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Revenge is a dish best served cold

Chapter Text

 

These trainees better be. -SH.

Can I deduce a slightly sadistic face here? – JM

Yes. Yes, you can. -SH.

Hehehe I'm practicing Holmes. – JM

Practising Holmes. How? -SH.

Practising, Holmes. Sorry. – JM

You see me reassured. - SH.

Well the previous one is not that bad... -JM

Brother mine would have had to retrieve whatever toy you currently had in your possession to make such a crude statement. -SH.

The previous one. Sebastian, I take it? -SH.

Toys? Who's speaking about toys? Would you be curious dearest? -JM

I'm back, sorry. What’s happening? Sherlock, you know what I think of that. I won't be far away.

Oh hello Johnny boy! -JM

Bored, not curious, James. And one never knows, with you. -SH.

Jawn! -SH

Oh Shut up Moriarty!

Your Sherlilock is very curious with the toys I’m playing with. Ain't that funny? -JM

What John said. -SH.

Bored and curious are two different types of feelings which can be observed simultaneously my dear... -JM

I won't answer nor obey such a rude order! -JM

I'm well aware. If you must know, I am not curious, James. -SH.

I knew it.  Why hiding it Holmes? -JM

Since when do you call me Holmes? -SH.

As far as I can say, no toys in sight honey, you'll be disappointed...  -JM

Since you're forcing yourself to call me by my surname. Holmes. -JM

Go and get yourself one, then. -SH

I've got one already! -JM

I'm calling you James. You will have to explain how that is your surname. -SH.

No. Three. I've got three. But you have to guess which one is my favourite.  -JM

I don't like to guess. -SH

Deduce me, then. -JM

Would you rather I call you Jim? -SH.

Oh, please do. Unless your Johnny boy is against that... -JM

Jawn, I think Moriarty is flirting. -SH

With me. Can you imagine THAT? -SH

Me??? Not at all. -JM

I'm playing this little game of ours... -JM

How dare he!!!??? It is absolutely unacceptable!! Jim, back off, I'm serious and armed!

Oh yeah? You're armed like your detective was when he saw me for the first time?  -JM

... Not sure what you mean by that but if you refer to my pistol then yes, I am.

Ohohoh so I should be very cautious then... -JM

You'd better be indeed.

If I recall, Jim, that first time was in the lab. No arms on anyone. Apart from my devastating charm. -SH.

... Sherlock!! Stop encouraging him, you cock!

Whatever did I do? -SH

Devastating charm pff! *eyeroll*

*puppy eyes* -SH

I must admit that you were charming. I love to see you deduce and... what was that? Clueing for looks? Is that the sentence Johnny boy? -JM

I am hardly going to talk about your fierce, firm protective body, am I, John? -SH.

How on earth are you aware of that??? Were you…spying on us that day Jim?

He likes being charmed. -JM

Oh, he was at the club, John. Do pay attention. -SH.

Ugh no, no. Sherlock you worth better... -JM

What the.. Pff, nevermind.

Nope actually it was in a flat!  -JM

You're getting old dearest... -JM

And you followed us from the club. -SH.

Yes, the landlord. I know. -SH.

I did. Once I saw you two getting drunk. -JM

It was completely unintentional. -SH.

I know. Johnny boy put you in this state. I would never have done this. -JM

I like my Sherlock fresh and clean and able to work.  -JM

I am not certain what you refer to when you say 'able to work'. If you mean 'using my brain', I agree with you. -SH.

Although it should be said that it was, on the whole, a nice evening. -SH.

Of course, I meant it. You're imagining lots of things, Sherly... confused?  -JM

I'm never certain with your meanings, Jim. -SH.

I can imagine? Wait. Hold on. I cannot. -JM

I like your intellect. -JM

I cannot be imagining that there would not be double entendres when you talk to me. -SH.

And your skin. -JM

Good. So do I. -SH.

Ahahahahhhhh Gotcha! -JM

Hm? -SH.

Read the previous text in order  -JM

Wrong timing. -SH.

Of course. -JM

I love my intellect as well. Of course, I do. how could I not? -SH.

And mine?  -JM

I heard you liked my intellect. You love my murders! -JM

It certainly is similar to my own. If in a somewhat more destructive way. -SH.

So, you like it. Actually, you love it. -JM

I have a function in your life. I prevent you from getting bored. And you, you prevent me from getting bored with these idiots of Scotland Yard. -JM

Intrigued is the word, here, Jim. -SH.

Oh, that's all I am now, then? A function? I'm terribly disappointed. -SH.

I like this word. -JM

So am I, if you basically assume I am only "intriguing". -JM

Indeed. -SH.

So. You love my intellect? -JM

I must state, however, that it is not I who is flirting, Jim. -SH.

I'm disappointed in you. I even had prepared a surprise.  -JM

I am not, I am playing the game Holmes. -JM

Yes. I've been hearing of your surprises. Haven't seen any. -SH.

That's normal if you continue to treat me as a normal adversary.  -JM

Just playing the game, my arse!

What would I have to do, if I wanted to see these surprises? -SH.

Sure, he did. But I'm playing. Didn't mention the name of the game though. -JM

Cards Against Humanity? I hear it's to die for. -SH.

You'd have to reckon you love my intellect as much as I do for you and that you need me or you're nothing in this world of gold fish. -JM

But fine. Let's play by your rules. What is your game, then? -SH.

I don’t know. You tell me. -JM.

Fine. I…concede it. -SH.

Oh yes finally! Sherlock has managed to admit this! -JM

Party! -JM

Now if you care about the door it will ring in approximately 10 seconds. -JM

I'm not touching anything alcoholic with a ten-foot pole. -SH.

Let yourself in. -SH.

Hahaha it's not alcohol my dear. It's a present. -JM.

Hasn't troubled you before. -SH.

And it's not me! -JM

Now THAT is a surprise. -SH.

Charming. What am I to do with that? -SH.

Someone knocked on the door and a man holding a box appeared. Without a word, he put the box on the floor and disappeared as fast as he had arrived.

You wonder what it is, huh? -JM.

Yes, hence my question. What am I to do with that? Aside from opening it, obviously. -SH.

Sherlock opened the box. It appeared that it contained several parts of a body, freshly…removed from the whole body.

Now you can have fun by solving the murder and at the same time making experiments!  Are you happy?  -JM

Sherlock?  Are you okay? -JM

That will certainly keep me...entertained. Thank you. -SH.

It is my pleasure!  -JM

Apologies. I was already examining the contents of the package you had sent over to me. -SH.

Oh, yes. I guess you'll feel pretty entertained by this. As you were bored, I took my dispositions in order to avoid that. -JM

Hm, quite. That must have been quite the...party...4 people? Chopped down. Intriguing. A literal puzzle. -SH.

Charming smile of death. This is me right now. -JM.

Isn't it you always? -SH.

Charming? Oh yes honey. I'm mister sex. -JM

Have fun with the puzzle! -JM

I like to watch you think. It's amazingly entertaining. -JM

When you are using the word 'intriguing' do I have to translate by 'I love it'? Because you did the same for my intellect! -JM

Okay I'll leave you play... I'll try to sleep. Harder to sleep where I am than in your bed Sherlock. Good night though. Have fun. -JM

I'll give you a hand some other time. -SH.

??? 0/////0 -JM

Is that an invitation??? -JM

For now I AM having fun with the puzzle you sent me. -SH.

Cool. -JM

I am not saying it again. -SH.

I'm glad you're having fun.  -JM

Where are you, though? Because you definitely are NOT in my bed. Jawn is. -SH.

Your crying does not tell me where you are. -SH.

I am somewhere in London. -JM

How precise. -SH.

Why bother? – JM

Mistrust, Jim? -SH.

Play and then go kiss your Johnny boy. Whom will spend a good night. -JM

I am... watching the cosmos. -JM

John always sleeps well now, indeed. Don't be jealous. -SH.

Cosmos is not your area. -JM

Why shouldn't I? -JM

The cosmos. That narrows the field down quite a bit. One cannot see space so easily in London. -SH.

Says who? -SH.

I still don't understand why you did get so attached to him. He's too ordinary. -JM

He is anything but. -SH.

Maybe. -JM

He surprises me every day, several times a day -even if his appearance does not let it show. He is a very interesting person. Even my brother agrees on my choice of companion. -SH

I really wonder why you would bother knowing where am I. -JM

Oh my god. Of course, your brother approves of it. -JM

Be very careful of what you are going to say next. -SH

Why should I? You can't find me anyway.  -JM

Well how should I tell you I've solved your puzzle if I don't know where you are? -SH.

By text or by email, as you did before. -JM

Boring. -SH.

Your big brother doesn't really like me and he wants his little brother in "good" hands. So of course, he's happy about him being your... companion. -JM

Oh, okay, fine. Primrose hill. -JM

Why would he like you, I wonder. After all, you do cause chaos just to entertain me. Which I do appreciate. -SH.

Thank you. -SH.

I'm touched. -JM

But you're wrong when you say that Mycroft wants me to be in good hands. Surely you know his motto. -SH.

It's going to be boring for you I have warned you, I'm watching the cosmos. -JM

No? Tell me? -JM

I know. -SH.

He only spoke about you. -JM

'Sentiment is a chemical defect found on the losing side' and the shortened version 'Caring is not an advantage.'-SH.

Yet you decide to come. I'm honoured. -JM

Oh. I see. -JM

Yes. It was the only way to get you to talk. -SH.

Yes, I'm coming. Bringing something to keep you warm. -SH.

Yet your big brother said a big mistake. He's wrong because he cares for you. -JM

But in a very unpleasant possessive way. -JM

Yes, he can very unpleasant. -SH.

Yourself will do.  -JM

Oh, I insist. The wind is cold and blowing from the east. -SH

Sure. For instance, when he decided to abduct me and torture me night and day to get some information about my web... -JM

The east wind? Mind this Sherlock. The east wind brings feelings and sentiment. -JM

Yes. I know a thing or two about being on the receiving end. Of torture. -SH.

So did he for you. -JM

I have to say I was in a pale rage. -JM

Was Mycroft your big brother as well, Jim? That's very...alarming. -SH.

NO ONE gets his hands on you except for ME! -JM

Nope. I meant he tortured you as well. -JM

Oh, they've all been taken care of. -SH.

Mercifully he is not. -JM

Except for John. But John does not inflict torture upon me. -SH.

Lucky you. -SH.

I swear... one day. I'll find a way to get a revenge. -JM

For both of us. -JM

Revenge is a dish best served cold, as they say. The longer it takes, the better. -SH

A revenge that will torture him. And you and I will have our revenge on him. -JM

On Mycroft? Hm. See, my visit will not be so boring after all. -SH.

 

Chapter Text

Where are you by the way?? I'm freezing. -JM

It's never boring when we're together. -JM

I'm crossing the Park. -SH.

I'm about halfway there. -SH.

Cool. Good luck for arriving where I am, I'm on the top of the hill. -JM

You always liked heights, didn't you? -SH.

Always. -JM

You're a height. -JM

Tall, dark and handsome. -SH.

No stay there. I'll turn into a snowman if you go away. -JM

But you haven't seen everything. -SH.

Yet. -SH.

You’re scaring me now. -JM

Am I, now? How is that even possible? -SH.

Actually, you’re intriguing me. -JM

Come down, then. -SH.

I'll wait. -SH.

I am looking forward to it.  -JM

I can imagine you are, yes. -SH.

I'm next to the cricket pitches. -SH.

‘Hey,’ said Jim with a smile on his face and a little out of breath as coming down the hill meant almost running because of the rather important difference in altitude between both their positions.

‘Good evening.’

‘Evening,’ mimicked the criminal. ‘Did you solve the case?’ he asked glittering for a few seconds in front of Sherlock’s soft smile; but they quickly returned to their initial cold expression. He was still not sure whether they were only playing a game or it was something different altogether.

Sherlock caught something in Jim’s eyes, but did not dwell on it. Focus, he thought to himself. ‘Yes, Jim, I did. How could you doubt it? Despite your efforts in making it interesting, it seems your lackeys were not as thorough as you'd told them to be.’

‘I've never doubted it. Still, you have problems with your memory these days. You can't remember where your 'companion' said the words "clueing for looks”,’ he replied in taunting banter. What does that have to do with anything? thought Sherlock, slightly rising an inquisitive eyebrow. Moriarty looked away and out of the blue asked if Sherlock would mind if they sit because he didn’t like standing up, it was so boring.

‘Yes, I do remember where he said that. Even though I was...quite intoxicated at the time,’ replied Sherlock. He was not going to let any insult be made to his ability to remember. They walked in silence, making their way to a row of benches before Sherlock said offhandedly that he had told Jim he would bring something to keep warm.

‘No, not intoxicated. You were drunk, Sherlock,’ Moriarty retorted in a fit of giggles.

‘Intoxicated,’ repeated Sherlock in a firm tone. ‘That's the same ... state. Not full control over my abilities.’

For what would be considered an abnormally long time by other, ordinary people, Jim stared at Sherlock, trying to decipher the thoughts and processes inside Sherlock’s head, before accepting the blanket Sherlock was holding out to him and wrapping himself in it with a ‘thank you.’ Let it not be said that criminals had no manners.

‘Yeah, I assume Sherlock. You were pissed,’ retorted Moriarty as the fit of giggles he was under had intensified.

‘You’re welcome,’ Sherlock said, leaving all the questions he had in his mind unanswered.  'What is so funny about that evening? And with me being intoxicated? And why the hell did he stare at me for so long before taking that bloody blanket?’

‘So! Tell me!’ Moriarty exclaimed once they were sat. ‘I want you to prove that you know it,’ he added, turning to face the detective, feet on the bench and face on his knees, as he waited for Sherlock to show off. He loved it.

Sherlock looked in the distance as he began to answer, not in the least disconcerted by the rather abrupt change of topic. ‘Four people. Obvious. Four different limbs. You tried to trick me. Tut tut. All of them different.’ He was about to continue but realised that he was showing off. It would not do to do so without facing the person he was explaining his deductions to. ‘I do concede that you tried to make it difficult by making an effort to look for people somewhat different. However, you forgot to consider the fact that, even though all human beings’ insides are identical and that the chemical reactions are the same, what products they have put on their skin will alter, even if only slightly, said chemical reactions.’

Captivated by Holmes’ monologue and tone of voice, Jim’s eyes were wide open, memorising every bit of that moment. ‘Good... very good. Thank you,’ Jim smiled to the detective, still staring at him. He loved to see that he wasn't the only genius in the world. ‘Very good, Sherlock. Pray continue.’

‘The shade of the skin will then alter somewhat. Of course, some chemicals are stronger than others, like chlorine dioxide. But you know that one, don't you? Where you got the four bodies could have been a tough one to find out. It could not have been people from the same family - too obvious. Neither could it have been people who knew the others, even if only from afar. They would, presumably, have exerted caution and avoided all kind of danger, lest something bad happened to them as well. Conclusion, it had to be randomly snatched people.’

‘Beautiful,’ uttered Moriarty, admiration lacing his compliment.

‘Is it?’ asked Sherlock, evidently proud of himself. ‘Some say it takes the 'magic' away, once the how is explained to them.’

‘Fools or jealous people will say that. Not geniuses. Brainy is the new sexy,’ he added.

‘I’ve heard that one before,’ Sherlock said, slightly inclining his head to the side. ‘Presumably you whispered it to her at some point.’

‘Yes, that's my line Adler used,’ confirmed Moriarty, pleased to see that Sherlock was and had been paying attention.

‘I surmised. ‘John is a genius, then,’ said Sherlock absent-mindedly.

‘Er… Err.. not really, no... just a fool in love.’

‘Hm?’ inquired Sherlock, genuinely perplexed as to whom that remark concerned and where it was coming from.

‘John.’

‘Oh. Why are you , of all people, talking about my John?’

Another fit of the giggles was threatening the detective, but he held it in check as he answered. ‘You said he was a genius too, I said not really : he's just enough in love to love your showing off.’

‘Oh, I said that out loud, didn't I?’

‘Yes. Yes you did. The virgin...’ he said softly brushing his hand to Sherlock’s cheek.

‘I am not going to ask you what I could do to make you stop calling me that,’ he said rather coldly. ‘For some reason, that word reminds me of ...Madonna?’ he continued as if nothing was happening. ‘Why does it remind me of...Madonna...?’

‘Well maybe because she wrote a song about this. What you could do,’ replied Jim, as he began to sing the chorus. Like a virgin... touched for the very first time... Brushing again Sherlock’s face with his hand before letting it fall on his thigh, exhilarated.

‘Ah but the question is how do I even know that?’ he asked, as he pushed Jim’s hand away. ‘I'm sure it has to do with John's...Stag night. For some reason. But I can't remember.’

You were both sat in your respective armchairs and you were playing a dull game to guess who was who based on a piece of paper on your forehead. This was strange,’ replied the Consulting criminal before growing more serious. ‘Did you come to ask me to clarify your little party?’ he asked, put out.

‘I'm not even going to ask how you know that, it's painfully obvious.’ Jim stayed silent, staring at the black sky.

‘No, I didn't. I would have found out eventually. I do remember bits and pieces, you know. I was not so out of it that my mind had gone completely blank. Well, I say found out. If ever the need for clarification had arisen. Well, I thought you wanted to look at the cosmos,’ he said after a moment. ‘The stars, I presume? You can't see much here, can you?’

‘I know. But it's still better than the very busy centre. I am just able to see the brightest planets that's all you know. Yet it's somewhat comforting. You can't imagine how much important the universe is. It helps to understand the world we're in physically and mathematically. The solar system is not the only fascinating element. Many more systems exist in our galaxy and billions of them exist in the universe. We don't even know if the universe has an end or not. But the exciting thing is, we are as seconds go by, more and more vulnerable to the destruction of our planet. Do you know the supernovas and the big black hole in the centre of the universe Sherlock?’ asked Moriarty, stars shining in his eyes despite the coal black sky when he was talking about that particular topic. He was still contemplating the sky while speaking to Sherlock, arms crossed behind his own head.

‘How can you see PLANETS? I may have deleted the solar system (and re learnt it because it was relevant. And still is.), but I do know that planets don't shine.’

‘Yes, they do. Well, one of them. Venus is very bright due to the light of the sun spotting on her while we are hidden from it,’ explained Moriarty before continuing his talk about destruction being in the very universe and thus inherent to life. ‘A supernova can destroy a planet in a few milliseconds. A supernova is a dying star which will condense its energy in a very little amount of space and will suddenly explode. Its ray is extremely powerful and can travel through systems,’ he added, mechanically resting his head on Sherlock's shoulder while continuing his lecture. ‘Then, there is the black hole at the centre of the universe. The universe is formed around a gigantic black hole. The thing is that this black hole attracts entire systems and galaxies. Our solar system is irrevocably destined to disappear... I love the destructive aspect of the universe,’ he concluded, closing his eyes.

After some time Sherlock answered. ‘Yes, I understand how you would appreciate that particular aspect of the universe. John would see another aspect. Positive, this one. And quite possibly talk about a colleague of his. A Doctor, but that's all he ever calls him. It's strange not to know one's colleagues' names, isn't it? Especially coming from him. Jim? Did you fall asleep?’ Sherlock asked when he didn’t hear any answer from Jim. As he turned to assess the scene, he was met with the sight of the consulting criminal, fast asleep against him, under the dark skies of a park in London. He stood up and snatched a picture of it. I'll never let him hear the end of that one, he thought as he walked away, back to Baker Street, looking at the picture he had just taken, a smile on his face.

Chapter Text

The consulting criminal had woken up lying on a bench with a blanket on him. He blinked several times to remember the exact events of the night. Since then he had come back home and started to text again.

You've left me outside! -JM

What else was I supposed to do? You wouldn't wake up. - SH

How did you sleep, Jim? I hope you did not catch a cold - SH.

You could have stayed. No fortunately for you I haven't. -J

Threat, Jim? - SH.

Small talk.  -JM

Do you remember what I told you about the solar system and the universe? -JM

Stay. And look at the sky? Jim, I thought you knew me better than that. - SH.

Yes, I imagine that threats and small talks are one and the same for you. - SH.

I assume you don't. -JM

You're dying to say it again. Please, do. - SH.

I hate to repeat myself honey... -JM

Let's talk about your big brother and our vengeance. -JM

Oh, you too then. - SH

You said that the universe was fascinating because it brought upon the idea that it was self- destructing, as there is a massive black hole at the centre of it. - SH.

I do pay attention. - SH.

It is insulting that you assumed I did not. - SH.

Sorry I was with a client honey... -JM

Oh very good you're learning!! -JM

And pray tell, what am I learning? -SH.

You mean to say that I am learning things about the cosmos. -SH.

Solar system stuff. -JM

Yes exactly. -JM

I don't think that surprising. -SH.

The standpoint you described yesterday is, I am certain, shared by many other intelligent criminals. That knowledge might be necessary at some point. -SH.

I think it is. You once said to john you didn't care about the solar system... Yet here you are, repeating your lessons. -JM

Yes, I did. That was before he pointed out to me how some knowledge in that area could have been useful. -SH

Not many criminals are clever and cultivated enough to know that much about the cosmos dear.. -JM

I didn't say there were. And certainly not as much as you are: they would have caught my attention, otherwise. -SH.

Yes. To solve my puzzle.  -JM

That's nice of you. -JM

Just stating a fact, Jim. -SH.

How's John? -JM

Fine. Why do you ask? -SH.

Small talk. -JM.

So unlike you. -SH.

Riddles are my passion. After the solar system. -JM

Your big brother has been very naughty by prying in my business. Shall I visit his goldfish? -JM

Graham? What good would that do? -SH.

Sherlock you're not very good with remembering names, are you... -JM

How beneficial would that be to you, I mean. -SH.

You don't know then? -JM

Why would you say that? -SH.

Enlighten me. -SH.

Maybe because his name is Greg and not Graham -JM

Ah, yes. I seem to remember John telling me something about that. -SH.

Your big brother isn't as unsentimental as he seems darling... -JM

He's got a pressure point. But different than you. Another one. -JM

Mycroft, feeling? I'm listening. -SH.

He's having a relationship with Greg Lestrade honey. -JM

I thought you knew. But it's true that deducting feelings are not your area... -JM

Ah. Well, that certainly explains some things in Lestrade's attitude. -SH.

Sorry for the lateness in my reply. My phone is far. I should get up and take it. And I don't have a Jawn who could get it for me. -SH.

I would have fetch it for you but it would take time. I'm still in B'ham Sherlock!

What on earth are you doing there? Planning our October expedition? -SH.

Just passed a gay bar.

Ah, yes. They are nice. -SH

Memories. -SH.

What do you think, genius?

Yes planning.

