Chapter 1: The Beginning
It’s a frosty January morning, and Jim Moriarty is sitting on a roof, looking down at London with disappointment. He’s been planning Sherlock’s fall from grace for months. Correction, he’s been planning it in one way or another ever since Carl Powers died. It’s the culmination of everything he’s ever done. It’s his masterpiece. And now…
Last night, he received a text from Molly.
SH is planning to fake his own death. Should I continue to assist him? Fall to proceed as planned?
He’d taken a few moments, staring at his mobile’s screen, to remember to breathe, before responding.
Maintain cover. Keep me posted.
Then he’d thrown his phone against his bedroom wall hard enough to crack the screen. Sebastian had stirred in bed.
“Time t’ go?” Seb had slurred. Jim had placed a hand on his shoulder.
“Not yet,” he’d replied. “Waiting for a text.”
He’d sat in the dark for what felt like ages, staring out his window with the same dark expression that was on his face now. If Sherlock wasn’t prepared to walk hand-in-hand into hell with him, that was fine. Let him pretend to be dead. The world would still think he was a fraud, his friends would still mourn him, the sun and moon and all the planets would still turn, and Jim would move on. Now, on the hospital roof, his phone beeps with an alert from Molly.
SH making his way to roof. Everyone in position and good to go.
Jim smiles bitterly, cracks his neck, and selects the appropriate background music. The Bee Gees ring out in the morning air, jangling and tinny. Showtime.
Three Months Later
Between MJN flights and van jobs, this is Martin’s first day off in nearly a month. He lays in bed, counting damp spots on the attic ceiling. He’s certain there are two new ones. Without anything to keep his mind occupied, Martin thinks bitterly about Swiss Airlines, about the job he turned down. The potential new life that he abandoned so that his coworkers at MJN could keep flying. He thinks about Teresa, and about 20,000 a year, and being part of a real, proper company.
For the first week, he’d felt good about his decision, really good. Like a sort of martyr. Dear old Captain Crieff, who ignored his own ambitions so that his colleagues could keep their jobs. As it turns out, however, being a martyr means long flights and hard work and all the things about his life that were small and mean and miserable, only now he knows that they were avoidable. It’s the ‘keeping his mouth shut’ thing that has been the hardest. Whenever Douglas makes fun, or Carolyn ignores his opinions, or even when Arthur accidentally implies that he’s a bit of a clot, Martin has to bite back his words. To tell them now would just make them pity him, which is not something he’s particularly interested in.
The phone rings, shaking him out of his self-pitying stupor. It’s the landline, meaning the caller either his mum or someone with a van job.
“Hello, Icarus Removals?” he asks, deciding to chance it.
“Hello?” the voice on the other end has an Irish accent. “Listen, I’m terribly sorry to call on such late notice, but I need some boxes taken to London this afternoon and every other van service I’ve called has been fully booked. Is there any chance you’re available for the job?”
“One moment, please,” Martin mutes the phone and curses vehemently into his pillow. Of course he’s available, and it’s not as though he can turn down the money. “Yes, I believe we have an opening this afternoon. What’s the address?” The voice on the other end of the line chuckles softly, and gives him an address that is blessedly only fifteen minutes away. Martin arranges to meet the client in an hour, and then hops into the shower.
“Thanks for this,” Jim says, handing him another box of files. “I’d have taken them myself, only my car’s broken down and I’m stuck here.” The voice on the telephone has turned out to belong to a short, overly cheerful man with soft brown hair and dark eyes. Martin’s initial impression is that Arthur has a secret half-brother that no one knows about, until Jim mentions his degree in astrophysics. After that, Martin is pleased to find that Jim has a passing knowledge of meteorology as well, and they start chatting about the storm that’s supposed to blow in within the next few hours.
“Listen,” Martin says, “if you need to be in London tonight, I can give you a lift in the van.”
“Would you?” Jim asks. “I don’t want to be any trouble! I can pay you extra, if you like.” Martin waves him off, lord knows why. He’s enjoying Jim’s company. It’s been ages since he’s had a real chat with someone he doesn’t work with. It’s been...well, since Teresa, actually.
“No, it’s fine! Honestly, I could use the company,” he says. Good job, Martin. That didn’t sound lonely and sad.
“Well,” Jim says slowly, “Maybe there’s another way I can repay you.” He leans against the van and grins, biting his lower lip. Martin nearly drops the box he’s carrying. Jim is very clearly giving him a once over.
“I, um. Ah,” Martin stumbles over his words.
“Can I take you out for a drink?” Jim asks. Martin sets the last box down in the back of the van with a very precise and solid thunk, and then stares at Jim. Oh god, Martin. Oh god, don’t be useless, his brain supplies.
“Yes?” he replies. Jim tilts his head.
“You don’t sound convinced,” Jim says.
“No! I mean, yes, I am convinced. I mean, we can go out if you like!” Martin stands there, awkwardly aware of having too many hands and no idea what to do with them. He shoves them in his pockets. Jim raises an eyebrow.
“Would you like it?” he asks. Martin nods emphatically. Jim grins wider, and the effect is slightly unnerving. He looks like a cat who’s just cornered a canary. “Great! Shall we go?”
The first half hour is quiet. Martin keeps his eyes on the road and tries not to make a tit of himself, but as is always the case, this effort means he doesn’t say anything at all. Jim hums along with the radio. Raindrops start to splatter against the windshield, so Martin turns on the wipers.
“If you want,” he says, desperate to make the situation less awkward, “there should be some cassette tapes in the glove box. You know, if you’re getting tired of the radio.” Jim makes a noncommittal noise and rummages through his hideously outdated collection of music.
“You like the Smiths?” Jim asks, holding up ‘The Queen Is Dead.’
“Oh yes, most of the time. I have to be in the right sort of mood.”
“I know what you mean. Driving in your car, I never never want to go home, ” Jim sings, slightly off key, and glances over at him. Martin blushes. Jim keeps looking through the tapes. “ To die by your side, is such a heavenly way to die- Ah! Found something! ” He holds up Queen’s Greatest Hits triumphantly, then pops it into the stereo. Freddie Mercury’s voice fills the van.
“So, are you moving?” Martin asks, nodding towards the file boxes in the back.
“Me? Ah, no. I live in London. The files belong to a client. Or, well. Ex-client.” Jim’s hands drum animatedly against the dashboard. He never seems to stop moving. “He’s not going to need them anymore. You know how it goes.”
“Oh, sure.” Martin has no idea ‘how it goes.’ “I mean, what do you do?”
“I’m a Consultant,” Jim says, and somehow Martin can just hear the capital ‘C’ in that word. It sounds very big city, very professional. Martin is vaguely jealous. “You?” Jim asks, and it takes a moment for Martin to understand what he’s asking. “When I googled you I found a website for MJN Airlines that has you listed as a pilot, but here you are running a van service. Unless Crieff is a more common name than I thought?”
“No, no, this is- just a side job,” Martin says. “On my better days I am, in fact, a pilot.”
“Aren’t you a bit young to be a pilot?” Jim asks.
“Aren’t you a bit young to be a Consultant?” Martin retorts. He’s starting to get very tired of that question. Jim laughs, full-throated, throwing his head back. It’s more attractive than Martin expected. The tips of his ears burn.
“Good, very good,” Jim says. “Well put.” In the silence that follows, Freddie implores the universe to send him somebody to love. Martin tries to focus on the road, but he’s smiling a bit. This is how normal people talk to other, better-looking people, isn’t it? A bit of banter, some discussion of music? He can do this.
Jim tips him generously when they’re done unloading the boxes, and then, finding himself without any spare notepaper, writes his number on Martin’s hand with a permanent marker. Martin thinks it may have been a ruse, considering that they are surrounded by boxes filled with paper. He doesn’t mind. It’s a nice ruse. Jim’s hands are soft, and warm, and Martin is acutely aware of how long it’s been since someone touched him when Jim grabs his palm with one hand and presses the marker firmly against his skin with the other.
“Call me,” Jim says quietly. They’re still standing very close, and Martin can feel Jim’s breath on his skin.
“Yes,” Martin whispers. “I mean, yeah, yes. I will.” He swears he can feel Jim’s eyes following him as he gets in the van and drives away.
Chapter 2: The Pub
I’m going to regret this, Martin thinks. Everything about this idea is terrible. It’s not like he has a choice, though. Trying to look up relationship advice on the internet only made him more anxious.
“Douglas?” Martin asks. “Can I ask you something, and have you promise not to give me a hard time?” Douglas looks at Martin, incredulous. “Please! I’m in need of some, well. Dating advice.”
“Well,” Douglas says, looking even more pleased with himself than usual. “Goodness knows, I’m always happy to impart my vast amount of wisdom and experience on lesser mortals such as yourself, Martin. Fire away.”
Martin sighs heavily.
“If, say, someone hypothetically gave you their phone number, how long would you wait before calling them?”
“Hypothetically? I really can’t say. However, were you to give me, say, more specific details about a more specific person...” Douglas trails off expectantly. Martin grips the controls tighter, stares steadfastly out the window. It’s not worth it. He doesn’t need advice that badly.
Oh, god. Who is he kidding? He needs advice desperately.
