Autumn froze when she heard that voice. That high pitched, mocking tone that had haunted her every night since that year. She could picture his face easily, every contour; the devious flash in his matching brown eyes that went all too well with his signature smirk. He was the reason for her anger. Her pain. Her revenge.
That year ago when one of her newest friends had committed suicide right when he was just showing her what it was like to finally ‘see’ like how he could see. To become a well rounded assistant to him that could think almost as cleverly and catch on just as quickly. And this man stripped her of all of that. Of all that she wanted to become for herself. For that man who jumped off the room.
She turned and faced Moriarty, her eyes glaring daggers at him just as she reached for the pistol at her hip. Her hand curled around the handle just as she pushed the strap holding it in place. Autumn didn’t pull out the weapon from its holster. Not yet. Rage darkened her face as she spoke in a threatening tone, “Now why would I ever have that pleasure?” She shifted her feet into a broad stance; solid, imposing, deadly. “I thought you were dead, you fucker.”
It was the sort of response Moriarty had been expecting. Grief, blind rage, and just a tiny spark of insanity. Everyone had that spark in them, and this girl in front of him was no different. Her had, in fact, grown a little after the criminal’s deeds. His main focus at the time had been Sherlock, but it would hardly do to ignore any other factors of the equation. Autumn Stone had been affected by the detective’s death. If it had hurt her as much as it had John, she was doing a good job of hiding it. Keeping it in, not letting anyone else see. That would only be worse for her in the end.
And that was one of the many things Jim could use to his advantage. He most certainly planned to. “So good to see you too,” he replied casually, raising an eyebrow. Oh look, she was placing a hand on her gun. Could she have been any more obvious about it? There went her element of surprise, if she was planning on having one. He just sighed and paced a little closer to her.
"Dead? You mean I’m not?" He looked down at his body, as if noticing it was there for only the first time. "Oh! Well, there’s a shock. I thought you were somewhat sensible. But you’re not. There’s another shock." Now he was only a couple of paces away from the woman, not at all intimidated. Her stance was all for show. She’d break easily enough. "Your turn to be shocked."
"Oh, you would just love that, wouldn’t you?" Autumn cooed, her voice mocking just as a smirk curled on her lips. She watched closely once Moriarty stepped closer to her, trying to be just as intimidating as she was. Autumn Stone lifted her chin at him, meeting his dark orbs that matched hers.
One quick glance over the criminal mastermind gave Autumn all the information she could gather about him. His crisp and immaculate Westwood suit had just been freshly pressed and dry cleaned. Exuding his strong sense of superiority and air of class. All to maintain his infamous reputation, therefore, must be presentable as such. She noted to herself. Autumn indirectly focused her senses over him; the casual nonchalance of Moriarty’s demeanor was felt throughout his essence. A subtle rift in his vibe detects any attempt to throw off an opponent by working against their weaknesses. Drop their guards, find their vulnerable spots, then wait to strike. Further investigation with her expertly trained eyes revealed that the man in front of her was unarmed. A small rift of pride swelled in her, even as she mentally told herself to push it aside. Even if Moriarty was unarmed, that didn’t mean that he was dangerous, personally or not.
The woman brushed her thumb over the grips of her pistol, making the gesture both subtle and easy to see. To evidently let Moriarty know that she was armed and well-trained with the weapon. But he would have already caught that. James Moriarty was no ordinary man, but a spider, as Sherlock once described him.
Sherlock, Autumn thought, a slight hitching of her breath while the thought of the detective ran through her mind, the action imperceptible. Sherlock Holmes was a man that wouldn’t so much be considered a mentor to her but a thoroughly accurate strategist and consultant. A man who taught her things in ways that were deemed unorthodox and non-traditional. Who flat out told her when she was wrong. Who mocked her when she attempted to fix her mistakes. Who gave the slightest smile when she caught on and began to go into his train of thought. Who never praised her more than to say “Very well done, Miss Stone.” Who was brought to his own death by the hands of this spider.
"I hate to be of disappointment to you," she informed, her voice still low with rage. "but hardly anything is of a shock to me. Now, you had better tell me what business you have doing here as well as your purpose of coming to me."