Four Beginnings and an End.
Despite the fact that Jim had an endless supply of names for Sebastian; Seb, Sebby, Bastian, Bas, Tiger, Pet to name just a few; the sniper only had one for Jim. Jimmy. But the sniper only used the nickname five times. Four times the name signalled the beginning. Once it signalled the end.
'If Carl fucking Powers asks Mrs. Ryan to explain the fucking equation again I'm going to mutilate him with my fucking compass.' Jim swore to himself viciously. The teen had finished the exercise fifteen minutes ago and had been distracting himself by drawing a detailed, and increasingly ridiculous, caricature of his elderly maths teacher. He was just trying to work out whether or not he needed to add more shading to the jumper to truly capture the horrific shade of maroon when the classroom door swung open.
Jim looked up, along with the rest of the class, to stare at the blonde boy in the doorway. 'Must be the new kid everyone is whispering about.' He eyed the blonde subtly, taking in the scruffy hair and worn black hoodie. Even with the sweatshirt it was easy to see that the guy was seriously athletic, muscles showing that he must be more dedicated to the gym than his school work. Jim rolled his eyes because even if he was hot, he's not blind after all, he was no doubt going to turn out to be another moronic jock.
Mrs. Ryan smiled toothily at the boy, "You must be the new student," she quickly consulted the register, "Sebastian." She waved him in, yammering on about what they were studying and how she was sure that he'd catch up quickly. Jim was about to tune out of the conversation, having completely lost interest, when the teacher said his name. "Now Sebastian why don't you sit down next to James over there. He can help you if you have any questions."
The brunette resisted the urge to bang his head on the table in frustration. 'Lucky me.' He reluctantly moved all his books so Sebastian could sit down. As the blonde arranged his things with an almost military precision Jim rolled the name around his mind. Lots of nickname potential with Sebastian. He snorted in laughter at his own thought process. He wasn't going to be giving the other teen any nicknames. He would inevitably turn out to be as much of a tool as the rest of the school.
Jim watched Sebastian start the exercise out of the corner of his eye. He should probably offer to help. "Do you need anything explained?"
Sebastian looked up at him in surprise, "Nah thanks. This shit is easy. I don't know why anyone would need help. You're James right?"
He rolled his eyes, "Firstly, it's Jim. Not James. Secondly, if I wasn't you would be in the wrong place and someone, namely me, would have told you." He briefly thought he might be being a little sharp but shrugged it off, "And thirdly, the equations are ridiculously simple but most of the fuckwits in this shithole traded brains for brawn."
Sebastian laughed lightly, "You're right, that was a stupid question. If everyone here's so moronic what brings you here?" The blonde quirked an eyebrow, "I'm assuming from your accent you're Irish so why are you in a crap London school?"
The Irish boy shrugged, "Lived in Dublin a long time but my dad had to move for work. What made you switch mid-year?" So maybe Jim wasn't telling the complete truth, or y'know any truth at all, but he wasn't going to blab his secrets to the new boy.
"I was expelled." Sebastian smirked wolfishly, "Something about unnecessary violence. But its complete bullshit." The blonde paused before adding, "The bastard had it coming."
Jim hummed, starting to lose interest, "What did he do?" He asked as he signed the drawing and tucked it in his homework diary.
"He double crossed me. Ratted me out. I had to teach him a lesson."
The smaller teen's head flew up and he snorted derisively, "What did you expect? Loyalty doesn't mean shit anymore. If you want people on your side you have to be able to offer them something no one else can. It's a fickle world we live in Sebby."
"That is a terrible outlook on life. You're wrong." Sebastian put down his pen and looked at him askance, "Loyalty is much stronger than bribery."
"Nobody does anything without expecting something in return. Sorry to burst your bubble."
"Yes they do!" Sebastian exploded, drawing the attention of the whole room. Both teens immediately pretended to be working studiously, "That's like the entire premise of friendship!"
