[personal profile] wave_of_sorrow
Title: Like Every Breaking Wave On The Shore
Author: [livejournal.com profile] wave_of_sorrow
Character(s)/Pairing(s): Holmes/Watson (and one very brief mention of Watson/Mary)
Verse: '09!movie
Rating: R (for drug use)
Word Count: 1,181
Disclaimer: Don't own. Don't claim. No money being made.
Summary: See Author's Note.
Spoilers/Warnings: drug use
A/N: Written for [livejournal.com profile] jenlee1 who prompted "Watson has had it with Holmes' drug abuse - perhaps there's been a particuarly frightening overdose-related incident, or perhaps he's just come home one too many times to find Holmes bleeding and incoherent on the settee.

Either way, he issues an ultimatum - either Holmes gives up the needle, or he's leaving.

What happens from there, dear author(s), is entirely in your hands ;)"

This was written in the middle of the night while I was listening to U2's Every Breaking Wave. Any and all feedback or comments are very much appreciated.


The demand is an unsurprising, perhaps even expected, one, uttered quietly and tinged with exhaustion. It is still unwelcome, though, and so Holmes meets it with a sneer and a bark of a laugh, absent-mindedly rubbing at the crook of his arm as the blood on his needle has yet to dry and the burn of the cocaine does nothing to dull the pain in Watson’s eyes.

“Holmes, please,” Watson whispers as he crouches before the settee, tracing the dark circles under Holmes’s eyes with the pad of his thumb.

The firelight tints Watson’s skin golden and Holmes fancies he can see sparks of light reflected in his eyes, like a million fireflies dancing in the night sky. Captivated, he reaches out to touch Watson’s face and he finds the skin soft and warm under his fingertips as he runs them over cheekbones and a full bottom lip.

“Please,” Watson says again as Holmes curls his fingers under his jaw and pulls him down.

Their kiss is vast and inevitable, rolling with an intensity like gravity itself, and then Holmes tangles their tongues together and it feels like a wave breaking and crashing and pulling Watson down into dark, unknown waters.

Watson thinks that drowning has never felt so good.


The sitting room is dark save for the cold, grey moonlight that sneaks through the window and slithers across the cluttered floor to turn Holmes into a ghostly vision. The violin screeches and wails as he draws a string of jagged, torn notes from it and the bow twitches in his shaking hands.

The prevailing emotion is, at first, confusion.

Until Watson sees the syringe resting on the mantelpiece, catching the dull light of the moon and turning it to silver as a smudge of crimson dries black on its needle.

He sighs and takes violin and bow from Holmes then, catches his restless hands in his own and lets him entwine their fingers and hold on as they wait for his pulse to stop hammering. Minutes pass and stretch into the darkness of the night, the silence broken only by Holmes’s harsh breaths and the metronome ticking of the hallway clock.

“I do believe I miscalculated the doses tonight,” Holmes admits with a slightly unhinged grin, slurring his words a little.


The journey to Holmes’s bed is a long and graceless one, as the warm body in Watson’s arms turns more pliant and sluggish with every step they take, but they make it there eventually and uninjured.

Holmes immediately flops down on the mattress, rubbing his cheek against the pillow and mumbling something unintelligible.

“What’s that, old boy?”

“Mmpf,” Holmes turns his head and looks up at Watson with startlingly bright eyes. “I don’t know where I should be without you.”

“Currently?” Watson asks as he fills a glass with water from the pitcher on the nightstand, “Quite probably lying face-down on the hearthrug.”

“Watson, I…”

“Here, drink that. You’ll feel better once you do.” Holmes answers his gentle smile with a sad one before gulping down the water and handing the empty glass back to him.

“What was it you were going to say?” Watson asks, smothering a yawn, but Holmes has already begun to snore.



He breathes a sigh of relief at the sound of his name, even as the broken way Holmes says it makes him clench his jaw. He gets up to stoke the fire and for a while he just watches the flames flicker and dance, his back to the man on the settee and he has half a mind to throw the morocco case into the fireplace to watch it burn.

“You promised,” he whispers to the fire with his eyes closed.

The sound of the rain against the windowpane is curiously loud in the dark and empty space of the sitting room as neither of them knows what to say.

“You promised,” he says again, turning to look at Holmes with more disappointment than anger in his eyes and, somehow, that makes it worse.

“Watson…” Holmes’s voice trembles and cracks and Watson goes to him despite himself.

He kneels down beside Holmes and rests his head on the steadily rising and falling chest, listens to breaths that have ceased to be shallow and feels a strong heartbeat drum against the shell of his ear.

“This isn’t about what you can and cannot do anymore,” Watson whispers into the still air between them. “You don’t even want to stop, do you?” And, though he already knows the answer, it still hurts when Holmes turns his face away and says nothing.

“You will start looking for new lodgings by the end of the month?” Holmes asks with practiced indifference that is starting to come apart at the seams.

“Unless things change, yes.” Watson swallows hard as a lump forms in his throat.

Holmes offers him a crooked smile; a fragile thing that is a lot of things and none of the ones a true smile should be. “You should ask her to marry you.”

“I suppose I should.”

Watson cups Holmes’s face and traces a salty tear that glistens in the flickering firelight back to the darkness of his eyes.

They tilt their heads and let their lips meet in the middle and it feels a lot like a wave kissing the shore, only to recede and slip away again, taking sand and seashells and unspoken words with it to bury them at the bottom of the ocean.


“Holmes, I…”

“I did not realize you would be back so soon,” Holmes says as he slips the needle out of his vein and lets a drop of blood trickle down the inside of his forearm while he removes the tourniquet.

Watson watches him rub at the fresh puncture mark and flex his fingers as he leans back in his chair with a satisfied sigh and finds that it is far easier to slip into the familiar role of the physician. He takes Holmes’s arm, then, and wipes the blood away and Holmes hisses as Watson traces his bruised veins all the way down to his wrist.

“You disapprove,” Holmes says with his eyes still closed and Watson doesn’t bother to agree.

“Would you care to try some?” Holmes asks when he notices Watson stare at his syringe and the seven per-cent solution.

Watson starts at the sound of Holmes’s voice and quickly gets up to pour himself a brandy, which he downs in one go before pouring another.

“Why?” he asks eventually, leaning against the sideboard.

“Why, my dear Watson, I thought it common courtesy to offer—“

“No,” Watson waves him off with an impatient hand, “I mean, why do you use it?”

“There has been a most abhorrent lack of engaging cases of late and I find that my mind requires some form of stimulation.”

It is a half-truth of sorts, of that Watson is certain, but as he tries to read Holmes’s expression he feels like he is trying to catch saltwater in his cupped palms.
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