“Did he really make you wear the hat?”
Janine heard the woman’s voice, low in both pitch and volume, behind her. She turned around to see Kitty Riley, the reporter that Jim had seduced and fed the pernicious details of Sherlock’s history. She looked much the same now as she had then; Janine wondered, uncharitably, if, underneath her khaki trench coat, she was even wearing the same thrice-hemmed ‘posh’ skirt Jim had told her about.
She hadn’t noticed Kitty at the impromptu press conference Janine had given with the paparazzi who’d congregated outside of Barts earlier, most likely because she’d been at the back. She supposed Kitty was working for one of the third rate gossip rags, now, the kind that Magnussen wouldn’t line a birdcage with. Janine was surprised she was still working at all.
“I’ve already said he made me wear the hat to bed, and that he called it the ‘death frisbee.’ You’ll have to print something fresh if you want anyone to pick up your story,” she snapped.
“Sorry,” Kitty flushed. “I wasn’t really asking as a reporter.”
Janine only just managed to avoid rolling her eyes at the title.
“It’s just … I thought it was strange.”
“He’s an eccentric.” She smiled to keep from grinding her teeth.
“I know, but … Do you remember Moriarty, the criminal?”
Janine kept her face blank.
“We were … together. He made me wear a hat like that, too.”
Janine struggled to keep her composure. She’d tried very hard not to know anything about her brother’s sex life, but even so, she had some ideas about what he’d been like, and this hadn’t ever entered them.
“I was just wondering if maybe, you know … they were together?”
She laughed. Oh, how he’d wished. It amused her to no end that she’d gotten further with Sherlock than Jim ever had. She’d always thought of it as a kind of revenge for Jim having had The Woman. Both Jim and Irene had been soft sixes on the Kinsey scale, and really, it wasn’t fair that he had been the one to pose as a client.
Kitty deflated a little and turned to go.
Janine put her hand out to stop her. “I’m sorry, it’s just --” She bit back a giggle. When she’d started this whole Sherlock story she’d deliberately made up the most absurd details possible, lewd little tidbits for the public to latch onto, and the irony of the situation was killing her; she wondered if Jim would have appreciated it, or if he’d have been put out. He never could handle being teased, her brother.
She looked at Kitty again. Her ginger hair was in a French twist, which should have been a classic style but looked untidy with her fringe hanging in her eyes, and her white button down was clean and pressed but not tailored and gaped slightly between her breasts. Kitty’s shabbiness was strangely refreshing after the coiffed, manicured, airbrushed morning TV personalities who’d been courting Janine of late. She hadn’t decided to whom to give the interview; she’d been holding out for more money, but there would be plenty of that by the time this thing was through, and she wanted revenge on Magnussen more. He was furious that she’d quit, enraged that she’d sold her fake story to his competitors, and now, she had an opportunity to add insult to injury, and she found that impossible to resist.
“I asked him about it, once. Sherl said he rebuffed Moriarty’s advances.”
Kitty nodded. “That makes sense. What he did--telling me all those lies, making Sherlock out to be a fraud, goading him to suicide--not really, but you know what I mean--that’s what everyone thought at the time....” Her brows knit together, and it occurred to Janine that poor Kitty had perhaps been wracked with guilt over her role in Sherlock’s downfall.
“I guess he was just a stalker,” Kitty continued. “But I thought, when you mentioned the hat--that maybe they’d been together once, and Sherlock had jilted him.”
“Moriarty fooled everyone,” said Janine. “Sherlock Holmes may not have committed all the crimes he solved, but he always was just a little bit too fascinated by them to be normal. Unless you really knew him, like I did, it was hard to tell that he never met any harm.”
Kitty lifted her chin, somewhat mollified.
Janine flashed Kitty her most brilliant smile. “Would you like an exclusive?”
Kitty’s eyes widened in surprise. Janine could see she didn’t quite believe her apparent luck, knew it was too good to be true, but needed it. Hunger filled her face, only to be replaced by determination. She put her arm over her handbag, a slouchy satchel that was in fashion three years ago, feeling for her phone even though she must know it was there.
“Where to?” she asked.
They’d ended up conducting the interview in Janine’s sitting room. She hadn’t wanted to go to a coffee shop or a restaurant where they might be overheard, and it was too early to go to a venue like a bar where there would be more cover noise.