“I met someone while I was doing a van job. We had a nice chat. They gave me their number,” Martin says.
“Well, what did she-”
“He? Well. How interesting. I didn’t know-”
“You didn’t ask. And it isn’t interesting.”
“Martin, the fact that you managed to get anyone’s phone number is interesting.”
“Never mind. Forget I said anything,” Martin says. He’s not sulking. He’s not. There’s a long, awkward silence in the flight deck. Martin tries not to think about the scrap of paper he’s copied Jim’s number onto, or how it seems to be burning a hole through his trouser pocket.
“About a week,” Douglas finally volunteers, almost apologetic.
Martin taps his fingers anxiously against his empty glass. Jim’s gone to the bar to get another round, having waved off Martin’s protestations about having to afford a cab at the night’s end.
“Oh please, don’t worry about it. The rest of the drinks are on me,” he’d said. Martin had blushed in embarrassment, but he’d been secretly relieved. The pub they’re at is a little pricier than he’d expected, and he’d been worried about getting groceries tomorrow, after paying for the first round and an appetizer, let alone seconds. Jim slides back into the booth, and Martin notices that despite his casual attire, the watch on Jim’s wrist is very, very nice.
“That’s a lovely watch,” Martin says. “Being a consultant pays well?” Jim groans.
“Please, do not make me talk about my work tonight,” he says. “I’m having far too lovely a time for that.” Martin dips his head, contrite but pleased that Jim is enjoying his company as much as he’s enjoying Jim’s. The evening is going better than he’d dared to hope. Remembering that Jim likes the Smiths, Martin’s mentioned a few other bands, and they’ve spent a good hour discussing Essential Desert Island Albums. There’s a fair amount of overlap in their choices, which makes conversation easy, and after Jim mentions Brian Eno, they’ve been playing Brians of Britain. Jim is appallingly good at it, maybe even good enough to beat Douglas.
“I’m sorry,” Martin says. “I hope you didn’t mind hearing me chatter away about landing procedures earlier.”
“Not at all!” Jim grins and leans in closer. “It’s refreshing, and anyway,” his voice goes lower. “I love people who are passionate about what they do.” Martin almost chokes on his drink. Jim didn’t mean it that way, he’s sure. They hardly know each other. Grasping for the threads of the conversation, Martin attempts to recover.
“What about you? You’re not passionate about your work?” he asks, struggling to regain composure. Oh good job, Martin. Bring up his job again. Jim looks intently at his own glass.
“I used to be,” he says. “Lately...well. I used to have a sort of partner, but he’s gone now, and it’s not really the same, you know?”
“I’m sorry,” Martin offers. Jim shrugs, and takes a drink.
“It’s fine. I’ve got something new in the works, in any case. I’m hoping for a big payoff. Oh, I’ve got one! May!”
“For Brians of Britain! Brian May.”
“Oh no, I should have thought of that! That makes it, what twelve to three? I don’t know why I play this game,” Martin says. “I always lose. That’s the only thing I am good at. Losing.” He’s starting to feel the effects of his two drinks. Jim laughs.
“I wouldn’t say that! Look at you, you’re obviously a very competent pilot, and you run a successful removal service-” Martin opens his mouth to argue, but Jim presses an index finger to Martin’s lips, silencing him. “-and so far you’ve been an excellent date. I’d say you’re doing pretty well, right about now.” Jim gives Martin a look that would make him blush and stammer if he weren’t paralyzed by the feeling of Jim’s skin on his lips. Jim’s look turns contemplative, and he brushes his thumb against Martin’s bottom lip. “Martin?” he asks, removing his hand when Martin cannot bring himself to respond.
“Ah. Um. Yes?”
“Would you like to get out of here?” Jim asks.
“...Yes. I would like that very much,” Martin says, “but I’m- my place. It’s not really fit for company. Unless you’re staying in Fitton tonight?” he asks. Jim shakes his head, but then his eyes light up.
“I’ve got an idea. Come on,” he says. Martin takes his offered hand, and finds himself pulled all the way out into the alley behind the pub.
“Jim, what are-” and then Jim is pushing him against the brick wall, and then Jim is kissing him and it’s bloody wonderful. Martin has had precious few kisses in his life, and no one has ever kissed him like this. He’s been growing hard since he first felt Jim’s thumb on his lip, and now it’s unbearable. Martin moans at the sensation of Jim cupping his erection through his trousers. Jim gently nips at Martin’s lower lip, and then pulls back leaving Martin gasping quietly. His breath is visible in the night air. It takes him a moment to reorient himself, and see that Jim is on his knees, and by then Jim’s already unzipped Martin’s trousers, and is mouthing at Martin’s erection through his pants.
“Oh, Christ,” Martin whispers. He presses his hand against the brick wall, but he can’t find purchase and it slips, drawing blood. This is so fast his head is spinning, he can barely breathe. He’s dreamed about this twice since Jim gave Martin his number, and now it’s here. It’s happening. Martin looks down at Jim, who looks back up at him through obscenely long eyelashes. He pulls Martin’s pants down and licks a stripe from the base to the tip of Martin’s cock. “Jim-” Martin chokes out, but bites back the rest of his words. Anyone could come down the alley and find them, but he’s having trouble keeping quiet. Jim rests his head on Martin’s thigh and smiles up at him.
“Shh, pet. It’s all right. I’m going to take care of you,” he says, and then he takes the head of Martin’s cock in his mouth and begins to suck.
Chapter 3: The Best Thing
Martin's decision comes to light.
“Martin, give it to me.”
“Give. It. To. Me.”
“You will give that bottle of Talisker to me, right now, or so help me-” Douglas is cut off by Caroline.
“He will do no such thing, Douglas. Give it to me, Martin,” Caroline says. Martin is paralyzed with indecision.
“Martin,” Douglas pleads. “I will split the money with you. Seventy-thirty.” Martin hesitates, bottle in hand. Jim’s coming to visit this weekend, and he’s paid for the last three dates. Martin could really use the money.
“Fifty-fifty,” he replies.
“What? Don’t be absurd,” Douglas says. He reaches for the Talisker, but so does Caroline. Their hands both close on the bottle at the same time, and they both yank, and the bottle goes flying. It smashes against the office door and shatters. Martin stares at the dark stain that spreads across the carpet.
“Oh, no,” whispers Arthur. “Mr. Birling’s going to be really, very cross.”
“He’s not the only one!” says Caroline. “Well done, Martin.”
“Yes,” Douglas chimes in. “Thanks for that!” Martin feels a swell of indignation rising within him.
“Me? How could this possibly, in any way, be my fault?” he asks. Apparently, there are a vast number of ways in which it could be his fault, because Caroline and Douglas both launch into complementary, simultaneous tirades against him.
“Yes, yes, all right, fine, I mean, yes, I know, I...Oh my god will you both shut the fuck up?” Martin shouts. “I knew should have gone with Swiss Air!” Silence fills the office.
“What do you...Oh, Martin,” Caroline says, voice thick with disappointment. Arthur still looks shocked by his outburst, and a bit confused. Understanding dawns on Douglas’s face.
“You got the job,” Douglas says. “With Swiss Airways.”
“No, Skip said they never got back to him,” Arthur says. Martin stares at his shoes, at the stain, anything to avoid meeting Arthur’s gaze.
“I was lying, Arthur. They gave me the job on the spot, actually. I just…” he trails off, keeps his eyes fixed on the carpet. He knows what he’ll see if he looks at the faces of his colleagues. Pity. The one thing he’s been trying desperately to avoid. “I just...I mean, it was the right thing to do, wasn’t it? We wouldn’t have been able to keep going if I’d left...I just wanted to do the right thing.”
“Martin,” Caroline begins kindly, and that soft tone is what finally does it. Martin swallows, grabs his keys, and heads for the door.
“No. No, don’t,” he says. “Douglas is within hours to do the flight on his own. I’ll see you lot next week.”
“Where are you going?” Douglas asks.
“To clear my head,” he shouts, already out the door.
On the way to the car, his phone beeps. There’s a text from Jim.
LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS WEEKEND. I HAVE A SURPRISE OR TWO IN STORE. -JM XX.
Jim’s last surprise was a moving job that paid well enough to cover his rent for two months. The time before that, it was a whole weekend in bed. Martin’s not sure which one he enjoyed more. He pauses to reply before getting in his car.
cant wait. horrible day. miss you.
And then, almost as an afterthought:
i think you are the best thing to ever happen to me.
Chapter 4: Domesticity
Martin and Jim have a quiet night in.
“The Indian elephant,” David Attenborough says, speaking to the camera from atop one, “consumes up to one hundred and fifty kilograms of plant matter per day.” Jim sighs happily and leans his head against Martin’s shoulder.
“I could eat a hundred and fifty kilograms of plant matter,” Martin says wistfully. Jim runs his fingers through Martin’s hair, and Martin hums with pleasure. It’s been such a long time since anyone touched him this much. He feels drunk on it. “Where’s the delivery man?”
“He’ll be here soon, pet, now pay attention. This is educational,” Jim says. Martin snorts.
“You and your Attenborough fixation,” he starts.
