This story is set to James Kavanaugh's poem "Will You Be My Friend?" and was inspired by that poem as well. I heard it recited one day and immediately thought of Holmes saying it to Watson.

It seems rather sad that I even have to bring this up, but this is NOT slash. I do not write slash and I do not read it. You can read this story anyway you want, but it is meant to demonstrate the friendship between Holmes and Watson and nothing more. That being said, I hope you enjoy.

Will You Be My Friend?

Will you be my friend?

There are so many reasons why you never should:

I'm sometimes sullen, often shy, acutely sensitive,

My fear erupts as anger, I find it hard to give,

I talk about myself when I'm afraid

And often spend the day without anything to say.

I lit my pipe, leaned back in my armchair, and silently studied the man sitting on the sofa. His name was Dr. John Watson and he has been my roommate for the past few months. He has been my companion for several of my cases, the sounding board against which I run my theories, and my avid one-man audience who delights in hearing and seeing my methods. I wonder as I study him if this man, this Dr. Watson, could possibly become more than just a roommate, a companion. I wonder . . . could he possibly become my friend? I had never really had a true friend. Oh, I had acquaintances to be sure, but none of them could be considered friends. Not in the true sense of the word anyway. For most of them, I could not have cared less whether they would be a friend or not, but Watson . . . He was different. For whatever reason, his opinion mattered to me. I hoped he would be my friend. It gets so lonely being friendless, you know.

We were off to a good start at any rate. He had already been introduced to most of my vices and did not seem to mind. If he did mind, he was extremely patient and said not a word about it. I wonder what he thinks about me. Could he maybe want to be my friend too?

Sherlock Holmes was studying me. I could tell, though I said nothing nor gave any indication that I knew his eyes were upon me. It made sense really that Holmes would be as curious about me as I was about him. He was quite the busybody after all. That curiosity of his would get him into trouble someday, of that I am sure. If, however, he did get into trouble, I would be there for him. Maybe I could not help him get out of his trouble again, but I could at least be supportive as a good friend should.

I wonder if I am his friend. He is certainly mine, if he wants to be. I do hope he considers me a friend. He could certainly use a friend since he does not appear to have any. At least, no one comes to call with much frequency except on cases. I want to be his friend. Do you suppose he wants to be mine?

But I will make you laugh

And love you quite a bit

And hold you when you're sad.

I cry a little almost every day

Because I'm more caring than the strangers ever know,

And, if at times, I show my tender side

(The soft and warmer part I hide)

I wonder . . .

Something is wrong with Watson and I cannot figure out what. He is downcast, his eyes sad. He almost looks as if he is grieving for someone . . . his wife perhaps? It has been a while since her death and Watson never acted this way normally. Could it be the anniversary of her death? No, the day was wrong. Suddenly, like a spark of lighting, I know the answer. Today would have been their wedding anniversary.

I know that Watson had loved his Mary very much. I know also that it had been very hard for him when she had died. Guilt rose in me because I had not been there when he needed me. Maybe I can make up for it by being here for him now. I do not pretend to have any sort of talent for comfort, but perhaps he can accept my efforts.

"Lovely day, is it not?" I began when he entered the sitting room.

"I suppose it is," he replied.

"Would you like to take a stroll though Kensington Gardens with me? The rosebushes are quite lovely this time of year."

"No thank you, but feel free to go by yourself." I sighed inwardly. It seemed there was nothing for it, but to just come straight to the point.

"It's your wedding anniversary today, is it not?"

He looked at me in surprise. "Yes. I did not think you would remember."

"I didn't at first, but after noticing your mood lately, the conclusion presented itself. You miss her very much." It was not a question, but he answered it anyway in a voice barely above whisper.

"Yes. She meant so much to me."

"I . . . I am sorry I wasn't there for you when you needed me," I said hesitantly. "Your feelings and friendship are very important to me. I should have been there."

"You were rather busy at the time being dead," replied Watson.

"Yes, but . . . that is no excuse."

"Perhaps not." He looked at me, a hint of a smile on his face. "But you are here now and for that I am eternally grateful."

"What kind of flowers did your wife like?" I asked, a sudden idea coming to me.

"She liked most kinds, but roses were a particular favorite. Why do you ask?"

"There's a flower shop near Kensington. Perhaps we might stop there to purchase a rose or two to lay on your wife's grave as a little remembrance if you would like."

Tears started in Watson's eyes. "I would like that very much. Would you accompany me?"

"My dear fellow, I would be delighted." I smile to myself as we head off together down the street. I may not be the most caring fellow around, but Watson has apparently been my friend long enough to know when I am trying my best.

Will you be my friend?

