by elfin

He brushes his thumb over the intricate design on the case of the pocket watch.  I glance at him through the dust-filled air of the room as he checks the time and my pulse speeds up just a little as it always does whenever he has it in his hand.  The dainty clock face tells him what he wants to know.  He snaps it shut and I wait for him to slide it back into the pocket of his waistcoat.  But this time he seems to stare at it, and my breath catches in my throat as he turns the silver case over in his palm.  It�s only the second time in two years that he�s faltered and it�s a moment before I think to distract him.


He starts and his head snaps up as if I�ve caught him doing something he knows I disapprove of.  He slips the watch into his pocket and the danger passes for the time being.

�Yes, Watson?�

I fold the newspaper into my lap.  �It�s time we should be leaving I think.  The table�s booked for eight, isn�t it?�

He looks at me with almost in trepidation and it crosses my mind that I�m the only one who can make him look � feel � like that.  I�m almost ashamed.  �It�s a little early, isn�t it Watson?�

�I suggest we walk.  It�ll do you good � it�ll do us good � to get out of the house, to get some fresh air.�  He smiles at me and as I catch his gaze I imagine � for a moment � I can see the golden twinkling of stars in his eyes.  And then they�re back to their usual brown and he nods his acquiescence, if not his complete agreement, and rises from his chair.

�Whatever you say, Watson.  You�re the doctor after all.�

It always saddens me when he says that.  But at the same time, it amuses me.