waid: (angst)
[personal profile] waid

Part I,

Part II -- PLEASE BE SURE YOU HAVE READ THIS BEFORE CONTINUING!  An error on my part prevented some readers from seeing it -- many apologies.

Part III
Part IV

Part V
Part VI
Part VII
Part VIII
Part IX
Part X
Part XI
Part XII
Part XIII
Part XIV

Watson started a little and for a second or two we stood there in the doorway looking at each other, both immobile and silent.  The rain had eased since I made my way home, but his coat was wet nevertheless, beads of water glittering on the darkened wool.

“Come on,” I said, standing out of his way.   “Loitering’s a bad habit, dear fellow.”

He came in without taking his eyes from my face. I meant to say more to him at once, but speech – breath itself – caught oddly in my chest.  Evidently my attempts to disguise the character of the day I had spent were not sufficient, for Watson placed a cold hand on my wrist looking pained and guilty and began, “I should not have –”

I dragged in air as if surfacing from deep underwater, “Yes, you should,” I said. “Thank you for allowing me to read it. Please do not tell me you regret it.  You are the best and bravest man alive, and the truest friend – but I already knew that. I wish it had never been put to such a demonstration.”

Watson looked away for a moment as his face twisted and his hands flexed, but as the spasm released I thought a little of the tension flowed away with it. He went and picked up the sheaf of papers, shut it quickly in one of the drawers of his desk, and turned the key on it.  “It can’t have been easy to read.”


“Easier than to have lived through it,” I said, following him into the room.  He had missed the letter to me. I laid my hand on it. “Thank you for this too.”

Watson glanced at it. He gave me a small smile, and an almost sheepish shrug.

I swallowed.  “Watson,” I said, and was dismayed to see the line of his mouth tighten with apprehension again. “The part about the chloral, and the bridge.”

Watson blinked, as if he had expected some other line of interrogation. “Oh,” he said, softly. Then, “I already told you in the letter –it is better with me now.”

“Is it?” I asked, trying to read the answer in his face. This time he didn’t try to evade my inspection of his features, but stood offering me back wide, candid blue eyes that  seemed full of nothing but summer. The sheer earnest sweetness of that look transfigured him for a moment; he looked younger, and far less hurt, than he had ever truly been in all our acquaintance.   And this served to tell me only that he was perfectly sincere in wanting to reassure me, not that he was genuinely safe.  I demanded, “What dose to you take?”

“Usually forty grains.”

I tried not to let myself grimace. “That is rather the high end of enough, is it not?” I said. “Do you measure it carefully? In the light? At the same time each evening?”

“Yes! Well, not always at the same time, no, but I was never seriously intending...”

“Tell me what immediate steps should be taken in case of chloral poisoning.”

His eyes went even wider with surprise and alarm.  “Holmes, I won’t.  I promise. I’ve already told you. It was something I merely – wondered about, involuntarily. Not a considered thing.”

“You would have wondered about it more than once,” I said. “When was the most recent occasion?”

“I... I don’t know.  But I have always dismissed it as soon as it occurred to me. You must believe me.”

“I do,” I said.  “Of course I believe you. But you would hardly have started at so high a dose. Lesser quantities have ceased to work, so you have had to resort to more. These thoughts are dangerous, even without the intent to act on them.  There are cases that the coroner must rule either suicide or accident but which are in truth something between.  Suppose, for example, that with such thoughts as yours in the back of the mind, one takes a dose of a drug when too exhausted to concentrate or remember how much one has taken already, or when one does not much care what happens and the prospect of release seems well worth the risk...”

I stopped, realising Watson was watching my face quite as intently as I had studied his, frowning. “Corpses don’t tell of their thoughts,” he said. “How can even you know of them?”

I looked past him at a spot on the wall. “I was twenty-two, it was morphine and scopolamine, it was all rather unpleasant, this is not relevant,” I said rapidly, as his lips parted and his face paled.  “Except as an illustration of what is to be avoided.”

