AN: My first go at a Sherlock fic. Massive spoilers for The Great Game. I tried to get inside Sherlock's head during that final confrontation, but this POV seemed to be as close as I could get.
I do not own Sherlock. No copyright infringement is intended.
Sherlock held the flash drive, his "getting to know you present", as he had called it, high over his head so that it would be visible from whatever cranny Moriarty was hiding in. He was here. Sherlock knew that much. Moriarty could no more resist coming than Sherlock could resist inviting him. And there was still one pip left.
His eyes immediately darted over when he heard the approaching footsteps only to widen in surprise.
"Evening," greeted the figure before Sherlock. John Watson. It was John Watson.
Sherlock thought back to the innocuous comment he had made to Mycroft years ago about not having friends; the closest things he ever had were enemies. He had thought John his friend, the only friend he'd ever had. He should have known. Should have suspected. When he had explained how he knew what he had deducted about him, John had called him brilliant, so unlike the reactions of anyone else. Moriarty hadn't turned up until Watson had.
And no one as good, as kind, as compassionate as John Watson could exist. Not really.
"This is a turn up, isn't it Sherlock?" John asked.
"John…what the hell?" Sherlock Holmes, the high functioning sociopath, was hurt. Was betrayed.
"Bet you never saw this coming."
John's speech pattern was off, nowhere near what he had grown used to. He was blinking rapidly, and his carefully blank face was unusually pale. Sherlock took note of what John was wearing for the first time. A long, green jacket with a fur lined hood. Something was not right.
Sherlock ran through his mental catalogue of John's wardrobe, confirming that he didn't own a coat that remotely resembled the one he was wearing now. John took his hands out of his pockets, pulling open the coat to reveal the wired vest strapped to his chest, confirming Sherlock's suspicions.
"What would you like me to make him say next?"
For one beautiful moment, Sherlock was relieved. John was what he had appeared to be. And if someone like John was willing to put up with him, perhaps there was still hope for Sherlock after all.
But the relief crumbled into something much more sinister, something Sherlock had never experienced first-hand before. A terrible, gut-wrenching sensation. Fear.
Sherlock glanced around the pool, looking for his true adversary while Moriarty made John spout nonsense, finally ordering him to stop when his friend's voice began to break. Moriarty not being immediately in sight, Sherlock took careful steps towards John, hoping a solution would occur to him if he got closer.
"Nice touch, this. The pool where little Carl died. I stopped him," Moriarty said, using John's voice. A voice that was never meant to utter such dark things. His friend stumbled over the next fraise. "I can stop John Watson too. Stop his heart."
The sniper sight on his friend's chest made Sherlock's own heart beat a tad faster. He turned around, looking for the rifleman. "Who are you?" Sherlock demanded.
A door creaked at the other end of the pool before the voice echoed. "I gave you my number. I thought you might call."
Sherlock turned in the direction of the voice, watching as its owner emerged from the shadows. Only one person had given him a number that day, and the faces matched. Jim. Molly's gay boyfriend. Sherlock ignored his introduction. He knew who he was. He was too busy kicking himself for not having made the connection, too busy trying to find a way to get both him and John out safely.
Gun drawn and traced on Moriarty, Sherlock's brain whirred furiously, putting all the little pieces together. His face was carefully impassive, despite the awful turmoil within. He glanced quickly at John, confirming the laser sight was still set on his chest.
Moriarty noticed. Sherlock expected no less. "Don't be silly, someone else is holding the rifle."
Sherlock quickly figured out what his specialty was once Moriarty was done waxing poetic about Sherlock only having had a tiny glimpse at what he had going on. Moriarty was a consulting criminal. He didn't like getting his hands dirty, so he told other people how to do it.
"No one ever gets to me," Moriarty informed Sherlock with a confident air. "And no one ever will."
"I did," Sherlock remarked, quickly cocking the gun, prepared to do what he had to.
"You've come the closest," Moriarty allowed. "And now you're in my way," he said, a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth and admiration in his tone.
"Thank you," Sherlock said, not letting his gun waver for a moment. He wouldn't let a little flattery go to his head.
"I didn't mean it as a compliment," Moriarty lied.
