Missed You and Mistletoe
Sherlock stared at the fireplace and contemplated burning something other than wood. Mycroft would only marginally disapprove if he burned the government case file that he was currently working on and that, in and of itself, might be entertaining. He could burn some of his clothes although that might make the apartment smokey and he could die of asphyxiation. Not as bad as dying of boredom but fairly close. He could also simply burn down the building. That would probably annoy Mycroft a lot more and it would put the ennui on temporary hiatus but then he and Mrs. Hudson would be left homeless and the thought of staying with Mycroft for more than an hour, or long enough to hide Mycroft’s gingersnaps, filled him with disgust.
It was Christmas Eve and all of Sherlock’s friends were celebrating the holiday or, in Mycroft’s case, working. Molly and George, who were dating yet again, such a useless waste of time and energy, and Mrs. Hudson had gone to John and Mary’s Christmas party. He’d somewhat impolitely declined Mummy’s invitation to visit for the holidays and James Moriarty, also rather impolitely, had not returned from the dead. Sherlock stirred the glass of scotch on the coffee table next to his chair and frowned. Scotch and work were an interesting combination. They worked well together, up to a point. Sherlock didn’t care. It made the boredom almost marginally tolerable.
It was four years, thirty-three days, six hours and eighteen minutes since Jim Moriarty had pulled the trigger on the rooftop and seemingly died. Sherlock had refused to believe it and had expected his nemesis to make an appearance shortly thereafter. Or as he slowly decimated the web. Or shortly after he’d reappeared. Or shortly after the Miss Me stunt to rescue Sherlock from exile. Or, anytime after that, really. Disappointment didn’t sit well with Sherlock. Nor did the thought that, perhaps, James Moriarty had truly died, that he’d escaped his mortal coils, and was now as bored in Hell as Sherlock was on Earth. He laughed and took a sip of the scotch. The melting ice was diluting it somewhat. No, if he’d actually died, Jim Moriarty was probably having a ridiculous amount of excitement ruling Hell.
Setting the glass down, Sherlock rose and retrieved the pink phone from the bottom of his sock drawer. He’d kept it all this time, like an exquisite treasure, refusing to believe, that the former owner no longer existed. He kept it charged and checked almost every evening to see if there were a message or a voicemail. Someone was paying to keep the number active. The pink phone remained his sole connection, almost a lifeline, to the only man that he’d considered an equal, to the man that had challenged him at every turn, and to the man that, for whom, perhaps, he’d finally started having feelings. Jim would have laughed at that. Sherlock occasionally wanted to cry.
Sherlock sat down, had another sip, then turned on the phone. A part of him hoped, just like every time he turned on the phone, that there would be a text notification. For him. From Jim. There was nothing. As usual. This time Sherlock decided to use the phone. He’d somehow decided that he was supposed to wait for Jim to contact him. Perhaps that had been his mistake all this time, a stupid fixation that Jim would contact him first. He downed what was left of the scotch and then texted Mycroft using his regular cell phone.
How is the Worthington case coming along? Solved it yet? -SH
He didn’t really expect much of an answer from Mycroft. They were each working on similar cases and had decided to make a game out of it. First one to solve his case had to buy the other something edible and a bottle of alcohol. Sherlock had requested a case of ramen and a bottle of scotch while Mycroft had selected a gourmet thirteen layer chocolate hazelnut torte and XX. Sherlock was intent on winning, simply for the joy of forcing his brother to purchase ramen. Although Sherlock had made a mental note to buy his brother the torte as a gift for the new year. They were slowly becoming closer again and Sherlock was starting to appreciate everything that Mycroft had done for him throughout the years. Mycroft was probably making good progress on his case while Sherlock had been staring idly at the fireplace since it had started snowing that morning.