“You said Sherlock told you he rebuffed Moriarty’s advances?” asked Kitty. “What did he do?”
Is that a British Army Browning L9A1 in your pocket, or are you just pleased to see me?
Janine held up her hand, pausing to take a sip of water and set her glass down on the coffee table while she made up something. “Oh, it was wretched. All kinds of filthy text messages, ‘meet me in Regent's park and I’ll suck your brains out,’ that kind of thing.”
Kitty stared at her, eyes wide and scandalized and more than a little intrigued, biting her lower lip as she scribbled into a little moleskin notebook.
She hadn’t planned on seducing Kitty, even though Jim had proved that she was willing to shag her sources. Jim had been obsessed with Sherlock but had never actually touched him, so snogging Sherlock, bathing with him, even letting him snort lines off her belly and leave new ones streaked across hadn’t been that weird. But Kitty and Jim had actually “dated,” and having sex with someone who’d had sex with her brother felt somehow incestuous.
But now that they’d been talking for a while, the very thing that had caused Janine to dismiss Kitty initially had become part of her appeal. Not her connection to Jim. But the wrongness of sleeping with one of Jim’s former conquests. Janine had always wanted to do things she shouldn’t, and, while she was more disciplined than Jim had ever been, she found it difficult to deny herself when there weren’t evident downsides. Very, very few people knew that James Moriarty had been her half brother, and none of them were going to tell Kitty Riley.
“He showed you the messages?” asked Kitty.
“Did he say why he kept them?”
She shrugged. “I don’t know, perhaps he wanted a record. Evidence, something.”
“But he never showed anyone, when it might have helped. You know, proved that Moriarty was obsessed with him.”
“I guess he thought everyone would think what you did,” said Janine. “That they were tragic gay lovers, like Thelma and Louise or something, that they committed all the crimes together and then Moriarty turned on Sherlock when he tried to break it off.”
Kitty went white a moment, then nodded, and God, it was like shooting fish in a barrel, so easy, just blame shift a bit and she missed all the inconsistencies.
“Oh gosh, I’m so sorry.” She brushed her fingers along Kitty’s arm.
Kitty glanced down, then up at her, pupils dilating slightly, and Janine was pleased to have it confirmed that Kitty was attracted to women, or to her, anyway, which was the important thing.
“I don’t mean to imply you did anything wrong. It’s a great story--Sherlock and Moriarty together. Only natural to want to believe it.”
Kitty smiled, a sad, crooked thing, and Janine smiled back.
“Especially because of the hat story. Which you never did tell me.”
Kitty blushed all the way to the v-neck of her button down, and oh, that was why she’d always had a thing for gingers, the way it was impossible for them to hide embarrassment, or desire. “It’s normally the interviewer who asks the questions ….” Kitty fumbled.
“I was hoping we could keep this informal,” Janine said. “More like a chat. You can stop recording, if you like.”
She could almost see the gerbil running on the wheel inside Kitty’s head as she weighed her own discomfort against the mileage she might be able to get out of Janine’s story.
Kitty stopped recording. “Right, so … I mean, I guess I already told you we were dating.”
“I didn’t mean to. It started out because J--Moriarty said he didn’t feel safe. He said that he’d told Sherlock he didn’t want to pretend to be Moriarty anymore, and that Sherlock had threatened him. That he was too frightened to go to the police.” She sighed. “Obviously, I know that’s rubbish now, but ….”
“He was a right charming bastard.”
Kitty smiled. “Yeah. Anyway, I told him he could stay with me, and then, I don’t know, one thing lead to another ....”
“He started it.”
“Well, no. But in retrospect, I think he sort of … planted the idea, you know?”
“About the hat. He told me he’d seen me at the courtroom, the day I went to try to interview Sherlock.”
Janine raised an eyebrow, feigning ignorance.
“Right, you wouldn’t know about that. When Sherlock was a witness at Moriarty’s trial, I approached him to try to get his side of the story.”
“I was wearing … well, I dressed like one of his fans. I had the hat on. A little ‘I heart Sherlock’ button.” She shook her head, her fringe falling into her eyes. “Anyway, it didn’t work. But later, after we’d been together for a while, Jim said it’d been a good look on me. That he’d liked the pigtails.”
