Sebastian knew he should've know better. He shouldn't have expected Jim to have cared about him. He shouldn't have expected Jim to come down from that roof. He felt like a failure. He was a sniper but more importantly he was Jim's bodyguard, he cared about Jim in a way he was certain no one else did. Yet still Jim hadn't trusted him enough to tell him the truth about his plan, he hadn't told him exactly what was going on. Still Sebastian hadn't known enough, hadn't been good enough to save him. Time was still passing now, Sebastian could barely understand that, minutes and hours and days and weeks, were still passing, time moved on. Sebastian felt frozen though. He was here, he was back there, he was on that roof, seeing Jim's dead body for the first time. He was seeing the blood fade, he was looking over the edge, watching Sherlock driven away in an ambulance, watching John Watson's heart break. He was still there, he would always be there. His heart had stopped along with Jim's, and somehow, like a robot, like a machine, his body was still breathing. He wasn't really controlling it, he barely wanted to be there, he was a wreck without his boss.
At 30, Sebastian knew he needed to grow up more. He needed to stop relying on others in the way he relied on Jim. He needed to stop making his life about someone else in the way he had with Jim. His whole life had been serving and protecting Jim, it had been everything to him and he had been glad about it. He loved his job, working for Jim. And how could he not want to help Jim after everything Jim had done for him? A dishonourable discharge, the risks of a drug addiction, homeless, jobless, lifeless. Jim had found him and saved him. Sebastian knew it was ironic, seeing the best and only consulting criminal as his saviour but it was the only way he could look at him, Jim had saved him. Jim had given him a job, given him somewhere to live, given him a reason to live. If it wasn't for Jim he would still be on the streets, maybe even dead by now. He had relied on Jim because he knew he could. Jim was the only type of person who would need him after everything he had done.
Except that was wrong wasn’t it, Jim didn’t need him. Jim cared only about the game. Sebastian hated that Jim had taken the game that far. It wasn’t right. It wasn’t fair. Jim had an empire, he had a business, he had a life, he had Sebastian, wasn’t that enough to live for? Sebastian knew it wasn’t and he hated everything about it. He didn’t feel like a 30 year old, he didn’t feel like an ex-soldier, he felt a wreck. He was fed up of putting on a brave face and going out there talking to the criminal. He wasn’t Jim. Acting as a consulting criminal didn’t feel right. He was a fraud, he couldn’t do Jim’s job. It had been little under a month and the empire was already beginning to crumble. Sebastian was watching it and it seemed right that it did. Jim was gone and Sebastian was crumbling, the business should too.
He had changed somewhat in the month since Jim’s death. He was unshaven, his hair had grown out even longer than it already was. Jim was always teasing him telling him he needed to get it cut, but in all honesty Jim hadn’t wanted him to. Sebastian smiled then almost cried at the memory.
“All right, boss, shut the fuck up,” Sebastian had complained, rolling his eyes and mock glaring at the other. “I will go to the bloody hair dressers and get it sorted out.”
Jim’s eyes widened. Horror was the only word to explain the expression on Jim’s face. “If you let a pair of scissors touch so much as one hair on your head I will fire you and then I will kill you and it will be slow and painful, is that clear?” he smirked at the other before laughing slightly. “You’re too easily wound up. I like your head, Sebby.”
There was so much he missed about Jim, he hadn’t expected in. In all honesty he had never imagined Jim dying. He had had this crazy thought that Jim would always go on. He had always thought he would die because Jim because he was the one in the firing line, he was the one everyone saw, he was the one doing the shooting, the protecting. Jim was rather disconnected from it all. And yet it had been Jim, it was Jim who died first. Jim had killed himself. Jim had died for the game. Sebastian kept thinking about that. Was it the game that killed him or was the game a cover for the fact that he wanted to kill himself? He didn’t know, he would never know, but the feeling of failure only intensified as he felt like he should know. He was the only person Jim ever let anywhere near him, he should know these things. He looked down at the needle. Yeah, he was a failure. He couldn’t even keep himself together without someone watching over him and keeping him on the straight and narrow. Within a few days of Jim’s death Sebastian had found himself back on drugs. He wasn’t proud of it, but it helped. Just for a little while it let him stop thinking. He picked it up, self-loathing filling him with every move he made.
Don’t you dare
Sebastian froze. That voice. But it couldn’t be. The Irish accent. The authority in the tone. It wasn’t possible. He turned around and it was. He couldn’t understand it. Jim Moriarty was stood behind him.
