It had been three days to date since Jim's little show.
Sebastian was waiting for Moriarty's return. He would continue forth with his daily routine, constantly expecting Jim to sidle up alongside him with that grin of his, hat pulled down low over his sunglass clad eyes, a hand tugging on Seb's arm, dragging him home, giving him a new assignment.
It had been three weeks to date since Jim's little feature.
Sebastian wasn't worried yet. Why should he be? His boss would do this quite frequently, vanishing for months at a time on some sudden whim of his fancy. Whether it was to take down a target or because a new hobby had captured his interest for a short period, sending him dancing around the globe to collect them all.
It had been three months to date since Jim's little exposé.
Sebastian still wasn't worried about his boss, but there was this feeling in the pit of his stomach, much like a lead ball weighing him down.
He made certain to jog by Jim's flat every evening, looking for lights. He paid the rent and utility bills at the beginning of every month. Seb knew that Jim was going to come strolling in the door any day now, checking to make certain that his plants were still flourishing, cupboards still stocked with his favourite snacks and goodies. Any day now.
It had been three years to date since Jim's little act.
Sebastian sometimes liked to think that Jim was watching him from somewhere distant. He knew that his boss owned secrecy. Had more ways of controlling the city's countless security cameras than even Mycroft Holmes knew how.
The lack of Jim's spontaneous manner (keeping Sebastian up for three days straight on some fools errand, showing up in his flat at two in the morning just to wake him up with the demand for the sniper to go buy him a package of biscuits, walking out into the kitchen in the morning just to find that his coffee pot had been wired to a bomb, making him disengage it before he could get his morning fix) had began to bring Sebastian's militaristic lifestyle back to the surface.
Everything had fallen back into an easy routine without him. A steady, easy, slow, boring rhythm. As time wore on, Moran began to return to his old military patterns. He would rise at six, make his morning coffee and egg, which he would eat while watching the news. By seven o'clock, he was out the door on his morning jog to the gym. He would return home strictly at eight o'clock, showering, changing, and then hurrying back out the door at eight thirty, in his car and gone. He would promptly return at five, seating himself on the floor with a mug of coffee and his guns strewn about him. He would give his more precious and frequently used firearms and nice cleaning and oiling before heading back out the door once more for his nightly jog at six. By seven he was home, eating his simple supper, showering, and at eight on the dot, he was in bed. Only to repeat the same routine the next day, and the following after.
He had heard that Sherlock had returned. That Sherlock was alive. This had installed new hope in his heart (although he would never admit to it) that Moriarty would finally return as well, picking up form where they had left off in planning Mr. Holmes' fall. He needed to see the newly risen detective. He knew that Jim would want a confirmation as soon as he returned.
It had been three decades to date since the fall.
Sebastian Moran stood beside the vacant lot where St. Bartholomew's Hospital had once stood. He gazed upwards, as if he could still see the roof, brows furrowed, wondering where Jim had gone.
He still wanted to believe that this was still some elaborate plan of Moriarty's. That he was still yet to show himself. But he had always known that Jim would never live to an old age. Hell, he had never expected to live into his sixties himself. He had always thought that he would go out in one of the boss's psychotic campaigns; perhaps in the line of fire, in an explosion, even possibly at Jim's own hand.
The soft sound of thunder rumbled from the skies overhead, a light rain beginning to drizzle, quickly growing into a harsh onslaught of water, stinging the hitman's upturned face. The drops bounced up off of the ground, soaking the old man instantly. He didn't blink, wouldn't look away. Couldn't. How had Jim done it? How could he have done it? Had he planned his own fall this way? Or had he simply gotten carried away at the height of the game and then lost it… loosing in the end by trying to come out on top.
"You fucking madman." Sebastian muttered, nodding at the empty space, as if finally paying his respects.
With that, he turned and walked slowly to his car, the sound of his cane tapping on the sidewalk being overpowered by that of the rain. Moran left that day, never to return to London, tired of waiting for a day that he now knew what never going to come.
It had been three centuries to date since the beginning of the end.
Everything changes with time, as it should. One fad fades out for a new one, fashion, culture, food, politics, life, the city herself was an ever evolving creature, spreading out even more vastly than she had in the age of Sherlock Holmes. She was sill adding history and tales to her never ending scripts.
But there was one story that was still told throughout the city: by the beside, on the playgrounds, in the pubs. But, time had meddled with the story, as she often does, making it something that only just resembles the true events. But who was to say that one of the versions wasn't how it had truly happened? Who was the villain? Who was the hero?
Some still believed in Richard Brook, that he had simply been some poor victim of Sherlock Holmes, the strife that the 'detective' gave him driving him to take his own life to escape from the world.
Others believed yet that Sherlock Holmes had been the true victim, being forced to fake his own death and go into hiding, just to save the lives of his loved ones.
But there was another story, from up north that the people believed with a passion. An old man had once lived there, who would tell the tale of the fall to anyone who asked.
"James Moriarty," he would say, lighting a cheap cigarette, taking a deep draft of it before continuing. "was a horrible, but a wonderful little fucker. Had the ability to bring the entire city of London to her knees if he wanted." he would explain with a distant look to his eyes before delving into the story. He never would tell them how he knew exactly how the events went down, but they had a burning suspicion.
Only one thing was certain.
James Moriarty had been the most dangerous, and powerful, man in all of London.
Colonel Sebastian Moran could only hope, in the end, that he had simply been another one of Moriarty's experiments. That somehow, somewhere, Jim was sitting catlike in a chair, leering face forever young, watching him suffer, enjoying it even, as he drank tea and ate biscuits.
Somehow, Sebastian's final words had made it into the story, ending every version of it today.
"Burn me, boss. Burn me to your heart's content."