Author's note: This is a sequel to one of my first fanfictions, "Hiding in Plain Sight". John is Moriarty. I do not think it is necessary to read "Hiding in Plain Sight" to understand this story.
You should know that John is Moriarty and Sherlock is aware of it since he returned. However, he is unable to tell anyone because if he does, John will have Mrs. Hudson and Lestrade killed.
Warnings for rape and dark!John.
This story doesn't follow season 3 exactly, but one or two major plotpoints are used.
I don't own anything, please review.
In the end, it was his one mistake, the mistake that brought him to this moment.
He thought he could trust John Watson; he thought someone would want to be his friend.
He should have known better. But John Watson saw what he wanted, and he gave it to him, and he made him what he is now.
Someone who has killed and tortured people to get back to the World's only consulting criminal. Someone who is at the disposal of said consulting criminal to do whatever he pleases.
Sometimes he wonders if John knows that the nights he's forced to endure his attentions don't matter to him. Nothing matters to him anymore.
The moment John revealed that he had been Moriarty all along was the moment Sherlock sopped caring about what happened to him.
Standing over the unconscious Shinwell Johnson, a member of his homeless network, who would be sentenced to life in prison as Colonel Sebastian Moran, another criminal John had invented, Sherlock had known what he had become and what John had been all along. Ever since then, what happened to him didn't matter anymore.
He would have taken his own life then if he hadn't been sure that John would fulfill his promise and hurt Lestrade and Mrs. Hudson. John had been able to fool Mycroft; he was capable of everything.
So Sherlock resigned himself to his fate.
Six months later, he slowly walks up the stairs. John will be in the living room, typing up their latest case. This time, it wasn't arranged by the consulting criminal, and Sherlock is pathetically thankful for it. Naturally, John told him afterwards that he'd done a good job, but that he could have solved the case faster – he had started to feel bored – and Sherlock ignored him. Sherlock ignores most of what John says, these days, unless he gets concrete orders.
He spent the afternoon at St. Bart's. John won't hold it against him; he is careful not to put more pressure on the consulting detective than he can handle, and he isn't scared that Sherlock will leave or tell anyone the truth.
No one would believe him anyway. John Watson is a good man; no one doubts this fact, no one has ever doubted the consulting criminal.
Sherlock often dreams about killing him, plans the murder in his mind. He knows he won't put it into action. John will have made known to his employees what has to happen if he – or rather a certain John Watson, since it appears that no one in his organization knows his real identity – is found dead.
Not even Mycroft will be able to keep all of them safe.
All Sherlock can do is live his life beside the consulting criminal and do what he wants him to do.
Now and then he is called in on a case that he already knows the solution of because John told him, with a smile, after he came back from one of his late night excursions, who he killed and how.
Sherlock's sole comfort is that he seems to be killing less people; but he is busy building a new web, and therefore he just might not have the time.
But Sherlock has to concentrate on whatever comfort he can get. If he is to find a way out – and sometimes, he thinks he can, although he hasn't done so yet and it isn't likely – he has to keep focused. He can't despair.
John, like he predicted, sits in front of his laptop.
"Just finished" he says, and Sherlock remembers days when he read the entries and belittled John's writing skills. Disgust sweeps through him and he walks past him and into the kitchen without a word. The consulting criminal has made tea, of course. He fills a cup and only noticed how hard he is clenching it when his knuckles turn white.
When he returns to the living room, John puts away his laptop.
"I have to admit this case was refreshing. A stalking cyclist? Original. Although I would have done it differently – "
Sherlock doesn't answer. He rarely speaks to John anymore. He has to pretend when they are outside or in the company of other people; in the flat he can be silent, can let John know that he hats him, even if he suspects that the consulting criminal enjoys it.
Mycroft doesn't have any cameras in their flat, not since Sherlock came back because apparently his brother feels guilty about telling Moriarty his life's story and this is his way of apologizing, and Sherlock could scream at the irony, so no one realizes the difference in his behaviour.
At crime scenes, at St. Bart's, at Scotland Yard, he's the same he's always been, and so is John. The doctor apologizes for his remarks, comforts witnesses, is polite to everyone. Sherlock tries to concentrate on the crime scenes or go to his mind palace like he used to, but he can't. He's always aware of John.
But here, he doesn't have to answer him.
"Come on, you have to admit it's at least different."
There's a slight edge to his voice that tells Sherlock he won't stay in the good mood he's been in since they solved the case if he won't react, and he forces himself to answer him.
"It was an interesting case" he admits. It was; before everything, when he still had John his friend at his side and not the consulting criminal, he would have enjoyed it.
John smiles, obviously pleased that Sherlock said something. The consulting detective wonders why he never saw the emptiness in his eyes.
For now, he seems satisfied, so the consulting detective takes up his violin. Music is the only thing that brings him some degree of comfort nowadays, even if he never manages to lose himself in the melodies. But at least he doesn't think about John when he plays.
