And Burn it Down
a Jim Moriarty & Sebastian Moran fanmix
The track listing accompanied with a blurb of writing per song can be found under the cut.
CONTENT WARNINGS: VIOLENCE, POTENTIALLY DISTURBING IMAGERY. (not surprising, considering these are the two of the most morally questionable men.) READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.
And, on that note, enjoy <3
01: Shake it Out by Manchester Orchestra
"Are you the living ghost of what I need? Are you giving the best of me? We will see.
'Cause I'm done being done with funerals, at least for now.
Are you tired of being alone?"
James Moriarty, a referral. That's all he was. Only a referral, but a referral was the only thing Sebastian needed. Dishonorable military discharge at the rank of Colonel and at the age of nineteen, a referral, a name in passing, found Sebastian desperate enough to follow it.
A name was what led him to the front door of a two-story building, sided with faded brick on a corner in London, a building that looked like it belonged elsewhere. A name led him inside, up the creaking stairs, to another door, to a man with brown hair and bright, brown eyes, and a smile that made Sebastian touch the concealed weapon in his jacket.
This name wasn't formally introduced until Sebastian admitted to looking for work, until this man opened the door further and showed him an apartment with décor too modern for the rest of the building. Until this man offered him tea and a seat from which he could see a tired kitten nailed to the mantle above the fire place. "Jim Moriarty," this man said and took the chair across from Sebastian and stared at him. Steepled his fingers before his chin, crossed his legs, began to bounce his bare foot in the slightest.
"Colonel Sebastian Moran," Sebastian returned with habit and chose not to comment on his general dislike of those from Ireland—Jim's 'r' had given it away.
The corners of Jim's eyes wrinkled. "I'm sure the military would argue otherwise," he said from behind his fingers. "Last I've heard, they don't take kindly to selling confidential information." Sebastian's jaw tensed, Jim leaned forward, cornered him against the stiff chair.
Jim told him things about himself. Things he knew: the tales about his lack of morale, about the disconnect between his family, about the pistol tucked in his inside jacket pocket. About the reputation he earned from gambling, amidst other illegal activities, Sebastian "Basher" Moran. About the tattoo just barely peeking out from beneath his black shirt collar. Then Jim paused, pulled his phone from his pocket and busied himself with something on its screen for the moment, leaving Sebastian to sit there and wonder if he had written his memoir across his forehead without knowing.
Then Jim told him things about himself. Things Sebastian had always known, but had never known. Things like his "addictions," as Jim called them as he slipped the phone back into the pocket of his black slacks and concealed the shape of his words behind his fingers again. Among gambling, there were the obvious: sex, because Sebastian was only twenty, smoking, because the outline of the cigarette case in his jacket pocket was apparent, crime in general, because he had to find entertainment somehow. "But danger," Jim said like a cat purred, "now, danger is what really brings you to life. Danger and adrenaline until near death: then you're clear, focused, as right-minded as you could ever hope to be. Am I right?"
Sebastian knew he didn't need to respond. He could feel the pound of his heart pulsing through his body, feel the hot adrenaline rushing through him, hear the blood rushing in his ears.
"Death's an old friend," Jim went on and tilted his head to the side, then to the other, and lowered his fingers to reveal the crooked line of his smirk. "You've tipped your hat to It only to slip away before It can shake your hand and you come away, feeling better than you've ever felt while away with the Living."
Jim's eyes were hollow and still wrinkled in the corners. "What services can you offer me, Mr. Moran?"
Sebastian touched the butt of his pistol, nearly pulled it out and put a bullet in Jim's skull. "I'm an expert marksman. Best as a sniper." He felt light-headed, like he couldn't stand if he tried. The kitten made a small sound upon the mantel.
Jim looked as if that was the correct answer. "I'd like to offer you a position as my left-hand man. Should you accept, I need you to stay here with me for security reasons, I'm sure you understand," Jim said pleasantly and offered Sebastian a pale hand. Cold rushed across Sebastian, cleared him inside and pushed his hand from his pistol.
