Author: binary-express PM
It was Valentine's Day. He had to do something romantic. Everything had to be perfect, every little detail mattered, that was the way it had always been.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Horror - Sebastian W./Seb & J. Moriarty - Words: 2,591 - Reviews: 9 - Favs: 21 - Published: 02-17-12 - Status: Complete - id: 7846287
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Rain beat down from the sky, pelting the man with droplets of water that stang his skin and soaked his clothes. Thunder growled absently, filling the air with hungry rumbles and faint flashes of light somewhere in the distance. The trees bent at unnatural angles as if they were mere twigs in a cool summer's breeze. But the man bent his head against the onslaught and persevered, mind set on one thing and one thing only.
He tugged a cigarette from the pack buried deep in his pocket, as if to protect the precious sticks from the rain, as useless as that was, and brought it to his lips. He paused before realising how stupid an idea it was; there was no way he could light a smoke in this weather, but the gesture was comforting, so he let it hang from his lips.
He shoved both hands back into the pockets of his clean brown waistcoat, insides churning. He wasn't at all sure that he was alright. Jim would laugh at him. Seb knew that it wouldn't be one of his gentle, amused, beautiful laughs he gave when he did something cute or when the two of them were so high there was nothing else they could do. Jim would laugh at him for being such a mess, for being so nervous about this, for being so damn sentimental. But it didn't matter. Some things needed to be done.
The hotel was small at best. Soaked to the bone, Seb couldn't help but start shivering when he stepped into the air-conditioning. The scent of apples and jasmine wafted under his nose and he scrunched it up, barely containing a sneeze. He let the ruined cigarette fall from his mouth and stepped over it, biting into chapped lips in an attempt to stop shuddering.
The lobby was impeccably clean. That's probably why Seb liked it so much. It was a change from the grimy, seedy motels that they had fallen into the habit of choosing. The floor was spotless, and the walls never peeling. Jim always said that the little motels were the scum of the earth, but they both knew that staying in the grubby little rooms was safer for both of them. It was easier to stash bloody clothes and when they fucked each other into stone hard mattresses, the rough linen scraped at their bare skin, pleasure heightened by the little details. It was exciting.
The woman at the front desk looked Seb up and down appreciatively. There was no denying that Sebastian was attractive, and the majority of their guests were pompous old men in fancy suits. It wasn't an unwelcome change, even if it was a little… wet. He grinned at her, charm concealing the knowledge that Jim would have had her head for even thinking about checking him out. He stopped in front of the counter, placing his palms flat against it. Fingers curled, his voice was lace with sugar, mind whirring. Her blood would look nice with this suit.
"Hi," he said, cocking an eyebrow. "I reserved a room last week…" He leaned forward slightly, smearing water over the paper on the desk, though she barely noticed. She blushed as if on demand, and he knew it wouldn't take much to wrap her around his fingers. It was breaking the rules, but he didn't care.
The woman smiled shyly and turned towards the expensive looking computer. "Under what name?" she asked, peeking back at him.
Seb was silent for a long moment before tilting his head. "Sebastian Moriarty." They had never used their real names, even Jim's last name was a risk. If the coppers decided to pull up records, they'd be in trouble. But the little things enhanced the thrill. Every tiny detail was important. Seb belonged to Jim Moriarty.
"Um… Yes, room seven for the night," she said quickly, opening the desk drawer and fumbling with the keys. She shoved an old-fashioned brass one at him. "I just, uh… need a card…"
Seb nodded, taking the key and tugging a wad of twenty pound notes from his pocket. The sniper placed them on the desk, making sure they were perfectly straight before stepping back. "I'm sure that's enough…" He paused, biting his lip. "Um… What's your name, by the way?"
The girl looked a little surprised, turning several shades darker red. "Elizabeth," she replied quietly, looking away. Seb's grin widened, women were so damn predictable.
"Elizabeth?" he asked, scratching at the back of his head. "That's a beautiful name. Suits you…"
"T-thank you," she stuttered, peering up at the tall man. He nodded, smiling to himself before realising something.
