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Songs of Spring 
13th-Aug-2010 08:26 pm
violin land
FIC DUMP!  More Winter in London is here and here.  But, if you haven't already seen it on the meme, here is this quick little retirement-era fic I wrote to "fix" The Lion's Mane.

850 words. PG as anything.

"At this period of my life the good Watson had passed almost beyond my ken. An occasional week-end visit was the most that I ever saw of him. Thus I must act as my own chronicler. Ah! had he but been with me, how much he might have made of so wonderful a happening and of my eventual triumph against every difficulty! As it is, however, I must needs tell my tale in my own plain way, showing by my words each step upon the difficult road which lay before me as I searched for the mystery of the Lion’s Mane"

The Songs of Spring

My dear Watson,

 It has now been ten days.  I hope your sojourn in town has proved refreshing.  I have known where you are for most  of that time, of course – it needed no very stringent inquiries to establish  you had taken the London train; there are many hotels, but only four you know well, and as I believe you to require familiar, yet anonymous surroundings in which to think and calm yourself, and going by the remaining contents of your desk drawer ... well, I will regale you with the details, if you wish, when you return. As you will see by the enclosure, I have had a little adventure in your absence. Not my finest or most thrilling, perhaps, but you might have spun it into silver-gilt if not into gold. As it is, I have had to shift for myself. It is not an exercise I like much, but I can hardly complain that I do not deserve it.

I know, dear heart, that angry as you are, you haven’t left me for good, and I would have known it without your considerate if understandably curt telegram on Thursday. I do not know what it would take to drive you away from my side altogether; after almost thirty years of utterly wrongheaded if mostly inadvertent experimentation upon the subject, I have concluded I will never find out. If I could not manage to  extinguish your loyalty during all my escapades in my prime, then I am surely not equal to it now.  But I should be thankful rather than complacent in that knowledge, Watson, and  if you meant me to consider what it would be like if I ever did lay on that final straw, be assured you have amply succeeded.  

Of course, you might have tired of me at last, now I cannot compensate for my many deficiencies and blunders with adventure and excitement. I do not think so, however.  If you were truly tired of me you would not have gone to London, whose every street and square, I arrogantly fancy, must remind you of me. Have you been across Hampstead Heath, where we ran  for our lives through the night, those black silk masks of  yours on our faces?  Over London Bridge, where I kissed you against the wet wall of the Embankment, by the rising tide? Or  down  Crucifix Lane, where you shot Cooper in the arm and saved my life?  (subject to your correction, I make that the third of twelve such occasions, not to mention the more subtle and continuous and doubtless exhausting ways you have kept me afloat all this time).   I hope you have.  And yet I rather hope you have not been to  Baker Street. Good a place as it was to us both, this is our home now. Come back and let us prove to each other that life has more for us both than mere nostalgia.

In any case, you see, I may still have a few strange exploits left in me yet – had you not better hurry back,  before you miss any more? The deep may be heaving with yet more malevolent monsters, foreign spies may walk among our gentle country neighbours – wouldn’t you rather be here to record these things, even if it means putting up with a pig-headed old fool who has never been very clear on what is good for him?

I am confident you will be home before very long, but I am not certain precisely when, and I wish your return to be immediate. This should reach you tomorrow morning; I suggest you catch the 10.25 from Charing Cross and be here in time for lunch.  There, I sound imperious  and conceited even when I least mean to be. Watson, I was in the wrong, entirely. I am sorry.  It has been decades since I ever wrote you anything that could even charitably be described as a love letter –  if I am out of practice now it is because I was never in it, but if you will forgive that along with everything else I will show you, every way I can think of, that I love you  as soon as you walk in through the door.   In the meantime, please do read my little story. It is not a very pretty apology, I fear, but it is the fruits of contemplating how dismal bee-keeping and country air and even interestingly-mutilated corpses are without you, and how lonely this little house would be if you ever did pass beyond my ken.

Or if you like, you may leave the Langham, take other lodgings, and compel me to hurry down to London and track you across it. Do not doubt that I could still do it. You would have to be very quick on your feet to evade me for any length of time, but we both tire more easily nowadays – would it not be easier and kinder to us both to catch that train instead?

Won’t you come home now, love?

