Chapter 12 – John Watson, Then and Now

I just want to point out that I've already given a lot of clues in this story, almost from the beginning. But as we're nearing the end now, and its all going to come out anyway, its really not fair to ask me for early revelations. Patience, my wonderful readers. Be like John. It won't be too long now. And I must say, if anyone hasn't worked it out yet, then the reveal is going to be absolutely unexpected. *grins widely*

But for all that, I do extend my very warm thanks to everybody who reviewed and followed and favorited and even read this story. You, all of you who pushed the readership on this story above 10,000 with the last chapter, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Its where the best things are, really. Brilliant people, the lot of you!

Heartfelt thanks of the warm variety go out to mervoparkite, Astrido, kitkatthevampirelover92, sakura-blossom62, Little-bit-of-Sherlock-Holmes, WL Chastain, feyechelon, Spades, Oceanbreeze7, beemoh, World'sOnlyConsultingTimeLady, and FanFiction Queen. Your reviews have carried me on and forward through this story, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate them.

mervoparkite: You know, I've always thought John is an intelligent in his own way. True that he may leave a lot of the thinking up to Sherlock and he may not reach the same level of clarity as the genius, but is quite capable to making life-changing decisions that are socially acceptable and well thought out. He's not there just for shooting people Sherlock runs afoul of; he also has pretty good brains. That's what this story is about. That John can be as good as the Holmeses and Moriarty as fighting a mental war as he is good at fighting a physical one. One that note, here's the next chapter up. Hope you like it!

Astrido: Well, if you go over the previous chapters, John was there for many of the initial operations, but later on he left those missions to his teams and came back to London to prepare for the rest of the game. So his personal involvement has been half and half. But it is definitely John pulling all the strings. Enjoy the next chapter!

kitkatthevampirelover92: Ah, you caught that. Yes, it was rather fun turning the tables on Sherlock. Obviously he was somewhere there, observing from the shadows. The scene is significant for several reasons, which I will clarify when the end rolls around. Meanwhile, please enjoy this next chapter!

sakura-blossom62: Yeah, well, the Holmes brothers aren't quite used to John displaying his intelligence so much except for medical related matters. They've underestimated his quiet, controlled nature. So when John does something has huge and unexpected as this, the Holmeses are left to doubt themselves. Plus, John's picked up a few things in the time he spent with both Sherlock and Mycroft. He may not be a genius, but he does notice things. Perks of being a damn good doctor. As for Moran being on the side of the angels, well. That's part of the revelation and so I won't comment on that. We will just have to wait for the explanations. The next chapter is up now. Happy reading!

Little-bit-of-Sherlock-Holmes: I love BAMF!John too. He is just so naturally a hardball player that seeing him play second fiddle to Sherlock really makes me sad. They should have done more justice to his character rather than turn him into Sherlock's gopher. But anyway that's why we have fanfics! And not that Sherlock can ever actually be 'normal' (Sherlock would shudder at the mere thought!), but I do see your point. Lol. I hope you enjoy this next chapter. Happy Reading!

WL Chastain: Really Chaz? Did you have to do that to poor, defenseless, sweet Doctor Watson? Taking the mickey out of the man simply because he loves his tea? A Bit Not Good, my dear. Besides, it could still be a mark of respect for his tenure in three different continents. At least that's how I see it. Makes him more manly! If only that would work on the ladies, it certainly would make his love life more interesting. (sigh!)

Though now you've put a mental picture into my head. It goes something like this – John goes to lady friend's house for a good time. They have tea. It is good tea. They move on to more fun activities. And when finally John reaches the end of his tether he shouts, "Aaah! Earl Grey! Twinning! PG Tips! Oh err, hi Janet."

OMG! I need to scrub out my brain now! Enjoy the new chapter while I go do that. Cheers!

feyechelon: That happens so often with me. Finding stories and then waiting for the next update. Thank you for stopping to wait for my story too. Here's the new chapter. Hope you like it!

