Chapter 1: Prologue
So our story sees John Watson and Sherlock Holmes sitting in their flat. Sherlock is watching what John had deemed ‘crap telly’ and John is typing something meticulously upon his keypad, until he gets up to go meet Sarah. Then our favourite consulting detective goes to the pool to meet Moriarty when - surprise! - he meets John instead, strapped to a bomb. You know the progression. Unfortunately, you were denied the telling of what happened at the in-between parts. So I am here to remedy this oversight.
Doctor John Watson, still smiling at the thought of his brilliant-if-occasionally-absent-minded flatmate doing the shopping (he knows Sherlock really won’t do it, but it’s a nice gesture, and a comical thought) is walking down the dark street towards the tube. Sarah is expecting him in - here he checks his watch - half an hour. He should be right on time.
Ah, if only that were true.
Moriarty’s always had a knack for the dramatic, as you already know. John Watson has always been a man of few words, so it’s not surprising he doesn’t feel it worth mentioning to Sherlock. He doesn’t complain. He was a soldier, you know. Also he dislikes being embarrassed, which, unfortunately this involves quite a bit of.
But first we need to go back a bit further, to fully understand this occurrence. The first time John and Moriarty (and Sherlock) all laid eyes on each other. Quite a bit was left out there as well, and I shall fill you in.
Chapter 2: The First Time John Saw Jim
The first time John saw Jim (you’ll remember that’s Moriarty’s first name), he was extraordinarily pissed off at Sherlock. Sherlock had asked John to get his phone - while it was in the jacket he was wearing! And he had the nerve to tell him to be careful. John would have loved to punch him, very much so. Then Sherlock made his cutting remark about John crying at people’s bedsides and that was just too much. So - John was furious. Then Molly came in, followed by her boyfriend, Jim.
John’s first impression of the man is that he’s rather handsome. He looks shy, asking Molly’s permission to come in. He’s looking at Sherlock, mostly. Like everyone else. Even Molly overlooks him. It’s annoying, really, he is standing right there - even the lab equipment gets more attention than him, sometimes.
But once Jim’s allowed to enter, he practically struts over, and John’s attention snaps straight to him. John swallows nervously - this is odd, he’s usually only like this when there’s a really pretty woman nearby and he’s trying really hard not to stare at her- oh. Well, this is new. John looks back at Sherlock to keep his face from betraying him.
When Molly tries to introduce him - and fails to remember his name of course - he can’t even look at Jim when he says “John Watson. Hi.” Which doesn’t matter, because when he looks back, Jim’s not even looking at him. He’s looking at Sherlock. Of course. ‘I’m invisible,’ John thinks. But he still feels rather exposed, and is working hard to keep his expression blank - just in case anyone should happen to look his direction.
Sherlock continues to stare at his lab equipment (see?) while Jim gushes over what he’s heard of ‘the great Sherlock Holmes.’ John resists the urge to roll his eyes. He knows the man is fantastic at what he does, but he’s being a dick today, and John doesn’t feel like hero worship at the moment.
Jim moves closer, and John doesn’t know where to go, where to look. He backs up, looking down, alway - the corner of the far wall! Perfect - no accusations looking over there. Nothing untoward about that corner.
Then Molly fills them in on Jim. He works in the Information Technology part of St. Bart’s. They’re together - ah. Okay.
John has no right to feel disappointed. That is not a proper feeling upon learning that your flatmate’s ‘friend’ in the loosest terms has a significant other (no matter how attractive that significant other is - oh bloody hell).
“Haha - sorry what?”
The flutter of hope in his chest is utterly uncalled for. Hell. Bloody hell. Damn it all to bloody fucking hell...
Jim’s voice is low and breathy, and John’s heart is already speeding up when Jim knocks over whatever it is he does, and John has to look away. God Sherlock you’re stealing Molly’s boyfriend, and you’re not even trying. I am completely invisible, aren’t I? Yup. Yes. Completely. No one notices John Watson next to Sherlock Holmes. They just don’t. Him and his stupid cheekbones and expensive clothes. It’s Molly’s boyfriend - so why does John feel betrayed? It’s on her behalf. That’s it. It must be. Ha. Oh, shut up.
