Title: Jim From IT (working title)
Summary: When Jim leaves his number under the dish, Sherlock doesn't tell Molly. He calls.
Rating: Teen (for now)
Genre: AU, Gen (with hints of slash and het), hostage situation
Warning: Spoilers for season 1 of Sherlock, particularly the Great Game, possible violence and Jim being creepy.
Disclaimer: I do not own/am not associated with/make no money from Sherlock.
His first instinct was to tell Molly her new boyfriend was gay. Honestly, for someone who had such sharp eyes in the morgue she could be ridiculously blind to the living and Sherlock was always having to point things out for her. He didn't really mind; it was part of the reciprocal relationships thing, after all, that Mycroft had drummed into his head since youth and the benefits she offered in return were worth it, but it could be tiresome to always have to say the obvious. Telling her then and there would be quick and efficient and then he could return all his focus to his fascinating new psychopath playmate.
Except then there was John. John was a doctor and ought to have appreciated the surgical brilliance of nipping something in the bud but somehow didn't. He was always giving addendums to Mycroft's reciprocal relationship rules and insisted that telling someone bluntly to their face that a loved one was not who they thought was cruel and unnecessary. There had been words on the subject just the day before and even Sherlock's pointing out that it was better they knew didn't sway John. Molly in tears he could handle; Molly in tears and a disapproving John which would lead to John sulking while Sherlock refused to talk to him and which in turn would ruin a truly brilliant chase was not acceptable.
In the end he said nothing. John still had a look which was annoying because it meant Sherlock was missing something yet again but John didn't say anything either, so that was alright. Sherlock pocketed the number and promptly forgot about it. The chase was on.
John found it later when he was making yet another random attempt at cleaning up the flat during a lull in the explosions. He was being a bit of a distraction, in fact, while Sherlock lay on the sofa and let the facts swirl into patterns and paths, but Sherlock didn't call him on it because he supposed it was John's way of feeling reciprocal in the chase when he couldn't tackle people or shoot his gun. He was a bit more than a distraction, however, when he purposefully broke into Sherlock's trance and waved a bit of paper in his face.
Sherlock stared at it incomprehensibly for a moment as the patterns trying to align themselves broke away into meaningless data. Before he could get properly annoyed with John, however, the number dangling in his face caught his attention and his derailed thoughts immediately jumped onto another track.
"Oh yes," he said, snatching the number out of his hand, "John, phone." To which John grumbled for appearances when they both knew that John liked to be used because that meant he was useful. A few seconds later, Sherlock's phone was in his hands. He almost protested to use John's instead just on instinct when he remembered he meant to be himself this time anyway. He called the number.
"Hello Jim, this is Sherlock Holmes. Meet me in one hour at that place on the corner, the one with the scones." There, he thought after he hung up, that would be settled then, unless Moriarty called between now and then, in which case Jim certainly deserved to be stood up.
"Jim?" John asked, giving him a completely baffled look, "Who's Jim?"
"Molly's boyfriend, unless you know of another Jim we've spoken to recently. He slipped me his number when he introduced himself." John had that indecipherable look again, the one that said Sherlock was missing something basic again. Sherlock hated that look. "You're mad at me again. Why?"
"Why are you meeting Molly's boyfriend?" Ah, that look becomes clearer, and twice as annoying. Why did John have to be so dull?
"Obviously for a secret tryst. Honestly, John, you're better than this. Why do you think I'm meeting with him?" Now John has that adorably hesitant look he gets when Sherlock forces him to make his own deductions.
"You're going to warn him off?" It's only half a question so Sherlock doesn't bother answering, tossing him the phone instead. John catches it, of course, despite the familiar 'stop throwing around expensive objects' look that follows. As if he'd throw something without being sure John would catch it.
"Tell Mycroft to run a background check on Jim; we're due a favor what with that ridiculous case he has you on."
"You expect he'll find something?" John asks, sounding intrigued as he starts to dial.
"Of course not; Jim's no one. But it will drive my brother crazy trying to find something and I haven't the space at the moment to run off on wild tangents. Busy. Thinking. Remind me in half an hour to go deal with Jim."
"Half an hour? Won't it take you longer than that to get there?" Dull again, obvious. Sherlock doesn't bother to answer, letting his thoughts return to the swirl of data and patterns of the chase. He barely hears when John finally finishes dialing and does what Sherlock had asked.
Sherlock arrives late, of course, but Jim is still waiting. His clothes tell a story of a quick change with no time to smooth out all the wrinkles and the tie isn't his; stolen out of the locker room most likely. The look in his eyes is fevered, part nerves part awe and something else Sherlock can't quite identify. John probably could but Sherlock had left him at home; this was hardly a situation Sherlock would need help with even if John had offered…something about cleaning his gun. As if he could clean his gun out in public in the middle of a crowded café even if most people were idiots when it came to observation. John could be odd at times.