“Well, I paid for the television, so I get to pick what we watch,” Jim says. Martin flushes. Jim hasn’t just paid for the television. He’s paid for a new mini-fridge, a new phone, even a new radiator when Martin’s van broke down. Every time Martin protests, Jim kisses him and tells him that he likes spoiling him, and Martin can’t do anything but stammer and thank Jim as best he can. Mostly with blowjobs. He’s getting rather good at those.
There’s a knock at Martin’s door, and one of the students from downstairs says through the door that their food has arrived. Martin hops up off the sofa-bed and pads downstairs before Jim can offer to pay for that as well. Having paid the delivery man, Martin finds himself stuck in the hall outside his cramped little attic room, both hands full of Thai food.
“Jim, can you get the door?” he asks. It opens, the food is taken from him and unceremoniously dumped on his desk, and Martin is pushed onto the sofa-bed. Jim takes Martin’s face in his hands and kisses him deeply. Martin inhales with surprise when Jim pauses for breath. “I-” Martin is cut off as Jim kisses him again, this time pushing him down until his head hits the pillow. Jim’s lips brush the corner of Martin’s lips, then his jawbone, then his neck. Martin is overwhelmed when Jim begins to suck on Martin’s neck. His hand is clutching Martin’s hair tightly, and his body weight is pinning Martin down. Martin can do very little to reciprocate. He feels utterly, deliciously at Jim’s mercy. Finally, Jim relents.
“What was...I’m not complaining, mind you..what’d I do?” Martin asks, panting. Jim presses a chaste kiss to his neck, where Martin can feel a hickey starting to form.
“You were born with that lovely face,” Jim says, and Martin blushes again. Jim cups Martin’s face in his hands and stares at him intently. For several seconds, everything is still. Martin leans forward until his forehead is pressed against Jim’s.
“I think I love you,” Martin whispers. He can feel, rather than see, Jim smile at that. Then, Jim pulls away. The nature documentary is over, and the news has come on. ‘Local Man Murdered in His Home’ reads the news ticker.
“The pad thai is going to get cold,” Jim says. His voice sounds strained.
“Wait, I want to watch this,” Martin says distractedly. God, that’s just down the road, isn’t it? And he’s been there for weeks, nobody noticed. How awful. How… “Oh my God, Jim, that’s your client’s house.”
“Ex-client.” Jim sounds distant. He’s sitting quietly on the sofa, cleaning his nails. He’s not slouching anymore. Something has changed. He’s...lounging, as if Martin’s sofa-bed was a chaise-lounge. Martin has an awful, cold feeling that runs across his whole body. He shivers.
“Jim, did you…” Martin can’t find the words.
“No, of course not,” Jim replies coolly. “I hired someone else to do it.”
“Oh,” Martin whispers.
“Please, don’t make me talk about work,” Jim says, and he’s always saying that, and Martin’s never pried, and oh God. “I promise, it’s nothing you want to know about.”
“Is this...Jim, is this what you do? Arrange,” he gestures at the television. “this sort of thing?” Jim nods.
“Sometimes. Sher- Someone I once knew called me a spider at the center of a web. Which sounds a bit theatrical, I grant you, but then he did love to be dramatic,” Jim sighs. “I have my fingers in a great many pots, is all. Does it bother you?”
“I- I don’t-” Martin stutters. Jim takes Martin’s hand in his own, and kisses it, front and back, his lips lingering over Martin’s palm.
“I promise you,” Jim says, his breath warm on Martin’s hand. “No one is going to hurt you. No one ever hurts my people, and you are mine. Aren’t you, love?” Martin is silent, but after a moment he nods shyly. Jim shifts so that he’s poised above Martin. He leans in and kisses Martin softly on the neck, then the cheek, while he strokes Martin gently on the thigh. Martin leans into the touch. Jim’s lips feel so good against his skin. Being touched like this, like he is a precious, cherished thing, is so wonderful. “My sweet, lovely pet. My Martin. I do love you. Please, tell me I can stay.”
Jim cups Martin’s cock through his jeans, and Martin swallows hard. Jim’s hands are bliss. Martin feels as though, in the whole world, the only things that could possibly matter are Jim’s hands and Jim’s mouth and the sweetness of Jim’s touch.
“Yes, yes. You can stay. Please stay. Please, Jim, oh,” Martin whimpers. “Please, I love you so much. I need you.”
The news has turned to another story. Some overly tan anchor in a cheap suit is droning on about the top five places to get a pint in Fitton. The pad thai sits cold and congealing on Martin’s desk. It doesn’t matter. Martin is somewhat preoccupied.
Chapter 5: Crisis
Martin has a nightmare.
Martin wakes that night drenched in a cold sweat. He’s kicked all the blankets off the bed. He turns to apologize, but Jim is gone. Oh. Now he remembers. He’d been dreaming of drowning, and of Jim. The water was up to his neck, and he was gasping, and there was salt in his eyes and his mouth, and then there were arms grasping his, and he was being pulled up.
I’ve got you, Jim had murmured, and Martin was in Jim’s arms, and he was safe. But the boat was filled with blood.
There’s so much blood, Martin gasped, but Jim held him tight and smiled.
It can’t be helped, Jim said, and Martin realized that the whole ocean was blood, and there was a leak in the boat, and they were going to drown, but Jim didn’t care, he just kept saying It’s okay, It’s okay, over and over again until Martin finally woke up.
Now, he lies in bed, waiting to fall back asleep. It isn’t unusual for Jim to be gone when he wakes, his job often calls him away. Martin swallows hard. Now he knows what kind of job Jim is working, the tasks that require Jim to be on call at all hours of the day. Martin really wishes that he could unknow it. Or, he supposes, he wishes that knowing upset him more. The nightmares are one thing, and certainly he’s afraid for his own safety, but...When he thinks about the local man that Jim had murdered, about the other innocent people that Jim must logically also had murdered, there’s only a vague sense of unease. Murder is very, very wrong, he knows that. Still, this is Jim.
Jim likes new wave music, and David Attenborough, and thai food. Jim has promised to take him stargazing in the countryside. Jim has crooked teeth and soft brown hair and sweet, clever hands, and Martin is so completely in love with him. Jim takes care of Martin. And Jim promised, didn’t he? He promised that Martin wouldn’t get hurt. Martin gets up momentarily and puts the blankets back on the bed. Once he’s tucked himself back in, he reaches for his mobile on the nightstand and, after some deliberation, sends a text.
i lov eyou
you get the idea
A few minutes later, there is a reply.
i’m glad to hear it, love.
my place next weekend? i trust you with the address.
Chapter 6: Italian Food
The MJN Crew cross paths with Martin's new associates.
They’ve scarcely completed the post-landing checks, back from Algiers, when Martin’s new phone begins to ring.
“My god, Martin,” Douglas says as Martin pulls it out. “That thing has a touch screen. It’s nicer than mine! Where on earth-”
“It was a present.” Martin snaps. He answers it. “Jim?”
“Hello, pet! Listen, Molly is in the mood for Italian tonight, so we need to stop off and buy you a suit. You don’t have one, do you?”
“No,” Martin replies. Dinner with Miss Hooper. Last time they met, he made a proper idiot of himself. Apparently, getting extremely laid has not made it any easier for him to talk to beautiful women.
“Thought not. Well, get in, we’ve got a reservation for 7:30.”
“Get in what?” Martin asks, but then he steps out of G-ERTI and into the late afternoon sun. His heart stops. A sleek black town car is parked on the airfield. Colonel Moran is leaning against the hood, smoking. If Sebastian’s here, then Jim’s here. Oh god. Jim is here. Jim. Is here. Now.
“Wow!” says Arthur, who’s come up behind him. “Who’s that? He looks really cool, doesn’t he?”
Martin has to admit, Sebastian does look cool. Tall, lean, with a cigarette in one hand and the sun bouncing off his aviators, Sebastian looks...Well. That doesn’t bear thinking about. Martin belongs to Jim.
“He looks like a murderer,” says Douglas, who has come up behind Arthur, who is still behind Martin, who is still standing at the top of the stairs. “Let’s go, Martin, some of us do have daughters to get home to, you know.”
“Yes, sorry.” Martin says. He starts to move down the stairs. Sebastian nods at him and gives a little half wave.
“Oh, do you know him?” Douglas asks.
“He, um. Yes. He works for Jim.” Martin replies. He’d been hoping not to have this conversation for some time. Or maybe not ever.
“Jim, your boyfriend?” Arthur asks. “That’s a nice car! Is he rich?”
“He’s not my boyfriend!” Martin retorts. Jim Moriarty is not anyone’s boyfriend. Trying to downplay the situation, Martin mutters, “He just, we’ve gone out a few times.”
“Well,” Douglas says, a gleam in his eye. “I, for one, would like to meet this boyfriend of yours, Martin.” And then Douglas is striding briskly towards the car, Martin and Arthur in tow.
“Douglas, stop! Douglas, for christ’s sake!” Martin hisses, anxiously. When Douglas is a few steps from the car, Sebastian stands up properly, placing himself in Douglas’ way.
“Can I help you?” Sebastian asks.
