Any Other Kind Of Hate

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The day went on just like the last, and the next day went just like the previous. John fought the battles he needed to fight; he made his competitors look like tragic idiots and humiliated them to the best of his abilities. Some actually came very close to straight up shish kabobing him on their swords, but thankfully John was too quick for that. He didn't actually make any strikes with his sword; in fact John didn't even think he needed a weapon out there to beat these men. All he needed was his speed, agility, and laughter. John was quickly becoming the fan favorite; his tent that had once been deserted was now swimming with fans, all waiting around after his fights for autographs and stuff like that. John just smiled at them, signed what they wanted signed, talked a little bit, and thanked them for their support, but it was still mind-blowing that they would actually care. He tried to be as nice as possible when he pushed them away, because as much as he loved his fans he really needed some privacy. Another great thing about winning these matches was that Sherlock was winning his, and soon it became apparent that they were both going to end up going to the final round. There were no competitors that were quick enough or humble enough to get kicked around by John or bribed by Sherlock, and as soon as the bell rang in John's final match on the third day, he knew he was going to the finals. His day had finally come where he was going to make that poor prince cry. But John couldn't help but feel guilty. As he felt with this whole assassination thing, he felt as though he wasn't going to be able to do it, he kind of wanted to spare the prince the pain. He had a good point, of course; he was doing all of this for his kingdom, and Sherlock showed up to every single one of John's matches to support him. He looked so happy to see John successful; John doubted his entire plan of action every time he saw Sherlock beaming over the crowd. But he had to think back to when they first met, to when Sherlock treated him like dirt, to when he forced him in the stocks, and suddenly that anger became clear again, suddenly John hungered for revenge once more. John also learned that the champion of this tournament would not only get money, but a celebration. There was to be a royal ball held in the winner's honor, and the winner, whether that be Sherlock or John, was going to have to bring a woman and dance and all of that stuff. John didn't really like the sound of that, not only did he not have formal attire but he didn't want to have to pick a woman to dance with. Not that he wasn't interested in a beautiful woman of course, just that he didn't really, well, he didn't really feel like it. He'd much rather have a servant's celebration in the servant's quarters than drink fancy wine and talk to boring people about nothing. When John's final battle became his latest victory the stands erupted din massive cheers, everyone rose to their feet, clapping and screaming in admiration. John did a victory lap around the arena, clapping as many hands as he could reach and prancing around like an idiot. He then ran to the middle of the arena and jumped for joy, making sure that everyone knew he was completely psyched to go to the final. No one ever believed he would actually make it, John never believed he would actually make it, it was some sort of insane miracle that now he was a finalist. And then, not thirty minutes later, it was made official that Sherlock would be reaching the finals as well, but there was a lot less clapping. It was very obvious who the fans were cheering for this year, and John knew that he had now won the tournament. Unless Sherlock somehow made himself into a sword fighting master overnight, John was going to win in the finals the next year because he would never take any gold, nor any bribe that prince had to offer. That night the servant's celebrations were louder and more intoxicated than any night previous, everyone was already certain that John would be victorious; they knew how much of a sham Sherlock Holmes was. John didn't drink, as usual, but he certainly wasn't going to ignore all of the festivities that the people were having. There was music, dancing, and John was being treated as though he were some sort of hero. The servants draped him in one of the woolen blankets like a cape, and he spent the night talking and singing and having a grand old time. Greg was leading the songs, swaying on his feet and chortling out some twisted, drunken version of an old folk song. The rest of the men joined in, as did John, and they were all having a grand old time. But as soon as the song was getting loud, there was a knock on the door, and everyone hushed.
"EVERYONE PRETEND WE'RE NOT HERE! BE REALLY QUIET!" screamed a man from the back, louder than John could even fathom.
"Who is it?" Greg wondered quietly. Everyone that should be here was here, so everyone was confused as to who wanted to come in. John, of course, knew that there was only one person who would want to see any of the servants, probably come with a little deal.
"Come in!" John called. The door swung open and, of course, Sherlock walked in. He was dressed formally, with his cape swaying behind his feet. He looked very impressive, walking into the servants quarters as if he owned the place, which technically he kind of did. All the men immediately sat down on their beds, trying to kick their mugs of beer out of eye sight, trying to act like they were doing nothing but chatting aimlessly. They all gave Sherlock rather nasty looks, knowing that he was the only thing in the way of John winning tomorrow, as small of an obstacle he was, he was still considered a threat. Soon John, Greg, and a couple of other servants were the only ones standing. The ones that wanted to oppose Sherlock as much as possible and the ones who were too drunk to notice they were in the presence of royalty.
"Hello Sherlock." John said, breaking the tangible silence that hung over the servant's quarters like a fog.
"John, I came to have a word." Sherlock said rather obviously, casting disapproving looks to where the men wobbled on their beds, laughing to themselves like mad men.
"You can have two words from me!" One of the men said, and proceeded to say something to Sherlock that you should never say to a prince. He chuckled absentmindedly, cackling on his bed while the rest of the servants howled with laughter. Sherlock, however, didn't seem to notice, which was very unlike him. Usually he would lock up anyone who dare disgrace his royal name.
"Would you like to take a walk?" Sherlock wondered, walking closer to where John stood. The servants were now grabbing at his cape, trying to play with the fabric as it billowed behind him. Sherlock paid them no attention.
"Yes, well, um...not really." John admitted, looking around at all the fun he had been having previously.
"It's alright if you don't, I just, well we haven't seen each other in a while that's all." Sherlock admitted. It was true, ever since their awkward nighttime conversation the two hadn't talked to each other and that was very odd considering somehow Sherlock managed to run into John all over the castle.
"You go ahead John, it's alright." Greg assured, his way of saying you better go with him so that he doesn't behead us all. John sighed heavily, but stepped closer to Sherlock, who looked down on him proudly.
"Thank you." Sherlock said with a smile, staring out the door with long strides, his cape looking much more impressive than the woolen blanket tied around John's shoulders.                       

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