Guten abend, meine freunden!
School started two weeks ago. In short, life has been YEET.
I have been loving my life as a junior on campus at Boise State University, which is where I am currently attending school. I love the school, it’s professors, it’s campus, and it’s food.
Lord, don’t even get me started about the food.
I have quite a few blog posts in the making right now, but I didn’t want there to be a huge gap in between my posts, so here’s another chapter from my Adlock story.
I hope you all aren’t bored with it? Hopefully?
I promise I have more philosophical ideas and theological nuggets for the next few posts. I hope I’m not taking away from your love of my blog by posting too much fanfiction fluff.
I apologize if that is the case.
I promise, I have more to come. I’m just swamped with English Literature classes and writing assignments and medieval literature readings. Please, people. Beowulf is no walk in the park.
So, without further ado, here’s Chapter Four of my Adlock story (which is more centered around Sherlock than the others): Wherein Sherlock Finds His Feathers Ruffled.
*inserts usual disclaimer*
ALSO: this chapter contains spoilers for season four! If you haven’t watched season four, you probably shouldn’t read this chapter. Or better yet, go binge season four then come back 😉
“Your move, John,” Sherlock yawned, rubbing his eyes sleepily. It was one o’clock in the morning, and he was playing chess with his best friend, John Watson.
“Yeah, I know. You said that already. I heard you the first ten bloody times,” John replied, insanely irritated. It was hard playing chess against a mind like Sherlock’s. John had nearly wasted five minutes just sitting and staring at the board and sweating. It looked like checkmate. Again.
He saw Sherlock’s bishop in position to take out his own queen, but if he moved his queen, Sherlock’s rook could take out his king, which was checkmate. He decided he was bored with the fourth round of chess, so he let Sherlock take the king.
“Why do you always let me win, John? It’s no fun,” Sherlock complained, grabbing his rook and smashing John’s king off the board with an exaggerated swing.
John watched the king roll around on the floor and vanish under a chair.
“I’ll get it, shall I?” John sputtered with annoyance, squatting and feeling around under the chair for the missing piece.
“And I don’t always let you win. Most of the time you let me win,” John said, answering Sherlock’s question.
“Oh my Gooood, I’m so BORED!” Sherlock whined as he leaned back in his chair, let his neck hang down at the other side, and put both hands on his head as only an exasperated genius can. John watched the melodramatic performance with laughing thoughts. Only Sherlock could make boredom look like Shakespeare.
“Not to worry, Sherlock. I’m sure a case’ll turn up soon. Fancy a cuppa?”
Sherlock shook his head.
“No, no, no, I don’t want anything! I need a case! Something! A cigarette, John! I need a cigarette. Have you got any on you?”
John eyed him sarcastically.
“You really are bored, aren’t you? D’you forget I don’t smoke?” he asked, knowing he was pushing a few of the detective’s buttons.
“Ugh!” Sherlock groaned again. He slouched so much in his chair that he slid off it and landed on the ground between his chair and the table on which they had been playing chess.
“Why are you even here?” Sherlock demanded to know, getting angry now. John checked his watch. One-thirty. Damn. Rosie was asleep in a crib upstairs, which was made in case John was needed at 221b…as he was this night to keep Sherlock company.
“Maybe you’d better get to bed, eh, Sherlock? Go to sleep, dream about something good, and wake up tomorrow. Who knows, maybe there’ll be a case when you wake up?” John was trying to be optimistic, but Sherlock saw right through his phony attempts to cheer him up.
“Don’t be an optimist, John, it never did suit you.”
“Then don’t be bored. It never suited you,” he parried.
Sherlock squinted ever so slightly at him. How sarcastic John could be sometimes!
“Find something to do, Sherlock, and don’t let it be nicotine. You’re doing really well. I’m off to sleep. Text me if anything turns up.”
“Yes, yes; you know I will,” Sherlock responded, waving his hands at John as he closed the door behind him.
He picked up a pistol, trying to decide whether or not to shoot the wall. That stupid yellow smiley…what right had it to smile so unflinchingly at him when he was bored? He should shoot it. Right between the eyes. The nerve of it to smile at him!
He raised the pistol. A grin spread across his face.
Bang, bang, bang!
John was heard uttering a curse word in the floor above, and Rosie was crying.
He rolled his eyes as he heard a door close downstairs and hustling footsteps ascending to his room. It was Mrs. Hudson. Sherlock knew full well not to mess with this woman…especially at one in the morning when she wore only her slippers and nightie.
“A-a-ah,” she scolded, putting out her hand for him to give her the gun.
“Give that to me, young man,” she chided him, seizing the gun in her old, wrinkly paw and wrenching it from his grip.
