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.
One day, you kill a young man in the same assassin style - and you didn’t know he was a police officer, and now the Yard is furious, determined to hunt this killer by any means possible.
Three guesses as to whom they send.
It’s eerie, but a good eerie, to be on the other end of your own murder. The red tape is out, barring civilian entrance. You and Sherlock slip past it, ignoring Sally’s death glare, and gather round the body - face down, a bullet dead-centre in the back of his skull.
Yeah, you’re pretty proud of this one.
“It’s the same killer,” Sherlock says, snapping on a glove.
“Figured that out, thanks,” Lestrade bitterly replies. “We’re not incompetent.”
Sherlock doesn’t even bother to argue - instead bends over and he inspects the body, quietly and quickly. He uses his magnifying glass, sliding it over the man’s head , looking at the bullet hole from any possible angle.
“He’s broken pattern,” Sherlock says. “He wanted to cover this one up.”
“The back of the head. The others have been in front. There was something personal about this one; he didn’t want to see this man’s face. Perhaps a police vendetta, perhaps a relation... You’re looking for a man of medium height, a policeman himself. One of your men turned vigilante, and our victim here found out.”
“Sherlock, if you’re joking...”
“I wouldn’t joke about a murderer, Lestrade, at least not within your earshot.”
It takes you a moment, but then, finally you realise what has just happened. You have fooled Sherlock. Sherlock, who has never once been so wrong about a murderer in his life. You were good enough to beat the most incredible detective in the entire world.
Sherlock continues to explain his deductions which, among other things, include the trajectory of the bullet and the obvious paranoia of the man as he was on his way home.
It is all you can do to keep a glow of pride from your face.
Before long, Sherlock claims he has said all he can, and that it’s really up to the Yard to do its job from that point on, and the two of you are in a cab, heading home.
Sherlock places a hand on your shoulder, causing you to all but jump.
“Are you okay?”
“What? Yes, of course, I’m fine. Why do you ask?”
“You’ve been rather quiet. I’m used to a few instances of ‘fantastic’ from my favourite blogger when we go out to a crime scene, but you haven’t said anything. "It's nothing," you say. "You're still fantastic, if that's what you were worried about." He doesn't reply.
A week later, a policeman appears to have shot himself.
There are photos strewn across the linoleum. Photos, evidence, notes, all sorts of things and it is abundantly clear to everybody that this is the man responsible for the serial killing of the past few weeks.
Which is strange, because except for this apparently suicidal man, you killed them all. And you’re not even the one who’s covering things up, now are you? Somebody else has done the job for you. It’s almost insulting.
Something’s not right. You can’t work out what it is, either. Sherlock seems satisfied with the conclusion of that case, a smirk settling on his lips. You make sure to wipe it off his face, to remind him how horrible the entire case was - so many murders, and then finally a guilt-ridden suicide.
He’s still smug, though. You can’t blame him for that. He was, as usual, right - except that he was wrong.
Actually, it rather stings.
You decide the gun’s been fun, but it’s done now. You find yourself a nice, wicked sharp knife, the likes of which you haven’t spoiled yourself with in years. It should do nicely.
Your first kill with the knife is a young man, only sixteen or so. Dark hair, sharp features, the kind of boy you expect to be in the back of the class room, silently glowering at the others. Just to be obtuse, you take all the change out of his wallet and leave all the bills.
Before you go, you decide to give in and indulge yourself. You spread his legs and tuck his hands beneath his head, as though he is relaxing upon a beach. The blood coats his throat and lips, and you’re tempted to kiss him, except there’s always the chance DNA evidence will be found if you do. You settle for running a gloved hand across his chest, through the pool of blood, and then close his eyes with your fingers, leaving spots of blood on his eyelids.
The police don’t know what to make of it, but it doesn’t go to Lestrade. Sherlock doesn’t even seem aware of the case, or, if he is, he doesn’t care.
The trouble comes when there is a second murder, of another boy from the same school. Sandy hair, on the sports team, the nice boy that everybody seems to like. He is found in precisely the same manner, and you didn’t put him there. Even the police can tell that it’s not you; the method was every so slightly different. Less practised, and in some ways, actually more thorough. There is a copycat on their hands.
Now, finally, you realise what seems to be going on. You have a fan. A copycat. Somebody is trying to get your attention, and, well, they’ve succeeded. You don’t know who. It’s impossible to know who.
You actually have no idea what to make of this new development.
You kill an older man.
Your copycat replies with a death that all but screams, “I’m listening.”
