Warning: murder for pleasure, slight bloodkink, general fucked-uppery (etc)
Summary: He makes bodies, and Sherlock tries to figure out who put them there, so John thinks they're more or less meant to be.
A/N: Title credit to flecalicious.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Dedication: HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You know who you are.
They always ask where John was shot, but never how, never by whom, and never about his unit and never, ever, about the fact that he was the only one in his unit to return alive.
He doesn't regret it. He remembers more sensation and colour than anything else, and then the slow fading of adrenaline and finally, the voices, one of them his own, whimpering at the pain in his shoulder (Ben, it was Ben who had put it there, Ben who had been the best of them all and he had loved and he bore this wound) and the other voices were men (real ones) who were asking what had happened.
"They - came... Killed everybody. Left me to warn you," he lied, shaking. "To threaten you."
He was rushed to emergency and cared for and all he could think, lying in bed, was that he didn't regret it.
War was shit and his unit had been a bunch of dicks, anyway.
They made the mistake of not telling the therapist.
She keeps wheedling around talking upside-down about trust issues and PTSD (he's a doctor, a damn good one - he can fix people as easily as break them and he knows this so why won't the bitch just stop) and it's infuriating, but John can't be bothered.
At least in war, there was excitement. Perhaps he had made a mistake.
No, no. This was better.
He didn't look for people or entertainment. Didn't need to. He blended into London, watching it, watching the people go by. A young woman passed and he watched the pale curve of her neck, wanting to lick it and wanting to see what it would look like sliced open with the curve of his fingernail, crimson.
Red was John's favourite color. He wore a lot of white to make up for this.
He waved and winked at her and walked on, tapping his cane against the floor. Tippity-tap.
Boredom was rather nice, at times. Even if John felt like screaming. Screaming wasn't bad in the least.
It's so tempting.
He will smother her with a pillow and watch the breath drain from her, and her eyes redden and she shakes, blue, not red.
He tells her, nothing ever happens to him. He doesn't let things happen. Things are dangerous.
Sherlock would make an excellent victim.
You like to watch his face. Sherlock mistakes it for interest (and he is not wrong, Sherlock shares Ben's eyes) and you make your excuses and watch his face, because oh, this man is beautiful.
His cheekbones would catch and hold a droplet of blood where it stood and you imagine for the moment that you have severed his head, perhaps with a butcher's knife. You put his head in the fridge and keep it there, savour the look of surprise on his face, and after a time you rearrange his features into a happy smile.
You think Sherlock would like death, and Sally says he does, but he doesn't. The puzzle is the excitement for him. For you, it's the people. You saw that in an instant and you hide your interest, because oh, he is a master.
She's covered in pink, her hair is tousled, and she is beautiful. You want to know how she was killed.
Sherlock tells you and you have never been more in love.
Just for fun, about a week after the matter with Sebastian Wilkes, you go back to the bank and follow him home.
Technically, this will be your first in several months. You've been lazy, and running with Sherlock Holmes has kept you interested enough. You've been satisfied. Your blood still boils every time you see a face and you always wonder, wonder how they would be if they were paling before your very eyes, staring, silently accusing you of betrayal - shocked.
Sebastian changed that, because if there's one thing you hate, it's Very Annoying People. These are people who think too much of themselves. They are the scum looking down upon others. Normally Sebastian would just be a discarded piece of tissue upon which you have blown your nose, but, and yes, the line is cliche, it's personal this time.
You have come to like Sherlock Holmes, despite yourself.
"Seb" is not a friend of Sherlock Holmes. He says he is. He lies. He hates Sherlock, and the only reason he was kind at all was because Sherlock was so obviously necessary to solve the case.
You see more than Sherlock thinks. Sherlock sees the pieces and puts them together to form a glorious puzzle; you don't. What you see is people. You can look right through them, and see their death. And through their death, you see their life - their choices, their being, their hopes and worries. You know people, in a way not unlike that lovely cabbie you once met. Perhaps, you know them better, because he only knows their choices in a game of life and death.
You look, and talk, and see their past and future both laid out before you.
Sliding out of the shadows, you follow your mark down the street.
Sebastian was unpopular as a child, just a normal kid overlooked and doing fairly well in school. He wasn't bad at maths, so he went for that. It took him to uni, because his father pushed and he persevered, and then in uni, a miracle happened to Sebastian:
He became well-known, and then popular.
You click the safety off your gun.
Before that popularity, he was friends with Sherlock. And after, he remained friends - in a sense. "Seb" began to see the use of having Sherlock as a friend, perhaps as a boyfriend. Honestly, you're not sure which. He used Sherlock - made him think he was wanted - and then tossed Sherlock aside, because Sherlock was not enough for him. Sebastian Wilkes was on top of the world and calling the shots in his fourth year of university, and Sherlock was left in the dust, made to rot - and teased, and taunted. No longer protected.
