"Hello," you say. It's been a while since you've seen him.
The great Sherlock Holmes.
He nods in return.
"Have I come to take you?" you ask.
He shakes his head. "Not yet."
You frown. Death does not come for just anyone. Only the few, the special.
And you certainly don't come for false alarms.
"Then why am I here?" you growl.
He smiles, a half smile you'd recognize from anywhere, not that you'd been watching him or anything. That would be too much, even for you.
"I want to make a deal," he says carefully.
And you laugh, the real deal, throwing your head back and reverberating deep from your diaphragm.
When you catch your breath, you look at him, wiping the tear from your eye. "Many wish to make deals with me. I have accepted only two before. What makes you think I'll like what you're offering?"
He smiles that smile at you again, and it almost makes you feel uneasy, except you're Death, and you don't get uneasy. You are the destroyer of worlds.
"I can get you what you want most," he says carefully, calculated.
You blink at him. "What makes you think I want anything?" you counter, regaining your composure, which you definitely never lost.
"Everyone wants something," he says quietly, tracing his fingers along the brick wall.
He certainly chose an interesting place to meet. You would comment on it, but you both already know what the other will say, so there's no point.
You hesitate before nodding.
"And what is it that you desire?"
He looks at you. You've seen that look before.
He's exposed, like you've seen him before.
You have come for him twice before, after all. He looked at you the same way both times.
And both times you went away. Not because of the look, but you've come to associate it with his living.
Damn Pavlovian responses. You'll never be able to escape it now. Which will only make his ending that much more difficult, whenever it does come.
"I need to die," he says.
You frown, because that's usually the last thing people come to you for. They know that they're going to die. People come to you because they don't want to, because loved ones are running out of time, because they made a mistake.
Sherlock Holmes may just be the first person to approach you wishing to die.
"You don't need me for that," you counter.
He nods, once, briskly. "I know. I need you for what happens after."
You raise an eyebrow, knowing what comes next.
"I need to not stay dead."
You laugh again, because of course that's what he wants.
He's still looking at you with that vulnerable expression when you return his gaze.
"Sherlock Holmes," you say, looking at him fondly. You can't help but be fond of him after all this time. You admire him. "That is the wish of all men. Why should I grant you yours?"
He smiles. It's a knowing smile that pushes at the unease somewhere deep inside you.
He moves close to you, puts his mouth next to your ear. Whispers hot little secrets.
"James Moriarty," is his opening line.
You sit down and listen.
You keep up to date on the news, of course.
You haven't been running a successful empire for eons without knowing about current events.
SUICIDE OF FAKE GENIUS
You smirk at it, because Sherlock Holmes was anything but a fake genius.
After all, not many men, no scratch that, no men, meet you three times, and come out on top all three times.
You find yourself looking forward to the day when you can finally greet Sherlock Holmes with open arms.
But you also hope it doesn't come too soon.