Okay, so I this is just a short little story that popped into my head a few days ago and wouldn't let go. Although it's mostly from Mycroft's perspective, it focuses heavily on the Irene/Sherlock pairing.

I have to warn you that Mycroft is very villaous in this fic, and really lives up to the nickname Moriarty gave him. It's probably too mean for Mycroft, but the story wouldn't work otherwise, and I tried to keep him as in character as possible under the circumstances.

Enjoy xx

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Mycroft sat at his desk, frowning over a report. The file on Irene Adler lay before him, full of the data he had collected in the last few weeks: Her whereabouts, activities, and pictures from CCTV cameras.

He sighed to himself again, remembering that night on the jumbo jet. It would have been a complete fiasco, had Sherlock not finally come to his senses, and realised what effect that horrible woman had had on him.

Mycroft and Ms Adler had made an agreement that night, after Sherlock had left the plane with the hurt and angry expression on his face. Mycroft had never felt such inner triumph – he abhorred this woman, and now he could finally do something about it. She had stood there, so shell shocked and defenceless all of a sudden, her eyes wide and wet and scared.

He had had to hold in is smug expression. This was the woman whose political scandals he had always had to clean and cover up, the woman who was far too clever for her own good. Mycroft was well aware of her intelligence, it was the reason she was so hard to deal with. But there she was, suddenly without protection, so weak all of a sudden, and no witty remarks could get her out of this one.

He had arranged his face into a smooth expression, but Irene Adler could well sense his feelings. It made her feel all the more helpless. Playing with people like Mycroft and Moriarty was such fun, but only because she knew that she would ultimately win. Mycroft was her favourite – he was so stuck up and proud, and yet so fiercely clever, and well aware of his intelligence, which was why it was such fun to trick him and manipulate him. She knew that he hated her because of this, but she had never felt threatened by him when she had still had her protection. But now it was gone, and she felt suddenly scared as she looked up at the elder Holmes.

She stayed silent, and held her head high. She knew that she was a goner without her camera phone, and that she should beg for any sort of protection he could give her, but of course she didn't. She had already begged Sherlock, and he was the only one she would ever show her weak side to.

Mycroft surveyed Irene carefully, considering her position, and weighing up his options so that they would sound good to her, although they would only get her into further danger.

"I have an offer to make you" he said suddenly, still being careful not to smile or look smug. Irene looked up, but said nothing.

"I will let you leave" Mycroft continued, sounding as he was giving the matter great consideration, although Irene was not fooled. "And as long as you promise not to cause any trouble or scandals, I will leave you alone. Be assured however, that I will be very quick to act the second I see something I don't like, Ms Adler."

With that he had let her go.

Irene knew the situation she was in. He had made it sound as if he were being kind, giving her an opportunity for a new life, but all of that was completely false. Sherlock had already said it himself: "I you're going to be kind then lock her up, otherwise let her go."

She knew Mycroft would most likely be watching her, and the thought of causing some sort of trouble just to irritate him quickly flashed through her mind, but she knew that that wouldn't achieve anything. She doubted he would put her into a normal prison. His methods of having her 'locked up' would hardly be legal, and he might even have her killed.

This was of course, exactly what Mycroft had had in mind. He didn't actually plan on doing anything, but he knew that by letting her go, she was in huge danger, and that somebody would certainly do his dirty business for him.

He was still determined to know what she was doing, and immediately had people follow her, starting an extra file on her – anything to use against her should she do anything.

He couldn't believe just how much trouble this woman had caused him. This was now the third political scandal she had been at the centre of, but she had also destroyed one of his best plans in years – the Coventry Conundrum. And that of course brought him to the next issue – she had played his brother.

Mycroft was slightly irritated with Sherlock for actually falling for her and her game, though he was very relieved that his little brother had finally realised Irene's effect on him and had snapped out of it. Mycroft had been so certain that Sherlock would be able to withstand her charms and evade her manipulation, and he felt the tiniest bit disappointed that his brother was not so very different from other men after all.

But the core of the matter was that it had been his fault. He had pushed Sherlock in the way of Irene Adler, and he really had no one but himself to blame. He did actually care about his brother, if only in a rather reserved and slightly bitter way, but Sherlock was family, and the only person he really had. He was annoying and irritating and resentful, but he was still his little brother.

A large amount of the fury he felt for Ms Adler stemmed from the fact of what she had done to Sherlock. He was aware Sherlock was suffering from what she had done for him. Mycroft knew that his brother was not used to being beaten, and especially not through emotion and manipulation. Physical beauty was something he barely cared about, but intelligence and wit were traits that could make him notice a person. Irene Adler had known this, and she had used it to actually manipulate him into falling for her. Mycroft had to admit that though he was livid, he was also faintly impressed.

Sherlock, like him, did not care for people. He let certain people in, people like John and Mrs Hudson. The few people who he actually cared for or tolerated were very special to him, and they had his trust and respect (something very rare for Sherlock, who considered everyone inferior and only really trusted himself.)