"I've never had a friend who didn't expect something from me." Jim hissed without looking up from his page. Honestly Jim had never had a real friend. He'd come close once, and wasn't that sad, but the other boy had seen one of his... episodes and been scared away.
Sebastian smirked at him, "Then I'm going to change that."
It took a few moments for Jim to work out what he meant. "You can't just decide we're friends! It doesn't work like that!"
"I can and I have, buddy." Jim was about to come up with a sarcastic retort but the bell rang, signalling the end of the lesson and the blonde scooped up his belongings and sauntered out of the classroom.
For a few seconds Jim just stared, completely dumbfounded, "What the fuck just happened?"
Sebastian laughed to himself as he strolled down the corridor, searching for his locker. Eventually he found it and shoved in his new maths books and all the stupid 'orientation' shit the receptionist had given him. When he shut his locker there was a kid stood behind the door, he vaguely recognised him from maths- he was the idiot who kept asking how to do the equations.
When the mousy haired teen spoke it was in an annoyingly nasal voice, "I saw you this morning. My name's Carl Powers, swim team captain. You're Sebastian right?" Seb bit back a sarcastic comment and nodded, it would no doubt go straight over his head anyway. Powers didn't even seem to be waiting for an answer as he carried on. "Well we, that's the rest if the team and me, saw the little Irish twat annoying you and thought you might wanna get some revenge." He grinned in a way that showed he obviously thought Sebastian would jump at the chance.
The blonde frowned, "What kind of revenge?" He did not like people threatening his friend, even if he'd kind of forced the friendship upon him.
"Nothing we can get into trouble for, no worries. Just push him around a little, scare him and teach him a lesson. The problem is he's damn near impossible to catch, he's a bloody fast runner. We reckon if you join in we'd have no problem."
"I'm not sure I'd be any use." Seb tried to brush Powers off with a laugh.
"Go on. You know you want to. And it'll give you an edge on the others at the sports tryouts." The taller teen stared, who said he wanted to join a sports team? More importantly did he look like he needed help at any tryouts?
Carl seemed to take his silence as agreement and swaggered away. Seb followed him, thinking idly 'Does he think that walk makes him look cool? He looks like a catwalk model reject.' Powers led him to a group of guys all wearing matching jackets with their surname and 'SWIM TEAM' emblazoned across the back. Sebastian didn't even pretend to listen to their introductions, he wasn't interested in their names.
He followed them as they trudged around the school, watching incredulously as girls basically threw themselves at the meatheads. He was beginning to get bored of watching them feebly attempt to flirt when one of the boys yelled, pointing down a corridor, "HE'S THERE!"
Down the corridor Jim was stood by what must be his locker and his shoulders drooped as he looked up and saw Powers and his cronies. He didn't see Sebastian as he shoved his bag into his locker, obviously anticipating having to run. The brunette calmly locked his locker and turned to face them with an expression that implied he'd given up. His entire body was tensed like a coiled spring, despite what his face said, and as soon as another group students passed between them he took the opportunity to sprint off in the other direction.
"Jesus he is fast." Sebastian laughed as he started to give chase with the others, moving to run by Carl's side at the head of the group. The Irish boy was good, making random turns and leading them on an unpredictable chase. They began to catch up as he led them onto the school field and Seb saw his chance.
As they ran past the school's pond he threw himself sideways, lurching into Carl with enough power to send the other teen flying into the pond. Seb righted himself and ran towards Jim, "Whoops!" He laughed as he grabbed the smaller teen's arm. "Fucking run!" Carl was already wading to the edge of the pond, spitting out water, where his friends were stood, staring stupidly at their 'leader'.
Seb dragged Jim back to the school and into the first empty classroom he found. He slammed the door shut and collapsed against it, laughing hysterically. "Did you see- his -face?" He gasped, trying to get his breath back. "That- was fucking- priceless." The blonde slid down the door and looked up at Jim who was staring at him like he'd grown another head.
