Sherlock stumbled back a safe distance and rubbed his neck. He looked to Mrs. Hudson and Lestrade like he didn't know what to do with a crying man, and knowing him, he probably didn't.
He scraped his bottom lip with his teeth and looked at Lestrade. "Do something." he almost hissed.
The two men looked at Mrs. Hudson. "I'll go make some soothing tea." The woman told them. "You two calm him down some." And she left.
Lestrade and Sherlock remained. They exchanged glances, Sherlock nodded insistently toward John with an expression saying 'you're a cop, you handle these things alot, don't you?' and Lestrade's gaze shot back 'you're his boyfriend!' Sherlock frowned, Lestrade raised his eyebrows. 'Please?' Sherlock's expression pled. Lestrade sighed and gave in.
He wasn't entirely sure what to do, he had seen John cry after Sherlock's supposed death, but he had never lashed out. He knelt by John's side and called out softly to him. "John? John, mate, can you hear me?"
John gave a little choke/cough/sob, and nodded.
Lestrade slowly, tentatively, reached out his hand, wondering if John was going to panic if he touched him. He gently laid his hand on John's shoulder, vaguely feeling like he was putting his hand in a rabid dog's cage. John did not react. Lestrade mentally heaved a sigh of relief.
"Hey, John. Can you sit up for me, please? We're just going to need to get onto the couch again, Mrs. Hudson's making tea." He kept up a string of murmured nonsense as he slowly guided John back onto the couch he had started on before attacking Sherlock.
"Can you tell me what happened?" Lestrade asked him.
"I-I..." John hiccuped. "D-didn't know."
"You didn't know what?"
Here, Sherlock interrupted. "He was sleeping. I presume he was having a nightmare and when I came to wake him up, the present situation and his dream overlapped."
"I-I thought-..." John sniffed, shaking.
I thought you were an enemy.
Nobody said it, but Sherlock flinched and Lestrade grimaced, John continued sobbing.
"It's okay, John." Lestrade hummed soothingly, rocking the poor man, something he picked up from watching Eva comfort Darren when the boy thought there was a monster in his closet. "You're okay."
Mrs. Hudson returned with tea but it was several more minutes before John had calmed down enough to hold the cup without being in danger of spilling or dropping it.
By that time, Sherlock returned to his habit of melding himself into John's side as if attempting to merge their two bodies. And though John was usually a bit annoyed at Sherlock getting in the way of what he was doing, or just feeling indulgent enough to let him do as he pleased, John seemed grateful for the proximety.
An hour later, Lestrade needed to get back to work so he left John to Sherlock and Mrs. Hudson.
He sighed to himself and tried to think up new leads on his case
Lestrade stared through the one-way glass into the interrogation room where the man was sitting. He didn't fidget, he didn't sweat, almost never blinked. Lestrade timed it. Fifteen minutes between blinks. He didn't even think it was possible.
Lestrade was beginning to feel that this was a horribly bad idea.
He let out a heavy sigh and left he observation room to enter the interrogation room. There was no way he could out wait this sniper.
Sebastian Moran removed his gaze from the tabletop in front of him where his hands were cuffed and raked his eyes up Lestrade's body from toe to head. Their eyes met and held. Neither looked away, no signs of blatant hostility, nor submission from either side.
Lestrade blinked, it was like playing stare-down with a reptile who didn't have any eyelids.
"Sebastian Moran." Lestrade broke the silence.
"Detective Inspector Gregory Lestrade." Sebastian greeted back coolly.
Lestrade pulled out the chair opposite Sebastian and sat down. Sebastian leaned forward. "Let me guess, you need my help."
Lestrade inclined his head. "Why do you think that?"
"Why else would you be here?" Sebastian shot back with a shrug. "But, what makes you think I'll help you?"
"I can get you off death row."
Sebastian blinked for the first time since Lestrade entered the room. "And why would I want that?"
Lestrade staunchly refused to show that he was caught off-guard by that question. "I was under the impression that you wanted to live." he replied flatly.
"Life's not fun inside a jail cell, Detective Inspector." Sebastian sighed. "I'd rather you either let me out quick, or speed up my date with death."
Lestrade blinked, Sebastian stared back with those shark-eyes of his.
"I'll tell you something interesting." Sebastian said. "And this information is on the house."
Lestrade raised an eyebrow. "I'm all ears."
