Jim Moriarty stumbled back into his flat. He'd have a limp if both of his legs weren't bruised to hell. Not mention the rest of him — fuck. Clutching at his diaphragm, he wheezed as he threw himself on the sofa. Okay, no moving today.
While he certainly didn't think weeks of "interrogation" would be a picnic, he didn't quite anticipate all of what they'd put him through. No. Not "they." Mycroft Holmes, wanker extraordinaire. Christ.
Picking up his mobile, he sent a text to Sebastian, telling him he was free, but to leave him alone for a few days. No, wait. Scratch that. Another explaining he'd probably need some groceries. But tomorrow.
Tomorrow, because no one was allowed to see him like this.
He closed his eyes, hoping to get a slight doze in before he took a shower. Wash the sweat and grime off of him.
Waking sometime later, he didn't pick up his mobile. Didn't want to deal with anyone, didn't want to think about time right now. If the torture had taught him anything, time was meaningless unless he was working. And he wasn't about to do that now.
Hobbling over to the bathroom, he was almost crawling against the wall. The tile was cool on the bottoms of his feet, mentally grounding him to the task. Get warm. He twisted the tap as hot as it would go, wheedling out of his government-issued tee and shorts.
Stepping out of the shower, the mirror had fogged. Perhaps for the best, Jim really didn't want to think of his appearance right now. But it seemed like the best thing to do — broken bones and internal bleeding were things to look for, though he doubted his hosts had done anything life-threatening.
Alright, he was just morbidly curious. Wiping away the steam, he grimaced.
Standing in front his reflection, he took stock of his injuries. The shower had made things look more manageable, but still… Obviously, he'd seen better days, purple, indigo and black blossoming across his body. Some had yellowed from his days in captivity, making him look ill.
He wasn't battle hardened. These weren't earned in a fight. He was just wrecked, mentally and physically. Sighing, he left his clothes on the floor.
Walking out into the living room, nothing but a black towel around his waist, hoping to make his way to the kitchen. Nothing substantial, his stomach probably couldn't take it, but he hadn't made it to the hallway when —
A knock at the door. Shit.
Jim scowls. Can't be Moran, he wasn't suicidal enough as to defy a direct order. And he was really the only one of his peons to know where he lived and — fuck. The door handle began to jostle on the inside as the lock was being picked.
Now he knew who it was.
"Go away." Jim groaned as the door opened, too stunned and damaged to head back to his room and sling on a robe.
Sherlock ignores him, striding into the flat. He looked Jim up and down, taking inventory of the bruising. Quietly furious at his brother, there wasn't much he could do about it. Secret relationships were, at the heart, secret. And unlike teenagers hiding from their friends, the stakes of others finding out could be… catastrophic.
Unable to stop the actual event, Sherlock rushed to his side the moment he was free. "How sentimental." Jim grumbled, limping over to his bedroom as the detective removed his coat and scarf, hanging it beside the door.
The criminal nosed through his closet. No suits this time… he thought, horrified Sherlock had seen him in anything less than his armory of Westwoods, but he honestly didn't have the wherewithal to keep up a façade. "Have you come to tend to my wounds?" He asked, the hairs on his nape raising as they felt him enter the room. Sherlock was in the air… preposterously metaphysical, but he couldn't help but notice whenever he was close.
"If that's what you need." The detective hummed, walking up behind Jim, stroking his fingers against the smaller man's shoulder blade, tracing one of the larger lacerations.
The criminal gave an involuntary shiver, "And how would you know what I needed?"
"Don't be obvious." The detective warned softly. Right, Jim sighed internally, Don't be obvious. I know the answer… don't I? Of course… probably. Things with Sherlock weren't straightforward to anyone else except with Moriarty. He and Jim just naturally understood each other.
That was, until sex entered into the equation. Well. No. The first time, sex had been fairly straightforward as well. They acknowledged attraction and did something about it. The second and third times were about control, also easy, uncomplicated.
For Jim, at least. The second time he was dominant, no kissing, no talking, Sherlock's face pressed against the couch cushions while the criminal got off, leaving the taller man wanting. Cruel, yes, but Moriarty couldn't risk potentially letting him in. Ruining his perfect defenses.
