As pained as I am to take up my pen in this manner yet again, I feel that I have no choice but to record this particular misadventure, if only for my own peace of mind. Of course, this narration will not see the light of day, unless Holmes once again behaves in a manner that would make the publication necessary.
To begin, I recently found myself in a rather compromising position while at home in Baker Street. Holmes was in a particularly mischievous mood at a time that I was late and in need of my hat and coat…
"Holmes, you are being absolutely ridiculous."
"Nevertheless, I shall remain." The voice that floated through the closed door was slightly miffed, although I would have said that it sounded more triumphant than anything else.
"Holmes, I really must protest," I groaned, letting my fist collide with the wood of the door. "Open the door and let me in. It is my room, after all."
"I do not see any reason to. I am perfectly within my rights. It's my flat too, as you know."
"I certainly do." I reached into my waistcoat pocket to retrieve my watch; it was very nearly half eight, and Holmes showed no sign of relenting. "Holmes, if you would just unlock the door, I can get what I need and I'll leave you to… whatever you're doing. Although why you feel the need to be doing whatever it is in my bedroom, I certainly couldn't say. Can't you take it downstairs?"
"While I certainly could take it downstairs, I could not do so at this moment in time, even if I wanted to," he called, and I heard a distinct clanging coming from the direction that my bed lay in. "This experiment is extremely delicate and I dare not move it, for your own safety. You'll have to wait."
"Holmes, give a care," I nearly pleaded. "I'm late, and I need to get my hat and coat so that I can leave. And then I will leave you in peace."
"No." The word sounded distinctly childish.
"Miss Morstan is waiting for me. What am I to tell her now? She will think that I abandoned her."
"Watson, you know my mind on that matter. You've had your head turned by a pretty woman, and you will come to your senses in time."
"Holmes, I am simply going out to dinner with Miss Morstan, and then I will return home to Baker Street. I am not going anywhere else, and I don't see why you feel the need to be quite this possessive!"
"I am not possessive, Watson. You've had your head turned, and I must make sure that you don't get your neck broken as well!"
"The last time you said that, I fear that your worries were completely invalid."
"Mrs. Savage could have been a great deal more persuasive. You should count yourself lucky that she was not. You simply are not experienced in these matters, friend Watson."
I shook my head and knocked on the door once again. "Holmes, I will be going out with Miss Morstan this evening if I have to take your hat and coat instead of my own."
With that, the door swung open to reveal Holmes looking indignant. "I don't suppose there's anything that I could say to change your mind?"
"Nothing." I tried not to look overly annoyed at his behavior. "Holmes, you are my good and true friend, and you know that. But there comes a time that I have room in my heart for another. Miss Morstan is a very wonderful woman, and I care deeply about her."
Holmes appeared to study me for a long moment before he shrugged his shoulders and motioned for me to enter my room. As I did so, he disappeared down the stairs to his own room and I heard him banging something around. I shook my head, gathered my things together and made my way down to the landing. As I prepared to leave the building, I heard Holmes shout my name again and I turned to see him at the top of the stairs with a small box in his hand.
He bounded down the stairs and gave me a long, hard look. "Are you really serious about her, Watson?"
"Of course I am, Holmes."
"And do you intend to propose to this young woman?"
I paused for a moment. "Yes. I do."
He smiled, and I was surprised to see that the smile was far more genuine than I ever would have expected. He held out his palm, brandishing the small, velvet-covered box. "Then you must do this properly."
The ring inside the box was stunning: a gold band encrusted with two small diamonds and a ruby in the center. It was elegantly shaped and simply breathtaking in its simplicity. I looked up at him in shock. "You bought this for Mary?"
"By way of my brother." He shrugged. "I imagined that you would want to impress her. If she's really so precious to you, you must do this in the correct manner. Women like sentiment." He paused. "You are as my brother, Watson. And I wish you happiness."
I did not know what to say. So I simply embraced my brother and gripped his arms. "Only if you will be my best man."
He nodded, a faint smile crossing his lips. "I think that sounds only right. Now, get along. Before she rejects your proposal on grounds of your lateness."