Hello, my fellow adlock shippers.

This was a bit of inspiration that came to me after I saw a post on tumblr about a good adlock song... Nearly Witches, by Panic at the Disco. I got to thinking about Irene's perfume and maybe the ways she lingered around Baker Street.

Told in 13 parts.

Enjoy!

I.

For weeks after she borrowed it, Sherlock's coat smells of myrrh and resin and the orient, of Casmir by Chopard. The Woman's perfume.

Sometimes he catches traces of it in his bedroom. He can tell where she was, from when she leaned over and kissed him to when she left through the window.

Sometimes when Sherlock is walking down the streets of London he turns his nose to scent of the Woman imbued in his coat and is brought back, momentarily, to her sitting room in Belgravia.

sunlit and cool and entirely at odds with the heat in this woman's eyes as she sizes him up he can smell her perfume freshly applied and smelling of blackberries and current that is slowly fading into a heavier scent that makes him think of arabian nights and heated eyes and sherlock is concentrating on the woman's perfume to avoid staring at her breasts

Either way her perfume remains at Baker Street and in the folds of Sherlock's coat.

II.

Irene Adler's breathy sigh echos around Baker Street.

Sherlock's body is highly tuned to the alert noise, and sometimes he hears it when it isn't there and he checks his phone out of reflex. He is self-aware enough to realize that his heart rate picks up when he hears the noise.

Nothing, it is nothing. He chalks it up to excitement and his body's natural sexual response to the sound, it is that and nothing more.

John's consternation grows as the texts grow more frequent.

He had been afraid that she would stop when he never replied, but she never did.

The Woman was an enigma, and the sigh was as burning as her laughter as he struggled to unravel her.

III.

He can tell she was there from the moment he and John enter the flat after doing their Christmas shopping. Her scent is there, strong, fresh. It's not just his imagination, it is Irene Adler and she was just here. Casmir's blackberry and peach has faded to the vanilla middle note. He finds it ironic because Irene is anything but vanilla, in her life and in her bed.

Sherlock mulls over it as he plays his violin for Mrs. Hudson. Geoff (Gordon?) Lestrade arrives, grinning broadly. Then Molly.

Because he can't figure out the mystery of the woman he figures out the simple puzzle of Molly, reassuring himself that he can deduce her and that the Woman is an anomaly and nothing more. (nevermind that the very fact that she is an anomaly is what makes her so fascinating) He fails to realize that in his pursuit of self validation he injures Molly's feelings.

Sherlock leans in close to kiss her cheek, taking in the dry sweetness of Molly's scent. It is powdery, almost sickeningly sweet and strong. She's trying to cover up the scent of the morgue, of the dead bodies, and it doesn't quite work.

irene adler smells much better

The text alert brings her to his mind even more firmly. He ignores John's "Sixty-seven?" it was actually eighty one and moves to the mantlepiece, per his orders.

Yes, her perfume is stronger here, even covered by the evergreen spray Mrs. Hudson insists on using around the holidays. There is a red box there, a scarlet box, bound with a black tie.

He takes it and moves to his room, where can be with her gift in private. It smells like her too, she is all around him and smothering him. He yearns for something he can't quite put a name to, a sensation that causes an uncomfortable twinge just inside his ribs.

The same shade of red as her lipstick. He won't forget that color, the exact curve of her lips as he fought to keep his eyes on her face.

The black ties are sensuously soft in his hands as he unties the knot. He notes the contrast on his skin, and for a moment he can picture himself (or her) tied to a bed and arching against these soft bonds in a pleasure that would transcend agony.

And then he is staring at Irene Adler's mobile phone and he can't quite make any words come to his brain, let alone images.

IV.

His brain his filled with music, a waltz that is more of a lament. High, wavering notes, that slink into each other and weep for the dead and gone.

The violin aches for marquise cut diamond earrings and Casmir by Chopard and red lipstick and the most dangerous enigma he had ever encountered.

Baker Street echos with Irene's Lament.

V.

When the last trace of her perfume fades from Baker Street, the weight of her phone in his pocket and heavy against his thigh is the only thing that keeps him from sinking too far into melancholy.

his last memory of her is the smell of Molly's morgue and it doesn't fit at all

He buys the perfume discreetly and he put a bit on his pillow (it was nothing he had just grown accustomed to it nothing more and nothing less) until Mrs. Hudson makes a comment.

VI.

It is worse in his bed. She was sleeping there, her hair wet and her body warm. She had used his shampoo, but the smell had changed with her body chemistry. When Sherlock walks into his room- she's still in the sitting room talking with John- he is hit with the irresistible urge to smell his pillow.

Irene Adler and sherlock holmes as an undercurrent.

It discomfits him. He had thought that with his small bottle of Casmir he had replicated what it would be, but he hadn't reckoned on Irene making it smell so different.

Sherlock swallows hard and returns to the sitting room.

