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[sticky post] Watson's Woes JWP 2015--Master List

Practice Prompts:
PP #1: Glass (ACD Canon)
PP #2: Observation (Granada)

July Prompts:
July 1: Truth Will Out (ACD Canon)
July 2: To Arms (ACD Canon)
July 3: Affirmation (Granada)
July 4: Puits (Rathbone-verse)
July 5: Security Deposit (ACD Canon)
July 6: Hunting The Hunter (Granada AU)
July 7: Challenge (ACD Canon)
July 8: Silent Ballad (ACD Canon)
July 9: Confessional (Granada AU)
July 10: Rebellion (ACD Canon)
July 11: Short-Changed (ACD Canon)
July 12: The Mystery of the Dog That Didn't Exist (ACD Canon)
July 13: A View to the Future (BBC)
July 14: (miss)
July 15: The Old Adage (ACD Canon)
July 16: Business With Pleasure (ACD Canon)
July 17: (miss)
July 18: The Game's Afoot (ACD Canon)
July 19: No Escape (ACD Canon)
July 20: Before He Goes (ACD Canon)
July 21: Summer in the City (ACD Canon)
July 22: Throwing Down The Gauntlet (ACD Canon)
July 23: A Useful Tool (ACD Canon/Granada)
July 24: The Dam Bursts (ACD Canon)
July 25: (miss)
July 26: Find A Home (ACD Canon/Good Omens)
July 27: The Last Act of the Berkshires (ACD Canon)
July 28: The Mystery of the Purple Prose (BBC)
July 29: The Sound and the Fury (BBC)
July 30: Trivial Pursuit (Granada)
July 31: Writers Conference (ACD Canon/Jeeves & Wooster)

Fic: Balancing The Equation

Title: Balancing The Equation
Author: Maestress83
Rating: G
Universe: Granada
Character(s): Sebastian Moran, Professor Moriarty, Doctor Watson, Sherlock Holmes
Relationships/Pairing: None
Summary: Science cannot shock you if you are observant.
Content Warnings: None
Word Count: 178
Author's Notes: Written in response to JWP 2016 #24 (Quote For The Day) on Watson's Woes.

Sebastian Moran stared disbelievingly into the sights of his airgun, his blue eyes tracking the man in brown tweed clambering back down the mountain path to tend to his fictional patient. “Bloody hell. I'm shocked that worked.”

His employer remarked with easy arrogance, “Nothing shocks me. I'm a scientist. And a scientist is careful to observe the variables in an experiment. The doctor is a compassionate fool, and cannot hesitate to help another, even if he has to temporarily cease being Holmes' guard dog.”

The two men looked at each other and shared a brief smile, a moment of familiar camaraderie. But the moment could not last; the letter bought them time, but that time was still limited.

Moriarty's tone grew cold as he gave his final orders before he set off towards the falls, his anger returning. “If Doctor Watson should return sooner than expected, or if I should fail against Holmes, you know what to do.”

Remove all variables. Moran pressed his hand reverently back onto his gun, an order accepted, a promise made. “Yes, Professor.”

Fic: The Kaleidoscopic Curse

Title: The Kaleidoscopic Curse
Author: Maestress83
Rating: G
Universe: Granada
Character(s): Doctor Watson, Sherlock Holmes
Relationships/Pairing: None
Summary: Baker Street is invaded.
Content Warnings: None
Word Count: 237
Author's Notes: Written in response to JWP 2016 #21 (21 Song Salute) on Watson's Woes. I chose #5--Make Me Rainbows. Inspired by a certain lighting choice made in the later episodes of the Granada series.

“Watson? Watson, wake up! The game is afoot; a case at long last!”

I groaned like a bear forced to cut its hibernation short, but I knew that any attempts to ignore Holmes and fall back asleep would be futile. In our time living together, Holmes has done almost everything to wake me up from a sound sleep, short of lifting my bed to dump me out of it.

Determined not to give Holmes reason to consider that option while he yanked the curtains open, I sighed and cracked my eyes open to face the day, only to shut them again and turn over with a surprised moan. Instead of a soft morning glow greeting my vision, a bright beam of colored light shot right into my eyes.

Holmes mercifully shut the curtains. “I’m terribly sorry, dear fellow,” he apologized in a tone that did not sound very apologetic to me. “The rainbows are everywhere again this morning. They woke me up as well. But it is rather fortunate, otherwise I could very well have slept through Mrs. Hudson’s summons. Now into your clothes and come! We mustn’t keep our client waiting!” And with that, he dramatically slammed my bedroom door shut, leaving me alone.

With an effort, I finally roused myself and began to get dressed, irritably cursing the start of yet another day of beautiful rainbow light shining into Baker Street at oddly dramatic moments.

Fic: Riptide

Title: Riptide
Author: Maestress83
Rating: G
Universe: ACD Canon
Character(s): Doctor Watson
Relationships/Pairing: None
Summary: Watson gets pulled under.
Content Warnings: None
Word Count: 94
Author's Notes: Written in response to JWP 2016 #20 (Turn of the Tide) on Watson's Woes.

