The Kiss and the Case

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John left with Rosie an hour later, and Irene was left alone with Sherlock at 221b Baker Street.

Irene was still a bit sore from her night of excitement, and every time she settled down into a chair, she did so with closed eyes and cautious movements. Sherlock said nothing about her pain. She was defensive, and he knew she would reply with salty insensitivity and disregard for his inquiries.

Sherlock, for one, was pacing the room, his hands in his pockets, and his mind racing incredibly fast. He walked toward the window and let his eyes examine the streets of London below. His thoughts reminded him of the cabs: always moving, but occasionally stopping for some odd reason on the side of the road.

London.

He couldn't bear to be anywhere else.

"I'd say someone was agitated, but I don't want to risk stating the obvious," Irene commented, walking toward Sherlock's statue-like figure at the window.

"You just did." His response was curt.

"Oops," she joked.

"Something isn't adding up," he whispered to himself.

"What?" she asked, genuinely wanting to know.

"You," he replied, turning to face her with lines on his forehead.

"Me?"

"Yes, you."

"What about said person?"

"Why are you on my side of the game against Moriarty this time? God knows you weren't last time."

"For goodness sake, you're a lousy lover, Mr. Holmes. Is affection not enough of a reason?"

"In your case, no."

"Picky man...how can I ever convince you?"

She stood erect before him, looking into his face with obstinate resolve. She pushed a few wayward locks behind his ear. He looked down at her without moving his head, which was still positioned straight ahead.

Taking a step closer, she brought her face a little closer to his. He didn't know why, but he did the same. He put his hands about her waist, and she clasped her hands around his neck.

He was angry with himself again.

"Sentimental idiot! Pull your hands back!"

Sherlock was conflicted. He did want to kiss her, but he had never kissed someone with a desire to. Sure, there was Janine, but he never loved her. In fact, every time she had bent down to kiss him, he had desperately wanted to rinse out his mouth with bleach after she had left.

No, Irene was different...somehow. He wasn't sure he wanted to ask himself how. He was continually drawn to her...drawn to her against his own will to live.

While much more determined and surer in her pursuit, Irene was thinking many thoughts as her lips approached Sherlock's.

"You're getting carried away again, darling. Enjoying yourself...enjoying yourself too much..."

Sod this-nothing was wrong with a little enjoyment. Besides, her lips had touched many. She was probably his first one. That thought made her redden just a touch. For once in her life, she was almost embarrassed of her experience. With him here, she was almost ashamed...

Pish, don't be a fool.

Nevertheless, what was it about the anticipation of this kiss that seemed so much more exciting? What was it about Sherlock Holmes? What was it about the virgin? What was it about him that did this...this to her? Of all the people, why him?

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