John feels an odd mixture of relief and disappointment when Jim moves to go. He rubs his mouth to do something to distract him from the strange hypersensitivity that’s invading his every nerve.
“Goodbye, it’s nice to meet you”
It’s directed at Sherlock, but John wishes the sincere breathy voice was speaking to him. Sherlock doesn’t respond, so John takes the opportunity to draw at least some attention to himself. He’s much too happy about this for propriety. And spending much too much energy keeping his face from grinning like a fool - he’s practically physically holding the corners of his mouth down!
“You too.” Oh, God, he points. Why did he point? John crosses his arms to keep from making any more ridiculous hand gestures, and looks away. Oh, the lovely corner on the far wall! So, so fascinating, interesting - it’s a nice corner, really. Not a crack on it. Good paint job. John can see through his own attempts to fool himself. It’s pointless. But he must control his face, at least. Soon Jim will be gone, and John can think about other things...
Jim looks at him. No - Jim looks through him. Jim looks at the voice that is clearly not Sherlock’s and blames it for that fact. Jim looks positively disdainful. Ouch. What had he done? Sorry, I’m not the famous Sherlock Holmes, sorry for existing, oh, I’m so sorry, John thinks sarcastically, hurt. Oh, this is positively ridiculous!
John is still awash with nervous energy when Jim leaves the room, but feels more comfortable. Less afraid. Then he realizes Sherlock’s pushed Molly too far while he was staring at that bloody corner. But John can’t dissuade him - Sherlock launches into a whole bloody deduction about Jim.
“With that level of personal grooming?”
John can’t stand it. He feels sorry for Molly, and strangely protective of this man who barely even looked at him.
“Because he puts product in his hair? I put product in my hair.” Oh, God, that’s really not helping the ‘not gay’ thing, is it? Shouldn’t’ve compared him to me. Nope. Bad move.
“You wash your hair, there’s a difference...”
Oh, great, now he’s really going to go into it. Through his exasperation, John can’t help but feel a bit excited at what Sherlock’s proving. Which is completely wrong, of course. Shouldn’t be happy Molly’s dating a gay. Should not because this is going to hurt her. Because I am not gay! Right?’
“...then there’s his underwear.”
Molly’s absolutely aghast. He should really intervene again. Unfortunately the far corner has become fascinating again as John tries really hard not to think of the bright green stripe of pants visibly above Jim’s trousers. Crap.
“...he just left his number under this dish here...”
Well shit. I am invisible. The wall cannot hold him anymore - shoes. Shoes are significantly more intricate than a wall. His shoes are looking a bit scuffed, perhaps he should polish them when he gets back to the flat.
John turns his back to the conversation, curling up into himself, feeling much too hurt for the situation. If he feels this hurt, how is Molly feeling? Jim’s her boyfriend for crying out loud! He has no claim whatsoever to this man, and no reason at all to feel hurt, but she is entirely in the right, and it must be so much worse for her.
John regains composure just as Molly flees from the room of her humiliation. Could Sherlock really be so dense to think he’s doing her a favour? Of course he is. The idiot.
“No, Sherlock, that was not kind.”
But John doesn’t have the energy to explain, he feels rather exhausted from being so tense and aware. He just wants to not think about it anymore. John’s sure there will be other occasions to try to correct Sherlock’s behaviour - ones that don’t involve thinking about Molly’s boyfriend and his sexual orientation... Stop. Case. People in danger. Focus on them.
Chapter 3: A Rather Futile Attempt to Focus
After this John tries to put the incident from his mind, focusing on the case of the shoes and the people strapped to bombs and his flatmates idiosyncrasies and so on and so forth. But he’s not as involved in it as Sherlock, and there are large portions of time where he has nothing to occupy his mind and thoughts leak in.
So he’s been constantly telling people he’s not gay - because apparently that’s the only reason they can imagine anyone putting up with Sherlock. That’s not it, though. Sherlock’s wonderful, extraordinary, he really is. But it’s not like that.
He finds Sherlock’s work exciting when he was painfully bored beforehand. Sherlock is his best friend, and he’d die for him (he’s sure of this, he knows the feeling, recognizes it from Afghanistan). But he’s, well, to be frank he’s just not attractive to him. John sees nothing physically endearing about his friend. His features are sharp and angled, and he looks like a bird. And he is apparently the only one who thinks so.