“Ah, hello Martin’s-Boyfriend’s-Chauffeur! We were rather hoping for a peak at the boyfriend in question, if it’s not too much trouble.” Douglas looks as if Christmas has come early, but Sebastian just stands there, calm and collected.
“That’s not going to happen,” he says.
“Isn’t it?” Douglas asks. He looks pleased to be challenged. That changes very quickly when Sebastian takes a drag of his cigarette and blows a mouthful of smoke right in Douglas’ face. Douglas sputters.
“No,” Sebastian says.
“Right,” says Douglas. “Right.” Regrouping, he darts around Sebastian and taps on the car window. “Yoo hoo! Martin’s Boyfriend!”
At first, nothing happens. Sebastian smirks, and takes another drag off his cigarette. Arthur takes the opportunity to warn Sebastian about the dangers of smoking. Martin sweats. After what feels like a full minute, the car door opens. Douglas flashes a Martin a particularly smug smile, but then Jim Moriarty gets out of the car.
Douglas goes white as a sheet.
“Martin’s boyfriend,” Jim purrs. He extends a hand for Douglas to shake. Douglas grasps Jim’s hand lightly, shakes once and quickly steps back. “And you must be Doug. Lovely to meet you.” Douglas stares. “So sorry that we can’t stay, but we’ve got an eight thirty reservation for dinner-”
“Oh, please stay!” implores Arthur. “It’s only half past four!”
“-in Rome.” Jim finishes.
“Right, yes,” Martin says. “We should be going. See you later, Douglas, Arthur.” Please, let this be over now. Jim grins at Martin and slides into the back seat of the car. Sebastian holds the door for Martin, and then gets behind the wheel. As they drive away, Martin notices that Douglas is continuing to stare. Arthur waves enthusiastically after them. Molly is on the far side of the back seat, fixing her lipstick in her mirror. She smiles at Martin, briefly, then turns her attention to her phone. “I think Douglas recognized you,” Martin says. “How did he recognize you?”
“Oh, I’m sure he’s seen my picture in the news, pet. I’m quite notorious.” Jim leans against Martin, placing his hand on Martin’s inner thigh. Martin smiles nervously.
“It must have been a treat for you when we met, then. With me not knowing who you were,” Martin says. Jim laughs.
“A treat. Yes, you were. The loveliest little treat I’d seen in some time,” Jim says. Martin blushes. He’s still unused to this, to being so openly wanted. He’s looking forward to getting used to it. Jim kisses him on the throat, and then on the mouth. “I hope,” Jim says, breathing heavily. “that you are hungry.” Martin smiles, and if Douglas were here, he might call the look on Martin’s face predatory.
“I’m starving,” Martin says.
Chapter 7: Moving Day
Martin moves into the flat on Conduit Street.
“Welcome home, pet!” Jim shouts. Martin sets the last box from the van on the dining room table. All of his earthly possessions fit into four medium sized boxes. Half of the box’s contents are new, in fact. Things that Jim has bought him. It’s pathetic. Jim comes up behind him and wraps his arms around Martin’s hips. He bites lightly at Martin’s throat. “Come see our room.” Martin grabs the box with his clothes in it, and allows himself to be pulled along down the hallway. It’s a beautiful room, lots of white, very modern.
“Shall I put my clothes in the closet?” he asks, lifting up the box curiously. Jim shrugs blankly.
“Not in the big one,” says Colonel Moran. Martin jumps, and then turns red in embarrassment.
“I didn’t hear you come in,” he explains. “You’re very quiet for someone of your size! Not that you’re fat! Just tall. Oh, god.” Why does he turn into an idiot every time he speaks to Sebastian these days? Shouldn’t he be less awkward around people he finds attractive, now that he’s actually having orgasms on a regular basis? Except this is Sebastian Moran, who is Jim’s employee. Martin’s not supposed to be attracted to him. Sebastian just laughs, and pats Martin on the head.
“The big closet is Jim’s,” Sebastian continues, as if Martin hasn’t just made an idiot of himself. “You can share mine. There’s plenty of space.”
“Yours? Why do you have a closet in Jim’s bedroom?” Martin asks. Jim laughs to himself. Moran scowls at Jim.
“Jim. You haven’t told him.”
“No, I haven’t,” Jim says, as if he’s been caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Martin looks back and forth between them.
“Told me what?” he asks.
“You’re such a little shit, sometimes, sir,” Sebastian says. Jim just smirks. “Jim and I are-”
“Fucking,” Jim finishes for him. “Often.” He turns back to Moran. “It’s not going to be a problem, Sebastian.” Martin sits down on the edge of the bed. His brain is having trouble keeping up with this conversation. Why would Jim ask me to move in, and then let himself be caught cheating? Is it cheating? Are we not exclusive?
“What-” he starts, but Moran cuts him off.
“How is it not a problem?” Moran asks. Jim climbs onto the bed behind Martin, wrapping his hands around Martin the way he always does, resting his chin on Martin’s shoulder.
“Because, darling, I know exactly how much poor, conflicted Martin wants you,” Jim says.
“Ah. Well, then,” Moran says. “I suppose that’s all right.”
Martin is very still. Jim bites at his earlobe.
“I should have mentioned earlier, pet, but watching you squirm really was good fun. I’m sleeping with you, and I’m sleeping with Sebastian, and I’m sleeping with Molly. And as far as I’m concerned, you can all sleep with each other whenever you like,” Jim says. Martin’s brain tries to imagine having sex with Miss Hooper, and immediately short circuits. Moran comes to stand at the edge of the bed. Martin looks up at him.
“We can...” Martin can’t even finish the sentence. He can have Sebastian, and still keep Jim? It’s too much to wrap his mind around. Jim maneuvers around Martin, and pushes him down so that Martin is lying faceup on the bed.
“Now,” Jim says. “If we’re done talking, today is a very special day.” Jim’s eyes glitter darkly. He pulls off Martin’s shirt and bites at one of Martin’s nipples. Martin stifles a gasp.
“What’s today?” he asks. Jim continues to strip off Martin’s clothes, tugging his trousers off, and then his pants.
“Today is the day that you are going to fuck me in our bed,” Jim says, and Christ, if Martin wasn’t already hard, he is now. Martin has never done this, at least, not with a man. He reaches up and begins to undo the buttons on Jim’s shirt. His fingers are shaking. “Oh, Seb. I think he’s nervous. Why don’t you help him?” Jim asks. Sebastian steps out of his shoes and joins Martin and Jim on the bed. He reaches up and covers Martin’s hands with his own.
“It’s fine, Martin. I’ll guide you through it,” Sebastian whispers. Martin’s breath hitches, then he exhales. He’s naked and laying in between the two most astonishing men he’s ever met, and he’s got no clue what he’s doing but it’s okay. Sebastian’s going to take care of him.
“Yes,” Jim says. “Sebastian’s an expert at sex. A sexpert.” He giggles. Sebastian rolls his eyes.
“He’s always this awful,” Sebastian says, and Martin laughs. Martin and Sebastian make short work of Jim’s clothes. Jim leans forward and kisses Martin deeply, sucking and biting. Martin can hear Sebastian removing clothing behind him. He turns to help, but Jim’s teeth nip at Martin’s lower lip, demanding his attention. By the time they stop to breathe, Sebastian is fully undressed. Jim turns, getting on his hands and knees. Martin puts a hand on Jim’s back to steady himself. He feels slightly lightheaded. His hand drifts down to Jim’s ass.
“I don’t really know what to do here,” he says. He’s still shaking a little. Sebastian rummages through a drawer and hands him a bottle of lube.
“You need to open him up,” Sebastian says, voice catching. He has a hand on his own cock, stroking it lightly. Martin pours some of the lube onto his left hand, coating it thoroughly, and then begins to work his index finger slowly into Jim’s hole.
“I’m not hurting you, am I?” Martin asks. Jim shakes his head. Martin slowly coaxes a second finger inside Jim, and then, after a while, a third. Surely, he’s going too fast. He’s watched porn before. He knows that this kind of thing takes time. Martin turns to Sebastian, to ask whether he should slow down, and finds Sebastian kneeling much closer than he thought. Their lips brush, and then Sebastian is kissing him. It’s nothing like Jim kisses, and it’s nothing like he imagined. And he’s imagined it a lot. Kissing Sebastian is a like a slow burn, where Martin is allowed to be in control. He slips his tongue into Sebastian’s mouth, tasting tea and tobacco. The newness of it almost distracts him from the task at hand, until Jim pushes back on Martin’s fingers, whining.
“God, I’m ready. Do it. Fuck me,” Jim begs.
“I- I don’t know if-”
“He can take it,” Seb says. He gets behind Martin, and begins to stroke Martin’s prick with lube-coated fingers. Martin groans, and his head falls back, exposing his throat, which is already sporting one of Jim’s bite marks from earlier. He just wants to feel Sebastian’s hands on him forever. “Go on,” Sebastian urges. “Fuck him.” Martin pulls his fingers out of Jim, and slowly pushes his cock in. Jim is very nearly too tight, and it burns a little, but it’s delicious and hot and wet. He’s only about halfway in when Jim gets tired of waiting and pushes back, burying Martin’s cock fully inside him. Martin moans aloud.