Sebastian stared at the figure of his boss. It was Jim. It was so very Jim. It could only be Jim. He had to be hallucinating, he had to be. This couildn’t be real. God only knew how many drugs he had taken since Jim had died, it was bound to start effecting his mind. But he had taken them to help not to make things worse. He didn’t want to see Jim, not if it wasn’t real. Not when he had to live without him. He smiled slightly, but maybe if Jim was here, he could be here to stay. Maybe somehow this was real. He wanted to believe that, he really wanted to but he was struggling to. He continued staring at the other, blankly, awestruckly, too shocked and confused to actually be able to say anything.
“Well, Sebastian, I know I can always rely on you to have something intelligent to say,” Jim said, when it became clear that Sebastian wasn’t going to say anything. The voice was real. The voice, that couldn’t be in his head. Sebastian didn’t had a good enough imagination to imagine that did he, surely not?
“Jim…?” was all Sebastian managed to say and that was almost chocked. There was a high level of disbelief in his voice. He didn’t understand. How could he be seeing and talking to Jim. He turned back to his drugs. He decided that it would be best just to ignore it, to pretend it wasn’t there because it wasn’t, it could be. He shook his haid there was no way it was real. He lifted up the needed.
“I believe I said don’t you dare,” Jim said. He moved around to stand in front of Sebastian, “Listen to me, Moran, I may be dead, but that doesn’t mean you have the right to ignore me,” he told him, simply.
Sebastian sighed, and looked up at him, needle still in hand. “I’m not going to talk to you, you’re not real. You’re dead.”
“Yes, correct, I am dead,” Jim said. “I’m glad to see that after years in the army, you can correctly identify when someone is dead,” his voice was dripping sarcasm. There was something about it that was so very Jim. A cruelness about it that could only be from Jim. “But that doesn’t mean I’m not real,” he told him. “I’m… I don’t know, a ghost, a spirit? Whatever the fuck you want to call it. All that crap I didn’t believe in before.”
Sebastian shook his head, “Don’t be stupid, there’s no such thing as ghosts.”
“This is happening, Sebastian,” Jim said. “It’s not because you’re drugged off your head, it’s not because you need another fix, it’s real,” his tone lost the hardness and calmed down slight. He was somewhat softer when he continued, “Listen, tiger, I’m really here.”
“You died!” Sebastian all but screamed. “You killed yourself, you left me! Don’t expect me to just sit here and talk to you. You died. Why? WHY?”
“Calm down,” Jim said, quietly.
“Why the hell should I calm down?!” Sebastian demanded. “You meant the world to me. You were my everything, you were all I had. You knew how much I cared about you, you knew how I felt. I loved you so much. I would’ve done anything for you. I would’ve done anything to save you and you just left me. Did I really mean that little to you?”
“It was a part of the game,” Jim said, simply. “I had to win. It’s always about the winning, Sebastian. Sometimes you have to go that little bit too far in order to win.”
“No. You had a choice, you would’ve won when Sherlock jumped-“
“See that’s why I’m here.”
But Sebastian wasn’t listening, “You didn’t have to die. You’re a selfish bastard. I hate you for this.”
“Careful, Sebastian, you’re beginning to sound sentimental,” Jim told him, shaking his head. “You’re beginning to sound like a modern, human rather than that bit tough tiger I knew and-“ Jim cut off, changing his line, “knew and tamed.”
“Well maybe that’s the problem, maybe you tamed me a little too much,” Sebastian spat. “Maybe you made me that little bit too much of a fucking pet. Maybe this is all your fault. Because let’s face it, it is.”
Jim sighed irritated. “I have a job for you, Moran,” he said, determined to get his reason for being here in there before Sebastian started ranting again.
“Don’t you think you lost the right to give me orders when you put a bullet in your skull?” Sebastian asked, bitterly. “This tiger stopped being a pet, he’s wild again.”
“Oh yeah, I’m seeing that,” Jim said, sarcastically, “So wild you’re relying on drugs. So wild that you’re letting yourself fall apart. You’re a joke, Sebastian, you need my job. Get off your high horse and fucking well listen to me for a change. You’re going to like it”
Sebastian glared at him but he didn’t argue again. He was impatient, his tone irritated when he said, “Well, what is it? Get on with it.”
