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Mormor Prompts

Chapter Text

“Chinese or Italian?” Sebastian called out from the kitchen. “Oh, or Mexican? I could go for Mexican.”

Jim didn’t look up from his laptop as he answered. “Whatever you want, Bastian. Your pick tonight.”

Sebastian poked his head around the corner with a slight frown. “Well, the last time we went with Mexican it got rather messy.”

“And whose fault was that?”

“Fuck you.”

“Later, dear. I’m busy right now.”

Sebastian ducked back inside the kitchen. “I think I’m gonna go with Chinese.”

Jim looked up as Sebastian emerged, a Norinco QBU-88 rifle balanced on his shoulder. He grinned. “Sounds good to me.”

Chapter Text

“You can’t be serious.”

“Shut up.”

Sebastian stared wide-eyed the man next to him on the sofa. Jim had his arms crossed around his legs, pulling his knees up into his chest like a sulking five year old. The soft blue glow of the television screen flickered across his lover’s face. “Come on, maybe if you gave it another shot –“

“So help me, Sebastian, if you keep this movie on I will personally see to it that you are dismantled one limb at a time.”

“But it’s ET! It’s a family movie!”

Jim turned and growled at him. “That fucking alien is freaky now change the god damn channel.

Sebastian tried his best to hide his laughter as he pulled Jim back into his arms and hit the channel button. “Fine,” he said, leaning to plant a kiss on Jim’s neck. “We’ll watch something else.”

Chapter Text

“I’m not stupid, Moran. I know how this works, I know what this means.” Ian Monkford stood in the grass at the edge of a dirt road as Sebastian slowly circled around him. He put his hands on his hips and continued. “Botched job, Moriarty’s been compromised, now all of a sudden I get a free trip to the middle of nowhere. Let me guess, this is a one-way vacation.”

“Something like that.” Sebastian drew his pistol from its holster and raised it to Ian’s head, early morning light glinting off the cold metal.

The other man laughed. “I get it. Moriarty gets you to do all his dirty work, yeah? So he can keep his prissy little hands clean? God, he’s got you as his own personal lapdog, doesn’t he? He says ‘Roll over’ and you’re on your back, panting like a good little boy.”

“Not quite,” Sebastian smirked. “Jim’s usually on his back, though you’ve got the panting part right.”

A look of complete surprise was the last thing that crossed Ian’s face as the bullet hit him square between his eyes.

Chapter Text

“Her name was Cassidy,” Sebastian found himself saying. He stared up at the bedroom ceiling. Why was he bringing this up now?

Jim turned his head to face Sebastian, resting his chin on his arms crossed on top of Sebastian’s chest. They’d been lying like this for quite some time, the quiet contentment of the recently fucked.

“She wasn’t my first,” he continued, running a hand along Jim’s naked back. “Wasn’t even the second or third. We were both 21,” his lips twitched in a sad smile. “Young idiots.”

Closing his eyes, Jim listened to the steady in and out of Sebastian’s breath. He felt the rise and fall of his lover’s chest, the slight vibration through his whole body as he spoke.

“I bought her a ring and everything. It wasn’t much – just a tiny diamond with sapphires. I had it all planned out, where we’d go, how I was gonna ask…” He rested his hands on the small of Jim’s back, just under the soft cotton sheets that were pulled over them both. “She left me, though. Said we weren’t right for each other, that we’d just be settling.”

Jim’s breathing had evened out, slow and steady. Sebastian glanced down at the man asleep on his chest and wrapped his arms protectively around him.

“I think I finally see her point.”

Chapter Text

“What the hell are you eating?” Jim asked, stopping in his tracks as he passed the kitchen.

Sebastian was seated on a stool at the breakfast bar. He paused, fork halfway to his mouth. “Uh, dinner?”

“Is that the leftover Chinese… with mashed potatoes?”

“And beans,” Sebastian added, shrugging.

“And hot sauce, I imagine.”

“Naturally.”

Jim shook his head. “I swear, you will eat just about anything.”

“I was hungry!” Sebastian said, pointing his fork accusingly. “And since somebody refuses to go to the shops and somebody else has been rather busy lately with that Russian job that somebody made him do single-handedly we don’t exactly have fully stocked cupboards at the moment.” Sebastian punctuated the end of his rant with a rather defiant mouthful of Moo Goo Gai Potatoes.

Jim just rolled his eyes as he continued on his way to the desk in the corner. “There is no way I’m eating that conglomerate,” he called over his shoulder.

Sebastian sighed, defeated. “I’ll head out to Tesco as soon as I’m done.”

Chapter Text

Sebastian arched an eyebrow, sitting back on the couch with his arms crossed. Jim was standing in front of him brandishing a plate of heart-shaped cookies frosted with bright red icing. “Come on, Bastian… I worked hard on these,” he said.

“Babe, you know I love you –” Jim made a face at that “– but when it comes to food, I trust you about as far as I can throw you.”

“For the last time, the thing with the spaghetti was a misunderstanding.” He waggled the plate under Sebastian’s nose. “Go on… just try one,” he said, a note of command in his voice that he knew Sebastian wouldn’t be able to ignore.

Sighing, Sebastian gingerly extracted one of the garish cookies from the plate, causing Jim to grin proudly. “What’s in this?” he asked, still suspicious.

“Flour, sugar, eggs, milk, a little nutmeg…” Jim watched as Sebastian swallowed a cautious bite. “…mild hallucinogenic…”

Sebastian gagged and immediately dropped the offending confection back onto the plate. “Jesus, Jim… what the hell?”

“You are such an easy mark,” Jim trilled, finishing Sebastian’s cookie as he sauntered back to the kitchen.

Chapter Text

Sebastian bustled about the kitchen, opening several cupboards and drawers, growing more exasperated by the minute. “Jim!” he called out. “Jim, what the fuck did you do with my piping bags?”

“I haven’t touched your bloody piping bags!” came the shouted reply from the back office.

“They were right here by the butter cream! I swear I just saw them…” Sebastian opened yet another cupboard with a bit too much force. He was rewarded with a five-pound bag of flour smacking him in the face as it was jostled from the top shelf. “Oh for FUCK’S SAKE,” he cried as he sank to the floor, covered in white powder.

Jim poked his head out of the office. “Bastian? You okay?”

“No, I’m not o-bloody-kay,” he said bitterly. “I can’t find my fucking piping bags, I’m now covered in flour, our grand opening is in less than two hours and I haven’t even gotten the first two flavors into the bloody oven yet.” He buried his face in his hands.

Jim walked over and sank to the floor next to Sebastian. “Come here,” he said, pulling Sebastian into his shoulder. He winced slightly as flour covered his suit. “It’s going to be fine. I’ll find your bloody piping bags, get you a clean shirt and your assistants will be here in ten minutes to get the batter into the oven.”

“I’m just nervous,” Sebastian said with a sigh, burying his face in Jim’s shoulder. “What if no one comes?”

“People will come,” Jim said in a tone that implied there would be painful consequences for the citizens of Helsinki if people didn’t come. “Your cupcakes are legendary, even the ones with the sodding hot sauce frosting.” He kissed the top of Sebastian’s head before patting his arm. “Especially the ones with the hot sauce frosting. Now get up, Mr. Moran. There are cupcakes to be made.”

Chapter Text

Jim traced a finger around the black symbol on Sebastian’s back, the only mark on his body that wasn’t a scar. It was a very simple celtic knot in a circle, the line snaking around in two round loops and two square. Jim followed the swoop of the line, sliding over the slight bump where a scar cut through. The scar was old, so the tattoo must have been much older. Jim knew the story behind those scars – he loved to hear about the encounter with the tiger and Sebastian loved to tell him about it. But no matter how hard Jim tried, how much he begged, or how often he threatened, Sebastian never told him the story of the tattoo. He never stopped asking, though - and for that, Sebastian was grateful.


Chapter Text

Sebastian lay on the couch, thumbing through the latest British Journal of Science. He was reading through a study on classical and public key cryptography when he heard a small noise of frustration from the corner desk. Peaking over the top of the journal, he could just see Jim’s back as he sat at the desk, scribbling at something with a pencil.

“Jim?” he called, but got no response. With a shrug he returned to his article. Some moments later, as Sebastian was engrossed in the theoretical study of the electronic properties of Silabenzene molecules, he heard a slight growl from the desk area. “Babe?” Still no response. Time to pull out the big guns. “Sweetheart?”

“Don’t call me sweetheart,” was the grumbled reply. Well at least he was still responsive. Sebastian turned back to the article, a sly smile on his lips.

Sebastian was nearly finished with his article when he heard the small, unmistakable crack of a pencil being snapped in two. Sighing, he set the journal down on top of the pile on the coffee table and pushed himself up off the couch. Best to intervene before something more substantial than a pencil got in the way of Jim’s frustration. They’d only just replaced the office chair last week. He walked up behind his lover at the desk and snaked his arms around his shoulders, crouching down. “Babe…” he purred into his ear.

Jim was still scribbling with the bottom half of the broken pencil – some sort of diagram for fitting a bomb onto a wearable vest. “Go away.”

“No.” Sebastian bit at his earlobe playfully.

“Why?” Jim asked, harshly.

“Because you’re frustrated and I like angry sex.” This time there was nothing playful about the bite at Jim’s ear.

“I’m busy,” Jim replied, though his voice had lost a bit of its edge.

“You know you think better after a good orgasm, babe,” Sebastian said as he slid one hand down to Jim’s thigh. The other delicately extracted the broken pencil from Jim’s left hand. Jim made a small growling sound but didn’t resist. Victory.

“Fine. But you better make this worth my time,” Jim said, voice low.

Sebastian spun the office chair around and sank to his knees with a grin. “Don’t I always?”

Chapter Text

To say Jim Moriarty was a man of his word would be a lie. He’d made and broken countless agreements, treaties, contracts and pacts during his lifetime. His ever-changing whims had derailed the plans and preparations of organizations throughout the country. They were nothing but empty words, meaningless papers, hollow promises, easily cast aside once deemed worthless or tedious or boring.

The only contract Jim would never break was formalized in a document currently secured in a safety deposit box at Barclays. It was a simple piece of paper with five signatures.

Two witnesses.

The registrar.

His own.

And directly beside that, the signature of the man who now held him in his arms.

Jim shifted slightly, pulling at the sheets and causing Sebastian to tighten his grip around him involuntarily. Sebastian yawned as he was pulled into consciousness. “Mmm… ‘sa matter, babe?” he asked sleepily.

“Nothing,” Jim murmured. There was a moment of silence, then Jim spoke again. “I’ll never leave you, you know.”

Sebastian leaned his head down to kiss the top of Jim’s. “Yeah, I know, I’m stuck with you,” he said with a chuckle, rubbing his thumb against Jim’s arm. “Now what brought that on?”

Jim just shook his head slightly and Sebastian knew not to press the subject any further. Every so often, Jim would utter some nighttime confession out of the blue – Sebastian never knew where they came from, and Jim never elaborated.

After a few minutes, Sebastian felt Jim’s breathing even out as they both fell asleep. 

Chapter Text

“Pass me a hammer, Basher.”

“Basher?” Sebastian looked up from the circuit board he was soldering, clearly confused.

Jim waved his hand impatiently without turning his head. “Hammer, I said. Give me.”

“Since when do you call me ‘Basher’?” Sebastian put his tools down and crossed his arms.

“I don’t know, what do I usually call you? Hammer.” Jim snapped his fingers.

“What do you usually… You don’t even realize you do it, do you?” Sebastian shook his head at the impossible man currently sitting on top of his workbench.

“Don’t even realize I do what, exactly?” Jim turned and narrowed his eyes at Sebastian’s clearly amused expression.

Sebastian held up his hand and started counting off on his fingers. “You call me Bastian when you’re being cute, you’re bored, or you want me to do something; Seb when you’re in a hurry and I’m holding you back or you’re mad at me because I’m right and you’re wrong; Babe when you’re distracted, Sweetheart when you’re being sarcastic and Tiger when you’re horny.”

“I really don’t think –”

“Shush. Moran when you’re giving me orders or you feel like being condescending, Colonel when I’m on thin ice, and Sebby,” he shivered, “when I’ve really pissed you off and you’re contemplating the precise method to use when you rip my spine out through my ear.” He sat back on his stool and gave Jim a triumphant look. “But you have never, not once, in the five years I’ve known you, called me ‘Basher.’”

“Well. That’s…” Jim blinked a few times, “very observant of you. Sweetheart.

“Ha ha, very funny. Doesn’t make it any less true,” Sebastian said with a smirk as he grabbed a hammer from the nearby toolbox and passed it to Jim.

Chapter Text

“Try it.”

“It looks disgusting.”

“It’s just spun sugar, try it.”

“It even sounds disgusting.”

“How does sugar sound disgusting?” Sebastian plucked a tuft of bright pink fluff from the cone in his hand and waved it in front of Jim. Around them, the noise and bustle of the carnival swirled with laughter and music and electronic bleeps from the various game booths.

Jim narrowed his eyes at Sebastian as he gingerly took the offered tuft between two fingers. “And what do I get in return for trying this disgusting excuse for a confectionary delicacy?”

