Disclaimer: I don't own Sherlock Holmes.
Author's Note: PLEASE READ! Somewhat of a songfic, but it's more story than it is song. This is mainly a Watson and Holmes friendship story, centered around a conversation between Irene Adler and Watson. I rewrote the song lyrics for 'Dear John' by Taylor Swift a little to suit Holmes and Irene's situation; here, it's supposed to be a song from Holmes to Irene. I actually like Irene, but I thought it'd be interesting to play around with the idea that she is leaning more towards using Holmes' affections for her own gain, and that Watson confronts her for it. I adore Watson. :) Just wrote this for fun. And because I LOVE this movie and its characters so darn much. Lyrics are in italics, enjoy :)
Long were the nights when my days once revolved around you
What? I do not love her. Of course I don't. She is only 'The Woman', hardly of any real use or importance to me. Pah! Loving Irene Adler… what a ridiculous notion.
Counting my footsteps, praying the floor won't fall through again
Well, yes, she certainly is beautiful, and intriguing at that; but any person who's bested me more than once, as she has, would intrigue me. No, I do not love her. In fact I hardly think of her. Irene who?
My best friend accused me of losing my mind
Oh, Watson? Don't listen to him; the good doctor insists on warning me of her, but there's certainly no need. I'm ever aware of her lying, seductress ways! But my dear friend is wrong on one account. She is not all terrible. In fact… there is a semblance of good in her.
But I swore I was fine
Mind, it's not much and you must squint in order to view it… but I can assure you, it is there.
You paint me a blue sky and go back and turn it to rain
She's in danger now, and I don't so much as hesitate. I race into action.
And I lived in your chess game, but you changed the rules everyday
Regrettably, but not surprisingly, I've forgotten my revolver. Again. Where is dear, good old Watson when you need him? No matter- I must focus on the situation at hand.
Wondering what excuse you'll have for being at my door tonight
I do not stop to inquire the reason as to why she is threateningly being held at gunpoint, nor do I care to explain why I'd been following her in the first place; immediately I charge towards her attacker and leap, latching onto his back as the man shoots a nearby wall instead in surprise.
Well I've stopped listening, and this song is to let you know why
I disarm him quickly enough and think to myself that Irene hadn't looked all that frightened. I do not have the time to analyze this. For when I meet her gaze- which, for whatever reason, is something akin to apologetic- my back and right arm jerk with a jolt of stinging pain. What? There is a pinching sensation behind my shoulder.
Dear Irene, I see it all now that you're gone
Startled, I whip my head around to search for the source of my discomfort, but, fascinatingly, the world takes a few seconds too long to move with me.
One would think I was too sharp to be messed with
Hazy, gray and black spots are appearing and clouding my vision, and the walls of the alley are spinning around me. I drop off of the thin man, searching wildly for whoever has injected me with something- a poison, I presume. The man I'd jumped off of holds up his gun before I can assault him again… I mindlessly twist my body in front of Irene as he shoots twice.
The man they call "cold" wept the whole way home
Weak everywhere now, and my side exploding with a fiery sensation, my shaky legs fail me and I crumple to my knees. I look up to be met with a swift crack to the jaw by a bony fist. The side of my head collides with the ground, and I see stars beneath my tightly shut eyes. I groan and blink at the cloudy sky a few times, wondering idly how I hadn't predicted a second attacker. I'd hardly planned anything. Really, Holmes…
I try to speak out but I cannot move; I succumb to the overwhelming darkness and am gone.
I should have known
Watson collapsed into a chair near the bed and wrung his hands together, letting out a whoosh of air he'd been holding. He glanced at his sweating and murmuring friend, reaching out with a cool, damp cloth to wipe at his forehead.
He'd been taking a carriage back to his flat from lunch with Mary when he'd caught sight of Holmes sprinting as if he were on fire across the way, disappearing behind a building. Watson's reaction to this was to raise his eyebrows in apprehension and watch in silence for a few moments. He'd finally sighed heavily, rolled his eyes heavenward and muttered just this once; he'd readied his cane and hopped out of the carriage, limping after the madman he called his best friend… just in case. The idiot had probably forgotten his revolver.
For such a genius, the man had this terrible habit of repeatedly forgetting to use his brain.
The cracking sound of the gunshot had echoed all around Watson and pierced his ears. He'd stopped dead in his tracks, eyes widening a fraction, only to start limping again with twice as much determination as before. Two more rang out and he'd cursed under his breath. He'd spotted his friend moments later, lying on his side on the gravel between a lean man clutching a revolver and the one and only Irene Adler. Watson felt his stomach drop when he'd noticed his friend was still.
The gunman in question had quickly looked around himself, muttering what sounded like "Ah, shit, wasn't supposed to kill him yet," and, without spotting Watson, bent over the fallen Holmes. Another man had appeared from the shadows, and the two had worked together in attempting to lift the limp detective. Watson had moved in a flash; with the element of surprise on his side he'd speedily knocked one man out and disarmed the other, sending him scurrying off in another direction.