Watson stared at me, still looking stricken.

“Ten years ago,” I reminded him. “You are in danger now.”

“I am not in danger,” he said, starting to become exasperated but then checking himself. He looked down.  “I can’t stop taking it now.  When I can’t sleep...”

“I have not asked you to stop taking it,” I said. “I don’t ask. I would have no right at all. And the last thing I want is for you to be unable to sleep. I only want you to be safe.”

Watson, it appeared, could not decide whether to be moved or annoyed or to go on worrying about the misadventures of my youth.  He sighed.   “A single chloral overdose produces profound sleep, accompanied by stertorous breathing.  Sometimes there is also a lowered temperature. Usually the patient may be partially roused, though he will not be coherent.  One should administer an emetic, and afterwards very strong coffee, and do all one can to keep him awake; make him walk about the room if he can. Meanwhile, in cases of chronic poisoning, the first dangerous symptom is a rash, rather similar to scarlatina. You should tell the patient to stop using the drug at once, and summon a doctor. There. Perhaps you will be able to save someone’s life with that information some day. But not mine, because I am not going to need it. Listen, in future I will take the dose in here, in front of you -- you can measure it out yourself, if you wish.”

 “I do wish it,” I said. “How will I... how may I ascertain the symptoms you describe have not developed...?”

Watson grimaced. “I suppose you would have to look in on me after I’d taken it,” he said. “Oh, very well, but Holmes, for the tenth time, I do know what I’m doing; I am not going to die of it.”

“No, indeed, I give you my word, you are not.”

Watson met my eyes, looking rather arrested by this.  Then he smiled. “Well,” he said, with a blandly indulgent air that half-reassured and half-exasperated me, for he might have been promising an aunt he would wear a muffler on rainy days. “That’s all right then.”

He went over to the fire to stoke it, and I could not help but venture, “Could you try a dose of say, thirty...?”

About five seconds passed before he looked at me.  “It is curious to find myself on this end of a conversation about dosage,” he said. He was smiling again, but it faded rapidly. “No. Not yet.  Even as it is, it takes a long time to work.”

I could not argue with him. I nodded.

 “I knew reading the thing would distress you,” Watson murmured. “I didn’t imagine that part of it would... strike you so much.”

“It was the most important part,” I said, and suddenly I was so boundlessly tired I could no longer hide it from myself. I sat down in the middle of the settee, finding I could not remain on my feet. Watson came and sat beside me.

“There was nothing you could have done,” he told me.

I whispered, “I could have left you behind.”

“I chose to be there. And if I had not, you would now be dead. And you will not ever suggest to me again that that would have been a better outcome.”

I will try not to.  I do not know how I am ever to stop thinking it, but he wishes me to, and my brother is right, as he so usually is, so I must make the effort. Possibly writing it here may reinforce the resolution.

“You have just said, these are dangerous thoughts,” Watson continued to urge me.

I nodded. “I know. I’m sorry. I am so sorry, my friend, about all of it –”

“You told me I was never to say that to you,”  Watson pointed out.   “I am not in any danger of coming to believe you are happy about what happened, Holmes. It doesn’t need saying.”  He sighed and added quietly, “We are both still here.”

Well, if he was included in the observation, it was easy enough to endorse it.  I breathed, “Yes, thank God,” and placed my arm round him. I meant it only to be a quick clasp, but his hand caught mine where it hung over his shoulder, holding it in place. So then I turned, kneeling up on the settee to close my other arm about him too, and I dropped a kiss onto his hair before I could think to stop myself. And then, with my head bowed over his, I seemed to forget about moving.

“Holmes,” murmured Watson, after a while. “You are exhausted. Did you eat anything today?” 

 I had just been thinking that I could live perfectly well on the subtle scent of his skin and hair indefinitely. English is regrettably imprecise about smell, French scarcely any better. The best one can say is that beneath the odour of tobacco and the thyme-and-cedar fragrance of soap, his own scent does not really resemble that of fresh coffee, yet has some warm quality that reminds me of it.

