Tonight is no different. I am supposed to be finally getting some rest after a long, hard day's work. By "work," I mean baby-sitting Sherlock and helping him with his cases. My job at the clinic is far easier to manage than tackling the enigma that is Sherlock Holmes. Today, he was especially difficult. It all started this morning
when freezing water splashed onto my face and Sherlock's cross visage was frowning inches away from mine. I lurched backwards a few metres and slammed into the wall, which elicited a string of profanities. I looked at the clock. 2:34 a.m. Furious, I shouted,
"What the bloody hell are you doing!?"
"You're Excuse me?"
"Suffering ennui and the banality and vapidity of the common criminal class. Surrounded by tedium and the mundane. In short, bored."
There were times when I just wanted to kill Sherlock in the worst way possible, not caring at all what Lestrade would do to me as a consequence. This was one of those times. Sherlock saw my anger and was wise enough to back out of my swinging range. He had previously learned how strong my punch could be.
"What?" he asked in all innocence. "I thought you might like to do something entertaining."
"Well, the most entertaining thing at the moment is sleep."
"Sleep is positively dull. You can't say that your dreams are exactly pleasant, either."
Damn. I hated it when he was right.
"Well, at the moment I don't really care. I just want to go to sleep. God knows what's going to happen tomorrow. Armageddon, for all I know."
"I don't believe in God or Armageddon."
"Sherlock, just shut up and get the hell out of here before I kill you!" As he exited my room I threw a pillow at him for good measure.
Grumbling even more profanities, I settled back in bed. To my chagrin, a series of metallic bangs sounded from what others might call a kitchen. I called it Sherlock's Little Shop of Horrors. I hoped that it was simply a few pots and pans falling down because Sherlock wanted to make himself a bit of porridge as a midnight snack. The acrid smell and glowing glowing? blue smoke wafting in from Sherlock's lab told me otherwise. I swung slowly out of bed, trudged to the door, slammed it with as much force as I could (I was too tired at this point to curse, much less speak, any more), trudged back to bed, and flopped onto it once again. In a matter of minutes, I fell back to a restless sleep.
Two hours later, I awoke to Sherlock yelling, "John! JOHN!"
"What do you want now!?"
"I trust St. Bart's taught you how to treat chemical burns."
I sat up groggily and muttered, "Oh my god " before plodding heavily down the steps. Sherlock held his arm in front of me like a child and showed me his burn. I half expected him to ask me for an Elastoplast* with purple and green dinosaurs.
"You washed it under cold water?"
"Naturally. Otherwise the pores would open up and the chemicals would enter my system."
I examined his arm. "What were you using?"
"Nothing too lethal," he replied casually, motioning to a mix of agents whose names I knew but couldn't pronounce. "I've actually built up quite a tolerance to it."
I rolled my eyes. Wordlessly I examined the injury and treated it to the best of my ability. Thankfully it wasn't life threatening. I warned him to not tamper with or do any more experiments until I could examine it again in the morning, and to tell me if he was experiencing any symptoms following a severe burn just in case.
With a rough wave of my hand, I ascended the stairs and somehow managed to get my body back into my bed. Sleep was on the edge of overtaking me when Sherlock began scraping his violin with such menace I thought he intended to break it rather than play it. When he felt like it, Sherlock played like a god, but obviously he wasn't in the mood. I felt like cursing Sherlock until his ears bled, but I didn't have the strength. I simply lay there in agony for several hours, chasing sleep far longer than I wanted. Finally, blessed rest came.
Just in time for the alarm clock to go off.
Except it didn't go off.
What did go off was the smoke alarm.
"Sherlock! I told you no more bloody experiments!" I raged as I tumbled down the stairs. But it wasn't Sherlock. Sherlock was nowhere to be found. The only person I found was Mrs Hudson.
"I'm sorry, Dear," she apologized, a look of sheer fright across her face. "I meant to make you a nice breakfast since the power went out earlier, but I accidentally burned my scones."
"It's fine, really. You're too kind." I blearily looked at the clock. 10:15.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1
"Dammit! I'm late for work!" I blindly rushed about, hoping that I had some semblance of professionalism. Mrs Hudson salvaged a plate for me and helped me straighten up before I left. As I flew down the stairs of the flat, I called,
"Mrs Hudson, you're a saint!"
"As are you," she replied, chuckling. "And in case you're wondering, Sherlock left a few hours ago with that rather dashing fellow from the Yard."
Good, I thought irritably. Lestrade can babysit him while I'm at the clinic.
Work was... well, to be frank, it was god-awful. I had a deluge of patients because of the flu season and mothers-who-think-they-know-more-about-medicine-than-the-doctors-because-'it's-my-child' season, and to make matters worse, I was so exhausted that I had difficulty remembering which patients were which. The one good thing about my day at the clinic is that it went on without Sherlock interrupting me for the first few hours, which is more than I could ever imagine considering Sherlock was on a new case. I naïvely thought, Perhaps he doesn't need me for this one. Maybe he will traipse the streets all night tonight and leave me in peace be until morning.
As if to spite me, my mobile vibrated. I groaned and took it out and read the text.
Come to the yard immediately.
If inconvenient... come now anyway.
"Just when I thought I'd have a little peace," I grumbled.
