"It was initially believed that the noble gases could not form bonds due to their full valence shell of electrons that rendered them chemically stable and unreactive."
* Read a summary of the story so far over at my friend John's blog, here.
#I’ve just noticed #Sherlock’s little tremble #the gun shakes in his hand #nononojohnwhatareyoudoing #and that look #the fucking look of fear #his whole face softened #he’s panicking again #ugh i just keep watching it #can we not #asdfghjkjhgfdsasdfghjhgfdsa
That last 3 frames before the loop. HOLY FUCK.
Do you SEE how young and utterly unprepared for this he is?
This is the boy Mrs Hudson sees, the teen Mycroft can’t help but be frustrated by, and the man inside the machine John would die to protect.
Because Sherlock, in his way, is so very vulnerable, even if he never sees it. Or more, chooses to hide this vulnerability even from himself.
So very unprepared to deal with his own humanity.
His own emotions.
And right here, we can see that vulnerability, that emotion plainly and so obviously.
That last 3 frames?
They break my damn heart.
John is actually prepared to die for him. This is an experience unknown to Sherlock.
He has no idea what is going on here. That slight tilt of the eyebrow gives him away.
He has had to live most of his life without friends.
And for Sherlock to experience what friendship truly means, it is heartbreaking really.
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I told you I wasn’t going to do it as soon as you asked me.
You have some serious problems.
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Sherlock waited on the edge of the hotel bed with one hand on the small suitcase by his ankle. He didn’t think he’d be needing it—he brought it with him in the extremely unlikely event of Moriarty somehow redeeming himself and explaining away all of the rather incriminating evidence, and then also seducing Sherlock into bed. Sherlock was a man not easily seduced, but he liked to have a little hope every once in awhile.
As soon as the door opened and he heard that smarmy greeting of “hey, princess,” Sherlock jumped to his feet and gripped Moriarty by the collar. “What did you do with Lilith,” he snapped, voice pitched low with anger and fear.
Moriarty scoffed and took ahold of Sherlock’s hands like he was an old lover. “Please, darling. I have no idea what you’re talking about. I didn’t do anything with that little mouse—as if I’d even dirty my hands with the likes of her. Honestly.”
Sherlock snarled and shook the man by his shoulders. “Don’t you even fucking lie to me about this, Jim. I went to Lilith’s apartment after John went to sleep. I saw the second set of footprints, and I saw the marks from a shabbily-picked lock, and the gunpowder and signs of what little fight she managed to put up. You will never ever convince me that Lilith was cheating on John with an abusive man who breaks in when he forgets his key and waves a gun around and just happens to have the same sized shoe as your favorite little assassin, so you might as well just be fucking out with it. What did you do with Lilith?”
The criminal sighed a very put-upon sigh. “Princess, as sexy as you are when you’re angry, I could really do without all the shouting and fighting.”
Sherlock bared his teeth and balled up his fists. “I am about to punch you in the throat I swear to God you infuriating little pissant.”
“Alright, fine.” Moriarty puffed out his chest and brought himself to his full height. “I may or may not have involved John’s dear little fuckbuddy in a grand disappearing act.”
“That’s good, right?” Moriarty gave him a slimy grin and snaked his arms around Sherlock’s waist. “Now you have the ever-unattainable Johnny-boy back by your side, and I can have all your pent-up frustration that comes from living with the object of your desires~! Perfect, no?”
“No,” Sherlock snapped and shoved him away. “I genuinely liked Lilith, and she liked me. She was kind and intelligent and had more personality than all of John’s previous girlfriends combined. If there were ever someone I’d want him to marry, it would be her. Now where the fuck is she?”
“She’s in the great cesspool in the sky,” Moriarty said, trying to sneakily get an arm around Sherlock’s waist again.
“You heard me,” Moriarty said. “Pushing up daisies. Kicked the bucket. Taking a dirt nap. Sleeping with the fishes. She took a fatal amount of bullet to the brain, doctor, there was nothing we could do. Can we carry this conversation to the bed and get on with the touching now?” Sherlock punched Moriarty right in the face. “Ow, what the fuck!” he screeched, holding his nose. “I was thinking of a gentler kind of touch!”