Irene Adler had played with his affections, only to get what she wanted, and not lightly. Mycroft was aware that this was a common form of manipulation, and one he himself used quite often, but it was different with Sherlock. Not only because Sherlock was his brother, but because he would never have believed that it would ever have any sort of effect on him. But the woman had had a profound effect on him – Sherlock cared for her, or at least had. Mycroft doubted that she had evoked an extremely drastic change in him – Sherlock couldn't actually be in love with her – but the look in his eyes when he had seen her (or rather her body double) lying dead on a slab had shocked him. The way his eyes had scanned her body as if wanting to see her one last time and commit the image to memory had been something wholly unexpected for Mycroft.

He sighed and decided that Irene Adler was still a threat, and not one to be underestimated at that. It wasn't just that she had managed to crack Sherlock (although if she played with his emotions again he might give her all sorts of information or make himself vulnerable to a lot of things), but her ties with people of influence were also a factor to be considered. Through her job as dominatrix she had gotten to know many important people: politicians and other government officials among them. She may no longer have her steady profession, but she was still an expert at getting what she wanted, and could collect all sorts of disastrous information. She would have to start from scratch, of course, but the danger factor was there.

And then of course there was Moriarty – her link to him was something that could hardly be overlooked. Moriarty might not be interested in the dominatrix now that she had been beaten and was no longer of any use, but maybe he had grown fond of her too? If that was the case then Moriarty was the best chance of protection she had, and he could enable her to keep going as she had before. It was unlikely, but possible.

Besides, Moriarty was desperate to somehow get to Sherlock and destroy him, and Irene was perfect for that job. She had already partially succeeded, and Sherlock had only managed to beat her at the very last moment. Sherlock would certainly be more on his guard should she somehow make a reappearance in his life, but who knew how much time it would take him to succumb to her again.

No, the danger Irene Adler presented to him (and to everyone really, since she barely cared about anyone but herself) was just too much to be overlooked. Mycroft decided that he had to do something. They may have had agreement, but the terms could be violated.

He had the file on Irene Adler before him, not to mention surveillance on her around the clock, and he knew she was currently in Pakistan. He had to admit, she had certainly hidden herself well. He had expected to choose South America or the USA to hide, and she had certainly surprised him by picking Asia instead.

But no matter. Pakistan was perfectly convenient.

He scrolled through his government contacts and selected the number of the British High Commission in Karachi, the city Ms Adler was currently hiding in. He could have contacted the embassy, but that was in Islamabad, and besides, his position in the British government was powerful enough for anyone with links to the UK to do his bidding.

He gave the High Commission all details on Irene Adler's movement, and was careful to state that she was a very dangerous threat. He did make sure not to ask them to actually arrest her or take any course of action outright, but he knew that he had phrased everything strongly enough for them to take her into custody.

Of course, custody meant something entirely different in this case. If they did decide to imprison her, it certainly wouldn't be in a comfortable, fair prison, but somewhere in a remote and deserted area. She would have no chance of escape.

Her profession, and the way she had used it against people was enough to have her either locked away for a lengthy period of time or even beheaded, at least in the part of the world she was hiding in. Mycroft chuckled slightly to himself, realising just how convenient she had made everything for him.

He was aware that there was a large chance that her punishment for her actions would be death – which was precisely what he hoped. He wouldn't directly have anything to do with her death (as usual he could manipulate or make others do it for him without any mention of his involvement at all) but it would be the exact result he had wanted to achieve.

Even if the High Commission decided to let the matter rest and not take any course of action (which was extremely unlikely) he could always give the order to have her imprisoned, but only for a short amount of time (the time they were allowed to hold possible suspects), and they would definitely decide to execute her then. It was a practically fool proof plan.

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The next day the High Commission alerted him that they had indeed caught Irene Adler and that they had her in custody. A terrorist prison cell had her, and they had decided to let them keep her, given the threat she posed to them. The prison cell would most likely execute her, and even if they didn't, then she would be kept there for a sufficient amount of time. Mycroft was perfectly happy with this development.

He had no actual regrets at having Irene Adler killed, despite their mutual agreement. The agreement had mostly been made to lull her in a false sense of security anyway, to make it more probable for her to do something drastic and then for him to have reason to do something about her. But she had behaved perfectly since the jumbo jet situation, and had provided him with no reason to have her arrested.

Removing threats like this was part of his job, and it was one of the reasons he always distanced himself from people emotionally. Ms Adler posed a threat to the UK, and it was his job to keep Britain as safe as possible. At least, that was what he could tell people, should anyone ever manage to trace anything back to him.

The only thing he felt slightly uncomfortable with was telling Sherlock. Sherlock despised Irene Adler as far as he knew, but the feelings she had made him feel for her did not go away so easily. He may hate her for what she had done, but she had managed to manipulate him to the extent where his emotions were no longer as dismissible. He understood that Sherlock would not want her dead – he still admired her to an extent, although he was furious with her. He would be fine with believing that she was alive and breathing somewhere in the world – even if it meant that he could never see her again.