“I’ll win you whatever you want at that shooting range,” Sebastian said, pointing to a booth set up like an old western saloon. Gaudy stuffed animals hung limply from hooks that surrounded the opening.

Jim arched an eyebrow. “Fine,” he said, popping the cotton candy into his mouth. He shuddered, but Sebastian knew it was only for show. “But I want the big purple one.”

Sebastian chuckled and slung his arm around Jim’s shoulders as he steered him toward the booth. “Anything for you, babe.”

Chapter Text

“Do we have any lemons?” Jim twirled a pen in one hand as he sat at his desk, staring out the window.

Sebastian looked up from his crossword at the sound of Jim’s voice. From where he was sitting at the breakfast bar, he could only see Jim’s back. He had his earbuds in and was swaying slightly. “Lemons? I think we have lemon juice, but no actual lemons, babe.” He waited for a reply. Receiving none, he went back to his crossword with a shrug.

After fifteen minutes of silence, Jim abruptly burst out laughing – a sharp bark that nearly sent Sebastian off of his stool in surprise. Jim clapped a hand over his mouth, still shaking slightly as Sebastian furrowed his eyebrows in confusion. His lover was not the sort of criminal mastermind that was prone to fits of maniacal laughter. Sebastian was about to ask what the hell was going on when Jim stood and announced he was going into his office.

Jim chuckled softly to himself as he walked the length of the hallway.

-+-

Three days. It had been three days of Jim milling about the flat with his earbuds more or less glued into place. Sebastian was on edge from constantly being startled by Jim’s random bursts of laughter. Jim had even worn them in bed last night and the fact that Sebastian’s advances had been met with nothing but giggles had done a number on his ego.

And now here it was.

Jim was in the shower, the one place he couldn’t bring his precious iPhone. The offending device was sitting innocently on the small set of drawers beside their bed. All Sebastian had to do was lean across and he could grab it. He’d never dared to touch Jim’s phone before and he didn’t know what Jim would do if he found Sebastian with it…

He didn’t hesitate very long.

In one fluid motion, he stretched across the bed and snatched the phone. Swiping at the screen, he was surprised to find it didn’t have lock code on it at all. He supposed Jim figured that no one would be daft enough to touch his phone and thus there was no need to secure it. He slipped the earbuds into his ears and thumbed his way to the Recently Played playlist.

-+-

Sebastian didn’t hear when Jim got out of the shower. He didn’t hear when the water stopped, didn’t hear the whine of Jim’s electric toothbrush or the hum of his shaver. He didn’t see the bathroom door open or the look on Jim’s face as he froze at the sight of Sebastian on their bed with his phone. He simply had one arm thrown across his eyes as he was sprawled out above the sheets, whole body shaking with laughter.

Sebastian did, however, feel the dip in the mattress as Jim moved to kneel beside him. Lifting his arm, he opened one eye to see that Jim’s face was ice cold. Sebastian supposed he should have felt something akin to fear, but at that moment the characters in the radio play he was listening to hit their Otter Target and he simply dissolved into laughter again.

Jim leaned across Sebastian’s chest to pluck one earbud from his ear. “Sebastian,” he cooed. “Darling. Love of my life…” He trailed a finger down Sebastian’s chest before continuing, “if you ever touch my phone again I will murder you in your sleep.” With that, Jim popped the single earbud into his own ear and curled up against Sebastian’s side. “Now put on Limerick, it’s my favorite.”

Sebastian grinned and pressed a kiss into Jim’s damp hair before hitting play.

Chapter Text

He was lost. Dark, ominous shapes called out to him with muffled words in a language no one would understand. He was running, running, running, falling…

They were surrounding him now, voices in the mist, noise and forms hidden behind a veil of black and he was still falling, further and further down.

Help me, he wanted to shout. He opened his mouth, but nothing. No sound. Help me! Someone! Still the air refused to leave his lungs and he was choking.

New sounds now, banging, a muffled cry. He’d stopped falling, he was on his back. He tried to move but he’d forgotten how. Just leave me alone! he tried to shout but was met only with silence.

Banging, banging, then a crash! They were coming for him, they were all around – they were on him! He lashed out, limbs finally remembering their purpose as he tried to fight off his attackers, but they were strong, so strong… and they were talking to him.

“Jim…” They whispered and hissed. They knew his name?

Go away, go away…

“Jim… love, wake up…”

Go away go away go away… hands were on him, but only two? Two, and they were running soothing circles on his back… his back?

“Babe, I’m here… please wake up, love…” That voice…

He opened his eyes, blinking the world into focus.

Sebastian.

He glanced around. The shapes and veils were gone. He was in his office, head in his arms on his desk. The door that had been locked had splinters for hinges now and hung at a crooked angle.

“You broke my door…” Jim managed to say in a hoarse whisper.

Sebastian never stopped his hands on Jim’s shoulders, reassuring himself as much as he was Jim. “You were shouting, love. I was worried.”

Jim looked at him. There was still worry in his sniper’s eyes. “I’m fine.” He said finally, shrugging Sebastian’s hands off his shoulders.

Sebastian narrowed his eyes but knew better than to press the issue. This certainly wasn’t the first time Jim had been shouting in his sleep. And, he thought painfully, it certainly wouldn’t be the last. “I’ll call the repairman for the door then…” Sebastian said as he flicked through his mobile’s contact list, though his voice still sounded strained.

Jim nodded. He waited until Sebastian had gone out in the hall where there was better reception to take in a deep breath. He watched Sebastian sway slightly as he talked into the mobile. He hugged his arms at his sides. “Thank you,” he said, soft enough that Sebastian would never hear.

Chapter Text

“What do you mean you have to ‘play gay’? You are gay.” Sebastian said, watching Jim twist and turn in the full-length mirror that hung behind their bedroom door.

Jim glanced at Sebastian in the mirror and looked puzzled. “It’s a Sherlock thing and no I’m not. Toss me the blue one again.”

Sebastian grabbed a blue t-shirt from the growing pile on their bed and threw it at Jim. “What do you mean? You’re married to me. I think the odds are pretty heavily in favor of you being gay. Or at least bisexual.”

“I am not gay, or bisexual, or any other label you decide to come up with, Sebastian. That would mean I was attracted to other men.” He slipped the tossed shirt over his head. “Do you think the blue?  Maybe the grey one, the v-neck.” Jim held the shirt up to his chest as he checked himself in the mirror.

“And is this some heavy-handed jab against my manliness? Also the grey one goes better with the green pants if you’re seriously going to wear those.”

Jim was getting increasingly frustrated that Sebastian couldn’t grasp his meaning. Pulling the blue tshirt back off over his head, he turned to face him. “No, you idiot. Do I have to spell everything out for you? I’m not gay. I’m not attracted to other men.” He paused as he pulled the grey v-neck on. “I’m only attracted to you.”

Sebastian smiled softly at that. “The grey one, then love. Definitely the grey.”

Chapter Text

The flat was fucking freezing. Apparently, the furnace had gone belly up sometime during the last two days while Jim and Sebastian had been away. And two days without heating and record-low temperatures in the city meant that every single pipe in the place had been frozen solid. It was a plumber’s worst nightmare.

They both shivered as they dropped their luggage by the door. How could it possibly be colder inside than it was outside? Sebastian glanced at his watch and groaned. Even the far reaches of Jim’s criminal empire would be unlikely to locate a repairman at 11:43pm on a Sunday.

“We could always kip in a safehouse for the rest of the night,” Sebastian suggested, his words coming out in puffy little clouds of breath. He made his way to the kitchen and twisted a knob on the tap. Nothing. Well, so much for tea. “Isn’t there one a few blocks from here?”

Jim slumped onto a stool by the breakfast bar, burying his face in the folds of the sleeves of his ridiculous parka. Jim did not take kindly to cold weather. “Ugh, I don’t want to walk all the way over there,” he said, voice muffled by the fur-lined hood that had flopped over his head.

Sebastian lifted a corner of the hood to look into one large, chestnut-brown eye. “It’d be warmer.”

“Don’t care. Not leaving. Just make it warmer here.”

“Won’t be able to call anyone until the morning. But I think I know a way we can both warm up. Come on,” Sebastian said, smacking at Jim’s down-covered back. He started to head in the direction of their bedroom, tugging at Jim to follow.

Five minutes later, Sebastian had piled every blanket, quilt, sheet, duvet and comforter he could find, as well as a few of his old jackets for good measure, on top of their bed. He unzipped his coat and started to strip.

Jim arched an eyebrow. “What are you doing?”

“I would think you’d have seen this enough times to know the answer to that question, love.”

He shot him a look. “No, I mean, wouldn’t it be warmer to, y’know, sleep in our nice, warm clothing?”

“Nope, because,” Sebastian said, shedding his shirt as he made his way to where Jim was perched on the edge of the bed, “when one is attempting to share body heat, it’s most effective when one has full skin-on-skin contact.” He brought his hand to Jim’s jaw, rubbing slightly to illustrate his point.

Jim’s mouth first made a little “o” before widening into a grin. He slipped out of his parka, adding it to the mountain of fabric atop their bed. Clothing soon shed, they both crawled beneath the covers (and quilts and trousers and jackets).

 “I’m still cold, ‘Bastian,” Jim said with a huff as he attached himself to the larger man’s side.

“Give it a couple minutes, Jim.” Sebastian rubbed his hands up and down Jim’s arms and back, bringing warmth through friction. Jim copied his movements, tangling their legs together in an effort to maximize contact surface area.

As they slowly started to heat up, Sebastian’s hand began to drift south. Jim slapped him away lightly. “None of that. No running water, remember? Last thing I want is to be all sticky until the pipes are fixed.”

“Well,” Sebastian said with a suggestive little eyebrow waggle, “I’m pretty sure I’ve got a solution for that, too. And it’ll definitely warm you up.” He waited until Jim smirked and nodded before ducking beneath the blankets and trailing kisses down Jim’s chest.

The weight of the pile was an interesting sensation, pushing him closer to Jim’s flushing skin.  Sandwiched between the pile of fabric above and his lover below, Sebastian took Jim’s flaccid cock into his mouth, enjoying the feeling of Jim growing hard against his tongue.

He set a quick pace – the air beneath the covers was quickly growing stuffy, but it was definitely preferable to the chill beyond them. Sebastian’s hands ran along the most sensitive areas of Jim’s sides and chest until Jim caught one, bringing it up from beneath the covers and to his own mouth, sucking at two fingers. Sebastian grinned and hummed against Jim’s cock, he knew what was coming next.

Jim released Sebastian’s fingers and pushed his hand down. If he was begging, it was only stifled sounds that reached Sebastian’s blanket muffled ears, but he could tell by the way Jim was squirming that he was aching for it. He pushed one finger in and then Jim’s hands were on his head, tight in his hair, and Jim’s ragged breathing was audible now – he must have ducked his head beneath the covers as well.

“Fuck,” he heard Jim gasp. “You’re vicious tonight.”

Sebastian pulled off. “Too fast for you?”

With a grunt of annoyance, Jim tightened his grip on Sebastian’s head. “Don’t you dare stop.” Sebastian grinned and answered with two fingers into Jim’s hole, causing Jim to let out a choked moan. Jim’s fingernails were raking against Sebastian’s scalp as Sebastian kept up the brutal rhythm.

Finally, Sebastian licked along the entirety of Jim’s cock and took him as deep as he could. Two harder sucks and then a muffled squeak was all the warning Sebastian got – Jim was arching his back as he came deep within Sebastian’s throat.

After he had swallowed and sucked Jim down, hungry for every last drop, Sebastian crawled up to capture Jim’s mouth in a quick kiss before popping his head out from under the covers, desperate for fresh air. The bitter chill of the bedroom was like ice water splashing against his flushed cheeks and he quickly disappeared back into the warmth of their fabric cocoon.

Jim’s eyelids were already drooping. It’d been a long few days and he’d just had one hell of an orgasm. He muttered something about taking care of Sebastian in the morning before his breathing evened out and he was lost to the realm of dreams. Sebastian chuckled before dropping a kiss to Jim’s forehead and wrapping him in his arms – safe and loved and warm. 

Chapter Text

This is the list that is currently stuck to Jim and Sebastian’s refrigerator by a “#1 Boss!” magnet:

  • Milk

  • Chicken

  • Peppers (red, green, yellow)

  • Hot sauce

  • Broccoli

  • Cauliflower

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Steak (ribeye or NY strip)

  • Ground pork

  • Curry powder

  • Hot sauce

  • Cayenne pepper

  • Oregano

  • Oil (coconut, almond, peanut)

  • Jim stop crossing out hot sauce

  • Maple syrup

  • Bananas (plantains?)

  • Cocoa powder

  • Cinnamon

  • Protein bars

  • Bleach

  • Ammonia

  • Sea salt

  • Chocolate chips

  • Cupcakes

  • Jim, you don’t need cupcakes

  • And you don’t need any more sodding hot sauce

Chapter Text

“I can’t believe you’ve still got this old thing,” Sebastian said as he sat on the floor of their bedroom. Several objects, from clothing to notebooks to assorted gun parts, lay littered around him in a circle, sorted into loose categories.