Janine waggled her eyebrows. “I think you’d look very fetching in pigtails.”
Kitty flushed again. “Do you?”
She reached over and brushed Kitty’s fringe out of her eyes, which widened, but stayed locked on Janine’s. “I do, yeah.”
Janine lifted her jaw with her fingertips, and Kitty’s lips parted, just the slightest bit, but that was all Janine needed. She leaned in and brought Kitty’s mouth to hers. She tasted like berry lip gloss. Kitty opened her lips further and brought a hand up behind Janine’s neck, deepening the kiss, and Janine moved closer, until their thighs pressed together on the sofa.
It was something of an awkward angle, but Janine rolled her body until most of her weight was on her left hip and ran her right hand down Kitty’s body. She started out chastely enough, at the shoulder, and then traced the arc of Kitty’s flank, the curve of her hip, the swell of her outer thigh. Kitty’s legs opened as wide as the pencil skirt allowed, and Janine dipped her fingers under the hem, skimmed them up her nylons. Stay-ups. Janine nearly shuddered, torn between wanting her out of these awful clothes and wanting Kitty’s skirt rucked around her hips while Janine worked her cunt.
She decided on the latter, pushing the crotch of Kitty’s damp knickers out of the way and sliding two fingers into her slickness. Yes, Kitty had clearly liked her story. She swirled her fingers around and hooked them up and forward--finding the swollen, textured spot that made Kitty moan into her mouth--and pushed against it. Kitty bucked into her hand, and Janine pressed the heel of her palm over Kitty’s clit. She ground against Janine's hand through her knickers, which were soaking now. Kitty’s skirt would, reek of sex; she loved it.
Janine broke their kiss to nuzzle where Kitty’s neck met the vee of her white shirt. She wanted to cup Kitty’s breasts, but both her hands were occupied. Fortunately, when Janine nipped at her buttons, Kitty took the hint and opened her blouse and bra--front close, how convenient. She had full, pink areolas, tiny, round nipples, and creamy skin flecked with freckles. Kitty tugged at the neckline of Janine’s silk jersey wrap dress, and Janine grudgingly shifted back and let Kitty pull it down off her shoulders, mouth her collarbone. She was wearing shapewear underneath it, which was less convenient than Kitty’s bra, or more convenient, she supposed, since she didn’t particularly want Kitty pawing at her. When Kitty ran her fingertips over the edge of one of the cups, Janine lifted her hand away and sucked her fingertips, then kissed Kitty hard, snogging her into the sofa.
Janine considered suggesting that they move to the bedroom, but didn’t want to disrupt the heat of the moment. It’s wasn’t that she was unwilling to have sex with someone else in the bed she’d shared with Mary; she just wasn’t sure she wanted that with Kitty. This whole thing had been raunchy and a little dangerous and wrong, and why not let it be what it was?
Janine was pulled out of her thoughts by Kitty sucking on her lip. She disentangled herself from Kitty long enough to look at how splendidly debauched she was, breasts spilling out of her blouse and skirt hopelessly wrinkled and hitched up around her thighs. It was perfect. She slid both hands under Kitty’s skirt, hooking them under the sides of her knickers and pulling them down, past the silicone stay-up tops, trembling knees, taut calves, down to her round-toe pumps. She met Kitty’s dark, hooded eyes, and arched an eyebrow, waiting for confirmation. When she nodded, Janine buried her face in Kitty’s cunt.
Janine licked up the length of Kitty’s slit, flattening out her tongue and pushing up against her hooded clit it until it stiffened, lapping up the tangy, musky slickness seeping out of her. Kitty seemed torn between wanting to spread her thighs further open and wanting to clench them around Janine’s head. She pushed Kitty’s thighs apart with her palms to decide the issue.
“Can you ….” Kitty rolled her hips into Janine’s tongue. “Do what you were doing earlier, with your fingers?”
She pushed the first two into Kitty’s eager slit, grazing the roof of her cunt, sliding in and out twice before she hooked them upward again. Kitty was whining and circling her hips by the time Janine pushed against her g-spot, and when she combined the pressure with suction on Kitty’s clit, she whimpered. Janine added a third finger, feeling Kitty stretch to accommodate her, and began to thrust in time with the strokes of her tongue.