“Oh god. Oh, fuck. Jim,” he says. He’s inside another person. Not just another person. Jim Moriarty. Brilliant and terrifying Jim. Martin leans forward until he’s draped across Jim’s back and begins to thrust into him. Sebastian begins to rub his hands up and down Martin’s back, pressing a kiss to his shoulder. “Can I- can I fuck him harder?” Martin asks.
“Yeah,” Sebastian replies. “Yeah, he likes that. Don’t you, Jim?” Jim just moans wantonly in response. Martin picks up the pace, fucking Jim in earnest. This is exactly where he wants to be. Always. Between these two men.
“I want, oh,” Martin chokes out. He can’t talk. It’s too much, too hot, too wonderful.
“What do you want?” Jim pants. “I can give it to you. Whatever you want, Martin.” Martin’s head spins with possibilities.
I want to fuck you on every surface in this apartment. I want you to tie me to the bedpost and ride me. I want to fuck you on my own private plane. I want to give you head while you’re sitting in the captain’s seat. I want to feel Sebastian inside me. I want enough money to keep MJN running till the end of my days. I want people to take notice when I enter a room. I want to eat in a different five star restaurant every night and I want to jerk you off in the bathroom of each and every one. I want to know what Molly Hooper looks like when she’s coming. I want safety. I want wealth. I want power. I want to be loved. I want I want I want IwantIwantIwant...
“I want everything,” Martin says, and then comes.
Chapter 8: Espace
Jim and Sebastian take Martin out.
As they exit the airplane, Martin breathes a sigh of relief into the night air. He’s just spent two whole hours in G-ERTI, flying from London to Paris, with not just his MJN colleagues, but also Jim and Sebastian, and no one is bleeding or especially traumatized. Douglas has been very quiet the whole trip, but Martin doesn’t mind that so much. Let him fret. It’s nice to have the upper hand, for once.
Martin is exhausted. He’s going to get a few hours of sleep, and put this whole ‘Oh Martin, my pet, the normal jet’s not available, why don’t you and your little friends take Moran and I to Paris this weekend’ thing behind him.
There’s a black car parked on the airfield, and Sebastian opens the door for Jim, who glances back and frowns at Martin. “Come on then, Martin! Lots to do! Say goodbye!” Oh, lord. Martin hadn’t even considered that Jim would want to bring him along on whatever mission of mayhem he had planned.
“You going with them, then, Skip?” Arthur asks. Martin’s initial instincts want to say no. Surely, whatever work Jim has in mind doesn’t require him to play a vital role, and he desperately wants to lay down on his hotel bed and just sleep for a week. But then, Paris. He’s never been to Paris, not properly. What does Paris look like from Jim Moriarty’s hotel room? He wonders.
“Martin,” Seb says, in a voice that leaves no room for argument. “Get in.”
“Yes,” Martin replies. “I suppose I am.” Martin gets in the car. The interior is massive, and the seats are real leather. He’s been living in Jim’s apartment for a while now, but he’s still unused to the level of opulence that is constantly in the background of their lives. “So, ah,” Martin clears his throat. “What, exactly, is the plan?” Jim rests his hand suggestively on Martin’s thigh and squeezes.
“Well, I thought first we’d go to Espace, and from there we can see where the evening takes us,” he says. Jim’s voice is a low purr in his ear, insinuating the kind of things that up until a few months ago, Martin wasn’t even aware existed, let alone turned him on.
“Espace?” he asks.
“It’s a nightclub,” Seb elaborates.
“Good lord. What are we going to do in a nightclub?” Martin asks. Jim stares at him like he’s just asked how planes work.
“Dance,” Jim answers. “And drink.” He pulls a silver case out of his coat pocket, passes Martin a small white pill from it, and pops one into his own mouth. “Go on, then. One for me, and one for you, and none for Sebastian because he’s dull.” Sebastian stares out the window.
Martin stares at the pill in his hand. He weighs his options for perhaps two seconds before he places it in his mouth and swallows. After all, it’s really out of his hands. Where Jim goes, he follows. By the time they pull up to the curb, Martin has started to feel warm, and cozy. Jim is nuzzling against his arm. Jim’s hair is soft and lovely. Martin just wants to pet him. Like a tiny, murderous kitten.
Then they’re in a club, and the lights are flashing and there are so many colors and oh, Jim is moving against him and he can’t understand why he thought he couldn’t dance. It’s so easy. Everything is brilliant. Someone puts a bottle of something in his hand. He drinks it, all in one go. If he thinks really hard he might say that it’s not his first bottle. In fact, he’s not even sure this is the same club as before. Jim is pressed up against Sebastian, moving his hips in a way that seems nearly obscene. Martin giggles. He reaches over, strokes Jim on the arm to get his attention. Jim smiles contentedly and turns so that his back is pressed against Martin, who holds Jim tightly. They dance together for hours. He loves this, loves Jim, loves Sebastian. He should tell Sebastian.
“I love you, you know,” Martin shouts in Sebastian’s ear. Sebastian just smiles, but it’s not the kind of smile that Martin and Jim are sporting. It’s just the side of his mouth quirked up. Sebastian has a good mouth. Martin’s thinking about how he should kiss it, and then Sebastian’s leaning over him and they’re kissing and god kissing is so brilliant. There’s a hand under his shirt, but it’s not Seb, it’s Jim.
Jim pushes him backwards, and Martin’s head is surprised to find itself landing on a massive feather pillow. It’s soft and delicious and he wants to burrow into these sheets and never come out. “When did we leave the club?” Martin asks, but Jim just laughs and nuzzles his face down Martin’s belly, and undoes Martin’s jeans.
Jim’s mouth on his cock feels so good. Martin’s grabbing fistfuls of sheets and moaning, loud and shameless. He turns his head and finds Seb lying to his right, watching, his eyes glassy and his cheeks flushed. Martin reaches out a hand, to try and touch Seb. He should make Sebastian feel good. Everyone should feel good. It’s hard to concentrate, God, Jim’s mouth is so hot and wet. Jim makes little moaning sounds in the back of his throat, and then Martin’s coming, but he’s floating so high that it barely registers as a spike of pleasure in the midst of everything else. Seb grunts, cock in hand, and come spurts across his own belly. Jim needs tending to. “Jim. I should, I ought to-” Martin fumbles for Jim’s cock but Jim is pushing his hands away, laughing still, and whispers in his ear.
“You sucked me off in the club’s lavatory, pet. Do you not remember?” Martin shakes his head. Everything’s so fuzzy. He can see the Eiffel Tower through the massive penthouse windows. The world is perfect. Nothing is ever going to hurt them, and he’s never going to be lonely again.
“Paris is brilliant. We should stay forever,” Martin mutters, before dropping off to sleep.
Chapter 9: The Fault
Sebastian Moran is a bastard. Things get complicated.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
When he sees them, Sebastian has every intention of joining in. He’s come home from the pub to find Jim and Molly naked in his bed. Sebastian leans against the doorframe and watches. Molly’s gripping the bedpost with both hands, her legs spread wide, Jim’s head between her thighs. Sebastian’s gaze lingers on Molly’s breasts, soft and pale, then travels down her body to Jim’s dark, clever face, intent on his task.
Jim Moriarty expends the same amount of effort on sex that he does on planning crimes. It makes him a hell of a shag. And Molly. Well. Sex brings out a side to Molly that Sebastian never sees otherwise. She’s demanding, intense. She likes to play rough, even rougher than Jim. The two of them are always taking him to new heights, new lows. Sebastian thinks that if he’s a very lucky man, they’ll never stop. In his own way, he knows, he’s in love with the pair of them. Jim reaches his hand to play with Molly’s tits, making her gasp and buck her hips. She turns and smiles at Sebastian. Christ, she’s lovely.
“Sebastian, hello!” she chirps. Jim pauses a moment to look up at him, wiping his chin. Sebastian grins at the sight of them, his erection straining against his jeans. Sebastian wants.
“Hello,” he says. “May I?” He takes his coat off and hangs it on the door.
“No,” Jim replies. He’s grinning. Sebastian’s hands go still, but he’s already got three of his shirt buttons undone.
“I said, no. I don’t feel like playing with you right now, tin soldier. Go away.”
“Jim-” Molly begins, but Jim silences her with a look, and then kisses her fiercely on the lips. Sebastian is envious. Molly never lets anyone kiss her on the mouth, except Jim. “Maybe later?” she asks Sebastian, but he knows that it’s not really up to either of them. It’s Jim Moriarty’s bed, and the rest of them are just sleeping in it.
‘Sod this,’ thinks Sebastian. ‘Sod Jim, and sod Molly, and sod their bloody clever special togetherness.’ As he turns to go, he can hear both of them giggling.
In the living room, Martin’s sprawled across the sofa, watching TV. It’s one of the nature programs that Jim records. Sebastian is overwhelmed with the sense that Jim is everywhere, in every corner and crevice of Sebastian’s life. There is no part of his world that doesn’t belong to Jim Moriarty. Normally, he doesn’t mind, but suddenly he feels claustrophobic.