And, until today, John had been attracted to no one that was not female. He really can’t deny this fact - he knows himself well. That was attraction. Very intense attraction. Very befuddling and all-encompassing attraction that was most certainly not returned by the cold, disdainful look he had received.
Not that he wanted to steal Molly’s boyfriend! No! That would be appalling. And what would he do? Really, he had no way to go about this at all. Best to ignore it until it goes away. That’s really for the best, it was probably a one-time thing. Everyone has their exception, right?
John dimly recalled some chapters on sexuality in a psychology text in uni he’d paid some attention to because of Harry - it’s a flux, it’s a scale, it’s fluid, whatever. So this ‘Jim’ was an exception. He wasn’t gay - just attracted (very, very attracted) to this one man. Simple. Now he could move on with his life knowing a little more about himself and never ever think of it again.
Oh, my dear John. If only he could.
Chapter 4: The Date That Went Awry
So you’ll remember John has gone off to see Sarah. His mind was a bit preoccupied with trying-not-to-think-and-failing-not-to-think-and-thinking-oh-God-why, so when he got on the tube, instead of getting off at the stop for the restaurant where they were going to eat, he got off near St. Bart’s. It wasn’t a huge miscalculation. They were only one stop apart because Sarah was coming from work, so John set to walk the rest of the way, hoping he could work out his thoughts before he saw her. It wouldn’t do for him to start blabbing about being attracted to a man halfway through dinner. No, it really wouldn’t. Especially when he found that man significantly more attractive than her - oof.
Lost in thought, he’d walked straight into a man texting - Jim! What was he doing here! Oh, right, he works in IT. Above the morgue. At St. Bart’s. Oh, God. And he’s dressed up in a suit. And it looks...Oh God, oh God.
“I’m so so sorry! Are you alright!”
“No, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t be...” Jim gestured to his phone. Then he looked at John. “You...you’re...”
“Yes, I’m John Watson, we met earlier. You gave Sherlock your phone number.”
“Yes, yes I did that...”
“He thinks you’re gay, by the way. He said it to Molly. So, you know, she’s probably a bit worried. He’s not often wrong about things - although he, he can be. Just not often.”
Oh God. Why am I rambling? Why did I say that? It’s none of my business. I should just be quiet.
The man just gaped at him. Almost as though he was seeing John for the first time. He looked surprised well, who wouldn’t after what I said? Oh, God, oh God oh God. But he didn’t look exactly affronted. He definitely wasn’t giving John that cool, disdainful look he’d given him in the lab, so that was a start.
“Oh, that would explain why Molly cancelled our date,” Jim said softly, gesturing to his phone he’d been typing on when John had barreled into him. He seemed to visibly crumble, and looked almost like he was going to fall over. John instinctively reached out and wrapped his arm around his shoulders.
“I’m so sorry, mate. Sherlock’s a bit of a dick sometimes - you won’t believe how many of my girlfriend’s he’s chased off.” John laughed nervously, frightfully aware of the mans shoulders under his arm. “Fitting for him to do the same for Molly’s boyfriends. He seems to be determined to be our top priority. Probably his idea of efficiency for his cases, you know. By his own admission he’s a sociopath, so he doesn’t really get relationships.” Oh, God, still rambling. No hope. None. I really should crawl into a hole and never return.
Jim smiled weakly, and he looked so sad John’s heart throbbed as it filled with emotion. He would do anything to help him, anything at all to make him smile again.
“Would-would it be okay if we found somewhere to sit? I fear my legs might give out. I-I can’t believe...” Jim sagged against him, and John tried to fight the thrill that washed through him as he felt Jim against his side. There weren’t any benches nearby, but they were standing right in front of a pub.
“Here,” John opened the door for him, and Jim wobbled inside and collapsed on a stool. The pub was busy, but most of the clientele were at the back or at tables, so the front was quiet enough they could hear each other. The bartender was at that end, cleaning a glass.
Jim looked mournfully at the bartender and said plaintively “pint stout, please.” The bartender saw the expression on his face and John saw his own sympathy reflected as he moved towards the bar.
“You look like you could use sommat strong, lad, I’ve got a nice imperial stout, if you’d like?”
