One. Zero. One. Three. (An Adlock x Marylock Fanfiction)
(Hey y’all! The other day, I had this epiphany that I wanted to make a fic with references to John trying to flirt with Irene in ASiB. Thanks to @i-am-benedict-cumberbatched‘s amazing prompt on Mary learning about Irene waaaaaay back, my plans have been culminated into this so hope y’all enjoy!)
There’s a huge distinction between lilacs and purples, and it is important to know which is which – or so Sherlock convinces himself to believe.
221B has been filled with clutter, or at least more clutter than usual, ever since the preparations for John and Mary’s wedding started. He couldn’t hide his nervousness, despite trying to be his level-headed self, waiting for the event to happen making him uneasy.
The obvious thing that occurred in his mind is the disturbing sentimentality that comes along his camaraderie with John Watson. To be fair, it is quite manageable considering the fact that having Mary in his life now is one to be grateful for. In fact, if he believed in a higher power, he would probably consider it a blessing.
“Are you looking up bridesmaid dresses?” Mary asked, taking him by surprise as she popped up behind him.
He abruptly closed his laptop, playing it cool, and simply replied, “Just doing my research.”
Mary giggled, rolling her eyes playfully at him. In her hands were a bunch of invitations.
“Anyone else you’d like to include, Sherlock? Probably a date? John mentioned a crazy mad one from before.” she asked teasingly. Behind her, John gave a not-so-subtle scoff.
Mary raised her eyebrow and turned to face her soon-to-be husband. “Her name’s Irene Adler, right John?”
John pursed his lips, probably remembering the lie Mycroft told him. The Woman was supposed to be dead, right?
“Ah, yes. Erm…” John simply muttered. “Probably not the best idea to invite her to our wedding.”
Mary looked amused. “Why not? Sherlock doesn’t seem to mind.”
Sherlock looked at Mary with a protesting expression. “I didn’t–”
“Ooooh! I think I struck a nerve here!” Mary quipped delightfully, resting her chin on her fingers. “Now, I really want to invite her.”
John sighed. “That bloody woman is a walking chaos. Talk about…”
Sherlock found himself irritated, John’s words sounding muddled against his ears. He finds his patience more tolerating when it comes to John and Mary, but this time, the doctor’s words against The Woman gave his head a buzz. A similar feeling occurred years ago, when John was deliberately turning on the charm, or what people call tried to flirt, with Irene Adler back when all three of them first met.
And so, he couldn’t quite stop his own tongue at spilling the following words: “If I remember correctly, you didn’t initially think she was a chaotic woman. She was actually your type before she deliberately turned you down.”
John stopped talking, brows knitting together in confusion.
“Oh, this is the first time I am hearing about this.” Mary grinned, nodding at Sherlock to continue.
Sherlock sighed. “No, I–”
John, still obviously irritated, leaned towards their direction. “I want to hear about this as well. What in the world are you talking about?”
The detective realised that John must have forgotten about the incident already, but even with the protests of his logical self, his mouth started to recount the story.
“When we asked her about the case of the hiker and the backfire, and how she knew about it, she said she knew what one of the policemen… liked.” Sherlock almost spat the word. “And so you immediately offered, or more appropriately, tried to offer that you are not just a policeman, but a former soldier, considering that you asked her if she likes policemen with a leaning stance and a lingering stare, suggesting pride, attraction, and interest. Not to mention the small smile you have as you asked the question, suggesting that you did, in fact, have the soldier card up your sleeve. I’m assuming that her dismissing your advances might have caused your… hostility towards her.”
To his surprise, as soon as he ended, John and Mary are both smiling knowingly.
“So, I was right. You were jealous that’s why you tried to impress her.” John replied, smirking. The doctor turned to his fiancee, and added, “Sherlock forgot to mention that to ‘dismiss’ me, Irene Adler’s exact words were ‘I like detectives, and detective stories. Brainy is the new sexy.’ So now you probably know why Sherlock’s practically smitten with her.”
Mary’s smile grew wider, shrugging. “To be fair, you really got dumped.”
“I wasn’t… I’m not… smitten… with her.” Sherlock muttered through his teeth.
“Whatever you say, dear.” Mary replied, piling up the invitations she was holding.
And if Sherlock wasn’t mistaken, she may have deliberately left a blank one just above the drawer where he kept the Vertu.
“Sherlock, dear, can you come here for a moment?” Mary called from the top of the stairs, as he and John were discussing something with Lestrade by the doorway. The detective gave her a nod and followed.
“What is it?” he asked casually, oblivious of what is about to happen.
