By Alia 2013

Disclaimer: The characters depicted below are now public domain but it would be very remiss of me not to point out that Sherlock Holmes and Doctor John Watson were in fact created by the late and great Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. No disrespect is intended.

Summary: Where it began.

Rating: PG.

Author's Notes: This story is loosely based on my Tales from Baker Street series and is the first in this series. This story is unbetaed and contains Australian spelling. If you find a mistake please feel free to point it out to me

Comments: Are most welcome, and can be sent to


Extracts from the private journal of Doctor John H Watson MD

Over the years of my association with the man known to the world as Sherlock Holmes I have endeavoured always to remain understanding of his various eccentricities. It is not any easy task by any stretch of the imagination. I am reminded however that we are not that unalike in our interest in world events, not to mention our tastes in music and art, and although we may at times bring out the worst in one another, we have shared lodgings for too long for me to ignore what have been mostly good years together.

Since taking up residence at Baker Street I have regained my strength and indeed my interest in life. Something I was sadly lacking upon my return from abroad and my discharge from the Army. I had felt tainted by death and the atrocities of war when I had arrived home, weak from my injuries and barely able to decide if I still had a place in the world around me or not.In those early days Holmes had shown me a kindness I had not expected given his reputation for cold calculation. Together we formed a partnership of sorts; one that was eventually revered by the criminal element of our fair city and the local constabulary alike.

During the early days of our association I often heard stories about Holmes. Not all were complementary; some were downright disturbing in fact. I had been aware of his cocaine habit from our first few days together and had persuaded him, or so I believed, to refrain from it's over use in my company. Having made my feelings on the matter clear we fell into an easy alliance and as time passed, I discarded most of what I was told by others as the unfounded ramblings of men who did not know Holmes as I did.

Having lost my own brother some years prior and being without the daily camaraderie I had enjoyed while in the Army I originally perceived my growing attachment to Holmes and my defence of him to anyone who might wish to tarnish his good name as proof of our blossoming friendship. It wasn't until my feelings for him began to take on a less than wholesome nature that I started to question some of what I had heard and my own conscience. Unfortunately, it was too late by then.

I fully admit that the notability Holmes and I received gave me a sense of belonging I had not known previously and by the spring of our second year together I believed myself to be utterly besotted by him. Despite the very real dangers associated with such a liaison, even one safely contained within the recesses of my own day dreams, there was nothing I would not have given to be able to share my feelings with him and to have him return them with equal gusto.

Foolishly, after a case which I recorded and shared with my readers as the Sign of Four, I gave a voice to my feelings. Sadly, I remember it as if it were only yesterday and have regretted it every day since.

We had been celebrating, as we so often did after a successful case. Holmes had declared victory over the criminal mind and had insisted upon treating us both to evening of excellent dining and entertainment. The meal and concert were magnificent. I am afraid however, that we both consumed far more champagne than was customary for either of us, and by the time we returned to our lodgings were leaning heavily upon the other for support. Holmes suggested on a night cap and as I had enjoyed the evening immensely and was not ready to retire to the loneliness of my room just yet, I agreed to join him.

I recall the evening was milder than usual and we removed our jackets and loosened our respective collars. I seated myself comfortably on the settee to watch while Holmes poured us each a glass of brandy, marvelling, silently at his simple elegance. He had seemed to be in his element all evening and continued to share his knowledge of Indian poisons with me even after we sat side by side. I could not say I found the subject especially fascinating but I turned slightly toward him on the settee and listened attentively. Just being able to enjoy his company and to hear his voice was in itself satisfying. At some stage through the conversation, long after we had finished our drinks and set our glasses out of harms way, I realised Holmes had stopped speaking and was regarding me in a most curious manner.As I have already mentioned the evening was pleasantly mild but I found myself feeling very warm under his scrutiny. To my surprise Holmes too appeared flushed, and in a moment of unsurpassed stupidity I reached across to lay a hand against his glowing brow. He was indeed warm, but he did not flinch or appear to want to pull away as I gently caressed his heated skin. All reason seemed to leave me as I touched him. I felt more alive than I had in many years and I remember leaning forward, guided by some unknown force of nature to press my lips to his.