Jim sighed quietly, “’Bastian…” he started, quietly, but he stopped and went back to business. Sebastian remained glaring at him, waiting for him to continue and get to his point. “I want you to kill Sherlock Holmes.”
“The prick jumped off the hospital roof,” Sebastian countered. “I think he’s pretty dead.”
“For god’s sake, Sebastian, if he was dead do you think I would bother fighting through supernatural forces in order to tell you to kill him?” Jim asked, rolling his eyes like Sebastian was stupid. “It was a trick. He’s not dead. So now, it’s time for the tiger to pounce. What do you say?”
“Fuck you,” Sebastian said simply.
“Fine, I’ll just go, find some other little kitten or puppy with claws to do the job,” Jim said, shrugging like it didn’t matter to him. He moved as if to leave, but Sebastian stopped him.
“No, wait,” he sighed, irritated. “I’ll do it.”
“There’s a good boy,” Jim grinned at him. "Now go force, young Hamlet, and avenge me."
Jim left after Sebastian agreed, under the promise that he would be back. Sebastian didn’t know whether or not to believe him, he knew was Jim was like. He knew he couldn’t trust the other. Jim made his money by lying and tricking people. He reminded him of the God of Mischief and Lies, Loki. Sebastian shook his head, wishing he had thought of that while Jim was alive so he could nickname him it. Still, there was no point pondering over these things. He had work to do.
He worked on pulling himself together. A tiger always looks elegant before a hunt after all. He showered, shaved and worked on controlling his hair somewhat. He didn’t really care if it wasn’t controlled though, tigers after all were wild, uncontrollable, even if they were elegant and beautiful. Sebastian remembered the tiger he killed in Indian as he dug out his trusty rifle. He hadn’t shot a gun since Jim’s death. He had spent too long contemplating putting it through his own skull that he had been scared away from it. But now he was back, Sebastian Moran, the most dangerous man in London since Jim was dead. He might as well live up to the title he was now holding. The gun had been knew when he was hunting in India. The tiger a reasonable size for such a beast. The shot had been reasonably easy, easier than Sebastian even would’ve admitted to it being. Sebastian of course had skinned it. It was such a beautiful, powerful creature and it was perfect proof of how mortal people really were. He wanted to remember this, he wanted to remember the tiger. He wanted to be like that tiger. He wanted to fight with all the primal, raw power he had, he wanted to give all he had and he wanted to die in dignity. That’s why he got the tattoo. As soon as he was back in London after his trip to India all those years ago, he got the tattoo of the tiger stripes. They started on his back, wounds over his sides onto his front, almost like he was being taken over by this tiger from the back onwards. And that’s why it was stripes and not just a tattoo of the tiger. He didn’t want a tiger on him, he wanted to be a tiger, he was a tiger. He felt that was what he needed to be. The tattoo was now a part of him, and he refused to use any over rifle. This one meant too much to him.
It was only an hour later that Sebastian was finished preparing and reminiscing and was ready for the job. The rifle safely packed in his bag, the bag thrown on the floor by the door. Now for the research. He needed to find out where Sherlock was. As he pulled his laptop out he thought about how he should kill Sherlock. He had never really thought about it properly. He always hoped he would get the chance, but it was always jealousy thinking. He wanted Sherlock dead because Sherlock had Jim’s attention and Sebastian wanted it, childish as that was. But now… Now, Sebastian wanted Sherlock dead because he was the reason Jim already was. Why should John have the chance of having his genius back when Sebastian had to get used to the fact that Jim was actually, definitely dead.
He thought about skinning them. Jim always spoke of how he would find people and skin them, and Sebastian was almost certain that the majority of them didn't realise he was serious. He was certain that until it was happening, they didn't realise they were actually going to get skinned. Sebastian knew it was sick but in all honesty he didn't care. He enjoyed it. He loved the feeling of pure power that acme with skinning someone. It was such a lovely feeling.
The research didn't go well. Sebastian was never good as this side of the job. It was slow and tedious. He was itching to be around Sherlock gun in hand, killing him. He wanted to make it slow and painful. He didn't want to go through this crap of finding where he was first, it was to slow. Tigers didn't research their prey, they just went after them. Maybe that's what he should go, it would be more natural that way after all. Yes, he would find him. Sherlock Holmes would be laying low and Sebastian knew all about the places people went when desperate.
