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The Game ~ Episode Three

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Laundry day.

Sure it was.

Molly spilled the entire miniature box of detergent, the sample-size sort that are available in laundromats. All of it, on the floor. Which was just fine, because there hadn’t been power to this section of London in days again. She was starting to crack under the strain, and she not only knew it, she warmly embraced it. She’d given up on the sane world now. The funny thing was, she could have prevented all of this, if she’d only have known. Jim Moriarty had lain his small, lethal presence right next to her many times, blissfully asleep, the little Irish monster concealed yet, a smile always there on his lips. He made love gently and well, almost genuinely seeming interested. She’d believed all that, back then. Back before she understood she was just a toy, and the only other being he even considered ‘real’ was Sherlock. Beautiful, unattainable Sherlock, who also did not love or want her. Sherlock, who lived with Jim now for years, they were essentially married.

It was always just them.

She stooped down and began to scoop up the sad white particles of what looked like sand, and wondered if Jim’s cocaine resembled this at all. Or maybe Sherlock’s did. After all, they were both addicts, most of all to each other. Footsteps scuffled, and where once she would have started in fear, she didn’t even flinch. Her ‘carer’ was broken these days …

She finished her thought.

Could have killed him as he slept. Oh yes, that was just exactly her specialty. “Stupid mouse.”, she whispered. “Don’t say that.” John stood over her, looking down sadly.


“Molly, I was wrong.” She stood, and met his eyes immediately. Now interested. John Watson’s eyes were so sad at this point. Unthinking, she reached out and ever so kindly, took his hand.  “I ..just ..” “No. Let me say it all, get it all out. I was turning into a monster worse than Moriarty ever could be, because I’m not insane - I don’t believe I am, that is - I - Christ, I’m a doctor , for God’s sake! I don’t get to plot murders, or yearn for someone’s suffering. Anyone! I -- I lost myself to it. I want to say I’m sorry. I mean it.”  Molly opened her mouth to speak, when there was a sound from behind them that set her weary blood to rivers of frozen fire. A soft chuckle. She knew that sound. So did John. He did not even move.


There was really no point, because if he walked the earth as a Mortal to come here, among the lowly, then … well, there was no way to gauge what it meant. Not with a man like that. John held his breath, his eyes locked onto and holding Molly fast, their mutual stare of terror from one to the other a cold moment of surreality. Jim walked around and stood in front of them, unafraid, or too mad or too high to care one way or another anyway.


“Ooh. Johnny….” His voice was a sensual purr. Then cut to crisp, down to business, no nonsense. There was nothing sane to be found here. “And just when I was getting such high hopes for you as a fun enemy. I was so hopeful. Damn it all.” Jim spoke mildly, as if they were sitting in a Starbucks and trying out a new latte. “I came here to play. Sad to hear you pussy out of all those grand designs you had. Did you really think I didn’t have informants planted? Tsk O Johnny baby. Not so good. Not so good.”

John saw that Molly was paralyzed in horror, and he looked into Jim’s eyes now. Soft, sweet chocolate, delicate tendrils of sugar dancing along the filaments of taste and experience. Bittersweet. Laced with cyanide and arsenic and everything evil and harmful, everything that hurt. Wet chocolate, blood mingled with your tears, every nightmare never yet dreamed of sweeping across boiling synapses and everything misfiring, the screams of Hell but magnified and somehow taken to the Real Reality.

Jim stared back. Calm.

Genius with electroshock ... scorching it into a black smudge.

“Sherlock says hi, sweetie.”

John swallowed.  “How is he?” “Exhausted.” Jim grinned, pretty pearl-teeth glittering. Molly chose then to move, and for the life of him, John never understood why she did it. Misplaced heroics were not called for, or, maybe they were, but -- and  - it all went down so fast. Too fast, impossible to understand what was happening. What had happened. When the frames of odd-film stopped, Molly Hooper lay in a heap. Jim had punched her first in the mouth, and then in the belly. John started to move to her, and Jim held up a hand.


“Uh uh.”


Ten rifles made the well acquainted sound of preparation.

Ten men surrounded them.

“Jim, don’t.”

“But I have to! She dissed me, dawg.”

“That … doesn’t ..”

“Well I’m trying. But yes she really - look, she had a gun.”

“I gave her that, for protection. It isn’t her fault.”

“No, it isn’t. It’s your fault. “ He began to sing.


“In the early morning

When I'm feeling nice ..pretty man!

I walk by the mirror

And kiss it twice, Pretty man! See that’s from Prince. Pretty Man. I like that.”

Silence, and then Jim pulled out Baby. “Inoxication is called for. Do you know what that is, honey? This is an INOX Beretta. So Inoxication … gettit?!” He licked the barrel and then kissed it. “Good bye Molly.”  “NO! Moriarty ---you cocksucker don’t you fu---” Men moved, the big brutes Jim liked to have protect him and sometimes more -- and John wouldn’t know more till he awakened, head bleeding and Molly still and cold on the floor. Still. Cold.


Sogoddamnedsilent … talk talk wakeupwakeup … MOLLY MOLLY OH OH FUCK ME OH GOD MOLLY HE DID IT HE DID IT WHY  …… screaming .


John found he was right back where he had started, morally. A little worse.



Sebastian Moran had not liked Berlin.

He had expected to, because he knew people there, and Germany had always been a just magnificent-fucking-place. But Jim’s execution of most of the UK had had a profound effect. People - towns, cities - were hysterical. One man held them all in a deep, thick horror, and it seemed that he surely must be getting bored at this point. The secret underground routes to London were still there, and when Jim’s Tiger stood at the door to the Penthouse - as if he couldn’t break in fucking anywhere - Moriarty stood up from the couch and let the blanket drop, Sherlock asleep on the other couch, and Jim naked, his eyes wide and wild.


“Love of my life, don’t hurt me …” Jim sang softly. Queen. He opened his arms. Their eyes locked.


Sebastian crossed the distance, spared Holmes a look of loathing and revulsion, and then gathered the little man up, carrying him to the bedroom.

“We’ll see about that.”