I had never kissed another man, but my experiences with women had taught me well enough to know that a response of some kind is necessary before one can assume consent. I felt no such response from Holmes and I pulled back immediately. I believe I had mumbled an apology at that point and attempted to extract myself from his side. He remained silent, apparently unmoved by anything that had transpired between us until I announced I was going to bed. At the moment I saw what I shall never forget.

Whilst working on a case Holmes had often appeared unfeeling, emotionless in the face of horror and great travesty, but I had known him long enough to understand that it was simply his way of dealing with the sometimes overwrought clients we encountered. I never in all my dreams imagined that he could be as cruel as too make sport of my mistake.

"You are wasting your time, Watson." The mirth in his voice was unmistakable.

"Yes, of course," I replied, not knowing what I was agreeing to. I was embarrassed beyond all recollection, my mind in utter chaos. The room was far too hot and I felt decidedly lightheaded as I stood wavering in front of the settee. I only knew that I could not run from the scene of the crime so to speak, without at least first clearing the air between us.

Meeting Holmes's unrelenting gaze was perhaps one of the most difficult moments of my life up until that point. I opened my mouth a number of times, stammering uncharacteristically before I was able to provide anything resembling actual words.

"You have my deepest apologies," I said plainly. "I assure you that it will not happen again."

My words were as heartfelt as any I have ever spoken and while I knew there was more I should say, for the life of me nothing I could think of seemed adequate under the circumstances. It occurred to me that I should tell him that I did not know what had come over me or that I had become confused, but I had not been confused and I knew very well what I was doing when I kissed him. As my dearest friend he deserved the truth. I am afraid I was too cowardly to share it with him however.

Holmes's smile had faded as I stood awaiting a response. He had remained seated throughout my fumbling, watching me intently. In all honestly he appeared somewhat taken aback, but at the time my mind could not make sense of it. I was too ashamed of what I had subjected him to and the feelings that had grown steadily for the last year.

For what felt like the longest time, but could not have been more than a few moments he gave no indication that he intended to even acknowledge what I had said. I despaired, then preparing to bid him goodnight I realised something I should have known from the very beginning.

As I have already said we had both consumed more champagne than usual, but my realisation sobered me significantly as the gravity of my situation took hold. An apology and commitment to refrain from any repeats of my behaviour would not be enough for a man like Holmes whose very existence depended upon his reputation. There was more I needed to do. My heart twisted at thought, a part of me already mourning the loss of our friendship and the comfort I had found in his company.

I recall that my mouth was dry and my head throbbed incessantly, I raised a hand to press firmly at the area between my eyes, trying to alleviate some of the tension but it did not help. Letting my hand drop once more to my side I drew a steadying breath and turned from the door to face him.

I will leave in the morning and send for my things by the end of the week."

In truth I fully expected to see him nod his consensus and that would be the end of it. I would be both homeless and friendless with one simple gesture.

It was not the case however. As I have alluded to numerous times throughout our adventures together, Sherlock Holmes is not an easy man to live with. When aroused, as he was then, he was a force to be reckoned with and it was best I had learned over the course of our association to not be caught in his path.

"Don't be ridicules," he cried, rising to his feet. "I'll hear nothing of the sort."

Experience had taught me that I should step back or turn away, but there was no time. It was also clear that he had other ideas. Stepping forward he insinuated himself into the scant space separating us, crowding me in the most intimate fashion as he reached out, startling me with the strength of his grip as he took a hold of my arm, twisting it away from my body.

I winced, immediately trying to compensate as I felt myself unbalanced. Weather it by convenience or design Holmes had chosen my injured side and the pain resonating through my shoulder was almost breath taking.

"This is your home," he declared, his eyes flashing with barely contained rage. Each word sending a rush of warm air across my already heated face, shocking me by how close we were, at how quickly terms between us had deteriorated into thinly veiled violence.

My heart pounded in my chest and mind swum in ever increasing circles of pain and regret. "I cannot stay," I pleaded, desperate to try and shake him off.