This time, Sebastian didn't tip his hat and slip away; he didn't know if he could even if he tried. Jim's hand was cold around his and he joined the realm of the dead.
02: Bite Hard by Franz Ferdinand
"Are you happy now that the gods are dying?
Well, it's a broken smile, breaking their hearts and breaking their minds. Bite hard.
It's 5:05, your engine's alive and we ride together. Bite hard."
Jim was authority. For the first time in Sebastian's life, he accepted this, accepted that he was only as high as second-in-command and, for the first time in his life, he was okay with that. Because Jim wasn't "authority", or even authority, both of which Sebastian never bothered to respect because neither of them had ever given him a reason to.
But Jim, on day one, had proved himself interesting and Sebastian had admitted himself hooked, and then, on day two, Jim had proven himself authority and Sebastian had admitted himself a follower. From day two and on.
Jim always kept Sebastian close. Sebastian stood beside him and watched as he threaded strings through the city and country and beyond, tightened and loosened them as necessary, cut them without a second thought. Watched as he did this all with relative ease, excluding the occasional rubbing of his temples and tilting of his head, back and forth, a habit Sebastian quickly grew used to. Watched until Jim sent him on an assignment, one that never kept him away for long, then he'd come back and watch again.
It wasn't until a couple of weeks after Jim had first introduced himself that he and Jim went out on an assignment together.
"I don't like to get my hands dirty," Jim explained in place of explaining what was awaiting them at the address he had given the cab driver. "But sometimes the occasion calls for it." Jim was unarmed, as far as Sebastian could tell. Sebastian, however, was sure to keep his rifle case close.
Even in the field, Sebastian watched. He watched from a beam that ran across the ceiling of the warehouse Jim had brought them to, watched as Jim spoke with one of his clients that had met them there. He walked in small circles around the other man, who stood in place, who tried to defend himself against what Jim was saying (something about a job, an apartment window, a woman, without background knowledge, Sebastian could only guess at what was happening).
"Any specific orders?" Sebastian had asked when they had exited the cab.
"No," Jim had said with that smirk on his lips.
The client—Mr. Richards, Sebastian finally heard—started to yell. The echo of the warehouse distorted the words so, by the time they reached Sebastian, they were a constant screech and he tightened his grip on the barrel of his rifle. Crosshairs marked Mr. Richard's right temple.
More screeching, Mr. Richard's body twitched towards Jim.
The rifle's silencer wasn't effective in the sensitive acoustics of the empty warehouse.
Through the scope, Jim's face was splattered with blood, but he was grinning, wide and with his teeth, as he stared right back at Sebastian.
03: Geronimo by Phantom Planet
"I can't believe this is happening. You knock the wind right out of me.
You don't want to make me blush, you want me unconscious."
The first time it happened was a couple months after Sebastian had first found himself outside Jim's door. Sebastian had just returned from an assassination in Oxford and made his way into their flat. Jim lunged at him, not an unusual occurrence in itself, for Jim liked to "test his guard", and Sebastian swiftly turned to dodge the attack, again, not an unusual occurrence in itself. What was unusual was that Jim didn't stop there. He didn't straighten, brush off his button down shirt and praise Sebastian briefly before getting back to work. No, this time, Jim rebounded, ricocheted off of his desk and threw himself again at Sebastian.
Sebastian was thrown to the floor out of nothing but surprise.
Jim was small atop him, small but heavy, and Sebastian saw a darkness in Jim's eyes before he retaliated, smashed his wrist against Jim's shoulder and threw him sideways. Jim rolled across the floor with the power of the blow and Sebastian got to his knees, crouched and waited to see if Jim was finished.
Jim didn't attack him again right away. He crouched in a position similar to his own and stared at Sebastian from across the room, his eyes black in a gaze that sent something hot spinning in Sebastian's gut. Sebastian's heartbeat pulsed quickly in his ears, sent the blood rush to his head in a dizzying warmth and Sebastian felt it: the danger. The danger and his fingers tensed against the floor and he watched as the lines of Jim's body bent.
