Author: TimelordsAndArmyDoctors PM
Irene Adler turns up at Sherlock's place in the middle of the night, hiding the hurt of the baby she lost, running from American criminals, and she seeks Sherlock's help.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama/Hurt/Comfort - Sherlock H. - Chapters: 2 - Words: 3,793 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 7 - Follows: 22 - Updated: 06-03-11 - Published: 05-29-11 - id: 7032348
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Hello, stud," called a voice from the threshold of 221b Baker Street, a contralto murmur saturated with supercilious charm, a voice that filled Sherlock Holmes with both passion and dread. The voice, melodic and touched with a twang of sarcasm, came from behind him, reaching into his mind like the hand of God. Any assumptions he would have made concerning who this voice belonged to were completely obliterated once it had uttered that one single syllable that held the power to turn Sherlock Holmes's world upside down: stud.
He knew it was a woman, and there was only one woman on the face of the earth who would, not only call him stud, but who would come knocking on his door at 3:46am, no doubt with a pair of silver stillettoes slung behind one shoulder, the remainder a long night's lipstick fading on her mouth, and of course on the mouth of the poor lad who had fallen victim to her magic a few hours prior. Sherlock's mind buzzed with a sickly mixture of rage, and unjustified affection. Such distractions this woman created. How could he possibly work with all this ridiculous emotion blocking up his prefrontal cortex? Keeping eyes fixed on the slick black mobile phone before him, Sherlock spoke, hardly able to believe his words.
"Hello, Adler," he said, able to keep his voice comfortably low, but unable to restrain the venom, so the words left his mouth wrapped in a brutal hiss. A flagrant giggle filled his ears, and so he stood, spinning around to find the elegant figure of Irene Adler leaning seductively against the doorframe. She wore a sleek red dress made of flimsy silk, a plummeting V across the neck, and a soaring slit up the side, revealing a lean, golden leg. He was right about the shoes; her six-inch heels, sharp enough to inflict a fatal wound, were slung over one shoulder in a cavalier manner. She was all red lips and smoky eyes, her lids low. In many ways, she was easy to predict. In others, she most definitely was not.
"We meet again," she whispered, a naughty smile dancing on her lips. Sherlock could only sigh. She was back again. He took a moment to glance her over, and allowed his gaze to settle on her left hand.
"Oh, Adler. Looking for a shoulder to cry on, again?" he asked, mischievous and knowledgeable. Irene's eyelashes fluttered, revealing a pair of radiant blue eyes.
"What ever makes you say that?" she breathed, her voice thick with an American twang, inviting his analysis of her appearance.
"Well, it's all very simply. Let's start with the legs. Tanned, and a tan well maintained. You haven't allowed it to fade. This either means you've been using fake tan, which, if I know you, and I do, I know it isn't really your style. So, you've been away. Judging by the fact that you've still got that accent, its obviously the states. I'd say Los Angeles; your hometown. Sentimental attachments, last chance family reunions judging by the crucifix you're wearing around your neck. Simple, plain, not worn for any aesthetic purposes. You're wearing it for emotional reasons. Oh, but you're not religious, quite the opposite in fact. So, if its not yours, whose is it? Judging by the delicate chain and the size of the pendant, it's belonged to a woman, not your sister's because you haven't got a sister. So, it's your mother's. Ooh, well there's an issue with the theorem. Clearly not for emotional reasons. Woman like you? Definitely not."
Irene giggled. "Oh, I love it when you talk dirty to me," met with only a smirk from Sherlock.
"Now, why would you be wearing a piece of jewellery representative of something you abhor so brutally? Hmm, well maybe you made up with your mum and it's there to remind you of the renewed relationship. Or, maybe there's something wrong. Maybe, your mother hasn't got long to live and you've turned to God. A more likely explanation is that your mother is already dead, and that pretty little thing is worth a fortune. But, you wouldn't dare leave it in your hotel room, which is quite obviously where you're staying, so you carry it with you. You always did carry your most valuable items in your person. Just like you still carry a Swiss army knife in your shoe, and a fifty in your bra." He paused for a moment, to catch his breath. A look from her was all he needed to continue.
He took a deft step towards her, his hands in his pockets. His tone was vicious. He just couldn't forget their past, the memories of her walking out on him at the last minute, as always. He would enjoy this deduction. He wanted to know what Irene Adler was up to. She was nothing but trouble.