Kitty swore and wrapped her legs around Janine’s neck. Janine adjusted them slightly, permitting Kitty to drape her bent knees over her shoulders. She spread her fingers, wondering if Kitty could take her pinky. She could; it slid in with just a hint of resistance. A trickle of warm fluid spilled between her fingers onto the sofa.
“It’s hot,” Janine interrupted, and pulled her hand out, licking between Kitty’s wet thighs and into the pinkness between them. She fucked Kitty with her tongue. She knew it probably wasn’t going to get Kitty off but she wanted to penetrate her. She wanted to fuck Kitty from behind, over the sofa, but her strap-on was in the bedroom and she didn’t feel like getting it now. She settled for stabbing her tongue into Kitty while rubbing her clit with her fingertips, pleased at the way that Kitty squirmed against her, trying to get Janine’s tongue where she wanted it again.
She relented and let Kitty have it, mouthing her apex again and putting her fingers back inside her. She started with three, thrusting and turning, then crossed her fingers and put her pinky back, pushing the tips inside while she licked her. Kitty pushed down on her hand, stretching her muscles over Janine’s second row of knuckles.
She took her mouth off Kitty and rocked back on her heels. “Have you ever taken a fist before?”
Kitty gave her a look that was equal parts surprised and fuck drunk. “My own. Well, kind of. I tried, anyway. It’s an odd angle.”
Janine slid her fingers out of Kitty and took her hand in hers. “You have small hands. Mine are bigger, I think, but not by much.”
“Do you have lube?” Kitty asked.
“In the bedroom.” She stood up, and Kitty stood with her. She almost asked her to wait there, before deciding she was being ridiculous. Mary was fucking pregnant; she wasn’t sure exactly what she was trying to protect by keeping their bed just for them.
She snogged Kitty, farther mussing her hair, then lead her by the hand through the French doors separating her sitting room from her bedroom.
Kitty paused in the doorway, taking everything in. It was all white; Janine had wanted an all white bedroom since she was a girl, and even though she and Jim had lived a bunch of different places over the years, she'd usually had at least a white duvet and sheets, sometimes white curtains. Jim had rolled his eyes, called them impractical, said they showed blood too easily. Janine had mentioned she’d been able to get blood out of whites with bleach, and Jim had cocked his head to the side and asked when she’d started bleeding on her sheets.
She hadn’t answered, and he hadn’t pressed, but a few days later one of The Baron’s girls had come into her bedroom with a box of tampons and awkward platitudes about being a woman. After Janine had finished mumbling that she wasn’t an idiot and knew these things already, the girl had pressed a packet of birth control pills into her hand with all the self-conscious fluster of an amateur pusher doing a first drug deal and had said, “in case he won’t wear a condom.” It was at that moment Janine had realized everyone thought Jim was fucking her. Because why else would he keep a teenaged girl around? It had rankled, but she’d thought it was safer than the truth, and she’d flushed a pill down the toilet every day and asked the girl for more.
“It’s beautiful,” said Kitty, looking at the heaps of white, eyelet lace-trimmed pillows atop the duvet, the white gauze curtains backlit by the afternoon sunlight.
Janine shrugged. “It’s alright. I’ll have a much finer bedroom in the cottage I’ve just bought in Sussex.”
“Oh, I heard about that. You totally deserve it after everything Sherlock put you through.”
“I do, don’t I,” she smiled, and finished unbuttoning Kitty’s shirt. Her breasts were soft and heavy, and Janine cupped them in her hands and sucked her tiny nipples until they stood at attention. She unzipped Kitty’s skirt, which was well bedraggled by this point, letting it fall to the floor. Then she turned to what was left of Kitty’s French twist, removing her hairpins one by one and setting them on the white painted nightstand.
Kitty untied Janine’s wrap dress, which she removed and draped over a white, overstuffed club chair. Kitty took in her bodysuit, periwinkle blue lace pretty enough to double as lingerie, and her breath caught, which was flattering. Janine smiled as she toed off her heels, but left the waist cincher on, and Kitty followed suit, naked now except for the stay-ups, which cut off her thighs unattractively. Janine walked Kitty backwards and pushed her into a seated position on the bed, the rolled down the nylons, leaving her naked, voluptuous and pale. In the silver rays of afternoon light, her hair was beaten copper, her eyes were turquoise, and Janine just wanted to drink her.
