Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Warnings: Discussion of suicide (not H or W)
Verse: ACD books
Author's summary: Watson travels to Kent to attend the funeral of an estranged friend from his past who committed suicide. Certain things transpire to make Watson wonder if his inappropriate love for Holmes could possibly be requited. After drinking a bit too much on the train home, he drafts a letter to Holmes revealing all, but isn't sure he will ever have the courage to potentially ruin everything by giving it to Holmes. Of course, things go terribly awry, and it will take a timely intervention by Mycroft Holmes to set things back on track.
Reccer's comments: This is a beautifully constructed, bittersweet story about lost opportunities, and found ones. Watson takes a short trip to attend the funeral of an old army buddy, and the emotional journey is a much longer, more grueling, and rewarding one as his friend posthumously persuades him to not waste chances. Watson reads his old friend’s heartbreaking suicide note, and is inspired to write a dangerously honest secret letter of his own - that seems to go missing.
Although the reader knows nothing terrible has happened or will happen, the tension and suspense is nonetheless real. In addition, Mycroft plays a delightful role and the relationship between the brothers is so effectively drawn in just a few paragraphs. This story has a beautiful, patient, leisurely style that encourages full immersion in the nuances of emotions, and the satisfying payoff is especially effective in its well-chosen setting. If it’s romance feels you want, this will give you a good buzz (sorry sorry).
Time passed with terrible slowness and Watson didn’t want to go to his club or any of the places he might have gone on an average day, certain he would miss Holmes’ return should he be gone even a handful of minutes—that’s how these circumstances went, in real life as well as farcical plays and lurid yellow-backed novels, wasn’t it? The protagonist waits and waits until he can wait no more, steps out for but a moment and, lo! The person he was waiting for only then deigns to appear.
“Not on my watch, by heaven,” Watson grumbled under his breath as he stared down onto Baker Street through the sitting room window, the sunset a painter’s dream of colour beyond the rooftops to which Watson could not give due appreciation.