daylyn: (Default)
[personal profile] daylyn
Title: The Unbeatable Pair
Author: Daylyn
Fandom: Sherlock Holmes
Pairing: Holmes/Watson (implied pre-slash (if you squint))
Warning: Some angst, some arguing
Rating: PG
Word Count: 2,223
Disclaimer: Not mine, although actually in the public domain. No profit is intended.

Summary: Soon after Holmes’ return, an escaped criminal comes looking for Watson.

Author’s Note: Written for the [ profile] watsons_woes Challenge 006. Written rather hurriedly, but I had the idea and I wanted to ensure that I posted it in time for the challenge. I realized that I haven’t actually written any fic in about three months. Damn you RL and feelings of being overwhelmed. However, while doing this I remembered how much I love writing this pairing, so maybe I’ll get my ass back in gear and write some more.

The Unbeatable Pair
By Daylyn

It had been a little over a week since Sherlock Holmes’ miraculous “return” and I was, to be honest, still reeling from the implications. To discover that Holmes was not, in fact, dead was a thing of wonder. To discover that he had not trusted me, however, was a cause of bitter hurt. I must admit that these two conflicting emotions were dueling within me, causing me no end of confusion.

I was avoiding Holmes. I knew that. I also knew that if he took one look at me, he would know it too.

My last patient had just left for the day. I poured myself a brandy and tried to decide what I should do.

The decision was taken away from me by a loud knocking at my door. I was quite surprised when the maid admitted both Holmes and Inspector Lestrade.

“Gentlemen,” said I, rising. “To what do I owe this—”

“Thank goodness you’re here, Doctor,” Lestrade exclaimed.

“Why wouldn’t I be? What’s going on?” I demanded.

“It seems that the police have misplaced a prisoner,” Holmes said bitingly. “Lestrade insisted that you be brought in on the investigation, although I informed him that you were obviously quite busy as you had not been around since I’ve been back.”

Before I could even formulate a reply, Lestrade said, “It’s Pennington from the Molesey Mystery, Doctor. He’s escaped.”

I sat down heavily. “I see.”

“Lestrade, I am perfectly able to assist you with this blunder without the good Doctor’s help,” Sherlock Holmes said. “There was no reason to bother him.”

Although my mind was a whirl of confusion, I realized that Holmes was peeved with my absence this past week. I did not know whether I should laugh, cry, or punch him. All options seemed viable.

“I did not come to you for your assistance, Mr. Holmes,” Lestrade explained. “I came to you because I thought Dr. Watson might be there. You see, Pennington is coming after him.”

The color drained from Holmes’ face. “What?” he asked with a strangled cry.

I drank my brandy in one gulp. “My testimony was instrumental during his trial, Holmes,” I stated. “He blamed me, personally, for his incarceration, and informed me that my life was forfeit if he could ever reach me. Seeing as he had murdered three people, I assumed he would be hanged and thus had little fear he would make good on his threats. I guess I never contemplated his escape.”

“We have to get you out of here,” Holmes exclaimed, grabbing my arm.

“Actually, I was hoping that Dr. Watson could help us to catch Pennington,” Lestrade stated.

Holmes whirled on him. “You wish to use Watson as bait? Are you crazed, Lestrade? Absolutely not. I will not allow it. Come on, Watson. Let’s pack you a bag.”

I refused to move. “Aren’t you forgetting one thing, Holmes?”

He looked at me, his eyes wide. “What?”

“To ask my opinion on this matter.” I turned to the policeman. “What do you need me to do, Inspector?”

Holmes looked as if I had struck him.

“We think Pennington will try and get to you here,” Lestrade explained, “at your practice, as it is fairly easy to locate. We will stakeout your house, waiting for his arrival.

“It’s far too dangerous,” Holmes argued.

“I’ll do it,” I agreed.

“I have the force here already,” Lestrade continued. “We’ll be set up in a few moments.”

“How long do you plan to wait for him to show?” Holmes demanded. “Scotland Yard does not have the resources to watch Watson’s home for any length of time.”

Lestrade nodded. “You’re right, Mr. Holmes. If he does not come by tomorrow, then we will have to figure out a different plan. But I have a feeling he’ll be here.”

“Meanwhile you’re wasting precious time while you’re escaped convict is still out there. You should be investigating leads, after you get Watson to safety.”

“You can go and start your investigation, Holmes,” I said. “I’m staying right here and helping Inspector Lestrade.”

