Okies. We're speeding along now xD I'll post more very, very soon.
Thanks again to readers & reviewers. I really appreciate it. I'm not perfect! This is my first smut attempt and there are bound to be mistakes so don't be shy.
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The liqueur cabinet in the drawing room had been installed by Watson for a mixture of show and hospitality. He didn't usually go near it himself. He didn't drink much as a rule and Mary didn't drink at all except on very rare occasions.
That evening he found himself half way through a bottle of gin before he was entirely aware of what he was doing. He hadn't even known they kept gin in the house. Most likely one of the servants had stashed it there for safe keeping, knowing Watson and Mary were highly unlikely to ever find it.
He sat in his study with the gin and a pile of badly rolled cigarettes that he no longer felt like smoking, and brooded. He recounted his and Mary's argument with intense resentment. There was so much he hadn't been able to say. He had handled it badly, to put it simply. He had not dealt with Mary's understandable anger well. He had been caught off guard and he had performed like an utter prick. To put it simply.
He had seen the look on her face. The disgust. The loathing. Of him. Her own husband. He was shaken by the intensity of her reaction. Perhaps he had naively hoped she would understand his relationship with Holmes. But of course she wouldn't. No one would. He hardly did himself-
"Oh for God's sake, stop that." He snapped at himself, burying his face in his palm.
He couldn't start doubting himself. Not now. It was too late to start having doubts. Far far too late. Mary would never touch him now. She would never forget or forgive what he had done. The fact that he wouldn't divorce her just intensified her hatred.
But how could he divorce her? It would destroy her prospects. No other respectable man would touch her.
"But what other option is there?" He snarled at himself, taking another mouthful of gin and slamming the tumbler down. "What the hell do I do? What the hell does she want from me?"
He stared moodily into the unlit fireplace, clutching the half empty tumbler in his hand. He was beginning to feel the effects of the gin. His head felt light. He wished it also lightened some of the guilt and uncertainty from his chest.
He exhaled heavily and laid his head down on the desk, feeling emotionally if not physically drained.
He had no intention of sleeping in the same bed as Mary that night or perhaps any night following. She had made her feelings towards him very clear. The thought of sleeping next to her made his insides twist with embarrassment and shame. He was not in love with her. He doubted she was with him. He had hurt her too deeply and she... was just wrong for him.
Though he knew it was more complicated than that. He was in love with Holmes. He knew he always would be. He didn't know if he deserved a chance to be with him after everything he had done and all the pain he had caused but he truly loved him and that seemed to be the only thing at present that he could be certain of.
Holmes struggled to his feet and stood back to admire his handiwork, his pipe in hand. The walls were clean, the clutter had been dispersed, the floorboards polished and the chair cushions scrubbed. The stain on Holmes's chair was still very noticeable but it was clean. He had put a throw cushion over it. One day he would go out and buy a new chair. Ideally before Mrs Hudson found it.
He was very pleased with himself. He had never had Watson's inclination for cleanliness. He was happy to let something become as dirty as humanely possible and then dispose of it and buy something new. Apparently this was not economical,according to Watson. So he had done his best. He wanted Watson to be proud of him.
He balanced his pipe between his teeth and rolled down his trousers. "Tea is in order." He said cheerfully to himself, feeling embarrassingly chipper for someone who had just spent four hours scrubbing his lover's blood out of a cushion.
He glanced at the clock on the mantelpiece. "Ah. Two o' clock." He had somewhat lost track of time.
He decided not to wake Mrs Hudson. Not because he thought it too late but rather because he didn't want to have to endure her complaining of her stiff hands while she rattled about with the tea tray.
He felt strangely light hearted and content and he didn't want Mrs Hudson's whinging to ruin his uncharacteristic good mood. He was happy even though he knew everything would not be as simple as Watson had assured him it would be. With divorce off the table, he couldn't comprehend what Watson was thinking of doing about his wife. Strangling her and disposing of her body in the Thames?
Holmes raised an eyebrow to himself. Tempting. But perhaps not sensible.
They could, of course, send her off to the country. Many husbands did so throughout the summer months under the pretence of sparing them the stink of the Thames but rather so they could enjoy the company of their mistresses. Holmes thought that was an attractive option. But he doubted whether Watson would be content to just put her out of sight and mind.
He balanced his pipe on the fireplace and removed his shirt. He had a series of strange bulbous like bumps on his right side from some insect that had fallen on him when he had been dusting the mantel piece. He traced his finger around them absentmindedly, dropping the shirt onto the floor.
Of course. They could have her thrown in Bedlam. He had always been intrigued by the asylum. He had walked past there sometimes when he had been on a case and had needed to stimulate his mind. He liked to think he could hear the screams and cries from inside the high gates but he supposed it was possibly just his imagination.
It was probably overkill to want Mary in there. He didn't think he would wish a lifetime within those confines on anyone. Not even her.
