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Seb didn’t look up when he heard the front door close. He was angry with Jim, had been running the same thoughts over and over ever since the other man had gone out. He didn’t want to think about where he might have gone, but he knew. The footsteps approaching in the hallway just brought the inevitable argument closer so he stared straight ahead, pretending to be engrossed in the programme on the TV. A hand on his shoulder, a kiss on his cheek, more footsteps and then a body flopping down next to him on the couch. He didn’t turn round, didn’t even blink. He was aware that he was being spoken to, but he refused to hear the words.

Moments later, he tuned in just in time to hear, “He doesn’t have a clue! He really hasn’t worked it out! But it won’t be long until I can show him who I am. We could be so brilliant together.”

Seb’s head snapped to the left to look right at Jim, burning inside. “Why don’t you just fuck him then?!”

Jim looked confused. “What…?”

Seb sneered and pulled the platinum band – his engagement ring - from his left ring finger. “Or better still, why don’t you marry him?” He shoved the ring into Jim’s hands and closed the man’s fingers around it. “He’s obviously so much better than me!” he hissed as he stood up, with every intention of storming out and going to bed, leaving Jim to sleep in the spare room.

Fingers closed around his wrist as Jim rose from the sofa to face him. “Where has this come from?” he asked, even more confused than before.

Refusing to look at Jim, Seb tried and failed to hold back the tears which had been threatening to make an appearance for the last few hours. “Ever since you’ve known about him… it’s been worse since you met him, though. It’s like I don’t exist.” Jim tried to speak but the taller man continued. “What’s wrong with me? I thought I was all you needed, you asked me to marry you!”

Jim sighed, wondering if he’d really been neglecting his partner. He’d certainly been putting a lot of time into the cases he was creating for Sherlock. That was all though; that couldn’t be it, could it? He was about to ask but Seb seemed determined to finish what he had to say. “He’s all you talk about, even when we’re out on a date. You say you’re too tired to have sex but then I hear you and you’re saying his name.” Still not making eye contact, he kept crying and hoping he wasn’t about to be ditched.

Fuck. Jim had tried so hard to hide what he was doing but, obviously, it hadn’t been good enough. “Seb, I’m so sorry. I had no idea I was even mentioning him so much.” Taking Seb’s hand and lifting his chin with the other hand, Jim pressed a kiss to his fiancé’s lips and then looked at him. “I think I got a bit carried away. I mean, you’ve seen him – he’s gorgeous. And you understand what it’s like for me, in my head. He’s like me. We could be great together…”

Seb looked like he was about to cry even more, until Jim took his other hand. “I mean for work. Not like us. We are great together. We’ve got something special. I asked you to marry me because I love you.” Bending down, Jim picked the ring up from the sofa and placed it gently back on Seb’s ring finger. “And you love me too?”

The taller man nodded, then leaned in, choosing to cling to Jim and snuffle rather than try to make sense of it all. He knew he came second-best to the excitement and danger Jim found through his work, but there was some reassurance in the fact he wasn’t second-best to some flouncing pretty-boy. Still, as he buried his fingers in his lover’s shirt and nipped softly at the skin just below his ear with his teeth, he made a mental note. He would keep a very close eye on Sherlock personally, just to make sure. After all, he was a crack shot – an ex-SAS sniper, at that. One twitch of his trigger finger and the detective would be out of their lives. He’d killed before to keep Jim out of trouble, and he would happily do it again. Jim was his. If the detective had to be told this, he wouldn’t live to regret not knowing.