Disclaimer: Sherlock Holmes and the characters belong either to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Gatiss or Steven Moffat. I can't even get preview tickets so it's most certainly not mine.


Keep Breathing

"Do you know what happens if you don't leave me alone Sherlock? To you?"

"Oh let me guess," Sherlock drawled in a voice like velvet, the gun still held steady in his pale fingers and levelled at the spot right in the centre of Jim's forehead. He was trying to sound bored but the spark behind his eyes gave him away, "I get killed."

Moriarty sighed. How unimaginative.

"Kill you?" he squeezed his eyes shut and contorted his face into a look of absolute disgust, "No don't be obvious, I mean I'm going to kill you anyway someday."

Sherlock wasn't shaken, of course he wasn't he must have seen that coming.

"I don't want to rush it though," Jim continued his voice falling to a flat monotone like he was discussing the weather; sunshine, rain, murder…it was all the same, "I'm saving it up for something special. No, no, no, no, no," he tutted, clicking his tongue against the back of his teeth as he shook his head weightily, "If you don't stop prying I'll burn you."

The words hung in the silence for a moment.

"I will burn the heart out of you."

Again Sherlock didn't so much as flinch. A twinge of disappoint spasmed in Moriarty's forehead.

"I have been reliably informed that I don't have one."

Jim's lips twitched involuntarily, lifting up at the corners to form the cruel little smirk his mother had always scolded him over.
Why
can't you just smile like a nice boy?
He shook his head and the voice disappeared; it always sounded different these days the real timbre lost to the passage of time, only her screams were in key now.

He shook his head again; this was not the time for sentiment.

"But we both know that's not quite true."

Sherlock narrowed his gaze and remained quiet, his eyes flicking briefly to the figure swamped in a green coat but it was long enough for Jim to notice. Jim noticed everything. His lips curled up even tighter. He had hit a nerve there.

The two men locked gazes, quicksilver puddles meeting black abysses as they sized each other up, their minds whirring away like clockwork toys and for a second Jim felt more alive than he had in years. It was terrifying.

"Well," he drew out the word on another sigh, "I better be off. So nice to have had a proper chat."

The gun wobbled as Sherlock slid forward, his feet slipping slightly on the damp tiles and nose wrinkling at the pungent stench of chlorine.

"What if I were to shoot you? Right now?"

A lazy chuckle slipped from Moriarty's mouth and he felt the corners of his eyes crease with amusement; this man was just too much fun!

"Then you could cherish the look of surprise on my face," he opened his lips as wide as he could, the extreme stretching of muscle and skin was painful but in the most pleasant of ways, "because I'd be surprised Sherlock really I would," he paused, forehead creasing into a frown, "and just a teensy bit…disappointed."
Another flinch; my! he was getting good at this.

He stared down the barrel of the gun for a while, observing the exact angle the light reflected off the polished surface and making sure his nemesis knew exactly how little the threat frightened him, because that was all it was…a threat.

"And of course you wouldn't be able to cherish it for very long."

Another glance to the third man in their party, this one focusing on a dancing red dot over a C4 covered chest.

The water lapped patiently beside them. An abandoned towel hanging from one of the cubicles swayed lightly in the cold draught that was leaking in from somewhere. All was silent.

BORED NOW, Jim's mind shrieked as clear a signal as always that it was time to leave; things to do, people to kill he couldn't spend his entire day having cat and mouse conversations with an, albeit spectacular but frankly annoying, man.

Round one of the game was over.

He waited quietly for a moment; hands plunged deep into his pockets so that his finger bumped against the side of the little black remote.

"Chao Sherlock Holmes," he finally growled out from between his teeth when the detective's attention had returned to him.

Sherlock followed his movement, rounding on him as he walked away so the gun continued to train on his head.

"Catch. You. Later."

Moriarty smiled back at him as his hand reached out to the door, singing his words in the same voice he had once used to tease other children.
"No you won't."