"Moriarty isn't dead."
Sebastian laughed, showing a little spark of expression for the first time. It was just a slight pull at the corners of his mouth, a tiny glimpse of teeth, and exactly one crinkle at the edge of his right eye. Lestrade got the feeling that Sebastian was not a man who was accustomed to showing emotion.
"Believe what you want, Detective Inspector." He resumed his stoic expression. "But you've thought it too, you've wondered why he chose Molly Hooper to get close to Sherlock."
"Why are you telling me this?" Lestrade hissed.
"Because I held up my end of the contract, and he didn't." Sebastian shrugged. "I'm a little pissed." But under that cool exterior, Lestrade caught sight of a tiny spark of resentment.
"Did he?" Sebastian asked, raising his eyebrows. "You have a body on ice in the morgue, but is it really His?"
Lestrade held his gaze and for once, Sebastian blinked first. "I'm not here to talk about Moriarty."
"But I am." Sebastian replied simply. "I don't want leniency from the Law. I want revenge." He gave a pointed look at the casefile in Lestrade's hand. "Let me take a wild guess. Victim number one; General Randall Kenswick. Shot in the back of the head, execution style. Murder weapon was a Browning L9A1 like Dr. Watson's. Victim number two; Major Terrance Dunwhite. Shot by a sniper rifle, L129A1. Both standard army issues."
"So this was Moriarty's planning?" Lestrade tossed the casefile on the table, a few sheaves of paper slipping out of the brown cover. "Give the man a prize."
"There's going to be three more deaths if you don't stop him." Sebastian said. "If you don't let me help you stop him."
"So you're just going to help me for free?" Lestrade scoffed. "Why should I believe you?"
"I'm not helping you for free." Sebastian snapped back. The first show of impatience. "I'm helping you to get revenge on Moriarty. And you should never underestimate the power of vengance."
Lestrade tapped his finger on the table in contemplation.
"Alright. Start talking."
Sherlock was sitting in his armchair, knees brought up close to his chest, hands folded over them. John watched him from the kitchen. There was a mild bruise growing on Sherlock's neck. He shuddered.
I could've killed him. He clenched his jaw. He just wants to help.
"I can hear you agonizing all the way over here, John." Sherlock's voice called out from the sitting room.
John walked out of the kitchen, gripping his elbows, almost hugging himself.
"What is it, John?" Sherlock asked him quietly. "What are you so afraid of?"
John bit his lip, then, after a moment, he sucked in a shuddering breath. "A week ago, when I was coming home from work, I saw-... well, I thought I saw somebody I knew."
Sherlock blinked. John's nightmares had come back about a week ago. "Tell me about it?"
John bit his lip again and sat down in his own armchair across from Sherlock. "There was this man I knew, in the army, Bart. Well, I didn't know him particularly well, but I knew his younger brother, Joey... Joseph Kelly. Joey was in my unit, he was a sniper... and he died. Bart was in a different regiment and he-... he didn't take it well, Sherlock." John sucked in a shuddering breath. "Two months after Joey died, I heard that Bart got blown up and sent home."
"Is that who you saw a week ago?" Sherlock asked him.
"Yeah." John nodded. "He - um - he had a prosthetic leg, and he walked around with a cane." His blue eyes slid closed as if recalling a memory. "I probably wouldn't have recognized him... but he wasn't walking around like there was somewhere he needed to be." His eyes opened again and he looked at Sherlock. "He was watching the buildings, Sherlock. He had this consentrated expression on his face and a blink rate that was all Joey... and that was how I recognized him."
"He looked like he had someone in his crosshairs."
Later that night, after John had gone to bed, Sherlock bundled up in his coat and scarf and took a cab to where John said he had seen Bartholomew Kelly.
He looked around, taking in the police tape stuck up around the area of Major Terrance Dunwhite's death, Lestrade's visit, the bulge in his coat pocket that he had tried to hide, and the vague micro-expressions of guilt he had been directing toward John when he had calmed the man down.
He pulled out his phone and texted Lestrade.
The case. I want in. -SH
No, Sherlock. -Lestrade
John needs closure. -SH
... Fine. -Lestrade
But don't do anything stupid. -Lestrade
Bartholomew Kelly? -SH
I won't even ask how you knew. -Lestrade
John told me. -SH
He needs to come. -SH
Bring him. But be careful. -Lestrade