A friend

Who far beyond the feebleness of any vow or tie

Will touch the secret place where I am really I,

To know the pain of lips that plead and eyes that weep,

Who will not run away when you find me in the street

Alone and lying mangled by my quota of defeats

But will stop and stay - to tell me of another day

When I was beautiful.

It had been a trying week. I had been overrun with a flurry of cases, some simple and some not so simple. The latest one had been a complete failure. I had been on completely the wrong track from the start. Though the case was now solved, it had not been done satisfactorily. The culprit had escaped, two people were dead who should not have been, and Scotland Yard had their laugh at my expense. My pride had been wounded and my self-confidence somewhat shattered.

I returned home to Baker Street, weary and hurt, to find Watson waiting for me in the sitting room. He greeted me cheerily to which I gave only a glare in reply. How could he be cheerful at a time like this? Watson being Watson immediately took notice of my bad temper.

"I say, Holmes, is something wrong?"

I laughed bitterly, falling into my armchair. "Oh nothing much. Only the fact that because of my stupidity two people are now dead, their killer has escaped justice, and I am now the laughingstock of Scotland Yard, Lestrade in particular."

"I take it then that this case didn't go so well."

"Obviously!" I snapped. "You really can be dreadfully obtuse sometimes!" I regretted the harsh, unkind, and untrue words immediately. Watson's facial expression barely changed, but I could tell by his eyes that he was hurt.

"Sorry, old boy, just trying to help," he muttered, looking at his feet.

I sighed. "I know, my dear fellow, I know." There was silence a moment in which I sat and brooded.

"You really mustn't be too hard on yourself," Watson said finally. "Everyone makes mistakes, you know."

I leapt to my feet and began to pace around the room. "Yes, but few make stupid mistakes that cost lives! I should have seen the truth from the beginning! I should have solved the case instantly!" I was interrupted by Watson's hand on my arm.

"Holmes, I have been your friend long enough to know that you are a brilliant detective. I also know that you are only human and as such can be fallible at times, but that doesn't make you any less brilliant. Besides it is neither beneficial nor useful to berate yourself about it since it won't change anything."

"So you're suggesting that I pull myself together and move on?" I asked, amusement creeping through my black mood.


I smiled. "Dear old Watson, always there to knock some sense into my thick skull. Thank you. And I'm sorry for what I said earlier; it wasn't true nor was it excusable because of my mood. I am sorry."

Watson smiled back. "That's quite alright, my dear chap, quite alright." We both settled back onto our respective seats. A warm glow had filled me, sending my dismal thoughts from before out into to the night. He had called himself my friend.

Will you be my friend?

There are so many reasons why you never should;

Often I'm too serious, seldom predictable the same,

Sometimes cold and distant, probably I'll always change.

I bluster and brag, seek attention like a child.

I brood and pout, my anger can be wild,

Poor Watson really is a patient fellow to deal with me in all my moods and vices. At times, I could be companionable enough I suppose. At other times, I was cold, distant, and rather unlikable. I could tell he was often confused by my sudden changes in temperament especially since I could give him no satisfactory explanation.

It was raining. It started raining the day before and was still going strong. Perhaps that was the reason for my depressed, silent, brooding mood. At any rate, I was a miserable companion that day. Poor Watson did his best to engage me, but I refused to be engaged and he eventually gave up and retreated to the sofa where he read the newspaper and other odd reading materials, eyes occasionally roving to me.

The day wore on. I grew more and more depressed and lonely. If I had not been in such a black mood, I doubt I should have brought it up at.

"I'm not a very good companion, am I?"

Watson looked up in surprise. "Well, today you're being very unsociable, but we all have days like that. I think you're a-a fine companion."

"I doubt many would think that."

"Maybe not, but it's what I think."

I waved a hand at him. "You're just making that up to make me less gloomy."

"Nonsense, Holmes! I am doing no such thing! You're my friend, Holmes. I'm not going to lie to you just to sooth your pride or feelings. Friends are honest with each other."

"Friends. Are we friends, Watson?"

"Well, I'm certainly your friend, if you want me to be, and you are perfectly welcome to be mine, if you want to be. Why do you ask? Is it because you-you don't think we are friends or is it something else?"

I sensed a hurt edge to his voice and felt a stab of annoyance towards myself. I had not meant to hurt his feelings. "I don't know why I asked, dear fellow. I suppose it's all this rain making me feel lonely." Watson nodded and resumed his reading, face slightly downcast. I did not want him to be hurt.

"Uh, Watson, you . . . you really want me as a friend?"

"Yes, Holmes, I do. Do you want me as your friend?"

I smiled. "Yes. I need someone to rely on, someone who will stand by me. You've already been doing that without my having asked for your loyalty or friendship."