Jim nodded pitifully as John came up behind him and said “same for me.” The bartender nodded and busied himself with the drinks. John turned to Jim and said “I’ll get this, I was the bearer of bad news.”
“No, no it’s fine,” Jim said, weakly.
“I insist,” John replied kindly, “I feel responsible, it’s the curse of being flatmates with Sherlock - cleaning up his messes.” And with that he paid the bartender and they took their rather large glasses of strong alcohol. The bartender moved to the other end where the rest of his paying customers were and they sat in silence for a moment.
John took a large gulp of the beer in anxiety as Jim sipped at his. He was going to miss dinner with Sarah. He didn’t mind. John didn’t even move to text her an excuse, for fear of being rude to Jim. He felt very protective of Jim, as though he were precious and innocent and to be protected.
Oh, John. My dear John. Caring, kind, generous and ever the protector of the innocent. He’s playing you like a glockenspiel.
Chapter 5: We're Not Gay!
After a few moments of uncomfortable silence Jim took a shaky breath and said “I can’t believe I’m asking this, but...why did he think I was...you know...gay?”
John sighed. “There was a lot of reasons, actually. Basically he said you were too well-groomed to be straight. I told him that was preposterous, there’s nothing wrong with paying attention to your appearance. But what really bothered Molly, and sort of drove the point home, was that you gave him your number.”
“Oh, well, I wanted to talk to him about his detective work. It’s so interesting, and he doesn’t write very well on his blog. Molly showed me, but I’m sure he has great stories to tell. That was all. I wasn’t coming on to him, or anything. It just seemed like a bad time, and I wasn’t sure how to ask. Oh, I’ve ruined everything.” Jim seemed to crumple again. He wasn’t crying, but the look on his face was just so sad it tugged on Johns heartstrings.
“That makes more sense. Don’t worry, I’m sure Molly will understand when you explain it to her.” John wanted to add that he, too, had a blog, but felt it wasn’t the time.
“I don’t think so,” Jim said mournfully. “She takes his word as law. I knew she had a crush on him when we started going out, but he never gave her the time of day and I always thought she’d get over it eventually. I knew she was just using me to make him jealous, but...oh...” here he seemed to lose his words, staring into the depths of his pint. He took a sip, and John took another large gulp.
“I want to look good, is that such a crime?” he said in a small voice.
“Oh of course not. Sherlock’s just...he’s just Sherlock.” John tried. He continued thoughtfully, “it will be the first time I’ve seen him get anything completely wrong, though - oh! I’m sorry! I didn’t mean...” Oh I’ve really put my foot in it this time, he thought as he took another large gulp of his beer. It was quite strong, and he realized he was already almost done. He was already feeling it slightly. Then the bartender came over with the bottle and a sympathetic smile before he left again.
“I’m really not. I’m not. Not-not that there’s anything wrong with it, I’m-I’m just not,” Jim said softly, and rather unconvincingly, John thought. Although he might’ve had a small bias. He poured himself some more of the stout just to do something and look somewhere else. Jim was getting low into his glass, too, John noticed, but he refrained from topping up his glass in fear it might seem presumptuous. He’d never had that fear before - with an attractive woman it was a kind thing to do, with a friend it was friendly, but here - he didn’t know what to do here. So he drank more. Then he thought of something to say.
“No, no of course there’s nothing wrong with it. To be honest I’ve gotten that assumption, too. People always seem to think I’m with Sherlock, but I’m not. Even a couple of my girlfriends did...that was embarrassing, that was.” John turned slightly pink, remembering, and hastily took another drink.
“Were you able to convince them otherwise?” Jim asked, so gut-wrenchingly hopeful it hurt John to dash it down. But he felt he couldn’t lie.
“No, no I couldn’t.” He didn’t mention Sarah. John didn’t think it exactly fit the conversation. And, okay, he was deliberately not mentioning her. So sue me, he thought.
The effect of his words was visible as Jim crumbled yet again. John felt so bad for him, he didn’t really know what to say.
“I’m sure you’ll find someone else, easily. You know, if it doesn’t work out.”
“Me? No. I rarely ever get dates. That’s why I tried so hard with my appearance, but it didn’t seem to work. Molly’s the first girl that gave me the time of day in a long time, actually.”
