A/N Hello, everyone! This is a 3-part request that I wrote a while back for my girlfriend, username Sylvia Griffin3. She loved it, even though I'm fairly "meh" about it, so I suppose you'll just have to see if it's to your taste :3 For the record, I'm not the hugest fan of fem!John myself; I prefer our wonderful doctor male, but, like I said, this was a request, and Jane was interesting to explore. It's true that the so-convincedly-straight Watson would be more likely to admit her feelings for Sherlock as a female- John seems pretty damn set on denying it, which, of course, is ridiculous. I'm convinced that S/J is canon, and no one can persuade me otherwise. Anyways, where was I? That should be about it. I'll post this a part a week, so it should be all done in three weeks. Please review, it would be much appreciated! And, as mentioned before, this is writing from a while back, so I'm sure I've improved at least somewhat since composing this particular piece. So, feel free to crit, but know that I may be better than this already :3
Rated T for mild torture and equally mild kissing. Though none of that nummy stuff appears in this segment.
Disclaimer I don't own Sherlock or any associated characters, events, etc.
Jane wasn't sure how to react when she found a wedding ring in Sherlock's coat pocket.
Not that she was snooping or anything of the like- no, it had been one of those times again when he, focused on a microscope (always a microscope... it probably meant something, but nothing that her all-too-human mind was close to figuring out), suddenly demanded that she read him his text messages. From his mobile. In his pocket. Of his coat. On his shoulders.
It wasn't that she minded it, exactly. Perhaps it messed with her stomach a little to reach into it like that, to actually feel around inside the coat until she located the phone, but not necessarily in a bad way. A bit... uncomfortable, that was true, and all the more so because he was so matter-of-fact about it she could hardly believe that there was a heartbeat under his practically robotic exterior- but she felt it each time she had to do such a task for him. And maybe, just maybe, she'd let her hand linger a little there, feeling the light pulse that had so much meaning to her as a doctor, and yet more meaning to her as his... flat mate. That was all she was. His flat mate. Irritatingly.
No, she didn't like him, and that was what she would have told anyone who asked. Because it was none of their business, and she wasn't the type to run around advertising her emotions, especially those she was uncertain about. She was a medical woman, one of facts, but that didn't mean she wasn't a person, as well. She had private thoughts. And, well, some of those private thoughts might have been about the man she lived with. But they were private, after all. So saying, to others and, occasionally, herself, that all she wanted was to be a friend to him, couldn't hurt. Not that she wouldn't have complained if she'd gotten a little more.
But a wedding ring was just plain scary.
Her fingers had just found the cool side of the cell phone, and were wrapping around it, already withdrawing. In the process, though, they managed to dislodge another object that was there, sending it toppling out of the pocket. She let out a small exclamation of surprise, but Sherlock didn't so much as look up when the tiny box bounced off his leg and onto the floor, where it opened with a sharp snap.
Setting the phone on the table, Jane quickly knelt down, grateful that her injury hadn't been giving her much pain lately. There it was, that odd little box, sitting there with a delicate golden ring nestled in its creamy silken interior-
That's a wedding ring.
That's a wedding ring.
Suddenly very shaky, she rose back up to her full (and rather unremarkable) height, glancing slightly sideways at Sherlock. He didn't look the least bit perturbed. He didn't look the least bit anything, really. Still just gazing at something under that stupid microscope. Finally, he spoke, irritation flavoring his tones.
"What's taking you so long?"
She opened her mouth, then closed it upon realizing that she had no idea what to say. There's a wedding ring in your coat pocket. "...Planning on marrying anyone, or do you just... carry this around with you?" she finally stammered.
"What?" he snapped, looking up. His annoyed gaze only rested on her for a half second before flitting downwards and settling upon the ring at his feet. "Oh, that. Pick it up, will you? Wasn't cheap, even seeing as it's not real gold..."
"I-" She was halfway to the floor again before it even occurred to her to protest, meaning that she had to look up even farther than usual in order to glare properly at him. "I'm not getting that until you tell me what's going on. Sherlock-"
"It's a long explanation. Don't want it to gather dust." The last word was formed with a delicate precision that hinted at impatience.
"Just tell me you aren't..."
She blinked slowly. "...That you don't have the thing on your mind that most people do when they carry around a wedding ring."
