Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Sherlock Holmes
Character/Pairing: Holmes, Watson, Mrs. Hudson
Challenge/Prompt: holmes_minor: Stitches
Warning(s): Future Fic, Character Death, Impending Character Death
Word Count: 500
Date Written: 18 September 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Doyle, not the author, and are used without permission.
It was time, he thought, rising from his chair and extinguishing his pipe. He hobbled over to his door and paused for a moment just inside it. Something in his bones and ice sliding through his gut were both warning him that this would be the last time he would leave his apartment for a while, if not ever. It shouldn’t matter, he thought; it wasn’t as if he still had friends here waiting for his return. He had buried both the good doctor Watson and Missus Hudson years ago. It was well past time, he thought, for his own departure.
Still he lingered there in the door. He turned back and looked at the chair in which no one sat these days, the chair that had been occupied by his dearest and longest friend. Sometimes, like now, he could still hear Watson’s kindly, sage voice in his head. He could still hear Missus Hudson clucking to him as he went out, quite often, to mind the weather and be sure he dressed appropriately. His mind used to be filled with facts. He still held more facts in his old cerebrum than most people would ever know, but now it was also filled with memories and voices no one else heard.
He’d once tried to ignore them, but no longer. Now he valued every moment. He cherished every memory, especially those he’d shared with Watson. He stood there for an indefinite amount of time, just watching Watson’s empty chair as though his old friend would suddenly occupy it again. Finally he turned, opened his door, and stopped again. This time, his gaze shifted to his deerstalker cap on the wall. He’d hated that hat at first, but now it, too, held so many fond memories.
Holmes reached up and fetched it from its peg. He fingered its thinned fabric, feeling the stitches that had accumulated in it over the years. There were several from Missus Hudson, who had always insisted on mending clothes whenever a villain had gotten too close to him. After her passing, Watson had taken up the deed, and Holmes knew his stitches well, having worn them in his clothes as well as his body. He sighed. The cap, like so much else in this place and in his life, reminded him of those whose lives he longed to have never ended so long before his own.
It was time, he thought. It was time he leave this life for a greater place and greater mysteries. It was time he discovered just what was beyond this mortal plane, if anything. If there proved to be nothing, then perhaps it was simply time for him to rest. But even in his last moments, he reached for his memories of those he loved and carried them with him just as he wore the deerstalker with both their markings on his old, grey head. He carried their kindness, love, and memory with him always and would always until the end.