And how is the planning going, Jawn? -SH.

About that, are you sure you booked our tickets?

They don't have your name here.

I assume you're talking about the hotel. -SH.

You said you'd done it Sherlock. Of course, I am, what else would I talk about?

Wait. what??? -JM

Is this the quetzal Johnny boy?  -JM

You shouldn't ask for the name of Holmes, Jawn. -SH.

Correct, you filthy criminal! Now release Sherlock this instant!

I do hope you are not planning on going to a gay bar without me. -SH.

He wasn't there when I woke up this morning, what have you two been up to again?

Good god I was simply asking why are you so rude with me? Is this because you're jealous because Sherlock and I went to Primrose Hill yesterday night? -JM

What do you mean, 'release'? I'm sitting at home. On your computer, of course. As for Jim, I don't know where he is at the moment. -SH.

But you want to. -JM

I'm driving my bicycle. -JM

Would that change anything? I am not GAY, for the last time! I can just have a drink wherever I bloody want to!

And no, I am not jealous Jim, this is ridiculous, Sherlock is my roommate!

No... oh of course you're not gay John Hamish Watson.

Of course, John. -JM

Stop breaking poor Sherlock's heart, will you. -JM

If you must know, Jawn, this morning I was at Scotland Yard. Giving a statement. As you told me to. -SH.

What are you even talking about? You know he doesn't feel things that way.

A statement? What? -JM

How so? -JM

Of course, you can have a drink when you want to, Jawn. I'd simply prefer to be with you. -SH.

Oh, you were? Great! I mean that's nice of you, I thought you would forget that...

How little trust you have in me... -SH.

Hunhunhun. -JM

Well, use your deductions skills and find out why.

I may be not gifted when it comes to...certain aspects of life, but I understood what you meant there, Jim. Using a bicycle. And mentioning it when Jawn can well read it as well. -SH

Is it code? Between you two?

As for the statement, it concerned a thief. But I'm certain you will know about it soon enough, if said thief was a member of your network. -SH.

Oh. And who's going to have to pay now... it's daddyyyy... -JM

You shouldn't have asked for the name of Holmes, John. -SH

I booked the room.-SH.

The rooms, as you specifically asked, under your name. -SH

Yes, Jawn it's a code. Between two persons of a higher intellect. -JM

Oh.

Ohohohohoh you didn't use Hamish did you??! :') -JM

Jim. -SH.

Oh, you were talking to me? -JM

Can you see me rolling my eyes? -SH.

Oh, actually yes I can see that! -JM

Do not belittle John's intelligence. -SH.

I have told you how valuable he was to me. -SH.

John is not a genius yet enough intelligent to be bared by you. -JM

I know he's valuable for you I know...! *exasperation* -JM

Look I've made improvements for you, I've said he's intelligent. -JM

I can see that. Thank you. -SH.

So you're not more surprised than that about the news?  -JM

About Mycroft having a…paramour? -SH

Yes. -JM.

I am. And I am not going to let him hear the end of it. -SH.

Hehe. I know you won't. -JM

That's why I'm saying Greg is a very good pressure point. -JM

Indeed. I understand, and agree. But what would you ...inflict on ...Greg? -SH.

Abduction or torture I am thinking. No. Torture will be inflicted on the Ice Man, not Lestrade. Abduction... I like it. -JM

Keep in mind that if Greg is my brother's weakness, surely it also goes the other way around. -SH.

You should also remember that Mycroft is first and foremost a bureaucrat at heart. -SH.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Asked for two separate rooms but they’re almost fully booked. Managed to get us a twin room. You'll be glad, Jawn. There are two beds, apparently. -SH.

... Well yes, don't you find that more practical?

I know that I am an octopus when I sleep. -SH

Apparently I start off in foetal position and just expand during the night. -SH

Yeah, I've noticed!!!

But... It's all fine

I mean...

I don't mind.

How have you noticed? -SH.

Sigh. Try to apply your deduction skills, you numb dumb.

Well. You know that I have a double bed and I assume that the numbers of times you've come to check on me - oh, don't pretend you didn't - for whatever reason I was sprawled on it. -SH.

Good deduction.

O_o... Sherlock... What... No, don't tell me, I don't even want to know.

I got bored waiting for the hotel to send the confirmation back. -SH.

Right.... At least you didn't shoot the wall this time!

Apparently, they didn't appreciate. I wonder why. -SH.

*snort* Wonder why.

 

___________________________________________________________________________

Hi Johnny boy! -JM

Moriarty! What have you done to Sherlock, where is he?

I don't know isn't he in 221B ??? -JM

Where is he??? -JM

How would I know, I'm still in B'ham and he doesn't answer his bloody phone!

I thought he was sleeping! -JM

Ha! Sleeping, that's a good one! He never sleeps!

No. Sherlock doesn't like to sleep indeed. -JM

I mean he does sometimes... between cases. Well. He crashes.

I know. He snores. -JM

I'm joking. -JM

Seriously, Doctor Watson. I don't have a clue. -JM

His brother isn't answering either, what the hell is going on? If you hurt him Jim, I swear I'll kill you.

Why should I hurt the only one who can prevent me from being bored?!? -JM

I thought you were intelligent! -JM

Pff go figure. I don't know, you're known to blow up people to pass the time.

So. His brother doesn't answer?? -JM

People are not Sherlock. -JM

That's what I said, can't you read?

This is bad. -JM

Why are you texting ME anyway?

Don't you have better things to do?

Listen, Doctor Watson. I'll try to cooperate with you so you must cooperate with me if you want to save your detective. -JM

Was that a threat? Be careful Jim, I’m not in the mood!

God! I don't care about your mood! Sherlock has vanished, you stupid homo sapiens!!!! -JM

What did he tell you before that? I want to know. Everything. I need data. -JM

Who are you calling an ape? Can't you do things by yourself for once, since you keep saying he's important to you!

And stop talking like him, you don't get the right to do that!

He said nothing, I haven't seen him since I left.

We're alike him and I. Moreover, if you don't cooperate, he will see only I tried to search and save him. Not you. -JM

*eyeroll* yeah whatever as long as he's ok.

You spoke to each other by text messages, is that right? -JM

Hold on. -JM

Probably passing as someone else again... for a case. He'll turn up and laugh at us as if we were both idiots.

I think I get it. -JM

I think Mycroft spied on our conversation. -JM

When does he not?

No, you don't understand. This is bad. We both talked about organising a vengeance on him. -JM

And using his boyfriend as a pressure point. -JM

I don't understand. Who did?

Then he disappeared. -JM

Sherlock and I. -JM

His.. boyfriend???

Yeah you don't know either?  -JM

Blimey, I can't get what you're talking about, would you be more specific just once?

Greg Lestrade is Mycroft's boyfriend. -JM

W... WHAT????

This is not even funny Jim.

Sherlock and I have both been tortured at Mycroft's orders and we want to make him ...regret it. For that, we need to use Greg. -JM

And after saying that on the conversation, Sherlock mysteriously vanished. -JM

You're insane, you know that? And Mycroft is an arse, yes, but he would never have Sherlock tortured!

I'll find him. -JM

He has tortured him. Sherlock told me. -JM

It's his brother!

This is the cold hard truth. -JM

I don't believe you, you keep on lying, he would have told.me. Sherlock would never have kept that from me.

He would have to protect your sensibility I guess. Don't call me a liar. Believe in me for once in your life. He's in danger!!! -JM

Whatever. I'll find him alone. -JM

Torture him, to what end??? It makes no sense at all, the guy is a manipulative bastard, certainly with a god complex but he needs Sherlock, he keep using him, he would never do that! that's not in his interest!

I'm on my way back to London.

If you want to know everything, let's say it all. After we faked our deaths, Sherlock tried to dismantle my network. You know that at least, don't you. But what you don't know is that in Russia, his brother caught him. His dear brother didn't say anything when someone was whipping and beating him bloody? He ordered it. -JM

I've got information. Not good though. He has brought his little brother to hell. -JM

... I'm done talking to you. Don't ever text or call this number again. I'll find Sherlock on my own, I don't need a lying snake trying to fuck with my brain.

You're so fucking stupid sometimes. -JM

Hell = Sherringford -JM

What the hell does that even mean?

Aka: a prison that no one can go out except for me. -JM

So I know where it is. -JM

And I just have to call for a helicopter. And we're done. -JM

Sherlock's in jail??? What has he done this time!

That's why that you should be nicer with this "snake". -JM

That's it, I'm calling the Yard!

MYCROFT has ABDUCTED him, you DOOFUS! He wants to protect himself and make him talk or I don't even know what! -JM

NO! -JM

Talk??? About what???

If you call the yard, Lestrade will know and we're doomed. -JM

About the vengeance. >< -JM

So. Stay where you are, tell me where it is. I'll come with a helicopter to fetch you, then we'll go to Sherringford to save Sherlock. -JM

Hey, let me go!! No, geroff!! Mmmm... Jim Moriarty, who had bugged John's phone (because why the hell not) could hear the sound of John’s phone dropping to the ground, a fight between John and his attackers – which he apparently lost since he heard in the distance the sound of a car door being slammed before the screeching of tyres burnt the asphalt and John was taken away.

John? -JM

JOOHN. -JM

Fuck it. -JM

Chapter Text

Jim arrived in a hurry and like a fury to the heliport, escorted by his two bodyguards. He jumped into the helicopter and the pilot flew to hell. They arrived an hour and a half later and with some snipers including Moran, they entered in the building with the help of the map Moriarty had prepared.

They snuck into the corridors where the cells were, avoiding any offices. Moriarty knew that John Watson had been abducted as well. And even though he wasn't very sad about it, he would prefer to find him alive  and let him live so that Sherlock be happy. Where is Sherlock?!  He tried to focus to search for the doctor. Suddenly, he heard a groan in the distance. Perfect. It must be John Watson. James waved his hands to order his snipers to follow him and ran towards the cell.


Sherlock did not understand. He had been made to go in a car. Sleek and black, it must have been one of Mycroft's. As was his habit, no word had been uttered during the ride to... The airport? What game was his brother playing at? He had heaved a long-suffering sigh, rolled his eyes and walked to the aeroplane without protesting. He couldn't protest much, his brother was not there. Detailing the men who had brought him there, they were working for Mycroft as their suits indicated. As he settled in the empty private plane, he thought that Jim had been his usual bantering self, however with a hint of romanticism which he had never displayed before. As for John, well. John was being John. Stubbornly holding his ground, guarding his feelings, pretending he did not see Sherlock had these infectious defects as well. And to make matters worse, he was away. In Birmingham. He would be back, obviously, but Sherlock knew that when John was being particularly insecure, he would bury his head in the sand - and would not emerge until everything was properly buried. Deep in thought, Sherlock did not pay much attention to what could still be discerned through the tiny windows. He had not the faintest idea where he was, if he had crossed water or only travelled a very long distance, in a faster means of transportation than a car. When the plane landed and he set foot outside, he was surprised to find himself on a beach. The last time he had gone to the beach with his brother... Well, everything was different, back then. Taking in his surroundings, which didn't say much, he followed, silently, as his brother's minions showed him the way to... A fortress? This was bound to be dramatic. The exchange he had had with Mycroft when he finally saw him, near 3 hours after he had gone into the car down at Baker Street, was the coldest he had had with him - colder even, than Russia had been. Mycroft had said very little, in his usual condensed and haughty way of speaking, but what had transpired, clear as day, was that he would go to any length necessary to ensure no harm would come to himself or whom he held dear. And, as Mycroft had noticed that he was forming a seemingly friendly relationship with Jim Moriarty for a reason he could not fathom, the solution that had appeared to him was, and it was to be expected when one was as dramatic as Mycroft, that Sherlock be locked away. 'An unfortunate disappearance,' he would tell John when his doctor would no doubt come to him after he had noticed Sherlock was missing, for far longer than what was his habit. Sherlock had vehemently, petulantly protested, saying that his brother's claims were ludicrous and that John would never let anything happen to him, that he would not rest until he had figured out what exactly had happened. His brother's words then... 'Yes. And we know how that can turn out. Moving on can be so difficult when one knows with absolute certainty what the whys and wherefores of something are. No doubt your... Pal will gather all data. He has been paying close attention, hasn't he? Fleeing to Birmingham,' he had added with a smirk. 'As for your other... Pal... I highly doubt he is the type to risk anything for anyone else than himself, which makes your association all the less dangerous to myself.' Mycroft had then waved him off, and Sherlock, who had not seen this coming and who was in a numb stupor , had been brought down to an empty cell. There was nothing to do, no violin to play, no gun to shoot, no Internet, no books to read...Nothing at all. He was left with his thoughts, and his brother knew very well that there was nothing more destructive for him.

Jim arrived in front of a very cold corridor and stopped with stupor. It was guarded by several men, armed to the teeth. He soon realised he was not in the area John was but the other one, deeper in the fortress, more dangerous. He knew with absolute certainty that it would be there that he'd find Sherlock. He waved his snipers to stay still. Ten persons were between him and Sherlock. He had two snipers with him. The only way to pass was to kill them in an interval of 10 seconds. He didn't like it at all but for once, he would have to hold and use a gun and shoot. He took his gun from the inside pocket of his jacket and smiled. Then wanted to slap his face. He hated how much he cared for the detective after all. He was totally exposed and vulnerable because of the detective. He sighed and, with a very discreet sign of his head, told the snipers to prepare themselves to shoot everyone. He loaded his gun as discreetly as possible and the place went suddenly very silent. He felt the other men approaching. He smiled nervously, awaiting them, ready to shoot their stupid faces.

In the confines of his Mind Palace Sherlock could hear an uproar. He was on edge already, even as he had spent less than a day locked in his cell. The perspective of not going out immediately was not particularly pleasant as it reminded him of the time he spent away after his Fall. Something was happening on the outside and he needed a distraction: he left his Mind Palace and resurfaced, but the deductions of what was happening was child's play: there was an invasion of sorts in Mycroft's seemingly impregnable fortress. It could not have been led by only one person as it was over all too quickly. His deduction as to who might be leading the invaders reached a standstill - he thought John would be. But evidently not. He sighed as he remembered bitterly that John was away in Birmingham and that there was little chance that he had noticed his disappearance. He had gone off the radar a few times and John would not react to it before at least a few days - and there was, obviously, no possibility of telling him anything, as Mycroft had had one of his minions take away his phone. He was however aware that Mycroft had a lot of enemies and that he didn't see a lot of people with a kind eye: it was evident that he was not the only person to be held prisoner there. Sherlock was bored from waiting. The action he heard earlier had not come to any kind of fruition. His head was hurting from sleep deprivation. He usually did not suffer from it, as he would begrudgingly listen to John and have a lie-down, if not sleep.

Jim had been forced to rethink his plans to save and deliver Sherlock from his cell. So he had chosen to retreat for the moment. But now, they were ready to kill them all. Oh god it would be distracting. Then, they would save John Watson. But first, Jim Moriarty needed his alter ego to be safe from his big brother.

Even as he was having a lie-down, Sherlock could not forget that racket he had heard outside - the fact of not being able to figure out where it had come from, or who was leading the attack for that matter, was maddening. Fascinating because it was entertaining. But maddening. He never had liked not knowing. He had so far been able to deduce it wasn't John. The list of the people who would want his brother harm was however staggering. One of them he couldn't get out of his head.

Jim was now ready to intervene with all of his snipers. Access had been easier than the previous time. Yet, several men were still there, very nervous about the alert.

He ordered the attack and everything went very fast then. Soon, the place was off of its guards and they were lying on the ground, blood drawing red camelids on the floor. Very gracefully, Jim went towards the cell, followed by his first in command while the others were keeping the place safe.

“See tiger? This man, no one makes him suffer against my will. Or I destroy him."

The so-called ‘tiger’ was in admiration for his boss. He silently nodded to his statement and looked at the poor man in his cell.

Jim turned to Sherlock.

“Finally! You're in a big mess aren't you honey? See? Daddy's come to fetch you!” He singsonged but was secretly thrilled to see him alive.

 

Jim. So it was him who had come do not finish that thought . It was...awkward, even to him. Jim would have something to taunt him at any given moment. He seemed to appreciate him but he also had told him on their first meeting how changeable he was. His habit of sing-songing everything was not however about to change, it seemed.

‘Jim. Hello. I admit I am a little surprised to see you here. As the look on my face can certainly attest,’ he declared in a nonchalant manner. ‘I was rather hoping a more important criminal than you to raid this fortress,’ he added matter-of-factly, looking straight into Jim’s eyes.

 

Jim opened his mouth mimicking shock on his face to cover his bitterness.

“Oh how dare you Sherlock, you perfectly know I am the most important criminal on the earth. If I dare say, fortunately for you, I am there.” He said sharply, looking also straight into the detective’s eyes.

He stopped just in front of the glass separating them and smiled. Not moving a finger anymore and waiting.

Moran, Jim’s first in command, asked “but boss… are we going to deliver him or not?”

Jim studied his face and smiled again. “My dear Moran, I will let him apologise first for having the rudeness of underestimate me. Then, maybe I'll let him out.” He turned to face Sherlock and stared at him.

‘Jim. For what other reason could you have come to this place? It’s hardly a cosy location to spend time with friends, is it? Need I remind you, my dear , that you need me to solve your problems. As much, I grant you, as I need you to bring me problems. How can we work as professionals if one of us is … incapacitated?’, Sherlock asked without so much as blinking under Jim’s stare, a hint of a smile barely showing. Get these muscles under control, dammit!

If Sherlock did not have the muscles of his face under control, Jim did not have much more control over the blushing of his own cheeks. Though, he tried as much as possible to keep a cold face. “Oh, isn't this cute… it's like you are repeating my statements, love… although… you're right. We need each other and I need your genius deductions to solve my genius crimes! So.” He turned to Moran and ordered him to open the glass to free the detective.Once there was no glass between him and his nemesis, Jim almost went for a hug but just offered his hand instead.

There was a slight hesitation on Jim’s part to which Sherlock raised an eyebrow. He dismissed the question that was already forming on his lips A hug, Jim?! Are you … less alright than usual? Instead, he looked him up and down, let a smirk appear on his lips before taking Jim’s hand in his. ‘I imagine we must get back to work, now,’ he said matter-of-factly. ‘Do you know why Jawn could not come?’ he inquired after they’d let go of each other’s hand That handshake lasted suspiciously long. I wonder what he’s hiding.

Jim had forgotten that he was shaking hands with Sherlock for a bit too long now. He realised it when his nemesis let their hands go. He blinked and looked at the floor. “Well… yes we will get back to work. But first, we need to fetch your pet Sherlock. John Watson and I had decided to come and fetch you even though he didn't believe me when I repeatedly told him I wasn't responsible for your abduction. I was exchanging information with him in order to find you and suddenly I heard him struggle on his end of the line. Then nothing. I assume he's in there too. We must find him and go back to London in order to see how can we attack them and make them pay.” He didn't face Sherlock until the very end of his explanation. God knew he wanted Mycroft to pay. And one should feel terror when James Moriarty wants someone to pay…

Sherlock’s face betrayed him when Jim told him that John had been abducted. A tremor had run through him, his eyes had darkened, intent clear. He had straightened his back and faced Jim with determination. ‘Yes, we must,’ he all but growled. Mycroft was going to regret having laid a finger on John. ‘There will be hell to pay,’ he said, leaving his cell, certain that Jim would follow him.

Jim rushed to the detective and stopped him, pulling him by the arm.

“No! You can't go like this. You don't even know where he can be and we need to gear you up a bit first.” He asked one of his boys to find a gun into the deads’ pockets and folds. Once found, the weapon went to Sherlock.

“Now. We are in the deepest part of the fortress. John is probably somewhere on the upper floors.”

Sherlock glared at the man as he grabbed onto his arm, preventing him from moving forward. The situation was ludicrous. How would he, Sherlock Holmes, not think things through? Rather than admitting that he was in the wrong, he remained headstrong on the idea of coming to John’s aid, no matter the risks or that he didn’t know the first thing about the place he was in. ‘And how do you make that assumption?’ he asked drily, getting into Jim’s personal space.

Jim felt like he would explode rather than being threatened by the sudden promiscuity.

“Sherlock! You bloody doofus! I can make this assumption because I have studied this fortress before. Do I have to remind you of my abduction organised by none other than your elder brother? Do I also have to remind you that I came here to rescue you AND John and that I am making efforts because I KNOW he is important to you and I need you to be at the top of your conditions to play a fair game?! Now if you don't mind, I'd  first like you to let me guide you, second to trust me, third to be a little more grateful and not harass me with your accusatory tone because I am no longer your enemy in this case, OKAY?!”

Moriarty's henchmen were standing still, not moving a finger. They knew that when Moriarty was arguing, the more invisible they made themselves, the safer they would remain.

Everyone else around them had gone extremely still and fallen silent. Sherlock did a double take to assess the situation and noticed that his heart was racing. He was very hot, no doubt his cheeks were tinted red. He remembered what he had just said and acknowledged he was allowing sentiment to cloud his judgement. Far be it from him to admit it out loud, it was already a feat in itself that he admit it to himself. He realised that Jim’s shouting was not an act of aggression, but rather an attempt at getting through his walls, whether or not Moriarty had sensed that he was on the verge of having a panic attack. He realised that Moriarty’s brain was the only one functioning properly at the moment and that he needed to reaffirm the control he had over his own, making it more than functioning again. Pride being one of Sherlock’s traits, he nodded, still sharply, begrudgingly acknowledging, however silently, that Moriarty had a point.

Jim was panting after his rant. He was staring at Holmes’ face with a certain attraction he could never quite fathom nor completely admit to himself. He suddenly sent him a dark look as if to say “you’d better get your pride off the shelf for this round dear…” His facial expressions fell down as they heard noises coming down. For the first time in a while, a hint of fear came up in his eyes and they soon disappeared into the next corridors, Jim not letting any time to Sherlock to think, pulling him violently by the fabric of his jacket.

‘Oof!’ Sherlock found himself in the corridor, pressed against the wall closest to them. Moriarty was as swift  as John, despite the idea he gave of not taking part in a lot of action: he was clearly, sorely mistaken. He could swear he smellt a hint of fear in the close proximity of Moriarty, which he would not have imagined of him. He looked down at Moriarty, trying to gauge him, assess their surrounding and the tense situation around them. ‘I’ll not cower in fear. Not for anything in the world. Are you with me?’ he whispered, even as he knew the answer.

Jim turned his face to lock his eyes into his and answered, also whispering: “Why do you even ask?” Jim decided that, after all, he could trust the detective and see what would happen next. He suddenly felt a warm wave in his stomach and stayed locked to Sherlock's lagoon eyes.

