It took too long for everything to happen the way it did. Sebastian, standing in a quiet hotel room, lit up a cigarette in the dark of the room. In the window, London sprawled, city lights twinkling and casting shadows, stretching lampposts like fingers across the city streets. He watched the few cars slip their ways down the roads in the dead of night; few out at this time of morning. Cheeks hollowing, the Tiger sucked in the smoke to fill his lungs, feeling the warmth, the burn, mist deep in his chest.
James wanted to say something. Stomach-down on the bed, the sheets were drawn around his waist. He wanted to scorn the sniper for smoking, especially in a non-smoking room, but the Langham didn’t care, not when it was Moriarty footing the bill. Rolling slowly over onto his side, he stared at the blond’s back - riddled with scars, dragged with strawberry-red lines from the magpie’s claws. Yes, he wanted to say something, because smoking would kill the man, eventually, he knew.
And Jim wanted to keep Sebastian Moran around as long as he could.
Looking over his shoulder, Moran wanted to say something. He wanted to comment on how beautiful Jim looked in the dim lighting from the city outside. He wanted to tell him how ridiculous he looked with muffled hair and pink cheeks. But he didn’t. Instead, he turned back to look out.
James wanted to say something. His brown eyes tracing the hues of light on Moran’s body, catching bits of sweat with a glisten. He wanted to tell him how important he was, how he was more than just a hired hand, more than just a sniper. That he was a lover, a companion, a friend.
But he didn’t. Instead, he rolled over, facing away from Moran, to check his watch on the nightstand for the time.
Sebastian wanted to speak. He wanted to ask Jim to stay, to tell him that he could keep him warmer than any detective or plot could. But he didn’t. Smoke left his nostrils and billowed in the room, and he heard the rustle of sheets as Jim rose from the bed, and gathered his clothes, scattered like forgotten relics on the carpet.
As the criminal dressed, the sniper finished his cigarette, leaving it in an empty whiskey glass on the beside table, a tender hiss leaving as a few drops of liquor touched the burning tip. Crawling back into bed, Sebastian figured it would be a good place to sleep for the night.
And he wanted to ask James not to leave, but as the criminal toed on his shoes and glanced back, the room stayed silent. Moriarty, grabbing his jacket, shut the door on his way out.
In the hallway, with the door to his back, James grinned, and shook his head, making his way to the elevator.
In the room, with the sheets drawn around him, Sebastian smiled, and shook his head, rolling over to sleep soundly.