Disclaimer; I do not own Sherlock Holmes
A/N: Going through my old fiction folders, I found some responses to the SH kink meme that proved worthy of cleaning up to be posted here. Hope you enjoy!
This story has been vastly improved by being turned into a comic by the incredibly talented FerioWind on deviantart, first part here; http:/feriowind(dot)deviantart(dot)com/art/the-very-worst-sin-Monday-159599405
Watson tells me that self-delusion is the most dangerous of all human sins. He is, as so often is the case, erroneous in his conclusion. The most dangerous of all human sins is loneliness. I tell him so, drawing in a triumphant lungful of tobacco smoke; he smiles, his teeth catching the light, and tells me that I am always at my most disputatious when I choose my cherrywood. Outside, the patter of rain.
Tuesday morning, a blustery March Tuesday of Spring winds and Spring rains. Our client, a stonemason of no little skill, is watching morosely from beneath a black umbrella (purchased at Gamages, if I am not mistaken, that stitching is unique) as I examine the ground. It is no good, of course, the week's rain has obliterated any tracks as thoroughly as any police investigation. I suppress a tchat Mr Mattheson's idiocy in not calling me sooner, and turn my attention to the windowsill. Ah, our intruder has not been entirely lucky; it is a forced exit, not a forced entry, the door had been locked for the entire evening, and no hiding place in the room was big enough to conceal a cat, let alone a man... The mystery grows more intriguing with every minute.
I say as much, sharing an amused look with Watson, who is crouched beneath Mattheson's umbrella, forced to bend almost double to share its shelter with the diminutive tradesman. I remark as much, cheerily, and my friend chuckles. Mattheson does not seem to take the jest well; instead, he gapes at me with gormless idiocy, glancing from me to Watson and back again with no signs of comprehension.
No wonder the man's blueprints had been stolen. He clearly lacked even the most basic observational powers.
Mrs Hudson has only set luncheon for one again, this Wednesday. I do not ring the bell. Watson is welcome to the wretched meal, I have appetite only for my cases of late.
The clearing of the rains on Thursday brings a most welcome visitor to Baker Street. Inspector Lestrade steps in with more than his customary gloom. His countenance is so dark that I find myself examining for signs of bereavement or illness; no, the wedding ring is not joined by a second, there is no sign of heavy breathing or lost appetite, he is no more tired than usual...I usher him to a seat, deciding that he must have some delicious entanglement on his hands, and offer him a brandy.
He accepts, looking nervously about when I call for Watson to join us as I leap to the spirits. I apologise for the doctor's absence, explaining that he has been the most terrible slug-a-bed recently, barely showing his face before twelve for these past four days.
Lestrade's face, when I turn back, is ashen, crumpled, and I wonder, dispassionately, if he might faint. The inspector is made of stern stuff, however, and governs himself long enough to enquire after Watson in a high, strangled tone.
After consuming his drink, he is swift to depart, offering no hint as to the case that has left him so melancholy, leaving me alone with my violin and my confusion.
The bang of the door behind Lestrade at least has the effect of rousing Watson, who stumbles into the sitting room in his housecoat moments later, bleary-eyed and scruffy. I tell him he has just missed the most peculiar incarnation of London's finest I ever encountered, and he laughs.
He often laughs, these days.
Friday brings lethargy. No cases, no cases but for our simpleton stonemason, whose problem had seemed so pretty. In the end, a careful inspection of the man's accounts, his lecherous assistant and the introduction of his diminutive washer-woman revealed the whole story. It was not worthy even of Watson's lurid retellings.
Lethargy brings cocaine. The Doctor would disapprove, so I find myself hiding away from his stern glare, tying the tourniquet in the safety of my own room.
The stimulant burns. Watson bangs about the sitting room, making his feelings known even through the walls. I raise my eyebrows; it seems Mrs Hudson has developed an unfair bias, she would screech and carp if Imade such a racket.
I laugh. The cocaine burns.
The dissection room at Scotland Yard, chill and desolate, rank with the stench of meat. I do not curl my lip; so much of my career depends upon minute examination of the dead that they hold no repulsion for me. Inspector Bradstreet is prattling on beside me, his words as nonsensical as if they were spoken underwater, the body is a week old, their surgeon will be along shortly, terrible overcrowding of the autopsy schedule, and I wave him impatiently into silence. Across the room, down to his shirtsleeves, apron on and scalpel poised, Watson grins. He tells me I am overbearing. I correct him; I am efficient.
Bradstreet, mercifully, remains quiet.
I motion Watson to lift the sheet. It's his damned job, he's the doctor, but he does not move. Instead, the smile slips slowly from his lips, like the drop of honey from a flytrap, and he shakes his head. My face twitches into a frown before I can suppress it and I sigh my frustration, stepping forwards to cast back the sheet.
Watson's eyes stare up, unseeing, from the dissection table, clouded, empty. I choke, my stomach wrenching, and look up to where my friend had been stood, my dear, sweet friend, alive, damnit, alive, alive, alive...
He is gone.
Loneliness is the very worst human sin.