"Yes you did," Sherlock corrected quickly. He didn't have time to play this game anymore.
"Yeah, okay, I did," Moriarty confessed, shrugging his shoulders. "But the flirting's over Sherlock. Daddy's had enough now," he echoed Sherlock's own thoughts.
Moriarty was coming closer. Too close for Sherlock's liking. But he couldn't do anything about it. Not with John trussed up like a Christmas Turkey with explosives. Sherlock kept glancing at his friend nervously, keeping an eye on the glowing red dot that danced around his friend's chest as Moriarty explained that he was done playing.
His response to Sherlock's remarks about the deaths chilled him to the core: "That's what people do!" Had he not said something along the same line to John earlier? To have his words thrown back in his face here, now, was almost more than he could bear. When you care, he had told John, you make mistakes.
And he cared. He cared about his friend. If he made a mistake, how much would it cost him? How much would it cost both of them?
"I will stop you," Sherlock promised. Because nothing like this could happen again. Not ever.
"No you won't," remarked Moriarty convincingly.
"Are you alright?" Sherlock asked his friend, the question that had been burning on his tongue since the explosives had been exposed. He could ask it now. Moriarty was close, true, but he had learned all he could have hoped to from their dialogue, and it was time to turn to more important matters. John's face was too pale. He had been with Moriarty for hours. John could not have been hurt because of what he had done.
John remained frozen, unwilling to do anything that could result in the detonation of the vest strapped around him. When Moriarty gave him permission to respond, he hesitated before nodding. But he wasn't alright. How could he be alright with those explosives hanging off his body?
Assured that his friend wasn't going to collapse any minute, he quickly offered Moriarty the missile plans. It didn't matter. He had to get John out, get them both out, to a place where they really would be alright.
Moriarty smirked at Sherlock's feeble offering, saying he could have gotten the plans anywhere before declaring them boring and throwing them into the pool. Sherlock knew that was true. They had been sitting around in that apartment for days now. He didn't want the plans, he wanted Sherlock to bring them to him.
But in coming to take the plans, Moriarty had left himself exposed. John saw it, and seized the opportunity he had been waiting for, running at Moriarty and grabbing him, yelling for Sherlock to run.
Sherlock didn't move, making sure his gun stayed trained on his enemy and not on him only friend. He could see what John meant to do. Sacrifice himself if he had to in order to save Sherlock, knowing that if he was fired upon know, the explosion would take Moriarty with him. What John didn't seem to understand was that Sherlock was willing to sacrifice as well to save John.
Sherlock's jaw twitched when he called John his pet. But Moriarty wouldn't understand. Couldn't understand. He'd never had a friend. But he did understand about the loyalty.
Loyalty that made John's eyes widen at the same point Sherlock saw the tint of red in his vision that could only be a laser sight on his forehead. Loyalty that made him raise his hands in surrender, seeming much more content to have the sinister red dot on his chest than on Sherlock's forehead.
"Do you know what happens, if you don't leave me alone, Sherlock? To you?" Moriarty asked him.
Sherlock gave a cursory response about death, keeping a close eye on John, ensuring that he was alright, or as alright as he could be under the circumstances.
"I will burn you," Moriarty promised. "I will burn the heart out of you."
"I have been reliably informed that I don't have one," Sherlock shared, it's pounding in his chest serving to undermine his every word.
"But we both know that's not quite true."
Sherlock knew. Today had proved it more than anything else. Fighting off Golem with everything he had when the assassin began to attack John. Ensuring his friend left the apartment before sending the message to Moriarty. His clammy hands, the tightness in his chest, the frantic pounding of his heart as John stood there, bomb around his chest, bullet aimed at his heart. That was what this entire encounter had been about. It had been to show Sherlock exactly what would happen, and how easy Moriarty thought he could do it. But Sherlock wasn't intimidated. He was angry. Furious. The only visible change he allowed to show how deeply the words affected him was blink, a long blink, while he tried to compose himself.
"Well, so nice to have had a proper chat," Moriarty commented before turning to leave.
"What if I was to shoot you now?" Sherlock asked, that anger boiling over. "Right now?" He knew the answer. He just had to voice the thought.
