Irene watched Sherlock over her wine glass, her eyes glittering. That grin of his made her nervous, and she still couldn’t decide if he was telling the truth. Her mind was spinning through all the possibilities. It didn’t make sense for him to be on such good terms with Mycroft; after all they’d been through, it seemed unlikely that the two brothers would work together on anything related to Irene. Then again, what reason could Sherlock have for lying?
She kept eating and tried to focus on what he was saying. There would be time to consider everything later, when they’d finished with dinner and she had all the evidence. Everything he said, every mannerism and tone of voice, would be rehashed later with Kate until they’d solved the puzzle.
In the meantime, Irene smiled and set down her knife and fork. “I live my life believing that someone is always watching.” She leaned her chin in her hand, raising her eyebrows, and added, “When you spy on a regular basis, you assume that everyone around you does the same.”
She resumed eating, taking delicate bites. “If you and Mycroft are keeping an eye on me, then that’s all the more reason for me to be secretive. Perhaps you shouldn’t have let on.” She couldn’t resist a cocky smirk.
Sherlock allowed his eyes to dip back to his plate to regard the half eaten meal. Really, this was completely impractical; how could they host a worthwhile conversation and eat their meal? He’d have to remember that for a later date. It would be helpful to shut Mycroft up in future.
While he ate, she spoke. He didn’t answer immediately, enjoying instead to devour some more of his meal before electing to even acknowledge the woman.
"That is because someone is always watching. Mycroft, myself, the police, the general public, the waiter about to ask you if you want a refill…" Sherlock leant back in his chair to flash a faux grin at the man at their side all of a sudden. Their respective drinks were topped up, her wine and his water, before the gentleman was gone.
"Telling you that we’re watching you won’t change what you’re doing, and keeping you in the dark holds the same results." He continued, as if there had been no momentary interruption.
"I imagine that a regular person would go to ground, perhaps take the original advice to keep a low profile. But you’re Irene Adler, the Woman." He lips twitched, almost like he was making some kind of joke. "You’ve never been like the regular people." His knife and fork were settled on his plate, plate clear of his meal which allowed him to rest the base of his forearms on the table (not elbows, that would be deplorable) and intertwine his fingers.
"You won’t be secretive because you love the thrill of showing off, enjoy the idea that Mycroft and I or anyone else can watch you because you want our admiration and attention."
Quite Active Threads:
Mandell-Madness: You’re a Bitch
Mr-Trevor: Between shadow and the soul
Semi Active Threads:
Thewomanthewhiphand - Calling Mr Holmes
Madetoruleyou - To Catch a God
Captainjhw - Seven Months Later
Virtually Inactive Threads:
ProfJimMoriarty - Killer
Inspectorgregorylestrudel - Suspicious Card Towers
webwithathousandthreads - Interlude
Tigerstripedsniper - Novaturient
0fdouble07sandsuits - The Case of the Phantom
What the Feck This All Means:
Quite Active Threads are threads that are responded to quite frequently.
Semi Active Threads are those threads that are not responded to with as much frequency for pre-determined reasons.
Virtually Inactive Threads are those that haven’t had a response from one party or another for an extended period of time, and are considered put on hold until.
Inactive Threads are considered inactive given the length of time since the previous reply.
Why Should you Care:
This is more for the latter two category threads. I’m not one to hound someone for replies for various reasons, and therefore presume you’ve either not seen it’s your reply or you’re having muse difficulties or writers block.
BY NO MEANS! Am I demanding an explanation right now, or anything similar. I know that at times it can be hard to reply to a certain thread, and understand when the muse goes hiding.
I just want you all to know this is how I perceive our threads, and can understand then when those threads are NOT checked daily for a response. Usually, they get checked once a week.
I know that I owe responses to some of the semi actives, and my response to that is I don’t know where I want to take it or I don’t quite like the current wording of my reply.
These replies are in my drafts and will remain there until I can decide what to do with them.
Tl:dr: If you appear in the latter two groups, I don’t check for replies. I’m categorising everyone. I owe replies. I wanted to put a large message on your dashes. I can take on two - four more active threads.