Once he was out, he felt exhilarated, adrenaline pumping through him, he wanted to run, he wanted to growl like the tiger he believed himself to be. He wanted to hunt and kill and destroy and maim and skin. He wanted to do everything he had always done. He wanted to avenge his boss, his master, his love. There was a part of him that lost focus, just for a moment, he considered just killing whoever he could find. But tigers were picky, tigers knew what they wanted and they went after it specifically. He had to do that. He had to find Sherlock Holmes.
He realised as he was searching that skinning Sherlock wouldn't be worth the hassle. He knew that finding him and torturing him wouldn't be a suitable death for one such as Holmes. Holmes expected to go out with a bang, which was why jumping off a roof suited him. It was big it was spectacular, it was dramatic. Sebastian wasn't going to give him that, Sebastian wasn't going to give him what he wanted. He was going to give him what he deserved. In many ways Sherlock was like a wild animal as well. He deserved the treatment that the tiger of India had had, a simple quick death. The proof that one hunter was more powerful than another. Sebastian longed to look in his eyes, make sure Holmes knew exactly who he was before putting the bullet through his head or his heart. Maybe both. It was going to be a glorious killing. He longed for that feeling. The feeling of knowing a death had come from his gun, his bullets and ultimately, his hands. He loved how that felt. He loved everything about it.
Finding Sherlock proved to be a lot easier than Sebastian had expected. He put it down to his predator like hunting skills. He knew how to track down his prey. He watched Sherlock from the distance for a while. The other’s attempt to hide was pathetic, anyone who knew where to look would easily be able to find him and recognise him. He wondered what Sherlock was doing with his time now. But it was only a minor interest. A predator had no true interest in the life of his prey after all. He just wanted to kill them.
Sebastian had his top off. He knew it would appear strange but he always liked to be shirtless when he made a kill. If he was seen he wanted the tiger within him to be known. He wanted it to be known that he was wild and deadly. That he could and would kill without remorse, that he was powerful, strong but elegant about it. He wanted it to be known but it wasn’t just that it was personal as well. It was what felt right. He couldn’t be confined by that clothing while making the kill. With a gunshot it didn’t apply but when it was a close up murder, when it was torturing or a stabbing, Sebastian wanted the stripes to be the last thing they saw. He was preparing to kill Sherlock but he was unsure about it now. Unsure whether just a simple gunshot would be enough for this man. No, the time for thinking was over. He couldn’t make Jim’s mistake, he couldn’t make a big song and dance of this. Jim was so human, such a diva, and that had been his downfall. Sebastian would just get on with it.
He pulled out his gun, set it up. It felt so right to have it in his hand again. It was almost like he had been missing a limb when he hadn’t had it, only he hadn’t realised it until he got it back again. Now he didn’t understand how he had ever been able to live without it. Of course he knew he hadn’t really been living without it. He had been a wreck after all. Another thought crossed his mind, but he pushed it back, he didn’t have time to think about it now. His mind was stuck between his victim who he knew had to be killed and soon, and the fact that despite how right it felt, there was a slight shake in his hand. Before Jim had come, he had been able to take the drugs. He had needed it then but Jim had distracted him, but now, even with the ultimate distraction he couldn’t deny that he needed it. He had to ignore it. He closed his eyes, trying to allow the tiger to take over him. The need for the drugs was human, far too human, he wasn’t that human. He didn’t need it.
He opened his eyes again. He allowed himself to become one with the gun, the way he had when the shot the tiger, the way he had with every shot since. The slight shake in his hand wouldn’t leave. He had the gun pointed at Sherlock’s back. It almost felt wrong to shoot this man from behind but he needed to get it over with. It didn’t really matter how it was done as long as it was done. He raised the gun to the perfect position.
“Tyger Tyger, burning bright/ In the forest of the night;/ What immortal hand or eye,/ Could frame thy fearful symmetry,” he murmured to himself before making the shot.
The shake in his hand won though. He watched as the bullet missed the target. He hadn't missed a shot since taking out that tiger all those years ago. He never missed. He couldn't afford to. The job was too important, every time. Especially this one. Jim had made a song and a dance and failed. Sebastian had failed by simplicity. He hated that. He couldn't allow himself to fail.