“What old thing?” Jim was lying on his back on the bed, thumbing through an outdoorsman catalogue and pointedly not helping Sebastian as he went through the boxes from the basement.

Sebastian held up a gaudy London tourist hat. “This.”

“What about it?”

“I thought we’d gotten rid of all the Holmes memorabilia years ago.”

Jim just shrugged noncommittally “So toss it out if it bothers you that much.” He went back to his catalogue. They could use a new tent. The last time they’d gone camping the tent had rather become collateral damage.

Sebastian slipped the cap onto his head and leaned back to check his reflection in the mirror. “I think it kind of works.”

“It works to make you look like a prat, yes.”

“Hey, you were the one who had me buy it in the first place,” Sebastian said, pointing an accusing finger in Jim’s direction. “For you to wear, no less.”

“All part of the game, dear.”

“The game that we agreed was over.” Sebastian said, suddenly serious. “And that you’d moved on from.”

Jim gave Sebastian a tight-lipped look, one corner of his mouth pulling down into a frown. “Can we not get into this right now?”

“James…”

“Bastian, don’t,” Jim said, sliding off of the bed and into Sebastian’s lap. “That was years ago. I have things that are more important than Sherlock Bloody Holmes with which to occupy my time.” He took the cap from Sebastian’s head and laid it on a pile to the side before placing a quick kiss to Sebastian’s cheek.

Sebastian didn’t fail to notice how carefully he placed it on the pile.

Chapter Text

The vase on the hallway table rattled as Sebastian slammed the door behind him. “You know full well I could have made that fucking shot.”

Jim was already inside and casually hanging his coat in the hall closet. “Sebastian, in the position you were in, you would have been spotted on the next sweep of the CCTV. As it was, they got a clear shot of your gun barrel on the video feed. Do you know how many strings I’m going to have to pull to get my hands on that footage?”

“Well I would have gotten the shot off quicker if I hadn’t been arguing with someone the whole damn time.”

“Don’t you dare pin this on me,” Jim said, narrowing his eyes.

“I can, and I will,” Sebastian said, angrily tugging off his scarf and jacket. “I had her in my sights, Jim. Two more minutes and her brain would have been jam for her toast.”

“It was a risk, Sebastian. And not one I was willing to let you take.”

“A risk? How the hell was it a risk?”

“You didn’t have access to the all the parameters I did. There were too many variables.”

“And you’re just content to let four months of work and preparation go down the drain, are you? All the hours I put into this job? All the hours you put into this job? All because you didn’t think I could do it?”

“That is not why I gave the cease-fire, Sebastian and you know it. Don’t trivialize my decision by oversimplifying it. I know you could have made the shot.”

“Well then why didn’t you let me take the fucking shot?”

“Because it would have put your neck on the line, and I can’t have that!” Jim shouted, suddenly. Sebastian’s eyes grew wide and he took a step back. Jim was wound tighter than he thought. Taking a few deep breaths to calm himself down, Jim continued in a more even tone. “You don’t even realize how close you came to getting caught today. The ambassador had more security detail than we anticipated. She was being covered by an adjacent rooftop. Had you taken the shot, they would have been able to locate where it came from and they would have been on you in an instant.”

Sebastian took a closer look. Jim seemed outwardly calm, but his hands were clenched into fists and shaking slightly. Sebastian had been so angry at being called back from the hit that even during the twenty minute cab ride home he hadn’t noticed how affected Jim was. Sebastian’s shoulders slumped, all fight gone. Crossing to where Jim still stood in the darkened hallway, he ran a reassuring hand along his arm. “Hey, I’m sorry, okay? I didn’t realize…” He felt the tension slowly melt from Jim’s body at his touch. “Better luck next time, I guess,” he said with a half-smile and a quick kiss to Jim’s lips.

Chapter Text

“Are you going to call her this year?” Jim held up Sebastian’s phone. A calendar alert had just sounded – the same calendar alert that had been sounding on this day every year that Jim had known him.

Sebastian didn’t look up from his lunch. “I don’t see the point. She made it very clear she never wanted to speak to me again.” He stabbed the next bite of broccoli a bit harder than was strictly necessary.

“That was what, seven? Eight years ago?”

“Twelve.”

“So you haven’t even… I mean, David and Michael are only six, right?”

“Doubt they even know they have an uncle.” Sebastian set his fork on his plate with a sigh. He’d seen pictures, of course. Jim could get pictures of anyone. He’d tried sending little things on the boys’ birthday – cards, gifts, money – but the envelopes always came back return to sender, unopened.

Jim stood across from where Sebastian was seated on the couch, arms crossed. “You should call her.”

“Trust me, the last thing Alicia wants is a call from her big brother. Why are you always so interested in this, anyway?” he asked, setting his mostly empty plate on the coffee table and looking up at Jim.

Jim was silent for a moment. He opened his mouth to speak a few times before he could finally form the right words. “I had a sister too, Bastian,” he said at last.

Okay now he definitely hadn’t been expecting that. “Really?” Sebastian sat up a bit straighter. “I never knew that, you hardly ever talk about your family.”

“Her name was Rebecca, Rebecca Mae.”

“Was?”

“Stillborn.” Jim still hadn’t moved or uncrossed his arms. “I was eleven. Father always blamed mum for it. She was never the same after that.” His voice was steady; to anyone else it would have sounded cold and clinical, but Sebastian could hear the emotion in the clipped tones and tight sentences.

“I’m sorry, babe, I didn’t know…” Sebastian made to stand but Jim shook his head slightly and held out a hand to stop him.

“All I’m saying, Sebastian, is that I can’t even count the number of nights I lay awake wishing I could talk to her. Wondering what her voice would have sounded like. What she would have looked like. She was beautiful, even in death.” When Jim raised his head to meet Sebastian’s eyes, his own were hard and dark. “And here you sit, with nothing but some childish feud keeping you from talking to your own flesh and blood. It’s a luxury I will never again have in my life and here you are willing to just let it rot.”

Something of a sneer played on Jim’s lips at that last sentence and Sebastian felt his cheeks grow hot in shame. He’d known that both of Jim’s parents were gone, but he hadn’t really thought about it this way before. Outside of Sebastian, Jim literally had no family left. Fuck, no wonder he was always trying to get him to call Alicia. He didn’t know what to say to that, just watched as Jim shook his head again and crossed to his office, shutting the door behind himself.

Sebastian sat on the couch for a good many minutes, elbows on his knees, head hanging onto his chest. He felt like a proper idiot. An entitled, privileged, childish brat. Swallowing what little pride he had left, he picked up his phone and dialed the number.

Chapter Text

“Red eyes,” Jim said as he tapped on the plastic pane of the aquarium.

“You’re not supposed to do that.” Sebastian was leaning next to the enclosure against one of the walls in the reptile and amphibian house, scanning the crowd of tourists as they shuffled past the various exhibits.

“’Bastian, if I didn’t do what I wasn’t supposed to do every time I wasn’t supposed to do it, you’d be out of a job.” Jim stooped to bring his own face level with that of the tree frog on display. Sebastian couldn’t help but compare the two sets of large, curious eyes staring at each other through the thick Plexiglas. The frog hopped away and Jim quickly lost interest. “Where’s he at?” he murmured, slipping an arm around Sebastian’s waist.

Sebastian slung his arm around Jim’s shoulders. Just two tourists out for a date at the zoo. Nothing out of the ordinary. He nodded subtly down the hall. “Alligators. He’s been there for a good seven minutes, just watching.”

“What could be so fascinating about alligators? They just sit there.” An older couple walked by – a thick, round man with even thicker, rounder glasses next to a woman who really ought to give up the whole hair dying thing, really, she was fooling no one. They narrowed their eyes at the two men embracing in the corner. Jim held eye contact with them as he very deliberately ran a hand along the waistband of Sebastian’s khakis, the platinum band around his finger glinting in the muted light of the amphibian room. Mrs. Hair Dye turned up her nose and made a disapproving sound with a click of her tongue as Mr. Glasses shook his head. Jim’s look turned into a glare and they quickly moved on.

“Excellent work keeping a low profile, dear,” Sebastian said, sarcasm dripping as he captured the back of Jim’s hand before it could slip any further south and really cause a scene.

“I didn’t like the look they were giving us,” Jim said simply.

“You weren’t exactly diffusing the situation.” Sebastian gave his hand a squeeze, secretly reveling in the feeling of Jim’s ring knocking against his own. He hadn’t been able to hide the smile that spread across his face earlier that morning when Jim had suggested they wear them to complete the disguise for the day.

Lately, Jim had been finding excuses to put them on more and more often.

The man they were tailing finally seemed to tire of the alligators and was making his way toward the exit. Sebastian patted Jim’s arm and they nonchalantly pushed off of the wall and meandered along with the rest of the crowd. Jim was momentarily distracted by a large puff adder basking in the heat of its lamp, prominent bulge in one of its coils signifying a recent meal. Sebastian tugged on Jim’s hand as one would a particularly stubborn toddler and pulled him toward the double doors.

Exiting into the bright August sun had them both blinking and reaching for their sunglasses. Sebastian spotted their quarry as he rounded the corner by the camel exhibit. He and Jim followed at a quick but not conspicuous pace to catch up. They were just within earshot again when Jim tugged at Sebastian’s belt loops and pulled him over to a railing.

“What is it?” Sebastian whispered low as he copied Jim’s stance against the metal. “Spotted?”

Jim pointed over the railing. “The cubs are out.”

Sebastian followed the line of Jim’s arm and indeed, the two yearling lion cubs were pouncing and racing around their habitat, stopping to harass their disinterested mother before becoming completely focused on an unfortunate butterfly.

“So?” Sebastian asked, slightly annoyed. Jim just shrugged his shoulders and went back to watching the lions stalk their winged prey. Sebastian was no longer just slightly annoyed. “Jim, I’m going to lose visual if we hang around here much longer. He’s already gone into the gift shop and if he leaves through a different doorway…”

A wave of Jim’s hand and another shrug. “So let him go. Don’t know who the fuck he is anyway. Oh, I wonder if we’ll get to see them being fed.”

“Wait, what?” Sebastian narrowed his eyes. “Do you mean to tell me we’ve just been stalking some random tourist for the last two hours?”

“Pretty much.” Jim’s large eyes peeked innocently over the the top of his sunglasses at Sebastian.

Sebastian just blinked at him. He opened and closed his mouth a few times before he got his voice again. “Why?” was the only word he was able to find.

“Because I was bored and you said we should get out more often. Now come on,” he said, nudging Sebastian with his hip. “I saw a sign about a penguin show at three, if we head over now we should be able to catch it.” With one last glance to the now tired-out lion cubs, Jim pushed away from the railing and headed toward the penguin enclosure, waving his hand for Sebastian to follow.

Chapter Text

Sebastian had long ago stopped wondering how the hell Jim managed to get them reservations in some of the places they stayed, especially on such usually short notice. The answer, whenever Jim had actually deigned to respond, was always some variation of someone owing him a favor for something or other. Sometimes though – like tonight, for instance – Sebastian just couldn’t stop himself from letting out a low, impressed whistle and contemplating just who exactly Jim had had to kill to book the place.

It was part business and part pleasure that had brought them to South Beach, Florida – several pieces of forged antique furniture from one of Jim’s woodworking shops in the States were being auctioned off at the Miami Beach Antique Show (business), and Jim always got a kick out of watching unwitting dealers bid for his worthless reproductions (pleasure). They hadn’t even planned on coming until the man Sebastian was supposed to be shooting that weekend went and got himself killed by a rather unfortunately timed sprint across a busy London street. Death By Bus wasn’t exactly the tidiest way to eliminate someone, but there was no denying it got the job done. Best of all, Jim had managed to pull the right strings in the right places to make it appear to their client that the bus trick had been the plan all along and the job’s payment had gone through without a hitch. All’s well that ends well – with Jim Moriarty getting paid.

It was an exhilarating drive from the convention center – Jim had (foolishly) left Sebastian to pick out the rental car and he had promptly booked a convertible in the most garish shade of yellow Jim had ever seen. Sebastian maintained that they were in Miami and that driving around in anything less than a gaudy sports car would be conspicuous. After a bit of bickering and threatening back and forth while speeding down the Floridian highways, they had arrived at their hotel in South Beach. Penthouse 09 was theirs for the weekend.

Jim had parked himself on one of the white leather couches with his laptop as soon as they were in the door, leaving Sebastian to unpack their small carryon bags into the bedroom closet. When he emerged, Jim was pouring over the spreadsheet of auction results with a gleeful twinkle in his eyes. Sebastian attempted a bit of conversation, but was more or less ignored, so he wandered through the sliding glass doors and out into paradise.

It wasn’t the suite’s rooms themselves that had Sebastian whistling in appreciation. While they were very nice and very exorbitant, they weren’t anything above or beyond several other suites he and Jim had found themselves staying in over the years. No, what caught Sebastian’s attention was the rooftop terrace.

The hot Miami sun was just starting to set behind him as Sebastian stepped onto the white marble rooftop. On the right, a small garden surrounded a private dining space. On the left, beneath an expansive canvas sun shade, a Jacuzzi was flanked by two divans - massive pillows on raised platforms, each one the size of their bed back at the London flat. The view was gorgeous, strips of palm trees giving way to a thin blur of sand and then the endless blue of the sea. Sebastian made a mental note to wake Jim for sunrise the following morning.

