Sorry for the delays. I have already started writing next chapter so it should arrive earlier than than usual (I hope). :D
This chapter contains some stronger language and a tiny pinch of violence - you had been warned. ;)
Also - thanks for all your previous reviews, especially Meredithriddle's ;)
All the wonderfull characters belong to BBC and ACD.
At first he thought it was Sherlock, but those were only slivers of dreams caught in his eyes. Less distinct cheekbones, sharp jawbone lines, short, slightly messy blonde hair and then the eyes. As bright and piercing as Sherlock's but burning with completely different kind of energy. John had always been good with that. What sometimes slipped even the mind of the greatest British detective, was obvious to him. After all John Watson was a doctor and he knew the best way to check the condition of the heart was looking into one's eyes.
Eyes of the man, who introduced himself as Sebastian Moran, sure had seen a lot. At first they seemed to by stone cold and merciless but John knew to search deeper. I didn't take him long to find it: tiredness, hurt and sadness buried under mask of indifference.
'I don't know you. Did he send you?' He asked, though something told him it wasn't one of usual Mycroft's tricks. It didn't make sense.
'Asking questions, are we?' Sebastian replied quietly, as if to himself. 'It's all right.' He stated louder. His voice was deep and resonant. 'You deserve answers.'
'No one sent me.'
'But you're here.'
'Yes, I am.'
'Because I wanted to.' That calm, laconic manner of speech started to irritate John. Sherlock would probably had already known who that man was deducing it from his jacket or brand of cigarettes.
'May I?' Sebastian asked pulling one out of his pocket.
'No. We...I mean...There's no smoking here.' If it would have been Sherlock asking - he would gladly allow him to smoke whole packet.
'Too bad.' His guest smiled and obediently put the cigarette back into his pocket. 'Any further questions or can we get down to business?'
'What?' John was confused. 'What are you talking about? I don't know what you've been thinking, breaking into my flat in the middle of the night, but I've had enough. Police will take it from here.' He leaned to reach his mobile.
'They're not much of a help lately, though, am I right?' John froze shocked by Sebastian's words.
'How did you know? He never saw anybody following him.
'Same way I know you have a miniature video camera hidden in your living-room'
'Wait...what?' John started to wonder if he was still asleep. This situation was getting more and more abstract.
'Don't worry - I sort of...disabled it.' Sebastian smiled once again. 'Now put the mobile down. Why would you want to call them?'
'Then tell me why wouldn't I. ' John felt a thrill running through his body - that man knew something.
'I can give you every evidence of Moriarty's existence on a plate.' Sebastian replied calmly, as if he had just been telling John about latest weather forecast.
'So can police.' John was struggling not to show excitement.
'Then why won't they make it public, doctor, tell me.' Sebastian hit the blind spot perfectly, leaving John speechless. He looked into his uninvited guest's eyes and knew he was right. For some unknown reason that man was telling the truth and really wanted to provide John with information about Moriarty.
'What's the price?' He asked after a while.
'The price?' Sebastian looked genuinely surprised.
'Money? Information? What are you looking for? I really don't have either, to be honest. So you might be just wasting your time.' John admitted hanging his head in sadness. The smile of understanding appeared on Sebastian's face.
'I think there's been a misunderstanding here. When I told you I wanted to be here, I meant it. I want you to have that information.'
'What kind of business is that?' John still wasn't convinced. There sure weren't many good Samaritans walking on Earth nowadays. 'Where's your gain in here?'
'You'll make the information public.' At first John thought it was a joke but Sebastian's face was completely serious. 'And the son of a bitch will be real again.' Sebastian turned his head away but John noticed his expression. Blue eyes weren't full of anger but rather longing and sadness - same sadness he noticed the moment he first saw Sebastian. There was an awkward silence for a while before John dared to speak again.
'You knew him.' He started cautiously. Sebastian shook his head.
'No. Nobody knew James Moriarty. Not even Sherlock Holmes, though he probably thought he did.' Sebastian smiled sadly. 'You don't get to know Jim, not even when you're his lover.' John looked at him shocked by frankness of that confession. There was no doubt Moriarty was the worst criminal world had ever heard of, but at the moment Sebastian might had been the only person, who fully understood John, who felt exactly the same. John couldn't help sympathizing with that man.
'You want to bring his name back to reality because if he remains Richard Brook, then your life with him had never happened, like in a dream. It sounds oddly familiar.' John smiled. 'It's a deal, then. I'll help you.' Saying these words was like a huge weight off his shoulders and made him feel happy for the first time since Sherlock's death. He had never been closer to clearing his friend's name.
'Don't be so quick. There's something you don't know yet.' Smile disappeared off John's face as Sebastian slowly leaned towards him. 'Sherlock Holmes didn't commit suicide-'
'I knew he didn't. He must had been protecting people who were close to him.' John interrupted.