She crawled across Kitty and balanced atop her. Kitty smirked, and Janine kissed it off her face. Then she kissed Kitty’s throat, her collarbone, her shoulder, her forearm, exploring the territory that had been hidden by her blouse before.
“You are so sexy in that teddy.” Kitty arched up against her, trying to plant a kiss in her cleavage.
Janine winced at the thought of Kitty’s sticky, glossed lips on her breasts, of her hands roaming over her body. She snatched Kitty’s wrists in her hands, pressing them into the duvet and spreading her thighs open with her knees. “Down, girl,” she admonished.
For a moment, it looked as if Kitty would protest. Janine kicked herself for not having anticipated it. She knew most people expected reciprocity, but it had been a long time since she’d been with a new partner, and even longer since she’d been with a woman who’d never hooked up with another woman sober. If Kitty had spent any time in queer circles, Janine would have told her she was stone. But Kitty wouldn’t know what the word meant, and anyway, it wasn’t exactly true.
The first time she’d let Mary get her off had been the night Janine ordered the hit on General Shan. Months of work invested the Black Lotus, and then Shan had gone and connected her little circus troupe with the name ‘Moriarty,’ and Janine had had to burn everything. Jim had still cared about keeping in the shadows, then. Mary had sensed her tension, had slid up behind Janine and kneaded her neck and shoulders as though she were bread, and Janine had gone boneless at her touch, had mutely followed her to the bedroom when Mary led her by the hand. She’d found her voice again when Mary’s hand had been inside her, had come screaming and gushing down Mary’s wrist.
But Kitty was not Mary. And even Mary’s touch had become unbearable since--
She squeezed her eyes shut, because she was most decidedly Not Thinking About That, now.
Kitty made a distressed sound, and Janine realized that her thumbs were digging into Kitty’s wrists.
“Sorry,” she murmured, letting Kitty go. “They’re really sore right now.” She rubbed Kitty’s wrists, then worked her hands and mouth down Kitty’s belly, stroked Kitty’s sides and pinned her hips to the bedspread. She put her mouth over Kitty’s cunt again, laying sloppy, wet kisses into her red hair and pink folds. God but she loved this; she used to spread Mary open and bring her off again and again until her thighs trembled and her eyes rolled back in her head. She pushed the image aside and focused on the ways Kitty differed from Mary, on her ginger hair, her larger, curlier labia and sharper, more acidic taste. She pulled back to look at Kitty’s smaller body and fuller breasts, at her flushed, eager face and hungry eyes.
“You still up for it?” she asked.
“I’ll give it a try.”
Janine opened the nightstand drawer where she kept her lube. The black latex gloves were in the drawer underneath. She snapped on a pair, covering her nails, and poured the lubricant over her fingers. Kitty watched her, eyes focused and dilated. Janine tossed Kitty one of the decorative white throw pillows, which she positioned under her hips.
She rolled back over to Kitty, sliding up so that they lay side by side, and kissed her as she slid a hand back between Kitty’s thighs. Kitty moaned when she slipped her fingers in, no doubt enjoying the novelty of the glove and the cooling effect of the lube. Both would warm to Kitty’s body temperature soon enough.
She continued to snog Kitty while working two fingers inside her, probing and stirring and bringing her back up to where she’d been before. Kitty twisted her body around Janine’s fingers, arching up into her hands, and she figured that was her cue to add a third. She broke their kiss to watch Kitty’s face, and turned her hand vertically, sliding her fingers along the sensitive spot beneath her urethra. Kitty clenched around her, squeezing Janine’s fingers together, and she rotated them from side to side as though turning a key in a lock, making Kitty writhe. When her fingers were horizontal again, she tucked her pinky in between her folded fingers, keeping the slow thrusting, turning motion, stretching Kitty’s muscles with her knuckles.
She paused to open the lube bottle with her other hand and squeezed more in her palm, gently working the thick gel inside. Kitty’s lips glistened with a combination of natural and artificial lubricant. Janine resisted the urge to lick, knowing she wouldn’t taste so pleasant anymore.