There was something about Mary’s smile that made his senses tingle, heart thrumming as she gestured him to sit. His brow raised in curiosity when she showed him his own mobile phone.
“You shouldn’t leave your phone lying around, especially when you have a very naughty text alert.” she teased.
It was evident that surprise was spread across his face, Mary simply enjoying the moment. Then she read, “Pregnant lady, bronze babies, cloaked man, and Kafka… Guess where I am? IA. IA— I wonder who this is?”
So Irene is in Prague. Safe. Good to know. Still, he wouldn’t say that out loud. Not when the cat’s out of the bag.
Sherlock walked over to Mary, without making eye contact, and asked for his phone with an extended hand. She willingly gave it back to him, crossing her legs as if waiting for an explanation.
“Oh please, I didn’t do it on purpose! It was displayed on your screen, inviting prying eyes. I didn’t even have to crack your passcode. But I tried it and it was quite easy.” she smugly said, grinning at him.
“Is it now?” he replied, deadpan, missing a point.
“John told me she was dead, and that you didn’t know because Mycroft wanted to keep it a secret. But you knew they were lying because you saved her, didn’t you?” Mary asked curiously, but Sherlock knew she already had it all figured out.
“I think the answer to that is quite… obvious.” Sherlock replied. He noticed Mary’s questioning look that made him roll his eyes.
Mary was obviously trying to restrain herself from smiling. “You still see each other.”
Sherlock sighed. “I don’t understand why you’ve taken intere–”
“When are you going to text her back?” she asked again, grinning.
“I know when you’re fibbing.”
Sherlock can’t help but run his fingers through his hair, agitated. Why is Mary pressing on about her?
“One. Zero. One. Three.” Mary mused, playfully rocking back and forth on her seat.
The detective was suddenly back to being attentive, unsure of what he’s heard. Mary raised her eyebrows at him. “You seem surprised.”
“How did you–?” Sherlock started, but he was interrupted by John entering the flat.
Sherlock took every opportunity to talk to Mary about the matter at hand, but she dismisses him immediately as soon as he rejects her request to talk about Irene Adler.
Days passed, then weeks, and every time he’s on his phone, she keeps on whispering, “Make sure you have it on vibrate.” accompanied by a cheeky wink.
But it was when John went to fix some papers for their clinic that he found himself alone again with Mary’s inquiring eyes.
“Mary, please, it’s a simple question.” Sherlock hissed.
“So was mine. I just wanted to know… how things are.” Mary smiled.
“…is the date when you saved her from that terrorist cell. October 13, yes?” she said, an air of pride in her voice.
“Yes.” Sherlock replied shortly.
“And… we’ll just leave it at that?” Mary groaned.
“It’s just a passcode.” he asserted unconvincingly.
Mary theatrically tapped her pointer finger near her lips as if to exaggerate that she was thinking. “John told me that, to Mycroft’s hesitance in telling the story if I might add, the only reason why you beat Irene Adler was because her passcode was your name.”
Sherlock tried to focus on the wall behind Mary instead of directly looking at her. “I didn’t beat her.”
Mary nodded. “Because you went out of your way to save her, thus making you feel like you lost.”
The detective didn’t reply. Instead, he handed Mary his phone.
“What do you want me to do with this?” Mary asked.
“Any observations?” he asked, voice too quiet that it would seem like he was talking to himself.
Mary looked at the phone and her smile grew wider. “iPhone 5. So after all these years, you still backup all her messages, and even her text alert, and put it in whichever phone you’re using. The question is, why?”
Sherlock sighed as Mary handed him the phone back. “Everything I will say is a secret. Our secret.”
“Of course, dear.” Mary replied sincerely.
“I believe John feels very strongly about my relationship with The Woman, so I’d rather he not know.” Sherlock grumbled.
“I don’t think he hates her, really, he just told me that when you thought she died, he was very worried about… your emotional state. And he couldn’t understand you, her, and you and her. Plus, you did say Irene dumped him easily. Maybe it hurt his ego.” she joked.
“Even I don’t understand her… And myself when with her.” Sherlock confessed, not meeting Mary in the eyes.
“Why did you save her?” Mary asked directly, narrowing down the conversation into the most obvious foundation.
Sherlock’s mind reeled, words and expressions flying through his usually above average train of thought.
Mary smiled and reached out to touch his folded hands. “Sherlock, admitting that you feel something for her will not make you a lesser being. I hope you know that.”
“It’s never simple with her.” he sighed. “She’s too clever, too cunning, too dangerous, too inviting, too… just too much everything. And I can’t get her out of my head. It can be irritating at times. Prancing into my Mind Palace even in the middle of cases. And what’s more frustrating is I don’t want to… stop thinking about her, I mean… Oh, will you stop looking so happy? It’s not like I just confessed a murder, or a solution to a decade-long case.”
