The Line Of Watson’s T
Pairing: Holmes / Watson (implied)
Word count: 678
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: The master of deduction and the discovery of a hidden secret.
A/N: A study in handwriting. Betaed by jacknjill270. Thanks for that, joy.
Holmes was restless. Pacing the room for hours he thought about giving himself over to the peace of his morocco case. Plucking his violin he nearly stepped on Gladstone, but could prevent harming the dog by making a big leap that brought him to Watson’s desk. The doctor was tending to his clients and had abandoned him. He sighed, annoyed, and shuffled through the papers lying a bit unruly on the desk. He bent his head down to examine them further. Mostly recipes for his patients, one or two notes for chemical substances and its use in the treatment of certain diseases. An old billet for the opera, two lost bets. Holmes smile widened as he remembered the occasion. The dear doctor had sworn never to go to The Punchbowl again. But then… But that’s another story.
A white envelope, still open, with a crisp white sheet neatly folded inside got his attention. He set his violin aside and picked it out carefully. A note more than a letter.
‘Invitation,’ it read. ‘Will you join me…’ ‘Would be a pleasure,’ Holmes thought. ‘Whatever you are up to.’ Looking closely he noticed the steady hand with his lively ups and downs. ‘He writes garlands.’ His smile widened, ‘…and his vowels are small and egg-shaped.’ ‘…for dinner at the Royale…’ Ah. Dinner at the Royale. Their favorite place. How graceful his y and the dominance of the capital r. A man with instinct and grace. He would never have the feeling of being inferior on official meetings or public places, or being at the wrong time at the wrong place. Or wearing ill-fitting clothes. His hair was always neat as was his moustache. Nails clean, language cultivated, not too loud. Always proper.
‘…at the coming…’ ‘The dot on the i is perfectly in place. Not too wide above. That would mean a flattery character with no deep intentions, nor a simple line, which you only find in the handwriting of a technician, and, most important: it is there. An absent dot on the i means the person cannot be trusted.’
‘… weekend.’ ‘A lyrical d. He’s romantic and tends to poetry as well as prose.’
‘I have something of great importance to tell you.’ ‘How straight his line is. As straight as he himself. Maybe sometimes a little too straight.’ Holmes grinned, remembering the event, when Mrs Hudson poured the Doctor some tea, not minding that she poured it on his trousers instead into his cup, distracted by Holmes’ questions of insignificant content. Watson hadn’t uttered a single word. Just clenched his teeth, patting the hot fluid away with his handkerchief.
‘Friday at eight would be a pleasure.’ Of course it would be. On Friday they would go to the opera. Holmes would wear his newly made suit, black trousers, black coat and a purple velvet shirt underneath. His hat would also be black and he would wear his tinted glasses. Watson’s appearance would fit his own. Only he would be dressed more in brown and crème. Only his cane and his hat would be black too. ‘We will look like a long married couple. Maybe a bit odd… But content.’ He would try to shove his arm under Watson’s. It was his personal challenge of the evening. And if the dear Doctor wouldn’t mind…
‘Yours sincerely – Dr. John Watson’ And the line of his t. Holmes nearly died of sheer adoration. Light and swift like the flashing of a blade and a small flourish at the end. He knew the Doctor could wield his cane-sword better than anyone he knew. As gentle and careful he was as a medical man he had always had the demeanor of a warrior. He loved the fierceness in Watson’s eye when challenged. He would protect the things and persons he loved. Even kill, if necessary. To be the addressee of Watson’s love…
Holmes turned the enveloped and his heart missed a beat. ‘Ms Mary Morstan’ He blinked, sat down on the edge of the desk nearly crushing the violin. No. Not that. How could he have been so blind… He looked again. Nothing had changed. Everything had changed. It explained everything. Nothing. He shook his head. Mary Morstan. A woman. So.
He laid back the letter, picked up his violin and plucked a disharmonic chord. He tried to avoid the tears welling up in his eyes. Tried to smooth all features in his face. And failed. He put down the violin and opened the morocco case. A quick pain and the soothing calmness took him. In his cocaine inflicted dreams he saw Watson, writing the note, stabbing his heart with the line of his t, ripping it out with the flourish. Darkness took him and he smiled.