Character(s): Holmes, Watson, Mrs Hudson
Summary: Holmes's instinctive behavior is not rational
Author's Notes: ACD book-verse. Entry for Watson's Woes July writing prompts; fill for July 12 prompt: "Quote - 'I like a friend the better for having faults that one can talk about.' -- William Hazlitt, 1826 (Direct quotation not necessary; use however you're inspired to do so.)"
Word Count: 361
When Mrs. Hudson entered to clear away the breakfast dishes, she was tempted simply to turn a blind eye and leave as soon as possible. Her desire for peace, however, was not as strong as her curiosity, and so she lingered, and finally asked,
“Doctor, is everything all right?”
Watson looked up from the paper. “Yes, indeed. The sausages in particular were very good; if there are any left I should not say no to more of them with dinner.”
Still she lingered, and then tried again.
“Will you be needing a carpenter?”
Watson smiled and waved the suggestion away. “Not at all—I’m quite capable of repairing a little thing like that. Don’t you worry, Mrs Hudson—everything will be good as new by tea.”
Deflated, she left. Watson stepped over the wreckage of the breakfast table, climbed across the upended bookshelf, and retrieved his shoe. He was busily scraping the sole clean again when a quavering voice reached him from Holmes’s bedroom.
“Is it gone?”
“Yes, yes; quite dead.”
Holmes emerged. He looked around the room with a nervous eye, caught sight of the bottom of Watson’s shoe, and shuddered.
“You know, old boy,” said Watson, “If we simply told Mrs Hudson about the problem she could do something about it.” His tone became slightly sharper. “I can’t continue treating as trivial the damage you inflict in your wild retreats from the deadly beast. Honestly, it is quite beyond me how a man who braved Nile alligators and plagues of Persian locusts—to say nothing of Nora!—could be rendered a trembling wreck by a homegrown English cockroach.”
Holmes winced, and looked piteous. If Watson had not seen his frenzy earlier when the insect had crawled across his foot, he might have suspected his flatmate was purposely exaggerating his contrition. In fact, he still suspected it, but in the absence of proof he was merciful.
“All right,” he sighed. “I won’t say a word. But really, Holmes, it would be much easier if I could. I like a friend the better for having faults one isn’t forced to keep silent about under pain of God only knows what horrors he will think up next.”