Sherlock abruptly disengaged from Moriarty’s grip on his lapel, took out the gun he had been given earlier, aimed and shot. A cry of pain followed by a loud thump echoed in the corridor. ‘One down, a few more to go. Don’t kill them. Incapacitate them. I’ll never have enough bullets in that to deal with them all,’ he stated as he progressed, walking over to his next target. As if to prove the statement he had just made he missed and heard the bullet hit the wall. Despite the air being filled with the sound of shooting bullets, his oral sense was enhanced and he could clearly hear the bullet he had just fired hit the wall. The next shot he fired lodged itself into its intended target, who had taken cover but made the mistake of leaving it. ‘ All is fair in love and war,’ isn’t that the saying? Assuming the gun he had been given had not been fired before the man called Moran put it in his hand, there were 7 bullets left in the magazine of the 9mm Glock pistol he’d been handed. He knew that Moriarty was going to help him bring them out of their way, and he was fairly certain his team would follow the Consulting Criminal’s orders, but he could not be absolutely sure of them. He had one purpose in that precise instant, and it was to get to John as swiftly as possible and the only course of action was to bring the enemy down, or at least get them out of the way. ‘Your team can finish them off later Jim, we don’t have time to lose. I don’t care what happens to them, some of them may have hurt John, have taken part in his abduction - they tried to take him from me. But for now, what counts is to get to John. Are you still with me?’ he asked as he fired two more bullets on a moving target before it hit its intended target.

Jim walked towards Sherlock, amazed by what he just witnessed. Sherlock shooting people was the most beautiful spectacle to his eyes. He said softly and with a big smile on his face: “But you don't even have to justify yourself Sherlock…” At the same time, what Sherlock said concerning an eventual individual who would have hurt John Watson crossed his mind again. He suddenly asked: “Sherlock. Did someone in this corridor torture you?” He was watching with hatred all the agonising bodies lying down.

‘Mh. Not today. No time,’ he added as he heard Moriarty take a breath, as if on the verge of speaking. He felt heat and fury radiate behind him. ‘Jim! Snap out of it!’ he shouted, surprised at the language he’d just used, anger and worry written over his features.

Jim watched attentively Sherlock's expression and told his henchmen to keep them alive and to bring them as prisoners. “I want to deal with them personally.” he ordered, threat surrounding the tiny space they were in. Finally, he followed Sherlock to search for doctor Watson.

Sherlock had managed to get his emotions back under a tenuous hold and managed not to throw away his gun when its magazine was empty. He held onto it in a firm grip, despite its uselessness. Someone, probably Moriarty as he was closest to him, carefully pried his fingers open so as to take the gun out of his hands and replacing it with another. Jim looked at Sherlock to reassure him and lower the pressure he had. He could feel it irradiate through the place. He got out his own gun of his jacket. “I think we should go on the upper level. We won’t find anyone there…” he whispered.

Sherlock nodded his agreement and they moved upwards, hidden in the relative darkness of the lower levels. On their way they saw a number of doors. All of them were closed and it was obvious from the width between doors that whoever was inside was not allotted a lot of space. As they progressed in the upper levels of the fortress Sherrinford , Sherlock had heard Jim say, there were more cells.

‘All of this...Bury your problems...How very much like Mycroft...whose biggest  problem is represented by his younger brother,’ he muttered. ‘Mycroft’s made an incredibly stupid and dangerous mistake, Jim. I assume you know what it is?,’ asked the detective to his new...friend. The realisation of it should have hit him like a ton of bricks, but it seemed so natural and logical that he didn’t reflect on it much.

Moriarty smirked and then smiled to Sherlock. “He has made the mistake of locking you up with… your alter ego. Too bad for him and fatal error he did. Pity. Now let's bring down the queen, shall we?”

Jim stopped the detective and waved to show that it was probably in the cells of this corridor that John was locked up. Once again, Sherlock nodded his understanding. His base instincts were telling him to tear the place down to find his companion as soon as he could. Reason advised caution, as it would. He turned to Jim to signal him the cell in which he thought John would most likely be. There were, unfortunately for them, more guards in that area than in any other - which in retrospect must be what told Jim that it was the correct floor to sweep - but Sherlock would hardly care. ‘The Game is on, Jim,’ Sherlock said fiercely. ‘He’ll regret locking my other half away from me. And forgetting that I too have powerful friends.’

Moriarty didn't answer to Sherlock's statement. He just showed a fake smile, while being internally punched and hugged at the same time by his words. Instead, he cocked his gun and started to fire on the guards. He killed two of them, a bullet lodged in the middle of their foreheads. Neat. He hid himself when others tried to fire at them. Eight bullets. Good.

Sherlock barely even saw how Moriarty’s smile was but pretend. He had one objective, much like he had when he “toured Europe” as some would say - getting back to John, no matter the consequences to himself and damned be those who would stand in his way.

He moved stealthily, trying his best to silence his opponents as swiftly and silently as he could even as it was counter-balanced by Jim’s enthusiastic and extremely accurate trigger pulling. He hurled a guard against a door and enunciated, as clearly and loudly as possible ‘Vatican Cameos’. From the other side of the massive, steel reinforced door, he could have sworn he heard John reply sarcastically ‘No shit, Sherlock.’

Jim pulled the trigger two more times but one managed to wound him lightly on the shoulder. He cried out in pain but quickly killed the soldier who'd shot at him. It was benign and he knew it but his Westwood was destroyed. The place was no longer full of enemies and Jim tried to stay away from Sherlock, hiding any pain and fatally waiting for him to open the cell and to save his damsel in distress.

‘Jawn, I’m coming. I’m opening the door. Stupid lock. Once again, not exactly Fort Knox,’ he declared imperiously as the door emitted a high-pitched signal. He opened it, not to reveal John but Captain John Watson, who seemed rather...irritated at having been kidnapped. Because of Sherlock. Again. Although Sherlock could read all this clear as day on John’s face, he could not feel sad or guilty: John was alive and well.

John was… infuriated. “Sherlock… you'd better have a good explanation to all this…” He sounded threatening but still relieved to see Sherlock was alive and not wounded.

Moriarty was watching the scene, keeping his mouth shut in order to control the pain. He was feeling blood running down his shirt on his arm. He tried to remove the blood which was falling on his right hand.

Chapter Text

‘Now’s not the time for any explanation, John! We need to leave this place,’ he declared as he walked towards him, repressing the desire to put his arm around John’s waist. John was after all not a damsel, not in distress, and would certainly not be prone to take this particular invasion of his personal space in a good way.

‘What is he doing here?’ John asked in a menacing voice, indicating the crouched figure of Moriarty. ‘I’m not complaining that I’ll be out of that place but him ? Seriously, Sherlock? You’ll have a lot of explaining to do,’ he concluded in a stern, decisive tone of voice.

‘Jim has come to help. Help us both, John. Don’t be so defensive. We have a, shall we say, common enemy in the shape of my dear brother. I strongly suspect that you, too, share that particular bond with him,’ he retorted in an exasperated way.

Sherlock threw his head back to look at Moriarty. Crinkling his eyes, he immediately registered that something was wrong. A closer look would tell him precisely what. ‘Jim, can you hold on?’

The consulting criminal noticed that suddenly, Sherlock was talking to him. He had been focused on controlling the pain and omitted to care about the two flatmates. He abruptly waved his head up and tried to appear as normal as possible. ‘No I assure you, nothing to worry about it is just a scratch. Let’s go now. There may be others coming for us…’ Saying that was actually very painful, he would have given anything to let John Watson rot in this prison cell but… ‘ Sherlock wanted his pet out and free…’ He thought, a bitter taste on his tongue.

Jim’s words didn’t fool Sherlock. However, he decided to let it slide - precious time could be lost in talking, and they had not a single second to waste on useless one-sided conversations. John, oblivious to everything that was happening and everything that was not said, followed Sherlock’s cue and marched over the door, passing in front of him, radiating warmth - although most of it originated from the anger he was feeling for whichever reason - but barely looking at Sherlock and utterly ignoring Moriarty. John was intent on his purpose: leaving the premises. Dazed, confused that John would not acknowledge him more than he did, Sherlock frowned and followed suit, looking at John in puzzlement: if he ever caught his eye, Sherlock knew John would understand that they needed to have a conversation - a verbal one, no matter how versed they were in having silent ones.

The consulting criminal was reminded of his injury as he shrugged. He cried out in pain but eventually made his way to the exit which they still had to reach alive with Moran, tailing his boss closely. The sniper was very alarmed by Jim’s injury, indeed he felt that Moriarty would hold him accountable for this ‘incident’. After all, his mission was to protect the boss, and he had failed this time. Jim did not want to exchange any more eye contacts with the detective, as he knew it would only make the fact he was suffering even more obvious. He was proud and he had an ego. Sherlock Holmes shall not see how much the pain was increasing. They arrived in a part of the galleries which was built with wider corridors. Trickier to hide. He cocked his gun again and glared at Sebastian to get ready to open fire on the first thing he would see moving apart from them. The sniper swallowed  his saliva with difficulty and complied. He had disappointed the boss, now he had a chance to make amends.

They all went into the wider corridor in front of them and led, as Jim knew, to another corridor which then gave onto the heliport. Their progression was hindered by the slow pace they were forced to adopt: there were more open spots which would make them easy targets for potential enemies. Sure enough, just as the very thought came across Captain John Watson’s mind to take cover, bullets rained on them. Even if their pistols could not rival a semi automatic machine gun, John and Jim both shot at important leaders in the enemy's ranks. the same motivation overriding everything else in their brain: protect the consulting detective at all costs. John’s military service came in handy more often than not as a crackshot with nerves of steel was essential to Sherlock especially because of his tendency to attract danger and jump in front of the line of fire. There was no real place where they could run for cover apart from a table on both ends of the corridors as well as potted plants. They had to keep themselves crouched and close to the ground and remain a moving target as too many bullet grazes on Sherlock’s body could attest.

Sherlock followed John’s non verbal order - stay out of the firing range as much as possible. He was too grateful to be reunited with him again to risk losing him. He knew that wishing the bullets away would not impede their flight in any way so he elected to follow logic, reason and his Captain’s orders as well as Jim’s silent ones, which were mostly pleas in his eyes.

The long, mostly empty corridor increased the echo of the snaps the bullets would make as they missed their targets, there was a loud thud as a bullet hit a henchman’s skull, squishy sounds as bullets grazed and penetrated the enemy’s bodies, as well as the sound of groans and running footsteps turned the silent room into a chaotic and violent place. Out of the corner of his eye, Sherlock saw John aim at a running figure and miss his shot. As he disappeared, worry painted itself all over John’s face along with a grim determination. ‘Hurry! We must get out!’ he shouted at the two men with him, his military training taking over.

Sebastian, feeling his former military years coming back as well, glanced at Jim, wondering what to do. His boss was definitely not prompt to get out. Instead, Jim was determined to kill them all. The consulting criminal shouted at Moran to follow his orders, not John’s. Moriarty’s plan was very clear in his mind. They would not leave this place until they had killed every single henchman in front of them. Except for a foreseen hostage, who would be useful for their desire of revenge and vengeance. ‘Shoot them all Moran! He shouted. Except for one. I need one alive!’ All this fuss, sounding like a delicious chaos to Jim made him feel invincible. He had always dreamt to make Sherlock’s big brother pay for what he did. Regardless of the fact they were currently just killing his henchmen, according to the Irishman, they were all composing the final boss huge body, Mycroft Holmes, a real thorn to Jim’s web. Nevertheless, Sherlock needed to be protected so he sent a death glare to John, as if to say ‘You’d better get out with him right now because if he has one little scratch on his body, I swear to God I’ll kill you once we’re in the helicopter.’

However Jim shouldn’t have worried. Although prone to jump head-on into danger, Sherlock had excellent survival instincts as evidenced by the time he had spent undercover, particularly in Serbia and Georgia. He had not disclosed the extent of the harshness it had been to anyone, not even John with whom he shared a flat and a close friendship. The way he had held and behaved himself since their escape had been met with resistance revealed to anyone who would care to pay attention how much more careful he’d grown and more attuned his instincts were to danger.

John, who was not the most observant man, had at first assumed Sherlock’s newfound abilities were born out of sheer dumb luck. The consistency of his dodges and ducks to cover made him reevaluate his first assumption, however. If he’d paid any attention, John would certainly have noticed a spark of interest as well as the swell of pride in his chest, but John was focussed on the mission of escaping the fortress with Sherlock safe and sound as quickly as possible.

He opened the door at the end of the corridor and continued on his way, making certain that Sherlock was with him, too. Behind him, he could see Moriarty executing every single of their enemy. The Colonel who accompanied him was helping him, clearly not considering the orders he was under to be the soundest he had been given. Respect, as well as apprehension, was etched over the man’s face. Why, John didn’t have the faintest idea.  

Moran and Jim had killed six men since the detective and his blogger had fled from the danger zone. At the exact moment the seventh’s lifeless body hit the floor, a glance was enough for the criminals to understand each other. Sebastian grabbed the last henchman alive and neutralised him, pointing his gun against the shaky man’s temple. Witnessing the horror of the scene in front of him, all his unit’s fellow soldiers lying dead on the cold floor. He was shaking like a leaf, wondering what those two maniacs would do to him.

Jim went closer to their prey, a charming smile of death dividing his face. ‘Hello handsome… I bet you’ve never seen that coming, but we give you a leading role in a deadly act! Congratulations!’ He waved his head to indicate that it was time to go with the hostage. Moran digged the needle of a syringe in the man’s jugular vein. The powerful soporific spread into the man’s blood and quickly and reached the brain in a matter of seconds. The man fell down and Moran picked him up, holding the army man on the shoulders. The sniper was in very good physical conditions due to his former years in the US Marines. Jim smirked at the beautiful view displayed by Moran’s muscles rolling under the weight of the blacked out soldier. They ran towards the end of the corridor, already seeing the reassuring light, as well as the helicopter, already composed of Sherlock and John. When the helicopter pilot saw his boss and his right hand, he swiftly started up the engine. They took off once Moriarty and Moran were inside the helicopter, accompanied by their hostage. The game would begin. And Mycroft had something to worry about.

Jim checked up Sherlock by a scrutinising look. ‘Are you okay Sherlock?’ Not caring at all for the doctor, seating next to the detective.

 

Sherlock threw a quick glance and a distracted smile to Jim, busy revelling at having John safe at his side. None of them quite let go of the tension they felt before the helicopter left the ground, but when it did, Sherlock visibly relaxed and slumped a little in his seat while John’s shoulders sagged a little. Afte he had looked at John and scrutinised his body to attest of his well-being, Sherlock, satisfied, turned towards Moriarty. ‘It certainly was an...interesting day. I’m fine. All this time in Ser - away ,’ he corrected himself, throwing a cautious glance at John, ‘well, that did come in handy. I learnt to adapt ,’ he concluded. ‘But you , Jim. You are trying to hide something from us. And one of us is a doctor,’ he said nonchalantly.

John had not been surprised when Sherlock corrected himself. He had known him for a long time and had learnt to read some of his expressions. He knew that Sherlock was hiding something from him. ‘Hiding’ is probably a strong word , he reflected. ‘Not telling the whole truth sounds more accurate . That his best friend should share such a sensitive and probably personal information with his nemesis and not with him revived the anger which was boiling underneath the surface. He knew he had to keep it in check and loathe as he was to admit it, Jim’s help had been … beneficial, if not welcome. Not from him, anyway. For Sherlock’s sake and his strange new connection with the insane man who had kidnapped him and threatened Sherlock’s life as well as his own, he had to keep his negative emotions under control.

‘No,’ John answered, a frown on his face. ‘Still shaking. Adrenaline,’ he added quickly as Sherlock turned towards him with with a glint in his eyes.

‘John.’ Only saying his name in that particular tone of voice, John knew that he could not find any way out of doing whatever Sherlock asked him to.

‘Not now, but I will,’ he conceded sighing. Sherlock smiled warmly.

Chapter Text

Jim was walking into dark corridors now, always tailed by his first in command and following Sherlock and John. They had come into an abandoned building, and now all of them were about to enter what seemed to be Sherlock’s lair. The dim light was dancing onto the walls, which was made of eroded concrete. Hundreds of candles were dispatched into the small room but strangely, electricity was working here because the room was filled with lamps of all sorts. He could distinguish Benzene burners, test tubes and different types of solvents. Most certainly to analyse crime scenes’ clues. There was the disorder and chaos that Jim loved in Sherlock. He scanned the room, noticing folders, pictures which must have served to solve cases in the past. Two computers, one of them dusty and quite old, on a messy desk. The consulting criminal smiled. He broke the religious silence which was filling the place by asking with curiosity to the detective. ‘Why do you need another 221B living room to solve your cases?’

Moran still had the asleep hostage on his shoulders. Honestly, he would have given anything to escape this odd situation. Him and the boss, being in the same room as Sherlock and Doctor Watson, was almost unreal for him. Nevertheless, he followed his orders, like a good soldier. Jim’s voice drew him from his thoughts. Feigning  interest, he turned towards Sherlock, awaiting his answer.

‘Is that really the best you can do, Jim?’ asked Sherlock who locked eyes with the consulting criminal. ‘As you may have deduced from the secrecy of the place, this is one of my bolt-holes and the only one which can be of any use to us. Mycroft doesn’t know about it,’ he added in a very serious tone.

John alternatively looked at both of them. He felt as if he were left out of the action and that some information was withheld from him. He didn’t understand why they had deemed necessary to take a hostage with them or why Jim had refused to leave the place unless every single one of the soldiers had been killed. Or why they were working together in the first place. And why did Sherlock talk about his brother with such contempt? He had never held such a negative opinion of him before.

‘Care to enlighten me?’ he asked, penetrating into Sherlock’s personal space, cutting the visual connection between the two consultants. ‘As much as I liked having to escape a prison and fight for our lives at gunpoint,’ he said, sarcasm evident in his voice, ‘I’d like even more to know what is happening,’ he continued in a stern clipped voice. ‘Sherlock. Explain this to me, because I’m not understanding anything. You said not to leave me in the dark. You will keep that promise,’ he concluded, his eyes firmly locked with Sherlock’s, his face inches from Sherlock’s chest. Being shorter than the detective had never made him less commanding. ‘And Moriarty,’ he said turning around to face him after holding Sherlock’s gaze for a little bit too long. ‘If you filled up Sherlock’s -’ He stopped as he saw a smirk appear on Moriarty’s face. Unable to resist he glanced in the screen which reflected Sherlock’s impassive face. Not his area. ‘If you completed what Sherlock will undoubtedly leave out…’

Jim took a deep breathe, as his pain was starting to be quite unbearable. ‘You want me to explain you why we have brought a hostage here Johnny Boy, is that right?  And maybe you want to understand why Sherlock and I are currently in the same room together, not proffering death threats to each other? Finally, obviously you want me to justify myself on the following question: why have I come to rescue the both of you, risking both my life and my fabulous helicopter at the same time?’ He asked in a sharp tone of voice. He winced of pain and then turned around to go and seat on the nearest armchair. He did not let John the time to answer. They were rhetorical questions. Of course Jim Moriarty knew what the doctor wanted to know so badly. He could have felt his jealousy and his nerves a thousand miles away. He smirked and facing the doctor, answered. ‘Look, Johnny boy. Your friend and I are as one could say, the two faces of the same coin. We both have genius minds and we have a common goal to avoid boredom. Don’t be surprised that it creates… Bonds . Secondly, the hostage is here for a reason we would like to keep secret for now, I don’t even know if you are one of Mycroft’s numerous ravens so forgive me if I don’t trust you enough for now. Third, why have I rescued you two, well. The only person in this world who is allowed to harm Sherlock is me. And strangely, those days, I don’t feel like doing it. And…’ He almost muttered the next words, frowning and looking down. ‘And I know that he cares about you and, although I’m disgusted by this idea, I saved your life too because otherwise we would have lost Sherlock.’ Acknowledging the heavy silence he had caused, he found himself genuinely fascinated by the old books in front of him. Moran did not dare to say anything. He knew that his boss was currently living an embarrassing moment so he knew that the first comment he could say would be his last sentence. Imagining this, he swallowed his saliva with difficulty and waited, almost at attention.

John looked at Moriarty as he spoke. Bewilderment grew on his features, he felt Sherlock tensing up behind him, a quick look to the side of Moriarty and he saw his ...bodyguard/first in command grow more alert and dive into a silent posture of attention, all deference and fear to Moriarty.

John had a very uneasy feeling, none of this whole situation made a lick of sense to him. His friend had told him in no uncertain terms that he wasn’t the sharpest tool in the box but Sherlock must have found a very good reason to let him stay; and, really, apart from an intelligence above average, he could not imagine what it was, since everything else was just transport to the detective. What was that about anyway? Of course they were friends. Of course he was trustworthy. Sherlock trusted him. Moriarty had mentioned that Sherlock had been tortured under the orders of Mycroft while he was away. Could this possibly have anything to do with the situation they were in? Why had Sherlock never told him anything about it? Thinking back to their earlier escape, John recalled Sherlock being sure-footed, precise, stealthy, prudent and deadly. An almost polar opposite to how he would have behaved under dangerous circumstances before he died. John eyed his friend, wondering if he was imagining faint scars near his eyebrow arches, the fact that he seemed to be thinner since he’d come back, that he held himself in a more cautious way, wearier of his environment.

‘I wouldn’t say such mean things to John,’ Sherlock said between clenched teeth. ‘I know your injury makes you more sensitive to everything but there’s absolutely no need for mean petty comments. As you said,’ he continued intently as he placed himself closer to his friend’s frame, ‘John is invaluable to me. I trust him implicitly. Given your level of... obsession with me, it should be more than enough for you to trust him, too,’ he finished in a deeper, almost menacing tone.

Although touched by Sherlock’s rare display of affection, John turned around, facing the detective with a subtle combination of awe and disappointment. ‘Sherlock. Two years. What happened to you?’ he asked in a clipped tone, keeping it short and curt to have control over his words, his voice and the inescapable physical reaction he knew was bound to occur. I always hear ‘punch me in the face’ when you’re speaking.

Sherlock flinched. Seven words and Sherlock flinched. The mask had fallen. Gone was the haughty man in his invincible armour wielding acerbic words in lieu of sharp cutting swords. Upon seeing his friend so defeated, so utterly vulnerable, John knew that this was not a trick of Sherlock’s. He was not acting. ‘What happened to you?’ John repeated more softly.

‘I’ Sherlock began, searching for some kind of reassurance in John’s eyes and general attitude. ‘I...grew up,’ he confessed. He tore his eyes away from John’s. ‘It hurt,’ he developed in a small broken voice, eyes downcast. John appeared to understand everything that Sherlock had not said. His posture softened and relaxed, so much so that he took a step further to embrace Sherlock in a soothing embrace.