"Why did you do that? You've just made yourself a social leper."
"Don't care. They seem like tools anyway. They were threatening my friend. It was the principle of the matter." Sebastian shrugged.
"We are not friends!" Jim hissed, before pausing to add, "And why the pond?"
Seb shrugged, "His jacket said swim team. I wanted some proof. We are friends. Whether you like it or not."Jim watched him incredulously for a second, staring him down. When the blonde didn't relent he dropped to the ground next to him and began to laugh quietly.
"It was pretty brilliant, I'll give you that. But I hope you realise when they find us. They will kill us." Jim looked at his new, and largely unwanted, friend with raised eyebrows.
"Bring it on."
They sat in silence for a while before the brunette stood up, "I have science next. Where are you supposed to be going?"
Sebastian fumbled for his timetable, "Uhh. History in room D12."
"That's on my way. Come on Basher." If the blonde could just decide they were friends then Jim was going to take every opportunity to use ridiculous nicknames. If he didn't like it he could shove off.
"Basher? That's a new one." Seb said as he stood and stretched like a cat. "Lead the way boss."
"Hmm. At least you know your place." Jim replied sarcastically as he opened the door and started down the corridor, watching warily for pissed off jocks. They got to Jim's locker without a problem and Jim pulled out his bag and swapped a few books around. He locked the door to his locker and carried on a to a classroom a few metres away.
"There. I have chemistry in C7. Seeing as you've pissed off the jocks, you will come and meet me." Jim crossed his arms. "Understood?" He didn't wait for a response, just span on his heel and began to walk to his lesson.
"Whatever you say Jimmy." The Irish boy flipped Sebastian off over his shoulder without breaking his stride.
"Never call me that again."
Jim woke up and stretched as he pushed himself upright. He frowned as he heard a loud buzzing and looked around the room. His frown quickly grew as into a look of total horror as his vision began to blur and turn white. He swore loudly. This shouldn't be happening. The pills were working, they'd been working for over a year. The voices were getting louder and louder and he yelled as the crescendo drowned out his own thoughts. "Nonononononononono NO! Shut up! SHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUP!" He climbed out of his bed, fumbling for the door to his room as his vision disappeared completely. All he could see was white and it disorientated him. He banged into his chest of drawers, rather than his door as he expected, and swept his arms across the surface to try and siphon some of the noise out of his brain.
The loud crash drowned out the voices for a moment and Jim staggered, needing to find something, anything, to block out the endless blur of incomprehensible shouting. He yanked out each of the drawers, letting them clatter loudly to the ground. It still wasn't enough. He managed to find the door, scrabbling at the handle, and slammed it open. He scrambled blindly through the house, ending up in the living room, although he had no idea where he was, and grabbed wildly at the first thing that came to hand. He shoved it as hard as he could and the sound of glass shattering obscured the voices for a few long seconds before they came back, quieter than before. Although the voices were disappearing Jim's vision still hadn't come back and as he tried to move he tripped, falling into the mess of glass he'd just made.
He screamed as white hot pain shot up his hand and it collapsed beneath him. The movement only made it worse as he landed on his arm and felt the stabbing pain climb to his shoulder. He barely registered a loud bang in the background but he did hear a frantic voice, "Jesus Christ. What the fuck?! Jim?! JIM?!"
The brunette recognised the voice but at first he just couldn't place it. Suddenly it hit him. Sebastian. Either he'd overslept or his episode was lasting longer than he'd realised. Sebastian wasn't supposed to be here yet! For the past three months or so the blonde had been meeting him at his house for them to walk to and from school together. Sebastian claimed it was because he got bored walking alone but they both knew it had nothing to do with that and everything to do with Powers' almost successful attack on Jim on the way home. The stupid twat had been trying for a month to get revenge for the pond incident and had finally thought of trying out of school. Luckily Jim had been too quick and had escaped with only a black eye. After Seb had seen it the next day Carl had ended up with one of his own.
