The Woman and the East Wind (or Play her p3)
Sherrinford was exactly as Irene had expected, a cold, isolated, imperial fortress. She wondered how a Holmes could survive such a loneliness, such a… boredom.
And she smiled then, that’s why Sherlock visits her so often, she thought, makes perfect sense after all. She almost felt sorry for Sherlock’s psychopathic serial killer’s sisters. Almost.
As she was about to enter Eurus’s cell, Sherlock’s hand found hers and stopped her. She turned meeting his eyes. Even thought his face seemed as tough and serious as always, she could feel a slight tremor in his fingers “You don’t have to do this, we could still…” but she didn’t let him finish that sentence. She pulled a finger on his lips and silenced him pronouncing some simple words “It will be fine”, and he nodded in return before adding “Just be careful”.
Irene smirked at him one last time before disappearing into the tube that led to Eurus’s cell.
Irene walked slowly, unsure of how to proceed.
Eurus was not exactly how she had expected her to be, her eyes were incredibly cold and yet at the same time, her fingers were dancing in the most elegant and delicate manner.
Her gesture was almost magnetic, she was a siren, and Irene felt the immediate urge to take a step closer, to examine her, to understand her. Her long hairs were falling on her back, and she was walking barefoot around. Irene stopped for a second; Sherlock was definitively right, his sister was not the usual psychopath. Sadly for Eurus, the woman was not the usual girl either, so Irene stopped, joined her hands kept staring at Sherlock’s evil sister.
Eurus, on her side, stopped her hypnotic movements and started staring at her.
The younger Holmes stayed silent for a bunch of seconds, and Irene almost feared she would not have said a word for the whole time of her visit, she feared or maybe hoped that she would have deduced everything of her without even asking a single thing.
Regardless of this, Eurus’s silence didn’t last much and some seconds after Eurus’s enthusiasm surprised her, as the woman heard her loud, secure and excited voice exclaiming
And Irene smirked for a moment before managing to reply, with an unexpectedly intrigued tone “The east wind.”
“Come closer” Eurus continued inviting her guest with a gesture of the hand “I want to see you better” she whispered looking her through the glass, but the woman had no intention to obey her. Or anyone else, she was a former Dominatrix, after all, only one person could command her her, sometimes, and that person was a different Holmes.
“I’m comfortable here” she hissed fiercely, with almost a challenging tone and Eurus understood, even if she continued with the same insolence that she had shown before, that insolence that Sherlock feared would have endangered Irene so much. Her next words were a concentrate of all that “You’re beautiful and much hotter in person, but honestly, I don’t think that that’s what attracts Sherlock the most, with none offence.”
“None taken, his body is not what I prefer to him either” Irene replied staring at the other woman, who laughed amused “Of course not, his brain is far more fascinating, isn’t it?”
“To me, it is” the woman replied in a firm and secure tone.
“And mine?” the east wind asked taking a step closer, almost reaching the glass that divided them.
Irene didn’t hesitate to speak the following words “You’re a Holmes and from what I’ve heard the most brilliant one so yes, I assume your brain must be something… remarkable”
Hearing those words made Eurus smile, in an awkward disquieting unsettling smile and the woman felt intrigued and scared in the same measure, then Eurus smirked whispering “I’ve heard so much about you too.”
Irene stared at her for a moment, then hissed “I haven’t heard enough about you”, and the younger Holmes laughed slightly before joining her hands “This doesn’t surprise me, Sherlock has the tendency to… hide me, but I would say that’s already a big improvement from erasing completely.”
Irene nodded imperceptibly. She knew Eurus was right.
Sherlock had spent years closing himself up, preventing anyone to understand him, how he truly… thought, what he felt, who he really was. He had spent years building this… unbreakable wall around him, actually believing that showing… feeling, any kind of affection would have damaged him, his work, his life. For years he had pretended to be this… perfect functioning machine and yet at a point John had unlocked something in him, as Eurus had, as herself had too, probably.
Irene was not sure.
She was never sure when he was concerned. This is what she… appreciated most about him, what made her feel…overwhelmed. It was the fact that he was capable of challenging her in a way no one else had ever managed to, he was capable of dealing with her in a way no one else could. He was special, he was the definition of special to her, but what was he to her, or she to him, eventually? Neither of them was sentimental, neither of them liked to truly speak about… emotions, connections, sentiments.
And yet years had gone by, and he had changed. And she had changed. And their… bound had somehow developed, or at least it seemed so to her. It was so to her, it was true. Real. They were becoming… real, in their way, at their terms, but still real.
After that some words escaped her mouth, words that were intended tp provoke Eurus, she told herself. Or maybe she was looking for an excuse to bring the subject up, an excuse to ask for her opinion. Eurus’s. Sherlock’s sister, an era-defying genius whose opinion and feelings evidently mattered to… to him.
“He barely replied any of my texts at first, now he’s more… active. Is that improvement to you?”