Spades: I know what you mean. John's double background from the medical and army side allows a lot of ground to cover and work with. Its not only made him the person he is now, but also gives him many of the qualities we love to see in a strong character like he obviously is. And he covers all three bases – emotionally, mentally and physically. John Watson is just perfect. Here's the next chapter now. Happy Reading!

Oceanbreeze7: Wow. Thank you for such an encouraging review. I write the kind of stories I would like to read, and I try my best to make sure that my readers will like them too. Thank you for taking the time to review here. I hope you will like this next chapter.

beemoh: If 'badassery' was a genre, I'd be the happiest on earth! So glad you liked it. Here's the next chapter up now. Enjoy!

World'sOnlyConsultingTimeLady: You are most welcome. Here's the latest update with the new chapter. Hope you like it. Happy Reading!

FanFiction Queen: Caught the little bit of sarcasm in your review there. But I'm sure you're a mind reader because a back-story is what I sort of cover in this chapter. Good to meet another BAMF!John admirer. Don't get to see too many of them. The final showdown is just down the road now. We've come full circle. Meanwhile, hope you enjoy this next chapter. Thank you for the review. Enjoy!

All songs used in this chapter belong to 3OH!3 and not at all to me. But I hope you like them. The order is listed at the end if you want to listen while you read. Enjoy!

In the next day and a half a change had been engineered, introduced and accomplished by the little band of government and military conspirators. It is an unexpected move, one that only three people know about. Well, four, if you count the victim of this leg of the game.

The victim? One Sherlock Holmes.

At present he's busy trying to glare in his older brother's direction from within the restricting confines of a blindfold and a straitjacket, which they hope will hold him for at least a while longer so they can explain some things to him. Some of the other players are outside the door, waiting for their cue.

"Settle down Sherlock. Had you agreed to actually listen to us peacefully, you wouldn't be in that contraption."

"Had you bothered to involve me in your plans before, you wouldn't be needing this 'contraption', Mycroft."

Mycroft Holmes pinched the bridge of his nose, staving off a headache. It was far too late in the night to be arguing with his headstrong brother, and yet that is exactly what he was forced to do.

"You know why we could not involve you Sherlock. Be reasonable."

"And because of your insistence on being 'reasonable' instead of calling me in at the first sign of danger, you have managed to accomplish the exact opposite of the only thing I asked you to do for me. John is now in danger because of you. I hope you're happy."

"Stop sulking Sherlock."

"I'll stop sulking when you let me out of this thing and give me what I need to help John."

"Oh, we're just going in circles." Mycroft opened the door and called to someone outside. "You can come in now."

"And whom have you called now, brother?"

"A friend of yours'." And then he directed the rest of his words to the person outside. "Get him out of that and make sure he stays in here. The detail will be outside. Anything at all that you need, just tell them."

Curious, he didn't hear a reply. Shouldn't there have been a reply? He rather doubted the British Government would overlook blatant subordination like that. Unless … That scent, burnt wood and smoke and cement and rain. He smiled.

"Hello Ash. Welcome back."

Mycroft sighed. "Try not to run him ragged again, Sherlock. You will be given further information when it is time. Goodnight."

He heard one set of footsteps moving away and down some stairs, and another moving across a wooden floor towards him. A sudden half thunk told him that at least part of the floor was carpeted. The scent of smoke moved around him and he felt hands jerking and pulling at his restraints. When the blindfold came loose, the person behind him whipped it away smartly and he allowed the little light in the room settle on his eyelids before opening them to see Ash standing in front of him holding a card.

Raising a brow at the means, he nevertheless looked at the message printed there.

'Patience is a virtue, my dear. Even for you, especially for you, as impulsive as you are. For two years you have been running around the world chasing shadows. Now the shadows are chasing you. Everyone knows you have one weakness. John Watson. You died for him. Not everyone knows you also have one strength. John Watson. You killed for him.

But you left him behind to wait for you. Like John Watson said, you risk your life to prove you're clever because you're an idiot. You never stop to think how the people you leave behind will feel. And you didn't think. John is a war vet. with PTSD and you jumped in front of him. Did you ever wonder what happened to him? You broke your friend. Destroyed the only good thing you had in your life. Because you never understood just how invested he was in you.