"You are wrong," he countered, pressing impossibly close to me. "I will not be without you."

I shook my head, but it was pointless, my protests were in vain and I turned my face away.

"I have developed feelings."

"Feelings for me," he finished for me. "Yes I know."

Itwas almost as if he is delivering some inconsequential information and I should not concern myself with the details.

"I must say Doctor," he continued, oblivious I believe to the effect his admission was having on me. I had hoped you would come to accept our life as it is.

My heart sank. "I don't understand," I managed. It was the truth; I did not understand any of what was happening. I took full responsibility that my actions had transgressed the bounds of our friendship when I had revealed myself to him, but was evident that he must have known of my feelings for him and that they meant nothing to him.

I thought once more about how he had made sport of me earlier and any strength I had left to continuing resisting him dissolved.

My defeat must have shown on my face because it was then that Holmes finally saw fit to release me. Instinctively I rubbed my arm where he had held me, more than a little surprised at how strong he was. Prior tonight I had only known him as a man of reason, not the kind given to physical force. The fact that he had used brute strength to contain me revealed a side to him that I had never before imagined. It should have been a warning of things to come but at the time I was too heart sick to see it for what was.

Stepping away Holmes stood for a moment in front of the settee, his gaze pinning me where he had freed me only a few feet away. His breathing was rough and I watched his chest rise and fall a number of times before he sat down, silently indicating that I should join him with the sweep of one hand across its well-worn surface. My first thought was to refuse his unspoken invitation and to go to my room, but the same unknown force which had drawn me to him earlier lured me forward and I found myself once again seated alongside of him -- this time with a respectable distance between us.

Something had changed in the last few minutes. The air in the room was weighted with sorrow and it took an unmeasurable amount of time before either of us spoke. It is Holmes who found his voice first.

"We are two of a kind Watson, though I do believe you are only just coming to accept that."

I felt sick to my stomach. Ashamed and exposed. "Have I been that obvious?"

"I have warned you before that you romanticise too much of what we do. The very fact that you paint me as a hero for the common man smacks of sentiment."

I lifted my gaze, meaning to defend myself, but was stopped immediately with a look that allowed no such interference from Holmes.

"You wear your heart of your sleeve," he went on. "Yet you refuse to see what is right in front of you. This Morstan woman would have you married and living in Kent within the month if only you would favour her with the same amount of attention you give the man you idolise to the great unwashed of our fair city."

I shook my head again. "I have no interest in her," I told him. I ignored his assessment of my writing. It was not the first time had criticized my work. I was more concerned that I had not been as careful in regards to my feelings for him as I had believed and I felt my face heat with the realisation that I had failed miserably it seemed. "It was never my intention to offend you or to place you in danger."

"Nonsense," he remarked holding my gaze.

Despite Holmes's offhandness I did not believe him. You say that Miss Morstan has observed my high regard for you, surely that places unwelcome scrutiny upon our relationship? Would it not be advisable for me to find alternate accommodation, at least until we can be certain there is no harm to your reputation?

"She is a woman, Watson. She does not know what she sees."

"There will be no more talk of you leaving," he added, a little overcome I thought after our recent exchange. "Unless of course it is because you no longer wish my company."

I opened my mouth object but closed it again, it pointless I realised to argue the matter further. Holmes knew as well I the risk involved in staying toge ther and I had no wish to be without his daily companionship.

It was not easy to sits so close, to be in the same position we had been in earlier when I had kissed him or to continue to meet his eyes after everyth ing that had happened tonight. I loved Holmes in a way I have never experienced before and to think that I had all but destroyed the standing between us was too much. I swallowed the lump that formed and wedged itself firmly in thro at and glanced away, unconvinced that I had not ruined whatever remained.

At length Holmes rose from the settee and announced he was going to retire. He bid me good night and then disappeared into his room, closing the door behind h im. It was some time later that I followed suit and climbed the stair to my own room. I did not know what the morning would bring or what if anything would come of tonight's revelations, only that the for time being at least I would remain at Baker Street as his fellow lodger and colleague.


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