"GET OUT!" Jim bellowed. If Sebastian saw him like this then he would leave for sure. "Fuck off! Leave me alone! I'm not coming to school today!"
"Jim?" The voice was closer and softer and suddenly there were hands on his face and his good arm. "Jim…What happened?"
"Nothing. It's none of your fucking business. Get out of my house. Now."
"No." The voice was low and steady on the surface but was bubbling with thinly veiled anger. "What happened to you?"
"Nothing. Get out." Jim whispered, having lost all his energy. He wanted so much to just tell Seb everything but he couldn't.
"Tell me." Sebastian implored, voice soft. He obviously realised Jim didn't want to tell him so he changed tactics. "Where's your dad?" Jim had always told him that his dad worked late so he was asleep when they left for school. Surely the shouting would have woken him up?
You could almost hear Jim snap.
"My dear dad is in fucking Dublin. With his fucking airhead wife who doesn't even know he's got a kid. Especially not a special kid. Happy? Now get. out. It's been four months and you've proved your point. You win. Loyalty is better than bribery. Now get the fuck out of my house. I don't need your fucking pity."
His eyes slowly started to focus and he could see Sebastian hovering over him although the other boy was still blurry. The blonde shook his head, "You really think that's why I'm here? You're an idiot Jim." Without any warning he hauled Jim to his feet and walked him to the sofa. "Sit there. I'm going to go get some bandages and a towel and then I'm going to get that glass out of your arm and we are going to have a talk. Okay?" As the blonde walked away Jim looked around his living room. He'd obviously thrown the tv into the coffee table. That's where all the glass was from. Jim winced a little, that was going to be fun to explain to his father to try and get replacements.
Sebastian came back and began to pluck out the shards of glass with a skilled efficiency and experience that a 16 year old should not have. It barely even hurt. "Where the hell did you learn this?2 Jim asked, breaking the awkward silence they'd fallen into. The blonde glanced up at him, hands pausing on Jim's forearm.
"Well that depends. Are you ready to stop bullshitting every time I ask you a question?" Sebastian asked bluntly. Jim shrugged his good shoulder.
"Honestly Basher, I'm not sure I know how." Seb's hands began to move again as he mulled over Jim's response.
"My father. He…liked to throw me about… I had to have this done for me a lot. Eventually you pick it up. It's a hell of a lot easier to do it with others than yourself to be honest." The blonde kept his head down, hiding behind his fringe, "He blamed me for everything, and took out his anger on me until I got too big and could hit back."
Jim didn't know what to say but he could see what Seb was doing. He was showing that he trusted Jim. The brunette couldn't remember the last time someone had shared a secret with him. "My dad… he never hurt me. But…even when I was little, he never liked me. He didn't want a kid…and definitely not one that was…different." Jim closed his eyes, he'd never shared this part of himself with anyone, "When the doctors and the shrinks couldn't tell him what was wrong with me he decided it'd be easier just to sweep me under the rug. He sent me here to go to school… told me to tell people he was busy if ever they asked."
It felt…good. Letting it all out, not being the only one who knew. Sebastian looked up as Jim began to talk and squeezed his wrist once he'd finished. "Thank you." He said voice thick and quiet. "For trusting me. You know that if you ever need someone, no matter when or why or what time it is if you call me I'll come over."
Jim knew that what he really meant was if he had another episode. "I don't… I can't… When it happens I can't see or think and even if I wanted to I couldn't call for help. There's not enough time." Jim's distress at the situation shone through and Seb watched him thoughtfully as he finished bandaging Jim's hand and tucked the end in neatly.
"I'll find a way around that. I promise." The blonde sounded so sure that Jim was almost convinced it was possible. He yawned and Sebastian gently pushed him onto the sofa, "Go to sleep. I'll call you in sick." The brunette nodded sleepily, his episodes always took everything out of him, and curled around his bad arm. The last thing he felt before he drifted off was a blanket being tucked around him.