Sherlock looked around in a panic. Sebastian watched as the other looked around. He knew he was too hidden from view to be seen. There were a few others around, panicking at the gun shot. Sherlock knew it was for him though. He probably knew he it was sent from, possibly even who was trying to make it. Sebastian had only a few seconds. He stepped forward quickly, not allowing himself to be seen. He made the shot again. It was slightly side on to Sherlock but he didn't miss this time. It had been a fumbled shot, a panicked one, but still he hit Sherlock in the chest. He wasn't sure it would be enough though. Bullet wounds could be sorted if people got to them quick enough after all. But at the same time who was going to notice it someone who was already supposed to be dead, died? He shot again, just to make sure before moving back to make sure he was hidden properly.
He knew he should leave. He should get away from there, make sure there was no chance of being caught, seen, accused. He knew he shouldn't stay, but he felt the need to watch. The great and mighty Sherlock Holmes, dying. Dying from his shot. Dying because of Jim Moriarty. Sebastian smirked as he watched. Sherlock Holmes was just as mortal as the rest. He watched the blood pouring out of him, watching the way it flowed onto the pavement and down. He watched the way Sherlock’s eyes began to lose light and life. It was a beautiful sight. He had taken the ultimate prey out. Sherlock Holmes was truly dead.
The high that always came with a kill didn’t last long. It was there, he grinned happily watching Sherlock die. Everything about it was so perfect. Holmes was dead, just as it always should’ve been. The problem was when he pulled out his phone and typed ‘Holmes is dead –SM’ into the message screen. That brought him crashing back down to earth. He couldn’t text Jim, Jim was still dead. Jim was still gone. He still had to live without him. Killing Sherlock Holmes really didn’t change anything.
A mixture of emotions ran through him as he headed home. He no longer felt like the vicious tiger he knew he could be, feeling rather more like an abandoned kitten. And he was getting desperate. He needed the drugs. He knew he wasn’t that mighty, powerful tiger anymore, he was just Sebastian. He was just human. He was stuck in London, with no purpose and no meaning.
The further he went the worse he became. He was shivering, shaking slightly. Trying to distract himself, he moved his hands around, entwining his fingers, undoing it, redoing it. There was a cold sweat lining his face and his body. He was a failure. He had done the job, sure, but as a person, he had failed. He didn’t see the point anymore. He couldn’t go on like this.
Desperation had filled him by the time he had actually made it home. He didn’t bother looking for Jim, he wouldn’t be there. Jim had called him Hamlet, Sebastian knew how Hamlet ended. Walking through to the living room, he flicked on the radio, a memory coming to his mind.
“But Sebastian… Radios are so old fashioned,” Jim had complained, poking it like he expected it to respond.
Sebastian had rolled his eyes, “Says the person who won’t listen to anything recorded after 2000?” he countered and Jim just smiled sweetly at him, muttering about how it was still unnecessary.
Now, Sebastian took no notice of what was playing, some modern crap that Jim would’ve hated. Sebastian didn’t care, he just couldn’t deal with the silence. His hands were shaking uncontrollably now. He moved back to the sofa, knowing he had left the drugs there. He needed them, but maybe he shouldn’t take them, he didn’t have long to live, the last thing he did should be killing Sherlock, rather than taking drugs. But then, he was such a failure that did he really deserve to go out on the high of killing Sherlock. No, he wasn’t like the tiger in India, he didn’t deserve to go out with dignity. He might as well continued to be a failure.
He picked up the needle.
Sebastian started at the voice. Once again it had come from behind him, once again it was so very Jim. His first thought was to turn and face it, to tell him he had killed Sherlock, to look for some sort of approval from Jim, but he didn’t allow himself that.
“Go away,” Sebastian said, quietly and forcibly calmly. “You’re dead, I’m not talking to you anymore.”
“Sebastian, put the needle down,” Jim told him. “Put it down, put a top on and-”
Sebastian got up then, turning to glare at him bitterly and intensely. “Don’t you dare tell me what to do. I gave my all for you, I always gave everything for you. I became a pathetic, loyal little lap dog for you. I did every stupid little thing for you, and were you grateful?” he laughed somewhat manically, “Of course not, because I was nothing more than a pet to you, I meant nothing, I was just there to do a job. And I goddamn needed the job so fucking much that I did it all. Every little piece of your dirty work. I was as loyal as they come, you knew you could trust me, but you wouldn’t even tell me. You couldn’t tell me that you were going to kill yourself. You didn’t give me the time to prepare, you didn’t let me know that it wasn’t my fault. You’re a selfish fucking bastard, James, I should fucking hate you. You don’t deserve anything more.”