Right now though, he had one thing on his mind. The day of sitting on hard folding chairs in a stuffy conference hall listening to white haired men in terrible tweed suits prattle on about burled panels and scalloped edges and bloody cabriole legs had rendered Sebastian stiff, sore and in need of a good soak. A touch screen panel embedded in the wall brought the Jacuzzi to life and Sebastian quickly stripped to his boxers, calling Jim to join him.

A few minutes later, when the Jacuzzi was at the perfect temperature and Jim still hadn’t shown up, Sebastian called for him again. “Jim, turn that fucking laptop off and come out on the roof.” There was a mumbled noise of annoyance from the suite, but Sebastian heard the click of the computer shutting. He smirked. Shedding himself of his boxers, Sebastian slipped into the warm, bubbly water with a sigh that was honestly halfway to a moan. The padded seat along the rim of the tub hugged his body like a glove.

Jim appeared on the terrace still wearing the full suit he’d worn to the auction. Sebastian pointed one finger into the bubbling water. “Get your skinny Irish ass in here.”

“Sebastian –” Jim started, but Sebastian cut him off with an impatient snap of his fingers. Jim gave him an exaggerated roll of his eyes but he pulled at the knot on his tie and slipped it from under his shirt collar nonetheless.

“Slower,” Sebastian said. The you made me sit through seven hours of auction gibberish so now you strip for me, pretty boy was implied.

“So pushy tonight, darling.” Jim’s voice was bored, but his eyes were shining as he shrugged out of his suit jacket, hanging it carefully on the back of a nearby chair. He started on the buttons of his grey designer shirt. “What,” he said, punctuating each phrase with a button slipping free of its hole, “Exactly. Do you hope. To accomplish. With. This?”

“I hope,” Sebastian replied, matching Jim’s cadence, “To accomplish. Getting. You. Naked. Dear.” His eyes never left Jim’s as he crept a hand beneath the surface of the water, running down his own stomach, teasing at the sensitive skin along the line of his hips.

“Ah, ah, ah…” Jim scolded, wagging a finger at Sebastian. “Hands where I can see them. I’m not getting in there if you get the water all dirty.”

“Fairly certain I can control myself, Jim,” Sebastian said, but he still brought his arm out of the water and rested it on the side of the hot tub.

Jim shot him an amused look, an oh is that so? written in his arched eyebrows. The crisp grey shirt came off, leaving behind a black undershirt that hugged his lean frame. Jim folded the button down carefully and set it on the divan before sitting on the edge of the cushion himself. He applied himself to his shoes next, carefully undoing the laces and setting them on the floor.

“I know you’re doing that just to annoy me,” Sebastian said, pointing to the fact that Jim had put his shoes facing opposite directions and slightly askew. Jim just grinned as he tugged off his socks, wiggling his now freed toes. Then he was standing and sliding a hand down his stomach and toward the button on his trousers, which had Sebastian’s heart beating a bit faster. But his hand didn’t continue on its path south, instead sliding to the side to empty his pockets – mobile, keys, wallet all went on the divan, all just slightly out of alignment. “Tease,” Sebastian mumbled.

“Kinda thought that was the point here, ‘Bas,” Jim said as tugged at the bottom of his undershirt, slowly sliding it up his chest. He smirked at the hungry look in his husband’s eyes.

Sebastian stared, slightly awed as the warm glow of the setting sun hit Jim’s bare chest, his arms above his head, pulling the tight shirt up. The man was beautiful, that’s all there was to it. He was gorgeous, he was sexy, he was utterly powerful and he was all Sebastian’s. The shirt came off at last, leaving Jim’s normally so perfect hair slightly rumpled and Sebastian just found it so fucking adorable he couldn’t help but let out a small noise of content.

“Enjoying the show, are we?” Jim asked as he trailed his thumb along the waistband of his trousers.

A small shake of his head to snap him out of his trance, and then Sebastian was answering Jim with a sly grin. “Eh, it’s okay. The first act is running a bit long,” Sebastian replied, miming a yawn with eyes shining. “Though I’ve heard it picks up in the second.”

“Oh, does it now?” Jim finally popped the button on his trousers, eyes locked on Sebastian. “I’ve heard that the second act changes each night, based on audience reactions to the first.”

Sebastian was about to reply with some sarcastic comment about just how this audience was reacting when Jim’s fingers slowly began dragging along the zip of his trousers. His words were lost somewhere between his brain and his mouth and fuck, from the jets of the Jacuzzi to the look in Jim’s eyes to the fact that it was plain Jim was enjoying this every bit as much as Sebastian was, he found it a bit difficult to concentrate. He just kept wondering what exactly it was he’d done to deserve all this. This holiday, this suite, this life, this love, this everything. Weren’t bad guys supposed to finish last?

All he managed to say was, “Fuck, babe. You’re gorgeous.”

And there was Jim’s hand, faltering slightly as he worked his trousers off his hips, taking his pants with them. It was that hesitation, that little pause that sent Sebastian’s heart on overdrive. No matter how many times he said it, Jim still didn’t fully believe him. Didn’t believe that someone actually wanted him as much as Sebastian did, every day of his life and with the entirety of his being.

Jim didn’t have an answer for him. He’d turned and was carefully folding his trousers and setting them on the divan with the rest of his clothing. When he’d finished and faced Sebastian again, his face was blank. Sebastian reached out a hand to him, beckoning him into the hot tub. Jim took it and allowed himself to be guided in with a slight hiss of breath as the heat of the water washed over his bare skin.

Sebastian grinned at him. “Time for act two?”

“Not yet. This is just the intermission,” Jim replied, giving Sebastian a Look.

Eventually, Jim settled himself up against Sebastian’s side with Sebastian’s arm around the lip of the Jacuzzi, hand resting on Jim’s shoulder. They sat in silence for several minutes, letting the flow and constant bubbling of the water work through every tense muscle until they were both melting into content puddles of relaxation.

The sun was gone from the sky now, though a faint purple glow still spread across the expanse above as the final rays of light slowly faded to leave the inky black of night. Sebastian brought one hand to Jim’s chin, turning his face and pulling him into a kiss. “Intermission over yet?” he murmured against his lover’s lips.

Jim just rolled his eyes. “I’ll let you know when the curtain comes up.”

That had Sebastian frowning (closer to pouting, really). “Curtain’s fairly on its way to being up here, Jim.” He said with a pointed glance south.

“Sebastian Quentin Moran, I will gag you.”

“That’s not exactly helping matters, James Ciaran Moriarty,” Sebastian said as he kissed and nipped along Jim’s jawline.

“Hush. No talking during the performance.” Jim’s body was betraying him however as his head tilted back to offer up his neck for attention.

Sebastian eagerly mouthed his way along Jim’s pulse point. “I thought you said this was the intermission.”

Jim blinked a few times. He opened his mouth to say something, closed it again, narrowed his eyes, and finally pulled Sebastian into a rougher kiss, grumbling a shut up as he did so.

Chapter Text

They were in Abha Regional Airport in Saudi Arabia, waiting in the airport terminal to hop a small flight to Dubai after a week of negotiations with a handful of ammunition suppliers. Both exhausted and jetlagged, Jim had fallen asleep on Sebastian’s shoulder, and Sebastian had been absently stroking his hair while staring out into the bright Arabian sunlight through the windows of the terminal. They really should have known better.

A group of men passing by where they sat started shouting at them in Arabic. Sebastian didn’t know exactly what they were saying, but it didn’t take a genius to catch their meaning. After all, homosexuality is still punishable by death in Saudi Arabia.

Sebastian could see where this was headed and tried to wake Jim up so could reach for his knife, but he wasn’t fast enough. Two men got their arms around Sebastian while a third pulled Jim off of him and threw him to the ground. Jim wasn’t even fully awake when the first kick cracked two of his ribs. Jim tried to scramble and get up but a second man joined in the attack and all he could do was curl into a ball and try to protect his body as best he could. 

Sebastian was shouting every obscenity and murderous threat in the book, vision clouded by anger, trying his hardest to shake his captors but the men were big and using their combined strength against him. He just needed to get to Jim, just needed to protect him, needed to kill these fuckers in the most agonizing way possible. He could see Jim’s face through his arms as he was trying to shield himself from the attack, and he was coughing, coughing up blood, and fuck if he could just reach his knife.

The other travelers in the terminal were either shamefully ignoring the attack, hurrying past with downcast eyes or jeering and shouting along their encouragement of the assault. Sebastian finally managed to free one of his arms and was reaching down for the knife in his boot when an airport security officer sauntered over. He said something which had the group of men laughing. Sebastian recognized the tone of “okay boys, you’ve had your fun, now I’ve got to tell you to stop and move it along, sorry, it’s only my job,” and with one final kick to the still figure on the ground, the men released Sebastian and walked off down the terminal.

As much as he wanted to flay each and every one of them alive, Jim was his priority now and he was immediately by his side, assessing the damage. Several cracked and broken ribs, possibly broken arm, thankfully no major damage to his neck or face aside from a large blossoming bruise that was threatening to swell his left eye shut.

The crew of their small private plane was sympathetic and helped Sebastian to get Jim into the cabin and lying back on a fully reclined chair. Jim was fading in and out of consciousness, and Sebastian did his best to attend to what wounds he could with the limited first aid kit on the plane. When they landed in Dubai, Jim was immediately rushed to the nearest hospital, staying for three days while Sebastian posed as his brother in order to not be forced to leave the room or suffer another attack.

When they finally got back to Britain, Sebastian immediately set up the sparring area in their basement. It was a month or two before Jim was fully healed, but once he was, Sebastian started training him in basic self defense. 

Since then, Jim has always been apprehensive in airports, though he does his best to hide this from Sebastian.

Chapter Text

“Having fun?” Sebastian walked over to where Jim was sitting on a bench absently tugging at the wristband on his left wrist. The barely controlled chaos of a bustling park swarmed around him – children pulling at their parent’s hands and begging to go on just one more ride, teenage couples intertwined beneath speakers playing out upbeat pop hits, a group of young men trying to beat each other at one of the game booths. Sebastian had one hand in the front pocket of his bright orange hoodie, the other holding a comically large hot dog. He took a bite and plopped beside his husband as screams rang out from a rollercoaster train passing overhead.

Jim didn’t look over at him. “We’re not here for fun, Sebastian. We’re here on business.” He sat back and crossed his arms. It was slightly chilly, but it was the kind of chill that came from a crisp, clear autumn day. Jim was wearing his black track jacket and a pair of dark designer jeans – a look that Sebastian absolutely loved on him. Casual, but still powerful.

“Explain to me exactly how this is business related,” Sebastian said, voice muffled by a mouthful of hot dog.

“Simple. We needed to get out of London, for business reasons. Therefore this is business.” Jim rocked his head slightly and Sebastian suspected he was rolling his eyes behind his sunglasses.

“Yes, we needed to get out of London, true, but we could have gone to the country house. Or the flat in Scotland –”

“Glasgow is too cold this time of year.”

“– or any of the other safehouse locations,” Sebastian finished with a roll of his own eyes.

Jim shrugged. “They may be compromised.”

“So your next logical choice was a packed amusement park in Blackpool?”

“Disappearing in a crowd, ‘Bastian,” Jim said, matter-of-factly.

They sat in comfortable silence for a while as Sebastian finished his hot dog, licking ketchup from his fingers. He slung his arm across the back of the bench behind Jim, lightly running his thumb along his shoulder. Jim didn’t react.

“So where should we start?” Sebastian asked after a few minutes. “You more into the modern steel coasters or the classic wooden ones?”

“Dunno, never been on one,” Jim said in a slightly detached voice.

“Never? Not even as a kid while on a school trip or with your fam–” Jim’s shoulders tensed and Sebastian immediately regretted the slip. Of course Jim’s family hadn’t been the type to take their son to an amusement park. “Well I for one vote we start with Avalanche,” Sebastian said, doing his best to recover. He rubbed the back of Jim’s neck, but Jim was still tense.

“I’m perfectly fine with staying right here.”

“Oh come on, babe. We paid for the wristbands, we have to at least ridesomething,” Sebastian said, unable to keep the pout out of his voice. Jim didn’t say anything. Sebastian tried a different tactic. “It’ll look suspicious if we just sit here all day.”

Jim sighed at that. “Fine.”

Sebastian grinned and hopped up off the bench. Jim was slower in getting up, but eventually he stood and took Sebastian’s hand, lacing their fingers together. Sebastian gave him a small squeeze, and they turned and headed in the direction of the coaster.

Chapter Text

It wasn’t the white flash of the lightning or the sharp crack of the thunder that finally roused Sebastian from the murky haze of not-quite-consciousness, it was the small intake of breath, quiet and hastily covered that came from the man to his left. Another flash lit the room and he felt Jim tense, awaiting the crack that came a few seconds later. He didn’t make a sound this time, but he trembled. Sebastian rolled onto his side and wrapped an arm protectively across Jim’s chest. “You okay?” he asked, pressing a kiss to Jim’s cotton-covered shoulder.

