Found this in my fanfic folder. I haven't actually written any fics since the latest chapter of Immortal Crack, but in the meantime, a oneshot.

First, possibly only, Sherlock Holmes fic. 09verse, with some liberties. I do know that both of Watson's wounds are supposed to be from Jezail muskets, but my muse seems to have decided it doesn't like canon. Also, anyone who's read Truth Hurts, disregard the resemblance. That same pesky muse, in addition to making me look like an idiot, has a tendency to get fixated on certain details which should not be psychoanalyzed.

Standard disclaimers, and enjoy.




He never let me undress him. At first I thought this must be caused by a set of anxieties to do with the high illegality of our actions, or perhaps by a certain shyness. I did know that his reluctance did not stem from repulsion; he wanted it as much as I did. But when we kissed, when we snogged, when we necked, even when we were both already so stiff we could hardly stand it, Watson never let me undress him. I would see pain cross his face, so close that even in the dim light I could see the colour of his eyes seem to change with it, and he would stay my hand.

He, of course, was allowed to undress me. And of course I didn't refuse him. Off went the shirt and trousers - no collar, waistcoat or suspenders to complicate things - and he would look at me with a hunger I had never encountered outside of poetry, would touch me, run his hands down me. I would always try to peel off his layers in turn, even when I understood he didn't want it, but he never failed to stop me and he never failed to be pained.

I narrowed it down to a list.

1. He was teasing me. Watson did have a tendency to tease. But then, why the pain?

2. He was waiting for something. Some ritual I had not yet unearthed, something I had to do before we could proceed. Like with women - they've all got their odd little patterns.

3. I was missing something. There was something I hadn't discovered yet about Watson, some puzzle piece of his essence which, should I uncover it, would lead to a new set of possible motivations.

This last seemed the most likely. I had hit a dead end, and I must find another clue. In an investigation of any other nature, this would be simple. In any other investigation I would go to the scene and study everything round me, simply everything, from the watch on the mantel to the lack of dust on the broomstick. But that would not work here. I had already studied Watson - devoted more time, in fact, to studying him than to studying anything else. Thusly I had come too close to that which was studied. I already knew the workings of the clock, and had no longer the capacity to wonder why.

So I could not do what I always do. This left me with one option. An option that might be the death of me; Watson was, after all, a soldier.

We spent the day on a case, running about London after a candlestick thief cum vampire. Watson gave him a good rap over the head with his cane and the criminal went down. Lestrade caught up with his idiot 'investigators,' I gave a charming soliloquy concerning the infinitesimal details which had led me to discern with allegedly supernatural accuracy and dispatch who was the vampire and where could one catch him (not to mention derail the vampirism), and we were done for the day. Watson and I took ourselves back to Baker Street. I must be careful now. He was fairly off his guard, with another success in the books, smiling and responding amiably to my talk. There seemed to be little protest from his old war wounds despite the long run and the oncoming rain, so no detriment there. Now was the perfect time to implement my stratagem.

The night went peacefully. We spent it together, I sprawled on the settee and he in the armchair, making music and reading respectively. I was sure to keep my violining pleasant until Nanny brought up a tray of tea and retired for the night, and then I put aside my instrument and approached.

Watson recognised my advances almost before I made them, dropping his book in a manner that was rather flattering in order to take me by the collar and have me. For a few minutes we were content to snog in the armchair. Then we moved to the settee, where he could undress me more comfortably. The pipe fell out of my pocket and clattered to the floor. We ignored it. A button followed, and then my shirt, and then my trousers. Another moment passed while we went at it with something quite akin to animal frenzy. And then I put my hands to his collar. He did what he always does. Blanched, went to take my hands.

So I punched him on the nose. He yelped, and in the split second he was reeling I tore through two buttons. He stopped my hand again. I punched him and ripped off another two, not bothering to undo them properly. Watson boxed my ears and moved to get to a fighting distance. I grunted at the blow, but it was not unexpected, so I had the presence to grab hold of his shirt, simultaneously holding him close and ripping his shirt further open. Watson snarled, we were fighting in earnest now, he trying to debilitate me enough to get away and I trying to debilitate him enough to get his clothes off. I didn't get frustrated. I worked patiently at it until the shirt was finally hanging from his shoulders, and then I touched his chest.

