Sherlock woke slowly, keeping his eyes closed as he allowed his body to stir and check all systems were active. He felt John at his side; a smile graced Sherlock's lips, just where he had left him.
John's heart skipped a beat as he saw a smile spread over the sleeping detectives' face.
"Are you having a nice dream?" John whispered at Sherlock's sleeping form.
Sherlock decided to play along for the fun of it; "John" he murmured into the air.
"Yes?" John leaned in and whispered directly to Sherlock's ear.
"What have you done with my thumb nails?" Sherlock muttered, cracking his left eye open a fraction to see John next to him, bathed in daylight from the window.
John pinched Sherlock's arm, now knowing the man was awake.
"Ow" Sherlock retorted, opening his eyes and grabbing his arm with his other hand.
John smiled cheekily.
"So, what's the verdict then?" John questioned, his voice now back to normal as he looked to the end of the bed.
"You're wondering how I feel after last nights events" Sherlock quickly deduced. John half smiled and nodded his head once to affirm the statements truth, still avoiding Sherlock's eyes.
Sherlock made a move to sit up. "I may need more data." He said causally as though talking about a case study.
John glanced at Sherlock quickly and averted his eyes once more, trying hard to suppress a wide smile.
"How is your ankle?" Sherlock asked, suddenly frowning in the direction of John's duvet clad feet.
"Ah, fine" John dismissed; "might need the cane today though" he said as an afterthought.
"Why? Where are we going?" Sherlock queried, looking to his friend.
John let the smile break across his face; he looked at Sherlock with such affection at his question.
"Nowhere" John replied after a pause.
"Good. This data, how would you suggest I retrieve it?" Sherlock asked; his voice casual and light. John's smile was now of the goofy variety as he moved towards the curly haired man.
"C'mere ya big oaf." John said fondly, pulling at the man who went willingly wherever John put him.
Sherlock's phone rang and he raised an exhausted hand to fetch it from the nightstand.
"Hello?" he croaked.
"Sherlock, thank god." Lestrade's voice was relieved.
"Lestrade, you really shouldn't take the lords name in vain so much" Sherlock said with a slight chuckle as he squeezed John's hand.
"Sherlock, we've found a body, well, its, it looks like you." Lestrade stammered.
Sherlock dropped his light demeanour and sat bolt upright, suddenly fascinated.
"Where?" Sherlock asked hastily.
There was a pause on the other end of the line before; "Well, it's at the War Museum."
"We'll be there within the hour, Lestrade" Sherlock said and hung up the call. He shook John's hand gently.
"We have a case" Sherlock said to John with enthusiasm. "We'd better get washed".
John lazily smiled in agreement from his sprawled out position on the mattress. "Help?" was all he said.
Sherlock stood and bent down to pick up his partner, he walked them through to the bathroom and gently set John down in the shower. He turned on the water and followed John into the tub. They compared bruises from the previous day under the waters stream like little boys in a schoolyard.
Once washed, Sherlock dressed sharply, helping John apply a bandage and his socks before the two retrieved their outdoor clothing and a swig of tea supplied by Mrs Hudson. Then they were in a taxi and travelling through the streets of London to the Imperial War Museum, holding hands surreptitiously.
Sherlock didn't have the heart to tell John that he already knew who the killer was. This was a case solely designed for Sherlock by Moriarty. He survived that fall just as Sherlock had suspected. However, the longer he could hold that information from John, the better for the shorter man's sanity he felt sure. Lestrade met them at the main entrance. The museum obviously closed to the public.
John glared at the dead man in front of them. He felt an extra wobble in his cane as he approached the scene. Sherlock laid a reassuring hand on John's back, between his shoulder blades, noting the military man's momentary hesitation.
"Freak" Sally called across the hall. Sherlock glanced at her with no retort. She smiled swiftly and almost unwontedly as she approached "you're alive" She stated in a huffy tone, not unlike a rebelling hormonal teenager.
John's half smile resembled a wince at Sally Donavon's comment. Sherlock glanced at John in silent surprise. John just raised his eyebrows, but Sherlock understood what he was saying without words; a bit not good to say anything if it wasn't going to be nice.
Sherlock turned his attentions to his doppelganger lying sprawled on the wooden floor beneath a Spitfire held close to the ceiling by steel wire.
