Dec 1:

From KnightFury - cold hands, warm heart

I was jolted into wakefulness by a cold touch upon my cheek, gone as quickly as it was there. My eyes fluttered briefly open, but it was too bright, and they closed again with a groan.


I winced at the voice, and then shuddered as the cold fingers returned, this time resting on my forehead.

"Your hands are deucedly cold Holmes," I muttered, eyes still stubbornly shut tight.

He tutted from somewhere above me, but his hand remained where it was. "So long as it keeps you from drifting off again old fellow. I don't suppose you could open your eyes for me? Just until help arrives."

I forced my eyes open, but my vision blurred and nausea roiled in my stomach, the light around us (sunlight? Lamplight?) twisting and changing in unnatural, disturbing ways and making my head pound. Something shifted around me and I squeezed my eyes shut.

"Easy Watson," Holmes murmured softly - his voice was much closer than before. An arm wrapped itself around my shoulder, and though the hand on my arm sent goosebumps all the way to my shoulder, the body I leant against was pleasantly comfortable.

"You are rather less boney than I imagined you would be Holmes," I declared and a loud, pleasant chuckle sounded in my ears, which confused me. "Holmes?"

"Nothing Watson - I am merely glad that you consider me such a good pillow. I must thank you for your kind compliment."

"You're welcome," I murmured drowsily. Through his overcoat I could just about feel the soft thumps of his heartbeat, and the steady sound was slowly lulling me into slumber.

"Watson!" Holmes's sharp voice commanded. A cold hand gripped my wrist, whilst another was placed firmly back on my forehead and I gasped. In a gentler voice he continued, "You really must stay awake old chap. Try and concentrate on my voice."

He launched into a story, about one of his cases, asking me questions every so often and laughing loudly at my rather muddled answers. Truth be told I concentrated more on his icy fingers than his words. Perhaps if I hadn't I would have noticed what nonsense he was speaking, the edge of panic to his rambling words.

But I took note only of the tight hold his icy hand had on my own, and let that anchor me to consciousness until help arrived.