"But, the grief over the loss of your estranged mother is not why you're here. No, something else happened out there, didn't it? Well, the next bit is easy, isn't it? You were left by a lover. Pale circular mark on your ring finger says an engagement ring was worn for a long time. Perhaps too long. Perhaps he didn't want to commit. Perhaps you couldn't take it any more? Oh, but that doesn't fit, does it, Adler? No. Commitment was never your style, was it? Clearly you weren't married in your time in the US. The circle on your finger is thin, too thin to shadow both an engagement ring and a wedding ring. So, you didn't get married. I think you broke it off. You'd still have the ring if it had been the other way around. You're strong, but you're a sucker for sentiment."
He took a long moment to assess the look on her face. Sherlock could tell that he still hadn't quite cracked it.
"But, that's still not why you're here. I'm right so far, but there's still something deeper. You wouldn't come to me for help over an ex-lover. You've had plenty of those in your time."
"What makes you think I need your help?" Irene asked, now, standing in the middle of the flat, less than two metres from where Sherlock now stood. He smirked, amused by the notion that he was wrong about her motives.
"You and I haven't seen each other in a long while. The context of our relationship prior to this means that you do not intend to seduce me right here and now. Your only other motive, besides money, which judging by that dress, most definitely is not the problem, is that you're in some kind of trouble and you need me. Something happened in the States. But the real question now is what?"
He took another step towards her, breathing a heavy sigh.
"So, Adler, let's think, shall we? You're not upset about your mother's death. You are upset about your recent romantic split, however that's not why you're here. Judging by your appearance, you're "on the pull." Right now, you want a man. You want passionate sex to make you forget, and you want to discard the poor sod who fell victim the next day to make you feel in control, powerful. So, whatever happened must have been out of your control, natural. It must have clearly been something incredibly painful, otherwise you wouldn't be here. Ahh, but you're not just looking for a shoulder to cry on, are you? I guess that was a joke on my part to begin with. No, you're in trouble. You keep glancing over your shoulder and you don't seem to have noticed. You see it a lot in people who are running away from something, and you, Miss Adler, are running."
"So, you've experienced pain recently. Pain over something you could not possibly have controlled. Something so powerful could have only come from loss. Not loss of a parent, not loss of a partner clearly, so what else could you have lost and not have been able to stop it?" his tone dropped as he asked this, his gaze still resting on the hand the subconsciously pressed to her lower abdomen. Sherlock sighed once more. She was so easy to read. He had realised the moment she stepped through the door. A woman like Irene did not get all dolled up and go out looking for a man unless she was trying to push away her emotions. Who knew she would get in so deep.
"Oh, Adler, you didn't," he whispered. Irene was silent, her eyes fixed on his. He knew he was right, but eh didn't want to push it too far. She could change at any moment. He continued, with a little more caution than before.
"Your hand hasn't moved since I began my deduction. You first emerged leaning against the doorframe, focussed on making a spectacular entrance. But you began to feel vulnerable when I started working things out, like I was stripping away the armour. So, in light of your recent losses, your instinctual reaction was to protect yourself, and to protect what you hold, or held, most dear. And it wasn't the necklace, or the money. It was something of a much greater value to you." She still had not looked away. Irene was not going to crumble in front of Sherlock Holmes. His voice grew softer.
"It was a knee-jerk reaction, wasn't it? To protect your child." She winced at the very syllable. "Except, you're not pregnant, Irene Adler. Not anymore." His words pierced Irene like darts, but she didn't move. In the correct light, one would be able to glimpse a sparkle of tears in her eyes, but they were well hidden in the dim haze of 221b. In any case, they would never leave her eyes.
"This is irrelevant, Sherlock," she answered, he voice flat, and emotionless. There it is, Sherlock thought. Pushing it away like it doesn't matter, when in fact, it's the fire behind her true motivation. Interesting, he pondered. "You know that isn't why I'm here."
"No," he stated, softly. "But, it is noteworthy, Irene Adler, and interesting because you don't seem affected by it in the slightest." Calling her bluff. He saw the vague twitch of her eye, and the soft catching of her breath, like a woman fighting the desire to be stripped of her bravado, because she's sick of putting it up. He decided to leave it.
"Nevertheless, you're still running from something. Otherwise you wouldn't be here. You still need me for something... you're in trouble. Again." He took his hands from his pockets, and sighed once more.
"Sit. I have a feeling it's going to be a long night."