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Title: A Scandal In Canon; In Your Dreams
Author: fengirl88
Fandom: Sherlock Holmes (ACD); Sherlock (BBC)
Characters: Irene Adler, Sherlock Holmes, John Watson
Rating: PG
Warnings: none
Wordcount: 2 x 100
Disclaimer: These characters are not mine.
Summary: Irene Adler, in canon and out
A/N: written for kate_lear's birthday. SPOILERS for A Scandal in Bohemia and by implication for A Scandal in Belgravia. thanks to ginbitch for the beta and to [personal profile] thimpressionist for cheering me on.

A Scandal In Canon

She’s been taking care of herself since she was old enough to know how. The stage training helps, of course; and she’s always had a fondness for breeches parts. Perhaps it was indiscreet to follow Holmes, but she had to know what threatened the two of them.

Letting someone into your life makes you vulnerable, she’s always known that. But no-one can touch them now; they’re free of that old shadow. The photograph will be protection enough.

When she learns what happened to the one she left behind, she smiles. Let him keep it as a reminder; let it burn.

In Your Dreams

The story gets told and retold, so many versions down the years. Watson’s account makes a myth of her, because only a myth could defeat his hero. It’s not a bad attempt, though it’s what you’d expect from Holmes’s faithful Boswell.

The films like to paint her and Sherlock as lovers, but that’s Hollywood for you. It’s about as close to the truth as a White Castle burger is to real food.

Each new retelling reveals its author’s fantasy, naked and unmistakable. She hums the song written so long afterwards: Goodnight, Irene, goodnight, Irene, I’ll see you in my dreams.


The song Goodnight Irene is here, amongst other places.

Also posted at http://fengirl88.dreamwidth.org/65409.html with comment count unavailable comments.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 2nd, 2012 12:06 am (UTC)
Ah yes, The Woman. I must admit to preferring ACD canon Irene Adler and your drabble sums her up brilliantly.
Jan. 2nd, 2012 12:08 am (UTC)
thank you very much - gosh, you're fast! I prefer ACD canon Irene Adler as well, as you can probably tell... very glad you liked it.
Jan. 2nd, 2012 12:36 am (UTC)
I heartily concur with the reviewer above.
Jan. 2nd, 2012 12:44 am (UTC)
thank you very much!
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 2nd, 2012 01:43 am (UTC)
thank you very much - I'm glad you liked this! I am still processing some of my views about the episode, but I definitely prefer ACD Adler to this one and the one in the recent Sherlock Holmes film (I didn't see the first RDJ film).

Edited at 2012-01-02 01:43 am (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 2nd, 2012 06:13 pm (UTC)
I agree that canon Adler is the best, by a VERY long way. I'm so glad that marysutherland has written a proper fix-it for the ending of A Scandal in Belgravia.
Jan. 3rd, 2012 01:12 am (UTC)
Oh, goodness. Thank you so much for my birthday fic, I really love it ♥ I love the twinned drabbles, and I especially love the line Watson’s account makes a myth of her, because only a myth could defeat his hero.

It's so true - what IS it about Irene Adler that no-one (as far as I've seen) has done an adaptation where she competently and successfully defeats Holmes as she does in the canon?

But this is lovely. I've re-read it several times now, and I'm sure I'll be back for several more :)
Jan. 3rd, 2012 01:41 am (UTC)
yippee! I am so pleased you like it!


it took a while to find the right shape for it but I was happy when I settled on this one. I'm very glad you like that line - I felt that it should be there.

not sure what it says about the adaptors that they can't bear to let her win. nothing good, anyway...

Jan. 3rd, 2012 05:43 am (UTC)
The Granada production did a decent job of showing both how smart and ahead of Sherlock Irene was for most of the tale and right to the very end, and what an utter clot the King was.

Trouble is that most writers for these film adaptations are men. There's far too few male writers who can really do good, interesting, believable women - and they seem to have a problem creating a woman who a) outsmarts a man at the very end, and/or b) takes care of herself without a man's help, right to the very end. (Which is weird, because the best version of her was written by a Victorian male.)

99% of "strong women" (meaning they have sex on the first date, and they cuss) written by men end with "and then a Big Stwong Man Wescues Her and They Fall in Wuv and She Stops Being Unnatural and Has Babies and Gets Married The End" or "And then the Unnatural Cold-Blooded Bitch Died and Got what she deserved for being unnatural the end."

When I saw that ending - my thought was that Sherlock had fantasized his rescue of her at the last.
Jan. 3rd, 2012 10:27 am (UTC)
thank you - the Granada production is obviously the one I should be watching!

I agree with you entirely about the prevailing stereotypes and plotlines, and that the rescue feels like a fantasy.

marysutherland has written an excellent fic about the ending of A Scandal in Belgravia, Goodbye, Irene.
Jan. 11th, 2012 11:52 pm (UTC)
I particularly like the second one as I would very much like to hear Adler's response to this watered down Adler and I think you hit the nail on the head about the author's fantasy. This series, as much as I love it, could use a woman in the proverbial writers room.

Seems from the previews that we have molls in Reichenbach and I'm just really nervous for her.
Jan. 11th, 2012 11:58 pm (UTC)
thank you very much - I felt that really strongly about the fantasy, and I too would like to hear Adler's response! I agree with you that it would be good to have a woman amongst the writers.

*braces herself for Sunday*
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )


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