“Why, Sherlock? Oh, dear Lord! Look at my wall! And don’t smile at me like that, you bloody clot,” she was irate, flinging the gun above her head as she iterated each word.
“I’ve told you before! I won’t say it again!” she threatened as she shut the door and marched back down the creaky wooden steps.
He sighed laboriously. How horrible it was to be bored. He considered sneaking downstairs and stealing a bit of stimulant from Mrs. Hudson’s kitchen. He knew she had some.
His eyelids felt as though weights were tied to them. Maybe John was right. Sleep was all he needed. He closed his eyes.
He opened them instantly. His phone was on the mantle, face down, and he could see the screen glowing. He had a new text, and he knew who it was:
I might need dinner.
Sherlock rubbed his bloodshot eyes with a shaking fist. He was utterly confused. The message itself was not like her usual flirtatious greetings. It was concise, deliberate…not sensual by any means.
He waited in agony for the response:
He nearly dropped the phone.
His stomach was in his mouth. His head was swimming. He stared at the two letters in disbelief. The initials. JM. Jim Moriarty. It was impossible. The final problem had occurred only a week ago. Sherlock had survived it. But Moriarty…Moriarty was still dead. Eurus had told him he was dead. He had recorded all the messages, all the games, all the puzzles…
He remembered himself, and inhaled slowly.
She was clever.
The woman was playing a trick.
Hilarious. Are you in London?
His heart pounded inside his temples as he watched the screen. He could see that someone was forming a reply. Now all he needed to do was wait.
Here to visit a friend of yours.
There was an attachment with the message. He downloaded it.
It was loading.
Beads of sweat formed on his forehead as he waited for the download to complete.
“Come on!” he screamed into the device.
He opened it.
It was a video of none other than Jim Moriarty, holding the camera up to his weaselly face and smiling like an idiot. Sherlock watched it with an expressionless gaze. Inside, his heart was racing.
“Hallo, Sherlock!” (he waved with a maniacal expression) “Surprise! Did you miss me? I sure missed you. Whewf!” (here he whipped his brow animatedly) “You know, it’s good to be back. Really.” (he widened his eyes and nodded with mock sincerity) “It sure was boring without you. I mean, without you and me. Boring without me…” (he broke off and started looking on the ground past the camera) “and OH,” (acting as though he remembered something he’d forgotten) “I brought you a present. Nothing, really, just a little something to say welcome back. To me, I mean. To you and me. It’s a bit indiscreet, so I’ll send it to you in a photograph. I don’t want you to be shocked.” Moriarty raised his hands to his cheeks and formed his mouth into an O.
The video ended.
Another download had come in since then, and he opened it.
The contents of this photograph made him feel as though he would be sick. It was Irene. Her eyes were closed, bruised, and she had bloody cuts on her cheeks. Her body was covered with a blanket, but her hands and legs were protruding from beneath it. He couldn’t tell if she were naked or clothed. Her wrists were tied with cloths, her legs fastened with a rope, and a gag ran through her mouth. She was in a fetal position, her mouth slightly open and a thin trickle of blood sliding down her cheek.
Sherlock did not know how to respond. His fingers shook. His body was failing. His knees buckled and he sank into the nearby chair. He glanced down at the screen and was about to form the reply “you’re dead” when the front door was pounded upon.
He didn’t stir. He wasn’t frightened, but he was frozen with something like insane unbelief.
Three more pounds on the door.
Mrs. Hudson’s bedroom door opened. Sherlock walked toward the door of the flat and opened it a crack to examine below. She opened the door slowly, peeped out, and let out an “ooh, dear!” as something heavy pushed the door open. Something was leaning against the foot of the door, and its weight had pushed it open.
It was a body. The neck fell backward as the door opened, and the head hit the floor with a thud.
Sherlock threw open the door and raced down the steps, two at a time. Mrs. Hudson was frantic, fanning herself and calling out “boys, boys!” with all her might. Sherlock was there in an instant, his arms around her, and he gently pushed her to the side.
Leaning over the body, he found that it was none other than the woman herself.
She was wrapped in a wet coat…it was identical to his own. Apart from that, he couldn’t tell if she was naked underneath or wearing thin undergarments. Rain was pouring in from outside, and her face was shimmering with water. The coat was quite wet, but not completely soaked through. Nevertheless, her feet were bare, and her hair was sopping. Someone hadn’t just dumped her here…it looked like she had been sitting unconscious in the rain for at least a half hour.
He untied the gag from behind her head and put his ear to her mouth. She was breathing.
“Can you hear me? Say something, Miss Adler,” he was in no respect sentimental in his tone of speech. His voice was deep and commanding.
Her mouth was open, and she moaned, but that was all.