Moriarty told him. And it wasn't a viable option. It wouldn't be worth it. Not while there was still the chance he and John could get out.
"Ciao, Sherlock Holmes," Moriarty remarked, walking out.
Keeping his gun carefully trained on him, Sherlock maneuvered closer to John. "Catch you later," Sherlock promised.
"No you won't," Moriarty's high pitched, unique voice responded from the hall.
As soon as he saw that the laser sight was gone, Sherlock rushed to John. "Alright?" he asked, doing his best to force his shaking hands to pull off the coat and undo the fastenings strapping John to death. "Are you alright?" he demanded. John mumbled an affirmative as Sherlock finally got the cursed contraption off and flung it as far from his friend as he could.
Once he was sure John was no longer in danger, Sherlock rushed to the door, ensuring that Moriarty was gone. When he returned, it appeared John had succumbed to shock, and was crouched against one of the changing room stalls. Sherlock had also finally allowed himself to become emotional. Pacing back and forth, breathing heavily, having completely forgetting that the gun he held in his hand was loaded.
"Are you okay?" John asked, his concern clear.
"Me?" Sherlock had to do his best not to scoff. John had been strapped to a bomb, held hostage by a sociopath, and almost killed because he was living with the wrong man. Because he was cared about by the wrong man. And John wanted to know if he was okay.
"Yeah, I'm fine," Sherlock lied. "Fine, fine." He had to find some way to let John know what he was thinking, put thoughts into words, something he'd never had trouble with before. "That…uh… thing that you did…that you offered to do" the one where you were willing to sacrifice your own life so I would get away and Moriarty wouldn't, "that was…um…good." Sherlock once again tried not to scoff. Good. It was so much more than good. Why couldn't he find a better word?
"I'm glad no one saw that," John remarked from his position on the floor.
Sherlock was confused, a state he was not used to being in and had been in far too much today. Why wouldn't John have wanted people to see the exactly how much he had been willing to sacrifice for someone who wasn't worth it? John's heart was worth more than his brain on any day. Perhaps, as a proud solider, he would be embarrassed for people to have seen him taken hostage, or see him in his current state of shock. But John surprised him, as always.
"You ripping my clothes off in a darkened swimming pool. People might talk," John remarked, clearly trying to inject some humor into the situation.
"People do little else," Sherlock replied, allowing himself a small smile of relief. John was fine, fine enough to be making jokes. They were both safe.
But then the red dot was back. That infernal red dot dancing across Watson's chest and it had brought friends. One had found a home on Sherlock's chest, he saw when he glanced down briefly before turning to try and access the sniper situation. And then that stupid, stupid voice that Sherlock had spent most of the morning wanting to hear and now didn't want to hear again for quite some time was back.
"Sorry boys. I'm quite changeable. It is a weakness with me, but to be frank with myself it is my only weakness. You can't be allowed to continue."
Sherlock looked at John. John was a soldier. He would understand where Sherlock's mind had gone. And John was right by the door. He would be able to escape the brunt of the blast.
"You just can't. I would try to convince you, but everything I have to say has already crossed your mind," Moriarty continued.
Sherlock turned from the snipers, giving John another look, conveying what he planned to do. John nodded his accent. Sherlock took one last look at his only friend before turning to face his arch enemy.
"Probably my answer has crossed yours," Sherlock replied with much more calm and confidence than he felt, aiming his gun at Moriarty and holding it there for a few long seconds.
Shooting Moriarty directly would ensure his death, it was true. But it would ensure the deaths of Holmes and Watson as well. But the bomb he had strapped to John's chest was closer to Moriarty than it was to him and John. John was by an exit, and Sherlock could jump into the pool, which would help with much of the blast. The snipers would be too distracted to be entirely reliable assuming they didn't try and find cover immediately. It was the best option.
Sherlock moved the pistol to the vest. John looked on with anxious eyes. Moriarty lifted a lip in a mockery of a smile, daring Sherlock to follow through.
Sherlock's jaw tightened. This was no bluff.
AN: Should I give it a go from Watson's perspective? Let me know in a review.