Mycroft frowned slightly, considering his options. He believed his brother to be rather fragile when emotions were concerned, simply because feeling and sentiment was something that Sherlock had practically never experienced. He would have to think of a cover story carefully, because Sherlock was always aware when he was being lied to.

He sat deep in thought for a few minutes, and suddenly smiled when he came up with the answer. He did some quick research on the computer to verify any facts, and sighed, having reached his solution.

A witness protection program.

An origination like that would not have a website that anyone could view, which meant that he didn't have to hire somebody to make one. They would certainly be a very well-known organisation either, and Sherlock probably wouldn't feel a huge need to investigate.

Mycroft leaned back in his chair, satisfied. Irene Adler was no longer a concern of his, and he knew that he would sleep better tonight knowing that he wouldn't ever have to deal with the woman again.

And Sherlock would be fine too. He was better off without her in his life.

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The next few days were tedious. He wasn't sure if he was hoping for some news on Irene, but none came. All Mycroft knew was that she was still being held at the prison.

He decided to visit Sherlock, to see how he was doing. He hadn't seen him since that night on the airplane, and decided to see if he was still as sullen and moody as John had reported in the last few days.

On arriving, however, he found that Sherlock wasn't there. He saw it as soon as he stepped into the flat – several small possessions were gone, and the flat had a calmer and more…normal feel to it. Not to mention that Sherlock's jacket wasn't strung over the chair, and a chemistry experiment wasn't placed on the kitchen table.

John was surprised to see him, and confirmed what Mycroft already knew.

"He had a case outside of England" he said, when Mycroft enquired. "Somewhere in Ireland as far as I know, and he said that they weren't interested in having anyone but him involved."

John quietened for a moment, as if gathering up the courage to say something. "He's managing" he said suddenly, scrutinising Mycroft slightly. "But I personally think that he left on the case to clear his head a bit…so that he wouldn't think of her. He despises her, but she did something to him."

Mycroft nodded, heart sinking slightly. He had desperately hoped that Sherlock would have gotten over her in the last few weeks. Apparently, no such luck.

But this only convinced Mycroft that he had done the right thing concerning Irene Adler. The sooner she was out of Sherlock's life, the better.

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That night, Mycroft received news that Irene Adler had been beheaded. There was a statement from the prison and from the High Commission, as well as a video showing the execution. It was short, and a little blurred, but everything that Mycroft needed to see was on it. He decided that he should fly over the next day, simply to make sure that everything had gone according to plan. He was certain that Irene Adler was dead, but he didn't want to be fooled by her a second time. He would need to be thorough.

He felt a strange sense of relief settle over him. Irene Adler was gone. He did not feel regret or sadness at her loss, even though he had to admit that it was a shame that someone so clever was gone. But she had been too clever for her own good, and that ultimately led to her demise.

She no longer posed a threat to anyone. What was more, Sherlock could now move on, and everything could return to normal.

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Mycroft didn't know that he had been wrong.

Shockingly wrong.

He had assumed that Irene only manipulated Sherlock into having feelings for him, and that she had done this solely for her own gain, without ever really feeling anything. He should have paid more attention to the expression on her face when Sherlock had cracked the passcode, and the way Sherlock had looked at her. He should have realised that the tear sliding down her face that night wasn't just because she had lost the game, but also because she had lost Sherlock.

Mycroft had assumed that she never returned any sentiments or feelings that Sherlock might have for her, and that was where his critical error lay. He was completely unaware that she felt the same feelings for Sherlock as he did for her, and that their game had ceased to be true manipulation from almost the very beginning.

Mycroft never found out exactly what he'd done.

By ensuring her imprisonment and her execution, he had managed to achieve exactly what he had wanted so desperately to avoid. He never bothered to investigate the case Sherlock was apparently on in Ireland. If he had researched very thoroughly, he would have found out that Sherlock had never actually gone to Ireland, but to Karachi.

On the night of the execution, Mycroft had no idea that he had been tricked by his own brother.

By letting Irene be executed, he had only allowed the relationship between Irene and Sherlock to grow stronger, to flourish, even.

That night, at the same time that Mycroft was relieved by the fact that Irene Adler was supposedly dead and out of his and Sherlock's life, he was unaware that Moriarty's nickname for Sherlock no longer applied.

Mycroft was still definitely the ice man; he had lived up to that reputation that very night.

Unbeknownst to him, Sherlock was no longer the virgin.

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I hope you liked it :) Sorry if this was far too harsh for Mycroft – I personally don't believe that had Irene beheaded, but the idea was a lot of fun to play with. Also, I think killing people off like this and feeling nothing might as well occasionally be part of Mycroft's job; he is no saint after all, and there must be a reason he is always so emotionless.

Anyway, please review! I would very much appreciate your thoughts!

Laura xxx