However, the detective clearly couldn't have minded too much, seeing as he'd asked Jim back to his place not a few weeks later. Except when the criminal had arrived, it was a very different game — Sherlock had taken control, and was considerate, rather than revenge-seeking. Still, Jim knew he teetered between revulsion and sentimentality with Sherlock, and hadn't wanted a repeat performance.
But now… now he hadn't any fight left in him to resist. Not that he would, even if he could.
Sherlock kissed the top of Jim's neck, working his way across to the edge of his shoulder. A series of shudders. How did he do that? But Jim couldn't do this. Or at least, his body couldn't. Too battered to keep up with their usual wild sexual antics, "Sherlock, wait — " Be gentle.
"It's alright." Sherlock whispered. It was an unspoken promise, one Jim didn't need to question. Sherlock just knew. He always did.
But he was complicating things. Rapidly.
Jim was tugged away from his closet, Sherlock gently pressing his fingertips to his lapels, easing him onto the bed. Bending at the knees, he sat, then fell back as the detective whipped away his towel, the dark cloth crumpling on the ground. His last line of defense, while the detective stood in front of him, completely covered.
Despite the fact most would've submitted by now, Jim just grit his teeth, refusing to show weakness by asking for actual clothes. Or for Sherlock to undress to be on equal playing grounds. No, he'd lie here, putting on an unbroken front.
Sherlock unbuttoned his blouse, shrugging out of it and letting it join the towel as he crawled over Jim. Claustrophobia set in momentarily, the Irishman feeling trapped under Sherlock, remembering having a bag placed over his head and —
"Don't." Jim hears distantly, feeling the weight on him lift, a hand caressing his face, "You're safe here."
What a laugh. Moriarty doubted he'd ever really be "safe" again, if he ever was. No, he had a strong suspicion he'd only ever had the illusion of protection. And now the Iceman had taken that away. Oddly enough, however, the one thing he seemed not to be able to take was…
He felt something warm press to his lips. Clocking back into reality, Sherlock had leaned his face forward. A kiss. On the lips. It was enough to make Jim flinch hard, enough to break their ephemeral touch. They didn't kiss. The first time it ever happened, yes, but that was about experimentation, testing boundaries. Since then, things had been established not to be about affection.
And here Sherlock was, shattering more illusions. Why were people so determined to take these pretty lies from Jim? Stories he told himself to make it easier, because if someone actually loved him, he would have to kill them.
But he couldn't kill Sherlock, could he? Oh, how he should, but had consistently failed to make concrete plans. While Jim distracted himself with these morbid-yet-sweet thoughts, the detective had let their lips meet once more.
This time, Moriarty doesn't flinch. Doesn't move, except to part his own lips, a silent "okay." The kiss continues for far too long, more than half an hour of soft motions and politely roaming tongues. It should've broken off by now, but Jim knew that if he did, it might result in more. And this was comforting. It was Sherlock trying to tell him exactly how he felt.
But Jim didn't want to listen, instead hearing it as inescapably as one would, standing in the middle of a crowd of chatter. Sounds registered, but meaning was intentionally filtered out. Most of it, at least, the remaining one percent still striking him like a sledgehammer to the gut. No, he had to do more to blot it out, and could think of no other way than to speed things along.
Without the energy to take control for himself, Jim began to roll onto his side, trying to find a comfortable way of lying on his stomach, but Sherlock caught his waist, pulling him back. His face moved down, lips lightly grazing an indigo bruise on Jim's collarbone.
"Careful…" He whispered, but it didn't hurt. Not yet.
"I always am."
Somehow, it didn't hurt. Prickled when Sherlock kissed a potentially cracked rib, but the moment Jim showed any sign of discomfort, it stopped.
So many wounds. For the detective to kiss all of them, it took so long Jim almost got bored. Or he would've, if he weren't constantly on edge, trying to guess when it would get painful. But it never did, Sherlock's sense of anatomy, especially Jim's, too great to slip up.
