Stradivari (An Adlock x Eurus Fanfiction)
(I get waaaaay too crazy when I write fics, and switching from Irene, Eurus, and Sherlock’s characterisation here is an internal experience on its own. This is exhausting to write tbh. Should I make a blog post about it? Gaaaaaah, whatever. On to the fic!)
The wind howls intimately against the crashing waves as the helicopter touched the cold cement of the building. Sherlock turned up the collar of his coat to hide his neck from the chilling breeze, entering the confines of Sherrinford to provide company for his sister.
It was devastating just to think that he had promised her home and yet she’s still locked up like nothing’s changed. But if there is one thing he has gotten into terms with through the years, it’s that home is not a place, but it is a sanctuary found in the arms of the people you hold dear.
His eyebrows furrowed as soon as he heard the echoing tune from her chambers, the familiarity of the curve of the notes making him sigh.
With her back to him, she played the theme he wrote for The Woman, her head slowly swaying to the solemnity of the music. She paused for a moment, recognising that he had entered the room, and continued playing until the edge of the last note she had heard from him when she asked him to play once before.
“Can you teach me the rest?” Eurus said calmly, putting the violin down to her side and turning to face her brother.
Sherlock squinted at her, trying to guard his expression. “You told me we’re playing Chopin on my next visit.”
Eurus tilted her head slightly, raising an eyebrow at her brother. “That’s way too easy. No story. No excitement. I want to know more about this.”
Taking his own violin in hand, he started to tune the strings, eyes avoiding his sister’s.
“We both know where this is going. Just tell me and save us both the agony.” her voice had a sing-song tone to it, drawing near the glass to look at her brother closely.
“I’ve written it a long time ago.” Sherlock muttered, plucking some of the strings.
Eurus’ stare was boring deep into him, and he could tell that she was studying him closely.
“Oh, I’m not interested in when. I want to know why you changed the way you play it.”
Sherlock put down the violin to meet his sister’s eyes, reading into her knowing expression. “Did I?”
Eurus smiled. “Oh, yes. I can tell. The way your fingers caress the strings… The absolutism in every stroke of the bow… When you wrote it, it was meant to show grief, frustration… confusion.”
The older Holmes remained stoic, still waiting for his sister to conclude her own amused inquiry.
Her eyes turned to look at his fingers against the bow, a smile creeping up her face. “Now it’s full of passion,desire, longing… How long was it then when you last slept with her before we met for the first time? A week ago? More like two… three days?”
Sherlock looked at her pointedly, sensing a challenge in his sister’s voice. He figured there was no point in arguing. “Just out of a quiver of a note?”
Eurus smiled, looking pleased with herself. “That… and the cuffmarks on your left wrist that day. I’m quite surprised Mycroft didn’t notice.”
The detective gave an amused smile. “Oh, he did. He just got caught up with everything that he failed to make a fuss about it.”
There’s a slight relief that came with the sight of Eurus’ eyes twinkling with glee, and he could already tell she wasn’t giving up the matter at hand. It was not the best idea to have her be curious of Irene Adler, but it was already a lost cause. Needless to say that even if he didn’t want to admit, Eurus somehow made it easier to talk about The Woman.
He saw his sister walk over to her bed to reach for her violin once more, looking at him expectantly as she claimed the form to play.
“From the beginning, then.” Sherlock commanded, holding his bow to start the melody.
With Mycroft’s request, his next visit dawned earlier, much to Eurus’ demand.
“I can’t play it right.” the younger Holmes snapped upon the arrival of her brother.
Sherlock studied the tense movements of his sister, amused at her rampage. “Mycroft tells me you’ve memorised the piece entirely.”
“It wasn’t complicated, Sherlock, but what I can’t accept is why it doesn’t sound right. With you it was easy to read everything into the music, hardly a difficult deduction, really, as you are already well aware… but even if I try to channel the intricacies of the emotions you weaved into playing, it doesn’t work. As I’ve said before, what’s the point if the piece being beautiful and right isn’t the same thing?”
There was spite in her voice, as if she was given a problem she cannot solve and the situation was foreign. Sherlock could recognise the same tone, similar to a tantrum, as he was also prone to such when he finds himself blind on a case.
Still, how does a mind surpassing Newton unable to come into terms with a mere violin piece?
Breathing heavily after playing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Sherlock could not hide his surprise upon seeing how quickly Eurus had recovered from the extraneous piece, her fingers curving once more to start what happened to be a screeching mess of notes.
“What is it now?” he tried to hide the annoyance in his voice, but failed evidently.
Eurus looked livid, playing an earsplitting tune that caused a violin string to snap. Sherlock looked at her, bewildered at her actions, to which her expression turned blank.
“I would need another violin.” she said in a deadpan voice.
Sherlock took it as a dismissal and turned to take his leave when his sister called once more, still in the same chilling voice, with another request.
“And on your next visit, bring her.”
Eurus was not accepting any visitors unless her request was merited.
“Oh for God’s sake! Have we really gotten to the point where family affairs and petty arguments involve bringing in national criminals in an institutionalised facility, who, by the way, are supposed to be officially dead?” Mycroft sighed, rubbing his temples in exasperation.
John couldn’t help but snort at the statement. “And this is new because…?”
