Jim stepped into the room, the lights dimmed just as he had requested. The room was much lower quality than he was used to but since he wouldn't be sleeping there, it didn't really matter. He made his way over to the bed, his company for the night already naked and cast in shadow, obscuring his face.

"I assume everything has been explained to you?" Jim neatly removed his suit jacket. He went to put it on the chair but made a face in disgust. Even with the lights mostly off he could see what a dump the place was. He didn't want his high quality fabric touching such filth. Instead he hung it up in the closet where it wasn't touching anything except the hanger.


"Don't." Jim hissed, cutting the man off, whipping his head around quickly. "I thought everything was explained."

"You asked –"

"Shut up." Jim hollered and the man was cowed into silence. "You're ruining it. If I ask you a question, you will nod or shake your head. Don't make me get creative on what to do with your tongue should you disobey my rules again."

The man nodded and waited for Jim's instructions. Jim carefully removed the rest of his clothes, keeping his socks on so his feet wouldn't touch the dirty floor. Making his way over to the bed, Jim stood beside it and closed his eyes. Slowly, he rotated his neck and tried to calm himself.

"I think I'm in love with you."

Jim smiled and brought his hand down, teasing his fingers over his flaccid prick.

"I still want you to touch me and kiss me and fuck me."

He grasped himself more tightly and gave himself one long stroke. His cock started to show some interest.

"Come here and suck me." Jim ordered and heard the bed shift. Warm lips were wrapped around the head of his cock and it began to harden further. "Don't look up at me. I don't want to see your face."

Jim opened his eyes and looked down, seeing nothing but dark blond hair. He smiled happily and ran his fingers through it, curling his fingers over the nape of the man's neck.

"It doesn't make sense but it feels like love."

"John." Jim moaned as his cock filled completely. He pushed the man off him. "You've done as I asked?"

The man nodded and Jim arranged him on the bed just as he wanted him; face down in the pillows with his arse up in the air. Positioning himself behind him, Jim pushed inside the already stretched hole. The body shape was completely wrong, hips a little too slender and the stomach too flat. So Jim concentrated on the hair, almost a perfect match.

"Don't turn around, if I see your face, you'll regret it." Jim warned as he began to thrust. His eyes fluttered closed and he lost himself in sensations, John's words swirling through his mind.

"We've got as much time as we want."

"You're not a monster Jim and I'm not going to treat you like one."

"Please Jim, I love you, just stay with me, I love you."

Jim's eyes snapped open and something like a sob choked its way from his throat. His fingernails dug into skin and he was so close to coming. He stared at that blond head of hair and could see his old flat so vividly that he felt as if he were back there. He groaned as he felt his balls tighten; just thinking about being back at his flat with John was enough to get him there.

Then the man he was with twisted to look at Jim, the illusion shattering. His flat fell away along with any fantasy of John being there. Jim let out a roar of frustration and reached for the knife he kept in his sock. In one swift move, he grabbed that perfect hair and forced the man up, slitting his throat in one quick movement. There was a gurgling noise as the man choked on his own blood. The sight of blood splattering against the wall was enough to finish Jim off but his orgasm wasn't nearly as thrilling as the kill had been.

He let the fake John fall onto the bed, his cock slipping out of him as he went down. Calmly, Jim went to the closet and grabbed his expensive brand of underwear, slipping them on. Retrieving his phone from his jacket pocket, he dialed Moran and waited for the call to connect.

"Jim?" Moran asked, sounding groggy from sleep. "Something wrong?"

"Clean up on aisles twelve." Jim responded, going into the bathroom. He used his own handkerchief – wetting it in the sink – to clean the blood off of his face. He didn't trust the hotel towels after seeing the state of the room.

"Damn it Jim, again? This is the third time this week." Moran complained but Jim could hear him getting dressed and ready in the background.

"It's not my fault if they can't follow a few simple instructions."

"You know, if you keep this up we're going to attract unwanted attention." Moan chastised him. Jim hated being lectured.

"Nevermind that, tell me where we are with Irene."

"Apparently Sherlock and John already broke into Irene's home. Taxi!" Moan shouted and Jim held the phone away from his ear for a moment until the shouting stopped. "She managed to keep them from getting the phone. The Americans got involved."