How is the Owens-Patel case coming along? Have you solved it yet? -MH
I see you haven’t made much progress on yours. -SH
I see you haven’t made much progress on yours either. -MH
Sod off. -SH
Have you eaten? -MH
No. You? -SH
Not really. Snacks are considered exempt from the classification of eating so, no. -MH
Cease fire at midnight if we’re still working? -SH
Perhaps. What do you suggest? -MH
Their all night menu is passable. -MH
See you at half past unless something comes up. -SH
Or sooner when I solve my case. -MH
Piss off. -SH
Sherlock set his phone aside, next to the pink one, and sighed. He supposed it was some sort of good thing that he would actually see another human being, even if it was only Mycroft, on the holiday. He poured himself another scotch, idly stared at the disaster that was his apartment, and pondered whether he should clean the kitchen since he wasn’t actively working on the case. Reassessing the kitchen and then opening the refrigerator door disillusioned him of that thought almost immediately. He downed his glass of scotch and then poured himself a brandy. He wasn’t sure how that particular bottle had ended up in his cupboard as he never bought brandy. Probably Mycroft. It was always Mycroft’s fault when something, that he didn’t know of, like take away orders so he’d have something to eat, ended up in the flat.
Sherlock added another log to the fire and sat back down again. He turned to stare out the window. The snow was falling idyllically, and, in that moment, Sherlock felt as though something important was missing from his life. He was lonely. Looking back at the fire, he sighed again and picked up the pink phone. He struggled to focus on the screen and wondered if he’d had too much. His fingers typed out a text before he could think about it too much. And censor himself.
Once the first text was sent, the rest didn’t seem to matter. His pride, his resolution to not use the pink, his clinging to moral superiority, none of that mattered. He continued to text.
How boooooring of you to ask if I missed you? -SH
Cuuldn’t you deduce it? Some criminal mastermind you are. -SH
Haha! DO you resemble that remark? -SH
I do. -SH
Typing was starting to become difficult and Sherlock felt himself becoming more relaxed and warm. He took another sip of the brandy and sucked in an ice cube.
I’m walking on a case. MUST beeat Mycroft. We have a bet! -SH
Please Jim willl you fix it for moi! -SH
Moi is Francis. -SH
“Moi is French,” Sherlock said out loud and then smiled as he wondered how many languages Jim spoke. “Prob’ly more than I…” Closing his eyes, he let the warmth and alcohol soothe him as he thought over the facts and evidence of the case and analysed all the data. It was such an intriguing case; it had a familiar style...
He wasn’t sure at what point he’d dozed off or how long he’d napped but the beeping of the phone startled him awake. Immediately hoping that it wasn’t Mycroft claiming victory, he picked up the phone and then noted that there was no longer ice in his drink. He obviously had been out for a bit.
And yes, it is. -JM
Are you a bit sozzled? -JM
Which case? -JM
Sherlock stared at his phone dumbly for a few long moments. His mind refused to process what he was seeing while his heart started pounding wildly and hope burned in his chest. He wasn’t sure if he should answer or what sort of trick or dream this could possibly be but then he couldn’t stop himself.
Om=ne of Mycrpft’s. -SH
I see. Ignore my first question. Which case? -JM
Sherlock wasn’t sure he should be divulging any information to either Jim Moriarty or an unknown person using Jim Moriarty’s number and initials but he found that he didn’t care. He desperately wanted it to be Jim or someone who had known Jim. Perhaps talking to a stranger who had known Jim would be a reasonable substitute for the real thing.
The Pwens-Patel case. -SH
And then Sherlock couldn’t resist one specific question.