Eurus eye-bows raised instantly “What do YOU think, Irene?”.
Her voice sounded like course, or blessing, the woman was not sure. Surely the younger Holmes intended to underline her superior mind, sadly for her; Irene never had any intention to be outsmarted, so her reply arrived more insolently than she had intended to “What do you expect me to think, Eurus?”
Eurus Holmes stared at Irene Adler for what it seemed an eternity and the woman saw the east wind’s eyes running through her. She knew what the other woman was trying to do. She had seen it already, she had seen that kind of look on her before but Eurus, like her brother before her, seemed incapable of deducing THE woman, of… unveiling her and this shocked Eurus at the point that Irene almost saw a sign of surprise in her eyes. Almost. Some seconds after Eurus smirked gently and took a couple of steps back before exclaiming in an excited and almost scaring tone some words that Irene would have gladly avoided.
“Let’s make it funny. What do you feel for him?”
Unexpectedly the answer to that was not hard to give.
On the contrary, Irene suddenly felt as if she had been preparing for this conversation for years and words simply left her mouth.
“I thought you were an era-defying genius beyond Newton, Eurus.”
What happened after was a dangerous, intriguing and unrepeatable… game of chess.
“That’s about emotions and Sherlock has always have been the emotional one and you…” Eurus stopped for some seconds, probably looking for the right phrase to use or possibly only to arouse the woman’s curiosity “You’re the living proof of that, but sentiments… Sentiments, affection, attraction, love, lust… are all chemical defects, just chemical defects. And yet these mean something to him. And to you too, probably, so what do you think you are to him?”
“Why do you care?” Irene replied ending that question with an insolent smile on her lips.
“Who says I care?” Eurus hissed rolling her eyes.
“Why do you want me to answer, then?” the woman insisted taking a step closer, almost chasing her adverssary “Tell me.”
“What is he to you?” the younger Holmes continued fiercely “Tell me.”
Neither of them spoke, and for a moment a strange silence fell between them.
Then Eurus spoke again, her tone irreverent as before “Is he the love of your life, darling? A piece of you?”
Those words hit the woman’s pride. What was Sherlock to her? That was a question she wasn’t sure she wanted to answer to. The love of her life…it just seemed not right.
He was… so much more. He was… and in that moment some words escaped her mouth.
“He’s… a stimulating challenge, a constant intriguing, extraordinary, life-changing challenge.”
Hearing that made Eurus smile, an almost gentle smile “You’re playing your relationship down, you know it, I know it.”
“Do I?” Irene asked with false innocence, which only managed to slightly irritate Eurus. “You tell me. How was it?” her voice ringed as her eyes kept staring at the woman.
“What?” Irene asked genuinely confused, and the other woman replied almost immediately “Everything…To find him, to love him, to lose him, to find him again… your emotional context with him…”
“Why are you so interested, Eurus?” the woman asked almost annoyed “And let’s not pretend it’s just because you need some emotional context, he has already given you that…” Irene added before stopping.
She stopped, for some seconds she stopped, thinking about that, reflecting about Eurus’s interest in her and after that, she continued with a more secure tone “You want to understand the human defect that bonds me to your brother, you are curious and you need to understand how it works because as much as you claim to know about… everything and everyone, “love” is something you don’t quite get.”
“You think you’re smart, but…” Eurus started but this time too the woman stopped her without remorse and spoke disregarding her opinion, finally understanding that, that was the only possible way to beat Eurus on her own game. So she hissed “Do you envy him or are you jealous of me?” she said that taking a further step closer, moving her legs like a blade in the warm flesh. In that moment Eurus’s hand reached her abdomen and whispered with an indignant tone “You really think I could find Human Connection intriguing enough to awake my interest? Why?”
“Because I think Human Connection can be quite…remarkable” the woman stated.
Irene gave her a sweet smile that seemed almost a mockery and then asked: “For a long time I’ve kept asking myself questions about it, haven’t you?”
“Do you realise I’ve been living in Sherrinford, isolated from the World, since I was five, right?” Eurus replied almost exasperated from that singular sister-in-law, and the woman in front of her nodded and whispered smirking “Of course I do, that’s why I think you’ve spent a considerable amount of time thinking about it, am I wrong?”
Another moment of silence happened between the two of them, and for the first time that day Irene almost felt Eurus true uncertainty. She lowered her eyes, but it didn’t last much. Vulnerability was something that disgusted her, as disguested Irene too probably, and yet there was a question she wanted, she… needed to ask her.
“Do you think is needed? Do you think you need him?”
“Do you?” the woman asked and seeing that the other had no intention to react, continued “What I think is that connection, real connection, is the rarest thing in the world and sometimes… sometimes it doesn’t even seem even worth it. I mean… Is it even possible? To truly know another person, to find that human being that understands you… how you think, how you move, the one who fits you, the one that… redefines how you perceive the surroundings. Is it even a worthwhile pursuit? Especially in a world when people… hurt each other… betray each other and…leave, suddenly and unexpectedly.”
