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I Delayed the End of the World

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"Oh, Mr. Holmes… if it was the end of the world, if this was the very last night, would you have dinner with me?" There was the slightest smile on her face, her pupils dilated and her pulse racing. He'd never heard that euphemism before, but he was assuming that Irene was not talking about food. She was waiting for an answer, staring up at him through her lashes.

And for once, his mind was not giving him one. It was racing, think about the past six months, fixing on his memories of Irene: their first meeting, the wisps of his drugged dreams, her death, and now this. He wanted to impress her, wanted to best her and prove himself smarter. But at the same time, he wanted her to be smart; smart enough to beat him. Her mind was fascinating, and somehow, part of the appeal seemed to be the struggle to stay one step ahead of her. He would have to fight to win, but he didn't quite want to win. He wanted her to pay attention to him. And though his mind seemed to be working faster than ever, he was not drawing any conclusions.

He would never admit this to anyone else, but somehow Irene was different. "I… don't know," he replied, his voice sounding horribly unsure. She just smiled more widely.

"You're adorable when you're confused," Irene said, lacing her fingers through his and bringing his hand to her lips. He should have bristled at that comment. From anyone else, it would have been condescending, yet he felt strangely pleased. And when she kissed his hand gently, he had the sudden urge to get closer to her. He shifted backwards in his chair.

Irene just moved forwards again, standing up slightly and resting her knee on the edge of his chair between his legs. "Let me help you make up your mind," Irene said. Both of her hands now pressing his into the arms of the chair, she leant even closer, never breaking eye contact and now only centimetres from his face. He didn't know what to do. His mind was drawing blank after blank, same as when he'd first met her. She was almost smiling, giving him a look he could only describe as sultry, her eyes half lidded and her lips parted. It was doing strange things to him. She'd paused; he could have pushed her off. But he didn't, leaving his hands trapped. "Don't worry dear, I'll be gentle." She said, and leant forward, pressing her lips to his.

It was an entirely new sensation to him. She was extremely soft, and gentle and interesting. He stared into her eyes, saw the large black pupils, felt her warmer hands against his cooler ones, felt the press of her lips on his.

Then she pulled back, still practically sitting on his lap, but not touching anything but his hands. He stared at her. She frowned a bit at whatever look was on his face. "What are you thinking about?"

He blinked a few times, staring at her. His brain was strangely blank and no words seemed to spring to mind. "I'm not," he replied quietly, startled that it was true. He wasn't trying to figure her out; he was just… looking.

She grinned and leant forward again, settling her arms over his shoulders. "Beat you again." That shook him awake. He realized he was leaning forward quite a bit, and instead settled back in his chair, pulling away from Irene. Close proximity to her was distracting. Now, he could think again and the battle was clearly on. But still they never broke eye contact.

He opened his mouth to reply and in that instant Mrs. Hudson's voice rang up the staircase, "Sherlock!" followed by the sound of several people coming up. Still smirking at him and staring him down, Irene retreated back to John's chair, tucking her feet up as Mrs. Hudson and the man from earlier entered the flat, Mrs. Hudson still prattling. "Sherlock, this man was at the door. Is the bell still not working? He shot it." Sherlock resisted the urge to role his eyes and tore his attention away from puzzle that was smirking at him from John's chair and stared disdainfully at the man.

"Have you come to take me away again?"