Pairing: Sherlock Holmes/Irene Adler
Fic Title: Dubious and questionable
Rating/Warning(s): nc-17, sex
WIP?: no; all 15 parts are complete.
Summary: Irene Adler returns to London to tie up some loose ends. She consults Holmes about an important lapse in her education.
Why This Must Be Read: Hot. Hot. Hot. Hot. Also, in-character and the dialogue is perfection. This story is so true to their characters.
At half past eleven he came fully awake, having dozed in his chair with the book languishing in his lap and his pipe, long cold, in the pocket of his dressing gown. What had woken him he couldn't say; he kept the lock and hinges of his door well oiled to facilitate stealthy passage, not only for the element of surprise but to avoid his nosy landlady. Unfortunately, this also meant that anyone bent on unwelcome entrance also enjoyed those advantages. He deduced later that it had been a change in the scent of the room that had alerted him.
The shadow that slipped into the room and closed the door stood quite still; Holmes could not discern even the sound of its breathing or a gleam of its eye. He almost hated to disturb it; but it wouldn't do to let it get too far, he thought. He sprang from the chair, took two long, swift steps, reached out, and came up with a wrist in one hand and something soft and round in the other. He was kicked in the shin for his efforts. He did not lose his grip on the wrist, but shifted his other hand upward and found a throat.
"I will render you senseless unless you tell me what you are doing here," Holmes growled. His fingers found the carotid artery and applied slight pressure and he was rewarded with a faint gasp.
His captive hung on to his waistcoat with one hand while the other was trapped in his grasp; a strained voice muttered, "Not the throat, please, Mr. Holmes. I may yet need it to make my living."
Immediately Holmes released her throat and transferred his grip to the hand attached to his waistcoat, dragging her over to the window and kicking at the curtains until they opened enough to shed light on his victim's face.
"You are a persistent young lady," he noted. "Then again, I should have remembered your tenacity in the case of the hidden photograph." He pushed her down into the armchair and flung open the curtains to examine her. She was clothed in male attire, very fetching on her slim form; it wouldn't have fooled anyone in broad daylight, but at night it was passing effective. A bowler and overcoat completed her disguise. She shook out her arms and crossed her legs as a man would, staring up at him with those long-lashed eyes.
"I understand from Dr. Watson's little tales that I am the only subject ever to thwart your purpose," she said. "And I see that you have a photograph of your own now."
"I keep it as a reminder of the possibility of failure, however remote," he shot back. "And of the deviousness typical of the female mind."
He was dismayed, but not surprised, to see a hint of a smirk on her smooth countenance, and he pressed on. "What is your purpose in coming here in such stealth, Mrs. Norton?"
"I have reassumed my maiden name since Godfrey passed away. As I said, I am in England only for a short time, to resolve my late husband's business affairs," she said. "I really did want to look you up. There is no one else in London who fascinates me as you do."