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Enough to Drive a Man to Madness

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Sherlock Holmes burst into the visitors’ room of the Diogenes Club in a fit of melodrama. He paced and sighed, and at last exclaimed, gesticulating wildly, “It is enough to drive a man mad! My deductions have failed me. He is a perfectly ordinary man, but I don't know what to make of him. One moment he is watching me with those bright blue eyes wide in the most perfect amazement, the next his face is warped into a solemn frown. One instant I could fancy he saw something magnificent in me, another I am a nuisance at best and a source of pain at worst. He is sometimes so close we are nearly touching when there's is all the space in the world, and other times he is as distant as could be in no space at all. I have so many theories, but I fear my judgement is too clouded to sift the truth from the wishful thinking-”

“Enough,” Mycroft Holmes declared at last.

He did not move from his chair, but his brother fell silent, if not still.

“You and Dr. Watson have been dancing around each other for months. It is enough to drive a man mad! Both of you are so obvious, it is a miracle the police you work with so frequently haven't figured it out yet.”

At that the younger protested, “You have not even met Watson. How can you come to such a confident conclusion with only biased evidence? Perhaps you only see it because I wish it was there.”

Mycroft gave him a look of disbelief. “You think I have not taken your bias into account?” he asked with a hint of indignation.

“How are you so sure?” Sherlock insisted.

“He still lives with you, doesn’t he?” Mycroft was beginning to get impatient with his brother’s obtuseness. “He is an emotionally perceptive man, and you are not easy to live with besides. He would, at the very least, be searching for other lodgings. You say he is not, therefore we can come to but one conclusion.”

“What of-” Sherlock began.

Mycroft cut him off, “He could find less expensive lodgings, or - you say he is an accomplished doctor - he could go into practice. I am not here to listen to you mope. Either find the answer for yourself or don’t, but you clearly cannot accept my conclusions and therefore there is no reason for me to provide them.”

“But-” Sherlock began to protest.

“Out with you, out,” Mycroft waved him out the door. “I will see you again only when you are ready to see reason. And do convey my sympathies to the poor doctor.”