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Fic: Irene

Title: Irene
Word Count: 1, 370
Genre: slash (or pre-slash)
Rating: PG
Pairing: Sherlock/John
A/N: Written for my comment-fic meme. ratherastory  requested Jealous!John after Irene returns. It ended up being mostly insecure!John. My characterization of Irene is based off ACD canon, rather than the 2009 film. This is really my first ever Sherlock story, so please be kind! 

Summary: Irene is in London for a fortnight and John's not sure he likes it.


*

Irene was beautiful, witty, and charming. John had seen her first – this gorgeous woman walking toward them on the street, and then their eyes met, and she smiled so brightly ... only she hadn’t been looking at John.

“Sherlock!” She had exclaimed, and then Sherlock was smiling, swooping down to kiss her hand, calling her beautiful and saying how pleased he was to see her, how well she looked. Sherlock didn’t have other friends. John didn’t know who this woman was.

“Oh, manners, Sherlock,” Irene had said, when she finally noticed John standing awkwardly at Sherlock’s side. She held out her hand in a firm shake. “I’m Irene.”

“John,” John had replied, and Irene gave an odd half-smile, and then turned back to Sherlock, and explained that she had only returned to London for a fortnight, but that she did hope they could spend some time together. Sherlock had returned the sentiment, and John found himself smiling and inviting her around to the flat when she had some time.

He wished he had known how much time she actually had.

She was over nearly every night, and some afternoons while John was at the surgery. He’d come home to the sound of Sherlock’s laughter – she made Sherlock laugh, and not in the way most people made him laugh. John would come in and ask what the joke had been, but after the first few times Sherlock told him he wouldn’t understand, he had stopped asking.

Irene was more intelligent than John, and witty, and that meant that she could get Sherlock to chuckle deeply, the sound echoing through the flat – up the staircase to John’s room while he tried to sleep.

She could help him with his cases - not just as a sounding board, a glorified skull for Sherlock to talk to, but someone who could make connections - point out things Sherlock had missed. Sherlock didn’t get angry when she did this. His eyes lit up, and he looked over at John like Irene was the most wonderful being alive, and John could only agree. Irene laughed at the compliments, humbly said it was nothing; but it wasn’t nothing, she was brilliant.

Irene was stunning, just as stunning as Sherlock, and when the three of them walked down the street, John felt out of place – like the movie-star couple had invited their driver to the cafe. Irene turned heads, and Sherlock smiled like he knew he had the most beautiful woman in the world on his arm, as though he were well aware of how jealous everyone must be. Irene smiled too, no doubt for similar reasons.

Irene was an opera singer. Sherlock accompanied on the violin, and they gave John a concert one evening, and it was all he could do not to burst into tears. It was perfect and heartbreaking. John made sure to tell her how beautiful it was, how lovely it was to have an aria sung just for him in his living room. Sherlock offered that they could play him more, but John just wanted to flee the room before his walls all crumbled to dust at his feet.

He told them he was tired, and they could sing him to sleep, and made his way upstairs. She continued to sing, Sherlock’s violin playing steadily along, and John stood in front of his mirror and stared at the mottled scar on his left shoulder until his vision blurred. Maybe if he had had access to a proper hospital, it wouldn’t have ended up looking so ugly.

It was an Irene-free afternoon, and John had just made himself tea and was intent on spending the next few hours on the couch watching Sherlock muck about on the internet or work on his experiments. It was nice. John found himself looking forward to the end of the week, when Irene was due to leave London. Of course, the thought made him feel rather guilty, because it wasn’t fair to Sherlock that John wanted his only other friend to leave and never come back.

“John,” Sherlock said, handing John a black cube with ordered numbers printed on it. “Could you mix up my Sudokube for me. I need to practice. Irene is close to achieving my time.”

John sighed and started twisting the numbers into disarray. He had tried to solve it himself before - he knew there must be some sort of easy trick to it - but he had given up after about five minutes. Of course Irene could solve it so quickly that Sherlock seemed to fear she might be better at it than he was.

Sherlock’s phone beeped. John watched as he read the text and then jumped excitedly towards the door.

“Nevermind that now, John,” Sherlock said. “Lestrade has a case. Text Irene, while I get a cab, will you?”

John was halfway to standing, but he sat back down. Oh.

“Where, um, where shall I tell her to go?” John asked. Sherlock looked back at him like he had just asked something stupid. Maybe he had.

“I don’t care where she goes,” Sherlock answered. “She just shouldn’t come here, as no one will be home.”

“I thought you wanted her help on the case,” John said.

