Just because it was a summer rain didn't mean it wasn't a nuisance. She stood under the awning of the darkened drycleaners, wishing the sky would clear. She'd rather not be on someone's property for this, even if the place was closed until morning.
She'd not been back to Baker Street in nearly a fortnight. Not since the night she'd played the chaconne for him and he had come seeking the music's source. Nor had she ventured into the clinic where he worked. Not even when she knew he'd left for the day.
She'd picked a rotten night to come back here. If she were the superstitious sort, she'd have called it a bad omen. But of all the things she was, superstitious wasn't one of them.
She looked out into the rain, into the dark street, and up at the window she knew to be 221B. The lights were on, but low. Like maybe he had a single lamp lit or something. He'd had another visit from the Thin Man. The bloke was up there now. That was the other reason why she hadn't begun to play yet. She could manage fine here under cover in a pinch, but she wasn't going to play for just anyone.
Finally, the Thin Man appeared at the door, opening his enormous black brolly like a Tower raven's wings in order to take the three and a half steps to his car. She waited until he'd been driven off, the car's tyres making waves in all the puddles.
Fearing the light above might go out any moment, she uncased her violin and tucked it under her chin. She'd never needed to tune it since getting it from that weird shop lady, so she didn't bother checking it now. She only grasped her bow in one hand and the violin's neck in the other, and began to play.
It was her own music. Composed in her head between highs and scribbled onto newspaper scraps she found in bins. It wept. It sang. It shrieked. It pounded. It crescendoed and crashed. It focussed to a point of light, a clear, perfect F-sharp, and faded into silence.
She was breathing hard when she reached the end. It wasn't an easy piece. It probably wasn't even a pretty piece. But it was hers and she'd given it to him.
The rain eased as she put the violin and bow away. When she looked up at the window again, it was brighter inside. She saw his silhouette in the window. Could just make out the mug in his hand. Tea. She was sure it was tea.
It was the same offer he'd put forth when they met, and like before she declined.
Her hand shook as she picked up her violin case. She could feel the cravings coming on. She grasped the handle in one tight fist. They had emergency hours at that clinic of his, didn't they? Maybe. One way or the other, she was about to find out.