“I’m fine,” Jim said, but then there was an unexpected roar of thunder, rattling the windows and he was curling into Sebastian’s embrace. He glanced at Sebastian, eyes lit by the moonlight through their window. “Shut up.”

“I wasn’t going to say anything, love,” Sebastian murmured, and there was no mockery in his voice. They’d been through this before. Jim Moriarty was absolutely not afraid of thunderstorms, not at all, not ever, so don’t even try to mention it, thank you, good night.

Luckily, they’d been together long enough that Sebastian had more or less worked out a step-by-step process for keeping Jim calm while a storm raged outside. Step one, protection. He shifted and rolled over on top of his lover, resting his weight on his elbows at Jim’s sides. Jim wrinkled his nose but didn’t protest beyond that. Check. Step two, distraction. He leaned in to press his lips to the side of Jim’s jaw, kissing along it until Jim turned to meet him. Check.

“I know what you’re doing,” Jim said against Sebastian’s lips. He still tensed at each crack of thunder, but Sebastian was right there with another kiss each time the noise rumbled through the air.

“Dunno what you’re talking about,” Sebastian said, brushing one hand along the back of Jim’s neck as a particularly violent crash had car alarms sounding outside. Jim closed his eyes and sucked in a sharp breath through his nose, bringing his arms up and around Sebastian’s neck, pulling him closer. “It’s okay,” Sebastian whispered, soft enough that Jim could pretend he hadn’t heard it.

They stayed that way, kissing and touching until the sharp cracks came no more and the storm was just a rolling rumble in the distance. Sebastian could feel Jim relaxing beneath him, slowly slipping back to sleep. He rubbed his hand along Jim’s side as he shifted off of the top of him.

Step three.

“Love you,” Sebastian said, pressing one final kiss to Jim’s neck.

“Love you,” was Jim’s soft, sleepy answer.

Check.

Chapter Text

 

Jim sat on the sofa, laptop open on his lap, forgotten. He was staring out into space, eyes wide and unblinking, muttering under his breath. “Gianfar, Thuban, Ed Asich, Al Dhibain P., Al Dhibain…” The names were coming fast and monotone, a chant. “Dziban, Alsafi Tyl, Nodus Secundus, Grumium…” His voice dropped to a whisper, the final words trailing off into little more than echoes of breath. “Eltanin, Rastaban, Kuma, Arrakis…”

Sebastian walked out of the kitchen, mug of tea in hand. He stared at Jim with a slight frown on his face – his lover had been alternating between periods of frenzied typing on the laptop and these moments of lucid yet mystifying stillness for the last four hours. Something held Jim’s concentration so terrifyingly enthralled that he was beginning to worry. This had happened before, but never for this long. Crossing to the sofa, he reached out and tentatively placed his hand on Jim’s shoulder.

Slowly, Jim’s head turned to face Sebastian. His eyes were dead, gone. It made Sebastian’s blood chill at the sight, a shiver running down his spine. Jim blinked, a slow, robotic movement, and then he was speaking again. “Algenubi, Rasalas, Adhafera…” Some of the spark started to come back into his eyes. “Algieba, Regulus…” He shook his head slightly. “Zosma…” Blinking again, a more vigorous shake of the head this time “Denebola…” And finally he bowed his head. When he raised it again, there was life in his eyes and Sebastian let out a sigh of relief.

Draco was for concentration, but Leo brought him back to life.

 

Chapter Text

It was a rare gorgeous day in the city of London – bright sunshine, blue skies and puffy white clouds that could be imagined into any number of fantastic creatures. The breeze was chilly, but in that crisp Autumnal way that invigorated rather than drained. Geese were flying in their V formations overhead as squirrels ran about gathering their nuts for the coming winter.

All this beauty was lost on Jim and Sebastian, however, as every blind, drape and curtain in their small London flat was drawn against the invading light. Jim was lying on the couch with his head in Sebastian’s lap, a growing mountain of used tissues forming on the floor next to a large, half-empty bottle of cough syrup. The changing glow of the television was the only light allowed in the flat, by decree of one sick Jim Moriarty.

Sebastian flipped lazily through the channels before finally settling on some daytime talk show currently debating the father of a young woman’s child. Jim made a small noise of protest but Sebastian shushed him. “This was my favorite part of staying home sick from school,” he said, leaning forward slightly to set the remote on the coffee table (and out of Jim’s reach). “Watching crap telly while curled up under a blanket on the couch. It’s the only situation where watching these shows is socially acceptable.”

“I never stayed home sick from school,” Jim mumbled before launching into a fresh coughing spasm.

Sebastian stroked his fingers through Jim’s hair, waiting for his coughing to abate before continuing. “Never? You must have gotten sick as a kid, everyone did.”

“Of course I got sick,” Jim said, a note of disgust in his voice. Sebastian could feel Jim’s body tensing below him and ran his hand along Jim’s arm. Eventually Jim relaxed again and shrugged. “Going to school sick was just better than the alternative. Being sick was a weakness.” Sebastian was quiet, but the words pulled at his heart. The utter nonchalance with which Jim spoke betrayed how deeply it affected him. Jim was always at his most flippant when discussing his deepest pains. “Eventually, I either got really good at hiding it or he stopped noticing.”

“Which is why you’re much sicker now than if you’d let me know about this two days ago,” Sebastian said. Jim didn’t say anything, instead bringing his hand down to fish for the tissue box. Sebastian leaned in to press a kiss to his blanket-covered shoulder. “You never have to hide your weakness from me,” he murmured into the fabric.

Blowing his nose much louder than strictly necessary, Jim more or less pretended he hadn’t heard Sebastian. His voice was a bit softer when he spoke though. “Change the fucking channel, this crap is going to rot your mind.”

Sebastian chuckled slightly as he reached for the remote. “Anything you say, love.”

Chapter Text

“Let’s go for a walk,” Jim said abruptly. He had his phone in his hand, staring at it in an unsettlingly amused fashion. His feet were propped up on his desk in his office, on top of a stack of forged birth certificates (letters M through R).

Sebastian glanced up from the scope lens he’d been cleaning and gave Jim a puzzled look. Jim wasn’t exactly the evening-stroll-in-the-park type. “A walk? Where?”

“Dunno yet.” Jim brought his feet off the desk and sat up to rummage through the drawers for a moment. Eventually, he gave a triumphant little noise and stowed something in his pocket. He pushed himself up and out of his desk chair and made his way to the hallway. “Coming?” he called over his shoulder.

Sebastian sighed. “Yeah, be right there, babe.” Right then. Well, they could both do with the fresh air at least. Stowing the scope in its padded case, he followed Jim to the hallway and out the door.

They walked for several blocks, Jim humming to himself and occasionally checking his phone with a grin. Sebastian didn’t even try to make sense of the direction they were going, resigning himself to his Need To Know status. And apparently right now, he didn’t Need To Know what the hell was going on. It was a nice night at least – overcast, but not gloomy. They passed into some seedier neighborhoods, Sebastian nodding his head at a few clients he recognized.

With a final glance at his phone, Jim stopped at a random street corner and pulled a piece of chalk from his pocket. Standing on tiptoe, he scribbled a bafflingly complex equation on the side of the brick building, chuckling softly as he did so. He finished the equation with a little flourish and put the chalk back in his pocket.

Sebastian looked from Jim to the equation and back. “You gonna clue me in here?”

“All in good time, Sebastian,” Jim said, patting his lover’s arm before slipping his hands into his pockets and turning in the direction of home.

The walks continued every night for several weeks, never to the same location. Eventually, Sebastian noticed a pattern. Jim would get a message on his phone – a photo message, judging from the alert sound – and a half an hour later they’d be off on their walk. By the fifth night, he realized Jim was very deliberately leaving his equations in plain view of the CCTV cameras. He often waited until one was turned in his direction before writing the increasingly complex series of numbers and symbols in the tight, precise handwriting he used for calculations.

One of the photo messages came one evening while Jim was in the shower and Sebastian caught a glimpse of it before the screen went black. It was of a series of just-as-complex equations written in a very flowery, calligraphic script. It was sent from an unknown number. Sebastian was a fairly educated man, and (being a sniper) had a handle on a vast number of complex equations. However, these were leagues above anything he’d ever seen.

“Message from your admirer,” Sebastian muttered when Jim emerged dripping from the bathroom. He tried to keep the bitterness from his voice, but it was hard when Jim had spared him barely a second glance the last few weeks. He’d either been in Business Mode, treating Sebastian as his employee, or Processing Mode, treating Sebastian like he (and the rest of the world, really) didn’t exist. Neither one left time for Husband Mode.

“Don’t pout, dear, it’s a terribly unattractive look on you,” Jim said, holding his towel on his hips with one hand and reaching for his phone with the other.

Sebastian frowned. “I’m not pouting.” Which is, of course, a phrase that is impossible to say without sounding childish, and childish Sebastian did indeed sound. Jim just gave him a Look and swiped open his phone.

He immediately broke into a grin. “About fucking time,” he said to himself before leaning down to plant a kiss on Sebastian’s morose cheeks.

The walk that night took them farther than they’d gone before. Jim stopped at several different locations only to shake his head and keep moving. Sebastian swore the CCTV cameras were following them as they went. They finally wound up on a residential street lined with row houses. Toward the middle of the block, Jim pulled the chalk from his pocket and walked up to a bright red door, the CCTV camera following his every move. Grinning, Jim drew a simple smiley face with Xs for its eyes directly onto the door, winked at the camera and hopped down to join Sebastian back on the sidewalk.

Jim looked incredibly pleased with himself as he slipped his hand into Sebastian’s for the first time in weeks. Sebastian lasted exactly three blocks before curiosity overwhelmed him. “Okay, come on. What the hell is going on here?”

There was a squeeze to Sebastian’s hand before Jim answered in a bored voice. “You’ll be getting onto a plane for the Democratic Republic of the Congo tomorrow afternoon. They’ll brief you on the details of the operation during the flight.”

Sebastian squeezed back (fuck he’d missed even that simple contact.) “They?”

Jim arched his eyebrows. “MI6,” he answered, matter-of-factly.

Sebastian stopped dead in his tracks. “You’re fucking with me,” he said after Jim swung around to face him.

“Not at the moment, no. I was planning on fucking you when we got home though,” Jim said, snaking his arm around Sebastian’s waist.

Stepping back and breaking from the embrace, Sebastian rubbed a hand along his furrowed brow. “Explain.”

“Well, first I’d start by sliding my hands up your chest –”

Sebastian stopped him with a glare. “Don’t give me that shit right now, James. Explain why the hell you’re putting me onto a plane filled with fucking SIS agents tomorrow.”

Jim let out a dramatic sigh and crossed his arms. “Seems they’re having trouble with an independent Congolese force raiding British-run cadmium mines. Four attempts on the rebel leader’s life have failed, so our dear friend Mr. Iceman has come crawling to me.”

Sebastian blinked several times. “You’re not seriously saying Mycroft Holmes hired us?”

“He needed an assassin and knows I have access to the best in the country,” Jim said with a shrug. “It’s not like this is the first time I’ve loaned you out to a government in need.”

“Yeah, but still… Mycroft? How can you be sure this isn’t a trap?”

“The Holmes brothers know better than to try and trick me again,” Jim said darkly. “Besides, I doubt he’ll try anything after the nice little present I just left on a certain Detective Inspector’s door.”

That had Sebastian finally breaking into a reluctant grin. He stepped back into Jim’s embrace and leaned in for a brief kiss. “I’m assuming the pay is ludicrous.”

“It is rather substantial, yes,” Jim said, tilting his head up to meet Sebastian’s lips.

“Anything else? A little quid-pro-quo, you scratch my back I scratch yours?”

Jim pulled away slightly, his face serious. “No favors – just money. It’s dangerous to trade favors with a Holmes.” He shook his head. “No, this is just a simple business transaction, nothing more – payment in cash for services rendered.”

“Well then,” Sebastian said with a final kiss before slipping his arm around Jim’s waist and resuming their walk. “We’d best get home so I can pack.” Jim grinned and leaned into the embrace, matching Sebastian’s stride.

The night was quiet, filled with just the low buzz of a city after dark, and the slight whir of CCTV cameras slowly turning to follow them home.

Chapter Text

Jim heard the bathroom door open and peeked out from behind the shower curtain. He’d been in the shower for quite a while, lost in thought, and there was a fine mist of steam hovering in the air. Sebastian was in the process of unzipping his trousers, having already removed his shirt. “What are you doing?” Jim asked, arching an eyebrow.

“You’re taking too long, so I’m coming in,” Sebastian answered, sliding his pants and trousers down around his ankles and stepping out of them.

“There is another shower in this flat,” Jim said, but he pulled the curtain out of the way regardless.

Sebastian shrugged as he stepped over the lip of the tub and under the spray of the showerhead. “You know running both showers at the same time kills the water pressure.”

“That’s a poor excuse.” Jim couldn’t help but run his eyes the length of Sebastian’s body as he pulled the curtain closed again. The man was cut. With a subconscious frown, Jim slid a hand to his own soft belly. This really wasn’t helping things right now.

