“Holmes! Will you stop experimenting on my dog!?”
“Our dog. And he doesn’t mind.”
With an almighty yawn, Gladstone rolled over, sat up blinked a few times and the trotted of to lie underneath Watsons favourite chair.
“See, he’s perfectly alright.”
“By sheer bloody coincidence! It’s a wonder you haven’t killed him for real yet.”
“Oh come now Watson, as if I would miscalculate like that.”
The two humans went out the door, and Gladstone snorted at their continued argument.
No, Gladstone didn’t mind. And If Watson, yes Gladstone called him Watson because that was what Holmes called him and Holmes knew these things, had been using his two legged brain, he would know that for all Gladstone’s short leggednes’ he could put out a pretty swift turn of speed if he wanted. Plus with all the things in Holmes’s rooms Gladstone could potentially hide forever, yes even from the great detective himself.
Sure not all of Holmes’s experiments where equally pleasant to be subjected to, some made him nauseas or itchy, but most of them where merely things that made him sleep or turned him or his droppings an interesting colour. Sometime they even gave him more energy, or made him feel really happy!
Besides, Holmes always made sure that Gladstone was properly rewarded for his participation in the experiments. So Gladstone knew that whenever Holmes called him with a needle in hand, or some new smell was to be found in the treat he was being given, at the other end of whatever was to come, there where always more real treats and prolonged petting sessions to be found. And no one knew just how to pet him like Holmes did.
So really, there was no reason for Watson to be so cross with Holmes. But then, Gladstone knew that Watson could not smell the heavy sent marks of affection and ownership Gladstone left on Holmes, and Watson himself. In fact, Watson seemed to place little to no value on the wealth of information that a good sent could give. Why else would he use so much time in first washing of his own sent, the disguising it with that funny smelling water, that not only obscured his own smell but also made his skin taste funny when Gladstone showed his affection by grooming him with his tongue?
Didn’t he know that he smelled so much better in the morning, when the nights sweat had washed most of the artificial smell away? When he smelled of strong tea, watered down whisky, warm cotton sheets, sweet tobacco and the faintest trace of his medical chemicals that no doctor ever really loses, and beneath it all something uniquely him, not unlike the smell of fresh nearly frozen dew on Mrs Hudson’s winter roses. That was when Gladstone liked Watson’s sent the most.
Holmes on the other hand met Gladstone’s full approval on the sent front nine days out of ten.
Unlike Watson, Holmes did not indulge in that silly bathing every day, so his smell told infinitely more about him, though he would once in a while both bathe and dab smelling water on his skin. Like Watson he smelled of tobacco smoke, chemicals and tea (But while Watson liked his tea strong and natural, Holmes liked his sweet which Gladstone appreciated as Holmes would often let him have the last drops when he got distracted by something or other and the tea had turned from hot to lukewarm in the meantime). Holmes also smelled of rainwater and soil from the streets and ally’s al over the city he knew and travelled as naturally, self-assured and imperceptible as any back ally cat. (Not that Gladstone was a fan of cat’s in general, but Holmes was indubitably more catlike than doglike, what with his tendencies to climb into and onto whatever took his fancy, and his clear lack of doglike sense to stay firmly on the ground. Here Watson was certainly the one whit whom Gladstone’s sympathies lay.) The metallic smell of knives, guns and more often that not, blood, also seemed to cling to him.
Sometimes Holmes smelled of something sickly sweet and herbal, or a strong spicy chemical. When Holmes smelled like that Watson would smell angry and avoided Holmes completely, sometimes for hours or even days at a time. When that occurred Gladstone would keep close to Holmes, because while Watson couldn’t smell it, Gladstone could smell the sadness, sickness and despair that clung to Holmes along with the things he had ingested. When Holmes would wander the rooms Gladstone would lie under Watsons chair and keep watch. When Holmes was sprawled in a chair or on the settee, either in a daze, smoking or fiddling with the violin, Gladstone would lie beneath the piece of furniture resting along Holmes’s leg if at all possible. And when Holmes would lie on the tiger skin Gladstone would waddle over and lie down beside him, offering warmth and companionship to Holmes cold or feverish body. Gladstone did NOT like those smell’s.
Underneath whatever else Holmes would smell of, lay his own unique smell. A smell that reminded Gladstone of the rich moist earth of that forest they had walked in last spring. Warm, with clean natural decay of green things, and spicy fresh with the smell of new saplings.
Yes it was safe to say the Gladstone thoroughly approved of Holmes’s smells. And that he pitied Watson for his lacklustre sense of smell. Not at all like Holmes who seemed almost doglike in his ability to smell most sent marks left on Watson and other two legged.
Gladstone had figured out that Watson’s senses where far from satisfactory when Watson had started coming home smelling of a strange bitch, or woman as humans called them. Holmes had picked up on the smell almost as quick as Gladstone, and within minutes had gotten Watson to confess that he was in fact courting a woman. Holmes hadn’t smelled really happy since then, and now when Watson came home smelling like ‘her’ Holmes would start to smell agitated, his behaviour becoming increasingly territorial and aggressive.
Anyway that had been when Gladstone knew that not all humans had as good a sense of smell as Holmes. Because really, why would Watson try to bring in a new mate, when it was so painstakingly obvious that Holmes was his mate? Holmes even did the proper thing, and clad himself in the second skins that smelled like Watson. Thus proclaiming to any sensible creature, that he was Watsons and that they should not waste their time in trying to mate with either of them.
Gladstone rolled his eyes and huffed in fond exasperation. ‘Humans. They really were silly creatures. But that was alright, they were his humans after all, so he didn’t mind. He might even give them a little push in the right direction... as soon as he’d finished napping.’ Yawning he closed his eyes and let the sound of Watson and Holmes friendly bickering in the hall wash over him.