Be Still My Beating Heart

Chapter One

DI Lestrade's never met the man, never seen him, never even heard about him before the bombings. In Lestrade's mind, he's like a ghost, an idea, the closest thing to physical exsistance is the staccato voice of a victimized mouthpiece from a mobile phone. That, and a name that nobody says.

Jim Moriarty.

Jim Moriarty's also never met DI Lestrade despite the many times he's seen him in the newspapers or through the pictures Sebastian Moran's taken for him. The madman doesn't care much. After all, who is DI Lestrade but a helpless and dumb observer in comparison to Sherlock's brilliance?

But, he decided, it would be quite impolite to rudely ignore the man. And besides, an innocuous man like Lestrade constantly shadowing Sherlock on his cases, he could be a helpful informant. "Sebastian!" he called out in his eerily sing-song voice. "I'm going out to find new pawns for Sherlock and my game, will you come with?"

Sebastian Moran, who was in the meditative process of cleaning his sniper rifle, merely looked up at him quietly and nodded. "Brilliant!" Moriarty clapped his hands like a gleeful child. "Let's go meet this DI Lestrade!"

DI Lestrade, Moriarty thinks, is very much like a king in the New Scotland Yard with his subordinates as his loyal subjects. Sebastian handed him a pair of binoculars and pointed vaguely at a window three storeys, or so, up. Moriarty held the binoculars up to his face and could almost barely make out a stocky sillouhette against the blinds.

"You won't have many chances of meeting him." Sebastian said slowly. "He gets in early and leaves late."

Moriarty regarded his pet with such an incredulous look at being told that he could not do something that the man began to feel pinpricks of heat creeping into his cheeks. "Oh, Sebastian." Moriarty stroked his fingers through Sebastian's hair like an affectionate petting. "You of all people should know that I am above such mundane problems."

Moriarty turned away swiftly and his fingers flew over the keyboard of the laptop Sebastian brought him and the shadow on the blinds shifted with a start. Sebastian narrowed his eyes a little at the dark form. Lestrade's shoulders were squared and his stance tense, whatever Moriarty did it's got the DI on-guard.

Moriarty smiled and continued tapping away at his keyboard rhythmically. "He'll come soon." he cooed at Sebastian as he moved away. "Get the car." Sebastian blinked silently but complied.

Hello, sexy. Poisonous gas to be released at 221b Baker Street in ten minutes. Can you get there in time? -M Lestrade blinked for a moment, stunned, before he tried both Sherlock's and John's phones but something was blocking the signal. He dropped his phone into his pocket and decided that if Moriarty could tamper with his phone's signal, he probably could tamper with all the phones in the area. It would just be quicker to get to Baker Street himself.

If this was the same Moriarty from the bombing case, he knew to hurry before the 999 calls began thundering in. Maybe, if it was some time bomb, Sherlock could disarm it before anything dangerous happened.

He wondered if he should send an ambulance ahead just in case.

He dashed out to the car park to where his vehicle was and fished around in his coat pocket for his key. He barely heard the car pull up behind him, but he certainly couldn't ignore being grabbed by the back of his collar and shoved into the backseat of said vehicle.

He was silent for a moment or two, too shocked to say or do anything but sit very still in the back of the car as the vehicle shifted under him and pulled off into the late evening traffic. "Who are you? What do you want?" he demanded as soon as the shock wore off.

"We'll leave that up to your imagination." The youngish man lounging in the rider's seat crooned, looking at him through the rear-view mirror.

The man smiled with a crooked sort of charm but his eyes were dark and guarded like Mycroft Holmes's. Like a predator waiting for the opportune moment to strike... Lestrade felt a shiver run down his spine but didn't show it. "I've been told that I haven't much one to begin with." he responded gruffly.

"Oh, Sherlock's influence, most likely." the man in the front scoffed as he propped his feet up on the dashboard and picked delicately at his fingernails.

Lestrade didn't respond. "What do you want?" he asked again.

"Such an impatient detective! Don't worry, we've got all night!" the man contorted his body to turn and look at Lestrade. "Jim Moriarty. Hi~!" Moriarty grinned at him very toothily in a way that was not meant to be comforting. "Sorry about the text. Sherlock and his pet are alright, I just needed something to get your attention."

Well, if that was the way he wanted to play it... Lestrade leaned back into his seat comfortably and crossed his legs at the knees. "Alright, DI Lestrade, how do you do." he introduced himself with a purposefully fake smile.

Moriarty's eyebrows twitched ever so slightly together. All the other pawns he met always responded with looks of fear and demanded to be released immediately. Nobody ever merely introduced themselves and grinned at him, and nobody ever made themselves comfortable in his car either!

But before he could respond, Lestrade was speaking again. "You've got me at a disadvantage though, Mister Moriarty. Why are you kidnapping me?" Funny, Lestrade seemed genuinely curious more than worried.

"For a chat, so to speak." Moriarty smiled back, reminding himself that DI Lestrade was a stupid and dull pawn... he just caught Moriarty off-guard for a moment there.

Lestrade raised his eyebrows and his lip curled upward. "Very well, Mister Moriarty, chat away."

Moriarty was silent for a moment, letting the DI hang in suspense. "You seem very well acquainted with Sherlock Holmes." he said finally.

Lestrade threw his arms up and rolled his eyes in exasperation. "Seriously? You kidnap me, want a chat and, let me guess, you want me to spy on Sherlock for you? You're no better than Mycroft Holmes! If that's the way you're going to be, I'm going to deduct points for unoriginality." Moriarty scowled at him, annoyed at being compared to the boring but undeniably brilliant government agent.

"Well, great minds do tend to think alike." Moriarty shrugged his shoulders, all evidence of discomfort suddenly removed.