My threads as they stand now:
Victor: Owes me (a.)
Inspectorgregorylestrudel: Owes me
ProfJimMoriarty: Owes me
Mycroft: Owes me (s)
Kori: I owe (a)
Irene: Owes me
Webwithathousandthreads: Owes me (h)
detinspectorlestrade: Owes me (h)
Tigerstripedsniper: Owes me (h)
Loki: I owe (s)
John: I owe
I know a lot of these are hiatused, but this is just a generic update for my bookmarks thread and also my own reference.
By no means is this a prompt to demand everyone to reply. I don’t care how long it takes any partner to reply; it remains in bookmarks and gets checked daily just like everything else until I’m told it’s dead.
If you want to kill a thread, just let me know. I understand when muses or love for certain threads dies.
Irene caught the smirk and returned it with one of her own. They both knew that every interaction between them was some kind of game; rarely did one of them say something truly genuine to the other. The last time they had, it was right after they’d slept together.
She took another bite of her fish, then frowned as he spoke. Her fork slowly descended back to the plate. Had Mycroft really asked Sherlock to do this? Was that why he was here? Surely it was just an excuse; surely he’d wanted to see her again…. No, none of that second guessing. She’d promised herself that she would quit that habit where Sherlock was concerned.
Picking up her fork again, she continued eating. “We?” she repeated. “I wasn’t aware that you and Mycroft had become such close friends.” She tucked a stray lock of hair back into place. Yes, she had kept quiet in her activities, but it didn’t mean she’d changed. “I still hold power over more people than you think.” She shrugged. “I just choose not to exert it.”
She sipped her wine and tilted her head. “Not as subtle?” The thought was disconcerting—she’d counted on no one but Sherlock and Kate knowing the truth about Karachi. “Do elaborate, darling. I’m sure you’d hate to miss an opportunity to critique me.”
There it was, that little spark of uncertainty. Sherlock smirked an almost cruel and somewhat animalistic grin, lips curling and eyes reflecting that smug feeling of knowing he’d gotten one over on her, put her in a situation she hadn’t expected and didn’t require.
"He is my brother, I think I am at liberty to discuss us as a pair if I chose." He reminded her with words that were careful and measured, trying to keep that edge of condescension from intruding. It was the closest he got to consideration for other people’s feelings.
As she spoke his eyes fell away to his plate and precise movements of knife and fork spoke in volumes of his overly meticulous upbringing. Small bites, chewed and swallowed before he even considered opening his mouth for more food.
Her question prompted him a thoughtful expression and he even paused in his chewing to consider it. How best to lie and tell her Mycroft had his eye very close on her? Not even he himself was keeping her under 24 hour watch. No, Irene Adler was one of the few that were privileged to be on his key names and important people list. Anything regarding her or her activities, and he knew. Simple as.
But Mycroft, well Mycroft was a little more subtle.
"I’m afraid I’m not allowed to discuss that. The official secrets act and whatnot." He lied smoothly, unperturbed with just how easy it could be to deceive someone with the right words and those carefully learnt facial expressions.
"Just know there is a watchful eye or a curious ear when you think there is nobody around. All secrets can be bought." He grinned at her, though part of him had to whisper agreement. She’d bought one of his after all.
She swirled the wine in her glass, regarding Sherlock with a thoughtful little smile. “If, as you suggest, he’s aware of my return, then the question remains: Why hasn’t he done anything about it?” Her eyes glittered. This was the Sherlock that intrigued and captivated her; he was sharp and teasing, and he expected Irene to keep up with him. She was more than willing to play along.
Her next words, though, were cut off by the arrival of their food, and she leaned back in her chair to wait. The fish looked and smelled delicious, and when she took a bite, she was unsurprised to find that it tasted even better. Still, she wasn’t going to give Sherlock the satisfaction of knowing that she enjoyed his choice. She set her fork down, her face composed and impassive, and reached for her wine again.
“Either Mycroft doesn’t know I’m back,” she continued, sipping her wine, “or he’s unable to do anything about it. I should think that if he had any way to stop me from causing any more trouble, he’d take action.”
