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A change you may have noticed since the last chapter: Megabat provided me with some art that was both lovely and highlighted a glaring mistake I make with the timeline. I went back and made a bunch of edits. Basically, the accident happened in July and this story takes place in February now. Sorry. I'll try not to do it again.

E-Mail: diandrahollman@gmail.com
Website: http://diandrahollman.neocities.org
LJ: http://diandrahollman.livejournal.com
Rating: R for this chapter
Keywords: Sherlock/OMC, Tom Hiddleston fancast, unrequited John/Sherlock, drugs, slash, Sherlock POV
Spoilers: nothing past season 3 and the special
Disclaimer: This started out as a sort of "50 First Dates" Johnlock story and morphed into this psychological "Girl on the Train"/"Before I Go To Sleep" fusion-ish thing. The characters are all from BBC Sherlock, except Henry.
Summary: Every day I wake up not remembering how I got here or who this man is who claims he's my husband. I cannot trust my own memory. There is only one thing of which I am reasonably certain: John Watson is dead. Isn't he?
Dedication: Thank you to Kate, Emilio and gin200168 for their invaluable help and support with this story.
Author's Notes: Henry is an amalgam of several characters from ACD cannon, with an original modern spin. In my little headcannon he is played by Tom Hiddleston. The title is from the story "A Scandal in Bohemia", where it refers to Irene Adler.

This diverges from cannon immediately after the beginning of season 4 and doesn't take into account anything after "Abominable Bride".

All previous chapters here or on AO3



There is a faint hissing noise coming from somewhere nearby. I struggle to open my eyes. I am in a car - one that has obviously recently crashed. The bonnet is crumpled, half obscuring what little I can see through the spider web of cracks in the windscreen. Everything is blurry.

I try to recall how I got here. I was working a case, wasn't I? Weren't John and I close to catching the suspect?

John.

Something prevents me from turning my head fully to look at the driver's seat, but I can see enough to know that he is slumped over the steering wheel. I call his name, but there must be something wrong with my ears as I can barely hear my own voice.

Everything shifts for a disorientating moment and I realize my eyes are closed and there is a soft pillow beneath my cheek.

A dream. No. A memory.

I pry my eyes open just long enough to verify that I am in a bed, then lie quietly waiting for my nerves to settle. It is morning. The light is just beginning to creep into the room. But it must be early as Henry is still sleeping beside me.

Henry.

My eyes pop open. I remember.

I take a minute to think and consider my options. I still can't be certain that the drug is causing my memory loss instead of treating it. The results of changing the variables have been inconclusive thus far. But for now, that is irrelevant. What matters is the effect Henry believes the drug has and what I choose to tell him. If he thinks it really is a cure to a legitimate medical condition, it probably doesn't matter either way. But if he is deliberately causing my condition then I could potentially be stepping into a minefield. If I tell him I remember yesterday, he may realize I lied to him last night. He may know I didn't take the evening dose. But what if I lie now and fake a relapse of amnesia? I'm sure I could maintain the act for today, but what about tomorrow? How many times can I avoid taking the pill before he becomes suspicious? And what if he catches me in the lie? It could compromise the entire experiment.

The truth then. Or at least some degree of it. According to my notes, I told him about my unexpected improvement one month ago and he responded with trepidation, not suspicion. But my notes indicate that I didn't know whether I had taken the previous evening's dose or not.

I will have to take my chances. Better to feign ignorance and make adjustments as needed than try to over-anticipate how he will react.

Henry's breath hitches and he makes a small noise in the back of his throat, like an aborted attempt at speech. I turn toward him as he rolls onto his back and my eyes fall to the burgeoning erection now outlined beneath the sheet.

Henry described my sexual advances the other day as especially aggressive. Was I hoping he wouldn't notice I hadn't taken my evening dose if I distracted him sufficiently? Did I forget anyway because he noticed and made me take it after all?