“Yes, actually,” I muttered, feeling a wash of shame that I had let myself get into a state that made any demands on his concern.  Reading a short document and running back and forth across town surely should not be so very taxing, but there it was, and hearing my condition named seemed only to deepen it. I was exhausted, so much so that even the effort of replying appeared to drain me of the necessary energy to keep my eyes open.   

Watson made a little sound of affection and vague amusement, and pulled me round so that I was resting half across him, my head on the arm of the settee. I was aware that I should be thinking about this, I should be wondering whether either of us had the slightest idea what he was doing. However I was not capable of thinking about it, and, more or less lying in my friend’s arms, I was rather glad it was so.

His left hand was on my chest, under its weight I could feel my own pulse; I think he had placed it there deliberately, so that he could feel it too.

Almost under his breath, as if unsure I was still awake, he asked, “Did you read it all?”

I opened my eyes and turned my head away a little. “Nearly. There were certain passages... which...”

I could not help but tense as I thought of it, and I could feel the muscles of his arms and torso stiffening at the same time.

I knew which passage had to be on his mind. And it was true I had only managed to read it in the most glancing fashion – but I had read enough to see my own name and understand why it was there.   I cannot say what I thought at the time; I was rather past what one could call thinking at all. My considered view had to be that it was natural enough for anyone, forced to such a pass, to prefer to think of a friend, rather than...

I cannot write about it. Yet what I had already said remained true. It was not the most important part of the account.

So I covered his hand with mine and murmured, “Anything that made it easier, my dear Watson, nothing else matters.”

I knew I could not explain it to him any more than that. Answers were not mine to give.

We were silent for a minute or so, before I managed to prise up my eyelids again and look at him.

 “Are you really ...getting on better?”

He thought about it for a while, then said quietly. “I don’t do well with secrets.”

I could feel the chill from outside gradually thawing out of his hand, and I remember thinking vaguely about the fact that my heartbeat was supplying some of the warmth passing into his fingers, and that there was a decent use for the thing.

It is an embarrassing admission, but it seems that after that I again fell asleep.

* * *

I would be very interested to know how long we remained like that, but I do not.  At some point Watson managed to extricate himself without waking me, and it was half past nine when I awoke, and only then because he was gently shaking my shoulder.

“You must eat some supper,” he said. “And then go to bed. And, well, there’s our arrangement about this.”

He was holding the little bottle of chloral.


Part XVI


(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-24 10:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] schemingreader.livejournal.com
Oh, this is a wonderful line, "I remember thinking vaguely about the fact that my heartbeat was supplying some of the warmth passing into his fingers, and that there was a decent use for the thing." That's just--a perfect piece of slash writing, where the protagonist doesn't know his own worth, and is so in love, and wants to give so much. And imagining someone like Holmes giving a hug like that...Oh. You own this genre.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-26 10:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] w-a-i-d.livejournal.com
Thank you! I’m really glad you liked that passage, (Holmes' heartbeat, Watson's cold hand) as I’ve been fond of that image for quite a while but I had to find a way of putting it that didn’t make my teeth simultaneously rot and crawl inside my skull on a kamikaze mission to my brain. Because that really must be the most sentimental thing I've ever written, concept-wise. But oh, I did so want it.


(no subject)

From: [identity profile] tweedisgood.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-06-27 12:16 am (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-24 11:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ingridmatthews.livejournal.com
*PURRSSSSS*

So then I turned, keeling up on the settee to close my other arm about him too, and I dropped a kiss onto his hair before I could think to stop myself.

MMMMMMMMMM. (Wee typo there, but MMMMMMM still.)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-24 11:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mothergoddamn.livejournal.com
Keeling means to navigate up, doesn't it? So, I thought he was just sort of pulling himself up to get his arm round? Unless that isn't even what you're referring to, I am insanely tired right now...

