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Learned Arts

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There’s paint flecks on the windowsill, barely dry. Joan knows they’ve been left there intentionally: hello; I’ve been watching you.

Jamie knows how to be subtle, but rarely bothers. Not with this.

Sherlock knows, of course. His mouth tightens when he sees the evidence, but he says nothing. Whatever concerns he may have had when Moriarty was freed are immaterial to the matter at hand, and if Sherlock wants to pretend that he’s above such petty things as jealousy, Joan has no intention of calling him on it.

“You’ve missed me,” Jamie says, smugly curled in a living room chair. She leaves a miniature on the side table when she leaves, a tiny self-portrait enclosed in a gold locket. Joan leaves it there, then moves it to a drawer while tidying up a week later. She never wears it, and Jamie doesn’t bring it up.

“Why did you sleep with Sherlock?” Joan asks, inevitably. “Was it just part of the persona?” Would Jamie still want to sleep with Sherlock, Joan thinks, now that she’s no longer pretending to be Irene?

“It was fun, at the time,” Jamie admits. She’s sitting cross-legged in Joan’s bed, eating leftover green beans from a carton of Chinese takeout. The sheet is pooled in her lap, and the lamplight glitters through her hair, peers over her shadowed collarbones and chases the memory of Joan’s hands across Jamie’s breasts. “And sex can be so...educational.”

“And what have you learned from sleeping with me?” Joan asks.

Jamie puts down the carton and leans forward, tugging Joan back onto the bed. “Unfortunately, things I already knew,” Jamie says. She pushes the wrap Joan is wearing off of one shoulder, places a slow kiss on the side of her neck. Joan shudders into the touch, fingers sliding under the blanket to trail up Jamie’s leg. “That you’re a quick study,” Jamie continues. “That you have a thorough understanding of anatomy. That you remember what you learn.”

Jamie’s breath catches as Joan demonstrates the points, one fingernail tapping gently against the hood of Jamie’s clitoris. Jamie’s cunt is slick beneath her palm, a muscle in her thigh twitching against Joan’s wrist.

“We’ll have to keep this up until I’ve learned something more useful,” Jamie finishes, and shifts to pull Joan down, pleasure gilding the edges of her smirk.

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