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A Little Deal

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James Moriarty strolled around the room with his hands in his pockets, whistling absentmindedly. His employee had set up everything he needed for the summoning, and all Jim had to do was mutter a few words in Latin, and poof—the Crossroads demon himself would appear to do as he bid. It was quite a beautiful arrangement: the devil’s trap painted meticulously on the dark hardwood floor, candles for mood lighting, and a bowl surrounded by chalk and candles on the desk.

He had long ago decided that magic was fun, even though it was a little messy. He didn’t involve himself in the details, much like everything else he did. But the venue was what he really cared about— he had just enough time to summon the demon, make the deal, and send him off before Sherlock and his little pet showed up. The Diogenes Club was lovely, he mused, especially when the older Mr. Holmes was off at Buckingham Palace. It left the entire place open as his playground, so naturally he thought he should summon a demon in ol’ Mycroft’s office. Commonplace, really.

Moriarty stepped up to the desk holding the bowl of mixed herbs, picking up the flask of fresh blood and unscrewing the cap. He poured it gently into the bowl, whispering the incantation as he did so. “Et ad congregandum, eos coram me.” The foreign syllables rolled off his tongue, and while he despised most parts of magic and the like, Latin was one thing he would always be a fan of. A dead language for a dead man.

The candles lighting the room suddenly blew out, and Moriarty placed the flask of blood back on the desk, turning around slowly. A man in a beautifully tailored suit was standing in the middle of the devil’s trap. Jim smiled darkly.

“Hello,” he said simply, almost sing-song. “I’ve been waiting to meet you for quite some time, now. I’m glad you could make it, Mr. Crowley.”

“James Moriarty,” the demon greeted, facing him with a polite smile. He eyed the devil’s trap he was in and returned his gaze back to the man, clearly exasperated. “I’ve heard quite a lot about you.”

He put on a playfully bashful smile, placing a hand over his heart. “Really? Me? Do I have a little fan club?”

Crowley snorted. “I suppose,” he replied, putting his hands in his pockets. “They’d love to get their hands on you.”

“Doesn’t everybody?” he asked in reply, straightening the lapels of his suit jacket. “I mean, look at me. I’m fabulous.”

“Excuse me, but is there a point to this meeting?” Crowley demanded. “As surprising as it may sound, my time is very valuable.”

“But of course,” Jim answered quickly, taking a knife out of his pocket and crouching down next to the devil’s trap, carefully carving a piece out of the hardwood floor, interrupting the line of the trap. That ought to make Mycroft awfully upset. He pocketed the piece and the knife, standing up and brushing off his trousers. “But I’ve got a bottle of Craig, 38 years, if you want to stick around.”

Crowley stepped out of the devil’s trap with a small smile. “My favorite,” he commented. “But I’m sure you know that.”

He just smiled and handed him a glass of the whiskey. “Please, have a seat,” he offered, taking a sip of his own.

The demon complied, taking a mouthful of the alcohol and relishing it. “Where are we, anyway?” He looked around. “Government office?”

Jim chuckled. “Diogenes Club, actually. Just about the same thing.” He leaned on the arm of the chair across from Crowley. “That’s a nice suit you’re wearing. I’ve got to meet your tailor.”

“He was eaten,” Crowley replied shortly. “I don’t like to talk about it.”

Moriarty’s responding frown was extremely exaggerated. “That really is unfortunate. There’s nothing on earth like wearing a nicely tailored suit while you’re causing some chaos.” He toasted quickly. “But tailors aside, I’ve got a deal for you.”

“I do love a good deal.” Crowley took another swallow of Craig. “And considering who you are, I’d definitely like to hear it.”

“You flatter me,” he replied, standing up and walking to look out the window. “I’m nothing but a little, human genius.”

“And humble, too,” a voice inserted from the door. Moriarty whirled around with a frown on his face to see Sherlock and his lapdog at the door. The good doctor was holding a gun aimed at his head, and the detective was striding in confidently.

Crowley stood up, finishing his glass quickly. “Stay where you are,” John ordered in his best soldier voice.

The demon rolled his eyes. “We’ll talk later,” he said to Moriarty, and promptly vanished. Sherlock’s eyes widened briefly.

Jim was quickly losing his composure, so he took a sip of Craig. “Hello, boys,” he drawled after he swallowed. “You know, knocking is one of those things most people do.” The pet’s face shifted into one of disgust and rage.

“You weren’t expecting us,” Sherlock ignored him, a touch of pride in his tone. “You were in the middle of a business deal with an alien in my brother’s office and you didn’t expect we’d find you.” He surveyed the room again. “A religious alien, at that.”

Moriarty laughed, almost cackling. He set down his glass on the windowsill and continued his deep, fake laugh. He doubled over and clutched at his suit, laughing obnoxiously. He continued this for a while, hearing John whisper, “Sherlock, he’s gone mad.”

Suddenly he stood up straight and quieted. “No,” he said with a look of disgust. “Really, Sherlock, I used to think so much of you. But now you’re jumping to aliens. They don’t exist, you big DUMBO!” The last word was shouted.

“Yes, they do,” the detective replied like it was obvious. Jim pitied him. He used to be so much, but now he’d started believing in aliens? Sherlock really had gotten boring. “I’ve met them.”

Well, that was a plot twist. “Did they probe you?” he asked slyly, trying to gauge if Sherlock had gone insane or not. “No, but I just can’t believe that you really think aliens exist. They don’t, they really don’t. Monsters, on the other hand, are actually quite common. So are angels. And demons.” He grinned. “Every fairytale under the sky is true.”

“Impossible,” Sherlock shot back. Jim gave him an exasperated look.

“Sherlock,” the little pet demanded his owner’s attention. “We didn’t ask the Doctor about demons and angels and that. He might not be lying.”

“The Doctor?” Jim cut in curiously. “Doctor Who?”