Shakespeare told it true. There is a tide in the affairs of men, and without warning, it will drown you.

Both man and nature have destroyed my hopes, first with the Jezail bullet that shattered my shoulder, then with the enteric fever that ruined any possibility of returning to active service. Weak and miserable, I could only lie useless in my berth on the Orontes.

I am now in Portsmouth, and am reduced to a mere piece of flotsam that has found itself washed back up on England’s shores.

What will I do now?

Fic: Flux Time Fixed

Title: Flux Time Fixed
Author: Maestress83
Rating: G
Universe: ACD Canon/Doctor Who
Character(s): Fourth Doctor, Harry Sullivan, Stamford, Doctor Watson
Relationships/Pairing: None
Summary: Time still finds a way.
Content Warnings: None
Word Count: 125
Author's Notes: Written in response to JWP 2016 #19 (Great Minds Think Alike) on Watson's Woes. I chose Mirror-Verse AU or Crossover. Fair Warning--Written in a rush.

“Harry Sullivan is an imbecile!”

“I say Doctor, there’s no need for that!”

“Do you have any idea what you’ve done?!”

“I just asked someone the year!”

“Of all the people you could have asked, you had to choose Michael Stamford…!”

“I would have asked you if you’d listen to me! Is--er, was--um, will he be important or something?”

“Your stupid distracting question has just prevented him from running into an old friend and consequently prevented one of the greatest crime-solving and literary partnerships in this galaxy!”

“...Oh my word, this is the Criterion Bar in 1881! A Study in Scarlet! What have I done?!”


“...Who is this Harry Sullivan that madman is yelling about?”

“An imbecile, apparently--by Jove, it’s Stamford!”


Fic: Reliability

Title: Reliability
Author: Maestress83
Rating: G
Universe: ACD Canon
Character(s): Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Watson, Mary Morstan, Professor Moriarty
Relationships/Pairing: Doctor Watson/Mary Morstan
Summary: His Boswell is not the only man Holmes relied on.
Content Warnings: None
Word Count: 243
Author's Notes: Written in response to JWP 2016 #18 (Handwritten) on Watson's Woes.

During Watson’s marriage, I missed my Boswell’s company fiercely, and never more so than after a shared case had concluded. Mrs. Watson was more accommodating with her husband’s time than I thought she would be, and Watson was always game when he was free, but it was not the same. I had come to depend on him to stave off the ennui that was so hateful to me, and without his constant presence in the rooms we once shared, I relied on the work more than ever. And when that could not be relied upon...

Once I had solved the mystery of Colonel Barclay’s death and returned my friend back to his home and wife, I could already sense that dreaded boredom dogging my steps back to Baker Street. The crook of my arm began to itch, and I scratched it in irritation. Even my seven-percent solution had lost its appeal, slowly but surely falling short of clearing away the cobwebs being spun in my brain-attic. In my aggravation, I had nearly decided to ignore the letter that awaited me on the mantelpiece--a mistake that I am glad I did not make, for it introduced me to the most rewarding challenge of my career.

...After all that Professor Moriarty has cost us, I am not so cruel as to admit this to Watson; but I will always be grateful to the man who truly never failed me during those dark, lonely days.

Fic: Team Baker Street

Title: Team Baker Street
Author: Maestress83
Rating: G
Universe: BBC
Character(s): Sherlock Holmes, John Watson, Mrs. Hudson, Mycroft Holmes
Relationships/Pairing: None
Summary: Gotta annoy 'em all!
Content Warnings: None
Word Count: 339
Author's Notes: Written in response to JWP 2016 #11 (Threesome) on Watson's Woes. If you haven't heard of Pokemon GO yet, you will.

The plan was childish and juvenile. And the three of them loved it.

John and Sherlock stood together under a store's awning, watching Mrs. Hudson across the street switch between staring intently at her new smartphone and glancing nervously at the imposing marble-white building, as if she expected to be escorted off the premises any second now. They had walked her through the app only yesterday, but she took to it quickly. The only real question now was whether the still touch-and-go servers would hold.

After a few more tense moments passed, they saw a satisfied smile flash across her lips. She speedily walked across to meet them, shaking the phone in the air in triumph.

"Success! I got what I needed. Thank you so much for covering the cab fare, Sherlock."

Sherlock matched her smile with his own. "Any time, Mrs. Hudson. Don't forget the lure module," he gently reminded her.

"Oh yes, it's that purple thing, right? She pressed the screen a few times, then frowned. "Oh dear, it costs money."

John graciously assuaged her concern. "Don't worry about that, I'll cover you."

"Thank you, John. ...And it's done!"

Though it was risky, they remained in the area, waiting to see if their cunning plan had worked.

They didn't have to wait long. Less than ten minutes went by before more and more people gathered near the building, whipping out their own smartphones and laughing and shouting in triumph. Even better, they waved their friends and even complete strangers over, informing them of their amazing finds and starting up conversations.

