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May 31st, 2010


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06:39 pm - A Kindly Whisper
Title: A Kindly Whisper
Warnings: None
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Watson corrects Holmes when he gets something wrong
Word count: ~1750
Disclaimer: Not mine
Author's notes: Kinkmeme fill, prompt here

"Watson," said he, "if it should ever strike you that I am getting a little overconfident in my powers, or giving less pains to a case than it deserves, kindly whisper 'Norbury' in my ear, and I shall be infinitely obliged to you."

-- -- -- -- --

I watched in astonishment as Holmes pushed his chair back with a force bordering on violence and leapt up, beginning immediately to pace quickly in the middle of the room. Had I known than my enquiry as to what was troubling him would have had such an effect then I surely would have remained silent, for the last thing I wished to do was cause him further distress. As it was all I could do was try to rectify my mistake – which, I suspected, would be somewhat challenging as Holmes was difficult to calm once roused – and so rose from the table to place myself in his path.

“My dear fellow,” I said as he walked away, “Please accept my apologies for my blunt enquiry. You clearly have no desire to talk about whatever is troubling you and I will, of course, not force you to do so.” Holmes did at least stop moving for a moment although he was far from calm as he looked at me, more tense than I had seen him in some time and with a look of conflict on his face that I would do anything to banish. “I shall retire for the evening and leave you to your thoughts,” I said with a brief smile. I will not deny that it hurt a little to think that I might be more of a hindrance than a help in this matter, but his peace of mind was far more important than my own.

For a moment he was the very picture of indecision, hands lifting briefly before they fell back to hang stiffly at his sides. It was a shock to see him so obviously at a loss, more so to actually be able to watch relief form as he considered my suggestion, then determination as he shook his head.

“No,” he said, a barely detectable tremor to his voice. I was at this point considerably concerned ad wishing fervently that I had never opened my mouth despite the fact that Holmes hadn't been himself in weeks. He drew in a breath to steady himself and a small measure – a very small measure – of calm returned to those somewhat wild eyes. “Thank you, Watson, but no. I have kept this from you for far too long. You deserve to know, whatever –” He was, I believe, about to say 'whatever the circumstances' but cut himself off abruptly, almost as if he could not bear to consider that statement further. “My dear Watson, I require you to do something for me,” he said instead.

“Anything.”

“If you would sit in your chair and – listen carefully, for this is important – not leave until I have said all that is necessary.”

Not leave? I could not for the life of me think of a single thing that Holmes could say that would possess me to walk out before he had finished but, given that he thought it so vital, I gave him my word that I would not. I could not help glancing up curiously as I walked past him but was unable to gain anything of use from those tightly set features. His back was to me as I seated myself, not quite able to relax into the chair as I usually did, but he turned a second later and ran his hand through his hair in agitation as he took a step forwards.

“Watson, whatever else you come to think of me during the next few minutes – and, whilst I would hope that your opinion of me is not altered overmuch I cannot dismiss the possibility of a rather drastic change – you must believe that I reveal this only out of the deepest respect for you. I can do nothing to convince you that this is truly the reason but, for what it is worth, you have my word that it is.” I replied firmly that his word would always be good enough to me. He almost smiled, murmuring quietly that he hoped I thought the same once he was finished; I would have given him my assurances on that front as well but he continued speaking before I had the chance.

“You are aware, I hope,” he said in something vaguely resembling his usual tone, “that whilst my actions are ruled by logic I am not entirely devoid of emotion.” His gaze flicked between my face and various other points around the room as he spoke but I think he saw my nod nonetheless. “You are perhaps not aware that as of late I have been experiencing a rather increased depth of emotion than usual.” His eyes did then meet mine but only for a moment before he tore them away and spun around, apparently unable to look at me. I found out why in the next moment. “To be completely accurate, Watson – and now we come to the reason that I feel it appropriate to tell you this – I have been experiencing a rather increased depth of emotion directed towards your good self.” I saw him take in a deep breath. “I appear to have fallen in love with you.”

For those few moments, during which he remained ramrod straight and I simply stared at his back in utter shock, there was complete silence. My hands were clamped tightly to the arms of my chair and my heart was beating at what felt like twice its usual rate as I tried to comprehend what I had just heard, and by the time I had regained some semblance of control over myself Holmes was speaking again.

“To clarify, although I suspect by your silence that you have already guessed this, I speak of a romantic and – I am sorry if this makes you uncomfortable, dear fellow – a sexual love rather than the platonic one that exists between close friends.” Finally he turned towards me, nerves evident in the shaking of his hands and determination in the stern set of his features, and I realised too late that he had taken my earlier silence as a rejection of all that he had just spoken of. I would have set him right there and then but struggling as I was with the thought of Holmes having romantic and sexual feelings for me, formulating a coherent sentence would have been impossible even if my mouth hadn't been too dry to speak.

