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The Lighting Of Cotton

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No one in the warehouse had realized the problem until the lights went out.  

Well, there were a few of those no-name men and thugs out back by the electrical boxes that he’d already dealt with that knew there was a problem, but seeing as they were dead, it hardly mattered.  He’d left their quickly cooling remains where he’d let them drop to the dirty concrete, his knife palmed tenderly in his hand as he made his way silently to the main fuse box.  From here he’d head to the electrical pole and dismantle those as well, just in case they some how were able to reconnect the severed wires.  But all in all, that would take a really, really good electrician to work under those conditions and manage to replace everything that he’d damaged.  And John knew, he just knew, that not even Moriarty had thought ahead of plan enough to see this coming, and therefore were short those essential resources.  

The Wolf grinned into the dark.  

Look out, look out, wherever you are Moriarty.    

Oh he’d tried to stop somewhere near the beginning, or to at least slow down consumption when he moved into the new flat at 221B Baker Street, less he raise suspicions, but it just hadn’t worked.  He’d gone all of twenty four hours before he shot a cabbie dead (even if it was a murderous one).  But then life with Sherlock turned out to be wild and filled with perils that explained away all his killing problems, his urges.  Even that elder brother of his had been duped into thinking he only missed the war zone and not the act of killing itself.  Not goody Two Shoes John Watson, Three Continents Watson.  No, not when in reality that name had far less to do with sexual conquest and much more to do with a string of continent-spanning serial murders... even if no one but him knew the truth.  It just made playing the sheep that much easier.  

The Wolf was coming, and he was hungry.

Besides, it was way past feeding time.  

--

Moriarty would have to adjust to the fact that instead of the cops, or even a rival of his, coming out of the dark, it was the short but bulky form of Doctor John Watson.  Of course he looked much different dressed almost completely in black, right down to his trainers, and instead of the bulky jumpers he wore form fitting clothing.  In the dark he’d blended into the shadows around him, hiding, working his way to the center of the warehouse.  He’d clearly been waiting to make his move until Moran had long since been set out on assignments elsewhere, but apparently he was patient, because this entire set up would have taken a very long time.  A very long time to plan it, execute its various stages, and then a very long time to get Jim all alone.  

But here he was, ripe for the picking.  

“Nifty trick with the lights there, Johnny.”  Moriarty taunted happily at the once-little-jumper-clad man.  “Not very creative, but I’ll be happy to admit that I’m pleasantly surprised. Who’d have thought that Sherlock’s little lap dog would have the balls to come after me all by his lonesome?  And with such an elaborate plan too!”  

John cocked his head to the side in a similar manner to Moriarty, the lizard like motion odd and unfitting on his stouter frame.  It looked very disturbing, to say the least, but the action hardly bothered Jim.  That only seemed to encourage John.  

“So what’d you do, Chatty Kathy?  Just cut the power?”  Moriarty continued like he didn’t care that the normally-moronic John Watson hadn’t answered him, when normally it would have ruffled his feathers completely the wrong way.  He was too much like Sherlock, too much a diva.  “That’s just so...simple.  But then again, I guess that’s all you’re good for, isn’t it?  Being so simple, so predictable.”

“It’s my calling card, actually.  The lights.”  John said softly to the air between them, tone a soft darkness that could lure you in and then rip out your throat all in one go.  “Well, when I do home visits anyways.  But I am a reliable stickler for the details, and even though this isn’t technically a home visit, this still is a building of sorts.  It counts.”  

“Hmm, really?  And here I thought you were just so boring.  Its unusual for me to be wrong, almost completely unheard of.  We should mark the occasion.”  Moriarty’s grin widened fractionally, his head swiveling side-to-side like it was wont to do.  “Mark it with a party or something.  I do love parties.”  

“I actually plan on marking it with a big red X of sorts, actually.  You have the right idea.”  

“Who are you, Doctor John Watson?  What’s your real name?  And I’m not talking about the lovely little facade you’ve been feeding everyone around you.  The really real you.”  

“Hello, James Moriarty, it’s lovely to meet you.  For real this time, anyways.” John sort of laughed off-handedly, like he’d suddenly remembered a joke that was funny the first time around but no longer so.  “Sherlock sort of took all the light last time around.  Not that I mind, because really, that’s why I found him.  A front of sorts.  But it does feel good to properly meet you as I am.”  

“Who are you?”  Moriarty stressed each word individually, like the sheer force of him saying the words would make John answer him, a gun suddenly drawn from somewhere on Moriarty’s person.  “I’ll not ask you again.”  

“Oh, pardon me.  Didn’t realize I was being difficult.  How silly, really.”  John shrugged again, off-handedly.  “The Wolf, pleasure to meet you.”  