“But you did speak out your heart. Look, Sherlock, I’m not asking you to try and have what John I and have with her. I know that’s what you’re worried about. I can see that you feel restrained by the idea of ‘settling down with The Woman’ and that’s not what I’m telling you.” Mary explained.
“Then what exactly are you telling me?” Sherlock asked.
“I’m simply letting you know that it’s okay to feel what you’re feeling. Live out the adventure. Play the game. Gamble. Fall.”
Sherlock studied every word that escaped Mary’s lips. “You can be difficult at times, Mary Morstan.”
She grinned. “Made you think, didn’t it?”
For the first time since they started the conversation, Sherlock smiled. “I believe you and her will get along very well.”
Mary’s smile grew. “So you’ll let me meet her?”
The smile on Sherlock’s face disappeared quickly. “No.”
Pouting, she playfully punched him in the arm. “Why not?”
“It’ll be too chaotic.”
“Oh, please! It’ll be fun!” Mary insisted.
Sherlock rolled his eyes. “No. And besides, she’s… she’s currently halfway across the world so contain yourself… Last night, she told me she’s in Phuket.”
A scheming glint was evident on Mary’s eyes. “You’ll go, wouldn’t you? Oh, just take me. We won’t take long.”
“Your wedding is in a week.”
“John wouldn’t know! We’ll plan it out. We can do it right now!”
Sherlock pinched the bridge of his nose, a sudden realisation hitting him. “Wait, you still haven’t answered my question.”
“What question?” Mary asked.
“The passcode. How did you know?”
Mary chuckled, fumbling with her phone before giving a reply. “John said that you found out she wasn’t really dead around New Year. Then met her again, here, 6 months later. She stayed for a day, had you crack the code, then basically causing chaos and you saving the day within those 24 hours.
Then John said Mycroft went to meet him during the wettest season of the year, so I assumed mid-November to December, and the claim was that Irene Adler was captured and ‘killed’ in Karachi a couple of months before that. Can be September or October but I chose the latter because the chances are slightly higher.
After that I figured it was a weekend, considering that John was admittedly on a dating spree during weekends at the time, giving you enough opportunity to sneak out and have your little escapade.”
“I actually asked John to gather evidence for a triple murder in Warwick and even advised that he stayed there overnight in case I need anything else. He seemed pleased with the idea.” Sherlock recalled. “Still, great deduction.”
Mary looked pleased. “Can’t always be too accurate.”
Sherlock nodded in agreement. And just when he thought the conversation has come to a close, Mary’s face lit up once more as she looked up to him.
The detective’s eyes narrowed as he tried to read into Mary’s expression, but she left him no more time to guess as she showed him her phone screen.
“Pack your bags, Sherlock. We’re going to Thailand.”
I was going to answer @aurora-borealisss on her post when she said: “we actually got stuck because we couldn’t indicate when exactly it all started. I mean when did Sherlock fall for her and who, in the end, was the first one to fall in love with another?”
She said to feel free about details… It was supposed to be short but…
FACTORS ON HOW SHERLOCK AND IRENE STARTED THEIR CHEMISTRY
I don’t think Sherlock and Irene fell in love quickly, but we can never really pinpoint the exact moment they felt their own definition of “love”. I personally think they both felt the something after their first meeting. It wasn’t love at first sight. It was more on something after first connection. It just so happened that they had a deep connection immediately on the day they met.
I don’t think love perfectly suits Sherlock and Irene. They’re them. Somehow, it just makes sense. How do you explain Adlock? It’s Adlock. The name itself explains their relationship… A relationship too complicated for us to comprehend, but it’s too simple for either of them.
I never believed they were confused with their feelings. They knew exactly what happened to them… They just don’t like it.
But there is only one exact moment where they addressed it… confessed it, even. That scene where Sherlock opened Irene’s phone.
But how did they get there?
Happened the moment they made business with royalty.
Sherlock was directed by the Queen of England to get the photographs from Irene. Irene was directed by the Napoleon of Crime to get the meaning of the codes from Sherlock.
Sherlock was intrigued with…
Irene’s cunning personality
how Irene handled with the authority (royal family, informing them of the existence of the photographs)
how bold Irene is to ensure her protection against the royal family
how she intimidates people with her power play
Irene was intrigued…
with Sherlock’s stubborn personality
with how Sherlock handled with the authority (royal family, refusing to be decent because he doesn’t like anonymity)
with how bold Sherlock is for going in public wearing nothing but a sheet
with how he intimidates people with his unpredictability
Happened on the first twenty seconds (I timed them) after meeting for the first time.