“Now, now, tiger,” Jim sent, gently, but Sebastian wasn’t about to calm down. He was glaring at him, but he wasn’t really seeing.
“But that’s just the problem isn’t it?” he cut off, not finishing what the problem was. “No, fuck this, I can’t do it. Fuck you. Fuck you and your fucking job and your fucking orders. No,” he was shaking, “I need this,” the anger in his voice was somewhat replaced by desperation, “I need this… I can’t do this.”
He turned back to the sofa, reaching for the needle again. He stopped thinking about everything, about anything, he couldn’t focus. Sinking back into the sofa, he stared straight ahead somewhat blankly, his voice was quiet, lost, empty, “I loved you, Jim, I loved you so much. That’s the only reason I did it. But I’m never going to be anywhere near enough for you. You’re Jim Moriarty, I’m just a pet.”
As he spoke, he pulled the needle up, and went to move it to his arm. Jim jumped forward, “No, you stupid fucking idiot, don’t you dare,” he told him, making a grab for the needle.
Sebastian blinked as Jim moved in front of him. That wasn’t right, that didn’t make sense. Reaching a hand forward, he touched Jim, only to pull back in fear. Jim was solid, but that wasn’t possible. He couldn’t be. He was dead, he was a ghost, how was he actually there.
“Karma’s a bitch, Sebby,” Jim told him. “Sherlock was never supposed to die, so his place with the living got replaced by me.”
Sebastian swallowed, but he didn’t say anything. He just moved the needle to his arm again. Jim snatched it, and then slapped Sebastian across the face. Sebastian blinked, too taken aback and comment or even glare at him. “Don’t…” he hissed eventually.
“I’ll do whatever I want if you’re going to be a fucking idiot,” Jim told him. “You’re strong, Sebastian, that’s why I chose you, that’s why it was always you. But if you do this you’ll be nothing more than a failure. And I don’t work with failures.”
Sebastian did something then that came as much as a shock to him as it did to Jim. He cried. “I- I- I need it. I know I’m a failure, I know I am. You think I don’t? I fell apart the moment I realised you were dead, I turned back to the drugs because I had nothing, no need to live, and the drugs numbed it for a while. I hate it. I hate it so much, but I can’t do anything, I can’t. I’m sorry. I’ve let you down, but I’m not what I was, I’m not that person anymore. I’m not your strong and powerful tiger anymore,” he let out a small laugh, the corner of his mouth twitching up momentarily, “No, Jim, now I’m nothing more than a kitten with claws.”
“Oh for fuck’s sake,” Jim told, with no sympathy. “Pull yourself together.”
Sebastian’s head jerked up at that and he jumped up, grabbing Jim and slammed him against the wall. “You have no right,” Sebastian said, holding him by the shoulders to stop him moving away, towering over him, threateningly. “This is all because of you.”
Jim seemed almost excited by the way Sebastian had reacted, but simply rolled his eyes at Sebastian’s comment. “Yes, well, you’re ignoring my attempts to try and fix it.”
Sebastian barely heard him, “And now after everything else, you’re trying to ruin and stop the only good thing I have, the only thing that helps. No. I won’t let you,” he pulled Jim away from the wall and threw him to the ground.
Jim was on his feet and moving quicker than Sebastian though, he had the advantage of not suffering from withdrawal. He got to the sofa, gathered together the drugs and aimed towards the kitchen with them.
“What are you doing?” Sebastian demanded. “What the fuck are you doing?”
Jim ignored him, going to dispose of them.
Sebastian didn’t move, he didn’t seem to be able to focus enough to think that he could go and stop him, “Come on, don’t do it, don’t. If I ever meant anything to you, then you wouldn’t do this.”
“It’s because you mean something to me that I am doing this,” Jim countered. A moment later he came back out. Sebastian was slumped against the wall, desperately trying to focus on him. “Go to bed, Sebastian, this is going to be a long night.”
Sebastian shook his head, “Gimme…”
“It’s gone, Sebastian, now get your arse to bed,” Jim said, his voice a clear order.
Sebastian looked down and went through to the bedroom, hating everything.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Sebastian collapsed on the bed, sweating and shaking. He was angry but he was more desperate. Everything hurt, everything was screaming for the drugs, he needed it, every part of him needed it. But he had no fight left, he couldn’t go and get it. He had no strength, no motivation for anything. He didn’t want to seep, no, he just wanted to curl up and be allowed to die. He no longer even cared about being a failure, he was too busy hurting to even think straight.
