Summary: "Bit not good, Sherlock," John said, deceptively mild, after all the dust had settled and Mycroft had finally left them alone, departing with the insufferable smugness of a man whose plans had finally come to fruition, albeit 300 years late. Fusion with Star Trek Into Darkness, so spoiler warning ahead.
"Bit not good, Sherlock," John said, deceptively mild, after all the dust had settled and Mycroft had finally left them alone, departing with the insufferable smugness of a man whose plans had finally come to fruition, albeit 300 years late.
Khan stared at him, at calm, steady Captain Dr John Watson, comfortably ensconced in an armchair near the fire, cup of tea close at hand. It was so gloriously familiar, an ancient dream long-cherished; the simple warmth and domesticity tore at his non-existent heart.
"I did it for you," Khan said. "He took you. He took all of them."
John stared at him in turn; the long, patient, tight-mouthed stare that meant Khan had once more done something of which John disapproved.
"Don't make this about me," John said quietly.
"It is about you," Khan said fiercely. "He tried to use you against me. I would have killed him for that alone – John, don't you know what I'd do for you?"
For a moment John looked unbearably sad, and Khan couldn't bear it. He wanted the old John back, the bedrock-steady doctor grinning fiercely as the bullets flew, unable to hide his appreciation of Khan's brilliance.
"Look, John," he urged, one sharp hand gesture indicating the entirety of their surroundings: the ancient Victorian flat with its creaking floorboards and its unreliable heating, the chaotic mess of their belongings that would soon blend seamlessly into shared, comforting clutter. "Isn't this what you've always wanted? All those years in the desert, in every bloody warzone they sent us, you always said that this was what you dreamed of! Just the two of us, a cosy flat share in central London, you sitting near the fire and me doing experiments in the kitchen. It's really happening, John. We're free now."
"A freedom you tried to secure by murdering thousands of innocent people."
"You can't seriously expect –"
"No, Sherlock, you don't underst- for God's sake, you have no sense of proportion! You can't simply gloss over what you did and start a happy new life!"
"Really." Khan's eyes narrowed dangerously. "And who was it who executed Brigadier Moriarty?"
John looked away.
He truly was a surgeon, a specialist in trauma and emergency surgery, not a soldier with medical training or a medic embedded with front-line units. In his first years with the Army, he'd been content to remain within the bounds of regulations; as the years passed, though, he gained a taste for danger, found himself more and more in the field, working in increasingly adverse conditions and on operations that were increasingly hush-hush. Though he was not aware of it, he gained a reputation for bedrock composure, a near-mythical ability to work calmly in even the most fraught situations –
He supposed that was what drew Mycroft Holmes' attention: Mycroft Holmes, who, it was very quietly rumoured, had simply appeared out of nowhere some years ago and was now very influential and very dangerous. Mycroft, he told John in their one and only meeting in a deserted warehouse, wanted John to look after a very special unit. A unit that might benefit from John's calm, steady composure…and his practical morality.
John found himself transferred without any warning to a unit so utterly secret and off-the-books it simply did. not. exist. There were rumours of course; there were always rumours of – well, supersoldiers, secret serums, genetic engineering and so on and so forth – but John had never truly believed it. Until he found himself face-to-face with the man known as Khan Noonien Singh, and his handler and mentor, Brigadier James Moriarty.
"He was a madman," John said, all quiet, fierce determination. "All that genetic superiority Nietzchean superman bollocks – he was stark raving mad, Sherlock, and he was dragging you and the men down with him."
"And so you shot him in the back of the head."
"He had to die," John insisted.
"Oh, I'm not arguing," Khan said. His eyes flicked up, caught John's, a swift, intense connection, electric with promise. That moment when John had murdered Moriarty, pulled the trigger with eyes fixed steadily on Khan's, had been a lightning bolt of revelation. "You freed us, and I… But can't you see, John? You were willing to kill for this as well."
"It's not quite the same, Sherlock!"
No. It wasn't. John had killed Moriarty to free Khan and his men from the grip of a madman, but had failed to anticipate Moriarty's last vicious trap: the wholesale release of ultra-classified information that led to a public backlash against the supersoldiers and the call for their destruction. Not even Mycroft, miffed at John hijacking his careful plans, had been able to contain the furore, insisting that the only choice was for Khan and his men – and, by extension, John – to wait out the trouble in cryosleep and hope that when they woke it would be to a better world.
Unfortunately, Khan had woken to Admiral Marcus and his maddening blackmail.
Had Mycroft been there to fix things – but Mycroft had been frozen as well, like some bloody once-and-future minor official, awaiting Britain's darkest hour. Well, Khan had woken his dear brother with a vengeance, grabbing his attention and demanding that he put things right –
"John," Khan said simply, "I don't care about other people. I only care about you."
There was a quiet pause, as John opened his mouth to reply, a number of expressions passing over his face in quick succession. "Sherlock," John said, sighing heavily, "you can't, you simply can't lose control and go off the rails like that again. I'm serious. You can't…" he trailed off, no doubt recalling countless futile discussions and arguments on the nature of morality. Khan had no concept of it; the closest he had ever come to it was reacting to John's disappointment.
"Right," John said, scrubbing a hand over his face. "I forgot who I was talking to. Well, it's all over anyway. So. Mycroft has fixed things, at least for now –"
Khan wouldn't call covering up the explosion in London, the damage in San Francisco and Admiral Marcus' warmongering 'fixing things'. Nor were smuggling Khan and his men out of Starfleet's custody and repatriating them (most probably into Mycroft's own security forces), erasing all records of Khan Noonien Singh or John Harrison from Federation databanks and the subsequent creation of Sherlock Holmes in any way altruistic. It was Mycroft taking his first gleeful steps to becoming a 'minor official' in the Federation.
"– but if you draw attention to yourself again it could be disastrous. And for God's sake, start thinking of yourself as Sherlock, will you? Khan was Moriarty's creation."
Khan set his teeth. "And 'Sherlock' is Mycroft's."
"Well, it's a small price to pay –" John stopped, winced.
"Go on," Khan drawled. "It's a small price to pay…?"
"All right!" John snapped. "Fine. It's a small price to pay for our new lives."
Kh- Sherlock smiled widely. "You see, John? We can be whoever we want, now. I'll solve crimes instead of committing them; you'll save lives instead of taking them. And when we're done, we'll come back here, to 221 b, and we'll have all the time in the world for ourselves. And it will all be brilliant."