“That’s the thing that really bothers you, isn’t it?” Luther says, watching the witness from across the table. Their interview room lets in no light, and he feels as if he’s been in here for hours. Logically, he knows that it hasn’t been more than ten minutes. There’s just something about this guy’s attitude that gets to him. “It isn’t that you’re pissed off that Lestrade isn’t here to baby you along. It isn’t that you think you’ve got better things to do with your time. It isn’t even that you give a damn about this case.”
Luther gets up from his seat and paces around the interview room, his hands buried in his pockets, his head bowed. He makes his way over to the consulting detective, who sits calmly and watches him approach. Luther recognises that ultra-alert intelligence in Sherlock’s eyes. He’s seen it before on Alice’s face, the glee as she eyed him up as an opponent.
“No, I know what the problem here is. You’re worried.” He plants a hand on the back of Sherlock’s chair.
Sherlock cranes to look up at him, an expression of studied disinterest on his face. Luther can see right through that act. “Tell me, then. What precisely am I worried about?”
“You’re worried about me,” Luther says. He leans down to speak his last words into Sherlock’s ear, close enough to feel the shiver that goes through him. “You’re worried I might just be better than you.”
He straightens up once more and ambles to the side of the room. It only takes Sherlock a moment or two to come up with a biting response, but that pause is all that it takes to reveal all those tender insecurities. Meeting Sherlock’s eyes while he smiles, Luther thinks they both know that he gets Sherlock now.