Alright, this is the story of what happened/is happening during the three years Sherlock was/is away from Baker Street. Sherlock/Irene, don't know why this isn't on the character list yet. Either way, even though this ship isn't my favorite (due to the fact that it blatantly states that Sherlock never had any kind of love for Irene) I couldn't NOT write it. Rating may go up in the future. Hope you enjoy!
This is the story of how I died.
"Oh, don't start with that rubbish!" A voice said from over Sherlock's shoulder. He continued typing. The woman walked away, across the room and into the kitchen area.
Alright. This isn't exactly the story of how I died, just the story of why people think I'm dead. This is also the story of why I'm currently seated in the living room of a woman who comes home every day with a leather whip in her hand.
"Why are you writing about this again?" The same voice called, muffled by a clatter of what sounded like pots, though he was fairly sure it wasn't pots.
The day I jumped off of St. Bartholomew's Hospital was the day I died according to the rest of the world. It wasn't as though I had a choice- Mrs. Hudson, Lestrade, and John were all going to be killed if I didn't, but thankfully I had some luck and some emergency contacts on my side. I called John and told him goodbye- hopefully he takes it to heart. It's better to see him grieving than dead. It's too risky to put down how I survived, even here, so I'll keep it a secret until it's safe to say- there's a lot of people out to kill me, you can be sure of that, and I don't want anyone else out in danger in their search for me. They won't ever figure it out on their own, I know for sure, and neither Mycroft nor Molly will divulge a single word of what little they know.
I suppose it seems fitting that the one true confidant I have is also officially dead.
Why am I writing this, as that woman seems intent on asking me?
John blogs. He said it helped... with the stress from the war, I mean. He's my best friend… even if I can't actually publish it, I might as well take his advice for once.
"Sherlock?" He looked up from his computer and shut the laptop, laying it on the coffee table. Irene Adler's face popped out from around the corner, still dressed in her extremely business-looking attire for her line of work, albeit with her long hair unpinned. Sometimes he wondered why she bothered risking going out every day, but as she so bluntly put it, she enjoys it and they've got to pay the bills somehow, even with her considerably large amount of savings. It was tricky how she worked it all out- the legality of it all- but Sherlock wasn't one to pry about that particular matter. Irene studied his face for a moment before continuing. "Are you-"
"Liar." They had the same conversation every day at some point or another. She would always ask if he was alright, and he'd always cut her off before she finished. Usually the conversation ended after that point and only picked up again once the news came on and Sherlock began to complain about the incompetency of the police force. Irene disappeared around the corner, shed the rest of her clothing in favor of a robe, and came back to sit in a chair across the coffee table from Sherlock.
Ever since he knew that mortal danger was headed his way, he'd been in contact with Irene. She may have been shady, but she was sharp, she knew how to disappear- and she also owed Sherlock her life several times over. She was returning the favor, as they both referred to it. The pair of them had gone underground from the moment Sherlock met her at the bottom of the hospital. It stood out in his mind even now.
"Hello, dear. Finally said yes to dinner, eh?" She said, fiddling with a different version of the same camera phone. Irene smiled as he stepped into the car, completely unnoticed among the scuffle in the streets.
"In a manner of speaking."
She'd set up forged passports and new identities for them in America- the outskirts of New York City, to be exact; both the easiest and the riskiest place for a person to disappear. It's easy because the city is so big that to create a new identity is cake for someone like Irene Adler, but risky because big cities attract people wanting to start over like honey attracts flies. Either way, this was where they'd chosen to hide, Irene and Sherlock, just a hop, skip, and a jump across the pond from London, back to where their old lives called, looking tantalizingly delicious from across the water where they watched.
However, Irene Adler and Sherlock Holmes were no more. All that remained were scattered pictures, newspaper clippings, a broken legacy, and the memories of one John Watson. Now they were Alexandra and Herald Ibson. As much as they needed to remain anonymous, living in a flat together would be much less conspicuous while posing as a married couple. Irene carried on her work and Sherlock… well, he simply tried not to go insane. Being cooped up in a flat all day wasn't his forte, especially with what he'd seen just before he left.
"Stop the car." Rolling down the street towards the airport, Sherlock had one last bit of unfinished business.
"Just for a moment." Sherlock jumped out of the car and over the graveyard fence, concealing himself behind a tree where he could get a good look at a familiar face… John. Talking to… himself? No. Talking to Sherlock.
"I was so alone, and I owe you so much…" John was talking to his tombstone. Of course, people do things like that. They say things they always wanted to say, but never did, and now Sherlock was given the rare opportunity to hear them. The more John talked, the worse he felt, until the point where there was doubt in his mind and an unpleasant feeling in his chest.
"Just one more miracle from you, Sherlock, for me. Don't be… dead."
And then he'd walked off. Limping. His psychosomatic limp had returned.
That didn't help the guilt at all.
"Ready now?" Irene glanced at him from the other side of the car as he climbed back in.
"You sure you know what you're getting into here?"
"Three years, that was the deal We hide out for three years- keep quiet, and then slip back into society." It wasn't exactly an answer, but it was close enough.
"Alright then." Irene settled back into her seat, wondering how exactly a man such as Sherlock Holmes planned to slip back into society quietly…
"You know you can't go back." Irene shook him out of his thoughts, looking at him thoughtfully.
"Of course I know that." Hard, cold, unsentimental Sherlock… hiding something, they both well knew.
"Still in denial- I should have known." Irene rose from her chair and padded across the room, bare feet nearly silent on the carpet.
"I'm not in denial-"
"Then why have you taken up your smoking habit again?" She turned to face him, eyebrows raised. It had been about a month since they left London, and though he'd lasted longer than expected, without casework he broke down eventually. "I may not be the great Sherlock Holmes, but I'm not blind, and I can certainly smell that you've been at it."
It was true. While the flat smelled only slightly of smoke, Sherlock himself reeked of it. She could smell it on his breath and see the faint bloodshot lines in the whites of his eyes from where he hadn't been sleeping. The nicotine stimulated his mind, or so he said, but it also kept him from sleeping because every time he woke up at night he'd walk down to the streets and light a cigarette on the steps on the steps of the apartment complex.
"And?" Sherlock asked, picking up a newspaper that they both very well knew he wasn't bothering to read. Irene simply sighed and half-smiled to herself. It was completely impossible to get anything out of him… most of the time. She'd been working on him for a month and had yet to get anywhere, but all she needed was time, and they certainly had plenty of that.
Three years' worth of it.