Aye, they have.

“..why?” Inspector Greg Lestrade leans forward in his chair and holds his hands in fists in front of his mouth.

“Why Jim Moriarty?” Sebastian smirks. It’s a familiar question. “Long answer, or short answer?”

“Short answer,” the detective inspector replies effortlessly.

“There is no short answer,” the colonel replies just as smoothly, just as emphatically.

“Okay then, go on.” Greg frowns with a natural empathy, but unfortunately the man he is sitting across from is the second most dangerous man in London.

“I met Jim,” he pauses, walking through the tracks of his memories. “In this pub in Dublin. Was gambling a bit, trying to make a quid.” He doesn’t say that he’d done that every day for a few weeks before he met Jim and sometimes didn’t feel like leaving the hotel room.

“Didn’t even see him come in. But there he was – suddenly, in his little grey suit and wolf’s head tie pin and, it felt like,” Seb’s tone heightens as though he was making a proposal. “Felt like he’d been watchin’ me my whole life.”

“But he doesn’t sit down. Jus’ walks up to us, sort of lingering a bit, and then he says I’m going to give you nightmares.

“…nightmares?” Greg raises a brow as if he wants a question answered, then just shakes his head because he realised he didn’t.

“‘N I got up, out of my chair, and I followed him.” Because the tiger, and the pirates, and the IEDS and the wives and the husbands and the guns and the scars are not enough and never will be enough.

Because the darkness in Jim’s eyes – gunpowder black, his sing-song voice, his little Irish lilt, his giggle had infiltrated every single one of his senses, his memories, his thoughts, his dreams and made it so that he couldn’t forget, couldn’t…

Couldn’t relax or unwind without waiting for the hairs to raise up on the back of his neck, on his arms, couldn’t inhale without waiting for the breath to be caught in his chest. Couldn’t close his eyes without wanting to open them.

Why Jim Moriarty? Because Jim made him feel mortal.

“So – these nightmares – have they started yet?” Greg looks down at his notes and realises there’s nothing written on there apart from more unanswerable questions.

“Aye, they have, yeah.”

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