Hello! It's me again, because I simply cannot stay away from this fandom, try as I might. I am also currently loving these 5/10 times... fics, because I think they are a great chance to write some funny and short stories, without having to plan them too much and work too much on the characters. I hope you like this one (and I desperately hope that this is better quality than the last one was, but don't get your hopes up...).

Also, I should really thank Stardust (From the Planet Gallifrey – can't write the name originally, or it will get wiped) for the idea for the last scenario (John's wedding, which Irene, Sherlock and Nero attend) and say that all credit for that goes to her. Oh, and if you haven't read her story Rome is burning, then you should do so IMMEDIATELY.

Right, thats all from me for now. Enjoy xx

5 encounters with the woman





The first time John saw Irene after her supposed death was in their flat at Baker street. She was simply sprawled out in Sherlock's armchair, wearing only his shirt and underwear, reading a newspaper and sipping a mug of coffee.

He simply stood in the doorway for a minute and gaped, nearly dropping the two bags of shopping.

Irene didn't seem suprised by his reaction. She simply smiled, a knowing, mysterious, flirtatious and amused smile while she watched him open his mouth and attempt to say something, before turning back to the newspaper.

Sherlock came into the room then, and acted as if there was nothing unusual at all about the situation, which only frustrated John more. He wanted an explanation of some kind, needing to know why Irene was simply sitting in his and Sherlock's flat as if she owned it, wearing Sherlock's shirt.

After watching John simply stand there and gape, Irene finally took pity on him.

"I'm not dead" she told him, and saw Sherlock smirk at her choice of words.

John raised his eyebrows, as if to say 'I'm not that stupid', but his expression remained shocked.

"You were going to be beheaded in a terrorist cell in Karachi" he finally said. "How the hell did you manage to get out of that one?"

Irene smirked and threw Sherlock a flirtatious look. "The executioner chose to spare me" she said and John rolled his eyes, already having figured out the rest for himself. (Or so he thought).

"You know what he liked" he said, not bothering to make it a question. Irene smiled, while Sherlock snatched the newspaper from Irene and disappeared behind it, rolling his eyes.

"Seems I did" Irene agreed with John, both of them turning towards Sherlock. Irene continued to smirk to herself, while John raised his eyebrows quizzically, wondering why Sherlock had so far remained silent.

"I think he has a soft spot for me" Irene continued and looked purposely at Sherlock, when she saw that John still didn't get it. Slowly understanding began to dawn on John's face.

"You-" he began, staring at Sherlock and Irene. Sherlock finally looked up from the newspaper, a somewhat irritated expression on his face. He simply raised his eyebrows, while Irene smiled at him with an innocent expression.

John smiled suddenly. He had just gained a lot of stuff to tease Sherlock about.

"Okay" he said, nodding.

This day had suddenly gotten interesting.





Mycroft first realised that Irene Adler was alive and had managed to fool him yet again when he went to visit Sherlock in hospital. Sherlock had been chasing down a criminal on a case for Lestrade and had managed to get himself stabbed several times. His condition was serious but stable, but Mycroft felt the need to check up on him, if only to roll his eyes and sigh exasperatedly at what his brother had gotten himself into.

He was surprised that John wasn't at Sherlock's bedside already, though he could identify a form sitting next to Sherlock on a chair and holding his hand.

He frowned. He was far away, but he was fairly sure that it was the body of a young woman. The thought of it being Molly Hooper flashed briefly through his mind, but he could see even from a distance that this particular person looked different. The way she sat, determined to be brave and unaffected, but the way her shoulders would shake very slightly every few seconds told him that this was not Miss Hooper. There was something particular about this person, a graceful quality or elegance that made her different to others.

He entered, umbrella swishing impressively, but the woman did not look up. Her entire gaze stayed focused on Sherlock; although he saw her lips twist up as if she was smiling.

Strange. Mycroft had been certain she was crying moment ago.

He stepped forward, his back straight and his jaw set, ready to meet this mysterious person, when she looked up at him, and he took a step back in shock.

"Mr Holmes" was all she said, and turned back to look at his brother. Mycroft was currently unable to say anything, but his mind was racing, going through all the steps he had taken in his investigation to make sure that she was dead.

No, no, no, this wasn't possible.