Watson had hastily asked Miss Adler if she were alright and, without waiting for a reply, went to his fallen friend. His exterior had remained cool and collected as he knelt next to Holmes, blood pounding through his head as he examined his wounds when he discovered a dart protruding from the man's shoulder- his friend had been poisoned. Poisoned and shot...?
The doctor had looked up to Irene, his brow furrowed in growing confusion, but she'd avoided his gaze. She'd insisted they hurry to move Sherlock to be treated.
A few tedious and long hours later, the pair was hovering around Holmes' bedside, Watson concentrated and Irene distant. The detective had yet to awaken. Watson had provided him aid quickly enough to stop the poison's flow, and to save him from the bullet wounds- it had been too close. One shot had been far too near his heart.
They could do nothing now but wait. Watson anxiously bounced his good leg up and down, clearing his throat to break the long silence between himself and Irene. "Mind explaining what that was all about, Miss Adler?" he asked.
The lady in question started a bit, the doctor's question shaking her out of her thoughts. She cleared her throat as well, tucking a dark tendril of curly hair behind her ear. "I was being robbed." Any further explanation was cut off when Holmes groaned in his sleep; Watson looked to him with a frown but when long moments passed, the wounded detective had stilled again.
Settling back into his seat, Watson focused again on Irene, rubbing his chin in thought. "Being robbed…" he mused. "Forgive me, but I've been under the impression that you're excellent at self-defense."
"Yes, well, I was rather caught off guard," Irene replied with disinterest. "I had no idea Holmes was following me." Watson snorted and shook his head. "Without his revolver, too, the fool." A few more moments passed before he nodded once, staring at a corner in thought. "Hm. Whenever you're ready to admit the truth, Miss Adler, do let me know." He wasn't accustomed to being so upfront or blunt with women, far too gentlemanly by nature to risk offending them in any way, but realized he must be so with this particular one.
Irene snapped her head to look at him, and her large eyes flashed with surprise and a defensive guard. "I've already told you," she said coolly, holding her chin high.
"Miss Adler, you realize I've lived with Holmes long enough to have picked up on some of his deduction techniques. It's quite evident to me that he was set up." By the looks of things, Holmes had been attacked from behind by a second man of whose presence he'd been unaware whilst protecting Irene from the gunman. The scene was too peculiar to not be staged to some extent.
Irene sniffed and tore her eyes away from Holmes' sleeping form. "I see you won't be fooled so easily; yes, it was Moriarty's plan. A simple one, at that- grab Holmes' attention, as I was certain he'd follow me, feign myself as being in danger and let the hired men do the rest of the work. He'd be poisoned, kidnapped and taken to Moriarty himself."
"Not one of his cleverer schemes," Watson said lightly.
"It nearly worked, didn't it?"
Watson made no comment; he went back to dabbing at Holmes' feverish forehead with a cloth.
Well, maybe it's me and my blind optimism to blame
"No," Irene agreed after another silence, her voice soft, "it was not clever enough to be one of his better schemes… it didn't need to be, though. I suspect it was more to be proof of my loyalty to Moriarty. A test for me, really."
Watson paused, his eyes remaining on Holmes. "And you would have let Holmes be taken to Moriarty himself, and to die at his hands."
It was a statement, not a question, and it was met with silence.
Or maybe it's you and your sick need to give love then take it away
At last Watson turned to face her. "He would have died to protect you, countless times now, and you would have handed him over to that madman."
Irene seemed to catch herself before rolling her eyes. "Sherlock is more than capable of handling himself and standing on his own two feet, I wasn't particularly worried," she said. Her tense form betrayed her lazy tone. "It's hardly my fault he fell for such a dimwitted scheme."
Watson blinked. And blinked again. And asked her a question without thinking it, while nearly wincing at this decision. "Are you aware that this man loves you?"
Irene stiffened, taken aback, and let out a laugh that didn't quite reach her eyes.
And you'll add my name to your long list of traitors who don't understand
"Love," she repeated dubiously, but Watson could just barely hear the strained force of it. Was she uneasy at the idea? Or was she merely uncomfortable talking about it? "Doctor Watson," she purred in her silky voice, straightening in her seat and tilting her head to the side, "Holmes does not love. He cannot. His mind works as… as a machine does. I'm merely a fun puzzle for him."
Her deep red lips parted in what was meant to be a dazzling smile, but it only reminded Watson eerily of a cool predator, pleased that they'd caught their prey.
And I'll look back and regret how I ignored when they said run as fast as you can
She already knew Holmes loved her. She'd discovered the most human part of Holmes, and she was perfectly content with playing it to her own devices.
Dear Irene, I see it all now I was wrong
Watson tightened his jaw as he felt something heavy and icy form in his gut. "You and I both know that's a lie, Irene." The formalities were ditched for now. If the woman wanted to hit such a personal level than so would he. "He is brilliant, yes; he is brash, unsocial and sometimes quite the pompous asshole.