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] ingridmatthews.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-06-24 11:33 pm (UTC) - Expand

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From: [identity profile] w-a-i-d.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-06-24 11:33 pm (UTC) - Expand

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From: [identity profile] ingridmatthews.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-06-24 11:34 pm (UTC) - Expand

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From: [identity profile] w-a-i-d.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-06-24 11:35 pm (UTC) - Expand

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From: [identity profile] w-a-i-d.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-06-24 11:35 pm (UTC) - Expand

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From: [identity profile] mothergoddamn.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-06-24 11:37 pm (UTC) - Expand

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From: [identity profile] w-a-i-d.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-06-26 10:48 pm (UTC) - Expand

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From: [identity profile] w-a-i-d.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-06-26 10:47 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-24 11:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mothergoddamn.livejournal.com
" I had just been thinking that I could live perfectly well on the subtle scent of his skin and hair indefinitely. English is regrettably imprecise about smell, French scarcely any better. The best one can say is that beneath the odour of tobacco and the thyme-and-cedar fragrance of soap, his own scent does not really resemble that of fresh coffee, yet has some warm quality that reminds me of it."

That's just a beautiful, gorgeous line. I'm planning on re-reading this from the start in this media so prepare for old school reviews.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-26 10:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] w-a-i-d.livejournal.com
Thank you! I thought that having discoursed on the smell of prisons, Holmes should at some point discourse on the smell of Watsons. I had quite a bit of fun concocting that bit.

Yay! I love old school reviews!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-25 12:30 am (UTC)
cordelia_v: my default icon (be still my heart)
From: [personal profile] cordelia_v
Oh, this is such a delight. I loved the two passages quoted in the comments upthread, too, and so many others. Gorgeous, perfect voice and phrasing for each of them, and thank you so very much!

And falling asleep lying across Watson's lap, more or less! And the business of the chloral! This just gets steadily more wonderful.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-26 10:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] w-a-i-d.livejournal.com
Thank you! I thought it was about time something nice happened.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-25 01:53 am (UTC)
ancientreader: black and white pet rat (Default)
From: [personal profile] ancientreader
I came home from a lovely dinner out with friends to see this was up, and immediately told my partner I would be socially unavailable till I'd done reading it. Oh, I was so afraid the discussion of the chloral would turn into an argument!

I second what Scheming_reader says about the perfect slash line. Also so perfectly slashy: Holmes's somewhat obtuse response to the fact that Watson thought of him during the rape and that he as much as said it would have been a pleasurable experience if the other man had been Holmes. You've got to love it when smart people miss the most obvious points.

If the checking on Watson asleep doesn't get them into bed together ... !

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-26 11:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] w-a-i-d.livejournal.com
Aww, I'm thrilled if this made what sounds a lovely evening even better! Thank you!

Holmes's somewhat obtuse response to the fact that Watson thought of him during the rape and that he as much as said it would have been a pleasurable experience if the other man had been Holmes. You've got to love it when smart people miss the most obvious points.


Well... yes, on the one hand, Occam's Razor would seem to have some good news for Holmes. But at the same time, I actually kind of agree with his take on that. It’s not really up to him to decide what, if anything, that meant. Much as Watson would like to know what the fuck it was about, Holmes can’t really give him any pointers without it getting kind of... opportunistic. And really I think finding out that your beloved thought of you in place of his rapist would be less encouraging and more “I would like to claw my own brain out, punch it and throw it out of the window, except that I did that already when I found he was thinking about killing himself.” And I also think that while Watson really wanted that off his chest, he was also pretty scared it would inevitably change everything between them. So “whatever helped, try to let yourself off worrying about it,” is the beginning and end of it, in a way, as far as Watson’s thoughts at that particular moment go. Any ongoing feelings he might now be aware of having about Holmes would be another story... ;)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-25 02:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] citronpapillion.livejournal.com
I HATE YOU BUT I LOVE YOU AT THE SAME TIME
*shakes you*
oh jesus, woman. if there is a god, IT IS YOU. IN ALL YOUR AMAZING-FIC-SAD-WRITING-NESS-GOD-LIKE...NESS.