She tossed her head a little. Mycroft’s involvement in her rescue in Pakistan would make a certain amount of sense, she had to admit. But Mycroft had no reason to help her. “Did he help you?” she asked, raising an eyebrow. “Because I rather doubt he did.”
Sherlock regarded her and gave a fleeting, knowing smirk. Oh, he knew alright. Irene was trying to hide her opinion, meaning she liked it. If she didn’t, she’d have made no qualms of telling him or letting him now. By not agreeing that the food was pleasant, then she was trying to ignore the fact that yes, he still knew her.
How fun their games could be.
"My brother is a minor government official, I’m quite sure it is not his responsibility to follow every whimsical trail you cover. Of course, there is the fact he has asked me to keep an eye on you. This dinner is being monitored and I am here simply because he asked it of me." He lied oh so smoothly. It was hard for his brother to discover simple lies such as these, the ones where he could produce false memories of the events and pretend they were completely factual. Irene had no chance.
"I must admit, you’ve been awfully quiet, Miss Adler. Seeing only your usual clients, keeping affairs low-key, a very smart move. If you had tried another stunt such as that which put us onto each other, I’m quite sure Mycroft would intervene. As it stands, you hold no power over important people any longer, and we are more than happy to keep it that way." He told her with false amusement, knife and fork finally descending on the sea bass as he helped himself to his meal. The strong fish taste was perfectly balanced with the white wine sauce, the hint of parsley adding a most pleasing taste that lingered on his tongue. When coupled with the freshly boiled and seared baby potatoes, well he could understand why Irene had chosen a place like this.
"I will agree however, Mycroft did not help me rescue you. I told him I was doing it, and he made no effort to intervene. When you first contacted me however, so did he. You are not as subtle as you like to think, Miss Adler." He chastised once his mouth was clear of food - after he’d sipped his water to be doubly sure - with his usual condescending smirk on his features.
((IRENE GET OUT OF HERE WITH YOUR LIES AND SCANDAL))
Another woman might have been offended by the casual way that Sherlock called their last encounter a mistake, but Irene was well aware of his view. More than anything else, Sherlock was stubborn, and he’d never admit that she had finally conquered him. She had learned not to take him at his word when it came to anything regarding her.
“Wanting something to be a mistake doesn’t make it one,” she replied softly, setting her wine glass down with a smirk. She cocked her head and watched him, the way his gaze wandered around the room. Her pupils widened slightly as his tongue flicked over his lips. She could feel the change in her eyes, and she was glad his attention had been elsewhere. No need to repeat that particular stream of accusations.
She leaned forward as he spoke, resting her chin in her hand, and pursed her lips as she considered the question. “A little of both.” Taking a long sip of wine, she glanced around the room, her gaze settling somewhere in the distance over Sherlock’s shoulder. ”I’m still running the business—my clients are remarkably loyal, and they’d rather keep seeing me than tell the authorities I’m still alive.” She brought her eyes back to Sherlock’s, a proud smile spreading across her mouth. “Does your brother still believe they killed me in Karachi?”
He could hear sincerity in her tone. That wasn’t a gloat, simply telling the truth and he hated her because of that. God, he hated that she was there, pricking into his mind and getting under his skin, drawing him in and captivating his attention like there was her, and only here to pay attention to.
Thankfully, Sherlock was more than adept at ignoring feelings and anything that wasn’t sensory evidence, so those thoughts were pushed aside, making room instead to listen to her explain her situation.
Typical. Rich men with seedy little addictions were more interested in the Woman’s punishments than giving the woman up to the law and government. Some times, he’d contemplated giving her up himself. But, that would be against the rules of their little encounters.
Instead, he’d made arrangements to simply keep her alive and keep that little spark of interest in such a dull world alive. Sherlock hadn’t anticipated that spark would burn as brightly as it did, for as long.
"I would like to say yes, but this is Mycroft we are speaking of. He probably knows you are alive given we are eating dinner in public." It was said in a mixture of honesty and also condescension; mocking her for the choices she’d made here.