The man was 6ft 2", Sherlock's height. He wore a Westwood suit, Moriarty's touch no doubt. The coat, shoes, gloves and shirt were identical to Sherlock's current wardrobe, although he deduced that they were in fact in brand new condition.
The face was vacant and resembled Sherlock's own almost identically, although, the victim's nose was a little longer and his eyes were a little bluer. Crouching down, Sherlock ran a gloved hand through the mans hair from route to tip, freezing his hold around the strands, he turned his head round to Lestrade with a smirk;
"You thought this was me?" he asked, and without looking back at the body he tugged the hair viciously, separating the wig from the dead mans scalp, the onlookers watching the event inhaled a breath simultaneously.
Sherlock turned back to the body and identified what the wig had revealed. It was a torn prosthetic mask lining the corpses' face.
"It was a good effort though" Sherlock continued, examining the mask with his slide out magnifying glass. He then peeled back the mask to see a badly wounded face. The man was killed first, probably by the injury to the back of his head, and then dressed later. Open and closed case.
John still stood, leaning on his cane, a good yard away from the Sherlocks. He felt exhausted, it had been quite a couple of days, and now this was the start of something that looked quite large. A looming case for Sherlock to loose himself inside.
John looked around at the entire scene, there was a forensic team standing in a crowd, arms folded looking on as Sherlock studied the dead man, Sally stood a little way off, whispering something to Lestrade who nodded in agreement and then there was the odd policemen standing at the entrances.
John spotted a little table to his right, a grey plastic tray that held many familiar items sat on the surface of the table next to numerous bits and pieces of camera equipment. John approached the table silently and peered inside the tray; a mobile phone identical to the one Sherlock owned, a pocketbook of London maps that had been well thumbed through, a pair of white plastic gloves and a small rectangular piece of black plastic; the very same type of magnifying glass Sherlock used at this minute. John picked up the magnifying glass, about to slide it open when a familiar hand snatched it away. John looked up quickly at Sherlock, who stood beside him.
"Yes, very good attempt" he said quietly, examining the second magnifying glass. When no one was looking, he pocketed it with a wink at his companion "Always good to have a spare" he murmured.
"So what's the info? Give me all" Lestrade asked causally, walking up beside them, looking at his own feet.
"The man was not me" Sherlock said with an obvious tone.
Lestrade sighed "Yes, we know that now, but why would someone do this?"
Sherlock turned in a half circle on the spot to face John "John, could I ask you for a medical opinion?" he asked gently.
John nodded curtly before wobbling his way over to the dead man, a little less daunted as the man now looked nothing like Sherlock.
Sherlock kept his eyes on John's retreating back as he spoke to Lestrade;
"This is intended as a message, a message to me." Sherlock whispered in a low voice. "I will need photographs of the body and this mobile phone". Sherlock picked up the phone from the tray and flipped it neatly in his right hand, looking it over closely.
Lestrade looked up at Sherlock's face in sudden realisation; "Moriarty, you think he did this?" he said quietly, taking Sherlock's lead with keeping it low profile.
Sherlock looked down for a second before looking up at Lestrade, indicating with a slight nod that the man's deduction was correct.
"Keep an eye out for a second" Sherlock said quietly just as John re-approached them.
"Yep, definitely murder. Serious lacerations to the face but the fatal wound was to the back of his head – hidden by the wig." He said flatly.
"Thank you, John" Sherlock said gratefully, he smiled briefly at Lestrade in a silent goodbye, Lestrade nodded in thanks.
Just as the pair walked out of the echoic War decorated hall, Sherlock shouted back at Sally without turning his head; "Oh and Sally, you should really wear your own underwear to work you know." John looked sharply up at Sherlock before whipping round in time to see a blush blossom on Sally's face.
"You were looking?" John asked quietly.
Sherlock smirked. "You are jealous?" he said not looking at John as he banged the door closed behind them.
Back at 221B Baker Street, Sherlock lined the billboard with the new photographs while John made the tea. A loud exasperated sigh reached Sherlock's ears but was not entirely acknowledged until he spotted John putting his coat back on.
"Where do you think you are going?" Sherlock said sternly, momentarily stopping his photo mapping on the wall to stare unblinkingly at the man.
"To get milk" John replied picking up his cane once his coat was zipped up.