*collapses at feet*

have my babies? D: PLEASE? PLEAAAAAASE?

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-26 11:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] w-a-i-d.livejournal.com
*teeth rattle* Gracious, child! Such violence! I refrain from cliffhangers (AND I COULD HAVE HAD ONE THERE YOU KNOW), I have Holmes kiss Watson’s hair before passing out in his arms, and still when you are around my hide is not safe!

Nevertheless, I take your battery in the spirit in which it is meant, so thank you very much!

Though really, if you are trying to reward or thank me, I think you should be offering to have MY babies.

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] citronpapillion.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-06-26 11:31 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-25 02:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] broncobabe007.livejournal.com
Oh God, your phrasing. Your phrasing is beautiful - it's poetic without being purple. And vivid, it is always very vivid.

Another lovely update.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-26 11:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] w-a-i-d.livejournal.com
Thank you! That's so nice to hear.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-25 05:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zauzat.livejournal.com
Another beautiful chapter. Thank you.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-26 11:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] w-a-i-d.livejournal.com
No, thank you!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-25 09:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kate-lear.livejournal.com
Oh my goodness, that was lovely. This series just keeps getting better & better!

This line in particular made me go 'Awwww': '...I remember thinking vaguely about the fact that my heartbeat was supplying some of the warmth passing into his fingers, and that there was a decent use for the thing.'

GOD I hope they get it together in the end, reading about how much they love each other & all the roadblocks in the way is sweetly painful...

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-26 11:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] w-a-i-d.livejournal.com
Thank you! As I was just saying above, I've been rather fond of the concept behind that line for a while, but it took a bit of work to make it not just sickmakingly saccharine, so I'm really glad people are liking it.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-25 11:12 am (UTC)
ext_30599: (Holmes: Holmes/Watson hc (Brett/Burke))
From: [identity profile] yan-tan-tether.livejournal.com
His left hand was on my chest, under its weight I could feel my own pulse; I think he had placed it there deliberately, so that he could feel it too.

♥____♥ SO LOVELY!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-26 11:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] w-a-i-d.livejournal.com
Thank you! I thought everyone was due a bit of loveliness at long last.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-25 08:01 pm (UTC)
ext_446442: (Default)
From: [identity profile] chimera-ally.livejournal.com
I finally caught up with the latest chapter, oh this is getting better and better! The chloral agreement scene was breathtaking.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-26 11:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] w-a-i-d.livejournal.com
Thank you! Really glad you're enjoying it.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-26 12:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zelda-zee.livejournal.com
Ahhh, perfection.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-26 11:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] w-a-i-d.livejournal.com
Thank you!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-26 03:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jenlee1.livejournal.com
Oh, this is so lovely I can hardly stand it. Much-needed snuggling on the settee, and falling asleep across Watson's lap... *deep, contented sigh*

I love Holmes' bone-deep, unshakeable terror about the chloral, and Watson's gentle assurances that he needn't worry. Hoping very much that this all ends relatively well, somehow - Heaven knows they deserve it, after everything that's happened.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-26 11:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] w-a-i-d.livejournal.com
Ahh, I'm glad you foud it lovely! I thought Holmes and Watson and everyone else deserved something nice for a change.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-26 05:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starlingthefool.livejournal.com
Gorgeous as usual. This chapter has a beautiful, easy pace to it. And I love the way you mix in physical details, like the smell of Watson's hair, or the way his hand felt on Holmes' chest. MmmmmMMMMMmmmm.
Reading this after dinner with a glass of wine and a cigarette felt so very indulgent.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-26 11:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] w-a-i-d.livejournal.com
Thank you! I'm glad it was a nice indulgent winey read after all the bleakness.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-26 08:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-rusty-bird.livejournal.com
Am sitting in bed, wrapped up in blankets with the aftermaths of a good curry still warming me up, (it's winter where I live) this is pretty much the only thing that could have made this feeling better.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-26 08:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-rusty-bird.livejournal.com
Also, do you mind if I friend you? It'd be much easier to keep track of you and your writing, both of which are exquisite.

