shinodabear: (sherlock: moriarty)
[personal profile] shinodabear
Title: All the Kings Horses
Summary: Celtic Myth/Sherlock fusion; Moriarty is the son of Macha. Some days, he gets tired of running. Sometimes, he has others do the running for him.
Characters/Pairing: Jim Moriarty, Jim's Younger Brother, Sebastian Moran, Sherlock Holmes; gen or Jim/Seb depending on how you want to read that
Rating/Warnings: PG; mythology AU, allusions of suicide (with a side of immortality)
Disclaimer: Just for fun.
A/N: If you're not familiar with Macha, wife of Crunniuc than this probably won't make sense. It may also behoove you to be familiar with the Puca and to know than the Moran family crest contains the Latin for, "shines in darkness." With that, you should be prepared for this. Unless you don't remember Jim's younger brother. In which case, he's mentioned in Valley of Fear.



His mother always told him that it wasn't that you ran fast, it was that you would always run faster than everyone else. But his mother had ran faster than the horses that day, and he (and his brother) were born at the finish line.

He finds the one called Moran as a black colt, shining in darkness, and together they run the world in circles. He takes the name "Moriarty" on a whim and together they race, his mind teamed with Moran's hooves. They run faster than the earth can turn; there was never any competition. Sometimes, he thinks, life just gets too boring.

He shoots himself in the head and it's fun for a time, but it doesn't stick. He grows tired of the Otherworld, and catches the last train to London. There, he finds his brother and they share a meal of bread and honey but their words for each other are anything but sweet.

"You left the Puck unbridled," his brother tells him as they pull away from a dismal, grey station. Years have passed; steam-powered machines have razed the land. "He hunts paper tigers now. In Burma."

"Even paper can cut you," Moriarty says, unconcerned.

He remembers when this land was forest; he doesn't care for these changes and so decides to leave.

"I was thinking of America." He liked the way the unrounded vowels felt on his tongue. "The Midwest. Home on the Range," he affects. He wants to wear blue jeans and spurs, wants to sit astride a horse and race across open land. He wants to dismount and run through the field until the horse is a speck in the distance. He feels the urge to run. His brother doesn't stop him.

So he goes.

When he returns to the so-called Heart of Britain, over a century later, he brings the stars with him. He'd thought he could've caught the asteroids if he could find them, but his feet were meant for the ground, not the air. The air was Moran's place.

Moran finds him when he returns, tracing the pattern of stars in the sky that no one can see because of the city. He's taken to a human shape, it seems, for the black wool coat he wears and the cashmere scarf wound around his neck rest comfortable on him as anything. "You came back," he says. "I came back," Moriarty replies, lowering his hand from the sky and stepping back. With the nod of his head, they walk forward together at a snail's pace, reacquainting themselves with each other and the world.

He pauses when he notices a scar across Moran's cheek. It is faded now but he can feel the anger behind it. "Did the tigers get you?" He swipes his fingers across Moran's cheek and frowns.

Behind them, a child laughs and calls them names, but when they turn to face him, the boy runs away. It would have been a challenge, if catching up to him had been challenging.

The next afternoon, Sebastian disguises himself as a young girl and slips into the natatorium where the boy is competing. Jim (a name he found in the New World) watches in the bleachers as the child struggles under the water. It may have been easy, but it was satisfying. He hadn't meant to stay in London, but London had other plans. For the first time in a long while, Jim smiles.


He feels Sherlock's curiosity before he sees it firsthand. It delights him as much as anything. There is the first mind in a long while that had ever try to catch up to him; the first mind in a long while that may just give him chase. In celebration, he removes his shoes and goes running through the streets. Lady Godiva did it naked, but he leaves the art to the women in the family. He runs laps around the old roads, the ones that no longer exist, relishing the feel of clothes rustling in the wind.

He calls for Moran when he is out of breath (three days later). "Moran, dear," he says as he gets into the car. "I believe we have ourselves a hunt. Shall we set the match?" The engine revs and they drive home.


Twenty years later, the game is over; the race is won. Sherlock was just another unworthy competitor after all. How disappointing. How boring. It ends, once again, with a gun to his head. He doesn't want to come back.


He doesn't need to. The mind is gone, but the muscle remains.

Moran follows Sherlock out of the graveyard as a crow. He isn't noticed. He follows Sherlock to the train station as a man. He isn't noticed. He travels with Sherlock across Europe as a gust of wind, with the faint hint of overripe blackberries. He is enjoyed, but not noticed. When Sherlock boards the train in Moscow, Moran slips into the conductor's car.

"The Trans-Siberian railroad is the longest in the world. Plenty of room to run. It suits you," he greets his almost-brother. They share a meal of bread and honey out of respect for the dead. They do not speak again until they pull into the station Sherlock Holmes selects as his destination.

"I'm afraid that he won't come back this time," he confesses as Holmes steps down on to the platform.

"You go and you bring him back," the surviving brother orders.

So he goes.

Moran could once run a girdle round the world in forty minutes (or so they said) but he found the greatest things came of hanging back and waiting. He could take the shape of a sniper's rifle and no fingerprints would ever be found. He takes the shape of Jim Moriarty instead, and makes his footfalls echo loudly five steps behind Holmes. Every fairy tale deserves a retelling.
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