This is a prompt fill for rewrite-draw on tumblr. Enjoy!
Jim inhaled sharply and took the pain of the bullets ripping through his chest in stride. Just like that, his life was suddenly over. One moment he'd been standing next to Sebastian outside of their flat in Ilchester, the next he was on the ground, feeling the air leave his lungs as they were shot full of holes. It seemed appropriate, almost, to be shot once he'd finally achieved happiness. All his time hanging around the wrong kind of people had lead him to this moment. He'd pissed off one too many mob bosses, one too many drug dealers, one to many... One was all it took really. Sebastian had come along and changed all that. Love tends to change people. In 1986 they'd met in a smokey room, both wasted beyond belief on all kinds of uppers, downers, and alcohol, and three years later they were cleaned up and getting married. They'd been coming home from the most wonderful honeymoon imaginable and now, Sebastian was holding Jim tightly in his arms, his own shoulder bleeding from a stray shot that caught him, shouting for Jim to hold on.
Hold on? Jim pondered this as his life flashed before his eyes, and then, it was lights out...
Jim would have liked it if he could have at least caught his breath long enough to say goodbye to Sebastian, but such was life, or the ending of it anyway. But Jim found moments later there were no pearly gates waiting for him, and there was no fiery pit around him. He was still on the damn sidewalk! Jim pushed himself up and looked around, wondering for a moment if it had all been a dream. He could hear someone sobbing softly behind him and he turned around quickly to see something he wished he could really unsee. Sebastian was there, kneeling on the walk, a pool of blood forming around him, with Jim's own lifeless corpse in his arms.
Jim realized then, he was a ghost.
He toyed with the idea of sticking around and haunting Sebastian, but as the ambulance arrived, Jim couldn't bring himself to do it. He walked away.
He didn't see Sebastian again until his own funeral. Sebastian wasn't one for crying much, but the few tears he did shed were more precious to Jim than any other gesture made for him in his life. He reached out to touch, but couldn't. His hand passed right through the other man. It hurt to watch Sebastian walk away, but he did. Save yourself and him the pain Jim, he won't move on if he ever feels like you're still around...
Jim was walking away when he caught sight of a young man, maybe in his late teens sitting in front of a headstone. Curiosity pulled him closer. This kid had sandy hair and an expressive face. Two cobalt eyes were red rimmed from much crying. Jim sighed a little as he looked at the headstone.
1969 - 1989
Beloved Daughter and Sister
Jim shook his head a little as he took in the young man before him. He must have been the dead girl's brother. He looked at the grave and it looked pretty fresh. No shocker there the way the boy was crying. Jim crouched down beside him quietly and clicked his tongue.
"She was young... What a shame." he whispered. Jim was startled as the boy beside him jumped away.
"Shit!" the young man cursed, "Are you fuckin' nuts! Don't sneak up on a bloke like that!" the boy protested with a growl. Jim's eyes went wide and he tilted his head at the young man.
"You... You can see me?" Jim asked, standing up straight and taking a curious step closer. The young man give Jim an incredulous look and nods.
"'Course I can see you!" he snaps. Jim grins and gives a gleeful giggle.
"You can see me!" Jim announces. He twirls around with excitement. "Brilliant! So brilliant! He can see me!"
"You're a nutter." the young man says, taking a step back. Jim shakes his head.
"No, I'm a ghost actually!" Jim sing-songed, "And yooooou can see meee!"
The sandy haired boy scoffs and turns away.
"Right. And I'm Mary Queen of Scots." he mutters, heading for the cemetery exit. Jim follows him with excitement shining in his eyes.
"You could be, but I doubt it. Who are you then?" Jim asks, gliding along beside theboy.
"Not tellin' a nut like you." comes his sharp reply. Jim tuts disapprovingly, reaching out and slipping his hand through the fabric of the young man's coat, snatching a wallet from within and causing it to fall out and onto the ground. Jim crouches down in front of the wallet that's fallen open and glances at the ID.
"John Watson!" Jim announces, as if it's the most amazing name he's ever heard. John turns around sharply and furrows his brows.
"How did you do that! Give that back to me!" he shouts, looking down at the pale, dark eyed being before him.
"I just reached in and knocked it loose. I can't actually pick the damn thing up." Jim replies, as if it's entirely obvious. John reaches down and snatches the wallet up, stuffing it back in his pocket.
"Leave me alone before I call the police." John warns.
"I wouldn't do that. You're already making a spectacle of yourself as it is." Jim says, gesturing around them. John glanced around and realized that people were in fact staring at him as they passed. John watched people make an effort to walk around him, and then, he watched a man walk right through Jim. Jim gave a strange little giggle and shifts a little.
"That tickled." he says with a little laugh. John's eyes widen and he doesn't hesitate to turn and run away.
But Jim only follows him.
For weeks, Jim follows John at a distance, keeping out of sight. He thinks it's just fate laughing at him. The only person in the whole world who can see him wants nothing to do with him. So Jim plots to win John over.
He starts by helping him cheat on a test.
John's head is bowed over his school work so when Jim crouches beside his desk and whispers the answer in his ear he nearly jumps out of his skin.
"It's Fifty-three point nine repeating." Jim says, his ghostly breath brushing over John's neck. John falls sideways out of his desk and right through Jim who shivers and giggles.
"Watson!" the teacher barks. "Do you need to go to the infirmary?"
John looks up at Jim with wide and unhappy eyes and then to the teacher.
"Y-Yeah... I'm not feeling well." he says quickly, getting up and rushing from the classroom as if it were on fire. Jim pouts and begrudgingly follows behind John.
When Jim arrives at the infirmary he walks through the slightly ajar door and spots John sitting in a small plastic chair with a thermometer in his mouth, his skin deathly pale.