“I don’t believe that. You’re handsome, and smart to be in IT, and you’re not completely full of yourself like some people I know.” John smiled reassuringly. He patted Jim’s hand out of habit, as he would do with anyone who was so sad. Then he panicked. Usually physical contact was comfortable, just something he did, a reaction, but he didn’t know what was appropriate here. Luckily Jim didn’t seem to notice, and he didn’t take his hand away.
“Well, maybe you can just get a new girlfriend when one leaves you, but I can’t. You’re a lot better looking than I am, and you’re not even trying.” Jim ducked his head, muttering shyly, and turning slightly pink himself.
“Thanks. I do try, though. Maybe that’s what gets us in trouble - the trying. Maybe to squash all the rumors we should just show up unwashed in old clothes and the girls will all succumb to our clearly heterosexual charms,” John laughed. Jim chuckled, and John felt proud that he’d helped.
“Well it worked when I was in the army. But once I got shot it’s been harder to get anyone to pay me any mind. Sometimes I feel pretty invisible.”
“You’re not invisible.” Jim said quietly. They had finished off the entire bottle, and were working their way through a second that the bartender had left without John even noticing.
“Oh, I’m not, am I? You didn’t even remember who I was when I ran into you. Neither did Molly, earlier today, and I’ve been working with Sherlock a good while now. I’d say I’m pretty invisible.” John noticed his inhibitions were dulling. He didn’t really mind.
“Well you’re not invisible anymore,” Jim smiled, and looked him in the eye. John swallowed nervously. “And I hardly believe anyone else would think that. You are very good-looking, and sweet, and funny.” John could feel his pulse quicken. He wanted to make a joke, make it light - this was too intense and he felt as though his heart was going to beat from his chest. But he couldn’t think of anything to say. No jokes were available. But his mouth opened anyway.
“I’m sweet, am I?” He said, trying for laughter, but ending up jut low and breathy.
“Well -not that I am, or anything - but, you know, I can tell, I-I have eyes,” Jim was stuttering. Jim was stuttering, and complimenting him!
“I have eyes too. Not that I am, either, but you-you’re...” John was stuttering, too. The words seemed to tangle in his mind, getting their tenses mixed up. It took a second for him to unwind the proper usage of ‘you,’ and then he continued. “You’re the most attractive man I’ve ever met.”
Realizing what he’d just said, he turned bright red and looked down. He realized his hand was still over Jim’s and went to pull it away, feeling awful. He’s Molly’s boyfriend you idiot! What are you thinking? You’re supposed to be having dinner with Sarah, nice, female Sarah - and instead you’re making a pass at Molly’s boyfriend! Boyfriend! Boy! And, alright, so his ‘I’m not gay’ wasn’t very convincing, but maybe they never really are - it’s not like anyone ever took yours seriously-
But just as he lifted his hand, Jim grasped onto it. John looked up in surprise, face red, eyes wide and pleading.
“Thank you,” Jim said quietly, looking into his eyes. Then John realized he was a bit drunk. And then he realized he didn’t particularly care.
“You’re welcome,” John replied softly, heart beating very fast. Without looking away he dug in his wallet and pulled out all his money and left it on the bar. He didn’t count it. He just left it there and let Jim lead him from the pub.
Chapter 6: The Alley
He didn’t know where they were going, and he didn’t particularly care. His heart felt as though it was going to beat right out of his chest. He didn’t like that their eye contact was broken, but Jim held onto his hand and looked back at him frequently to smile shyly.
They stopped in the middle of a small alley between buildings, amid garage doors and garbage cans, and Jim turned around to look at him. Jim smiled shyly and moved closer. John swallowed nervously, eyes wide.
“Is-is it..it is okay if...if I...”
Every time Jim’s words trailed off he moved a bit closer, until his breath was hot on John’s cheek. He found he was barely an inch from the wall and leaned against it for support because his knees had just turned to jelly. At his slight movement back, Jim frowned, and started to look away, looking sad and confused.
“No, no, I, I’m not, I mean...it’s fine, it’s good, I,” John had no words. They’d all left him. Jim was moving away and he didn’t know what to say to pull him back. John reached out and traced the edge of Jim’s jaw with his fingertips, trying to communicate with his eyes. Jim looked back at him and smiled faintly. John pushed his hands into Jim’s hair and rested it just under his ear. He smiled, looking into his eyes searchingly, and moved his head towards him slowly. He was drowning in his eyes. They blotted out the world - the cars moving past on the road outside the alley melted into nothing.
