HOLMES & WATSON
A series of short stories
Rather, a unashamed series of stories where Watson is often right and Sherlock is wrong, because it almost never happens in the TV show.
The Unrelated Detail
"There's a woman calling for you," I said, holding out his cell phone.
"Who is it?"
Sherlock sprang from the couch where he had been lounging spread-eagle, whipped the phone from my hand, and held it to his ear. "Madam," he said calmly, "Firstly, if you phone me about your husband's illicit affair again, I shall have to come dispose of your phone myself. Secondly, your husband is currently enjoying a coffee at the pub with his mates like he does every Friday afternoon to avoid coming home to your arguments for at least an hour or so. Three, if you'd like to accuse your husband of seeing a young woman outside of your marriage, I suggest that next time you approach me on the street you do better to cover up the bruising along your neck from your own affairs—might I suggest finding a wider scarf? Good day to you."
Sherlock handed the phone back to me, sighed like a child on the first day of school, and fell into the couch again—this time face-first, with one leg still dangling on the floor.
An awkward silence followed. "How do you know the bruising was from an affair?" I asked finally, setting the phone aside, and sitting comfortably in the armchair.
"She said that her husband hadn't shown any physical attention to her in months, abusive or loving," Sherlock's voice was muffled in the pillow. He almost sounded as if he were laughing about it. "Tell me then, why did the woman have hickies on her neck?"
"She's a… professional kiss-o-gram?" I suggested sarcastically.
Sherlock's head twitched. "Don't be ridiculous."
"Bruising from a massage?"
"Oh," I snapped, not enjoying the mental picture. "And you're sure about the pub?"
"Of course I am! I saw his tab and the owner." Sherlock turned over on the couch and looked up at me, rather pathetically. "Are you doubting my conclusion?"
"It was a rather brusque way to confront her, wasn't it?"
"She doesn't deserve my sympathy."
"But what if she does?" I mused quietly to myself. "Clearly, she's unhappy."
"What makes you think that?"
"Women who are happy in marriage do not seek out other partners, Sherlock."
"False—she could very easily be happy in marriage, but not content."
The phone buzzed again. Eva Beadle. Sherlock only buried his face again, and threw his arms over his head as if to block out the dramatics.
I answered. "Yes," I said simply, to not give away that it wasn't Sherlock.
"For the record," said her voice. It was broken, barely holding back tears. "The day I spoke to you—I was attacked…raped… two days prior, in the lot, behind my home. The man who attacked me was a youth with a record of sexual harassment and violence that I had never seen before. He is in custody now, the trial is in a few weeks. It had nothing to do with my suspicions about my husband, nor any relationship outside of our marriage. I think you're a capable man—to do what you do—but there will always be an occasion when you are wrong. I suggest you remember this conversation the next time you are convinced that you are correct."
Sherlock raised himself on one elbow. "I was wrong about something, I can see it in your face. Go on. Tell me. I can handle it."
I set the phone down slowly. "She wasn't having an affair. She was raped by a complete stranger a few days before she spoke to you."
To say that Sherlock was surprised was an understatement. He looked crushed, but only for a moment. He flopped casually backwards, face up, pressing his hands together as if in prayer and putting his fingers to his lips.
"Perhaps," he said slowly, "I made a mistake."
"You did not make a deduction. You made an assumption," I responded, stiffly.
"I suppose I did."