VII.

There is something strange in seeing Irene in her entirety in Baker Street. Usually it is only a trace of her.

Sherlock doesn't mind this change.

He knows it is no longer the puzzle but the woman that fascinates him and he can't quite bring himself to care. To solve one is to solve the other so he will recklessly chase the answer.

VIII.

Back in Baker's Street, when the only thing ringing in Sherlock's head is Irene pleading with him, smelling her and seeing traces of her around the flat is almost painful.

Sherlock hasn't truly craved a fix in ages but the desire is humming in his blood.

Only John's eyes stop him from leaving the flat and seeking out a dealer. He needs the fresh air, though, so he opens his windows and breathes in the fresh air as a stream of smoke leaves his pursed lips. Smoking is enough, he is sure.

At the very least only the faintest traces remain in his bedsheets and those are covered with the acrid scent of tobacco.

IX.

Sweat soaks Sherlock's skin when he awakes with images from Karachi still clamoring from his dreams. He is hard and straining and with a groan he takes himself in hand, coming with Irene's name on his lips.

The only time Karachi bothers him is in the depths of the night. It is a combination of the heavy darkness, the faint traces of balsam and sandalwood, and perhaps the cigarette smoke that made him dream of Karachi.

dreaming of karachi means dreaming of heavy eyes and hot lips and blood still high from the adrenaline, dreaming of karachi means dreaming of tantalization and pain and spasming pleasure, dreaming of karachi means dreaming of irene adler

Sometimes when Sherlock wakes with his blood heavy from Karachi he can taste her in his mouth and smell traces of her in the still air.

X.

The familiar weight of the Woman's phone as he takes it from John is comforting. He keeps it out of sentimentality, he cannot deny it when at least thrice monthly he wakes painfully hard and wanting her but he thinks about her at least once or twice a day.

He flips it by the window, looking out on Baker Street. They will see each other again, this he knows.

And until then, the phone will rest in its drawer and the perfume he hides in his room will bring Sherlock's release on those nights.

IX.

Almost three years later, Sherlock walks into Baker Street a different man.

The flat smells dusty, the air thick and matted. One of his mold experiments ran out of control and is inhabiting a section of the kitchen drawer.

Irene's phone is still in the drawer. The small vial of perfume is still in its spot. He brings the scent to his nose and breathes it in, memories crowding him.

cool hands caress his forehead and he smells her through his delirium; irene under his hands and lips as he worships her as his savior; her home that smells the same and yet different from belgravia; and always always always blood just under the sandalwood because that scent never quite goes away now

Life would return to normal. Irene Adler was part of his past, the good parts and the bloody parts. She would stay there, in the past.

That was, she would stay there if only he could get her out of his head.

Sherlock rolls a small hard shape between his thumb and forefinger inside his pocket. It is an earring, diamond, marquise cut. The same shape as a seductive mouth, if the legend about the king of France is to be believed. A man who wanted a diamond in the shape of the lips of his mistress, adorning the ears of a dominatrix and finding its way into the hands of a desperate man.

How fate laughs at her games.

XII.

Without John the flat is lonely.

Janine makes noise and chatters. Evenings with her are nothing like evenings with the Woman had been like. She doesn't play chess, she apparently is incapable of reading in silence. Maybe if he had let her rest her head in his lap as he read to her she would have liked reading more but that was for the Woman only. For all she looks like Irene, she is nothing like her.

She smells like her one day.

"I don't like that perfume," Sherlock says automatically. "Change it."

Janine is confused. "Really? I found a sample in your bedroom. If you don't like it, why do you have it?"

He catches her meaning in an instant and his gaze is dangerous as he turns it on her. The drugs are beginning to lower his inhibitions, and he has no qualms about letting the Sherlock that killed people inhabit Baker Street for a moment.

Janine never wears it again.

XII.

The days she is finally waiting for him in the flat at Baker Street is the day that he collapses into her arms. No tears leave his eyes, although they do leak from hers. They fuck right there on his chair, and collapse into a sweaty pile on limbs where they are even though Mrs. Hudson could find them that way if she entered.

Sherlock isn't sure what he has with the Woman but he knows that her perfume is enough to make his heart race faster. He knows that he owes her his life and she owes him hers.

They have intertwined lives, Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler, and that is the way it shall remain. Pieces of her will always imbue Baker Street for as long as Sherlock lives there; pieces of her will travel with him.

When she leaves, Mrs. Hudson is hanging up garlands. It is time for him to leave Baker Street as well, time to go to his parent's for Christmas. Time to put his plan into action, time to win.

They part ways and he turns his face briefly into the collar of his coat to catch the sweetness of Casmir.


And so Sherlock goes to face his fate.

I hope you enjoyed reading. (I got plenty of information from the sherlockology website. Many thanks)

Please review!

If you enjoyed this, I have several other Adlock stories that might interest. Thanks for reading!