Holmes Didn't Say

Five times Holmes didn’t say, “I love you,” on the day that Killer Evans shot Watson

Two shots rang. Holmes then slammed his own revolver against Killer Evans’ head and the man fell to the ground, dropping the discharged firearm as blood poured from his face. Holmes quickly checked him for additional weapons, then turned to Watson, his eyes widening in shock as he saw his friend clutching his leg. Holmes rushed to him, throwing his arms around Watson and leading him to a chair.

“You’re not hurt, Watson? For God’s sake, say that you are not hurt!”

Watson took a moment to respond, his eyes searching Holmes and his teeth gritting in pain. “It’s nothing, Holmes. It’s a mere scratch.”

Holmes drew out his pocket knife and ripped Watson’s trousers, checking the wound. He felt almost faint with relief. “You’re right,” he said, “it is quite superficial.” He looked in Watson’s eyes, a smile of joy slowly spreading upon his face.

I love you, Holmes didn’t say.

Instead he turned to Killer Evans, his eyes hardening. “By the Lord, it is well for you,” Holmes said to him. “If you had killed Watson, you would not have got out of this room alive.”


Holmes and Watson sat in Inspector Lestrade’s office at Scotland Yard. The ferret-faced policeman was pacing up and down, surprisingly distraught.

“This is unacceptable, Mr. Holmes,” Lestrade finally said. “What were you thinking, going against such a dangerous man and not bringing in the police? You gave me just the barest amount of information, told me to expect a call, and then you rush in like fools and almost get Doctor Watson killed.”

“I was not certain of Killer Evans' motives,” Holmes replied, his voice soft and uncharacteristically contrite, “and thus the police could not act. He was not the first dangerous man that Watson and I have faced and, God willing, he won’t be the last. We did what was necessary to capture a treacherous criminal. I had the situation under control.”

“This is your idea of being in control!” Lestrade exclaimed. “Is Doctor Watson’s injury an example of your control?”

“Holmes informed me beforehand of the dangerous nature of the man,” Watson said firmly, “and I followed him anyway. I would again. Holmes knew what he was doing, prepared as much as possible and, yes, had the situation under control.”

Holmes turned to Watson and nodded his thanks. Their eyes met and Holmes could see Watson’s fierce admiration and loyalty.

I love you, Holmes didn’t say.

Instead he looked at Lestrade. “If you’re done reprimanding us for bringing you a murdering fiend, I would like to get Watson some medical care for that scratch. No, no doctor, don’t protest. I know that physicians make the worst patients but, nonetheless, you are having that wound looked at.”


They sat in the cab, returning home to Baker Street after their visit to the doctor’s office. Holmes looked at Watson, and suddenly the reality of the day hit him.

I could have lost him, Holmes thought. My friend, my comrade, my partner, my lover. My God, I could have lost him.

Holmes clutched Watson’s hand.

Watson looked over at him in surprise. “I’m fine, Holmes,” he said gently.

Holmes went to release Watson’s hand, but Watson held onto him tightly.

“Would you really have killed Killer Evans?” Watson asked softly.

I love you, Holmes didn’t say.

Instead he said, “Yes.”


Mrs. Hudson gave a startled shriek when she saw Watson’s ripped trousers and the bandage underneath. “What happened?” she demanded.

“We had a minor altercation with a criminal,” Watson explained, “and I was shot in the process. It’s nothing, Mrs. Hudson, just a minor scratch.”

She whirled around to face her other lodger. “Mr. Holmes,” she said angrily, “you know better than to get Doctor Watson hurt.”

“It’s not his fault,” Watson argued.

Mrs. Hudson ignored him. “Well, Mr. Holmes,” she demanded instead, glaring at him.

“I will be more careful with the doctor in the future, Mrs. Hudson,” Holmes said in an attempt to placate her.

“And with yourself as well,” she stated firmly. She looked angrily at both of them. “Now, go upstairs and I’ll bring you supper.” She stormed away, muttering about the having the worst tenants in London.

“I fear,” Holmes said to Watson as they climbed the stairs,” that you have a much better chance of defending my honor to Lestrade than to Mrs. Hudson.”

Watson laughed as they entered their rooms. “She is long-suffering, Holmes. And she does know you quite well. I’m afraid you’re right.” He sat of their sofa, stretching out his wounded leg and sighing in relief.

“Are you in much pain?” Holmes asked.

“A bit,” Watson answered truthfully, “but it’s not too bad. I’m just happy to be home.”

Holmes poured him a brandy and carried it to him. He looked down at Watson, his eyes quickly taking in the shredded trousers, the bandaged leg, and the faint lines of pain etched in Watson’s face.

I love you, Holmes didn’t say.

Instead he handed Watson the brandy.


Later that night, after a dinner of all of Watson’s favorites, Holmes slowly opened the door to Watson’s room to check on his friend. It appeared that Watson was sleeping soundly. Holmes watched him for a moment, and then turned to leave.

“Holmes?” Watson said in a sleep laden voice.

“Go back to sleep,” Holmes said soothingly.

“Aren’t you coming to bed?” Watson asked.

“I thought I’d let you sleep undisturbed tonight,” Holmes said, gently stroking Watson’s brow.

“You never disturb me, Holmes.”

I’ve never told him how I feel, Holmes thought, continuing to caress him. He could have died today, and I’ve never told him how I feel.

“I…” love you, Holmes didn’t say.

Instead he whispered, “I… want you to get some rest.” He turned to leave.

“Holmes,” Watson said, catching his hand. Holmes turned back.

“I love you, too,” Watson said. He pulled Holmes firmly into the bed and kissed him fiercely. Then he proceeded to ensure that Holmes didn’t say another word all night.




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