Disclaimer: Sherlock belongs to the BBC, created by Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss. I sadly own nothing.


Jim Moriarty had never been one for half measures.

Being mediocre was, after all, for the unimaginative in the world. Day after day, he watched the people around him trudge through their monochromatic lives, wasting tedious minute after tedious minute on utterly pointless issues; a girlfriend who hadn't been returning their texts, whether their scarf was en vogue this winter, or even which wretched football team was currently winning. Jim simply couldn't comprehend it. How could they be so content to coast through life, with no challenges, no drama to fuel them? The sheer boredom of it could've easily reduced him to tears. Granted, they may lack his genius level intellect, but really, how his classmates endured existences of such crushing blandness amazed him. Stagnation truly was a terrifying prospect for a boy with such a thirst for knowledge.

No. If you were going to do something, Jim reasoned, you had to commit yourself to it. The issue with his peers was that they lacked a certain drive; none of their actions were the result of genuine, pure emotion, the kind that gripped Jim with excitement when he discovered a new scientific theory, or the fervour he felt when in the middle of solving a particularly taxing equation. There was no point in wasting valuable time if there was no passion at the heart of it.

Which was why Jim found himself on a bleak, miserable Wednesday afternoon staring into the back of the messy-haired boy in front of him, wearing an expression of pure, undiluted malice; his eyes burning with an intensity bordering on the unhinged. There was no question: he hated Sherlock Holmes. With every bitter, aching fibre of his body.

As though sensing his gaze, Sherlock shifted in his seat, emotionless eyes locking on to Jim's blazing ones. Though his pale face remained a mask, underneath his black woollen overcoat Sherlock's shoulders seemed to stiffen under Jim's unrelenting stare. Calmly sweeping his gaze over the other boy, betraying nothing, Sherlock turned back to his desk, brushing an unkempt strand of black hair out of his face as he lent back over his textbook.

"Mr. Moriarty, would you care to explain why you're more interested in the back of Mr. Holmes than answering the questions that I set?"

Broken from his hateful reprieve, Jim slowly raised his head to face the figure looming over his work. When he spoke, it was in a disaffected monotone; "Being honest Sir, compelling as empirical formulae is, I see no point in wasting my time on calculations so childish I could quite easily manage them in my sleep." Settling back in his chair, the expression on his face had shifted from its previous intensity to one of bored contempt.

There was a sharp intake of breath, and then a slow, measured exhalation. "Jim," the voice warned, "If you're going to act in such an insolent manner, I'm going to have to have you removed from my classroom."

Hastily, clumsily, Jim stood, jamming his textbook into his backpack, fumbling with the zip. "I'll gladly remove myself, Sir", he coolly responded to the startled teacher, reaching for his coat. Bag slung onto his shoulders, Moriarty shot a withering look at his bemused classmates, and stalked out the room with a theatrical slam of the door. Leaning against the opposite wall, he sighed, raking a hand through his short hair. He really shouldn't have done that. Despite his considerable disdain for the mundane, Jim did have his goals in life. The material was basic enough to be insulting, but he needed to maintain a good record if he wanted to get into a leading university. Storming out of classes wasn't exactly the behaviour of a model student. Pushing himself off the wall, Jim dug his hands in his pockets and wandered off down the corridor, intent on putting the incident out of his mind.


It was only later, sat at a stained wood table in the library, that Jim allowed himself to replay the scene in his head. Usually, he dealt with his teachers well; whilst their intellect in no way paralleled his, he felt a certain grudging respect towards them. The lesson had been boring, yes; but really, when weren't they? No, the cause of his outburst wasn't down to that. Slumped in his chair, Jim scowled. It could, however, very well have something to do with the smirk he'd seen playing on the smug lips of a certain Sherlock Holmes as he'd been berated for staring at him.

The arrogant bastard. Skulking around school, ever the impartial observer, with darting eyes that scanned restlessly and yet revealed nothing within their clouded green depths. His attitude, yes, that irked Jim. It was the superior air he always carried around with him, the aloof manner he addressed their classmates in, the casual way in which he reeled off the intimate details of their personal lives. He was disgusting. Disgustingly effortless. There wasn't a subject in which Sherlock didn't possess prodigal skill; he was equally adept at biology, chemistry, physics and further mathematics. When asked to answer, he did so in a disaffected tone, clinical and detached.

But it wasn't his intellect that made Moriarty hate him. Oh, no. That would imply he was jealous in some way. And Jim would never be in such a sorry position that he'd envy someone as infuriating as Sherlock. He simply loathed him. Hated him. Hated the way his long, clever fingers tapped across his calculator. Hated the way his arched eyebrows knitted together ever so slightly when watching their classmates interact. Hated the way his unruly hair glinted under the harsh lighting, the way it tangled around those agile fingers when Sherlock was deep in thought. Hated that he managed to distract Jim to the degree that he couldn't work in class, but could only sit and stare, the hatred coursing through him.

Jim took a deep breath and straightened in his chair, fingernails leaving angry red welts where they'd been digging into his palms.

Sherlock Holmes.


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