James Moriarty was an easily angered individual. He was half mad and had the control of a bloody Saint, but he was easily angered. He was just very good at hiding it. Normally, he would have. But that night everyone knew he was seething. They didn't know why—most, if not all of the people that worked for him knew better than to inquire about his personal life—but they knew he was pissed.
James Moriarty was angry. Not only was he angry, he was angry that he was angry. Livid that there was even a reason for his discontent. He was upset because he'd forgotten there was another side to the coin of caring about a person, and because his plans had been botched—both professionally and personally. Because instead of having tea with a certain blue-eyes angel, he was stuck cleaning up a bloody fucking mess.
The loss of the Black Lotus as smugglers was an easy price to pay in order to make his point. The murder of their leader left room for alternatives that could be even more beneficiary than the original business arrangement, but all he cared about was that everyone in the underground understood what would happen if you messed with what was his—and the Holmes brothers were his toys to play with.
The only good thing was that John had been completely understanding. He hadn't even asked what the emergency was. He'd just nodded, smiled, and asked if he'd wanted him to wait up for him. It was the only reason Jim wasn't spending anymore time on the idiotic wastes of air he called employees. Instead, he was rushing home, intent on soaking up all of the warmth John had to offer. Intent on making up for keeping the poor doctor waiting for so long.
He'd even bought those chocolate biscuits he liked so much. Apparently they were perfect in a cuppa Earl Grey, but Jim couldn't see the appeal. The things were over-priced, and far too bitter for his taste. Apparently they were perfect for balancing out John's tooth decaying drink he liked to call tea. The blonde liked to say it was just like how Jim enjoyed mixing his M&Ms with his popcorn.
So, box of goodies in hand, Jim practically glared at the red numbers counting up on the lift. He'd never really experienced an antsy feeling before, but he imagined that was what he was feeling. He imagined that the strange flutter in his stomach was nervousness—because it wasn't like he'd never been with anyone. He'd had those primal urges before. But this was different. This was John.
The second he reached his floor, he sprang out of the elevator and practically jogged to John's door. Taking a deep breath, he steeled himself before opening it. When he was met with nothing but darkness, apprehension took him.
He eased his way into the flat, a frown marring his features. He glanced at his wrist, noting the time. It wasn't that late. John had said he'd stay up for him, and he was a man that kept his word. Almost to a fault. Even if Jim had come back at three in the morning the next day, John would have waited up for him.
Almost instantly, he dropped the treats he'd bought to the floor, listening to the soft crash echo through the apartment. He stepped forward cautiously, hand itching for his weapon. He didn't want to bring it out, though. Not if he didn't need to. A zing of fear lit his senses afire—a sensation he'd not felt since he was a young boy. It made the anger in him rumble and snap it's jaws. Creeping forward silently, he made his way through the fairly sized flat, dodging bits of scattered things here and there, until he found his way to the back room, light blinding from around the ajar state of the door.
"—Seb, please, stop." Jim's jaw clenched as he heard the tremor in the doctor's voice, and he jerked out the pistol in his waistband. "You don't—You don't have to do this—"
"Do you let 'im touch you the way I do, John? Fingers across your chest, playin' you the way I do? Like a bloody well tuned instra- instern- instrument. Make you keen so pr-pretty…" A low grunt had rage and envy coiling low in his gut as he stepped forward, measured movements sliding him easily into the light. "You let 'im touch you didn't you, darlin'? Didn't you, luv? Let him fuck you like the filthy fucking whore you are."
The first thing Jim took note of was Sebastian. The large man was almost covering John entirely with his body; big hand pinning John's above his head, pressing them back against the pillows. The glassy look in the sniper's eyes and the rank of whiskey in the air. Jim was leveling the gun at him even before Seb's other hand started to creep beneath the waistband of John's pants. The love bites that littered John's chest were just as livid as Jim felt. The split lip and ripped stitches had him flicking off the safety.
"Dun worry though, darlin'. Dun worry… Make it all better. Your Seb'll make it all b-better. Fuck you 'til you feel me in you all the time. Fuck you 'til—"
"Sebastian, please, don't. Please, stop this." John's voice cracked as he begged, tears already in his eyes as he struggled against the stronger, larger man. "Not again."
The drunkard growled, nails biting into the flesh of John's abdomen. "You don't get to talk, John. Don't get to say anything, you sodding lil' slut—"
"That's quite about enough of that," Jim broke in, a dark frown on his lips.
