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Chapter 1: Breathe

Sherlock is kneeling in a short distance from the pool, wet and dripping.

Shards of glass, charred wood and other debris are cluttering the site, some of the remains still smoldering .The smell of smoke and chlorine is heavy in the air.

His ears are still ringing from the sound of the explosion. At some level he is aware there is pain, but it feels like something distant, tugging faintly at the edge of his consciousness. Red is mixing with the water running down his temples, but he does not care.

His hands are busy staunching the wounds of the body he is cradling in his arms, feeling the life of Watson seeping through his fingers along with too much blood. His fingers are trembling slightly, his heart is racing too fast to explain it away with shock alone.

He always claimed to be a high-functioning sociopath, but his actions contradict his words now. Tears are running down his face, not the fake ones he uses to get what he wants, no, genuine tears, and he actually feels something, like concern, like fear.

Fear because Watson is too quiet.

Because Watson, who has borne the brunt of the explosion while shielding him, may be dying.

For the first time in many years, Sherlock is pleading. "Please... Oh my... John, please breathe."

 

Chapter 2: Bested

Moriarty smiles when Holmes kneels down, recognizing the body of his pet is still and lifeless. Now this source of irritation is gone, and they can go on with their game, can proceed their dance around each other, none of them able to gain a permanent victory.

Moriarty watches his rival from the distance, wiping debris from his Westwood suit. Moriarty smiles. They will be able to dance for years, a long-lasting source of thrill and amusement for the both of them.

He walks closer, addressing his rival with well-chosen words, meant to challenge. His smile fades.

Holmes is not reacting, tries to breathe life into the battered body in his arms instead.

Moriarty is irritated. Why doesn´t he leave the pet behind, now that it´s damaged and not useful any longer?  Moriarty does not understand because unlike Holmes, he really is a sociopath.

When he sees Holmes´ tears, Moriarty realizes he has underestimated the influence of the pet. He stares, gaping in disbelief, when Holmes lifts the body carefully, staggering past Moriarty without even looking at him.

Moriarty thought the game was just between the two of them, never expecting plain, boring Watson being more than a pawn in it. But it seems Watson has been a player Moriarty never knew about, and now Moriarty has been bested.