Title: Curiosity
Author: Vesper (Regina)
Warnings: none
Category: General
Characters: Sherlock Holmes, Amy Winslow
Summary: Amy Winslow has something to ask of the man living in her house. (Sherlock Holmes Returns fic). 606 words.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Archival: If you wish to archive, please link to my website. Please keep all my headers intact.
Notes: I doubt that this TV-movie was seen by a great number of people, but I couldn't help but write this.

I tried not to ask, but the man was living in my house. Living with me, I should say, even though I often wondered if he'd asked Mrs. Hudson to live with us out of some strange compliance with Victorian mores. He might have come far in the few days he'd stayed with me, but there was still much of Holmes that was stuck in the nineteenth century.

But, if there's one thing that I've learned from him, it's to constantly question. Without questioning, without satisfying curiosity, one will never learn. So, while this particularly nagging question was of little consequence in the grand scheme of things, it wouldn't go away. So, I asked.

He was out on the porch, indulging in that habit we usually come to loggerheads about...though he's been gracious enough, which is saying something, to head out there whenever he does want a smoke. It was a lovely evening, warm, with cool breezes sweeping through every few minutes. The sharp tang of his tobacco mixed pleasantly with the lilacs of the garden next door.

He was silent, absorbed in thought, so I sat down next to him, placing the blue book I'd carried outside with me on the table beside me.

"Good evening, Winslow," he said after a long silence.

"Good evening, Holmes," I answered in kind, amused.

He must have caught that, because he turned his head to look at me, pipe still clenched between his teeth. Or not. He raised an eyebrow, took the pipe out of his mouth, and said, "You have a question, Winslow?"

I smiled and shook my head, bemused. "I'm not even going to ask how you know that. I'm probably obvious."

He smirked and inclined his head.

I took the book and handed it to him. "How much of this is true?"

He turned the book over, tracing the gold embossing of the title and the silhouette.

I said, "You're quite famous."

Maybe it was just the light, but I could swear I saw a flush high on his cheeks. He handed the book back to me and turned away, putting the pipe back in his mouth. He spoke around it, "Doyle embellished a great deal."

"But you said he worked from notes by Watson."

He sighed, took the pipe out of his mouth again, and resting his hands on his knees, looked at me again. "You're quite persistent."

"I need to be, don't I?"

"Fair enough. Eighty percent, I should say. Watson tended not to hold back on details."

"Thank you."

He nodded.

And then I asked what I really wanted to, what most people have always been curious about. I couldn't resist.

"And Irene Adler?"

He gave me a sidelong look and I realized he'd anticipated this and that I shouldn't have asked.

"Never mind," I quickly said, and stood up, wiping my hands down the front of my skirt.

I grabbed the book and started to head back inside, when I heard him say, "She was a most remarkable woman. Most remarkable. Rather like you."

I looked back, trying to smile, but too uncomfortable to actually manage it. I caught his gaze and stilled. Remarkable, huh?

I nodded. "I can live with that. Good night, Holmes."

"Good night, Winslow."

I went back inside and stopped just inside the door, and then leaned against it, taking a deep breath. Maybe it was better that his residence was only temporary. Yes.

But, I couldn't deny the effect his compliment had on me; like drinking hot chocolate on a cold night, it made me warm and content. And, thatís more than enough said about that.