And Sherlock has no idea, he reads about the deaths and is interested, but has no reaction at all.
It isn’t until you wake up one morning and see the headline blazing - “Serial killers continue rampage through London” - that you realise that it’s become a game.
Almost like tennis - you being with a serve, and he, whoever he is, he returns it every time. It occurs to you at last how incredibly stupid this is. You are no longer killing for yourself, you have begun to kill for him, haven’t you? Just to see him match your every move. Oh, it’s still a pleasure, it still takes the shaking from your hands, but there’s this extra element of thrill and you know you’re addicted to it.
For whatever reason, Sherlock is being kept off these cases. Maybe it’s because the detectives are trying to solve one without him, for a change; maybe it’s the fact that Sherlock is growing restless, for some reason. You didn't know what it was, but he's crazier than ever - a mad light in his face, the way he has begun to stare at people, sometimes, when distracted.
But you don’t have time to ponder it, because suddenly there’s a bomb.
The point of killing people is being the one to make them die.
It’s not to cause pointless destruction. There’s an art to it, to the way you always focus it on the person. You’re not trying to scare people and you’re not trying to hurt anything else; it’s all about you, and the person you are going to end, because you can.
So even if you weren’t pretending to be a paragon of morality, you would object to the cruelty of this bomber who has appeared - the man, though Sherlock won’t say it, who is obviously “Moriarty.”
Sherlock, of course, is excited. Puzzles! Puzzles, puzzles, puzzles, everywhere; people who have died, people who are going to die, people who have left the country, people who have done stupid things. Solve the case, save the day. Save the architecture, you think stubbornly. There’s more than one reason you could never bear to live anywhere else. You’re fond of the streets and the old bricks that line the walls, and now this Moriarty fellow is blowing up your home, your territory, and that just won’t do.
The first three pips go by, and then the old woman dies, and you’re left thinking,
That wasn’t fair.
You help him out with the fourth pip, and fail, and then clumsily stumble along the solution to the location of the Bruce-Partington plans. Which, honestly, you could have found long ago, if you’d put in any effort. You didn’t like Mycroft and maybe there was a part of you that wanted Sherlock to solve it instead of you, just so you could see how beautifully he would describe it - hour-by-hour, perhaps, down to the place where the victim’s head was bashed in, where all that blood would have washed up.
And God, but you just want to end this, so that things can go back to normal.
You’re going to Sarah’s, you tell Sherlock, and he merely nods.
You bring your gun, and your knife. Always good to have a backup. You take a taxi, and look at the slip of paper. In your own scrawl, you read what you scribbled out on your notepad when Sherlock was in the bathroom.
It’s an address, and it should lead you to the one place Moriarty simply has to be. It’s the best place for him to gloat, isn’t it? Surrounded by the place where he killed Powers. The first case he ever won over the great mind of Sherlock Holmes.
Tonight, one way or another, Moriarty is going to die, and you will kill him.
The taxi takes you to a location three blocks away, and leaves, and then something blunt hits your temple and you’re out cold.
Sherlock’s eyes tighten, just a little bit, and you feel a chill.
Suddenly, you know exactly what he intends to do, and that doesn’t scare you half so much as the fact that you know he’ll do it.
He swings the gun up, and pulls the trigger, a single shot - rushing dead centre, you swear for a moment that your lungs are going to burst out of your chest when it hits Jim Moriarty - a bullet straight through his forehead, and oh, are you ever going to cherish that look of surprise.
But it doesn’t stop there, because then Sherlock shoots again - this time directly at the semtex bomb, and you swear for a moment you see a tiny flash of a smile, of triumph, on Sherlock’s face, just before instinct kicks in - you dive for the water, taking Sherlock with you.
There’s so much heat that you have to wonder if the snipers shot you, and then it all leaves, frigid and burnt out, and maybe that’s the reason you black out.
You never thought a day might come when it wasn’t enough.
It’s as though the events at the pool have entirely drained the life out of things, out of your very existence. She is a young woman, fresh out of uni if the deductive powers you’ve inherited from Sherlock are any indication. You close your gloved hand over her mouth, feeling her struggle; you slit her throat and make such a mess of blood, and then you close your eyes to feel her life go.
You open them, and she has fallen to the ground, her eyes classy, and you can’t stop feeling clammy skin. You can’t stop the freezing water, or the heat, or the numb fingers desperately grasping at yours.
And you haven’t talked about it, neither of you. You haven’t told him what you saw, what you think you have seen.