“John! John!” Sherlock cried out, taking Irene in his arms and carrying her up the stairs. If there was one time he needed the doctor, it was now. “John!”
John staggered into the kitchen as Sherlock came in with Irene. He couldn’t see the woman’s face, so he couldn’t see that it was the infamous dominatrix he had once written about in A Scandal in Belgravia.
“Oh, my God,” John breathed, blinking in the light and rubbing his eyes to wake himself up. “Oh, Jesus; what’s happened, Sherlock?”
“Never mind that now. I need you to get a hot compress and tea. Fetch socks from upstairs. Mrs. Hudson, get a robe of yours from downstairs.”
They both obeyed Sherlock like soldiers obeying a general. John vanished upstairs to get the socks, and Mrs. Hudson scurried downstairs to get the robe. Sherlock took her to his bedroom and laid her down upon the sheets where she herself had once lay. He turned on the light by his bed, which was dim enough for her comfort. He untied her wrists and legs so that they lay limp upon the sheets.
Now for the coat.
He knew she was possibly unclothed beneath it, but for her to continue wearing it was a risk. She would need to be changed into something else.
“Oh dear God,” he breathed, unbuttoning the first button. He closed his eyes nervously. As soon as it was unfastened, he felt for fabric. He opened his eyes at the touch of knit. She had a thin camisole underneath which was miraculously still dry. He exhaled as though he had been holding his breath for a week.
“I’m clothed, Mr. Holmes,” came a tired, hardly audible voice. He looked at her face and saw she was smiling. Despite her bedraggled appearance, her lips were still red. Her eyes barely opened, but she was looking at him with hilarity.
“Good. That does change things,” he replied, unbuttoning the rest of the coat, pulling it out from under her, and discarding it on the floor.
Her left hand was weak, but she reached up and caressed his cheek and neck before letting it fall down on the covers again. A corner of his mouth jerked upward, but he pulled it down in check before any such thing as a smile dared to occur on his face.
But John came in before her hand fell.
He dropped the socks, the tea, and the hot compress. The cup shattered and the steaming liquid seeped into the doctor’s linen socks. He hopped around as it stung his feet until he found a place outside the contaminated floor.
“John!” Sherlock scolded, looking at the mess his friend had made.
“Oh…my God.” John’s face was hilarious. He was staring open-mouthed at the woman in Sherlock’s own bed. She looked at him through her half-conscious stupor.
“Well done, Doctor Watson,” she said, referring to the mess on the floor.
“So she’s here then…in our bloody flat. Oh God, I always wondered when you’d come around,” John was smiling at Irene, shaking his head in amazement; he was always happy whenever it looked as though Sherlock was finally letting himself become romantically attached. “How long is she gonna stay?”
“It’s not like that, John.”
Irene raised an eyebrow.
“Yes. The text alert gave it away a few weeks ago.”
Her eyes glowed.
“I always knew it would come in handy.”
John abruptly wrinkled his nose and sniffed.
“Yeah, I know all about you two. High Wycombe and all that. Was it nice? He never tells me anything.”
Irene was intrigued.
“John has fantasies in his mind about us, Miss Adler. Thoroughly fictitious, I can assure you.”
“No, no, do go on, Doctor Watson, I’m intrigued. What do you think happens between us…at High Wycombe?”
John opened his mouth, but Sherlock shut it up instantly.
“Get the tea, compress, and socks, John.”
“Is that it, then?”
“Get them, and I’ll tell you anything you want later.”
“Hang on, you—”
“Get them, now, John…”
John left the room uttering curses at his friend, and Sherlock was alone with Irene in the bedroom.
“What did you have to spoil my fun for?” Irene whined, taking his idle hand in her own and stroking it.
“Destroying any prospective ideas that might birth themselves in that mind of yours. I don’t want High Wycombe, but you might.”
“Well, you certainly showed him,” Irene whispered, looking impressed even in her tired state of mind.
“Where were we?” Sherlock asked, ignoring her flattery.
“You were about to dress me,” she replied, holding her arms out and grinning mischievously. He was midway through an eyeroll when Mrs. Hudson entered with a bathrobe. She handed it to him with a sweet “here you are, love” and smiled with sympathy toward Irene. As she glanced the woman’s face, a sudden memory jolted in her mind. It was hard to tell, but something seemed familiar about her.
“Sorry, but do I know you from somewhere?” she asked hesitantly, wearing an apologetic look of inquiry.
“Never mind that now, Mrs. Hudson. Isn’t it time you were in bed?” Sherlock made his position clear. She had helped enough, and now he needed her back downstairs.
“You’re right, Sherlock. See you in the morning,” she sleepily chirped as she headed back towards her flat.
