A Scandal In Canon
She’s been taking care of herself since she was old enough to know how. The stage training helps, of course; and she’s always had a fondness for breeches parts. Perhaps it was indiscreet to follow Holmes, but she had to know what threatened the two of them.
Letting someone into your life makes you vulnerable, she’s always known that. But no-one can touch them now; they’re free of that old shadow. The photograph will be protection enough.
When she learns what happened to the one she left behind, she smiles. Let him keep it as a reminder; let it burn.
In Your Dreams
The story gets told and retold, so many versions down the years. Watson’s account makes a myth of her, because only a myth could defeat his hero. It’s not a bad attempt, though it’s what you’d expect from Holmes’s faithful Boswell.
The films like to paint her and Sherlock as lovers, but that’s Hollywood for you. It’s about as close to the truth as a White Castle burger is to real food.
Each new retelling reveals its author’s fantasy, naked and unmistakable. She hums the song written so long afterwards: Goodnight, Irene, goodnight, Irene, I’ll see you in my dreams.