Sherlock's words had been so hurtful to him that the pain in Jim's shoulder was gone. More than that, Sherlock had been determined to crush him entirely. Though, it was not sadness but anger and hatred which were boiling inside of him. Moran was discreetly stepping backwards. He felt the tsumami arriving, the thunder roaring and soon, it would be a cataclysm on them all. It lacked just one thing which eventually arrived. At the very moment John stepped forward to embrace his friend , he knew it was over. He had wanted to shout “DON’T”, but he hadn’t been able to.

Jim saw the scene heppening in slow motion. His jaw was so tensed it could have broken anytime. This, was horrible. Impossible, awful, unreal, cheesy, ordinary, BULLSHITS! He jumped on his feet and said in a angry, upset voice “RIGHT. Stop those effusions NOW. We have way more pressing matters for now. Don’t we, HOLMES? He turned on his heels to face Sherlock. This man who had just humiliated him. “Oh. But I don’t even know if you want to work with this poor thing who just saved your two lives. Maybe he is a bit too obsessed by you, is that it?! Oh my god! HOW GROSS!!” He mimicked an outraged Sherlock. “How dare you. Shall I speak more? You know what, on that day I NEVER asked you to come and join me on this FUCKING HILL, RIGHT?!” He was fulminating. It was this, this which triggered all this shit. Yes he was being rude now but he had enough of this. Enough of that man who thought he could deceive and manipulate the world’s only consulting criminal. Sherlock had been playing on his heart strings with the same agility as he would have with an actual violin. And now, now that John was here, he was literally throwing him. He stayed there, shaking of rage in front this… traitor. “So will you explain to that man what it is about, what  our idea was? When and where did we have it? In which conditions did we have it? So will you do it, or shall I? Because you can’t confess anything to him Holmes, can you? So you let me do it, and then you are astonished I’m being rude.”

Moriarty fiercely hated Holmes in this instant. Indeed, for the second time, the detective had managed to disappoint him by crashing the already crumbled heart he had. He was, once again, finding himself obliged to fight back the tears in his eyes. Likewise this horrid rooftop.

In the face of such an onslaught, no matter that it was only verbal, Sherlock instinctively took hold of John and reversed their positions, placing himself between Moriarty and John. He looked at John, determination in his eyes. He knew full well that Jim could snap at any given moment. Associating himself with the consulting criminal was a risk he had had to take. The only real danger it posed was to John - even though they’d never have been anything but close friends, Jim had, like so many others, taken the assumption that they were in fact a couple. As he had told him earlier, Sherlock knew Moriarty’s infatuation with him was so strong it often bordered on obsession - in which case, anyone he viewed as a rival to him would have to be eliminated sooner or later. Sherlock had to protect John. He gently nudged him further back.

‘You really do have anger management issues, Jim. You did not, indeed, ask me to come see you, it was I who offered. If you recall, however, you did not refuse to see me at all. As I recall, you were pleased to see me. If anything your...overly tactile behaviour certainly indicated you were. I do remember what you and I did on that hill, Jim. Nothing of importance. We talked. You watched the stars. And you fell asleep. I was hoping to discuss an important topic with you, but your body betrayed you. So you tell me, what is so incriminating to talk about with regards to that night?’ Sherlock declared in the most detached way he could, keeping his voice even.

John was watching the exchange, dreading the other shoe to drop. He had assumed something was happening or just about between Sherlock and Jim (and quite honestly, he’d understand the attraction even as he would never...approve of it. Approve. Watson, get your thoughts under control. ). He had been … surprised when Sherlock had clearly stated that Jim’s...interests were not reciprocated. He had seen the shift in Jim’s eyes. Had felt the hurt of rejection turn into scorching anger. He’d have made a barrier of his body to protect Sherlock against it but Sherlock had pushed him away, however slightly. They had been embracing, he hated the reason behind but if he were absolutely honest with himself, he’d enjoyed holding the detective in his arms. And he dreaded that Moriarty in a fit of anger voiced what Sherlock had painfully admitted even if not in so many words.

Moriarty was staring at Sherlock in disbelief. His death wish was getting back on the top of things. He was really wondering why the detective was acting with such a sudden wickedness towards him. He took a second deep breathe, a shaky one. “Enough.” He slammed. He had to control himself and not kicking Sherlock down or even Watson. He had to keep… calm. Starting a fight was certainly not the good idea here, and he wanted more than ever to pass his nerves on Mycroft Holmes. Moreover, Sherlock had completely finished the consulting criminal. Usually prompt to have the last word, Jim could not even continue to argue with his nemesis. He thought, sadly “I will finish Mycroft Holmes, but you will see Sherlock. You will suffer as well this time. And then I’ll end my life beautifully. Sounds like heaven.”

He gave them a small forced smile and went back to his armchair, where at least, he was feeling good. His wound was seriously painful. He didn’t even know if the blood was flooding or not. Now, he did not care about the blood or whatever. This story would end in a bloodbath anyway.

Moran was also watching the scene in disbelief. First, it was the first time that he witnessed the criminal channelling his rage like that. When someone was humiliating him, usually the poor sod ended up beheaded in the following seconds. Here, Moriarty hadn’t ordered him to do anything. Not even threatening him with his lasergun. Secondly, it was the first time he saw his boss sad . More than that, having feelings . However he felt that it was not over yet, and was dreading even more Sherlock and John’s future situation than Moriarty’s other former victims.

‘Yes, we should, er, move on,’ John said breaking the awkward silence. The heavy tension in the room was unbearable and tangible to all of them. John had no idea how to dispel it, for the moment, but he knew that it had to be dispelled one way or another. Years of service had taught him that was the only thing to do to avoid a situation to deteriorate and turn into a bloodshed. Judging by the expression of calm terror on ...Moran’s face yes, I’m sure he’s called that , this was the road they were walking, a fierce demon awaiting them in the shape of Moriarty. John cleared his throat, embarrassed by the silence which didn’t want to abate. He softly nudged Sherlock. Come on, say something, genius. Sherlock’s shoulders slouched just a little in agreement. His intake of breath was loud in the thickness of the silence in the room. ‘Revenge will be extracted.’

‘Revenge, on who?’ asked John, confused and disturbed to hear Sherlock say these words.

‘Mycroft, John. You may not have believed Jim when he told you, but the events of today were only one person’s fault.’

‘Sherlock, why are you talking about revenge?’ John asked, fear in his voice laced with contrition. He didn’t want Sherlock to say it if he wasn’t ready. Needs must . He bore his eyes into Sherlock’s, taking hold of his wrist, a reassuring sign that he was there to offer comfort should he need any.

‘You know why, John.’

‘Do I?’

‘The two years I spent dead were not a walk in the park, I assure you. I was mostly on the run. You know what happens when soldiers get abducted,’ Sherlock replied begrudgingly. John lowered his gaze, reaffirming his apology for asking such a sensitive question so soon after Sherlock had answered the first.

‘Who?’

‘Isn’t it obvious from the situation at hand, John?’ Sherlock asked back in a weak voice. It was clear that the mere evocation of his time away and what happened to him then, even if only brushed, had unsettled him. ‘Mycroft had it planned. I don’t know why. And I don’t want to know. He needs to pay for that.’

Jim seemed lifeless on his armchair, listening to the two friends’ complaints . They really should have eloped. He thought bitterly. However, his brain was rushing at thousand miles per hour to elaborate a plan to actually take their revenge. Well. His revenge. He had also to think how he would kill himself, for real this time. It had to be grand and commensurate with his international empire. Finally, he found it. The plan. The plan to make Mycroft suffer and this, for ever. He smiled sadistically and glanced at the hostage, still asleep. Moran exchanged a glance with his boss, happy to see he had found a plan to stick on. Finally, something to do. Meanwhile, he noticed something which wasn’t good. His boss was pale. Not that he was actually naturally pale but now, it was critical. He quickly calculated the time they spent there, since they had quit Mycroft’s fortress. It has been a while. The sniper turned towards John and urged him to heal his boss. Moriarty, angry at Moran, gave him a death glare. The consulting criminal needed anything but this doctor touching him right now.

Sherlock was not particularly happy when he heard Moran’s demand to John. He had been the one to suggest so at first, but this was then , and this was now with what Jim had said, he couldn’t bear the idea of John putting his hands on him, even as a doctor. From the look of repugnance he was sporting, John wasn’t too keen on the idea either. Nevertheless, he did go to Jim’s side, hiding his discomfort and unwillingness to help him. ‘Right, I imagine you know how it goes. Take your shirt off, I need to be able to access the wound easily. Lie back. I suppose you’d rather feel pain, but bite on that if the pain is too strong,’ he said as he gave Jim a stick. Jim rolled his eyes, wishing he’d die there and then before John could actually try to do anything to save him, but did as the doctor asked. ‘I don’t suppose you’ve got any first aid kit in here,’ he asked Sherlock.

‘As a matter of fact, I do,’ the detective replied, placing the first-aid kit near John and handing him a wet cloth. John looked at him in surprise. Sherlock shrugged. ‘I did have to tend to a few scrapes and grazes. Old habits die hard.’

Silently thanking Sherlock for making a bit of small talk to ease the anguish and tension, John set to work. ‘Now that it’s clean, I’ll have to remove the bullet. Now would be a good time for a gulp of strong liquor and biting down on that stick I gave you.’ As soon as he had uttered the words, a pair of tweezers and a bottle of whiskey appeared in front of him. John looked incredulously at Sherlock. ‘Don’t ask. Jim? Bite down. It really is necessary.’

‘I know what I’m doing, Moriarty. Far from being the first bullet wound I tended to. I was a doctor on a bloody battlefield . I know how to handle rough medical situations,’ he said in a tone he wanted calm but through which pierced his aggravation at the man. Working the tweezers inside Jim’s muscles, he made several tries before getting a good enough grip on the shrapnel. The man was writhing in pain and anger. ‘Stop moving, dammit! I can’t get it if you keep moving!’

‘It’s a FREAKING BULLET, Doctor !’ Moriarty shouted, moving all the more.

‘Sherlock. Vatican Cameos.’ John took the tweezers out of Jim’s wound, Sherlock advanced towards him and threw the fiercest punch he could in his face. Now John could work in relative peace. Tending to a gunshot in the shoulders brought back bad memories he had tried to repress.

‘There,’ he exclaimed as he extracted the bullet from the wound. ‘Only need to clean it again, put pressure on it and dress it up. Can you help?’ he asked Moran.

Moran could do this, it was not rocket science and anyway it hardly was the first time he’d have done that. Admittedly not on his boss, but the acts would be the same.

‘There you are, Doctor,’ he said as he finished cleaning up the wound. ‘Pressure, now, right?’ he asked as he pressed another clean dressing onto his boss’ shoulder while John was busying himself in making sure that the dressing would not move. ‘All done,’ he yawned and stretched. ‘And now, we wait till he wakes up. You didn’t go easy on him, Sherlock.’

‘It helped, didn’t it?’ he retorted, a mischievous glint in his eyes.

FIve minutes later, Jim awoke. First, he felt so dizzy he wanted to throw up. He went to the nearest window, at least, what he could identify as a window because his vision was blurry. He didn’t know why though. He threw up over it and then felt suddenly the cold wind stinging his bare skin ? What the hell is going on? He thought worriedly. He checked his torso to realise that both his shirt and his suit jacket were gone. “What the hell!-” He started but Moran cut his boss.

“Your shirt and jacket are just there boss. We pulled out the bullet which was in your shoulder boss. But to do that, you had to… remain inconscient for a small length of time boss.” Moran was appalled by the face of Moriarty. Indeed, not only his eyes were black of rage but also the skin had turned into a dark blue colour, following the rough punch Sherlock dealt to him. But this, hopefully, Moriarty did not know yet.

The consulting criminal nodded slowly, eyes staring into space. He took his clothes, his shirt maculated with blood, so was his jacket. He silently cursed to see his Westwood suit ruined. He felt awfully exposed to his first in command, this doctor and this traitor . Once he attached his last button, he found a real interest in his shoes, muttering a weak “Thank you John.” to the doctor a few yards apart.

He sat back in the armchair without saying anything else, trying to focus on the plan. Forgetting for now this horrid humiliation. Still, he wanted bullets to put them in his head. Just to be alone. No one would bother him if he died, nor humiliate him. But first, he needed to take care of sending Mycroft Holmes into the deep waters.

John muttered a low ‘You’re welcome’ under his breath when Jim thanked him. His heart was not in it. He hadn’t helped the criminal out of the goodness of his heart, but only as a means to an end. He knew Sherlock needed his help to achieve exert revenge for his brother’s abuse. Knowing, however vaguely what Mycroft had done or had others done to him, made John’s guts clench and his stomach turn. He wanted to take part in this and, if he had to associate with Moriarty... needs must .

‘Jim. Now that you’re awake,’ started Sherlock, a small smirk dancing on his lips, ‘can we go through the plan?’

Jim glared at the detetive. He noticed his awful smirk. He took a deep breathe and thought “Okay… You’re smirking now Sherlock but wait until the end of the game.”

‘Very simple plan. We have one hostage there. We need another. We will abduct Greg Lestrade and lock him up in a cell of mine. We will then create a high quality and very convincing wax mask of Lestrade and apply it on our hostage. I am still wondering if I cut his tongue or not. We connect to his cameras, showing off. Then we just need to show him “Lestrade”, play with his nerves and humiliate him. Making him betray his country.” He explained still staring into space.

“What do you think so far?” He asked suddenly, staring at them.

John was appalled at the idea of using another to get to Mycroft. He who seemed to hold the law above everything else had done unspeakable acts. Against his own little brother . He deserved what revenge the consultants would bring upon him. ‘I...As much as I don’t … relish the idea of using a hostage, I have to ask how you plan on making the D.I. betray his country, or humiliate Mycroft.’

‘Playing with his nerves however would be the easiest thing to do. The hostage would only have to stuff himself with cake. This should irritate Mycroft as he’s constantly on a diet,’ added Sherlock with a sly, mocking smile.

Jim rolled his eyes and glared at Sherlock. “This is way too nice. We can add this idea if you want but we need something way stronger than that. If we want him to reveal some of his government secrets. That’s why Greg Lestrade is a good idea for this.” He then turned to John. “Bitterness is a paralytic. Love is much more vicious motivator, John.”

‘This sounds familiar,’ John said, contemplative. ‘I’m sure you said something along those lines,’ he continued, speaking to Sherlock. ‘That’s definitely the sort of thing you would have said. That Mycroft would have drilled into your head,’ he concluded.

‘Hm. One of the numerous deeds my brother should not have done, yes. I agree, we mustn’t be nice on him. He certainly wasn’t.’

‘Yes, whatever you want or need. Why the state secrets?’

‘Because that’s the second thing he holds the closest to his heart. Now that we know that he does have one…’

Jim smiled to Sherlock for the first time in a while. “...We can burn the heart out of him.” He stared at Sherlock, at last, who was finally showing his true colours. Back in the game they were.

Chapter Text

Beatrice Lloyd put her pen down. She drew in a breath and smiled. She had found two substitutes and a full-time nurse in only a morning session of interviews. All three had a satisfactory appearance, a good if not very good elocution, were hard-working and would probably not count their hours too much at least it wasn’t the impression they’d given, not to mention that they had common sense, bedside manners and, such a rare trait in this modern world, manners, pure and simple. It appeared that the nurse who was employed full-time in St. Bartholomew’s hospital laundered money and had a business running with prescription drugs. She was sacked on the spot when her department’s manager was informed. Out of the two others, one had had to go on maternity leave and the other was sick - again. It was common knowledge that she’d pile up sick leave after sick leave. Most of them weren’t justified but it was extremely hard to prove.

Human Resources had not let her go yet but had instead put her job on the market, as locum work.

Beatrice was pleased with the way this had all turned out: the hospital would run smoothly again.


Greg finally stopped the engine of his car. At last, he has arrived to his daily destination, Scotland Yard. Although grateful for the increase of safety for the Londoners in the past few years, Inspector Lestrade found himself getting bored of the ordinary criminals of this city. Nevertheless, Sherlock had sacrificed two years of his life and his reputation for their country’s good. Greg was wandering in his thoughts as he was walking in the underground parking where, three years ago, Sherlock gave him the biggest scare of his life by cockily reappearing, as if nothing had happened. On that day, he had called him a ‘bastard’. He smirked at this memory. Sherlock Holmes was a real great man after all, and the inspector was almost ready to concede he was a ‘good one’.  

Arrived in his office, he greeted Philip and Sally, as well as all those ‘cops’ who were not even half the man Sherlock was. He sighed and grabbed the coffee mug Anderson had prepared for him. He folded his legs and lifted them onto his desk, waiting for a decent subject of intervention. Another day was beginning, but Greg Lestrade was miles away from knowing that this day would not be an ordinary one.


Jim woke up from a difficult night in his headquarters. At the dawn of a murder or an abduction, he could hardly sleep properly, as his brain was overheating 24 hours a day. No rest for geniuses.

He grabbed his phone and casually checked for the news. He was surprised by the discovery of a new alien specimen of asteroid by an observatory in Hawaii. It automatically overwhelmed him and already made his day. This was history for astronomists. Indeed, he knew that thanks to this crucial discovery, scientists would now be able to understand the alien life better, out of our solar system, that is. The specimen was huge and of an unusual shape, which was increasing the consulting criminal’s thrill. He jumped from his bed and started to pace around his bedroom, repeating aloud “437 yards!!” or even some “amazing!!”. He had just had the time to don a dressing gown before the door rang. Obviously, Moriarty’s private suite in his headquarters was over securised, hence the ‘ring’, not the ‘knock’, the cameras and the DNA recognition security devices. The whole thing was protected from all kind of governmental intrusions thanks to several servers across the globe which were helping not to be reachable by the United Kingdom’s MI5 or MI6 security.

“Come in Moran”, he sighed as he deactivated the security with his fingers and his eyes. A few seconds later, the tall blond man appeared through the doorway. He was clearly not comfortable with the view of his boss almost naked in a dressing gown. To be fair to himself, he was quite alarmed. The latter was wandering in his room as if nothing was awkward there, way too happy with this astronomicnews. He turned to face Moran so swiftly that Moran jumped by surprise. He quickly pulled himself together as Moriarty was grinning manically at him.

“Do you know what happened last night Moran?” He asked with an enthusiasm comparable to that of a child.

“What happened last night boss?” He was used to Moriarty’s sudden jolts of happiness. This man was so changeable that it was scary to witness his mood swings.

Jim started to expand on what he had read in the papers earlier in the morning. His eyes were glittering, clear sign of a wholehearted passion for the subject. He did not dare interrupt his boss. Consequently, he ended up sitting on one of the bar chairs in front of Jim, listening to his explanations on asteroids in general and why that one was different or something similar, and this for half an hour. When Moriarty had nearly gratified by his pace every single square foot of his luxury suite, he paused and stared at Sebastian.

“But surely you did not come to hear me talk about astronomy. Why did you want to see me?” He asked his first in command. The blond man was about to answer when Moriarty stopped him by a swift gesture of his hands. A light brightened his face. “AH! No. Don’t tell me anything. It’s the big day, huh?” He asked, his excitement blatantly showing on his face. Moran nodded, a smirk materialising on his face, he knew they would have so much fun for the following hours and days. Jim, who was currently over the moon, grabbed his phone and claimed delightfully that he had to text Sherlock. He knew the man would decipher it quickly and appreciate the gesture.


10101001000010000010110011000. 0100100000101. 000100000100100000000110110101010001000100101100000 -JM x

This is showtime!  Go down. A car is waiting for you two.     -JM x


Seconds later, the text message was sent and Jim wore his sadistic face. The final game was on.


Ping.

‘It’s your phone.’

‘Hm. Keeps doing that,’ said Sherlock, pouring over a microscope, dusty books on his left and an open notebook on his right.

‘I’ll get it, then shall I?’ John asked, long-suffering. He had expected Sherlock to adopt a behaviour… more suitable to sharing a flat when he got back. Wishful thinking. They were back into their domestic status quo.

When he saw the name of the sender, his relaxed attitude became alert, military.

‘Hm?’

‘Moriarty.’

‘Then it’s time,’ Sherlock stated, barely masking his excitement. He had explained after John’s incessant questions that he did not relish the idea of kidnapping the D.I. who was his friend and that he would not tolerate anything harmful happening to him.

It was all a means to an end, and even if John’s strong moral code protested against the idea of using a friend, psychologically harming a friend to get to an enemy (who was supposed to be family…), he had relented when he had seen Sherlock’s bare back as he was putting a shirt on. Knowing that it was because of Mycroft that Sherlock was in thatstate…

John had understood that he had been tortured and that there were marks on his body: if his half-confession hadn’t been enough, the mere fact that he wasn’t sauntering in their flat half-naked anymore was a dead give-away.

He was in utter and complete shock at seeing the bare back of his friend, so deeply scarred. There was barely a few inches of skin here and there that hadn’t been marred by the kiss of a knife or other torture tool. ‘Don’t stare,’ Sherlock had said when he had caught his gaze.

‘Sorry. Hard not to,’ John had answered, not a hint of apology in his voice. ‘I hadn’t -’

‘Obviously.’

‘Do you…? Do you need anything? Anything I can do?’

‘Help me get revenge for what happened.’

‘How…?’

‘You heard Moriarty’s plan.’

‘Yes, well, I did, but -’

‘You are reluctant to take part in it because it involves using my brother’s partner.’

‘Yes, of course I am! He’s your friend, too, doesn’t that mean anythingfor you?’

‘As a matter of fact, it does,’ Sherlock who had been perfectly cordial prior to this statement all but growled. His features had turned ashen and he closed himself off. Shame wrote itself on John’s face as he turned his eyes down.

‘What I meant to say is -’

‘Maybe you need an extra incentive,’ Sherlock declared, taking off the shirt he had just put on. ‘Feast yourself. Try to deduce what happened. For how long. For whom I endured this and why I couldn’t put an end to it when I wanted to, most of the time,’ he coldly said, venom in his voice as he turned his back on John. Not long after, John ran to the bathroom. Despite having seen these types of wounds before he had been in a war, after all the knowledge that came with it was too much. ‘I doubt all of it was on Mycroft’s orders,’ he said gravely. ‘I really hope not. This is...well, they went deeper.’

John’s face crumbled, went pale as realisation and revulsion dawned on him.

John swallowed his own saliva as he took control over his body again, set his jaw square and closed his eyes for a millisecond before opening them again, pits of burning wrath.