On the screen, one of the wolves catches a fawn and tears into its throat. Martin makes a small noise of disappointment. Sebastian considers Martin Crieff for a moment. Small, lightly freckled, shy Martin, who wears his heart on his sleeve. Whose only mistake was being born with a resemblance to that ridiculous detective. Who’s going to get torn to pieces, sooner or later, if he doesn’t learn to keep his emotions in check. Martin notices Sebastian watching him.
“I was hoping it would get away,” Martin explains. “I know it’s silly, but-”
“The wolves have to eat, Martin. Would you rather they starved?”
“No, of course not. I just wish they didn’t have to kill other animals,” Martin replies.
“Wolves can’t help being wolves,” Sebastian says. He’s still hard from watching Jim and Molly, and Martin’s shirt is riding up, revealing a stretch of freckled stomach.
He looms over Martin, grinning. Here is something he can have, all to himself. At least for now. Sebastian grabs Martin’s hips and maneuvers them so that Martin’s facing him, his legs dangling off the edge of the sofa. Martin doesn’t say anything, but his eyes are wide. Sebastian pulls off Martin’s jeans, and then his pants, and still Martin is quiet. It’s not until Sebastian begins to suck on his own finger, lathering it with spit in lieu of having to go back into the bedroom for lube, that Martin protests.
“Sebastian, I don’t think-”
“Shh, it’s okay. It’s okay, Martin. It’ll be good,” Sebastian reassures him. He works his index finger into Martin’s arse, encountering resistance. He gets his fingers wetter and tries again. It’s easier this time. “Breathe, Martin. Relax for me.” Martin’s eyes seem to focus on a spot high behind Sebastian, maybe on the ceiling. He tentatively relaxes his grip on one of the cushions. Sebastian continues to work his fingers in and out. After a moment, Martin makes a quiet sound. Sebastian crooks his fingers against the spot again. “Like that?” he asks.
“Y-yes,” Martin stutters. Sebastian continues to attend his prostate until Martin is gasping with each thrust. Finally, Martin is as hard as Sebastian has been, ever since he saw Jim’s lips on Molly. The thought makes him groan, imagining the taste of her. He unbuttons his trousers, and pulls his cock out of his pants.
Extending his free hand in front of Martin’s face, Sebastian commands him, “Lick.” Martin does his best, but it’s still not going to be enough. Sebastian’s past the point of caring. He slicks his own cock with Martin’s spit, and lines it up with Martin’s opening. Martin makes a choking noise as Sebastian thrusts into him.
“Yes, god. Martin,” Sebastian hisses. He slams into Martin, fucking him hard and fast, trying to hit the same place his fingers reached. He’s not going to last long, between the way Martin gasps and pants, and the thought of what’s surely still happening in the other room. God, Martin is so tight. Fuck. The man looks like he’s being split open by the force of Sebastian’s thrusts. His mouth is slack and his eyes have a far-away look. Each thrust makes Martin cry out a little. He’s not hard anymore.
“Seb, ah. Please. Touch me. Please,” Martin begs. Sebastian obliges, reaching for Martin’s prick with his right hand. His left continues to grip Martin’s hip, strong enough to leave a bruise.
Sebastian notices a patch of freckles, just above Martin’s renewed hard-on, that looks like one of Jim’s constellation charts. It’s beautiful, but it reminds him of how Jim complains, in private, about Martin’s freckles. “They’re wrong!” Jim had said, sulking. It’s so unfair, that Jim should have this, have Martin like this, and be pretending he’s someone else. Only, hang on.
A horrible thought works its way into Sebastian’s mind. Jim hasn’t had Martin. Not like this. No one has had Martin like this, ever. No wonder he’s so tight, christ. Though he’s ashamed to admit it, the thought sends him over the edge and he comes with a shout, buried deep inside Martin’s arse. After, he continues to stroke Martin’s cock, and a few minutes later Martin comes with a soft cry.
Panting for breath, Sebastian joins Martin on the sofa in a tangle of limbs, clothed and unclothed. Martin has an unsettled, distant expression. After a while, Martin reaches over and touches Sebastian gently on the shoulder. “It’s funny,” Martin says, after a moment. “I didn’t imagine our first time together being like that.” Oh, jesus fuck. That’s true. They share a bed, and Sebastian’s touched Martin while Martin fucks Jim, but they’ve never been alone with each other before.
“Martin,” Sebastian starts, but the words stick in his throat. He wants to apologize for being such a beast, for taking something that Martin was clearly not ready to give. Martin looks at him, eyes open and trusting despite what’s just passed between them. Sebastian wants to kiss him. Fuck. He can’t fucking do this. If he gets too close to Martin, if something grows between them, Jim will get jealous, and there’s no way Martin can survive the jagged, sharp edges of Jim Moriarty’s jealousy. Sebastian disentangles himself and gets up from the sofa, not meeting Martin’s eyes. “Get yourself cleaned up,” he says, hating himself. He pulls up his slacks. “I’m going for a smoke.”
Remember kids, spit is NOT lube. Please, do not ever use spit as a substitute for lube.
Chapter 10: The Date
Martin and Molly have a day to themselves.
It’s nearly mid-day. Martin and Molly are the only ones still in the bed, for once. Usually, Jim’s the last one to get up, groggily grasping for tea and his laptop around noon. Today, however, business demanded that Jim and Sebastian both rise with the sun, off on business of an extremely dubious nature. Martin lays in bed, face down in a patch of sunlight, and Molly traces lines across his back.
“What’re you doing?” he mumbles. Molly’s hand stills for a moment, but then continues.
“Connecting the dots,” she says. “Your freckles have hidden pictures.”
“Mmmm,” Martin replies. He didn’t get much sleep. Jim was in a celebratory mood last night, and he’s sore all over. “What pictures?”
“Well, there’s,” Molly’s fingers trace a broad patch of his shoulders. “a ship.”
“Oh yes. And here,” her fingers dip down along his spine, “a crocodile. Lurking.”
“I’ve seen this movie, I think,” Martin says. “The Disney version, anyway.” He’s warm and comfortable and then Molly’s hand stops completely. She’s pulled away. Martin makes a half-hearted noise of complaint.
“You’ve never read the book?” she asks. Martin blearily shakes his head. “You’ve got to! It’s my favorite. I’ll lend you one of my copies.”
“One of them?” he asks. Molly tells him about the various editions she owns. Martin listens to her talk about Peter Pan for almost an hour. She’s so beautiful. He feels like the luckiest man in the world, to be able to lay here with a beautiful naked woman in his bed, and listen to her talk about her favorite book. “We should go on a date,” he says, after a while.
“I mean,” he turns over, looks her in the eye. “Molly Hooper, wouldyouliketogooutwithme?” It spills out of him in a rush.
Molly regards him quietly for a moment, and then she laughs, all charm and bubbly good-naturedness.
“Yes, of course I will,” she says. “Let me get dressed.”
“So, where are we going?” Martin asks.
“Oh gosh, I mean, I dunno,” Molly replies. “Didn’t you have a plan when you asked?”
“Well, um. No.” Martin finishes tying his shoes and looks up at Molly. Her sundress is the same bright blue as her trainers. She toys with an errant strand of hair, trying to tuck it into her bun. “I just thought...god you are really lovely, you know that?” Martin says.
“I know,” she says. “But you can tell me again.” Martin blushes, but he grins. He’s not the man he was when he first met Jim. He can talk to her like a real, actual person.
“You’re really lovely,” he repeats. Molly laughs.
“I do have an idea, actually, it’s a bit silly though,” she says.
“Whatever you’d like,” Martin says.
“Can we go visit Peter?” Molly asks.
“What?” Martin asks.
It’s a short walk to Kensington Gardens, where the statue of Peter Pan resides. Molly holds his hand while they walk, and they admire the mercifully sweet weather together. Everything in the park is soft and green, and the breeze is full of the fresh smell that it gets just after rain. Martin talks, about anything and everything that comes to mind. He’s been going on about the procedures for a safe landing for a good ten minutes when they finally arrive at the statue. Molly lets go of his hand to run over to it, running her hands over one of the bronze rabbits that litter the base. She pets it fondly.
“Come here a lot?” Martin asks. Molly nods.
“My dad used to bring me here when I was little,” she says, dreamily. “and I came here before work when I was watching Sherlock. It helped me remember who I really was.” Molly has told him a little of the last job she did for Jim, of the weeks and months spent living another person’s life full time in order to create a persona that would fool ‘the great Sherlock Holmes.’ She seems happy to be done with it; happy that she can move back into Jim’s flat, wear her own clothes, and dash about London causing all sorts of havoc. Whatever, whomever else she is, Molly Hooper is a true force of nature.
“I can’t imagine pretending to be someone else all the time,” Martin says. “It must have taken so much work.”
“Oh, no,” Molly shakes her head. “It’s easy really, it’s just acting. I can teach you some of it, if you’d like.”
“I think you’ll be disappointed,” Martin says. “I’m a terrible actor. According to Douglas, I can’t even lie without having my face turn colors.” He looks up at Peter, who stares placidly into space.
“Go on, tell me something that isn’t true,” Molly says. Martin’s mind immediately goes blank with panic.
“You’re, er, ah...” Oh, good lord. “You are only moderately attractive?” Martin finally blurts out. Molly bursts into laughter.