So now you have nothing. Nothing but a chance to try and make this right. To not be an idiot again. You will receive your instructions later. Do not try to leave these rooms. You are watched constantly by more people than you know. For the sake of my sanity and the future of this country, try nothing and the end may still be amiable.

Goodnight Sherlock Holmes. Sweet dreams.'

Odd. The author had said a lot and yet said nothing. The only definitive information to be gleaned from the message was that he was to wait for instructions at this person's whim and he wasn't allowed to leave this place. Well, at least he would have company. He nodded to Ash to show he understood and the man once more bent to undo the buckles and remove the straitjacket, taking it away from Sherlock immediately. The detective narrowed his eyes in speculation, but said nothing. Instead he turned his attention to the missive now resting on the coffee table.

"Considering that the message has been printed, the author had obviously known about this meeting today. So it could not have been you Ash, even though you have doubtless known about this plan for longer than just this evening. Which obviously means that it had been prepared in advance for this meeting by someone else. Not Mycroft, no. Someone else who knows me and my brother and about my current status. But for once, I have absolutely no idea. And I won't have sufficient data until the instructions arrive."

With that, he flounced off to the nearby sofa and threw himself onto it, one hand on his stomach, the other hanging limply off the side of the sofa. There was nothing more to be done, but that didn't stop his mind from working out all the nuances of what he did know. When that resource was unsatisfactorily exhausted, he turned to thinking about John.

It was all he'd been doing since he returned. Either thinking about John or following him and his friends. It had surprised him to learn that John had re-joined the Met on their crime scenes and had in fact helped to apprehend several criminals, including the one arrest he witnessed in person. Though he was happy for his doctor, the change he witnessed in the man after his scuffle with the murdered was painful.

He hadn't seen this side of the man, lost, unsure, on edge, even in the beginning of their partnership. John had always kept that side of him hidden from the detective. He hadn't wanted pity, a feeling Sherlock understood well. But the way he'd broken down and that he'd allowed Lestrade to see him in that condition was frightening. It made the detective unsure of his own welcome, a doubt he had harbored since the beginning of his 'trip' and was now enforced.

Shifting down into the cushions, he made himself comfortable, closed his eyes, opened his mind and went into his Mind Palace to see his memories of John. They had been his only support in these two years. He allowed a sigh to escape his lips, already too far lost in his memories to notice Ash watching him with concern.

Opening the doors to his Mind Palace, Sherlock walked down long halls and corridors till he reached the Summer Wing; an entire section of his palace set aside for all things John Watson. Everything about John was here, from memories and conversations to images and scents, Sherlock had saved them all.

He walked up to the doors, towering creations made of solid oak, supported by walls the colour of an autumn sunset. Dragging his fingers down the grainy texture of the oak doors, he rested his forehead against them, drawing a deep breath to fortify himself. Then he threw them open.

At once Sherlock was enveloped in the essence of John Watson; warmth, love, acceptance and peace. The sheer strength of these attributes, which he attached with just one man, literally took his breath away every time he opened this door. Just like the man who to him was the living embodiment of them. He gasped for breath, closing the doors behind him, not willing to share his John Watson with anything or anybody else. Already he had taken residence in the largest part of his mind, overtaking others every day he shared himself unselfishly with Sherlock.

Over time Sherlock had learnt and come to accept that John Watson was an unstoppable force of nature. He gave of himself freely to all that he loved and was as strong as the oak as a deterrent to everything that stood between them. His John was a fighter, strong and formidable, long before he became a soldier. It was in his nature to be ruthless and he fought with himself every day to keep that side of him under control. Of course, Sherlock had wanted to know the deepest darkest parts of John Watson, but as it stood, it would take something exceptional to make John reveal that side of him. Something that threatened those he considered under his protection.

It was in this struggle that Sherlock had discovered John Watson's dark side. Predictable really; he should have known it would be a case. Walking towards a picture on a far wall, Sherlock sat in his own armchair and began to watch the memory play.

"Where are we going today?" John asked as he locked the door to 221B behind them.

