The Berlin Incident

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Oh, shut up and join me. I'd much rather hear it than read it.

It? - SH

Yes. I'd much rather hear you than read you.

Fine. - SH

She looked up, but no one appeared. She may have jumped just a little when the sides of her chair were suddenly gripped by two white hands, and Mr. Sherlock Holmes stepped out from behind and took the seat opposite her.

She was trying not to smile. She tried to look as sultry and conniving as she could, but it was difficult to do so.

"Guten tag," he said. "Good day." He did not want to be caught speaking English, especially since it would expose his being a foreigner, which could lead to the discovery that he was not genuinely dead. Speaking German made him blend in with the locals, as did his clothing, which made him look alarmingly like a Berliner.

"Saukerl," Irene scolded. "You dirty pig."

"At least I texted you a warning before I faked mine," she quipped, still speaking in German and fiddling with the corners of her napkin compulsively.

"Why would it bother you?" he replied, narrowing his eyes with mock scrutiny.

"How did you do it?" she asked, ignoring his question and raising her eyebrows.

"As if I'd tell you," he remarked.

She decided to humor him and dropped the subject entirely.

"You mentioned dinner?" Irene asked.

"Starving," Sherlock replied, but he wasn't stupid. He just enjoyed teasing on purpose.

Catching the gleam in her eye, he acted surprised. Shaking his head as if he had accidentally forgotten what he knew she really meant, he remarked, "No, sorry; I meant real dinner. I'm starving. Physically starving."

She rolled her eyes.

"Like I said before, Jim used to call you-"

"The virgin," he finished for her. "You were quite clear on that point."

"I was clear on a lot of points."

"So was I."

She looked at him intently. Mischief fogging up her face once more. The corners of her mouth were playing a game and trying to decide if they should form a smile. She ended up sticking with serene.

"I think that's what I like about you, Mr. Holmes. You're always the good boy."

"I am what I am," Sherlock replied, looking at his watch with an irritated expression.

A few moments of uncomfortable silence passed, and it is true to say that it was incredibly awkward. But Irene would not take it back. What she had said was true: she always loved the good boy.

"I read one of Dr Watson's stories yesterday. I rather enjoyed it. The Hounds of Baskerville. I found it quite entertaining. It's adorable-the way he talks about you," she mused.

"He's fond of romanticizing my job and exposing my thinking process for the whole damn world to idolize."

"Temper, temper," Irene cooed, shaking her head and pursing her lips.

"Why are you here?" Sherlock asked her, studying her face.

"Never you mind me; what brings you to Berlin?" she asked, answering his question with a question. "Running errands for big brother?"

"As it so happens, yes," Sherlock replied, unfolding his napkin and putting it on his lap.

"Moriarty may be dead, but he has terrorist cells all around the globe. Mycroft has me on certain assignments to bring them down from the inside out. I'll be away from London for quite a while."

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