His expression suddenly became dangerous, before he managed to regain his composure. His eyes catalogued everything about Irene, the way she held Sherlock's hand, the way she stared at him, and how she had a tear track on the left side of her face.

"I searched thoroughly" was all Mycroft said after a while. Irene heard the anger in his voice.

"Your brother is very clever" Irene answered and Mycroft almost took a step back.

His brother.

Of course it had to be him. He was the only person with a chance of fooling Mycroft Holmes.

Mycroft sighed then, a sigh of frustration and anger and annoyance.

Irene said nothing more, and Mycroft was perfectly happy with the silence.

When he couldn't bear being in the woman's company anymore he stepped outside, hugely in need of a cigarette.

Or five.

He massaged his temples, and decided that the next time Sherlock once again got himself recklessly injured; he wouldn't need to check up on him.





The next time anyone but John and Mrs Hudson saw the woman was at a Valentine's Day party. It was a charity event organised by the government for those who did service to the nation, and of course people from Scotland Yard were invited.

Mycroft had been indirectly involved in the planning for the party and had therefore given both John and Sherlock free passes.

Lestrade had decided he would go, because his wife had said that she would be busy that particular day (probably sleeping with the PE teacher again – Sherlock had been right all along). Sally and Anderson were both going, Anderson having decided to neglect his wife that particular evening. He would buy her a big box of chocolates the next day (conveniently at half price) as an apology present.

Sally appeared looking her best, because she was aware that this was a high class ball, organised especially by the government. She wasn't sure how many people from Scotland Yard would come, but she certainly did not expect John Watson and the freak to be there that night.

John was walking with a pretty woman, probably his date for this occasion. Unsurprisingly, Sherlock was alone.

Sally made her way over to Lestrade and Anderson. "Why the hell is the freak here?" she demanded.

Anderson looked around surprised, and his mouth curled up in an almost snarl when he saw Sherlock Holmes walking round the room as if he owned the place.

"Don't tell me that he's been invited here because he provided service to the nation in some way!" he said. His eyes turned suddenly to Lestrade. "Don't tell me you invited him" he said, and Lestrade shook his head, slightly annoyed at the way that Anderson and Sally spoke about him, though he understood their sentiments.

"Don't you know?" he asked. "His brother works in the government and was involved with organising this. Sherlock and John are here because they were asked. Maybe Sherlock is supposed to represent his brother somehow."

Sally's eyebrows rose. Until now, she wasn't even aware that Sherlock had a brother.

Anderson asked her if she wanted to dance after that, and she consented. While on the dance floor, they both laughed at the fact that Sherlock was at a Valentine's Day ball, without a date. Neither of them understood why the detective had decided to subject himself to this.

After their dance, Sally went over to talk more with Lestrade, while Anderson went to get drinks. Over at the beverage table, he nearly spilled his wine over a very attractive woman. She had flowing black hair, high cheekbones, blue eyes and a lovely figure. Her dress was red and backless, and it fit her figure perfectly.

Anderson smiled. Sure he was having an affair with Sally, but that was just a brief office fling. This woman was gorgeous and totally worth his time.

"Sorry about that" he said, pointing to the wine and smiling at her, winking. She smiled back at him in amusement.

"No problem" she said, and walked away, before Anderson had a chance to ask her whether or not she wanted to dance later.

He walked back over to Sally, whose eyes were already narrowed. Clearly she had been observing him while he eyed the woman up.

John came over to them at that moment, holding the pretty woman from earlier by the hand. He smiled and greeted Lestrade, although his smile looked slightly more forced when he looked at Sally and Anderson.

He introduced them all to Sarah, his girlfriend, who was also a doctor. Anderson winked at her, but decided that he would rather look around for the sexy woman from before, to see if he could dance with her.

Sarah excused herself after a while, going to the bathroom, and Lestrade took that opportunity to talk with John a bit.

"Where's Sherlock?" he asked suddenly, searching for the detective, his eyes scanning the room. He couldn't see him anywhere.

Anderson snorted. "I suppose he's probably rather bored. Has he offended any one yet?"

John shook his head. "I think he's actually enjoying himself tonight" he said, and nodded towards the dance floor, the one place where Lestrade hadn't deemed it necessary to look for him.

But there he was, dancing flawlessly with the woman Anderson had met earlier.

