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03 January 2016 @ 11:58 pm
Elementary Fic: Four Days Three Nights  
Written for yuletide 2015
Crossposted to elementarycbs


Title: Four Days Three Nights
Pairing/Characters: Sherlock/Irene
Rating: PG13
Spoilers: 1x1 to 3x24
Summary: Four days and three nights in the courtship of a consulting detective and his nemesis
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

Other comments are housed at Yuletide/AO3.


London, Day.

"See?" Irene stretched out languidly across the bed, ignoring the bedsheets gone askew in favor of letting her naked frame cool in the damp English air of her drafty flat. "I did say we didn’t need to go anywhere."

"Yes, you were abundantly correct in that observation." Sherlock shifted to lay on his side to face her, letting his hand skate over her still heated skin, his eyes taking in its progress until they shifted quick as a heartbeat to gaze into hers. "As was I in my assessment of your so-called reproductions. I wonder though—" He tilted his head at her as if appraising her anew. "—had I been off by even one painting, would you have denied me the pleasure of your company when indeed it was clear you were desiring the same outcome as I? This?" He gestured to the bed they inhabited or, rather, had all but ravished. Sheets were in tangles, pillows were on the floor and the wooden headboard would require the skills of a restoration artist to repair the newly marred surface.

"If you’d been off by one, you wouldn’t have been worthy of my bed," Irene purred.

Sherlock’s hand came to rest on the curve of her hip.

"And if you’d allowed that heathen at the museum to further damage that Brueghel by filing it down, you wouldn’t be worthy of mine."

"We’re not in your bed," Irene countered.

Sherlock brought his lips to her hip bone, brushing the delicate skin there with his thumb.

"Not yet."

-

New York, Night.

Sherlock didn’t need the letters. Their mere existence was cemented in his head, in his picture-perfect memory from which there was no escape. No mental fireplace could consume them, no amount of heroin could erase them from his past.

Sherlock found himself at Watson’s door—or what used to be her door. The Brownstone was too quiet without her and without a case, he was at odds. Too much time to think, to remember, to posit questions over tea and biscuits. Why? How? For what reason under the heavens?

Answers held no relief and the night hours brought no respite.

She was the ghost that would ever haunt his empty nights.

-

London, Day.

"You’re staring. Why?"

Irene’s lips curled up at the edges in a bemused smile.

"I’m an artist. Why can’t I just look at you to sketch you?"

Sherlock looked up from where he’d been reading a treatise on the tobaccos of Africa, his examination so fierce, a lesser woman would have grown uncomfortable under his scrutiny.

"You’re not holding a sketchpad and that pencil is hardly of a sufficient quality for an artist of your obvious talent."

"Yes, I’m not sketching you because this number two pencil is beneath me," Irene mocked. She placed the pencil on her desk and crossed to pick up a large sketchpad and some charcoals.

Despite Sherlock’s glare of disapproval, she started to draw, even after he began to ignore her and focus on his work again.

"I realize my need to complete this casework is interfering with our scheduled rendezvous, however I assure you I will have it completed long before our . . ."

"I don’t care about that," she said dismissively. "You showed me down in the tunnels you can be sufficiently entertaining on demand. But if I have to wait? You owe me a portrait."

"Fair enough." Sherlock glanced up only briefly. "Though I encourage you to sketch quickly and without a great deal of detail as I only require a maximum of eleven more minutes before I am, as they say, all yours."

She made short work of his angular face on the paper and focused on sketching the rest of him from memory, laid out nude on her bed.

Just over ten minutes passed before Sherlock abruptly stood up.

"Done," he pronounced. "We can leave now."

"We could . . ." Irene turned around her rough sketch, showing Sherlock just how much of his bare skin she’d captured. "Or we could stay in and I could learn your tattoos well enough to add them . . ."

-

New York, Night.

Seeing her again. Her. She would always be The Woman, but Sherlock wondered if he would always feel this way around her.