"For all you know, I’ve told Mycroft where I was at your…trial. He may have even assisted in getting me there. You never know." He smirked, teasing and prodding at her before his attention deviated for a moment.
Dinner had arrived. A fish dish for himself and also for his companion. There wasn’t even a question whether she would enjoy it, but he wanted to prove he still had some control in this situation and was still in charge.
"Bon appétit." He said, inclining his head as knife and fork were raised in both hands and eyes fell to the dinner before him, taking in the sight and smell with an appreciative gaze. He was oh so fond of Sea Bass.
Before eating himself however, he turned his eyes back on Irene, as if expecting her reaction and inspecting her mood.
Well, aren’t you eager? I’d say “let’s have dinner”, but it’s a bit overdone. Drinks?
I would like that, yes. It makes a change from the usual, and I always do enjoy a delightful coffee.
Nothing at all. Are you busy?
Sadly, I’m not. There have been no new cases and I find myself at a loss for what to do.
You look well, however.
Something the matter, Miss Adler?
She reached for her wine as it arrived and took a long sip, then laughed. “Oh, I’m sure it is.” Irene would obviously rather misbehave, and she knew Sherlock was the last person on earth to worry about social graces. Nothing about their interactions was every normal or conventional; it was what kept things interesting, kept her coming back for more. She could almost see the wheels turning in his head as he regarded her. Nothing about him was more attractive than the way he looked when he was turning something over in his mind. Just the sight of him trying to solve some puzzle was almost enough to make her weak at the knees.
Then the waiter arrived, and Irene opened her mouth to order, but found herself cut off by Sherlock. Eyes wide, she leaned back in her chair and crossed her arms, staring at him. She wasn’t opposed to the food he’d ordered, really—it was the principle of the thing. He should know better, and in fact, she was sure he did; he was only trying to goad her. She wasn’t going to let him make her angry.
“Just tonight?” Despite his serious, almost cold expression, she sipped her wine and smiled. “And I thought we were making such progress before. I suppose I’ll have to use my time here wisely.” It wasn’t just a joke; she did need to use tonight to her best advantage. She didn’t know why, but she needed to convince Sherlock to keep seeing her. Perhaps she still needed to prove that he was as captivated by her as she was by him.
The glass was replaced on the table while his long fingers ran across the napkin set just to his right to rid himself of the slight precipitation. “I wouldn’t call ‘before’ anything akin to progress. That was a mistake.” He said it stubbornly, as he would always say it. Irene had gotten far to close. He couldn’t afford that again; she was just far too dangerous. Yet here he was. How interesting a circumstance they found themselves in.
Ignoring those thoughts, he allowed his eyes to roam over the people in the restaurant. How mundane their lives were; teachers, labourers, adulterers, public sector works, even a sergeant form the Yard. In somewhere like this, they could all dress up and pretend they were equal and fancy and someone else. All for a couple of hours. The folly of the notion. Though, his mind did point out he was the world’s only consulting detective and she was an infamous Dominatrix. Hardly the most common dinner party.
He took another mouthful of chill water, tongue straying over his top lip for a moment to catch a free drop of water that had clung desperately. Eyes left the other diners, returned to his companion at the table.
"Have you been busy, or still trying to keep a low profile?" He asked simply so they were not sat in silence, even if he didn’t particularly care for the answers.
[[ I fucking love these things. Someone actually sat and thought about them. This pleases me greatly.
Tagging people it’s relevant to because I do not have that many asks.]]
6. Most Famous Person You’ve Met
… Probably a few writers I’ve met, yet for love nor feckin’ money can I remember their names.
… whoopsie doodle.
11. What I Did today
… nothing of interest. I made a brand new friend for University in my flat house, which is hilarious. SHE’S ONE OF US. Not, Sherlockian.. but Tumblr and Homestucker. So… yes. We’ve made a date to storm the common room for the TV to watch DW.
24. Random Fact of Myself!
I can actually speak some Irish. Like, we have our own language.
But this isn’t that interesting.
I HAVE A GENETIC DEFORMITY!