Sherlock propped Irene up with his left arm and tried to get the robe on with the other. He was dedicatedly focused on dressing her that he didn’t seem to notice the close proximity between their faces. She noticed, undoubtedly, but he appeared to remain oblivious.
Appeared is the central word of interest.
And it explains why he finished hastily and pulled the blankets down to cover her. She sighed as she settled down onto the pillow, her eyelids still dimmed with fatigue.
“Well, that was lovely, dear,” she exclaimed, closing her eyes and exhaling with exhaustion.
“What happened?” Sherlock asked, standing at the bedside and looking down at her with a face wearing an urgent façade. She looked up at him.
“You asked me that before…and he told you.”
Sherlock slammed his hand on the bedpost, rattling it behind Irene’s back. She didn’t stir, she just closed her eyes and breathed. “Temper, temper,” she cooed as she once had in Berlin.
“Shut up!” Sherlock retorted. “Don’t play games with me, Miss Adler,” he hissed. Irene had never seen him so agitated…especially with her. Her eyes spoke the confusion she was experiencing. His breaths were heavy as he towered over her.
She swallowed and began.
“It’s a plan. A grand plan. It is going to work…oh, please let me just sleep and rest and I promise I’ll tell you in the morning.” She closed her eyes and laid back on the pillow, but decided she’d add, “I’ll tell you everything if you’re a good boy.”
Sherlock was indecisive. She had a valid reason, but she was also Irene Adler. How much could he trust her?
It was John.
Sherlock motioned for him to come in.
“Here we are,” he said, placing the tea on the nightstand and putting the cloth on her forehead. She smiled. “Much thanks, Doctor Watson. At least one of you knows how to love a lady.” She reproached Sherlock with her eyes. John stood there, admiring the scene with an awestruck grin on his face and chuckles in his throat. It was even better than when Janine had come around.
Sherlock was overly annoyed with John’s glee and Irene’s uncooperative nature. Her playful eyes fueled an obnoxious fire in his stomach, and John’s enthusiastic smiles made Sherlock want to storm out of the room. How was Moriarty alive? How was Irene here in his flat? Why was she so battered? He wanted answers, and all he received were the flirtatious glances of a damsel in distress and the encouraging grins of a hopeful matchmaker.
It was all so emotional.
All so maddening.
John’s voice shattered his bowl of agitations.
“I’d love a bit of explaining, but I’m going to bed, and so are you, Sherlock. You need it…still bored, eh?” When Sherlock just stared at him, John sarcastically added, “you plan on sleeping in here, too?” He started laughing and shaking his head at his friend’s fatigued expression. This little act caused Sherlock’s kettle of frustration to boil over. He would annoy John, too…give him the answer he’d least expect to hear. He’d flabbergast the man.
Defiantly, he declared, “Yes, I think I will.”
Irene’s eyebrows nearly flew to her hairline.
John looked like he had been hit in the stomach with a football.
“You WHAT?—Oh my God, it’s worse than I thought…”
“I’ll put pillows in between us to divide the bed, and I’ll sleep in here. Good night, John.”
John was mouthing insults once again at Sherlock and Irene as he left the room.
“Brave man. Sharing a bed with me,” Irene wheezed before taking a sip of her tea. Her fingers were shaking slightly, but not enough to spill the liquid.
“Only because of the state you’re in. Don’t get your hopes up. Besides, he was being annoying.”
She smirked as he turned away. He left and returned with armfuls of pillows from the living room to plop down onto the bed to separate them as they slept.
He clothed her bare, clammy feet with the socks John had left. She didn’t say anything, and he didn’t demand thanks. She did do quite a bit of grinning, however.
As soon as everything was settled, Sherlock adjusted the pillows once more to secure the fateful woman to her side of the bed, and turned out the light.
He lay there in the dark thinking about Moriarty. How he had returned. If he had returned. The video he had received had sent scaly snakes slithering up and down his spine. He remembered how his insides had gone for a dive when he saw the demoralizing photograph of Irene on the concrete floor of who-knows-where.
“Goodnight, Mr. Holmes,” she whispered from her side of the bed.
He said nothing.
Ten minutes passed.
She was definitely asleep now. He could hear her repetitive breaths from over the wall of pillows. What an odd association they shared…no, he would not let himself call it a relationship.
If he were being honest with himself, he would have to admit that he was glad of her presence here. He was glad she wasn’t still on that concrete floor. He was glad he had her where he could keep an eye on her.
There it is!
So, what are we thinking, people? Questions, comments, ideas below! I welcome it all. Just no bad language and don’t make me feel like an idiot 😉
Please check out my profiles on Wattpad and Fanfiction.net as I am posting more chapters on there than I do on the blog. And be sure to follow the story on there, too, so you can get updated on new chapters. 😉