"I'm not going to marry anyone, if that's what you're asking," he replied in a disgusted way, as though the very idea was ridiculous. "Why would I ever do that?"
Even she wasn't sure of the exact words to her mumbled response as she once more lowered herself down, but the uncomfortable flush spreading over her cheeks was undeniable. For its sake, she remained out of view for a second longer than strictly necessary after the box was grasped in her fingers. Only when she couldn't possibly stretch those few moments any farther did she stand, slamming the ring box as lightly as she could onto the kitchen table.
"There." Jane tucked her hands into her pockets, waiting silently. When, after a full thirty seconds, Sherlock made no move towards offering any sort of explanation (but, in fact, had actually returned to his microscope), she cleared her throat meaningfully.
"Curious, are we?" he murmured, finally sighing and sitting back in his chair, eyes fixated on the wall. "If you must know, it's for you. Nice little shiny piece of jewelry, no cause to complain. And I've got one, too. Matching. Nice, isn't it?"
"What are you..." She was absolutely and completely lost for words. For her. He'd just said he wasn't planning on marrying anyone. So why was he offering to give her a wedding ring? What would she need a wedding ring for?
Who wants to bet that I'm missing something 'obvious'... again...
"I... really don't..."
"It's for tonight. Short little job, shouldn't require much effort. Just stand there and look blank, you're good at it." He stood up abruptly, pushing the chair back with a sharp screech and tossing a plastic cover over the microscope without bothering to remove the slide. Without another word, he was reaching for his coat and pulling it on. Jane watched the predictable movements of his hands silently as the scarf joined it. "Come on!" he called, already somehow on his way out the door.
"Wha-" Scooping the wedding ring box off of the table, she hurried after him. "Sherlock, wait!"
He paused in the doorway, turning around in a slight spin. "Oh, best not call me that anymore. We're Robert and Samantha Jones now. Mr. and Mrs., at that. Don't wait up!" And he was, in a flurry of his usual Sherlockian speed, down the stairs.
Jane looked down at the ring in her hand, back up, and down again. Then, with the tiredest of tired sighs, she followed him.
"At least tell me what we're doing," Jane insisted as the two of them slid into a cab. She still wasn't putting the ring on, but rather holding it delicately in her right hand, feeling the cool metal slowly leach the warmth from her skin.
"Infiltrating a party. Not that complicated. Like I said before, nothing you have to do, other than at least trying to maintain the persona I've set up for you. I'm the one who'll be doing the listening. The host is a prime suspect in a recent murder case, and it shouldn't be hard to decide whether or not he's the guilty one. If he is, things will get a bit more complicated, but, well... I'll take care of that. Follow the flow of the rest of the guests. Don't break cover, understand?"
"I don't even know what my cover is," Jane pointed out, not much bothering with patience. "I'm a... Samantha..."
"Jones. Samantha Jones. Don't forget your last name, I'm afraid that's a bit of a giveaway."
"Yeah, I'll give it my best effort," she grumbled back sourly, scooting closer to the door to put as much space as possible between her and Sherlock. People told her, oftentimes in rather amazed tones, that they couldn't believe she actually lived with him without going insane, but the truth was that she wasn't entirely sure she did have a satisfactory mental state- on occasions such as this, at least. He was just so infuriating. It was ridiculous. Taking a deep breath, she continued through her teeth. "How about give me something to work with... personality-wise?"
"Rich, stuck-up, snobby. Just like all the other attendees. You'll find that the upper class comes with a single personality. One size fits all. Convenient."
"...Snobby... good..." she muttered sarcastically. How am I supposed to act snobby? She'd never been much of one for acting, not in any form. Drama class in primary school was a nightmare. The few times before that she'd had to take on a role for one of Sherlock's cases before, things had turned out even worse. And acting snobby wasn't necessarily a thing she could even approach pulling off, what with- to abandon modesty- her natural personality being the opposite.
"Oh, and you might want to put the ring on," Sherlock added casually.
The ring. The ring again. Even as she glared at him, he displayed his own hand, with a thing gold band glittering on the fourth finger. The sight was... bizarre. Something to imply that he was married was just so out of place. Sherlock, married- it didn't fit. Of course... she slowly, and with great reluctance, put on her own ring, grimacing at the sight of it. Of course, it doesn't quite work on me, either. It was... a bit repellent, really, the idea of... settling down. She was happy with the life she had. Marriage would... mess things up. Who was there to marry, anyways? Nobody.