He was visibly shaking as he walked to the fireplace and I believe he would have sunk into his chair were it not for the fact that he was too nervous to sit. Instead he leaned one arm on the mantelpiece and thrust the other hand into his pocket, looking over my head for a moment before he forced himself to look at me. “Whatever your reaction, Watson, I am not sorry I have told you.” The quiet resignation in those words pulled at me in ways that years of keeping quiet regarding my own feelings for him never once had done. “I am aware that you do not return my feelings and the possibility that you are disgusted by them is looking more likely by the moment but you deserved to know. I could not let you continue under the illusion that our relationship is as it ever was.” He drew himself up to his full height then. “Do what you will with the information.”

For a moment more I was silent, now mostly over the shock and instead wondering quite how he'd managed to get everything so spectacularly wrong. Was the man incapable of recognising complete and unreserved devotion when it lay at his feet? I rose then, still unsure of exactly what I was going to say, and took the two steps towards him more quickly than I should have done given that I knew he was expecting the worst. I forgave him the fear that flashed in his eyes for I knew that he'd worked himself up to the point where he wasn't thinking clearly, gripped his wrists gently in my hands when he raised his hands to protect himself and smiled up at him.

At that point I think he realised that I wasn't going to hit him, for although he had yet to relax he made no attempt to free himself either. As I stepped closer he remained stock still save for a quick indrawn breath, didn't move even when I braced myself by tightening my hands on his wrists and raised myself on tiptoe so that my mouth was level with his ear. Suddenly knowing exactly what to say, I whispered “Norbury,” and waited for him to get the reference.

When I heard him exhale in one long rush of air I knew that he'd understood and lowered myself, loosening my hold on him but not moving back. “The only other time you were so completely wrong, Holmes,” I said fondly. He looked as shocked as I was sure I had done earlier, possibly more so given that his hair was dishevelled from running his hands through it and residual nerves meant that he was still not entirely steady.

“Truly, completely wrong?” he asked, eyes intent on me as I nodded. “Thank God,” he breathed before sliding his arms around my waist and gripping me tightly to him. Barely had I wrapped my arms awkwardly around his shoulders and murmured that I loved him, safe in the knowledge that those words could now be spoken without fear of mockery, than he pulled back with a heat in his eyes that quite took my breath away. “Say that again,” he demanded, almost desperately.

“I love you, Holmes,” I said simply. It was, it seemed, exactly what he wanted to hear.

I spent the next hour flat on my back in front of the fire with my shirt off as Holmes pressed against me and kissed me to near insensibility. The hour after that was equally as rewarding as Holmes allowed me to return the favour, trembling beneath me as I ran my hands over his chest and applied my mouth to places that drew the most incredible sounds from him. By the time we curled up together in Holmes' bed we were breathless, exhausted and half-aroused and both thoroughly anticipating the dawn of the next day.

-- -- -- -- --

Additional author's note: I am aware that the quote refers to cases and taking care whilst investigating them. However, as the line was prompted by Holmes getting something wrong, I twisted its use a little. I hope this doesn't offend anyone :)

(59 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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[User Picture]
From:spacefall
Date:May 31st, 2010 06:05 pm (UTC)
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This is the loveliest use of 'Norbury' I can imagine :)
[User Picture]
From:flying_android
Date:May 31st, 2010 06:13 pm (UTC)
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Aw, thank you very much :) There could have been all sorts of hilarity with Holmes messing up on a case but this is what sprang to mind. I'm pleased you like it!
[User Picture]
From:gracefulfool
Date:May 31st, 2010 06:24 pm (UTC)
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Oh, I love it - such a clever use of 'Norbury'! :)
[User Picture]
From:flying_android
Date:May 31st, 2010 06:51 pm (UTC)
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I'm glad you like it and that the use of 'Norbury' works - thank you :D
[User Picture]
From:queerlyobscure
Date:May 31st, 2010 06:32 pm (UTC)
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D'aww. Holmes was so brave, and Watson was so lovely &hearts
[User Picture]
From:flying_android
Date:May 31st, 2010 06:55 pm (UTC)
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It took a lot of courage for Holmes to say that even when he expected the worst, so I'm glad you thought he was brave :) And can Watson help but be lovely? Thank you very much :D
[User Picture]
From:shadowycat
Date:May 31st, 2010 06:44 pm (UTC)
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Very nice! An excellent use of "Norbury". You know two people have a truly intimate understanding when one word can tell them each so much. :D
[User Picture]
From:flying_android
Date:May 31st, 2010 07:04 pm (UTC)
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Thank you! I'm glad the use of it worked. I like to think that after so long together there are a whole load of inside references that mean a lot to them, and it does show their bond so well :)
[User Picture]
From:blacktofade
Date:May 31st, 2010 06:47 pm (UTC)
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Oh my gosh! This fic is so wonderful and sweet! I think if Holmes and Watson were ever to get together it would be exactly like this :)
[User Picture]
From:flying_android
Date:May 31st, 2010 07:08 pm (UTC)
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Thank you! Aw, thank you again - I'm glad this fits them well enough that you could see their getting together going like this :D
[User Picture]
From:gokuma
Date:May 31st, 2010 07:25 pm (UTC)
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Awww! ^^ Fluff is good for a soul :)
[User Picture]
From:flying_android
Date:May 31st, 2010 07:28 pm (UTC)
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Thank you! We all need fluff on occasion :D
[User Picture]
From:ruyu
Date:May 31st, 2010 08:02 pm (UTC)
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Holmes, you adorable fool! >.<

