I had been playing around with this little one-shot for a while and now I am finally happy with the result. Enjoy:)

Of Violins and Sleepless Nights

Sherlock Holmes really could be the most infuriating and insufferable roommate at times. The time was close to four o'clock in the morning and I had been woken by the wailing sounds of Holmes's violin. This was the third night in a row I had been awoken in such a manner and I had had quite enough. Pulling on my dressing gown, I shuffled out of my bedroom and into the dimly lit sitting room. I had a quick glimpse of Holmes silhouetted against the moonlit window, violin on his shoulder, before he noticed my presence.

"I didn't wake you, my dear fellow?" he asked, ceasing that infernal wailing and looking at me.

"As a matter of fact, you did," I replied a little crossly. "This is the third night you've woken me with that dratted violin."

"Oh, I am sorry. It was not my intention."

"Any particular reason you've been playing that infernal thing and instead of sleeping?"

Holmes glanced at me. "No, not particularly."

"Oh." I huffed and sat down on the sofa.

"You're, uh, you're not going back to bed?"

I wrapped my dressing gown tighter around me. "I'm not tired.

Holmes smiled amusedly as my sentence became a yawn. "Yes, I can see that." He plucked idly at his violin as silence settled between us.

"Look, Holmes," I said finally, "something's bothering you. It isn't a case since you haven't got one at the moment so it must be something else. Now that I'm up, you might as well tell me."

He looked at me a moment before deliberately setting his violin down on the desk. "You're right, Watson," he conceded, "something is bothering me. However, you are wrong in believing it has nothing to do with a case. In fact, it has everything to do with one."

"Oh? I didn't know you had a client."

"I don't. It is not a current case, but rather one which we have already solved. I believe you decided to call it 'The Three Garridebs'."

"Well, yes, what about it? Surely you haven't been losing sleep over my 'sensationalism' as you call it?"

Holmes smiled slightly. "No, no, it's not that."

"What then?"

"I have been considering the fact that we were very lucky Killer Evens did not live up to his name."

"Yes, I suppose so."

"You suppose so? My dear Watson, you could have been killed."

"Well, yes, but we've been in situations like that before."

Holmes sighed. "I know, but this time . . . it was close, Watson. Too close, as my imagination continues to remind me." At last, I understood. Though for all practical purposes, the event was over with, Holmes could not forget what might have been.

"You know, Holmes, if you dwell on might-have-beens, you'll drive yourself positively mad," I remarked.

"Yes, I know, but . . ." He sighed again, turning to face the smoldering fire in the grate, hands deep in the pockets of his dressing gown. "Your life is important to me. I don't want to lose you, dear fellow, and this time I could have."

I smiled, my heart warming at his unusually tender words. I remembered his face after I had been wounded, so scared and so caring. "You're not hurt, Watson? For God's sake, say that you are not hurt!"

"Holmes, in this line of work, there will always be a certain element of danger," I began. "I do not mind it because I would rather die at your side than anywhere else." He looked at me, a strange expression in his eyes.

"Do you really mean that?"

"With all my heart." For a moment, we simply looked at each other.

Then Holmes smiled. "Dear, dear, Watson." That was all and yet there was more meaning in those simple words than anything else he could have said.

As silence pervaded the room, I yawned again, the late hour at last catching up with me. Holmes glanced over amusedly.

"Still not tired?" he asked.

"Only a little."

He chuckled softly and picked up his violin. "Then you don't mind if I play something?"

"Not at all, old boy." Gentle and low, he began to play. It sounded almost familiar, like he had played it before or something. I was in the midst of pondering what it could be when sleep overtook me.

I smiled when I heard Watson's familiar snores rising over the lullaby. Quietly, I laid my violin aside and curled up in my armchair. He really was an invaluable friend. There was no one else I would rather have my side despite the danger and if it came down to it, I would die myself to protect him just as I knew he would die to protect me. I yawned and let my eyes drift shut, warmth filling my soul. Dear old Watson.

The End

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