I do not own Sherlock or Twilight and have no intention of profiting from this story.
This story picks up around the beginning of the second season of Sherlock, after the incident with Moriarty but before the Irene Adler case.
Contains some slash themes but rated M mostly for descriptions of violence.
John had just started to feel like life were getting back to normal. Well, normal-ish. Normal if you were always doing completely abnormal things. Perhaps he should stop using the word normal.
It had become routine anyway, and no one was trying to kill them so that was a plus. Of course, Moriarty was still out there, still hating Sherlock, but John had gradually stopped looking over his shoulder, stopped waking up a cold sweat thinking he felt the red lights of a sniper's rifle on his chest.
The new case had seemed the usual thing. Interesting enough to get Sherlock out of the flat. A man had been found dead in an empty room in an empty building, the room had been locked from the inside and the murder discovered by some young people looking for a place to sleep for the night. Right, good, something for the blog definitely.
Except it wasn't usual, or normal, because the man lying on the floor in front of them was Moriarty.
"Suicide?" asked Lestrade in a despairing manner.
Sherlock practically snarled at him, "His neck is broken, who breaks their own neck?"
"People who commit suicide."
Sherlock gestured around the room, "Where's the rope then? Or a necktie at least? Who hangs themselves and then neatly disposes of the means?!"
John was kneeling on the floor to examine the body. He reached out his gloved hand gingerly, telling himself over and over again that the man was dead. Moriarty wasn't going to harm them anymore. He closed his eyes briefly and took a deep breath before finally touching the cold skin.
"He wasn't hanged," he said quietly, and the other two stopped talking to listen to him. Sherlock came over quickly and crouched next to John, looking intently at him for the answer.
"His neck was snapped," Sherlock prompted when John didn't immediately continue.
"There are no marks on his skin, whoever broke his neck didn't need to use a lot of force, not enough to bruise." John broke off, trying to imagine the strength that would take.
"I don't get it," said Lestrade. "Who sets up a locked room murder and doesn't even try to make it look like suicide? What's the point?"
"Shut up," said Sherlock, pressing his palms together in front of his face and trying to focus his thoughts.
John stood and went back to Lestrade. From this vantage point in the room, Sherlock looked as though he were mourning over his fallen enemy.
"What about the writing?" whispered Lestrade to John.
"It's blood of course," said Sherlock, his voice deep and careful now. "Moriarty's blood."
"How do you know that?" asked John, surprised. "He's not bleeding anywhere."
"That's beside the point, it's a message, written in his blood, in fact the whole thing is a message."
John had already taken some pictures of the message, written in neat block letters on the floor in front of the body: "NOT HERE." The medium was obviously dried blood but it was also true there was no blood anywhere else in the room or on the body.
"A message for whom?" asked Lestrade, eyes widening. "You?"
"Of course not," said Sherlock, leaping to his feet in a single fluid movement, "if it were, I would understand it."
"What am I looking at?" asked John. On the slab in front of him, Moriarty's body looked smaller than he remembered, almost sad, with all the seething, blazing life drained out of it.
Sherlock's gaze darted excitedly from the body to John and back again. "Don't you see?"
John rolled his eyes, "Obviously not. Enlighten me."
Sherlock jabbed his finger at Moriarty's right wrist.
"I don't get it."
Sighing, John leaned over and examined the wrist. It looked normal enough except for the small patch of unusually smooth skin over the pulse.
"A scar, maybe." he said, puzzled, it looked very strange.
"More than that!" Sherlock ran back to his equipment and stared excitedly through his microscope. "That new skin isn't the result of a wound being healed. He was cut, that's how the blood got on the floor, and then the wound was sealed, artificially!"
"With what?" John searched his memory for possible substances that could have been used.
"Like snake venom?"
"Like no venom that exists," breathed Sherlock, and then actually hopped up and down in glee. John couldn't help but smile.
They were interrupted by Lestrade, and two other men, the appearance of whom made Sherlock immediately quiet down and look away pointedly, as though not wanting to be disturbed.
"John, Sherlock, these men are from Interpol, Agents Vladimir and Stefan. Gentleman, may I present John Watson and Sherlock Holmes."
John shook their hands politely. "Must be a bit nippy out there, eh?" He said to be friendly.
"What?" the taller, darker, of the two glared at him suspiciously.
John fidgeted, "Your hands are cold, the temperature must be dropping out there."
"Oh, right," the man eased back a little but his blonde companion, so pale that he was almost an albino, gave John a predatory look that made him back away to the other side of the slab.
The two men were making John feel downright creeped out now. There was definitely something off about them despite their flashy suits, and Sherlock wasn't helping, giving curt replies to Lestrade's queries and ignoring the newcomers altogether.
John breathed a sigh of relief when the three of them finally left.
"Why were you so rude to them, Sherlock?"
"Because they were the intended recipients of the message and I didn't feel like helping them."
"Of course they weren't Interpol agents, wrong suits, wrong shoes, wrong haircuts."
"Why didn't you warn Lestrade then?"
"They don't care about him." Sherlock was typing furiously into his laptop. "And another thing," he looked up suddenly and frowned.
"They were pretending to breathe." Sherlock went back to typing.
"Sorry, what? How can someone pretend to breathe?"
"Oh all right," said Sherlock, exasperated. "Go ahead and split hairs. They were pretending to need to breath."
John debated questioning further, then shrugged and gave up. "Do you think they understood the message?"
"Yes. I don't think they were expecting it though."
"Oh, right, so an unexpected message from an anonymous source delivered through a locked room murder made not to look like a suicide complete with a message written in the victim's blood, and the victim's only wound has been sealed with something that isn't snake venom. Good, yes, seems normal enough."