Then there was no more space to close, and he closed his eyes and felt Jim’s lips on his own. His other arm reached out and wrapped itself around Jim’s waist, pulling him even closer.
They broke away and John laughed softly. “I’ve never done that before.” He felt sort of giddy.
“Me neither,” Jim said, and smiled at him crookedly. “Is it alright?”
“Yeah, it’s - you’re - brilliant.”
“Oh, I am, am I?” Jim smiled cheekily. The unexpected confidence from the man who’d been so shy was so endearing John just had to kiss him again.
Jim reached an arm around him and tugged him closer, almost roughly. John couldn’t predict his actions, and John felt as though he were being let inside his head. The man shoving him up against the brick wall so that the bricks dug into his back painfully then kissed him like he was starving wasn’t the same one who’d asked Molly Hooper’s permission to enter a room. John had to admit he liked this side of Jim better, even more so that both were true.
John gasped audibly as Jim kissed his neck, arms caressing his back, and inching lower by the second. John dug his fingers in the mans hair, the other hand on the small of his back. John felt himself rising below as Jim cupped his behind, pulling him in closer than before. Through his trousers he could feel Jim was having a similar reaction, and that only served to excite him more. John had no idea what the logistics were for this, but his brain wasn’t exactly working right. He was only thinking of the man in front of him and the beating of his heart and lips on his own and hands on him and his hands on Jim and there wasn’t room for anything else.
Jim kissed him at the base of his throat and his head went back against the wall. In the space, John’s hand moved down Jim’s chest, tracing the muscles before twisting around him to grasp his behind and pull him close in another kiss where it felt like they were touching from top to toe, pressed tightly against each other, but not close enough. No, never close enough.
Jim’s hand travelled to the front of John’s trousers, making him rise a little more, and he moaned into Jim’s neck. He reached down to reciprocate and teased his fingers down the man’s pants zipper and around and below the bulge. John could feel him rising and a thrill went through his body at being able to elicit that reaction from him. Jim reached down to unzip John’s trousers that were trapping him, and after they were open, John fumbled with his trousers. They pressed together again, grinding into each other, and John couldn’t keep a moan from escaping his mouth.
As extraordinarily aroused as he was, he whispered in Jim’s ear “what if someone comes?”
“You’ll just have to come first,” Jim replied breathily, grasping him tightly.
Then all sense was lost to him. He was grateful for the wall, knowing his knees would not be able to keep him upright alone as Jim slipped his hand inside John’s trousers, and then his pants, and he tried to muffle the sounds erupting from his mouth in the other man’s shoulder. He shivered as the chill night air seeped in with Jim’s hand, and reminded him to reciprocate.
John was surprised he wasn’t more apprehensive about touching another man in such an intimate place. He’d never thought about it before. But this was Jim, and he was beautiful and cheeky, and there he was.
As they stroked and grasped and kissed and gasped, slowly their trousers and pants slid down their legs and they were naked from the waist down. They kept one hand on each other down low, and their other hands roamed. John reached up to caress Jim’s face as he kissed him, and looked into his eyes. Jim squeezed John’s rear, exciting him, and pulling him closer, closer, closer. Just as he was nearing the completion, and his eyes began to close of their own accord, Jim’s hand slowed, drawing out the moment, and the fingernails of his other hand dug into John’s back. They rubbed against each other, touching along their length, and Jim stopped - John on the edge.
“Don’t stop,” John muttered into his shoulder, continuing to stroke him, and knowing he was close too.
“Before you come, John Watson, I’d like you to know my last name. Just so it’s proper,” Jim whispered into his ear as he started up again. John’s eyes closed in ecstasy.
“Of course, what is it?” He breathed back
“Moriarty,” Jim breathed into his ear, just as John came to him, moaning as he leaned into the wall. Jim wasn’t far behind, and John felt his hand coated with what he had elicited from him.
“John - here, I know where we can wash up nearby,” Jim said, still breathing hard, as he tugged up his trousers. John nodded, breathing too hard to speak very much, and pulled up his own.