"Oh, uh… Well, this is a little embarrassing, but um… Would you be able to show me to my room? I'm… not very good at directions." He laughed shakily, the shame threaded into his voice making her frown sympathetically.
"Of course! If you'll, uh… Just give me a moment, please."
Seb bowed his head in what he hoped was a relieved gesture and fiddled with the hem of his shirt. "No, no, take your time…"
Seb made sure that every motion was polite, elegant and just a little awkward. It wasn't hard to figure women out. They would believe anything they were told. And Seb had learned over the years just how easy it was to gain their trust, get them to help him out.
Elizabeth buzzed around the desk a moment, tucking the money into the register and tidying up, placing a 'Be back in 10 minutes' sign at the front. Seb barely resisted the urge to straighten it. She smiled at him and pointed over at the elevator. "Just this way."
He turned and stalked over to the lift, stooped over himself slightly in a vain attempt to stay warm. She followed in his footsteps, blood creeping up her neck again. He pushed the switch pointedly before shoving his hands back into his pockets. The doors slid open and they stepped inside, Elizabeth pressing the button that would take them to the first floor.
It was the same room every time. Seb knew that that was just the way it was. He knew that the soft beige carpet meant that he wouldn't be smearing blood all over. He knew that the pastel curtains meant that there would be no lust fuelling their actions. He knew that when they came here, everything was difference, gentle, careful, fucking affectionate. Chaste kisses under expensive sheets, nights spent in twined in each other's arms. It was so much different to everything else. They weren't psychopaths here. They were in love.
The ride was short and sweet. Seb barely felt himself moving and then there they were, jerking to a stop. He carded a hand though dripping hair, still shuddering in the air conditioning and followed the receptionist down the hall when the doors opened again. The hall was brightly lit and lavishly decorated. Jim had always liked the abstracts hung in intervals along the walls. They were chaotic, just like him.
"Are you visiting London?" Elizabeth asked, a weak attempt at small talk. She fell back to walk beside him and he smiled.
"Um, yeah. I have a work meet." It wasn't entirely untrue. She nodded.
"What do you do?"
The lies flowed smoothly from his lips, well rehearsed. He knew that she believed every word. Gullible. Seb loved it.
"That certainly sounds… interesting." He voice wavered slightly, as if she didn't want to tell him that politics was as dull as watching paint dry. Oh, how wrong she was…
The room was around the corner and down the corridor, a large number seven sitting perfectly straight on the door, brass shining in the artificial light. Seb inserted the key into the lock and turned it, the door swinging open with a soft click.
"Here you are," the receptionist said, gesturing shyly to the room. Seb nodded.
"Thank you so much!" He paused, glancing inside and biting down on his lower lip. "I don't mean to be a bother, because I'm sure you're very busy, but, uh, would you mind showing me how to work the phone? I'm not very good with technology, and I need to make a few calls for work…" He trailed off with another nervous laugh, not meeting her eyes. She blinked and looked away, considering his request. She really needed to get back down to the lobby in case someone else came in…
"Yeah, okay." It wouldn't take long; a few moments away from the front desk wouldn't hurt. Besides, he was awful cute.
He stepped inside, nodding in thanks and dropping the backpack slung loosely over his shoulder to the ground with a thump. She followed, stepping around him and to the wall, picking the phone up. He rifled through the bag momentarily, and she turned to watch him curiously, smile sweet. As soon as Seb had found what he was looking for, he lashed out with his foot, kicking the door shut in a swift movement.
"W-what are you doing?"
He plunged his hand into the bag, barely flinching when he sliced it open; he tugged out the intricate hunting knife Jim had gifted him Valentine's Day the previous year, gripping the tiger faced handle so tight his knuckles turned white. He hadn't killed anyone like this since Jim beat Sherlock. Since Jim died.
Every ounce of charm, of kindness he had displayed before was gone. There was a glint in his eyes, and it chilled Elizabeth to the core. He looked like an animal.
"Today's Valentine's Day," he stated, twisting the lock on the door. She backed away from him towards the window. Seb knew it didn't open; he had tried. She wasn't going anywhere. "I have to do something romantic…"
He didn't rush as he approached her, whistling under his breath, one of the old songs Jim used to play him late at night. Born to Die. Seb had always liked it. It had wormed its way into his black heart, just like the man who had introduced it to him.