He stretched with a yawn and picked up his pipe again. "I hope Watson knows what he's doing." He mumbled to himself, shuffling towards the bedroom.
He was halfway to the doorway when there was quiet knock at the door behind him. If it hadn't been the middle of the night, he doubted he would have heard it.
He turned with raised eyebrows, the pipe still between his teeth. His thoughts immediately went to Watson. Perhaps he'd come back for another impromptu fuck. As much as Holmes disliked being somebody's plaything, he couldn't say he was disappointed.
He ran a hand quickly through his hair and glanced down at himself. His trousers were filthy and the bumps were strung like a strange pattern on his ribs but he was clean, thanks to Watson's efforts in the bathtub.
He put down his pipe and went to answer it, grinning at the look of amazement that would be on Watson's face when he saw the clean rooms.
"Back again, are w-
He stopped short. The grin evaporated from his face. It was not Watson.
Mary's quiet, thin voice echoed about the pitch black corridor.
Holmes stared at her, his hand frozen on the doorknob. Of all the people to appear at his door at two in the morning, his lover's wife was the least expected- and the least welcome.
"Miss Mor- I mean Mrs. Watson... what are you- I mean..." Holmes stammered, his attempt to be civil sabotaged by his surprise.
"May I come in?" She asked him abruptly, not glancing down at his bare torso, his dirt encrusted trousers, the insect bites.
Holmes didn't want her in his rooms. He certainly did not what to speak to her at two in the morning. "Okay." He said numbly, surprising himself.
He stood back to let her in.
She stepped promptly over the threshold and glanced around the room. Holmes felt a rush of resentment towards her. This was for Watson, not her.
"I'm sorry I've come so late. I assumed you would still be awake." She said quietly.
Holmes closed the door. "Oh, you did, did you?" He breathed, wondering just who had revealed his fragmented sleeping patterns to her.
He turned to find her watching him. She looked paler than he remembered her. Her clothes seemed to hang looser on her already slight figure.
She was watching him with her cold, steady blue eyes. She had the kind of eyes which made him feel like she knew everything about him with one glance. He resented it. He resented her.
He fidgeted uncomfortably where he was. He suddenly remembered he was still shirtless and went to fetch it from beside the fireplace. It was also an excuse to avoid her eye. Her constant gaze made him uneasy.
"You can sit down." He shot at her over his shoulder.
"I'm fine." She replied.
"Well. What is it you want?" Holmes said, as politely as he felt inclined to be.
"I want to speak to you." She said. "I want to speak to you about my husband."
Holmes froze. "Oh?" He said nonchalantly. "What about him?"
"Mr. Holmes." She said in a severely calm voice. "I would appreciate it if you looked at me."
Holmes swallowed. He didn't want to look at her. He wished desperately that he hadn't answered the door.
Abandoning his buttons, he grudgingly turned to her. "What about him?" He said quietly.
Her gaze was unwavering. There was no fear or hesitation in her eyes. Not like what he knew was in his.
"I know what crime you have committed." She said and Holmes felt as though the walls shook from the weight of her words. She didn't sound angry or accusing and Holmes didn't know what to say. Should he deny it? Did she have proof? His heart sunk. Had Watson told her?
"What do you mean?" He heard himself ask stupidly.
"Do not toy with me, Mr. Holmes." She said, her eyes sharp. "I mean unnatural acts between members of the same sex. I mean unspeakable offences against God." Her lips thinned. "Sodomy."
Holmes took a gulp of air. He had forgotten to breathe while she'd been speaking. He had been too horrified and stunned to comprehend what she had been saying. "Sodomy." He repeated dully.
"Yes. I trust you know what it is." She said irritably, her patience suddenly waning with him. "I trust you, of all people, are well aware of the law's stance on this... act." She spoke every word with a poison Holmes hadn't expected to ever hear in her voice. He had always thought her rather unintelligent and insipid.
"You believe Watson and I partakers in sodomy?" He asked, forcing himself to keep calm and to deflect her accusations until he could be sure if she even had proof or was just acting on jealous suspicion.
"I know." She said icily. "I saw it with my own eyes, Mr. Holmes. I could not mistake what I saw."
Holmes swallowed. "You saw it?"
"Clear as day." She said coolly.
Holmes stared at her for a moment in silence and then cleared his throat and turned from her under the pretence of finding his pipe. In reality it was so he could have a moment to think without having her eyes on him.
"Preposterous." He said with a weak laugh. "Watson would never-
"Don't you dare try and tell me I'm wrong." She said poisonously. "That my husband would never do such a thing, my husband would never betray me, never do anything so hurtful and deceitful." She laughed bitterly. "The kindest thing my husband has done since we were married is admit what he had done without lying to me as you have done."
Holmes gazed at the blackened fireplace, sucking on the spout of his pipe. It had gone out but he did not relight it.
"What do you want from me?" He said tiredly at length. "If you already know it for truth, why do you come to me for an admission?"