"Sherlock Holmes…" Jim was hesitant and hopeful in one, jumping up but not going so far as to pull his chair out for him. Jim had chosen a table right in the middle of the room and Sherlock's chair put him with his back to the door. The reflection off a nearby counter helped but it still put him on edge. He sat anyway.
"Jim from IT…Molly's boyfriend," Sherlock answered by way of greeting, and Jim's nervous grin faltered for a moment. Sherlock's smile was full of teeth as he glanced at the menu. "Shall we order some coffee?"
"I've ordered," Jim answered, his attempt at charm ruined by the way his voice squeaked, but the timing still fell absolutely perfect when a waiter arrived with two coffees and a plate of scones. Sherlock found himself impressed in spite of himself, particularly as the coffee was just as he liked it. Less impressive when he knew the source of his information; Molly was always plying drinks on him in the morgue.
"It is how you like it, isn't it?" Jim asked, after Sherlock had let the silence go on for just a tad bit too long. Sherlock ignored the question, taking a long sip. Then he set it down and leaned in towards the other man.
"You're going to call Molly. Right now."
The expression faltered again, before returning incomprehensively back to nervous interest.
"You want me to break it off with her? Of course. I understand."
"Do you?" He wasn't reacting how Sherlock expected. He had his phone out and his free hand reached out to boldly cover his. Sherlock jerked away, momentarily wrong footed until he realized his mistake. Jim thought he wanted to break them up so they could be together without guilt. Idiot. Still. Something felt wrong. He shook it off, concentrating on how he wanted this to go. Jim was already dialing. "Wait. You will tell her you're sorry. Tell her she deserves a million times better."
Something like amusement flashes across Jim's face before it settles into something incomprehensible. "Anything you say, sweetheart. Just give me the words, and I'll be your voice. Oh…it's riiingiiing."
A flutter of unease flitted through Sherlock's chest but he ignored it. Jim was a loathsome parasite who didn't know the meaning of the word 'reciprocal' when it came to using people but he was just a bottom feeder. Harmless, once you were on to him.
"Molly, darling!" Sherlock could hear the exciting squeal that answered all the way from across the table. Jim shot him a pained expression, holding the phone slightly away from his ear. Covering the receiver, he leans over and stage whispers, "She says 'hello'" and actually giggles. As if this were a game. Very well; Sherlock was ready to play. Perhaps this Jim would turn out a more interesting diversion than he had thought.
"Tell her that you, Jim, are pond scum. You are a parasite, a worm, a worthless amoeba, a bottom feeder. And because she deserves so much better, because she is worth everything and you nothing, you are going to dis-attach your suckers and leave."
Jim giggles again before artfully forcing his face into a contrite expression. He speaks into the phone, his voice ringing with all the sincerity of a Shakespearean dramatization.
"I, Jim, am pond scum. I'm a parasite, a worm, a worthless amoeba, a bottom feeder. You, my dearest Molly, deserve the world. And because you are worth everything and I, I am nothing, I'm afraid I must take my leave of you. Terribly sorry. It was fun while it lasted." He hangs up and Sherlock frowns. He was almost certain that John wouldn't be appreciative of the direction this has taken, but then, there was no way this could happen without Molly being hurt and now it was done. That didn't explain why he felt a bit slimy, looking into Jim's honest, interested expression.
"There," Jim says, putting the phone away, "Done. Now…where were we?"
"We were just discussing your worthlessness."
"Oh right. I'm a worm. A humble, worthless worm. Scone?" He giggled again. He wasn't reacting the way he was supposed to. Surely he didn't still think he had a chance with Sherlock? People really could be idiots.
"You are going to stay away from Molly and you are going to stay away from me. I think we are finished here."
"So soon? Why, dear, you haven't finished your coffee!" He was overdramatizing now; ridiculous. Sherlock's phone buzzed; he had a text. He glanced at it long enough to see Mycroft's name before deciding to ignore it. "The great Sherlock Holmes…Molly has told me so much. All good things, I promise."
"While you used her," Sherlock pointed out idly, not quite making up his mind to just leave. He wanted to be sure this was finished first; that this annoying man wouldn't be intruding in the future. His phone buzzed again. John this time. He ignored that one too.
"Why are you so hung up on that?" Jim demanded, peering at him searchingly, "Do you fancy her?" Sherlock almost choked on his swallow of coffee.
"Hardly. She's my…my…she's mine. And I take care of what's mine."
"Don't we all. And there's no chance of me…becoming yours? I like to think of you as mine." Sherlock leaned closer, intimate, threatening.
"Not a chance." A phone chirped; Jim's this time. He sighed, then took it out to look at it. Then Sherlock's phone was buzzing in his pocket; a call this time. Oh, honestly. Well, he was done here anyway.
"I'm leaving now, busy. Thank you for the coffee. We won't be seeing each other again." For someone who had seemed so keen before, Jim barely acknowledged him, waving one hand in goodbye while he texted with the other. Still feeling wrong footed and unsure why, Sherlock started towards the door, pulling his phone out as he went. Which is the exact moment the street outside exploded.