"Lestrade called. He wants some help with a hate crime."

"Hate crime? Why are you taking it?"

"Apparently, according to accounts, it's a gay man killing other gay men." Sherlock hailed a taxi and they got in. "Do you remember the suicide two weeks ago? A man killed himself without apparent cause at a popular nightclub. Ingested poison pills much like our first case. There were several more found in his pocket with his prints on them. He was the first. A week later, another man was found dead behind another nightclub, stabbed twice through the heart. The two cases had nothing in common. They didn't know each other, had nothing in common, no friends. There were no connections at all; at least not at first glance. And not to the police. So Lestrade called me in."

"Why now though?"

"Obvious, John! There's been another one."

"Okay, so where is it that we're going that you had me wear these clothes?"


"Barcode? The … gay club, right?"


"Why there?"

"What better place to catch a gay man who kills other gay men at gay bars?"

John was quiet a moment. "But how do you know he'll be there?"

Sherlock sighed. "Over the past week, I've examined the data and filled in a lot of blanks. All three bodies were found in a 2 mile radius of Barcode, suggesting that it could be a possible focal point or even a haunt for the killer. Both victims were frequent patrons at Barcode until exactly a month ago when they shifted to other clubs. Why? That was when they found out about their lover's infidelity. He'd been seeing about 5 people at the same time and unfortunately for them, they all happened to meet at Barcode. It wasn't planned, simply a coincidence. They called him on it. What they didn't know is that this man was living under an alias and is actually a criminal by the name of Albert Fletcher, notorious for his sexual escapades while in prison. Fletcher decided to silence them and two are now dead, two others have left town and the last one is under police protection. But he's agreed to be our bait for the evening. Lestrade agreed."

The cab stopped and Sherlock looked out. "And we're at Barcode to catch a killer." He bounded out of the cab while John paid the fare.

"Which still doesn't explain to me why we're dressed like this." John waved at the detective's impressive figure in his cerulean shirt slim fit and open at the neck, paired with skin tight leather pants that hugged his hips like a glove, black belt and patent black leather shoes.

Then he looked down at his own clothes. Sherlock had laid them out for him and bounced off without explanation. Black T-shirt that showed off his broad shoulders and tanned well-muscled arms, sleeveless black leather jacket, black belt in tapered black jeans, his dog tags and his combat boots. According to Sherlock, his obvious military bearing coupled with the ensemble made him look dangerous.

John sighed. The clothes were something he had bought after he'd met Sarah. Clara had taken him out shopping, something he still regretted. It had been ages since he'd had to accompany Harry and he'd forgotten how exhausting shopping with a woman could be. Still, they had come back with an interesting selection of club-centric clothing and John had only worn some of them twice on his dates with Sarah. After the Blind Banker case he'd forgotten about them entirely.

"Disguise John. Dress code is a requirement here. We have to blend in." They walked to the club's entrance and were allowed in without a murmur. The detective turned to his companion a bit smug. "You see?"

"Yeah yeah. How did you even know I still had these clothes?"

"Honestly John." Sherlock scoffed in that 'you obviously know how, don't bore me' tone.

John sighed. "Right. Alright." He moved to the bar and ordered a gin and tonic. "Anything for you, Sherlock?"

The detective was busy typing on his phone, although where he'd kept it in those skin tight, hip hugging leather pants was anybody's guess. "Mm, what?" He looked up and his narrowed for a second at the drink in John's hands. "No. At least one of us should stay sober."

John seemed offended at the implication. "I'm not going to get drunk, Sherlock."

"Oh fine." Sherlock joined him at the bar, leaning against the top, keen eyes searching the crowds.

"What now?"

"Now, we mingle. Probably best to to it in turns though. I'll talk to the bartender, you talk to the people out there," he waved to the sea of bodies on the dance floor.

"Okay, do you have a photo of this guy?"

Sherlock pulled out his phone and flicked over the screen then handed it over. John found himself looking at a fairly regular bloke, brunette and easy enough to identify with the scar on his cheek. Then his brain caught up with the rest of Sherlock's words.

"Wait. You want me to dance out there!?"