Is that really you? Are you olive? -SH
There’s a fee for consulting services. -JM
Sure. I’ll pay you in Mycroft. -SH
What Mycroft losed. -SH
What did you two wager? Holiday consultation time is more expensive BTW. -JM
Mycrify has to get me amen noodles and fancy scotch. -SH
If I win. -SH
I’d pay good money to make Mycroft fetch me ramen noodles. -JM
I’m not below swx either. -SH
You are more than a bit buzzed, Sherly. -JM
I was thinkung. -SH
My fees also involve mistletoe along with whatever we’re going to make big brother do. -JM
We. It’s a pronoun. Problem? -JM
Noo. I think we is acceptable. -SH
McGowan did it. Arranged it specifically. Patel and Owens copied his research and published all his work. Got the NHS grant and that lovely 3.5 million # government nuclear physics contract that should have been his. Saxitoxin, made to look like a murder-suicide made to look like a joint suicide. Easy-peasy. -JM
Sherlock stared at the pink phone for much longer than he should have. All the pieces fell into place and it made sense. He even knew which tests he needed to request from Molly in order to prove it. The link to this McGowan person shouldn’t be difficult to corroborate since he vaguely recalled the name in the piles of literature regarding the case. He took another sip while forcing himself to function a bit more before typing out another text. This time made sure the spelling of each word was correct before he sent it.
Can I see you? -SH
Not sure that would be wise. Big brother and all. -JM
Sherlock growled. There was no way that he would be kept from Jim if the man were still alive. He rose and put the remnants of his drink in the kitchen sink before continuing to text.
I would like to see you. I won’t tell Mucroft. -SH
I should have done thigs dofferently and I need to say some things to you. -SH
Things I shoud have said years ago. -SH
There was no reply for almost ten minutes and Sherlock felt himself starting to panic. That had to have been Jim and he had to find a way to see the man. They were meant to be together.
Pleease. <3 -SH
Another five minutes passed and then the pink phone beeped.
Look outside your window. ♥ -JM
Sherlock grinned. Jim had sent him a pink heart and it had to mean something, anything more than nothing. He walked over to the window and looked out. The snow was still falling picturesquely. Big fat flakes falling lazily out of the sky. He scanned the street and the few people, all bundled up, some with properly festive and colorful hats and scarves, walking on the sidewalks.
After a moment a light turned on in the apartment building across the street. A slim petite figure with dark hair stood at the window and raised a hand in greeting. Sherlock’s heart started pounding. There was no way he could ever mistake that person for anyone else. He also raised a hand and grinned before typing out a text..
I’ll be right over. -SH
I’ll start the tea. -JM
Sherlock quickly grabbed both phones, his coat, hat, and scarf, and raced down the stairs. As he reached the door, his regular phone beeped. He paused to read the text before heading out into the cold and snow.
Don’t forget to claim victory. -JM
Sherlock quickly switched phones. He felt a bit sorry that he would be cancelling dinner with his brother but there would be another time for that. He did make sure that everything was spelled correctly. Wouldn’t want Mycroft to suspect that he’d had a few.
Solved. McGowan did it, Saxitoxin. I trust you can follow up as it’s your case but I’ll file the report tomorrow or something. ANd get the lab requests etc... -SH
Can’t do dinner. Hot date. -SH
Be careful. Moriarty is dangerous and you’re a bit more inebriated than you think you are. -MH
Sherlock grinned although he made a mental note to give Mycroft some grief about not telling him that Jim was alive. He supposed it was Mycroft trying to be a good brother and he could accept that. He was, however, no longer going to accept a life without James Moriarty. Opening the door, he raced out into the street, almost got hit by a passing car, and then flung himself into the arms of the other man waiting at the door to the other building. Jim was holding a sprig of fresh mistletoe.
“Why didn’t you contact me sooner?” Sherlock asked and then kissed Jim breathlessly and for as long as he could..
“I was playing hard to get,” Jim said and smiled in that slightly manic way that Sherlock loved.
“Well, now that I’ve got you, I’m not letting you go!”
“Really?” Jim tapped the side of his head with the mistletoe.
“Yes, you insufferable brat. We could have done this much sooner if you’d texted me. Or called.” Sherlock smirked and mimicked Jim as best he could. “You have my number. I thought you might call.”
Jim chuckled and shook his head. “That’s my line.”
“Good things are worth the wait, Sherlock Holmes.”
“You just like to make me suffer,” Sherlock teased and then let Jim pull him into the building.
“I do,” Jim admitted. “But no more.” He smiled shyly. “I missed you too.” Sherlock didn’t quite know how to respond so, instead, he just kissed Jim with the certainty that this was going to be their forever.