Finally, their target appeared at the window: Mycroft, on his phone, angrily scowling down from the top floor like a haughty king looking down at the peasants crowding around his castle moat. Obviously, the three of them couldn't hear what he was saying, but Sherlock could read lips, and John couldn't help but laugh when Sherlock told them what his older brother was hissing to his assistants:

"What imbecile at Nintendo made the Diogenes Club a PokeStop?!"

Fic: Jupiter Ascendant

Title: Jupiter Ascendant
Author: Maestress83
Rating: G
Universe: ACD Canon
Character(s): Sherlock Holmes, Mycroft Holmes, Doctor Watson
Relationships/Pairing: None
Summary: Holmes had never been completely honest about Mycroft with Watson.
Content Warnings: None
Word Count: 230
Author's Notes: Written in response to JWP 2016 #10 (A Higher Power) on Watson's Woes.

Holmes had admittedly lied to Watson about Mycroft's government position in the early days of their partnership, but he had not lied about it years later when his brother deigned to descend upon Baker Street over the mysterious death of Cadogan West.

Yet he had not been entirely truthful then, either.

Holmes had, up until now, willingly honored his elder brother's commandment of utter secrecy of his true position and told no one of it, not even his dearest friend. But the next case Mycroft needed them for had been far more dangerous than seeking out stolen papers, a case that if Watson had known the reality of what Mycroft truly was, would have prevented a scenario that nearly cost the doctor his life.

The brotherly debate that took place in the Stranger's Room while Watson was recovering at home was cacophonous, and would have earned even the club's founder a strike, had it not been drowned out by a sudden thunderstorm equally cacophonous. The younger brother eventually emerged from the room shaking with anger and fear, but victorious.

And so Watson was invited to the Diogenes for the second time in his life, and when the full truth was at last revealed to the doctor in all his terrible glory, he sank to his knees in awe and reverently whispered the only phrase that came to mind.

"By Jove...!"

Fic: Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Film

Title: Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Film
Author: Maestress83
Rating: G
Universe: ACD Canon
Character(s): Doctor Watson, Sherlock Holmes
Relationships/Pairing: None
Summary: And the award for Best Supporting Actor in a Nonexistent Role goes to...
Content Warnings: None
Word Count: 173
Author's Notes: Written in response to JWP 2016 #8 (The Wonder Of The Age) on Watson's Woes. "Sherlock Holmes Baffled" was an American silent film made in 1900 and can be seen here.

Holmes has the remarkable ability to tell one's life story from an article of clothing or the calluses on a hand. I possess the ability to anticipate one of Holmes' lectures before they occur, though that is owed more the the fact that I have been friends with him for so long than any deductive prowess on my part.

For example, in his clenched jaw and cool stillness amidst the raucous laughter and gasps of astonishment, I clearly observed the imminent lecture that I would be subjected to the moment we returned to Baker Street. To use the cinematograph, a wonder of the age, in this manner is a waste of potential; what could be a pioneering investigative instrument for the law is nothing more than a vehicle for cheap parlor tricks; you cannot tell me that you actually enjoyed that farce. And so on.

But I have already planned out my response to the tirade looming on the horizon; as farcical as "Sherlock Holmes Baffled" was, at least he was in it.

Fic: Too Good To Be True

Title: Too Good To Be True
Author: Maestress83
Rating: G
Universe: Granada
Character(s): Doctor Watson, Sherlock Holmes
Relationships/Pairing: None
Summary: A perfect meal away from Baker Street was just too much to ask for.
Content Warnings: None
Word Count: 227
Author's Notes: Written in response to JWP 2016 #6 (Food, Glorious Food) on Watson's Woes. Inspired by poor Hardwicke!Watson never getting a good meal away from home.

The meal was delicious.

The roast grouse fell right off the bone to mix with the light gravy, and was perfectly matched with the port. The vegetables in his garden salad were fresh and crisp. He even had to tamp down the urge to grab his bowl of cottage soup with both hands and drink it down.

This is perfection, Watson happily mused as he dug into his currant-laden Bedfordshire pudding. Mrs. Hudson could barely do better. As he savored the last remnants of the pudding, he pulled out his billfold in order to properly thank the keeper of this country inn--

...A country inn.

With infinite sorrow, the doctor reverently placed the spoon back upon the table. Holmes, deep in thought with a cigarette nestled between his fingers, was pulled from his reverie.

“Is something wrong with the meal, dear fellow?” Holmes inquired.

Watson shook his head regretfully. “Nothing is wrong with the food here, Holmes. And that is the problem.”

The detective nodded in compassionate understanding. “You have deduced it, then.”

A wistful sigh escaped from Watson’s lips. “Yes, Holmes, I have.”

The cozy inn and contented feeling melted away from Watson as he awoke, replaced by the rough mattress of his bed for the night, and the cheap black pudding he had choked down earlier that evening sitting like a stone in his stomach.

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