"I just think that the handcuffs are profoundly unnecessary."
"Do you honestly believe that I have had the type of physical training necessary to reach across this table and kill you with my bare hands before the people on the other side of that mirror could make it into the room?"
Sherlock leaned forward with a rattle of metal on metal. "There is actual danger out there, Lestrade, stalking through London, with John Watson tucked away or murdered and you are keeping me here on information given to you by an anonymous source with nothing but convenient connections linking me to crimes I have been helping you to solve-"
"Sherlock!" Lestrade shouted, pounding a fist once against the table. "Settle down. If you want me to listen to you, you'll do it by talking, not arguing."
Sherlock sat back. He folded his hands together neatly over the handcuff chains. He leveled his gaze on Lestrade.
"All right," Lestrade said. He sat back himself and pulled over a manila folder. Flipping through it, he continued, "The information that was delivered to us links your credit card with the purchase of the same type of materials used to make the bombs."
"My card was-"
Lestrade held up one finger in front of Sherlock. He locked eyes and put the finger against his own lips. Sherlock looked rebellious, but resettled himself in the chair and gestured for Lestrade to continue.
"It also has printouts of emails from an address with your website's domain name setting up a meeting with a known private provider of Semtex. There's the internet search history from your computer full of keywords pertaining to the case, a photograph of you and John Watson in the area where the Golem was rumored to be hanging about, and, most importantly, your fingerprints at every scene of crime since this mess began." Lestrade closed the folder, looking at him. "Add to that your record of getting involved in police business and the results of your psychological evaluation, and you've got Sally Donovan out in the hallway shaking her head and talking about how she's always said it would be you putting a body in the ground someday."
Sherlock watched him, eyes narrowed slightly with interest, expression almost amused. "Do you think I did it, Detective Inspector?"
Lestrade glanced at the two-way mirror, then sighed. "They think you did, Sherlock. They're sure it was you. They think you set all of this up right from the beginning. They think you've been walking us through all of these crimes and puzzles and things just to show off how smart you are, because you need the attention."
"All of that from a folder full of circumstantial evidence."
"The fingerprints aren't very circumstantial."
Sherlock tucked his steepled fingers under his chin, making his handcuffs rattle. "Fair point," he said. "Shall I walk you through this one, then?"
"By all means."
Sherlock gave a little pause, then started. "First; my credit card was stolen the night the smuggling ring was shut down. I didn't notice because I had no cause to use the card, until I was attempting to buy an authentic human anatomical skeleton from an online auction site, at which point I realized that I no longer had it. I'd given it to John, and he didn't have it, so he canceled it for me. There's no amount of money spent on a stolen credit card that would be worth my sitting through twenty minutes of the credit company's terrible hold music. Now let me see the emails."
Lestrade extracted the email printouts and handed them over to Sherlock. Sherlock laid them out on the table and peered closely at them. "Do you have a magnifying glass?" he asked at length.
Lestrade just looked at him.
Sherlock rolled his eyes. "Honestly, it's as if you people became police through mail order. Here," he said, starting to rise from the chair, but he stopped. He looked at Lestrade. "May I?" Lestrade gestured for him to stand, so he did, and carefully came around the table to stand beside Lestrade's chair. "Look," he said, holding out one of the papers so that Lestrade could see it. "Both email addresses are in all-capitals, in every exchange. The one that you're alleging came from my domain name is not, in fact, my domain name. You're looking for the person who owns '.uk'. The capital I and lowercase L look exactly the same in this font type."
Sherlock set the emails in front of Lestrade and went back to his chair. "Third; it's probable that my internet search history contains keywords from every crime ever committed in the history of human consciousness. Do none of you get bored? Googling 'how to assemble a bomb using plastic explosives' has proven to be less troublesome than, say, shooting the wall with my flatmate's weapon. Until now, of course. Now I wish I'd spent more time with target practice."
"Probably shouldn't say things like that in the middle of an interrogation, Sherlock."
"Oh, is that what this is?" Sherlock asked, exasperated. "I thought it was a sentencing hearing. No matter my explanations, it won't make any difference to this case. And that's what they wanted. The person who delivered these things to you." He gestured to the folder, then folded his arms. "They knew this place was only waiting to find a reason to lock me up."