Jim was nimble and methodical, just as Sebastian was powerful and quick. When Jim lunged again, he jabbed Sebastian's shoulder blades where it made Sebastian's vision spark with black, and he was dangerous. Dangerous when Sebastian grabbed his wrist and twisted, heard a breath catch, and wrestled him to the floor again, dangerous when Sebastian planted a free hand between his shoulders and pinned him face down to the floor, dangerous when he jerked upwards and ground his arse back into Sebastian's hips.
Dangerous, the closer Jim was, the hotter Sebastian felt, dangerous but not death, not like this, so Sebastian could barely breathe, could barely think.
Dangerous and Sebastian was an addict.
Jim laughed like smoke after he came.
04: Hollow by A Perfect Circle
"Run, desire, run. Sexual being. Run him like a blade, to and through the heart, no conscience.
Screaming feed me here, fill me up again. Temporarily pacify this hungering."
The second time, weeks later, didn't stop at the barrier of clothes. The second time didn't start with an ambush. The second time started with Sebastian sat at the kitchen table, hunched over an article describing one of his murders—the newspaper, of course, didn't know that it was his—and a cup of tea. Jim pacing about the living room and speaking on the phone was background noise, as was the loud purring of the kitten on the mantle.
The second time started when the background noise stopped.
With a touch, a firm hand that spread across the back of Sebastian's shirt collar. A touch that made him automatically tense and straighten, a touch that sparked the wires of his nerves. A touch that moved like a spider up the back of his neck, to the back of his head, and curled in his hair. Jerked his head back so that he could see the black of Jim's eyes staring down at him.
Jim didn't say anything. He didn't need to say anything. His hold relented in Sebastian's hair and Sebastian stood. Jim's hands fell to his sides and he pulled Sebastian into the living room.
They didn't kiss. Jim's fingers were on Sebastian's shirt first, jerking it up and over his head and the rest of their clothes followed. They didn't kiss, lips didn't touch lips, but Jim's fingers touched Sebastian's lips, pushed themselves in for a brief moment that rendered Sebastian's stomach hollow. Without the armor of his suits, Jim seemed even more dangerous than usual, with his black eyes and tight lips and Sebastian realized then that the suits weren't armor to protect Jim, but to protect everyone else. Jim exposed was Jim and only Jim and counter-clockwise, just as methodical but enough to turn the world backwards.
Spread out on the sofa, Jim was only Jim, potentially lethal, close enough to Death to anchor Sebastian in his burning skin but far enough away to send him out of his mind, to send him higher than he could ever remember feeling, not that he could remember much as he climbed onto Jim and he certainly didn't remember there ever being lube in the drawer of the coffee table before.
Jim didn't close his eyes, only squinted. And he didn't close his mouth as Sebastian fucked him into the sofa, his lips blood red and parted to let out ragged breaths. When Sebastian planted his hands on Jim's chest and shoved his weight into the other man, he swore he felt Jim's small body deflate, swore every line in Jim's body slackened and relaxed except his eyes, which were watching him like blades.
Only when Sebastian pulled away, his body trembling and the sweat on his body cooling, did he feel the smolder of the lines that Jim's nails had torn into his back.
05: Closer by Nine Inch Nails
"I wanna fuck you like an animal.
You can have my isolation, you can have the hate that it brings.
You can have my absence of faith, you can have my everything."
The third time? About a week later, the third time found them much like the second time, with lines of fire down Sebastian's back, with Jim exposed beneath him, with serrated breaths that couldn't come fast enough. But the third time found them on the floor and, once Sebastian's back was bleeding, Jim reached up and grabbed the careless line of his tie that he had to the floor. The second time, Jim had shoved his fingers into Sebastian's mouth, but the third time, Jim shoved the tie into his mouth and used it to jerk Sebastian's head down, to the side, to the other side. Sebastian's jaw cracked and he hadn't thought it was possible for his head to get any dizzier.
After the third time, Sebastian looked at the kitten on the mantle and, for the first time, didn't wish Jim would just kill it already. He looked at the nails in the kitten's paws and then looked at his own hands.
