Chapter 1: Divide and Conquer

Jim Moriarty roughly threw his prisoner into the jail cell, cackling, his Irish accent ringing off the walls. "Hope you enjoy your stay!"

Sherlock Holmes balanced himself out again perfectly and stood tall and proud, observing his new surroundings. Moriarty was pleased because Sherlock had come quietly…without real choice in the matter; be shot by snipers or be imprisoned, but that small fact didn't bother him. He wouldn't let that put a damper on his victory. He'd not shackled Sherlock, either, but had made him hold his hands as if they were. When the consulting detective refused, Moriarty was forced to hold them there with one hand while he led Sherlock with the other.

"You may have noticed," Moriarty continued casually, "that I've left you with your cell phone. You've really got no service down here, so don't even try. Let's just get to know each other, shall we?" Moriarty sashayed to the bars of the cage so that his chest was touching them. Sherlock was watching him like a hungry snake from the center of the cell. "I'm going to find out what makes you tick, Sherlock Holmes. Even if I have to rip you apart organ by organ!" And he laughed, turning away from the bars in a spin, dark eyes bright and very, very wide.

Sherlock didn't really care about being imprisoned. His heart—that is, those he cared about despite the illusion—John, Mrs. Hudson, Molly, Lestrade and the other detectives, even his brother Mycroft, was what mattered to him. As long as they were alive…well, his life didn't matter. And he hoped that Moriarty would be too busy 'playing' with him to pay any attention to anything else. He walked slowly to the back of the cell, sat upon the wooden board chained to the wall that was probably supposed to serve as his bed (he had to smile—Moriarty was always one for a show) and looked Moriarty right in the eye. "What are you going to do with me?" It wasn't a frightened question and indeed held no fear. Sherlock was quite certain that he would be able to escape before Moriarty killed him, and the question was casual, as if he were asking John what sort of tea he wanted, a simple question back in the flat, deprived of anger or fear.

Which is what Moriarty wanted. Fear. He stopped dancing giddily and stared at his prisoner with soulless eyes. "What am I going to do? Oh, Sherlock!" Moriarty swept forward with emotion, as if Sherlock had proposed or something. The tall man was actually taken aback. Idiotic. Moriarty cackled, especially as he caught Sherlock unhinged. "Before I burn the heart out of you, I'm going to try a more fun route to see if that will work. Because if I'm going to kill you, it might as well be…entertaining." He licked his lips as if hungry. Sherlock narrowed his eyes, his brain trying to work out exactly what his nemesis meant. Forget Mycroft's status as his 'worst enemy.' Put Moriarty there instead.

Despite, Sherlock fought to keep his voice level and emotionless. "Meaning…?"

At this, Jim Moriarty laughed a maniacal laugh that Sherlock unconsciously retreated from; he hadn't noticed this fact until his back hit the cold stone wall. "Sherlock, dear," Moriarty purred, "you may be on the side of angels, but you certainly aren't one of them!" There was one overhead light, a bare bulb with a little pull string. Moriarty, cackling, reached up and turned out the light. There were two small barred windows in the room, and it was not nighttime yet though it would be soon, so pale light still allowed Sherlock to see his (newly crowned) worst enemy. But darkness meant uncertainty, something Sherlock feared secretly, and he scowled. "Nighty night, Shirley," Moriarty giggled, walking away up the stairs they'd come down.

Sherlock waited until he heard the last of Moriarty's steps fade into the distance. Then, he stood up and turned around once, slowly, taking stock of the room he was in. It was a prison cell with rusty bars and a polished iron opening. Bars were deceptively rusty, then; they were in good shape. Even at his strongest, Sherlock couldn't bend metal. There was the 'bed' against the wall and a dubious toilet in the front of the cell. No mirrors, no amenities, nothing to suggest a human had lived here recently. There were the two windows, one above his bed and the other beyond the bars where Sherlock couldn't reach. They were high, small, prison windows with polished bars. Sherlock stood upon his bed—shaky bed—and had to stand on tiptoe to look out, and not comfortably, either. It overlooked nothing recognizable, no noticeable landmarks or street names. A flower of loneliness and despair rooted in the center of Sherlock's chest, but it was not enough emotion to actually stir him. He touched the walls with his gloves, unable to see very much in the dimming light. He could feel a draft coming through multiple places in the wall. Not well-insulated, then. Sherlock tapped his feet against the floor. It was stone at least three feet down, impossible to escape through. Damn.

Sherlock blinked, his vision blurring. He recognized that he was tired. A long day of chasing down murder after murder, finding Moriarty at the heart, snipers trained on his chest, running, running, running about like headless chickens, he and John and the best of Scotland Yard. All for this.

Well, then.

Sherlock sighed. It was obvious he wasn't getting out of here tonight, and maybe a few minutes of sleep would help him think clearer. After all, Sherlock was not adverse to a nap.

He lay down on the board as much as he could, for the board was designed for shorter men in mind, and pillowed his head with his hands before drifting off into slumber.