Sherlock Holmes, Original Male Character, Sebastian Moran
Additional Tags: Post-Reichenbach, Fighting, RussiaSummary:
“There is no such thing as a fair fight. All vulnerabilities must be exploited.”
Russia is cold.Notes:
Written in about four hours over a couple of days, in between job training and homework, because I've been dying to begin a series of vignettes about Sherlock's time away and now seemed like a good time to start. On AO3
Russia is cold, its bars are dimly lit, and wherever Sherlock finds himself a cloying desperation hangs in the air. Sherlock hunkers over his glass and watches the man across the bar out of the corner of his eye. They are alone in the establishment-- it’s late, and the bartender disappeared a minute earlier at a nod from Sherlock’s companion. Mikhail Radovilsky is a hulking man with an aura of danger that keeps others at bay, though Sherlock rather suspects it’s his connection to a crime ring that had the bartender fleeing. It’s why he’s here; after the wild goose chase in Prague, a new lead on one of the assassins came to Sherlock through whispers and notes, tracing back to a particular Russian mob. Radovilsky may be Sherlock’s weak link in.
Sherlock watches as Radovilsky drains his drink and stands, lumbering towards Sherlock. A heavy hand lands on his shoulder.
“You look familiar. We’ve met before?”
Sherlock takes a sip of his vodka and shakes his head. “No, I don’t think so.”
The hand tightens. “Oh, I think we have. Come, we’ll catch up somewhere more pleasant.”
Alarm shivers under Sherlock’s skin, warning bells going off in the back of his mind. Sherlock stands and shrugs his way out from under Radovilsky’s hand. “You’re mistaken.”
“I think I am not, Sherlock Holmes.” Radovilsky cracks a smile. “You did not do such a good job at hiding as you thought.”
Ice trickles down Sherlock’s spine at the words. No. How? No-one should have known, he was dead. Gone.
“Who?” he demands, stepping close. “Who told you? Who hired you?” It couldn’t have been the mob; Sherlock checked, double checked, was certain that no-one knew who he was. That no-one in the whole of Russia suspected.
Radovilsky laughs. “Doesn’t matter. You’ll be dead, soon. So will your friends,” he says confidently, reaching for the gun Sherlock knows is tucked in his waistband; when it appears Sherlock wrenches it from Radovilsky’s grip and hurls it away, then lands a blow to Radovilsky’s gut. He can hear his pulse in his ears, adrenaline fueling his strength.
Radovilsky grabs the bottle Sherlock had ordered and smashes it against his head; Sherlock’s fist connects with Radovilsky’s nose with a crunch as his vision blurs. Sherlock holds on to consciousness with grim determination, disengaging and taking a few steps back. Radovilsky follows; they clash in a flurry of uppercuts, jabs to unprotected flesh, and muttered curses. Sherlock has lost track of who has the advantage by the time he falls through the window after a kick from Radovilsky sends him spinning; his only thought is to pull Radovilsky along with him and shut his eyes.
Glass shatters as they fly through the window, collapsing onto the pavement amongst the shards. Sherlock lands on top and fire courses through his veins as he wraps his hands around Radovilsky’s neck, pressing down with unexpected strength. Radovilsky bares his teeth, grasping, and thrashes underneath him; it’s a lucky boot to the ribs that throws Sherlock off balance, and they roll into the road, grappling for dominance.
“Tell me,” Sherlock growls. Radovilsky punches him in the mouth and Sherlock tastes blood.
Radovilsky swears heavily in Russian when Sherlock retaliates. “No.”
Sherlock reclaims the top position and stares down into Radovilsky’s dark, cold eyes, and lets the deductions slip from his mouth. “You have a wife and two children, one who’s named after you. Your wife is six months pregnant, but you don’t know if it’s a boy or girl because you wanted to be surprised. She knows what you do, but not the extent of it.” Sherlock lets his right hand creep back and down his leg, still talking. “She doesn’t know that the man who sent you gave an ultimatum, that the comfortable house they spend their days in is being watched by sharks.” There. The weight of the knife Sherlock pulls from his boot is familiar, as is the flash of steel as he presses it to Radovilsky’s neck. “You’ve failed. How long do you think it will take them to find out?”
Radovilsky’s features twist with fear and rage, and struggles against Sherlock’s grip. Sherlock reminds him of the knife with a gentle nudge and a sharp elbow to the solar plexus that leaves Radovilsky gasping.
“Tell me what I want to know, and maybe you’ll have enough time to get them to safety.”
“It was all through phone calls, emails! I don’t--”
Sherlock presses the knife down harder, until a bit of blood wells up from the point. Radovilsky stares up at him with wide eyes. Sherlock drags the knife, making a shallow cut, and the Russian swallows sharply. His gaze searches Sherlock’s before he licks his lips.
“Sebastian Moran,” he says. Sherlock quirks his mouth with satisfaction, then runs fingers down on each side of Radovilsky’s neck, finding the beat of blood that marks the carotid and squeezing; his pulse gets weaker under the pressure, and Sherlock watches cognizance fade from Radovilsky’s eyes.
When Radovilsky’s breathing evens out with unconsciousness, Sherlock stands; the knife is slipped back into its holster in Sherlock’s boot. He doesn’t spare a glance at Radovilsky as he abandons him, focused on melting into the dark, becoming unseen.
“Sebastian Moran,” Sherlock whispers to himself. It’s only a name. After a year of dingy alleys and close calls, a year as a dead man, that’s all he’s unearthed. Not a face, or location, not a body in front of him. It doesn’t matter. Those shall come in time.
The game is on.