmes - as a human being Holmes felt the need make an effort. It was a strange feeling, the need to make an effort for someone, but he reasoned that it was worth it if it made Watson happy.

He found himself doing things - things he would not have otherwise done - for Watson; things that made the other man smile; that made him happy. Holmes didn't often put himself out for people, didn't do it at all really, and he didn't much mind doing the small things that made Watson happy. The doctor seemed to appreciate it very much and that in turn made Holmes feel good. After a good night out at the opera, or dinner at the Royale**; playing Watson's favourite melodies on the violin - Watson was infinitely more pleased.

Holmes didn't realise just how much Watson's pleasure affected Holmes. When Watson was happy, Holmes was happy; well, when he wasn't completely absorbed in a case, experiencing a black mood or off his face on cocaine. When something had irritated the doctor, Holmes wanted to track it down and wipe it off the face of the Earth. And if Watson was frustrated, upset by patients he couldn't help or problems he couldn't solve, Holmes found himself wanting to soothe Watson. He wanted his dear Watson to feel good or happy all the time, even when sometimes it might have been impossible, Holmes still wanted it.

It shocked him how much he wanted it, and what it might imply. He spent hours in the sitting room, plucking strings on his violin, deciphering how he felt towards Watson. During incidents when the doctor's life was at stake, Holmes found it harder to breathe. He couldn't settle himself until he knew that Watson was going to be alright. When they were in the sitting room together - smoking tobacco, drinking brandy, reading the papers, their post - enjoying the time between cases, patients and black moods, Holmes found his focus drawn to Watson. He wanted to catalogue every detail, submit it to memory so he'd never be without it.

It scared him how much attention he paid to Watson. He could tell everything the man was thinking, every emotion he was feeling just by a look in his eyes; his sky blue eyes, but so much better than all the sky in the world. He knew Watson intimately - more intimately than he knew anyone else save himself and Mycroft - and the doctor knew him to the same degree. But knowing Watson, knowing everything about him, and wanting him were two different things.

And it came as a terrible shock when he realised that everything he felt for and wanted from Watson had changed since the moment they'd met. From acquaintance to friend - Holmes now wanted more, so much more than he'd ever wanted from Watson. So much more than he ever believed he'd ever want from someone else. The man had ingratiated himself into Holmes's life, made himself such a large part of it that the detective could not picture his life without the man. Where would he be without the only person who cared to know him? Who cared for him so, as he knew Watson did? It did not bear thinking about, for it was much too disparaging a thought.

When Doctor John Watson told him of his 'friend', Miss Mary Morstan - when Holmes saw how the man's blue eyes lit up at the very mention of her - Holmes felt a heavy weight settle in him. He could see, over the weeks since Watson had met this woman that she made him happy; that her acquaintance fulfilled some part of him. And Watson's pleasure, his happiness was all Holmes wanted. If she made him happy, then Holmes should be happy.

But he wasn't, because he was a self concerned person and he never really did put much stock in what other people felt or thought. His own pleasure mattered and if Watson were to leave, to marry this woman as Holmes was sure he was planning to do, then he would have nothing and he wouldn't be happy.

It was a coin toss - whose happiness mattered more, Waston's or his own?

He settled back in his chair, pipe dangling from his lips, violin perched on his lap, and he smiled. He was a self concerned person, whose own happiness mattered much more than anyone else's, even John Watson's. Therefore, Miss Morstan had to go and Watson had to stay.

He would make sure of it.


*The book says Watson got shot in the shoulder, the movie portrays him with a limp, I assume he has both for the purposes of this narrative.

**The movie mentioned 'The Royale', several fanfics I have read (as I have read few of the original stories but I'm working on it) mentioned 'Simpson's'. Considering this is in the move section, with the 2009 movie characters, I have decided on the Royale.

A/N: Oh, if you've noticed any mistakes, point them out and I'll try to fix them. Only beta'd by yours truly =)