When he woke up the house was spotless, anything that was too badly broken to be salvaged was in the wheelie bin outside and anything even vaguely fixable were in a cardboard box on the kitchen table. Sebastian was nowhere to be seen.
For a moment Jim panicked, his mind immediately leaping to the conclusion that he'd freaked Sebastian out and the blonde had abandoned him but he calmed almost instantaneously as he caught sight of a little note tucked beside the box.
I've gone to pick up some painkillers and shit. I'll be back soon, promise.
Jim couldn't help but laugh, why had he signed it? Like Jim would have mistaken it for anyone else. If nothing else gave it away the frankly appalling handwriting would've done. The brunette wandered into his bedroom and was surprised to see that everything was neat in there too. His episodes were the reason he'd moved his room downstairs. He'd fallen down the stairs once and was in absolutely no rush to do it again.
Without even thinking about it Jim tucked the note into the worn cover of his favourite book where it would be safe. There was blood on the tee he'd fallen asleep in and he decided to try and change it. It didn't go well. He managed to get his shirt off pretty easily but when he tried to pull on the clean tee his arm protested violently. He was struggling to get his arm through the sleeve when Seb came looking for him.
"I was hoping you wouldn't wake up until I was back. C'mere." The blonde said, gently pulling Jim's arm through. The brunette flushed in humiliation, he felt pathetic. "I don't know why you didn't wait for me to get back."
"I'm not a child 'Bastian. I should be able to take care of myself." He snapped, frustrated with himself, "I feel useless."
"You are not useless. You are injured. There is a very big difference." Sebastian grabbed the painkillers, handing over two and a bottle of water. Once Jim had swallowed them both he pressed a a circle of plastic into Jim's hand, suddenly turning bashful.
"I uhh.. I got this. It's sort of like a pager but if you press the button it sends a message to this-" He held up another device with a small screen. "with your GPS co-ordinates. I know it's kinda stupid… I just thought-"
Jim cut him off. "This is…it's amazing… I never… Thank you." He said emphatically. Impulsively he hugged the blonde, he never thought anyone would care enough to want to be around him during an episode. The brunette stepped back and scrabbled through a drawer in his bedside table, pulling out a long white shoelace that had come as a spare with a pair of trainers. He threaded the little panic button onto the shoelace and hung it around his neck.
The blonde moved closer, "I'm serious. If you feel even a little iffy, press it. I'd rather you called me for nothing then didn't call me at all. Anytime. Anywhere. I want to be there. It's not right that you have to do this alone Jimmy."
Jim nodded seriously, "I won't take it off."
Sebastian collapsed onto his bunk, yawning deeply, he'd just got back from a 25 mile night hike and he was completely wiped. Before he fell asleep he had to finish his letter to Jim. He'd started the letter to his best friend when he'd been promoted to Colonel but had been so busy he'd hardly had time to eat, let alone write. The last letter he'd gotten from Jim had been… strange. It was obvious that he was hiding something. Something big. It'd have to wait until Sebastian next got leave though, he'd never be able to convince the brunette to spill via a letter. He trusted Jim to keep himself out of trouble. Mostly.
Seb hadn't planned on enlisting with the army but with Carl Powers 'suspicious accident' attention had been drawn to their school records and from there to Sebastian's supposed anger issues. Although they had eventually ruled the death to be accidental it had been suggested that Sebastian's anger could put himself or others in danger. It was bull and everyone that knew the blonde knew that but he couldn't argue that Carl had started all those fights without making either himself or Jim look like potential murderers. It was fucking ridiculous, normally it wouldn't have got to the point where they needed to look at the school records. Powers had gotten a cramp and drowned. Just showed what a dumbass he was. But the police continued to search for a killer.
