Vain Insanity.

Summary: Jim/Sherlock. Meet Jim; Sherlock's imaginary friend.

Disclaimer: not mine, which is fine because canon is amazingly perfect as is.

Originally posted at LiveJournal: 10 January, 2011

xxx

going to sleep, going to dream

Sherlock met Jim when he was twelve. He remembered the day very clearly. It was a clear day, the sun showing its face in a rare occasion of winter. Snow and ice still blanketed the grounds though, regardless of the strange warmth. Cold damp was seeping into Sherlock's shoes, but that didn't deter him from sulking outside.

Everyone is so stupid, Sherlock could remember thinking angrily. Mum and dad and even Mycroft. Idiots, the lot of them!

No one understood. No one realised the answers were in the little details. Instead, they kept telling him to stop talking about the details. Those were the most important bits! Shouldn't Mrs. Stanford want to know her husband was cheating on her?

It was on that sunny winter day, alone and angry, misunderstood young Sherlock met Jim.

"Hello, my name is Jim. I get the feeling we'll get along swimmingly, don't you think?"

wondering whether I'll ever wake

It was clear now what Jim was, but at the time, it took a little longer than he would've liked to realise that. There were the small things, like how Jim never seemed to open doors, eat food, or blink sometimes. Then there were the big things, like how no matter how much Sherlock shouted and shouted at his father to just look, for God's sake just look and you could see him

Occasionally, Sherlock would scream at Jim, asking why can't they see you? WHY ARE THEY SO STUPID? If he was lucky, Jim would answer. Other times, Jim would shrug and smile and distract Sherlock with something else. Holmes men, his mother liked to say, were always so easily distracted by shiny ideas and experiments.

He never cried— Sherlock was never one to weep—but he shook with anger and rage and sometimes an inexplicable fear that gripped at his heart.

Sherlock didn't want to believe the only person who understood him wasn't even real.

knowing the night time is oh-so long

Eventually Sherlock just got used the idea that people were unable to hear or see Jim. It was just another thing he had to cope with. Everyone else wrote off his occasional phases of staring off into space as one more of his weird traits. If their ignorance wasn't convenient, Sherlock probably would have raged a bit at how they were missing all the important details.

Why can't they just look?

Jim saw, though. They were always together and Jim saw exactly what Sherlock saw, and sometimes more than Sherlock. All the floating letters and numbers and signs made sense when Jim was there, keeping him from sensory overload and helping him sift through the important information.

He had the idea deleting what wasn't important. One of the first things to go was the idea of caring. "What good is caring in finding truth?" Jim asked, and when put like that, it all made sense.

It didn't matter that Jim wasn't real. It didn't matter if Jim was real and everyone else was just too stupid to tell. Jim was the closest thing to a friend Sherlock ever had.

Mycroft tried to make Jim go away though. At the request of their parents, he took Sherlock to psychiatrist after psychiatrist. They were all, he was sure, lovely people, but Sherlock immediately strived to hate them because they all kept asking the wrong questions.

Alone—though not really because Jim was there, always there for him—in his room, Sherlock asked what he had to do.

"Dear Jim, what do I do about stupid, fat Mycroft?"

"Push him away. Get him to stop caring," Jim advised with an oily voice. "Then we can be together without interference."

That was the day Sherlock moved out of home and declared Mycroft his arch enemy. It didn't stop his brother caring, and the act made his mother fall to her knees in tears, but it was worth it.

All of it was worth it because he got to keep Jim.

bringing terrors that waking hours chase

The cotton sheets scraped at his stomach. His grip tightened as he slowed down his pace, stroking as if he had all the time in the world. But he was getting desperate, needing to end the torture.

Only, Jim didn't want him to. He was whispering instructions and all of them had the same goal of making this last.

Sherlock was on his knees, face buried in his pillows as he took another shuddering gasp. Sweat was tricking down his skin, and his free hand was balled in a fist, nails digging into his palm as he tried to hold control. He couldn't let his body overwhelm his mind.

Except then Jim said slower again and Sherlock couldn't bite back the disappointed groan. He wanted to go faster and his hand seemed to jerk up in response to that stray thought. Jim made a disappointed noise when Sherlock's thumb ghosted over the tip and oh God

"You're not going to last, Sherlock," Jim growled, voice husky and feral. "Remove your hand."

After a second's hesitation, Sherlock complied, sucking in a sharp breath at the loss of contact, the sudden overwhelming want. A strange noise escaped him, a mix of a whine and a plea. It was with the last threads of self control that prevented him from rutting into the covers of his bed, but it was a close call.

Both of his hands were balled into tight fists now, gripping the sheets and the pillows, trying to fight the urge to touch. His skin was over sensitised, like sparks of electricity were running over the surface constantly. The air he breathed in was humid and he could taste the salt of his sweat when he licked his lips. The white letters and numbers were growing fuzzy around him and Sherlock knew he was agonisingly close.

"Stretch yourself," Jim finally ordered. "I want you open before you touch yourself again."

Quickly, Sherlock sucked on a few of his fingers. Reaching back, he slid one in with a low grunt, bucking back into the sensation. It stung, and for a while was uncomfortable, then Sherlock found a rhythm and his breathing was picking up speed again. It wasn't so much of a want now as a burning need

"Not yet," Jim warned when Sherlock's other hand seemed in danger of creeping down his stomach. Biting his lip, Sherlock shoved his face into the pillows, hard, trying to gain control again.

Except even an idiot could tell; the control was Jim's all along.

reality is but a lie and a scam

"Stop messing around with the blood sample," Jim said from where he was perched on a free space on the countertop. "It won't tell you anything different from the last two tests you've done."