Sally and Anderson just stared, their jaws dropping, while Lestrade was at least able to keep his mouth shut.

"Is that his …girlfriend?" Sally was at last able to manage.

John frowned thoughtfully, knowing that the relationship Sherlock and Irene shared was anything but simple, and that she could not necessarily be labelled with such a simplistic term. But he didn't really know what other word he would use. Irene dropped in every few months (though her visits were slowly becoming more frequent), and stayed for a few days. She and Sherlock had dinner, they would talk and have their battle of wits, and then she would leave, before she and Sherlock killed each other. He knew that Sherlock definitely felt something for her though, and that she returned his feelings.

So he simply nodded, and then went off to find Sarah.

The trio from Scotland Yard watched as Sherlock dipped her on the dance floor, so that her hair almost touched the floor, his lips gently brushing hers.

"Well, I'm glad he's found someone" Lestrade said, though he was still recovering from the surprise. Sally and Anderson just looked at each other.

Neither of them ever made fun of Sherlock's relationship again.





Molly saw the woman once, or at least thoughts she did. She had tried yet again to get over the feelings she had for Sherlock, and had agreed to a lunch date with a college from work (not Moriarty, she had actually done a bit of a background check this time).

She was crossing the Street, looking for her favourite coffee shop, when she thought that she saw a tall man walking in the opposite direction.

He had black curly hair, high cheekbones, and wore a blue scarf paired with a long black coat.

He looked exactly like Sherlock Holmes.

But it couldn't have been Sherlock, because he was walking with a woman, holding her hand, and smiling at her. She was laughing at something, and one hand rested on her swollen stomach. She was pregnant.

The woman looked gorgeous, and Molly knew that she had never seen her before in her life. But there was still something familiar about her.

Molly dismissed the feeling. She had spent too much time at the morgue today; it was starting to get to her head. The woman across the street reminded her of a body she had examined some years ago, but now Molly knew that she was definitely seeing things. The dead couldn't walk among the living.

She wasn't even sure the man was Sherlock, so she entered the coffee shop where her date greeted her with open arms and a wide smile.

She pushed the sighting from her mind, and concentrated on lunch.

It was safer.





Everyone close to John and Sherlock finally got to see Irene Adler in the company of Sherlock Holmes some years later.

John was getting married, having finally gotten the nerve to make it official with Sarah, and of course Sherlock was invited to the wedding.

Irene was there too of course, and she had brought her and Sherlock's son, Nero, along, who was now 3 years old. Not many knew that Sherlock was a father, it wasn't a fact he was inclined to tell most people about, so a lot of them were very surprised when they saw Sherlock holding an adorable, little three year old by the hand.

People were less surprised to see Irene though, because she had now become a vital and constant part of Sherlock's life. She visited at least once a month, and it had gotten to the point that she and Nero stayed in 221b Baker Street for longer periods of time now, because John had moved out to live with Sarah.

Irene and Sherlock now frequently investigated cases together, and Lestrade was no longer surprised to see them together at Scotland Yard. Irene was just as clever as Sherlock was, but she was also more tactful, which made her very popular with the male officers on the team.

Irene always laughed at their advances and ignored them, while Sherlock always got slightly possessive. He was never clingy, nor did he ever say anything, but it was clear from the expression in his eyes that Irene mattered to him, and that he really did love her.

At the beginning lots of people were very surprised to see the arrogant detective with such an attractive woman, but after a while the interest in them subsided, though the two of them were always a favourite discussion topic.

Mycroft always regarded the woman with disdain, and it was clear that he was angry at what Sherlock had done. However, he was resigned, and although Irene wasn't something he had necessarily wanted present in his life, he was glad that his brother was happy.

During the earlier stages of Sherlock's and Irene's relationship he had always been slightly apprehensive that the woman was simply manipulating Sherlock, but he knew, after their relationship had been going on for a good years, that that wasn't going to happen.

And so Irene Adler became a normal presence in the life of Sherlock Holmes. Whatever she did, and however long they stayed together, to him she was always the woman.




The end.

Hope you all liked it! I enjoyed writing this, because I really love to imagine what sort of reactions people would have to Irene, and I wished I could have seen some of that in the series. I also think that Sherlock and Irene's love story is a really sweet and special one, and I really enjoy writing fics about them.

Please review xx