I pull the sheet down gently, exposing him completely. His penis lies against his hip, swelling lazily. I remember the first time I noticed the cycles the male reproductive system goes through every night, mortified to find myself waking up hard after dreams that weren't even remotely sexual in nature. These days, I've learned to mostly ignore it. It's quite fascinating to watch it happen to somebody else, however.

I run my fingers along the inside of his thigh and watch his cock twitch slightly. I slide closer, positioning myself over his lower body, and kiss a slow, soft trail over his abdomen, feeling the wispy hairs tickle my nose. He hums and shifts, his legs parting further, his body welcoming my attention without conscious thought.

I grip his hips gently, my fingers fitting over the faint bruises already coloring his skin, and lick the head of his cock before taking it into my mouth. His pre-seminal fluid is already bitter, but he probably lives on tea and coffee, so that's to be expected.

He sighs and hums, his back arching languidly as he wakes. His hips thrust instinctively in my grip. I hold tighter. He mumbles something indistinct, his voice still thick with sleep, and his fingers tangle in my hair, massaging the back of my head clumsily. His cock swells in my mouth and I shift so I can take it more easily, applying a bit more suction now.

He gasps and stills. "Oh...Will..."

Suddenly he's pushing me away, sitting up. "What..." He cups my face between his palms and coaxes me to look into his eyes. "You remember," he breathes.

I say nothing, watching silently as surprise, hope and then apprehension flit across his face in quick succession. I wait for the anger. For the realization that I have uncovered his deception. But it doesn't come. Will it happen later when he notices the tablet is missing? Will he demand to know where I stashed it? Has this happened before?

I am working on a lie, but I don't want to use it until it becomes necessary. I don't know if I can count on myself to remember anything I tell him.

"Are you all right," he asks warily.

Oh. Right. I became sick last time I regained my memories. Is he expecting that to happen again? Does he know what caused it?

"I'm fine."

There is something else in his eyes - something more guarded. Disgust? Fear? But of what? He can't be afraid of me, can he?

I have a sudden memory of holding him down, fucking him brutally into the mattress, his neck arched back as if to scream.

False? Real? I can't tell. I shake it away.

"Is..." I put my hand on his thigh. "Is this okay? I thought after last night..." I trail off, letting him finish the thought himself. "If you would rather penetrate me, I can try to locate the lubricant."

A short chuckle bursts from him, surprising us both, it seems. "No, what you were doing was fine. Very good, in fact."

"Then why did you stop me," I ask innocently.

That seems to catch him off guard. He searches my face again, something like confusion in his eyes. He lies back slowly, uncertainly, and waits to see what I will do.

I am potentially playing a dangerous game here. This is about more than sex. Right now, I hold all the power over him, but I have no doubt he could take that back from me in an instant if I push too far. He may seem willing to trust me...or at least he wants me to believe he does. But is he testing me? To what end?

I curl my hands behind his knees and pull him toward me, sliding him down the bed and spreading his legs on either side of me. He gasps, but does not protest the vulnerable position. I run my hands up the insides of his thighs, opening them wider.

He hisses as I roll his balls gently with the fingers of one hand and sighs as I wrap the other around the base of his cock. I bend to take him in my mouth again and he moans.

"Will..."

It takes a few tries to establish a comfortable rhythm and then I am merciless. There's just one problem. He seems to be having trouble maintaining an erection. I angle my head so I can look up at him. His eyes are on the ceiling. Obviously he is distracted.

I pull off, wet the forefinger of the hand on his balls with saliva and thrust it inside him, finding his prostate easily. He makes a noise like a choked whimper and his cock twitches and fills my mouth. I set up a new rhythm, which I am able to maintain for a few minutes before my jaw begins to ache, but I still can't seem to keep his focus.

And that's when his alarm blares.

I pull off him and sit back as he fumbles for his mobile and silences it. The erection I fought so hard to maintain wilts entirely.