Sherlock was shaking. “You—y-you—”
“I, I, I?” Moriarty mocked, voice nasally with fresh blood.
“You complete bag of mashed assholes.”
“Hmm, well that’s new. Are you crying?”
Sherlock pressed his fingers against his own eyelids until he saw lights. “I don’t know why I’m surprised. I don’t know why I thought you’d keep your promise to stay out of our lives. I must be such an idiot. Once a murderer, always a murderer, right?”
Moriarty raised a finger. “Y’know I technically didn’t kill her with my own hands, so—”
“Stop talking,” Sherlock said. He bent and grabbed his suitcase, and then headed for the door. “Don’t try to contact me, and don’t expect for me to be back here anytime soon. Or at any other hotel room in London.”
“What the fuck,” Moriarty repeated. “Where the hell do you think you’re going? We haven’t even snuggled yet!”
“I’m going home,” Sherlock growled. “So I can try to think of some way to nicely tell John his fiance is dead and it’s all my fault for trusting a lunatic.”
The door slammed behind him, and Moriarty jumped at the noise. “So does that mean we’re still on for next Friday?” he yelled.
Although it had been Lilith who wrote the breakup letter, they weren’t her words. In all truth, Lilith did love John, and she had wanted to marry him more than anything. Wanted to spent the rest of her life at his side. But it seemed no matter how much you want something, there will always be those lying in wait to swoop in and snatch that very thing away from you. She just wished she had been aware of this threat before it was too late to fight it.
At least this way things didn’t have to end for John, too. Lilith had to cling to the hope that he would have an easier time moving on if he thought she no longer cared for him. Easier than if he were to find her dead, in any case.
Lilith was still wearing her wedding dress as she signed the letter. The girl hesitated before adding a quick P.S. below her name. A tear dripped from the bottom of her chin, landing on the paper. Lilith stood up, wiping her eye with a wrist as she set the page down on John’s bed.
"Is that all?" she croaked, turning around to find herself at eye level with the barrel of a handgun. The man facing her nodded his head towards the door and Lilith walked out of the room slowly, the stranger keeping within a single step of her the entire time.
It wasn’t until Lilith had completely exited the complex that any force was used against her. Her kidnapper, who Lilith had yet learn was none other than a Mr. Sebastian Moran, picked up his pace and grabbed hold of Lilith’s brown hair. She yelped in surprise before being dragged to the edge of the sidewalk and thrown into the backseat of a taxi cab. Another stranger waited patiently in the passenger seat as Moran took the wheel. Lilith eyed the car door, knowing that it would be locked but still tempted to try her luck anyhow.
"I thought I told you to do something about the dress?" the second man, Jim Moriarty, demanded. “It’ll only draw attention."
Moran started the cab coolly. “There was nothing I could do about it back at the flat. As I recall, you were the one who instructed me to leave as little evidence of my being there as possible, which included not touching anything. If it bothers you that much I can stop at a clothing shop in another couple of blocks.”
They did, much to Lilith’s surprise. Moran returned just moments later, slamming his door shut and throwing a simple black dress into the back seat at Lilith. “Put it on,” Moriarty instructed after she had spent a good couple of seconds staring at the thing in confusion.
"Now?" Lilith asked, fear in her voice.
As if to answer her question, Moran turned around in his seat and pointed the gun at Lilith again. Needless to say, she didn’t argue a second time. Her hands shaking, Lilith tried to ignore the two men’s eyes on her as she removed the poofy white dress. They, on the other hand, could have cared less about what she looked like underneath it. Once she had finished, the cab resumed its route.
Too afraid to think about what would become of her, Lilith tried her hardest to concentrate on John (which, let’s be perfectly honest, wasn’t any more comforting). She wondered if her fiancé were still at the church, waiting on a girl who would never show, or if he had already gone home to learn that she had, indeed, knowingly left him at the altar. Regardless of which, both scenarios ended in John hurting because of her.