If it had been you that Seb had abandoned, you know there would have been blood. Sherlock, you don't know. You wonder.
You walk a bit faster, moving your legs to keep up with Sebastian, whose long legs make every stride look easy and quick.
Sebastian Wilkes climbed the social ladder, finally owning his own bank. He has everything - money, looks, a gob - but he's missing something vitally important. You might be the one who goes out in the night with a loaded gun and intent to kill, but Sebastian Wilkes has a darkness where a heart should lie. Perhaps somebody took it from him, you absently wonder. Somebody cast a spell, and a young man threw his heart away.
Wearing Sherlock's dark gloves (because wearing his gloves is like a token of luck, because he has given you so much and you want him here with you when you do this) you snatch the shoulder of Sebastian's coat.
He is forced to halt.
You wait, because he is turning around, and you lower your face slightly, hiding in the shadow. Sebastian will see you. Nobody else will. Of that, you are sure.
You think, as Sebastian begins to face you, about what they will say. They will suspect him of money issues, mob involvement, an affair with a married woman, all kinds of things because people talk. That's what people do: they are always talking. They say silly things. They will not expect it to be somebody who simply dislikes the man, and who happens to have a friend. Not colleague. Friend.
You said colleague because you wanted to spite Sherlock, because you were bored of being looked down on as the tag-along. That was a mistake.
A smile crawls over your face like a light-footed spider.
Sebastian is finally seeing you, and his eyes go wide because he knows you. And he sees the smile on your face.
You wait -
And then pull the trigger. It shatters the bone and cartilage of his nose, embeds in his skull and just like that, his eyes are dull and glassy. It's almost physical, the way the gun kicks back in your hand, as though hit by the aftershock of ending a life. It shudders through you, trembling in your feet and stabilising your hands and you feel alive. You inhale as he drops to the floor, the crack echoes in your ears and you are watching the void behind his gaze, the crimson-but-black-under-moonlight, and you vibrate as you breathe in the last of the pitiful life of Sebastian Wilkes.
Re-energised, you slip away, and they will not see your face. When you want to be, you are as invisible. Perhaps Lestrade could see you. His eyes are sharper than anybody's, and it's a shame he can't see anything with them. But nobody else.
You need a shower. Gunshot residue is bad.
It can only be a good thing that Sherlock is not there when you get home.
You have your shower. You return Sherlock's soft gloves, pressing a soft kiss to the back of each.
Sherlock comes back to the flat in the morning, demanding jam. You are out of jam.
You will go to the shop later today and get jam, and when you get back, Sherlock will have read the newspaper, and when Sherlock has read the newspaper, he will most likely know.
It thrills you.
"Sebastian Wilkes found dead,” Sherlock reads.
You pause, halfway through a sip of your tea. “That’s terrible. Very - terrible. Do the police have any suspects?”
“Apparently. Evidence has turned up - Sebastian was in a bit of debt, apparently, and the death had the mark of a semi-professional. No assassin, but certainly a fellow who’s used to death. Sebastian simply found himself on the wrong side of certain powerful figures, they suppose.” Sherlock smiles. “They’re wrong, of course.”
“Of course,” you say mildly. “So, what is it?”
“Yes, John, murder; there’s no need to repeat everything I say. Some acquaintance of Sebastian’s. This was personal.”
“Any thoughts on who?”
“No, impossible. Well, a few, but I’d need to see the crime scene to know more, and I can’t be bothered. It’s...”
“What is it, Sherlock?” you ask. A thrill is starting, at the tips of your fingers, and you’re desperately holding it off.
“Frankly, rather boring.”
“People die, Sherlock. It’s not supposed to be boring. And anyway, I thought you and Sebastian were old friends?”
He doesn’t reply, instead going back to searching for anything remotely special written in the paper. You count the conversation as a success.
Sherlock doesn’t know.
After that, it’s easy. You don’t do it with the impatient fervor of your youth; you plan ahead for ages and take your opportunities in carefully planned doses, and nobody can stop you. Nobody dies the same way twice, except for the ones you do to keep up the deception of an assassin on the loose. Those targets are picked carefully for authenticity, and you just manage to keep from grinning as the papers begin to talk about organised crime in London.
All is well, and all remains well. Sherlock solves crimes, and you...
Well, you're relatively content for the first time in so, so long. Bloodthirst and all.
Until you're caught.
Part Two (DW) ( Originally posted at http://lizzledpink.dreamwidth.org/18230.h