[identity profile] okapi1895.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] holmes_minor
Title: Smoker
Length: 442 (221b x 2)
Rating: Mature (thoughts about what might go on in the broom cupboard in Holmes's half)
Notes: Retirementlock; Watson POV, then Holmes POV, Holmes/Watson
Summary: Two sides of a scene on a hot summer's day in Sussex
Author's Note: for the August prompt: hand utensils

I wipe the sweat from my brow on my sleeve and, with clumsy movements and a groan, push myself to standing with garden soil still caked to the knees of my trousers. On my rising, I snatch the straw hat from where it fell and shove it back on my head, shading my eyes that I might, with undisguised curiosity and appreciation, watch Holmes move about his hives. He has traded his ‘pipe smoker,’ a device that gave more aesthetical pleasure than apiological utility, for a larger, two-handed instrument. He is masked and gloved and shrouded and I wonder on a day such as this, with the August sun beating down on us and no trace of a breeze to be had, how he can elect such voluntary mummification.

Holmes says the smoke soothes the bees. He says it also prompts them to eat—a last supper before forced exile—and, thus, are less likely to sting. He lulls them in order to go about his business—a bit of hive repair I believe is the objective of today’s foray—more freely.

I enjoy watching Holmes at work, for while gardening is mere hobby for me, I consider the hives as much my companion’s vocation as solving crimes was. He looks so at home, with his bees, his cone and bellow.


Is there anything more delightful than Watson’s smile when he is looking at me and has not the slightest notion that he is smiling? He cannot see me return his smile for the mask. Nevertheless, I do.

He’s been battling weeds all morning, on the attack with garden spade as his weapon.

The day is hot, so there is little doubt that he will…

Oh, yes.

He waves. I wave.

He removes his gloves.

And then he removes his shirt.

He kneels. Once more into the fray.

For all my fears of isolation in the remote countryside, there are equally compelling boons, one of which is the lack of prying eyes, save for the thousands-faceted compound lenses of my charges, who, at the moment, are humming in their collective smoked stupor. I observed Watson’s internal debate on the first warm day of the summer and seeing him shrug off his inhibition as he did the soft cambric shirt was stirring, to say the least.

And, now, at this sight of his more delicate, less taut, but deliciously bronzed canvas, I find myself lulled, just like the bees, into slow movement and reverie.

Until now I’ve kept mum on my appreciation, but—and this is, without doubt, the smoke’s fault—find myself persuaded that a confession might well lead to summer's bliss.

Date: 2017-08-06 08:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thesmallhobbit.livejournal.com
This is lovely. I like the way you've shown both Watson and Holmes' thoughts and how you've conveyed the slowness of a hot summer day.

Date: 2017-08-06 09:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] debriswoman.livejournal.com
Such a gentle sleepy tale:-)

Date: 2017-08-06 09:35 pm (UTC)
ext_1620665: knight on horseback (Default)
From: [identity profile] scfrankles.livejournal.com
That is just beautifully done. And I saw that photo myself today on Tumblr ^__^

Date: 2017-08-07 04:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gardnerhill.livejournal.com
Lovely and sweet and slow as syrup. Summertime romance is in the air.

Date: 2017-08-18 02:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mafief.livejournal.com
I really like this, I'm such a sucker for retirement Holmes/Watson. Also, it really brought about a feeling of summer for me, which is welcome since I’m stuck in a freezing building. :)

The mummification part made me giggle and I liked your description of bee’s eyes.


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