After he regained his breath, John chucked.
“What is it?” asked Jim.
“They might have been right about us,” John laughed.
“Hm? Well, maybe just a bit,” Jim said with a wink.
Chapter 7: The Shower
When Jim stopped, John saw where they were headed.
“I don’t think the doors will be open to the pool.”
“I’ve got keys, I’m a lifeguard, you know,” Jim said with a smile. “They’re the closest showers - I didn’t think you’d want to ride the tube like this.”
“Not particularly, no.”
The doors opened and they walked down the hall to the showers. John stripped semi-self-consciously. This is silly, I shouldn’t be nervous - we just had sex for crying out loud! I’ve just had sex - with a man. With Jim.
He felt a bit bad about him being Molly’s boyfriend, but Sherlock had already warned her, and they were basically broken up already. He wordlessly thanked Sherlock for outing this man, even in such a roundabout way. John forgave him for all the girlfriends he’d chased away - at least he did one thing right.
They slipped into the showers, leaving their clothes in a heap on the changing room bench. Jim kissed him under the cascading water as they washed themselves. Then a horrible thought entered his head. Moriarty. That was the name of the bomber who’s killing all those people. Who’s taunting Sherlock.
John shook his head. It couldn’t be the same person. Not Jim. But it might be a relation - he should warn Jim so he could get him to safety and they could catch the criminal and lock him up.
Jim found some towels and pants in his locker for them, and they redressed. John thought he should tell him.
“You know that case that Sherlock and I are working on?”
“Do you really want to talk about Sherlock at a time like this?” Jim said, running his hand through John’s damp hair. “Here, you should dry your hair - don’t want you to catch cold.” He pushed John to sit under the drier and it roared in his ears.
“Well, no, it’s more the case. It’s just that, your last name, well, it’s the same as the criminal who we’re trying to catch. You might be related to them, and you could be in danger. You might be able to help us catch them.”
“Oh, dear me, I guess I could help,” came Jim’s voice from around the lockers, faintly through the roar of the drier over John’s head. “But that would be cheating.”
John figured he must’ve misheard him, and stuck a finger in his ear to try to get the water out. “Sorry, what was that?”
“I said - that would be cheating,” Jim said with a grin, as he stood over John with a needle, and before John could react, it was plunged into his arm and the world faded into darkness.
Chapter 8: The Bomb
When John came to there was something very bulky around him. It was uncomfortable, and he opened his eyes to move and saw a changing room. He looked down and saw a large, puffy parka. But it felt too heavy to be just a parka. It felt almost as though he were wearing a bullet-proof vest, but it was bumpier and itchier and poking into his ribs. Then he remembered what had happened. Jim had knocked him out and put this thing on him, whatever it was. Then Jim walked into the room and looked down at John.
But Jim looked different. He didn’t look shy or cheeky or sexy. He looked cold and harsh and he terrified John to his core. This was the man he’d been caressing in the shower moments before? His eyebrows drew together in confusion.
“Oh, do you not get it? Do you need me to explain?” His voice was cold and patronizing, taunting him. John had never been more frightened in his life - not even in Afghanistan. There he could only die. He had no idea what this man was capable of, and he had let him in. He had been so open and vulnerable, and this was Jim. The real Jim. No, not Jim - Moriarty.
“You’re Moriarty,” John spat. He hated him. He hated him so much it felt like he would choke on it.
“Oh, look, you’ve got it,” Moriarty singsonged. “I need you to do a little job for me. Not too much, between lovers. Just a little favour.”
“I won’t do anything for you.” John was trying to be brave, but his voice shook slightly.
“Oh, no? Think again. Guess who else is here for a visit? It’s your darling Sherlock - the one you kept bringing up over and over - it’s really quite sickening. You’re trying to hit on me and you keep mentioning your flatmate. No wonder everyone thinks you’re gay - and, well, there’s the little fact that you are.”
John gritted his teeth. He wasn’t. But he wouldn’t say anything that might get Sherlock in trouble.
“Well I just want you to have a little chat with your boyfriend for me - say everything I say, just as I say it, or that little contraption you’re strapped to goes off and kills you both.”
John swallowed in fear, steeling himself to do what had to be done, and rose from the bench and stepped out into the pool.