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] w-a-i-d.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-06-26 11:20 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-26 03:07 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
“I knew reading the thing would distress you,” Watson murmured. “I didn’t imagine that part of it would... strike you so much.” Ow. This is so in character, but there is something so very sad about it, too.

Yes, Watson, Holmes is a bit upset about the part where you were thinking about killing yourself while he was probably in a drug-induced stupor in the next room. *sigh*

I really hope that everything works out for the two of them.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-26 11:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] w-a-i-d.livejournal.com
Haha. Well, it's not really funny, is it, but put that way it did make me laugh. Yes, Watson didn't really get what a big deal that was.

(no subject)

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2010-06-27 01:27 am (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] w-a-i-d.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-06-27 09:51 am (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-27 01:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sazzat.livejournal.com
I have just read all chapters of this fic in one go after seeing the recent one posted up and thinking from the summary that it may give me a bit of the emotional kick I was craving tonight, but FML...This is stunning...The pain...Heartbreaking...Freaking beautiful.

I was reading it not really knowing what to do with myself in places...Just incoherent aching and tears in my eyes. I just couldn't stop reading.

My point; this is amazing and I am so mind blown with emotions now...And that is a good thing tonight, because I wanted that. A lot of fic is good, but it's rare to find something so good that hurts in that right because it is so beautiful told and poetic.

I wish I could express myself better, but I hope you get the point.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-29 06:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] w-a-i-d.livejournal.com
That seems pretty expressive -and very kind and flattering - to me! And yes, I know what it's like when you want to read something that'll hurt in the right way, glad this did that for you. Thank you very much.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-27 01:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rabidsamfan.livejournal.com
Ah, marvelous. I love the argument about dosages! They're really having to feel their way through this carefully.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-29 06:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] w-a-i-d.livejournal.com
Thank you! Yes, it's not easy for them.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-27 04:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nightrobin11.livejournal.com
Oh, Gawd, I LOVE this story...<3 Ah, how do you write the characters so well? You wrote Mycroft exactly like I would have pictured him, and the dialogue between the brothers was perfect! Even your deductive reasoning processes for them! Crazy...So I really, really enjoyed Mycroft's characterization.

And this chapter, with Watson's adorable reluctance and then completely goes along with Holmes'requests, so sweet. I loved that Holmes fell asleep on him too, that was adorable. And how Holmes can live on Watson's scent and touch alone, oh, so romantic. <3

This is beautiful. I <3 U.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-29 06:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] w-a-i-d.livejournal.com
Thank you! I'm really glad you liked the deductions -- they're fun to do, yet it's hard to predict whether they're going to come off well. Though I was terribly looking forward to getting to use the Violin Finger Dent of Pain.

And thanks for thje kind words on this chapter too! Even though Watson is a bit taken aback and exasperated at just how seriously Holmes takes the whole chloral thing, I think he's quite pleased to have Holmes watching out for him on this.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-27 12:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alfa.livejournal.com
<3 <3 <3

I can not wait for the next chapter. I'm hooked.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-29 06:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] w-a-i-d.livejournal.com
Aww, thank you!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-28 12:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katead.livejournal.com
This is so lovely, I really loved how you handled the drug discussion - Of course he knows what he's talking about Watson he's a genius with issues, so you better listen! - but seriously it was so understanding and tender but at the same time a little bit awkward and very painful, as with the rape issue, you are sensitive yet realistic to the subject which is so rare I find. My favourite part was:  I had just been thinking that I could live perfectly well on the subtle scent of his skin and hair indefinitely. English is regrettably imprecise about smell, French scarcely any better. The best one can say is that beneath the odour of tobacco and the thyme-and-cedar fragrance of soap, his own scent does not really resemble that of fresh coffee, yet has some warm quality that reminds me of it.
because he's right, language just doesn't really go there but I knew exactly what you meant :D

