Posted in Rule 63, Short Fiction

tBS: The Sentiment of Genius

The Big Short

Title: The Sentiment of Genius
Prompt: gun
Fandom: Sherlock Holmes (Ritchie movie verse)
Pairing/Characters: Sherlock Holmes, female John Watson
Genre: romance, post movie
Word Count: 1000
Warnings: Sherlock’s brand of crazy asshole
Synopsis: It was the purest sentiment. He was dead — Watson had witnessed it herself. So why was she going on as if waiting for him to return from one of his ‘madman’s ventures into chaos and depravity’?

I shall endeavor to find the most painful of endings for the Doctor. She will die in agony, Holmes, with your name on her lips.

The problem with facing a man as cunning as himself was that Moriarty had found his weakness, just as Holmes had done for the mastermind’s vulnerabilities. The difference? Moriarty’s vices were money, control, and power.

Holmes’ was his heart, and the woman who possessed it.

I thought I had burned the heart out of you when I saw the charming Ms Adler dispatched — but I was mistaken. It was not the thief, but the doctor, whom you hold most dear.

Sentiment. Even knowing it, he had never managed to excise it from himself. But then, Watson had always been different.


I will not make that mistake again, Holmes.

So he’d killed his rival and fellow mastermind to protect his heart. And he’d killed himself, because his ego had driven him to gloat about him victory to a fellow genius; to place himself in a position where the only way to end Moriarty was to die.

Julia was wrong; he did know his own faults. Perhaps he had grown as a person? Death must be good for something other than dismantling a criminal empire unimpeded.

He’d followed some Moriarty’s men to London — likely looking for a new employer. It would be sloppy to leave such loose ends untied. It had nothing to do with emotions; the men, now in Newgate, had likely never heard the name Julia Watson.

She was right; he was an excellent deflector, and a terrible liar.

Since he was already in London, it seemed reasonable to check on his wayward partner. His brother kept watch . . . . well, Mycroft was a busy man; he might miss something important.

He’d found her in Hyde Park, walking Gladstone. Logic dictated that a person would change little in months, but sentiment left him surprised and astonished that she looked just the same and that he’d missed her so completely.

As ever, she drew his interest. Watson wasn’t beautiful in the common way, being too tall and too sharp for conventional femininity. Her cane drew pity; her education and occupation drew ire and scorn.

He’d followed her and idly planned the scold he wished to give her; a little situational awareness wasn’t too much to ask, surely.

Why the devil had she returned to Baker Street?

Watson had inherited a great deal of money; not all of it, but Mycroft had liquidated enough to give truth to his demise. More than enough for Watson to buy a house of her own in a more fashionable part of London. But she remained here. Unable to let go, or not interested in doing so?

He’d always struggled to understand her reasoning. Logical and sentimental, twisting but straightforward, pragmatic but emotional.

Some would be scandalized at his familiarity with the rooms of an unmarried woman, but Holmes had always found propriety for it’s own sake to be tedious and besides, he’d always entered out of curiosity and a perverse need to make Watson say his name in just that tone. The one that said she considered him an unbearable annoyance and only her sense of morals prevented her from shooting him.

Her office space was just the same, as were her private rooms. Except for one thing; they lacked an occupant. His own former rooms, however, were a surprise; and far less ‘former’ than they should have been.

All of his belongings remained, despite his request to Mycroft that they be stored until his return. Well, his apartment was far cleaner than normal. In fact, it was positively tidy. Organized, even.

Disorder had always irritated Watson. But why. . . ?

Idly, he pocketed a pipe as he headed back into the bedroom. And found his doctor.

For one perfect moment, his mind . . . stopped. Fascinating; Julia had managed something that only his seven percent solution had done before.

Holmes sat on the edge of the bed, studying his doctor in the candlelight. Dark hair spread across the pillow; she wore a nightshirt that he recognized as one of his own. His blood burned at the sight.

He couldn’t escape sentiment, it seemed.

His hand extended — and froze as a gun abruptly appeared in his face. “Ah, Watson? Perhaps you might —?”

“Perhaps I’ll shoot you anyway. What’s more innocent than a woman firing on an intruder in the dead of night?”

“You would have to explain why you were here instead of your own bed. Scandalous, Watson.” He redirected the weapon carefully. Better not risk her temper; there was no doubting her aim.

“I rent these rooms, Holmes. It’s hardly my fault that a dead man was unaware of that.” The gun vanished beneath the pillow. “Is Mycroft losing his touch? I’d have thought that would have made it into his reports on my doings.”

“Ah.” That tone never boded well. “You see, Watson —”

Her lips trembled. “Damn you, Sherlock.”

“My injury presented an untenable  . . . he would have killed you, Julia.”

“So made me watch you die? I had a gun, Sherlock; if you’d waited I would have finished the business permanently! How typical of you to leave everyone else out of your calculations! The one man in London who doesn’t underestimate me for my sex, and you still underestimate me because I’m not a genius.”

“I —”

“I don’t know why I expect a proper answer. Why explain when you can lord your knowledge over the rest of us? Take the bed; I’ll find my own. Lock the door before you disappear on your mad, solitary venture.”

A dilemma lay before him; remain the same, or tread a new path.

No decision at all.

He caught her wrist. Her arms wrapped around him; he pressed his face against her hair.

“Perhaps I might explain.”

“Make it good, Sherlock. And take off your boots, you’ll get the bed filthy.”

He did both. She still had the gun, after all.



I have spent more time in fandom than in real life in the last decade. I'd offer cookies and a speech about joining the dark side, but if you found me here you've probably drunk the kool-aid already.

One thought on “tBS: The Sentiment of Genius

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