Lestrade shook his head, looking at the table. "Sherlock, you know that isn't true for me."
Sherlock gave him a sideways glance. "Not for you, maybe, Lestrade," he said finally, in a grudgingly conciliatory voice. He set his hands on the table, palms up, arms stretched before him. "But the longer I stay here, the more time you give the real murderer. He has John," he said, meeting Lestrade's eyes imploringly. "The man who is doing all of this has John, and no one but I can do anything to keep him from being killed."
Lestrade looked uncomfortable. "How did your fingerprints end up in the crime scenes, Sherlock? The woman in the car, all over the dashboard. The second victim's coat zip."
Sherlock sat back. He stared thoughtfully down at his hands. "I don't know," he said. "Honestly, I don't. It's as much a mystery to you as it is to me. But I could find out," he insisted, punctuating the words, "if you let me go."
Lestrade avoided his gaze and straightened the papers in the folder with a few taps against the table. "We're going to hold you until we find something that contradicts the-"
"You can't hold me!" Sherlock shouted, almost rising. "Lestrade, there are more people out there in danger, John's in danger, you can't just put me in a cell and hope that it all clears itself up. Let me go out and do something!"
Lestrade stood up, tucking the folder under his arm with an air and expression of uncomfortable resignation. "We can't just ignore this evidence, Sherlock," he said, taking in Sherlock's face of infuriated surprise. "There's nothing I can do to get you out of here any faster. You just have to – cooperate." He shook his head. "Let us do our jobs. If it really wasn't you, then you'll be free to go. And we'll look for John." He cleared his throat. "We'll have to, anyway. He's as much a suspect as you are."
And he left.
Sherlock watched the door swing closed behind him, and felt the churn of angry, cold shock in his stomach.
This, Sherlock decided, was the least comfortable bed in Great Britain.
There was the five-by-three cell he'd spent the night in while investigating a Russian arms smuggler, but that was Russia, and at least the people had been interesting, if not entirely friendly. All he had to work with in the holding area of New Scotland Yard was a man who was too drunk too early and a woman who may or may not have been a prostitute, depending on who was asking and whether they seemed capable of paying. Not the most engaging of company. And yes, certainly the least comfortable bed in the United Kingdom. It was hardly even a bed. It was more a bundle of metal bars and a cardboard pillow. Sherlock wondered why any of the criminals he caught ever dreamed of committing crimes; did they not know how terrible the service was?
He lay with his knees bent, one crossed over the other, his arms crossed beneath his head, staring up at the ceiling. It was, finally, quiet. The woman was sleeping. The drunk man had passed out before he'd arrived. Sherlock had kept time by glancing at the guard's watch when she walked by his cell during her rounds, then keeping tempo in the back of his mind and checking against her watch when she returned. He had kept mostly on track, which meant it was almost time.
Ten hours in a holding cell had not done him any favors. He was no closer to solutions. With no access to research materials and limited interaction with people who would speak to him, he had grown more and more frustrated as time progressed. MIDNIGHT, the screen had told him. But midnight where? Was it something to do with the puzzle? Perhaps the tramway tunnel where the smugglers nearly killed Sarah? That would make reasonable sense in context with the references the setup was making. Or maybe the pool, working on their rendezvous from the previous night.
The message meant that John was alive, but that was the only thing it told him.
And there were still the niggling Why's. Why was John taken? Why would Moriarty set up a meeting? He couldn't push the thoughts away entirely, and they kept reappearing to bother him, to flaunt the fact that he couldn't grasp the situation as closely as he wanted to. There were no answers to his questions. If he wanted the missile plans, he got them on the shore of the Thames. If he wanted Sherlock dead, he had ample opportunity. A bomb set to go off when the door to his flat was opened seemed much more understandable than a book cipher tied to a musical puzzle. He was jumping through hoops, and he didn't know why, and he hated that sensation.
He swung his legs off of the bed and sat up when he heard the rattle of the door, the guard coming around for hourly cell checks. He listened to the dull click of her shoes on the linoleum floor and moved over to the door of his cell, slinging his arms lazily around the bars. As she was glancing into the cell with the unconscious drunk, he called out to her, "Hello!" When she looked at him, he gave a little wave.