Rumour has it that someone had written a letter to Scotland Yard to demand they reopen the investigation as a murder case. Whoever it was must have influential connections as the fuzz were jumping through hoops to find leads that were paper thin. Seb had been sent for 'Attitude Assessments' and had been given an ultimatum. He could spend a few years in a juvenile anger management centre… or he could sign up to join the army for a short service when he hit eighteen a few months later. That was seven years ago now and the twenty five year old sniper genuinely enjoyed being in the army. It was a shame he didn't get to see Jim as much, Sebastian lived in fear of the brunette getting hurt while he was unable to protect him, but he was happy as a soldier.
He sealed the envelope and scrawled Jim's address on the front, ready to send off with the next batch of post. He rolled onto his front and was half asleep when he heard a familiar beep that sent a tendril of ice cold worry down his spine. He leapt to his feet and begun to dig frantically through his bag before emerging with the little pager. They had upgraded to newer devices throughout the years but it still did the same thing and when he pulled it up there was a set of GPS co-ordinates flashing on screen.
"Shit. Shit. Shit. Fuck. Shit. Fuck. Shit." The other men in his bunk stared at him curiously as he dropped onto his bunk and pulled on his boots, not even bothering to lace them up. He grabbed the little pager and sprinted to the communications office. It was the only place with an active phone that could reach contacts that lived out of base. He grabbed the phone and began to dial Jim's mobile from memory, completely ignoring the sign that demanded they not use the phone for personal reasons. He was hoping that Jim wouldn't be too far gone to answer so when a woman picked up the phone he was startled into silence.
"Uhh…hi. Sorry…" Seb replied, incredibly confused, "Is Jim there?"
"I'm afraid I have some bad news. I'm a nurse at King's College hospital and this phone has just come in with a patient, James Moriarty?"
"Yeah. That's him. I got paged when he panic button was activated." The sniper pushed down the panic that was swelling inside of him.
"Yes, we pressed it when we couldn't get hold of his ICE contact. It's standard procedure."
"I'm his ICE. My name's Sebastian Moran. I can be there within 24 hours. How is he?"
"He's stable and doing well but I am afraid I cannot give out any more information than that over the phone."
"I understand." Sebastian said, although he desperately wanted to know what had happened. "I'll be there as soon as possible."
The blonde hung up the phone and forced himself to walk, not run, to the base general's office. He approached the stout man cautiously. "Sir I would live to request a short leave of absence. I've just received a phone call that my closest friend has been hospitalised and I need to get to him a.s.a.p."
Sebastian stood at attention, praying for a positive response. He was disappointed. "I'm afraid not Colonel. You are due to deploy in two days and we need you on that mission."
The sniper clenched his jaw, "With all due respect sir. I don't think you quite understand. This is a family emergency. I absolutely need to be there."
"I'm sorry but it doesn't matter how close you are. Only a blood relative or spouse will be cause for granting a family emergency absence. Now return to your bunk. You have a mission to be preparing for." Sebastian nodded at the dismissal and left the room with a cursory salute. He grumbled mutinously under his breath all the way back to the bunkhouse.
Inside the sniper immediately began to pack all of his modest personal belongings into his bag planning a route to London, he'd fucking run if he had to. One of the other soldiers, Lieutenant Colonel Evans, spoke up; "Is everything okay Bas?"
Sebastian nodded, "Family emergency. Might be gone a while." The soldiers all called out goodbyes and good lucks and Seb smiled at them all, knowing that he wouldn't be seeing them again. No matter how this turned out he'd most likely get discharged for desertion and cowardice.
He threw his bag over his shoulder and headed to the entrance to the base. At the gate he stopped one of the trucks before it could pull out. The driver rolled down the window and Seb grinned at him wryly. "I don't suppose I could get a lift into town? The general asked me to get this into the next post. I think it's pretty important." He waved his letter to Jim whilst rolling his eyes at the ridiculousness of his supposed errand. Luckily the driver was someone Seb knew fairly well so it was easy to convince him that leaving the base was the last thing he wanted to do but he hardly had a choice.
