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Out of the Shadows (5/6)

BBC Sherlock

Rating 15 (femslash, references to alcoholism)

Spoilers for A Scandal in Belgravia

Summary: Kate's with Clara now, but what about Irene?

Betaed by the wonderful blooms84

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.





It was fine when they were going home; Kate chatted casually about the job, and the books she'd read, and if Clara's share of the conversation weren't that coherent it didn't seem to matter. But back at her quiet, too tidy flat, Clara's nerves worsened, especially once they went into the bedroom. She felt horrendously embarrassed as she started to undress. Now was the moment when the contrast would come, when the excessive curve of her belly and the fact that she wore Marks and Spencers underwear would be revealed. But then Kate bent down over her shoulder, and unhooked her bra and announced with pleasure: "You have breasts, real breasts," and started to kiss them enthusiastically.

When Clara could think coherently again, she muttered: "You can't really worry about your figure, can you?"

"I have been on a strict diet since I was eighteen," Kate announced. "The modelling agency insisted on it, and Irene took it for granted. I want to lick whipped cream off your stomach. I want to eat Danish pastries in bed. I want to have fun."

Maybe it was all just an act, Clara thought, but if so, it was the sweetest act she'd ever seen, and she couldn't help falling for it.

"There's an all-night supermarket down the road," she said, "So we can get some Danish pastries later. But first, I think," – she reached up for the zip on Kate's dress – "we need to work up an appetite."

***

It wasn't perfect, of course, it couldn't hope to be. There was a moment when Clara reached for the massage oil and said "Harry always liked–", and shut up quickly, because she didn't want to seem obsessed with Harry. And later, as Kate straddled her, she looked down with a slight air of surprise, as if she couldn't quite remember who Clara was.

But mostly it worked. Kate seemed to know intuitively what Clara would like, skilfully fondling and licking till Clara's world narrowed to heat and pressure and her needy body at last being filled, satisfied. And then Kate cheerfully told her what she would like, a woman obviously at home with her own body.

"Just there," she said as Clara's tongue tentatively brushed her clit. "Bit harder, yes, that's good. Oh...yes." Her pale skin was flushing, and her voice was breathy, enticing. "Don't stop...please, Clara." Clara did as she was told, because there was nothing more that she wanted than to adore her own sexy goddess, marvel at the fact that she could drive her into one shuddering climax after another.

Clara lay on the bed exhausted afterwards, muscles that she'd almost forgotten she possessed aching, and Kate wrapped her long arms around her and said:

"I think the Danish pastries can wait for tonight, but would a fry-up for breakfast be possible?"

"I'll see what I can do," Clara said and the last thing she remembered before falling asleep was Kate's kiss against her cheek.

***

Clara had half expected Kate to have vanished in the night, no more than a dream, but when she woke, Kate was still in her bed. Her long limbs were sprawled out luxuriously and she looked exactly like an advert for the benefits of eight hours sleep a night. Or like something from an adult version of Sleeping Beauty, Clara thought, as Kate wriggled and shifted, and the ivory slenderness of her arm and shoulder emerged from beneath the duvet. Maybe it was just as well that all Clara's nightclothes had been the wrong size for Kate, she couldn't help thinking.

Kate's eyes opened and she stretched and yawned. "Good morning."

"Hope you slept well," Clara said and Kate smiled and sat up sleepily, the duvet falling away from her.

"It's a very comfortable bed." she said.

"Do you want breakfast?" Clara asked and as Kate's brow creased, added hastily: "I mean, can you stay for breakfast?"

"I'm in no hurry," Kate said. She had the relaxed air of a model who could lie around looking seductive all day if necessary. "But if there are things you have to do..."

I need to answer Maddy's e-mail, and iron some blouses and sew the button back on my smart trousers, and–

"Nothing that can't wait," Clara said firmly, and Kate smiled and pushed the duvet a little further off the bed, and then lay back down again, all naked grace and promise.

"Then maybe we should have a quiet day in," she said.

***

Clara went to work on Monday in an unironed shirt and her slightly less smart trousers and sent a hasty e-mail at lunchtime:

Dear Maddy,

Sorry, just got a big case come up and I'm rushed off my feet. The IKEA trip will have to wait till next month, I think. As long as it's before Mum's birthday, we're OK.

love to you and the family,

C.


***

"You're going way too fast," Maddy said, when Clara told her three weeks later that Kate was moving in.

She had long since come to terms with the fact that Maddy always thought she was better qualified than Clara was to run Clara's love life. That was what big sisters were for, after all, to point out the error of your ways.