Also realised that I never commented on the last bit for which I am very sorry, I have a habit of reading things last thing at night, then deciding to comment on them when I'm more lucid and then going off to work and forgetting all about leaving one (damn RL) but I was equally in love with the last chapter and the way in hurt in such a bitter sweet way <3 also your Mycroft seriously made me want to hug my screen with loves :) Can't wait to see the next bit!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-29 06:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] w-a-i-d.livejournal.com
Thank you for the lovely detailed comment - no worries about the last chapter, of course, but it is very nice to hear now that you liked it! And I'm really pleased with the way you characterise the drug discussion, that's just what I was going for -- I wanted them both to be navigating this well but obviously not finding it too easy.

Concocting imaginary smells for imaginary men was fun!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-28 08:58 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
So I think I've fallen a little bit in love with you and your amazing writing, seriously, it's no wonder you write for a living (though I kinda suspect you don't even write fiction for a living 'cause your just brilliant all round).

This piece is so heartbreaking, bittersweet and just achingly beautiful! You really understand the characters and respect human nature because a lot of writers would have them going at it three installments in. And your special brand of angst doesn't sit in your stomach, making you feel ill but clings to your heart and really makes you at least pity these fictional characters. Your writing style and character voice is magnificent and half the time it seems as if I'm reading poetry because of how striking and poetic some lines are.

I just had to pick out this "I breathed, “Yes, thank God,” and placed my arm round him. I meant it only to be a quick clasp, but his hand caught mine where it hung over his shoulder, holding it in place. So then I turned, kneeling up on the settee to close my other arm about him too, and I dropped a kiss onto his hair before I could think to stop myself. And then, with my head bowed over his, I seemed to forget about moving." This made me want to cry a little, and I'm not sure if it's from happiness that Holmes truly loves Watson or the reason why the both need to be reassured.

This long comment is long, and kinda obsessive, but I couldn't put it off giving you this compliment (more fact really though) any longer, especially after this chapter!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-29 06:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] w-a-i-d.livejournal.com
Oh Anon, what a gorgeous comment! Thank you so very much! I was so pleased I had to restrain myself from just turning round and showing it proudly to the nearest person, who at that time happened to be my mother and the explanations involved would have been rather awkward.

It is actually fiction I write for a living, yes. Well, at the moment it's technically more like "pray SOMEONE will pay for this new thing I'm writing," but yep, that's how I've earned my keep thus far.

(no subject)

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2010-06-30 06:52 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: (Anonymous) - Date: 2010-06-30 08:49 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] w-a-i-d.livejournal.com - Date: 2010-06-30 09:47 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-29 10:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katieforsythe.livejournal.com
Two things. First, this is exquisite. Holmes all day long has been running around like a tormented headless chicken, and now he finally pulls it together for Watson's sake, and then he's I SHALL SMELL HIM AND SMELL HIM AND THAT WILL BE ENOUGH. You're a marvel. I've honestly never seen a Holmes--and this also has to do with your premise, which might be kind of enabling in showing this deeply caring side of him--who is so egotistically *himself* and yet who treats Watson so very unselfishly. Usually, it's profound love mingled with "I *need* you so bad I could scream." Always a tiny selfish element, if only "Look at me! I did that for you! Whatcha think of it!?!?" But this Holmes is just, "Give me the chloral, and I'll give you the rest of my life." It's amazing. I'm quite in awe of how you pulled it off.