Mycroft glared at the doctor, to which Sherlock laughed. The eldest Holmes darted back to look at his brother, a sour smile in his face.
“You think this is funny, Sherlock? Who thought it was a clever idea to confuse our dear sister with matters of the heart?” Mycroft hissed.
“You’re blaming me?” Sherlock spat back, rolling his eyes at Mycroft as if the suggestion was preposterous.
John scoffed. “I can’t believe I’m saying this but Mycroft does have a point. You fed her this obsession, mate.”
Mycroft scorned. “Sentiment is not something she’s very familiar with, dear brother. She sees romance and love on a spectrum that is to be analysed logically — something you claim to be unfamiliar with but we all see the obvious. I believe — and hope in the heaves above — that she will come into a conclusion once she meets Irene Adler.”
The helicopter ride to Sherrinford was silent.
Sherlock could feel Irene’s eyes trained on him curiously, but with only the information that Eurus wants to meet her, he couldn’t blame the burning look she was giving him.
“This will be interesting.” Irene mused, sliding the coat off her back before entering the room where the youngest Holmes resided. “Should I expect her to be worst than you?”
“You’ll know when you meet her.” Sherlock simply said as he followed her in.
They saw Eurus sitting on her bed, expectant upon their arrival. Sherlock saw that his sister’s eyes were quick to scan Irene’s gait, expression turning from unreadable to purely amused.
“You exceeded my expectations.” she said bluntly, completely ignoring her brother, eyes only focused on The Woman.
Irene gave her most intrepid smile, meeting the other woman’s challenging gaze with a spark from her own. “And that is?”
“I know you will be easy on the eyes, but I didn’t expect you would… sting.” Eurus simply replied.
Sherlock studied the two of them, eyes piercing towards each other. It was like watching a dance on flames, and he was sure that if someone was going to get scorched, it would most likely be him.
“I take that as a compliment. You’re not so bad yourself.” Irene addressed Eurus with a slight nod, causing the latter to narrow her eyes.
Walking closer to the glass and still not acknowledging her brother, Eurus asked Irene to draw nearer. Sherlock wanted to protest but clearly they are lost in their own game, and he remained where he stood.
“When you walked in, I thought the song made less sense, but seeing how my brother has been hovering nervously at the corner since you entered, I go back to where I stand.” Eurus affirmed haughtily.
Irene grinned. “He pretends to be distant than he really is, but he’s easy to read. But I’m sure you already know that.”
Eurus looked amused. For the first time since her visitors arrived, she turned to her brother, and as quick as a whip, her voice was demanding.
Sherlock looked affronted. “Why does it matter that much?”
“Because I want to know why I’m wrong. I don’t like being wrong.” she said, deadpan, reaching for her violin as well.
Irene was watching in full interest, a smile playing on her lips as Sherlock rolled his eyes, giving in to the request.
He sighed, fingers slightly trembling. He realised that he only played the piece for Irene once, a couple of years ago, the courage supplied by slight intoxication.
Taking his bow, he started, as accompanied by his sister. Halfway, he realised she stopped and left him to finish on his own, eyes fully focused on his movements, mirroring Irene’s own steady gaze.
Lingering on the last note, Sherlock gave the bow one last stroke, before ending completely.
Gathering his composure and trying to ignore the heat rising up his neck upon meeting Irene’s eyes, he turned to his sister.
“Well?” he asked, trying to sound nonchalant.
Eurus pursed her lips slightly, before giving him a nod. “Interesting… I need to rest. You may leave.”
Irene raised her eyebrows in amusement, walking towards Sherlock. “Pleasure to meet you.”
Instead of replying, the youngest Holmes took her violin in hand and started to play Paganini Caprice No. 1 with brevity.
“Until my next visit, Eurus.” Sherlock breathed before heading out.
To his surprise, Eurus abruptly stopped in the middle of playing, sniping a remark at both him and Irene before she continued to play as if nothing happened.
“Judging by the tension, I suggest you take the third room three corridors from here. I assure you it’ll be free from disturbance. ‘Til next time, Sherlock, Ms. Adler.”
“You didn’t take my advice. Was it easier to have sex in your flat? I assume the landlady wasn’t very happy about the creaking floors.” Eurus stated bluntly after finishing another piece from Bach.
Sherlock let out a sigh, expecting his sister’s comments were long overdue ever since he arrived.
“So, Eurus, what was your experiment about?” he asked, also curious about the conclusions her sister drew from the brief encounter with Irene.
He saw her studying him, as if he was nothing more than a specimen for her to dissect. “I won’t play it anymore. Only you can play it. You make it beautiful. I can only play it right.”
“I thought you believe the two has to be the same thing?” Sherlock mused.
“You proved me wrong. It was a song only you can play because you play it for her. I can’t play it because I don’t see her like you see her, and clearly romance or whatever is it you have with her is not something I’m akin to. But for all graciousness, and as I am fond of you, dear brother, then I would not butcher the song you obviously hold so dear.”
Eurus recited the words as if it was a monologue she was merely reading, but Sherlock figured it was as sincere as she could get.
“I… ah… thank you.” was all he managed to say.
“Oh, but one last thing Sherlock.” Eurus noted.
Sherlock’s brow furrowed, wondering what could it possibly be at this point.
“I’d like Irene to be my Christmas present. 5 minutes of unsupervised conversation would do.”