“Oh dear,” she says. “I expect you just need to practice. That’s the only way to get better at lying, unless you’re a bit of a sociopath like I am.”
“You’re not a sociopath,” Martin says. He takes her hand. “You’re the loveliest person I know.” Martin smiles at her, and she takes his hand.
“Well, perhaps you’re right,” Molly says. “Come on, let’s go shopping.”
Martin’s still licking chocolate off his fingers when they get back to the flat. Jim is waiting. Molly immediately goes quiet. She sets her shopping bags down, smooths out her skirt, fixes her hair. Martin, suddenly awkward again, shoves his hands in his pockets. Jim smiles placidly.
“Did you have a nice time?” he asks.
“...Yes,” Martin replies.
“Ice cream, and record shopping,” Jim says, looking them over. He tilts his head. “And something else?”
“We went to the park,” Molly says quietly. “The statue.” Jim actually grins at that. It looks genuine, although Martin can never really tell. Molly smiles tentatively back.
“Ah, of course,” Jim says. “Just you, and Martin, and Peter. How lovely.”
“I’m sorry, I don’t understand what- are you angry?” Martin asks. “I thought you didn’t mind us being together. I thought you said-”
“I said you could fuck,” Jim snarls. “Not-” He stands up, closing the space between them quickly, and places a hand at Martin’s throat, squeezing. “You’re mine. You are mine. Both of you.” Jim looks just behind Martin, to the left, where Molly must still be standing. Jim’s face goes from furious, to gleeful, to thoughtful, in a matter of seconds. All Martin can see is his own reflection in Jim’s dark eyes. The silence is unbearable.
“Martin?” Jim asks. His voice is soft and steady.
“Yes?” Martin whispers. He swallows, and feels acutely aware of Jim’s firm grip on his throat.
“Don’t you want to be mine? Don’t you love me?” Jim’s thumb brushes against Martin’s collarbone.
“...Yes.” Of course Martin loves Jim, how could he feel anything else? “God yes, of course I do. You made me, Jim. You’re everything.” He leans forward, till Jim’s forehead and his own are touching. They stand like that for a moment, breathing together.
“Don’t ever make me doubt it. Never again, pet,” Jim says. Martin swallows, nods.
“Good,” Jim says, as if to himself. “Very good.” He clears his throat, then beckons Molly over. She doesn’t hesitate. Jim pulls her in for a lingering kiss, biting her lip as he pulls away. Molly looks flushed. Martin feels a stab of envy, then guilt. They are both so beautiful, and he is so lucky just to be allowed in their world. “Now, we should end your date properly, don’t you think?” Jim asks. “In the bedroom. Get your toy, Molly, my dear. I want to watch you take him.”
Chapter 11: I Want You (So Bad)
Martin is a distraction.
Sebastian is in the middle of a work-out when Martin enters the room that everyone refers to as Seb’s ‘office.’ It’s really just exercise equipment in one corner and guns in the other, and everyone uses it, but it’s where Sebastian disappears to when he needs to clear his head. That mostly involves doing enough pull-ups to stop himself thinking about what will happen if Jim decides he no longer wants Martin around. Right now, Sebastian is on his fifty-seventh pull-up. Martin says something to him, but he can’t make it out with his headphones in. The Buzzcocks screech “EVER FALLEN IN LOVE WITH SOMEONE YOU SHOULDN’T’VE FALLEN IN LOVE WITH?” into his headphones. Right. Maybe he should get some new music. He pauses, takes out an earbud.
“What?” he asks.
“I said, ‘Is it all right if I use the treadmill?’” Martin asks.
“Yeah, sure. Whatever,” Sebastian says. “You don’t have to ask.” How polite. He has trouble figuring what’s Martin’s naturally cautious nature, and what’s a result of living with someone as changeable as Jim. Sebastian wishes he could have seen Martin before he’d met Jim. What kind of person was he? What kind of bond could the two of them have had? Would he have even looked twice at someone like Martin? No, no. This kind of speculating is no good. God, he’s so utterly fucked.
He pops his earbud back in, and goes back to his pull-up routine. Martin steps onto the treadmill, begins to jog. He’s wearing one of Sebastian’s tank tops, and a pair of garish electric-blue shorts that Jim bought when he was planning his first meeting with Sherlock, and then never ended up wearing. Shopping with Jim for potential ‘gay clothes’ was the most surreal moment of Sebastian’s career. At least, until Jim dropped a stack of surveillance photographs of a short, ginger man with remarkable cheekbones on Sebastian’s lap and told him to run a background check.
As Martin jogs, Sebastian watches beads of sweat appear on his neck and trail down the curve of Martin’s back. Seb wants to lick him, put his mouth on the back of Martin’s neck and bite and suck and leave a host of bruises. His eyes travel down, taking in the view of Martin’s ass, remembering the feeling of being deep inside him, of holding him down and thrusting into him until they’re both breathless. Oh god, he’s so hard. Why does Martin do this to him? “DO YOU WANNA TOUCH, DO YOU WANNA TOUCH, DO YOU WANNA TOUCH ME THERE?” wails Sebastian’s mp3 player. He definitely needs new music.
“Get out,” he says. Another five minutes and he’s going to bend Martin over a table and fuck the daylights out of him. Martin pauses the treadmill.
‘What?’ his mouth moves, although Seb can’t actually hear it.
“I can’t fucking think with you in here,” Sebastian says, aware that he’s probably too loud. “I changed my mind. Leave me alone.” Martin swallows, nods, and leaves, eyes downcast.
You’re a fucking asshole, Moran, Sebastian thinks to himself. He’s lost track of his pull-ups. Fuck.
Closing the door to the bedroom, Martin feels like a proper idiot. He shouldn’t have invaded Moran’s space like that. He’d thought...Sebastian is impossible to read. Two days ago, Martin’s nap had been interrupted by Sebastian kissing his throat, hands pushing under Martin’s jumper, tugging it off. The way Sebastian had looked at him when he came, it was...tender, almost?
I’m reading too much into it, clearly, Martin thinks, pulling off his sweaty tank top. Or is this one of Moran’s? He obviously only likes me when we’re having sex. I’m such a moron. His eyes burn. There are a man’s hands on his hips, squeezing, and a mouth on the back of his neck.
“You look delicious,” Jim murmurs in his ear. Martin turns, and Jim frowns. “You’re crying?”
“No! No, I’m not, I just. Why doesn’t Sebastian like me?” he asks, embarrassed at his own voice, high and plaintive. Jim laughs, and presses a kiss to Martin’s throat.
“Sebastian doesn’t like anyone, my sweet,” Jim says. “Don’t take it personally.”
“He likes you,” Martin says. Jim reaches into Martin’s shorts and takes his cock in hand.
“I’m very likeable,” Jim replies. Martin sucks in a breath, then whimpers. “Besides, it doesn’t matter what Moran thinks. I love you. Isn’t that enough?”
“Yes, oh,” Martin pants. “Jim.” He leans forward, and Jim falls back onto the bed. He looks up at Martin, beckons.
“Come here, let me take care of you.”
Chapter 12: A Very Criefflock Christmas
Uploading the rest of this, many years past its prime. Apologies to anyone who was waiting for the end of this.
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the flat...Jim Moriarty had decorated . Martin puts down his bag and stares. Where before the flat had been been modern and clean, now there’s tinsel strewn everywhere. And lights. And mistletoe. Wandering into the kitchen, Martin finds Sebastian stirring a massive pot full of spices, and smoking.
“What’s happened, then?” Martin asks. “You only smoke inside when you’re feeling sulky.”
“I‘m not sulky! I don’t sulk. I’m protesting,” Sebastian replies, cigarette hanging from his lip. “Never mind. How was Hong Kong?”
“Far away.” Martin shrugs. “I hate flying over Russia. Do you know how big Russia is?” he asks. Sebastian nods.
“Stupidly big. You’ve often mentioned. Well, lucky old you managed to miss most of the week’s preparations.”
“For what?” Martin asks. He sniffs the pot. “What are you making?”
“Mulled wine,” Sebastian says, petulant, at the same time that Jim enters the kitchen and shouts, “For Christmas !” Martin winces at the noise.
“My God. I assumed the decorations were Moll’s idea. Are we fond of Christmas, then, Jim?”
“Oh, yes!” Jim beams. His expression turns sour. “Sebastian,” he says, a warning tone in his voice, “What have I said about smoking inside the flat?” Sebastian glowers, but quickly puts out his cigarette in a nearby ashtray.
“Sorry,” he says.
“Sorry, what?” Jim asks.
“Sorry, darling ?” Sebastian replies, smirking.
“Good enough,” Jim says absently, turning his attention back to Martin.
“ Martin , you should have said that you were home,” Jim moves close enough for Martin to smell eggnog on his breath. “I was going to catch you under the mistletoe.” Martin glances at Sebastian, who is concentrating intently on adding wine to the saucepan. He turns his gaze back to Jim.
“I can come back in again, if you like,” he offers. Pleasing Jim is paramount, and it’s gotten more difficult lately. Sometimes Jim insists on him doing an action multiple times, until he’s ‘got it right.’ Martin doesn’t quite understand, but he’s trying hard. He wants to be everything Jim needs him to be. This time, though, Jim shakes his head.
