Setting that intimate night in Karachi aside, and leaving any sentiment unaddressed, Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler (as they were formerly known) began their collaboration during The Fall.
Their encounter with the first strand of Moriarty’s network, however, did not go quite as smoothly as planned. Shortly after they arrived in Montenegro as Mr and Mrs Wolfe, a gunfire-loaded incident had them both injured.
It also cost the late consulting detective his memory – he awoke in confusion, without the faintest knowledge of who he was.
Fortunately for him, his location was incredibly easy to deduce, as was his relationship with the only other occupant of the house.
No need to inform her of the slightly inconvenient detail just yet. He was confident everything could continue on as usual, without his wife suspecting a thing about his (hopefully temporary) condition. It was their honeymoon after all.
One of the first things he learnt about himself was that he hated being bored, hated being immobilised in bed by a leg wound.
He almost wished it was more of a challenge, who this woman was to him. But no, it was so painfully obvious even without their shiny wedding rings (only 3-4 weeks old, he estimated) immediately giving everything away, further corroborated by the state of this place (clearly not in their home country; they moved into the house a mere couple of weeks ago and were not planning to stay for much longer) indicating that they were on a holiday trip abroad.
He could’ve arrived at the same conclusion with significantly less information. From how she’d looked at him the moment he opened his eyes, for example. (It was as if he were the first rays of sunshine, heralding arrival of the precious British summer, after 11 long months of grey skies and rain.) She had since withdrawn any initial concern from her expression, maintaining a cool and collected demeanour instead. A smirk or witty remark here and there, not a single word of caring, though what was unspoken in the way she tended to his wounds was more unequivocal than any words would’ve had power to convey.
It was just as well that they weren’t a very outwardly affectionate couple. Eased his reacclimatisation to the relationship. He didn’t particularly feel an affinity for the saccharine, and if he was honest, he was even rather surprised that they were apparently the marrying type.
Whomever it was that he used to be, however, he did approve of this man’s choice of spouse. He..liked her, from what little he observed about her since he’d regained awareness of his surroundings (approx. an hour ago). The nature of their relationship might have been the simplest of deductions, but the woman herself was most decidedly not. She was highly complex and incredibly fascinating. Intelligent, competent, self-assured, gorgeous.. (Wait, where did that last one come from? That wasn’t a deduction! Beauty was just a social construct.) Although he was certain that the intense (and very distracting) attraction he was experiencing had a more profound basis.
He couldn’t pinpoint what exactly it was about her that conferred this singular sense of connection, familiarity layered with mystery. Merely that it was there as a result of something, something he frustratingly had no tangible recollection of – his current data was far from sufficient in providing him with any glimpse into their history.
She was standing to leave his bedside, and he instinctively reached out and caught her wrist. To gesture to her that she, too, needed to rest – it was likely already late in the evening when he awoke. He had to have been unconscious for days, judging from her lack of sleep (obvious, despite her efforts to conceal her mental and physical exhaustion).
Her reaction was one he hadn’t expected. Her eyes widened, and her breath hitched, as he was pulling her onto the bed. Shocked? But they were husband and wife, presumably sharing the same bed, it was only logical that she–
Oh. Oh. It hadn’t occurred to him that the specific physical contact he initiated could be interpreted as prelude to intimacy and..intercourse. A sudden adrenaline spike sent his own heart pounding frantically as he felt the mattress dip beside him when she did begin to lie down, her proximity increasingly alarming, and he turned on his side to face away from her, to escape her deep blue gaze (it wasn’t to hide his blush, and it wasn’t panic, he shouldn’t panic, that would be absurd).
“Sherlock, what–” And he stumbled over his interrupting response, “Not that. Not today. I don’t think I’m feeling up to it.”
The silence that stretched between them, taut as a violin string, told him that she was studying his demeanour, undoubtedly finding it unusual (right, so sex wasn’t something he’d normally deny her of; still, he was in recovery from what must’ve been a traumatic event, a reasonable excuse). Whatever comment she was most likely biting back (he couldn’t risk turning around to confirm this hypothesis), she didn’t say it.
Instead, he sensed her movement as she finally reached for the light switch after a long moment, and within an instant darkness was upon them. For which he was extremely thankful, because he then felt soft lips pressed to his cheek, immediately causing it to heat up.
“Good night, Mr Holmes.” Her warm body was inches away, her breathing a pleasant sound in the quiet of the night.
He tried to ignore the involuntary neuronal activity protesting for a change of mind regarding his earlier decision, his statement to her that he wasn’t keen to perform (you liarrrr), and forced his thoughts to focus on the newly acquired knowledge of his full name.
Sherlock Holmes awoke in the late-morning light, with an arm comfortably wrapped around his wife. Time to piece together the remainder of this puzzle that was his life. He hoped it wasn’t a dull one.