"Are you even listening to me?" Moriarty snapped, crouching down to meet Lilith’s blank stare. Stubbornly, Lilith turned away, but Moriarty seemed quick as lightning and grabbed the bottom of her jaw, forcing her head forward again. “Listen here, you ungrateful bitch: I figured I’d allow you just a few extra minutes to understand why I can’t let you be with John, and you don’t even have the courtesy to pay attention? You’re running out of time, princess,” Moriarty sneered. “If you have something to say for yourself, I suggest you do so now.”
Lilith did have something to say. But rather than use her words, she instead got her point across by firing a wad of spit as far up Moriarty’s suit sleeve as she could manage. The consulting criminal pulled away, at first in disgust, and then in more of a rage smacked Lilith across the face with the back of his hand. A trickle of blood ran down the girl’s lip.
"I can see why the doctor fancies you," Moriarty said, wiping his arm against a less than amused Moran. “You’ve a lot of guts, but behind that stern expression I can see that you’re a coward. You pretend to be clever, but we both know you can’t really compete. I know all about people like you. Mere… distractions. All you ever do is get in the way.”
Already growing bored of Lilith’s company, Moriarty made to leave the room. “Don’t be too long,” he instructed Moran before disappearing around a corner. Although he wasn’t looking anymore, Moran acknowledged the order with a curt nod and reached for his weapon.
"How much does he pay you?"
Moran hesitated. “Pardon?” Now, as a general rule, the man didn’t strike up conversations with the people he was about to assassinate. The fact that he responded at all came as a bit of a surprise, even to him.
"Your boss," Lilith elaborated. “You’re gangsters, right? I imagine it must pay quite well, if you’re still able to sleep at night."
"It covers rent," he answered slowly.
Lilith nodded distractedly. “Do you have kids? No offense or anything, but you don’t exactly come off as a family type of guy…”
Moran lowered his weapon, frowning. He shook his head. “Do you? Y’know… have kids?”
With a half-smile, Lilith looked her captor in the eye for the first time that evening. “No. It seems kind of silly, taking recent events into account, but… Well, I thought maybe now…” She sighed, wiping a stray tear with the back of her hand.
“You really do love him, don’t you?”
Lilith nodded slowly, sniffling. She had already cried more than enough for one day, but while the waterworks had slowed, they never did stop.
And then Moran did something even he didn’t anticipate. Perhaps it was through pity, or perhaps he found the girl too pure a flame to put out. But whatever the reason, Moran set his weapon down and pulled a thick knife from his belt instead. Lilith squeezed her eyes shut, expecting the worst. Instead she felt the wire that had been binding her hands behind her fall off. She opened her eyes in surprise. Moran stood before her still, now holding out a hand. She took it distrustfully and he helped the bride to her feet.
“I can’t let you go back to the wedding,” Moran explained.
“But they’re all waiting for me there!”
“And you can’t see any of them ever again, you hear? This is a once in a lifetime offer. I can get you as far as the U.S. without arising any suspicion. Change your name, your face… whatever it takes. But should you ever return to London, ever try to contact Doctor Watson or any of your friends and family here, I’ll know. And see that a bullet is put through your head. Do you understand?”
Quivering slightly where she stood, Lilith took a deep breath and nodded again. As promised, she was whisked onto a plane to a foreign country that very night and Lilith was never seen or heard from in London ever again.
Sherlock sat in his pyjamas in the middle of the hotel bed, hugging his knees. He had arrived a bit too early, which was partly good because it had taken him twice as long as usual to change into something more comfortable, but now he had to wait another agonizing thirteen minutes alone before his… acquaintance? friend? colleague? showed up to… distract him. They’d been meeting like this to be together in secret for over a year now. They both made sure to keep the amount of time between each session erratic—anywhere from a week to a couple months—in order to avoid rousing suspicion in John, Mycroft, or either of their enemies. They had to change hotels quite often as well.
