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Author: methylviolet10b
Rating: PG-13
Universe: ACD
Characters: John Watson, Captain Basil
Word Count: 547
Summary: Watson goes to the docks in unsavoury company. A follow-on to At the Broken Bell. Written for the following three amnesty prompts:
 -  The Sea! An adventure on the sea, at the sea, or under the sea. Granted, Captain Watson isn't a navy captain, but still...
 - The show at the end of the pier.
- Genre Shift: Sherlock Holmes as any genre other than mystery/crime drama. (E.G. musical, romantic comedy, sci-fi, horror...) I'll name my genre at the end, in case you haven't figured it out already.
Warnings: This is still more fragmentary than anything else, although at least there's some action. And absolutely no beta. This was written in a complete rush. You have been warned.
Disclaimer: I don't own them.

As Holmes gladly tells anyone when the opportunity arises, I have no talent for dissimulation. I have chronicled as much myself with my own pen.

This is something of a lie; a deliberate one, fostered for my own protection as well as others, Holmes not least.

I am no master of disguise, as Holmes is; nor can I convincingly play a variety of roles or characters. But I can, and often have, convincingly acted a part when necessary in one of Holmes’ cases. I certainly have enough first-hand knowledge to play a military veteran down on his luck, or an unwise gambler, or a bitter fellow at odds with his more-favoured sibling, or an unhappy lover unfortunate in his affections, as well as a doctor or medic of varying skill or qualifications. I can answer to Jack or James or Ormond or Henry or Bob as easily as John. As long as there is something I can relate to in the personage, I can play whatever minor part Holmes requires with a reasonable chance of success.

Allowing myself – which is to say Jack Williams, a third-rate doctor with gambling debts and a questionable past – to be coerced (not quite shanghaied, although it came close to it) aboard Captain Basil’s vessel was simple enough. Enduring the cold, untrusting stares, verbal abuse, and occasional physical roughness of the crew was unpleasant, but expected, and I reacted as much as Jack Williams might be expected to do. My conduct towards Captain Basil himself was more of a matter of allowing everyone to see how uneasy he made me feel than anything else. There was something about the man that set me on edge, despite Holmes’ assurances beforehand that I could trust Captain Basil to keep to his bargain and bring me safely back to London once the case was done.

My horror at seeing the cargo of the other ship was completely unfeigned. Those starving, filthy, cowed girls, with tell-tale marks of every kind of abuse on their scantily-clad bodies, was enough to rattle the calm of Basil’s hardened crew, much less a paltry fellow like Williams. I made a show of my disgust there at the end of the pier, turning my moral outrage at the proposed fate of these poor creatures into a snivelling coward’s bravado. I even made a few of Basil’s crew growl and chuckle appreciatively when I declared that no Englishman would bother to tup any of the girls in their current condition for free, much less pay for the privilege.

I was not entirely surprised when the situation turned to violence, or that the other captain had evidently planned treachery all along. Not only did the other crew attack, but toughs sprang out all along the pier. Their intention – kill us all, seize Basil’s ship – was as clear as any pirate’s in any boy’s adventure story. I was surprised at the skill and ferocity shown by Basil’s men in battling them back, and with Basil’s cool command in directing his men.

I did not have to act at all when the bullet slammed into my leg. Jack Williams or John Watson – it made no difference to the blazing pain, or the long fall from the pier into the cold waters of the North Sea.

Author's note: I picked that long-favourite genre of mine, the radio-serial drama with a cliffhanger ending. Tune in next week* for another great episode, folks!

*might take me more than a week...but I won't leave Watson hanging (er, shot and drowning) forever.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 8th, 2016 05:30 am (UTC)
Woo hoo! Derring-do adventure at sea!
Aug. 20th, 2016 04:15 am (UTC)
Aug. 9th, 2016 12:08 am (UTC)
I like reading that Watson's talent for acting is not that hopeless! But being shot again? Poor man!

I was starting to cheer until I notice the asterisk of it being more than a week before an update...but I will hang on to your promise!!

Biting my nails -and an apple, for now- to read more!

Edited at 2016-08-09 12:09 am (UTC)
Aug. 20th, 2016 04:16 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm afraid my schedule got quite out of hand this week, but I will continue this as soon as I'm able. :-)
Aug. 9th, 2016 07:48 pm (UTC)
Oh no... "more than one week"...
But it *is* worth waiting for =)
Aug. 20th, 2016 04:17 am (UTC)
I'm delighted you think so. :-) I will get back to this as soon as I can!

Thank you!
Aug. 19th, 2016 03:10 am (UTC)
Being shot again explains the bullet wound in the leg, but... ouch.

(I assume this has something to do with the Friesland?)
Aug. 20th, 2016 04:22 am (UTC)
Well, JWP does mean some definite ouch for poor Watson... ;-)

I've no idea if this has anything to do with the Friesland, but it's an interesting notion. Hopefully I'll have time to find out sometime this weekend.

Thank you!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )