[personal profile] nickelsandcoats
Title: I'll Give You Everything You Need (You've Given Me Everything I Want) 24/? || at Ao3
Author: Sarah/[livejournal.com profile] nickelsandcoats
Rating: NC17
Spoilers: Spoilers (eventually) for all of season 2!
Word Count: ~4,200 for this part
Pairings: Sherlock/John, Mycroft/Lestrade
Warnings: AU. Major character death, suicide.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Summary: Mycroft's never given his feathers to anyone before, but one person wins him over without even trying.
Notes: For [livejournal.com profile] flying_dreamz's prompt here at my shuffle meme post.

This is a sequel to Here Is What My Heart Will Give You (and Here Are the Things I Will Give Up for You). You really should read that one first before you read this story or this story will not make any sense. One last note: this story is set pre-Here Is What My Heart Will Give You (and Here Are the Things I Will Give Up for You) and will eventually end up post-Reichenbach. Expect lots of angst.

part i || part ii || part iii || part iv || part v || part vi || part vii || part viii || part ix || part x || part xi || part xii || part xiii || part xiv || part xv || part xvi || part xvii || part xviii || part xix || part xx || part xxi || part xxii || part xxiii

Some of the dialogue in this part came from [livejournal.com profile] arianedevere's wonderful transcript of TRF.

Still sitting on Barts’ roof, Sherlock watched the moon fall ever lower. He finally put John’s feather safely back in his shirt pocket and then pulled out his mobile. Twirling it thoughtfully for a moment, he finally opened a new text and typed quickly, his fingers perfectly steady as he signed his own death warrant.

Come and play.
Bart’s Hospital rooftop.
8 AM

Mycroft’s been at the Diogenes for enough years that when he gives the few patrons who still linger late at night a particular look, they simply nod and leave the outer rooms of the Club for the first floor bedrooms (used for those who all but live at the Club⎯Mycroft used to use them on occasion himself, before Gregory). Once the last of them had shuffled quietly out, Mycroft sat in front of the fire, steepled his fingers, and waited.

It took a stiff neck (really, how did Sherlock maintain that position for so long without complaint?) to get him up again. He went into his own private room and started to close the door, but stopped when he saw John’s shoulder just over the edge of one of the chairs. Mycroft let out a huff of a breath, and closed the door behind him, pausing to gather himself for what he was sure was going to be a difficult conversation.

“You know,” John stated bluntly, “I’m not as thick as you and Sherlock seem to think I am. I’ve been reading Ms. Reilly’s file on this Richard Brook, a.k.a Jim Moriarty. She got a hell of a lot from him⎯more than he would ever have known unless Sherlock, Mum, you, or I talked to him. I know Mum wouldn’t speak to him, I most certainly didn’t, so that leaves you.”

Mycroft came around and sat down heavily in the chair opposite John. John’s eyes were narrowed in anger and they flicked over his face just like Sherlock’s did.

“So, when was it?” John spat. “Did you and he go out and have a few down the pub while you gave up Sherlock’s entire life story?”

“John, I never⎯”

John snorted.

“I never intended for this to go as far as it did,” Mycroft said firmly. “Yes, I had him in custody⎯” John looked up in surprise at that⎯ “and yes, I talked to him. But it was a last resort. No one could get a word out of him, until finally, I went in and started talking to him. You should have seen how he looked at me, all hunched over like a beetle, coiled like a snake ready to strike. It was obvious to me that his own childhood had not been one full of love or laughter or even companionship. He said nothing until I had given him everything I could of Sherlock, and even what he did say ended up being lies.”

“How could you do this? How could you give up your own brother? You know that Moriarty wants to do nothing but destroy him, and you just gave him the bloody keys to do it!” John stood up and began to pace in tight circles, hands flexing at his sides. “Sherlock was all but saying goodbye to me not even two hours ago. He knows something might happen, and you’re the one responsible. You gave Moriarty everything he needed to know Sherlock’s weakness.”

“Sherlock doesn’t have any weaknesses.”

John stopped and stared Mycroft down. “You. Me. Greg. Mum. Mrs. Hudson.”

Mycroft blinked.

“He has a heart, Mycroft, a bloody great heart, and he cares too much about us to let us come to harm.”

John started for the door, opened it, and then turned back, one hand still gripping the handle. “In fact, you could learn from him. About caring, that is.” He looked Mycroft in the eye and added, “I almost hope Greg doesn’t let you bond to him. Not until you learn what it means to truly protect the ones you care about.” He slipped out as quietly as he’d come in, leaving Mycroft to stare after him in the dim firelight.

It took John a few moments to realise his mobile was buzzing in his pocket. He’d left the club in a cloud of anger, and took to wandering the streets, sticking to the alleys and un-monitored spots Sherlock and he used when they were avoiding the Yard and Mycroft’s attentions.

Bart’s, the morgue. Come if convenient.

John smiled as he waited for the second text, as was tradition. His mobile buzzed again.

If inconvenient, come anyway. Could be dangerous.

Tucking the mobile safely away, John stepped out into the light and raised his hand for a taxi.

When John arrived in the morgue, which always seemed to be a bit colder in the middle of the night, Sherlock was there, bouncing a small rubber ball against the counter, rolling it under his palm when he got tired of catching it. John, used to his husband’s nervous tics, said nothing of it.

“Why are we here?” John asked after a few hours of silence. He’d given up on prodding Sherlock with questions after an hour of receiving no response, and hearing his voice in the quiet morgue made him wince slightly.

“Because this is the last place the Yard will be looking for us. Lestrade will keep them away from here for as long as possible.”

“Other than that. You’re nervous, love. What do you know?”

Sherlock huffed, pulling himself to his feet. He stretched out the kinks in his back caused from sitting on the cold floor and started pacing, refusing to meet John’s eyes. “Everything. Nothing. I don’t know. Moriarty wants something, the assassins want something. I don’t know if it’s the same thing.” He had to throw John off, he had to, or else his carefully constructed plan would come to nothing.

“You think Moriarty left something at the flat. The assassins only started bothering us after he ‘came for tea,’ as you put it.”

“Possibly,” Sherlock grunted. “But I can’t know for sure until I can get back to the flat, and that won’t happen until Mycroft gets these ridiculous charges against us waived.” He turned, eyes flicking over John for a moment. He crossed the room and wrapped his arms around John’s waist. Since John was on a stool, his shoulder was at the perfect height to rest his chin. He placed a careful, lingering kiss to John’s temple and murmured, “You’re exhausted. Get some sleep. I need to think.”

He let his hands rub up and down John’s back in a slow, hypnotic rhythm that had John’s head drooping, and then finally, resting on his crossed arms as he dropped off to sleep. Even long after John’s quiet snores filled the room, Sherlock couldn’t quite force himself to stop touching John. He knew that what was coming in only two hours would change John’s opinion of him forever⎯he could only hope that one day, John would be able to look past his actions and words for what they really were⎯a means to an end to save his life.

Two hours later, Sherlock’s mobile chimed. It was a text from one of his contacts in the homeless network, asking if he should ring John with the news of Mrs. Hudson’s (fake) gunshot wound. Sherlock lowered his mobile, looking at John one last time before he sent back one word:


John’s mobile rang, and the world spun away.

“Who was it?” Sherlock asked, aiming for unconcerned, when John, breath coming fast and hard through his nose, rang off.

“Paramedics,” John snapped, already shrugging his coat on. “Mrs. Hudson’s been shot. Come on, we’re leaving.”

“You go. I’m busy.”

John spun toward him, eyes blazing. “You’re what?”

“I told you earlier, I need to think. Go on.”

“It’s Mrs. Hudson! Doesn’t she mean anything to you? If I recall correctly, you once half killed a man because he laid a finger on her.”

Sherlock hid his wince as he retorted, “She’s my landlady.”

“She’s dying, Sherlock. We have…you…you machine!” John took a menacing step toward him, then thought better of it, stepping back and folding in on himself until he looked almost small, defeated. “Sod this. If you want to stay here and think, then fine. Do it on your own. I never thought you were so heartless, Sherlock.”

“Alone is what I have, John. Alone protects me.”

“Not anymore,” John snapped. “You have me, now. We made vows, Sherlock. Don’t they mean anything to you?” He was out the door before Sherlock could reply, letting the door slam shut behind him.

“More than you know,” Sherlock whispered into the empty room. He closed his eyes and breathed deeply. That…was not good. His mobile trilled gaily, incongruous with the mood hanging over the room. He squeezed his eyes tighter before he opened them and pulled out his mobile with fingers that trembled just ever so slightly.

I’m waiting...

Slowly, deliberately, he put the phone back in his pocket, stood up, pulled on his coat, strode to the door, and opened it. His steps were slow and even as he walked to the roof access door. He paused for a moment with his hand on the handle before shaking his head and blowing out a quiet breath as he opened the door and stepped out into the bright sunlight of a beautiful June morning.

Moriarty was already there, of course, sitting on the edge of the roof, his mobile held in one hand as “Stayin’ Alive” blared tinnily through the small speaker at the base of the phone.

Sherlock paused for a moment at the odd choice of song before Moriarty pushed a button on the phone to silence it.

“Here you are at last, Sherlock. Just you, and me, and our little problem. Our final problem, if you will. Staying alive. Isn’t it boring?”

Sherlock paced in front of him, hands clasped behind his back. “Not as such, no.”

“Oh, but you’ve got your little pet birdy now. I’d nearly forgot about him.” Moriarty stood up and straightened his own coat. “But he’s made you so boooring! All of our lives, you’ve been such a wonderful distraction, and now you’re just not a challenge anymore.” He shrugged a bit.

Sherlock stopped pacing, rocking on his heels, peering down at Moriarty. “And why is that?”

“Because he made you ordinary!”

“But why did you come back? You’ve never come back from the dead before, not until I died and was reborn. What changed?”

“Oh, I didn’t change, my dear,” Moriarty purred. “You did. You fell in love,” he spat, “And it made you complacent. My dear mummy doesn’t like it when I’m unhappy. She doesn’t approve of love, either.”

“I’ve always been in love, every time, even if I never said it,” Sherlock whispered.

Moriarty’s face twisted in a sneer. “But this time you bonded with that disgusting little man, and now nothing will ever be the same between us. Not unless I can change it.”

“What do you mean, change it?”

Moriarty grinned at him. “I created this little games, Sherlock, all for you. The bombs, the pool, the kidnapping, the missing painting, the break-ins. All of it, for you. Just to get you out to play, to make it like old times. But then you had to go and ruin it with your stupid sentimentality and your little bit on the side⎯” Sherlock’s hands clenched at that, and Moriarty’s grin grew wider, “⎯and so I had to resort to drastic measures. Once you’d bonded with your pet, I asked my mother to bring me back, and she was all too happy to let me ruin your happiness, as hers has been destroyed. I came back, I let big brother catch me, made him tell me your life story, and then set all of this into motion.”

“This is all because you were jealous?”

“Oh, I wouldn’t call it jealousy,” Moriarty purred, “more like maintaining our status quo. Glad you remembered how the story goes. Good choice, choosing a tall building. Makes it easier.”

“Makes it easier⎯ah, yes. My suicide. Disgraced detective jumps rather than face a lifetime of irrelevancy.” Sherlock paused, looked down at his feet, fingers running over the small rubber ball still clenched in his fist. One thumb rubbed at the small mic he’d hidden in his cuff⎯if all went to plan, Molly should be able to get the recording from the small box he’d left in the morgue and use it to clear everything up.

John sprang out of the taxi when it stopped in front of Speedy’s. He didn’t even register that there were no police cars, no ambulances, nothing outside the flat as he barreled through the door, nearly running into Mrs. Husdon.

Who was healthy and whole and lecturing him on scaring a body half to death.

Oh, God, no. Sherlock! John thought as he started to back away.

“John? Has Sherlock sorted everything out with the police?”

“I…I don’t know. I’ve got to go. Stay inside, though, until we get back, yeah?” He glanced down at the bloke who had been in and out replacing the wainscoting in Mrs. Hudson’s flat before he nodded at Mrs. Hudson and ran out the door.

“Taxi!” John shouted at the cab that pulled up across the street. He sprinted for it, nearly shoving the man the cab had originally stopped for out of the way, crying, “Police!” as he flung himself into the cab.

“St. Bart’s,” he barked to the cabbie, “As fast as you can, please.”

Sherlock turned back at the edge of the roof, staring down Moriarty, who was examining his fingernails, seemingly unconcerned. “I can still prove you created a false identity, that all of Kitty’s story is fake.”

Moriarty rolled his eyes. “Oh, just kill yourself. Much easier.”

Sherlock stared at him, mind racing.

“Pleeeeaaaase?” Moriarty whined.

Sherlock grabbed him by the collar and held him out over the edge. “You’re insane,” he spat, fingers curled into the fabric.

“You’re just getting that?” Moriarty drawled, seemingly unconcerned that he was being held over a drop that would kill him if Sherlock let go. “Let me give you a little more incentive.”

Sherlock frowned at him.

“All your friends will die if you don’t.”

A wave of ice-cold panic crashed through Sherlock’s chest, making his heart thud loudly in his ears. “John,” he whispered, swallowing thickly around his husband’s name.

“Not just John,” Moriarty grinned, “Mrs. Hudson, that DI you’re so fond of. All three of them will die. Three bullets, three snipers. Nothing will stop them except…”

“Seeing me die,” Sherlock finished, staring out over Moriarty’s shoulder.

“Genius, isn’t it?”

“I die in disgrace, and your little story comes true.” He backed away from the edge, dragging the smaller man in his grasp back with him.

“Kills two birds with one stone,” Moriarty said, sniggering at his pun. “Now, go on. Off you pop.” He stood aside, sweeping one arm towards the roof. “Oh, and don’t think, Sherlock, that your little birdy trick will keep you and your little pets safe. The snipers know what to look for.”

Sherlock, staring straight ahead of him, eyes unfocused, stepped up onto the roof edge. His heart was pounding so loudly that he nearly didn’t hear what Moriarty was saying.

“Your death is the only thing that’s gonna call off the snipers. I’m certainly not going to be the one to do it.” Moriarty clapped his hands together with glee. “So go on, be noble and self-sacrificing and all that tripe. Do it.”

Sherlock looked down at him. “Would you…would you give me a moment of privacy, please?”

Moriarty rolled his eyes but stepped back a bit. Sherlock looked out over the rooftops of the city he loved so dearly, searching for one particular person⎯ah, there she was. Mother was there, as she said she would be, watching him from a rooftop just across the way. He gave her a tiny nod and started to think. If there was any way he could get out of this to spare John the pain of having their bond hidden and his husband apparently dead, he would do it. Then, as he replayed Moriarty’s words, he started to laugh.

“What? What did I miss?” Moriarty spluttered as Sherlock turned around and stepped off the edge.

I’m not going to call off the snipers? That means that you can⎯there’s some code word you’ve got to recall them.” He started to circle around Moriarty, sing-songing, “I don’t have to die, if I’ve got you.”

“You think you can make me call them off? There is nothing on this earth that would make me do that.”

“Yes,” Sherlock whispered, “Yes, I can. And you know it.”

“Sherlock, not even your brother and all of his minions could make me do something I didn’t want to do.”

“But I’m not my brother, am I? I am you⎯I am prepared to do anything to protect the people I love. Do you want me to shake hands with you in front of your mother’s gate? I shall not disappoint you.”

For the first time, Moriarty looked nervous. “Naah, you wouldn’t. You’re one of them⎯you’re on the side of the angels.”

Sherlock went in for the kill, leaning in close enough to map out the capillaries in the whites of Moriarty’s eyes. “Oh, I may be on the side of the angels, but don’t think for one second that I am one of them.” He let a smile slip out. “You have no idea the lengths I’d go to to protect what’s mine. You’ve no concept of what the mere thought of losing a bond will do to a man.”

They locked eyes for a long moment, gauging the other’s sincerity. Moriarty was the first to blink, to pull back a little and whisper, “No, you’re not. You are me.”

Sherlock watched him warily as Moriarty held out his hand.

“You are me. Thank you. Thank you, Sherlock Holmes.”

Sherlock shook his hand, still eyeing the other man warily.

“As long as I’m alive, you’ve still got a chance to save your pets. Well, good luck with that” Moriary said, pulling Sherlock in tighter as he reached into his pocket with his free hand, pulling out a gun and aiming it into his own mouth. Sherlock recoiled in horror as Moriarty pulled the trigger and dropped to the ground, blood pouring from the back of his head.

Sherlock spun away, hands clenched tightly in his hair as he sought out his mother again. He met her eye, and then looked down. A cab was pulling up across from Bart’s’ entrance, and John was stepping out of the cab. Sherlock fumbled for his mobile, pressing the button to dial John. Just as John turned away from the cabbie’s window, his phone started ringing.



“Hey, Sherlock, you okay?”

“Turn around and walk back the way you came now. Please.” Sherlock heard his voice start to crack, and held firm.

“No, I’m coming in.”

Sherlock nearly dropped the mobile, his fingers were sharking so badly. “Just do as I ask. Please.”

John turned back, looking a bit lost as he walked back towards where the cab had dropped him off. “Where?”

“Stop there. Right there.”

“Sherlock?” John stopped in his tracks and started looking around. He was standing nearly directly under Mother, now, who was still perched on the roof across from Sherlock. She’d promised not to interfere, but Sherlock could see her distress from here.

John was not supposed to be here.

But he was, and Sherlock was oddly glad. He took a deep breath and said, “Okay, look up. I’m on the rooftop.”

“Oh God.” John’s voice was horrified, but there was a trickle of denial there, too.

“I ... I ... I can’t come down, so we’ll ... we’ll just have to do it like this.”

Now John’s hand was clenching⎯he could see it moving even from up here. “What’s going on?”

Sherlock closed his eyes briefly. Here was the hard part. “An apology. It’s all true.”

“Wh-what?” John swallowed down the thousand questions he wanted to ask. “What’s all true?”

“Everything they said about me. I invented Moriarty.” He turned to glance over his shoulder at Moriarty’s body, lying still and cold on the roof behind him.

“Why are you saying this?”

At the despair in John’s voice (Please, God, don’t let him remember how tour story ends⎯he has to believe I’m gone. Oh, John, I’m sorry, forgive me please. I have to keep you safe I have to I have to I have to), Sherlock finally let the tears that were threatening break his voice. “I’m a fake.”

John was shaking his head. “Sherlock ...”

“The newspapers were right all along. I want you to tell Lestrade; I want you to tell Mrs. Hudson, and Molly ... in fact, tell anyone who will listen to you that I created Moriarty for my own purposes.”

John was shaking his head even more vehemently now. “Okay, shut up, Sherlock, shut up. I’ve known you for all of our lives. I know you, Sherlock Holmes. You’ve always known everything about me, without me ever having to tell you.”

“Nobody could be that clever.”

“You could. You are.”

Sherlock let himself laugh fondly at John’s insistence at always seeing the best in him. “I researched you. Every time, before we met, I discovered everything that I could to impress you. It’s a trick. Just a magic trick.”

John closed his eyes. “No. Stop it. I won’t believe that, and I never will.” He started to walk towards the entrance, wishing that everyone would just go away so he could change and fly up to his husband, pull him away from the edge.

Sherlock’s voice took on an edge of panic as he cried, “No, stay exactly where you are. Don’t move!”

John stopped and backed up, hand held up in appeasement. His wedding band caught the light and glinted. “All right. All right, sorry.”

Near frantic now, knowing the sniper would be aiming, that his finger might already be on the trigger, Sherlock reached out himself. He let his panic seep into his voice as he begged John, “Keep your eyes fixed on me. Please, will you do this for me?” John had to see him fall, as cruel as it was, to make him believe, to make his grief real, to keep him safe.

“Do what?”

“This phone call – it’s, er ... it’s my note. It’s what people do, don’t they – leave a note?”

John started shaking his head again, pulling the phone away from his ear for a moment as he started to understand what Sherlock was intending to do. “Leave a note when?” he asked, stupidly, hoping that he’d read this wrong, that Sherlock wasn’t⎯

“Goodbye, John.”

“No. Don’t.” John froze in place, panic and fear and sheer, absolute terror flooding his system as he locked eyes with his husband, begging him with his entire body not to do this.

Sherlock looked down at him for a long moment (it’s the last time, so much to say, no time no time), then dropped his phone behind him and looked straight ahead, lowering his eyes at Mother.

John dropped his own phone from his ear and screamed Sherlock’s name even as Sherlock hesitated, then spread his arms and fell forward, plummeting to the ground.

John was rooted to the spot, unable to force his muscles to move. He watched in utter horror as his husband, coat rippling around him, fell to the earth.

John held his breath, waiting for Sherlock to change and fly away.

But he kept falling, coat flapping like grotesque wings and then...and then…

John would never forget the sound of his husband’s body (that’s all it is now, just a body) slapping onto the concrete.

John would never forget how Sherlock’s eyes (still open, still open, God, they were still so piercing) seemed to look right through him as they rolled him over.

John would never forget the smell of his husband’s blood as it coated his scarf (God, how would he ever get that out of Sherlock’s scarf and coat?) and ran down his forehead.

John would never forget not feeling the bird-fast pulse under his fingertips (he’s still warm, he has to be in there, somewhere, he has to oh Sherlock oh God no no no nonono) as he reached out and held on to his husband’s wrist.

But most of all, John would never forget the absolute terror and terrible emptiness he’d felt when Sherlock landed and half of his soul was abruptly torn from his body. It felt as if ice had been poured into him, spreading itself out to insinuate itself in all of the cracks and crevices of his body. Sherlock had told him, after John had come back from the dead himself, that when John had been gone, he’d felt as if he’d never be warm again, and John understood, now, wholly, what Sherlock had meant.

His heart was sluggish and heavy in his chest and his soul was screaming in agony as he managed to stand up and watch as they wheeled Sherlock away. He wondered, vaguely, where Mum was, and if he should tell her, or if she already knew. As he forced his feet to move, to follow his husband’s body into the hospital, he wondered, vaguely, how much longer he could stand the agony of being torn in two.

part xxv



March 2013

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