The latest one was rather nice. It wasn’t Sherlock’s choice, though—not his turn to choose—and he couldn’t help putting the facts together as he saw them. A dozen extra fluffy pillows, a pile of spare blankets by the bed, sheets with a ridiculously high thread count… and a wine cooler. Sherlock plucked lint off of his knees and sighed. He knew what would be expected of him tonight, but what with everything going on surrounding John’s recent engagement to Lilith… all of the happy congratulations for John and the confused, pitying looks for Sherlock… John’s constant ecstatic mood… all the celebration… Sherlock didn’t know if he had it in him to reciprocate anything.
Sherlock twitched as he heard someone approach the door and start fiddling with the card reader on the handle, and he suddenly felt a twinge of guilt. He knew they’d both agreed never to let what occurred between them change their feelings for each other—purely platonic, no emotions involved—but Sherlock briefly wondered if the person on the other side of the door would be angry with him for wanting nothing more than a quiet place to sleep that was far away from John and 221b and his feelings.
Sherlock shook his head and didn’t turn to look. “Took you long enough,” he said.
Jim had snuck out of his house after the rest of the crew had gone to sleep. Including Moran, who was sprawled out over the couch in the living room. Sneaking past the brute was a lot harder than it should have been. Even after taking off his shoes and tiptoeing around with sock-feet the sniper would shuffle and groan every few steps. It would’ve been even more comical had the Pink Panther theme been playing. He quickly shuffled from the room and out the front door, shutting it with a soft click.
He was pretty sure by this point that Moran was aware of his affairs with Sherlock. Moran wasn’t an idiot, unlike John. Jim laughed at his own thought. He could imagine John finding out, storming into the hotel room and kicking the door down and proceeding to scream about betrayal and lies. Whatever. The pathetic little button was probably just jealous that he didn’t have someone as skilled as Moriarty to sleep with him. He’d wake up eventually.
Not that Jim wanted the disgusting scum tumbling around in his sheets and ruining them. God. He’d probably have to burn them afterwards. Not to mention his pajamas. Most of the pairs he owned were either Gucci or Louis Vuitton. In short, they cost a lot of money and he wasn’t willing to burn them. Looks like John wouldn’t be sharing his company.
He tossed his stuffed tiger into the passenger seat and stepped on the gas, fumbling around with the seatbelt as he was pulling out of the driveway. A light came on inside the house as he sped down the street. Oops. The hotel he had chosen was five star, much better than the run down motel he’d let Sherlock pick out last time. They hadn’t even allowed him to request extra pillows - let alone alcohol! The latter of which he preferred at most of him and his partners “sessions”.
They knew him when he walked in, quickly gave the hilariously pajama-clad man his room key and sent him on his way. He scoffed at their faces. Just jealous of his fashion sense. It took him several tries before the door opened to him. Each which only resulted in him getting frustrated and trying to swipe the card faster and make more mistakes. He tumbled into the room.
" Good evening, princess. " He whispered to the man huddled against himself on the bed. " I hope you’ve had a nice couple of weeks. It’s great to be back. " He slipped into the bathroom, running his fingers through his hair. " Open the wine, would you? I feel like it’s going to be a long night. " He giggled. " If you know what I mean. "
Sherlock sighed again and reluctantly got up to do what he was told, retreating to the (in his opinion) pretentious and completely unnecessary mini-kitchen in this over-priced hotel room. At least pouring a glass kept his hands busy with something other than nervously picking at his clothes.
"I can’t say they were nice," he admitted. "Well, the first half was. And you already know w-what’s happening with… John." Sherlock swallowed thickly and practiced deep breaths to keep himself calm, carrying the glass into the bathroom for the other man. "Um, about that." Sherlock leaned against the door frame in an attempt at looking casual. "I don’t… I feel numb. I feel like I’m in shock and there’s something frantic scrabbling around just under the surface ready to burst out and tip me over." He paused, blushing furiously, and ran a hand over his face. Sherlock was very much not used to talking about feelings.
"We started this because human beings need a certain amount of physical contact in order to stay mentally and emotionally stable, and neither of us were exactly getting that regularly," he said. "But it’s like everyone is celebrating at a friend’s funeral, and I’m just… exhausted. I don’t know if… this will help right now. Do you understand?” Sherlock wrapped his arms around himself and lowered his head, wondering if he’d said too much.
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