fictionbya (fictionbya) wrote in gaslight_fic,
fictionbya
fictionbya
gaslight_fic

Eeking in just under the deadline, an untitled, unbeta'd, and slightly over the word limit response to the first December challenge.


Untitled

=-=-=

My dear Watson,

I know this letter will come as a great shock to you. I have doubted myself at times for having let you believe me dead these years, but I should have to put all doubts aside and know myself a failure as your friend were I to remain silent in the face of the loss of your dear wife. You have my most sincere sympathies and I shall call on you when I return to London.

Yours,
Sherlock Holmes


=-=-=

Dr. John Watson’s study was small, but clean and cozy. Shelves lined the room though there was a hint of sparseness to them for here and there were empty spaces no volume had yet filled. An oak desk sat near the room’s two largest windows casting a fading light onto the surface cluttered with some of the doctor’s unfinished work

A deep green sofa and armchair table occupied the other side of the room along with a fireplace on one wall and a small window on the other. It was into the armchair that Dr. Watson settled, a snifter of brandy in his hand. He kicked his boots off, uncaring about the mud he had tracked in across the rugs and floor. He suspected that he would likely fall asleep in his armchair as he had done the nights since Mary’s passing. It was too cruel a thing to retire alone to the room they had shared and which he had kept watch over her in her ailing.

=-=-=

My dear Watson,

I know this letter will come as a great shock to you. I have doubted myself at times for having let you believe me dead these years, but I should have to put all doubts aside and know myself a failure as your friend were I to remain silent in the face of the loss of your dear wife. You have my most sincere sympathies and I shall call on you when I return to London.

Yours,
Sherlock Holmes


My dear Watson,

If only we were again at our old rooms on Baker Street, we might have some pretty puzzle and adventure to distract you from all melancholy. I should like, my dear fellow, to return to England and take up that occupancy with you again.

Most Sincerely,
Sherlock Holmes


=-=-=

“Won’t you be 'avin' any supper then, sir?” asked the petite, dark-haired housekeeper as she collected the doctor’s boots.

“No, Mrs. Grant, not tonight.” He could not stomach a meal though his body told him he had hunger. There was too great a weight in his heart to find even the notion of dinner palatable.

“It’s been near four days now an’ you barely taking a single bite. You’ll make yourself ill, sir. I don’t like the pale color about your face,” she said with a hint of scold in her voice.

“Be that as it may, I could not take a meal right now.”

“Well, per’aps I’ll just bring a light something, toast or maybe some fruit.”

A flush of anger over the housekeeper’s obstinate concern touched his cheeks. “That will be quite enough, Mrs. Grant. You may leave me now.”

In a gentle voice, she responded, “Doctor, I promised your missus that I’d keep my eye on you and I mean to. I’ll bring the plate and you can eat it or not eat it, but it will be here nonetheless.”

He gave her a weak smile, the thought that Mary was still caring for him through Mrs. Grant warmed his heart. “Very well, Mrs. Grant, very well.”

=-=-=

My dear Watson,

If only we were again at our old rooms on Baker Street, we might have some pretty puzzle and adventure to distract you from all melancholy. I should like, my dear fellow, to return to England and take up that occupancy again with you.

Most Sincerely,
Sherlock Holmes


My dear chap,

Had there not been great danger, I would have revealed myself to you sooner. Indeed, the danger is still present and it is not just fear for myself, but fear for others that has made me silent and forced me to engage in this deception of my death. I do not like to think of you alone and in your sorrow for just as you have had concern over my black moods when I have nothing to stimulate the mind, I fear that such a depression will fall over you when you have nothing to stimulate your heart, for that is more in your domain. I shall see you again soon.

Your Friend,
Sherlock Holmes


=-=-=

Dr. Watson fussed with the papers on his desk, sorting through them and stacking them, but making no solid effort to organize them. A plate with half-eaten toast sat on the edge of the desk and he pulled out from underneath it an article about some new advances in diagnosing diseases of the lungs. He leaned forward in his chair and placed the article more under the light of the lamp and tried to read it, but he found himself reading and rereading the same sentences without any of the information staying with him.

Sighing, the doctor got up from his desk and moved to the sofa, stretching his leg in front of the fire for with the cold weather it ached from his old war wound acquired what now seemed a lifetime ago. The wound reminded him of the deaths of many a young soldier whom he could not save in the Afghan campaign, but that reminder did not pain him nearly as much as the two most recent losses he had suffered.

Holmes’ departure from life had been so sudden that the reality had not throughly sunk in until Dr. Watson had finally written down the final chapter of the extraordinary friend whose biography he had so faithfully recordered. Holmes’ quick demise in the churning waters of the Reichenbach Falls so sharply contrasted Mary’s slow decline over many months.

It taxed Dr. Watson greatly that he, a man of medicine, could do nothing to save his wife. Momentary changes of scene and climate had sporadically done her good, a stay in the country would ruddy her complexion and the smell of the sea air at an oceanside retreat would raise her spirits. Yet nothing could stay the hand of the sickness that had gripped her and Dr. Watson had had to watch her fade until life slipped away from her. Her funeral had brought out many aquaintenances and sympathies and they were a comfort, but as he was now left alone to dwell on matters alone, he found himself wishing a friend by his side and both his dearest and most intimate friends gone forever from him.

A knock came to the study door and Mrs. Grant poked her head inside.

“’Scuse me, sir, I’m not sure if you'll be wantin' company but there’s a visitor come round to see you. A Mr. ‘olmes.”

Dr. Watson stood up with surprise, a smile rising to his lips. “Please, Mrs. Grant, show him in.”

=-=-=

My dear chap,

Had there not been great danger, I would have revealed myself to you sooner. Indeed, the danger is still present and it is not fear for myself, but fear for others that has made me silent and forced me to engage in this deception of my death. I do not like to think of you alone and in your sorrow for just as you have had concern over my black moods when I have nothing to stimulate the mind, I fear that such a depression will fall over you when you have nothing to stimulate your heart, for that is more in your domain. I shall see you again soon.

Your Friend,
Sherlock Holmes


M.,

I find that it would be premature to reveal myself yet to my old friend. It will take you off your usual route, but I would be most indebted to you if you should call upon him for I am certain he would enjoy the company and any reminiscences you might share.

Yours,
S.
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