The December 9th prompt as assigned by Spockologist: Holmes is caught reading one of those flowery novels he's always criticizing Watson over.
Another experiment in all dialogue!
"Watson, I really must protest."
"Whatever is the matter, Holmes?"
"I cannot recommend that you continue to keep reading fiction of that kind."
"Fiction of what kind?"
"Romantic fiction, Watson."
"This isn't romantic fiction, Holmes. This is classic Gothic fiction."
"Watson, the subtitle of this said non-romantic piece is 'A Romance'."
"But that's just for show, Holmes. The Monk is indeed a classic."
"My friend, I cannot allow you to continue destroying your mind with cheap, literary trash."
"Literary trash? My dear fellow, I beg to differ. Have you actually read this book?"
"No, and I don't intend to."
"But, Holmes. If you were to read it, you'd understand that romantic fiction isn't as bad as you seem to think that it is."
"I do not believe that there is a piece of romantic fiction in existence that is not trash, Watson."
"Oh, is that so? I seem to recall a copy of Jane Eyre on your bedside table last night. I don't think that it was there just for show."
"Surely you don't believe that I was reading such a book, Watson."
"Then how do you explain the fact that it was on your bedside table?"
"It is a gift. A Christmas gift."
"For Mrs. Hudson, if you must know. She rather enjoys stories of this kind."
"Does she indeed? Well, that's certainly news to me, Holmes."
"Watson, are you suggesting that I am telling you a falsehood? I can assure you that I have never been more sincere."
"Mmm, quite. I never said that you were not telling the truth."
"But I do believe that you were thinking that I was not telling the truth."
"Then I imagine that you will not mind if I am present when you give Mrs. Hudson this book?"
"….Of course not, friend Watson."
"And in the meantime, I strongly suggest that you put it away so that you do not take a chance of Mrs. Hudson seeing her gift before Christmas. We wouldn't want her to get the wrong idea, now would we?"
"I shall take that advice to heart, Watson. In fact, I expect that she probably saw it when she was bringing me hot water last night."
"Such a tragedy, Holmes."
"Indeed. I think that I may have to choose a new gift for her."
"I believe that I will go to the shop straightaway and return this book. Perhaps a bouquet of flowers would suit our dear landlady better than romantic fiction."
"Flowers? As a Christmas gift and nothing else?"
"I didn't say that it was a good idea, Watson. Or, indeed, that it was final. I must think on this now that you have poked such holes in my theory."
"I do apologize, Holmes. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll go back to reading my romantic trash."
"I cannot recommend you continue to keep reading fiction of that kind…"
And thus the cycle begins again!