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Saturday, September 4th, 2010 08:58 am
Author: J. Rosemary Moss
Genre: Sherlock Holmes; Slash 
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Holmes-Watson 
Disclaimer: Alas, I don't own Sherlock Holmes or the characters
Summary: Watson resorts to a drastic declaration to distract Holmes from the needle.

~oOo~

Holmes was resting in his bed. His heartbeat had returned to something approaching normal and his eyes, at a guess, were less bloodshot. It was difficult to tell, as he was keeping them resolutely shut.

“I am quite recovered, Watson,” he murmured, turning his head to the side as he sunk further into the pillows that I had propped up behind him. “Allow me to sleep—there’s a good fellow.”

But he would not sleep when I left him. He wished to spare himself a tiresome lecture from me; that is all. And so I took him by the chin, forcing him to face me—thus astonishing both of us. However, I achieved my object. Holmes opened his eyes and met my gaze.

At length he favored me with a wry smile. “I know you wish to chide me, Watson. And I know you wish to remind me of the injury I’m risking by persisting in this habit.”

I released his chin and allowed my hand to drop. “My warnings seem to have little effect on you.”

“You are not responsible for the fact that I choose to alleviate my boredom with the needle,” Holmes reminded me, his voice suddenly gentle. “I—and I alone—remain answerable for whatever harm I do to myself. You can do nothing to stop me.”

I cocked my head at him and managed a smile of my own. “Pity,” I said. “And here I was plotting an intriguing crime—one designed to distract you from your boredom.”

I must have flushed as I spoke, for though my voice was light and teasing, Holmes gave me an odd look. “Indeed?” he said. “And what devious felony did you plan?”

I kept my smile fixed on my face as I answered. Later, I would wonder what the devil had prompted me to speak up. Surely this was no time for a declaration on my part? But I had no such thought at the moment. My voice seemed to be operating of its own accord, without the cooperation of my will.

“A quite private crime, Holmes—and, I hope, a quite pleasurable one. It would take place here, in the seclusion of your quarters, so as to escape the detection and censure of the outside world.”

For a long moment, Holmes simply stared at me. I rather think he was astounded. He had no trouble interpreting my words—but he could scarcely credit the fact that I had spoken them.

But when he finally finally spoke, his voice was calm and rational. “It seems that I have underestimated you, Watson,” he said as his grey eyes searched my face. “Tell me, have you committed this particular crime before?”

I swallowed at that. “No,” I admitted. “Did you think I had?”

“I thought it possible. Perhaps during your military service…” he shrugged and let his voice trail off.

I risked giving him a look of mock disapproval. “My dear Holmes,” I said, pretending offense, “I was in the army—not the navy!”

He stared at me for another interminable moment and then threw back his head, laughing heartily. “I imagine a sailor would know the proper retort to that,” he managed at length.

“Undoubtedly,” I said, smiling back at him. But then I felt my face grow serious. “Are you disgusted, my friend, at the thought of such criminal activities?”

In response, he took me by the arms and drew me to him. I shifted so that I was seated beside him with my head resting against his shoulder. This sudden intimacy felt surprisingly natural.

“Watson,” he said as he began to stroke my hair, “even with such a delightful, ah, transgression, to distract me, I will still resort to the needle on occasion. You mustn’t think otherwise.”

I sighed. “You won’t find me a suitable distraction?”

He stopped stroking my hair in order to pull me even closer to him. I felt him rest his chin on top of my head. “You have never been a mere distraction, Watson. You are—you are very much a necessity.”

I shut my eyes, savoring his words. “I’ve wanted to make this declaration for some time,” I confessed. “It has nothing to do with that blasted needle of yours.”

He said nothing, but I felt his lips brush against my hair.

“And yet I still wish you to give up the cocaine, Holmes. It is not a condition of…deepening our friendship—but I wish it all the same.”

“I make you no promises, Watson,” he warned me. “But I shall take your wishes into consideration. At the very least, I intend to set aside the needle for the time being. I do not wish it to interfere with our…exploration of this private crime.”

I opened my eyes at that and shifted a bit so that I could smile up at him. “And how long do you suppose that exploration will take?”

He grinned in response. “My dear Watson, I fear I have no more experience in such matters than do you. However, I intend to study the subject in depth—with your assistance, of course.”

“Very good, old chap," I told him. "I hope my assistance will prove invaluable."

“It shall certainly prove indispensable,” he assured me, shutting his eyes. “But our studies will have to wait until the morrow…I fear I am not equal to them tonight.”

I smiled at that and extricated myself from his embrace. That caused him to open his eyes and frown at me. “I was not asking you to leave.”

I leaned over and brushed his lips with my own. “I’ll be back shortly,” I promised. “I am not yet dressed for bed.”

He nodded and shut his eyes again. “Very well. Kindly do not wake me when you return.”

“I won't,” I said, still smiling. “But do not think you’ve escaped a tiresome lecture from me. You’re merely giving me more time to prepare it.”

He let out a long-suffering sigh. “I shall listen with all the fortitude I can muster on the morrow,” he said. “Goodnight, Watson.”

I leaned over one last time to kiss his forehead. “Goodnight, Holmes.”

~The End~

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