Second thing. You're scaring the crap outta me. All these hints of Milverton, and with Highly Sensitive Documents casually locked in drawers, and Very Personal Letters just scattered about. You're raising my blood pressure. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-07-01 09:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] w-a-i-d.livejournal.com
Hee! I love your little supplied speeches for Holmes in this comment – This one: “Look at me! I did that for you! Whatcha think of it!?!?” makes me want someone to do fanart of Holmes being all TADA! Down-on-one-knee-arms-extended-big-grin-JAZZ-HANDS!!! before a nonplussed or admiring Watson. (Jeremy Brett probably did that, or near as dammit, mind you.) And “I SHALL SMELL HIM AND SMELL HIM AND THAT WILL BE ENOUGH” made me laugh aloud and feel guiltily sorry for my poor rendition of the character all at once. The latter feeling was exacerbated very strongly by “give me the chloral and I will give you the rest of my life.” Oh dear. Yes. Poor Holmes.

Anyway, thank you, thank you! I I’m so glad you like this portrayal of Holmes. Yes, I think the premise and its multidimensional kicks in the teeth to both of them has everything to do with it. I think of Holmes as knowing his default setting tends to be "self-involved" and thus trying to hack the space for unselfishness into himself with a rusty knife. Which is also why I wanted him to go to pieces completely in the last few chapters, I thought eventually he had to reach the point of: “Fuck it, I’m going to have my very own meltdown now, and I don’t care if it’s a disaster and I don’t care if Watson needs me...”and then he'd have to fight his way out of that too. With Mycroftly assistance/arse-kicking.

I am also glad you are picking up my Milverton hints! Although perhaps I... *bites tongue on urge to reveal entire remaining plot.* Oops. Again, thank you!
Edited Date: 2010-07-01 09:14 am (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-06-29 10:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] art-inthe-blood.livejournal.com
Oh, Waid.
"...offering me back wide, candid blue eyes that seemed full of nothing but summer." is beautiful and perfect.
And the whole thing about the chloral...well, obviously I've no idea whether you've any personal experience of that sort of situation, but I have, from both sides, and the way you portray it rings so perfectly, heartbreakingly true. Both the impossible situation of wanting desperately to keep someone safe from themselves and knowing that however hard you try you can't, not really, and the equally awful one of wanting terribly to reassure someone who's afraid for you and knowing that you really can't do that either...ouch, Waid.
The way Holmes goes about the whole thing is so nicely in character, too. That string of precise practical questions; how much, when, what do I do if...that strikes me as exactly right.
And, yeah, about the whole heartbeat thing...what everyone else said. "...there was a decent use for the thing”. Oh, Holmes. Seconding what Katie said about the stunning unselfishness of your Holmes, because she has said it better than I could. You are breaking my heart with the pair of them.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-07-01 09:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] w-a-i-d.livejournal.com
Thank you, as always. ♥

Personal experience... somewhat. Largely from Holmes' side of it. There was a phase of my life I hope not to have to revisit where I was all "Okay, am I somehow the self-harm Typhus Mary or what? Friends and family, please put down the razors and STOP DOING THAT, JESUS CHRIST." All many years ago now, thankfully.

I'm sorry you've been there, I hope things are better now.

But I'm glad this rings true. And I'm pleased you like the practical questions -- I wanted Holmes to be following through on Mycroft's "certainly there is a place for logic" etc.



(no subject)

Date: 2010-07-08 12:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mirrorskippy.livejournal.com
I was all set to hold out and not to get involved with this drama until I had the end in hand and yet - now you're on my friends list.

Because I. Need. To. Know. the minute you add the next chapter (or at least by the end of the day).

I think what gets me the most is the way you write - without ever actually saying the words - Watson as living kind of outside of himself (if that makes any sense?). It's not so unusual with Holmes (in the sense that if his brain could solve cases sans the limitations of having to drag along the rest of his body he probably would) but it's very unsettling to see Watson doing the same. Holmes doesn't seem very suited to remembering the mundane practicalities ;-)

There's no way this is just going to fizzle out into recovery, so I'm definitely looking forward to the explosion almost as much as I'm dreading it.

Oh, Watson. Oh, Holmes.

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