So it's stupid that you're worrying about this, anyway, since it's completely irrelevant. The ring is on, now, isn't it? So focus on getting into character. Be 'snobby.'
I am going to be awful at this.
She took a slow, deep breath, trying to collect her nerves, and gathered her hair into a ponytail, holding it there for a moment before letting it down again. This sudden outing was rather spur-of-the-moment, even for Sherlock, who was quite impulsive (she of all people knew this very well). If things went mercifully, then she wouldn't have to do much aside from maintaining this... Samantha Jones's character.
Just calm down. Act casual. Sherlock probably won't talk for a full week if you fail this time around.
She'd just have to hope that the host here wasn't the person Sherlock was looking for. Because if he was... Jane knew that she wouldn't be able to stay neatly out of the fray like he wanted her to. She'd be right into it, and... well... maybe that wouldn't be so bad after all. There was no reason to dread action. It might even work out better for her if events did take that turn.
Of course, she had been hoping for a quiet night...
Oh well. You're just going to have to get used to the fact that living with Sherlock Holmes means no quiet nights... at all. For some reason, this comment felt vaguely amusing to her, and the corners of her mouth tilted upwards as the cab lurched to a halt at a traffic light.
It was only a few uneventful minutes later, in a more residential area of the city, that they pulled up to the curb. A large house faced them- nothing mansion-like, but quite a few 221Bs could have fit inside it. There weren't streamers draped over it or anything equally garish, but a line of faintly violet lanterns along the path to the door indicated that a special event was occurring, not to mention the cars parked up and down the street.
This is it, this is it... for God's sake, calm down, Jane, it's just a party... a party where you're undercover, but still...
Too soon, she was climbing out of the cab, Sherlock was paying the driver, and then they were on the path, moving towards the house, so that she only had time to run through rich, snobby, Samantha Jones in her mind once before they were in.
The place seemed bigger inside than out. It was all white, shiny surfaces and bright, warm lighting and sleek modern furniture. Very mature, as well. Most of the guests seemed to be in some sort of tight-fitting black outfit or other, and the level of noise was low and bubbly, like the thin wine in spindly glasses that most all of them were clutching. She suddenly became extremely aware of the thick, gray woolen jumper that she was wearing. Impulsively, she glanced over at Sherlock, but he couldn't have looked less out of place with his usual dark-colored suit.
"Sherlock," she hissed out of the corner of her mouth, "look at me."
"Look at what I'm wearing."
Though her whisper was quiet, a large number of people seemed to have picked up on the message it carried. She quailed slightly under the many heavily mascara-ed frowns sent her way. If Samantha Jones was a real person who'd unwillingly lent her identity to Jane, she probably wouldn't be too happy with the reputation drop. Sorry, she thought vaguely, inching closer to Sherlock.
He glanced at her, up and down, and frowned slightly. "What you're always wearing."
She let out a thin hiss of frustration through gritted teeth, her eyes roving the room for an exit. They settled on a door leading to a rather promising, dimly lit hallway, and she immediately latched onto Sherlock's arm and pulled him after her, down it, until she reached what appeared to be a bathroom door. She shouldered it open, dragged him in, and closed it behind her, making sure to flip the latch to lock it.
For a long moment, she braced herself against the wall, catching her breath and letting the heat slowly drain from her face. It was several seconds before she realized that the light was off, and therefore she had just pulled Sherlock into a dark bathroom, where they now stood in silence. Feeling the blush creep back up, she fumbled along the wall, muttering "light switch" repeatedly under her breath until a pale glow finally illuminated the room. She squinted, focusing on Sherlock's tall silhouette. He was watching her without amusement, his own long fingers grasping the cord of a lamp perched next to the toilet.
"Thanks," Jane mumbled, finally starting to relax.
His expression didn't change. "You just made quite a scene."
"Well, sorry, but... I didn't want to attract... attention..." She slowly realized how idiotic she sounded. Yeah, Sherlock, I didn't want to attract attention, so I grabbed you by the arm and pulled you into a tiny, pitch-black room. And closed the door behind us. Locked it, too, in fact. Nope, not conspicuous whatsoever.