"I'm sure I wouldn't know." Lestrade replied guardedly. "So please, all theatrics aside, what do you want?"

Moriarty levelled him a sharp look, evaluating him, his gaze almost physically tangible as his eyes roamed over the DI, taking in the miniscule signs of the man's body language. Lestrade shifted and looked away, clearly unnerved and uncomfortable under Moriarty's close scrutiny.

A feral grin pulled at Moriarty's mouth and set a gleam in his eye. The criminal mastermind turned back to face ahead, keeping a subtle surveilance on Lestrade through the rear-view mirror again. "I've looked over your file." he said coolly, a little spark of satisfaction igniting in his chest when the DI let out a near-invisible sigh of relief when Moriarty stopped staring.

Lestrade rolled his eyes. "Still deducting points." he murmured, his voice quivered slightly but still came out strong, his bull-headed bravado alone making it so.

Moriarty ignored the quip. "You've got a very impressive record. You're one of the youngest Detective Inspectors I've ever met." he continued like Lestrade had never spoke at all.

"I get it, I get it." Lestrade sighed, holding his hands up in defeat. "You know all about me, all my dirty little secrets, and you're not afraid to bring it to light. Can we skip the obligatory Bond-villain speeches and get right down to the point?"

Moriarty watched him for a good moment through the mirror before continuing. "I'll be brutally honest with you." he said casually and Lestrade's eyes narrowed. "I think you're not as simple as people prefer to believe you are." Lestrade blinked, but otherwise did not respond to the accusation. "Or is it, that they don't know?"

"I'm not sure I know what you're talking about." Lestrade replied slowly, unsurely, blinking in confusion. What was Moriarty talking about?

A grin spread slowly across Moriarty's features. "Oh, DI Lestrade, you are a good actor! I may not like you, but I'll give you credit!" he chuckled. "Does Sherlock really not know about the drug addiction in your teenage years? Is it possible that Sherlock's brother still hasn't figured out about your former relations with the street gangs? You did do a good job of burying it in the past and keeping it out of your records. It took alot of searching, really, to uncover your past greivances!"

Lestrade paled considerably and gripped the fabric of his trousered knee. "What do you want?" he spat through gritted teeth.

Moriarty grinned at him, showing pearly whites. "Wonderful!" he clapped his hands. "Very good! Your intelligence may not rival the Holmeses, but you certainly have enough brains to fool everybody else!"

"Mister Moriarty, your demands. Before I lose my temper!" Lestrade hissed, glaring heatedly. But Moriarty had him in a tight spot and everybody in the car knew it.

Moriarty decided to have mercy on him. "Your cooperation, DI Lestrade, what else do I need you for?"

Lestrade's eyes narrowed. "What does that mean?"

Moriarty turned around again to look him in the eye. "It means I'm going to destroy Sherlock Holmes." he said bluntly. "But before that, I'm going to make him suffer until his teeeny-tiny sociopathic heart burns out of his chest, Gregory Lestrade, you're going to help me do it."

Lestrade stared at him, gaping slightly. "You're mad." he gasped in a near whisper. Moriarty's face lit up with satisfaction like he was The Doctor and Lestrade had just told him that the TARDIS was bigger on the inside. "This is fucking rubbish...!" Lestrade dug the heels of his hands into his eyes.

Moriarty smiled at him faux-sympathetically. "I know, it's alot to take in. But it's not a request, Lestrade. It's a fact." Lestrade removed his hands from his face slowly to stare at the madman. "I'm going to use you to hurt Sherlock, nothing you do will change that. It's more of a question whether you'd cooperate and maybe save Sherlock some grief, maybe some lives if I'm feeling extra generous." Moriarty reached between his and the driver's seat to rest his hand on Lestrade's knee. "And maybe, at the end of the day, you'd still have your job."

Lestrade stared at the limb attached to his leg with obvious distaste but made no move to remove it. "What do you want me to do?" he asked, tone devoid of any emotion.

"Nothing, as of yet." Lestrade blinked up at him with a slight exasperation, refusing to show his defeat. "I'll contact you when I want you to do something. And I know you're not completely stupid, so don't tell anyone. This can be our dirty little secret~." Moriarty sang gleefully. "Drop the good copper off at home, why don't you, pet?" he said to Sebastian.

Sebastian merely glanced at the DI through the rear-view mirror and directed the car toward Lestrade's home.

"Well, this is your stop." Moriarty smiled brightly like a small boy showing off a shiny rock he'd found, expecting to be praised.

Lestrade blinked, because he sure as Hell wasn't about to do that. Instead, he just nodded. "Thanks." he mumbled and clambered out of the passenger seat.

"Good night." Moriarty called after him, rolling down his window to watch Lestrade climb up the steps to his flat. "Sweet dreams!" he crooned with that infuriating grin.

Lestrade unlocked his front door and rolled his eyes at Moriarty. "Who knows what horrors you've got planned for tomorrow?" he responded, valor slightly recovered once he was well out of Moriarty's potential attack range.

"Well," Moriarty raised an eyebrow, inclining his head. "all the same."

Lestrade waited for the car to pull away from the curb and frowned a little in confusion when it didn't. Moriarty was looking at him expectantly. "Oh." Lestrade realized finally, "Night, Mister Moriarty."

Moriarty smiled, pleased, and rolled up his window. Sebastian sent Lestrade a curt nod and shifted the car into gear, pulling off.

Lestrade stayed standing in his doorway until the car disappeared around the corner, then he let out a sigh of relief. The scare was over, but he knew the real nightmare began from here.

His gaze hardened and he spun on his heel, disappearing into the relative safety of his flat.

God, he desperately needed a drink.