I looked at the clock. It was time for me to leave anyway Sighing, I texted back that I'd be there as soon as I could. After that I firmly ignored any more texts from Sherlock. Normally I'd check every one to make sure he wasn't about to kill himself, but I had such a strong grudge against him today that I didn't care what he did as long as it didn't cause more trouble for me. The entire ride to the Yard, I focused on calming myself enough to be civil to everyone else there. The last thing I needed was being arrested. At least Donovan liked me a great deal more than she liked Sherlock of course, that wasn't a feat to brag about, as she liked everyone a great deal more than she liked Sherlock.
"Hello, Lestrade. What do we have this time?" I asked the detective inspector. He looked at me in confusion and asked,
"Did Sherlock call you here?"
"That's strange. We just solved a case."
"Then why on earth would Sherlock-"
"There you are!" the consulting detective cried with a mixture of impatience and delight. He grabbed my forearm and dragged me over to the next room. Upon entering, I spied Anderson standing with his arms crossed and the familiar scowl on his face. In the midst of my vexation with Sherlock, I wondered what Sally saw in Anderson. Even with the way she treated Sherlock, she surely deserved better. Anderson, for his part, rolled his eyes when he saw me. Obviously my presence (or perhaps Sherlock's reappearance) wasn't what he wanted at the moment. Sherlock pushed me so that I stood in between them. Not the ideal position for me, but I was too annoyed and perplexed to step away.
"Why did you drag me here from the clinic?"
Sherlock positioned me in front of a blob of something -probably the leftovers of some piece of evidence- and asked in all seriousness,
"John, is this chartreuse or lime green?"
"You heard what he said," Anderson sneered. "I say it's lime, but the freak insists that this is chartreuse."
"It's imperative that we name the shade," Sherlock informed me with more gravity in his voice than he had ever had in speaking of the dead.
I sighed and stared at the puddle for a long time, running over all those absurd color names Harry had used when asking me to tell her which blouse she should wear with which slacks. I had really needed a life back then. Briefly I wondered if this counted as one. Finally, in the most solemn tone I could muster, I said,
"Actually, this is pea green."
"What!?!" Anderson roared. "You can't be serious! This clearly is lime!"
Sherlock said nothing, but his glare told me he wasn't happy with my answer. However, he wasn't about to be pushed over so easily- I could almost see the wheels of his mind turning furiously. Turning to Anderson, I pulled out my wallet and pulling out a pea said,
"Look- here is a pea. Look at that splat. The colours are identical."
"Why do you have a pea in your wallet?"
"I spilled my peas during lunch and never bothered to take them all out of my wallet and pockets and wherever else they may be."
Sherlock's eyes sparked -a sight I had come to fear- and he snatched the vegetable from my finger. He examined it so intently I thought he would burn it.
"Of course! P!"
"What about peas?" Anderson asked snidely.
"Not peas- Never mind. You wouldn't get it." He grabbed my hand and dragged me out the door, past Lestrade and a half-sympathetic, half-relieved-looking Donovan. I shrugged when the DI gave me a questioning glance. He gave me a weak smile that read as, 'I hope you make this out alive, but I'm not going to hold my breath.' That probably wasn't his intent, but either way it did nothing to make me feel any better.
Over the next two hours Sherlock dragged me hither and thither and yonder and fro through the entire city. In the rain. Without brollies* or anything else to shield us from the rain. If I could even remember all the places he took me, I wouldn't want to begin telling them to you because even now my blood is beginning to boil as I'm typing this.
After the pell-mell of today I was incredibly relieved when we arrived back at the flat. I told Sherlock that I was going to take a shower and not to disturb me, though I highly doubted if I'd get my wish, considering how the day was going. I made sure I had a clean towel, robe, and pyjamas waiting for me and entered the shower. I couldn't wait for the relieving sting of the hot water, the relaxing steam...
Instead, acrid-smelling, gray glop slopped down from a mutilated shower head. I clenched my fists in rage. That was the last straw. Without washing the nasty stuff off, I threw on my robe and stormed downstairs.
"Sherlock! I'll have you hung, drawn and quartered! And whipped! And boiled until until until you've had enough And then I will do it again! And when I've finished I will take all the little bits, and I will jump on them! And I will carry on jumping on them until I get blisters, or I can think of anything even more unpleasant to do, and then What the hell is that!?"
"This?" Sherlock asked innocently, holding up a jar with luminous orange smoke spewing dangerously from it. "I'm not quite sure what it is now, but it was the sleeve off that disgusting jumper you bought and failed to return."
"I 'failed to return' it because I couldn't find it! I could have bought a decent one if you hadn't stolen that one, you know."
Sherlock shrugged, which vexed me even further. Well, to be honest, everything he was doing today irritated me. I momentarily wondered how Lestrade had handled it for the past five years before remembering that they weren't flat-mates. I then asked myself if I would even be able to survive the year with this man. Or more correctly, if he would be able to survive a year with me.
"You heard me- I said 'out.' I'm sick and tired of you filling the house with rainbow-coloured smoke or gray slop or sticking heads in the fridge and eyeballs in the microwave!"
I must have looked like I was going to murder him or something because he picked up his violin and exited the house. Just like that.
Now I'm lying in bed, washed off and typing this blog. I suppose I could have been a trifle more patient, but I'm not going to beat myself up for bullying Sherlock Holmes. He'll come back eventually, I'm sure, with some other mad adventure that he'll drag me into whether or I like it or not.
Why me? I wonder. Why not Lestrade or some other more competent person?
I don't think I'll ever know, but I'm perfectly fine with that, because it is me, not Lestrade, not someone else.
Me, John Hamish Watson.