“I’m not leaving you,” Holmes snapped.

“But the investigation—”

“Watson, if you think that after all the effort I spent over the past three years trying to keep you safe, that I’m now going to run off when there is a convicted murderer possibly looking for you, then you are as oblivious as you make yourself out to be in your stories.”

There was an awkward silence as I stared at Holmes. Lestrade cleared his throat. “We’ll be set up in a moment, gentlemen. I think, actually, that it would be a good idea if Mr. Holmes stayed with you, Doctor.”

“Won’t Pennington be suspicious if he breaks in and finds Sherlock Holmes sitting here?”

“As far as London knows, I’m dead, remember. I’ll act as one of your patients, Watson. I’m not leaving.”

“I don’t want to put you in danger, Holmes.”

“Then come away.”

“I cannot do that.”

“If you’re in danger, Watson, then so am I.”

Before I could respond, Lestrade said, “Let’s send your staff away to safety, Dr. Watson, and I’ll bring my constables in.”

Within a few moments the police had set up their surveillance. Holmes and I sat in my consulting room, a heavy silence hanging between us.

“Why are you doing this, Watson?” Holmes asked quietly.

“Pennington has to be caught. If he’s coming here, then the police have a chance to get him before he can do more damage. I saw the bodies of his victims, Holmes, and his unique method of mutilating them while they were still alive. I’ll do whatever is necessary to bring him to justice.”

“The police could stake out your place without you being here, Watson. There is no reason to put yourself in such danger.”

“Perhaps. But I’m certain Lestrade feels I’ll be safer here where they can watch me than elsewhere. I haven’t been idle these past three years, Holmes. I know how to defend myself.”

“I was not implying that you did not, Doctor. Nevertheless, this is a foolhardy—”

We were interrupted as the door to my consulting room banged open. Escaped convict Pennington was standing there, with a revolver in his hand pointed at me.

“Dr. Watson,” he said, his voice silky and dead. “And a companion. How fortuitous.”

“Pennington,” I said, as calmly as I could. “It certainly is a surprise to see you.” I wondered where the hell the police were.

“Really, Doctor? I know you were informed of my actions. Unfortunately for you, by the time the police got here I was already inside your house. They have no idea I’m here.”

“I see.”

“I told you the police were incompetent,” Holmes chimed in. “I knew you should have fled.”

My temper flared despite the great danger. “I suppose you could have done better.”

“Of course I could have.”

“Quiet,” Pennington demanded, now waving the revolver between the two of us. “I’m afraid I don’t know the identity of your friend here, Dr. Watson.”

“I am Sherlock Holmes.”

Pennington snorted in disbelief. “I heard you were dead.”

“Rumors of my demise and all that. Really, Watson has never written an accurate account of any of my cases; I cannot imagine why that one would be any different.”

“I have paid you great honor with my stories,” I exclaimed heatedly.

“Pshaw. You call that honor. I call them over-inflated melodramas.”

I was bitterly hurt, I must admit. But then I noticed that Holmes had taken a step closer to my mantel and thus, more importantly, the box where I hid my revolver.

“You ungrateful bastard,” I hissed heatedly, angry despite knowing his intentions. “I helped to build your reputation. Besides, most of the stories were written when I thought you were dead as a memorial to your work.” I inched my way closer to my medical cabinet. There was likely something in there that I could use as a weapon.

“Quiet,” Pennington demanded again. “I’m going to see you dead.”

“If we’re going to die anyway, I’d like to have this out with Holmes. Obviously it’s my last chance to tell him how I feel.”

“I know how you feel, Watson. Upset that I interrupted your perfect little life.”

“Ha! Perfect life. Bitter, empty life is more like it. I feel betrayed, Holmes. How could you not have told me where you were? How could you leave me alone, with everyone I cared for, you included, dead or dying? Perfect life? A living nightmare was more like it.”

“Quiet! Stop moving!” Pennington looked bewildered.

“How could you not trust me?” I continued.

“Shut up!”

“Not trust you?” Holmes exclaimed. “I’ve trusted no one else. I was trying to keep you safe, you idiot. If Moran had any inclination that you knew of my whereabouts, then you would have been dead. Or worse.”

“Stop. Be quiet!”

“Well, I’ve got a crazed killer pointing a pistol at my head, clamoring for my blood. Great job in protecting me.”

“I didn’t tell you become a police surgeon and to chase criminals.”