Then, not only was Sebastian Death's left-hand man, but he was also Death's prey. When he stood behind Jim, a gun in his hand, he waited for Jim to turn on him and take his hand, yank him close enough to devour. For the first time in his life, Sebastian was the hunted; every time Jim turned towards him, his trigger finger twitched and every time Jim turned towards him, Sebastian couldn't be close enough.
The fourth time, Jim wrapped his belt around Sebastian's throat, threaded the leather through the loop and pulled until danger flooded Sebastian's veins and threatened to release him from his body.
The fifth, Sebastian bit too high on Jim's neck and Jim knocked his elbow against Sebastian's cheekbone. Fire sparked in Jim's eyes as Sebastian growled, pinned Jim's biceps to the floor and fucked him hard through the heat across his face.
The sixth, Sebastian couldn't move. Couldn't speak. Couldn't see, couldn't hear.
The sixth, Sebastian's nerves were wired and ablaze, and he itched all over, couldn't stop trying to move, especially when Jim smeared the butt of a burning cigarette across his wrist.
The sixth, Sebastian thought Jim would actually kill him, thought he had never felt more alive.
06: Sweet Dreams by Marilyn Manson
"Some of them want to use you. Some of them want to be used by you.
I gonna use you and abuse you, I'm gonna know what's inside you."
Jim took things apart. He took ideas apart and corrected their flaws. He took various specimen apart and examined their insides. He took people apart, sometimes with a knife and sometimes with words, and manipulated their existence into what he wanted. Ideas relented, specimen squirmed, people screamed. Always. Sebastian had seen all three in the year that he had been employed.
After Sebastian watched yet another man fall through his rifle's scope, he wondered how long it would be before Jim turned and took him apart too.
A couple of days later, Jim took his sight, the sense he most relied upon, and influenced it with a needle in his arm. Sebastian's jaw slackened and Jim gripped it, pressed his thumb down on Sebastian's tongue, and Sebastian saw things, impossible things, and realized then that Jim had already taken him apart.
He just hadn't screamed.
07: Mr. Self Destruct by Nine Inch Nails
"I am the need you have for more and I control you.
I am the bullet in the gun and I control you.
I take you where you want to go, I give you all you need to know.
I drag you down, I use you up."
Jim liked to think of them as a bomb. He liked to think of them as silent, then as quiet, but constant, just an unimposing tick, tick, tick. Then he liked to think of them as something no one could ignore, something enormous and destructive, merciless and burning. Then he liked to think of them as everlasting, with the infinite stains of ashes in their wake.
After all, Sebastian did look nice with burns across his skin.
08: Change (In the House of Flies) by Deftones
"I took you home, set you on the glass. I pulled off your wings.
Then I laughed.
I watched a change in you, like you never had wings.
Now you feel so alive."
Sebastian had chemically tested the water of the bathtub after Jim had said, "I've drawn a bath for you." Jim had witnessed this from the doorway, but hadn't said anything. He had given Sebastian time to trust the water, time to settle in and erase the tense lines of his body. This gave him time to dig out a pair of latex gloves from his kitchen.
Sebastian's head was propped up against the back of the tub when Jim entered the bathroom. His gray eyes flicked to their corners and watched Jim darkly.
"You're no use to me if you're dead," Jim said belatedly and approached the tub slowly. He delivered the words with a crooked line of his lips.
"I never know with you," Sebastian said, his voice rough around the edges and he stared at Jim's gloved hands.
Jim lowered himself so that he was sitting on the edge of the tub. "Why do you think I never touch your hands?"
Sebastian's lips twitched with unspoken words, no doubt cut short by the movement of Jim's hand. He reached forward and touched Sebastian's hair line with his fingers. His damp skin was warm beneath the gloves.
For a brief moment, Sebastian looked again at Jim's face with skepticism. Jim smiled and wrapped his fingers around Sebastian's temples, took note of Sebastian's pulse, and shoved his head underwater.
