The light was flashing. 1…2…3… Was it a countdown? Did we only have minutes left? I didn't know, how could I? I've never been in this situation before!
I had already given him the nod, told him that it was alright. A few deaths were better than many; we would just have to be collateral. And yet there he was, his finger still hovering over the trigger angled directly at the bomb, but his eyes were somewhere else. They were staring straight at Moriarty, reading his face. I followed his gaze. There was something in the curl of his lips that Sherlock didn't understand. I watched his eyebrows pull together in a frown. Sometimes I wished I knew what was going on in that mind of his because he really doesn't make sense, why doesn't he pull the trigger? I've said my goodbyes, my regrets, and my family, whom I wanted to be the last thing I think of, were there in the back of my mind, ready for when I was ready.
Sherlock's eyebrows settled again. He had come to a decision; he had made his last deduction. Whatever it was I was sure that it couldn't be much help to us now. I shut my eyes and prepared myself, the image of my family in the forefront of my mind.
"Very good," said a deep, cool voice. I looked at Sherlock, what was he playing at? He smirked and slowly lowered the gun to his side. The curve at the corner of Moriarty's mouth flattened. Sherlock started to walk slowly towards Moriarty.
"Sherlock what are you doing?" I shouted in a hushed tone, if that was even possible. He smiled but didn't look at me.
"Don't worry John; he's not going to kill us. That bomb, it's genuine except for a single wire, and without it, the bomb is harmless. And all these red lasers, I have no doubt that that's all they are, lasers. Boys and their toys."
Moriarty eyed Sherlock closely, and then he smiled, matching the one on Sherlock's face. He brought his hands together in a slow, thundering clap.
"Ah, well done, well done. I almost had you going there didn't I? I honestly thought you were going to pull that trigger. Oh I am so glad that you didn't disappoint me Sherlock, although I almost wish I could have seen your face when you realised that the bomb didn't go off. Well it has been a pleasure, Sherlock, it really has, but I really must be going. This was a fun little game we played today. But be prepared Sherlock, one day it won't be a game. I meant it when I said that one day I will burn the heart out of you." And with that he left and there was silence in the pool room.
I was breathing hard. I had almost forgotten that I was apart of this, I felt like I was reading a scene in a book or something. I tried to stand up but my head was spinning. Sherlock didn't look at me, I don't think he could. Instead he walked back and forth, again scratching the back of his head with the barrel of the gun. Did he not realise he could shoot himself doing that? I laughed and Sherlock finally turned to me confused. I simply shook my head, he wouldn't understand why I found it so funny that after being stuck in a pool room being threatened with a bomb, and snipers, that I was concerned that Sherlock was going to die by scratching the back of his head.
Our eyes met. He put his hand out to me and I took it ready for a second attempt at standing up. This time I managed it. It was still feeble but at least I was beginning to accept what just happened.
"Hmm?" is all I could muster up in reply.
"He should have kept a straight face. He was so pleased with himself I thought he must have known that he wasn't going to die. And there was no way he could have escaped the bomb if I pulled the trigger..."
"…so the bomb must have been fake," I sort of slurred out. Sherlock was holding me upright, he had put my arm around his shoulders so that I didn't collapse onto the floor as he lead the way out of this death filled place. My legs gave way with every step I took so I was grateful for the help.
"Don't… don't you ever do that again." I was confused. I hadn't done anything.
"Do what again? Sit there absolutely terrified and be no help at all?"
Sherlock spluttered the words out, as if he wasn't really sure how to say them.
"Offer to die for me," he added, "you're far too precious to this world to die."
On my face was a slight smile but I was grinning inside. That was as close to emotion and compliments as Sherlock could ever get so I had to saver the moment. I didn't know what to say in return so instead I simply rested my head on his shoulder and gave him a slight hug with my arm he had put around his shoulder. He stiffened for a second but then relaxed and hugged me back.
And then of course the familiar sound,
"TAXI! 221b Baker Street."