“You never told me anything, Holmes. You just left me alone to suffer.”

“I mean it. Stop or I’ll shoot you both.”

“Now, Watson!” Holmes exclaimed as he grabbed the fireplace poker and flung it at the criminal. Pennington instinctively ducked and although he pulled the trigger, his shot went wide. Holmes had my revolver out and pointed at Pennington in an instant, and I quickly grabbed the chloroform and charged. Before Pennington could react, I tackled him with a long remembered rugby move. Holmes was there immediately, kicking the pistol away, and I subdued the screaming man with my handkerchief doused in the compound. Finally there was silence.

Holmes and I looked at each other for a moment and then we weakly began to laugh.

“Welcome home, Holmes.”

“Watson, you are a treasure. Trouble as well, but a treasure.” Holmes helped me to rise and held onto my arm.

“Watson, what you said before—”

“I meant every word of it, Holmes,” said I, quietly.

He looked away quickly and let go of my arm.

I grabbed his hand. “However, Holmes, there were many things I did not say. I did not say how happy I am that you are here, and back, and safe. I did not say how much I missed you. I did not say how relieved I am that you are still alive and how grateful I am that you are back in my life. I am awash in confusion and melodramatic emotions. My apologies.”

He snorted and looked at our twined hands. “I am not in much better shape, my dear Watson, although I may hide my feelings a bit more. I deserve all your derision, yet I truly thought I was acting in your best interests. I did not know of Mrs. Watson’s illness; I swear to you. If I had… well, I do not know if I would have acted differently, but I am truly sorry for any pain I have caused you.”

I found it difficult to swallow. “Thank you, my friend.”

He continued to hold my hand, and finally met my eyes. “Move back to Baker Street, Watson.”

I blinked. “What?” I said, rather unintelligently, I might add.

He glanced around my disheveled consulting room. “You have a flair for adventure, Watson, and I could use a partner—you—at my side.” He took his free hand and touched my face. It was the most tender move he had ever made, especially toward me.

I met his eyes, looking into their intense grey. “Yes,” I breathed.

“What are you agreeing to, Watson?” he asked quietly, his voice barely above a whisper.

“Everything, Holmes.”

He stroked my face and then placed his fingers under my chin. I do not know what other tender expressions might have ensued because we suddenly heard a loud bang as the front door flew open.

Holmes quickly moved from me. “The cavalry has arrived,” he remarked cynically.

Lestrade burst into the room, his eyes alighting on the unconscious Pennington. “We heard gunshots!”

“Your prisoner, I presume,” Holmes said languidly, sinking into one of my chairs.

Lestrade looked between the two of us. “How?” he finally stammered.

“Watson and I are an unbeatable pair.”

It was all I could do to hide my smile.

Lestrade had his constables drag out the criminal. They were none too gentle, I noticed.

“By the way, Inspector,” said I, “I shall be selling my practice and taking up rooms with Holmes again. In case you need to find me.”

“And causing me no end of trouble, I am sure,” Lestrade muttered. But any bite in his remark was lessened by his smile. “Good evening, Doctor. Mr. Holmes. I have work I need to do. Escaped criminals create an avalanche of paperwork.” He nodded toward us and then left.

“Now, of course, I will just have to find a buyer,” I fretted as I looked around my consulting room.

“I am certain that there will be no trouble there,” Holmes commented. “Come, my dear Watson. Let’s discuss your needs over drinks at Baker Street.” He held out his arm and I linked my own with his.

“Of course, my dear Holmes.”

Arm and arm, we made our way home.

Date: 2009-09-21 02:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I love the bickering. Like an old married couple.

Date: 2009-09-21 04:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes. Exactly.

Glad you liked it!

Date: 2009-09-21 02:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
And after drinks, they made themselves comfortable in Holmes' bed. ;)

Even though we (and they) were cheated out of a tender kiss by Lestrade's rude interruption, we all know that's what happened.

I love Watson's righteous anger. And Holmes--you're so transparent! I know all about those damn real life incursions. Way to go for overcoming them! Hugs!

Date: 2009-09-21 04:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
And after drinks, they made themselves comfortable in Holmes' bed.

Absolutely! An interrupted kiss is sure to continue later.

Yeah, I hadn't realized just how much real life was leaving me feeling overwhelmed (and taking away from something I really enjoy doing). Balance is the key... I have to find balance.

