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The Best Of Men

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Watson is out having a nap in the hammock right now, so I thought I would take this opportunity to write.

I’m not sure if you are aware, but today is his birthday. He will be getting proper gifts, as well as dinner later (did he not tell you? I am an excellent housekeeper. He tends to omit these little details about me.) in celebration. But, I thought that this would be a good, private gift.

I was young when I met my Watson, still in my twenties, and still very much a boy. He was already a man. I had found him fascinating from the start. I could tell certain things about him from a glance- that he had been a field surgeon in Afghanistan, that he had spent a great deal of his youth in Australia, and that the injury to his shoulder had left him feeling depressed and lonesome. Almost as lonesome as I was.

It wasn’t until later, though, that I learned so much more about him. It was all things that I couldn’t see on his face, or in his dress. I couldn’t have said when we first met, that he would become the most important facet of my life, overshadowing not only the cases I worked, but my own health and safety. It remained hidden to me, that he would be willing to thrash a man for hurting me. That he would face imprisonment for the act of loving me still astonishes me.

He is dismissive of his own qualities. You only need to pick up one of those ridiculous stories, to see. He calls himself stupid, an ass, my servant. And those who only know of him through his writing believe him. So, this is my gift. You will learn some of the real man who is even now, rubbing his leg in his sleep to ease the ache of a bullet wound.

He is tall. Not quite so tall as me, but close to six feet. When he was young, his hair was a dark, reddish brown; now, it is a beautiful steel grey, and still as full as ever. His neck is thick, and his shoulders are wonderfully broad, and just as muscular as they were when he regained his health. We still box together, but he can’t hold a sword without poking himself. His hands are large- he can almost encircle my biceps with his fingers. Across his right palm, and fingers, there is a collection of ridged calluses, from holding his gun. On his left, the calluses are primarily around the heel of his hand, and the tips of his first two fingers, from holding his stick. He can be deadly with that stick when he needs to be, and has become rather proficient at baritsu.

Watson’s voice is deep, and he can’t sing to save a life. When he has been drinking, it is usually a toss up, as to which of his accents comes out. Some days it is a rumble of Scotland, others it is like he has just returned from an Australian walkabout. But he surpasses at dancing, and I often find myself with his arms around my waist after dinner, being spun around the kitchen.

His jaw is strong, and square, and my lips fit perfectly into the hollow below his ear. Those callused hands of his can pick me up without difficulty, and carry me away. He does not know how to act his age. When we are alone, he is anything but my servant and we exhaust one another at regular turns.

I don’t say the words often, and I was once horrified to read that it had taken an injury for Watson to understand this, but I love him. I have loved-and been loved- in the past, yet those were fleeting. With Victor, it was a boyish, innocent first love, easily broken by hardship. He is married now, with children, and I wish him the best. Tobias showed me what it was to love as an adult, and the disappointment that it could bring, and how easy I was to abandon. He is also married, and Watson has made his displeasure at our continuing acquaintanceship known. It wasn’t until after Watson and I began to live together, that I met Francois. Our affair was brief, only lasting the few short weeks I was in France, but it made me look at Watson. All of Francois’ excitement, and praise, and adoration, were being given to me daily at home, but I had been missing it at every turn. I’ve often said that he over inflates my intelligence.

My Watson has used this to describe me once before, but I feel that it suits him much better. He is, and has always been, the best man I have ever known. He has been my dearest friend, my comrade-in-arms, my accomplice  and my partner. Steadfast, faithful, devoted, and loving, I am well aware that I have done nothing to deserve having him in my life.

For now, though, I must wake him from his nap, and that usually ends with sore knees and rumpled clothing, and I fear dinner might be late going into the oven.


S. Holmes