The driver laughed, "C'mon then. I can drop you in but you'll have to make your own way back."
"Perfect. You my friend, are a lifesaver." Once he was in the nearest town he'd be able to hitch hike to London easily.
Eight Hours Later.
Sebastian stumbled into the hospital and up to the desk. "I'm here for James Moriarty. I was told he was here."
The nurse gave him directions to a private room and he froze as he pushed open the door. Jim was sat upright in the bed and he looked like shit. There were cuts and bruises all across his face and his right arm was in plaster. A gash ran down his neck and continued under the hospital issue pyjamas. The brunette beamed when he saw Sebastian and was about to say something when the blonde cut him off.
"Who the hell did this to you?" He dropped his bag and walked to Jim's side, gently tilting his friend's head from side to side to take in the damage.
"What?" Jim's face dropped, "No one. It doesn't matter. How did you get leave on such short notice?"
"It does matter. Who was it? Whoever did this to you is going to get a bullet to the brain." Sebastian growled, "They didn't. I asked for leave, they said no, I left anyway."
Jim stared incredulously, "You're going to assassinate the guys who attacked me? Really?" The rest of Sebastian's sentence registered, "You left? What the hell? You'll get dishonourable discharge for that! I'm fine. You need to get back to the base. Now,"
"I'm seriously considering it. Does this attack have anything to do with whatever it is you're hiding from me? Maybe it's time to explain." He paused, "I don't care. They can go hang. What have you gotten yourself into Jimmy?" It was the pet name that did it. Sebastian hardly ever called him Jimmy. It usually slipped out when the other man was worried about him. Mostly he just called him Jim or boss.
Jim sighed, "I'm sort of… a consultant… but for criminals. I can see it in my head, the perfect way to do it. How not to get caught. After the whole thing with Powers… nobody even suspected me. People come to me and I make sure they're not caught. For once in my life I don't feel weak."
The blonde stared in shock, "You killed Powers? Why didn't you tell me?" He was sure that he was focusing on the wrong part of that statement but couldn't bring himself to care.
"Because it's wrong? And I enjoy it. It makes the voices shut up for a while." Jim said, closing his eyes, he couldn't watch Sebastian walk away.
"Good." When Jim's eyes flew opened he shrugged, "I'm a sniper Jim. Flexible morality is kind of a prerequisite. If it helps you then I don't particularly care about the details." After a beat of silence he added, "Now where do I sign up?"
"What?" Jim whispered, completely blindsided by the unwavering loyalty of his friend.
"C'mon. It's always been my job to protect you. Now it'll just be a little more official. Although you'll need to buy me a new rifle. I had to leave mine behind."
"I…okay." A lopsided grin formed on the brunette's face. Every time he thought that he'd gone too far Sebastian never failed to surprised him.
"Now. Who did this? We'll teach them to fear the name Moriarty."
Jim's grin turned wicked as the duo began to plot. The world would never be the same.
Sebastian waited quietly, obediently, until the room emptied and it was just him and Jim. As soon as the door closed behind the hired thugs he span and pushed Jim into a wall violently."What the fuck was that? What do you think you were playing at? Don't ever do that again." The blonde snarled, staring the brunette down.
Jim struggled, trying to push the sniper away, "Don't tell me what to do Moran! I knew what I was doing!"
"You nearly died. I've told you before. You never get involved in a fight. When things go south you get out. Leave the rest with us. If I lost you…" The blonde closed his eyes at the thought, "I'm not trying to boss you about. I'm trying to keep you alive. Am I getting through to you? I cannot lose you Jim."
Jim stared at the man crowding him into the wall. His hair had long since grown out of the buzz cut and was in need of a trim. It fell across eyes that were locked on the brunette's own. The stormy grey colour was flecked with both anger and fear. Jim didn't even have time to think about it, he leant forward and pressed his lips to Seb's. The sniper responded almost immediately, pushing him further into the wall, grip on his shirt loosening. The kiss was gentle and chaste and for a moment Jim felt like the sixteen year old he'd been when they first met.