Even though they had twenty seconds before being interrupted, they had already started a huge game and when they don’t plan on losing.
Sherlock was fascinated…
with her audacity to be entirely nude
when he knew she was doing this to put him off balance
when she kept flirting with him to intimidate him
with her confidence
with her playfulness
Irene was fascinated with…
with his stoicism at the face of her nudity
when she knew he was doing this to tell her he’s not going to lose
when he kept eye-contact with her to intimidate her
with his self-control
with his evenness
Happened when CIA trained killers attacked Belgravia.
Most of these happened nonverbally (which says a lot tbh).
Sherlock harmonised with Irene…
when he looked at Irene to point out that she’s involved with something bigger than just clients
when he looked at her to stop her from continuing after she tried to tell the agents that Sherlock doesn’t know her combination so he and John won’t stand in the crossfire
when he looked at her in desperation for help in opening the safe
when he looked at her to ask if there is a trap in the safe
Irene harmonised with Sherlock…
when she looked at Sherlock to point out she doesn’t know how truly dangerous her phone is
when she looked at him to tell him that she tried all she could to keep them both out of this mess she had created for herself but had not gone as well as she’d hope
when she looked at her own body to tell him her body’s the answer
when she nudged her head to tell him to dock under the safe
when she managed to render an agent unconscious using her element (knowing the human body)
when she threw him unbalance by touching him
when she was a full-on dominatrix again, using her whip
when she proved him wrong (surprising him by not going down without a fight for her advantage, something he usually does)
when she managed to beat him
Irene respected Sherlock…
when he managed to open her safe using his element (knowing whatever the hell he knows)
when he threw her unbalanced by accusing her
when he was a full-on detective again, using his wit
when he proved her wrong (surprising her by observing her physical body for his advantage, something she usually does)
when he managed to engage her
Happened immediately after Belgravia.
shared his mind palace (something he values so much)
listened to her intently despite already solving the case (he could have easily filtered her out)
made her physical form wear his coat in his mind palace because he felt that they were equals
tried looking for her frantically when he woke
shared her time (something she needs, being on the run)
stayed beside his bed to talk to him despite him being unconscious and her running away from the police
went out of her way to bring his coat back
More meta about this:LINK (more words + ugly and first GIFs I ever made) Another link about their behaviour in this scene: LINK (less words + GIF)
Happened after the day they met.
I believe this is when they felt something for the other.
In between those times, something happened between them that even I cannot explain. In between those times, they’ve delved deep into the other. I doubt they were confused with their feelings. I think they are perfectly aware of what’s happened to them… that they’ve grown a something for the other.
Irene knows what love is. Sherlock knows what love is.
They know something shifted between them after their first meeting. It was attraction but as they had distance, they started to reflect on more about the other, thought too much about the other… until attraction became something more than what they bargained for.
From their first meeting alone, they found out more about the other than they’d like to have or what they were planning to have. Irene wasn’t just a woman to steal photographs from. Sherlock wasn’t just a man to remove out of her way. They’ve grown an interest with the other…
…and as they had that distance, I think they started to realise how crazy they are, how alike they are… and they both know they’ve felt it, whatever “it” is for the other, but they didn’t want that.
Them being them… It made several reasons why they can’t address it besides the fact that they are stubborn and don’t want to admit that they both lost a war they tried to start.
Sherlock can’t because…
he’s a detective with many powerful enemies
he’s going against Moriarty
he’s earned the reputation of not falling victim to emotions
he identifies himself as married to his work and work alone
Irene can’t because…
she’s a businesswoman with many powerful clients
she’s working with Moriarty
she’s earned the reputation of not falling victim to emotions
she identifies herself as someone who likes women a little bit more
With that, they try to supress and brush everyone else off when they try to question them. They are not machines, though. They show enough to others. They’re humans, too. It happens. They just don’t try to be bold about it. It just is.
Happened before Christmas until Christmas itself.
I think, after they realised what’s happening to them…
the government (Mycroft) by hiding important information/property
his previous desire to stay stoic about her death
his own integrity of not taking a cigarette over anything
himself by submitting to his grief over her
the network (Moriarty) by trying to get out of her deal with Moriarty
her previous desire to not grow attached to him
her own integrity of not trusting her phone to anyone ever
herself by submitting her life in his hands
I have made a more detailed meta about this part here: LINK
It shows more on their defiance against Mycroft and Moriarty. How Sherlock actually withheld information even when it was unnecessary and the reason why Irene actually faked her death.
Happened on New Year’s Eve.