She raised an eyebrow, coming down to his cell. "You're a bit more cheerful than you were. You've been staring at that ceiling for five hours."
"It's an interesting ceiling," he said. "How do you know that? You aren't the guard who came by earlier."
She frowned. "I am. I've been on duty since six."
Sherlock frowned in return. "Are you certain? I was sure it was some other officer."
She crossed her arms. "For all I've heard about you being all weird and observant—Listen, is there anything you wanted, or can I get on with my checks?"
"I'm a bit peckish."
"You've refused every meal they've brought you!"
Sherlock smiled as if talking to a small child. "Which is probably why I'm hungry, don't you think?"
The guard threw up her hands and looked back at the door to the holding cells. "I'll see if they can put something together for you, but it's gone ten by now. They might not have anything for you until the morning."
Sherlock just kept smiling at her, making it as unsettling as possible. "Just knowing you've tried will be good enough for me."
The guard gave him an uncomfortable look, then continued down the row to check on the probably-prostitute. When she came back toward the door, she stayed closer to the wall than to Sherlock's cell, but still he smiled at her when she accidentally met his eyes.
"My food, remember," he said.
"I'll be back when I can," she muttered, then walked quickly out of the holding cells.
Sherlock dropped the strange smile and adopted a real one, instead, looking down at the key held between his fingers.
The first rule of pick-pocketing is to unsettle. The rest is nimble fingers.
He waited ten minutes. It was long enough for the guard to have wandered far away to tell friends about how strange the man in the cells is, and he didn't have time to waste. Gone ten, she'd said. With the meeting at midnight, and still no clues as to where it was being held, he'd need to be fast. He reached around the bars to slide the key into the lock and turn it. He did it slowly, quietly, opening the door carefully so that it would not wake the woman in the next cell, who would no doubt start screaming her head off if she caught him out. He left the key in the door and kept moving, down the row, crouching by the door to the holding cells. A normal doorknob with a normal lock.
One thing about police stations that Sherlock liked was that they never checked your socks.
Sherlock slipped a hair pin into the lock and jostled it a bit, listening with his ear to the wood to hear if there was anyone outside. It was quiet. When the lock clicked, he tucked the pin into his pocket and opened the door very slightly, still crouched low, and looked out. Empty. Just a desk where the guard should be. He slipped out of the door and closed it behind him, then stole off down the hall, wary of anyone approaching.
There was a break room six doors down with a window which opened on an alley. There was a dumpster sitting three floors below it. If the break room was empty, Sherlock could jump down and be out of the building before anyone noticed he was missing. He flattened himself against the wall in the hallway and peered around the doorway into the room.
Of course. Two officers. Sally Donovan and Anderson.
They were on the opposite side of the room, sitting with their coffee and watching the news on a small television. Anderson was saying, "…able to do it from here? This happened two hours ago."
"Easy," Sally said, "It was all planned in advance. You don't think he'd be doing the whole thing himself, do you? He had accomplices."
He could sneak past them. They were absorbed in the television and their conversation. They wouldn't notice. The window was open. All he had to do was slip across the room and through it, and he would be gone. He crouched down, looked once more up and down the hallway, then started across the room, keeping behind furniture and keeping their backs to him.
"I'm just surprised the doctor was involved," Sally said. "He doesn't seem the type, you know?"
Anderson made a noncommittal noise.
Sherlock stopped. They were talking about him. Two hours ago? What happened two hours ago?
Sally turned up the volume on the television.
"…the explosion rocked the abandoned Abney Park Cemetery in Stoke Newington, London. Police are saying that there is no direct evidence of any foul play, but that an investigation is underway to determine the cause of the explosion…"
Abney Park Cemetery. About half an hour away by cab, the only way to get there despite the danger of being recognized. Why so far from the city center? But it didn't matter. He had his location. The explosion was a message. Midnight, the cemetery.
Sherlock got to the window as Sally said, "Shame the freak doesn't get to see his own handiwork."
Grinning, he ducked through it and dropped three stories to a pile of cardboard boxes.
He hauled himself over the lip of the dumpster and spilled onto the asphalt, pulling Styrofoam packing peanuts out of his hair and glancing up and down the alleyway. No one to see. Entirely empty. At least half an hour before anyone noticed he was missing, and an hour and a half to make it to the cemetery. He hurried toward the main road to find a cab. Stoke Newington, with one stop along the way.