When Jim attacked Sebastian upon entering their flat, Sebastian did one of two things: dodge or retaliate. When Jim slipped a needle into Sebastian's arm, Sebastian looked at him like he looked at everyone else: with loathing. But that only lasted for a moment because then Sebastian looked at him like he was the barrel of a gun. When Jim arched beneath Sebastian, his breath gone and face red, and wrapped his fingers around Sebastian's throat, Sebastian tilted his head back and exposed more of his neck. When Jim drowned Sebastian, Sebastian first jolted, his body writhing beneath the water out of surprise. Water splashed into Jim's lap and across his shirt. Jim let him up, just long enough for Sebastian to gasp in a breath, before he shoved his head down again. The smile was gone from Jim's face; he was watching with dark concentration.
Sebastian moved with more purpose. His hands flew from the water and wrapped around Jim's wrist, hard, bruising, threatening to break his bones. But Jim didn't let go, he instead held on tighter and Sebastian's pulse was pounding beneath his fingers.
Then he was danger, and Sebastian's hands on his wrist didn't threaten him any longer. But they didn't let go, instead held on like Jim was his rifle.
Sebastian's index finger twitched and Jim let him up. Sebastian's pupils were blown as he gasped again, his body shaking, his face red. He managed to take in a few breaths before Jim smiled again and pushed him down. Sebastian kept his hold on Jim's arm, but he didn't fight any longer.
Sebastian's eyelashes fluttered beneath Jim's palm and Jim wondered what his hand looked like underwater, if it looked like a blindfold. Bubbles of breath floated against his wrist. Sebastian's fingers twitched and slackened. Jim looked down as Sebastian's body arched beneath the water, his cock hard against his stomach. His toes curled around the edge of the tub.
Just when Sebastian's fingers began to loosen and slip down his arm, Jim let him up.
Sebastian coughed and trembled, sat up like he didn't want to be near the water any longer, but nearly fell back into the water after he did so. Jim watched, only watched, his gloved hands curled in his lap.
Sebastian looked at Jim like he was worlds away.
09: Slept So Long by Jay Gordon
"I've killed a million petty souls, but I couldn't kill you. I've slept so long without you.
I see hell in your eyes, taken in by surprise.
Touching you makes me feel alive.
Touching you makes me die inside."
He knew there was no one to blame but himself when Jim sold him out. When Jim looked at him, looked down at him despite the fact he was nearly a foot shorter, and walked—sauntered, like he did, with his head back and stride long and hands in his pockets— away with his own life instead of Sebastian's. When hands restrained him and dragged him into a van, drugged him and, when he cursed James Moriarty and, above all, cursed himself for getting into this mess, for being careless, for letting them disarm him, for deciding to follow the trail that led to James Moriarty.
Admittedly, it didn't take long for him to remove himself from the situation. It was only a few days, though it seemed longer with the solitary confinement, his only company being a man who would occasionally come in and beat him. Above all else, it was boring, unnecessary, because this man wasn't dangerous; this man was authority, and Sebastian tried to tell him so, but it was hard to talk through bleeding gums.
The only time they bothered to move him from his room, the two men who held him dropped simultaneously and began to writhe on the floor and scream. Hands free, Sebastian crouched and grabbed the pistols from their belts and that was all he needed, no matter their numbers. He discarded their pistols when he tracked down his own, of course.
On the streets, it took even less time for Sebastian to realize that he had only one place to go.
"Three days," Jim announced from his chair by the fireplace when Sebastian entered their flat. "And thirteen hours."
Fire ignited inside of Sebastian and he pulled the pistol from its holster. Jim didn't look at him as he approached and shoved the barrel against Jim's forehead.
"Disappointing," Jim said quietly as he eyed the kitten on the mantel. "Yet not horrendous."
Sebastian cocked the gun and Jim finally looked at him. His eyes were dark, collected. He steepled his fingers in front of his lips. "Please," he said without humor, "I knew you'd get out of there. And if you didn't, you weren't worth employment."
"I told you, you're of no use to me if you're dead," Jim went on and Sebastian grit his teeth.
"And I'm of no use to you if I'm dead," Jim said and grinned crookedly. He touched Sebastian's stomach, stroked a blood stain on his shirt.