"Don't mention it, old boy. I'm perfectly glad to fill that role." His hazel eyes were focused on mine, the hurt vanishing to be replaced by happiness.

"Thank you, Watson. Dear old Watson." We smiled at each other and for once, I was truly happy to have a comrade. Suddenly, I noticed that the room was silent. The rain had stopped and the sun was peeking in the window.

"Fancy a quick stroll, Watson?" I asked. His face lit up.

"I would like that very much." My spirit significantly lifted, I pulled on my coat and hat and followed Watson out the door into the bright day.

But I will make you laugh

And love you quite a bit

And be near when you're afraid.

I shake a little almost every day

Because I'm more frightened than the strangers ever know

And if at times I show my trembling side

(The anxious, fearful part I hide)

I wonder,

The situation appeared hopeless. Watson and I were trapped in an old, run-down house where we had gone to investigate a case I was working on. At least four armed men waited outside, waiting for the signal to kill. We were crouched in the darkness, steeling ourselves for what could be the final end.

"Well, Watson," I said, "we must chance it."

"I suppose so." There was a strange note to my friend's voice and I wished I could see his face. No doubt sensing my curious look, he gave a short, whispering chuckle.

"You know, old boy, we've been through all sorts of danger, but this time . . . Holmes, I must confess that I'm a little scared this time around."

I laid a reassuring hand on his shoulder. "Me too, dear fellow, me too."

"I guess our situation must indeed be desperate than for the great Sherlock Holmes to be afraid," he teased, attempting in his own way to lighten the situation.

"Nonsense! I am only human, as you so often remind me. I too have fears though I don't often let them show."

"Yes, Holmes, I know." I smiled in the darkness. Of course he knew. He alone of all the men in England, save perhaps Mycroft, knew me for who I was.

I took a deep breath, my resolve hardening. "Well, it's time to make our move. In case we don't make it out, I want you to know that you have been the greatest friend I could ever ask for."

"And you have been the same for me." Together, we leapt up and rushed out to face whatever fate had in store for us.

Will you be my friend?

A friend

Who, when I fear your closeness, feels me push away

And stubbornly will stay to share what's left on such a day

Who, when no one knows my name or calls me on the phone,

When there's no concern for me - what I have or haven't done -

And those I've helped and counted on have, oh so deftly, run.

Who, when there's nothing left but me,

Stripped of charm and subtlety,

Will nonetheless remain.

Inevitably, there come days when one feels so completely alone and friendless in the world. It was not long after my return to Baker Street after being "dead" for three years. It had been days since anyone had come to call. In fact, I had barely even seen a living person save those passing in the street below. Watson had not even been by though I could hardly blame him. Before my supposed death, I had pushed him away for fear that he would be hurt or killed. I had hurt him more grievously by letting him believe I was dead than I could ever hope to rectify. No, I could not blame him for staying away. Still, I missed his company and longed to hear his familiar footfalls on the stairs.

Occupied as I was with these thoughts, it was a moment before I realized that there really were footfalls on the stairs. I turned toward the door in surprise as Watson walked in. His whole demeanor spoke of weary days at his practice. His face was haggard and worn, his eyes tired and yet he seemed genuinely pleased to see me. I waved him to the sofa, pouring him a brandy which he accepted gratefully.

"Your practice is going well, I take it," I said, seating myself in the armchair.

"Yes, it is as you can probably see from how tired I appear. I've been extremely busy these last few days."

"Is, uh, is that why you haven't dropped by?"

"As a matter of fact, it is. I meant to come and then it got too late and I was too tired. I am sorry."

"Is that the only reason?"

He looked at me sharply. "Of course it is. Why wouldn't it be?"

"Oh, I don't know, just curious I suppose." I refused to meet his eyes, choosing instead to re-light my pipe.

"Holmes, if you think I'm avoiding you for some reason, you're quite wrong. I really have just been busy."

"No, I believe you, my dear fellow." To this day, I do not know why I did not stop there. "I was just thinking earlier that I did not blame you for staying away considering how I had hurt you both at the falls and before."

Watson gaped at me. "You thought I was staying away purposely because you had hurt my feelings?" I nodded a little shamefully. "Well, I admit I was hurt at the time, but I understand why you had to do it. Besides, now that you are back with me there is no point to staying hurt. I forgave you, Holmes. I forgave you almost immediately."

I smiled, a weight lifting from my chest. "Dear old Watson, where would I be without you as my friend?"

"I'm sure I don't know," he replied, smiling in return.

Will you be my friend?

For no reason that I know

Except I want you so.

The End

It was a little long for a one-shot, I know, but it didn't seem right to split it into multiple chapters. As always, reviews are loved and welcomed. Thanks so much for reading.