Affliction

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"We've an hour to wait until the flight. I told you we didn't have to leave so early. But you don't listen to me, do you?" Irene complained, crossing her legs and sitting against the hard, uncomfortable backing of her seat. Her husband was next to her, texting his brother and utterly ignoring her existence.

"Oh, come off it," he replied, punching letters into the screen. "It won't take long. Didn't you bring a book, per my instructions?"

"I did, but per my own instructions. I choose my own books, Mr. Sherlock Holmes," she said, reaching into her carryon bag and drawing forth a copy of And Then There Were None. Sherlock snickered.

"Getting the itch?" he asked, his eyes surveying the glossy hard cover.

"I told you I like detective stories...and detectives...and I still do." She licked her finger and opened to the page where she had left off. "Don't mock me, Mr. Holmes."

"I don't mock," he asserted.

"Then don't say anything."

"Fine," he said, navigating his way to Twitter. He hadn't been on in a few months, but it wouldn't hurt to check anything...or tweet. He always would whenever he was in a good humor, as he was this morning.

The week in Iceland had done something to him...he was having a hard time admitting that he didn't really want it to end.

Day one had been so odd. There was no denying that. They had both been so incredibly bored; there were no puzzles to solve, Irene had been successful in catching Sherlock, so she was no longer "in pursuit." There was no John Watson to wrinkle his nose at them or shoo them out the door, and there was no Mycroft to make them do something that he thought they couldn't do. So for a long while, they just did nothing.

Finally, Irene drew back the curtains (which had been shut and carelessly left so) and emphatically declared, "Let's do something, for goodness sake. We're in Iceland, Mr. Holmes. We ought to do something about it."

And do something about it they did.

Sherlock had nearly gotten their heads blown off trying to measure the geothermal energy inside the Strokkur Geysir after normal daylight hours. It was an experiment for his blog, apparently. He had finally gotten an estimated measurement calculated mere moments before the ground began to vomit boiling water.

Irene dared him to try whale meat, the flavor of which nearly made him regurgitate into the nearest waste bin whilst she snickered hysterically. When he had the chance, he had his revenge and forced her to stomach a morsel of fermented shark. Forcing herself to chew, she managed to preserve her feminine dignity and laughed in his face after she had swallowed it.

"I don't see what's so bad about this," she quipped, to his immense irritation.

They ran around the island like two little children, Sherlock finding the volcanic rock formations fascinating and Irene wasting his money on the fashions of downtown Reykjavik.

And, of course, they stayed up late doing what married people do (and what both of them had equally wished for) in the dimly lit space of a candlelit room that smelled of cinnamon, lilac, and love (the smells of which were perpetrated by his eager wife).

Sherlock decided that this was what puzzled him most.

It seemed to frighten them both in the beginning. For the husband moreso, for he had never allowed himself the liberty to love someone as he found himself doing. It terrified him, for it seemed that he was opening the windows of his soul so someone could look in...so she could look in.

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