Genil snarled in disgust as John grinned up at him, completely irrationally defiant. He was still locked in place and still unarmed. It was a very shallow victory.
"The joke's on you this time," John said, still smiling. "This time there really is a police man coming for us. The best thing for you now would be to cut your losses and run. While you still can."
His swaggering bravado was overwhelming. Genil was far from cornered and eons away from being out-matched. John on the other hand…
Genil stuck the gun under his chin, pushing it into the meat of his jaw. John swallowed over the barrel and a knot of fear.
"I'll not be leaving empty handed," He hissed. "You forget, I'm still the one in control here! And you'll be speaking only when spoken to from now on, do you understand?"
John found it hard to nod since the gun pretty much forced his head back, but he nodded anyway because he felt he'd pushed his luck enough for one night.
"You both think you're so clever, don't you?" Genil spat, pacing in front of the sink manically. "Clever, clever detectives who've driven a mad criminal into a corner? Is that what you think?"
Was he supposed to answer? Was that a rhetorical question? John stumbled over the issue in his brain, but before he could come to a decision Genil picked up his rambling.
"But I'm not through here; oh, no! It'll take time for your police friend to find his way here! And I'll be gone before he does."
John checked the room's two exits, craning his neck to look at the one he could barely see behind Genil. No sign of Lestrade yet.
"So doctor," Genil's monologue finally rambled to a close. "What is this magical antidote you and Holmes have stumbled upon?"
John was torn between giving the correct answer and having to explain it, or holding out like a soldier and making Genil work for his answers.
"I'll answer truthfully If you do," John decided that he seemed to be in a fairly stable bargaining position. At least by Sherlock's standards. So long as Genil seemed to care about things like the antidote to his shrink-gas, he wouldn't shoot him. Probably.
By anyone else's standards he was in the least tenable position to try and squeeze answers out of the volatile maniac with his gun, but he'd seen Sherlock interrogate far more dangerous people with far better advantages before. He might as well take a risk and see if his luck would hold.
"That's not how this works," Genil growled.
Then again, he might accidentally convince Genil that the answer wasn't worth his trouble and it would be much easier to just kill him. He wasn't Sherlock after all.
John tried to steady his heaving breaths. His old war wound was smarting and the way the handcuffs pulled his shoulders back was constricting his breathing.
"Come on, just for curiosity's sake play along?" John tried to keep a neutral face and play down how important the questions were that had been burning in the back of his mind. Now that Sherlock was safely out of reach, he felt more than willing to face the myriad of questions that surrounded the entire crazy case.
Genil's stony smile twitched interestedly. "You first," he said in a low murmur.
John took a deep breath and tried to trap it in his lungs. It escaped before he had even formed the first words. His shoulder was really biting into him, and the cut on his arm was stretched and burning. It might even have been bleeding again. The pain took his breath away.
"Why? Why contact Sherlock in the first place? You knew that you were guilty, and that he was a pretty good detective. Why go to him?" John sighed, holding on to his expressionless mask.
Genil frowned. "I meant you answer me first."
"Oh," John fumbled over whether or not to tell the truth. Finally he decided that he couldn't think of a lie any more convincing than the truth.
"Just…biscuits…" Oh God he hadn't thought this through at all, had he?
Genil raised a skeptical eyebrow.
"Chocolate biscuits. Whenever Sherlock ate one he turned back into an adult after a bit of sleep."
Oh God, it sounded even stupider out loud than it had in his head!
But to his shock, Genil grinned crookedly, and even rasped out a shallow laugh.
"Common household item indeed." He said, scratching his leg with the gun.
Then suddenly he glanced up. His black eyes lit on the far corner of the room and focused, as though there was something clinging to the wall that only he could see. He followed this thing with his eyes, roaming the emptiness with rapt attention. John turned around, but saw nothing.
"I had a plan…once." He said wistfully, seeming less like a homicidal loony that had trapped two men in children's bodies and more like a regretful old man, lingering on memories long since gone.
"Things got out of hand quickly, but I had a plan. Holmes was supposed to think that unimaginative intern Damion was Doctor Fether. That he'd murdered Willie; the tramp, to cover up his findings and end a sordid love affair." And then the maniac was back. He slipped steadily into a frenzy, talking faster and with more violence as he continued.
"I had false notes and a fake experiment all set up to pin the blame on him. His apartment reeked of her! Of course they would assume that her secret lover killed her, isn't that always the way?" Genil flecked spittle out of the corners of his mouth as he raved. His face was slowly becoming flushed and his eyes, still fixed on the wall across the room, bulged out of their sockets, as though intent on escaping his skull.
"It would have only taken me one more day… but that blasted inspector and his prying questions! Everything was happening too fast!"
He scowled, as though he's suddenly found himself sucking on the sour flesh of a lemon.
"And those two blasted mercenaries dogged me day and night… There was no time to cover my tracks, or sow seeds… Only one more day…!"
He slowly turned his head away, focusing intently on the tile floor.
"But it won't do to long for things long past. The future is fast approaching."