"But there is…" he paused and prayed Holmes would forgive him for ever speaking of this to anyone, especially this woman, "there is a guard he has up, and I believe it shields a certain vulnerability to him. An innocence. It is the fragile part of him and I could count the people who he's shared it with on one hand… you're one of them."
Watson looked at Irene firmly, and she held his gaze. "And you pretend to return his sentiments."
One would think I was too sharp to be played by your dark, twisted games, but I loved you so
Irene didn't so much as squirm under the doctor's scrutiny. "Sherlock wouldn't be particularly fond of that analysis of him, being called vulnerable and all." Her smirk looked half-hearted.
Watson gave a grim smile in return. "You're right, he certainly wouldn't. Likely because it's true." He clasped his hands together and bounced his leg up and down. "I had no quarrels with you making a fool of him several times over- hell, he deserved it- and I for the most part have turned a blind eye to the fact that the only woman he's truly cared for is a world class criminal. But when his life is almost lost to protect you and you treat it as if it's all a game…" Anger was seeping into his voice now. "I care not about how many men you've broken the hearts of, but I'm not going to lose him to the hands of that madman you work for. Had I not followed the fool tonight, I may have lost my dearest friend."
I should have known
Irene was still as she watched Watson. When she spoke again, her voice was more gentle than before. "I admire your loyalty for him; you are a good friend. But I can assure you it would give me no pleasure to see him die." To his surprise her eyes were now brimming with tears, and her bottom lip trembled. "I care for him, too, Doctor. I do."
You are an expert at sorry, and keeping lines blurry
"Just not enough," Watson stated calmly, unable to meet her gaze any longer. "In the end it's about you. The only person you can truly love is yourself."
Never impressed by me acing your tests
Irene opened and closed her mouth once before biting her lip and looking away. If she had an argument for that, she'd apparently decided to spare him of it.
All the men that you've run dry have tired, lifeless eyes, 'cause you've burned them out
"You can leave, there isn't much more you can do here," Watson told her, indicating politely as possible that the conversation was done.
Irene hesitantly stood, her head still high. She looked to Holmes a last time; her tears were already gone, but her eyes had softened the tiniest bit. "He will be alright?"
Watson nodded, rubbing his temple with his fingers. He was suddenly very tired. "After a few days' rest, yes."
But I took your matches before fire could catch me, so don't look now
Irene nodded and, with a strained smile towards Watson, planted a small kiss on Holmes' forehead, a stain from her dark lipstick marking his forehead. "I'm sure I'll be seeing you later, Sherlock," she said lowly, locking eyes with Watson for only a moment before she strode from the room, leaving the man alone with his thoughts.
I'm shining like fireworks over your ever proud town
"Watson?" Holmes slurred, jerking from his slumber hours later. Watson started from his spot wiping his medical tools, moving to his friend's bedside.
"Sit back down, Holmes, you'll reopen the wounds," Watson demanded, but he could not hide a small smile; he was profusely relieved the man had reawakened.
"The Woman," Holmes murmured, his eyes wild and looking to Watson for reassurance. "Is she alright? I-I tried to make certain she would be."
Dear Irene, I see it all now it was wrong
Watson tensed, his hand gripping Holmes' shoulder a little too tightly. "Focus on yourself for once, Holmes. You were nearly just killed," he said more sternly than was necessary.
One would think I was too sharp to be messed with
Holmes stared, startled by the venom in Watson's tone. "I've upset you. I'm sorry," he wheezed, and Watson eased him back down when his friend started to cough. "Shh, old boy, you've done no such thing. I apologize. I've just been… under stress.
"Irene is fine," he forced a light tone, as it wasn't often Holmes expressed such obvious concern for anybody. He watched Holmes close his eyes in either tiredness or relief. "She was unharmed. You took the worst of everything."
The so-called "machine" wrote you a song
Holmes nodded and swallowed. "Good. That's good." He was too weak to recognize the strange tone in Watson's voice. He smiled wearily at his friend and, in a rare display of affection, covered the doctor's hand with his own. "You are a most loyal friend, Watson. Go rest now, Mother Hen; you look absolutely dreadful."
Watson smiled back, albeit a bit sadly. "You are no beauty queen yourself. Go back to sleep."
When Holmes' old stubborn self kicked in, not allowing himself to drift back into slumber until he was sure Watson was getting rest, Watson feigned sleep in the armchair. When he was sure his friend was asleep Watson opened his eyes again, the lipstick stain still very faintly on Holmes' forehead catching his attention. After contemplating whether to leave it for Holmes to find or not, he ended up wiping it off gently with his sleeve before leaning back in his chair, looking out the window as a storm of thoughts clouded his brain.
You should have known
"You're too good, Holmes," he murmured into the quiet room. "Unless she ever truly decides to pick which side she is on... I fear for what will happen to you if you don't run, and fast."
Don't you know, I was in love
But the doctor was rather convinced that, even if Holmes were awake to hear his plea, he would not listen.
I should have known
Author's Note: This is my first try at writing these characters. Irene's confusing here because I think she is a little confused. Just an idea that just popped in my head so I figured I'd write it! Please review! :)