amaraal (amaraal) wrote,

But in Blood - part 4

Part 4


I awoke startled, my heartbeat wild and fast.
There it was again. It happened again. He called out for me.
He, my poor, dear friend.

“Holmes,” I whispered. I stood up, the chill air surrounding me, clearing  my head.

I gathered my - Holmes’ - bath-robe, slung the belt around my waist. With only one slipper on my foot I stumbled from the guest bedroom into the master bedroom where Mary slept alone watched over by a nurse. She had long since refused to sleep together with me in one bed.

“John,” she had spoken ever so softly, “it is alright, my darling. I don’t want to disturb your sleep, John…”

She was very weak now, coughing up blood she tried to hide in towels I found under the bed. I had agreed to that arrangement, for I badly needed rest too.

When I entered the room she was deeply asleep. The nurse, on a nearby settee, slumbered too. I stood for several minutes, engraving this peaceful image into my memory, a reminder of my dear wife that I would keep forever in my heart.

I returned to my own bed after tenderly stroking her beloved face. I didn’t want her to die. I wanted her alive, warm and rosy by my side! I kissed her forehead, tucked the sheets around her and left reluctantly, my heart breaking.


Again his voice calling my name, his poor soul wandering the great plains of endless darkness alone, so alone...

“Holmes…” Alone between the cold linen sheets I sobbed, cradling the pillow in my arms, imagining it to be him, his sinewy always too thin body…

‘Forgive me Mary, for I have sinned.’ It was then and there that I realized I had lost him.


On the 16th of November I set foot on the European continent again. My voyage led me from Constantinople to Prague. Crossing the border into Transylvania I turned towards Bucharest, passing the Vltava on a stormy night. In ice and snow I had left my old life behind me – and now I returned to it the same way.

Gyorgi, my guide, told me that there where gypsies around, a winter camp where we could find shelter, a warm meal and a place to sleep.

“They are friendly people. But they are not used to big crowds. They are never in big cities. They love nature. So forest we go.”

I nodded and he led me to a copse of old oak and beech trees near a brook in a soft snow filled bowl, shaped like a big open hand.

They were Roma, or Rom as they call themselves. First they looked at me suspiciously, but then their leader gave a sign and the women and children went back into their tents, sat down again around a big fire, where a great kettle steamed up a delicious smell.

I was tired to the bone. I accepted a small wooden bowl with hot soup. The strong taste bit my tongue, but I was too hungry to give it second thought.

I ate, drank some wine, Gyorgi showed me a place under one of the wooden carts, stuffed with hay as shelter from the wind and snow. The sun had set, a red gleam fading into orange, then yellow announced the coming of night. I shed my wet clothes, shirt and trousers, boots, wrapped myself in a large, woollen cloak and fell asleep immediately.

gypsie family photo sinti-1920-von-sanspareille69jpgw653_zps8ef90917.jpg
“Do you think we can trust him, pral?”

“Yes, phen. An odd light shines in him. But we can trust him.”

Night settled slowly, the noise faded into the murmuring of the brook nearby. An owl hooted, a dog barked in the distance. Here was peace, finally.


I woke the next morning stiff and hungry. A shave would be in order. I yawned and stretched like a cat.

“Bukaljan li?” I turned my head into the direction from where the female voice had come, and looking into beautiful dark brown eyes I nodded.

I was hungry like a bear and soon I sat by a fire dressed in clothes someone had handed me, slurping hot broth. I thoughtfully, chewed on hard bread, my brain juggling with and sorting out all the impressions laid before my eyes.

Ten or more tents created a circle, horses between them and the carts with big wheels standing nearby, children, dirty but laughing, were chasing each oblivious to the cold.

The men and women sitting around the fire looked at me but never stared directly. Gyorgi smiled at me. Obviously this was his clan, his family whom  he had missed.

Two children, one in his lap, the other at his feet, were tuggging at his vest buttons and reaching for the amulets dangling from his neck. He seemed to be happy at last.

“Katar san tu?” A woman, their leader so it seemed, asked me in a husky voice. I searched Gyorgi’s eyes.

“Where are you from?” He translated.

“Persia,” I said, and he laughed.
“No, you are not. A blind fish can see that you are English. And don’t tell me, I do know that because I speak your languish.”
“Language.“ He laughed again, his teeth flashing in the morning light.

I told them everything, my ‘death’ at Reichenbach Falls, my journey through the Balkan countries, Russia, Mongolia, China, my visit and stay at Lhasa, India, Persia, Afghanistan.
Choking on my own words I told them about Maiwand, the hot desert air, the sand, my grief over my lost… dear Watson. I didn’t mention him directly, didn’t utter his name, but they sensed my sadness, my grief, the void inside - my broken heart.

“There is a way.” The Phuri Daj spoke with a deep, husky voice, her accent giving her speech a tranquil quality.
“You can go back, make your peace with that… other soul… finding your own peace, then…”
“How?” I cried.
“Go back to where you come from. Your own soil, your blood will help you.”

Gyorgi flashed me another smile.

“But… how?” I was lost. They irritated me. My vision blurred, my legs betrayed me. There I was – in a foreign country, surrounded by foreign people. Strangers they were and would ever be.

She was right. I couldn’t stay.

The sky came down on me, darkness took me, losing consciousness my last thought was Watson.


Mary was dying.

I fled to Baker Street and Mrs Hudson’s soothing presence. She was my mother hen now as I had been for Holmes back then. She offered me chicken soup and I gladly took it.

I had tended to my patients longer than expected. Yes, I had tried in vain to flee from my wife and her unavoidable passing. The thought made my heart race, tore it apart.

I slept in Holmes’ bed that night. The scent was still there. Tobacco, soap, a trace of lime, the strong scent of musk, sweat and his essence, the essence of life…

Unbidden visions of our night at Brighton flashed before my eyes. I moaned, I was hard, my hand on my prick, a steady rhythm, a tight grip…

“Hooolmessss…” A low rumble in my throat when I came all over my stomach, both crying and laughing. Madness. It was sheer madness. I wanted him back! Biting the pillow my teeth painfully clenched, hands balled into fists, I stifled my cries and sobbed, burying my nose in his scent. I saw his large, brown eyes again, closing, him, falling – and this time I fell with him.

Darkness felt rather warm this time.


Tags: fic, holmes/watson, long fic, slash, vampire
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