The door banged behind him as he stepped into the corridor, smiling at the muffled sounds of hurried footsteps and frantically asked questions as Sherlock no doubt raced to strip his friend of the explosive vest; it was all quite sickening. Good though to confirm Sherlock's weakness; as long as Doctor Watson was around there would always be a way to get under the detective's skin and he planned to make full use of it. People really shouldn't exhibit their heart so openly it made it far too easy to hurt them….and where was the fun in that!

He hurried away down the corridor, striding past the rows upon rows of lockers that lined the peeling walls; Sherlock would come looking for him and he didn't want to end it in a single gunshot.
Round one was over but he had plenty more planned; it was going to be spectacular.

A vibration ran through his body and he slipped his hand into his pocket pulling out the slither of black plastic curious to find out what imbecile had forced his mind away from the job at hand; punishment was one of Jim's specialities.

Hope the bastards are dead. New contact made. Talk it over later. MM.

Moriarty grimaced as he read the message.

Perhaps it would be better just to kill the two of them and be done with it. After all fun could always be found elsewhere and Sherlock was a (minor) threat. A threat to him, yes; but more importantly to them. And he couldn't be having that.

Besides he had promised.

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Clearing the screen he tapped away reluctantly on his keypad for a few seconds.

Hold your position. JM.

Slipping the device back into his suit pocket he straightened his tie with one hand, the other fiddling with the buttoned remote again; it was lucky he'd had a back-up plan. But then they didn't call him a genius for nothing.

Happy that Sherlock would have returned to the poolside under the impression that he was long gone and probably worried about the state of his friend, Moriarty began to languorously make his way back as well.

No reason to rush, savour the moment.

His fingers traced along the cold, metal surfaces of the lockers; there would be nothing left of any of this once he had finished, just a smouldering crater in the ground, the bones of those two grievous pains undeterminable from the ashes of beam and brick. The idea sent an icy chill racing through him. How he loved this!

Peering through the glass panel on one of the doors he watched, unseen by the two men, as they chuckled over some joke Sherlock had just made. John was pushing himself up from the damp tiles with a look of utter relief, Moriarty smiled; perfect timing.

With a loud, echoing bang he swung the door open and the whole building seemed to quiver at his presence, a ripple spread across the pool towards the two men at the shallow end causing the water to splash over the tiles. Even from a distance Jim could see the red points of light dancing over the chests of the two men, drifting up across their foreheads then down their temples and necks. Sebastian always had been very,very good at what he did.

"Oh sorry boys!" he called as John collapsed back to the floor looking like he had aged a hundred years at the sound of Moriarty's voice, "I'm so changeable. It is a weakness with me but to be fair to myself it is my only weakness."

Not true of course, but no need to let them know that.

"You can't be allowed to continue."
He paused, upset at the way Sherlock had his back turned towards him. When the man took his last breath Jim wanted to see the fear in those sharp, silver eyes.
"You just can't. I would try and convince you but everything I have to say has already crossed your mind."

Sherlock still didn't move; the only indication he gave that he was paying the tiniest bit of attention was the slight defensive rise in his shoulders. He was going to go down fighting Moriarty concluded with an inwards grin….oh goody!

Finally the tall man opposite turned, his pale face set like steel and his voice just as hard.

"Probably my answer has crossed yours."

The gun appeared again, raised and aimed into the centre of Jim's chest. But he only smiled, Sebastian Moran was his best man for a very good reason; Sherlock would be dead before he even pulled the trigger.

Then the arm dropped, that thin wrist slipping down to point the weapon at the floor, to point at the green coat lying discarded only a few metres from Moriarty's feet, a blue light winking ominously from within the thick folds of fabric.

What was he doing!

Jim felt his expression flicker and tried to hide it by flexing his neck in a manner suggesting boredom, finishing by rapidly fixing his lips into the shape of his broadest grin; he could think of nothing worse than showing any titbit of true emotion to this hawk. His eyes met Sherlock's across the empty, blue expanse of tile and water daring him to do it. The final test of Sherlock Holmes.

Inside his pocket Jim swivelled the top of the little device, feeling the button pop up against his fingertips.

The night was turning out to be so much fun.


Ok, so that was basically a rewrite of some of the final scene of Series 1 from Moriarty's PoV. Things will get more interesting later, I promise you.