Sherlock was resigned…
when he has to accept that she had actually died
enough to write a violin composition in her name
when he was forced by his own emotions to express his grief
and broke John’s belief that he would never be heartbroken over a woman
enough to make John realise he cares about her
Irene was resigned…
when she has to accept that she can’t convince John
enough to take her phone back for his own safety
when she was forced by John to confess that she’s not dead
and broke John’s belief that she’s only using Sherlock to mess with him
enough to make John realise she cares about him
At that point, they had already lost on each other. John was already a witness to the downfall of Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler against each other.
They’re already showing signs of something with each other, and they both know it. They have to force themselves to admit to it at that point because there’s no point in denying it to themselves. This is the point where they address to themselves that this is definitely something they can just suppress. They’ve done so much. It’s too stupid to deny something blatantly obvious to themselves.
And I think they were both aware of how the other was taking it at the same day.
Irene felt Sherlock has feelings for her…
when he let himself be known that he was there at Battersea (he could have easily left the building when Irene sent that text but he didn’t)
Sherlock felt Irene has feelings for him…
when she let herself go and admitted to John about her own feelings about Sherlock (when she said “Look at us both” to John, that did it)
But even then, they were both uncertain about the other, but they had sensed that there is some mutual connections involving either of them.
Happened after Battersea.
that he needed some time alone to process the fact that she’s alive and was in shock, which is why she stopped John from following Sherlock
that she wanted an intial text from him instead of a reply as a small indication that he wants to keep contact which is why he greeted her
After New Year’s, they both probably were now more sure that the other has reciprocated their feelings… and they are both very pleased with it… because they had just gone through hell denying it to themselves so it must have been freeing to know that both of them were torturing themselves because of what has happened.
I think they both blame each other for being like this HAHAHAHHA
Happened when they saw each other again until now.
When they saw each other again, there’s no doubt they’re already aware of each other’s feelings… and they’re both elated to seeing each other again.
They’re much more playful with each other via sass.
“Who’s that?” “Killers?”
“I assumed you’d pick something more specific than that but thanks anyway.”
They’re both not adhere to complimenting each other.
“Oh, you’re rather good.”
“You’re not so bad.”
AND OH GOD, THE EYE SEX THEY HAVE TOO MUCH EYE SEX AT THIS POINT
What happened in that fireplace scene… They’re already aware of what is going on between them but I think they had different agendas at that point.
checked her pulse and pupils to confirm that she truly has feelings for him… he didn’t know he was tricked… he didn’t have a reason to check her feelings at this point… he just wanted to make sure for himself… why? because he wants to know it’s legit
“It’s not the end of the world.”
After confirming her feelings, to him, it’s not the end of the world, it’s not their very last night… He’s finally taking her up on her offer. He’s telling her that they probably even might.
wanted to have that dinner because she knew she had betrayed him and this is the only chance she has left with being with him before he shuns her away for hurting him… she knows that if he leaves 221B by then, she would never have dinner with him. ever.
It’s the end of the world for her. Mrs Hudson calling Sherlock means that Sherlock will be sent to Mycroft. Sherlock will know what she’s done. It’s the end of the world.
Meta on how their physical affection changed since this scene: LINK
At the end of the scene with the negotiation with Mycroft…
At that point, they are both hurting. Sherlock is confused because he was pretty fcking sure Irene had feelings for him… Irene is sure Sherlock will never forgive her what she’s done… Both of them were sure. They were a giant almost but Moriarty had to meddle with both of them…
…and here, they both address and do not deny that they have feelings for each other… and…
I’d like to discuss this scene because I think it serves a very large service to the theory that Sherlock Holmes feels romantic love. When he found Irene Adler supposedly dead on a slab, he felt a sudden discomfort. He was ashamed of his feelings towards her, therefore feeling guilty when he saw her dead. And when Mycroft handed him the cigarette (no doubt knowing his brother and that he does feel things in that way) I think it was his way of grieving; to going to old habits. Mycroft knew that Sherlock had feelings for Irene, mostly because it was obvious and secondly because she is a smart woman. She is Sherlock Holmes’s exception. You can see that Sherlock is upset over her death and it’s obvious, in this scene. The writer’s purposely made this canon. This was no accident. Sherlock inhales the smoke and you can see him looking at the ceiling like he’s deep in thought of what he’d just witnessed; the only woman he’s ever loved, dead. No longer breathing. And I think that says a lot about Sherlock Holmes. Asexual or not, he does fall in love.
I don’t really like the idea of any of my ships being canon, actually. I like to imagine and pretend and get all into the fangirl self when they do something subtle
Canon sort of takes the emotion away, at least for me.