"Of course not. You never try to do stupid things, they just come out naturally," he growled. "Like calling me by my name. Clever, was that?"
It took her a moment to remember the instance he was referring to, then her stomach lurched. "...Sorry."
"Sorry? I don't care if you're sorry, you might have just blown our cover! Be more careful, Jane. Just try."
"...I'll try. But wait," she added hastily as he made to unlock the door. "These clothes. I'm still wearing them..."
"Really?" he mused sarcastically, but it was just a vague remark to fill the silence- he was already glancing about. She watched as he opened a small side closet and ducked his head inside. A small exclamation of triumph was coupled with his reemergence, this time holding a hanger from which dangled a rather skimpy black gown. "Here, this looks like it ought to fit you. Probably here in case one of the guests spills wine on themselves or something of the like. Anything to escape public scandal."
"Scandal?" Jane repeated as Sherlock handed her the dress. "It's not like these people are that well-know- and even if they were, I'd be surprised if you recognized them-"
"They're well-known in the underworld," he cut in impatiently. "That's what matters. If I called Lestrade in now, he could arrest half the attendees here without hesitating. But we're after someone much more elusive. Much more... interesting. That's why I'm holding out. Now put on the clothes and come out when you're ready." He was, once more, about to leave when she, finally focusing on the handfuls of silky fabric, spoke up.
"This is strapless."
"And so is everything else that these ridiculous people wear. Hurry up."
"Robert now, remember?"
"...Oh." That sound, one of quiet understanding, wasn't one to often come from Sherlock. He was always ahead of the game, voicing the declarations that prompted such a reaction in others. But for him to say it himself... that represented that something had truly escaped his system, that his mind had completely skipped over it. Very rare indeed.
There wasn't anything stopping Jane from showing her shoulder scar, not really. It wouldn't hurt her, not physically, at least. But there was something about the stares that she'd receive, the musings and mutterings of those around her, that was unbearable. Besides, she told herself, Samantha Jones probably doesn't have one. It's best for staying undercover. It was good to have an actual, practical excuse- no, not excuse, reason- to cover it up. And Sherlock seemed to have come to the same conclusion, judging by how he withdrew from the door and faced her again, considering.
"Then you're going to have to put a little more effort into this," he finally decided aloud.
"What... what do you mean?" Jane questioned uncertainly, not liking the sound of more effort.
"Look in the closet if you want to; there's nothing there for a woman that covers the shoulders. Nothing at all. Even the shawls are designed to wrap around the upper arms, but not that high."
"So?" she prompted.
"So you're just going to have to keep wearing what's on you now."
"Jane, I know you'll be able to do this. You're Samantha Jones," he added exasperatedly when she just stared at him. "Do you have any idea who she is?"
"Actually..." She shifted slightly. "No."
"Of course not," Sherlock muttered, then went on in the impatient tone anyone who worked with him was long used to. "Samantha Jones is one of the queens of the underworld. No one knows how she gets her money, exactly, but she's dripping in it, she and her husband both. She practically sets the standard for people like her. Meaning that if she decides gray woolen jumpers are 'in...' then they are."
"So it's like a popular schoolgirl setting the trends," Jane interpreted.
"See it whatever way you want to. All that matters to me is that you understand. You see what you have to do now, don't you?"
"Be Samantha Jones. Act like what you're wearing is completely reasonable, and like anyone who dares to object doesn't know what they're talking about. Of course, I doubt anyone will object, but you need to be prepared. Also, don't make a point of socializing with them. Keep to yourself. It's better if they don't know who you're posing as. It's highly unlikely that any of them have ever seen Samantha in person, but if they had, it'll be immediately evident that you aren't her."
"Right... and... Sherlock?"
"What?" he growled, hand already on the doorknob.
"...Where are the real Robert and Samantha Jones?"
His face morphed into something that looked pleased, almost amused, as he answered her evenly. "I gave Lestrade a little treat. He'd been after them for awhile, but they hadn't interested me until now. If you were wondering why I came home so late last night, there it is."
"You were out arresting the two most powerful criminals in London."
"Something like that, yes." In a glimmer of sleek black fabric, he was out the door.