"Come on John. You're smart and good looking. You find enough dates from among London's female members. You shouldn't have any problems finding dancing partners here."

"You want me to dance more than once!"

Sherlock looked at his flatmate in some concern. His eyes were wide and glazed over and he seemed to have difficulty breathing. He pulled his phone free from a lax grip. "You're not going to throw up, are you? These leathers are new."

John scowled at the detective and regained his composure. Tossing back his drink he ordered a shot of Jack. As soon as he got his drink, he picked it up and walked away, shouldering his way through to the DJ off to one side of the dance floor. Quite suddenly, the music changed.

'When I come up in the club I'm talking mad shit,

Come up in the club, I'm 'bout to get my ass kicked,

'Coz I'm sipping on some Gin,

Sip-sipping on some Jack,

Slip 60 in her panties with my number on the back.'

The lyrics barely registered after that when he saw John Watson on the dance floor. The man had given himself up to the music, rolling his head to shift the tension in his shoulders. He pushed his shoulders back, swaying his hips as he walked. He was a predator stalking his prey.

His right hand kept firm hold on the glass of Jack in his hand, the left trailed fingers down the chest of a young blond twenty-three year old. John hooked his fingers through the belt loops and pulled him forward, forcing the boy balance himself against his hard chest while he licked a line up the smooth line of his jaw, laving his earlobe with his tongue. Leaving the boy gasping, John threw back his shot and thrust the glass towards a nearby server.

And then John Watson danced.

Sherlock felt his mouth go dry. He had always known that John was a sensual creature. But John had always kept that part of himself away from the logic and rationality the detective insisted on in his Work. The doctor was a good conduit for all those pesky human emotions that the detective didn't understand and didn't bother with anyway. He'd never thought about it beyond that.

But this. This was different. This was new. This was so much more than data.

This dark side of his quiet, normal flatmate, emerging from behind a veritable shield of hideous jumpers. How had John kept this hidden from him?

Right. He had simply never paid any attention before. Obvious.

'You think you're tight but my ice gets colder
In ballerado fighting with my soldiers
You know we clean never smoking that doja
The gang sign – cause that's what we hold up.'

He watched John pull another man to him, a brunette, dancing hip to hip. He slid one hand into his partner's hair, pulling his head to one side as he attached his mouth to the exposed neck. Sherlock felt his pants getting tight as that unknown man panted heavily under the assault.

Going by the selection of songs he was dominating the dance floor with, John Watson had done this before. These were not the moves of a nervous, inexperienced novice. The soldier moved confidently, each movement measured and meaningful. The detective watched as the not-familiar doctor exuded danger and seduced man after man on that dance floor bathed in a slew of colors.

He wasn't the only one.

The air was getting hot and heavy as the obviously dominant male danced with an increasing number of preening potential partners. The songs ensured the mood was firmly under the soldier's unrelenting control.

'Purebred – shining with the nice coat…
Your head – when I sick em at the right throat…
Big teeth – shock collars on their necks…
You fuck with 3OH!3 and motherfuckers know they're next.'

Sherlock lost track of time, mesmerized by the sight of his flatmate. That was apart from the fact that the problem with his pants was so acute he couldn't have moved if he tried. His hands were clenched tight, nails digging into the soft palms, the pain keeping him somewhat grounded. He wanted nothing more than to rip his partner away from all those prowling dogs, salivating at the salacious thoughts directed towards his soldier.

He was careful to keep thoughts of those hands and hips against his body away from conscious thought. He had to stay objective. John wasn't making it easy on him with that fierce controlled expression on his face.

At some point of time he became aware of the DI and his team standing at his shoulder. There was no sound of a greeting. One look over his shoulder explained why. They were all busy watching John. Lestrade, to his credit, watched John for a while before shifting his gaze away to look for their killer. Donovan, on the other hand, couldn't seem to get her eyes off the doctor. She swallowed convulsively and Sherlock turned back to see John grinding his hips into the man in front on him, graceful and sure.

It was their informant. And John had his mouth against his ear, nipping and sucking lightly on his neck. The boy let his head roll back to rest against the soldier's shoulder. For a second he saw John grin darkly.