“You’re not exactly complaining,” Sebastian said with a smirk, reaching for the shampoo bottle on the edge of the tub. Jim stepped out of his way, leaning against the tiled wall beneath the showerhead. He watched as the warm spray hit Sebastian’s skin and ran down his body. Drop after drop after drop sliding from his shoulders to his ass to his legs to the floor of the tub and down the drain. Down that perfect body and fuck, that was simultaneously making Jim incredibly turned on and frustratingly self-conscious.

Then there were clumps of white, sudsy bubbles flowing down his skin as Sebastian rinsed the shampoo from his hair. Jim looked up, fascinated by the odd angles Sebastian’s hair was spiked at now by the water. It was a good look on him. Might have to suggest a new hairstyle the next time they went to the barber’s. Jim crossed his arms, slightly chilly now that he was out of the spray.

“So what’s up?” Sebastian asked, rinsing the last of the shampoo from his hair and grabbing his washcloth from the bar on the wall.

“Here, give me that. You’ll just miss spots.” Jim held out his hand for the washcloth, deliberately not answering Sebastian’s question.

Sebastian frowned slightly as he handed the cloth over. “Come on, I know you. When you take this long in the shower, something’s bothering you.”

“It’s nothing.” Jim worked soap through the washcloth until it was thick with suds, then stepped back under the spray, pushing Sebastian out slightly. He brought the washcloth up one of Sebastian’s arms and then across his back, resting his other hand on Sebastian’s shoulder. His skin was wet and warm from the shower and Jim felt himself melting into the touch, grateful for the distraction.

“Jim, when you volunteer for mindless tasks like washing my back, it’s definitely not nothing.”

“Double negative,” Jim murmured. He was quiet for a few minutes, just running the soapy cloth over Sebastian’s back, watching his muscles ripple and flex beneath his skin. Finally, after he’d washed over the same scar five times in a row, Jim spoke. “Why are you still with me?”

“Because I’m contractually obligated,” Sebastian deadpanned.

An ice cold dagger ran straight through Jim’s heart and he froze in place. Was that… was that all? That was it, wasn’t it? It made sense. He was just a contract…

Sebastian must have realized that was the wrong answer because he immediately turned around and ran a hand along Jim’s arm. “Calm down, babe. I’m kidding. I love you, you know that.”

Waves of anxiety were still running through Jim’s body despite the warm hand on his arm. “Is that enough?”

“Four very wise men once said that it’s all you need.” Sebastian wrapped his arms around Jim, pulling him close and pressing a kiss to his wet hair. Jim allowed himself to be embraced, pulling some little comfort from the touch, but in the back of his mind he just couldn’t help but wonder if he would ever be able to believe in that power of love.

Chapter Text

Left, right, left, right, left, right, left, right… In through the nose, out through the mouth, in, out, in, out… the slap of rubber on hard pavement, the rustle of leaves in the wake of his stride… Left, right, left, right, left, right, left, right, a small pause, check the time… And on again, down the line, left, right, left, right, almost home, a few more miles…

His morning jog had taken him far, farther away than he’d been in a while. Sebastian was sure that mile after mile, the stress would recede and leave him in peace. Too much tension, building within them, threatening to burst at the seams of their world. The work and the play, the games and the strife… He needed this now, this time to himself. This time to just run and time to just breathe, just shoes on the sidewalk, just air in his lungs.

A few more miles and his head would be clear. He could go back to the flat and take Jim in his arms, forget all about the shouting and cursing, the words thrown around that neither one meant. He’d say he was sorry and Jim would just smile, and kiss him and hold him and tell him of course. Of course it was fine, forget it, move on.

Left, right, left, right, just a few more quick miles, and he could go home.

Chapter Text

“Pull!”

There was the metallic clunk of the trap releasing its spring loaded arm. Against the blue sky, a single neon target shot into the air and seemed to hover until there was the deafening crack of a shotgun and the saucer disappeared in a fine, orange mist. Reload.

“Pull!”

Two targets this time, two cracks, and two puffs of dust slowly drifting in the direction of the wind. Reload.

“Pull!”

Two targets again, but the crack didn’t come immediately. Instead, the orange saucers flew farther out, falling, falling, until at the last second there was a single crack and the two targets disappeared in neon smoke.

Jim waited until he heard the click of the safety being set on Sebastian’s gun before standing from his position by the trap. “Show off.”

Sebastian grinned as he carefully set the shotgun on the nearby table. “Kind of the point, babe.”

Chapter Text

“You can’t be serious.”

“I am serious. I never kid about business, ‘Bastian, you know that.” Jim sat across from him at the card table they’d set up in their basement, arms crossed and eyes hard.

“How exactly is this business?” Sebastian was arranging 9mm bullets on the table in preparation for loading his Browning’s magazine. He couldn’t deny he was interested, but he was also very, very confused.

A bump from Jim’s foot on the flimsy table leg sent the carefully aligned cartridges scattering. A corner of Jim’s mouth twitched in a smile at the glare Sebastian shot him, but he was quickly back in Business Mode. “Consider it a training exercise.”

Sebastian sighed and began arranging the bullets for a second time. “You know it hurts, right? It’s not some little love tap, it packs a punch. You’ll end up getting bruised. Might even break skin if you’re not properly equipped.”

“So no different than how any of our other dates end.”

“I thought you said this was business.” Sebastian arched an eyebrow.

“Maybe it’s a bit of both,” Jim said, waving a dismissive hand in the air. “Are you going to agree to this the easy way or do I have to order you?”

It was Sebastian’s turn to smirk slightly as he started to slide the bullets into the empty magazine. “Doesn’t sound like I have much of a choice. Fine. When do you want to go?”

“We’ve got a course reserved for tomorrow afternoon.”

Sebastian paused and shook his head with a slight chuckle. “Of course we do.” Back to loading the magazine. “And I suppose you’ve already got everything we need?”

“For the most part, though I figured you’d probably want to pick out the guns yourself. We can go out this afternoon to get them.”

“Fair enough. Could be fun.” He set the filled magazine next to the gun on the table and grinned across at Jim. “I haven’t been paintballing in years.”

Chapter Text

“I have no idea how I let you talk me into this,” Sebastian said with a resigned sigh. This was an outright lie, because Sebastian knew exactly how Jim had talked him into standing shirtless in their bathroom while his husband drew stripes across his chest with a black eyeliner pencil. Sebastian had said no way, I am absolutely not, Jim had said yes you absolutely are, that’s an order, and that had been that.

“Hush. Every time you talk your chest moves.” Jim paused to run the eyeliner pencil through a small pencil sharpener, letting the shavings fall to the floor, no doubt for Sebastian to clean up once this humiliation was through. He brushed a few splinters from his white button-down shirt before continuing.

“Moves every time I breathe too, Jim. Want me to stop that as well?” He had a strong urge to cross his arms and glare, but that would mess up Jim’s canvas so he abstained.

“If you would be so kind,” Jim answered, his voice teasing and sweet. Sebastian just rolled his eyes, but he controlled his breathing nonetheless, taking slow, shallow breaths so as to minimize movement as much as possible. It was not unlike the steadying breathing patterns he fell into just before taking a shot.

Jim worked in silence for what seemed like an eternity, covering Sebastian’s bare torso in a maze of black stripes. Occasionally Sebastian would flinch as the sharp pencil point grazed a particularly sensitive area of skin, even though he was absolutely not ticklish. It actually didn’t look half bad, he found himself thinking after a while, staring at himself in the mirror as Jim moved on to striping his upper arms. He caught Jim’s eyes in the reflection; he was grinning that smug little smile of his. “What?”

“You’re right, you do look good,” Jim said. Sebastian narrowed his eyes. “Don’t give me that look, I saw you checking yourself out.” He set the pencil down on the countertop and slid a hand along Sebastian’s toned stomach, around his side and to his denim-clad ass, pulling teasingly at the fake tail clipped Sebastian’s belt. “Can’t say I blame you,” he murmured.

“Right. We done here or…?”

“Almost,” Jim said, ducking into the bedroom.

“Who’re you going as, anyway?” he called after him. Sebastian twisted and turned in the mirror as he waited for him to get back.

After a few minutes, Jim sauntered back in, fully dressed in a sharp black suit and sunglasses. “I thought that was obvious. I’m James Bond.” He smiled and held up the other thing he’d gone into the bedroom to get, Sebastian’s black leather collar and a length of chain.

Sebastian’s eyes widened. “No. Absolutely not, no way. Not in public.”

“Bastian,” Jim purred, “I can’t have a tiger running loose at a party. How irresponsible would that be? Imagine if someone were to get hurt.” A look of mock horror spread across his face.

Seeing as they were attending this costume party for the sole purpose of gathering information for an upcoming assassination anyway, Sebastian was none too amused with Jim’s tone. “Since when does James Bond have a pet tiger?”

“Since shut up and put it on,” he said, voice serious as he rattled the chain in Sebastian’s general direction. Sebastian sighed, but took the collar from Jim’s hands anyway. Jim would be paying for this later tonight, he knew, and he half expected that was rather the point.

He couldn’t deny the little thrill that coursed through his veins as he buckled the thick strip of leather around his own neck. Collared and shirtless in public with Jim holding the leash.

There were worse ways to spend an evening.

Chapter Text

While it’s true that Sebastian does the majority of the cooking, Jim is not unskilled in the kitchen. He makes dinner every now and then, but the unspoken truth is that Jim always cooks Sebastian dinner on his birthday. They never really discussed it, or settled on it, and Jim doesn’t explicitly say that’s what he’s doing, but he’s done it every year they’ve been together.

They’d only been shagging for three months when Sebastian’s birthday rolled around the first time. Things were a little rocky at the time – they’d had an argument about Sebastian leaving some of his things at Jim’s flat. It had only been a toothbrush and a pair of trousers, but Jim had shouted himself hoarse about how he didn’t need his fucking employee’s shit cluttering up his flat. It was the first time Sebastian had really witnessed just how uneasy Jim was with the state of their relationship. It was clear there was more going on here than a quick shag after a job, clear to Sebastian at least, and Jim obviously wasn’t equipped to handle that just yet. Sebastian had left Jim’s flat with the argument unresolved, yelling something about what a great fucking birthday present this was. By the time Sebastian finally left, Jim was just arguing for argument’s sake.

But that night, Jim showed up at Sebastian’s sorry excuse for a living quarters and cooked dinner for him for the first time, completely ignoring the fact they’d had a shouting match not seven hours earlier. It was just a simple chicken stir-fry, honestly it wasn’t the best tasting thing in the world, but Sebastian couldn’t care less. He saw what it was. Jim was trying, as best he could, to deal with what was going on between them. It was then that Sebastian realized that this wasn’t going to be easy, but he was in for the long haul. It was worth it. He was worth it. Even if it meant eating crappy stir fry every now and then.

Chapter Text

They’d been fucking for just a little over a year, on and off. Up to that point, it had always been about power and dominance and release and the rush of a kill or the need to feel sharp fingernails raking down a back, that carnal, animalistic need want now. It had long been about more than that for Sebastian, but any time he tried to bring it up, Jim shut down and wouldn’t talk to him for days or weeks at a time.

But then one night, Jim was different. He was… softer. They started on the couch, just kisses and caresses, Jim obviously needing something from Sebastian but refusing to let on exactly what. Sebastian wasn’t about to question it. When he took Jim to his bed that night, it was with a gentle, guiding hand, not with the rough grasp of a wrist. It was a lazy slide of tongues, soft hitches in their breath, low moans and such a slow burn when Sebastian finally pushed into Jim, facing him, for once… watching every move of his face, trying to figure out what the hell was going on here because this was so unlike the Jim he knew… and then the heat was building and he was staring directly into Jim’s eyes, and Jim was staring back and they were toppling over the edge, together, together…

And then for the first time, Sebastian said it.

Three words, and Jim shut down completely. His eyes were instantly cold, his expression locked away. He pulled away from Sebastian as quick as he could after the climax, dressing, leaving the flat and Sebastian cold, alone, and empty. Sebastian didn’t hear from him for weeks, and it was over a month before he said more than two words to him outside of business. Sebastian picked up smoking again.

He found out months later that that day had been the anniversary of his mother’s death.

Chapter Text

If there was one thing Sebastian loved about his husband (and to be honest, there were a lot of things he loved about his husband), it was the way his body seemed to conform to the shape of whatever object he happened to be occupying when he fell asleep. This was most evident when they were traveling. Sebastian could watch it happening out of the corner of his eye as they drove down desolate stretches of highway in the Jag.

It would start with Jim’s shoulders sagging ever so slightly. The subtle shift in his posture betrayed his exhaustion to those who knew how to read his body language, and Sebastian knew how to read him very well indeed. Soon after the shift in the shoulders, Jim would fidget with the seatbelt restraint, eventually sliding the cross-body strap behind his back (despite Sebastian’s repeated scolding on the subject). His left arm would come up to prop against the leather-covered door, his head resting against it and the window as he stared out at the passing scenery, eyes blank, but not closed. Not yet.

