I was in my room, when I suddenly heard a loud crashing noise from downstairs. The sounds of splintering glass, a thud and a startling cry rang in my ears. That was Holmes' voice! I ran as quick as my feet would carry me.
In the living room, I spotted his figure on the floor. A feeling of unspeakable fear flooded my mind. Rushing to his side I asked breathlessly, worry shrill in my voice:
"Holmes! Are you alright?"
He lifted his head, and I watched helplessly how a stain of frighteningly dark red colour slowly spread on the white of his shirt. My heart turned to lead in my chest. The question what had happened stuck in my throat. He whispered: "Colonel... Moran..."
I suddenly realized what was going on. Holmes' quivering fingers found me, and he pressed his hand to my chest, struggling for support. I reached out to hold him, his hand clinging desperately to my shoulder. Repeatedly interrupted by gasps for air, he whispered:
"Watson... my friend... I..."
He trailed off, painfully tried to compose himself in order to speak, but I knew that he would not live to finish his sentence. Finally he collapsed towards me, his head now resting on my chest. I could hear his bated, gasping inhaling of breath. I also felt how his clothes, and now my shirt, too, were slowly soaked in blood. After a moment, he sat up again, and his eyes met mine. They suddenly lit up for the last time with some bright spark putting an unwordly glow in his grey eyes. I recognized this to be the infallible sign that he was dying.
A thin line of blood trailed from his pale lips. He fainted into my arms.
And this time, I knew that there would be no disguised bookseller. This time, it was final. Holmes was gone. And nothing I could do would bring the spark back into his eyes.
I awoke, my face wet from tears. I shook my head, noting that even some weeks after the capture of the infamous Colonel Moran I was still having nightmares. Just that moment, there was a knock at my door. I answered, and- an alive and well Holmes looked in.
"Everything alright, Watson? I think I heard you cry..."
I shook my head: "I'm fine. I just, uh- I dreamt." He nodded. "A nightmare, huh?"
I affirmed this assumption, but did not want to specify what the subject of the nightmare had been. I believe he knew it though, and when he turned to go it seemed to me that for one moment he still wanted to say something.
He remained silent, but in his eyes shone some softer emotion than he would ever care to admit.