Seb was twelve when he realized that his response to dangerous situations wasn't much like anyone else's. His father had brought him hunting for the first time; shooting the boar had been interesting, as far as it went, but he hadn't been the one to bring it down so it hadn't meant much. Killing Arthur Danvers-Clark, on the other hand, had been a satisfyingly eye-opening experience for a young, impressionable boy.
Arthur had been a friend of his father's, and a bit friendlier than Seb would've preferred, not that Sir Augustus took any notice. So Seb, finding himself alone and his target in range, had taken things into his own hands.
It'd been deemed a sorry accident, a shot gone wide, the sort of thing that, regrettably, happened every so often when hunting. Seb's shots didn't go wide, not even then, so he'd been under no suspicion; none that was voiced, anyway. It was about then, though, that his father started to look at him askance, as if not quite sure what he was raising.
And it had been about then that Seb had realized what he was meant for, though it took another twenty years before Jim Moriarty stepped into his life and made it all make sense.
So, all told, he rather likes it when a job doesn't go quite right- it provides a bit more interest than the usual routine, and so long as he still achieves the desired result he can't see that anyone's got anything to complain about. Except, in this case, Freddy Norrell, who can't actually do much complaining as he's now dead. But he'd got a bit of his own in first.
There's a gash in Seb's right arm, three inches long and deep enough to be a problem. Parker eyes him nervously when he ducks back into the car. "Should I ought to get you to a hospital, sir?"
"No." Seb tips his head against the window, keeps up the pressure on his arm. "Sloane Square." He sees Parker's shrug from the corner of his eye, but decides to ignore it. He's fine.
It's a few minutes' walk from the square to the flat, and by the time he unlocks the door he's reevaluating that 'fine' to a 'slightly wobbly' and potentially in need of a hand.
He props himself against the door frame to the sitting room, taking a moment to just watch. Jim's reading, curled in his chair, all t-shirt and jeans and bare feet, exactly as if he didn't have some poor stupid bastard rigged out in a Semtex vest in the middle of the city today. He's probably still there, really. But Seb's got more pressing problems at the moment.
"Spare a hand, boss?"
Seb's not really sure what the fuck he was expecting- that Jim would suddenly come over all considerate, go scurrying for the first aid kit and patch him all up again? He's not even sure they have a first aid kit, though they probably should. Instead, Jim pouts at him, exaggerated concern. "Diddums. Did the bad man get your shooting arm?"
They're both his shooting arms, if need be, but the subtext isn't exactly subtle: he's useful up until he isn't. He's lived with Jim too long, though, to be easily cowed now. "And then I got the bad man. Don't make me bleed on your new rug." He's pretty sure he hears Jim mutter "Rude," but it gets him on his feet, at least, and leading the way into the kitchen.
Apparently they do have a first aid kit, or at least a box with gauze in it. "Shirt off," Jim says, suddenly all business as he pokes thoughtfully at Seb's arm. "Well, well. Someone had a knife handy. Balisong?" Seb makes a noise of assent, and Jim pokes his arm again. "I hate clients who don't bother to provide all the facts. It's so inconvenient." He probably ought to be put out that Jim rates his injury as nothing worse than an inconvenience, but actually, from Jim that's almost like a compliment.
Jim's soaking a tea towel in warm water when his phone goes off. He's got a text alert set up for any activity on Watson's blog or Holmes' website; Seb took the liberty of resetting the tone to 'Somebody to Love', and Jim apparently hasn't bothered to change it back. He makes an "Ooh!" noise of delight and drops the towel at once in favour of pulling out his phone.
Seb grits his teeth on a growl, but Jim ignores him, does that stupid fucking thing that he does where he treats Seb like furniture. Jim's draped over his shoulders, so he can see the phone's screen, Sherlock's post, Jim's text to their suicide bomber (charmingly saved as 'Explodo the Great' in Jim's phone) telling him he's free to go. And then Jim pushes away, props himself against the counter instead in a sprawl that would be distracting under different circumstances. But as it is...
"Are you going to meet him?" Jim doesn't react, just hums to himself, tapping away at his phone. "Jim." Not even a blink, and Seb knows he shouldn't push, he knows, but fuck it, because for all his genius Jim is fucking stupid when it comes to Sherlock Holmes. "Jim."
"Sebastian," Jim snaps, singsong lilt in his voice but cold underneath in the way that means he's barely restraining a snarl. "I already have met him. Him and that precious little doctor of his." That's not what Seb means, and he knows that Jim knows it, doesn't bother to point it out, just waits. Eventually Jim huffs in mock irritation and sets his phone aside. "I'll leave it to him to decide that." He steps between Seb's legs, pinches his cheek and jabs at his arm, grinning when Seb winces.
He won't really be leaving it up to Sherlock, Seb knows. Jim might let him determine the when and where of it, but a confrontation is coming. Seb can feel it prickling up the hairs on the back of his neck.
Or maybe that's just Jim's fingers, ruffling his hair. He drops a kiss on the top of Seb's head for good measure; "You worry too much, dearest." And then turns away again to rummage in the fridge. One of us ought to, Seb thinks, and doesn't bother fighting back a huff of frustration when Jim emerges with two eggs, cracks them both in a mug. So much for a helping hand.
"Don't be stupid." Jim pulls the tea towel from Seb's hands when he starts trying to clean himself up. "Keep pressure on that. How do you want your eggs?"
Seb sighs, but puts his hand back over the still-bleeding gash. "I dunno. Fried? Wound-healing?" He wonders if he should've let Parker take him to the hospital after all; he doesn't really trust himself to be able to handle stitches with his left hand, and he's not holding out a lot of hope for Jim's attention span so long as he's stuck in this game with Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock fucking Holmes. He should really just shoot the bastard, and be done with the whole thing. Sure, Jim would strangle him for it, but it'd be worth it in the end.
"Order up," Jim says, and nudges his hand out of the way to press cold, wet somethings onto his arm. "Apply pressure," and Seb obeys without thinking, even though the majority of him is still stuck on 'what the fucking fuck'.
And Jim, always happy to show off how clever he is, answers without needing to be asked. "Egg membrane," he says, holding up the empty shells, and then gestures for Seb to move his hand. The membrane looks weird on his skin, like blobs of scar tissue, but it's holding him back together. Jim's humming smugly, unrolling gauze to finish patching him up. He even ties it in a neat little bow once he's done. "There. Now make your own damn eggs. And don't bother me for an hour, I've got work to do."
He starts to walk away, but Seb grabs his wrist- there's still blood all over his hand, but he doubts either of them particularly care- and tugs him back, reels him in to kiss him. Hard, at first, biting and sharp because it's usually how they are and because Seb's fucking annoyed over this Sherlock Holmes bullshit and this is the only way he can express it. But they've softened by the end of it, nipping at each other something like playfully, and Seb takes a moment to wonder what the fuck his life would be without this man.
"Thanks, boss," he says, and means it.
Jim smirks at him, flicks the tip of his nose. He's humming a bit to himself as he walks away, out of the kitchen to go plot his next diabolical scheme.
Seb finds he's humming, too, as he fries up his eggs. Not a bad night.