Study In Blue
Illustration by Spacefall
I just thank God that he chose to sit on my right side, as my old wound would not be able to stand the pressure. His head rests against my shoulder, and I can feel the arm growing numb. Yet I shall not shift him, for sleep comes much too rarely to him to wake him when he does surrender to Morpheus’ charms. Instead I kiss his dear brow and do what I can to make myself comfortable without waking my love, listening as his breathing grows deeper.
The last of the daylight has faded from the sky, replaced with the deep azure of twilight that fills the darkling valley like fine wine filling a glass, the liquid indigo trickling in through the window of this railway carriage, sending our shadows flickering this way and that. Beyond the window, I can see houses with lit windows glimmering yellow in the gathering dark, and I think of home and hearth and cheer; here, in this train, my love and I are bathed in deep blue as we rumble towards murder and intrigue.
Suddenly, I recall that I have a quarter pound of humbugs in my right jacket pocket, and my mouth waters at the thought; we rushed away from Baker Street in such a hurry that I could not get lunch, and now my stomach roils as I think of the sweet morsels that could be my only sustenance this long day. Unfortunately, Holmes is leaning upon my shoulder in such a way that I would need to wake him in order to get at the humbugs with my right hand, and so I slowly reach around with my left, ever so carefully, until my fingers brush the opening of the pocket.
At my shoulder, slate-grey eyes flash open, and an impish smile curls his lips. “For God’s sake, Watson,” he murmurs, “just fish out the humbugs and have done with it.”
“Would you like one?” I sigh as I pull out the bag, already knowing the answer.
“Not on your life, old fellow,” he yawns, and snuggles back on to my shoulder. “Now please let me sleep.” The eyes close again, and I smile as I kiss his forehead, once more staring out into the endless blue of night.
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