The police had left their floodlights at the scene of the explosion, and they lit the dark grey stone in sharp contrast to the absolute blackness of the surrounding cemetery. The chapel face was intact, with its castleish spire and the round glassless window staring down at Sherlock like one wide Gorgon eye. He stood at the base of the building and followed the creep of ivy across the ancient stones towering above him, his breath frosting in the air. He could see the burn and rubble at the back of the chapel, where the bomb had ripped down the rear wall in a jagged, scorched hole. Destroying a historic landmark to gain his attention. It was something to add to the list.
"Well hello there, Sherlock Holmes."
Sherlock spun. Moriarity stood just inside of the light, a few yards away. The darkness was outlined around him, as if he had stepped out of nothing. As if there was no world beyond the chapel. Just absolute dark, absolute silence, and James Moriarty.
"Jim," he said. "Pleasure."
"Were they treating you well at Scotland Yard? I hear the food is excellent."
"Well, you'll find out soon enough."
Moriarty smiled. "Tough talk, Mr. Holmes. I like it! Still trying. It's almost sweet." He snapped his fingers as though just remembering something. "Talking of sweet! I think I know a friend of yours. A bit short, army haircut, tops at kidnapping. Well. The being kidnapped part."
"Where is he?"
"Oh, I'm sure he's around here somewhere." He looked around himself. "John!" he called. "John, be a dear and come on out into the light, would you?"
There was a sound behind him, and Sherlock turned in time to see John hit the ground after having been thrown through the open door of the chapel. His wrists were tied behind his back, and he was coughing in the dirt. Sherlock hurried over to him and quickly helped him to his feet, checking him over. "Are you all right?" he asked rapidly, feeling John's skull for injuries, checking his clothes for blood, his eyes for signs of a concussion.
"I'm fine," John said. Sherlock kept checking. "I'm fine, Sherlock!" He stepped away, and his eyes fell on Moriarty. "I hope you have some kind of brilliant plan," he muttered under his breath.
Sherlock turned back to Moriarty. "I understand," he said. "I understand that you wanted the plans, and you wanted to challenge me, to make me fear you. What you could do. But I don't understand why." He stepped forward. "Why set up the riddles? Why fill John's sister's flat with explosives and fishing line? Why give me puzzles you know I can solve? Why tie me to the murders? There's no logic in it. It's clumsy. Inelegant. It doesn't make any practical sense."
Moriarty pouted. "Oh, Sherlock," he said, a mournful whine, pressing a hand to his own heart. "You hurt me. Really. I'm hurt." Then he dropped the hand and smiled again. "But you had it right the first time. A long time ago, you got it just right."
"What was it?"
"Oh, Sherlock," Moriarty said, sighing musically. "Haven't you ever been bored?"
John made a choked sound behind him. He turned. There was a bright red dot trained at the center of John's chest. Sherlock's hands clenched at his sides.
"I promised you," Moriarty called. "I said I'd do it, if you kept standing in my way. Burn your heart." Sherlock whipped his head around. Moriarty put his hands in his pockets and started to rock back and forth on his heels, grinning. "I don't mean to be cliché, Sherlock. A few months ago, you really wouldn't have had a heart to burn. It would have been so much more complicated, and so much less fun. It's very convenient, that John happened to wander in at just the right time. Just the right type of person to get under your skin. Quiet. Loyal. Brilliant, in his own little way. You were almost destined to grow attached." He laughed. "And now I get to kill him. The only person you care about. How fun. I'm not bored anymore. Are you?"
Sherlock glared across the distance between them. "The moment you signal your gunmen, you'll be dead where you stand."
Moriarty laughed again. "What are you going to do, Sherlock? Think me to death?" He sighed, and slowly began to walk forward, his arms crossed over his chest. "You keep threatening to kill me, but you never will. And if you do, I've said it before. You won't live to enjoy it." He stopped a few feet away from Sherlock.
Sherlock stood in the middle of the light, his back straight, his eyes locked to Moriarty's. His lips twitched upwards, almost amused. "Then we'll walk through the gates of Hell hand in hand."
Moriarty laughed. "What a charming picture that would make."