He made to rise and felt a hand come down on his shoulder. Lestrade looked down at him and said, "Don't. Not now. We're almost there."

Sherlock frowned and looked at where Lestrade was pointing. Albert Fletcher was in the circle, approaching John. He ripped the younger man dancing with the soldier from his place and danced closer. Without missing a beat John stepped back watching the newcomer with hooded eyes. A criminal against a war-hardened soldier. Eyes shining with a strange light, Fletcher made the first move.

And was answered appropriately.

Still dancing, John pushed away the arm that would have pinned him face to face with Fletcher. Flawlessly, he twisted the arm down and under, turning Fletcher around, bringing him back to front and held him there.

'I got my wolf on my white T…
He wont bite me – fucking with me and you get bitten most likely…
Howling at the moon – growling at the lightning…
The slang I spit is mad frightening…'

As they watched, John teased the killer, running his hands over his body, skimming the top of his thighs, all the while holding him securely. He reached up and nipped the man's ear, making him flinch. Unnoticed by the killer, he slipped free Fletcher's belt and brought it up to wind around his neck, pulling the cinch tight. Even from this distance, he could see Fletcher tremble.

'I got a chokechain for my pit bull, mane…
I got a shock collar for my rottweiler…
I got a chokechain…
I got a shock collar…'

John pulled the belt, making Fletcher's knees buckle and whispered in his ear. The killer nodded, a sheen of sweat on his brow and allowed John to lead him towards the washrooms around the back. On the way, John threw a look at the waiting DI and nodded minutely. Sherlock was surprised that John had been aware of the Met's presence.

Minutes after the police entered the washrooms, a bellow of rage echoed through the bar. John emerged with ruffled hair and skinned knuckles, making a beeline for the bar. By the time he got another shot of Jack, the Met were already manhandling Fletcher away, the latter sporting a black eye and a bruise on his face and trauma to his stomach judging by the way he was walking. Lestrade nodded and waved at the two and took his leave. John turned to Sherlock.

"Well, the case is over. You go home now. I'm going to stay a while. Forgot how much I enjoyed this." He rose and tossed back the Jack and made to walk away. "Don't wait up," he called over his shoulder.

Sherlock watched John wade back into the sea of writhing bodies that parted to welcome him in. Another song began, jolting his senses.

'I'm not your boyfriend, baby…
I aint your cute little sex toy…
I'm not your lion or your tiger…
Wont be your nasty little boy…'

And Sherlock surged to his feet, pushing his way through to reach John's side, pulling away the man he was already dancing with. John watched him warily, his eyes dark, body swaying but tense. Sherlock moved into his personal space, as always disregarding all social conventions, looking down at the unfamiliar look in those deep blue eyes. Tentatively he put his hands on John's hips, moving his body to John's rhythm, letting him lead, while ducking his head to place a light kiss on John's lips.

As if John was waiting for it, he pushed one leg between Sherlock's lanky ones, moved his hands up, one harshly supporting his neck, the other burying itself into his dark curls, possessively holding Sherlock in place as he roughly took his mouth.

'You know I rep this shit - I gots it tatted on my skin
And if you fucking with my city - then you fucking with my kin
You know I rep this shit - I got my hands up on your chest,
Motherfuckers best believe it - that you fucking with the best.'

Genius that he was, Sherlock got the message and smoothed his hands over John's shoulders and down his back, easing away the tension, trying to reassure his partner. John must have understood because his kisses became softer, still plundering his mouth and leaving him breathless, but more gentle. His hands dropped, coming to rest on the small of his back rubbing in small circles as the other lightly rubbed into his curls.

Sherlock felt stupidly, deliriously high, the hard heat at his hips scattering his thoughts, threatening imminent insensibility. Before he could lose what little control he had left, John pulled him down into a soft kiss and whispered, "Shall we go home?"

"Oh God, yes."

Turning smartly, John turned and marched out, pulling Sherlock along by the hand. He waved and nodded to the DJ, who waved back. There was already a taxi waiting outside and John pushed Sherlock in ahead of him, before getting in and shutting the door and giving the address.