‘Yes, I’ll help. I’ll help bring down the bastard who had this done to you. If I ever find any of your torturers...what they did to you will be nothing in comparison. Of course I’ll help you, Sherlock.’


A dangerous, gleeful and vicious light shone in Sherlock’s eyes. John had never seen such a display in his friend, but he was behind him all the way. ‘I’ll get your coat,’ John offered, a small, dangerous smile of his own on his lips.


Both Moran and Jim were in Moriarty's office now. The sniper was chilling, comfortably sat in a leather armchair while Jim was pacing and pacing again, due to a mix of excitement and stress.

“Why the hell doesn't he answer to my text?? What is he doing??” He hit his desk and Moran jumped, again.

Useless to remind everyone that you'd better not to have a heart problem if you wanted to work with Moriarty.

“Why can't I see anything on the cameras I put in his room!!?”

Moran tried to calm Jim by suggesting the possibility of the early departure of Sherlock and the doctor. Jim paused. Moran was right, but then, why his driver hadn't sent him a text to let him know. Infuriated, he sent a text to the poor man asking:


I hope for your sake Sherlock and Watson are in the car. -M.


A few seconds later, he received a text back from the driver.


Sorry boss. Positive. In the car. Bringing them to HQ. -JS


As they were riding in the car sent by Moriarty, Sherlock was visibly containing himself on his seat from showing too much enthusiasm. His tortures were soon to be avenged, and the mere idea of it sent shivers down his spine. John was wearing a warm smile at seeing Sherlock in this happy place, but his mindstate was one of determined, avenging wrath mingled with fear and apprehension at working with Jim Moriarty.


Jim added a mental note that this driver should be punished some day. However, not now because there were way more important things to solve. The revenge on Mycroft and his vengeance against the world. He was disturbed by Sebastian, warning his boss that Sherlock and John were waiting to enter their safe location. A shiver of excitement ran down Jim’s spine and he answered in a purring voice, more for himself than for Moran. “Let them in.” He deactivated the security for the two Baker Street boys and sat comfortably in his leather desk chair, hands joined and smiling charmingly.


Entering the room in a purposeful stride, John tried to locate the emergency exits first and Sherlock analysed their surroundings, but there was not much of importance to note save from an enormous painting of a skull wearing a crown on a bed of roses.

‘Memento Mori for the king, I imagine,’ said Sherlock by way of greetings. ‘Suits you. Although the colour is a bit...too light, too hopeful.’

‘Yeah, what Sherlock says.’

‘I understand that the final act of our plan is about to go down, care to tell us more now? I think it’s time, don’t you?’

Jim smirked. “Of course Sherlock… You wouldn’t have to ask me twice.” He purred and devoured Sherlock with his eyes. He would have loved to go down, as the latter said, on the detective before his suicide… Oh well. He thought. Jim sighed. “Tea?”

he asked them, meanwhile intimating them to have a seat.

‘Thank you,’ Sherlock said as he unbuttoned his jacket before sitting down primly on the chair Jim had indicated while John threw suspicious looks and a dark glare to Moriarty. Now was not the time for flirtation. The mere idea of someone flirting with Sherlock irritated him, especially after what he’d told him. Irene Adler and her constant texting were bad enough, but Jim Moriarty was another thing entirely. Sherlock didn’t seem to mind. Or to notice. Or thought it funny.

‘Well, I don’t mean to complain, but I was expecting something...bigger. My armchair is definitely more comfortable. I’m sure you remember,’ Sherlock continued with a hint of mischief in his voice.

John was still standing, refusing to obey Jim and determined to remain his own master, thank you very much. Upon hearing Sherlock’s words, he stared at him with incredulity and stern disapproval. He was finding it funny. The man was a menace...as John had already told him countless times. Why he was continuing in that type of interaction, John hadn’t the faintest idea. Either he reallywas enjoying himself or he’d seen a detail or another that made him act like that.

‘Problem?’ Sherlock asked innocently as he slightly turned towards John.

‘No, not at all. Continue with all that nonsense. It’s not like we hadn’t come here for a specific reason,’ John replied sarcastically.

‘I believe you would come for other reasons than I would,’ he retorted, a predatory smile on his lips. ‘And I believe this ‘nonsense’ as you call it, John, is what refined people call conversation. Social manners,’ he concluded . ‘But I think you are right, we should move on,’ he conceded. ‘Details?’ he asked, looking at Jim.


In this precise moment, Jim wanted to kill John Watson… How could a man possibly be so talented as to ruin a good flirting episode? He answered to Sherlock, still purring with his delicious Irish accent “Oh yes honey I remember your armchair and that time… how could I forget..? If you want something more comfortable, however, I would find myself in the obligation to show you other parts of my headquarters… more… intimate parts.” He winked at the detective, clearly ignoring John who was fulminating. Surely the poor doctor wasn't very happy to be the third wheel, but Jim didn't care about his whining. His life would end soon so he wanted to enjoy every last second of it.

However, he came back to the plan.

“Okay. Here are the details of my plan so listen closely and ask your questions at the end. We have two choices: either operate somewhere off cameras in London or pirate their little cameras.Here is what we are going to do.I have put three people inside St Bart’s posing as nurses, for two weeks now. They are our Trojan horse. Sherlock, you will send a text to Greg, asking him to hurry to St Bart’s for a case. Once on the pavement at the entrance of the hospital, Moran will fire a powerful sedative into Greg from a rooftop so that nothing will be seen. Greg will of course collapse on the floor while nurses are not far. They will take care of him, insert a carbon ball against his armpit so that his pulse can’t be taken. He will appear to have died of a heart attack. Then, the nurses will put the body into a bag without getting people’s attention and will put it in one of my cars, disguised as an ambulance. As the morgue is not on this side of the building, taking a corpse into an ambulance won’t be suspicious. Not to mention that they have done a real good job at the hospital by being the cherished nurses to their boss.

Then, my people bring him to HQ, obviously they'll have changed cars during the travel, in underground parkings. Concerning the cameras, I can hack them easily so it will show the same quiet and boring image of a basic day the moment I press the ‘enter’ key. Same for St Bart’s. And as it will be really quick, they won’t notice anything wrong.

We’ll then plunge Lestrade into an artificial coma, and take all the measurements to design the wax mask for the first hostage. Then you have it. Don't worry for the artificial comatose part, I have like a small hospital here.”

He took a sip of his tea, brought by a butler of his. He smiled tenderly to Sherlock and asked. “Are you happy with this plan honey? I can't wait for you and I to get revenge… Mycroft will pay…” And you little detective, you're going to be bored then. As you've never been… He finished his sentence internally.

Honey’, ‘Darling’...What is wrong with the man? Can’t he see his attention is more than a shade annoying? John thought to himself, containing his anger. Mind you, if Sherlock didn’t encourage him that’d get across more easily. He regretted having given Sherlock his word to stay calm because there were so few more things he’d like to do more than beat Jim up. But John had promised and he was a man of his word. On a more civilised note, he also regretted not having a notepad. He would have liked to be able to take notes and make it clearer for himself. Fairly straightforward, John, why can’t you get it in your head?

Sherlock cocked his head to the side, eyes riveted on Jim’s face as if he had heard his thoughts. ‘Revenge is not the only thing that’ll happen,’ he whispered. ‘The Game is never over,’ he continued, ignoring the fury coming off John.

‘Yeah, sure. I think what you want to ask, honey, is what exactly will be done to the poor hostage to make Mycroft spill the beans. I get that him being supposedly Greg will get to Mycroft, but that’s only part of the plan, isn’t it? So what’s the rest?’ he asked, military-like.


Jim turned to face John, as if he hadn’t had noticed he was there. For a reason which was still a mystery for him, it seemed Sherlock had seen through, and that was not part of the plan. He did not want it to be ruined. Sherlock had to let him go.

“Problem?” He asked dangerously. He turned his attention back to Sherlock and explained. “This man will probably die. I don’t know yet. But obviously you already knew that, honey. It will all depend on Mycroft’s talkativeness… We will ask Mycroft governments secrets, international scandals that are passed under the table by our dear government. Mycroft will be humiliated for life for betraying his country…” The consulting criminal wandered in his thoughts, day-dreaming for a few seconds. Then he locked his eyes into Sherlock’s and purred “I love it”.

Sherlock raised an eyebrow as if this were old information. ‘Obviously. It’ll bring chaos. It seems only natural you’d love it given your personal preferences. I, on the other hand, am not looking for destruction, let alone annihilation. I, for one, had too much of that for a lifetime. But anyway, let’s begin.’

John was fuming at being ignored.

‘Anytime either of you would like to include me. Well, I say ‘either of you’,’ John added under his breath.

‘Do relax, John. You are included.’

‘How so?’

‘Well, you’re...here. With me,’ he added in a softer tone. ‘What lies ahead...Well. I’ll need proper aftercare. Who better than a doctor to provide that?’

Jim’s good mood collapsed and his smile faded instantly. Amazing how this man could turn you on and then destroy your entire and last day. This doctor was really a thorn in his side. He was finding himself in the horrid position that they both were literally fighting like teenage girls for their daddy to love them the best. Ironic, and so depressing as he had said to Sherlock five years ago that his employees were always fighting for his favours. “Daddy loves me the best”.

It seemed now the Virgin was a daddy… Oh. Whatever. He knew he had lost the war. He just wanted to enjoy Sherlock’s attentions one last time.

“Moran. Off you go. You have work to do.” He snapped. “Sherlock, can you please send a text to dear Inspector Lestrade to tell him you need him in St Barts now.”

He turned to face the doctor again.  “Blimey! We have a doctor in the assembly. When everything is set, if the hostage is in an irregular state, you will take care to keep him alive, will you?”

He turned on his computers, and started to drum on the keyboards some very complex codes. He was hacking government’s cameras.

Jim had barely finished asking for Sherlock to text Lestrade that the sound of a key was heard.

‘Sherlock? How did you do that so quickly?’

‘Had deduced what to tell him when Jim first broached the subject. It was no trouble.’

‘What, a month or so ago?’ Sherlock hummed noncommittally. John was incredulous. Sherlock never did put his brain on standby. Ideas and thoughts were running through his brain all the time. Even ideas to mess with his friends’ heads and feelings. This was disturbing. His flirting banter with Jim even more so. Or about the same. Probably about the same. Sometimes John felt as if he didn’t know his friend as well as he had once thought he did. He had had mood swings ever since he knew him, alternating between bouts of glee and gloomy depressive states. Not one in so close proximity to the other. And...what was that that he sometimes heard in his voice when it became soft? Tenderness? Ha! What a ridiculous idea! And the flirting he’s witnessed? What the hell had happened to Sherlock? Not a doctor, that’s for sure, came an ironic answer. He threw a glare at Jim. That’s all he was, anyway. An ordinary doctor whose sole function in Sherlock’s life seemed to be patching him up. Or casualties around him. He couldn’t help but stay in his orbit. He was his friend. Not like the criminal who was using him for his own revenge. John had tagged along not only to provide the help Sherlock had asked for, but also to protect him if the need arose.

Moriarty purred, smiling charmingly to the consulting detective. “Your brain will always amaze me. Perfect.” He had put off the cameras and replaced the feed with another tape. He received a text, saying he was on his way. He sent an encrypted message to the medical team at his HQ, asking them to prepare everything for when Lestrade would arrive. It would take them a couple of hours to make a wax mask of the Inspector’s face.


Greg Lestrade was on his way to St Bartholomew's Hospital. To be fair, the text he had received from Sherlock was a real relief. He was so bored in his office that he had started to count the raindrops falling on the window frame. He was walking fast along the building, looking forward to hearing about Sherlock's case, who had promised it would be awesome. He hadn't attended a first class university to end up dying in an office, doing nothing of his days.

Suddenly, he felt a huge pain in his neck, and milliseconds later, his vision became blurred and his inanimate body collapsed on the pavement.


It wasn’t too long after Jim had received a text that an ambulance arrived, an anaesthetised D.I. in it. The agents Jim had assigned to this particular mission carried Greg inside HQ, blindfolded and hands tied.

‘He’s unconscious, you morons!’ exclaimed John.

‘What John means to say is that you don’t need to do that. Especially as in having him blindfolded and tied up might result in unexpected results on the wax work he’s going to help us with,’ Sherlock amended. ‘If the blindfold were too tight around his eyes it could very well result in some deformation of the skin around them. A temporary modification, which most people would not notice, but do bear in mind that it is Mycroft Holmes we are up against. He would see the difference, without the shadow of a doubt. As for tying him up,’ he continued confidently, encouraged as he was by John’s eager attention and Jim’s approval as if he needed any of that ‘blood flow will be slowlier in ligatured limbs and as I’m certain you know since you’re such perfect nurses, constricted veins will lead the person to become unsteady on their feet, have unsteady hands, make awkward movements since their limbs would have become numb from lack of correct blood flow and pressure in their veins,’ he finished pointing at Greg’s hands which were starting to become a soft shade of blue. ‘And that will eventually lead to modifications to Greg’s body. Which will come to affect the face, and the wax mask that Mycroft will see on the other hostage. Conclusion: you’re morons,’ he stated forcefully as he turned his back on them not before throwing them one of his most expressive contemptuous looks. The nurses had the decency to cower and see the sense of what he had just told them as they hurried in taking the blindfold off Greg as well as his bonds.

 

Jim smirked. He was almost aroused by the fact that Sherlock was using his deduction skills to organise a crime. They would have been such a good pair together… The whole world would have been way more frightened by their unbeatable intellect. No police nor security organisations would have been able to arrest them.

“Well done, Sherly,” he purred, wandering just behind him, brushing the detective’s suit jacket. He turned to his nurses. “No time for incompetence. You'd better be aware that this man” he waved at Sherlock “is the best genius you will have the opportunity to meet, aside from me. So now go and quickly start the wax procedure,” he snapped.

Once they left the room, Moriarty asked for more tea. He went back to his armchair and stared at the detective. “I would have loved to see you on my side Sherlock. You would have been amazing.”

He sighed, blowing on his tea, staring at nothing.


Sherlock didn’t miss the tense Jim had used. ‘Of course I would have.’ John scowled. ‘But as I’m on the side of the angels, I’m afraid that it will not be possible. Are you planning to retire?’ he asked nonchalantly while helping himself to another cup of tea.

‘That would be an excellent idea - ‘ John started, arms crossed and a small smile on his face. One look at Sherlock’s features made him amend his sentence, however. ‘Less work for consulting detectives, more boredom.’

‘I’m the only one in the world,’ grumbled Sherlock.

‘Not a good combination,’ John finished, ignoring Sherlock, who was looking intently at Jim’s almost vacant expression.

The show must go on,’ Sherlock said a little forcefully. ‘Isn’t that the expression?’ he asked, clearly wondering what he’d done wrong this time as he saw the look of surprise and shock on John’s face as well as interest on Jim’s.

Jim had a little smile on his face. “I didn’t know you liked Queen…” He cooed. “No… I’m not planning to. But I know you have given up the idea of being on the dark side… That’s depressing, in a way. On the other hand… I have my adversary. Anyway things are getting boring in this world.” He finished in a long sigh, his voice slightly cracking. He hated that. It happened when they were on this bloody rooftop and it had to happen now. He tried to pullhimself together, thinking about the great news of this morning, thinking about his vengeance on the Ice Man. “Oh well…” He sipped more of his tea.

‘Yeah, Sherlock, I didn’t know you liked Queen either,’ said John perplexed. Sherlock rolled his eyes.

‘There are some things that stay in the hard drive. Stuff that matter, John. You know that,’ he replied slight exasperation in his voice. ‘You told me once that in a place of locked rooms the man with the key is king, clearly associating yourself with that title,’ he then continued, facing Moriarty. ‘Now do tell me, what better way is there to talk to a king, if not using Queen references? Besides,’ he added after a slight pause while he observed Jim taking in the compliment, ‘there already is an excellent dark knight, I wouldn’t want to fill in for him.’

He discarded his jacket, stretched, slowly, showing how tight his shirt was and added in a deep sultry voice once Jim’s eyes were on him and he locked eyes with him, ‘that’s not the position I’d like to fill.’

John’s eyes went wide. ‘Sherlock!’

Jim’s mouth went wide open and he blinked several times, suddenly unsure whether he had woken up or not. He blushed severely, and his eyes went down to lock on Sherlock’s buttons shirt,  they are definitely ready to break down… He thought, mesmerised by the athletic torso of his detective. “Can I ask you then, what would be the position you’d want to fill honey?’’ he answered, ignoring John’s pleas, his Irish low drawl getting the upper hand.

He undid his top shirt button and untie a bit his tie. Way too hot in this room.

‘I’ll let you see for yourself,’ he replied his sensuous voice turning into a tantalising, seductive whisper.

John’s jaw dropped, his facial features tensed a moment ago slackened, showing nothing but shock and confusion. His mouth had gone dry. He tried clearing his throat but the muscles of his larynx would not work. None of his muscles worked. In that instant he did agree with Sherlock who had told him a lifetime ago that breathing was boring.

 

Still having his eyes locked on Sherlock’s, Jim completely untied his tie this time, his pupils wide with desire for the man in front of him. He put down his cup of tea very carefully, stood up and made his way towards Sherlock as an animal with his prey would do. His brain had cracked up under the detective’s blatant flirt.

“Then… I shall see for myself… Sherlock Holmes… But let me admire my… adversary from closer,” he purred, placing each of his knees on either side of Sherlock’s thighs. He was now overhanging the fruit of his obsession. His heart was racing and he was starting to regret his death wishes.

“Why are your shirts always so tight Sherlock…” he cooed, brushing the buttons line with his forefinger and stopping just above the belt of his suit trousers.

Sherlock took in a sharp breath when Jim stood up and approached him, slowly and with strong determination. Transfixed, he didn’t let go of Moriarty’s staunch gaze until he touched his thighs and followed every movement of his fingers with minute attention.

‘I’m sure you have an idea,’ Sherlock answered in the same low, enticing voice. ‘But look closer. You are missing a sizeableclue. Care to verify your theory?’ he asked in barely disguised lust.

Jim’s smile turned into a sadistic one. He clearly understood what the detective was implying. A very modest man, Sherlock Holmes… He decided to sit on Sherlock's now obvious bulge. His trousers were showing a blatant arousing as well, and even more after having noticed that Sherlock was actually right. He smiled even more and couldn't repress a moan. He played with the first button of Sherlock's shirt, to eventually pop it up. He stared at Sherlock while he was doing this with the others, caressing the pale skin of the detective in the meantime. “I think I might be in the right position to deduce that I indeed missed a sizeabledetail.”


‘Bloody hell!’ Sherlock heard as the door slamming shut echoed in the room. Sherlock snapped out of Jim’s and his amorous play, but only enough to set their priorities in order.

‘It seems you will,’ he gasped when Jim moved a little too strongly, ‘have to make your observations at a later time. After all, you told me your headquarters had more comfortable parts than this chair. Comfortable parts you would show me. Among other things, I hope,’ he added in a heavy whisper, bringing his hand to Jim’s and pulling it away from his chest in the slowest, most sensual way he could as if to say The action is merely delayed. Rest assured it is not cancelled.

Jim was hesitating between acid, or electricity in water, or crocodiles or piranhas. Inside, he was boiling with rage against the doctor. He was so close to his ultimate and always wanted but unsaid goal. The doctor had ruined it. He took a deep breath and tried to remain calm, as calm as possible. Sherlock seemed annoyed as well and his tone of voice assured him he wanted to continue this as soon as they would be… in a more intimate situation. That contributeda lot to the calm of the consulting criminal.

“I suppose this is now the time that you go and fetch your… friend?” He was struggling to speak so high was his arousal. He got down of Sherlock’s thighs, not without difficulties. He helped the other man to stand up but before he could do anything, he grabbed the hem of his shirt and leant forward to kiss the taller man. Just a simple one. But full of feelings. “Now, go. After our vengeance I will show you even funnier things…”

Sherlock had not expected a kiss. Certainly not a chaste one like Jim had just presented him with. He was aware that Jim was physically very much interested in him, but the emotional part of it had simply not been obvious to him. Unsure of what to do lest he’d shatter Jim’s regained interest and bring his spirits down, Sherlock let the other man kiss him, sweetly, tenderly. It was absolutely not the image he associated with the criminal.

‘No,’ he said as Jim pulled away. ‘I need a bit of time to get things under control here,’ he continued, indicating his crotch. ‘So do you,’ he concluded, looking pointedly at Jim’s.

Jim flushed at what the detective was referring to. The thing was. If Sherlock and him were in the same room right now, he couldn’t prevent himself from kissing the man or doing even more. That was accurate considering what they did a few minutes before. He pulled back as if to prevent his body from approaching Sherlock or even jumping on him. “Erm… I… Do you want tea? Or something stronger than tea?” He asked quickly, clearly not comfortable with the current situation.

 

Sherlock was grateful for Jim taking a step back. He was very much not in a fit state to will his arousal away with the person who’d helped bring it up in the same room. Besides, he’d rather they build up to a heated situation and savour it in a more comfortable and intimate environment than an office chair. ‘Tea is fine, yes. Need to keep a clear...head. Thank you,’ he said as Jim was making his way to the other side of the room where a solitary kettle sat along with three mugs. Silence settled in the room while their tea steeped. Heat was still prickling in the air, but that didn’t prevent shivers to run through Sherlock’s spine.

‘Any ideas - ‘ he began, but barely a sound escaped his mouth. ‘Any ideas at what sort of questions we’d ask fake Lestrade to turn Mycroft into a public disgrace?’ he asked, in the most casual tone he was capable of. ‘I was thinking of - thank you - building up a rapport of sorts, asking questions about his current cases. When he’ll inevitably tell us that he’s bored at his job, we’d have to mention what he does after work. What his relationships are. Not useful to go trying to establish a friendly, sympathetic bond here, he’ll be wary, he’s not stupid. They do have moderately intelligent people on the force, after all.’

Moriarty was happy Sherlock picked up on the idea of their actual and current case. He nodded to what he was saying, encouraging him to go further in his explanations. That sounded good. After all, he had to admit Sherlock obviously knew his brother better than he did. Only him would know how to hit a nerve in Mycroft’s fortress.

“Very good honey. Let’s do that. You are the best out of the two of us to know Mycroft’s exact pressure point, and don’t make me say it twice!” He giggled as he saw the detective smirking, reaction to that sudden and unusual compliment, Moriarty taking a step down just for once in his global criminal empire to let Sherlock shine. He sipped his tea, trying to calm down the fire inside his soul. This was very uncomfortable, constantly wanting to jump on the man in front of you.

Not that the consulting criminal hadn’t had the thoughts before… But now that he had tasted it… It was even better than committing murders. But he would never say that out loud of course. His look was wandering on Sherlock’s chest… Then on his forearms… to continue on his legs and inevitably landing on his crotch. He blinked several times again, and found his beautiful ceiling very, very interesting. He really had to calm down, as the plan would start at any moment.

