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[personal profile] lightconductor
London without Holmes was strange, stark, empty. Returning home... Baker street was hardly a home without Holmes. He would have to face Mrs. Hudson, and tell her the news, and that...

He could hardly face that idea himself. To have to share it was unthinkable.

The question remained, of course, where else there was for him to go.

Watson thought of a pub, of getting very drunk, or of some low gaming house and ridding himself of all his money. In the end, he climbed into a hansom, and gave the cabbie an address, and found himself on the steps of a house that had, until now, been associated in his mind with only good things. Perhaps that was why he had chosen this place. That, and what other friends in London did he have now?


"Why, John." Mary was surprised to see him, how could she be anything else? She had little Robert fussing sleepily in one arm, and her face was warm and welcoming. That alone could almost break Watson's heart. "I didn't realise you were back in London already. Guy isn't home yet, he'll be -- what is it? What's wrong?"

She hastened him inside, juggling her baby from one arm to another. Watson swallowed, the lump in his throat hard and hot. "It's Holmes... he's..."

Abruptly, he could not speak, his eyes brimming. Mary swept him into the sitting room to a chair, and sat him down. She sat opposite him, her little boy still on her shoulder. She said nothing, waiting, wise enough to know to wait.

"He's dead," Watson said at last.

Mary gave a small, inward gasp of breath. She was quite frozen, not in the least sure how to respond. There was a long moment of silence between them.

"Oh, John," she breathed. The only answer Watson could make was a strangled sort of sob. She rose from her seat, knowing better than to offer any meaningless words, any unhelpful advice. There was nothing to say, nothing to do.

Instead, she pressed the baby into his arms, and touched his shoulder gently. Robert squirmed and clutched at Watson's clothes, giggling. "I'll get you a drink," Mary said, and she moved away to get it.

Watson clutched at the little boy in his arms, Holmes's godson, and held back tears.

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September 2012

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