*heavy sigh*

Anyway, I am soooo glad you liked my little dip back into the world of Holmes and Watson. I'm already thinking of working on my half-finished fics... so... hopefully there will be more coming soon.

*hugs back*

Date: 2009-09-21 02:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hee hee! Oh, I love it that they're working together even as they're yelling at each other.

Date: 2009-09-21 04:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yep. They're too good of a team not to work together, but there was some necessary bickering that had to take place. Glad you liked it!

Date: 2009-09-21 03:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"Stop or I'll shoot you both!"


This is brilliant.

Date: 2009-09-21 04:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you so much. Glad you liked it.

Date: 2009-09-21 03:02 am (UTC)
kcscribbler: (GRAN w say hello to mr webley)
From: [personal profile] kcscribbler
Ah, how wonderful! They probably should thank Pennington, for giving them an opportunity to vent without coming to blows with each other. ^_^ Loved this!

Date: 2009-09-21 04:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you! Yes, the truly needed to vent, but I can't see either one of them willingly discussing the situation. Much easier to yell at each other while confusing a criminal.

Date: 2009-09-21 03:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Awww, this! The idea that faking a scene would give them a chance to vent the hurt and frustration they actually need to get out in the open is such a wonderful notion, and, predictably enough, you wrote it beautifully. I loved it!

Date: 2009-09-21 04:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you so much. I really enjoyed writing this (even though I did it hurriedly, starting (very late) last night). I so love these characters, and I had forgotten a bit just how much fun it was to write them. An important lesson learned, I think -- the need to balance the overwhelming forces of real life with the fun of something I enjoyable and creative. I'm so, so glad you liked it.

Date: 2009-09-21 04:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ah, cute with an undertone of serious, well done! I like your plot. And it was very fun to hear the Bickersons go at it. Poor Pennington! :>

Date: 2009-09-21 04:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The Bickersons! OMG, so perfect. Yeah, Pennington never stood a chance.

So glad you liked it.

Date: 2009-09-21 12:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, thanks for this! An unusually light-hearted approach to a topic that's normally overflowing with angst. Not that there's anything wrong with the fact, but it's nice to see a different take.
Besides, the idea that Holmes didn't tell Watson because of Moran *is* my favourite explanation.

Very bad timing in Lestrades part, though. I love the guy, but really.. *g*

> Damn you RL and feelings of being overwhelmed.

Oh yes. I sympathize. *sigh*
But online fandom is always a good distraction.

Date: 2009-09-22 04:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you. Sometimes angst needs a bit of humor. And yes, Lestrade's timing leaves much to be desired.

Besides, the idea that Holmes didn't tell Watson because of Moran *is* my favourite explanation.

I agree. It's really the explanation that makes the most sense and the one that's the most feasible.

Date: 2009-09-21 04:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The bickering was perfect...seems as though it might have worked better than Holmes intended, not that that's an actual problem or anything.

Date: 2009-09-22 04:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ah, poor Holmes -- unexpected truth in bickering. Glad you liked it.

Oh, and icon love, btw.

Date: 2009-09-21 07:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Entwined hands! ♥

I love to see them working as a team. It's wonderful how you combined that with stuff that they needed to say to each other! Thanks for a lovely read.

Date: 2009-09-22 04:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Entwined hands make me feel warm and fuzzy.

Yes, they just can't stop working as a team... even in the midst of angsty feelings. So glad you liked it.

And, OMG, Dancing Men icon! *loves*

Date: 2009-09-22 04:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Entwined hands are my favouritest 'kink' ever. :-) I love how your fic has just the subtle touches; that's almost always so much more intense than more explicit details.

The icon is by [ profile] skadi_snowshoe and I adore it too. ♥

Date: 2009-09-21 08:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Delightful. My favourite line is "then you are as oblivious as you make yourself out to be in your stories", closely followed by “Pshaw. You call that honor. I call them over-inflated melodramas.” But every line of this is a treasure. Please write more.

Date: 2009-09-22 04:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you so much. Yeah, hopefully my muse has returned from her long-term vacation and will kick my butt into more writing.

It's always so much fun to have Holmes insult Watson's writing. Too much fun, in fact.

Glad you liked it.

Date: 2009-09-22 12:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Bawwwwww. That was lovely. It was wonderful to read them arguing while I knew they were trying to distract Pennington, while at the same time Watson was saying what we knew he actually felt. And the face-touching! Eeee! *flail*

Date: 2009-09-22 04:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ah... yes, I do love face-touching. *happy sigh*

I can totally see this as a way for them to resolve their issues -- arguing while trying to befuddle a poor criminal. Thank you!