The detective blushed and squirmed under the doctor's heated gaze, but didn't pull his hand from where it rested within the doctor's grasp. He sighed as a thumb smoothed gently circles into the skin on his wrist, right on the pulse point. But when he looked at John, he found the doctor looking out his window, a small smile on his face and he was suddenly grateful for the time to collect his wayward thoughts.

When the cab stopped at 221B, Sherlock had reached several crucial conclusions. Letting John pay the fare, he rushed to open the door and let himself into the flat. He heard John coming up the stairs, neither fast, nor slow, but just as usual, the rhythm of a regular day at Baker Street. He turned to face his friend.

And was shocked into silence.

"We crossed a line today, Sherlock. A line that could make us more than friends if that's what you want. If you want this, tell me. If you're not comfortable with taking the next step, just say so and nothing needs to change. I will not be mad at you, and I will not leave. I know this is unexpected and big, so you can take all the time you need to decide on this. But understand this, whatever you decide, I will always be your friend and I will always be here for you."

Having given this speech calmly and without the slightest hesitation, John nodded to his flatmate and walked into the kitchen, filling the flat with the sound of a kettle filling in preparation of tea.

Sherlock stood rooted in place for all of five seconds before striding after his friend and wrapping his arms around his waist. He lowered his head to the other man's shoulder and whispered, "I want this. I really do. But I also want you to stop dancing with anyone else."

John turned in his arms, a wide smile on his face and wrapped his arms around the pale neck of his partner. Looking into Sherlock's grey-blue eyes he replied, "Not even with a certain tall, lanky, sexy genius detective?"

Sherlock's lips curved in a small smile, "No, he'll do." He looked down seriously at his first and only best friend and spoke in a small voice. "I don't want to spoil this John, but I might because I don't know what to do. But I don't want to lose this, lose you either."

"I told you Sherlock, I'll be right here. It will all be fine."

Sherlock Holmes leaned into John Watson's kiss, only moving away with a smile when his partner turned to prepare tea with a peck on his cheek. Sherlock had never felt happier and had never looked back.

Uncomfortably aware of his body's response to that particular memory, Sherlock pulled himself out of his Mind Palace and went to the bathroom to take care of the problem. As he allowed his body to find completion with the hot water beating down on his shoulders, he admitted it to himself. He missed his John.

~ Moriarty's POV ~

This had been fun. The most fun he'd had in months. Playing hide and seek with the Iceman had its own charm, but playing with pets was a hobby he hadn't indulged in a while. Particularly this one.

Jim Moriarty walked a half circle around the drugged and bound figure in the wooden chair. For all of the Iceman's protections, it had been irritatingly easy to pick up the pet and bring him here. All it took was a little surveillance and a black car. Really, finding good help these days was getting so difficult.

The captive groaned and twitched. Moriarty grinned. Play time.

When John Watson opened his eyes, he found himself naked save for his pants, staring at a table top covered with hundreds of photos of himself. The chair he was in was wooden, but the arm-rests had been covered with dozens of long sharp nails with their sharp ends up. The legs of the chair had also been similarly treated and he could feel the nails digging into the flesh of his arms and legs. Automatically, he strained to keep his limbs away from them. His head felt heavy and disoriented. "Wha … where … am I?"

"You're where should always have been Johnny. In the doghouse. That's where good pets stay. Not sleeping with their masters and betters."

John tried to focus on the voice, familiar through the ringing in his head. "Who …?"

"Oh come on Johnny. Am I that forgettable?" hissed the criminal, walking into John's line of sight, shoes tapping sharply on the floor.

He relished the look on the pet's face when he recognized who it was. "No. NO! This isn't possible. You're dead. You're supposed to be dead!"

"But I'm no~ot," Moriarty trilled, enjoying the disbelief and helpless fear on the pet's face.

"I had to come back, pet. Just for you." He ran a finger down one cheek and smirked at the instinctive flinch. "It was you, Johnny. You should have died that day. Pretty little pet should have flown away from the roof and left the masters to play. And the game would have been glorious."

