John was upset. Why, pray tell, was he upset? He was upset because he was hiding in a changing stall, sweating under a heavy winter parka, with a bomb vest strapped to his chest. The straps from the vest were clinging to his jumper and causing it to chafe harshly against his skin every time he shifted. That was why he was upset.
Follow my every word, or you and Sherlock go up in flames.
That's what Jim from IT, no, Moriarty had hissed into his ear before connecting an earpiece and shoving him into the stall. The smell of chlorine hung heavy in the air, causing John's stomach to do backflips as he waited for his unsuspecting flat mate to show up.
Despite what Sherlock and Moriarty obviously thought, he wasn't stupid. He knew as he was leaving for Sarah's that Sherlock was going to do something stupid, and he knew that he was inevitably going to be dragged into it. Of course, he didn't foresee that he was going to be jumped, tied up, and dragged into the back seat of a mini cooper driven by a tall, burly military man with the disposition of an angry rhino, but, after all, he wasn't Sherlock.
He wasn't so arrogant to entertain the thought.
John was broken from his musings by the sharp clang of a metal door opening, alerting everyone in the nearby vicinity that Sherlock had arrived. He came bearing the Bruce-Partington plans, which Moriarty had nicely informed him that he couldn't care less about as Angry Rhino Man strapped him to the semtex. He wanted to jump out, he wanted to warn his flat mate, his friend, that he was being made an ass out of, but the earpiece suddenly came to life in his ear with the criminal's voice.
Settle down Johnny Boy, don't do anything rash...
The connection crackled uncomfortably in his ear, reminding him that he had a part to play, a script to follow. So he waited for the signal to move into Sherlock's sights. He didn't have to wait long.
Out you go John. Say: "Well, isn't this a turn up Sherlock," Moriarty's voice deepened in a parody of the army doctor's. John practically seethed at the mocking tone of the mastermind.
But John did as he was told. He walked out of the oppressive shower stall and drew Sherlock's attention to his hunched form.
"Well, isn't this a turn up Sherlock." he said stiffly, barely adequate. The voice growled in his ear slightly.
Sherlock looked at him blankly, and John felt his chest clench up a little. Sherlock… Sherlock thought…
"Bet you never saw this coming…" Moriarty's voice commanded. John regurgitated the statement to Sherlock, still focused on the disparity on Sherlock's face.
Sherlock thought he was Moriarty. Sherlock thought he was Moriarty, that idiot. After all they had gone through, Sherlock thought he was the one blowing people up? He really trusted him so little that he thought their friendship was a lie? A little voice in John's head told him that is was a sign of low self esteem that Sherlock was so wary of close relationships, but the army doctor ruthlessly quashed it.
If he was going to be in Sherlock and Moriarty's game, he was going to play by his own rules, damn it.
Now, Johnny. Open the parka and show Sherlock the bomb vest. "What should I make him say next?"
John's hands moved towards the zipper of his jacket, but froze halfway. No. He wasn't going to do it. He was in control. Not Moriarty.
What are you waiting for? Moriarty growled. Do it now!
But John didn't. Instead, he placed the most devil may care smirk he had in his arsenal, the one he reserved for when he killed a particularly vile terrorist that had blown up a truck full of his army mates, and tuned out the lilting voice of the Irishman.
"Well, well, well, the great Sherlock Holmes didn't even realize that his flat mate was his greatest enemy," he said laughingly. Sherlock's face crumpled a bit, and he felt bad for his friend, but his anger at his situation drowned out his guilt. At least this way, Moriarty wasn't in control. He was. "One look at the poor little army doctor with a psychosomatic limp and you go soft."
The line was silent in his ear, likely because no one had ever dared to defy the criminal before.
"John," Sherlock said weakly.
"I'm not John, I'm Moriarty." He snapped, getting into character. He always had been a bit of a theater nut in high school. "We're so perfect together, Sherlock, don't you see? We complete each other." John was quickly drawing inspiration from Moriarty's long winded speech to him earlier to make his persona seem more realistic.
"We do not." Sherlock scowled, gaining back his composure. "You are nothing but serial killer psychopath, with a one way ticket to a mental hospital. I will never be like you. I use my genius for something constructive, you let yours fester and rot; only using it for violence and destruction." John felt a surge of pride for his friend, who obviously cared for people despite his sociopathic tendencies. He struggled to keep his feelings off his face, focusing on keeping Moriarty angry enough that he would slip up.
"You don't know that-"
John was abruptly cut off by the tell tale stomping characteristic of an angry child. But John knew that it wasn't a child having a temper tantrum, it was someone far more sinister. Sherlock looked confused, turning away from John for a moment to look in the direction of the noise.