Date: 2009-09-23 02:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"...Really, Watson has never written an accurate account of any of my cases; I cannot imagine why that one would be any different."

*snerk* Oh, that's gold. XD

This was really entertaining, and as for Watson hissing "You ungrateful bastard"...hah, yes indeed. I have a not-so-secret soft spot a mile wide for a Watson burning with righteous anger, especially when he drops his customary eloquence for a moment (and though it's staged for effect in this case, all that genuine frustration boiling over gives it a real edge).

It's so good to see you writing H/W again! :D

Date: 2009-09-24 12:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you! Don't get me wrong... I love Watson's writing. But there really is something quite fun about Holmes' snarking at him over it.

Oh, and I too love righteously angry Watson. Holmes truly deserved some of that anger directed toward him. While I can't see Holmes and Watson ever deciding to sit down over a cup of tea to willingly discuss their feelings regarding the Hiatus and Return, I can see that unresolved tensions would fester between them. There would have to be some sort of boiling point. And yes, I can totally see them staging an "argument" that would actually allow them to express their frustration yet still catch the criminal.

I must remember that I really enjoy writing H/W and work on another fic.

So glad you liked this!

Date: 2009-09-27 10:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Bickering on demand in order to divert criminal's attention and simultaneously vent some righteous anger on both parts - what an effective combination.
Wonderful. If, by chance, there will be next part in this arc, that would be lovely. Or any other fiction written by you. For I am whore for captivating writing style;)

Btw, excellent idea about balancing real life and writing; not drowning into one only. I must try to find the golden balance as well.

Date: 2009-10-02 01:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you! Bickering (and distracting a criminal) is probably the only way they would ever address their real underlying emotional issues. Ah boys...

I don't know if there will be another arc in this story (I have other stories I simply MUST finish... someday... soon(ish)) But thanks for being my whore the compliment.

I'm still working on trying to implement the real life/writing balance. Unfortunately, real life seems to be winning at the moment. *shakes fist at real life*

So glad you enjoyed this.

Date: 2009-10-07 08:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've been meaning to read this forever, and now I finally had the time!

Wonderful -- like everyone else, I love how they're able to distract Pennington while venting at the same time. Also, I'm a sucker for stories about dangerous villains, especially when they trigger Holmes's protectiveness. :-D

Some favourite lines:

The color drained from Holmes’ face. “What?” he asked with a strangled cry.

“I told you the police were incompetent,” Holmes chimed in. “I knew you should have fled.”

“Watson and I are an unbeatable pair.”

A great read; thank you!

Date: 2009-10-09 05:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you! I too love protective Holmes... and protective yet snarky Holmes is definitely a favorite of mine. I'm glad you liked the boy venting (they really needed to).

Date: 2010-03-21 10:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] (from
Hello -- I'm only 5 months after the last commenter on this fic so I don't feel as much of a goose commenting. :-)

I love Watson's defiance of Holmes 'managing' ways in this fic, and it is quite angsty while managing to be funny as well, fabulous!

Date: 2010-03-21 10:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Comments are cool at any time! I have no objections at all.

Hmm... I see that you're reading through my fics right now. How awesome.

Oh, and I think that there would definitely be issues between Holmes and Watson after the Return, and a bit of resentment on Watson's part. I liked portraying his defiance, but the bickering was a lot of fun (and a good way for him to vent his frustration). So glad you liked it!

Btw, I posted my Criminal Minds Fic of Doom (dear lord, it was 22,000+ words, what the hell was I thinking). I promise that The August Series will be the next thing I work on.

Date: 2010-03-22 05:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] (from
I saw that you had started posting the Criminal Minds fic -- I just got very distracted by all the pretty H/W fics listed on the left, lol! Congrtas on finishing it, and I will be getting to it in the fullness of time... ;-)

I promise that The August Series will be the next thing I work on.


Right back to digging through the pretties. :-)

Date: 2010-04-08 06:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
holmes and watson would *so* manage to stop an escaped convict and have a bitch!fight at the same time.

Date: 2010-04-08 09:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, criminal catching bitch!fighting H/W is so true to form (both book and movie verse, even though I wrote this before the film). Their bickering is an effective crime fighting technique. So glad you liked it!


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