Jim Moriarty was a terrifying man, Sebastian Moran realised one day.
Not because of anything specific he did. He wasn't physically intimidating either - for god's sake, the man was well under six feet in height and of a slender build. He could have been a schoolteacher.
If he weren't so much like a shark that had learned to wear human skin.
No, the horror that was Jim Moriarty came from the little things, he had learned.
It was in the way he moved some days, like a caged animal left to starve for several days. Sebastian had seen that posture before, and could almost imagine an irritably flicking tail trailing from beneath the hem of his suit jacket.
It was in the way that, when in a mood, the Irishman would drink at three in the morning and simply sit there and watch the other man sleep with those black holes he called eyes. He had absolutely no doubt that Jim knew when he was or was not faking it, though he never made any indication of it.
It was in the carefully honed facets of his voice, which was akin to a gemstone cut so that the edges were razor-sharp. It was his voice that was his most potent weapon as far as the other man was concerned. With it, he could render himself seemingly harmless, an alley cat turned belly up, his voice a caressing lisp that drew people in like flies to honey. In an instant, however, he could, by simply changing his pitch and tone, fill an entire room with himself and make hardened killers tremble in the face of this man half their size.
More than anything, it was in the fact that Jim Moriarty seemed to relish none of this. None of it brought him any enjoyment. Certainly he smiled, but it was the grimacing smile found on anatomical models and skulls - fixed, rigid, reflexive rather than intentional, indicating habit rather than enjoyment.
Jim Moriarty was a terrifying man.
Not because he was dangerous.
Because he was bored.