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Fanfic / Simple Gifts

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Simple Gifts is a Sherlock Holmes fanfic by KCS. It can be found here.

Sherlock Holmes hates the holidays with every fiber of his being, and his general irritation with the season becomes worsened when his new fellow-lodger, Dr. Watson, comes down with the flu right as Mrs. Hudson leaves for a Christmas visit to her sister. As much as the detective prides himself on his knowledge and intellect, being the doctor's doctor will prove more difficult than he ever expected.

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This fanfic includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Christmas Carolers: A group gathers outside 221 Baker Street to sing carols. Probably this would have annoyed Holmes anyway, but Watson suffering a high fever at the same time worsens it.
  • Death Glare:
    • Watson shoots Holmes a nightmarish glare when the detective offers to help him sit up, which Holmes irritably attributes to his pride in self-sufficiency.
    • Holmes deals the the maid a scowl which sends her scuttling away when her giggling after she finds him and Watson huddled up together wakens him early in the morning.
  • Eye Contact as Proof: Watson doesn't look Holmes in the eye when he answers a question about his self-perception, which the detective notes means he's trying to evade answering too directly.
  • Eye Scream: Watson punches Holmes in the eye when he tries startling him out of his delirium.
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  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Holmes splashes the delirious doctor with cold water to startle him back to normal, and Watson promptly deals him a surprisingly painful left hook with his injured arm.
  • Holiday Volunteering: Mrs. Hudson participates in some holiday knitting work, meaning she's not as able to spend as much time on seeing to Holmes' wishes as the detective expects.
  • Hot Drink Cure: Holmes gives Watson a cup of weak tea, although he doubts that the doctor will be able to keep it down for long.
  • Illness Blanket: Watson cocoons himself in a comforter during his bout of influenza.
  • It's All About Me: Holmes starts the fic griping about the obstacles he's encountering trying to while away Christmas in research, mostly ignoring Watson's illness except when it disrupts his own plans and assuming that Mrs. Hudson will have to perform the caretaker role, despite her having plans to visit her sister over the holidays. He's also unimpressed by Mrs. Hudson and Watson both volunteering their services to the unfortunate, as it causes consequences which make his life more difficult.
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  • Narrative Profanity Filter: At one point, the sick Watson swears at Holmes when the detective becomes too blunt, but Holmes doesn't list the actual words, only that they were apparently Scottish.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Holmes suspects that Watson first contracted the illness thanks to his work with patients in the East End of London who can't afford a doctor.
  • Past Experience Nightmare: The fever from the influenza makes Watson delirious, and in that state he experiences unpleasant dreams of the war in Afghanistan and his lost comrades.
  • Pulled from Your Day Off: Defied; Watson insists that Holmes not drag another doctor away from Christmas with his family to tend to him, no matter what. Holmes does refrain from fetching a physician, but only because he's afraid to leave his feverish roommate alone while he retrieves one.
  • Sleep Cute: Watson grabs Holmes' hand in his delirium, and the detective can't bring himself to pull away. He ultimately settles down next to him upon realizing the doctor won't let go. Unfortunately for Holmes, the maid comes in early the next morning and wakes him up with a fit of giggles.
  • Soup Is Medicine: Holmes gives Watson some of the meaty soup left behind by Mrs. Hudson.
  • Twisted Christmas: Watson becomes sick just before Christmas, and on Christmas Eve itself, his illness reaches a crisis that comes far nearer to killing him than anyone expected. That night Holmes also figures out why Watson has been so depressed and withdrawn lately: he's suffering from the deaths of most of his friends in the military and he's too afraid of experiencing that loss again to make new ones.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: The first entry relates Holmes coming home from a trip to the library to find Watson attempting to stagger across the room. The detective catches him so he doesn't hurt his head, and suffers the consequences when Watson throws up on him and the carpet due to his illness.
  • What Is This Feeling?: Holmes doesn't initially pay any attention to Watson's problem beyond cursory courtesy and annoyance when it disrupts his plans. However, over Mrs. Hudson's holiday, he finds himself doing more and more things for the doctor without understanding why, implicitly because friendship is a new experience to him. It becomes especially evident when he notes a twinge in his chest as the delirious Watson grabs his hand for comfort and he wonders if it's a sign he's caught the same illness.
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