He sighs and pulls me into a kiss. "I'm sorry love. That was rubbish. Do you need to finish..."

I consider asking where the lube is so I can fuck him properly, but that would take too long. Besides, I am not particularly in the mood for it either. And I can feel the beginnings of a migraine threatening. "It's fine," I say, resigned, and roll back to "my" side of the bed.

He pulls my hand up to his mouth, pressing his lips to my ring. "I'm sorry," he repeats. Then he crawls from the bed and disappears into the bath.

I stare at the ceiling, thinking, while he showers. I go into my mind palace - to 221b - and retrieve the ring from the music stand. I hesitate as I notice something odd about it. I step closer to the window, holding it up to the light. There are faint markings on the inside that I don't remember seeing last night. An inscription of some sort, but too small to make out.

"He's worried about you."

I freeze. I would know that voice anywhere. I turn slowly, almost expecting to find it had just been a figment of my imagination. But John Watson is sitting in his chair by the mantle, reading a newspaper. My John Watson, in modern trousers and soft jumper. Clean shaven.

I realize suddenly that I am still naked. This is not unusual. Why would I bother imagining myself wearing clothing? I have a brief, irrational impulse to find something to cover myself, but I brush it aside.

"John."

That can't possibly be my voice, can it? It sounds too high and broken.

He folds the paper and smiles up at me.

"You're..." I stop myself before I can say "dead" like an idiot. He knows that. He's not real. He's just a projection, like Moriarty.

"Here," he finishes. "Of course I am." He sets the paper down and stands, moving closer to me as he speaks. "I am your conductor of light, remember?"

Right. This is why I always found myself speaking to him, even when he wasn't there. He once accused me of simply using him as a replacement for the skull on the mantle, but he always had an uncanny ability to help me focus when I became overwhelmed with data. For grounding me in reality and guiding me. He could see the client where I saw little more than an interesting case. "Worried?"

"It's obvious, isn't it? You've already worked it out."

"Henry loves me," I say slowly.

John nods encouragingly.

"Whether the pills are to make me remember or make me forget, his basic drive is the same. He loves me and fears losing me." I rub at my temple, feeling the faint twinges of a headache again. "But I *know* this already. He isn't a danger to me."

"You still fail to grasp the situation," another voice says before my brother steps into the room from the kitchen. Has he been here the whole time or did he just sense an opportunity to prove that he is smarter than me? "You are so focused on solving the puzzle that you are not seeing the bigger picture."

"Which is?"

"Why?"

I concentrate, pulling together all of the fragments of thoughts and conflicting data and reformulate my hypothesis. "Either the pill is designed to make me forget because Henry wants to control me and force me to stay in this role as his husband..."

"Or your amnesia is real and he is genuinely treating you as a doctor and concerned husband," John finishes.

I focus on John's face. On the soft, sentimental look in his eyes. "Either way, he loves you," he continues. "And he wants you to love him too. The question is whether he is trying to achieve that by manipulation or hoping you will come around to it in your own time."

"It's too late, I'm afraid, Doctor Watson. My brother is already in far too deep."

I glare at Mycroft. "How do you figure that?"

Mycroft scoffs. "Please. He's an intelligent doctor who practically worships you. You can't help but become attached."

I feel a snarl building at the back of my throat. I've already come to something like this conclusion myself, but hearing it from Mycroft in that smug tone...even in my mind palace, he is insufferable.

John takes my hands in his. "Look at me," he says softly.

I look into his face and try to forget my brother's presence.

"You know what is really going on. This has happened before. You have the answers. You just need to find them again."

"I miss you," I mumble.

He just smiles, a bit of sadness in his eyes, and I have a momentary thought that wherever he is perhaps he misses me too. But that's absurd, of course. The dead don't miss the living.

I return to the bedroom and realize Henry has already finished his shower and is now in the kitchen making breakfast. I wash up a bit, wrap myself in my dressing gown and join him.

August 2017

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