Slowly, his breathing would even out as the rest of his body melted into the seat of the car, often one leg curling up under the other. His posture would sag even further, the hand on his head ruffling his otherwise perfect hair in a way that made Sebastian’s heart skip just slightly. Jim would do his best to cling to consciousness, but eventually the blinking of his eyes would slow until they inevitably closed completely. At this point, Sebastian would reach across the center console and softly lay his hand over Jim’s. If Jim were still conscious enough, he’d lace their fingers together and give a subtle squeeze. If not, Sebastian would be content to just stroke his thumb softly across the back of his husband’s hand.

Unavoidably, they’d reach their destination and there would be a slightly cranky Jim complaining about having his hair messed up as Sebastian woke him. But until then, Sebastian could take comfort in the warmth under his hand and the soft sounds of his lover asleep as the miles rolled on beneath them.

Chapter Text

Sebastian heard the crack of a skull hitting cement before he could register what had happened. All he could see was Jim lying on his back on the basement floor beside the workbench. He wasn’t moving.

Ripping the padded sparring gloves from his hands, Sebastian rushed from the opposite side of the basement where he had been working punches against the heavy bag. He was calling Jim’s name in a panic as he dropped to his knees beside him.

Jim was blinking and trying to sit up, but Sebastian held him still. “Hold on, babe, hold on. Don’t move too much,” he said, feeling along Jim’s neck for signs of swelling. There didn’t seem to be any blood, thank god.

“Sebastian? Sebastian what…” His words were coming out slightly slurred, which had Sebastian’s heart racing.

“Shh, babe. Hush. Did you lose consciousness?”

Jim screwed his eyes shut. “I don’t think so. ‘Bastian I feel like I’m gonna throw up.”

Sebastian had his mobile to his ear, having dialed the number they only used in emergencies. He cradled the phone on his shoulder so he could help Jim roll onto his side. “Here babe, careful. Put your arm under your head, that’s it. I don’t think you have a neck injury but… hello? Yes. Moran here. Boss is down. A fall, possible concussion. Use the back door.” Sebastian hung up and ran his hand along Jim’s arm. “Your ambulance is on its way.”

“Bas, I really don’t think I need the ambulance,” Jim said, eyes still closed. He reached his hand out and Sebastian caught hold of it, interlocking their fingers.

“Head injuries are not something to be taken lightly, love. You’re getting an X-Ray at the very least, possibly a CT scan.” He squeezed Jim’s hand before letting go to stand up.

Jim’s eyes snapped open. “Where are you going?” he asked, staring up at Sebastian.

“I’ve just got to unlock the door so the EMTs can get in, okay? I’ll be right back.”

“Okay,” Jim said, but his voice was small.

—-

“Well, you’ve definitely got a concussion, Mr. Moran,” said the triage nurse as she hung the developed X-Ray film at the foot of Jim’s bed. Everything medical went under Sebastian’s name. Fewer things to connect to Moriarty, fewer questions about Sebastian’s visiting rights. “But it’s only a Grade 1. You might get headaches, dizziness or nausea for a few days, but with plenty of rest and limited physical activity you should be fine.”

“Any other symptoms we should look out for?” Sebastian asked from his place at the side of Jim’s bed. He more or less hadn’t dropped Jim’s hand since they’d loaded him into the ambulance. Unfortunately, the hospital couldn’t be avoided. Jim may have had his own ambulance on standby, but he hardly had an x-ray machine to call his own.

“Well those are the big three, but he might notice a slight ringing in his ears, drowsiness or a change in sleeping patterns…”

“Not that I have any sleeping patterns to begin with,” Jim said, rolling his eyes. Sebastian shushed him.

 The nurse smiled slightly as she continued. “And mood changes as well – decreased energy, restlessness, irritability…”

“So, his normal self then,” Sebastian said, cracking a slight smile that earned him a slap on his arm from Jim.

“We’ll just keep you under observation for a couple hours, then you’ll be free to go back home.” She caught the way Sebastian was looking at Jim, still worried about his husband but relieved it wasn’t anything worse. “I think you’ll be in good hands,” she said, smiling as she exited and closed the door behind her.

They sat in silence for a few minutes, Sebastian pressing soft kisses to Jim’s hand in his. Jim had his eyes closed, sitting up slightly in the bed. Finally, Sebastian spoke. “So what even happened, Jim?”

Jim opened his eyes to look into Sebastian’s. He was about to give some sarcastic comment, but the clearly worried look in his sniper’s eyes had him pausing and rethinking his answer. “I dunno,” he said finally. “I was standing on the workbench –”

“Which I always tell you not to do anyway,” Sebastian said, poking him softly in the ribs.

Jim continued without acknowledging him. “– reaching for the can of WD-40 you keep on the top shelf and I guess I got… distracted while watching you work the heavy bag…”

Sebastian sat back and crossed his arms. “So you fell off the work bench because you were checking out my arse.”

“In my defense, ‘Bastian, you were being very distracting.”

“I’m sorry, babe,” Sebastian said, chuckling and leaning across the bed to press a kiss to Jim’s forehead. “I promise I won’t be so distracting in the future.”

“Fuck that,” Jim said, bringing his hand to the back of Sebastian’s neck to guide him down into a proper kiss.

“You heard the nurse, Jim. Limited physical activity. You won’t be ‘fucking that’ for at least a week.” And with one final kiss, Sebastian grabbed the remote from the side table and flipped on the telly on the opposite wall. There had to be a M*A*S*H rerun on somewhere.

Chapter Text

“Sebastian, are you even listening to me?”

Sebastian’s head snapped up from the paper he’d been using to take notes. Well, he’d started out taking notes. Their meeting had been dragging on and eventually he’d just devolved into doodling. Jim was staring at him with narrowed eyes from across the card table they’d set up in the basement. Fuck. Caught. “Of course I am,” Sebastian said, sitting back and crossing his arms. He took a stab in the dark. “You were just talking about the forgery client.”

“That was fifteen minutes ago.” Double fuck. Jim arched an eyebrow. “What are you writing, there?” he asked, pointing to the paper on the table.

Sebastian quickly flipped it over. “Nothing.” He went to pick the paper up and crumple it.

He wasn’t quick enough. Jim’s hand darted out across the table and snatched it from Sebastian. His eyes widened as he glanced over the paper and he bit his lip, obviously trying his hardest not to burst out laughing. “I’m sorry, Sebastian. I didn’t realize you were a sixteen year-old girl,” he managed to say through a snicker.

Sebastian glared at him. “Shut up. I got bored, okay? You were going on and on and on about Siberia and the client list and the setup…”

“The drawings are actually quite good,” Jim interrupted, “but I think you’re missing something down here.” He picked up his pen and wrote near the bottom of the page before sliding it back across the table.

Sebastian picked it up. There, under where he’d signed Sebastian Moriarty in his own scratchy penmanship, Jim had signed in his pompous, flowy style –Jim Moran.

Chapter Text

Everyone’s attention was on the ground. Someone’s tried to steal the crown jewels, they were saying. Look, look, the police have arrived. They’re arresting someone! In the bustle of the crowd hurrying for the exit, someone ran their shoulder into the figure standing at the window. There was a small apology, but it wasn’t acknowledged. Eventually the room was quiet, empty.

He was alone.

Sebastian’s right hand twitched. He needed something, a cigarette, a gun, anything. He didn’t like this. There were too many variables, they were exposing themselves here, laid raw for the Yard to pick apart and why? All so Jim could have his fun with Sherlock Fucking Holmes, the great bloody detective.

This would be it. One final game with the detective and Jim had given Sebastian his word that he would let him go. Put it behind so he could move on, so they could both move on with their lives together.

But Sebastian was still angry. Their first wedding anniversary was in two fucking days, for Christ’s sake, and his husband had just placed himself in prison for high treason. Jim hadn’t been able to give him a satisfactory explanation for why this whole scheme had to go down right now and in the end Sebastian had just given up asking. In the back of his mind a little nagging voice whispered, you know why. He quickly shook his head for silence.

Everyone was looking down, down at the action. No one was looking up.

Until someone was. One set of eyes shot skyward. They glanced up at the third window on the third floor of the second battlement. At him. They shot clear across the distance and directly into his heart.

Jim’s eyes were locked on his. We’re in this together, they were saying. Don’t fail me.

We’re in this together, Sebastian responded with a nod of his head. I will never fail you.

A tiny smirk before his head was ducked into the back of the waiting car. No turning back now. Sebastian walked away from the window and out of the room. He had his orders, everything was in motion.

He knew what he needed to do to make sure his Jim could come home.

Chapter Text

“There’s sand in my shoes.” Jim stood on one leg, pouring the buildup of particles from one polished shoe before slipping it back on.

Sebastian rolled his eyes. “Well, I told you not to wear them.” He wiggled his own bare toes as he walked to illustrate this point.

“You want me to walk barefoot? On the sand? Do you know what washes up on these beaches?”

“Bodies?” Sebastian said with a grin as he dumped the bag he’d been carrying over his shoulder onto the beach. It landed on the waterline with a sickening thump and he knelt down to undo the ties that held it closed.

Jim stood well away from the incoming tide and crossed his arms, frowning slightly. “Don’t forget the-”

Sebastian cut him off. “I didn’t forget the,” he said with a Look, pulling the latex gloves from his pocket and slipping them on before he set about - for lack of a better word - unfolding the body. It was bloated and crusted with salt, having spent the better part of the last two weeks in a tank filled with brine to mimic the effects of being at sea for a much longer period.

Jim kicked at shells while Sebastian prepared the body, rubbing sand into the unfortunate man’s hair, eyes, mouth, fingernails, everywhere he could find. It was cold; the sun wouldn’t be up for another hour at best. Jim wrapped himself in his coat and huffed. He could see his breath in the air. “You done yet?”

“You want this done quickly or done right?” Sebastian asked without looking up.

“Both would be preferable,” Jim muttered.

“You can’t have everything, babe.” A particularly large wave had the tide licking at Sebastian’s bare feet and he shivered involuntarily.

“Yes I can. Come on, hurry up.” Jim stamped his feet into the sand, sending a small crab scuttling down the beach.

“If you’re cold just standing there, then make yourself useful and cover up our tracks.” He barely kept the shut-up-and-I’ll-be-done-faster out of his tone. Jim was about to protest, but Sebastian spoke again before he could say anything. “We have to cover them up anyway. Faster we get it done, the faster we can get back to the hotel. And the heated Jacuzzi.” He arched his eyebrows at Jim who finally sighed and turned to head to the sand line where they’d entered and kick across their tracks.

Half an hour later, they were both satisfied with the position and look of the body, and there was a faint pink tinge coloring the horizon line. Sebastian stood up and brushed the sand from his hands and knees, rinsing them in the water that was lapping at the ankles of the body.

“Can we go now?” Jim asked.

“Yeah, I think we’re good. Shoes off.” Sebastian nodded to Jim’s feet. “Might want to roll up your trouser legs too.”

Jim shot him a look that would have stopped mafia dons in their tracks. “Excuse me?”

The grin that melted across Sebastian’s face was devilish. “We’re walking back to the hotel. And we’re doing that below the tide line. The water will wash away our tracks.” He slipped his arms around Jim’s waist, reveling in the way his nose wrinkled at the suggestion, despite knowing that it was the most logical course of action.

“Disgusting.” He narrowed his eyes. “You smell like fish.”

“No, I smell like the sea.”

“And the sea smells like fish. A equals B, B equals C, therefore A equals C.” His words were protesting, but the way his body leaned into Sebastian’s was telling a different tale.

Sebastian grinned. “Shut up and kiss me. And then take off your fucking shoes.”

Jim let loose a dramatic sigh, but pushed up on his tiptoes and pressed a kiss to Sebastian’s lips. “Fine. But you’re carrying them.”

Chapter Text

“Hello, IT, this is Jim. How can I help you today?”

“Oh hi, Jim. This is Stacy down in billing.”

“Hi Stacy. What seems to be the problem?”

Stacy sat at her cubicle tapping the eraser end of a pencil against her day planner. This Jim guy sounded cute, very soft Irish accent. She wondered what he looked like. “My computer’s mouse isn’t working,” she said, shaking her mouse a few times to illustrate this point. Which, she realized, was a bit silly considering this Jim fellow couldn’t see her doing it.

There was the sound of keys tapping on the other end of the line. “Okay Stacy, I just need your employee badge number for tracking…”

She flipped her badge over to read the number. “B-oh-seven, three-eight-two. I really should memorize that,” she said with a small chuckle.

“So many numbers to remember, right?” Jim replied, and there was more typing. He voice made it sound like he was smiling, the type of guy who was always cheery. Stacy found herself smiling as well. After a moment of typing, Jim was speaking again. “Alright Stacy. H-have you tried turning your computer off completely and booting it back up?”

“No… should I do that?” She asked, chewing on the end of her pencil.

“Please…” There was a strange note in the way Jim said the word, but Stacy dismissed it.

Reaching for her mouse to shut the computer down, Stacy realized the problem with that. “Oh um… how can I shut it down without the mouse? I can’t click on the button…”

“Mmm… okay. Is your, uh, keyboard still working?”

Stacy nodded, then again realized how silly that was. “Yes, it is.”

“Okay…” Jim breathed out. “So, what I need you to do is… is press the control key, the Alt key and the delete key all at the same time… and when the window pops up, use the arrow keys to move over… over… to ‘Restart’ and h-hit enter.”

