The Adventure of the Dying Detective
AU. For ingridmatthews
' prompt - "I read the AU where Watson gets poisoned. I now want to read the one where Watson DIES because Holmes is a drama queen." Warnings:
Well, see prompt. It's evil and horrible and you don't want to read it! But at least it's short.
Mary Watson stood rigidly in the doorway, shoulders squared and one arm extended, barring the way into her home.
Holmes looked quite as shocking as he must have when John had rushed to his side three days before. Colourless skin stretched taut over the bone, disordered clothes hanging off him. Eyes sunk in the angular hollows of his skull, shadowed and scorched like burned out buildings.
She had not thought it possible to hate him more, but she did for the instinctive twinge of pity that came when she asked herself, without meaning to or wanting to care, what it would be like to live with what he had done.
"Get away from my house," she said.
Holmes stretched out a shaking hand to grip at the railings – only that, it seemed, kept him on his feet, "I..." he gasped, his voice strangled. "...Please."
Mary shut her eyes because the sight of him was exhausting and she would need all her strength for what was to come. "Mr Holmes," she said, "He doesn't want to see you. Can you imagine any possible reason why he would?"
Holmes shuddered and crumpled, and Mary wondered how she would get rid of him if he collapsed on the steps. He whispered, "No."
She watched him stagger away. For a moment she felt like chasing after him down the street, howling, “Do you really understand what you’ve done? It’s not just that you’ve killed him. You’ve taken his life. Years of it, given to you, and you make it all into a dreadful joke. You break his heart thinking he’ll have to watch you die, and now... "
In Holmes’ place, she decided, she would not live with it. Perhaps he would not either.
It wasn't important. She went back inside.
John was quiet, now, too weakened for the delirious struggles of the day before, though tremors kept jolting through him. She crept onto the bed and clung to him, moulding herself to his back.
He said, "You were gone.”
Every time he spoke to her, recognising her, she felt an agonising wrench of relief that it wasn’t quite over yet, they could still have just a little more time.
Crumbs from the table. And every time his voice sounded emptier, and further away.
"Just for a minute," she said, kissing his shoulder. "I won’t leave again "
His hand clutched at hers. Scalding. "Mary, was someone... was he here?"
She stroked his hair, and hesitated only for a second. She crooned,"No, dearest."
There was a silence. She thought perhaps he'd slipped out of consciousness again. Then he said, "That's good."