"Yes, wouldn't it," Sherlock said. He smiled. "I really think it might be worth it."
Moriarty waved a hand.
A shot rang out.
And then another.
Sherlock stood in the light holding a smoking gun, and could almost feel the heat of ten tiny red marks against his back. He turned slowly, dropping the gun, his hands in the air. "Stop," he said.
There was absolute silence from the chapel. There was no one visible, but they were there, somewhere, watching him.
"He's dead," Sherlock said. "I've killed him. You have no allegiance to him anymore. Whatever he did to help you, and whatever he's done to keep you here, it's over. You're free to go. I won't chase you. The crimes you hired him for are long over." His eyes fell on John, lying in the dirt. "If you go now, I won't find out which one of you shot him."
One by one, the red dots blinked out. When the last one was gone, he ran to John's side.
He dropped to his knees and rolled John's body over, hands shaking, moving faster than he knew he should if it was a –
John was coughing, his hand gripping Sherlock's arm. Alive. His eyes were cloudy with pain, but he was grinning very loosely. "Maybe you aren't – such a crap shot," he wheezed.
Sherlock let out a panicked, relieved laugh. There was blood blooming through the material over John's right shoulder. He tore off his own jacket and pressed it hard over the wound, making John hiss in pain, John's hand tightening its grip on his arm. "You'll match now," Sherlock said, his voice a little higher pitched than it normally was. "Both shoulders."
"Oh good," John said, sarcastic. "I'm going to – bleed out – if we don't-"
"The police should be here any second."
John laughed. "How did you – manage that?"
Sherlock grinned. "I had my cabbie call them."
John grinned back. "You put too much faith in cabbies."
Sherlock laughed again.
EXCERPT – OFFICIAL POLICE STATEMENT, DETECTIVE INSPECTOR G. LESTRADE
The body recovered at the scene has remained unidentified. The bullet which killed John Doe is a match to an unlicensed weapon claimed to belong to one Sarah Sawyer. Ms. Sawyer has not been found; there is a warrant for her arrest. The bullet taken from the shoulder of Dr. John Watson is not a match for the Sawyer gun, or for the gun licensed to Dr. Watson, which remains missing. A completed fingerprint analysis confirms that fingerprints at the scenes of crime do not belong to Sherlock Holmes, and are evidence of internal technological sabotage. A police investigation is underway to determine the source of the altered Scotland Yard files. Following the circumstances of this case, and the lack of evidence tying either man to these or any previous crimes, Dr. Watson and Mr. Holmes have been released from custody.
No evidence has been found to link these crimes to the man whom Watson and Holmes deem responsible, but a criminal investigation is still underway.
"They'll find nothing," Sherlock said, reading the piece of paper in his hand while holding the door to the flat open for John. "Moriarty was far too smart to leave any links between him and the abductions. The only people who will come forward are you and I. His accomplices all have far too much to lose."
John stopped just inside the doorway, staring at the wreck of the flat before him. Books everywhere, a table dragged into the middle of the room, numbers spraypainted on the wall over the sofa. Sherlock walked to his side, then looked up from the paper and saw him staring.
"Oh," Sherlock said. "Hum. I'll, ah. I'll just tidy up a bit, shall I?"
John pinched the skin between his eyes with the fingers of his good arm, shaking his head. "No," he said. "No, just leave it. We've neither of us slept."
"Well, that's no great change for me." Sherlock moved around him and went to the table, running his hand over the surface. "Used to be a piano and a pile of explosives here. The police must have taken them as evidence. Lestrade can give it to his daughter, I suppose. The piano, I mean, not the explosives."
"No, I definitely assumed you meant the explosives." John's eyes followed Sherlock as he walked around the table. "What do you get up to when I'm not there to shout at you?"
Sherlock looked up with a grin. "Oh, plenty of interesting messes."
Silence fell between them. John stood still just inside the door, eyes traveling among the mess. Sherlock leaned with his palms against the table, looking at the backs of his hands.
John cleared his throat. "I suppose," he said, "I suppose I should thank you. For saving my life, and everything."
Sherlock stood up straight, dusting his hands off and averting his eyes. "No need," he said. "There will probably be a lot of that in the future."