Always yours, troublesome a possession as I fear you find me –


13th-Aug-2010 07:42 pm (UTC)
A love letter and an unqualified apology? Lovely.
14th-Aug-2010 10:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

I admit, I don't know exactly what Holmes did to prompt all this, but it was definitely crappy.
13th-Aug-2010 07:58 pm (UTC)
Oh my goodness! This is so lovely! I just can't think of another way to describe it :)
14th-Aug-2010 10:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
13th-Aug-2010 07:59 pm (UTC)
There's something to be said for a relationship that after thirty years retains enough passion to induce one party to storm out and stay in a hotel for days. Speaking here as someone in a quite happy long-term thing that might delicately be called high-conflict.
14th-Aug-2010 10:39 pm (UTC)
Aww. I'm rather terrified of conflict myself, but I admire the passion!

I sort of had in the back of my mind a message that my godfather (in his mid sixties) sent while away from home to his wife via Facebook -- except worked out how to DO Facebook yet, so he actually just posted it to his wall. And it was amazingly sweet, saying, among other general routine things: "I'm lonely here -- I need you," and I was rather struck that it was still possible for a couple to have that sort of yearning towards each other, when briefly separated, after thirty years.
13th-Aug-2010 08:57 pm (UTC)
Disgraceful schmoop? NAY, AWESOME SCHMOOP!

I still cuddle this fic like a basket of cookies, hot cocoa and 100-proof rum.
14th-Aug-2010 10:40 pm (UTC)
You are clearly a woman after my own heart *offers swig of rum from hipflask.*
14th-Aug-2010 06:03 am (UTC)
Lovely. You manage to create something schmoopy here that is absolutely Holmes' voice and utterly in character---quite an accomplishment.

Oh, and it just melted me. Thank you.
14th-Aug-2010 10:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It was rather fun to write, also I am pleased to give the poor lonely "schmoop" tag some use after all the woe and abuse and pain I normally come up with...
14th-Aug-2010 09:20 am (UTC)
*AWWWWWWWWW* I just ADORED this! Sad & sweet & plaintive & Holmes apologising & awwwwww. It's true, those lines in Devil's Mane (actually in all the stories later on in their lives) where Holmes/Watson make reference to only seeing each other for the occasional weekend make my lip quiver in a most juvenile fashion.

This was lovely.
14th-Aug-2010 10:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

I actually found myself fantasising a couple of days ago about time-travelling, finding ACD and MAKING HIM CHANGE IT, whether by friendly persuasion or FORCE. It would be a pretty frivolous use of time-travel technology, I must admit. (If one was going on a literary fix-it trip, one really ought to put dosing Keats and the Brontes with antibiotics higher up the list...)

Not having a time machine, this was the best I could do.
16th-Aug-2010 08:13 pm (UTC)
Hee, yes to Keats & the Brontes! I'd also quite like to take Oscar Wilde to one side & say 'DON'T take your boyfriend's father to court. I know he's a horrible little man & your boyfriend wants you to confront him but trust me & listen to your friends - it's a TERRIBLE IDEA!!'

& then over to Lower Norwood to *whap* Sir Conan Doyle over the back of the head & say 'What do you MEAN they only see each other for the odd weekend?!'
20th-Aug-2010 04:40 pm (UTC)
Oh *Waid*...(melty teary-eyed heap of wibble).
You have HEALED me after that hideous piece of Mitchell and Webb fuckery. I didn't think that was possible, but you have made it better.
(snivels a bit more, but in a happy way this time)
20th-Aug-2010 07:17 pm (UTC)
Aw! *pets your head* I'm really glad it had that effect for you! I wish I'd written it after rather than before -- I feel a bit like I wrote this and then they came and spat in my warm milk and nutmeg, but I know that's not very sensible.

*clings to own fic and does not even care* IT WAS LIKE THIS YOU FUCKERS.
21st-Aug-2010 02:34 am (UTC)
26th-Aug-2010 11:05 am (UTC)
I've had this tab open to read for bloody weeks now and have never quite been in the mood nor found the time to get round to it.

Now I have read it I wonder what took me so damn long. I'm reminded once more of the effortless charm and grace you imbue Holmes with - showcasing the brilliantly impossible detective at his best.

Lovely =)
2nd-Feb-2011 08:15 pm (UTC)
Huh. I wish I could write a letter like this to my boyfriend, who is VERY angry with me at the moment. :S I love Holmes' soft side, and how he balances between humour and severity. Beautiful.
2nd-May-2011 02:15 am (UTC)
I'd missed this before, but I have to echo the "Awesome schmoop" comment above. Truly wonderful.
28th-Sep-2012 10:58 pm (UTC)
I love that Holmes's apology is just so Holmes...not really truly romantic or fluffy but so definitely him.
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