A Golden Victory

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The time before John's match faded away very slowly, but together the three of them (and Billy, who seemed to materialize out of nowhere as soon as he noticed them leaving) made their way up to the stands. Thankfully none of the people noticed that it was them, and Sherlock and his makeshift friends were able to sneak into the very back of the stands without too much drama. Times like these made it rather hard to be famous, when you just wanted to be there for entertainment but people were fainting at the sight of you. It was a good problem to have, but all the same, it was a problem. The tail end of the more recent fight was still going on, big men with long, thick swords were smashing their blades around at each other, blocking with their shields and trying to body slam the other to the ground. It was a very brutal match, but the spectators seemed to love it. Finally when the bigger man managed to knock the other off balance, he pinned the other with his foot and was declared the winning, smiling to the crowd as they cheered and made this huge fuss. Billy cheered with them as well, but after getting three stern looks from his companions he silenced, deciding there was no use to cheer for people he hardly knew.
"Up next we have Knight Evans from the kingdom of Valhalla, and then we have John Watson, a servant from the Adler kingdom." The announcer said loudly, almost with a tone of amusement to his voice. Sherlock couldn't help but feel a nervous twist in his stomach, hoping that John didn't get beaten too badly on his first match. Then again, something told him that John would be fine; he was a lot more qualified than most of these people gave him credit for. There were massive cheers from one end of the stands, and a brute looking man entered from one of the large entrances, all armored up and ready to fight. He looked tough yet had an air of stupidity, even from here. Sherlock frowned when he saw this man, knowing that he was going to be the one who was going to try to defeat John. From the other entrance marched John, looking very small and unimpressive in comparison, with his old armor and messy hair. There was a much quieter cheer from the crowd, but all four of them clapped politely. Sherlock watched John as he made his way towards his competitor into the middle of the arena, looking nervous and very small. The Knight looked about two heads taller than John and about twice as wide, looking down on his competitor with a pleased smile, as if deciding already that he had this in the bag. They shook hands, John wincing as if the other man squeezed his hand just a bit too hard. Sherlock twiddled with his sword even more, worried not for his own sake but for John's, who looked as if he didn't have a chance. Sherlock couldn't even imagine what was going through John's head right now, probably fear beyond belief.
"That poor kid doesn't stand a chance, good thing you got a last word in before he's killed with one blow." Irene muttered with a sly smile, making Sherlock frown.
"I think he's got a chance, he's better than he looks." Sherlock decided, but even he knew that was a lie.
"Well I certainly hope he survives, for your sake." Irene muttered, and Sherlock looked at her in confusion. Whatever he was going to say, however, was cut off by a cheer of the crowd, the men were putting on their helmets and raising their swords, taking a couple of steps apart. A bell was struck and the match began, the two circling each other with quick feet. John was definitely quicker than the other man, more agile because of his size, and Sherlock only hoped that he would use that to his advantage.
"Here we go." Molly muttered, chewing on her painted fingernails nervously. The knight made the first move, striking at John's head, to which he ducked and knocked the sword out of the way, making the other man stumble backwards in shock. He regained his balance quickly, going in for a stab, but John just jumped out of the way again, spinning out of the other man's sword reach and trying to body slam him to the ground. Unfortunately the knight was simply too heavy, and John bounced lightly off, getting thrown to the ground himself.
"Oh dear, this is it!" Molly exclaimed horrifically, and Sherlock almost screamed in horror. The knight was closing in fast; John was on the ground, his sword clutched almost uselessly in his hands. But somehow, John was quicker, and as the man raised his sword to strike John jumped to his feet, prancing around the man and kicking the back of his knees from behind. The man instantly fell to his knees, to which John jumped on his back, holding down the man's sword arm with his leg and holding his blade to the man's neck, just in case he tried anything funny. There was a moment of silence and Sherlock could hardly breathe, not knowing if John had done the most intelligent thing or the most pathetic. But no, the bell rung, and even though John won through obscene methods, he still ended up winning. This time Sherlock's cheers joined the rest of the crowd, many people getting to their feet in excitement. Sherlock got to his feet as well, clapping loudly and cheering on John carelessly, for a moment he didn't mind what Irene or Molly thought of him, John had just won his first match in this tournament, he had done it. John tore off his helmet, falling to the dirt and dropping his sword, jumping around like an excited little kid, the smile on his face evident even from where Sherlock sat in the top of the stands.
"HE DID IT, HE DID IT!" Sherlock yelled happily, running down the stands to the exit without waiting for any of his friends. The crowd was still cheering as John left the arena, joined immediately by a large crowd of servants, all clogging up the exit so that Sherlock could barely get through to see the champion. All of the servants were cheering and carrying on like complete hooligans, screaming and whooping and trapping John in a massive group hug. None of the other victors had gotten any of this, Sherlock had never gotten any of this in all eight years he had actually won the tournament, and John had won one round and they were acting the he had single handedly saved the world. Sherlock lingered at the edge of the crowd and not one servant even noticed him. If they did they hardly cared, they were so focused on John that even royalty was irrelevant. Suddenly the crowd moved in, and John bubbled on their shoulders, looking terrified yet thrilled, his hair sweaty and messed up from being trapped in that helmet. He looked honored, he looked excited, he looked...beautiful. And finally John looked down on Sherlock, turning his gaze to the prince standing off to the side, their eyes meeting rather awkwardly. Sherlock couldn't help but smile, nodding in appreciation, and John smiled right back, smiling as if they were more than sworn enemies. Smiling as if they shared more than a common hatred. The eye contact was short lived, however, because the servants started to move him away, carrying him off to his tent in a royal precession. Sherlock was left standing in the grass, feeling rather awkward now that he was unable to congratulate John, he had nothing to do with this pent up emotion, all of these feelings that were now buried inside of him.
"Sherlock would you stop running off?" Molly asked, running up to him and breathing heavily, watching as the remainder of John's little parade faded off into the sea of tents.
"He won." Sherlock muttered, as if Molly didn't realize that already.
"That kid has some serious fight in him." Irene decided, sounding impressed.
"Are you even allowed to do that in a sword fight?" Billy asked, appearing at Sherlock's side. As usual, he got three glares, and he silenced himself, not wanting to ruin the mood.
"I don't care what he can or can't do, he won." Sherlock decided, not bothering to hide the awe in his voice.
"Maybe you're right to consider him a worthy competitor." Irene muttered. Sherlock nodded, giving her a little 'I told you so' smile before walking off to his tent, hearing the cheering of the servant's tent from here. John was getting quite a show; obviously they had never expected him to make it past round one. No one did, actually, especially when they saw his competition. John's fighting style was like nothing Sherlock had ever seen, he was impressive, he was mind blowing. It made Sherlock smile just thinking about the happiness John was probably feeling, the feeling of a victory well earned. Sherlock had never felt that, he had never truly deserved any of the victories he had received. John was better fitted for his crown than Sherlock was.                         

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