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Sherlock Holmes (Granada) Fanfic: Resembling Its Shadow - CaffieneKittySpace
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Sherlock Holmes (Granada) Fanfic: Resembling Its Shadow
Title: Resembling Its Shadow
Fandom: Granada Sherlock Holmes
Rating/Content: PG-13. Depiction of grief
Word Count: 700-ish
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters or their respective worlds.
A/N: Written for watsons_woes JWP Amnesty Prompt #4: an image of books, a pipe, a mug and a violin. This is my first full attempt to write in a Victorian-era Holmes 'verse, so I apologize for any horrible errors in setting or diction or geography. Title from an otherwise irrelevant quote by Rudyard Kipling.[LJ-Only]

Summary: Watson returns to Baker Street after his solo journey back from Switzerland.

Resembling Its Shadow
by Caffienekitty

Watson stumbled in off the street through the door at 221B Baker Street. The numbness of having found the pages from Holmes' notebook next to his abandoned walking stick beside the falls filled him still, even nearly a week later.

After the brief formalities with the Swiss authorities, he'd finally returned to London. The trip back from Switzerland had been its own form of slow horror; the shock and denial sinking in, the desperate imaginings that Sherlock had somehow survived and was even now crawling out of a cold Swiss river, miles downstream, alone. John had stared at the scene rolling past as the train rolled on toward Rotterdam, unable to look at the empty seat opposite.

He'd dozed fitfully when darkness fell outside the carriage, and awoken to see the wondrous riot of endless tulips out the window in the morning light. With an exclamation, he'd turned to Holmes to be sure his friend had seen it, and the emptiness of the compartment had shattered him anew. Throat and chest constricting towards tears he would not allow to fall in public, he breathed and remained silent. Until the train brought him to the port at Rotterdam for the return to Dover and home, Watson sat stiffly, shoulders held tautly back, staring up at his own singular bag above that empty seat.

The rest of the trip had been as though through the densest of fogs, though the weather was uncharacteristically charitable, until he reached the rooms he shared - had shared - with Holmes at Baker Street. Mrs Hudson had received the telegram of the news already, and greeted him wearing solid black with her tear-reddened face.

He exchanged a few words with Mrs Hudson, but then dismissed her for the day, unable to bear her sorrow as well as his own. Alone, he trod up the seventeen steps to their sitting room door.

Watson dizzily remembered coming back from his holiday what seemed an age ago now, before this monstrous event. Holmes had been away himself on a case in France, a case which had in the end, directly lead to the event that had taken his life. He remembered the bright cheer of Mrs Hudson offering to open a bottle of their best claret to celebrate Holmes' return. He remembered himself looking out the window, feeling safe and secure in their shared rooms. Holmes may have been absent when he'd returned then, but it was only a temporary absence, however long it might be. He'd known Holmes would return, just as spring follows winter. But now...

Gripping the handle of his bag, Watson opened the door of their sitting room, stopping at the threshold.

The rooms were as they'd left them, perhaps tidier for Mrs Hudson's sisyphean efforts, although a lone cup lurked yet on the sideboard. Tranquil and unaffected. It didn't seem right.

His own desk in the corner was stacked with books, fresh paper laid by for writing up the case; his pen waited beside the ink well. Other books lay open, spread pages down to hold their place where Holmes had left them; Mrs Hudson would have left those as they were so as not to disturb Holmes' researches. The violin lay in its habitual place, next to one of Holmes' more practical pipes and a pouch of tobacco, also waiting for use.

As hard and fast as a cab running him down in the street, Watson found his breath arrested painfully in his lungs as the loss of Holmes struck him afresh.

No more. The pipe would never again be lit. The books would never again be read. The violin would never again be played. Spring would never again return to 221B. As he looked about the room, all Watson could see was an unending winter, devoid of life and light.

He knew cerebrally that in years to come this pain would become endurable, and that he would remember his time with his friend with fond sadness rather than this agony of loss. For now, he could not face the room and its contents, waiting faithfully for a master who would never return to put them to use.

He would find a room elsewhere. For now.

Without crossing the threshold, Watson closed the door and turned away.

(that's all)

Tags: , , , ,
Current Mood: sore sore
Current Music: "Granada Sherlock Holmes Theme"

12 comments or Leave a comment
methylviolet10b From: methylviolet10b Date: August 5th, 2013 05:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh ouch. Watson's pain is very tangible in this piece. I particularly like his waking to tulips, and immediately wanting to make sure Holmes sees them...

caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: August 5th, 2013 06:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you!
ciaranbochna From: ciaranbochna Date: August 5th, 2013 06:20 am (UTC) (Link)
It makes the breath stop. As well it should. Excellent work!
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: August 5th, 2013 07:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you *hug*
tripleransom From: tripleransom Date: August 5th, 2013 01:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
The waking up to the tulips was so intense. Great contrasts all through of the 'then' and the 'now'.

One quibble - it would most likely be a cup rather than a mug on the sideboard.
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: August 5th, 2013 09:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know, 'mug' is weird, but it's part of the prompt. In the image it looks almost like a stein, but I couldn't think of a better word for it that wouldn't be more jarring, so I used the description given in the prompt. It was a bear getting that darn thing in somewhere. :-/

ETA: I'll change it, because you are certainly right, 'mug' isn't working there.

Edited at 2013-08-05 09:17 pm (UTC)
tripleransom From: tripleransom Date: August 5th, 2013 10:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Huh. Didn't see that it was part of the prompt. It does look like a beer mug in the pic. I suppose it could be a present from a grateful client of Holmes's?
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: August 5th, 2013 11:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
No idea. I've changed it to cup now, I was debating 'tankard' but that doesn't strike the right tone either. The prompt is primarily to inspire though, so I doubt that calling it a cup instead is going to end the world. :-)
maestress83 From: maestress83 Date: August 5th, 2013 11:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's one of the worst things about fresh grief--for a split second you forget that the person is gone.

Well done.
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: August 6th, 2013 02:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you.
samalander_dawn From: samalander_dawn Date: August 6th, 2013 02:28 am (UTC) (Link)
and wow
and yes
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: August 6th, 2013 02:40 am (UTC) (Link)
12 comments or Leave a comment