"I did not come here to question you." She said coldly. "I came to appeal to your human decency." She took a shuddery breath. "If you have any." She added under her breath.
"Appeal to me to do what?" Holmes asked sharply.
"Leave my husband alone." She said simply.
"What?" Holmes said incredulously, turning to her.
"End it." She said calmly. "Do not speak to him. Do not let him come to you. Do not attempt to see him. Make him think you have abandoned him."
Holmes felt a pulse of anger go through him. The guilt that had been settling low in his stomach abruptly evaporated. "Why would I do such a thing?" He demanded. "I love-
He broke off, cheeks flushing furiously.
She studied his face carefully. "Do it because you love him." She said.
Holmes narrowed his eyes at her. "What?"
"You know that what has gone on between you and him has no future." She said softly. "You know that you and him cannot be together. You know that you would damn him to a life as an outcast. You would make him a sinner." She paused, taking a shaky breath. "Leave him and know that you have done what is best for him."
Holmes was so angry he could hardly bear to look at her. The hatred and bile he felt bubbling inside of him was like nothing he had felt before. He despised her. He despised the half life she wanted to force upon Watson. "You ask this for yourself." He said, his voice trembling. "You do not ask this for Watson."
She looked at him with something in her eyes Holmes had not expected to see: pity. "Are you so blind that you think that I can ever be happy now with or without John? I will never recover this, Holmes. I will never heal from this wound."
Holmes lowered his eyes.
"But you can do one shred of good to me and to John." There was a desperation to her voice that made his insides writhe. "You can leave him to recover this and be the man he once was. You can save him-
"Get out." Holmes said in a low voice. He couldn't bear to hear any more.
There was silence. He could feel her gaze on him. He clutched the pipe so tightly in his hand that the spout cut into his flesh. He wanted her to leave. He wanted to be as far from her as humanely possible. He hated her. He hated every word that came from her mouth.
She did not speak. He heard the rustle of her skirts and her footsteps towards the door and glanced up. She looked back at him and he saw, under the mask of indifference, the pain in her eyes. He wished he had kept his eyes on the floor.
The door closed behind her and he was alone again.
"Where the hell have you been?"
Mary glanced wordlessly at Watson. She calmly removed her shawl and bonnet and hung them on the hat stand.
"Out." She said to her husband's suspicious face, pulling her gloves off.
"Out where?" He snapped.
Mary sent him a disdainful look and tossed the gloves over her arm. She tried to step around him.
Watson grabbed her sleeve. "What do you mean "out"?" He demanded, twisting the material in his fist to stop her from moving.
She stopped and looked at him. He let go of her as though he'd been stung.
"It's two-thirty." He said through gritted teeth. "I was concerned."
Mary raised an eyebrow. "That you noticed my absence at all is astonishing." She said dryly.
Watson's lips thinned. "I still care about you, Mary, whatever else you believe." He said quietly.
"Don't bore me with your self-righteous twaddle." She snapped. "I am no longer obliged to listen."
Watson swallowed, refraining from snapping back. "I know you're angry-
"Oh! Do you!" Mary said shrilly. "How observant of you."
"But I think that you are aware that gallivanting about London in the middle of the night is stupid and irresponsible." Watson went on coldly.
"And why should you care if I was gallivanting about London?" Mary retorted. "I should think it would things all very simple for you if I were to have my throat split in some alleyway."
The colour drained from Watson's face. "You really think I want that?" He said hollowly.
"Then you and Holmes could have everything we couldn't." She said venomously, pushing roughly past him. "He and you deserve each other. You're as deluded and as selfish as each other."
She was at the base of the stairs when it suddenly dawned on him. He turned slowly to her. "You went to Baker Street?"
She paused where she was and looked back at him, one hand resting on the banister. She watched him silently as though she were waiting to see what he would do next.
"You went to his home? You went to accuse him of... of..." Watson was almost too angry to speak.
"I did not accuse him of anything." Mary said quietly. "Why would I accuse him of something I already know is true?"
"What good does it do?" Watson said furiously, clenching his fists. "What good does it do to go and upset him?"
Mary's eyes flashed. "Upset him?" She repeated softly. "I am very sorry if I have upset him. It was not my intention."
Watson gritted his teeth. "You had no right to go-
"I had every right to go." Mary said sharply. "I had every right to go and look into the face of the man who destroyed our marriage-
"I don't want you near him!" Watson snarled at her.
Mary was silent. She gazed at him calmly, her features strangely blank.
Watson turned and snatched his coat from the stand, he pulled it on and pushed his hat onto his head. When he turned back to her, she hadn't moved. She was still watching him.
"I'm sorry." Watson said.
"There's only so many times I can hear those words and still believe them." Mary said bluntly.
Watson lowered his eyes. He heard her footsteps disappear up the stairs.
He pulled his coat collar up higher around his neck and headed out into the early morning cold.
To be continued... very soon ;)To Chapter Seventeen
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