"What's bothering you?" the nurse asks, but John's eyes fall on Jim who is idly fiddling with tongue depressers behind her.
"I... Nausea..." John stammers, his eyes meeting Jim's.
"D'you need to go home?" the nurse inquires, looking him over. "You look like you've seen a ghost..."
Jim out-right cackles and John's face screws up in irritation and distaste.
"Yeah... I need to... Go home." he agrees, watching the nurse leave to go call his parents. Once she's left, Jim moves across the room and hunches beside John's chair.
"Sorry I scared ya." Jim says with a little smile. "I was only tryin' to help."
John adamantly ignores him, which makes Jim pout.
"C'mon now Johnny boy. Don't ignore me. I'm just tryin' to make nice... I want to be friends." Jim whines. John looks over at him with narrowed eyes.
"Why... Me..." he growls. "Why not someone else. Go haunt someone who wants it..."
"But you're the one that can see me, John... I don't want to go looking for someone else." Jim protests with a sort of childish stamp of his foot. John sighs heavily and shakes his head.
"Fuck off." he hisses. Jim visibly deflated at being shot down. John watched Jim's lively and expressive face fall into a defeated grimace.
"Fine then..." Jim whispers. "Sorry to have bothered you."
As Jim turns to leave, John is overcome with pity for the annoying ghost.
"Wait!... Damn it... Wait." he calls out. Jim stops but doesn't turn around. "What's your name then...?"
Jim turns around and beams.
"Jim. Jim Moriarty."
From then on, where John went, Jim did also. All the way through University. He was like an imaginary friend that was actually useful. Jim helped on University term papers and taught John how to mix a proper Martini. He helped pull pranks and watched films. He was warm and friendly, witty, and funny.
And it was when John went on to sign his life away to the military that the pair of them were confronted with something they'd never really anticipated.
"I don't want you to go!" Jim insisted. "You're throwing your life away!"
John watched the lights around them flicker with Jim's little outburst and he sighed heavily, folding his arms over his chest.
"This is what I want to do. It's what I'm good at." John argued wearily, watching Jim spin around and knock a stack of books from a shelf. "Jim stop it... Stop acting like a child."
"I just couldn't stand it if you got hurt!" Jim shouts, the lights flicking off and on again. John crosses the room and never before has he wanted to hug the other so much. Jim is crying, and John has to admit, nothing in his life has been quite as heartbreaking as the sight of those tears slipping over Jim's pale cheeks.
"I won't get hurt. I'm going to be a doctor. A medic. I'll be helping the other people who get hurt." John insists as calmly as he can. He reaches out and strokes the air where Jim's cheek should be, but he can only feel the strange electrifying coolness of Jim's strange presence in the room. "I'll be back in a few years tops... In one piece."
Jim shakes his head and throws his arms around John, for a split second they make what feels like contact and then Jim is slipping through him leaving John cold and tingly.
"I'm coming with you..." Jim says softly. John laughs a little and Jim turns dangerously serious eyes on him.
"What's so funny!" Jim snaps, bringing a warm smile to John's face.
"A ghost following me into war. It seems like the premise for a really shit film." John replies with a shrug. Jim sniffles a little and forces a small smile to his own face.
"I mean it... I'm coming with you. It's not like I can get hurt right?" Jim insists. John nods at him and quirks a little smile.
"All right... I won't be able to talk to you much around my peers... But your company is always welcome Jim. You're my best mate..." John sighs contentedly as Jim seems to perk up a little.
"My best mate the ghost. Also sounds like a shit film..." Jim points out, and they laugh together, enjoying their last night on English soil together.
When the bullets rip through John's chest, Jim feels like he's being transported back to the very moment of his own death. John is collapsing into the desert sand and Jim feels loss like he's never really known before. John is bleeding to death, his whole chest marred with blood. Jim drops to his side while gunfire echoes overhead.
"No! Damn it John! You said you wouldn't get hurt! You promised!" Jim screamed, the very ground around them quaked with explosions. John coughs and wheezes, blood pouring from his mouth and he's smiling damn it, he's smiling!
Jim glares down at him and shakes his head.
"This is no time to be smiling John! You're bleeding! You're dying you prick! Dying!" Jim shrieks, closing his eyes tight. He feels tears welling and his form flickers with rage. He tries to tune the gunfire out altogether.
"Please John... Please Hold on!" Jim pleads. Jim covers his eyes with his hands and shakes his head, wishing he could go back, stop himself from every meeting this damn kid, for watching him grow into a wonderful man, for falling in love with him...
Jim feels warmth. Jim feels the sudden press of lips against his and his hands are being pulled away from his face. Jim shivers and lets himself get wrapped up in a kiss. It's unlike any sensation he's ever felt, the press of those lips. When he pulls away, Jim opens his eyes and he finds John's bright blues staring back at him.
"John... John how...?" Jim asks softly, the gunfire growing distant. John looks wonderful. Perfect even. Not a single speck of blood on him.
"You asked me to hold on." John replies, kissing Jim again, this time with more fervor, his fingers tangling into Jim's hair and his free hand pulling Jim flush against him. They break apart again and Jim looks down at John, utterly baffled for a moment.
"You have no idea how long I've wanted to do that." John says softly, and it's then that Jim notices the bloodied and incredibly empty looking corpse that once was John beneath them.
"You're a ghost." Jim hisses, eyes wide and hands trembling.
"Just like you." John insists with a little laugh, and suddenly they're no longer in Afghanistan. They're laying on a grassy knoll in a familiar cemetery, the sun beating down on them but bringing no heat that they can feel.
"You... How did you do it...?" Jim asks softly.
"You asked me to..." John replied quietly. "You said hold on... And I did."
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