He moved away as he continued, "But you ruined him. You ruined his magnificent brain, his razor-sharp intellect, his instincts, you took everything that made him interesting and sexy, and made him normal, made him stupid, made him slow, made him boring. It's your fault Sherlock is dead," he suddenly screamed, slapping John hard.

Suddenly he was being pulled across the floor, the chair scraping across the cement. When they stopped, he was turned around and positioned. It took him a few minutes to realize he was staring into a camera, its red light winking like a laser.

"You know how this works, don't you Johnny. I torture you and you scream for the camera and then I send it off to the Iceman. I imagine your phone will be traced, leading them straight to this place hours after you are dead. Do you know where you are, Johnny boy? I'll give you a hint."

Moriarty snapped his fingers and John's chest was covered with red dots. He looked around frantically, tugging in frustrating futility against his bonds. Moriarty's smile was all teeth, black eyes boring into his prey as he snapped his fingers again and the overhead lights came on. His horror was revealed.

They were at The Pool.

Jim Moriarty smiled. "See? I'm so sentimental, Johnny. I couldn't just take you out to any old place for our date, now could I? This place is sooo special!"

John struggled to find any weakness in his bonds, the rope rubbing into his wrists and across his throat. He gasped for breath. "You're a murderer Moriarty. Mycroft will find you and destroy you."

Jim opened his arms wide. "I'll wait for him. If he can find me. But whether or not that happens you will still be dead," the criminal nodded in mock sorrow.

"Screw you."

"Oh I'd love to Doctor. So nice of you to offer. But I like a little foreplay and I've brought some toys. I think I'll try them out first, if you don't mind." Stepping to the table behind John, he picked up a tray, bringing it forward to the stand beside the doctor. John flinched. "Oh you'll like this, Johnny boy. I brought it because it appeals to your professional pursuits."

Walking around John, he held out a sleek scalpel, new and sharp, bright steel reflecting the light. "Is this a good one, Doctor? I wouldn't know really. Never had to dirty my hands before, never wanted to. But you're the exception, pet."

He drew the flat of the blade across John's jaw saying conversationally, "I've been told its better to warm the blade before cutting. Or maybe its just hearsay. Either way, it's time to start the show now."

Without warning, Moriarty drew the scalpel in a line across the doctor's right shoulder drawing it down along the breastbone. The doctor hissed as a bright thin line of red welled from the cut, congealing quickly in the cool air. "Well, that looks good. And to show how good I am, I'll just decorate your right side first."

Moriarty placed the cuts over each rib on the right side of John's body, making each consecutive slice through his skin a little deeper than the last. Blood flowed freely from the wounds, even though only light cuts and Moriarty stepped back to admire the effect. "Looks a bit like finger painting. Isn't that nice of me, Johnny boy?"

When John didn't respond, Jim punched him in the face, a straight cut across the right jaw, splitting the lip on a ring. Pulling John's head back Jim roared in his face, "You will answer me when I'm speaking to you!"

John looked up at the criminal and glared at him, lips pressed tight against the pain. He refused to give in to the man who had ripped apart his life.

Jim smiled; a sweet, happy little smile that looked out of place below the darkly gleaming black eyes. Then he picked up another slim bladed knife from the tray and plunged it into the doctor's right knee right above the cap, tearing through the skin and muscles and nerves, grinning at the sound of the doctor's incoherent screams of pain as he twisted the blade in the wound.

Songs in this chapter by 3OH!3:

1. Punkbitch

2. Holler Till You Pass Out

3. Chokechain

4. I'm Not Your Boyfriend Baby

I got a request for a back-story to John and Sherlock's relationship and here it is. This was supposed to be a one-shot really, so the format of this entire chapter was revamped to fit the story in its entirety. Hope you like it.

As you can see, the end is near. I would like to know whether you want John to take down Moriarty with only Mycroft in the know and tell Sherlock later? Or whether Sherlock should be present for the big reveal.

Please send in your opinion with your reviews. I'll go with the majority vote.

Hope you liked this chapter. Read and Review!