"Have you forgotten our conversation last night? It's not safe out there" Sherlock said dumbly.
"Sherlock, I have to be independent. I thought that was what you loved about me" John said with a slight smile.
"I do, but I love the idea of you staying with me more." Sherlock replied wittily, his expression unchanged.
"I'm just going to get milk, how long can I be?" John asked the question rhetorically. But Sherlock had to have the last word as per usual.
"Possibly 10 minutes if there is a queue, 11 if there's a wheelchair, 15 if you go to the little store on the high street -" Sherlock was interrupted by a peck to his lips and a view of John retreating down the stair case. "Be Careful, John" Sherlock called and he turned all his attentions back to the information in front of him.
Sherlock was so engrossed in his work that he jumped when his phone started to ring; he took the two long strides to his desk to retrieve the loud object and swiftly answered it.
"Sherlock, we've got another, this one is John's double." Lestrade said calmly in his local London intonation.
Sherlock whipped around to look at the empty kitchen. John was still out. He curtly thanked Lestrade and hung up. Calling John's mobile to demand his assistance immediately, he was however, completely thrown off balance when Lestrade eventually answered John's phone.
Sherlock's voice was dangerous and deep; "Lestrade, what time is it?"
"Sherlock?" Lestrade asked in confusion.
"What is the time Lestrade?" Sherlock demanded.
"It's five to five" Lestrade answered simply.
Sherlock hung up the phone. John had been out to buy milk an hour and a half ago. Sherlock immediately shut down his feelings. Recognising the weapon Moriarty was using. He swiftly approached the door, throwing his coat on and forgetting about his scarf entirely. He stopped a foot shy of the doorway and turned on his heel suddenly. He faltered before swiftly approaching his laptop on the desk. He efficiently typed in the address to his own website; Science of Deduction and he tapped out a simple message on the homepage;
"Battersea. You know where. 17:30. – SH"
He threw the laptop lid shut as he swooped down the staircase and out into the street. In the taxi, he isolated his brain, building a secure brick wall in front of the bedroom door inside his mind palace. He focused on his old thoughts; clues, motives and future moves.
Battersea's disused power station loomed into view as Sherlock stopped fidgeting with the new magnifying glass he had acquired that afternoon. He placed it carefully back into his pocket before paying the driver and hopping out into the cold, dark air.
The taxi bumbled away as Sherlock walked quickly with intent. He found himself rounding the corner of the entrance to the building, reaching the location of the first murder the previous day.
Sure enough, there stood an immaculate Westwood clad Jim, his hands in his pockets and his sneer evident.
"I knew you'd come" He called, his voice raising the hair on the back of Sherlock's neck.
"How could I ignore an invite quite like that" Sherlock said calmly.
"You were the one to invite me, here Sherlock." Jim retorted.
"One dead Sherlock and one dead John, there would have to be a dead Jim in the pack, I just wanted to see if the real one was still alive first" Sherlock said, his eyes roaming over the inside of the hollow building.
"Oh, anyone can survive a fall, its all in the landing" Jim said with a smirk. "Did I get anyone?" he continued.
Sherlock frowned "I don't understand" he said truthfully.
"Did I fool anyone with my dead look-a-likes?" Moriarty's eagle like eyes saw the well hidden relief in Sherlock's shoulders at the mention of more than one look-a-like. "Good God, you didn't actually think that John's death was real did you?" Jim looked delighted "I didn't think his was as good as yours, but I definitely won this round."
"I did not observe the later murder victim, and no, I know John is in the vicinity. I assume they were just two unwilling volunteers you had killed" Sherlock reeled off quickly, chopping and changing his subject with ease.
"How did you know?" Jim said, apparently surprised.
"Protection" Sherlock answered quickly, he spread his arms and turned a full circle on the spot. "There is no one else here, no sniper rifles, no body guards" Sherlock paused side-on to look at Jim "What happened to them, Jim? Did you kill them? Did you get them killed?" Sherlock asked as causally as if they were talking about the benefits of sugar in tea.
"I do not need them for such a minor task" Moriarty spat.
"Ah, fighting your own battles now? How grown up of you" Sherlock said, narrowing his eyes in sarcasm. "So what happens now? Do you threaten me by killing John? Or do you give me the choice, my life or John's?" Sherlock asked.