"YOU'RE COCKING IT ALL UP!" the real Moriarty screamed as his made his entrance. "You IDIOT!"
"Who are you?" Sherlock asked, tilting his head slightly as he took in the new arrival. Moriarty opened his mouth to answer but John beat him to it.
"That, Sherlock, is the real Moriarty," John said with a laugh. Sherlock sagged in relief and looked back at his friend with a bit of a haggard smile.
"Him? He looks more like an angry toddler to me."
"I'm not a child, I am the Consulting Criminal!" he said petulantly. Sherlock looked at him in wonder.
"Consulting Criminal… how brilliant." Moriarty seemed to preen under the praise before turning to John and looking at him appraisingly.
"John Watson, what an enigma," he muttered more to himself than anyone else. He turned to Sherlock. "I see why you keep him around. He isn't nearly as ordinary as he looks." He looked back at John. "I underestimated you." It was a simple statement, but it seemed to hold a lot more significance than either Sherlock or John could understand. Uncomfortable, John straightened and stood in parade rest, an unconscious statement that projected his military status. Moriarty's eyes gleamed at the message.
"Well, I'd better be off," Moriarty said accommodatingly. Sherlock and John shared a disbelieving look that the criminal caught, but overlooked. "MORAN!" he shouted. "Pack up, we're leaving early."
The audible click of a gun safety turning on caused John to realize just how much was at stake for both him and Sherlock. Moriarty flashed him a boyish grin as he practically pranced out of the pool area.
"I'll be seeing you two around!" he called as he exited.
"No you won't," Sherlock muttered to himself. Moriarty poked his head back in through the door and winked.
"We'll see about that. Stay interesting!" he sang as he exited again.
John rolled his eyes and realized something odd. He wasn't afraid. He wasn't even nervous. How odd…
"That was… interesting," he said, scratching the back of his head awkwardly.
"Quite," Sherlock agreed. He was still holding the Bruce-Partington plans in his hand, and he stared down at it quizzically.
"Listen Sherlock," John started, but Sherlock interrupted him.
"No John. That was… good… for me. I shouldn't have doubted you."
"I've already worked out that the reason behind your deception was an act of both rebellion and bitterness, spurred on by my blatant mistrust and Moriarty's… manhandling."
John wanted to disagree, but the only thing he ended up saying was a strangled "Yeah, Sherlock."
"Let's get out of here," Sherlock said, smiling lightly. They made their way to the same exit the criminal had used when John stopped in his tracks, snorting lightly.
"What does it say about our lives that I forgot that I was strapped to a bomb vest?" he said jokingly.
"It's too dangerous." Sherlock said seriously.
"Damn right it is," John said with equal seriousness. But they wouldn't change it for the world.
Sherlock was interrupted in his finagling of the tricky straps of the bomb vest when the doors clanged open once again.
"Sorry Boys! I'm so~ changeable!" Moriarty shouted into the still air of the pool room. Both Sherlock and John froze, but it was John who relaxed first.
"You bloody prat! What do you want now?" Moriarty snorted.
"I'm bored. And that bomb vest cost a fortune. It's designer," he said sarcastically.
"Go blow something up," Sherlock suggested.
"Sherlock," John snapped as he smacked him in the back of the head.
"What?" he whined at John.
"I'm surrounded by idiots." John moaned.
"But we both know you love it," Moriarty snickered as he walked over to where the duo was standing. He looked at them critically before stating, "There's a catch on the left strap. That's why you can't get it off." Sherlock looked at the offending strap closer before seeing the latch and pressing it, causing the vest to come off.
"Now leave," Sherlock said shortly. Moriarty huffed.
"You're welcome," he snarked.
There was an awkward pause as all three men stood there, at a bit of a loss.
"Why don't you come by Baker Street for a cuppa?" John finally asked, manners kicking in. Never mind that he was talking to the man who threatened to blow him up.
"I'd love to," Moriarty replied at the same time Sherlock shouted, "John!"
"What," John shrugged. "If he's drinking tea, he's not blowing people up." Moriarty grinned impishly.
"We'll take the mini cooper. SEBASTIAN! I'M GOING OUT! THERE'S A TV DINNER IN THE FREEZER!" the Irishman shouted at the ceiling.
A grumbling was heard before a voice John recognized as the Angry Rhino Man answered.
"Idiot," Moriarty replied fondly.
"What the hell is going on?" Sherlock exclaimed. John rolled his eyes again.
"Come on, let's go. We have Earl Grey and Green Tea."
"Earl Grey will do nicely," Moriarty said happily.
"I'm driving," he muttered sullenly.
Just a one shot! Take time to review :)