“Why would I want that?” Sherlock asked. “I have you.”

“She’s smarter than me,” John said.

“Many people are smarter than you, John,” Sherlock helpfully pointed out, as he threw his coat on. “Are you coming?”

“She’d probably be more helpful to you,” John continued.

“But I...need your medical expertise,” Sherlock said from the doorway, he seemed to have moved from confused to concerned.

“No, you don’t,” John said. “Most of what I tell you, you could probably look up on the internet in five-minutes.”

“Have I done something wrong?” Sherlock asked, suddenly very still. “Are you angry with me?”

“No,” John replied. “I just thought...you’ve been spending a lot of time with Irene, and...”

John wasn’t even sure what he was trying to say – ‘I thought you liked her better than me’ seemed a bit childish, but that was actually what he had thought.

“She told me to,” Sherlock nearly whispered. “Was that...not good?”

Now John was the one who was confused.

“What do you mean she told you to?” John asked.

Sherlock stared at the wall and looked annoyed.

“She said that I should leave you alone for a bit,” Sherlock admitted. “She said that I was probably smothering you, and it’d drive you away. She made a compelling argument.”

“But I like it when you smother me,” John muttered, confused as to how exactly Irene had managed to convince Sherlock otherwise. He hadn’t even realized the implications of what he had said, until Sherlock smiled brightly at him.

In the next moment, John found himself flat on his back on the couch with Sherlock - coat, scarf, and all - lying on top of him and grinning.

“I meant figuratively,” John said, but it was ruined when he started giggling.

“You like this too,” Sherlock said, “John come with me to the crime scene – it’s a sealed room murder, John. The victim has been decapitated, and they can’t find his head! John...where is his head?”

“Are you sweet-talking me with descriptions of a grisly murder?” John laughed.

“Is it working?” Sherlock asked, putting his head down on John’s shoulder.

They both started giggling then, and that’s what suddenly made John realize how very much he had gotten wrong – Irene had made Sherlock laugh, but only John made him giggle. Irene had helped with the cases, and when she had gotten something right, Sherlock had looked to John – not to brag about how clever Irene was, but to have John praise her as he did Sherlock – Sherlock had wanted Irene to see how much John appreciated intelligence. Sherlock had been showing him off. And the concert – the concert hadn’t been about them playing together, it had been about them playing for John...

“I’m an idiot,” John muttered.

“That’s alright, John,” Sherlock said. “Most everybody is. Thankfully, one doesn’t have to be a genius to be interesting.”

Sherlock’s phone beeped again.

“Will you come help me find a severed head, John?” Sherlock whispered softly.

“I’d love to,” John smiled.

fin
.

Comments

( 63 comments — Leave a comment )
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booshbesotted
Jan. 26th, 2011 10:11 pm (UTC)
Guh, this heart-achingly cute! I sorta wanna flail!quote practically the entire thing back at you XD
Sherlock tackle-hugging him at the end there was a brilliant image... “She told me to,” Sherlock nearly whispered. “Was that...not good?” Bwah, so cute! *bookmarks*
hells_half_acre
Jan. 27th, 2011 12:41 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you like it :) Every time I try to write slash, it always just comes out as cute...I don't mind.

And yes, I also loved the idea of a Sherlock tackle-hug ;)
fenm
Jan. 26th, 2011 10:15 pm (UTC)
"Are you sweet-talking me with descriptions of a grisly murder?" John laughed.

Ah, l'amour...
hells_half_acre
Jan. 27th, 2011 12:42 am (UTC)
Haha, indeed. Sherlock's version of courtship would be quite the experience.

Thanks for reading :)
probablyhuman
Jan. 26th, 2011 10:22 pm (UTC)
This. I just want to curl them up into balls and keep them in my pocket.
Great fic :) thanks.
hells_half_acre
Jan. 27th, 2011 12:42 am (UTC)
Me too! Thanks for reading!
cloudtrader
Jan. 26th, 2011 10:36 pm (UTC)
Aw! Irene ships Sherlock/John, too! :D
hells_half_acre
Jan. 27th, 2011 12:43 am (UTC)
Because Irene is awesome! I have a sneaky suspicion this was her plan all along... ;)
londonsabre
Jan. 26th, 2011 10:53 pm (UTC)
Oh LOVELY! Can John and Irene be best buds now?
hells_half_acre
Jan. 27th, 2011 12:44 am (UTC)
Yes, I think they should be! :)
jerel
Jan. 26th, 2011 11:17 pm (UTC)
Yay! :) Liked Sherlock's idea of sweet talk.
hells_half_acre
Jan. 27th, 2011 12:45 am (UTC)
Me too :) Sherlock is special.