Sebastian hadn't felt a thing aside from anger when the masked man had smashed his fist into his nose. Jim's touch across his stomach felt hot through his shirt, made the tips of his fingers tingle as his heart began to pound. Sebastian's jaw untensed. The familiar heat inside him suffocated the fire.
"Oh, by the way," Jim said and leaned his forehead into the barrel of the gun, "did you know? When mixed with various chemicals, a wasp's toxins will lay dormant for a little over three days before taking an agonizing hold of the host's body?"
It took Sebastian a couple of hours to notice the kitten on the mantel was dead.
10: Stockholm Syndrome by Muse
"And I won't hold you back. Let your anger rise, and we'll fly, and we'll fall, and we'll burn.
And no one will recall.
This is the last time I'll abandon you, and this is the last time I'll forget you.
I wish I could."
Jim gave Sebastian the satisfaction of personally shooting the leader behind the ring of men who had held him captive. Shooting him six times, to be exact. One for each limb, once in the side, and the last for his mouth (Sebastian had to smash his teeth in to get to that one).
In the years after that, the eight years after that, Jim never again entertained the idea of letting someone else take Sebastian captive.
"I've burned you," Jim said all of those years later as he struck a match against its box. He lit a controlled fire upon the dining room table. The flame flickered in his eyes and he went on like he was talking to himself, "I've cut you, I've suffocated you, I've drowned you, I've punched you, kicked you, attacked you. Yet only once have you held a gun to my head."
Sebastian watched as the flame crept along the path Jim had created. It turned the corner and faded into a green hue. Jim tapped a couple of keys on his phone.
"I think," he started because he didn't know, not even after years, "it was because it seemed so lazy." So unlike Jim.
The corners of Jim's lips curved in the slightest. He tucked his phone away and leaned in close to the fire, which was now indigo. "I see," he purred and the fire tilted away from his breath.
Sebastian wasn't entirely sure that he saw what Jim did.
The next morning was the first time Sebastian heard Jim say, "Sherlock Holmes." Jim said the name against the lip of his tea cup, like it was the cream he'd poured into it. "The thin man on Baker Street." Jim didn't look at Sebastian as he sat opposite him, he instead looked through him, past him.
Sebastian thumbed his thigh holster.
Then, a couple months later, their business was no longer crime. Their business was Sherlock Holmes and his doctor, whose eyes sparked with recognition as Sebastian wrestled him down, knocked him out and brought him to the pool.
When Sherlock Holmes pointed his gun at the bomb sprawled on the pool deck, Sebastian's trigger finger twitched and he nearly did it.
It wasn't long before he realized that he should have.
11: From the Hips by Cursive
"We're at our worst when it's from our lips.
From our lips, we caused a rift, and the world has fallen in.
From babble, to ball room brawls, our words had formed a death sentence.
And I wish that we had never talked, our hips said it all."
Jim was gone a few weeks later. Gone without a trace, without a word, leaving Sebastian to the flat, to the business, "business" because Sebastian could feel it slipping out from beneath them. No one knew where Jim had gone; he'd left his phone on the mantle of the fire place, and it buzzed constantly, demanding more attention than Sebastian could give. Sebastian tried to hold everything they had together, he really did. Eventually he threw the phone across the room and left it shattered on the floor.
After a week, Sebastian had succumbed himself to accepting that Jim wasn't coming back. That he wasn't dead, no, Jim was immortal, but he wasn't coming back. That their firm wasn't enough for him, that Sebastian wasn't enough for him and, damn it, he hated job hunting. And he wouldn't have cared, he shouldn't have given a shit that Jim had decided to disappear, but he found himself angry.
On a Tuesday morning, he clutched his jacket closer to his body, patted its side to make sure his pistol was indeed there, stepped over Jim's phone, and opened the door with the intention to find a soul who needed a sniper.
Jim was standing there, wrecked and grinning with all of his teeth, and Sebastian wasn't sure if he had found one or not. He only contemplated it for a moment before Jim spread his hands across Sebastian's chest and pushed him back inside.