He fell into an uncomfortable sleep, hurting. Clinging to the covers as though they could protect him from everything, he whimpered and squirmed in his sleep. His may not have been conscious at that moment, but his body wasn’t resting, even his mind wasn’t resting. He was haunted by nightmares that he wouldn’t remember when he woke. There was a line of sweat covering him, but still his was shivering.
Jim came in, looking over him sadly. Hovering by the door for a long moment, Jim considered just leaving, to stop messing with Sebastian’s life, but he couldn’t do that. Despite the image he gave, despite what people thought, what he wanted them to think, Jim Moriarty did have a heart. A heart which very much belonged to the wreck in front of him.
Slowly, he moved over to the bed, sitting on the edge of it. “I’m sorry, Sebastian,” he said, sincerely. Words he could never had said if Sebastian was awake to hear them. Sebastian whimpered again, he was aware of something there, but not with it enough to focus on it, not awake enough to try. “You were always so loyal. You just need to hold on a bit longer and I’m going to drag you back from hell, I figure I owe you. See, you’ve always had my trust, my belief, but now…” he hesitated, “Now, you’ve earned my love as well.” Swallowing, Jim was unsure if he should go on, unsure what he should do or say, “Maybe,” he said, even quieter, “Maybe one day I’ll be man enough to say that to you when you can hear me.”
Jim slipped off the bed slowly, never taking his eyes of the quivering mess that was Sebastian. Eventually, he turned to walk to the door. Once he reached the door, he looked back, “Sweet dreams, tiger,” he murmured before slipping out.
Nightmares haunted Sebastian’s restless sleep that night and in the passing nights. He didn’t remember much about them when he was awake but then he didn’t remember much about much when he was awake in the next couple of weeks. The veil between reality and fantasy was well and truly destroyed. Sebastian was hallucinating a lot. The nightmares involved memories from the war, memories of India. He saw himself turned into a tiger and destroyed by a hunter. He saw his friends shot around him. But couldn’t do anything about it and the waking moments were no better. The withdrawal was destroying him. His body screamed for the drugs, everything aching, nothing working properly. The symptoms came in quick succession, each as bad as the previous. There were times he could barely move, but felt he needed to for it to stop hurting. Except that didn’t work, nothing worked. Only the drugs would work but Jim had got rid of all the ones in the house, had confiscated his phone, and taken his laptop and keys. There was no way he could get any. He cried a lot, pleaded a lot, even got to the stage where he begged Jim to just kill him because it would be easier. And then he would turn. He would hold Jim against the wall, threatening him, screaming in his face, he even hit Jim a couple of times. Jim never retaliated, only ever stood there and took it, when he could he would push Sebastian away from him and slip away. Sebastian was considerably weaker, he wasn’t eating, Jim had to force water down him when he was at his calmest, but Sebastian could barely even keep that down. Why couldn’t Jim understand that he needed them? What had he ever done to deserve to be put through this? He needed them.
The effects worsened before slowly lessening. They didn’t stop. Sebastian was sure they would never stop. He seemed to his an uncomfortable numbness. All he could think about was the drugs. A month had passed before he was really able to think. By that point, he came to admit that he wanted to get over the drugs and that Jim was doing the right thing. Sometimes. There were still the moodswings, the hatred, but it was less. For the most part he wanted to get past this. He wanted to be able to be Jim’s tiger again.
“We’ll get through this,” Jim murmured, stroking Sebastian’s hair, gently.
And they did. Months passed, months of pure hell but slowly it got better, slowly the symptoms went away. Slowly Sebastian was able to function without even thinking about the drugs. Slowly he was going to feel back together. More like a person. More like a tiger. He showered, shaved, dressed but remained topless and went to find Jim.
“I want to do back to work,” he said, quietly, almost nervous.
Jim placed a hand on Sebastian’s chest over his heart. “Mm,” he said. “My tiger’s come back to life,” he said, leaning up and kissing him. Sebastian was taken aback but returned the kiss after a moment. He had his job, his boss, his love.
“I love you, boss,” he murmured, against Jim’s lips.
Jim grinned, “And I you, tiger.”
Thank you to everyone who read this. This story was very much a joint effort between me and fanfiction's DavrosFan. They gave me the plotline and a lot of the ideas, while I filled it out. This is actually the first multi-chapter MorMor fic. <3 love you, please comment. :)