‘I’m glad you approve,’ continued Sherlock, his smirk turned provocative, as he watched Moriarty unable to look away, eyes wandering on his tightly-clad body, libidinous thoughts written on his face and evident in his posture. ‘I wonder what your input as a master criminal would be. Is there any other...technique that you would think of that could be used here? I may be the one with better insight into my brother’s psyche as well as his lover’s, but I believe youare the best at getting into people’s heads so as to commit crimes.’ Sherlock looked at the time. ‘It’s been a little over fifteen minutes since the Detective Inspector arrived. We still have time to finalise details but we need to do it now. Are you ready?’ he called from his chair, in which he had sat down.

Jim smirked at Sherlock and asked, amused “What’s the phrase again? ‘The game is on?’ But please, come have a seat with me in front of our computer, darling. We’re going to have so much fun.” He disposed a second comfortable leather chair next to his and patted the base of the armchair to illustrate his words. Mycroft would have a beautiful and unforgettable surprise.

Chapter Text

 

Ping.

Mycroft Holmes let out a long, irritated sigh. His brother was attempting to establish contact via text message, still using the same non encrypted mobile phone.

After all, conversations could be recorded but easily dismissed as forged. Impressionists were more and more numerous. Written notes sent onto non-encrypted binary servers were much more difficult to deal with.

Good Lord, how embarrassing it would be if anyone found out about Sherlock being such a shame to the family name. To the nation. How much more embarrassing it would be if it were publicly advertised that he was back, helping the police and consorting with criminals. Everything he used to do, he was doing again. A disappointment.


Scotland Yard has a message for you, brother mine. - SH.

Make no attempt at righting your wrongs. -SH.

There will be a reckoning. -SH.


What in the world…? Panic started to pool in Mycroft’s chest. Sherlock always had extremely strange ideas for jokes, but this sounded borderline insane. Mycroft had no luck when attempting to reach D.I. Lestrade. His call automatically went to voicemail. This does not bode well.


Sherlock, what have you done? - MH.


Ping.

He received a video on which he could clearly see Gregory’s face. He was pale and trembling, arms bound behind his back. It was nothing new to him, of course. The situation however was extremely different to the ones he was used to.


Instructions will follow. - SH.

Keep your phone open. -SH.

Jim says hi. -SH.


Jim stared at Sherlock, smiling mischievously at him. His eyes were shining, he was so excited about their revenge. He was waiting for Mycroft’s answer impatiently.

“Oh… Sherlock it’s going to be so much fun!!” He squealed with delight. Moran, who had come back since then, had an urge to hide his face behind the palm of his hands at Moriarty’s reaction. Sometimes, he suspected that his boss was actually an 8 year-old child stuck in the body of a 40 years-old man.


Jim. Moriarty, with Sherlock. That his brother who was constantly bored should associate himself with the worst criminal mind the world had ever faced, was bound to happen. A disaster for all.

The reason why Gregory came into this, however, was unclear. He clearly had been taken hostage. His brotherhad taken part in abducting him. Gregory would have followed Sherlock blindly since Mycroft had assured him all those years ago of his brother’s inherent desire to do good. Mycroft himself had never expected Sherlock to go rogue.


I do not approve of this current choice of companion. -MH.


Jim leaned on Sherlock’s shoulder to see his text. Once he saw the answer, he smiled cajolingly at the detective and laughed. “Oh of course he doesn’t… Poor, poor Mycroft… Now I bet he’s starting to freak out.” He said ironically. He brushed Sherlock’s cheekbones and whispered in his current partner in crime’s ear “come on honey… let’s get into business…” Moran was genuinely embarrassed by the two but didn’t dare let it show. He knew his boss had three passions: Crime, Sherlock and Astronomy. If someone was interrupting him during his great time of enjoying his hobbies… The person would no longer be a person

‘Clearly he is. Petty comment on companions? Please. He is the one who taught me that emotions are weaknesses. He simply refuses to acknowledge them. To me, which would make it even more embarrassing. He reverts to basic human defense mechanism.’ He softly disengaged himself from Jim’s embrace, eyes filled with veiled lust. Later, we will get to business.

‘How’s the plan going? How’s Greg? How has Mycroft reacted so far? I imagine you’ve let him know?’ came John’s voice as he entered the room. Upon seeing the two consultants in an amorous dance again! John averted his eyes, loudly cleared his throat and threw a glance in Moran’s direction. ‘So, what’s the plan, now?’ he asked, as casually as he could given the circumstance. He was talking to Sherlock as usual, but the magnificent brain of the standoffish, haughty genius was otherwise occupied in barelyconcealing his physical desires.

Sebastian would not have said this out loud, but he was extremely relieved that John had burst into the room. An aureole was floating over John’s head in Moran’s mind.

Definitely acid. I will kill this man with acid Jim thought, sending him a death glare.  However, he had to admit that John was right. They had to get back to the matter at hand. “You definitely are very motivated to separate us Doctor Watson, considering you’re now very interested in torturing our prisoner…” He said bitterly.

He sent a text message to Mycroft.


It’d be nice of you to let your brother choose something in his life Mr Holmes. -JM

Let’s play with your heart now. -JM


Ping.

Any doubt he might have left was swept away with these last text messages. His brother was assuredly in cohorts with none other than James Moriarty. He still had no inkling as to whythey were working together, against him.


I will have you know I have nothing of such cumbersome attachment. - MH.

Did Sherlock not tell you that caring was not an advantage yet? - MH.


A shiver of hatred came down Jim's spine once he read the messages.


Oh, he did. Rest assured he did. But you see… Everyone gets tired of lies. -JM

You will now enjoy your words, Mister Holmes. -JM


He asked Moran to cut a deep wound into the fake Lestrade’s forearm. They kept him dosed up with drugs so he’d remain sleepy and pliable. He took a new picture and sent it to Mycroft with the following caption:


Got you


He turned to Sherlock and offered him somehow a tender smile. As if to say, “we're going to get our revenge don't worry.”

Sherlock cocked his eyebrow. A dangerous, predatory smile appeared on John’s lips.

‘Oh he’s not worried,’ said John whose posture had now relaxed. ‘Don’t keep me in the dark though, what did Mycroft say?’ His face closed off when he read Mycroft’s answer on Sherlock’s phone. ‘Not an advantage, again, eh? Let me show him how much he’s right. Caring is not an advantage where he is concerned,’ he continued in a low, threatening voice.

‘John?’

‘Let me take part in this. You asked for my help.’

Sherlock imperceptibly looked at Jim.

‘I don’t care if it also helps Moriarty. Your own brother destroyed you,’ John said forcefully, his controlled rage a testimony to his dedication to help and protect Sherlock, whatever the circumstances. Sherlock looked at him. As if you need to do that. He gave him a firm, single nod.

‘See you in a moment. Moran. Come help me,’ demanded Captain John Watson who turned on his heels in a military tread not sparing a glance behind him.

Moran stood up quickly and adopted the same military position as John. Military instinct. Suddenly perplexed, not knowing if he had to follow Doctor Watson or not, he glanced at his boss, asking him silently what he should do. Moriarty, slightly dazed, let him know by a discrete gesture of his chin that he could do what the doctor had ordered. He didn’t know the reason why Johnny boy had changed dramatically his views on their plan, nor why he was starting to help, putting aside his quint moral. Once he heard the door slamming behind the two military men, he watched incredulously Sherlock, silently asking “Why the hell?”


‘Good old Doctor Watson,’ he said, a satisfied smile on his lips. ‘Feelings,’ he said as a ways to explain John’s behaviour, puzzling to a third person who was not as acquainted with him as he was. ‘Sentiment,’ he added. ‘A bit too early to send another text. I think John’s idea, whatever it is, should come next. So. What’s next on the agenda?’ he asked Moriarty.

Moriarty grinned, a ton of lewd images was passing before his eyes. “Well… I said we have to wait for your heartless brother to deign answering to our text… I don’t understand why he is taking his time though. Maybe he is trying to crack our security in vain… And as we don’t know when your friend and my first in command will come back nor what they will do…” He whispered the last sentence. “Send him a text to know what he is up to, will you… sexy?”

On the inside, Moriarty was boiling of rage towards Mycroft Holmes.Why was he so long to answer?? He was craving for Sherlock’s body like never before. And the wait was starting to be unbearable. He hated waiting. Especially in those kinds of situations.

‘Certainly. ’ Sherlock agreed. ‘You’re not so bad, yourself. Darling.’ he purred, his voice going down an octave.


Hey bro, don’t mean to complain, but what is taking you so long? Have you been putting on weight again? - SH.


‘There you have it. Insolent, petty.’


Ping.

You will cease that impertinence of yours, brother mine. Mummy will be cross. - MH.


Oh, Mother has many more reasons to be cross with you, brother dear. - SH.

What you’ve put me through. - SH.

Should she learn about this, she would turn absolutely monstrous. - SH.

I’m doing you a kindness, here. - SH.

Sort of. - SH.


Let him go. - MH.


‘Here you are,’ Sherlock said in a vicious tone. ‘He is ready. Almost. We have to let him stew,’ he added in an iniquitous tone of voice. That he didn’t have the slightest idea how wrong his behaviour had been gave Sherlock murderous urges. He might just...No. That wouldn’t be fair. To himself. Certainly not to his brother. Although it would bring him pain and loss in unimaginable strength. ‘Jim?’ he asked, suddenly taken by tremors. ‘I’ve had an idea.’

Jim was both quite concerned internally and thrilled by Sherlock's behaviour. “I'm all ears…”

‘Mycroft’s been careless enough to let his emotion dominate him. We should cut his heart out. Kill the hostage. Maximise the pain. Our revenge would be complete. Mine would, and I suspect that yours would, as well,’ Sherlock said, words flying out of his mouth, fear and excitement at having this idea. His body was quivering under the trepidation of the possibility of actually committing murder as retribution for his brother’s abuse and torture. He put his hand on Jim’s shoulder.

The consulting criminal smiled tenderly to the detective, visibly upset and excited at the same time. He caressed Sherlock's spine from the tip of his fingers. “Easy, tiger… Well that’s how I call my sniper. Don't ask me why. We have to wait a little more to obtain the secrets of our dear government. Obviously after that we willkill him.”

Moriarty was floating into a beautiful dream, seeing Sherlock so keen to murder someone. It was as if the consulting detective was a child that one had prevented him for far too long to do something he would like to do. As if he was assisting to Sherlock's blooming. He was genuinely happy and content.

He sent some texts to Mycroft, a sadistic and murderous expression painted on his face.


Believe me we would love to. His cries of pain are starting to be painful to the ears. However, you know in the big bad world, everything has a price . -JM


Rest assured I don't want your money. I have enough for several lives. No. What we need, however, is some of your dark little secrets from the government. -JM


It's a nice deal. Lestrade in your arms in a few hours… Us, with some of your secrets. -JM


Seeing that Mycroft was taking a bit too long, and that he really wanted to enjoy the company of Sherlock in other ways… He sent another text to Mycroft, visibly annoyed to have to wait.  


Answer quickly I have more pressing matters and I don't have much time. -JM


He focused his attention on Sherlock's locks, playing with them absentmindedly.


Ping!


Jim almost jumped when Sherlock's iPhone rang. He pulled himself together very quickly and cleared his throat before to ask eagerly “Is this your brother?”


A look of undisguised deviousness appeared on Sherlock’s face. His eyes became a bit brighter and he had a crooked smile on his lips.

‘John,’ he replied simply.



Captain Watson and Colonel Moran settled, after having made sure that the house was empty, in an office at Lestrade’s neighbours. The place was quaint, if somewhat a bit too furnished and with too many floral patterns. ‘Get the bipods out, Moran. I’ll assemble the rifles.’

Captain Watson checked through the telescopic sight he had mounted onto the rifle. ‘All clear. Targets should not be long to - Ah, here they are.’

A little girl, aged approximately eight years old appeared in John’s sight. Another blond child, evidently a few years younger than his sister sat next to her. He was in Moran’s.

John snapped a picture through the lenses of both their rifles. Neither the girl or the boy was safe. The message could not be any clearer. Hopefully their commanding officers would validate this extra incentive.



Jim watched the text Sherlock showed him, or more exactly the picture in it. The same devious smile appeared on his face. Jim nodded. “I do approve wholeheartedly. I never thought it would happen in my life, but I agree with Johnny Boy! I would never have thought he was… like that... Brilliant!” He jumped from his armchair, way too excited by the way things were carried out. He started to pace around his office, sniggering sadistically. “Tell doctor Watson they have my complete approval.”

‘Done. I imagined you would find the idea alluring. We also should send this to my brother, if he’s too long to answer.

Ping.

‘Speaking of the devil.’


I will not negociate. Set him free. -MH.


‘I’d say now would be a very good moment to send him that incentive, wouldn’t you agree?’

Jim nodded, his vicious smile turning a sly, wide grin.


I strongly invite you to reconsider, brother mine. - SH.

Your paramour would wish you would. -SH

 

Jim went back to his “throne” and looked confused for a few seconds. How on earth Mycroft didn’t care about letting Lestrade dying… He knew Lestrade was at his mercy so WHY would he take that risk…

An idea came up to his mind but he categorically refused to think about it. It was purely impossible, Mycroft was not able to know whether it was or not the real Greg Lestrade. He had taken care of every details. He frowned and took a withdrawn pose, staring at his computer.



Moran was completely surprised, shocked even by the sudden change in Doctor Watson’s behaviour. However, he was happy to have finally someone more… how to say… normalwith him. He had to admit that sometimes, Moriarty was very hard to follow and too ‘genius-y’ to be understood. The worse was when Sherlock and Moriarty were together in the same room. It was unbearable. He tried to establish a conversation between the two of them.

“A bit better without those geniuses, right? Sometimes… My boss is so hard to follow, as if he imagines I understand everything he says, but I don’t.”

‘I know. Sherlock can also be a bit difficult to follow. But he tries to slow down for us mere mortals. I will not report your criticism to your commanding officer or mine, Moran. You can relax.’ John’s phone buzzed.


Luminous idea. - SH.


‘Sherlock approves,’ he informed Moran. ‘I imagine Moriarty does as well,’ he said grumbling, unhappy that the criminal who seemed to have caught Sherlock in his web would approve of anything to please him. John, however, knew when he was not wanted, and this was very much the definition of ‘not wanted’. He had, however, vowed to protect Sherlock after their first case together and after he’d revealed what he’d been through, John’s oath had raised to a whole new level of determined fervour.



Upon seeing the picture of Lestrade’s children in the sight of sniper rifles, Mycroft’s breath hitched. Kate and David were the most precious treasure Gregory had. He stood up on wobbly legs and went to the cabinet to pour himself several measures of Talisker whisky. He sat back down on his office chair, face in his head.

Despondent, wrecked and at a loss at what to do and feel, he finally texted back.


What do you want to know? - MH.


When Sherlock received the text back, Moriarty glanced at Sherlock's phone to read to answer, not bearing any more minutes of suspense. The answer was brief, quick. Mycroft was now medium rare. He sussured to Sherlock next ideas.


“Ask him the file of Russia. I know there are some… businesseskept under the table by the government which could jeopardise the current government in place as well as creating a scandal inside of the EU.”

He brushed Sherlock's shoulder and asked him. “So… isn't this thrilling and pleasant to see our vengeance being accomplished? And we're just giving him a teensy glimpse of what's coming for him…”

‘Yes, of course it is,’ he answered, turning around to face Moriarty. ‘I hadn't expected it to be so fulfilling and eye-opening, I admit,’ he continued in a voice laden with double-entendres. ‘Of course, none of it has been fulfilled yet, but it's fair to say that it is certainly looking in the right direction, is it not?’ he asked, his eyes swiftly roaming over Jim’s body, staying his gaze a bit longer on his crotch.


Wait for your brother to learn that the idea that brought him to his knees was produced by ‘an average mind’ - JW


‘Yes, I imagine that this will be another major dissatisfaction for the British government. So, Russian files? I do imagine that there are a plethora of secrets and scandals to be used. That, however, will ‘only’ heavily stain the government. Of course, the government being of so much importance to Mycroft, it isbound to affect him.’ Sherlock became silent for a moment, eyes moving rapidly, thoughts racing in his head.

‘Oh,’ Sherlock gasped. ‘Obvious.’


Moriarty stared amorously at the detective making his deductions. He loved that part. How many hours did he spent in front of his computers to watch the genius of Baker Street just think.

“Now you get it. Attaaa boy....” He cooed.

He stood up from his armchair and started to pace in the room, sign of a prompt explanation of his plans.

“Russia, the United Kingdom, United States, Iraq and Libya. Five countries, linked in a highly confidential business. I want Mycroft to spill it. When he does, his position in the government will no longer be granted and it will jeopardise his whole world. He will be destroyed, broken and the shame of several countries, including his own.” He said, with a sadistic face. He stopped pacing and turned around to face Sherlock and his traits became more relaxed. “The Queen won’t be very pleased with her little Corgi…” He laughed. Sherlock smirked. ‘Elegant.’


A courier will bring what you’re asking in 42 minutes. - MH.


Sherlock and Jim exchanged a glance.


Make it 30. - SH.

They shared a conspiratorial smile. ‘Well, it looks like my brother,’ Sherlock said, his voice dripping with contempt as he said the word, ‘is losing the game. It calls for a drink, I should think,’ he said as he looked firmly into Jim’s eyes. ‘One more thing, however,’ he added, breaking the eye contact he himself had initiated. ‘For my revenge to be complete, I’ll demand something more personal. Will you not?’ he asked honestly curious.

Jim considered Sherlock's question, staring at the man. Yes, he had an idea. But he wouldn't tell him out of ego and pride. He took his smartphone and sent an additional message to Sherlock's brother.


I will also need your word and the guarantee that you will no longer pry into my business, may they be professional or personal and concerning your little brother. -JM


Sent.


He turned to stare at Sherlock again, his gaze suddenly becoming more flirtatious. “We definitely need something to drink now honey…” He made his way to what seemed to be his personal cave and returned with a bottle of Dom Perignon Vintage 1990, one of the best millesime of this prestigious champagne. Once the bottle was opened, he poured the sparkling liquid into two glasses of champagne. He made his way to the detective and gave him his glass, sitting on his lap, his knees on each side of the other man's thighs. A position very similar to the one they had minutes ago.

“Cheers…” He said with a predatory smile, looking deep into Sherlock's blue lagoon irises.

Sherlock held Jim’s penetrative gaze. A plethora of promises lay in the depth of his dark brown eyes and dilated pupils.

‘Cheers,’ he replied in a suggestive undertone to the man straddling his lap. He didn’t move his torso to come closer to him, merely extending his arm to clink their glasses together.

‘To a successful partnership...and its benefits,’ he added, his smile turning covetous.

Jim smirked. Sherlock was clearly playing with him but he didn’t care. He loved that little game. “Yes…” He said with a fawning voice. He took a big sip of his champagne and got closer to the detective. He brushed his jawline with his free hand and grabbed Sherlock's chin to keep him still. He leaned forward, his face and Sherlock's were inches apart. The consulting criminal could feel the detective’s breath becoming irregular. He smirked again and whispered, not touching Sherlock's lips but clearly doing this on purpose

“Now would you mind letting your consulting criminal enjoy your… definitely arousing devilish side?”


Sherlock was hypnotised by Jim. His unblinking, hungry eyes, his voracious smile, his frankly tantalising smell, the hardly resistible touch of him, his inviting lips...everything in him screamed sensual, intense dancing and he was finding it harder and harder to delay it any longer. Sherlock’s breath hitched as Jim sat more comfortably on his lap, almost but not quite grinding on his crotch. His eyes fluttered closed for a few seconds, as he tried controlling himself.

‘Please...help yourself,’ he replied breathlessly.

Jim’s mouth swooped on Sherlock’s neck, kissing every inch of his pale and transparent skin. His breath was now as irregular as Sherlock’s, showing his passion for the consulting detective. His smell was mesmerising and his skin so soft. He kissed his jawline, then going up to lick Sherlock’s earlobe. “Divine…” he spoke under his breath, before kissing the man just next to his mouth, applying himself not to make contact with the detective’s mouth, just to tease him. He took the time to finish his glass. He threw it to the floor, not caring about it anymore.


As soon as Jim had thrown his glass away, Sherlock who had put his aside on a nearby table, closed the distance that separated them, launching himself onto Jim’s plump lips for a desperate kiss. The build up had been so strong, so intense that he now needed close, physical contact with Jim.

The consulting criminal let escape a moan from his mouth, clearly appreciating Sherlock’s sudden assault. Their kiss was passionate, strengthened by a common passion and desire neglected for way too long.

Running his hands firmly on Jim's back, Sherlock actually brought their bodies closer together. ‘Take off your jacket,’ he breathed in between devouring kisses while his hands were busy roaming under it, already fiddling with the buttons on Jim's shirt.

Jim obeyed Sherlock’s order and took off his jacket, not without difficulties. He gasped when the detective closed the gap between them and he felt the other man’s arousal against his. Once his jacket was on the floor, he said hoarsely “If you’d kept yours on...I’d have ripped it off myself…” He ripped Sherlock’s shirt buttons very easily, which was not a surprise considering the tightness of the man’s shirt. His hands eagerly explored the torso in front of him. A fine but powerful musculature, a soft skin which was calling for his tongue, lips and teeth to come in contact with it. The consulting criminal licked his lips and went off Sherlock’s lap and kissed every part of Sherlock’s torso, outlined a line of saliva with his tongue, a straight one stopping right under the detective’s belly button. He then opened the other man’s belt, his zipper and his pair of trousers’ button. He glanced at Sherlock as if to reassure him for what was coming next. Seeing no sign of disapprobation from the man, he pulled down Sherlock’s underwear to release his crotch. Moriarty leaned down, opening his mouth wide and staring lustily at Sherlock. He sticked out his tongue and took Sherlock’s member into his mouth, closing his lips on it and starting to move forward and backward. Saying that Jim Moriarty was on cloud nine was an understatement.

Sherlock’s body was aflame with sensations, Jim’s fingers exploring every inch of his bare skin, his tongue deliciously playing around him. He threw his head back, moans escaping his lips as he revelled in the attentions Jim was bestowing onto him. He grabbed his hair to encourage him to maintain the fervour with which he was displaying his interest, Sherlock’s ever growing in the humid warmth of Jim’s mouth.

