by Dr. Nemesis

"Have you ever been in love, Holmes?"

Love? He almost laughs at the concept. His mind functions on a higher level than most, and love is an antiquated concept in this new, intellectual age of science and reason. His mind requires more stimulation than the mere pleasures of the flesh or the soft feel of a woman's lips on his own, and so he devotes himself to his practice, to the intellectual puzzles that are brought his way, and on occasion, when the tedium in between cases is too much to bare, to the cocaine needle. He does not need love anymore.

"I do not believe it exists, Watson."

But it is not that he hates or even dislikes women. Nothing could be further from the truth. His friend's tales paint him as a hopeless misogynist, but it is just not the case. He does not dislike women. He merely distrusts them. They are impenetrable, mysterious creatures, their thought processes unlike any male's. And they can hide great evil behind beauty and delicacy more than even the most devilish, heinous male criminal he has matched wits with.

"Oh, surely not, Holmes!"

"Watson, the most beautiful, the most charming, the most radiant woman I ever knew was sent to the gallows because she murdered five men in their beds. They convinced themselves that she loved them and that they loved her. They were mistaken on both accounts."

And indeed, how they were. He remembers standing in the court, relating the evidence he discovered of her inescapable guilt in flat, even tones, remembers the tracks the tears made in her make- up. Remembers her desperate pleas in the cell before the day of her execution. That he was different. That she really did love him. Her eyes welled with tears, but the criminal was expert at lying, and he walked away unconvinced. She was accomplished at hiding her crimes behind her gentle looks and tear-filled eyes, and he was having none of it. Next to her, even Professor Moriarty himself is an amateur when it comes to concealing his crimes.

Love? A childish invention for fairy stories. Nothing more.

Watson shakes his head sadly. "I feel for you sometimes, Holmes." He says, returning to his writing and the warmth of the fire. "I really do."

Sometimes, though, he envies Watson. Watson, who has an easy familiarity with the fairer sex, a gentle-natured, modest mindset that the young ladies undoubtedly find charming where they find his own logical, rational distance off-putting. He can understand why they so frequently turn to Watson for comfort and understanding, even when explaining their problems to him. Watson is warm and delicate in a way that he could never be.

But love is a distraction he cannot and will not allow himself.

The Great Detective, Mr. Sherlock Holmes, hunches over his latest chemical experiment. He resolutely ignores the portrait of Miss Irene Adler on the mantelpiece.


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