“Do you think you can handle the thumb, now?”
Kitty whimpered something sounding like an assent, and Janine spread her fingers just enough to get the tip of her thumb past the top of Kitty’s opening, then stopped.
“Breathe,” she urged.
Kitty let out a long, shaking breath, letting her head fall back, and Janine pushed forward, keeping her fingers close together, feeling Kitty stretch to accommodate the wider portion of her hand. She poured more lube on the fingertips and rubbed it against her knuckles.
“Oh, god that’s so …” Kitty twisted the sheets between her clenched fingers.
“No. Burns a bit, though.”
She eased her hand back, turning and rotating, massaging the muscle with her fingers. Kitty clenched and unclenched against her, then pushed herself down on Janine’s hand.
“Greedy.” She smirked, and pushed forward again, watching her fingers disappear into Kitty. She turned her hand so her knuckles pushed against Kitty’s perineum, where the skin stretched most easily, and pushed forward again. She felt the resistance of Kitty’s muscles as she pressed the base knuckles into her, and then the sudden absence of it as Kitty’s cunt swallowed her hand. She let her fingers curl into a fist automatically as they pressed up against Kitty’s insides.
“Oh. My. God.” Kitty curled up from the bed and leaned over so she could see.
“Feels like an accomplishment, doesn’t it?”
Kitty slumped back and relaxed, opening her legs wider. “Feels fuller than any cock I’ve ever had.”
Janine smirked. “And I haven’t even fucked you yet.”
Kitty moaned, and Janine gently rocked her fist back and forth, thumbing her clit with her other hand. Kitty was lost, eyes rolling back in her head, skin splotched red and toes curled against the bed. Janine thrust a little deeper, making Kitty twist in the wetness that was pooling beneath her hips. Kitty’s groans increased in volume and frequency as she squirmed around Janine’s hand, and she knew that Kitty was close.
“Let me know when you come.”
She continued to move her hand inside Kitty while touching her clit, pressing her fist into the walls of her cunt, steadily applying more pressure as Kitty began to arch and scream obscenities.
“Oh fuck, oh fuck oh fuck I’m coming.”
Janine clenched her fist, bracing for Kitty’s climax. Kitty bore down around her fingers, muscles stuttering hard once, and then in a series of smaller aftershocks.
“Do you want me to pull out, or stay in?” Janine asked.
“Pull out,” Kitty husked, “but slow.”
Janine carefully uncurled and retracted her hand, tucking her thumb close as she backed out.
Kitty groaned as Janine’s palm cleared her opening.
Janine laid a kiss on Kitty’s belly, then crawled up the bed beside her.
Kitty rolled to face her. Her forehead was shiny with sweat and her hair was in complete disarray. Her pupils were still blown wide and her eyes were glazed over. “What can I do for you,” she purred, running her hand along Janine’s side, down her thigh and then up into the space between them.
Open your legs.
Janine grabbed Kitty’s hand, squeezing the fingers together.
Kitty’s eyes widened, and Janine let go.
“Sorry,” Janine mumbled. “I’m just ….”
It’s so much harder to control the eyes than the legs, isn’t it?
She took a deep breath, focusing on Kitty. “You don’t have to do anything. I had a good time focusing on you.”
Kitty chewed her lower lip, but nodded. She moved her hand back to Janine’s side.
If it had been Mary, she would have kissed her, let Mary taste her own juices, and then they would have fallen asleep curled like two cashews. But Mary was probably at Sherlock’s bedside with John--oh, the irony. She swallowed.
Janine rolled onto her back; Kitty’s arm traveled around her and came to rest on her belly. She stared at the white ceiling, gray now with the afternoon shadows.
Kitty lay with her for a few moments before moving her arm. “I’ll just … see myself out then, shall I?”
Kitty sat up, brushing a tangle of ginger hair behind her shoulders, and swung her feet off the bed. She shot a look over her shoulder at Janine, who couldn’t find the energy to respond. She should get up. She should offer Kitty a drink. At the very least, she should help Kitty find her things and call her a cab. Instead, she lay staring at the ceiling while Kitty quietly gathered her clothes from the bedroom floor, closed her eyes and listened to the sound of Kitty running water in the loo, vainly trying to tidy up.