He’d thought himself incapable of love. She had drawn it out of him like blood. He’d thought he’d rather die than live with her death. The heroin had just been a sort of living death instead. And now, now he had to face not that he was incapable of love as he’d once thought . . . no, something worse. He had to face the idea that he was doomed to love, yet to love only her.

The Woman. A criminal. A murderer. The one person he’d opened up to and the one person who held the power to destroy him.

He’d become a heroin addict after her death—a death she’d not only faked, but flaunted once he discovered her duplicity.

And yet, he’d still never found her equal. Technically his equal.

She had truly eclipsed the whole of her gender for him.

Because of her, his romantic life had gone dark.

Permanently.

-

London, Day

She’d said not to be late, though of course he would be; she’d seen to that. Putting delays in his way had been mere child’s play yet she’d sent some of her best men. It wouldn’t do to ruin her denouement after planning it for so long.

She’d banked her blood for months, saving and storing it until she had enough to drip from the tripod into a convincing puddle of certain death.

Sure, she would have relished the look on his face, but she couldn’t risk cameras in her flat. Sherlock had to believe with all his broken heart that his innocent American lover had fallen prey to his horrible British nemesis: Moriarty.

Every last touch was perfect as she surveyed the scene one last time. He would be here soon and she’d have a front row seat for the aftermath.

Sure, she’d miss the opening of the curtain, but she’d be close by enough to hear the echoes of the standing ovation.

-

New York, Night.

Elana March’s death hadn’t been the surprise Joan thought it should have been. Some part of the attempt on her life hadn’t sat well with Sherlock. Assassins rarely made mistakes. He couldn’t help but think if Moriarty had been behind it, her accomplice would have simply drugged both drinks to ensure success.

That she knew, from whatever prison they had her in now, failed to surprise him in the least. Men—and women—of power rarely lost it all in captivity. Her reach extended, even now, to eliminate a player from the game, one who’d forced her way into the chess match after it had already begun and after it already had the regulation two players.

Joan had bested her, brought her down, but it was still Sherlock who was the sole worthy adversary.

This had been her move, removing Alana March from play.

Only that left Sherlock without his next move.

-

Location Unknown, Day

As soon as she’d heard, she’d sent a team to install video surveillance at the Brownstone and at the building next door to cover the rooftop. It wouldn’t last long; Joan or the captain or perhaps even Sherlock himself eventually would remember to sweep for bugs again and they’d find them. In her rush, she hadn’t taken as many precautions as normal, so there was a small chance they’d be traced back to her. That didn’t matter. What mattered was that Sherlock, her love and her nemesis, was broken once more.

Watching the video she caught a glimpse of his face as Watson steered him past a camera with a zoom lens up on the roof the morning after the installation was completed. His eyes . . . those razor sharp eyes that saw all, every detail, were completely dead. They stared out of sockets with dark circles beneath, seeing but not seeing.

"Oh, Sherlock . . ." Knowing she was alone, she allowed herself a moment for the emotion to wash over her, releasing the ache inside to spring forth fully formed like Athena from her brow. She’d broken him. It wasn’t for anyone else. An interloper had interfered and cast his own shadow where she’d stood alone over her pyrrhic victory. "Whoever did this to you . . . I shall make them pay . . ."

-SH-
 
 
 
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on January 23rd, 2016 06:03 pm (UTC)
Confession
This fic was written as a Yuletide pinch hit for recipient singsongsung as part of the 2015 Yuletide challenge. The request was for Elementary, Sherlock and Irene (and ahem other Irene in case it might spoil someone new to the fandom): "I am very into this relationship and all its angst. Every single time I watch this show I harbour a deep hope that Natalie Dormer will suddenly return. I really like speculation about what may have happened in their past, but I am also into what may happen for them in the future. I like a love/hate dynamic when it comes to this pairing, so I'm not looking for a happy ending. I also love Joan, so including her is always fine by me (though I do not ship her with Sherlock)." I'm also in favor of Natalie Dormer coming back, but she's so hot right now I doubt the show can afford her anymore!

Very special thanks to beta Wednesday for her assistance with this fic.

Thanks,

Emma DeMarais