Sherlock was in a chair, not visibly restrained, but unable to move.
He shook his head and subconsciously began organizing his thoughts. Deductions were to be made. He glanced around, focusing not on individual things, but on the place as a whole. He was in an abandoned cafe, downtown London. He knew almost exactly where. John had taken them both to the restaurant across the street once for his birthday.
Clothes. He looked down. The usual: tight suit, shined boots, and a trench coat over it all. It was oddly reassuring to see himself in his work clothes.
Finally, the hardest: why he was there. Sherlock brought up his mind palace and sorted through the entries for the previous day. From what he could tell, it had been a pretty normal day. John woke him up, he had his coffee, and he had solved a case that had baffled the Yard for a week. All in all, pretty normal. He could almost remember falling asleep.
Goosebumps jumped up on his arms. He did remember falling asleep. In his own bed. How did his captor take him in his sleep? Was he drugged? A bitter taste formed in his mouth. He hated being taken advantage of.
A noise. A clack of a heel. Sherlock's feline eyes narrowed toward the back door. Heels. Not female, too thick and broad. Precise, at least three seconds passed between each footfall. Perhaps his kidnapper had-
"Oh, Sherlock! Long time no see!"
The voice. He was dead. Long dead. He couldn't have possibly survived. Of course, the same could be said for Sherlock, given what they had both done. He was a ghost, a suggestion. He was Sherlock's greatest mystery and his greatest curse.
And here he was. Back for a gleeful haunting.
"You never give up, do you, Moriarty?"
The villain stepped from the shadows, his sideways smile giving him the appearance of some broken marionette. "Giving up is for the weak," he replied, circling around the chair. After a few circles, he broke off and began walking back to the door from which he had come, his back to Sherlock as if posing a challenge to escape.
Sherlock struggled and grunted, but couldn't rise from his chair. Moriarty stopped and smirked, almost disappointed at the feeble escape attempts of the mastermind. "It's no use, Sherlock. You can ignore me all you want when you're awake, but this..." he paused and turned slowly, head down, dead eyes crouching beneath his brows. "This is MY LAND!" To punctuate his sentence, all the windows of the shops around them burst into a shower of glass, the torrent of fragments tumbling through the air slower and slower until the two men were trapped in a hurricane of transparent teeth.
Sherlock felt his chest tighten. This was Moriarty's world. The more he interacted with him, the more Sherlock would allow him to continue to haunt him. He leaned back into the chair, his heart ticking clumsily like a wounded clockwork toy.
"That's better," Moriary said, his sickly-sweet teasing tone slipping back into his speech. He casually stepped over to Sherlock, crouching down to see him eye-to-eye. "This is such fun, isn't it? Just like old times, eh, Holmes?"
Sherlock glared back, his feline eyes boring into Moriarty's teasing expression. "It's just a dream," he said, nearly spitting out the last word. "Everyone dreams, and you know what happens to the dreams when they wake up."
Jim's smile grew into a malicious grin. Sherlock found himself getting even more anxious at the mere sight of it, but kept his expression steady. Jim replied with a taunting, almost triumphant chuckle. "Everyone wakes up, Sherly. But, sooner or later, everyone sleeps, too." He leaned over to Sherlock's ear, his breath chilling his neck rather than warming it. "And I'll always be here when you sleep, Sherlock. Always."
Sherlock's heart thudded. Why was his body betraying him? What was coming over him? Was this a normal reaction? What kind of terrible feeling could this be?
Fear. Uncertainty. Submission. Sherlock couldn't find a single word to describe it. He felt as though he hated himself and the world he was in. This wasn't right. He couldn't sit and watch himself be frightened like a bird trapped in an endless net.
Jim carefully rose from his crouching position, eyes not leaving the mastermind in the chair. A moment passed. He was studying him. Sherlock felt repulsed. He was a man who studied, not a man who was studied. He wasn't used to the scrutinizing stare. After an uncomfortably long time, Moriarty seemed to get his fill and walked to a shard of glass, studying his handiwork.
Sherlock pinched his hand behind him. A tinge of pain replied. Sherlock tried again, this time focusing on what he felt. He didn't feel anything on his hand, but rather felt it in his brain, as though by instinct. This was a dream. More importantly, this was his dream. Sherlock was the only one who had complete control. Moriarty had an influence, sure, but Sherlock had the controls. This was all just a betrayal of his brain.
His eyes slid shut. He didn't have much experience with the supernatural, but from what he had gathered, it was just a matter of the mind. He was good with matters of the mind.
The world intensified the moment his eyes closed. The chair seemed to press harder into him. He felt his clothes resting on his skin. The air felt stale. He inhaled and pictured himself standing up over and over. The woosh of air, the new pressure on his feet, he imagined it all again and again.
He opened his eyes. He was standing.
Moriarty took notice immediately and snapped himself toward Sherlock. He tried to conceal his surprise, but some still leaked from his expression. Sherlock, too, surprised an emotion: triumph. He wouldn't allow this dream to remain on autopilot. Sherlock was back in control.
Empowered, he visualized the chair shattering like the glass. He imagined splinters flying and shards of wood cascading slowly as though submerged in water. Moments later, the chair was scattered upon the floor in countless pieces. Moriarty took a step forward. "Feeling devious, are we? You can't be serious. You're...defying me? What comes from that?" He took another few steps. "A lot of screaming. And I don't feel like yelling today." He rolled his shoulders lazily, as though he was bored.
Sherlock closed his eyes again and thought of nothing. He blocked out the sounds, the sights. He didn't feel, he knew. He knew where he was. Now he just needed to forget. Moriarty began another taunt, but it faded quickly. All Sherlock could gather from the mumble was "sleep tight."
Open eyes. Panting. Rapidly rising chest accompanied by the woosh of air from his nose. He was awake. He was in bed, back at 221B and, though he had just woken up, he felt tired.
This fic took a lot of guessing (particularly about Sherlock and his mind), so please excuse any bits that make you say "Ahh...wait...wut?"
Let me know what you think. Toodles and thank you!