The gun is steady in John’s hand as he keeps it trained at the giant man in front of him. Most others, he knows, would have already been long scared off by the sheer size of this man, but then again John is not like most people. He has fought in Afghanistan and watched fellow soldiers fight to their death; he has seen all manner of gruesome injuries and the most violent deaths imaginable. Most importantly though, he has been with Sherlock Holmes, and the things that he has shown John are so much more terrifying and intense than this giant of a man who stands casually before him.
The large man shifts a little, and John carefully keeps his pistol pointed to him as the two properly meet each other eye to eye. From this distance, John can see the coolness of those calm, calculating blue eyes that watch him in a way very much like a hawk. Those are eyes which John has seen and know all too well—they are the eyes of a man dedicated to his task, a man who has given his all for nothing but one task and one task alone.
They are the eyes that stare back at John these days when he looks at the mirror these days.
“So,” the man starts, sounding very calm and composed. “You finally found me.” There’s nothing in his deep voice that betrays any sort of panic at all, and John can’t help but wonder for a moment if there is something that could frighten this man. Somehow, it feels like there is nothing in this world that could touch him at all.
Rather than voicing that thought out loud, John keeps his own composure and eyes the other as he starts to speak. “I take it that you have been expecting me.”
A shrug. “Sooner or later, yes. He told it to me.”
John narrows his eyes. “Who told it to you?”
The only response that he gets from the man in return is a small, amused smile. “Must you ask me such a needless question, Mr. Watson?” He says while he inclines his head, one hand gesturing around the large, empty room they were both currently standing in. “You should know well enough who it would be, if you’ve managed to hunt me down to all the way here.”
Dublin, Ireland. That’s where they are now, and indeed, John knows how and why Sebastian Moran would be hiding out in here. Mycroft had told him already before he set out for this place—the ruined castle that had once been known as the home for one of the greatest criminal families in history. The Fowls.
According to the records, the last heir, Artemis Fowl II, had perished many years ago in a violent shootout. But like how identities could be created, they could also be very well erased. Mycroft had taken a while to piece everything together, but eventually he had managed to find out the truth.
(“Even Jim Moriarty, apparently, had been a false identity by itself. His true name is…”)
“Artemis Fowl,” John breathes out, the answer echoing around the walls.
Sebastian’s smile didn’t fade. “He prefers to go by Jim Moriatry these days.”
John clenches he jaw and tightens his grip on the pistol. “He’s dead,” he says, nearly spitting out the words. Moriarty is dead, but then so is Sherlock. Sherlock died because of him, because of what Lestrande had discovered, and to know the reasons behind why he had jumped off from the rooftop then…
The only change in Sebastian’s expression is a small flicker of his eyes to the ground. “He is,” he replies after a pause, voice still as neutral as ever.
There is a short beat after that answer, but soon John breaks it with another question. “Are you going to follow your master to the grave now that he is gone?”
Sebastian simply looks straight at John again and smiles not too kindly. “You should know better than anyone else to never question the loyalty of a soldier, Mr. Watson. My name might have changed, but I am still a Butler through and through. If need be, I will follow him to the fires of Hell if I have to.”