Warnings: Implied violence/torture; implied character death; mild sexuality
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Spoilers: through TGG
Notes: Used as a fill for a prompt at the Sherlock Rare Pairs Fest. Non-compliant with S2 of Sherlock.
London was slumbering deeply by the time Lestrade left the Yard that night, his eyes grown weary from the paperwork and his mood irritable with the lateness of the hour, among other things. It didn't help matters when he arrived home to find that his locks had been picked - again - and that the door to his flat had been left slightly ajar. It was no accident, he knew. His friend enjoyed this little display of power, and Lestrade allowed him this illusion.
They both knew who actually was in control.
Lestrade shrugged out of his coat just over the threshold of his flat, feeling as though he was also shedding the bitter cold of mid-February, and cast a disdainful eye over the man sprawled in his own customary chair.
"You're late," his visitor drawled.
"I was busy cleaning up after you," Lestrade snapped. "Triple murder on a Friday night; are you trying to do me in?"
"Mm. Murder-suicide, I believe, my dear."
"Yeah, well," Lestrade said, rubbing the back of his neck wearily, "that took quite a bit of doing, you know. Your man was sloppy this time. If Anderson had found that fingerprint it would've all been shot to hell."
"That's why I have you," Jim Moriarty whispered, coming up to him and slipping his arms around his waist. Lestrade shivered as the breathy voice caressed his ear. "Thank you, though, my dear. He will be taken care of; I can't abide carelessness."
"Nor I," Lestrade said hotly, pulling out of his grip. "You're losing sight, Jim. You're allowing yourself to be distracted."
Moriarty scoffed. "Please. Sherlock Holmes is nothing more than a little diversion; a little something to spice up the mundane aspects of life. He's nothing, certainly, compared to you."
"I was gonna say," Lestrade ground out through clenched teeth. He seized Moriarty and threw him up against the wall, laying his forearm across the man's throat and pressing, ever-so-slightly, until the younger man's eyes began to widen. "Holmes is nothing. Do you have any idea how maddening it is to play the fool to his genius day in and day out, watching the world pass by in awe of his deductions? They have no idea, no idea at all how simple, how pedestrian, it all is."
"I know," Moriarty whispered, eyes glinting. He did so love Lestrade's fury. "I know, my dear, but soon - soon you will be showing the world what you can do. Soon - you will have Holmes, and you will have him all to yourself. What a surprise that will be for him. You have him completely fooled - he doesn't even look at you twice, unless it's to throw another insult in your direction."
Lestrade growled, low and deep in the back of his throat, and pressed harder. Moriarty gasped with pleasure. Lestrade could kill him without a second thought and with little more than a twitch of his hand, and Moriarty found this exhilarating. He never knew if today was the day he would die by Lestrade's hand.
But no, today was not that day. Instead, Lestrade cupped a hand around the back of Moriarty's neck and crushed their mouths together.
"Had a bit of a day," Lestrade muttered when they parted for breath. He steered Moriarty in stumbling steps toward the bedroom, his hands working to quickly divest the younger man of his shirt. Lestrade caught a patch of Moriarty's skin between his fingers and pinched, hard enough to bruise, swallowing Moriarty's moan with another brutal kiss. "Please, Jim, will you fix it for me?"
Two months later, Moriarty was dead at Sherlock's hand.
It wasn't quite the ending Lestrade had anticipated, but he always had been good at thinking on his feet. Moriarty's body had been the first one discovered after the bomb brought down the pool, his identity confirmed - officially, by Mycroft Holmes; privately, by Lestrade - and what remained of him sent off to Molly Hooper at Bart's.
The explosion had given John Watson terrible injuries - survivable, but life-altering - and he had been shipped off to hospital before they were finished digging Sherlock out of the rubble. He would be taken care of by one of Moriarty's men - well, Lestrade's now, really; he would have to get used to that - and he'd pass quietly. Lestrade was a fair man, and he didn't have anything against Watson except for the fact that he was an idiot (though nearly everyone was, so that could almost be forgiven). He was simply an obstacle, and one that could be easily dispatched.
