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Note: inspiration provided by Diana Williams' Holmes vid, Your Mistake.
"You must see it is quite impossible," he said. "We had far better forget this entire discussion."
His name rang in his ears like a death-knell, sure and fatal. He could have wept or raged, if his character had permitted such excesses. How inexcusably stupid. He'd long known, of course, the degree of Watson's affection for him, quite probably before Watson himself had identified that degree. It had never bothered him; he'd been supremely confident that Watson would never rupture their friendship with an unwelcome advance.
Events had borne out his judgement on that point. That he might be the cause of his own disaster had never occurred to him.
A moment of weakness, a carelessly lingering glance, a slip of the tongue -- such small things to bring him to ruin. Yet now Watson's hand was on his shoulder, and he doubted whether his legs would hold him if he tried to stand and move away.
"Would you have us carry on as before, every word now a pretense?" Watson asked quietly. "That would be entirely beyond my power."
Yes. He knew that very well. The responsibility had been his, to keep this irresistible truth from meeting the plain immovable honesty that was Watson's bedrock, and he had failed in it. All effort would be futile now.
"As you wish," he said, keeping his voice cold in preference to allowing it to waver. "Then I must ask you to be good enough to seek other quarters. I would offer to relocate, but I fear that your literary endeavours have rendered this address--"
He was silenced not by any force, but by the simple touch of Watson's hand against his neck, cupping his head. "No," Watson said, gently, implacably.
A shudder of unexpected violence wracked him. He could do nothing to prevent the kiss, Watson's lips soft and warm and pressing his mouth apart. In the disorder of his senses, he was unsure whether he struggled up or was lifted to be half-carried to the sofa, Mrs. Hudson's embroidered pillows spilling untidily onto the floor as Watson swept it clear and pressed him down into the cushions.
He fought with no skill at all, Watson's solid strength absorbing his convulsive attempts at escape. "Shh," Watson said, stroking his cheek, as if he were a horse to be gentled, and yet his body obeyed, the panic draining out of him and leaving only an expectant, dreamy lassitude.
So strange, to be touched so intimately, hands on parts of his body he barely knew himself. Watson did not strip him completely, only enough to provide access, and he was grateful. He turned over obediently at the guiding touch, folding his arms beneath his head, and breathed steadily as Watson pressed into him.
Evidently, not impossible after all.
= End =