"I've done it," Jim said and stepped on the SIM card on the floor, "I've got him."
"Looks like you've kept up with the place," Jim said and Sebastian was still staring at the empty doorway.
"Where were you going? We've work to do," Jim said and Sebastian was still employed, it seemed. Still employed, and still angry.
Sebastian felt Jim come close and he turned, spun to smash his fist into Jim's jaw. "We've had work to do," he said gruffly and didn't trust his voice, but he spoke anyway, "we've had work, and now we don't have a thing because you disappeared to fuck knows where without so much as a word."
Jim spat blood onto his carpet and touched his jaw. "Mycroft Holmes invited me over," his voice pleasant. When he grinned again, his teeth were pink. "It felt rude to decline."
When they fell onto the floor, Sebastian was close enough to see sweat lining Jim's greasy hair line. Close enough to see the swollen veins of Jim's eyes, the shadows of exhaustion and bruises across his cheekbones. Close enough to feel Jim's breath leave as he jabbed his knee into Jim's chest bone.
"Oh dear," Jim laughed and choked and had to shove Sebastian off to turn over and spit out more blood. "I have missed you, Sebastian, no one can quite beat me like you do."
Then Jim fought back with less fervor than he used to, but with enough to send that rush through Sebastian's body.
Sebastian had Jim's arm twisted and bent behind his back and, when Sebastian came inside him, he nearly broke Jim's wrist. He nearly did it, he definitely wanted to.
Jim turned back around and he always did look good with blood dripping down his chin.
Two days later, Jim was arrested. Sebastian could only watch.
Three months after that, Jim was found not guilty, and Sebastian could only watch.
A package came to their flat before Jim did. It was addressed to no one, addressed from no one, so Sebastian opened it and found out that Jim Moriarty was now Richard Brook, and he could only watch.
12: Cleanser (Untitled 05) by Brand New
"We'll keep, keep, keep, keep you alive 'cause you're pretty and we need something to look at while we tear you up,
take what you love, and burn it down.
You swear to build, we swear to come and burn it down.
And I'm fine when you, you burn my core from a bottle."
Jim didn't say much the day before. He didn't do much the day before. The night before peeked into their flat and found them sitting with all of the lights off, sitting a bit too close to the fireplace. Jim stared at the fire, the glow illuminating the outline of his profile, and he'd occasionally reach over and pluck the cigarette from Sebastian's lips to take a drag. Above them, the broken smoke alarm said nothing.
A few times, Jim would open his mouth and keep things from Sebastian.
The next day was wafer-thin. Sebastian woke and found a note in Jim's place: 'Building across from St. Barts, there's a room for you on the top floor. Be there by eleven. Watch me and watch for the Doctor."
From his designated window, Sebastian couldn't hear a thing, but he watched. He blindly set up his rifle and watched. He watched Jim, watched for the signal, for anything, but Jim never once glanced his way. He watched Jim watch Sherlock, Sherlock like he was something to be bitten in half and chewed up. He watched as they stepped to the end of the building, as Sherlock tested the railing of the roof, and Sebastian then understood what he was to look for.
His heart was pounding, adrenaline flushed through his veins. He felt it, the hunt, the danger, the war raging quietly on top of the hospital.
Then Jim touched Sherlock, grabbed his hand, and Sebastian wondered if Sherlock could feel it, too.
The gunshot sounded distant from behind the window, like the pop of a balloon.
And Sebastian felt it no longer. He didn't feel a thing.
The doctor arrived from below, Sherlock spun and felt everything Sebastian couldn't.
Crosshairs lined across the doctor's temple and then Sherlock jumped. He jumped and fell to destroy his own mind, like he had destroyed Jim's.
From the window, Sebastian could only see a bump of Jim's corpse, and he didn't feel a thing. With blood running from the back of his head, did Jim look as good as he did with blood running down his chin?
Jim was immortal.
Not a thing.
13: Welcome to Bangkok by Brand New
Sebastian didn't feel a thing, not a thing.
Until three years later.
I feel: accomplished