Thankfully, this time the consulting criminal doesn't request a piece. He hates playing for him as much as he enjoyed it in former times.
Just as he feels like he can breathe again, he hears steps on the stairs and recognizes them as Mycroft's.
"It's been a while" John comments at the same time.
It has indeed. Mycroft hasn't tried to force him to take a case in two months. He walks faster than usual – barely, but still noticeable – therefore it must be important.
Sherlock can't bring himself to feel enthusiastic. Neither does he feel annoyed at his brother's visit.
Mycroft enters the room without knocking.
John plays his role – politely asking the British Government if he'd like tea and, after the invitation is declined, sitting down on the sofa while Mycroft takes his chair.
Sherlock sits down as well. He wonders why his brother doesn't realize something is wrong. He always thought Mycroft knew him better than anyone.
As a child he would have given everything for the art of lying to his brother.
He sighs, but covers his weariness up with the annoyance Mycroft expects him to feel.
"What brings you here? It has been a while".
The words come out more harshly than he intended, but it doesn't matter. Mycroft sees it only as a result of having had no case in three days.
"The Secret Service has received some highly troubling information".
Sherlock waits. Mycroft is going to tell him soon enough. And he's simply too tired to pretend to be either interested or annoyed any longer.
Mycroft raises an eyebrow and continues.
"There appears to be a terrorist attack planned".
"Appears to be?" Sherlock repeats. "I assume you are not in the possession of any details that might be useful?"
"If we were, I would hardly waste your precious time".
He stands up and strolls over, holding out a file which Sherlock takes automatically.
"All that we know is that there is at least one bomb involved."
"And why do you even pay attention?" John asks. "Don't you get many such threats?"
"That may be true, but the source has never given us false information before".
Sherlock will never get used to watching them talk and knowing what John is. Knowing that his brother doesn't even suspect.
Mycroft doesn't add anything and leaves them shortly afterwards.
Sherlock browses through the file listlessly.
"Come on, Sherlock, you can be a hero. Don't look so sad".
His shoulders tense and he wonders what John would do if he hit him. Probably laugh and tell him to start looking for the bomb.
"Big Brother expects you to solve this".
Sherlock glares at him, the hatred obvious in his face, but John's carefree expression doesn't change.
"Do you have anything to do with this?"
"You should know me better. A terrorist attack? That's hardly entertaining". John sounds disappointed, and Sherlock feels a strange mixture of satisfaction and fear.
He looks down at the file again and feels the hatred course through his veins. He hates John more than he has ever hated anyone, hates him more than he ever hated the Moriarty he'd come to believe existed, when he still thought Richard Brook was the consulting criminal and he was pretending to be dead and dismantling his web to get back to his friend.
Friend. He hates him, and a part of him hates himself because he hates the man who was once his blogger.
Sentiment. A chemical defect found on the losing side.
There isn't much to go on in the file; just a few snippets of information that indicate that the attack will take place soon, and that there will be a bomb, as Mycroft said –
Sherlock jumps up from his chair.
John follows suit.
"What?" he demands impatiently.
And Sherlock, for one moment, forgets who he's talking to.
"It's the fifth of November – " looking in the uncomprehending face of his flatmate, he sighs, "The fifth of November, John – and a bomb – "
Comprehension dawns on the doctor's face and Sherlock remembers who he is. He closes his mouth.
There is a twinkle in John's eyes.
"The Parliament? It's somewhat daring, even if I'd have wished for a better idea. I hate repetition."
Except when it comes to playing his friend, Sherlock thinks.
But right now, he has to save the country. He can feel like himself again, if only for a few short moments.
It isn't difficult to figure out where the bomb has to be if the Parliament is to be blown up, and he rushes down the stairs, John following him. It's in times like these, when he doesn't have to look at him, when all he has to do is concentrate on the case and listen to the footsteps behind him, that Sherlock is almost able to forget what happened. Almost.
They reach the underground station that has never been in use just in time to defuse the bomb – if only Sherlock knew how.
In all his cases, in all the time he has been doing experiments, he never learned how to defuse a bomb.
John stares at him.
"Well – that's unexpected. I don't know how to do it either" he admits. He looks down at the bomb. "Pity. We were having so much fun".
And in this exact moment, Sherlock remembers that there's an off switch. There has to be because terrorists don't like being blown up.
He's tempted not to do anything. He's tempted to let him and John and the Parliament get blown up. Then everything will be over.
But he can't. Lestrade, Mrs. Hudson – he can't.
He has come to this conclusion and is about to reach down when he hears a quiet click and realizes John has turned the bomb off.
He looks at the consulting criminal, who is studying him, considering his reaction to the bomb, his thought process. Of course John would know as well. He only wanted to play.
"Sherlock" John says gently, so gently that his skin crawls, "It's not going to be that easy".