“No, I’ll catch you again later,” he says. Taking a whiff of the mulled wine, he hums with pleasure. “Smells excellent.”
“Yeah?” Sebastian asks, putting a hand on Jim’s waist. “Kiss the cook, then.”
Jim backs away, grinning. “Oh no, darling. Presents come later .”
“For you, Martin,” Molly says, sweetly. Martin takes a box out of her hands. They’re all seated on the floor, next to a truly opulent tree. If it had been anyone else’s, Martin would have been tempted to call it garish, but for Jim’s current Christmas mania, it seems just right.
Jim is in the best mood Martin has ever seen. The only thing that comes close is when they go dancing. That mood tends to only last a few hours, whereas it is now Christmas morning, and Jim has been blindingly cheerful through dinner, Christmas cookies, and a rather spectacular bit of sex . Martin has the bite marks to prove it. And now, here they are, exchanging presents.
Opening Molly’s carefully wrapped box, Martin finds a handsome pair of cufflinks. “Oh thank you, Molly,” he says. “These are really very lovely.” Molly beams.
“They’re lock picks!” she supplies helpfully. “In case you ever get into a tight spot, you can use them to get out of handcuffs. Not that you’ll ever be in a tight spot! We’ll take care of you. I mean, Jim will take care of you. Still, best to be prepared!”
“I always think so,” Martin replies.
“Martin the Boy Scout,” mocks Sebastian. He grins affectionately, passing around three envelopes. They contain homemade coupons, redeemable for various sexual acts. One advertises a Free Complimentary Basher Special. “Enjoy.”
“How truly thoughtful, Sebastian. Thank you,” Martin says, clutching the envelope to his chest. With Douglas’s unwitting help, he’s managed to become a fairly proficient smuggler. This time, he’s brought back some ill-gotten gifts from Hong Kong. A pretty fan that conceals a razor blade for Molly, and for Sebastian, a jade carving of a tiger which really ought to be in a museum. For Jim, he has brought secrets . Sebastian raises his glass of last night’s mulled wine.
“Cheers, Martin,” he says.
“My turn,” says Jim, with such terrible glee that Martin has to resist the urge to shiver.
Please, not body parts. Not body parts, his mind whispers, running wild with ideas as to what Jim Moriarty would consider to be suitable Christmas gifts. Most of the images in his head are straight out of a Tim Burton film.
For Molly, Jim has paid for research access to the Hunterian Museum, a museum that houses thousands of medical and biological specimens. “I’d have gotten you jewlery, love, but you know I can never guess your taste.”
It’s Sebastian who receives jewelry, as a matter of fact. A single sharp canine, from Sebastian’s most infamous and extremely illegal kill, now hangs from a chain in a beautiful gold fitting. Sebastian looks genuinely at a loss for words. Jim leans over, and Sebastian bares his throat so that Jim can hang it around his neck. Jim presses a kiss to his temple. “Happy Christmas, Sebastian,” he murmurs. Sebastian turns to face him, and their kiss becomes so carnal that Martin has to look away, both embarrassed and aroused. Molly reaches over and pats his hand.
“I know,” she says. Martin takes her hand in his own and squeezes. It’s his turn now, and the package sitting in front of him is clearly too big to contain jewelry. Martin’s hands tremble slightly as he tears off the paper and slides open the box.
“Oh, Jim. Thank you. I don’t have anything nearly this nice. My old one’s been patched twice, you know.” Folded inside the box is a heavy overcoat, black and warm, and clearly expensive, with red threading on the buttonholes. Jim looks at him, eyes dark and unreadable, voice heavy with something Martin doesn’t quite understand.
“Go on, then. Try it on.”
Chapter 13: New Years
Captain Martin Crieff is going to quit his job. Mr. Alyakhin is late. Horribly, terribly, evening ruining-ly late. It’s 10:45 pm on December 31st, and a job that Carolyn should never have agreed to take has them all sitting in the office at Fitton Airfield, missing New Years Eve for a man who has clearly forgotten all about them. Martin stares at the wall chart, distantly aware of Arthur and Douglas’s combined efforts to convince Carolyn that they should have some sort of pathetic MJN New Year’s Eve Party here in the office. He’s missing New Year’s Eve in London for this, and he can’t understand why. Why does he keep commuting from London to Fitton, just to prop up this sinking ship of a company for another year? He could have been a proper pilot, with a proper airline. Although, he concedes, if he’d done that he’d have never met Jim. His mind wanders, conjuring images of Molly’s thighs, Jim’s smile, Sebastian’s hands…
There’s a knock on the door.
“Surprise!” Jim Moriarty is leaning on the doorframe, holding a bottle of champagne. “We thought you might be stuck here tonight, so we decided to bring New Year’s to you!” Sebastian and Molly follow him in.
“Jim! I thought you had a party tonight!” Martin says. Jim wraps his free arm around Martin’s shoulder and kisses him. Martin flushes, glances at his coworkers as he returns Jim’s affections. Douglas has gone quiet, and is standing as far away as is possible in the tiny office. He’s a bit grey looking. Good. Let Douglas watch.
“Ah, yes. That was a cunning ruse. Aren’t I nefarious?” Jim asks.
“Terribly,” Martin replies.
Just moments after Jim’s arrival, Mr. Alyakhin calls, audibly intoxicated, to cancel his flight, and Carolyn is persuaded to let them open up the champagne, which turns out to be the first of four bottles Jim brought with him.
“Is this your doing?” Martin whispers to Jim, as Arthur pours everyone but Douglas a drink. “The cancellation?”
“Well, I couldn’t have you locked away in a plane on New Year’s Eve, could I?” Jim smirks. “I want you with me. Is that awfully greedy of me?”
“You won’t hear me complaining,” Martin says, and laughs. “Hand me that champagne.”
“So, how exactly does this work?” Carolyn asks.
“How does what work?” Martin replies. He scans the room. Douglas refuses to go anywhere near Jim, but he seems quite engaged in his chat with Molly. She bats her eyelashes at something he says, and Douglas preens. Arthur, against all odds, is getting along famously with Jim. They’re in a heated discussion about orca whales, or perhaps whales in general. Martin’s not sure. Sebastian is in the corner, staring intently at his own drink.
“Jim is your...boyfriend?” Carolyn asks. Martin shrugs. Close enough. “But that young lady kissed him a moment ago. Also, that other...fellow...keeps staring at you like he wants to eat you for dinner.”
“It’s a bit complicated, I suppose.” Martin muses. “We’re, well. We’re all together.”
“Yes. Together together.” The tips of Martin’s ears are burning. He cannot be discussing this with Carolyn. It isn’t decent.
“Well, you never do anything halfway, do you, Martin?” Carolyn sighs.
“Can I have a word?” Douglas asks. “Outside?”
“Now?” Martin replies. “It’s ten minutes to midnight!” Douglas gives him a look.
“Don’t worry, pet,” Jim murmurs, hand on Martin’s waist. “I’ll come get you if you’re going to miss the countdown.” Martin sighs, untangles himself from Jim, and follows Douglas out of the office and into the cold.
“Douglas, this the first time in my whole life that I have a genuine chance at being kissed on New Year’s Eve, and if you make me miss it I swear-”
“He’s a criminal,” Douglas interrupts. “I’m sorry, Martin, I really am, but you don’t know that man. I’ve seen him on the news, I-” Martin starts to laugh.
“Hah! Oh, hah, oh, I’m sorry. Go on. You were saying?” Martin says, emboldened by his sixth glass of champagne. Douglas stares at him.
“You know,” Douglas says, flatly.
“I know a good deal more than you do, I should think,” Martin replies.
“Jim Moriarty, King of the London Underworld...” Douglas continues.
King of far, far more than that, Martin’s brain supplies, but he manages to hold his tongue.
“I think you’ll find his legal name is Richard Brook,” he replies.
“And yet you’ve been calling him Jim all this time,” Douglas says.
“Have I? How strange. Slip of the tongue. So sorry to have confused you.”
“He was on trial! He broke into the Tower of London!” Douglas shouts.
“I think you’ll find that the jury found him ‘not guilty,’ Douglas.” Martin should feel guilty for enjoying Douglas’s discomfort this much. He doesn’t.
“Martin, that man is dangerous! What on earth are you thinking?”
“I’m thinking that I’m actually happy for once! And you can’t stand it, can you? It’s just killing you to see me better off than you are!”
“You are not-”
“I AM!” Martin cuts him off. “I’m richer, I’m better dressed, I’m more powerful, and I’m getting rather spectacularly laid . I’ve done things you’ve never even heard of! Sex things! And you,” Martin sneers. “A second-rate first-officer with nobody and nothing. I don’t. Need. Your. Help.” Martin turns and staggers back inside. The countdown has just started.
"Ten, nine, eight," Arthur chants along with the radio.
“Carolyn?” Martin asks.
"Three, two," Arthur is silent but the radio counts down, oblivious, "One."
Martin pushes Jim against the wall with his kiss, sloppy and hungry, stopping only when he can’t breathe.
“Come on,” he says, leaning against the only person in the world who truly matters. “Let’s get out of here.”
Chapter 14: The Other Man
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 !”