Thanks for reading!
d_kota
Jan. 27th, 2011 12:11 am (UTC)
AH! This is so ridiculously adorable! I really love it!
hells_half_acre
Jan. 27th, 2011 12:46 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm very happy you like it :)

I don't usually write slash, and every time I try, it always turns out ridiculously adorable...haha, so, yeah, I'm glad it worked out in this case.
burnt_hamster
Jan. 27th, 2011 01:25 am (UTC)
Oh this was just absolutely delightful!
I am a sucker for insecure John, I have to say. Especially when paired with a sweet Sherlock :3
hells_half_acre
Jan. 27th, 2011 02:51 am (UTC)
I love sweet Sherlock, especially when unconventionally sweet. ;)

I actually have a whole head canon about John that leads me to believe that he's porn to insecurities...even if he keeps them buried deep inside. Also, you know, it can't be easy to hang out with a genius all the time :)

ETA: I forgot to say thank you for the kind words and for reading...so, um, thank you!

Edited at 2011-01-27 02:52 am (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - Jan. 27th, 2011 02:54 am (UTC) - Expand
snarkyducky
Jan. 27th, 2011 01:34 am (UTC)
thank you for sharing this sweet story with us!
hells_half_acre
Jan. 27th, 2011 02:50 am (UTC)
Thank you for reading it! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)
(Deleted comment)
hells_half_acre
Jan. 27th, 2011 02:56 am (UTC)
Awww, thanks! :) I want to wrap this comment in flannel and keep it forever.
keladry_lupin
Jan. 27th, 2011 02:51 am (UTC)
I felt bad for John quite a few times, especially when he feels so ordinary in the presence of two strikingly beautiful people. (Been there.)

I laughed when Sherlock said "Where is his head?" and imagined him looking giddy as a schoolboy.

Delightful fic!
hells_half_acre
Jan. 27th, 2011 02:58 am (UTC)
Yeah, I felt bad for John too...especially since I think he's quite cute, and has nothing to worry about. I'm sure Sherlock would agree with me - or, you know, say something about how it's the mind that matters and not make John feel better at all :P

And yes, that is how I pictured Sherlock at that moment as well...I mean, seriously, where is his head? Haha

ETA: Once again, forgot to say - Thank you for reading! :)

Edited at 2011-01-27 02:59 am (UTC)
thatautumn
Jan. 27th, 2011 03:51 am (UTC)
This is too gorgeous! I want to give the whole thing a big squishy hug! What a beautiful thing you have created!
hells_half_acre
Jan. 27th, 2011 04:00 am (UTC)
Aww, thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. :)
silver_cyanne
Jan. 27th, 2011 04:08 am (UTC)
Awwww, very nice. It didn't go where I was expecting it to, and it's wonderful to be surprised. Nice take on the usual jealousy fic.
hells_half_acre
Jan. 27th, 2011 04:11 am (UTC)
Thank you. Now I'm curious as to where you expected it to go...but, nevertheless, I'm happy I was able to surprise you in a pleasing way, rather than a disappointing one!
(no subject) - silver_cyanne - Jan. 27th, 2011 04:17 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - Jan. 27th, 2011 04:25 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
hells_half_acre
Jan. 27th, 2011 07:10 am (UTC)
Yay! Pretty good for someone who has never actually read ACD, eh? (Thankfully, I like research!)

I thought I didn't like Irene, until I read what she was ACTUALLY like in the original stories...now I don't get why everyone uses her the way they do.

If you think about it, in order to get Sherlock's respect and admiration, Irene would have to be a pretty damn cool lady! I wanted to write someone who lived up to that. Plus, you know, it's just nice to have a strong female character who isn't maliciously manipulative or evil.

Thanks so much for reading, and I'm REALLY glad you liked my Irene :)

Edited at 2011-01-27 07:11 am (UTC)
ivy_b
Jan. 27th, 2011 09:16 am (UTC)
OMG! Only Sherlock/John can make "sweet-talking with descriptions of a grisly murder" adorable. I loved poor insecure John, and Sherlock thinking John needs space and ending up tackle-hugging him. I also loved the line about only John making Sherlock giggle.
hells_half_acre
Jan. 27th, 2011 04:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I really enjoyed writing all the things you mentioned...and the giggling bit. One of my favorite lines from the show is "we can't giggle at a crime-scene!" - I mean really, they are so adorable!

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