Stacy did as she was told, and once she’d gotten the computer in the process of shutting down, she drummed her fingers along her desk. “So,” she said after a minute, breaking the silence. “How’s it going in IT today?”

“Very well, thanks,” Jim replied. His voice was gentle and breathy and Stacy found she quite enjoyed listening to it. “Just a bit of multitasking.”

“Busy day, then?”

“Oh, you have no idea…” Jim said with a chuckle. “Right, tell me when it’s booted back up. Any luck?”

A few whirs, beeps and clicks and the welcome screen showed on Stacy’s computer. She moved her mouse in an attempt to click on her user icon, but the cursor didn’t budge. “No luck, still not working.”

There were muffled sounds on the other end of the line. “Ahh… okay then. Right.” Jim took a deep breath, there were a few more keystrokes and then the typing stopped. “Okay, Stacy, what I need you to do for me… is f-follow the cord on your mouse and see where it connects to the computer tower.”

Getting down onto her knees on the floor, Stacy followed the cord, cradling the phone headset on her shoulder. “It goes into the back, hold on, I gotta pull the computer out a bit.”

“Mmm… let me know when you find it.”

The back of the computer tower was covered in dust. Stacy coughed slightly, but eventually found where the mouse was attached to the computer. “Found it.”

“Okay, I need you to take the plug out and put it back in har… hard.”

There definitely was an odd note to Jim’s voice now that Stacy couldn’t quite place. She shrugged her shoulders though and did as she was told. Leaning back, she waggled the mouse to no effect. “Still nothing.”

Harder…

“Harder?”

Yes…”

“I’m not sure that’ll…”

Please… harder…”

Well, he was the IT guy, obviously he must know what he’s talking about… Stacy pushed the plug into the back of the computer harder, as instructed, and waggled the mouse again. The cursor moved, albeit a bit jumpy. “Hey! That worked! It’s not going very smoothly though.”

There was something of a grunt on the other line, and then it sounded like Jim was breathing a bit heavily. “Good… good…” He took a deep breath again and the typing resumed. “So it sounds like you have a loose USB connector,” he said, speaking quite quickly. “I’ll put in a hardware ticket and have someone bring you a replacement tower while we take a look at that one. Is there anything else I can help you with, Stacy?”

“No, that’s it. Thanks!”

“No problem, have a great day.” There was a click and the line went dead.

Well that was odd. Stacy got up off the floor and logged into her computer as best she could. One of her coworkers passed her cubicle and she called out to her “Hey, Donna?”

Donna stopped and backed up. "What's up?"

Stacy continued. “Do you know that Jim guy in IT?”

“Met him once or twice, yeah. Why?”

Stacy smiled, blushing slightly. “Is he as cute as he sounds?”

“Yeah, he is a bit,” Donna replied with an amused little shake of her head. Stacy was known around the office to be a bit boy-crazy. “But apparently, according to that weirdo detective that comes into the morgue all the time, he’s gay.”

Stacy couldn’t hide her disappointment. “Damn. The cute ones always are. Thanks anyway.” She waved as Donna left.

—-

Down in the IT office, Jim was lazily stroking his fingers through Sebastian’s hair. His husband was still beneath the desk, arms resting on Jim’s thighs as he pressed kisses to Jim’s slowly softening cock.

“There’s got to be something in the sexual harassment clause about this,” Jim said.

Sebastian looked up at him, grinning. “Benefits of you having me working in Human Resources,” he said, tucking Jim back in his trousers and zipping them up. “I get to decide what those clauses mean.”

Chapter Text

“Summer Gold or Amber Pearl?” Jim stood in the den holding up two paint swatches that were, as far as Sebastian was concerned, the exact same shade of yellow.

Well, they were in was what was going to become the den. Previously, it had been Sebastian’s office. But as more and more of Sebastian’s work was being done off-site and anything at home was usually done in the basement, Jim had decided that the room could be put to better use.

Sebastian was not pleased with this.

“I don’t even see why we need a den,” he protested, taking his books off a shelf and putting them in a box. He blew dust off an old youth hockey trophy.

“Don’t whine so much, Bas. You can still keep your books in here. They just won’t be on those sorry excuses for shelving from… what is that, Ikea?”

“It’s practical.”

“It’s cheap and hideous.”

Sebastian rolled his eyes. Jim viewed everything that was mass produced as “cheap and hideous.” Apparently, if it wasn’t custom built or antique, it had no place in their flat. And the den would be going the custom built route. Jim was actually working with an architect and an interior designer. Sebastian thought this was slightly overkill, but he had no desire to repeat the fight that had erupted when he mentioned that opinion off handedly. “Beyond that… yellow? Seriously? It’s going to look like a nursery in here.”

“I suppose you’d rather have the place done in forest green, with mahogany and leather everywhere.” Jim pulled a face as he wandered around the room, running his fingers over windowsills and glancing around with a slightly far-off look in his eyes.

“Yeah, I would, actually.” Sebastian said with a frown, but it turned to a smile as he pulled out a small bottle of shells that they’d gathered on their not-honeymoon in Jamaica.

“Too bad. You got to pick the colors for the bedroom, now I’m doing the den. And you still haven’t answered me: Summer Gold or Amber Pearl?”

“I don’t know, babe…” he said with a sigh, carefully setting the bottle in a box. He put on his worst German accent. “Isn’t that a question for your dear Hans?”

“His name is Gunther and you know that. Now answer me.”

Sebastian folded the flaps of the box shut and stood to grab another one. “Whatever his name is, I don’t trust the guy.”

“You never trust Germans.”

“With good reason.”

“It was one bad judgment call, it’s not fair to bias yourself against an entire culture.”

“Talk to me again when you’ve been stabbed through the foot by a bloody neo-Nazi with a bayonet.” Sebastian rubbed at his left foot, feeling the slight raised bump of scar tissue.

“You’re avoiding the question.”

“And you’re being pedantic.”

“Sebastian!”

Sebastian looked up at that. Jim’s voice had suddenly lost its playful edge and there was something there that he couldn’t quite place. “What?”

“Could you please try to take this seriously?” There was tension in Jim’s shoulders and he was looking at Sebastian with a hurt expression. “I’m asking your opinion because I’m doing this for you.

Standing and brushing dust from his knees, Sebastian crossed the room to where Jim was standing. “What do you mean, doing this for me?” he asked cautiously. “You’re taking my office away from me so you can play house with your interior designer…”

Jim looked at the floor. “You said you don’t like watching movies in the sitting room because of the angle the couch has to be at.” He raised his eyes to look at Sebastian without lifting his head. “And there’s no place to mount surround sound speakers with the way the breakfast bar is situated.”

Sebastian blinked. He had mentioned that. About six months ago. He’d just assumed Jim had ignored him as usual. He’d certainly been acting that way up until this point. “So when you say den…”

“It’s more of a media room.”

“Why didn’t you just say that, babe?” Sebastian lifted Jim’s chin before sliding his arms around his husband’s waist.

“Because it was supposed to be a surprise, you clot,” Jim mumbled, reluctantly moving into Sebastian’s embrace. “And now you’ve ruined it.”

Sebastian took the paint swatches from Jim’s hand and studied them. “Summer gold,” he said finally, meeting Jim’s lips in a kiss.

Chapter Text

It’s hot.

Bloody hell, is it hot.

Sebastian shifts his position ever so slightly, the sweltering heat of the noonday sun baking the earth around him and turning everything to dust. The added haze of the heat rising from the surface will complicate the shot, but it’s one he needs to make. One he has to make. All around him in the trees the summer cicadas drone relentlessly on - a constant monotone buzz that drowns out all other sounds of the countryside.

He checks his scope. Sweat runs down the fringe of his hair and drops onto the ground with a hiss he’s sure is simply in his mind. 2,200 yards away, two men stand chatting while a third lines up to the tee. Using a five iron, by the looks of it. Short hole. He swings, and a bad hook to the left has his ball lodged firmly in a sand trap. The golfer shakes his head while his counterparts laugh and clap, all in pantomime to Sebastian’s distant ears. Sebastian unwraps a piece of gum and starts to chew.

The other men tee off and the group is soon gone. Sebastian glances at his watch, a gift from Jim after his 50th confirmed kill. Half an hour yet. He tosses a few rounds - .338 Lapua Magnums - on top of his rifle case to warm up in the sun. It won’t take long in this heat. 

The wind shifts and he adjusts accordingly, the weak breeze doing little to quell the oppressive heat. Normally, he’d be sending Jim a text right now to jokingly complain about the weather, or the fact he was going to have one hell of a sunburn on his neck by the time he got back to London, or the god-awful shorts some of these men were wearing, but not today.

This wasn’t a hit for Jim. Jim didn’t even know he was here.

Six months. Six months since he’d found Jim’s journal, six months since he’d figured out what it had meant, and six months since he’d turned white-hot with rage. Six months of tracking, of decoding, of researching, of back alleys and bar counters and basements, all for this.

He spits his gum into an old receipt and pockets it to throw out later. Leave no trace. 

Ten minutes. He rolls the ammunition around with his palm. Warm to the touch, but not hot. Perfect.

Eight minutes. The rounds are loaded and he settles back down into his position on the grass.

Three minutes. Sebastian hasn’t moved more than a centimeter. Soon.

One minute. Any moment now. The cicadas drone on, unaware of the deadly hunter that hides below. The breeze has stopped. Lines blur and dance along the ground, but Sebastian is focused only on the small, white tee. 

Five minutes past. The cicadas seem louder somehow. Sebastian triple checks his watch, willing himself to remain calm. The time was only an estimate, after all. No need to get his heart rate up over nothing.

Seventeen minutes past. Sebastian is just about to pack up in frustration when he sees dust rising in the distance. A golf cart comes into view and stops. Two women get out, grabbing their clubs and making their way to the tee, chatting and laughing. One has long, flowing black hair half-hidden by a large sun bonnet.

…psychological and physical abuse…removed from custody…found not guilty…repeat offender…

A sudden calm drops over Sebastian’s body. He no longer feels the heat or the sweat, no longer hears the cicadas or smells the dry earth. All he can sense is the scope in front of his eye and the woman lined up between the crosshairs. She makes her way to the tee and bends to place her ball on the stake. A few practice swings. She says something to her friend. They laugh. She lines up. So does Sebastian.

As her club connects with the ball, Sebastian squeezes the trigger. He waits. She falls, dead before the sound of the shot that killed her could ever reach her ears. Her partner screams soundlessly.

He smiles and quickly packs everything up. His little secret. Jim would never need to know. His pocket buzzes and he pauses to take out his phone. One new message, from Jim.

I just got your text. Where are you? France is dull. Miss you.

Out in the country. Communing with nature. Exorcising demons. Miss you too.

Save some demons for me, darling. It’s been a long week.

Of course. Love you.

Yeah yeah. Just make sure you’re back in time to pick me up at the airport.

Anything for you, babe.

Anything. 

Chapter Text

I don’t know why I’m writing this.

He was… well, no, he wasn’t a good man. He was a liar and a cheat, a murderer, a schemer, and he’d just as soon slit your throat as shake your hand. Some say he was the devil, but the devil only had good intentions read wrong by those with power over him. No one had power over James Moriarty. Not even himself.

So no, he was not a good man, but he was mine, and he was as good to me as he was able, which meant everything. The simple gestures always spoke volumes, because I knew the layers that hid beneath them - knew that a brush of a hand meant so much more, would have been so much more from any other man, woman, human… but I’d take that slight gesture from him over the most grandiose displays of affection from anyone else in the world, because he was my world.

I only wish I could have been his.

Chapter Text

I shouldn’t be writing this.

He’ll know, won’t he? Of course he will. He’ll figure it out, he always does, even if it takes him a while. It takes everyone a while, but he’s quicker than most.

He’ll figure it out and then he’ll stop this… whatever it is because I don’t think… if he… But of course he wouldn’t. I know he wouldn’t because I know him. More than he even knows himself. More than anyone will ever know him. I’ve opened him up, carved a gaping hole through muscle and sinew and cartilege and bone and seen through every barrier he’s ever constructed for himself and the world… seen the very soul within and seen it reflected in my own. Oh yes, I have a soul, contrary to what most would believe. Contrary to what I myself believed for so very long. But he showed me that. He broke me just as much as I broke him, and from those shattered pieces of two incomplete halves we created one perfect whole.

So figure it out, Moran. Use your brain and think. Put the pieces of our puzzle together and read the message within.

And don’t leave me before I can come home.

Chapter Text

I miss your voice.
I miss your laugh.
I miss the way you loved me, unconditionally, in your own little way.
I miss your kiss in the morning.

I miss the fights.
I miss the making up.
I miss the insecurities, the pain, and the comfort.
And yes, I even miss your sodding suits.

I miss the business meetings that weren’t really about business.
I miss the afternoon lunches and late night snacks.
I miss your hand in mine.

I miss the way you used to get upset over a problem you couldn’t solve.
I miss being able to help you calm down.

I miss the thunderstorms.

I miss the way I used to catch you looking at our rings.
Like you couldn’t believe it was true.

It was.
All of it.
And more.

I love you, Jim.

And I miss you more with every passing day.