'You're smart, doctor.' Sebastian nodded with approbation. 'There's one more thing, though. I did not only fucked Jim, I also carried a gun for him.' John eyes widened. 'The gun that was pointed at you that day. The gun that made him jump.' John snapped. Sebastian barely spoke those words when he jumped at him with his fists. They struggled for a while but Moran was stronger and faster so he quickly dominated the fight pinning John to the bed. He sat at doctor's trunk, holding his wrists tightly above his head. Adrenaline rushed into John's veins chasing away remnants of the sleep. Now he perceived everything with doubled speed. Smell of nicotine, dirt on an old leather jacket, quickened, shallow breath, slightly shaking hands and... a strange kind of moisture on his own belly. He raised his head as much as he could only to see a huge red stain on his pyjama. Drop by drop blood was falling from Sebastian's torso.
'I forgot to tell you one more thing.' Sebastian smiled, white as a sheet, sweat shining on his face. 'Coming here, I was also looking for a doctor.'
Sherlock pushed the door and immediately held his nose. A narrow fragment of a lane, which was used as a back of a nasty local bar, was a perfect place for a secret meeting - probably because of its terrible smell, frightening away any random pedestrians. He looked around. The place was scattered with garbage - rotting remnants of some fishes, scattered bottles and excrements. If it was a trap and Samaritan decided not to show any mercy after all, there was nobody here to help. In such a neighbourhood screams or gun shots weren't unusual and local inhabitants probably wouldn't have even bothered calling the police. Sherlock looked at his watch impatiently. Samaritan was almost 4 minutes late.
And then he saw figures appearing form behind the corner - four hefty musclemen with a pistols in their hands surrounding the fifth person. The moment Sherlock saw Samaritan, he had already known Mycroft was right. Old, dilapidated suit, too big for its current owner, false golden watch, worn shoes. The man himself was lean, almost emaciated. He scratched his poorly shaved (as if in a hurry) beard constantly, trying to hide his aggravation.
This was no Brazilian crime boss but a tiny pawn in a serious game, posing as a big fish with his rookie bodyguards carrying guns older than themselves, probably not capable of a single accurate shot.
'Mister Holmes.' The man spoke with a strong accent trying to sound confident.
'I changed my mind.' Sherlock responded harshly. 'There's nothing here for-' He didn't finish the sentence because suddenly there was a big red hole in Samaritan's forehead and the man fell inertly on the ground. It was a trap. But not the kind he expected. Before they could have even reacted, two of the musclemen were lying dead on the ground. Remaining pair was shooting blindly, terrified by the whole situation. This was really bad. Sherlock started running down the alley expecting the worse. But as soon as he got to the main street he realised no one was chasing after him. From the precision of the shots he knew those must had been trained snipers, so there was no way they just lost him or failed to aim properly. The only rational explanation was: they weren't after him.
But why some skilled killers attended his secret meeting in a filthy backstreet of São Paulo and decided not to kill world's most brilliant (and only) consulting detective but some second-rate local leader and his crew? For this question he didn't have an answer.
When he got home it was already dark. Sherlock pulled his clothes off unceremoniously, tossed them on the floor and proceeded to the bathroom naked. The stink and dirt of the alley stuck to his skin and he desperately needed to get rid of it. Sherlock slowly sank into the water lightning a cigarette. He inhaled deeply and exhaled tardily, producing a large cloud of smoke. The last lead in his private investigation failed. What now? He strangely didn't feel like coming home yet. His own pride wouldn't stand admitting Mycroft was right all along (he imagined his brother with that repulsive smirk of his, saying 'I told you so'). And there was John, whom he - for his own good, but nevertheless - left behind and hurt so much. What will be John's reaction to his comeback, he wondered. Will he greet Sherlock with a smile and tears of happiness in his eyes (Sherlock was always amused by absurdity of that human reaction, but that sounded like something John would do) or rather first punch him in the face and hug later? But what if he will not want to even look at his detective? After all, just before he jumped, Sherlock made him believe last 18 months of their lives were one big, cruel lie.
During his time in São Paulo he occasionally came across some British magazines and the headlines weren't flattering. His fellow countryman were divided into those, who sympathized with poor Richard Brook, whose young and promising life was brutally ended by vicious fake detective, and those, who still believed in Sherlock's innocence. Of course the first group was considerably larger. And when tabloids got bored with rubbishing Sherlock's personage, they skipped to John Watson. His friend was bravely disproving all the accusations he could but that wasn't about the truth from the beginning - common people had always needed some entertainment and it was the perfect source.
If he comes back, he thought, John will have to go through the process again. Will he even believe in what have really happened? Sherlock wasn't sure of that. For the first time in his life he was afraid, that he irreversibly lost the person he cared for the most.
With a towel wrapped loosely around his hips, Sherlock slowly walked to the living room. It was probably one of the last hot weekends this year - outside the window city was vibrant with life, sounding with music and laughter. He sat himself comfortably at the sofa and opened his laptop but to his surprise the video stream wasn't showing anything. Just a dark screen. He checked for the signal, but everything seemed to be in order. It was just as if someone covered the video camera closely. It was impossible. Even if John had accidentally blocked the device with something, there should had been left at least a spot of light - Sherlock ensured it when he first installed it. But the stream was perfectly black. And that meant someone knew exactly what he or she was doing. The question remained - who?
Maybe Mycroft was right, after all, Sherlock admitted reluctantly. Maybe it was time to go home.
That's all for now, but my head's boiling with ideas for what happens next :) Thanks for reading and all your reviews/comments/ideas! :)