"Well, you tell me Sherlock, one of us has to die, because this just can't go on any longer than it already has. It's becoming a scene from a bad superhero film." Jim said in his deep oily drone.
"Tell me about it" Sherlock said with an air of 'dull'.
"It has been fun though, Sherlock" Jim said, looking at his feet as he walked a few paces to his left. Sherlock took the opportunity to scan the area a little closer. He spotted a heap of clothing that appeared to move in the far dark corner of the large space.
"Watching me dance?" Sherlock asked, returning his gaze to Jim as he looked up.
"No, playing with you and your…domesticated house pet." Jim said thoughtfully. "Although, he is not your house pet anymore, is he, Sherlock?" with this sentence, Moriarty took a step closer to Sherlock, his face showing a certain eagerness for knowledge.
Sherlock stared Jim straight in the eyes, a piercing, unflinching glare across the 6 foot distance. "Yes, how did you know?" he asked as he walked in a half circle around Jim, slowly turning them round in the dark echoic hanger-like building.
Jim scoffed. "How could I not?" He asked. "Holding hands in taxis and using only one bedroom." Sherlock broke the gaze to look at Jim's feet before staring straight back at the hateful mans face. "And then, there was that text you sent to Ms Adler" Jim continued. He raised his voice to almost a sing-song tone to quote "If you have caused any harm to my Watson, I will have no trouble giving you up to you up to the Americans. S.H. 'my Watson'." Jim said with vindictiveness. "You disgust me, Sherlock, how could you stoop that far in the chain for a partner?"
Sherlock turned his body to Jim, keeping the 6 foot distance. His brain reeling from the last comment Jim had made. Something was not right about it and it took all of 8 seconds for the answer to hit him full speed in the face.
"Ah" Sherlock said in realisation.
"What?" Jim said abruptly.
"You, ahh, you, you, you!" Sherlock said with a laugh of glee.
Jim looked put out. "What's the joke?" he asked.
"This is why all of this, this is why you play with me and never kill me." Sherlock stated, his smile disappearing off his face, replaced instantly with the cold demeanour that was Sherlock's main persona. "This is why you torture John." He added quietly.
Jim looked nervously at the taller man, his face not quite toward him.
"You are in love with me." Sherlock said calmly.
Jim smiled widely, a closed mouth smile. He buried his hands deeper in his pockets.
"What if I do? Would you be tempted?" He asked in his slick tone of voice.
Sherlock took the few steps that were between them so that he was directly in front of the man; Sherlock looked down at him and noticed the enlarged pupils, the heavy shallow breaths and the lick of the lips, he smiled.
"That depends" Sherlock said in his must husked tone.
"On what?" Jim smirked up at him.
Sherlock mirrored his smirk; he swiftly plunged his left hand into his coat pocket and retrieved the new microscope he had acquired, he played with it in his hands before he held it up, level with Jim's face, Jim didn't waver his stare from Sherlock's face.
"I need to see if you really are my equal" Sherlock whispered, he leaned in close to Jim. "Tell me what you can deduce about that glove on the floor there." He held out the closed microscope. Jim laughed.
"Easy" Jim sang in a higher octave than his own voice.
He snatched the microscope and walked over to fetch the abandoned glove on the floor.
Sherlock ran, he ran on the fronts of his feet to the bundle of clothes on the floor in the corner. Sherlock dived on top of the apparent pile of rags as silently as was possible. He then pulled his coat over his head and the rags;
"Vatican Cameos!" Sherlock whispered and he felt John instantly curl into a ball underneath him and the rags.
Moriarty, oblivious to what was going on behind him was bent double looking closely at the black worn out glove on the dusty and leaf infested floor. He brought the microscope to his left eye and pulled the black plastic apart to reveal the magnifying glass itself.
The room exploded.
The sound and resulting fire reverberated around the entire hall, burning the discarded leaves and dust and even the birds' nests in the roof beams.
John was frozen to the spot; he saw everything, and heard most of the conversation that had occurred between Sherlock and Moriarty. He was bundled up into the foetal position underneath a pile of dirty and badly odorous rags, he had felt Sherlock's weight on top of him and he had heard the very large explosion. He felt the impact of the explosion push them both across the floor. Then the silence that followed was deafening.