"You have beautiful skin, I must say," Seb breathed, knowing that Jim would enjoy it, that he'd picked well. "You'd make a delightful pair of shoes for my boss." He paused, twirling the blade between his fingers. "Or a rug. I like that idea, actually. A new rug. Wonderful."
"Y-you're insane," she stuttered, choking on her words. "Let me go, please!" She sobbed uncontrollably, a beautiful noise, filling the room with whimpers and cries. She turned and scrabbled with the window, clawing and pounding at the elegant frame.
He reached out, grasping her arm hard enough to leave bruises and pulling her around to face him. He brushed her tears away, gentleness behind calloused fingers. "It's okay," he mumbled, resting the knife against her clothed breast. "We were born to die."
She shoved at him, limbs flailing, screaming for someone, anyone. She kicked at his legs and bit at the fingers stroking her cheek. But Seb wouldn't have that. He pressed the blade through the cloth and into her skin, shoving her into the wall. He didn't want to scratch her or pull her hair, but she insisted on being difficult, so he fisted the thick locks and tugged as hard as he could.
She cried out in pain as he cut down her skin, making sure the bloody gashes are nice and neat. He wouldn't give Jim a messy rug, he wouldn't stand it.
The blood seeped into his clothes, and yet she continued to kick and scream, pleading with him, begging him to stop, please, for the love of God. But Seb didn't love God, and he knew that, by now, God certainly didn't love him, so her words fell on deaf ears.
Not long after she had lost consciousness he cut an artery, blood surging from the nick, splattering over his face. He took delight in painting himself with scarlet liquid. His knife slid under the skin, separating it from muscle and bone, ridding her of the coat of flesh so he could see her, bare and helpless, all sinew and tendons. It was truly a beautiful sight.
Jim had skinned a man on their first job. Seb had watched, transfixed as the madman cut and cleaved, throwing gore around the old warehouse. Seb didn't move for three hours, and he would be lying if he said the sight of Jim soaked in life, cackling in pleasure didn't arouse him. Jim fucked him over the man's corpse, rolling in the sticky substances seeping along the floor. It had been wonderful, that dance, so pretty, so perfect. He would never forget it, ever.
Seb only dropped the knife to tug an object out of his pocket, a flower, the colour of the walls, the curtains, the sheets, the colour of Sebastian. It was a romantic gesture, the last detail to his Valentine gift. He would have forgotten it, had she not had a tattoo inked into her ankle, the miniscule image of a rose. Soppy. Though he couldn't really talk. He laid it on the blood-stained bed. He had broken all the rules, but he didn't care. So had Jim.
It wasn't long before the tag tied around the stem of the rose was too splashed with blood and Seb had passed out beside it, intoxicated by the piece of art he had just created. Elizabeth's skin lay separate from the rest of her body, a piece of clothing in the mess he had made of the hotel. But he had done it. He'd created the perfect gift for Jim. It was a shame he wasn't still there to admire it.
Sebastian Moran awoke hours later, blood caked to his skin, in his hair, the gorgeous events of that morning still replaying in his mind. He coughed and sat up, a rose tumbling from his lap as he did so. He frowned, must have grabbed the one he left while he slept. He brushed his finger over the tag, tugging it around to read it again, for the last time, before he left to finish some other job someone had hired him to do. 'Yes.'
Seb blinked, reading it over, twice, three times. No, that couldn't be right. His head snapped to his left, eyes lingering on the rose he had left there. Who could have…?
The sniper couldn't help but curl in on himself, whimpering as the tears started flowing. Thorns stabbed into his already wounded hand, but he barely noticed. He clutched the rose as if it were the only thing that mattered anymore, the only thing that kept him anchored to this earth. It was an answer to his question, the one he had attached to Jim's rose, written in fancy pen, the very picture of romance. His eyes slipped shut as he sobbed, and nothing else mattered, not even the shorter man watching from the other side of the room. He had his answer, an answer to the question that could never have been answered.
'Will you be my Valentine?'