"Kate has the world's grottiest bedsit," she replied. "It has mould growing on the mould. I couldn't let her stay there."

"Do you know anything about her at all? She could be planning to tie you up and rob you blind."

Really not a good idea to say that Kate would know exactly the right knots to tie, Clara thought. She was going to have to explain about Kate at some point, but not yet. It would be a little tricky.

"I mean," Maddy went on, looking across at Clara with the sceptical ruthlessness that only a blood relative could manage, "she is rather out of your league."

That was what it came down to, wasn't it? She wished she could tell Maddy what Kate had said to her, but that too would have to wait. That moment when she'd realised that what was between them was real.

***

It had been a couple of days after the weekend, the evening they'd belatedly had their first almost proper date, and ended up walking down the South Bank to browse through the second-hand book stalls. Kate had ended up with an armful of paperbacks – apparently reading was another thing she hadn't had time for when with Irene – and as Clara produced a plastic bag from the depths of a coat pocket, she found herself looking up at Kate's gorgeous face and blurting out: "Why me?"

"Why not you?" Kate said, ramming books into the bag. And then she carefully put down the bag and took Clara's hand and smiled at her. "You're adorable."

"But you could go to a club tonight and find a dozen women who are better-looking than me."

"Just suppose I did meet someone else? At some point, I'd have to tell them about myself," Kate said seriously. "About Irene."

"They wouldn't mind..."

"No," Kate said, and smiled at her sadly. "That's the problem. You're the first person I've met who after I've talked about Irene still wanted to hear about me."

And then she leaned into Clara, and Clara hugged her tightly, because it seemed there were advantages to not being a fan of Irene Adler.

***

It's going to work, Clara told herself, we can make it work. She'd had a chance and she'd taken it, and she was going to make Kate happy. But at the start of April, she opened the Times at the breakfast table and on page 10 there was a picture of Irene Adler.

She felt her hands clench and then belatedly looked at the story beneath. Sir George Lewis was angling to come back into the Cabinet, so, of course, the Times had chosen to print the reason that'd he had to stop being a Minister in the first place. It didn't mean...

"Are you OK?" Kate asked, wandering into the kitchen in a very revealing dove grey dressing gown. "You look like you've seen a ghost."

"Maybe I have," Clara said, putting the paper down. Kate looked across at the upside-down picture and smiled:

"That's the old photo off the website. It took me a week's work to find one that Irene was happy with. She always was a bit high-maintenance."

Clara tried to smile back, but it obviously didn't work properly. Kate came round the table to stand beside her, her hand reaching out to brush Clara's cheek.

"It's over. You know it is."

It came out almost without Clara thinking about it.

"I'm worried she'll come back." She dreamt about it sometimes; that she walked into the flat and there Irene was, all blood-red lipstick and power. That clever, diamond-sharp beauty come to retrieve Kate as her own possession.

"Even if she did–" Kate began, and her voice was gentle.

"I know. I know. It's just..." Clara rested her head wearily against the soft curve of Kate's stomach – not quite as flat as it had been when she moved in – and knew she was being irrational. Kate's hand was stroking her hair now, trying to soothe her.

"If it worries you," Kate said, "I know a man who could find out what happened to her. Have you seen who's on the front page again?"

"Sherlock Holmes, you mean?"

"I met him once," Kate said quietly. "He was trying to steal some photos from Irene. She was fascinated by him."

"I...I used to know John and Sherlock very slightly," Clara said.

"How did you...oh. Is Harry related to Dr Watson?"

"His sister. We'd split up before John met Sherlock, but I've occasionally been round to see John at Baker Street." You couldn't know John Watson and not know Sherlock, or at least know all about him. He'd filled up John's life completely, taken it over. But maybe that was what John wanted. Or thought he wanted.

"I'm surprised you didn't read about us on his blog," Kate said. "Or maybe that was one of the posts he had to take down."

"I...I gave up reading John's blog," Clara said. "Harry used to comment on it."

Kate kept stroking her hair, and if she thought it was strange that Clara couldn't face reading her ex's comments on a blog, she didn't say it.

What she did say, eventually, was: "So which of us do you think ought to contact Mr Holmes?"

Part 6

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livejournal
May. 30th, 2012 11:23 pm (UTC)
Tuesday, May 29th and Wednesday, May 30th, 2012
User dancy_dreamer referenced to your post from Tuesday, May 29th and Wednesday, May 30th, 2012 saying: [...] by (Holmes/Watson | NC-17 | BBC) Out of the Shadows: Part 5/6 [...]
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