“The Wolf... Isn’t that what they named that lovely elusive killer they now suspect has well over fifteen murders in London alone under his belt?”  Moriarty said, starting to sound somewhat impressed.  “The papers always do come up with suck creative names.  Don’t you think so?”  

“Ah, yes, I really do love the ‘Mad Bomber’ tag they’ve given to you.  Not really as creative as some of the more prominent murderers in the country of course, or even the world, but it isn’t half bad.  Especially since they don’t know that you’ve got more than just those bombs up your sleeves.”  John rocked forwards on the balls of his feet, eyes lighting up suddenly.  “Oh, and it’s not just fifteen.”

“Excuse me?”  

“It’s not just fifteen, I said.  Sure that’s what the Yard thinks, and that’s what the official records show, but its not just fifteen.”  John sighed, running a hand through his hair before letting it dip back into his pocket.  It returned moments later accompanied by a flick of the wrist and a dull flash of something.  “More like well over fifty, perhaps more.  I don’t keep a record and I haven’t counted my...trophies in a long time.  But I can assure you there’s more than fifteen.”  

“I see.”  Moriarty drawled, suddenly not so impressed.  If John didn’t know any better, he’d say that the lizard like man almost looked, well, scared.  “And what makes you think that you’ll be getting away with all this, then?  You live with Sherlock Holmes.”  

“Ah, you see, that’s where everyone always gets it wrong.  I don’t understand why you all think that just because I live with him, that he knows me inside and out.”  John waved the matte knife with its deadly curved blade through the air once as he spoke.  “Its because I live with Sherlock Holmes that I am so safe.  Hiding in plain sight, taking refuge right under the man’s huge ego.  That and everyone thinks I’m some dumb dog.  I’m not.  I’m a Wolf, and you, Jim Moriarty, are my next meal.  So why don’t we get started?”  

The stench of fear practically rolled off of Moriarty in waves.  

--

The warehouse was painted red and brown with blood and chunks of what were probably remains of the late Jim Moriarty by the time the police arrived.  The smell along made even the most well trained and seasoned members of The Yard to gag, and the sight made more than one of them vomit or leave.  It was, all in all, absolutely horrifying, like a real-life horror movie scene come to life, complete with over twenty bodies, several of which were unidentifiable without DNA or dental records.  It was a massacre the likes of which none of them had ever seen, and when Sherlock Holmes -accompanied by his elder brother Mycroft- stepped on the site, even he gave pause.  

A man who prided his sociopathic tendencies, who routinely brought severed limbs and various body parts home to keep in the flat fridge and experiment on, had to stop and take a deep, steading breath.  Which might not have been such a good idea, since the stench of blood practically gathered form, it hung so heavy in the air, and sucking it in like that only made everything so much more worse.  It was in that very instant of a moment that he wished that John had not stayed at his sister’s place for the weekend, and that he was still close enough to have come with him to the scene of the crime.  But when Sherlock had called him, John had answered after the second round of calling, groggy and sleepy sounding, voice snuffling at Sherlock.  After asking if he needed to come repeatedly, he’d realized John had sounded exhausted, and allowed him to stay abed simply because he’d most likely been dealing with his alcoholic sister and her erratic behavior.  It was just what John did, who he was, and Sherlock thought only to himself that the man didn’t need this horrific scene on top of all that.
 
“What are we dealing with, Detective Inspector?”  His brother enquired calmly from his looming position next to him, looking at Lestrade expectantly.  He’d specifically asked for the man so that not only would this thing be easier to deal with -Lestrade was very moral and trust worthy- but also because of the easy way he often dealt with Sherlock.  “I take it this is no ordinary warehouse, and therefore no ordinary string of murders.”  

“We think its your friend Moriarty, Sherlock, in there.  Dead...” Lestrade trailed off, eyes finally turning to look at the two brothers.  “But we can’t be sure.  We’re only going on paper evidence and what remains are still somewhat intact.  It looks like a wild animal got a hold of them.”  

“The power, was it cut?” Sherlock asked suddenly, looking up at the darkened building before him.  “Both at the main lines and the fuse boxes or power grid?”  

“Yeah, how’d you know that?”  Lestrade should really stop being so impressed with all the little things that Sherlock knew without being told, or just plain shouldn’t know.  “Wait, do you know who did this?”  

“It seems, Lestrade, that you have yourself an animal problem.  A Wolf, to be exact.  He’s left far more than just his calling card this time!”  Sherlock turned to Mycroft, their eyes meeting, dark and stormy.  “Mycroft, get your people here immediately and do whatever it is that you do when I’m not looking.  This is the work of our friend The Wolf, and it is sloppy.  Oh so sloppy.  He’s made a mistake, here, with this one.  But why?”  

It didn’t occur to Sherlock that he might be finding out those very answers sooner than he thought, and from a source he knew all too well.  

Or thought he knew, anyways.