The Dead Man Walking

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When they finally made it back to the castle Sherlock was able to present the animals proudly (they gave proper warning about the insane raccoon). Everyone thought that he had been the one to shoot them and they were all very proud, yet no one seemed to be able to notice the beautiful arrangement of flowers in his pocket. This left Sherlock just enough time to pop into the dining room and announce he wasn't hungry, since his mother and brother had just sat down. He needed to get changed and pretty himself up for his visit with John. It didn't take much preparation of course, he didn't wear the cape or the crown or any sort of noble clothing. Just a simple purple cotton shirt and black pants, he decided that it was appropriate enough to face John. Sherlock made sure to brush his hair very nicely, examining himself in the mirror and tying a nice yellow ribbon around the flowers that he had picked for John. This was the night; this might be the only night that truly mattered in his pathetic life. This was the night that he was either going to have his first kiss, have his first boyfriend, or the night that he lost everything. He could become the happiest man in the world or the most miserable all in the next hour. But he had to think optimistically, John wanted to talk to him, he was the one that set it up, he had even mentioned his own happy thoughts, this had to be right, this had to go in Sherlock's favor. Right now John was the only person that mattered, right now Sherlock could care less about every other living human on earth. So he made his way down to the throne room, knowing that when he got there it would be empty, but that left him plenty of time to set himself up and be prepared for John's arrival. He pushed open the wooden side door and walked into the darkened hall, the magnificent marble room echoing every footstep he took, even his exhales seemed to be louder as the nervous breath escaped his body. This was it. Every other torch was lit on the banisters, to shed just enough light in the throne room so that the statues of past kings wouldn't be engulfed in darkness. There was no sunlight to stream in through the massive stain glass windows, and the beautiful glass murals loomed eerily above the darkened thrones. However there was a certain mysterious magic to the hall, a sense of peace and quietness that Sherlock had never felt before while walking down this velvet carpet. The four thrones stood empty before him, all made out of gold and jewels, the tallest and most magnificent of them all waiting for him when he arrived. The king's throne, a chair he had never been able to sit in until tonight, a chair that reserved for him and him alone, for he was the king of Lauriston. Sherlock approached it, the usually gleaming gold looking almost bronze as the darkness reflected off of its polished metal. Sherlock stared at it for a moment, and seemed like all of the statues of the kings stared back, waiting for him to seat himself in the chair made only for the most powerful man in the kingdom. That was him now, he had all of the power, all of the authority, he was king, and this was his throne. Sherlock took a deep breath, turning towards the empty and darkened hall and seating himself magnificently in the throne, putting his arms on the sides and sitting as tall and powerful as possible. The velvet cushions absorbed his weight but the chill of the gold ran shivers down his spine. This chair reeked of power and absorbed weakness, any man who sat on the throne of Lauriston had not only power but responsibility. Sherlock stared at the kings and the kings stared back, the shadows playing over their faces so that it almost looked like they were frowning. Sherlock took a deep breath. He was the king now. He set the flowers on the queen's throne, craning his neck and looking around to see if John were lurking in any of the shadows, watching him as he took his rightful place on the throne. But no, John was nowhere to be found, he was late, if he was even coming at all. 

John POV: John was on his way to go see Sherlock, or at least, he had been. He made sure his hair looked excellent, he made sure that his clothes were properly ironed and that his face looked clean and kissable. Everything was perfect, he was going to say yes, he knew that much. Sherlock deserved a man to love, he deserved none other than John Watson, the man he longed for the most, and John deserved him as well. Together they were going to be happy, and tonight they were going to spark that happiness and ignite a fire of love. John was just on his way to the throne room when someone grabbed him from the hallway, pulling him roughly into what looked like a broom closet, and put their hand over his mouth. John squirmed desperately, trying to kick and fight his way out, but this unknown stranger was strong, strong yet delicate.
"Shut up John, do you want us both to get caught?" hissed a voice, a feminine voice that John recognized.
"Molly?" John muttered under her hand. Finally the hand was ripped away from his mouth and for a moment there was silence, the stranger was doing something in the darkness. Suddenly a match was lit not two feet away from his face, and he saw in the flickering light of the flame that it wasn't Molly, but Irene, looking livid.
"Irene, what are you doing?" John wondered, and she shook her head in annoyance, her dangling earrings swaying this way and that.
"You don't think they might be listening? Victor's lurking the halls, him and his guards, every minute of every day, we can't talk anywhere but here." Irene insisted. "Hold this." She demanded, shoving the match into his fingers so that she could fish out an envelope from her pocket.
"King Moriarty wrote this morning, he's not happy with you John, not at all." She insisted. John was struck with fear; he had completely forgotten about this whole mission, he was so caught up with loving Sherlock that he had forgotten about killing him.
"What do you mean he's not happy, what have I done wrong? I'm doing what you all asked me to, I'm getting closer to Sherlock, I was on my way to see him just now." John insisted.
"In the throne room?" Irene wondered doubtfully. "That is where you're headed, am I right?"
"Yes, yes, he wanted to see me." John agreed, holding the flame up higher so that he could see the disappointed look on her face.
"The whole point of this whole thing was to keep the Holmes family off of the thrones; as soon as Sherlock became killed you failed part one. Moriarty said that Mary has done a good job, she has one more royal to kill and her family is freed. Your family, however, is desperate. They're starving John, thirsty, tired, they're sleeping in the stone dungeons, freezing and fatigued, and you keep stalling. Moriarty gives you one week, if Sherlock Holmes isn't dead by one week, then he starts with your mother." Irene warned.
"He can't kill them, I'm trying, I'm doing all that I can!" John insisted.
"Don't get attached to them John, you continue to make that mistake." Irene warned.
"I'm not attached at all." John snapped, even though he was just on his way to admit his feelings to the man he should be murdering.
"You have a week John, I suggest you use it." Irene insisted, and John sighed in agreement. There was nothing he could do to save his family except comply to her wishes, so that would be what he was going to do. But not now, she was ruining the moment.
"Alright, alright, I will." John agreed, handing the match back to her and fixing his hair once more. "Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go visit the dead man walking." And with that he opened the door and stormed out into the deserted hallway, making his way down to the throne room where he knew Sherlock was waiting. 

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