John half-smiled. Early morning light fell in through the boarded-up broken windows, finding chinks and gaps through which to pry and light the room in soft lines of yellow. They curled around Sherlock, standing as he was with his back to the light, and found the table, the chairs, the floor, the mislaid books, and John, his shoulder aching and his body tired, but his mind almost peacefully clear.
Sherlock sat on the side of the table, his body tilted slightly back, his arms behind him, keeping him upright. Light fell across his legs, his chest, his arms, and he smiled toward the windows, his head turned just enough so that John almost couldn't see.
"I'm glad you lived," he said.
John laughed. "Yeah, well. I am, too, I think."
Sherlock turned his head to look at him. "You're not entirely certain?"
John touched his right shoulder. "Depends on how much this starts hurting later today."
Sherlock stood up off of the table and walked over. "That wasn't quite part of the plan, I'm afraid."
"I don't think there was a plan."
Sherlock stopped just short of brushing his fingers against the bulk of the bandage under John's shirt. "Oh?"
"No," John said. He was looking hard at Sherlock, but trying to look as if he wasn't. There were nerves under his voice, close to awkwardness, but he ignored it. "I think, for once, you went blundering in without a plan."
"John Watson," he said, musingly. "I've said it before. I don't know what I'd do without my blogger."
John shook his head, amused. "That's a pretty poor excuse for almost getting yourself killed."
"Maybe I like the fact that you keep the flat reasonably clean."
"Maybe you're full out it."
Sherlock's grin twitched wider. "Maybe I'm that."
John cleared his throat and pulled away. "Now that we've proven what manly men we are," he said with sarcasm, "you can make up for getting me shot by cleaning the flat while I go and sleep for four days."
"I offered. You declined."
"Yes, well, I've taken it back." He was walking for the door. "And call someone to fix the windows, would you? I don't care how long you have to listen to the hold music."
"John," Sherlock said.
John turned his head back round, already reaching for the doorknob. Sherlock had a hand on the back of his neck, an awkward position, his eyes pointed down and away. He opened his mouth to say something, then closed it again.
"It's all right," John said, his voice softening slightly. "Really. I understand."
Sherlock dropped the hand to his side. "I don't want this to happen again," he said.
John shrugged, and the action made him wince slightly. "I signed on for it. You didn't, but I did. You can say the word and I'll leave."
"Do you want that?"
Sherlock shook his head. "We are irrational creatures, John."
John sighed. "Whatever you say, Sherlock. Good night." He opened the door.
"Good night, John," Sherlock said from behind him. "Sleep well."
John left, and the door shut with a click.
DECIPHERED MESSAGE DELIVERED TO ANONYMOUS RECIPIENT FROM ANONYMOUS SENDER
m expected to recover. body at scene replaced, records of victim wiped. continue watching. s holmes, j watson still a threat. burn this message.
The Personal Blog of John. H. Watson
I've taken a few days before writing this one out. I've needed it, if I'm being honest. Getting shot in the shoulder does that to you.
Sherlock is downstairs watching the men who are fixing up the wall for us. He's worried they'll destroy something important. I don't know why he insists on keeping every piece of paper he ever touches and then piling the stacks of folders all about the flat. It makes it difficult to move down there, and almost impossible to not knock things over. (Is that a split infinitive? "to not"? I haven't written anything that someone else read since university. Not that it matters, being the internet. Ppl tlk lyk ths hr.)
He tracked down the now-defunct (LONG-defunct) company that manufactured the wallpaper Mrs. Hudson had on that wall and is having it replaced with more of the same. I often have no idea why he does the things he does. That wallpaper is hideous. But he was insistent.
So, as I've mentioned, I was shot in the shoulder a few days ago. It was not a good time, all told; I've been kidnapped twice since last I updated. Both times by the same man. Moriarty. The man who was running the game. The first time, I was on the way to Sarah's, and they knocked me out and bundled me away into a car. I woke up with a bomb strapped to my chest and a man standing over me.
Moriarty doesn't look like the sort of man I thought he was. He's short, young, probably younger than Sherlock. He has a strange cadence to his voice, like an American attempting four European accents at once. But I'll admit that he is frightening. He seems poised at any second to lash out and destroy something because it seems entertaining.
