Martin stretches in bed, restless. The alarm clock projects ‘5:30 am’ onto the ceiling, along with the date (January 6th), temperature (disgustingly cold), and the current phase of the moon (Waxing Gibbous, which means nothing to Martin, but Jim enjoys knowing these things). Unemployment is finally taking its toll. Jim and Molly doze peacefully, curled up together, but Martin didn’t bother to get out of bed until 3 pm yesterday. Now, Sebastian is rising for his daily workout, and Martin has yet to sleep.
“I wake you?” Sebastian whispers. Martin shakes his head. “Want to come with?” Martin nods, and slips out of bed.
After a torturous hour of jogging, Martin drags himself back up the stairs, nearly too tired to even admire Sebastian’s backside. He’s sweating and freezing at the same time. It’s horrid. Molly and Jim are still asleep, so the two joggers ensconce themselves in the kitchen.
“Well, that was-” Martin is still gasping for breath. “-bracing. Thanks for that.” Sebastian grunts in response and pours water from the kettle into two mugs.
“Do it again tomorrow?” he asks Martin.
“Oh god, no,” Martin says. They both laugh. “Though I appreciate you slowing your pace for me today.”
“Yeah, well…” Sebastian shrugs, but he's smiling for once. “Here.” He hands Martin a mug.
“Listen,” Martin says. “I’ve been thinking-”
“You surprise me very much, Martin,” Sebastian interrupts.
“Nothing. Oscar Wilde.” Sebastian takes a drink from his own mug. “You like Wilde?”
“I- sure. You like Wilde? I mean, nevermind. I’ve been thinking that since I don’t...since I split with MJN, I’m just hanging around the flat with nothing to contribute.” Sebastian doesn’t say anything. “A-and you and Molly, you both work for Jim. You earn your keep.”
“I shoot people. In the face.” Sebastian says, taking another sip.
“Right. Yes. You shoot people, and Molly does...whatever she does-”
“Set things on fire and tell very, very big lies, mostly.”
“-and I was thinking maybe there was something I could do. To help,” Martin finishes. There’s an awkward silence. Martin finally takes a sip of his own tea, to find it over-steeped and bitter.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Sebastian says, quietly. Martin flushes, embarrassed.
“I know I can’t do what you do,” Martin whispers. “You think I don’t know that? I just want to help. I’m not completely useless, I am a licensed pilot!”
“You’ll get yourself killed!” Sebastian hisses. “How am I supposed to live…” He looks away. “How am I supposed to teach you to thieve and lie and kill? How is being an airline pilot supposed to help with that?”
“Jim would never let anything happen to me,” Martin says. Sebastian snorts. “He wouldn’t! He loves me!”
“ Loves you? Jim -” Sebastian cuts himself off, lowers his voice. “Jim loved Sherlock Holmes, Martin. Go find out what happened to him, if you're so anxious to play the game.” Sebastian abandons his tea on the counter when he leaves.
“Molly?” Martin asks. It’s 9 am, and he’s standing in the doorway to the kitchen, watching her make toast. “I need your help.”
“What’s- Martin! You’ve been crying!” she says. He shrugs.
“Jus’ a bit,” he replies.
“And drinking,” Molly crosses the kitchen and puts her hand on his arm. “Why have you been crying and drinking this early in the morning?”
“I googled him,” Martin says, putting a plastic bag on the kitchen table. “I finally...I dunno why it took so long. It felt like a private thing, you know? I didn’t want to pry. I didn’t...” He sits down with a thud. Molly takes a moment to turn off the toaster, then joins him.
“Sweetheart, who did you google?” she asks.
“Sherlock Holmes,” he says.
“Yeah. Yes. Oh,” Martin takes another beer out of the bag, and takes a swig. “He wasn’t a fake, right? The way Jim talks about him…”
“No. He was the real thing,” Molly says softly. Martin giggles.
“The real thing. What does that make me? I’m just...I’m just a bad fake.” Martin wishes he were drunker than this. “The thing is- the thing is-” Molly takes his hand, squeezes it. “The thing is, Jim’s all I’ve got, now. Jim and you, Molly. And Sebastian too, I suppose. So, it doesn’t matter. He’s done so much for me.” Martin reaches into the shopping bag, and pulls out a box of black hair dye. “If that’s what Jim needs, that’s what I’ll be.”
It’s 11 am, and Jim Moriarty is snoring in bed, dead to the world. Martin runs his fingers through his hair, which is still damp. He’s wearing the coat Jim gave him for Christmas, the coat he now recognizes from a dozen newspaper photographs. Martin’s wearing the coat, and nothing else. He crawls across the bed, to where Jim lies sprawled. He tugs Jim’s briefs down, and mouths at his cock. Martin knows when Jim wakes up, because he gasps, and runs his fingers through Martin’s hair.
“It occurred to me,” Martin says, taking a break from his task to look slyly up at Jim, “that I didn’t give you a real Christmas present.”
“Oh,” Jim whispers, “my sweet, sweet pet. What have you done?”
“What you wanted, I hope. Do you like it?” Martin asks.
“Yes, oh! Fuck. Yes,” Jim moans. “Oh, yes. Oh, Sherlock !”