Sherlock came out of the pool relatively unscathed, and no one questioned Lestrade's hand at his elbow. No one raised an eyebrow when he tossed a blanket across the groggy detective's shoulders, pressed him into a car, and drove away from the scene.
"Where's John?" Sherlock demanded, his words slightly slurred and his voice pitched just slightly too loud. The blast had dazed him and, having been only steps from the bomb when it went off, his hearing would take some time to return to normal.
"Safe. We got him out right away," Lestrade assured, carefully schooling his features to look both concerned and tender. He glanced over at Sherlock, cataloguing his injuries in a glance. Scrapes and bruises, for the most part, and burns on his hands from the fire. It would have been worse if Watson hadn't knocked him out of the way, Lestrade knew, and for the first time in four months he found himself grateful for the doctor's presence. The man had been an unexpected and irritating addition to Sherlock's life, but without him Lestrade would have been denied this opportunity to play.
"We need to go to the hospital," Sherlock said, and Lestrade bristled for a moment before taking a calming breath. Sherlock expected Lestrade to listen to his every whim - after all, that's what the Detective Inspector did.
But he wasn't the Detective Inspector; not any longer.
And this was going to be delightful.
"Later," Lestrade told him. "We're going back to my place first; need to get you cleaned up, make sure you're all right. I know how you hate hospitals."
"Mm," was Sherlock's only response; it was the closest he ever came to Thank you.
You won't be thanking me later.
Lestrade got Sherlock into a chair in his living room - Jim had been sitting there, just last night - and made for the bathroom after sternly ordering the detective to remain still. He pulled bandages out of his cabinet and wet a cloth. He'd gotten Sherlock this far; there was no reason why he couldn't make an elaborate show of taking care of the detective. After all, that is what Sherlock trusted him to do.
"How are you feeling?" he asked in a low voice, coming back into the living room and kneeling before the chair. Sherlock turned glassy eyes on him and the skin around them was lined; tight. Lestrade recognized that look - it only crossed Sherlock's face in the most dire of situations, on the nights when he was at his lowest. It'd been nearly five years since Lestrade had sat here last, listening to Sherlock ramble on in the wake of yet another nightmare, outlining every demon that kept him up at nights and thinking that he'd found someone safe to confide in. Lestrade had listened; he'd taken each and every fear to heart.
And now he was going to use them.
"Moriarty took John," Sherlock told him dumbly.
And you took Moriarty, Lestrade thought viciously, and the anger surprised him. Moriarty was merely a pawn - his death was an inconvenience, and nothing more.
"Yes, I know," he said. "But we got him back. You'll see him soon enough. Let me look at your hands."
He took them in his own, turning them over, examining the burns and the cuts. Blood coated his own fingers, hot and slippery and glorious.
"What did he say to you, Sherlock?" Lestrade asked, his voice quiet as his heart pounded in his ears.
"Who?" Sherlock asked dumbly, and Lestrade resisted the urge to hit him.
"Moriarty. What did he say to you?"
Sherlock frowned. "I - a number of things. They weren't important."
"I wouldn't say that," Lestrade whispered. He reached for the cloth and carefully began to clean the blood from Sherlock's hands. Sherlock winced as the cloth was dragged across his raw skin; Lestrade held back a smile.
"I don't follow," Sherlock said through gritted teeth. "And stop wasting my time. This isn't relevant."
Lestrade looked up at him, eyes steady. "Jim Moriarty was never one to waste words, Sherlock. What did he say to you?"
And Sherlock still didn't get it - how amusing. He held Lestrade's gaze for a beat and then finally said, "He...he said that he was changeable. Why does that matter?"
Lestrade smiled - that was so typically Jim. Always wanting to put on a show; always needing theatrics. Lestrade took one of Sherlock's hands in both of his, smoothing it between his palms, caressing it.
"Because, Sherlock," he said quietly, "so am I."
He seized the detective by the forearm and, in one quick motion, twisted his wrist until it snapped.
And it began.