She finished that sentence realising that that tone had become almost… emotional, she could almost feel tears trapped inside her eyes, which surprised her more than she should have. And Eurus, obviously, noticed that and made sure that the woman knew she had.
“Did that hurt?” she asked with a slight cruel tone in her voice “Believing him dead? Knowing that he would have never kissed you again, touched him again? Knowing that his gorgeous and reassuring body had become useless and cold. Did it burn your heart? Was it an unbearable weight that almost destroyed you?” she hesitated for a while, appreciating the woman’s slight tremor “Did it hurt?” she asked again.
“Does it matter?” the woman whispered staring at her in return, facing her attack “Did it hurt?” Eurus repeated in an almost severe tone.
“Does it matter?” the woman repeated, determined not to let Eurus win.
She was Sherlock’s sister, but some memories, some… secrets were theirs and theirs only. How she had felt when she lost him, or how he had felt after her first death… those feelings were completely private, a pain like that… surely needed to be… contained. And Eurus felt that, all of that, and suddenly her fluid voice filled in the room again.
“You won’t answer unless I answer first, will you?”
Irene silent smirk was the only encouragement Eurus needed to continue. And she did.
“It matters. Sherlock and you.” her voice hissed “ You…were right, I want to understand.” In that moment the woman almost laughed “Good luck then, not even I understand what that is”
She was being honest, and yet things were changing between them, she could feel that. Their… connection had changed in a way she had never expected to, they were… growing up, maybe. Or maybe they were just adjusting to each other, they were experimenting something new.
Usual people would have probably called that stable-loving-relationship, and yet they weren’t usual people, they had never had been.
And yet they had been living together for a while by then, she had been sharing his bed and his house, and… from time to his job, his fears, his hopes and… for the first time in her life, she was considering the idea of settling down. With Sherlock. That thought… almost disgusted her. Almost, because deep down, she felt as if she had been waiting for that moment, for him, for all her life.
Eurus’s voice distracted her once again “You are important to him”, and Irene stared at her, finally understanding what all that dialogue was about “You are important to him, too” she responded, serious and Eurus insisted once again.“And he cares for you, deeply.”
After that Irene shook her head “Please don’t. This is not a competition for affection, Eurus. He’s capable of caring for us both.”
“Is he?” the east wind whispered unsurely, and the woman nodded simply, and strangely her movements were also… reassuring “He’s more capable of that than he seems. And so are you.”
Suddenly Eurus’s expression relaxed and her lips formed an almost satisfied grin. Then she said something the woman had never expected to hear.
“My brother really has good taste.”
“Did you doubt that?” she said in return biting her lips.
“I did" the other replied honestly “It took him a while to get rid of your husband.”
“Ages” the woman hissed, trying so hard not to laugh.
Sherlock had really gotten rid of her husband, outsmarting him mentally and beating him physically. That memory was so unexpectedly…. pleasant to her, she had never thought she would have enjoyed seeing him jealous THAT much, but it wasn’t the right time to lose herself in those kinds of thoughts; so she continued “But I probably should thank you for that.”
“Me?” Eurus said faking a surprise “You” Irene repeated keeping staring at the younger Holmes, who smiled kindly understanding what the woman wanted to say “Sherlock didn’t tell you that, Irene” she whispered and the other nodded confirming that “He didn’t. Neither did the Ice Man, nor your parents.”
Eurus Holmes nodded and after that whispered her final opinion about the woman, Sherlock’s woman. Irene Adler. “You are as witty as you are intelligent, Irene. You really are”, and as the woman wanted to reply to that compliment the east wind spoke again “But I got to choose the name, not negotiable.”
Those words made the woman’s heart lose a beat. The name, Eurus, the era-defying genius Eurus Holmes had said “the name”, and for obvious reason, the woman had understood what Eurus was trying to say.
“What?” she exclaimed, hoping to be wrong.
But she wasn’t and Eurus smile confirmed that “Nero if it’s boy, Mata if it’s a girl, but it will be a boy this time I’m quite sure.”
“What?” Irene repeated again, trying so hard to remember the last time she had her period, trying to give a reasonable explanation for her recent tendency to throw everything up in the morning, or to the fact that she had been overemotional and…
Eurus saw the woman’s doubts and gave a small move of the head “You have understood.”
And still, Irene was not convinced “This is absurd, I was a dominatrix, I know my body” she whispered leading her hands towards her belly.
“Yes,” Eurus said noticing that gesture “Yes and you slept with my brother more or less two months ago, haven’t you?” Irene’s silence confirmed once again Eurus’s theory, so she continued “And last night. And this morning” after that the younger Holmes took a big breath before adding “Deep down you know I’m right.”
“I…” the woman started, but a noise behind her stopped her voice. The elevator that led to Eurus’s cell opened, and Sherlock appeared behind them, then she heard his voice saying “Time’s up sis.”