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FIC: Sherlock Holmes: Idle Queries (PG)

Title: Idle Queries
Fandom: Sherlock Holmes (2009 movie)
Pairing/characters: Holmes, Watson, Mrs Hudson, and Gladstone. Mention of Watson/Mary, undertones of Holmes/Watson.
Summary: Holmes kills the dog...again.
Rating/warnings: PG for, uh, character death?
Word count: ~1100
Author's note: From aunt_agatha's prompt: Holmes thinks he really HAS killed the dog, and he has no idea what to do and possibly tries to hide it. Thanks to shes_gone and aunt_agatha for the beta. Based entirely on the 2009 film.

Idle Queries

Watson knocked on the door of 221b Baker Street and stepped back to wait for an answer. The sound of a violin seeped through the brick walls and out onto the street, mingling with the clip clap of horse hooves and the shouts of newspaper vendors. Watson's mouth curved into a smirk as the violin screeched violently and barreled on.

Suddenly, the door opened and a face peeked out. "Doctor Watson!" Mrs. Hudson exclaimed, opening the door wider. "I'm so glad you're here," she added in a bit of a whisper. "Please come in."

Watson removed his hat and stepped inside. "Thank you, Mrs. Hudson. It's always lovely to see you."

Mrs. Hudson always looked happy, or perhaps relieved, to see him, and she looked particularly so this morning, as she took his coat and offered him a pot of tea. He accepted, gratefully, and took the stairs two at a time until he reached Holmes's study.

Holmes was pacing the room, back to the door, muttering under his breath as he raked ink-stained fingers through his messy hair. The room, of course, was in complete disarray. Papers littered the floor, a stack of books balanced precariously on the edge of his desk, and the violin he'd been playing just moments before had been tossed haphazardly onto the sofa. Vials of multi-colored liquids were set up at his work station in what looked like a rather elaborate chemistry experiment.

Watson cleared his throat, and Holmes started with almost comic exaggeration, turning around to face him.

"I came--" Watson entered the room, stepping over a plate of molding toast. "--to see if you might like to accompany me to lunch. If you aren't otherwise...engaged."

"Lunch," Holmes said slowly, as if unfamiliar with the word. He was staring at Watson with a peculiar expression on his face. "Lunch. Yes. Absolutely."

Watson frowned. "Is something the matter? Did you--" He stopped, pursing his lips together with sudden understanding. "Have you been testing poisons on yourself again?"

"That is a ridiculous accusation, and I am insulted."

Watson expelled a weary sigh through his nostrils. "Do you have a case, or is this to satisfy your own idle queries?"

"My queries are never idle, and yes, I do have a case, a very important case. Nothing that would interest you, of course," he added helpfully, with a wave of his hand. "In fact, it would probably be best that we did not go to lunch today, after all, as I am reminded of a very important meeting scheduled for--"

"Your tea, Doctor," announced Mrs. Hudson, nudging the door open with her foot and expertly sidestepping a pile of dirty undershirts. She set the tray on the corner of Holmes's work table, next to the vials of liquid, and poured Watson a cup. "Just the way you like it."

"Thank you, Mrs. Hudson," Watson said politely, accepting the saucer she gave him. He expected her to leave as quickly as possible, but instead she stood for a moment, staring at Holmes defiantly.

"Well?" she said pointedly. "Have you told him?"

"Told him what?" Watson demanded, looking over at Holmes.

"Nothing," Holmes said quickly. "That will be all, Mrs. Hudson. Thank you for--"

"Nothing!" Mrs. Hudson echoed incredulously. She turned to Watson, eyes flaring. "He killed your dog!"

"What!" Watson looked at Holmes, who sighed and looked up at the ceiling. "Holmes, is this true!" Without waiting for an answer, he stepped around Mrs. Hudson, set the saucer on the table, and started turning over pillows and piles of discarded clothing. "Where is he?"

"Check the corner," said Mrs. Hudson.

"Thank you, dear woman, that will be all," Holmes said loudly, and Mrs. Hudson left the room in a huff.

Watson found Gladstone in the corner of the room, hidden under a makeshift tent created with two stacks of books and a old quilt. He was lying on his side, eyes closed and stomach bloated, and he appeared quite dead. Watson, who'd had very little experience examining animals prior to moving in with Holmes, expertly checked the dog's vital signs, of which he could find none. He sighed and, letting his hand linger for a brief moment on the back of the bull-pup's head, rose to his feet and turned to Holmes.

Holmes, who had been watching the examination from across the room, suddenly became fascinated with his fingernails. "Is he...all right?" he asked lightly.

"He's dead," Watson said flatly.

Holmes flinched. "Not, then. Well, it was only a matter of time, wasn't it, before this happened. I tell you, no one is as distraught over this as I am. Except for you, of course. And perhaps Mrs. Huds--"

Watson stepped in front of him, drawing close until their faces were only inches apart. "Holmes."

Holmes cleared his throat. "Yes, Watson."

"Did you poison my dog?"

"Our dog."

"You did, didn't you?"

"Absolutely not."

"Don't lie to me."

"I might have."

"Holmes!" Watson lifted his hand to strike him, but thought better of it and turned away, kicking the leg of Holmes's desk chair. "I can't believe--you really are an insufferable human being! Experimenting on my dog--"

"Our dog--"

"--my dog to satisfy one of your opiate-induced curiosities. You are incapable of thinking of anyone but yourself! You don't ever care what happens to others--"

"Well, I didn't think it would hurt him."

"It's poison," Watson hissed.

Holmes waved dismissively. "Yes, but he's taken it before--"

"Taken it before?"

"--with no lasting side effects, and besides, the both of us know that dog's stomach is more resilient than the steel they're using to construct that bridge over the Thames!"

Watson opened his mouth to object but could think of no reply. He closed his eyes and reached up to massage the bridge of his nose.

"Anyway," Holmes said brightly, "you really mustn't blame your wife for this. The esteemed Mrs. Watson has her flaws, but in this case it really couldn't be helped, could it?"

Watson looked up, aghast. "Why, pray tell, would I blame Mary for this?"

"Well, she is the reason Gladstone remained with me, isn't she?" Holmes reminded him, affecting delicacy. "Her...allergy, I believe she called it."

Watson glared at him, teeth clenched like the fists at his sides. There was a long, tense moment of silence, and Watson was preparing to launch himself across the room when the tension was suddenly broken by a soft whine. Both men looked over to see Gladstone sitting next to the couch, his sad, drooping eyes flickering between the two men.

"Gladstone!" Watson exclaimed, abandoning decorum to drop to his knees and give the dog a cursory examination and an affectionate scratch on the head. "You frightened me, old boy!"

"Ah, see, we were worried for nothing," said Holmes, beaming at the sight of them.

Watson looked up, frowning. "I suppose you're relieved," he said bitterly. "As you should be."

"Indeed," said Holmes, collapsing into his desk chair and picking up a pencil. "I was starting to wonder if I'd miscalculated somewhere."

Tags: character: john watson, character: sherlock holmes, fic, fic: sherlock holmes, holmes/watson, pairing: holmes/watson, sherlock holmes
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