Frightening Familiarity

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The sun peeked into 221b Baker Street the next morning, and a little ray sat across Sherlock's face. It landed gently on his eyes, and he squinted awake. He didn't normally let himself sleep so long, and as he opened his eyes to the sight of the sun high in the sky, he panicked a bit.

Like a reflex, he shot up in bed, and his feet hit the floor. His curls were bedraggled around his face, and he was alert (and appalled with himself) after having nearly seven hours' worth of sleep.

That's right: Sherlock Holmes had slept in until ten o'clock.

Joggling himself out of bed, he shook his head of coal black curls and stretched his eyes as wide as they would. He had things to do, questions to answer, mysteries to solve. He'd already spent enough time sleeping, for God's sake.

A sleepy feminine voice poked a hole in his mind.

"What time is it?"

Sherlock whirled around to find Irene rubbing her eyes, stretching, and smiling with sleep still hanging on her features. Her long hair was frazzled all over the pillow, but strangely enough, Sherlock thought she was beautiful.

Ugh, stupid thought. He whooshed it away and demanded:

"What the hell are you doing there?"

"I get lonely at nights, so when I can, I get company. And you're such a sound sleeper, so...ta da."

Sherlock felt hilariously violated.

"Please tell me you didn't do anything to me while I was sleeping."

"Like what? What do you think I'd do, darling?"

"Kiss me or something."

"Calm yourself, Mr. Holmes. Not like you'd have noticed anyway. You snore so loud you could wake the nation. But don't worry: the most physical contact we had was my hand on your nose. I should also mention how fun your cheekbones are to play with."

"Oh for God's sakes," he muttered, ruffling his hair with violent enthusiasm.

"Does this mean we can bunk up again tonight?"

"I never said it did."

"But I was good, wasn't I, Mr. Holmes?"

He turned toward her and just stared for a moment. It was almost hilarious. No, it was hilarious. It was in this moment that he realized he would never mind being married to her...well, when they were married.

"Remarkably," he replied, grinning mischievously before leaving the bedroom.

She let her lips pop into a coquettish smile as he closed the door.

An hour later, both the detective and the woman had finished showering and had congregated in the sitting room. Irene was reading, and Sherlock was studying his case file. Neither of them remembered breakfast, but even if they had, there wasn't much that would compel them to create edible sustenance.

Sherlock was never much of a cook, and he had never had to be, especially since John was picky and did all the cooking. Irene had never even touched a pan, considering she had always employed maids to do that sort of thing.

Not to say either of them didn't enjoy food.

Irene had finished dressing before Sherlock, and when he found her in the living room, she was reading Macbeth by the fireplace, wearing the yellow pastel dress. Her hair was hanging loose down her back, and although her face was free of cosmetics, it was nonetheless beautiful.

Once again, he found her bewitching, but reminded himself that he did not have the time to dwell on such trivialities. He naturally asked (as men often do) about food. She raised an eyebrow, turned a page, then keenly eyed him as if to ask what she had to do with the matter of nourishment.

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