All of a sudden it was like someone had flipped a switch. The kiss turned hungry and needy, all harsh breaths and clashing teeth. Sebastian broke the kiss and leaned his forehead against the brunette's, breathing in the scent that was so uniquely Jim. "I'm still pissed at you." He murmured against Jim's lips, breath ghosting across the smaller man's skin and making him shiver.
The Irishman laughed softly, "You can yell at me later." He curled his hands into his sniper's tee, feeling the blonde's heartbeat under his palm, warm and solid. He leaned up slightly to steal another kiss, smiling as he felt hands skim down his sides to rest on his waist.
He felt like he was coming home. Even the ever present voices hushed to a hum, the quietest he could remember them ever being. The brunette closed his eyes; he'd been an idiot not to have realised sooner. He plastered himself against Sebastian's front, tangling one hand in the blonde's hair to pull his head down for another hard kiss. "How did I not see this?" He asked wonderingly, how long had he had feelings for his best friend without knowing?
Sebastian grinned down at him, cheeks flushed. "I don't know." He began to kiss his way down Jim's neck, nipping and sucking at the pale skin, "But it's been hell waiting for you to work it out."
"You knew?" Jim asked, arching into the sniper's mouth and tipping his head back. Looking back he supposed he really shouldn't be surprised. "You always did know what I was thinking before I did."
"I did." Seb agreed, "And I still do." Pressing his lips to Jim's he deepened the kiss, biting at the brunette's bottom lip as he pulled away. "And, for the record, I love you too."
Jim narrowed his eyes, glaring at the sniper. "Love? I don't… I don't love you."
Sebastian grinned, chuckling lightly, "Yes you do Jimmy."
He was right.
Sebastian watched Watson through the scope of his rifle. The doctor was darting through the streets towards St. Bart's but the sniper had chosen his vantage point well and he easily followed the desperate man. Jim had given him his instructions that morning. If the detective didn't jump then he was to kill the doctor. Jim had smiled at him, the soft smile that was reserved only for him, and promised to take Sebastian to his favourite restaurant that night to celebrate them winning the game. The smile hadn't reached his eyes. That had been the blonde's first clue and the moment that a gunshot rang out Sebastian knew.
But he was a professional. He fought back the sick feeling in his stomach and watched closely as Holmes stood on the edge of the building. He was saying goodbye to his soldier. Something Jim never had. The moment the detective toppled, Sebastian leapt up.
He packed away his rifle messily and quickly and ran for the hospital, climbing the back stairs two at a time. He slammed open the door to the roof and sprinted to Jim's side, dropping to his knees. The sniper couldn't look at Jim's face, not yet, so he busied himself with his own shred of vengeance. Jim had wanted the detective disgraced and disgraced he would be. He pulled the gun from Jim's lax hand, wincing as he recognised it as one from his own collection, and cleared the prints off of the weapon. He dug through his kit, searching for the stolen transfers that Jim had had made of Holmes' prints. He'd wondered why the man had given them to him but now it made sense. Jim always had called him predictable. He applied the prints carefully and dropped the gun a few feet away.
Sebastian took a few breaths as he mustered the courage to look at the man he loved. He blinked back tears and pressed a kiss to Jim's forehead. On a whim he lifted the brunette's head, resolutely ignoring the hole where the bullet had smashed its way through. With his other hand he pulled the worn shoelace, now tinged with blood, from around Jim's neck and replaced it with the dog tags that hung around his own. He tucked them into Jim's shirt and lay his head back down. Idly, morbidly, he wondered if the voices were quiet now, if Jim finally had his silence. His gloves were soaked in blood and the sniper peeled them off. He tucked the panic button into his pocket and walked away, his job done.
Jim was dead. Sebastian was alone.