Two sets of eyes flickered over, one filled with relief and the other with hate. Jim could identify with the latter. He was about to pull the trigger when Jim quickly found out that, even drunk, Sebastian's reflexes were still well honed. The ex-sniper was across the room in nearly a second, and his gun was knocked from his grip and turned on him. The muzzle was cold under his chin, and for the first time in his life he felt completely and utterly stupid.
Rough fingers pulled him close by the lapels, and Jim's nose wrinkled in disgust. Dark eyes glared up at him defiantly, daring him to shoot his brains out. Daring him to make the final move. Because he knew that if he was dead, his people would do one thing right—take out whoever killed him. And it wouldn't be pretty.
"You… you're th-the prick who touched my John. You're the one—"
"Do feel free to stop you babbling and get on with it!" Jim was shouting by the end of it, and had startled Sebastian so much that he'd stumbled back a few steps, gun never wavering as he pointed it at his head.
A dark scowl took over Seb's face, finger hovering over the trigger. He sneered down at the man who thought he could take his John away from him. A shot rang through the air, and Jim jerked back, eyes going wide. He watched as red, beautiful and crimson, bloomed across a cotton shirt. Both of them looked over at John, who sat on the bed bleeding and shaking. Holding a gun with steady, steady hands.
More shots were fired. Over and over. Deafening. Until Sebastian was off his feet and lying in a pool of his own blood. Until the gun started clicking as he tried to fire with an empty chamber again and again. He kept pulling the trigger, everything but his hands shaking even as tears slipped down his cheeks. He didn't stop until Jim had come to his side, settling a calming touch to his shoulder, and taking the Browning with low, murmured words of reassurance.
"Shh… It's alright, Johnny boy." Jim said, threading his fingers comfortingly through his hair. "It's alright. It's over. It's all over."
It didn't take long for the police to get there. For them to come and take the body away while the paramedics patched up John's arm again, splinted up two broken fingers, wrapped his ribs and checked him for a concussion. He'd fought long and hard before Sebastian had gotten him on his back. Jim knew he should have assigned someone to watch the complex. Should have kept a better eye out. He could have kicked himself.
Jim stayed by his side the entire time. Waiting and watching. Seeing how strongly he held himself together. Seeing the numb way he responded to the detective's questions. Seeing what they called shock fade into something so much more raw and desperate. Seeing John unravel, slowly but surely, from the inside out. Seeing the way he hid it so well from the people around him. Hiding it from everyone but Jim.
When they were gone, Jim brought his doctor up to the flat, carefully avoiding the bright yellow tape that separated the crime scene from the rest of the hall. He guided John into his apartment, shutting and locking the door behind him. It wasn't until they were standing in his living room, John staring out at the nightscape of the city through the large windows that he finally broke down. Finally started sobbing in the silent and heart-breaking way that a fallen angel does.
Jim came up behind him, gently turning him so that those perfect cornflower blues met his. Jim would have taken him away if he could've. Would have flown them out of there if John asked. But John wouldn't ask. Wouldn't impose and wouldn't be so weak. He'd face this terror and overcome it. Which was beautiful. Achingly beautiful.
So, instead, he did the only other thing he could. He wrapped John up in his arms, settled with him on the couch, and held him. Just held him and kept him close as he rode out the pain he felt. The pain the Jim knew not much of. Not the physical ailments that plagued him, but the emotional ones. The desperate, raw and bleeding feeling that comes with losing someone loved. Of taking the life of someone who had meant the world.
James Moriarty was an easily angered individual. He had killed his own parents when he was an adolescent. He had gotten rid of his childhood bully without a single thought. Because he was easily angered and felt no remorse. He'd never felt the heartbreak of losing someone he cared for, and from that point on he intended to keep it that way. He intended on keeping Doctor John Hamish Watson happy and safe. Because James Moriarty was an easily angered individual, and if just having plans foiled had made him livid enough to want to murder, he could only imagine what would happen if John was ever lost to him completely.
Jim let John cry himself to sleep in his arms. Whispering words of adoration he thought he'd never say. A devil comforting his sweet, sweet seraph.
A/N: Don't worry, ladies and gentlefolk. I fully plan on writing a sequel.
Thanks so much for going on this journey with me. I hope you had as much fun wallowing in the angst as I did. And I hope you keep an eye out for the next installment. Hint: It'll be called "Spit the Dark".