John waited a minute or two and then decided to attempt the climb out of his current situation. Sherlock lay on his back a little way away from John, his face blackened and more cuts visible on his body through his torn clothes. John struggled with the last of the rags and ran through the smoke to Sherlock's unmoving figure, skidding on his knees slightly as he reached the man.
"Sherlock, Sherlock, are you ok? Sher-!" John shouted, although he stopped when he noticed Sherlock's ears were bleeding - he wouldn't be able to hear him. John started to gently shake the man.
"John, would you kindly stop shaking me" Sherlock moaned.
A tear escaped John's eye and ran down his cheek as he smiled in relief. Sherlock opened his eyes at the sensation of John's tear hitting his own cheek. He sat up, albeit with some difficulty, and pulled John into him, letting the man cuddle him back silently.
"What happened to Moriarty?" John asked quietly.
"What?" Sherlock shouted.
John stifled a giggle and sat up slightly, he pointed to the place where he had seen Moriarty before the explosion and then shrugged his shoulders.
Sherlock understood and looked over John and through the smoke; he saw a small fire on the other side of the derelict building. He reached for his phone; and pulled John back to his chest as he used both hands to text Lestrade;
"All over. Battersea Power Station. Send police, ambulance and fire brigade. I may have made a mess. – SH"
John laughed as he watched Sherlock type it out. They lay huddled in the corner until the sound of sirens could be heard. John made an attempt to scurry away from Sherlock, but Sherlock brought him back with one hand firmly grasped on John's coat.
Lestrade ran into the building, he promptly started coughing in the smoke before signalling the fire brigade in to put out the last of the fire. He then began searching for the two men that he knew would be close. Sherlock waved his arm in the air grabbing Lestrade's attention. Lestrade ran over and stood beside them, looking down at Sherlock.
"Is it worth asking what happened?" Lestrade asked.
Sherlock pointed to his ears and then shrugged.
"He is deaf from the explosion. Greg, is Moriarty over there?" John asked pointing over at the fire brigade.
Lestrade nodded; "What's left of him, yeah" Lestrade stood once more; "Come on, let's get you two to the ambulance…again" he laughed despite the whole situation.
John got to his feet and searched the rags for his cane, eventually he found it before helping Lestrade to get Sherlock to his feet, and they carried him on their shoulders across the expanse of concrete floor to the exit. They stopped briefly to admire the small parts of Jim scattered all over the floor, before exiting into the dark, cold night.
Back in 221B Baker Street that evening, Sherlock sat on the couch; he looked tired, relieved and forlorn. John sat opposite Sherlock, in much the same condition.
John was holding a permanent pen, with a pad of paper in his lap; he finally decided what he wanted to write and set about it with purpose.
Sherlock looked on fondly; he waited patiently for his question, dealing rather well with the constant high pitched ringing in his ears. John held up his notepad and Sherlock read it quickly.
What caused the explosion?
Sherlock got to his feet and reached for his coat, he pulled out his own magnifying glass and threw it to John. John caught it and looked at it cautiously.
"Remember the one at the crime scene yesterday?" Sherlock half shouted. John nodded. "It was the last message to Moriarty from his men before they left him, they recognised the signs of Jim's insanity – that he was in love and was not doing big criminal deals as of late, he only had one obsession, and that was me, so they abandoned their work for him. Their last job was making the corpse look like me; they had planted the 'props' on the body in the hope that Jim would be inspecting their work before raising the alarm. The magnifying glass was packed with explosives, the movement of the object would spark and…" Sherlock spread his hands in silent description of the final event.
John sighed and relaxed into his armchair, a simple "Wow" crossing his lips.
John smiled at Sherlock. He focussed back on his notepad – taking a fresh page. He held it up for Sherlock to read once he had written three words. Sherlock replied with a grin and a nod.
John stood up and threw the notepad at the armchair; he walked over to Sherlock, helping him to his feet. The pair leant on each other and both hobbled out of the door and down the hallway.
Mrs Hudson came up the stairs just as the bathroom door lock clicked closed. She set the tray of tea and biscuits down in the living room and spotted the notebook on the empty armchair; she picked it up and smiled down at the three words written upon it.
'Fancy a bath?'
She laughed slightly before replacing the notepad on the chair and moving toward the door. She switched off the main light and closed the living room door with a click.
Thank you so much for reading guys, I really hope you enjoyed my preferred ending to Jim Moriarty!