Just a little drabble written in the middle of the night. Inspired by the famous scene, but imagined a while after watching, so my apologies for any inaccuracies.
Sherlock's mind flicked through alternative solutions, discarding them all. There was no other way, only this. He had never been so disappointed with himself.
Before John, he would not have hesitated to end Moriarty. But now it would mean ending John as well, which was incomprehensible. His own life meant little; he would have won the battle. Beating the small evil man in front of him was all that should have mattered to him, even if it required his own death. Except now John was looking at him, the hope draining from his eyes as he absorbed the situation, slower than Sherlock of course, but fractionally faster than he would have imagined John capable of. And it took everything Sherlock had to raise a questioning eyebrow.
John nodded, as Sherlock had known he would. John was a selfless as they come, and more besides. He would sacrifice himself happily if it meant the end of Moriarty's reign. But he wasn't sacrificing, Sherlock was.
Sherlock had never spent much time deducing himself; it was much more interesting to speculate and learn about others. He was always there, after all. He could save the subject of himself for when he was alone, with little else to think about. Except, if he was honest, he rarely got around to it. And more recently, when John was there, he never spent his spare time thinking of himself. Now he wished he had put aside some time to think, because it was only now, in this second, this instant, that he realised what he had missed.
And now it was too late.
His arm was stiff as he raised it, aiming first at Moriarty and then at the crumpled vest on the floor. The vest he had ripped off John. Even then he had not examined exactly why he was so desperate to free his friend from that ever so immediate threat. Why the sense of relief at stripping it off had almost literally brought him to his knees. He should have been planning ahead, he should have known that Moriarty would not be content to leave them, he should have... But he was too preoccupied. With John, being alive.
In the seconds that he was staring down Moriarty, trying to judge what he was thinking, planning, another part of his mind was powering through memories of John, analysing, working out if there could be any chance he felt the same. And finally, his conclusion was reached.
They had lived for each other. And now they would die for each other too.
As always, I love a review or two, so go ahead, do!
p.s. for the guest that pointed out my spelling of moriate/ moriarty - thank you! I've been spelling it wrong for 20 years, even though I read it often enough...