He froze. I saw his face twist with pain, and his hands went to close his ruined shirt, but I took them and we continued this smaller fight for a few seconds.

'Holmes, please.' He said. We'd fallen to the floor by the settee, and he was on his back. I was not deterred - so close. So he kicked me where it hurts, a precise, military blow to the testicles. I let out a bark of surprise and pain, and while my grip loosened he made his escape. I grabbed the shirt on his way up. He covered his shoulder with an arm and scrambled away from me, but I had the shirt and he was lost. I looked at him at long last, there in the half darkness, for a split second before he turned his back. He was a fine specimen, with the chiselled musculature of a military man and a diamond of dark hair. The scar on his shoulder protruded beyond the reach of his fingers, and I understood abruptly. Of course. Of course. I put my head down on the floor, pulling my legs up as though the motion would help with the fire between my legs, setting the solved case aside at last.

Watson went and got another shirt. I could hear his furtive movements, the steps across the old wood and the edgy fumbling of fingers against starched cotton. And then he came to me. I looked up at him, now covered and composed, except for his dishevelled hair, as he offered me a hand. I took it and he hauled me up gingerly.

'Holmes -'

I put a hand on his chest, his shoulder, where I'd noted the scars. He stopped short. His face was blank, but I knew him well enough to see the pain there.

'Please,' he said, no more than a whisper. 'Please.' I didn't know what he pleaded for: please don't take it off again? Please don't touch me? But he didn't move. And I saw it in his eyes. Please don't hate me.

I was stunned. Greif welled up in my throat, made it difficult to breathe.

'My dear Watson,' I said, voice low and absolutely serious. I gave him no distancing humour. I kept his eyes locked on mine, captured blazing, wounded blue with brown, and I unbuttoned his new shirt. He stood rigid now, with that resolute nerve that defined him as a soldier, letting me hold his gaze while I bared his wounds again. I knew suddenly that if our places were reversed, I'd have raged and clouted him and stormed out the door. But not Watson. Not Watson.

I didn't look at first. At first I touched. I explored his chest and shoulder, finding the raised marks and brushing them gently with my fingers while my eyes stayed on his. He was searching my face silently, his own twisting, looking for disgust or revulsion or hatred or pity. I gave him none. And when he shook his head minutely at me, shocked and unsure whether to believe my poker face, I dropped my eyes to the scars he was so ashamed of. Studied them ruthlessly, noted their colour and their arrangement and the way they looked in the light. I looked back up at him to make sure he was watching and I kissed those scars. I felt his chest trembling, felt more than heard the rumble of agony that climbed up out of him, and he slumped forward at last. I caught him, held him like he was always doing for me while we sank together to the floor. His hands went up my back, stroked my face, needing to touch me while I undid his trousers. I comforted him with my lips as my hand found the wound in his leg. My mind supplied images of the Jezail bullet Watson had mentioned to me once upon a time, entering at high velocity, dragging bits of his uniform into the wound and shattering bone. I made a noise of sympathetic pain and leaned to kiss the scar.

'You don't-?' Watson breathed, unable to understand.

'No. I don't.' I hate what they've done to you, hate that you are ashamed of them, hate that they hurt you when it so much as rains, but I don't hate you. Gods, I don't hate you. You're beautiful, scars and all. I didn't say any of this. I didn't need to.

Our coitus was like nothing I'd ever had before, feral and tender at once, violent and benevolent and needy and loving. The wounded soldier opened his arms to me with a gratitude I wish I didn't understand, and I proceeded to make him forget.


Short little ficlet I couldn't help but write. Will probably become a part of a bigger story, as soon as I rustle up that bigger story. Depends. Thanks for reading, and I hope you liked it.

Reviews fuel my muse; any takers? Please?