Woo! First fic in the place!
Irene closed my manuscript and gave a smile, one of those that didn’t reach her eyes. "This is a lot better than I expected. Are you going to publish it? I’d love a signed copy."
I laughed at my friend’s compliment. "I was thinking of titling it Good Night, Mr. Holmes, but I’m rather afraid to publish it due to the recent events."
"I rather like that title." My friend smiled sadly at me. A lot has gone unspoken since that adventure, the one in my first story. I didn’t write the more incriminating things I knew happened between my heroine and her adversary, Mr. Sherlock Holmes.
I never told Godfrey about what I saw, of course. Irene had convinced me that it was simply due to confusion, after all, Mr. Holmes had been quite a handsome man, somewhat kind to her despite his constant prying in her private affairs, even if he was technically the most private of them all. It’s been a while since she had an actual smile on her face, and we all miss it.
A comfortable silence fell between us until Irene finally sighed as she watched the Seine flow passed us, her fingers trailing in the water sadly.
"You still miss him plenty," I noted.
She didn’t answer, but I didn’t mind. That was her main habit, getting lost in thought and becoming quite oblivious to the realities around her, including that he had fallen.
"I suppose he went as he would like," she finally said. "He certainly did love his job enough to die for it."
I nodded in silent agreement. If Irene hadn’t been his lady, she must have been his work, not that Irene hadn’t been part of his work three years ago, and not a word from him since.
"He’s too busy to keep proper correspondence with a woman who should have nothing to do with him," she always said. It was so average for her, to keep thinking of excuses. He was trying to be professional, he has no business with a married woman, all these would have been reasonable excuses if I hadn’t known what was going on.
He was trying to be professional doesn’t mean he had to be so cold to her. She was right, though he had no business with an engaged and then married woman, but she obviously mattered enough to him to make him keep coming back. He didn’t love her like Godfrey did, or even half as much. But somehow there was something Irene saw in the iceman, and I wasn’t going to question it. He made her so depressed, however, even with his death.
"You should be thinking about Godfrey," I pointed out.
"Oh, I know," she responded. "But Godfrey is still here."
I had flinched, deciding she had hit one of her Holmes Moods. Well, I knew something that could always take care of that.
"Irene, let’s go shopping. You look like you need it."
Irene looked at me for a second, then stood. "Who am I to argue? A woman is a woman after all, and shopping is what we do best."
So we went off, chatting, and I tried to get her to get her mind in Paris and out of the London fog.
A man passed by Irene, his grey eyes locking as he passed before I heard him say, "Good morning Irene," then disappear into the crowd.
Irene stared after him, and she smiled, the first real one in years before turning to catch up to me.