Both mental and physical nerves are fried, and Jim is positive he's numb, seeing Sherlock's strong fingers spider down his legs, but cannot feel them. On the outer walls of consciousness, he lets his gaze travel to the ceiling, staring beyond it, wondering what the sky looked like.
A click of an opening bottle tells him Sherlock found the lubricant. Jim isn't opposed, not exactly, sex with Sherlock was always wonderful — but he worries about the deeper implications. For one, the fact that Jim had sworn never to get into this situation again: sweet, caring. He liked the idea of distance between he and his (what he would loosely call) "lovers," that they were as temporary and replaceable as the next.
But as he feels a slick digit begin to rub against the tense pucker of muscle, Jim cannot find such comforts — Sherlock is as permanent as he is. And to a man that's changeable, that needs to be without peer or weakness, that is a liability. However, feeling the glide of a finger inside him, the familiar burn that accompanies it, but the pain… there is no pain.
It's not "disappointment" he feels — after a week of nothing except pain, the sudden lack is a nice change — it's that Jim doesn't quite know what to make of it. The question of "how," for one. Meticulous care? The only possible explanation, outside of drugs. And drugs would've muddled his senses somehow, so that's not a feasible option.
Perhaps it was Jim's near-meditative state, just thinking about Sherlock. And love, the nature of affection, and what makes the dear detective different… nothing he'll ever survive doing to me. The threat is there, in the background, Jim knowing he'd never carry it out. Really, it's just a standard-issue death threat; he passes them out daily.
He didn't notice the detective slowly adding a second finger. Not that Jim needed it — naturally pretty easy, funny thing about human variance and all. That, and a little pain was nice. But Sherlock was adamant about this not hurting, not adding to the suffering, only good associations. It isn't long before he feels empty again, fingers extricated with great ease, he's given a moment to adjust before he feels something more substantial nudged against him.
The blunt head of Sherlock's cock is quickly swallowed by Jim's body, drawing him in, a slow whimper stretched across the remaining oxygen in the room, calling out beyond the barriers of space. Infinite atoms of information, all trying to convey the same, convoluted message of oh.
Languid thrusts, Sherlock coming to a full stop as their hips meet, just to stare at Jim, lips slightly parted. Irises, pupils betraying a deep admiration and love. It's exactly what the smaller man needs, but absolutely against everything he wants. Violating everything he's told himself to want.
It's something like healing, but Jim felt like he was being broken down, finding what was wrecked, the short circuits in the system, cut out and replaced… Moriarty snaps his eyes shut, tight as they will go.
No, no, no! His eyes began to leak, full droplets running down the side of his face. Opening his eyes just a crack, he sees Sherlock again, that look on his face of pure good intentions… he wants to hide, but knows shutting them again will just squeeze more out. He wants to reach up, wipe away the stupid tears, but he seemed to have lost control of his limbs, only just now noticing his legs had wrapped around Sherlock's waist.
But as always, whether through instinct or connection, the detective knows. Reaching up a hand, long violinist's fingers clear the water off Jim's face, not looking at him in pity or revulsion. He's stopped moving, still connected to Jim, waiting for a command to stop, or to continue. Consideration. Gentleness. Jim wants to scream in dismay, I don't deserve this! Yet his voice keeps getting lost somewhere beyond his vocal chords' reach, and it's all he can do to tense his thighs, holding Sherlock there. Continue.
Heavy breathing aside, strange that this encounter is silent. Not a whimper or a moan, it is a meeting of the broken. Quite sobs from Jim as he tries in vain to staunch the flow of tears. Sherlock watching, thumbs over Jim's cheekbones, swiping away the tears as they gather, pace agonizingly low at the threshold of Jim's tolerance.
But despite such little physical stimulation, the consultants' minds are alive, each neuron firing dangerously. Release of chemicals, communicating invisibly, information passing between them as the primordial ooze swapped DNA, becoming more like what was directly closest than themselves with each passing second. But there wasn't much to change; Jim and Sherlock were abstract concepts at this point in time. What was concrete was the fact they were the same: the same mind, the same body.
And in that instant of realization, Jim cried out.