Watson smirked as he stepped out into the room. Sherlock's voice had broken when he had voiced his name, and he could see all the dots joining behind the detective eyes. They were open and wide, and oh so easy to read.
“Well this is a turn up isn't it?”
His voice turned mocking, higher pitched, the excitement of a long awaited moment pouring adrenaline into his veins.
“Bet you weren't expecting this!”
Sherlock edged closer, his eyes directly on John's face, scanning it, trying to deny the truth he was seeing.
“John. John Watson. A military doctor home from Afghanistan. What have you done?”
“What I set out to do. To bring you down!”
He was grinning manically now. Sherlock's face was priceless. The man was still trying to hide his emotions by blanking his face, but he would give that up soon enough, and once again become an open book, his emotions a map inside his head.
“All these games, the bombs and murders. You were behind them all?”
It was no longer a question in Sherlock's voice, merely statement of fact as Sherlock accepted he was to die by John's hands.
Now John's smirked and looked Sherlock straight in the eye. This was the Sherlock he knew. He didn't want to waste time re-evaluating his life and the loss of his one friend, all he wanted was the details.
“A magician never reveals his tricks.”
“This is slightly more advanced that a bunny in a top hat though.”
Both of them smirked a little and John let himself wonder. What if he let Sherlock live? To work as a team? Solve crimes for the Yard whilst committing them behind theirs backs. Deducing all the little details of the murder they had done the night before. To have Sherlock's eyes always glued to him in fascination, of approval and pride. But that had never been the plan.
“Imagine Sherlock. If it wasn't me behind it all, why would I stay with you? Never to be the centre of your attention, never would you be proud of me, always brushing me aside whilst you chase after some useless criminal. But instead you get me, in all my glory. I have a whole organisation, hundreds of men at my feet. I set it all up just so you could bring it tumbling down, and I could applaud you, call you magnificent, and you would treat me as a friend. But you don't have friends. Honestly Sherlock, who would want YOU as a friend?”
Sherlock flinched backwards at the word friends and John remembered very clearly that Sherlock Holmes once said he didn't have friends, only enemies. Never had he been more correct.
“Nothing to say, no smart and witty remark? Cat got your tongue? Or are you heart-broken that this was all a game, since the very first time I met you. The phone, the drunk sister, the injury. All to get to you. Helas now you're in my way.”
“I didn't mean it as a compliment.”
“Yes you did.”
“Yeah OK I did. But the flirting over Sherlock, Johnny's had enough now.”
Sherlock slowly drew out a gun from his back pocket. John's gun in fact. Mimicking him, John reached into his jacket and pulled out an identical revolver. He aimed it and cocked his head.
“Oh the flirting Sherlock. That's what I'll miss the most. Finding ways to make you fall for me, it was all so predictably easy.”
“I'm sorry to have disappointed you.”
The detective was mocking John now, the gun steadily pointed at his chest, his eyes bright.
“Oh you revealed in it. Imagine, in a different universe, we were friends, actual friends, and you will have come here to night to find your dear friend, John Watson, strapped in a bomb. Whilst another madman gloats over the puzzles he set up. How DULL does that sound? Be grateful that you have me!”
Sherlock blinked slowly and John noted that it was his way of rearranging all the jumbled up thoughts in his head.
“Mycroft tried to scare me away, you know. Always worried about you. He saw something, but once he saw you by my side that night after I killed a man for you, he ignored it. All because you smiled. An amateur mistake in his half. I had to resist killing you straight away. Had to kill all those men for you just so everyone would think we were in love. They will never suspect me now, that I was your killer. Your loyal dog. The doctor doesn't have the guts to kill you. And after your death, they will leave me to deal with my grief. I shall drag it out for a while, just long enough that they are relieved when I finally decide to change flat, to leave all memory of you behind. I never wanted you Sherlock, as a friend or foe, or assistant. All I want is you dead...”
“I could shoot you right now.”
“No you won't. By doing that, you would burn yourself. Killing me would burn the heart out of you.”
“I have been reliably informed I don't have one.”
“We both know that's not quite true.”
Watson hesitated as he saw Holmes eyes trail over him and spoke on a softer tone.
“Quiet, calm, peaceful John Watson. Your perfect other half. A bit too perfect don't you think? This isn't a fairytale.”
“If it is, it's a twisted one.”
Sherlock, for the first time since he had arrived at the pool, held sadness in his eyes.
“I wasn't even aware you read fairy tales Sherlock. Too busy living your twisted love story with Doctor Watson. You fell head over heels with me. You fell so fast you didn't see the ground coming. And then I set up this game to make sure you didn't catch up.”
Sherlock remained immobile, his eyes taking everything in as he breathed steadily in and out.
“Tell me, what does it feel like to have you heart torn in two. The ultimate betrayal. The Calm and peaceful doctor. Not so hatefully boring now am I?”
Sherlock spoke softly but John still caught every word and his eyes danced in a silent laughter.
In those last few seconds, Sherlock looked at John, the man he believed he had loved, twisted into a murderous monster, the eyes too wide and the grin too mad. And he was glad he had fallen in love with this man, the man this psychopath had pretended to be. Because at least he had felt something. Even though his heart had broken, he could still feel the dull burning in his chest. And he would take that over feeling nothing at all. And he would happily live it all again.
He could imagine a life where John was his friend, had killed to protect him and giggled at his side without any other motives. How could he ever resist falling for him? But this wasn't that universe.
Sherlock had relied on John, in everything he did, from eating to breathing. But now Sherlock carefully deleted John from his hard drive/
All the fond smiles, the shared giggles at crime scenes, the fights over the milk. The meals at restaurants with candles. The mocking from Scotland Yard about his 'partner'. The two armchairs opposite each other in front of the fireplace. The body parts in the fridge. The thrill of the chase as they ran the back streets in the dark. Everything.
And once he was finished, he raised his eyes to lock with John's, his former friend. Watson merely smirked and cocked his head again.
Swallowing, he steadied his hand and moved his finger on the trigger.
But it was too late, John had already shot him twice and the last thing Sherlock ever saw in the world, before the darkest claimed his eyes and mind, was John's disgusted sneer over his dead body.