Kitty emerged, hair combed, dressed, and bare faced, but her clothes had ‘walk of shame’ written all over them.
Janine sat up. “I have some knit dresses in the cupboard. Pretty forgiving, they’d probably fit you.”
Kitty stiffened. “Thank you, but I think once I have my coat on it’ll be fine.”
Janine nodded and Kitty gave her a tight smile and walked out of the bedroom. She heard the sound of Kitty opening the wardrobe in the front hall, and then her closing the door behind her.
She was getting up to lock the door when her mobile chirped. She paused. It was her CAM phone; she’d been half tempted to throw it into the Thames, but had decided that she should probably transfer files off of it first. Still, she’d be surprised if Magnussen dared to contact her after their last conversation. She picked it up and glanced at the screen.
John has packed his things and left for Baker St. I was hoping I might stay at yours for a bit.
She stared at the message. It wasn’t as though Mary never contacted her on this phone. They had arranged outings and done wedding planning things to build both their cover stories. But she was surprised that Mary had dared to text her CAM phone after Janine hadn’t answered this week’s burner.
Of course Mary was crawling back. Watson had kicked her out as soon as she’d shown her true colors, and now she wanted comfort. Janine represented a warm bed and an inviting pair of arms, nothing more. Her hand tightened around the phone as she debated whether to fling it across the room or to type something vicious.
She closed her eyes, letting out her rage and grief with a sharp exhale. Because that wasn’t true, not really. When she’d set the timer on her cameraphone in Magnussen’s penthouse, taken that awful picture of her on her knees, sent the text to Mary, she’d known her whole plan had hinged on Mary still having some regard for her, on Mary wanting to protect her, to protect what they had.
Your girlfriend is such a scrumptious slut. I like her. -CAM
And Mary had come for her. The last thing she’d thought before the world had gone jagged and green--when she’d seen Mary’s reflection in Magnussen’s glass desktop, arm raised to bring the butt of the PPK down on her head--was that no one had ever loved her so much. But no one had ever betrayed her so severely, either. And that was why Sherlock and Watson had been riding up Magnussen’s private lift, why Mary’s world had been crashing down even as Janine fell to the floor.
She stared at the rumpled bedsheets beside her, at the damp spot in the center of the bed where Kitty had been. She could change the sheets, she supposed, before Mary came over. Mary likely wouldn’t know, and even if she did, she was hardly in a position to complain. And she did miss Mary. Her unsatisfying encounter with Kitty had only served to remind her that she missed lying next to Mary and knowing she was safe at her side.
And she could still have that, now. She could text Mary back and tell her to come over, to pull her into her arms and stroke her hair and kiss her forehead and--no, she realized suddenly, that was not what she wanted. Because Mary would be pining after John, and Janine refused to be some kind of consolation prize, to have slow, desperate, like-it’s-the-last-time-every-time sex as each of them mourned everything they might have had if the other had been different. The thought of Mary’s mouth and body against hers while she thought of Watson in his ridiculous jumpers and oh dear god, she had become Jim, when had she become Jim?
She brought her clenched fists to her eyes, rubbing them until she saw spots, willing away the headache blooming beneath them. She’d always suspected that she might be mad; insanity galloped in the Moriarty family. She bit back a giggle, and then let it fall from her lips, because if she was going to go mad, she might as well go all out. If there was one thing to be said for Jim, he’d had style.
She picked up the phone, staring again at Mary’s message.
Maybe Sherlock would reveal John for who he really was, a deeply hypocritical bastard who could live with having committed murder himself but would never forgive Mary, who believed that being paid to kill for Queen and Country was somehow different than being paid to kill for one’s employer. Maybe Mary would be too proud to grovel to him, to beg his forgiveness for having been born a lioness among lambs. Maybe Mary would remember she deserved to be with someone who accepted all of her, who loved her for her darkest facets instead of despite them.
And maybe the sea would boil, and pigs would fly.
It would be difficult, to fake it. It had been bad enough with Sherlock, and she hadn’t ever held Sherlock’s hand while he got a tattoo that matched hers, or lain awake whispering with her head on his breast and his gun beneath their pillow. She swallowed, then closed her eyes and tapped out a message without looking.