"Ah yes of course, typical Mycroft. Send the Americans in to do his dirty work. The Americans kill Irene and Mycroft gets the phone. He's the hero and wasn't it a shame those American ruffians just happen to get involved." Jim sneered, turning off the bathroom light as he left and went to the closet to retrieve his clothes. If Moran was already en route, it meant he would be there within ten minutes. Jim wanted to be gone before then.

"From what I can tell he had no choice letting them in on this." Moran informed Jim, murmuring quietly so he wasn't overheard by the taxi driver. "But I'm sure he appreciates the extra muscle."

"Sherlock, John and the Americans were all in her house and she still managed to get away?" Jim almost giggled with how delicious it was.

"She is impressive sir."

"And such fun too." If he wasn't holding a phone, Jim would have clapped his hands together with glee. "Do remind me to talk shop with her once we get a quiet moment. I think I'm going to need it once I'm back on the scene."

"So you're still planning on informing Watson that you're alive."

"Of course I am." Jim frowned at himself in the closet mirror as he did up his shirt. "It's the whole point of this endeavor."

"It isn't just to fuck with Holmes and his brother? Get them back for trying to kill you and making you fake your death."

"Just an added bonus darling, not the main objective."

He heard Moran sigh; the man probably hadn't even tried to hide it. He'd made his feelings about this plan perfectly clear and Jim had ignored them. "I'm five minutes out." Moran changed the subject knowing he wouldn't convince Jim of anything.

"I'll be gone in two. If I stay here longer I think I might catch something." Jim responded and hung up. He slipped his tie on, expertly doing it up before slipping on his jacket.

He left the door unlocked for Moran (not that he couldn't break in easily enough but why waste the time?) and strolled out of the hotel. Things were progressing nicely with Irene and all according to schedule. The woman really was a marvel. He'd have to ask her how John looked when she'd seen him. But until then he brought up all the footage he had from Irene's house and watched it as he walked. He chuckled at Sherlock's preposterous disguise as a vicar.

All laughing stopped when he heard one of the Americans say "On the count of three, shoot Doctor Watson." Jim held the phone so tightly that the screen looked about ready to crack. He would make certain they paid for that little judgment error. Jim hadn't gone to all this trouble just to see John shot by some CIA thug.

Still, John was alive and things were on track. At this rate Jim would make himself known to John in just under two weeks. He couldn't help smiling at that. Just in time for the New Year.


John couldn't tell you why he hated Irene Adler so vehemently. Maybe it was because she seemed to be playing Sherlock so expertly. Maybe it was Sherlock's reaction to her. The fact that she could reduce Sherlock to a babbling mess so easily had John just a little bit steamed.

They weren't together, Sherlock and John, not technically. Sherlock still had his aversion to sex and so they didn't have sex. But they kissed and sometimes they would cuddle. John slept in Sherlock's bed more often than not, just to sleep, nothing more. However John was a sexual being and although he had tried to get along with just masturbation, he soon grew sick of his left hand. He craved the warmth of a human body against his own. He'd had a string of girlfriends but none of them quite knew how to deal with his and Sherlock's odd relationship. Truthfully, John himself didn't know how to deal with his and Sherlock's relationship.

The trickiest part about it was that John was, for all intents and purposes, in love with Sherlock. They worked well together and every time they were even a little bit affectionate, John would get this warm feeling spreading through his chest. But Sherlock was still Sherlock so those moments came few and far between.

So John was not wholly surprised when Jeanette went the way of all his other girlfriends, out the door, never to return. He wasn't too terribly upset about it. It had been nice having someone but he couldn't blame her for leaving. But she would have been a welcome distraction from Sherlock and whatever was going on between him and Irene.

John didn't like being jealous; it wasn't a feeling he was comfortable with. However he could recognize it for what it was. If Sherlock didn't do sex then why had a naked woman affected him to greatly? If sex plus Sherlock equaled nothing but Sherlock plus naked woman equaled Sherlock is an incoherent mess, clearly John was missing something in the equation. Perhaps it wasn't sex Sherlock had an aversion to, but sex with John.

He didn't know what to feel when Irene turned up dead. He knew a large part of it was relief that their lives could go back to normal, or as normal as it ever got at Baker street. Yet it felt like Sherlock had had something important taken away from him. It was certainly how he was behaving, playing his violin and not eating, basically pining away for a woman he hardly knew. Why had her death made such an impact when Sherlock had only met her for about ten minutes?

Why did John continue to loathe her even after she was dead and gone? Well John knew better than anyone that feelings didn't end in death, at least not for those left behind.