The latter was very surprised that his virginwas taking the lead and even being the dominant one. In the deepest depths of himself, he was content with this turn of events. He groaned a groan of pleasure to feel Sherlock's hands guiding him and setting a particular rhythm. This groan happened to make Sherlock's arousal vibrate inside his mouth. Looking at his alter ego’s face and spotting the pure lust and pleasure on it, he moaned and groaned again, making vibrating more and more Sherlock's length.

He would not have thought of ever having this kind of contact with Jim, but he would be lying if he ever said he was not enjoying it, especially when Jim hummed or groaned around him: jolts of pleasure ran throughout his body, his muscles contracted.

Still holding Jim by the hair, he pushed back.

‘Let’s go somewhere more comfortable,’ he explained, his voice but a heady whisper, as Jim’s face expressed confusion.

 

Once the afterglow passed and enjoyed properly, it was time to bring down the British Government, that is, Mycroft Holmes. Jim was over the moon over two things. One, he had shagged Sherlock again. Two, he was about to create a cataclysm in the modern world. It was just about time now. They had decided to use Sherlock’s ressources to collect the package which seemed to be a birthday present for a little girl. Unicorns and rainbows adorned the wrapping paper and a shiny glittering bow held it together. How cute was the most important folder of the British Government. Mycroft was satisfied with his “farce”. Sherlock was a girl’s name, and his little brother was basically being whimsical asking for this folder. After the package had been delivered to St Bart’s by a homeless woman, another homeless person drove it to Moriarty’s headquarters using a licensed cab. The former driver was obviously on ‘Holidays’. The two consultants had just sat down when one of Moriarty’s minions asked for entering the office.

Jim grinned at Sherlock and prayed for the man to enter with their… fabulous present.

Upon seeing the present, Sherlock could not help but roll his eyes. Another jibe of Mycroft’s; he could hardly do anything more to irritate his brother lest anything untoward happened to his paramour and his children.

‘Well, Jim. It seems we have received a special kind of attention from my dear brother. Care to do the honours, or shall I?’ he asked.

Jim giggled at Sherlock and cooed. ‘Family goes first…’ He stopped Sherlock by a gesture of the hand and asked his minion. ‘On the behalf of your life, have you checked the package?’ Terrified but still confident, the man replied swiftly ‘Yes Boss! It’s affirmatively safe boss!’. Jim grinned and implied Sherlock to open his queerpresent.

‘Very well,’ Sherlock replied, barely glancing at the heavily decorated present. ‘Everything seems to be satisfactory. There are quite a lot of papers. Neatly classified in various folders, as Mycroft is wont to. I am certain you will find everything you need in there to bring about the downfall of the government. And I my personal revenge.’ He took two of the biggest folders in his hand. ‘Would you mind taking a picture of us with these in hand? And we’ll share that to the press. ‘I’ve read it in the papers so it must be true’,’ he said, a wicked grin on his face.

Jim smiled tenderly, clearly understanding that Sherlock used his lines. He was flattered. He took a selfie, grinning at his phone with Sherlock and the classified folders in their hands. He sent it instantly to five international newspapers. A few minutes later, articles were flourishing on the internet and a few minutes after their picture was on every channel of television across the Globe. Mycroft was finished, but Moriarty was seeing things even bigger. They promptly received an encrypted message from the MI6 urging them to meet with the MI6 and MI5 forces. Moriarty grinned and announced to Sherlock: ‘I think it’s time for me to set into motion the sentence ‘you should see me in crown’. I will ask them the most humiliating thing to do.


Jim texted Irene Adler, his pawn of scandals to start the final act of his plans.


Highly classified folder concerning the U.K. Please collect. Sherly will be there~ -JM


He smiled at his phone, thinking about this poor Irene who had fallen for the consulting detective. Poor girl… But she would be very useful because her feelings would make her as obedient as the Queen’s Corgis. He turns towards Sherlock. ‘Honey, I hate to say that to you, but use your charms towards Irene, she is going to arrive promptly and I need her for the final act.’

Sherlock pouted, clearly displeased with Jim’s request. ‘Must I? Do you?’ He straightened his jacket and coat collar. ‘As you wish,’ he reluctantly accepted. ‘Know that I do not relish the mere idea of doing so. Not one bit,’ he added in a tone that let no doubt as to his opinion on the matter.

‘Please assure me that I will get my own revenge, more than exposing Mycroft. I want him to suffer. He tortured me. He deserves his heart to be burnt out of him. I‘ll burn the heart out of him’ he said grimly. ‘My Sherly is learning so well…’ Jim cooed. ‘Actually, I used that expression more in the flirtatious way… I wanted you to fall for me.’ He paused for a second. ‘Of course you’re not going to kiss Adler! I would be obliged to kill her. Would not handle you kissing another person. Janine was enough, thank you very much! She was initially supposed to keep an eye on you during my absence but NO. You charmed her and you kissed her! The traitor is my sister! Jim was starting to get mad and become a drama queen when his phone beeped.


The virgin and the consulting criminal through a scandal affair? Why wait?~ IA


‘’Your sister? Sister! Why didn’t I see that? And I am not a virgin. Well, you’d know. As I’m certain you know I certainly didn’t charm her or enjoyed...anything. It was all part of a ruse, as I’m sure you’re aware,’ he replied soothingly, trying to appease the fury evidently building up in Jim.

Jim calmed down instantly. He was actually acting to listen Sherlock justifying himself. Confusing Sherlock was so funny he could not help it.

‘Of course, Sherlock. Of course. I know how much you prefer your mister sex rather than a she-irish.’ He insisted on his last two words, happy of having, once more, invented an idiom and being turned on by the gayness of his partner in crime.

‘Adler has answered. I think she will be pleased to see you. Everything goes as planned.’


Half an hour later, Irene, wearing a superbe couture dress walked in. Once she saw the two consultants, her smile brightened and her eyes sparkled. The fact of witnessing them working together was a real turn on. She would have loved to have them on the consulting criminal’s desk. Eventually, she went to seat on one of Moriarty’s armchairs and acted dechalantlike.

‘So… The consultants are reunited… Why do you suddenly need me?’


Jim smirked and started to pace across the room. ‘Don’t pretend you’re not on cloud nine, it clearly doesn’t work with us darling. You’re here because we are about to bring down the British Government, and dare I say, the Royalty tradition.’

Irene felt a shiver of excitement down her spine. ‘Oh! I thought I already did by making out with my little highness...? What are you up to?’

Jim chuckled, thinking about this former mission… ‘Oh yes! That one was funny, I have to admit. No, you see, I have in my possession a folder, kindly offered by Mycroft Holmes, which could trigger World War Three and bring down every single continent of this planet. You can imagine that the MI6 and MI5 have tried to ask me on a date. So, before going to see those little boring humans, I need you to keep this folder. Of course, rest assured that if you use it for your own profits, you will be dead before you know it.’
Irene nodded calmly. She perfectly knew that Jim Moriarty was not the one she would try to play with. Rather to be on his side than be his enemy. It was a common known rule here, the most important one.

After Jim made a more detailed explanation of the folder’s content, the dominatrix asked: ‘What will be my advantages?’

‘You will be gratified with a place in the chamber of Lords in Westminster, as well as a high place in Downing Street and all the perks coming with it of course.’

‘Sounds nice indeed! I’m in!’ She exclaimed enthusiastically.

Moriarty glared at her and answered mornly. ‘Of course you’re in. It’s not a choice darling.’

Irene turned to appreciate Sherlock’s body. It had been a while she had not seen him. Something did not escape from her expert eyes however. She stood to walk toward him, like a predator would do for a prey it knows lost. Once they were inches apart, she hummed him and stared at Sherlock’s confused face.

‘Did you have sex?’ She asked blatantly. Moriarty could not repress a laugh.


Sherlock observed the Woman preen, refusing to let any sort of emotion show on his face - or answering her question. If she asked, it seemed obvious that she knew the answer.

‘Is that relevant?’ he replied as if they were discussing the weather.

‘It turns me on.’ She simply answered, a smirk on a her face.

Moriarty decided that Irene had enough time with Sherlock and clapped his hands loudly to request attention.

‘GOOD. Now, Irene, you know what you have to do, Sherly and I will head to our dear hosts. Sounds very promising.’

 

He put on his coat, grabbed Sherlock’s arm and gestured to Moran who did come back to the room a few seconds before to keep control on Miss Adler. A private and luxury car was already parked in front of the HQ, waiting for the two consultants. Obviously even the MI5 and MI6 did not know where Moriarty’s headquarters were. Hence the choice to use his own cars. Furthermore, James Moriarty would not take the risk to enter into an unknown car. Way too risky for him. Once sat on the luxurious leather seats, Jim faced Sherlock and smiled. ‘Do you remember when I told you that you should see me in a crown?’ He cooed.

‘I do. You were much more...threatening to me at that time. Because of John, I expect,’ he supposed. ‘I imagine I will have the pleasure to see you in a crown quite soon. I doubt any member of the government or the Royalty could refuse you anything when under the threat of you disclosing the contents of the files my dear brother has so graciously provided us. Even if he had had a little incentive,’ he amended. ‘Irene Adler certainly seems to think our affairs very...interesting. Is there a particular reason why?’ he inquired, letting the mask of lordliness slip a little and show that this woman alarmed him. Much more than any other, much more than Janine ever had, and they had played pretend at having a relationship.

Jim narrowed his eyes understanding very well how alarmed Sherlock was. ‘She just loves scandals and she would be delighted to be part in the most important plot of corruption in the recent British History. But don’t be alarmed. I’m here now.’ He marked a pause. ‘She fears me. I am the only one she is afraid of so don’t worry, everything will go as planned.’ Everyone was afraid of James Moriarty, the ‘most dangerous criminal the world had ever seen’ and, despite this feeling of constant loneliness, Jim was satisfied as he had learnt that fear was preventing the others from hurting or killing him.

‘If you say there is nothing to concern myself with here, I should be inclined to believe you. After all, the consulting criminal next to me needs a little advertising from time to time from another consultant, doesn’t he?’ he asked, trying to assure Jim that he should be able to rely on him and forego loneliness - he too, had let slip how much being alone at the top of a tower hurt.

‘That’s cheesy…’ He retorted, to hide the sudden need to hug the consulting detective. He could not hide his smile and his glittering eyes. He was secretly over the moon to finally have Sherlock on his side, with him. Not being alone anymore. Not being the only one in this ordinary world, killing for pleasure because of boredom. For all these years, he had been trying to make Sherlock understand that they were the same and they could be together against the rest of the world. But sadly, if Sherlock was blind about something, it was that subject. Only now had he started to understand what he needed. He almost wanted to cry, almost.

‘There must be something in the air conditioning of that car,’ Sherlock said in a disdainful tone, refusing to own up to what had just transpired. It was obvious to me, anyway. I doubt anyone else would notice, that Jim was touched. He moved fractionally closer to him. ‘Well, where are we headed now?’

‘To MI6 departments. This is going to be fun. I can already hear them shaking and crying out of fear.’ He paused and stared at Sherlock. ‘We’re really just alike you and I. And let me correct what I used to say. You’re not boring at all.’ By a swift move he reached Sherlock’s earlobe and bit it. Happy with himself, he smiled devilishly at the detective.

‘Down, Jim,’ he admonished him half-heartedly. ‘I confess I never found myself boring. I am glad that you share this opinion, however,’ he replied airily. ‘MI6. Wonder whether Mycroft will be there or reduced to a sweating, terrified mess over the idea of what ‘Greg’ has been through,’ he said. ‘Of course, he doesn’t know that his ...ordeal... is not quiteover yet,’ he whispered, his voice low and dangerous.

Chapter Text

The rest of the travel was very quiet, the two occasional associates wearing the same smirk. Their eyes were reflecting their imminent victory. Soon, the car stopped in front of Tower river pier. A small motorboat was there and waiting for them. Jim mumbled ‘I knew it!’ and Sherlock just smirked even more. Ignoring the two men, the henchman accompanying them made his way to an arch which could have been easily mistaken for entrance to the sewers. Once the boat reached what was apparently an opening, the water went down and soon everyone was safe and dry, walking in the dark corridors of The Tower of London’s basements.


‘I can’t believe I was actually dancing upstairs and having fun with my future crown. I should have texted them to join the party!’


Two MI6 agents arrived and sharply cut Moriarty’s sass by grabbing his two arms so that he would not be able to move. Sherlock, however, did not get the same treatment. Moriarty pouted and grumbled about the unfairness of the situation. He was simply asked to follow them. That reminded them both of the Buckingham Palace’s scene. Sherlock was sometimes so well-treated, Jim had had the proof when he saw Sherlock being so politely invited to follow those two hounds.

Eventually they arrived in an interrogation room. Sherlock simply stepped in while Moriarty was unceremoniously pushed toward a chair in the empty room. They sat in silence, both glaring at the TV screen in front of them.


Sherlock heaved an impatient sigh. ‘Would you care to finally join us, brother dear; or are you too busy sitting on your over expanding backside, ordering your minions to do your bidding, pulling strings to start wars and torture people?’

There was a minute of silence during which Sherlock lightly tapped his fingertips onto the cold hard metal of the table. As ever, his brother was taking his sweet time to answer him in an effort to dismiss his importance.

‘Apologies, brother mine,’ came Mycroft’s voice over the speaker, ‘I was detained by a matter of the highest importance - ‘

‘Oh, you mean what you should order for lunch, I presume,’ Sherlock retorted.

‘But as I can see you have settled rather well in your latest endeavour,’ Mycroft replied ignoring his brother’s jibe.

‘Are we here to have a talk about our personal lives now, Mycroft?’ Sherlock sneered.

‘Life, yes. It is an interesting concept, is it not?’

‘I am sure I have no idea what you’re hinting at.’

‘Association. Partnership. Attachment.’

‘I don’t have the inclination to suffer through your condescending judgement, Mycroft. Speak plainly. If you wouldn’t mind.’

‘Very well,’ he replied in a long-suffering sigh. ‘It has come to my attention that you had started an association with a master criminal a few months ago and that you and he not only made...plans, but also had developed an...association of sorts. I wonder how John Watson is reacting to this new development.’

Jim Moriarty knew perfectly what Mycroft was doing and this was not good.

‘Are you honestly using Sherlock’s pressure point to deter him from accomplishing his revenge? That is very dull and I have to say so 2012…’

They had to keep the control on this situation, not being manipulated by the British Government.

‘Mister Moriarty I would advise you to stay out of this conversation. My brother is clearly being manipulated and his judgement is being clouded. As his elder I am respon -’

‘For God’s sakes, Mycroft. I am not a child anymore. You do not have a say in anything I choose to do with my life or who I choose to ‘associate’ with, as you would so delicately put it. Nor do you control me, brother mine. I am not, as I’m sure you’re aware, one of your mindless pawns.’

‘Are you quite certain, Sherlock? You appear to be so much slower than usual. Sentiment, I imagine.’

‘No. It’s me.’

‘Sherlock. You would do well to remember that I have your best interests at heart and -’

‘I’m sorry?’ Sherlock exploded. ‘You have my best interests at heart?! Your constant interfering with my life, trying and failing to control my every action have led me to spend two years in Eastern Europe. Your failure to put me under your thumb has led you to have me captured and tortured mercilessly and you dare talk to me about having my ‘best interests at heart’? You are deluded if you think I would ever listen to you again even for a second if it’s to hear your so-called advice!’

Moriarty was entranced by Sherlock’s outburst. He nonetheless pulled himself together quite swiftly and went one further than Sherlock.

‘Moreover, it would be quite nice if you deigned to be present for this conversation! That is, of course, if you cared for your brother as much as you were pretending a few seconds ago! Besides, I am concerned by this since we are, as you so elegantly mentioned, associates. You are in no position to threaten me nor Sherlock so I advise you to obey us. Anyway you may know your brother well, but this will not work on me, Iceman.’

Sherlock was trembling with passionate wrath at his brother’s authoritarian, condescending ‘brother knows best’ attitude. Despite Jim having given Mycroft a piece of his mind as well, he was still unable to properly calm down and focus on the situation at hand. He tried to, however, as there was no room for arguments or negotiations: Mycroft was in the wrong and Sherlock was not going to let him have the upper hand.

‘Reevaluate the position you are in, brother mine, and do not forget that I too know what or rather who your pressure point is. What would he think if he saw you in all your glorified manipulative and uncaring disposition, I wonder.’

The screen in the room lit up, showing a very aggravated Mycroft.

‘You will not touch another hair from Gregory’s head,’ he said ominously.

‘Only if you show some remorse. Otherwise, I won’t have any to order my henchmen to destroy your only ray of sunshine in this dark world, Mycroft,’ Jim retorted dryly.

‘Only a coward would use pressure points, brother mine. Can’t you see he will not hesitate to dispose of you and the few people you hold dear once you have fulfilled your purpose? He has threatened to do just this before.’

‘If memory of a few minutes ago serves, you did precisely that, Mycroft,’ Sherlock sneered. ‘I will not expect you to try and understand emotions. You really have an empty cavity where your heart should reside.’

‘Emotions, brother dear? You led me to believe that you and I were the same on that score.’

‘No, Mycroft. You raised me into believing that caring was not an advantage. You cannot possibly understand what either of us went through and certainly not the importance of sharing a common experience.’

‘Evidently it is not. Look what sentiment led you to, Sherlock. You lost. Your family. Your friends. Your pride. Your association with James Moriarty has rendered you incapable of sustaining any sort of worthwhile thinking. He has clearly poisoned your thoughts and rendered your judgement inadequate. He has rendered youinadequate. He has led you to become a disgrace and a shame to your country, to your family, to yourself.’

‘THAT’S ENOUGH!,’ roared Moriarty, clearly shaken with rage. ‘The very thing this association brought to him was pride. Pride and no shame to be himself and not being judged by your stupid morale. In which world are you living Mycroft? If you were as smart as you always remind your little brother, you would acknowledge that there is no black or white in this world, but various definitions of good and evil. You, Mycroft, are even worse than I am and I have to say, as strange as it appears, that I do not envy you this time. Don’t you dare say I am a coward, you, who witnessed Sherlock being beaten with a varied collection of blunt objects ; you, who abducted your brother and let him rot in the most secured and unpleasant facility while I was the one who rescued him, risking my life by the way! When you are saying I would kill him, because let’s drop all pretense --you were; and all those around him, let me remind you who did abduct John Watson. I went to rescue him as well! You see your brother finished and in deep waters, I see him reborn and better than ever. The only game I am playing with him is a cat and mouse game, and do believe me; it is not my intention to end it - now or ever. I have to say your brother does not shy away from his passions.’

This last piece of information took the air out of Mycroft’s sails. He was properly flabbergasted and utterly shocked. He had known that Sherlock had been an emotional being for the first few years of his life but had been convinced that he had ceased to be - until John Watson entered the scene. One of the reasons of having Sherlock taken off the equation and roaming on the Eastern scene was to bring him back to the cold and refined reasoning he had been capable of until then. Never had he expected Sherlock to return with the strength of his emotions increased a thousandfold or that Mycroft would fail in bringing him back to who he was before - a pawn on his chessboard.

He was frozen in complete disbelief.

Sherlock minutely turned his head towards Jim, raising an eyebrow at his last comment, his self confidence reasserted.

Emboldened by Jim’s diatribe, he continued, ‘Never thought that once walls I had erected under false assumptions - the assumptions you fed me, brother dear - were shattered down I would actually be freed from your control, did you, Mycroft? I find that I relish this newfound freedom very much and can hardly wait to be rid of your meddling, have my revenge and return to doing activities I enjoy. For that, brother dear, you need to be taught a lesson. You taught me that caring was not an advantage. I will show you exactly how wrong you were. Oh, sentiment can weaken you, obviously - look at you, begging for Lestrade to be left alone. You are pathetic, that will not happen, no matter what Jim has told you. This is myrevenge as well and I happen to think that you must suffer. Once acknowledged and embraced, sentiment will unleash its devastating force and lay waste to all those who pose the merest threat to its realisation.’

He gave a levelled look at Mycroft. ‘Anything else to add to your empty threats?’ he asked coldly. ‘Or perhaps some more begging.’

Mycroft was so astounded at his brother’s words and dark promise that he found himself entirely speechless. He only shook his head. What could he reply to that?

‘You are letting your emotions take control of you. I never intended to have you suffer to the point of being broken.’

‘Evidently not. You did not think I could be broken more than you had already broken me. Oh you had been subtle, training me to discard anything that made me a human being.’

‘You are mistaken!’ he shouted. ‘What would Mummy say if she learnt that her youngest son -’

‘What now, Mycroft? How would Mummy react to her youngest, favourite son finally allowing himself to live? I have another question for you. How would she react if she learnt that her eldest son, the one who is supposed to take care of his siblings and set a proper example, had done everything he could to break and destroy his brother’s personality?’

‘This is preposterous, Sherlock! She would not even believe it.’

‘For someone who talks about morale, you should reconsider your behaviour. You have the constant and obsessive need to have control on things. But let me tell you those days are over and far from us now. Sherlock and I will finally get what we deserve, the right to rule this world and you Mycroft, will assist to your own fall. Shall I remember your morale how you treated me? Just because I wanted to play with your little brother? You understand nothing Mycroft Holmes. You had convinced yourself I was a psychopath. There again, do your research.’ He glanced amusingly at Sherlock, knowing he was stealing his line there and for adequate reasons. ‘Sherlock once said this to Anderson. I am telling you those exact same words now. I am definitely implying by this that you are far less intelligent than you pretend to be. Boring people like you just don’t understand geniuses need to support each other in order to survive in this dull world. I need Sherlock as much he needs me.’

One could feel by Jim’s piercing gaze that he was boiling inside with passion and rage. This idiot had tortured him and did everything to put a spoke in his wheels in his quest to get Sherlock’s attention. Since the deed he had done at the tender age of eleven years old, he had discovered he was not the only genius in this world populated by inhabitants devoid from functioning brains. Sherlock had given him hope to go through those dark years following his first and last direct murder. Moriarty’s network had taken time and sacrifices to be created. But Sherlock was always somewhere in Moriarty’s heart, even though the latter was darkening from time to time due to loneliness and sadness. No friends, all of the humans he knew were boring. No relationship, who cares about love, it was pointless after all. No family, his underprivileged Irish family could not afford to have another mouth to feed. He had to start alone and he imagined finishing alone. Until this consulting detective entered his life and changed everything. But then, John Watson had started to ruin it all and Mycroft nearly finished it five years ago. Now, he would never let this happen again.