You haven’t talked with him about the ringing in your ears, the way you clung to each other, burning and dying, begging, please let him survive.
You met Sherlock what feels like a lifetime ago, and you wanted to see his pale face smeared with crimson; now you think of it, and never before has a dead body made you feel so sick.
The copycat has disappeared, the game is over. There is a space between you and Sherlock, and you don’t know how to break it. You just know that you need to.
You want to know what you saw.
Sherlock is cleaning your gun.
He is sprawled languidly upon the couch, with a polishing cloth and other materials that clearly aren’t yours. They’re his.
“How many people have died by this gun, John?” he asks casually.
“You would know,” you say to cover the pounding in your chest.
“Would I?” His voice all but caresses the vowels; there’s an element of danger in his tone that probably shouldn’t thrill you as much as it does. “Until recently, I thought I did.”
“You know what changed. You know what I did. What I’ve done.”
The darkness, the smile when Sherlock pointed the gun straight at Moriarty’s head. You do know. You know that Sherlock has killed, you know that he likes it, and you haven’t allowed yourself to think it because when you do, fear seizes you. Fear that other things might be lies.
Sherlock smiles, his eyes glittering at you. Then, he waves at the table, and you notice that it is coated in newspapers. Each one has a circle of red felt pen on it - sometimes the headline, sometimes just a snippet in a corner. All of them, murder reports.
“You’re good,” he tells you. “In some ways, better than myself. It’s taken me this long to unravel the pattern, John, that’s how good you are. All this time, you were standing this close.”
He stops polishing your gun. He clicks the safety off slowly.
“I should probably kill you,” he announces.
“You won’t,” John says.
“No. I puzzle you too much. And I think you don’t want to see me dead.”
“I love the dead. Before you, sometimes I would section them. I used to cut between the breastbone and remove organs, just because I could.”
“Not after me, then.”
“I was having too much fun. I only limited myself to the body; you manage to do beautiful things, send signals, messages in blood. You have turned it into art. You paid attention to not only the body, but the person. And I wanted to try it myself.”
“You copied me.”
“I did.” Sherlock laughs, and puts the gun down.
“Are you going to turn me in?” you have to ask.
“Don’t be a fool, John.” The way he says your name makes you want to say something, but you don’t know what, and if you opened your mouth now it would probably come out inarticulate anyway. He picks up something else, and you recognise your knife. You hadn’t taken it with you today, you realise. Most days, it wasn’t important or necessary, after all.
He looks at the knife, deconstructing it with his eyes; you wonder if he could recite the exact composition of the blade, measure how sharp it is (you know that it used to be sharp enough to slice a single strand of hair in two), measure the blood that hasn’t fully washed away, the sins that still rest there, invisible to anybody else.
Sherlock touches the edge, accidentally slicing open his finger. But then you look at his face, some mixture of delight and shadow and impassivity, and you think it was deliberate.
He looks at you.
He slides to his feet, walks over to you, the knife in his yet-pristine right hand, ignoring the drops of scarlet sliding from the other. He lifts it in the air, the flat of it pressed lightly against your face blocking your eye, and you stand there, waiting.
“Are you going to kill me?” you ask. It’s another stupid question, and you know the answer.
Sherlock turns the blade, and cuts your cheek. You breathe in raggedly. It stings, a little, but it’s the most stinging thing you’ve felt since the pool, and the most exciting thing that’s happened to you in far, far too long.
He then cups your cheek with his left hand, the one with the bleeding thumb, and it stings all over again as your blood meets his. It’s an informal sort of ceremony, a claim, you think. A promise.
You didn’t ask for this ceremony, and Sherlock didn’t ask permission, but he knew he didn’t need to, did he?
The taste of blood coats the taste of his lips, and it’s yours, and it’s his, and there’s something beautifully wrong about that, something slanted and diagonal from the usual.
You share his body heat, driving the cold away; your life drips down from your faces and into your mouths and wells upon the floor.
You brush away the silvered hair and feel perhaps the tiniest bit of regret, but he’s too perfect this way for you to care.
Thank you, you write in his hair, my beloved friend.
Sherlock’s hand on your shoulder pulls you back. You smile, and turn into his embrace, looking over his shoulder at what the two of you have done.
When they find him dead in the morning, you know you and Sherlock will never be caught, never be parted, and you know you have honoured Lestrade’s sacrifice well. ( Originally posted at http://lizzledpink.dreamwidth.org/18675.h