Wonderful, as always, my dear. XD
[User Picture]
From:flying_android
Date:May 31st, 2010 08:37 pm (UTC)
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He is adorable! And a big idiot :D

Thank you very much!
[User Picture]
From:ingridmatthews
Date:May 31st, 2010 08:05 pm (UTC)
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Just what I wanted. :D :D :D ♥
[User Picture]
From:flying_android
Date:May 31st, 2010 08:42 pm (UTC)
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Were you the OP then? And I'm glad you liked it so much! Thank you : D
[User Picture]
From:autumnatmidnite
Date:May 31st, 2010 10:28 pm (UTC)
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I have been waiting my whole life for someone to use the "Norbury" reference in a fic, and just didn't realize it until you wrote this :) Utterly brilliant.

And this line. "Was the man incapable of recognising complete and unreserved devotion when it lay at his feet?" *DIES*
[User Picture]
From:flying_android
Date:June 1st, 2010 08:13 am (UTC)
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Really? Thank you very much! (Although I'm sure there must be fics that have used the reference before mine!)

I'm rather fond of that line myself, although I did wonder if it was a little over the top, so I'm pleased you like it as well :D
[User Picture]
From:katead
Date:June 1st, 2010 12:46 am (UTC)
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Aw this made my lip wobble like it was stuck on with prit stick :') this is so lovely it actually makes me want to cry from the perfection of it - I know I'm gushing but dammit it's your fault for writing it :P I could really see Holmes' reserved panic and the way you write Watson's devoted, selfless... worship when it comes to Holmes is spot on for how I think of him. I felt less like I was reading it than watching it, which is my stamp of a really good book/ fic :D just... just... wow. I love it *GUSH* *weep* *bestow cats*
[User Picture]
From:flying_android
Date:June 1st, 2010 08:20 am (UTC)
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I'm hugely pleased you think so highly of this but please don't cry! It's meant to be a (mostly happy) fic! Gushing is fine though ;)

I'm glad it felt like you were watching rather than reading as I was somewhat dubious as to how clear the pictures of where they were/what they were doing were. I could quite happily have spent huge amounts of time having Watson describe the atmosphere and precisely how Holmes looked etc but then the story wouldn't have had the impact I wanted, so I left it at a few lines scattered around. That it worked anyway makes me happy!

Cats! *strokes* Thank you very very much!
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:flying_android
Date:June 1st, 2010 08:20 am (UTC)
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It does have the advantage of saving Holmes from being corrected whilst on a case! Thank you very much :D
[User Picture]
From:schonste
Date:June 1st, 2010 01:17 am (UTC)
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UGH I love your work. This was a particularly good one; this scene is done so often, but you sort of surprised me into it. I didn't see it coming, so when he drops the ball I was like, "...HA HA. He so would say that, the douchebag."

I'm so tumbling this. XD
[User Picture]
From:flying_android
Date:June 1st, 2010 08:23 am (UTC)
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Thank you very much! I was a little concerned that the whole awkward, scared revelation thing has been done before (not that I ever get tired of reading them :D) so I'm glad that there was a surprise hidden in this anyway. I'm very pleased you liked it!

P.S. What does 'tumbling' mean in this context? Please excuse lack of internet knowledge :D
[User Picture]
From:day221b
Date:June 1st, 2010 01:24 am (UTC)
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Loved it! Watson whispering gently that name and for this purpose... Brilliant!
[User Picture]
From:flying_android
Date:June 1st, 2010 08:25 am (UTC)
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Thank you! There are so many other less pleasant reasons for Watson whispering that name but I thought I'd go for the sweet explanation instead :)
[User Picture]
From:tiwtin
Date:June 1st, 2010 09:45 am (UTC)
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I loved Holmes seeming so vulnerable. Wonderful angst. Thanks!
[User Picture]
From:flying_android
Date:June 1st, 2010 11:37 am (UTC)
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It's good fun to have Holmes worry about something occasionally and then have him find that Watson loves him really :D Thank you very much!
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From:muffinbitch
Date:June 1st, 2010 10:38 am (UTC)
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DEAR GOD, YOU ARE KILLING ME WITH BEAUTIFUL FIC! :D
This is just wonderful. I adore vulnerable!Holmes revealing his feelings, and being sure Watson will be disgusted, SO much - to the point where he thought Watson would hit him! That just about broke my heart! And then Watson telling him he loves him was just dawwwwwwwwwwww. I squeed, I'm babbling incoherantly, in short, I love this so much!!!!!! *swoons*
[User Picture]
From:flying_android
Date:June 1st, 2010 11:41 am (UTC)
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I WILL ATTEMPT TO CONTINUE TO DO SO FOR AS LONG AS I CAN! Not that I want you dead, but producing beautiful fic is something I can most definitely try to do :D

Holmes thinking that Watson's going to hate him makes for a wonderful surprise when he realises that everything is OK really; I like a little bit of angst before the resolution on occasion :D Babble as much as you like, please! Thank you very much!

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