‘Mister Moriarty, you are being incredibly presumptuous in assuming that you are so vitally needed in anyone’s life, much less in my brother’s. Sherlock will label himself however he wishes but he would do well to bear in mind that he has been assessed several times over the course of his life as a psychopath. You have also been assessed, if I am not mistaken,’ he droned, taking a vanilla folder, ‘as a psychopath with murderous tendencies and profound disregard for human lives as well as rules. As Sherlock, you should do well to bear this qualification in mind and tread very carefully on the more than fine ice you are walking at the moment. Unlike Sherlock, who does have the chance to redeem himself in the eyes of the public as well as mine - not to mention the government - you do not have anyone to support you if you ever chose to make amends for your crimes. John Watson is far from being as clever as I but he doesn’t cause trouble and as a retired military man I know he would be able to handle my brother - or protect him from fire - or the likes of you. As such I approve of him as a companion to my brother.’

Sherlock snorted. ‘Once again, Mycroft, you do not listen. I will repeat myself even though I absolutely abhor doing so, but as apparently your thick brain does not understand the notion I have no choice but to do so. You have no place to approve on my choice of companions or anything I choose to do with my life. Your over large nose has no right to be in my business. Keep it in the citizens’ you monitor day in day out. Stay. Out. Of. My. Business,’ he demanded in a cold, calm and portentous voice.

 

Touché. That was more than enough. Mycroft would pay and right now. ‘Sherlock, do I have your approval on this, but if in five minutes I haven’t seen Mycroft and a high ranked representant of the MI6 in this room in order to negotiate the fate of the United Kingdom, your little family will drown in their own blood, brain matter decorating your luxurious flat. Do I make myself CLEAR?’

This insolent bureaucrat would learn that never someone could talk to him in such a manner without paying the consequences. Mycroft will fall and smash himself on the cold hard ground he never had the privilegeto know. Fortunately for this fat cat, Sherlock was here otherwise he would have done things differently. He would have skinned the man inch by inch and eventually tossed the shreds to the dogs. He tried to calm his temper as Sherlock was apparently staring at him weirdly.

As he saw Moriarty register his stern gaze and evidently calm his mind, Sherlock nodded. ‘Of course, you have,’ his lips turned in a dangerous smile. ‘Were I you, Mycroft, I would hurry to meet our demands. Our patience is wearing thin. Anything can happen. Remind me, Jim, do our men have an itchy finger? Yes, I thought they had.’

‘Fine,’ Mycroft relented in defeat, his anger and fear evident. ‘I’m certain Harry Richardson - whom you’ve met, Sherlock - will have the adequate level of clearance for you to discuss...options.’

‘As I said. Hurry up. Remember your family’s fate if you don’t,’ Sherlock intoned in a cold, detached voice. The screen went blank, leaving the two consultants at liberty to express themselves. ‘This seems to go according to plan. Although, once your demands have been met, I would greatly appreciate to have Lestrade shot. The person we’ve had kidnapped to be in Lestrade’s shoes, I mean. Do Ihave your approval on that?’

Jim chuckled. ‘Of course you have my approval on that, he is a dead man walking.’ He paused for a few seconds. ‘Can I have the certainty you’re not going to deceive me once we’ve both reached our objectives?’

‘I had not pictured you for the type to let himself be deceived, Jim. Of course I will not. It seemed fairly obvious, given our recent history.’

‘Nothing is obvious. Not in this case Sherlock. Besides, I don’t want to kill you, how unfortunate would that be… That’s why I’m asking you beforehand. Because I love you.’

Alright here was coming the most awkward moment of his life, Mycroft had better be here quickly or he would get even madder.

Sherlock raised an eyebrow, and bestowed an intense look on Moriarty, his voice soft. ‘I know,’ he declared, a faint blush adorning his cheeks. He was perfectly aware that it had dearly cost his partner to make such a declaration, but he found himself incapable of doing the same. ‘It seems I have learnt my lessons too well and am still a prisoner of them,’ he explained, hoping this would help dissipate any doubt his answer might have brought up.

 

The door behind them opened swiftly. ‘Gentlemen, I have been informed you had a matter to discuss of particular importance to my employer,’ the Equerry said as he stepped into the room. He wore a plain black Savile Row suit and arbored the same air of haughty detachment he had first displayed on their first encounter; but the wrinkles around his eyes and the set of his jaw indicated that he was under duress and eager to find a solution to the detestable task he had been appointed to after what Mycroft Holmes had relayed to him.

Jim smirked at the aristocrat and answered in the same tone ‘You have been well informed. Shall Sherlock and I start with stating our demands concerning the British Government and the Crown? I think we shall. Firstly, I shall remind you I have in my possession a folder containing scandals so disastrous they could bring our dearest country to the deep end. How sad MI6 agents are unreliable and so prone to flinch at the first sniper’s threat.’ His tone became cold and he glared at Mycroft to observe his reaction. The Equerry followed Moriarty’s glare and his skin turned white as a sheet when he understood Mycroft Holmes, his most reliable agent - or so he thought - was the agent the consulting criminal was referring to. Mycroft was matching perfectly his neighbour's skin tone. He knew what would be the consequences of such a treason. But it was Gregory and his children… Or him. The choice was sadly obvious.

Content he hit his mark, Jim continued: ‘Now that the truth has been unveiled, may I say a few words on the content of this folder that could ring a bell… United States, North Korea, Russia and European Union. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?’ He cooed. ‘Good. Very good. Now… You have the world in your hands. But choose wisely. This folder could unfortunately be… Displayed?’ He finished sadistically.

‘You have been very...thorough, Mister Moriarty, Mister Holmes the younger. Unfortunately, Mycroft, you are more than aware that our country takes precedence over any of its officials who are here to defend it to the best of their abilities. We will manage your case at a later time, but it does appear that your abilities have been reached,’ Harry stated in a dispassionate voice. ‘The contents of that folder must not be made public. We will listen to your demands and grant them in the shortest delays possible.’

‘You are mistaken. I told you a long time ago that I was not the Commonwealth - I still am not. Promises can be broken. For the sake of this country you would do well to take us seriously,’ Sherlock snarkily declared.

Mycroft had blanched even more at the Equerry’s words. He was going to fall from grace and meet a very public humiliation while the country he had served so faithfully would be under the thumb of two psychopaths who would thrive in the chaos they undoubtedly would wreak. He would not plead for himself - there was little to no point in doing so. However, he would still plead with as much force as he could for Gregory and his family to be spared and protected. As much as he hoped it would still be possible, he highly doubted that he would be in a position to negotiate their being put under a protection scheme that would have them radically change their lives and move to another location where they would not be known. He bowed his head, accepting defeat.

 

Jim smiled devilishly at Holmes, he did not know that bit of a sass he had been in the very ‘heart of the British Nation’. He turned to face Harry again. ‘As Sherlock said, I strongly suggest you to acknowledge your demanders. I am James Moriarty, and you shall not deceive me or I guarantee a massive extinction of your people in the next 72 hours. In fact, I have thought about a little contract that you might find necessary to agree with and sign it in the next minutes.’

He handed the contract folded inside an envelope to the older man, a victorious and self-assured smile painted onto his face. Here was the paper of victory and vengeance. Everything was written and thoroughly thought out. No mistakes were done, Moriarty would not make any impairs, as opposed to The Woman, years before that. He glanced at Sherlock tenderly, as if to say he should not worry and trust him wholeheartedly.

As he read the contract, Harry felt himself blanch even more. He could not believe James Moriarty was demanding to be part of the Royals and actually made the Queen’s new advisor. Concerning Sherlock Holmes, a final word on who would integrate the Royal Orchestra – music matters the most after all --, a priority to shelters for his homeless network and a free access to the Knowledge in order to live a more decent life but still being able to help him. Granted, Moriarty was asking way more important things than Sherlock, but the latter did abhor politics and its complexity. Moreover, those were only extras, as his initial vengeance was focussed on his elder brother. No wonder Harry struggled less to grant the consulting detective’s demands.

Jim had suggested he should trust him and Sherlock could not have placed better demands. Jim Moriarty knew him well.

‘Some of these will be easily granted while others not overly so. I suggest you get to work immediately, Harry,’ Sherlock said amiably. ‘Now, brother mine,’ he added when the Equerry had left the room, ‘I believe I am entitled to apologies regarding my treatment when working for - But you know when, don’t you? The who, the what, the when, the where. You know everything in all its charming details. The public doesn’t. More to the point, the public doesn’t know how involved in it you were.’

‘I apologise for what I have put you through.’

Sherlock barked a bitter laugh. ‘Nice try. You do know that you’re going to have to be more convincing. You will be on camera, after all. The public has the right to know what revolting creatures lurk in the shadows, what monsters those working for their well-being truly are. They deserve to know what a repelling double-faced fiend you are.’

Jim had the sensation it was between the two brothers now. Sherlock needed his bit of vengeance after all. However, the consulting criminal needed to add a few last words.

‘I would add to that Mummy and Daddy won’t be pleased at all when they’ll hear your public apologies… Besides, I do remember how you tortured me. Sherlock and I have had the time to discover each other’s scars. We’ve both been permanently marked by you. Now is for you the time to pay.’

He was glaring at Mycroft triumphantly and put his left hand on Sherlock’s thigh.

Sherlock placed his hand on Jim's and put it a few inches higher. He locked eyes with his brother. 'Now brother dear it is time you face the consequences of your actions. Weren't you the one who always said that actions had consequences and that there were no such thing as coincidences? Time for you to own up. Prepare your speech. Don't forget to give the citizens a colourful story,' he said loftily.

Mycroft's eye had briefly landed on the pair of hands and he quickly averted his eyes from the sight. His little brother in consort with Jim Moriarty... He really had broken him. And the United Kingdom would suffer from it. It really was all his fault.

He frowned and averted his gaze, looking downcast.

'Know when you are beaten, brother.'

 

Mycroft stood up and sighed loudly before leaving the room. He had, after all, to put his affairs in order as well as a speech to write. He doubted her Majesty would keep him in Her employ after this debacle. He was not even certain that Gregory would forgive him.

Jim sent a challenging glare to Mycroft when he realised the latter’s reaction to them, holding hands. He would not let anyone separate him from his amazing genius, never again. Once Mycroft left, he whispered in Sherlock’s ears: ‘Now, darling, let’s celebrate our main victory at my new headquarters…’ He traced an imaginative curve on Sherlock’s thigh. Going from his knee to his inner thigh. Immediately after, he added: ‘Oh, and of course, once Mycroft has made his apologies, we will kill the fake Lestrade. Another shock to finish our persecutor.’

A few seconds after he finished his suave speech, two very well dressed men entered the room and this time, with reluctancy though, bowed in front of Jim Moriarty.

‘Prince Moriarty, according to your new status, allow us to escort you until the car which will drive you to the Buckingham Palace, you, my Prince, and Lord Sherlock Holmes.’

The tone was monotonous and was transpiring the bitter submission the MI6 agents were experiencing at this moment.

Moriarty grinned, well-aware how much those rats were upset to be obliged to have manners in front of him, the criminal mastermind they could not reach anymore.

Not that it was a possibility before, but now the law was on his side. Oh, the irony.


Mycroft Holmes set aside the tumble of whisky he’d just finished, neatly organised the papers he’d written for his public apology, stood up and away from his desk and left the room with a heavy sigh. He walked the corridors to the camera room his employer had allowed him ans entered, shoulders slightly hunched but head still held up high. He took a seat as indicated by the cameran, shuffled his papers and was brought a tall glass of cold water in anticipation of a coughing fit.

He cleared his throat.

‘You’re good to go, Mister Holmes.’

Truer words have not been spoken.

 

‘Ladies and gentlemen, citizens of the United Kingdom. I am certain you remember the drama that occured in 2012 with regard to two consultants, namely Sherlock Holmes and James Moriarty.

As you may remember, Sherlock Holmes had a growing reputation as a consultant for New Scotland Yard along with his partner John Watson.

You might also remember that he fell to an apparent death from St. Bartholomew’s Hospital following the Richard Brooks debacle, a campaign James Moriarty, consulting criminal, had started up to smear Sherlock Holmes’ name and reputation by proclaiming the Moriarty character did not exist and was merely an actor named Richard Brooks hired by Sherlock Holmes.

Sherlock Holmes did not fall to his death, contrary to the popular belief as that time. He was sent away on a mission in Eastern Europe to destroy James Moriarty’s criminal rings. I sent him away, knowing perfectly well that my sibling was not cut to do that kind of field work.

But we, I needed him to return as cold and calculating as he had once been for his impressive intellect, precision and detachment would serve the country and I signed the order to send him away.

For a year and a half he worked undercover until he was confident he’d terminated the criminal webs that James Moriarty had sprung. Sherlock Holmes was caught by a nefarious group of thugs in Serbia and subjected to various kinds of torture over the span of six months. I let my brother suffer at the hands of these people – it was the last circle he needed to disentangle to be allowed to come back to our country.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, I confess to you that I was not as concerned as I should have been, letting our agent, my brother in such a dangerous situation. I had stopped considering him as such when he started exhibiting signs that he indeed was a human being and showed sentiment, a defect I had endeavoured to smother and dispatch when both of us were children.

I eventually was ordered to intervene, to retrieve the asset that Sherlock Holmes presented and accelerate matters.

It is not a secret to those who know me that I despise field work and any kind of leg work. That I stayed undercover longer than initially planned in Serbia was attributed to the delicate way that problem had to be approached. For a month I sat and watched my brother Sherlock Holmes be beaten down for what I told my superiors was the good of the British nation. I will not publicly talk of what precise kinds of torture he had been submitted to as I am aware that sensitive people will hear these words – and what he was subjected to, which more or less directly falls down on me, would impress the coldest and most detached human being.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, it was not brotherly compassion, familial sentiment or even human conscience that had me bring him back to our cherished soil but a direct order from my superior. The suffering of that man did not touch me as I now barely regarded him as such. But that of the country did.

I once had the opportunity to be alone with him in the torture chamber he was kept and personally assessed he was as broken as he could be, as detached as he once was. He was ready to return to London and I had to ensure that he would not succomb to sentiment again and remain as uncaring for others as he once had been. I had alienated him from his partner whose rejection when he came back could not have produced better results – but Sherlock Holmes brought him back into his orbit and their partnership resumed, as well as were the few friendships he had had before the enforced mission I placed onto him. The arduous work of turning him back into his previous self had been for naught.

Here before you all I publicly ask for his forgiveness. I had no idea he would be so affected.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, I do confess that Sherlock Holmes has come back with the idea – which I imagine a large portion of you would agree with – of obtaining revenge. He has it now that I have confessed to what I have put him through, and in his recent association with James Moriarty, has expressed requests that have been granted.

I can only ask for your understanding that my actions had the best interests of the British nation at heart. As I say these words, I am disgraced in the eye of my employer, of the crown, of the British public and of my parents: James Moriarty occupies a significant position in the British government as per his demands regarding the torture he was subjected to. It was my prerogative to give him certain informations so he could place his demands in exchange for the lives of specific people who are dear to me.

You might wonder what could have possibly brought these two men together when they still were enemies not three years ago. I have pondered the same question myself and the only conclusion I came to was a shared experience on the order of the same person, resulting in the same goal : exacting revenge on the one responsible for their physical and emotional sufferings.

 

 

Mycroft stopped speaking, shared a look with the cameraman who understood it as his cue to cut the rolling camera. Mycroft drank the glass of water in one go, brought a handkerchief to his brow before he sighed heavily, and left the room, without uttering a single word to the other man in the room.

I trust this will be satisfactory, brother, he thought as he walked back to his office to retrieve his personal belongings and wait for the results of his public declaration to be announced, for the decision of his superiors to be made if it hadn’t already been, and to find his beloved Greg restored to him.

 

Chapter Text

John Watson had not had such a wonderful night for a long time. A former colleague of St Barts’ had given a party in honour of the ‘Good old times’. He surely had abused the bottle of expensive wine his former colleague had offered him and had ended up exploring the variation between men and women’s bodies and this time was not for scientific purposes.
He scratched his head, painfully remembering how wild he had gone and thanked God Sherlock was not here to deduce this evening of unbridled lust.
Sherlock. Moriarty. Moran? All the events of the past Wednesday came up to him like a tornado. He turned on his TV and heard the song ‘TGIF’ on MTV, with that girl with braces bigger than her head was singing an irritating

 

Last Friday night

We went streaking in the park

Skinny dipping in the dark

Then had a ménage à trois

Last Friday night

 

More annoyed than ever, he decided to switch the channel to more important matters. BBC News were now being broadcasted a special program which made him spill his coffee. Mycroft Holmes was confessing on TV. The consultants’ plan was still on and was going smoothly. He sat and listened to the obviously broken man, frowning when Mycroft was mentioning his little brother’s torture sessions. However, John was not completely sure if he was supporting Sherlock and Moriarty’s idea wholeheartedly. He did not know what place he would occupy in this new world of chaos and did not know what  the population’s fate would be. For a large part of his life, John Watson had been striving to protect the British civilians at all costs and now he was sitting on his couch, helpless facing a too witty, elaborated plan.

Sherlock Holmes was sitting on Jim Moriarty’s desk, idly looking through the cameras he had installed in the living room of his own home and watched John nursing a raging hangover. He smirked, knowing all too well what experiences John had done while inebriated, his inhibitions drastically lowered. He turned over to watch Jim who was busying himself with something or another, presumably admiring himself in the gilded mirror he had ordered brought to his place.
‘Jim. I think we ought to send my brother one last message, don’t you?’ he called, letting his feet down onto the floor. ‘After having let his paramour watch his speech, obviously.’

 

Moriarty smirked at Sherlock’s proposition and started to pace the room as he used to while thinking about a brilliant idea. ‘What do you think of sending him the proof he is actually as much a ‘goldfish’ as everyone else on this planet? Hm? That sounds pretty AWEsome (ed: don’t thank me) doesn’t it?’

Sherlock gave him a look of approbation, silently giving his assent.

Delighted to be on the same page as Sherlock, Jim explained: ‘What we are going to do is simple. We are going to capture a short film of the victim we used to embody Lestrade, revealing the truth by removing the wax mask on his face. We will add to that the following and striking caption: ‘You’re just human’. One final act and the act which would maybe be the most painful for the big brother,’ he cackled manically and looked at Sherlock’s reaction.

Watching him intently explain the finer points of his idea, Sherlock focussed on him, his eyes drawing together. They were indeed about to inflict great psychological distress to his brother - as they had planned from the start. He was aware that it would be most hypocritical from him to opt out, especially as he was the one who suggested the idea moments ago - and that he was very much on board with it. He couldn’t deny that the prospect held a lot of interest and would produce quite a dramatic reaction. A thin crooked smile formed on his lips and a light lit in his eyes. He nodded before turning towards Moriarty with enthusiasm. ‘Let’s. That’s a marvellous idea.’

The consulting criminal ordered his henchmen to remove the wax mask of the hostage while filming it. The henchmen sent the video a few minutes later. The video was actually distressing. It would be a real shock and trauma for Mycroft and oh dear didn’t he deserve it. He swiftly edited the video on his smartphone and, after having shown it to the consulting detective, invited him to push the ‘send’ button.

 

‘Sent’

 

Moriarty was laughing with excitement and eagerness to witness the man he hated so much fall into abyssal waters. They had hacked into his camera phone so they were able to see his reaction in real time.

Mycroft was visibly standing when he received the text from Moriarty, opening it right away against his better judgement. His fingers clutched tightly around the phone, his face blanched and a sheen of sweat formed on his forehead. He moved in what could only be described as an automated gait to sit on the nearest available surface - though still in deep shock, he discarded the possibility of using the floor for that very purpose. The hand that was not holding his phone went to his chest and gripped at the flesh underneath his well-pressed shirt.

He opened his mouth but no sound came out of it - silence was the only way through which he was able to express the shock of what he’d just learnt: just as he’d told, drilled into his brother’s mind, caring was not an advantage and he’d just been proven exactly how much, falling into Moriarty and Sherlock’s scheme under the nefarious influence of sentiment.
Would Gregory ever forgive him?

Would he ever forgive himself?

 

The whirring of an electrical device awoke Greg from his slumber. The light of the room, too bright to handle forced him to painfully open his eyes and acknowledge his surroundings. He gazed at the way too white room, deducing he was in a hospital. What brought him here, he wasn’t sure. Nothing was in the room except something tied to his arm, an IV. Yes. An IV. So clearly an hospital then. A large black rectangular shape was in front of him, dramatically contrasting with the whiteness of the room. The annoying whirring noise was coming from this shape. TV. He blinked several times to accommodate and be able to regain control of his basic physical faculties. The TV became clearer as the whirring became sound. Mycroft’s voice echoed in the empty room, his call of ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’ put on a loop unbearable and confusing. Why the hell was Mycroft speaking on TV, what happened, an attack? The end of the world? He gathered all his strength to focus on the images and sounds. After a few tries, he managed to sit on the bed albeit with difficulty. Vision was becoming clearer and clearer, oddly the effects of the IV were fading slowly. He stared at the screen now that he was seeing his lover speaking on TV. When Greg’s focus was complete, the television started to broadcast the programme normally. It was so weird… Greg decided to focus on Mycroft speaking and forget about the illogical situation he was in.

The further Mycroft was going into his explanations, the harder it was for Greg to keep listening without being taken by the urge to scream. It was such a disappointment. Mycroft was to Greg the pillar to the British integrity and a model to follow as a police Inspector, a protector of the Nation. Greg would never forget those two years when he mourned Sherlock. He would never forget how soothing was Mycroft’s presence during those years and how it brought them together. Now he was feeling sick: to think for just one second that while they were together, Mycroft was literally torturing his little brother, actually alive! He was feeling sick that Mycroft had been so easily manipulated by Moriarty and that now the country was doomed because of such carelessness. Mycroft was a traitor and a failure as a brother, as a partner and as a human being. He let out a scream of anger. ‘Filthy repulsive soul!’

 

The two cameras they had put in Lestrade’s room showed them how profoundly affected he had been by Mycroft’s speech - not only his heart was clearly beating much faster - thus giving a sharp contrast with how sluggish it had been when dosed with morphine, but he also was experiencing a surge in violence if his utterance of a curse towards his partner’s being were any indication. Sherlock knew that the Detective Inspector was a hot- tempered man based on their continued association for six and a half years and thought it best that he be put under once again - gradually, however: there was no sense in risking any complication with his heart. Lestrade was not someone against whom he sought revenge and he regretted putting him under such duress. However, needs must and only the end mattered.

He took the footage of Lestrade’s reaction to send to his brother who was the intended recipient of the torture the Detective Inspector had just been subjected to.

I imagine this puts things into perspective. -SH.

As you told me, actions have consequences and this consequence seems especially dire, brother dear. -SH.
I doubt he’ll want to see you again or even hear from you after that. -SH.

Jim smiled at Sherlock and, with a feeling of success, send one last text to the Ice man.

Revenge is a dish best served cold. -JM

 

 

 

 

The End.