He fed me lines, the way he did for his other abduction victims, but at first he did it so that Sherlock would think that I was the one behind the game. The look on his face. I honestly... But it didn't last long. Moriarty came out, made his revelations in perfect supervillain style, while I'm stood there with enough explosive power to bring down the block under that horrible puffy coat. It was all just a threat. A glimpse of the sorts of things he could do, if Sherlock kept getting in his way. Killing people, killing me, with the wave of his hand. Sherlock thought it was about the Bruce-Partington plans, but it was just about power. Moriarty made his threats, then he left.
This is where...
I'm not good at this, writing out my life this way. Certainly not the way my therapist originally meant for me to do so, pouring out my feelings so that strangers on the internet can look at them. Just the word "feelings" makes me shudder inwardly, to tell you the truth, and I can't much change that.
But I can say that it was worth it, worth all of it, the kidnapping and the pain and the fear of being killed there in a dark pool in the middle of the night - worth it all to see Sherlock's hands shaking when he ran to pull the explosives off of me. As difficult as it is to say. I can't tell you why it didn't occur to me before, that Sherlock cared about me. I suppose that somewhere in the back of my mind, I assumed that I was an amusing nuisance to him, mostly just another skull to talk at, but this one able to run quickly and shoot straight and deduce a cause of death. A slightly more useful Yorick. But, no. It was the most emotion I've ever seen him show, throwing the coat away from us across the pool floor, pacing up and down, agitated. It was - it was good to know, I suppose. I had never been bothered by the idea that Sherlock didn't form attachments the way most people do, because, as I say, feelings, but the revelation that he honestly did care whether I got out of the situation alive was at least an interesting one.
Then, of course, it all went to hell.
Nothing was what it appeared to be. Moriarty still tried to kill us. It turned out that Sarah was in his pocket from the beginning. He distracted us by putting Harry in the middle of a puzzle. He made a deal with Mycroft and kidnapped me again. Sherlock was arrested for what Moriarty did, then he broke out of jail. He came and found me. He killed Moriarty. And there's the story.
But it isn't, not really.
Moriarty worked with emotions. I don't think he had a single one of his own, but he saw them in others, and he used them against his enemies. He knew that Sherlock cared for me - better than I did, at the time - and kidnapped me the first time as a warning. At the pool, when I tried to save Sherlock by grabbing Moriarty from behind, he said I'd shown my hand - and he was right. When I saw the red dot on Sherlock's head, some gunner waiting to kill him at a word, I had to let go. We were in the same boat we would have been in, but I couldn't let it be my fault if Sherlock died, and that is the difficult part of this. We, human beings, we become irrational when emotions are involved in our decisions. But that makes Sherlock and I different from a psychopath like Moriarty, and that's a kind of difference that I am in favor of.
It was an emotional decision that killed Moriarty. Sherlock thought I'd been killed, so he shot him. It was that simple.
I don't know if this is the first man Sherlock has ever killed. It seems a strange thing to not know (not to know? infinitives) about a person, but Sherlock has never asked about the things I saw in the army, so he has no idea of my record, either. He doesn't seem troubled by it, but he rarely seems troubled by anything like this. The only thing that troubles him is boredom.
He got it wrong, though. Twice, actually. The same thing wrong. He thought it was about the plans, and even when we found that Moriarty had kept what he thought were the plans, and hadn't thrown them into the swimming pool - that still wasn't his reasoning. It was boredom. Like Sherlock, boredom motivated him to do ridiculous things. Sherlock shoots the walls of our flat. Moriarty blew up buildings and tried to kill us. Sherlock gets it wrong sometimes. I knew he must, but it's strange to see, and I haven't mentioned it, because - well, what do you say?
I think the men downstairs are finishing up. I'm sure they're tired of Sherlock underfoot. I've been tired of it, too; he's been in my room for hours on end these past few days, pacing, or sitting with his knees tucked up on the chair across the room from my bed, talking to me about the things he thinks about, the cases he's worked before, the ridiculous things people have said or done in his presence that he still doesn't understand. I can't move about with my shoulder (matching, now), so I just sit and listen.
I suppose it isn't terrible. Better than that flat I had when I first arrived back. Certainly less quiet.
A/N: And that's the end! Thank you very much for reading, and for your very sweet reviews. I appreciate it.