Sherlock hummed in irritation but not in protest. "I maintain—"

"—it should work. Yes, yes, I know," Jim laughed and shook his head. "Isn't it about time you informed that family that the brother is the killer?"

"No signal on my phone."

Before Jim could reply, the door of the laboratory swung open, Mike Stamford and another man entering. The stranger was quickly introduced as John Watson, and Sherlock could strip his life down within a few seconds. Doctor, soldier—but where'd he fight?

"What?" John seemed immediately suspicious at the question of where he fought, and Sherlock bit back a sigh. If he had to live with this man for the foreseeable future, he didn't want them to start off on the wrong foot. Calling him ignorant might possibly do that.

"His leg's probably psychosomatic," Jim commented, eyeing the cane and Sherlock silently agreed.

When they left the room to head down to the morgue, Jim fell into step with Sherlock easily. "He looks so boring."

Except at the end of the next evening, John had shot and killed a man for Sherlock and Jim laughed, "Perhaps not so boring after all."

"What do think of Moriarty?" Sherlock asked from the couch, his hands busy flipping away at a nine-sided Rubik's Cube. "He sounds fascinating."

At Jim's laugh, Sherlock looked at his friend in surprise. Jim shrugged and said, "I'm sure you'll get along smashingly with him."

"With a murderer?"

"No. With someone who gets as bored as you do."

in the eye of every beholder

"Sherlock, put the gun down."

John's eyes looked worried—of course he looked worried, strapped to a bomb—and Jim just laughed and laughed and laughed.

The light bouncing off the pool water hurt Sherlock's eyes, but he didn't turn his head away from where he was glaring at Jim.

No, that wasn't right anymore.

Moriarty.

Except, Moriarty was still Jim and Jim was Sherlock as much as Sherlock was Jim. It didn't make sense. How could he be two totally different people? Jim was meant to understand Sherlock, meant to get him in every way others didn't.

"I am meant to understand you, Sherlock," Jim said in a teasing voice. "I understand you completely; which is why John has to go."

"What—? No," Sherlock growled, grip on the gun tightening. "Leave John alone—"

From the corner of his eye, he could see John looking at him with deep concern, calmly saying, "Put the gun down, Sherlock. I don't know what's gotten over you—"

"See?" Jim cackled. "Johnny-boy doesn't know, doesn't understand. He's as stupid as the rest of them."

"No," Sherlock swayed back, as if he wanted to step away from Jim, but held his ground. "John isn't like them."

"This is why we have to say goodbye to John," Jim said, grin wiping clean off his face, a dead serious expression dominating now.

"I won't let you kill him!" Sherlock yelled, visibly startling both John and Jim.

A twisted sneer curled Jim's mouth and he said, "Clever Sherlock, smart Sherlock, the only consulting detective in the world; do you really think you can say no to me?"

"I-I stopped you killing the others—"

"Like that matters!" Jim cried out, almost angrily. "It doesn't. Not really. Not when you strapped them to the bomb in the first place."

The accusation froze Sherlock where he stood. He was as much Jim as Jim was Sherlock. Suddenly the smell of chlorine was overwhelming and the lights burningly bright. It was all wrong, wrong, wrong.

Seeing how affected Sherlock was, Jim's eyes lit up in silent victory, and John took a cautious step forward. The reaction was immediate. Jim turned around sharply on his heel and screamed, "Don't you dare move—"

Except Sherlock was screaming that, too; his gun now pointing at John's heart.

"Sherlock," John said, his hands up in a placating gesture, not shaking a bit, "I need you to point the gun away from me. Then we can get a cuppa and talk about this, okay?"

"Shoot him," Jim hissed, fists clenched by his sides, eyes wild with insanity.

Did that mean Sherlock was insane too, because Jim was Sherlock as much as Sherlock was Jim? He could feel everything swaying, feeling almost like drugs but stronger, purer, and without the added feeling of elation.

"—I'm your friend, Sherlock—"

He'd never had a friend before, not really. People didn't understand, didn't realise his brilliance. Even his own family never got it, never could seem to comprehend how Sherlock didn't just see the world in 3D, but in 4D; more elements and details and floating words clashing, colliding and overlapping over and over.

"Put the dog down," Jim ordered, voice deep and loud and not friendly at all. "Shut him up!"

Jim wasn't there anymore, Sherlock thought in a daze. It was Moriarty. Only, Jim promised he'd always be there to understand, to help translate the world into something comprehensive. Jim lied and Moriarty was trying to hurt him.

Moriarty was Jim. Jim was Sherlock. Sherlock was Jim.

It was all clear suddenly, euphoria flooding his veins at the abrupt moment of understanding. Sherlock knew what to do now. How to solve the puzzle; this was a puzzle the entire time and he just didn't see it.

"—point the gun away—"

"—shoot, goddammit!—"

Jim's—Moriarty's—shocked face morphed into one of anger the split second he realised what was going to happen. The barrel of the gun was cold against Sherlock's temple. John yelled something as Sherlock calmly pulled the trigger.

In the end, Sherlock Holmes killed Jim Moriarty.

xxx

Going to sleep, going to dream,

Wondering whether I'll ever wake;

Knowing the night time is oh-so long,

Bringing terrors that waking hours chase;

Reality is but a lie and a scam,

In the eye of every beholder.

xxx

A/N: If you don't feel even the teeny-weeniest bit mindfucked, then I've done something wrong. Please tell me at once so I may be even screwier in future stories.

Never thought I'd see the day where I'd write Jim/Sherlock, let alone a graphic scene with them. Huh. I mean, I haven't even read many fics with the pairing. I guess enemy!sex is too hard to say no to.

Fanfiction: stripping away morals one layer at a time.