a/n: a series of responses to Hades' December challenge. Joining in a little late. Starting with a prompt from day 4 from The Inner Titan - "The trouble Watson goes to making sure Holmes won't find out about his Christmas present, only to have him guess what it is and know on the first try."

Holmes and companions do not belong to me.

POV of Watson.

Gift wrapped

"Today, I will buy the dear fellow a present;

A token of festive regard and goodwill.

For once, I will manage to keep it a secret

(His triumph at guessing last year irks me still.)

He's heading outside on some hare-brained adventure,

And won't return home until long after tea.

I'll wait till he's well out of sight, then go shopping;

He won't have a clue what his present might be!"


"I will buy him a book, not just any old book,

But one which will make him exclaim in surprise.

And I'll wrap it in such a mysterious way,

He'll fail to observe what's in front of his eyes.

I'll have to miss breakfast, there's no time for eating;

And sadly it seems that it's starting to rain;

But if I succeed it will surely be worth it;

And any discomfort will not be in vain."


"Right; off to the bookshops on Charing Cross Road;

And into that shop with the red-lettered sign;

Browsing the shelves for a handsome bound volume;

So festive perfection will surely be mine.

I'll ask the nice salesman regarding my purchase;

He seems such a kindly and helpful old man;

He's found me the perfect Morocco bound atlas;

I'll buy it; then on with the rest of my plan!"


"Some paper, two pillows, some Christmassy ribbon;

My shopping is done, so I'll make my way back.

I'll head down the alleys, avoiding the roadways,

So Holmes, on his travels, won't pick up my track.

So what if the alleys are damp, dark and dirty?

So what if I have to dodge con man or thief?

I'll get my reward when he opens his present,

And gazes in wonder and sheer disbelief.

And, yes, it's a heavy, though beautiful atlas;

And yes, my poor shoulder's beginning to ache;

And, yes, I've no money to pay for a cab ride;

All trivial points when you know what's at stake!"


"Aching and wet, I have made it home safely;

Limped up the seventeen steps from the hall;

Sandwiched the book between goose feather pillows,

A soft lumpy package, not book-shaped at all!

And now, I will wrap it in paper and ribbons

(A paper cut's really no serious thing)

Then add an elaborate, hand painted gift tag,

Attached to the present with colourful string."


"Into the sitting room, there in the corner

Resides a most festive and wonderful tree.

Under its boughs, goes my dearest friend's present;

Worth missing breakfast (and dinner, and tea)."


"Here he comes now! The consulting detective;

Back from a day of detecting, no doubt;

He'll gaze at my cunning wrapped present in wonder.

It'll take him till Christmas to puzzle it out..."


Holmes enters, sees Watson, and looks at the present;

"Nice atlas." he murmurs then strolls from the room.

His friend sits in silence, his paper cut stinging;

A picture of misery, chagrin and gloom.


Alone in his bedroom, Holmes opens a package;

Smiling, he cautiously closes the door.

He smoothes out the clothing and wig of the salesman,

From the shop with the red-lettered sign on the door...